General · 2005-05-25

The sleeper curve

Tim’s post on sun exposure being not-all-bad for you (or is it?) reminds me of this post that I’ve been meaning to mention for some time. It discusses the phenomenon of people not being as stupid, nor things as bad for you, as conventional wisdom suggests.

In the case of TV being more stimulating than once thought, Steven Johnson calls it the “Sleeper Curve” after the Woody Allen movie. Having become an Atkins devotee, I’ve often thought of this movie in recent times! Also, being old enough to remember both the days when PABA was supposed to be the safe way to avoid getting too much sun and the even more bygone days when SPF numbers didn’t exist and coconut oil for “frying” was the be-all and end-all of a day at the beach, I have long been suspicious of answers to the question of how much sun exposure is good/bad for you.