Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

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

Your Smartphone Controls Your Mind

Apps are designed to maximize the amount of time you spend on them — even if that is wasting your precious time.  Tristan Harris explains in his TED talk:

How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day

And check out this article to see what he is planning to do about it:

Smartphones Are Weapons of Mass Manipulation, and This Guy Is Declaring War on Them

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October 19, 2017 Posted by | decision making, behaviour, psychology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Anger is Temporary Madness

Why it’s better to remain calm and how to do it.

Anger is Temporary Madness: the Stoics knew how to curb it

Massimo Pigliucci | October 13, 2017 | Aeon

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October 13, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, psychology | , | Leave a comment

How our biases divide us

This article explains the cognitive biases that are at work to divide “us” and “them”.  Since meditation weakens the power of these biases, the hope is that the more we meditate the more we can unite.  Even if the meditation part seems a bit far fetched, the description of the biases is very useful.

How Mindfulness Meditation Can Save America

Robert Wright | 10.08.17 | Wired

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October 10, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, psychology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why immoral actions seem impossible

It seems we are blind to the possibility of immoral actions — but that allows us the ability to trust people.

‘But you can’t do that!’ Why immoral actions seem impossible

Jonathan Phillips | 29 September 2017 | aeon

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October 1, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, psychology, sociology | , | Leave a comment

She’ll Text Me, She’ll Text Me Not

Did you know uncertainty leads to romantic attraction?  For more on that and other juicy psychological tidbits relating to texting read comedian Aziz Ansari’s funny article:

She’ll Text Me, She’ll Text Me Not

The science of waiting in modern courtship.

 

September 19, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, psychology | , , | 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

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

How to achieve your goals

Based on solid science, these tips actually work if you follow through ( I used a version of them to successfully get into a regular exercise habit). Worth keeping a copy for reference.

How to Get Better at Achieving Your Goals

Christine Carter follows these research-backed steps to turn her good intentions into successful achievements.

September 2, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, lifehack, psychology | , , | Leave a comment

Why prejudice persists

Good explanation of how people’s prejudices are subconsciously affected.

THE MULTI-HEADED HYDRA OF PREJUDICE

BY CAROL TAVRIS | August 30, 2017 | Skeptic

 

August 31, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, 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

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

Feeling helpless leads us to see nonexistent patterns

This explains a lot.

Finding Control in Chaos

Feeling helpless leads us to see nonexistent patterns

Siri Carpenter | February 1, 2009 | Scientific American Mind

 

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August 22, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, psychology, religion | , , | Leave a comment