October 27, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVII(17):1383. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02520170047011

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A London physician, Dr. Forbes Winslow, is the alleged authority for the statement that the world is going mad and that if the present rate of increase of insanity continues, as it seems likely to, the sane individual will soon be the exception and not the rule. He is said to support his opinion by statistics, but statistics are sometimes queer things. It will be remembered that Mark Twain once figured out that at the rate of shortening that the Mississippi was undergoing, according to statistics, the cities of New Orleans and St. Louis were bound to be united, and it may be that insanity statistics can be used in the same way. We should be rather inclined to think that the world is growing saner, that its standards of sanity, as well as of morals and other things, are becoming more exacting, and that the great apparent increase of

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