Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

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

How Trump screws with your mind

Emily Dreyfuss, Wired magazine editor, has a couple of illuminating articles on how President Trump screws with your mind for his own benefit. He’s not the only one to do so, so it’s in your interest to find out how and what to do about it.

The Cognitive Bias President Trump Understands Better Than You

Want to Make a Lie Seem True? Say It Again. And Again. And Again

Continue reading

February 18, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How you vote depends on how you perceive honesty

What does honesty mean to you?

  1. An honest person will say what they think and believe
  2. An honest person will say factually accurate things

If you picked 1, you will probably vote Trump; 2, Clinton. The article below from ClearerThinking.org explains.

A major difference between Clinton and Trump voters: how they perceive honesty

Continue reading

November 3, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, politics, psychology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Gloom Trumps Glad

Michael Shermer’s article makes several excellent points to remember at election time.

For one, we react to the bad news more than the good, because

“… in our evolutionary past there was an asymmetry of payoffs in which the fitness cost of overreacting to a threat was less than the fitness cost of underreacting. The world was more dangerous in our evolutionary past, so it paid to be risk-averse and highly sensitive to threats, and if things were good, then the status quo was worth maintaining…”

And politicians’ messages boil down to

““once upon a time things were bad, and now they’re good thanks to our party” or “once upon a time things were good, but now they’re bad thanks to the other party.””

Worth a read.

Why Gloom Trumps Glad

Michael Shermer | November 2016

November 2, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, evolutionary psychology, politics, psychology, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Yes, I’d lie to you

Scary. Really scary. A must-read.

Yes, I’d lie to you

Dishonesty in politics is nothing new; but the manner in which some politicians now lie, and the havoc they may wreak by doing so, are worrying

The Economist | Sep 10th 2016

Continue reading

October 9, 2016 Posted by | information, politics, sociology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Political Candidates Know If You’re Neurotic

Just like advertising, politics is becoming more targeted to the individual: exploiting all your traits and weaknesses to get you to buy into their product/candidate. It’s a scary direction. (Make sure to watch the video on the source page)

How Political Candidates Know If You’re Neurotic

The latest data-driven campaign pitches target you based on your personality, not just your demographics. But does such profiling work?

David Talbot  | April 15, 2016 | MIT Technology Review

Continue reading

July 31, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, politics, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

The Secret Origins of the Tea Party

Eye-opening article based on Jeff Nesbitt’s book, Poison Tea: How Big Oil and Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party and Captured the GOP.

The Secret Origins of the Tea Party

How Big Oil and Big Tobacco partnered with the Koch brothers to take over the GOP

By Jeff Nesbit | April 5, 2016 |Time

April 6, 2016 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Mind Control

… or why I am suddenly more confident in predicting a Hillary win.

The New Mind Control

The internet has spawned subtle forms of influence that can flip elections and manipulate everything we say, think and do

By Robert Epstein | Edited by Pam Weintraub | 18 February, 2016 | Aeon

Continue reading

February 19, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, politics, psychology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spreading Ignorance

Food for thought.

The man who studies the spread of ignorance

How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge? Georgina Kenyon finds there is a term which defines this phenomenon.

By Georgina Kenyon | 6 January 2016 | BBC Future

Continue reading

January 12, 2016 Posted by | anthropology, behaviour, decision making, politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Does It Take to Change a Mind?

Sounds like you can’t change someone’s mind in at once; but little at a time, maybe.

What Does It Take to Change a Mind? A Phase Transition [UPDATED]

By Jennifer Ouellette | February 13, 2015 |  Scientific American Blog
Continue reading

February 25, 2015 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

When the right gets left

Heartbreak is worse for conservatives, research shows.  From the Boston Globe, Feb 3, 2013:

When the right gets left

By Kevin Lewis

Continue reading

February 10, 2013 Posted by | behaviour, politics | , | Leave a comment