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July 22 2010

Someone who does you an injury hurts you twice: first by the injury itself, and second by taking up your time afterward thinking about it. If you learn to ignore injuries you can at least avoid the second half. I've found I can to some extent avoid thinking about nasty things people have done to me by telling myself: this doesn't deserve space in my head.
Paul Graham: The Top Idea in Your Mind
Reposted byreckonjaphysirra

April 17 2010

Simplifying the interface of the [Bloomberg] terminal would not be accepted by most users because they take pride on manipulating its current "complex" interface. The pain inflicted by blatant UI flaws is strangely transformed into the rewarding experience of feeling and looking like a hard-core professional.
The Impossible Bloomberg Makeover | UX Magazine
Reposted byuijaphynungee
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Reposted bysirthomasbolton sirthomasbolton

March 02 2010

The best you can hope for in this life is that your delusions are benign and your compulsions have utility.
Scott Adams
Reposted byfragmad fragmad

December 10 2009

Gene variants generally considered misfortunes (poor Jim, he got the “bad” gene) can instead now be understood as highly leveraged evolutionary bets, with both high risks and high potential rewards. ... [T]he children who suffer most from bad environments also profit the most from good ones.
The Science of Success – The Atlantic

November 02 2009


Why Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do | Psychology Today

(It's because "you are more likely to be friends with someone who has more friends than with someone who has fewer friends.")

August 11 2009


Stendhal syndrome - Wikipedia

"a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art"
Reposted bynotyce notyce

May 27 2009


Fußgängerzone, Aufzug, Flughafen

über das merkwürdige Verhalten von Menschen auf engem Raum - Leben in der Masse - sueddeutsche.de
Reposted fromkonnex konnex

May 22 2009

How much stress we experience depends more on how well we control attention than on what happens to us.
Psychology Today: Finding flow
Reposted byevaku evaku

May 21 2009

We can be happy experiencing the passive pleasure of a rested body, warm sunshine, or the contentment of a serene relationship, but this kind of happiness is dependent on favorable external circumstances. The happiness that follows flow is of our own making, and it leads to increasing complexity and growth in consciousness.
Psychology Today: Finding flow
Reposted byexistenZ existenZ

May 11 2009

The skillful management of attention is the sine qua non of the good life and the key to improving virtually every aspect of your experience, from mood to productivity to relationships.
Salon.com Books | Why can't we concentrate?
Note to self: Pay more attention to what you pay attention to.
Reposted bymorewordshairinmyaleKSandra

April 25 2009

people tend to be at their worst when they’re feeling most insecure
Dude, You’ve Got Problems - NYTimes.com
Reposted byelpollodiablo elpollodiablo

April 15 2009

When a lifetime of intellectual labor and study came up against a moment of emotional engagement, emotion won, in a rout.
The Failure of #amazonfail « Clay Shirky
Reposted byhairinmy hairinmy

April 14 2009


Less Wrong: Declare your signaling and hidden agendas

Less Wrong is a group blog on rationality born out of Overcoming Bias, which I've quoted extensively here.

In this post, one author proposes that people disclose the signals they're trying to implicitly send, and the hidden agendas they might have when writing articles. He proceeds to lead by example, revealing a long list of motivations behind his previous posts: That post that on its surface was about how it's okay to be irrational sometimes, which used donation habits as an example? It's meant to signal his altruism and support the charities he mentions, of course. Two others: Meant to signal how much of an academic he is by quoting from research papers.

My first reaction after reading his list and others people post in the comments: Wow, I feel a bit  cheated, and I've lost some respect for those people.
It's like they don't actually care about rationality all that much, they're driven by the same monkey tribe behavior as, say, people who flaunt brandseveryone else... got to impress your peers in order to be accepted and respected. It's just that for whatever reasons they chose this little subculture and its value system as their own.

But wait – first of all those mostly weren't the main reasons for his posts, just minor factors... and kudos for being so open and self-analytical, right? (It's meant to signal honesty, obviously).

Another statement from the comments that rings true: Asking "what are you signaling?" is like asking "what is your greatest weakness?" during a job interview. It handicaps honest people.

And of course I'm posting this on a tumblelog in no small part meant to signal what a wide array of cool interests I have...

February 14 2009

Then he switches on the machine. He is trying to suppress those parts of my brain responsible for thinking contextually, for making connections. Without them, I will be able to see things more as an autistic might: [...] "you start seeing what's actually there, not what you think is there."
Savant for a Day - NY Times (2003)

January 11 2009



Fascinating in-depth description of polygraph tests as administered by US law enforcement and government agencies

December 17 2008

Set more reasonable goals and recognize that achieving even modest change will be difficult. [...]
Remember that your openness to new experiences is slowly declining, so you are better off making a new start today than postponing it until later.
Why Change Is So Hard: Scientific American
Reposted bygafhptva gafhptva

October 23 2008

Humans who behave purely rationally are brain-damaged. Patients who have suffered injury to the areas in the brain that control emotion, but who retain their intellectual abilities, end up acting in socially aberrant ways. ...

Free and equal people never existed. Humans started out as interdependent, bonded, and unequal.
Why humans are so quick to take offense – Slate Magazine
Reposted bybrightbyte brightbyte

October 09 2008

When we feel out of control, our need to impose order and rationale is strong enough cause us to see patterns where they do not exist, or conspiracies where there are none.
Deric Bownds' MindBlog

September 30 2008

One of the failure modes I've come to better understand in myself since observing it in others, is what I call, "living in the should-universe".  The universe where everything works the way it common-sensically ought to, as opposed to the actual is-universe we live in.  There's more than one way to live in the should-universe, and outright delusional optimism is only the least subtle.
Overcoming Bias: Above-Average AI Scientists

August 28 2008

Once you draw a boundary around a group, the mind starts trying to harvest similarities from the group. And unfortunately the human pattern-detectors seem to operate in such overdrive that we see patterns whether they're there or not; a weakly negative correlation can be mistaken for a strong positive one with a bit of selective memory.
Overcoming Bias: Categorizing Has Consequences
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