Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

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

“The of and to. A in is I. That it, for you, was with on. As have … but be they.”

If you have 20 minutes, this is worth watching.  It just keeps getting more and more fascinating.

June 14, 2017 Posted by | brain, statistics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hidden Sexism of How We Think About Risk

A very convincing argument that risk-taking is more cultural than biological.

The Hidden Sexism of How We Think About Risk

If men take more risks than women, it’s not because of biology.

By Cordelia Fine | May 18, 2017 | Nautilus

June 11, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, evolutionary psychology, psychology, sociology | , , | Leave a comment

First impressions count

Fascinating article on how humans judge competence based on facial features, and how that affects politics. For example, in one study judgments of who appeared more competent  predicted about 70% of elections.  The article is an excerpt from the author’s new book, Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions (2017).

First impressions count

Alexander Todorov  | 30 May, 2017 | Aeon

June 11, 2017 Posted by | brain, decision making, politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Poverty Is Like a Disease

A must-read.  It will change how you look at poverty and meritocracy.

Why Poverty Is Like a Disease

Emerging science is putting the lie to American meritocracy

By Christian H. Cooper | April 20, 2017 | Nautilus

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May 14, 2017 Posted by | brain, psychology, sociology | , , | Leave a comment

Is Consciousness Fractal?

What I found fascinating is how fractal nature is and how we perceive and react to it.

Is Consciousness Fractal?

Our subconscious love for fractals may tell an evolutionary story.

By Jordana Cepelewicz | May 4, 2017 | Nautilus

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May 14, 2017 Posted by | brain, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, psychology | , , , , | 1 Comment

Why is the brain prone to florid forms of confabulation?

Did you ever wonder why people fall for ads? or conmen?  Read the article below.

Why is the brain prone to florid forms of confabulation?

Jules Montague | 17 April, 2017 | aeon

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May 14, 2017 Posted by | brain, evolutionary psychology, psychology | , , | Leave a comment

The more you know someone, the more you dislike them

Combine that with our tendency to reveal more about ourselves digitally, and the implication is that digital connectedness brings conflict:

How tech created a global village — and put us at each other’s throats

By Nicholas Carr  | April 21, 2017 | Boston Globe

Welcome to the global village. It’s a nasty place.

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April 29, 2017 Posted by | anthropology, behaviour, psychology, sociology | , , , | 1 Comment

How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

Must read if you ever shop online.

How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

Will you pay more for those shoes before 7 p.m.? Would the price tag be different if you lived in the suburbs? Standard prices and simple discounts are giving way to far more exotic strategies, designed to extract every last dollar from the consumer.

Jerry Useem | May 2017 Issue | The Atlantic
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April 20, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, business | , , | Leave a comment

Social media filter bubbles may not exist

It’s depressing to hear how rather than spreading ideas and views, the internet polarized people more — fault social media for feeding news that reinforces existing beliefs.  A new study has brought to light that this is not entirely true: we shoud be blaming old people and cable news instead.

Social media “filter bubbles” aren’t actually a thing, research suggests

Noah Kulwin | Apr 14, 2017 | Vice News

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April 17, 2017 Posted by | information, politics | , | Leave a comment

How racism can hijack perception

If you just watched a really scary movie, a noise from another room (that you would normally ignore) could set your heart racing, as you perceive it as an intruder set to kill you rather than just the cat playing.  The same principle can apply to police shootings — did they perceive a phone as a gun just because they were primed for danger?  The article below describes how this is quite likely.  Gives a whole different perspective of the police racism problem.

The brain-heart dialogue shows how racism hijacks perception

Manos Tsakiris |14 April, 2017 | aeon

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April 16, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, psychology | , , | Leave a comment