Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Five Ways to Lie with Charts

Everyone should read this so they don’t get bamboozled by charts.
Five Ways to Lie with Charts

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April 29, 2019 Posted by | information, statistics | , , | Leave a comment

Why Poverty Is Like a Disease

Inequality hurts us all — and this article explains why. Make sure you read it to the end.

“….escape from poverty is a matter of chance, and not a matter of merit.”

” The reality is that when you’re poor, if you make one mistake, you’re done. Everything becomes a sudden-death gamble.”

Why Poverty Is Like a Disease

Emerging science is putting the lie to American meritocracy

Christian H. Cooper | Nautilus | April, 2017

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February 12, 2019 Posted by | behaviour, economics, politics, sociology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Your stressed mind gets better at processing bad news…

…and this can be used to manipulate you.

How your mind, under stress, gets better at processing bad news

Tali Sharot | 15 May 2018 | aeon

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January 5, 2019 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, evolutionary psychology, news, politics, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

Your vote is manipulated without your knowledge

It’s not just the fake news; politicians can take advantage of your instincts to influence your vote without your knowledge.  The advice:

“If you’re scared to be manipulated, learn. The more you learn, the more firm and stable your attitudes are, and the more difficult it is for someone to convince you otherwise.”

Intelligent Machines

The “neuropolitics” consultants who hack voters’ brains

These experts say they can divine political preferences you can’t express from signals you don’t know you’re producing.

by Elizabeth Svoboda | August 16, 2018 | MIT Technology Review

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January 5, 2019 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, politics | , , , | Leave a comment

How Your Brain Tricks You Into Believing Fake News

Great article, includes some tips in how to spot fake news.

How Your Brain Tricks You Into Believing Fake News

KATY STEINMETZ | August 9, 2018 | Time Magazine

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January 5, 2019 Posted by | decision making, news, politics | , , , , | 2 Comments

Origin of Superstition

A scientific exploration of superstitious beliefs. From Skeptic Magazine:

 

The Origin of Superstition, Magical Thinking, and Paranormal Beliefs 
(an integrative model)

Marjaana Lindeman & Kia Aarnio | Skeptic Magazine, Volume 13 Number 1 | Sept 2010

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January 5, 2019 Posted by | anthropology, evolutionary psychology, religion | , , , , | 2 Comments

Selfish reason to donate blood

Compelling evidence that iron may affect your health, depending on your genes. Simplest way to remedy is to donate blood.

Iron Is the New Cholesterol

Elevated iron is at the center of a web of disease stretching from cancer to diabetes.

By Clayton Dalton | December 20, 2018 | Nautilus

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January 1, 2019 Posted by | health, nutrition | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tribalism is preventing us from making informed decisions

Article from The Economist describes recent experiments that shed light on how humans stick to beliefs despite all evidence to the contrary.

The partisan brain: What psychology experiments tell you about why people deny facts

The Economist | Dec 8th 2018

Many of us will pay money to avoid points of view that differ from our own

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January 1, 2019 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, evolutionary psychology, politics, psychology | , | Leave a comment

The surprising reason people change their minds

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The surprising reason people change their minds

We usually believe that our opinions are stubborn and fixed. But new research shows that our views, even on politics, are changing all the time – just not for the reasons you’d expect.

Claudia Hammond | BBC Future | 22 June 2018

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June 23, 2018 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making | | Leave a comment

How to change emotions with a word

Great article from The Economist on how to reduce (or increase) tension with grammar.

How to change emotions with a word

Science looks at the subtleties of semiotics

The Economist | May 3, 2018

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June 6, 2018 Posted by | anthropology, behaviour, emotions, psychology | , , | Leave a comment