Explaining the Unexplainable - Issue 4: The Unlikely During the Enlightenment, the French philosopher Voltaire called superstition a “mad daughter” and likened it to astrology. The leading thinkers of the time espoused reason and sought to explain the world through the scientific method. Today, we take a certain pride in approaching the world analytically. When faced with a confusing event, we search for its cause and effect. If we can determine why one action follows another, we can explain why it happened and when it might recur in the future. This makes the outcome reliable. Story of My Life: How Narrative Creates Personality In Paul Murray's novel Skippy Dies, there’s a point where the main character, Howard, has an existential crisis.“‘It’s just not how I expected my life would be,'" he says. “‘What did you expect?’” a friend responds. “Howard ponders this.
Access 4:05pm | 25 April 2013 | by Jeff Landale, English Fabiola Carrion, Katherine Maher, and Peter Micek contributed to this analysis. Google released its semi-annual transparency report today, indicating an increase in government requests for content removal worldwide--although more than half came from a handful of countries. At the same time, the report also revealed that government requests for user data have plateaued, and for the first time, both the proportion and raw number of user accounts whose data was turned over in response to requests decreased, leading to the question: Is this a turning point for privacy?
Infographic: The Map Of Truth And Deception You’re lied to 10 to 200 times a day, and a stranger will lie to you three times in the first 10 minutes of a conversation. That’s unsettling news, but according to a TED Talk by Pamela Meyer, we only pretend to be against lying. Because obviously, we’re all, to some extent, covertly supporting lies by propagating them. 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. The book attracted the attention of a pair of Chicago scholars, an economist named Richard Thaler and a law professor named Cass Sunstein (now a senior official in the Obama White House). “Why do professional baseball executives, many of whom have spent their lives in the game, make so many colossal mistakes?”
Why 'Things Fitting Perfectly Into Other Things' Is So Satisfying Oh! Why, hello. I didn't see you there. Hating The Media I hate the media. Not so much journalists because I have many who are dear friends, relatives, siblings, cousins, parents, grandparents (and employers!) I'm talking about the thing we now call the "meeja" - the ugly writhing ball of infotainment, give-the-people-what-they-want, play to the lowest, meanest, most cynically nostalgic, jejune, insipid impulses of the audience and reader - that it's mutated into. I can read a major news site from top to bottom and literally feel sick - not just because the endless horseshit that now passes for a "story" seems to be what people want to read, but that us - journalists and editors and news professionals, seem powerless or so lacking in imagination as to provide an engaging alternative. I hate that some muppet with a Twitter account can become front page news for saying crap journos say every minute of the day in newsrooms, but we'll then self-righteously crusade for public apologies thinner than the stock our product is printed on.
Yale Scientific Magazine – Cultural Cognition and Scientific Consensus For years, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has released expert consensus reports confirming the reality of global warming and the safety of disposing nuclear wastes deep underground. However, intense debate still persists over these and many other issues scientifically proven and reported by the NAS. Science confirms: Politics wrecks your ability to do math Everybody knows that our political views can sometimes get in the way of thinking clearly. But perhaps we don’t realize how bad the problem actually is. According to a new psychology paper, our political passions can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills. More specifically, the study finds that people who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs.
Effort Is Not the Enemy of Compassion - Leslie Jamison My job title is medical actor, which means I play sick. I get paid by the hour. Medical students guess my maladies. I'm called a standardized patient, which means I act toward the norms set for my disorders. I'm standardized-lingo SP for short.