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Cory Doctorow is completely right (im not sure if you have the right link though, I found his take on craphound.com). Anyway, I know just where he is coming from. It's that immediate decision, are you my friend, yes or no? No in between. I find it's easier to make enemies then friends on facebook and thats why I gave up with it.

The article on female leaders fails to mention a huge confounder: Indian locals may have perceived female leaders as unqualified because one-third of the leaders examined in the study were statutorily required to be female.

the facebook page loaded blank. does that mean nothing is wrong with it?

The Duflo et al. study is oooooollld! Brandon's comment is irrelevant -- they looked at *results* of females in leadership positions.

The Duflo et al. study is oooooollld! Brandon's comment is irrelevant -- they looked at *results* of females in leadership positions.

I'm wondering if the female leader effect might be somewhat driven by the most assuredly higher incumbency rate amongst the towns not forced to elect women.

Is it me or can anyone else tell that Doctorow probably hasn't been on Facebook for very long? Almost all of the problems he relates probably wouldn't be issues on Facebook. Indicating who your "top eight" friends are? If you're friends with someone, you're friends with someone, unless you add some stupid "top friends" application, which most people don't do. The Friendster example probably isn't much of an issue because pictures have to be non-pornographic (not sure how well that's policed, but I can't for the life of me recall ever seeing a pornographic picture on facebook, and I've been using the site since near the beginning).

A more interesting article would be if a social scientist who's used the site for a while wrote an article about the social conventions and trends that have emerged on Facebook. The longer one uses the site, one realizes that there's some "do's" and "don'ts." For instance, why would someone conceal their relationship status when they're single? When they're in a relationship? Guys are much more likely to do the latter, girls the former. Why is there such a strong correlation between education and whether someone uses Facebook or MySpace?

Interesting diet idea, but potentially flawed. You can't promise to give money to just anyone or anything. What if you promise it to a favored charity and felt more philanthropic than overweight?

I'd suggest choosing someone or something really vile. The RNC for my wife. The NAMBLA Defense Fund for almost everyone. Hello, waistline!

Eric H - "Interesting diet idea, but potentially flawed. You can't promise to give money to just anyone or anything. What if you promise it to a favored charity and felt more philanthropic than overweight?"

But according to the article, the company chooses the charity, not the individual. And while just about any charity will make you feel somewhat philanthropic, I doubt I would personally feel great about giving ten thousand dollars to, say, the Collars for Poor Little Puppies Fund.

What's this 200 pushups and situps per week thing? I thought Tim Harford was young. Does he mean pushups per day but $1000 per week? The article is unclear on that.

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