The FREAKest Links: John Jermajesty Jingleheimer Smith Edition

For those seeking a little variety in the name department, the U.K. Times ranks the fifty “craziest celebrity baby names,” including such gems as “Aurelius Cy,” “Fifi Trixibell,” “Moxie CrimeFighter” and “Jermajesty.” Lucky for them, none of the featured celebrity parents live in Malaysia.

Reader John Wilson alerted us to his blog, WhereIsJohnWilson, which documents his quest to have his self-proclaimed “super common” name vaulted to the top of Google searches. The top post currently is an interview with Jim Kileen, director and producer of the documentary Google Me, that picks up on Dubner’s discussion of video resumes.

In non-name news, an A.P. article reports on a study led by Cardiff University psychologist Stanley Zammit showing an apparent link between marijuana use and psychosis. According to Zammit’s conclusion, “even infrequent use” of marijuana could raise the risk of developing psychosis by up to 40%. Although as reader Andrew Heck pointed out, the results could be an example of confusing causation and correlation (a topic we’ve addressed often) in that the researchers “said they couldn’t prove that marijuana use itself increases the risk of psychosis” and admitted that “[t]here could be something else about marijuana users” that contributed to the increase.


egretman

Wait. Isn't the paranoid delusion that accompanies all pot use a form of psychosis? So isn't it 100% certain that all users will develop psychosis?

Can anyone here truly say that when they are on weed and they hear a knock on the front door that they don't immediately think "Narcs!"? Followed by hallucinations of jail time with a big black dude which is just another form of psychosis.

In fact, isn't the whole purpose of smoking pot to experience "a loss of contact with reality"? The very definition of psychosis.

frankenduf

who is the most famous freak name- moon unit?

Mack

@1: isn't the whole purpose of smoking pot to experience “a loss of contact with reality”?

The whole purpose? Maybe for some. But that would be like saying the whole purpose of alcohol is to get wasted. For most, mj is just fun and relaxing. Just like booze in that regard.

And I can't say that mj is any good at causing a disconnect from reality -- leave that for acid and the occasional 'shroom (if that's your thing).

Of course, it's all dose/response. Maybe I've just never encountered a sufficient dose. I should titrate...

hcurtisshannon

Question for Egretman: doesn't the paranoia you describe (jailtime with Bubba) derive more from pot being illegal, and not from the intrinsic experience itself? Now if you were talking about getting an irrational fear of Cheetos after smoking, I'd see your point.

davinic

Completely irresponsible. How does one go from

>>“even infrequent use” of marijuana could raise the risk of developing psychosis by up to 40%

to

>>“[t]here could be something else about marijuana users” that contributed to the increase.

And still hold any respect from others in the scientific community. Day 1: correlation is NOT causation.

"Could raise" and "by up to" should clue any sensible reader into the fact that this is completely bogus.

The better research these days, imho, is about those with psychosis self-medicating from a young age with cigarettes, cannabis, etc.

egretman

Marijuana researchers remind me of coffee/caffeine researchers. They are always trying to show both are bad and the data won't quite come through for them.

Perhaps they should study people with middle names of "Wayne" and give them large amounts of caffeine and pot. Something is bound to happen.

clsand99

Good point by "hcurtissannon"... I'd like to see some research on the relationship between marijuana & psychosis (and any other possible mental, or social effect) that originates in a country/locality where marijuana is legal & well-regulated. The issue of legality could not only effect a user's mental state at the time of use, but also could effect a number of decisions leading up to that point & then following.

whereisjohnwilson

Thank you for the link. I have managed to go from 109,000,000 to page 2, link 3. Hopefully great blogs like this one linking to my blog www.whereisjohnwilson.com and my participation in other's blogs will boost me up to page 1. It has been an outstanding learning experience and I got the idea from a mix of Made to Stick and Freakonomics...two must reads.

bradbonham

"John Wilson Marijuana" should now place John at the top of Google's search results in a dubious manner. Ahh the dark side of search engine optimization! Great post, though, and I write about it on my blog: http://bradbonham.com/article/30/john-wilson-gets-freaky

Mack

@9: Hopefully great blogs like this one linking to my blog...

Sorry, but as is typical for blog comments, your link is marked "nofollow", which google honors. So it should not boost your page rank.

lermit

I feel alarmed. I'm gonna have wine instead at that place.

.lermit

Bruce Hayden

I do think that some day, we should get to the point where legitimate marijuana research is done. In my generation, the vast majority have tried it, and most put it away. In my case, it was prevalent in college, but most gave it up when they settled down with real jobs. Are 40% of us psycotic? Not unless you have a very liberal definition of the term. For 98% of those who I know have smoked a little pot, I seriously doubt if there was any long term affects.

But I do believe that there are very often long term effects of the drug, for those who have used it routinely for 30+ years. I see all these guys in their 50s who can't keep jobs because of their poblems with dealing with people. The commonality is pot smoking. Yes, maybe it is correlation, with a certain type of personality being more addicted to pot than others. Nevertheless, I know a bunch of people who have smoked pot for that long, and all of them are some level of disfunctional.

The problem is that researchers can't really do pot research in this country. This became evident when the FDA experts kept telling us there were no medically proven uses of marijuana, and then we found out that was because the same agency had refused to allow any such reasearch in the first place.

So, my worry is that the government's limiting of pot research in order to prevent debunking any short term pot usage myths, they are peddling also keeps them from investigating long term problems that are likely much more real.

Getting to economics, why should the government refuse to allow much pot research in the first place? My suggestion is that it may be because the War on Drugs is a big thing with the various levels of government, and the most used illegal drug is pot. The WoD allows the local police to justify and fund SWAT teams, DARE programs, etc. And some of this money is coming from the feds. In short, the WoD now has its own industry and advocates, all wishing to keep the tax money flowing.

Read more...

stuart

I am sure that there is some good evidence of the direct and negative physical effect marijuana has on brain cells. Hence the elevated risk of psychosis. I cannot remember where I read it probably as a result of my mild cannabis use in youth.

egretman

Nothing would benefit America more than if John P. Walters would take a toke or two and chill out. That dude is evil incarnate.

Jraque

I went to high school with a girl named Marijuana. Her middle name was Pepsi-Cola. I'm pretty sure her mom was suffering from psychosis.

egretman

Wait. Isn't the paranoid delusion that accompanies all pot use a form of psychosis? So isn't it 100% certain that all users will develop psychosis?

Can anyone here truly say that when they are on weed and they hear a knock on the front door that they don't immediately think "Narcs!"? Followed by hallucinations of jail time with a big black dude which is just another form of psychosis.

In fact, isn't the whole purpose of smoking pot to experience "a loss of contact with reality"? The very definition of psychosis.

frankenduf

who is the most famous freak name- moon unit?

Mack

@1: isn't the whole purpose of smoking pot to experience "a loss of contact with reality"?

The whole purpose? Maybe for some. But that would be like saying the whole purpose of alcohol is to get wasted. For most, mj is just fun and relaxing. Just like booze in that regard.

And I can't say that mj is any good at causing a disconnect from reality -- leave that for acid and the occasional 'shroom (if that's your thing).

Of course, it's all dose/response. Maybe I've just never encountered a sufficient dose. I should titrate...

hcurtisshannon

Question for Egretman: doesn't the paranoia you describe (jailtime with Bubba) derive more from pot being illegal, and not from the intrinsic experience itself? Now if you were talking about getting an irrational fear of Cheetos after smoking, I'd see your point.

davinic

Completely irresponsible. How does one go from

>>"even infrequent use" of marijuana could raise the risk of developing psychosis by up to 40%

to

>>"[t]here could be something else about marijuana users" that contributed to the increase.

And still hold any respect from others in the scientific community. Day 1: correlation is NOT causation.

"Could raise" and "by up to" should clue any sensible reader into the fact that this is completely bogus.

The better research these days, imho, is about those with psychosis self-medicating from a young age with cigarettes, cannabis, etc.