Facebook Twitter

Roomthily - Book jackets these days, for reasons I won’t... Misleading money-saving claims help no one. Every now and then, the government will push a report that's so assinine, and so thin, you have to check it's not a spoof.

Misleading money-saving claims help no one

The Daily Mail was clear in its coverage: "Council incompetence 'costs every household £452 a year'"; "Up to £10bn a year is wasted by clueless councils. " And the Express agreed. Where will this money come from? "Up to £10bn a year could be saved … if councils better analysed spending from their £50bn procurement budgets. " A 20% saving on the £50bn council procurement budget would be awesome. Government ministers have an army of intelligent, technical staff, with full access to every speck of data, ready to produce research. I downloaded the "Opera Solutions White Paper". The "full report" is six pages long, not including the cover.

It did its estimates on three areas: for energy bills (a £7m spend), and solicitors fees (£6m), it thought councils could save just 10%. The document is six pages long. Crookedindifference: Belief in evolution and. Psychology: How dead is dead?


Around the Web. Critical Thinking. How the Mind Counteracts Offensive Ideas. People react to ideas they find offensive by reasserting familiar structures of meaning.

How the Mind Counteracts Offensive Ideas

The human mind is always searching for meaning in the world. It’s one of the reasons we love stories so much: they give meaning to what might otherwise be random events. From stories emerge characters, context, hopes and dreams, morals even. Using simple structures, stories can communicate complex ideas about the author’s view of the world and how it works, often without the reader’s knowledge. And when stories embody values in which we don’t believe, we tend to reject them. In their research Proulx et al. (2010) used two stories that illustrate divergent views of the world to explore how people react to offensive ideas. The Tortoise and the Hare The first story was Aesop’s fable The Tortoise and the Hare. Another interpretation is that the hare loses the race because he is overconfident. An Imperial Message Unconsciously threatening Absurd comedy The research backed up this idea.

Absurd truth. Is Our Definition of "Happiness" Extrovert-centric? The body of research connecting extroversion and happiness kinda bums me out.

Is Our Definition of "Happiness" Extrovert-centric?

One study out of Wake Forest University even tells us that people are happier, including introverts , when we like extroverts. For this research, subjects completed a standard measure of the Big Five personality traits. Introversion was measured in relation to extroversion; people who measured high in extroversion are assumed to measure low in introversion. Then researchers conducted several studies in which subjects, at various intervals--every three hours in one study, once a week in another--recorded on a seven-point scale how extroverted they were behaving and how happy they felt. What the researchers found is that even people who measure low in extroversion are happier when they are behaving extroverted. I called lead researcher, psychologist William Fleeson , to talk about this. "There are different definitions of extroversion out there," Fleeson said. I don't pretend to be a scientist, I'm a writer. A new academic year « Knot your average sheep…

September has come around again, and with it a new influx of students into Edinburgh.

A new academic year « Knot your average sheep…

I like the sudden hustle and bustle of the university, even if all the lecturing staff seem completely stressed out at the moment! Last week we had a couple of events to welcome the new postgraduates into the maths department. On Tuesday was the departmental welcome party, where I got to meet the new staff and students for the first time. I started chatting to an ex-number-theorist-turned-probability-student, and suddenly two hours had passed and the whole blackboard was covered in knots and other crazy symbols.

I love it when that happens! Watching someone enthusiastically talking about their work, clearly in complete thrall of the beauty of the subject, is something I will never get bored of. Speaking of videos, I thought that before I go ahead and try doing professional filming, I should at least try making and editing a little video at home. Like this: Like Loading...

Big Think Blogs

Exploring ideas. Illusion and fallacy. Clarity.