I'm a fan of the Monday Note, a media and technology blog written by Frederic Filloux and Jean-Louis Gassee. In a recent entry (which, admittedly, I'm a couple of days late to), Filloux looks at the most e-mailed stories on the New York Times in an effort to identify which are popular with readers. In health and medicine, he notes the following stories:
- Outdoors and Out of Reach, Studying the Brain: Five scientists spent a week in the wilderness to understand how heavy use of technology changes how we think and behave.
- Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits: Psychologists have discovered that some of the most hallowed advice on study habits is flat wrong.
- They Crawl, They Bite, They Baffle Scientists: Ask experts why bedbugs disappeared for 40 years, why they came back, why they don't spread disease, and you hear one answer: "Good question."
- Tai Chi Reported to Ease Fibromyalgia: Slow exercise and meditation as practiced in an ancient Chinese regimen may help sufferers of a mysterious and controversial disease.
Then Filloux moved on to The Economist, The Guardian, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times and others. This broader (and admittedly anecdotal) survey led Filloux to conclude, in part, that there is an:
...emphasis on the Intimate Sphere. From the view afforded by the Times' Most E-Mailed list, we see readers keen on introspection, who want to understand themselves. The Times' list includes an unexpectedly high number of psychology, neuroscience and behavioral studies stories.
It's a thoughtful piece and, if you're interested in understanding how people consume media, the rest is worth reading.
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