6 Matching Annotations
  1. 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?

  2. Oct 2020
    1. Digital texts embody the intersections between history and biography that Mills (1959) thought inherent to understanding social relations. Content from my blog is a ready example. I have access to the entire data set. I can track its macro discursive moments to action, space, and place. And I can consider it as a reflexive sociological practice. In this way, I have used my digital texts as methodologists use autoethnographies: reflexive, critical practices of social relationship.

      I wonder a bit about applying behavioral economics or areas like System 1/System 2 of D. Kahneman and A. Tversky to social media as well. Some (a majority?) use Twitter as an immediate knee-jerk reaction to content they're reading and interacting with in a very System 1 sense while others use longer form writing and analysis seen in the blogosphere to create System 2 sort of social thinking.

      This naturally needs to be cross referenced in peoples' time and abilities to consume these things and the reactions and dopamine responses they provoke. Most people are apt to read the shorter form writing because it's easier and takes less time and effort compared with longer form writing which requires far more cognitive load and time expenditure.

  3. Jun 2020
    1. But tagging, alone, is still not good enough. Even our many tags become useless if/when their meaning changes (in our minds) by the time we go retrieve the data they point to. This could be years after we tagged something. Somehow, whether manually or automatically, we need agents and tools to help us keep our tags updated and relevant.

      search engines usually can surface that faster (less cognitive load than recalling what and where you store something) than you retrieve it in your second brain (abundance info, do can always retrieve from external source in a JIT fashion)

  4. May 2020
    1. these words bring up all kinds of questions

      some thoughts when skimming through stream-of-consciousness journals like these

      if I want to absorb the information and "learn" faster, then reading faster or summarising the text is not the solution, because a text is already a compressed lossy encoded form of the initial thought. to decode it further and transfer it into my head would risk too much missing bits of information.

  5. Jul 2019
    1. A systematic analysis of my public writing makes the case that as academics are increasingly called to “publicly engage,” we have not fully conceptualized or counted the costs of public writing from various social locations.
  6. Jun 2019