Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

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

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

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

I can haz all ur votes

“…wealth of information creates a poverty of attention…”

— Herbert Simon, a noted economist, 1971

Start by checking out the chart in the middle of the article below, depicting increasing U.S. political polarization.  Then read the article to see how the internet led us there.

It’s a huge problem that is getting worse.

Once considered a boon to democracy, social media have started to look like its nemesis

An economy based on attention is easily gamed

Nov 4th 2017 |The Economist


January 27, 2018 Posted by | information, news, politics, sociology | , , , , , | Leave a comment


New word!

Drillusion:  “The thought that allocating more real estate for oil exploration is wrong on every conceivable level.” — jgl

July 16, 2008 Posted by | environment, news, politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t get duped

Scientific American Mind – January 31, 2008

Getting Duped: How the Media Messes with Your Mind

Statements made in the media can surreptitiously plant distortions in the minds of millions. Learning to recognize two commonly used fallacies can help you separate fact from fiction

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February 5, 2008 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, news | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dilute the lure of muslim extremists dogma,9171,1663851,00.html

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October 16, 2007 Posted by | economics, news | Leave a comment

The Real News

News sources are invariably biased in what they report and how they report it. Some sources have more obvious slants (like Fox), some less (like BBC) — but all news has a slant. Some bias sneaks in from the reporter — after all, reporters are human — but what is more disconcerting is the profit-motivated bias.

The viewer/reader has a huge impact on what gets reported, after all, the more numerous the audience, the higher the profits of the media group. So you get news that is best suited for the “average” viewer/reader — dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. News that appeals to the basic human instincts like sex, scandals and gossip. Or news that would make the person feel good about themselves or the group they associate themselves with (like patriotism). News that finds someone else to blame. News that clearly delineates between “good” and “bad”.

Then of course the owners of the news source can provide a bias as a policy, and/or by hiring a sympathetic CEO/editor. Do you know what other industries the owner of the news you watch is involved in? (Like NBC universal, subsidiary of General Electric who’s also involved in arms manufacturing through their GE-Aviation subsidiary.)

And finally, the advertisers: they don’t like to put their ads within controversial subjects, or anywhere near a story that might make the readers/viewers be less receptive to their products. As in, it would be hard to sell caviar in an ad that follows a story of starving children.

So having a news source that is not supported by (and has no ties to) any company, nation or group would be much more in a position to report the REAL news. And now, here it is:

Watch their intro and spread the real news.

July 26, 2007 Posted by | information, news | Leave a comment