Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

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

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

Continue reading

Advertisements

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

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

Continue reading

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

How “us” and “them” leads to genocide

Interview with biologist Robert Sapolsky,  (link below), to point out at how the “us” and “them” attitude can lead to problems. IMHO, his book Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, is a must-read eye-opener.

The Biology of the Modern Political Divide

Robert Sapolsky reveals the biological basis for our most unfortunate traits—and insists change is possible.

 

 

March 22, 2018 Posted by | anthropology, behaviour, brain, politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Play game – fight fake news

Build your resistance to disinformation by playing the game Bad News, created by a team of experts.  Here is a review of it.

February 23, 2018 Posted by | fun, information, politics | , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

Continue reading

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