80 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. To be able to trustone's own experience, even if it often turns out to beinadequate, is one mark of the mature workman. Suchconfidence in o n e ' s own experience is indispensable tooriginality in any intellectual pursuit, and the file is onetool by which I have tried to develop and justify suchconfidence.

      The function of memory served by having written notes is what allows the serious researcher or thinker to have greater confidence in their work, potentially more free from cognitive bias as one idea can be directly compared and contrasted with another by direct juxtaposition.

  2. Sep 2022
    1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/information-overload-helps-fake-news-spread-and-social-media-knows-it/

      Good overview article of some of the psychology research behind misinformation in social media spaces including bots, AI, and the effects of cognitive bias.

      Probably worth mining the story for the journal articles and collecting/reading them.

    2. n a recent laboratory study, Robert Jagiello, also at Warwick, found that socially shared information not only bolsters our biases but also becomes more resilient to correction.
    3. We confuse popularity with quality and end up copying the behavior we observe.

      Popularity ≠ quality in social media.

    4. Even our ability to detect online manipulation is affected by our political bias, though not symmetrically: Republican users are more likely to mistake bots promoting conservative ideas for humans, whereas Democrats are more likely to mistake conservative human users for bots.
    5. Unable to process all this material, we let our cognitive biases decide what we should pay attention to.

      In a society consumed with information overload, it is easier for our brains to allow our well evolved cognitive biases to decide not only what to pay attention to, but what to believe.

    1. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/3641225-mcconnell-throws-shade-on-grahams-proposed-national-abortion-ban/

      I've recently run across a few examples of a pattern that should have a name because it would appear to dramatically change the outcomes. I'm going to term it "decisions based on possibilities rather than realities". It's seen frequently in economics and politics and seems to be a form of cognitive bias. People make choices (or votes) about uncertain futures, often when there is a confluence of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and these choices are dramatically different than when they're presented with the actual circumstances in practice.

      A recent example was a story about a woman who was virulently pro-life who when presented with a situation required her to switch her position to pro-choice.

      Another relates to choices that people want to make about where their children might go to school versus where they actually send them, and the damage this does to public education.

      Let's start collecting examples of these quandaries at all levels of making choices in the real world.

      What is the relationship to this with the mental exercise of "descending into the particular"?

      Does this also potentially cause decision fatigue in cases of voting spaces when constituents are forced to vote for candidates on thousands of axes which they may or may not agree with?

  3. Aug 2022
    1. The point is to write bug-free code.

      With this comment, the anti-JS position is becoming increasingly untenable. The author earlier suggested C as an alternative. So their contention is that it's easier to write bug-free code in C than it is in JS. This is silly.

      C hackers like Fabrice Bellard don't choose C for the things they do because it's easier to write bug-free code in C.

  4. Jul 2022
    1. We also tend to preferinformation we have seen more recently to informationwe learned a long time ago.

      Does this effect have a name? references?

      Apparently called the recency bias: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recency_bias which may be entangled with availability bias or heuristic.

      Are both recency and availability biases the foundations for causing the Baader–Meinhof phenomenon or frequency bias?

  5. Jun 2022
    1. If we overlay the four steps of CODE onto the model ofdivergence and convergence, we arrive at a powerful template forthe creative process in our time.

      The way that Tiago Forte overlaps the idea of C.O.D.E. (capture/collect, organize, distill, express) with the divergence/convergence model points out some primary differences of his system and that of some of the more refined methods of maintaining a zettelkasten.

      A flattened diamond shape which grows from a point on the left so as to indicate divergence from a point to the diamond's wide middle which then decreases to the right to indicate convergence  to the opposite point. Overlapping this on the right of the diamond are the words "capture" and "organize" while the converging right side is overlaid with "distill" and "express". <small>Overlapping ideas of C.O.D.E. and divergence/convergence from Tiago Forte's book Building a Second Brain (Atria Books, 2022) </small>

      Forte's focus on organizing is dedicated solely on to putting things into folders, which is a light touch way of indexing them. However it only indexes them on one axis—that of the folder into which they're being placed. This precludes them from being indexed on a variety of other axes from the start to other places where they might also be used in the future. His method requires more additional work and effort to revisit and re-arrange (move them into other folders) or index them later.

      Most historical commonplacing and zettelkasten techniques place a heavier emphasis on indexing pieces as they're collected.

      Commonplacing creates more work on the user between organizing and distilling because they're more dependent on their memory of the user or depending on the regular re-reading and revisiting of pieces one may have a memory of existence. Most commonplacing methods (particularly the older historic forms of collecting and excerpting sententiae) also doesn't focus or rely on one writing out their own ideas in larger form as one goes along, so generally here there is a larger amount of work at the expression stage.

      Zettelkasten techniques as imagined by Luhmann and Ahrens smooth the process between organization and distillation by creating tacit links between ideas. This additional piece of the process makes distillation far easier because the linking work has been done along the way, so one only need edit out ideas that don't add to the overall argument or piece. All that remains is light editing.

      Ahrens' instantiation of the method also focuses on writing out and summarizing other's ideas in one's own words for later convenient reuse. This idea is also seen in Bruce Ballenger's The Curious Researcher as a means of both sensemaking and reuse, though none of the organizational indexing or idea linking seem to be found there.

      This also fits into the diamond shape that Forte provides as the height along the vertical can stand in as a proxy for the equivalent amount of work that is required during the overall process.

      This shape could be reframed for a refined zettelkasten method as an indication of work

      Forte's diamond shape provided gives a visual representation of the overall process of the divergence and convergence.

      But what if we change that shape to indicate the amount of work that is required along the steps of the process?!

      Here, we might expect the diamond to relatively accurately reflect the amounts of work along the path.

      If this is the case, then what might the relative workload look like for a refined zettelkasten? First we'll need to move the express portion between capture and organize where it more naturally sits, at least in Ahren's instantiation of the method. While this does take a discrete small amount of work and time for the note taker, it pays off in the long run as one intends from the start to reuse this work. It also pays further dividends as it dramatically increases one's understanding of the material that is being collected, particularly when conjoined to the organization portion which actively links this knowledge into one's broader world view based on their notes. For the moment, we'll neglect the benefits of comparison of conjoined ideas which may reveal flaws in our thinking and reasoning or the benefits of new questions and ideas which may arise from this juxtaposition.

      Graphs of commonplace book method (collect, organize, distill, express) versus zettelkasten method (collect, express, organize (index/link), and distill (edit)) with work on the vertical axis and time/methods on the horizontal axis. While there is similar work in collection the graph for the zettelkasten is overall lower and flatter and eventually tails off, the commonplace slowly increases over time.

      This sketch could be refined a bit, but overall it shows that frontloading the work has the effect of dramatically increasing the efficiency and productivity for a particular piece of work.

      Note that when compounded over a lifetime's work, this diagram also neglects the productivity increase over being able to revisit old work and re-using it for multiple different types of work or projects where there is potential overlap, not to mention the combinatorial possibilities.


      It could be useful to better and more carefully plot out the amounts of time, work/effort for these methods (based on practical experience) and then regraph the resulting power inputs against each other to come up with a better picture of the efficiency gains.

      Is some of the reason that people are against zettelkasten methods that they don't see the immediate gains in return for the upfront work, and thus abandon the process? Is this a form of misinterpreted-effort hypothesis at work? It can also be compounded at not being able to see the compounding effects of the upfront work.

      What does research indicate about how people are able to predict compounding effects over time in areas like money/finance? What might this indicate here? Humans definitely have issues seeing and reacting to probabilities in this same manner, so one might expect the same intellectual blindness based on system 1 vs. system 2.

      Given that indexing things, especially digitally, requires so little work and effort upfront, it should be done at the time of collection.

      I'll admit that it only took a moment to read this highlighted sentence and look at the related diagram, but the amount of material I was able to draw out of it by reframing it, thinking about it, having my own thoughts and ideas against it, and then innovating based upon it was incredibly fruitful in terms of better differentiating amongst a variety of note taking and sense making frameworks.

      For me, this is a great example of what reading with a pen in hand, rephrasing, extending, and linking to other ideas can accomplish.

    2. If you ignore that inner voice of intuition, over time it will slowlyquiet down and fade away. If you practice listening to what it is tellingyou, the inner voice will grow stronger. You’ll start to hear it in allkinds of situations. It will guide you in what choices to make andwhich opportunities to pursue. It will warn you away from people andsituations that aren’t right for you. It will speak up and take a standfor your convictions even when you’re afraid.I can’t think of anything more important for your creative life—andyour life in general—than learning to listen to the voice of intuitioninside. It is the source of your imagination, your confidence, and yourspontaneity

      While we have evolved a psychological apparatus that often gives us good "gut feelings" (an actual physical "second brain"), we should listen careful to them, but we should also learn to think about, analyze, and verify these feelings so we don't fall prey to potential cognitive biases.

  6. May 2022
    1. The student doesn’t have a strong preference for any of these archetypes. Their notes serve a clear purpose that’s often based on a short-term priority (e.g, writing a paper or passing a test), with the goal to “get it done” as simply as possible.

      The typical student note taking method of transcribing, using (or often not using at all), and keeping notes is doomed to failure.

      Many students make the mistake of not making their own actual notes. By this I don't mean they're not writing information down. In fact many are writing information down, but we can't really call these notes. Notes by definition ought to transform something seen or heard into one's own words. Without the transformation, these students think that they're taking notes, but in reality they're focusing their efforts on being transcriptionists. They're attempting to capture something for later consumption. This is a deadly trap! By only transcribing, they're not taking advantage of transforming information by putting ideas down in their own words to test their understanding. Often worse, even if they do transcribe notes, they don't revisit them. If they do revisit them, they're simply re-reading them and not actively working with them. Only re-reading them will lead to the illusion that they're learning something when in fact they're falling into the mere-exposure effect.

      Students who are acting as transcriptionists would be better off simply reading a textbook and taking notes directly from that.

      A note that isn't revisited or revised, may as well be a note not taken. If we were to consider a spectrum of useful, valuable, and worthwhile notes, these notes would be at the lowest end of the spectrum.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/QgkL6IkIEeym7OeN9v9New

  7. Apr 2022
    1. The way technologies like fMRI are applied is aproduct of our brainbound orientation; it has not seemed odd or unusual toexamine the individual brain on its own, unconnected to others.

      In part because of modalities of studying the brain using methods like fMRI where the images are of an individual's head, we focus too much and too exclusively on single brains bound to individuals rather than on brains working in concert.

      Greater flexibilities in tools and methods should help do studies of humans working in concert.

      Link this to the anecdote:

      I recall a radiology test within a medical school setting in which students were asked to diagnose an x-ray of a human patient's skull. Most either guessed small hairline fractures in the skull or that there was nothing wrong with the patient.

      Can you diagnose the patient?

      Almost all the students failed the question, and worse felt like idiots when the answer was revealed: the patient must be dead because the spinal column and the rest of the body are not attached. Compare:

  8. Mar 2022
    1. Newton arranged an experiment in which one person — a “tapper” — was asked to tap out the melody of a popular song, while another person — the “listener” — was asked to identify it. The tappers assumed that their listeners would correctly identify about 50% of their melodies; they were amazed to learn that the listeners only got about one out of 40 songs correct. To the tappers, their melodies sounded perfectly clear and obvious, but the listeners heard no music, no instrumentation in their heads — only the muffled noise of a finger tapping on a table.

      An example of the curse of knowledge effect.

  9. Feb 2022
    1. Read for Understanding

      Ahrens goes through a variety of research on teaching and learning as they relate to active reading, escaping cognitive biases, creating understanding, progressive summarization, elaboration, revision, etc. as a means of showing and summarizing how these all dovetail nicely into a fruitful long term practice of using a slip box as a note taking method. This makes the zettelkasten not only a great conversation partner but an active teaching and learning partner as well. (Though he doesn't mention the first part in this chapter or make this last part explicit.)

    2. Reading, especially rereading, caneasily fool us into believing we understand a text. Rereading isespecially dangerous because of the mere-exposure effect: Themoment we become familiar with something, we start believing wealso understand it. On top of that, we also tend to like it more(Bornstein 1989).

      The mere-exposure effect can be dangerous when rereading a text because we are more likely to falsely believe we understand it. Robert Bornstein's research from 1989 indicates that we will tend to like the text more, which can pull us into confirmation bias.

      Bornstein, Robert F. 1989. “Exposure and Affect: Overview and Meta-Analysis of Research, 1968-1987.” Psychological Bulletin 106 (2): 265–89.

    3. psychologists call the mere-exposure effect: doing something many times makes us believe wehave become good at it – completely independent of our actualperformance (Bornstein 1989). We unfortunately tend to confusefamiliarity with skill.

      The mere-exposure effect leads us to confuse familiarity with a process with actual skill.

    4. Our brains work not that differently in terms of interconnectedness.Psychologists used to think of the brain as a limited storage spacethat slowly fills up and makes it more difficult to learn late in life. Butwe know today that the more connected information we alreadyhave, the easier it is to learn, because new information can dock tothat information. Yes, our ability to learn isolated facts is indeedlimited and probably decreases with age. But if facts are not kept

      isolated nor learned in an isolated fashion, but hang together in a network of ideas, or “latticework of mental models” (Munger, 1994), it becomes easier to make sense of new information. That makes it easier not only to learn and remember, but also to retrieve the information later in the moment and context it is needed.

      Our natural memories are limited in their capacities, but it becomes easier to remember facts when they've got an association to other things in our minds. The building of mental models makes it easier to acquire and remember new information. The down side is that it may make it harder to dramatically change those mental models and re-associate knowledge to them without additional amounts of work.

      The mental work involved here may be one of the reasons for some cognitive biases and the reason why people are more apt to stay stuck in their mental ruts. An example would be not changing their minds about ideas of racism and inequality, both because it's easier to keep their pre-existing ideas and biases than to do the necessary work to change their minds. Similar things come into play with respect to tribalism and political party identifications as well.

      This could be an interesting area to explore more deeply. Connect with George Lakoff.

    5. Just followyour interest and always take the path that promises the mostinsight.

      What specific factors does one evaluate for determining what particular paths will provide actual (measurable) insight?

      Most people have a personal gut reaction about which directions to go in heuristically, but can these heuristics be broken down explicitly to enable better evaluating them? How can they be used to avoid cognitive biases?

  10. Jan 2022
    1. Current approaches to improving digital well-being also promote tech solutionism, or the presumption that technology can fix social, cultural, and structural problems.

      Tech solutionism is the presumption that technology (usually by itself) can fix a variety of social, cultural, and structural problems.

      It fits into a category of problem that when one's tool is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail.

      Many tech solutionism problems are likely ill-defined to begin with. Many are also incredibly complex and difficult which also tends to encourage bikeshedding, which is unlikely to lead us to appropriate solutions.

    1. Most of us simply take it for granted that ‘Western’observers, even seventeenth-century ones, are simply an earlierversion of ourselves;

      It is likely a good broad generality that from a historical perspective, those looking at people from the past do so by considering them simply an earlier version of ourselves.

      This sort of isocultural cognitive bias is something to be very cognizant of particularly in cases without extensive context as it is likely to cause massive context collapse.

  11. Dec 2021
    1. When we simply guess as to whathumans in other times and places might be up to, we almostinvariably make guesses that are far less interesting, far less quirky– in a word, far less human than what was likely going on.

      Definitely worth keeping in mind, even for my own work. Providing an evidential structure for claims will be paramount.

      Is there a well-named cognitive bias for the human tendency to see everything as nails when one has a hammer in their hand?

    2. ‘What is it about the ancients,’ Pinker asks at one point, ‘that theycouldn’t leave us an interesting corpse without resorting to foul play?’

      Part of their point here seems to be that Pinker is suffering from a form of bias related to the most sensational cases which will tend to heighten the availability bias. (Is there a name for this sort of sensationalism effect?)

      Is there also some survivorship bias at play here as well?

      We don't have access to a wide statistical survey of dead bodies from a large swath of times and places which makes it difficult to determine actual numbers.

    3. Now, this may seem counter-intuitive to anyone who spendsmuch time watching the news, let alone who knows much about thehistory of the twentieth century.

      Are they suffering from potential availability heuristic (cognitive bias) here? Are they encouraging it in us? Just because we see violence on the news every day doesn't mean it's ubiquitous.

      Apparently we'll need real evidence here to provide actual indications.

      Does Steven Pinker provide archaeological evidence in his book? What are the per capita rates of violence and/or death over time?

    1. In a nutshell, then, there was never a time when humans uniformly lived in small, simple egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies, and a time when they started to switch to agriculture- thus inevitably switching to a  sedentary, hierarchical, and more complex life style. This is not because the correct trajectory is a different one, but because there was never a linear trajectory to begin with.

      Is there a reason or cognitive bias we've got that would tend to make us think that there's a teleological outcome in these cases?

      Why should it seem like there would be a foregone conclusion to all of human life or history? Why couldn't/shouldn't it just keep evolving from its current context to the next

  12. Oct 2021
    1. What the world is seeing now, through the window provided by reams of internal documents, is that Facebook catalogs and studies the harm it inflicts on people. And then it keeps harming people anyway.

      One of the flaws of Mark Zuckerberg's spectrum disorder is that he either has no sense of shame or his confirmation bias and loss aversion biases are incredibly large.

    1. There are many other more subtle biases of the evolved human brain—its tendency to focus on the thing that changes rather than the thing that’s constant,

      Is there a name for this bias?

  13. Sep 2021
    1. One last resource for augmenting our minds can be found in other people’s minds. We are fundamentally social creatures, oriented toward thinking with others. Problems arise when we do our thinking alone — for example, the well-documented phenomenon of confirmation bias, which leads us to preferentially attend to information that supports the beliefs we already hold. According to the argumentative theory of reasoning, advanced by the cognitive scientists Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber, this bias is accentuated when we reason in solitude. Humans’ evolved faculty for reasoning is not aimed at arriving at objective truth, Mercier and Sperber point out; it is aimed at defending our arguments and scrutinizing others’. It makes sense, they write, “for a cognitive mechanism aimed at justifying oneself and convincing others to be biased and lazy. The failures of the solitary reasoner follow from the use of reason in an ‘abnormal’ context’” — that is, a nonsocial one. Vigorous debates, engaged with an open mind, are the solution. “When people who disagree but have a common interest in finding the truth or the solution to a problem exchange arguments with each other, the best idea tends to win,” they write, citing evidence from studies of students, forecasters and jury members.

      Thinking in solitary can increase one's susceptibility to confirmation bias. Thinking in groups can mitigate this.

      How might keeping one's notes in public potentially help fight against these cognitive biases?

      Is having a "conversation in the margins" with an author using annotation tools like Hypothes.is a way to help mitigate this sort of cognitive bias?

      At the far end of the spectrum how do we prevent this social thinking from becoming groupthink, or the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility?

  14. Aug 2021
    1. The Attack on "Critical Race Theory": What's Going on?


      Lately, a lot of people have been very upset about “critical race theory.” Back in September 2020, the former president directed federal agencies to cut funding for training programs that refer to “white privilege” or “critical race theory, declaring such programs “un-American propaganda” and “a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue.” In the last few months, at least eight states have passed legislation banning the teaching of CRT in schools and some 20 more have similar bills in the pipeline or plans to introduce them. What’s going on?

      Join us for a conversation that situates the current battle about “critical race theory” in the context of a much longer war over the relationship between our racial present and racial past, and the role of culture, institutions, laws, policies and “systems” in shaping both. As members of families and communities, as adults in the lives of the children who will have to live with the consequences of these struggles, how do we understand what's at stake and how we can usefully weigh in?

      Hosts: Melissa Giraud & Andrew Grant-Thomas

      Guests: Shee Covarrubias, Kerry-Ann Escayg,

      Some core ideas of critical race theory:

      • racial realism
        • racism is normal
      • interest convergence
        • racial equity only occurs when white self interest is being considered (Brown v. Board of Education as an example to portray US in a better light with respect to the Cold War)
      • Whiteness as property
        • Cheryl Harris' work
        • White people have privilege in the law
        • myth of meritocracy
      • Intersectionality

      People would rather be spoon fed rather than do the work themselves. Sadly this is being encouraged in the media.

      Short summary of CRT: How laws have been written to institutionalize racism.

      Culturally Responsive Teaching (also has the initials CRT).

      KAE tries to use an anti-racist critical pedagogy in her teaching.

      SC: Story about a book Something Happened in Our Town (book).

      • Law enforcement got upset and the school district
      • Response video of threat, intimidation, emotional blackmail by local sheriff's department.
      • Intent versus impact - the superintendent may not have had a bad intent when providing an apology, but the impact was painful

      It's not really a battle about or against CRT, it's an attempt to further whitewash American history. (synopsis of SC)

      What are you afraid of?

    1. Named after Soviet psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, in psychology the Zeigarnik effect occurs when an activity that has been interrupted may be more readily recalled. It postulates that people remember unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. In Gestalt psychology, the Zeigarnik effect has been used to demonstrate the general presence of Gestalt phenomena: not just appearing as perceptual effects, but also present in cognition.

      People remember interrupted or unfinished tasks better than completed tasks.

      Examples: I've had friends remember where we left off on conversations months/years later and we picked right back up.

      I wonder what things effect these memories/abilities? Context? Importance? Other?

  15. Jul 2021
  16. Jun 2021
  17. May 2021
    1. Examples of this sort of non-logical behaviour used to represent identity can be found in fiction in:

      • Dr. Seuss' The Butter Battle Book (Random House,1984) which is based on
      • the war between Lilliput and Blefuscu in Jonathan Swift's 1726 satire Gulliver's Travels, which was based on an argument over the correct end to crack an egg once soft-boiled.

      It almost seems related to creating identity politics as bike-shedding because the real issues are so complex that most people can't grasp all the nuances, so it's easier to choose sides based on some completely other heuristic. Changing sides later on causes too much cognitive dissonance, so once on a path, one must stick to it.

  18. Mar 2021
    1. Such research drew from Baruch Fischhoff's work in 1975 surrounding hindsight bias, a cognitive bias that knowing the outcome of a certain event makes it seem more predictable than may actually be true.[5] Research conducted by Fischhoff revealed that participants did not know that their outcome knowledge affected their responses, and, if they did know, they could still not ignore or defeat the effects of the bias.
  19. Feb 2021
    1. Frame of reference has been manipulatedCrime statistics are often manipulated for political purposes by comparing to a year when crime was very high. This can expressed either as a change (down 60% since 2004) or via an index (40, where 2004 = 100). In either of these cases, 2004 may or may not be an appropriate year for comparison. It could have been an unusually high crime year.This also happens when comparing places. If I want to make one country look bad, I simply express the data about it relative to whichever country which is doing the best.This problem tends to crop up in subjects where people have a strong confirmation bias. (“Just as I thought, crime is up!”) Whenever possible try comparing rates from several different starting points to see how the numbers shift. And whatever you do, don’t use this technique yourself to make a point you think is important. That’s inexcusable.

      This is an important point and when politicians are speaking it, they should cite their sources meticulously.

  20. Jan 2021
    1. Watched

      [[Verna Myers]]: [[How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them]] [[Ted Talk]]

      Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we've seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Verna Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.

      "Stare at awesome black people."

      Look for discomfirming data

      "Walk toward your discomfort."

      When you see something, have the courage to say something. ie "We don't say those things anymore."

  21. Oct 2020
    1. The stories added meaning that couldn’t be matched by facts and figures about the items for sale. Meaning can be very difficult to pull off in design, but sto-ries create cognitive fluency around meaning. Our minds love narratives because they love patterns; stories are like really well-packaged patterns. Beginning, middle, and end. Connect-ing that pattern to an object or action in your design can be achieved, in part, by making sure your design accommodates story—whether in the metaphorical sense of how the page is structured (i.e., the page has a clear beginning, middle, and end) or the more literal sense of actually making sure the design leaves room for text that tells a story.

      This can also be leveraged to help improve one's memory.

    2. If the original price is horizontally farther away on the page from the sale price (Fig 2.8), the customer is more likely to view it as a better deal, even if the dollar amounts do not change. We equate visual distance with fiscal distance (http://bkaprt.com/dcb/02-19/).
  22. Sep 2020
    1. Consider, for instance, the footage that has been circulating from a New York City Council hearing, held over Zoom in June, which shows Krug in her Afro-Latinx pose. She introduces herself as Jess La Bombalera, a nickname apparently of her own making, adapted from Bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican genre of music and dance. Broadcasting live from “El Barrio,” and wearing purple-tinted shades and a hoop in her nose, she lambasts gentrifiers, shouts out her “black and brown siblings,” and twice calls out “white New Yorkers” for not yielding their speaking time. What stands out, though, is the way Krug speaks, in a patchy accent that begins with thickly rolled “R”s and transitions into what can best be described as B-movie gangster. This is where desire outruns expertise. The Times, in a piece on Krug’s exposure, last week, nonetheless called this a “Latina accent,” lending credence to Krug’s performance. (The phrase was later deleted.) The offhand notation is a tiny example of the buy-in Krug has been afforded her entire scholastic career, by advisers and committee members and editors and colleagues. They failed to recognize the gap not between real and faux, so much, as between something thrown-on and something lived-in. That inattentiveness was Krug’s escape hatch.

      If nothing else, this is indicative of human cognitive bias. We'll tend to take at face value what is presented to us, but then once we "know" our confirmation bias will kick in on the other direction.

      I'm curious if there were examples of anyone calling out her accent contemporaneously? We're also stuck with the bias of wanting to go with the majority view. When you're the lone voice, you're less likely to speak up. This is also evinced in the story of her previous colleagues who had "gut feelings" that something was wrong, but didn't say anything or do any research at the time.

    1. loss aversion. We are way more scared of losing what we have than excited about getting something new.
    2. This super-sketchy experiment had one final phase, how-ever: reconciliation. After successive scenarios were deployed where the Rattlers and the Eagles had common goals (unblock-ing a shared water supply, repairing a truck, etc.) they grew closer, even splitting drinks at the end (malts, come on people). In our work, we may not call them Rattlers and Eagles. Instead, we may call them IT and Legal and Marketing. Or “weird-code-name product-team one” versus “weird-code-name product-team two”. But if organizations incentivize based on scarcity and self-interest, we might as well just call it what it is, a scaled version of the Robbers Cave experiment. And to mitigate the siloing and combat ingroup bias, we’ll have to consider following a different approach.

      How can we do this for the democrats and the republicans?



    1. WEIRD people have a bad habit of universalizing from their own particularities. They think everyone thinks the way they do, and some of them (not all, of course) reinforce that assumption by studying themselves. In the run-up to writing the book, Henrich and two colleagues did a literature review of experimental psychology and found that 96 percent of subjects enlisted in the research came from northern Europe, North America, or Australia. About 70 percent of those were American undergraduates. Blinded by this kind of myopia, many Westerners assume that what’s good or bad for them is good or bad for everyone else.

      This is a painful reality. It's also even more specific to the current Republican party. Do as we say, not as we do.

      This is the sort of example that David Dylan Thomas will appreciate.

    1. “Motivation conditions cognition,” Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing writer at The Atlantic, wisely told me. Very few Trump supporters I know are able to offer an honest appraisal of the man. To do so creates too much cognitive dissonance.
  23. Aug 2020
    1. A fascinating viewpoint on social media, journalism, and information. There are some great implied questions for web designers hiding in here.

    2. In discussing the appeal of the News Feed in that same interview with Kirkpatrick, Zuckerberg observed, “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” The statement is grotesque not because it’s false — it’s completely true — but because it’s a category error. It yokes together in an obscene comparison two events of radically different scale and import. And yet, in his tone-deaf way, Zuckerberg managed to express the reality of content collapse. When it comes to information, social media renders category errors obsolete.

      How can we minimize this sort of bias? How can we help to increase the importance of truly important things?

    1. name-pronunciation effect. And it’s exactly what you would expect. People with names you find easy to pronounce are viewed more favorably than those with names deemed difficult to pronounce, which can lead to pro-motions, votes, and more.
    2. http://bkaprt.com/dcb/02-33/

      I've been wondering about what I perceive as a dreadful editorial choice in how these footnote links have been done. Given the book however, I'm also now wondering if this is consciously done by design to provide a blindfold of sorts to prevent bias either for or against these sources.

      Either way I, still wish they were more traditionally done and/or presented. I at least wish I had the added context about them on their respective pages.

    3. The framing effect, which is the bias the above examples exploit, is in my opinion the most dangerous bias in the world.
    4. What if, as in the case of anonymous résumés, the DA had no clue about the race of the accused? For that matter, what if you also removed identifying information on the victim and even the location of the crime? In 2019, the San Francisco DA’s office began anonymous charging, removing potentially biasing information from crime reports DAs use to decide whether or not to bring charges (http://bkaprt.com/dcb/02-30/). It’s too soon to tell the outcome of that experiment but, again, the removal of a decisive element may enhance an experience rather than detract from it.

      Another way to potentially approach this is to take the biasing information and reduce the charging by statistical means to negate the biased effects?

      Separately, how can this be done at the street level to allow policing resources to find and prosecute white collar criminals who may be having a more profoundly deleterious effect on society?

    5. As designers, we’re used to finding clever ways to reveal information to the user. But anonymous résumés challenge us with the notion that sometimes less information can lead to better decisions. We need to find artful ways to conceal infor-mation that might be biasing, even if true.
    6. mere-exposure effect, which occurs when you like something simply because you’ve seen it before. What’s remarkable about this effect is that it works even if you don’t remember seeing the thing before!
    7. you voted for Obama AND Hillary, fer cryin’ out loud!)

      There's some implicit statistical bias here because this likely isn't true for about half of the readership, presuming that they're American in the first place, which is another bias...

    8. we aren’t gullible so much as efficient. We tend to believe things that are easy for our minds to process.
    9. Immune neglect describes another failure of affective fore-casting, specifically around predicting our ability to cope with adverse outcomes.
    10. Our memories protect at all costs the idea that we’re good decision-makers.
    11. The interaction has been architected to benefit the grocer. It could just as easily have been architected to benefit the customer by putting the freshest fruit on top.

      There's also another bias going on here. We're biased to buy more when the shelves are heavily stocked, even if a lot of the food will ultimately go bad. So the grocer looses out because they often will sell far less than they stock.

    12. There’s even a bias called the bias blind spot,where you think you’re not biased but you’re sure everybody else is.
    13. We call these errors cognitive biases.

      or maybe even heuristics gone bad....

    14. At worst, they might actively harm them.

      Interesting that I've been listening to a series on behavioral economics this week and there've been a few examples of how to use people's cognitive bias against them.

      It can also be helpful for us to know our own biases so we can prevent people from using them against us as well.

  24. Jul 2020
  25. May 2020
  26. Apr 2020
    1. From the eponymous Dunning of the Dunning-Kruger effect

      In our work, we ask survey respondents if they are familiar with certain technical concepts from physics, biology, politics, and geography. A fair number claim familiarity with genuine terms like centripetal force and photon. But interestingly, they also claim some familiarity with concepts that are entirely made up, such as the plates of parallax, ultra-lipid, and cholarine. In one study, roughly 90 percent claimed some knowledge of at least one of the nine fictitious concepts we asked them about. In fact, the more well versed respondents considered themselves in a general topic, the more familiarity they claimed with the meaningless terms associated with it in the survey.

      An ignorant mind is precisely not a spotless, empty vessel, but one that’s filled with the clutter of irrelevant or misleading life experiences, theories, facts, intuitions, strategies, algorithms, heuristics, metaphors, and hunches that regrettably have the look and feel of useful and accurate knowledge. This clutter is an unfortunate by-product of one of our greatest strengths as a species. We are unbridled pattern recognizers and profligate theorizers. Often, our theories are good enough to get us through the day, or at least to an age when we can procreate. But our genius for creative storytelling, combined with our inability to detect our own ignorance, can sometimes lead to situations that are embarrassing, unfortunate, or downright dangerous—especially in a technologically advanced, complex democratic society that occasionally invests mistaken popular beliefs with immense destructive power (See: crisis, financial; war, Iraq). As the humorist Josh Billings once put it, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

      The way we traditionally conceive of ignorance—as an absence of knowledge—leads us to think of education as its natural antidote. But education, even when done skillfully, can produce illusory confidence. Here’s a particularly frightful example: Driver’s education courses, particularly those aimed at handling emergency maneuvers, tend to increase, rather than decrease, accident rates. They do so because training people to handle, say, snow and ice leaves them with the lasting impression that they’re permanent experts on the subject. In fact, their skills usually erode rapidly after they leave the course. And so, months or even decades later, they have confidence but little leftover competence when their wheels begin to spin.

      In these Wild West settings, it’s best not to repeat common misbeliefs at all. Telling people that Barack Obama is not a Muslim fails to change many people’s minds, because they frequently remember everything that was said—except for the crucial qualifier “not.” Rather, to successfully eradicate a misbelief requires not only removing the misbelief, but filling the void left behind (“Obama was baptized in 1988 as a member of the United Church of Christ”). If repeating the misbelief is absolutely necessary, researchers have found it helps to provide clear and repeated warnings that the misbelief is false. I repeat, false.

  27. May 2015
    1. That is, the human annotators are likely to assign different relevance labels to a document, depending on the quality of the last document they had judged for the same query. In addi- tion to manually assigned labels, we further show that the implicit relevance labels inferred from click logs can also be affected by an- choring bias. Our experiments over the query logs of a commercial search engine suggested that searchers’ interaction with a document can be highly affected by the documents visited immediately be- forehand.
  28. Oct 2014
    1. A few different people said that when a tip is low, they assume the customer is cheap or hurting for money, but when it’s high, they assume it’s because they did a great job serving the customer or because they’re likable (not that the customer is generous).