FREAK-est Links

  1. Do customs and postal service discriminate against “atheist” parcels?
  2. Now there are wristbands to monitor whether doctors are washing their hands. (HT: R.E. Riker)
  3. Dan Ariely is offering a free online course: “A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior.” Sign up here.
  4. Dan Pallotta argues that non-profits should be run like real companies.
  5. A new study of English literature finds that the use of mood words is steadily decreasing.

Impossibly Stupid

That Dan Pallotta talk is the worst thing I have seen come out of TED. The problem isn't that people in non-profits make too little, it's that people in for-profit companies make *far* too much, especially the executives. The dysfunction is all the more obvious when the for-profit company fails to make a profit for a quarter or over a year . . . and people still both expect and *get* large bonuses!

Further, a non-profit usually has a less hostile business dynamic than a regular company. They don't exactly have competition that is working against them in the same "market". Their money comes by way of a nice little charitable tax deduction. There are a number of factors like that which should make it *much* easier to run a charity compared to a normal business.

It is just as wrong-headed to approach a charity as a business as it is to treat a government like a business.

Eric M. Jones

>>...discriminate against “atheist” parcels...

This is an amateur testing mistake (as some have noted). Postal inspectors are wary of any international parcel that looks a little whacky and they would delay them for inspection. So how do you make a package appear "atheist" while another appears equally eye-catching to postal inspectors? That's a tough design-of-experiment puzzle that is not solved here.

Maybe (and even probably) the USPS has some Christian bias in their inspectors, but they might also have more-careful inspectors.