Chicken or the egg?

Having read the article from New Scientist I’m left with the question which isn’t answered… Isn’t there a possibility that the people who write diaries regularly probably going to be the character type who have the medical and phsychological problems described as the consiquences of diary writing in the article?

From what I can see, the only way to prove or disprove this would be to find a large sample of non-diary writers, do a medical on them all and then get half to start writing diaries without telling them what the study is for (so as not to cause a placebo effect). Just testing those who are already writing or not writing is pointless as you can’t separate cause and effect.

Sometimes I dispair about the psychologists (and many medical researchers) who seem to be pseudo-scientists who abuse statistics to prove the conjecture they formulated before the study. A true scientist should try as hard as they can to knock down their own conjecture or theory and only if it withstands every attack they can think of start to believe it might hold some sense of truth.

64 bit madness

Well, last night I finally tried putting a 64 bit operating system on my laptop as an experiment.

I shrank the Windows partition by a further 5GB, put a new partition on it and installed the MandrakeLinux 10.0 RC1 AMD64 distribution on it.

So far, other than the 2.6 kernel which is used during the install process not being able to access the keyboard I’ve not had any problems. Of course, it can’t use the wireless ethernet as ndiswrapper only works as a 32bit driver. I built a newer Linus kernel (2.6.7) and installed that as x86-64 support is getting (generally) better with each release. I didn’t put 2.6.8{,.1} on there as that seems to be a rather buggy release.

The machine does feel substantially quicker than when it was running in 32bit mode. I think the kernel build was almost double the speed, though this is only a feeling as I didn’t time it. However, after the kernel build using the original kernel I did notice that the system started bogging down and becoming a little unresponsive but I’ve not seen this (yet) with the newer kernel.

Anyway, it looks promising.