Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

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

Us vs. Them

Quite insightful excerpt from Robert Sapolsky’s “Behave” book:

Why Your Brain Hates Other People

And how to make it think differently.

BY ROBERT SAPOLSKY |DECEMBER 14, 2017 | Nautilus

Advertisements

December 14, 2017 Posted by | brain, behaviour, anthropology | , | Leave a comment

Why People Can’t Agree on Basic Facts

Two related articles on how people end up with such divergent views from the same set of facts, and how the gap between the two sides keeps getting larger.

Why People Can’t Agree on Basic Facts

Tali Sharot | September 19, 2017 | Time Magazine

Continue reading

September 19, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, emotions, information, psychology | , , | Leave a comment

The real problem of consciousness

An interesting view on consciousness.

The real problem of consciousness

It looks like scientists and philosophers might have made consciousness far more mysterious than it needs to be

Anil K Seth | November 2, 2016 | Aeon

Continue reading

August 25, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, brain, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology | , | Leave a comment

“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

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

May 14, 2017 Posted by | brain, evolutionary psychology, psychology | , , | 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

Continue reading

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

Your future self is a stranger

Ever wonder why so many people don’t save for their retirement?  It turns out humans treat their future selves as a stranger — and would you give money to a stranger?  The article below explains this further and suggest ways you can counteract it:

Our Puny Human Brains Are Terrible at Thinking About the Future

And that has consequences.

Jane McGonigal | Apri 13, 2017 | Slate

Continue reading

April 15, 2017 Posted by | brain, psychology | , | Leave a comment