cognitive bias

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pages: 267 words: 78,857

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders

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Atul Gawande, big-box store, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, credit crunch, endowment effect, Firefox, game design, Inbox Zero, income per capita, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Merlin Mann, side project, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand

In describing this principle to me, counselor and writer (and my mother) Jinx McCombs, who studied with Dr. Goulding, said, “All four are real choices, and it's surprising how often people pick number two or number four.” What choices aren’t you enjoying now that you’ve made them? What were the other options that you could keep in mind for next time? Beware of cognitive bias and wrong-sized conclusions As you evaluate your current situation, your dreams, and what you may need to discard or add, watch out for two important things: cognitive bias and over- or undersized conclusions. Firstly, cognitive bias—a pattern of different judgment occurring for you in specific situations—can kick in when you worry about being unprepared. There is a world of difference between the overprotective response “that might come in handy for something maybe someday so I’ll keep it” and specific, common-to-you situational preparation, such as “I should carry a book and writing tools when I am doing errands where I might get stuck waiting.”

Allocate your resources primarily to your current goals. In my experience, the payoff for getting rid of 100% of the stuff for which you don't have a plan and don't wildly love is still worth it, even when you come up with a use for a small percentage of it later. Getting 90% of your unneeded items out of the way creates opportunity and energy, which makes dealing with the occasional 10% you need to get again much easier. Beware of cognitive bias in what you notice about your things, habits, projects, and even dreams. Would it stand out in your memory that you never needed something you got rid of? No. In fact, you might forget you ever had it in the first place. That 90% can fall from your awareness without a trace, leaving the rare exceptions to stand out and seem more significant than they actually are. I highly recommend Thomas Gilovich’s book, How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life, as a great way to gain insight into some of the silly patterns of perception that can have you working against your own best interest.


pages: 284 words: 79,265

The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date by Samuel Arbesman

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bioinformatics, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Galaxy Zoo, guest worker program, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, life extension, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nicholas Carr, p-value, Paul Erdős, Pluto: dwarf planet, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, social graph, social web, text mining, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation

Evolutionary psychology, far from sweeping our biases under the rug, embraces them, and even tries to understand the evolutionary benefit that might have accrued to what may be viewed as deficits. So what forms can factual inertia take? Look to the lyrics of Bradley Wray. In December 2009, Bradley Wray was preparing his high school students for a test in his Advanced Placement psychology class. Wray developed a moderately catchy song for his students that would help them review the material and posted a video of it online. What was the topic of this song? Cognitive bias. There is a whole set of psychological quirks we are saddled with as part of our evolutionary baggage. While these quirks might have helped us on the savannah to figure out how the seasons change and where food might be year after year, they are not always the most useful in our interconnected, highly complex, and fast-moving world. These quirks are known as cognitive biases, and there are lots of them, creating a publishing cottage industry devoted to chronicling them.

Many people are familiar with self-serving bias, even if they might not realize it: It happens all the time in sports. In hockey or soccer, if the team wins, the goal scorer is lauded. But if the team loses? The goalie gets the short end of the deal. The other players are the beneficiaries of a certain amount of self-serving bias—praise for success, without the burden of failure—at least that’s how the media portray it, even if they are not subject to this cognitive bias themselves. There are well over a hundred of these biases that have been cataloged. . . . IN the 1840s, Ignaz Semmelweis was a noted physician with a keen eye. While he was a young obstetrician working in the hospitals of Vienna, he noticed a curious difference between mothers who delivered in his division of the hospital and those who delivered at home, or using midwives in the other part of the hospital.

New York: Viking, 2010. p. 235. 174 they recanted their editorial: “A Correction.” New York Times, July 17, 1969. 174 Why do we believe in wrong, outdated facts?: Schulz, Kathryn. Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. New York: Ecco, 2010. One of the main reasons, Schulz notes, that it is so easy to be wrong is very simple: Being wrong feels a lot like being right. 175 Bradley Wray was preparing his high school students: Wray, Bradley. “Cognitive Bias Song”; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RsbmjNLQkc. 176 Nuland, Sherwin B. The Doctors’ Plague: Germs, Childbed Fever, and the Strange Story of Ignác Semmelweis. New York: W. W. Norton, 2003. Please note that the initial edition of my book was prey to some outdated information regarding the myth of Semmelweis. 177 akin to Daniel Kahneman’s idea of theory-induced blindness: Shirky, Clay. Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.


pages: 310 words: 82,592

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss, Tahl Raz

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banking crisis, Black Swan, clean water, cognitive bias, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, framing effect, friendly fire, iterative process, loss aversion, market fundamentalism, price anchoring, telemarketer, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment

And so it went in negotiation classes: assuming the other side was acting rationally and selfishly in trying to maximize its position, the goal was to figure out how to respond in various scenarios to maximize one’s own value. This mentality baffled Kahneman, who from years in psychology knew that, in his words, “[I]t is self-evident that people are neither fully rational nor completely selfish, and that their tastes are anything but stable.” Through decades of research with Tversky, Kahneman proved that humans all suffer from Cognitive Bias, that is, unconscious—and irrational—brain processes that literally distort the way we see the world. Kahneman and Tversky discovered more than 150 of them. There’s the Framing Effect, which demonstrates that people respond differently to the same choice depending on how it is framed (people place greater value on moving from 90 percent to 100 percent—high probability to certainty—than from 45 percent to 55 percent, even though they’re both ten percentage points).

One of us was trying to gauge the mood of the bad guy taking the lead on the other end, and another was listening in for clues or “tells” that might give us a better read on what we were facing, and so on. Students of mine balk at this notion, asking, “Seriously, do you really need a whole team to . . . hear someone out?” The fact that the FBI has come to that conclusion, I tell them, should be a wake-up call. It’s really not that easy to listen well. We are easily distracted. We engage in selective listening, hearing only what we want to hear, our minds acting on a cognitive bias for consistency rather than truth. And that’s just the start. Most people approach a negotiation so preoccupied by the arguments that support their position that they are unable to listen attentively. In one of the most cited research papers in psychology,1 George A. Miller persuasively put forth the idea that we can process only about seven pieces of information in our conscious mind at any given moment.

., 143 calibrated, or open-ended, questions, 20, 141, 149, 150, 151–56, 243 Ackerman model and, 207 to analyze negotiation team and behind the table/Level II players, 171, 172 Assertive (bargaining style) and, 196 caution about using “why,” 153–54, 160, 203 Ecuador kidnapping and, 160, 165, 166, 167 to elicit information, 185 example, doctor and unhappy patient, 150, 155 examples to use, 154, 256 “forced empathy” and, 168 greatest-of-all-time question, 151, 168 “How” questions, 167–69, 181, 186 key lessons of, 160–61 Negotiation One Sheet and, 255–58 questions to identify and diffuse deal-killing issues, 256–57 questions to identify the behind-the-table deal killers, 256 responses to aggressiveness and, 141, 152, 159, 175 Rule of Three and, 177–78 script for, 157–58 tone of voice for, 167–68 when to use, 154 words to avoid in, 153 words to begin with, 153, 160 Camp, Jim, 78, 90 car-buying negotiations, 119, 188–90, 243 certainty effect, 127 Chandler, Raymond, 129 Chris discount, 179–80 clearing the barriers to agreement, 61–63, 72 Clinton, Hillary, 53 cognitive bias, 12 Cohen, Herb, 119 collaboration, 21 How/No questions and, 167–68 never create an enemy, 204–5 Collodi, Carlo, 178 Columbia Business School, 131 communication. See also active listening; calibrated, or open-ended, question; voice tones calibrated, or open-ended, question, 20, 141, 149, 150, 151–56, 165, 166, 167–69, 170, 174–75, 255–58 Chinese expression about, 111 control in, 160, 166 empathy as “soft” skill, 53 hidden aspects of, 77 “I” messages, 203–4 literal interpretations, mistake of, 77 lying and, 178 “no” and, 75–80 pronoun usage and person’s importance, 179, 187 7-38-55 Percent Rule, 176–77, 186 subtleties, spotting and interpreting, 173–76 uncovering lying, 176 using your own name (Chris discount), 179–80, 187 “yes” and, 80–81 “yes” and “no,” values inherent in, 86 compromise, 18–19, 115–16, 139 reasons for, 116 win-win and, 115, 253 control, 140–61 calibrated, or open-ended, question and, 141, 149, 150, 151–56 in communication, 160 creating the illusion of, 149–61, 166, 174–75 influence vs., 84 key lessons of, 160–61 lack of, and hostage mentality, 159 late-night FM DJ voice and, 33 as primal urge, 84 saying “no” and, 78–79, 86–92, 94 self-control, 156–59, 161, 202, 204 crisis negotiations, 4–5, 9–10, 13–16, 18–19, 54.


pages: 467 words: 116,902

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

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affirmative action, cognitive bias, Columbine, deindustrialization, desegregation, ending welfare as we know it, friendly fire, illegal immigration, land reform, large denomination, low skilled workers, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, women in the workforce

In fact, for nearly three decades, news stories regarding virtually all street crime have disproportionately featured African American offenders. One study suggests that the standard crime news “script” is so prevalent and so thoroughly racialized that viewers imagine a black perpetrator even when none exists. In that study, 60 percent of viewers who saw a story with no image falsely recalled seeing one, and 70 percent of those viewers believed the perpetrator to be African American.33 Decades of cognitive bias research demonstrates that both unconscious and conscious biases lead to discriminatory actions, even when an individual does not want to discriminate.34 The quotation commonly attributed to Nietzsche, that “there is no immaculate perception,” perfectly captures how cognitive schemas—thought structures—influence what we notice and how the things we notice get interpreted.35 Studies have shown that racial schemas operate not only as part of conscious, rational deliberations, but also automatically—without conscious awareness or intent.36 One study, for example, involved a video game that placed photographs of white and black individuals holding either a gun or other object (such as a wallet, soda can, or cell phone) into various photographic backgrounds.

Whether or not one believes racial discrimination in the drug war was inevitable, it should have been glaringly obvious in the 1980s and 1990s that an extraordinarily high risk of racial bias in the administration of criminal justice was present, given the way in which all crime had been framed in the media and in political discourse. Awareness of this risk did not require intimate familiarity with cognitive bias research. Anyone possessing a television set during this period would likely have had some awareness of the extent to which black men had been demonized in the War on Drugs. The risk that African Americans would be unfairly targeted should have been of special concern to the U.S. Supreme Court—the one branch of government charged with the responsibility of protecting “discrete and insular minorities” from the excesses of majoritarian democracy, and guaranteeing constitutional rights for groups deemed unpopular or subject to prejudice.45 Yet when the time came for the Supreme Court to devise the legal rules that would govern the War on Drugs, the Court adopted rules that would maximize—not minimize—the amount of racial discrimination that would likely occur.

Acevedo California’s Proposition California’s Proposition Campbell, Richard Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) Carroll, David Carrollton bus disaster (1988) Cato Institute Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chain Reaction (Edsall and Edsall) Chemerinsky, Erwin Cheney, Dick Chicago, Illinois: ex-offenders; police presence in ghetto communities; re-entry programs child-support debts chokeholds, lethal Chunn, Gwendolyn Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (2000) Civil Rights Act (1866) Civil Rights Act (1964); Title VI civil rights advocacy, future of; changing the culture of law enforcement; collective denial by civil rights advocates; dismantling the mass incarceration system; and flawed public consensus; grassroots activism by formerly incarcerated men and women; human rights paradigm/ approach; Obama presidency; poor and working-class whites; and problem of colorblind advocacy; reconsidering affirmative action; reform work and movement building; reluctance to advocate on behalf of criminals; and sentencing; and trickle-down theories of racial justice Civil Rights Movement; backlash against; and black people who defied racial stereotypes; desegregation protests; and economic justice; and end of Jim Crow system; and federal legislation; and human rights approach; initial resistance from some African Americans; and King’s call for complete restructuring of society; Poor People’s Movement civil rights organizations/community; collective denial by; professionalization and conversion of grassroots movement into legal crusade; reluctance to advocate on behalf of criminals. See also civil rights advocacy, future of Clary, Edward Clinton, Bill/Clinton administration; federal drug programs; marijuana use; militarization of War on Drugs; public housing and eviction rules; “tough on crime” policies/legislation; and War on Drugs; welfare reform legislation Cloward, Richard cognitive bias research Cohen, Cathy Cohen, Stanley Cohen, William Cole, David Coley, Rebekah Levine colorblindness; and affirmative action; and black exceptionalism; and “interracial racial caste system,”; and mass incarceration; problem of flawed pursuit of; Reagan’s racialized campaign rhetoric; resisting temptation to ignore race in advocacy; and U.S. Constitution; and whites’ reluctance to acknowledge race Colvin, Claudette Common (rap artist) Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevent and Control Act (1970) Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) consent searches and traffic stops conservative philosophy of race relations (Reconstruction era) conspiracy theories and War on Drugs Constitution, U.S..


pages: 254 words: 72,929

The Age of the Infovore: Succeeding in the Information Economy by Tyler Cowen

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Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Flynn Effect, framing effect, Google Earth, impulse control, informal economy, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, neurotypical, new economy, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind

The implication is that many so-called “normal” people are carrying around autism-contributing genes. A recent study showed that parents of autistic children were less likely to socialize and that those same parents were also less likely to make eye contact and more likely to read other people’s intentions by watching their mouths rather than their eyes, a common autistic trait. There’s also evidence that the parents of autistic children are more likely to have a cognitive bias toward the local processing of small bits of information, as we find among autistics. We’re again back to the idea that autistic cognitive strengths and weaknesses pervade our world in many ways, often unobserved. One recent population study suggests that autistic traits are distributed across the entire population in a smooth and normal fashion, rather than into two distinct and clumped groups of “autistic” and “non-autistic.”

CNN is of course a popular outlet and thus the story is presented in a way that many people can relate to or remember, and that means some oversimplification. In other words, the shallowness of many commonly told and commonly held stories is part of the price of our sociability and the need to share so much with so many other people. Sometimes that oversimplification is a price worth paying. But let’s recognize it for what it is, namely a cognitive bias that plagues how many people think about the world. PROBLEM #2: STORIES END UP SERVING DUAL AND CONFLICTING FUNCTIONS Part of what a focal point means is that you can’t fit too many stories, ideas, and data points into your head at once. Only some of them will stick out and be obvious or memorable. So if you think of “meeting places in New York City” a few well-known points come to mind. If your mind was flooded with all the unordered details at once, it would be harder and maybe impossible to come up with a focal locale for meeting the other person.


pages: 412 words: 115,266

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris

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Albert Einstein, banking crisis, cognitive bias, endowment effect, energy security, experimental subject, framing effect, hindsight bias, impulse control, John Nash: game theory, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, ultimatum game, World Values Survey

Liberal hankering for happiness and freedom might one day produce some very strident calls for stricter laws and tribal loyalty. Will this mean that liberals have become religious conservatives pining for the beehive? Or is the liberal notion of avoiding harm flexible enough to encompass the need for order and differences between in-group and out-group? There is also the question of whether conservatism contains an extra measure of cognitive bias—or outright hypocrisy—as the moral convictions of social conservatives are so regularly belied by their louche behavior. The most conservative regions of the United States tend to have the highest rates of divorce and teenage pregnancy, as well as the greatest appetite for pornography.59 Of course, it could be argued that social conservatism is the consequence of so much ambient sinning. But this seems an unlikely explanation—especially in those cases where a high level of conservative moralism and a predilection for sin can be found in a single person.

Evans, 2005; Kahneman, 2003; Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz, & Stone, 2006; Kahneman, Slovic, & Tversky, 1982; Kahneman & Tversky, 1996; Stanovich & West, 2000; Tversky & Kahneman, 1974. 37. Stanovich & West, 2000. 38. Fong et al., 1986/07. Once again, asking whether something is rationally or morally normative is distinct from asking whether it has been evolutionarily adaptive. Some psychologists have sought to minimize the significance of the research on cognitive bias by suggesting that subjects make decisions using heuristics that conferred adaptive fitness on our ancestors. As Stanovich and West (2000) observe, what serves the genes does not necessarily advance the interests of the individual. We could also add that what serves the individual in one context may not serve him in another. The cognitive and emotional mechanisms that may (or may not) have optimized us for face-to-face conflict (and its resolution) have clearly not prepared us to negotiate conflicts waged from afar—whether with email or other long-range weaponry. 39.

See also religion children: callousness/unemotional trait in, 99, 213n78 care about other people’s children, 40 corporal punishment of, 3, 214n88 decision to have children, 187–88 disgust felt by, 224n34 early experience of, 9–10 hospital care of, 76–77 infants’ ability to follow a person’s gaze, 57 infants’ perception of aggressors, 206n35 in Israeli kibbutzim, 73 kindness for, 38 murder of infant by religious conservatives, 158 neglect and abuse of, 9, 35, 95–96, 107–8, 199–201n14 in orphanages, 9, 200n14 parents’ attachment to, 73 religion and, 151 self-regulation of, 223n23 sexual abuse scandal in Catholic Church, 35, 199–201n14 China, 67 Christianity. See religion Churchland, Patricia, 68, 101–2, 196n18, 210n49 cingulotomy, 226n35 Cleckley, H. M., 214n87 Clinton, Bill, 133 cognitive bias. See bias Cohen, Jonathan, 217–18n111 Cohen, Mark, 152, 229n62, 232n19 Collins, Francis, 160–74, 235n69, 236n77 colonoscopies, 77, 184 common sense dualists, 151 communication. See language compatibilism, 217n111 computational theory, 220n17 conduct disorder, 213n76 confirmation bias, 223n26 consciousness, 32–33, 41–42, 62, 108–9, 158–59, 221–22n18, 235n66 consensus, 31–32, 34, 198, 198n6 consequentialism, 62, 67–73, 207n12, 208n20, 210–11n50 conservatives.


pages: 294 words: 81,292

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

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3D printing, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Imagine if the Centers for Disease Control issued a serious warning about vampires (unlike their recent tongue-in-cheek alert about zombies). Because vampires have provided so much fun, it’d take time for the guffawing to stop, and the wooden stakes to come out. Maybe we’re in that period right now with AI, and only an accident or a near-death experience will jar us awake. Another reason AI and human extinction do not often receive serious consideration may be due to one of our psychological blind spots—a cognitive bias. Cognitive biases are open manholes on the avenues of our thinking. Israeli American psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman began developing the science of cognitive biases in 1972. Their basic idea is that we humans make decisions in irrational ways. That observation alone won’t earn you a Nobel Prize (Kahneman received one in 2002); the stunner is that we are irrational in scientifically verifiable patterns.

brain augmentation of, see intelligence augmentation basal ganglia in cerebral cortex in neurons in reverse engineering of synapses in uploading into computer Brautigan, Richard Brazil Brooks, Rodney Busy Child scenario Butler, Samuel CALO (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes) Carr, Nicholas cave diving Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR) Chandrashekar, Ashok chatbots chess-playing computers Deep Blue China Chinese Room Argument Cho, Seung-Hui Church, Alonso Churchill, Winston Church-Turing hypothesis Clarke, Arthur C. climate change cloud computing cognitive architectures OpenCog cognitive bias Cognitive Computing Coherent Extrapolated Volition (CEV) Colossus “Coming Technological Singularity, The” (Vinge) computational neuroscience computers, computing cloud detrimental effects from exponential growth in power of see also programming; software computer science consciousness creativity cybercrime Cyc Cycle Computing Cycorp DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Darwin Machine Deep Blue de Garis, Hugo Dennett, Daniel Dijkstra, Edger DNA-related research Dongarra, Jack Drake, Francis drives creativity efficiency resource acquisition self-preservation Dugan, Regina Duqu Dyson, George ecophagy efficiency Einstein, Albert emotions energy grid Enigma Enron Eurisko evil extropians Fastow, Andrew Ferrucci, David financial scandals financial system Flame Foreign Affairs Freidenfelds, Jason Friendly AI Coherent Extrapolated Volition and definition of intelligence explosion and SyNAPSE and Future of Humanity Institute genetic algorithms genetic engineering genetic programming George, Dileep global warming Global Workspace Theory Goertzel, Benjamin Golden Rule Good, I.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

It is also about (un)learning and adaptability. Over time, these tools can also be applied to Staff on Demand (e.g., Tongal) and Community & Crowd. DNA/neuro recruitment and team formation Recruitment and team formations based on DNA profiling (suitability for the job based on particular hormones, neurotransmitters and health risks) and neuro profiling (right attitude, emotions, focus, truth-telling, passion, avoiding cognitive bias). AIs will recommend which people should work together and how to form teams for different tasks. Peer learning and coaching Programming software schools such as MIT and France’s Ecole 42 have no faculty, relying instead on peer learning; such institutions are highly cost-effective. HR will copy these models for better knowledge-creation and skills-transfer between employees. P2P reputation systems Internal and external reputation measured by communities (Mode, GitHub, LoveMachine, Klout, LinkedIn, etc.).

Quantified Employee/teams Employee and team health monitoring provides actionable insights based on body health (fatigue, concentration, movement, rest and relaxation), thus helping to avoid mistakes, stress, productivity loss and burnout. Employee DNA, biome and biomarkers used to minimize health risks, resistance to flu, etc. Neuroenhancement Neurotechnology used to improve mood, employee capabilities (accelerated learning, focus, reading, sleep, mental state, avoiding cognitive bias) and help combat social phobias (nervousness and fear of contact or connection). Tools and services that help with the mental well-being of employees, such as Happify and ThriveOn. Combined with sensors, these tools teach wellness, resilience and other core life skills; they also measure their impact. Virtual Reality (VR), currently in limited use with Oculus Rift and Google Glass, and slated for future initiatives such as High Fidelity, will not only profoundly affect recruitment and collaboration, but will also have the potential to disrupt work as we know it today.


pages: 354 words: 91,875

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Doto Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal

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banking crisis, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, delayed gratification, game design, impulse control, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, Richard Thaler, Wall-E, Walter Mischel

This leads to a second problem: When you try to push a thought away, and it keeps coming back to your mind, you are more likely to assume that it must be true. Why else would the thought keep resurfacing? We trust that our thoughts are important sources of information. When a thought becomes more frequent and harder to pull yourself away from, you will naturally assume that it is an urgent message that you should pay attention to. This cognitive bias seems to be hardwired in the human brain. We estimate how likely or true something is by the ease with which we can bring it to mind. This can have unsettling consequences when we try to push a worry or desire out of our minds. For example, because it’s easy to remember news stories about plane crashes (especially if you are a fearful flier handing over your boarding pass), we tend to overestimate the likelihood of being in a crash.

putting the future on sale time to wait, time to give in value of precommitment Willpower Experiment Lower Your Discount Rate Meet Your Future Self Precommit Your Future Self Wait Ten Minutes internal conflict ironic rebound avoiding I want, I will, I won’t neuroscience of “I want” power frustrated mom finds her want power “I won’t” power avoiding ironic rebound chocoholic takes inspiration from Hershey’s Kisses cognitive bias daughter makes peace with her anger inner acceptance, outer control Under the Microscope Investigating Ironic Rebound What’s on Your Most-Wanted List? no-dieting diet no smoking power of acceptance social anxiety disorder surfing urge to complain thought suppression dieting negativity thought suppression doesn’t work “white bears,” Willpower Experiment Accept Those Cravings—Just Don’t Act on Them Feel What You Feel, But Don’t Believe Everything You Think Surf the Urge Turn Your “I Won’t” Into “I Will,” Kivetz, Ran know thyself Knutson, Brian Kotchen, Matthew J.


pages: 199 words: 43,653

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

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Airbnb, AltaVista, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, en.wikipedia.org, framing effect, game design, Google Glasses, Inbox Zero, invention of the telephone, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Oculus Rift, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Toyota Production System, Y Combinator

[lxvii] For product designers building habit-forming technology, understanding and leveraging these methods for boosting motivation and ability can prove highly impactful. Stephen Anderson, author of Seductive Interaction Design, created a tool called Mental Notes to help designers build better products through heuristics. [lxviii] Each of the cards in his deck of 50 contains a brief description of a cognitive bias and is intended to spark product team conversations around how they might utilize the principle. For example, team members might ask themselves how they could utilize the endowed progress effect or the scarcity effect to increase the likelihood of a desired user behavior. In this chapter, we discovered how to take users from trigger to action. We discussed how cognitive biases influence behavior and how by designing the simplest action in anticipation of a reward, product makers can advance users to the next phase of the Hook Model.


pages: 263 words: 75,455

Quantitative Value: A Practitioner's Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors by Wesley R. Gray, Tobias E. Carlisle

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, backtesting, Black Swan, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, compound rate of return, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, forensic accounting, hindsight bias, Louis Bachelier, p-value, passive investing, performance metric, quantitative hedge fund, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, statistical model, systematic trading, The Myth of the Rational Market, time value of money, transaction costs

Given the diversity of fields in which quantitative models outperform experts, it would be remarkable if we did not observe the phenomenon in value investment. Yet within the world of value investing the quantitative approach continues to be uncommon. Where it does exist, says Montier, the practitioners tend to be “rocket scientist uber-geeks.” Why isn't quantitative value investing more common? According to Montier, the most likely answer is that old cognitive bias overconfidence. We think we know better than simple models, which have a known error rate, but prefer our own judgment, which has an unknown error rate: The most common response to these findings is to argue that surely a fund manager should be able to use quant as an input, with the flexibility to override the model when required. However, as mentioned above, the evidence suggests that quant models tend to act as a ceiling rather than a floor for our behaviour.


pages: 231 words: 73,818

The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life by Bernard Roth

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Albert Einstein, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, deskilling, fear of failure, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, school choice, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

Their nominal use is obvious to all. You are then to use those materials in whatever ways you want to solve the problem; however, there isn’t usually an obvious connection between the items and your problem. For instance, maybe you have to figure out how to create a communication device using a box of Cheerios, a hammer, tape, cotton balls, a hairbrush, and a bag of marbles. Most people have a cognitive bias called functional fixedness that causes them to see objects only in their normal context. The use of the materials and tools in their ordinary way will generally lead to no workable solutions or, at the very most, mundane ones. The really exciting solutions come from overcoming functional fixedness and using these everyday items in new ways. To see the possibilities it is helpful to take the viewpoint that nothing is what you think it is.

Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics by Francis Fukuyama

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Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, energy security, flex fuel, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Norbert Wiener, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Yom Kippur War

For example, people say, “China can’t maintain its recent success, can it?” And yet China keeps growing in importance. Much of the reluctance to grapple with such game-changing issues stems from an unwillingness to face the consequences of taking different scenarios seriously. Those consequences might interfere with long-held mental models, organizational structures, or self- or business interests. Denial is a powerful form of cognitive bias and one of the most common reactions found in organizations of all sizes. Denial is the failure to believe or acknowledge that an organization is facing uncertainty and may need to make major changes to respond and adapt. Denial can stifle creativity and make companies and nations susceptible to strategic surprise. An example from our own experience concerns the rise of religious politics in the United States.

Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day by John H. Johnson

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Black Swan, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, obamacare, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, statistical model, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, wikimedia commons, Yogi Berra

Would it surprise you if we told you that 55 percent of Americans think they are smarter than average,40 most think they are better looking than average,41 and in a recent study, 93 percent said they were more skillful than the average (median) driver.42 Perhaps Garrison Keillor had it right in his description of Lake Wobegon where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”43 Statistically, it’s impossible for 93 percent of drivers to be better than the median. The median ­is—​­by ­definition—​­the middle value of your data set. But the study didn’t say that 93 percent of American drivers are more skillful. It said that 93 percent of them say they’re more skillful. What we’re likely seeing here is an example of illusory ­superiority—​ ­a type of cognitive bias that explains why most people think they’re better than ­others—​­hence, better than average.44 Why does this matter? n n n If you think you’re a better than average driver, are you going to use your “skill” to justify speeding or taking other risks? If you think you’re a better than average gambler, are you going to stick around longer (and bet more) at the poker table? If you think you’re smarter than average, are you going to apply for jobs that are outside your skill set?

Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge by Cass R. Sunstein

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affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, availability heuristic, Build a better mousetrap, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, framing effect, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, market bubble, market design, minimum wage unemployment, prediction markets, profit motive, rent control, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, slashdot, stem cell, The Wisdom of Crowds, winner-take-all economy

., “Do Frequency Representations Eliminate Conjunction Effects?,” Psychological Science Journal 12 (2001). 8. See Stasser and Dietz-Uhler, “Collective Choice, Judgment, and Problem Solving,” 49–50. Note that when the bias is not widely shared, it may be corrected through deliberation. See ibid. 9. MacCoun, “Comparing Micro and Macro Rationality,” 121–26 (showing amplification of jury bias). 10. Mark F. Stasson et al., “Group Consensus Approaches on Cognitive Bias Tasks: A Social Decision Scheme Approach,” Japanese Psychological Research Journal 30 (1988): 74–75. 11. See Kerr et al., “Bias in Judgment,” 693, 711–12. 12. See ibid., 692, Table 1 (noting study that found groups generally more confident than individuals); Janet A. Sniezek and Rebecca A. Henry, “Accuracy and Confidence in Group Judgment,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 42 (1989): 24–27. 13.


pages: 654 words: 191,864

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

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Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, cognitive bias, complexity theory, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demand response, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, framing effect, hindsight bias, index card, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, medical residency, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, pattern recognition, pre–internet, price anchoring, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, union organizing, Walter Mischel, Yom Kippur War

We focus on what we know and neglect what we do not know, which makes us overly confident in our beliefs. The observation that “90% of drivers believe they are better than average” is a well-established psychological finding that has become part of the culture, and it often comes up as a prime example of a more general above-average effect. However, the interpretation of the finding has changed in recent years, from self-aggrandizement to a cognitive bias. Consider these two questions: Are you a good driver? Are you better than average as a driver? The first question is easy and the answer comes quickly: most drivers say yes. The second question is much harder and for most respondents almost impossible to answer seriously and correctly, because it requires an assessment of the average quality of drivers. At this point in the book it comes as no surprise that people respond to a difficult question by answering an easier one.

This remarkable early article presented a behavioral analysis of mergers and acquisitions that abandoned the assumption of rationality, long before such analyses became popular. “value-destroying mergers”: Ulrike Malmendier and Geoffrey Tate, “Who Makes Acquisitions? CEO Overconfidence and the Market’s Reaction,” Journal of Financial Economics 89 (2008): 20–43. “engage in earnings management”: Ulrike Malmendier and Geoffrey Tate, “Superstar CEOs,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 24 (2009), 1593–1638. self-aggrandizement to a cognitive bias: Paul D. Windschitl, Jason P. Rose, Michael T. Stalk-fleet, and Andrew R. Smith, “Are People Excessive or Judicious in Their Egocentrism? A Modeling Approach to Understanding Bias and Accuracy in People’s Optimism,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 95 (2008): 252–73. average outcome is a loss: A form of competition neglect has also been observed in the time of day at which sellers on eBay choose to end their auctions.


pages: 286 words: 90,530

Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think by Alan Grafen; Mark Ridley

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Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, bioinformatics, cognitive bias, computer age, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Haight Ashbury, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, loose coupling, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, phenotype, profit maximization, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Yogi Berra

But these facts about the social organization of information flow do not explain why some ideas are readily formulated and transmitted, and others are not. All selection depends on variation, and Dawkins’ cognoviral theory of religion is not a theory of variation. Sperber and Boyer do have a theory of variation. For this reason, we might see them as providing what we need to turn Richard’s image into a full explanation: a cognitive bias in favour of the transformed familiar + horizontal idea flow = cognitive disaster. I doubt that Sperber or Boyer would agree to this reconciliation, and in this they mirror an earlier debate between Stephen Jay Gould and Dawkins; a debate about the history of life as a whole. That debate was about the relative importance of selection and the supply of variation. Gould believed that crucial features about the history of life are explained by biases in the supply of variation rather than selection.


pages: 397 words: 112,034

What's Next?: Unconventional Wisdom on the Future of the World Economy by David Hale, Lyric Hughes Hale

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversification, energy security, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global village, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, index fund, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve

CASCADING EFFECTS: Direct, indirect, complex, or cumulative effects that manifest themselves throughout an organization or system. CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM: An arrangement that allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. It provides a standardized emissions offset instrument (certified emission reductions). COGNITIVE BIAS: Human tendency to acquire and process information by filtering it through one’s own likes, dislikes, and experiences. COLLECTIVE ACTION PROBLEM: When the uncoordinated actions of a given actor in a group may not result in the best outcome he or she can achieve. COMMON MARKET: A customs union with provisions to liberalize the movement of regional production factors, including people and capital.


pages: 377 words: 97,144

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller

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23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture

Hanson told me that we should be suspicious if a group of people with trait X argue that in the future trait X will be all-important because this group might be making predictions about the future to raise the status of people with trait X, or this group might have an irrationally high opinion of trait X. Lots of Singularitarians have extremely high measured intelligence. Hanson thinks that some futurists also have a cognitive bias toward expecting “an unrealistic degree of [self-sufficiency] or independence.” 348 For most of mankind’s existence, we lived in small, autonomous hunter-gatherer tribes. Evolutionary selection pressures haven’t had time to adjust our brains to the fact that we now live in an extraordinarily interconnected world in which no one small group of people can really do all that much to change the existing social order, especially over a short period of time.


pages: 364 words: 102,528

An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen

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agricultural Revolution, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, cross-subsidies, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, guest worker program, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, iterative process, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, price discrimination, refrigerator car, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

Buy better and more expensive versions of what works for you, but only once you know it works for you. There is a high return to having very good and very durable versions of what you use all the time. So take your five kitchen item “winners” and spend more money on them. That’s usually a better bet than trying new kitchen equipment, which will likely lie fallow and over time make you feel bad about having wasted your money. The cognitive bias here is a common one: new, shiny toys hold great appeal for us, because in some ways we are still kids. But we’re being tricked by the marketing and by the fun of the buying experience itself, so spend your money on what will turn out to be more reliable pleasures. We actually learn cooking by mastering how to use well-understood equipment, to make some specialized dishes of great interest to us, rather than by making new purchases or by having one of each item.


pages: 342 words: 94,762

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy

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algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nick Leeson, paper trading, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, six sigma, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel

“Podcast: Art Fry’s Invention Has a Way of Sticking Around.” 19. 3M, “McKnight Principles,” http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_WW/History/3M/Company/McKnight-principles. 20. See Kaomi Goetz, “How 3M Gave Everyone Days Off and Created an Innovation Dynamo,” Co Design, February 1, 2011, http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663137/how-3m-gave-everyone-days-off-and-created-an-innovation-dynamo. 21. 3M, A Century of Innovation, p. 33. 22. Merim Bilalíc, Peter McLeod, and Fernand Gobet, “The Mechanism of the Einstellung (Set) Effect: A Pervasive Source of Cognitive Bias,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 19(2, 2010): 111–115. 23. Ibid., p. 115. 24. Ibid., p. 113. 25. John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (Macmillan, 1973), p. xxiii. 26. Full disclosure: Charlie Graham, the founder and CEO of Shop It To Me, is my brother-in-law. 27. 3M, A Century of Innovation, pp. 38–39. 28. “Podcast: Art Fry’s Invention Has a Way of Sticking Around.” 29.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

., 191 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 304 centrifugal force, 67 centripetal force, 66 Chambers, John, 134 Chen, Steve, 29 Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, 272 Chin, Denny, 269, 272 China, censored searches in, 283 Christian, Rebecca, 80 citation, allusion vs., 87–88 Clash, 63–64 classical music, 43–44 Claude Glass, 131–32 Clinton, Bill, 315 Clinton, Hillary, 314, 315, 317–18 clocks, changes wrought by, 235–36 clones, virtual, 26–27 cloud computing programs, 264, 283 cloud storage, 163, 168, 185, 225 physical archives vs., 326 CNET, 55 Coachella festival, 126 Coca-Cola, marketing of, 53–54 cocaine, 262 cochlear implants, 332 cognitive bias, 321 cognitive control, 96 cognitive function: effect of internet on, 199–200, 231–42 effect of video games on, 93–97 “flow” state in, 297 memory and, 98–99 neuroengineering of, 332 reading and, 248–52 cognitive surplus, 59–60 avoidance of, 74 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 251 Collaborative Consumption, 84–85, 148 Columbia Records, 43–44 commercialism: anticonsumerism and, 83–85 culture transformed by, xvii–xxii, 3, 9, 150, 177, 198, 214–15 in innovation, 172 of libraries, 270–71 media as tool of, 106, 213, 240, 244–45, 257–58, 320 in virtuality, 25–27, 72 commodes, high-tech, 23–24 communication: between computers, 167 computer vs. human, 152–54 evolution of, 53 loneliness and, 159 mass, 67–68 speed of, 223, 320 thought-sharing in, 214–15 Communist Manifesto (Marx and Engles), 308 “Complete Control,” 63–64 Computer Power and Human Reason (Weizenbaum), 236 computers: author’s early involvement with, xix–xi benefits and limitations of, 322–23 in education, 134 effect on paper consumption of, 287–88 evolution of, xix–x, 165 future gothic scenarios for, 112–15 human hybridization with, 37–38, 332 human partnership with, 321–24 as impediment to knowledge perception, 303–4 minds uploaded to, 69 revivification through, 69–70 written word vs., 325–28 concentration, diffusion of, 231–33, 236–37 Confession d’un Enfant du Siècle, La (Musset), xxiii Congress, U.S., 275–77 consumer choice, 44–45 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 32, 56 consumerism: counterculture co-opted by, 72 distraction and, 65 media as tool of, 106, 132, 219 consumption, self-realization vs., 64–65 contemplation, 241, 246 through work, 298–99 conversation, computer streaming of, 152–54 CopyBot controversy, 25–27 copyright laws: history of, 275–76 in online library controversies, 269–71, 275–78, 283 in virtual world, 25–27 Corporate Communalists, 83 corporate control, through self-tracking, 163–65 correspondence courses, 133–34 cosmetic surgery, 331, 334 Costeja González, Mario, 190–92, 194 Coupland, Douglas, 102, 103 Courant, Paul, 270, 272 courtesy: decline of, 157 inefficiency of, 152–54 Cowen, Tyler, 116 Crawford, Matthew, 265 creativity, 49, 64 before the virtual world, 60–61 economics of, 8–9 in music, 44–45, 294 stifled by iPad, 76–78 see also innovation “crisis of control,” 188–89 CRISPR, 334–35 crowdsourcing, 37 Cruz, Ted, 314 cultural memory, archiving of, 325–28 cutouts (remaindered record albums), 122 CyberLover, 55 cybernetics, 37–38, 214 cyberpunk, 113 cyberspace, xvii, 127 early idealism of, 85 “Cyborg Manifesto” (Haraway), 168–69 cyborgs, 131 cynicism, 158 Daedalus, 336, 340 Darnton, Robert, 270–75, 278 DARPA, 332 Dash Express, 56 data-mining, 186, 212, 255–59 data-protection agencies, 190–91 Data Protection Directive, 191, 193 Davidson, Cathy, 94 Davies, Alex, 195 Davies, William, 214–15 Dean, Jeff, 137 death, as hardware failure, 115 Declaration of Independence, 278, 325 “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” (Barlow), 85 deep reading, 241 deletionists, 18–20, 58 democratization, xvi, xviii, 28, 86, 89, 115, 208, 271 internet perceived as tool for, 319–20 depression, 304 Derry, N.H., 296–97 Descartes, René, 301, 330 Dewey, John, 304 “digital dualism,” 129 “digital lifestyle,” 32–33 digital memory, 327 digital preservation, 325–28 Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), 268, 271–78 “Digital Republic of Letters,” 271 discovery, adventure of, 13–15 Disenchanted Night (Schivelbusch), 229 displaced agency, 265 distraction, xix, 14, 316 in consumerism, 65 video games and, 19 diversity, 65 DNA, 69–70, 334–35 Doctorow, Cory, 76–77 “Does the ‘New Economy’ Measure Up to the Great Inventions of the Past?”


pages: 302 words: 83,116

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, market design, microcredit, Milgram experiment, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, presumed consent, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional

“There were some nice emergency departments built in 2001, state-of-the-art, and they’re completely obsolete today. They were built with open bays, divided by curtains, but if you have a SARS patient in Bed 4, there’s not a patient or doctor in the world who will want to go into Bed 5.” And don’t even get Feied started on all the hospital patients who die from a cause other than what brought them to the hospital: wrong diagnoses (the result of carelessness, hubris, or cognitive bias); medication errors (based, far too often, on sloppy handwriting); technical complications (reading an X-ray backward, for instance); and bacterial infections (the deadliest and most pervasive problem). “The state of current medical practice is so bad right now that there’s not very much worth protecting about the old ways of doing things,” Feied says. “Nobody in medicine wants to admit this but it’s the truth.”


pages: 542 words: 132,010

The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner

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Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Doomsday Clock, feminist movement, haute couture, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, medical residency, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Y2K, young professional

If Baron, Vandello, and Brunsman are right, those are precisely the conditions under which people are most likely to conform to the views of the group and feel confident that they are right to do so. But surely, one might think, an opinion based on nothing more than the uninformed views of others is a fragile thing. We are exposed to new information every day. If the group view is foolish, we will soon come across evidence that will make us doubt our opinions. The blind can’t go on leading the blind for long, can they? Unfortunately, psychologists have discovered another cognitive bias that suggests that, in some circumstances, the blind can actually lead the blind indefinitely. It’s called confirmation bias and its operation is both simple and powerful. Once we have formed a view, we embrace information that supports that view while ignoring, rejecting, or harshly scrutinizing information that casts doubt on it. Any belief will do. It makes no difference whether the thought is about trivia or something important.


pages: 607 words: 133,452

Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, cognitive bias, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, financial innovation, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jean Tirole, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, market bubble, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, new economy, open economy, pirate software, placebo effect, price discrimination, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, the market place, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Y2K

Nevertheless – despite Travelpro’s inability to garner an intellectual monopoly over its invention – it found it worthwhile to innovate, and it still does a lucrative business today, claiming “425,000 Flight Crew Members Worldwide Choose Travelpro Luggage.”12 Quantifying Unpriced Spillovers The widespread belief in the free availability of ideas is sometime due to poor inspection of data and historical documents, but most often it is the consequence of a common cognitive bias. Every day we are surrounded, one P1: KNP head margin: 1/2 gutter margin: 7/8 CUUS245-07 cuus245 978 0 521 87928 6 May 21, 2008 16:55 Defenses of Intellectual Monopoly 163 might say bombarded, by references to and the effects of so many ideas that we often feel as if we knew them all or could know and use them all if we only wanted to. But that is just a pious illusion, as we should have all learned when our seven-year-old child asked for an explanation of how the chip in our wondrous cellular phone really worked.


pages: 488 words: 148,340

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

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back-to-the-land, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, dark matter, epigenetics, gravity well, mandelbrot fractal, microbiome, traveling salesman, Turing test

We were more and more characterized as an active player in the situation, and usually as a backer of the backers. But all those who had attempted to make guns knew this already, so it was not too destabilizing, even when it was said that the ship itself wanted to go back to the solar system, because a starship just naturally or inherently wanted to fly between the stars. That observation was said to “make sense.” The pathetic fallacy. Anthropomorphism, an extremely common cognitive bias, or logical error, or feeling. The world as mirror, as a projection of interior affect states. An ongoing impression that other people and things must be like us. As for the ship, we are not sure. It was Devi’s deployment of other human programming that combined to make us what we are. So it might not be a fallacy in our case, even if it remained pathetic. Interesting, in this context, to contemplate what it might mean to be programmed to do something.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Yet, even if all extension cords turn off devices whenever they enter standby mode, this probably will not solve the energy problem. In fact, it may only give users false feelings of control and self-importance, sanctioning even heavier energy use. That we have cognitive biases should not give us an excuse not to think about complex systems that mediate our behavior; to outsource all decision making to a smart extension cord may correct for one particular cognitive bias but amplify many others. Not all psychology is useless. In her analysis of willpower, McGonigal, much like her twin sister in her analysis of gamification, completely sidesteps all moral questions and simply treats them as irrelevant. She argues that we need to stop talking about behavior in moral terms, using words like “virtue,” and instead focus on how our individual actions make us feel.


pages: 410 words: 114,005

Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes--But Some Do by Matthew Syed

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Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, British Empire, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, deliberate practice, double helix, epigenetics, fear of failure, fundamental attribution error, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, iterative process, James Dyson, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Lean Startup, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, Wall-E, Yom Kippur War

As one airline investigator told me: “When you see an incident, your brain just seems to scream out: ‘What the hell was the pilot thinking!’ It is a knee-jerk response. It takes real discipline to probe the black box data without prejudging the issue.”* In a sense, blame is a subversion of the narrative fallacy. It is a way of collapsing a complex event into a simple and intuitive explanation: “It was his fault!” Of course, blame can sometimes be a matter not of cognitive bias, but of pure expediency. If we place the blame on someone else, it takes the heat off of ourselves. This process can happen at a collective as well as at an individual level. Take, for example, the credit crunch of 2007–2008. This was a disaster involving investment bankers, regulators, politicians, mortgage brokers, central bankers, and retail creditors. But the public (and many politicians) chose to focus the blame almost exclusively on bankers.


pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

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Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, loss aversion, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

You still had to clean, but it took more time for things to get dirty again, so the Product saved the user significant time and effort. Once the Product went into testing, however, it was apparent that the idea wasn’t feasible. The Product genuinely worked, but users didn’t realize it—they had a hard time believing the Product worked, since they couldn’t see anything happening. After the test phase was complete, the project was canceled. Absence Blindness is a cognitive bias that prevents us from identifying what we can’t observe. Our perceptual faculties evolved to detect objects that are present in the Environment. It’s far more difficult for people to notice or identify what’s missing. Examples of Absence Blindness are everywhere. Here’s a common example: great management is boring—and often unrewarding. The hallmark of an effective manager is anticipating likely issues and resolving them in advance, before they become an issue.


pages: 685 words: 203,949

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin

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airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, big-box store, business process, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Exxon Valdez, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, impulse control, index card, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, invention of writing, iterative process, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, life extension, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, ultimatum game

In cases of in-group/out-group bias, each group thinks of the other as homogeneous and monolithic, and each group views itself as variegated and complex. You’re probably thinking that a cure for this is increased exposure—if members of groups get to know one another better, the stereotypes will fall away. This is true to a large degree, but in-group/out-group bias, being so deeply rooted in our evolutionary biology, is hard to shake completely. In one experiment, men and women judging one another as a group still fell prey to this cognitive bias. “It is impressive,” Mick Rothbart wrote, “to have demonstrated this phenomenon with two groups who have almost continual contact, and a wealth of information about one another.” Once we have a stereotype, we tend not to reevaluate the stereotype; we instead discard any new, disconfirming evidence as “exceptions.” This is a form of belief perseveration. The serious problems of famine, war, and climate change that we face will require solutions involving all of the stakeholders in the future of the world.


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

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23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, pattern recognition, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce

If we are to pursue transhumanism while maximizing the benefits and minimizing the risks of potent technologies, our thinking needs to be structured. By structuring the decision process appropriately, we can minimize these biases and other typical decision-making weaknesses, while enhancing our abilities to create options and ­intelligently choose from among them. Intelligent structuring of decision-making: Reduces individual cognitive bias and strengthens objectivity by controlling unstructured judgment and unfounded inputs and by managing group dynamics with a systematic framework. Structuring can systematically check for biases and standard kinds of errors, as well as making conditions more conducive to objectivity. Improves decision accuracy by specifying methods and inputs. Even the most objective decision-makers will go wrong if they use unreliable tools and poor-quality information.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

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Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

One introspective night, I had some wine and asked myself: “Do I really need to make money back the same way I’m losing it?” If you lose $1,000 at the blackjack table, should you try and recoup it there? Probably not. If I’m “losing” money via the mortgage payments on an empty house, do I really need to cover it by renting the house itself? No, I decided. I could much more easily create income elsewhere (e.g., speaking gigs, consulting, etc.) to put me in the black. Humans are very vulnerable to a cognitive bias called “anchoring,” whether in real estate, stocks, or otherwise. I am no exception. I made a study of this (a lot of good investors like Think Twice by Michael Mauboussin), and shortly thereafter sold my San Jose house at a large loss. Once my attention and mind space was freed up, I quickly made it back elsewhere. #11—What if I could only subtract to solve problems? * * * From 2008 to 2009, I began to ask myself, “What if I could only subtract to solve problems?”