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Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception

Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception

Related:  Cognitive Biases

Michael Lewis on the King of Human Error We’re obviously all at the mercy of forces we only dimly perceive and events over which we have no control, but it’s still unsettling to discover that there are people out there—human beings of whose existence you are totally oblivious—who have effectively toyed with your life. I had that feeling soon after I published Moneyball. The book was ostensibly about a cash-strapped major-league baseball team, the Oakland A’s, whose general manager, Billy Beane, had realized that baseball players were sometimes misunderstood by baseball professionals, and found new and better ways to value them. Consciousness Representation of consciousness from the seventeenth century At one time consciousness was viewed with skepticism by many scientists, but in recent years it has become a significant topic of research in psychology, neuropsychology and neuroscience. The primary focus is on understanding what it means biologically and psychologically for information to be present in consciousness—that is, on determining the neural and psychological correlates of consciousness. The majority of experimental studies assess consciousness by asking human subjects for a verbal report of their experiences (e.g., "tell me if you notice anything when I do this").

Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol Drinking alcohol is evolutionarily novel, so the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent people drink more alcohol than less intelligent people. The human consumption of alcohol probably originates from frugivory (consumption of fruits). Fermentation of sugars by yeast naturally present in overripe and decaying fruits produces ethanol, known to intoxicate birds and mammals. However, the amount of ethanol alcohol in such fruits ranges from trace to 5%, roughly comparable to light beer. (And you can't really get drunk on light beer.)

The Stream of Consciousness The Stream of Consciousness (1892) William James The first and foremost concrete fact which every one will affirm to belong to his inner experience is the fact that consciousness of some sort goes on. Seven tricks your brain is playing on you (NaturalNews) We all want to believe we are tough to fool. The problem is, even if you are not so gullible, your brain still works a certain way, making associations that create vulnerability to being easily fooled, or fooling yourself. It takes work to release yourself from these natural assumptions that are presumed to originate from a mix of hard wiring and cultural conditioning. Getting beyond them is surely a worthwhile thing to do, however.

What Is the Fundamental Nature of Consciousness? [Excerpt] This chapter from PHI: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul, by Giulio Tononi (Pantheon, 2012) describes Tononi’s theory of consciousness as a measure of information. The brain, Tononi postulates, consists of billions of neurons: think of them as if they were transistorlike bits that, when tallied, sum to equal more than their parts. That increment above and beyond—Tononi calls it phi—represents the degree to which any being, whether human or mule, remains conscious.

THE WORLD QUESTION CENTER 2011— Page 1 GEORGE LAKOFF Cognitive Scientist and Linguist; Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics, UC Berkeley; Author, The Political Mind Conceptual Metaphor Conceptual Metaphor is at the center of a complex theory of how the brain gives rise to thought and language, and how cognition is embodied. All concepts are physical brain circuits deriving their meaning via neural cascades that terminate in linkage to the body. That is how embodied cognition arises. Consciousness Consciousness We exist in a matrix, simulation, hologram, or virtual programmed reality that we believe is real because our brains tell us it is. Consciousness is all and everything in the virtual hologram of our experiences brought into awareness by the brain - an electrochemical machine forever viewing streaming codes for experience and interpretation. Consciousness originates from a source of light energy for the purpose of learning. The human biogenetic experiment is consciousness brought forth into the physical by the patterns of sacred geometry that repeat in cycles called Time. Reality is about the evolution of consciousness in the alchemy of time.

List of cognitive biases Illustration by John Manoogian III (jm3).[1] Cognitive biases can be organized into four categories: biases that arise from too much information, not enough meaning, the need to act quickly, and the limits of memory. Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that can lead to systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment, and are often studied in psychology and behavioral economics. There are also controversies over some of these biases as to whether they count as useless or irrational, or whether they result in useful attitudes or behavior.

Applied Bayes' Theorem: Reading People Or, how to recognize Bayes' theorem when you meet one making small talk at a cocktail party. Knowing the theory of rationality is good, but it is of little use unless we know how to apply it. Unfortunately, humans tend to be poor at applying raw theory, instead needing several examples before it becomes instinctive. I found some very useful examples in the book Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior - Anytime, Anyplace. While I didn't think that it communicated the skill of actually reading people very well, I did notice that it did have one chapter (titled "Discovering Patterns: Learning to See the Forest, Not Just the Trees") that could almost have been a collection of Less Wrong posts.