cognitive bias

91 results back to index


pages: 202 words: 58,823

Willful: How We Choose What We Do by Richard Robb

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, capital asset pricing model, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, effective altruism, endowment effect, Eratosthenes, experimental subject, family office, George Akerlof, index fund, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, lake wobegon effect, loss aversion, market bubble, market clearing, money market fund, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Peter Singer: altruism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, survivorship bias, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, ultimatum game

She can go in one of three directions to construct a time-consistent model from first principles: (1) assume individuals have only one shot to plan their lives (the moment the economist is observing them), a perfect ability to bind themselves to that plan, and a desire to compel their future selves to do things those future selves might not wish to do; (2) assume individuals can look only one period ahead and that there is a single natural time scale for planning; or (3) assume individuals care about only present and future consumption and not how they will feel in the future, and that they coincidentally discount satisfaction from future consumption according to the one formula that works mathematically. When their models fail to describe actual behavior, economists resort to blaming the cognitive bias known as “hyperbolic discounting.”6 This so-called bias leads to preferences that are “time-inconsistent,” meaning we can’t set a plan and then stick to it. But are “time-inconsistent” preferences really preferences at all? Preferences hinge on the ability to rank options, but we can’t rank options here. In fact, we can’t even choose, in any meaningful sense, a path, since we can’t commit our future selves to staying on it. Rather than a consequence of cognitive bias, “time-inconsistent preferences” is an oxymoron. The realization that people cannot exhibit true preferences over the timing of their consumption is no cause for a crisis in our understanding of the human condition.

Considering these factors, the experimental results made sense. Ultimately, my classmates and I likened the behavioral economists’ experiments to optical illusions: entertaining and sometimes instructive, but hardly central to everyday life. In the absence of any better ideas, I made an uneasy peace with economic theory. I accepted that behavior is purposeful and choice is mostly rational with a bit of cognitive bias tossed into the mix. After graduating in 1985, I took a job in the bond business in Chicago. As time passed, I remained convinced of the power of neoclassical economics and wary of the popular alternatives. Yet I also grew increasingly uncomfortable with the extent to which the traditional model failed to square with my own life. First, I found plenty of truth in the saying that the journey is more important than the destination, even though the journey has little place in a worldview predicated on purposeful choice.

Purposeful Choice While much of this book will focus on the bottom fork of the diagram, for-itself action, we’ll start with a quick tour of the top fork: purposeful choice. But first, let’s clarify some terms. I’ll use “purposeful” as an umbrella term when contrasted to “for-itself” or when I want to allow for the possibility of behavioral bias. I’ll use “rational choice” to refer to economists’ traditional neoclassical models or to emphasize that I’m considering choice that is free of behavioral bias. “Cognitive bias” and “behavioral bias” will be treated as synonyms. “Preferences” will refer to desires in the purposeful realm—we know whether we would prefer to satisfy one desire over another and can rank them. The terms “wants,” “needs,” and “desires” will emphasize purposefulness. But, at some high level of abstraction, for-itself conduct also concerns desire and its synonyms: someone who doesn’t desire an action wouldn’t undertake it.


pages: 230 words: 76,655

Choose Yourself! by James Altucher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, cashless society, cognitive bias, dark matter, Elon Musk, estate planning, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, superconnector, Uber for X, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Zipcar

Sometimes the cost is so large that your entire life changes forever because of it. When something has a large cost, as all the decisions in personal finance often do, a cognitive bias called “investment bias” kicks in. A cognitive bias occurs when our brains—in their well-intentioned attempts to protect us from the wild—keep us on the narrow path that has been deemed safe for various reasons. Some of those reasons are genetic. Some of them are due to the habits you’ve developed during your life. Some of them come from the company you keep (your “tribe”), and some of them come from people whom you admire. When an event that challenges your cognitive bias occurs, a neurochemical called cortisol shoots all over your brain. This is the same chemical that would get you to run as fast as you could a million years ago if you saw a lion.

You don’t want to be a slave to your bills and debts. But you don’t want to be a slave to massive downside either. Everything in life is about having as many options as possible so you can maximize your freedom. “Options” are not the same as “money.” Don’t let cognitive biases limit your options when you make decisions. If you spend $400,000 and twelve years of your life learning how to become a brain surgeon, you now have this huge cognitive bias that you must be a brain surgeon. This is not true. Maybe after all that, you decide you don’t want to be a surgeon anymore. Make sure you can always list your options. Don’t allow yourself to become trapped. * * * Think, “It’s Not Me, But What I Can Do for You” When you negotiate, you always are bringing something to the table. But the negotiation is not about what you own. It’s about the value you can deliver to the other person.

Claudia had an even smarter approach: she wouldn’t waste time with dinners. She would only go to tea with guys. Within the first twenty seconds you know if you are attracted. So keep it to a tea. Say no. If something is not working out in day trading—even if your heart wants it to work out—you have to say no and cut your losses. If a business relationship is not working out, don’t put more energy and time into it. There is a cognitive bias called “commitment bias” that leads us to think that just because we’ve already put time and energy (or money) into something that we have to stick with it. But we don’t. Say no to it. You have to decide every moment if this is the situation you want to be in. Just because you were in the situation a moment ago, or yesterday, or for ten years, doesn’t mean the situation is right for you anymore.


Systematic Trading: A Unique New Method for Designing Trading and Investing Systems by Robert Carver

asset allocation, automated trading system, backtesting, barriers to entry, Black Swan, buy and hold, cognitive bias, commodity trading advisor, Credit Default Swap, diversification, diversified portfolio, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edward Thorp, Elliott wave, fixed income, implied volatility, index fund, interest rate swap, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, merger arbitrage, Nick Leeson, paper trading, performance metric, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Sharpe ratio, short selling, survivorship bias, systematic trading, technology bubble, transaction costs, Y Combinator, yield curve

It can also be expressed as a percentage volatility target, as a percentage of trading capital. The cash targets are equal to trading capital multiplied by the percentage volatility target. See page 137. 271 APPENDICES Appendix A. Resources Further reading The flawed human brain Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, 2011, Penguin Excellent book on cognitive bias. A must read. Beyond Greed and Fear, Hersh Shefrin, 2007, OUP USA Relatively short book on cognitive bias in finance specifically. Worth reading if you don’t have time for Thinking, Fast and Slow. The Education of a Speculator, Victor Niederhoffer, 1998, Wiley Fascinating and esoteric book by a famous partly systematic, negative skew, hedge fund manager. Part autobiography, part book on the philosophy of trading. Optional reading. Systematic trading rules More Money than God, Sebastian Mallaby, 2011, Penguin A history of hedge funds, but also a very readable guide to different strategies.

You might not even close at a 10 cent loss, kicking yourself for not selling earlier, and continue to hang on for the rebound that never comes, until the pain is unbearable and 16 Chapter One. The Flawed Human Brain you close out. A small profit would also prove irresistible, with its own litany of excuses why you should deviate from the rule, just this once. I call this process of interference by our internal monologue meddling. Meddling is due to the biggest cognitive bias of all: overconfidence. We think we are cleverer than the trading system and we are. We think we know more than the trading system and we do; the system focuses on a narrow set of quantifiable inputs, whilst we can analyse many kinds of complex information. We think being clever and knowing more implies we will make better decisions – but we usually don’t, thanks to cognitive biases. To stop meddling with our trading systems we require what economists call a commitment mechanism.

The result can be just as bad or worse than the portfolios of mere amateurs. In practice many experts fiddle with the raw output of optimisations until they end up reflecting their own expectations of what the result should have been! I will discuss this further in chapter four, ‘Portfolio Allocation’. Overtrading People are highly overconfident about their own abilities relative to others. This is another cognitive bias: illusory superiority. For example nearly all drivers consider themselves above average, a theoretical impossibility and also highly unlikely given the number of deaths annually from road accidents. Both amateur investors and professional managers have a tendency to trade too frequently.19 There are extra costs involved in trading more often. Overtrading suggests overconfidence in your own relative ability to overcome the higher hurdle of bigger costs.


pages: 267 words: 78,857

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders

A. Roger Ekirch, Atul Gawande, big-box store, Boris Johnson, 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, post-work, 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: 338 words: 100,477

Split-Second Persuasion: The Ancient Art and New Science of Changing Minds by Kevin Dutton

availability heuristic, Bernie Madoff, call centre, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, different worldview, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, equity premium, fundamental attribution error, haute couture, job satisfaction, loss aversion, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile

In Leonard Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 17 229–266: (Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 1984). 9 But a recent experiment … Harris, Sam, Sheth, Sameer A. and Cohen, Mark S., ‘Functional Neuroimaging of Belief, Disbelief, and Uncertainty.’ Annals of Neurology, 63(2) (2008): 141–147. For a comprehensive review of the cognitive bias modification literature see MacLeod, Colin., Koster, Ernst H. W. and Fox, Elaine, ‘Whither Cognitive Bias Modification Research? Commentary on the Special Section Articles.’ Journal of Abnormal Psychology 118 (2009): 89–99. 10 MacLeod has demonstrated this … MacLeod, Colin, Mathews, A. and Tata Philip, ‘Attentional Bias in Emotional Disorders.’ Journal of Abnormal Psychology 95 (1986): 15–20. 11 Recently, MacLeod has been thinking … MacLeod, Colin, Rutherford, Elizabeth, M., Campbell, Lyn, Ebsworthy, Greg and Holker, Lin, ‘Selective Attention and Emotional Vulnerability: Assessing the Causal Basis of Their Association Through the Experimental Manipulation of Attentional Bias.’

What CBT3 – my own brand of therapy – does is it enacts a paradigm shift in people’s heads. It doesn’t come up with the solution to the problem but rather a different way of thinking about it. It isn’t so much about providing a key. But what it does do is persuade the client to think about changing the lock.’ Be Happy, Don’t Worry Over the past few years, MacLeod has been at the forefront of a brand new form of therapy called Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) which, if it works (and the early signs are good), could completely redefine the limits of persuasion. As a post-doc back in the early-eighties, MacLeod was among the first wave of researchers to bring the methods of cognitive psychology to the clinical table – specifically, to the area of anxiety disorder. What were anxious people thinking? MacLeod wanted to know. And how did it differ from what the rest of us were thinking?

When, at the end of the procedure, reaction times are averaged and the performance of the anxious and non-anxious groups is compared, a telltale difference materialises. Anxious individuals, it emerges, are faster at locating the probe when it appears in a position formerly occupied by a threatening word than they are when it appears in a neutral position – a disparity not found among the non-anxious. Anxious individuals, in other words, have a cognitive bias towards threat. 11Recently, MacLeod has been thinking in a different way about the dot probe paradigm. At the outset, as we’ve just seen, the procedure was instrumental in uncovering precisely what it was that was driving anxiety – at least, that is, on a cognitive level. But might it also have the power to reduce it? To ‘concentrate’ the threat bias away? MacLeod believes that it does. Not only that, he’s also got the evidence to prove it.


pages: 267 words: 72,552

Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

With a single tap, your transaction is complete. It sounds seamless and simple—because it should be. It’s far faster and less painful than having to do the search yourself, but it also takes into account more variations and evaluates more offers than you would do. Neither does the system tire easily (as we humans do when searching for something offline or online), nor is it distracted in its decision advice by price, derailed by cognitive bias, or lured by clever marketing. Of course, we’ll still use money as a store of value, and price will still be valuable information; but no longer being focused on price broadens our perspective, yields better matches, a more efficient transaction, and, we believe, less trickery in the market. Such decision-assistance systems based on data and machine learning will help us identify optimal matches in these data-rich markets, but we humans will retain the ultimate decision-making power and will decide how much or how little we delegate as we transact.

They hire and promote graduates of business schools and management training programs that promise to teach students how to translate information into decisions and be less prone to cognitive biases. There are studies that show that unambiguous feedback about a decision—something as unmistakable as a pilot learning that if the wing flaps are not extended, a jetliner will not get enough lift to take off or a doctor seeing that administering a particular drug causes a patient’s blood pressure to fall—can decrease cognitive bias. But few management decisions result in this kind of unequivocal feedback. An alternative view of how to improve human decision-making has gained traction in the past decade. It asserts that humans aren’t such bad information processors, as long as they follow their intuition and adhere to a few fairly simple heuristics, or shortcuts developed through trial and error. Proponents of heuristics, including Gerd Gigerenzer, director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, do not dispute the extensive evidence for the existence of decision biases.

See mobile phones central banks, 134–135, 149 centralization, 13, 90, 95, 100 cognitive limitations and, 103 of communicative coordination, 28–30 matching and, 74 Champagne fairs, 160 Charles Schwab, 146 Charlotte, Queen, 94 checklists, 100–101 Chichén Itzá, 21 Chile, 175–179 Chilean Production Development Corporation, 175 China, 147, 196 communicative coordination in, 30–32 fintechs in, 151, 152 firms in, 28 labor market of, 184 choice, 6, 207–223 in banking and financial sector, 215–216 in education sector, 214 in energy markets, 213 in health care sector, 213–214 historical constraints on, 13–14 human error and, 14–15 questions about, 219–220 relinquishing some, 85 in retail sector, 207–212 about time management, 221–222 Chongqing Province (China), 31–32, 33 Cisco, 7 Claudico (machine learning system), 60 Coconut, 147 cognitive bias and constraints, 5, 62 automation and, 79, 80, 81 firms and, 102–104 markets and, 169–170 persistence of, 14–15 Colson, Eric, 209 command-and-control management, 29–30, 88, 120 Commerzbank, 136 communicative coordination, 10, 17–33 castell example, 17–20 effectiveness as measure of, 24–25 firms and, 26, 28–33, 90, 102 importance of, 20–23 markets and, 26–28, 30–33 price hampering of, 63 societal institutions and, 23–24 competition, 165–167, 202–203 comprehensive cost accounting, 94–95 concentrated markets, 161–169, 171, 217 Condorcet, Marquis de, 50 confirmation bias, 103 Confused.com, 52 conglomerates, 30 Consumer Reports, 51 Contix, 155 coordination.


pages: 284 words: 79,265

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

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bioinformatics, British Empire, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, 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, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, p-value, Paul Erdős, Pluto: dwarf planet, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, scientific worldview, 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: 467 words: 116,902

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

affirmative action, cognitive bias, Columbine, Corrections Corporation of America, deindustrialization, desegregation, different worldview, ending welfare as we know it, friendly fire, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, land reform, large denomination, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, 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, zero-sum game

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: 424 words: 114,905

Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again by Eric Topol

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, blockchain, cloud computing, cognitive bias, Colonization of Mars, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, David Brooks, digital twin, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, George Santayana, Google Glasses, ImageNet competition, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nudge unit, pattern recognition, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Rubik’s Cube, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, text mining, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population

Prescription drugs are on a runaway course, accounting for well over $320 billion in 2015 and projected to reach over $600 billion by 2021.25 New specialty drugs for cancer and rare diseases are routinely launched with price tags starting at $100,000 per treatment or year and ranging up to nearly $1 million per year. TABLE 2.1: Healthcare spending in the United States in 2015. Part of this growth is fueled by a shared belief among both patients and physicians that medications, and in particular very expensive ones, will have remarkable efficacy. When doctors prescribe any medication, they have a cognitive bias that it will work. Patients, too, believe the medicine will work. From an enormous body of randomized clinical trials, patients assigned to the placebo arm consistently have more treatment effect than expected, given that they are taking an inert substance. A few years ago, Nicholas Schork, a former faculty member at Scripps Research with me, put together the responsiveness—the intended clinical response—of the top ten drugs by gross sales.26 As seen in Figure 2.3, the proportion of people who don’t respond to these drugs is well beyond the common perception.

That’s when you need to stop and check your thinking.”11 When a patient was misdiagnosed to be hyperthyroid for her irregular heartbeat but instead was found to have fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, Redelmeier called this error an example of the representativeness heuristic, which is a shortcut in decision making based on past experiences (first described by Tversky and Kahneman). Patterns of thinking such as the representativeness heuristic are an example of the widespread problem of cognitive bias among physicians. Humans in general are beset by many biases—Wikipedia lists 185, for example—but I want to highlight only a few of those that impair diagnostic accuracy.12 It’s important to emphasize that these embedded cognitive biases in medicine are simply human nature, not at all specific to making a diagnosis or being sure about recommending a treatment. But what is different here is that medical decision making can have profound, even life-and-death, consequences.

When my colleagues and I published a series of papers in the 1990s about this issue, known as periprocedural myocardial infarction, the reaction of most cardiologists was that we were wrong, that the problem was completely overblown. But each cardiologist was performing fewer than a hundred to a few hundred procedures per year, and they were not routinely checking blood tests to see whether there was any evidence of heart damage. And all the doctors were influenced by a bias to believe that they were highly skilled and so wouldn’t be inducing heart attacks in their patients. Here the cognitive bias of doctors was influenced by their own relatively limited clinical experience and their failure to systematically look for evidence. Rule-based thinking can also lead to bias. Cardiologists diagnosing heart disease in patients evaluated in the emergency department demonstrate such bias, as shown in Figure 3.1, when they assume that a patient must be over age forty before they really suspect heart attack.


pages: 310 words: 82,592

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

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.


When Computers Can Think: The Artificial Intelligence Singularity by Anthony Berglas, William Black, Samantha Thalind, Max Scratchmann, Michelle Estes

3D printing, AI winter, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, blue-collar work, brain emulation, call centre, cognitive bias, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, create, read, update, delete, cuban missile crisis, David Attenborough, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, factory automation, feminist movement, finite state, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gödel, Escher, Bach, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, job automation, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, natural language processing, Parkinson's law, patent troll, patient HM, pattern recognition, phenotype, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine, Turing test, uranium enrichment, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons, zero day

Immortality 4. Components vs genes 5. Changing mind 6. Individuality 7. Populations vs. individuals 8. AGI behaviour, children 9. Cooperation 10. Altruism 11. Moral values 12. Instrumental AGI goals 13. Non-orthogonality thesis 14. Recursive annihilation 6. Future Scenarios 1. Our humble servant 2. Our benevolent master 3. Dogs 4. Merging man and machine 5. It ain't necessarily so 6. Replacing people 7. Cognitive bias 8. Newsworthiness 9. Elephant in the room 10. How computers could be dangerous 11. Long term earth, plantoids 12. Space colonization 13. Fermi paradox 14. Computer thoughts 15. Non-silicon intelligence 16. Premature destruction 7. Proposed Solutions 1. Just turn it off 2. Lock it up 3. Freeze it 4. Show AGIs the light 5. Virtuous machines 6. Ethics 7. Infanticide 8. Three laws of robotics 9.

Super computers grinding away twenty four hours per day working on the problem of making themselves smarter, and thereby becoming better at making themselves smarter. The computers would use that great intelligence to fulfil whatever ultimate goals they happen to have. For better or for worse. The book considers the dangers of anthropomorphisizing an AGI, and notes that superintelligence really is a different type of threat. It then considers the cognitive bias of technology journalists who generally love technology and so tend to overlook the dangers, leading ultimately to the rapture of the geeks, whereby some writers get excited about the prospect of uploading their minds into a computer and so becoming immortal. Barrat is concerned that the future may not be so rosy, and certainly not if it is not managed carefully. Barrat himself is a writer and producer of documentaries rather than a software engineer.

This suggests that an AGI might decide to remove humanity in much the same way we remove vermin. We do not hate mice and rats, we just do not want to share our food with them, nor do we want them to share their diseases with us. Maybe a few people would be left in isolated parts of the world. But the intelligence would optimizes itself, why waste even 1% of the world’s resources on man. Evolution has left no place on earth for any other hominids — they are all extinct. Cognitive bias Most technology writers and futurists take a very optimistic view of what future technologies will bring. They love gadgets and technology, which is why they write about them. It is much more enjoyable to read articles about a bright, new future than it is to read dismal projections of doom and gloom. With rare exception, this optimism has been justified. Improvements in technology to date have been a force for good, making our lives better and richer.


pages: 1,737 words: 491,616

Rationality: From AI to Zombies by Eliezer Yudkowsky

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, anti-pattern, anti-work, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, cellular automata, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, different worldview, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, effective altruism, experimental subject, Extropian, friendly AI, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Nash equilibrium, Necker cube, NP-complete, P = NP, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, planetary scale, prediction markets, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific mainstream, scientific worldview, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Solar eclipse in 1919, speech recognition, statistical model, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Turing complete, Turing machine, ultimatum game, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

When your method of learning about the world is biased, learning more may not help. Acquiring more data can even consistently worsen a biased prediction. If you’re used to holding knowledge and inquiry in high esteem, this is a scary prospect. If we want to be sure that learning more will help us, rather than making us worse off than we were before, we need to discover and correct for biases in our data. The idea of cognitive bias in psychology works in an analogous way. A cognitive bias is a systematic error in how we think, as opposed to a random error or one that’s merely caused by our ignorance. Whereas statistical bias skews a sample so that it less closely resembles a larger population, cognitive biases skew our beliefs so that they less accurately represent the facts, and they skew our decision-making so that it less reliably achieves our goals.

You may then overestimate how many red balls the urn contains because you wish the balls were mostly red. Here, your sample isn’t what’s biased. You’re what’s biased. Now that we’re talking about biased people, however, we have to be careful. Usually, when we call individuals or groups “biased,” we do it to chastise them for being unfair or partial. Cognitive bias is a different beast altogether. Cognitive biases are a basic part of how humans in general think, not the sort of defect we could blame on a terrible upbringing or a rotten personality.1 A cognitive bias is a systematic way that your innate patterns of thought fall short of truth (or some other attainable goal, such as happiness). Like statistical biases, cognitive biases can distort our view of reality, they can’t always be fixed by just gathering more data, and their effects can add up over time.

Like statistical biases, cognitive biases can distort our view of reality, they can’t always be fixed by just gathering more data, and their effects can add up over time. But when the miscalibrated measuring instrument you’re trying to fix is you, debiasing is a unique challenge. Still, this is an obvious place to start. For if you can’t trust your brain, how can you trust anything else? It would be useful to have a name for this project of overcoming cognitive bias, and of overcoming all species of error where our minds can come to undermine themselves. We could call this project whatever we’d like. For the moment, though, I suppose “rationality” is as good a name as any. Rational Feelings In a Hollywood movie, being “rational” usually means that you’re a stern, hyperintellectual stoic. Think Spock from Star Trek, who “rationally” suppresses his emotions, “rationally” refuses to rely on intuitions or impulses, and is easily dumbfounded and outmaneuvered upon encountering an erratic or “irrational” opponent.2 There’s a completely different notion of “rationality” studied by mathematicians, psychologists, and social scientists.


pages: 417 words: 103,458

The Intelligence Trap: Revolutionise Your Thinking and Make Wiser Decisions by David Robson

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, cognitive bias, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, deliberate practice, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fundamental attribution error, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, lone genius, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, pattern recognition, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

Although this may have just been a coincidence, there is some good evidence that a deep engagement with other cultures can promote open-minded thinking, perhaps because it demands that you temporarily put aside your preconceptions and adopt new ways of thinking.49 The most exciting result, however, was the fact that these skills improved with training. With regular feedback, many people saw their accuracy slowly climbing over the course of the tournament. The participants also responded to specific lessons. An hour-long online course to recognise cognitive bias, for instance, improved the forecasters’ estimates by around 10 per cent over the following year. Often, the simplest way to avoid bias was to start out with a ‘base rate’: examining the average length of time it takes for any dictator to fall from power, for instance – before you then begin to readjust the estimate. Another simple strategy was to examine the worst- and best-case scenarios for each situation, offering some boundaries for your estimates.

., Szyszka, A. and Czerwonka, M. (2015), ‘Investors’ Expertise, Personality Traits and Susceptibility to Behavioral Biases in the Decision Making Process’, Contemporary Economics, 9, 337–52. 46 Jennifer Mnookin of UCLA, in Fingerprints on Trial, BBC World Service, 29 March 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00fvhl3. 47 Dror, I.E., Thompson, W.C., Meissner, C.A., Kornfield, I., Krane, D., Saks, M. and Risinger, M. (2015), ‘Letter to the Editor ? Context Management Toolbox: A Linear Sequential Unmasking (LSU) Approach for Minimizing Cognitive Bias in Forensic Decision Making’, Journal of Forensic Sciences, 60(4), 1111?12. Chapter 4 1 Brown, B. (2012), ‘Hot, Hot, Hot: The Summer of 1787’, National Constitution Center blog, https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/hot-hot-hot-the-summer-of-1787. 2 For much of the background detail on the US Constitution I am indebted to Isaacson, W. (2003), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, New York: Simon & Schuster. 3 Franklin, B. (19 April 1787), Letter to Thomas Jefferson, Philadelphia.

., Ronay, R. and Galinsky, A.D. (2014), ‘The Too-much-talent Effect’. 21 Herbert, I. (27 June 2016), ‘England vs Iceland: Too Wealthy, Too Famous, Too Much Ego ? Joe Hart Epitomises Everything That’s Wrong’, Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/england-vs-iceland-reaction-too-rich-too-famous-too-much-ego-joe-hart-epitomises-everything-that-is-a7106591.html. 22 Roberto, M.A. (2002), ‘Lessons From Everest: The Interaction of Cognitive Bias, Psychological Safety, and System Complexity’, California Management Review, 45(1), 136?58. 23 https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/everest/stories/leadership.html. 24 Schwartz, S. (2008), ‘The 7 Schwartz Cultural Value Orientation Scores for 80 Countries’, doi: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3313.3040. 25 Anicich, E.M., Swaab, R.I., & Galinsky, A. D. (2015). Hierarchical cultural values predict success and mortality in high-stakes teams.


pages: 198 words: 53,264

Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments by Michael Batnick

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, buy low sell high, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, financial innovation, fixed income, hindsight bias, index fund, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, stocks for the long run, transcontinental railway, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Y Combinator

In the past 100 years, we've experienced just a handful of truly awful markets; the Great Depression, the post‐go‐go years meltdown, the 1973–1974 bear, the dot‐com bubble bursting, and most recently, the great financial crisis. Selling every time stocks fall a little is no way to invest because you'd live in a constant state of regret, and regret is one of the most destructive emotions in the cognitive‐bias tool kit. Investors don't just exist in the present state, they carry past experiences with them. This is dangerous because it leads us to constantly draw parallels where none exist. Looking at each decision independent of previous ones would be beneficial because investors are overly reliant on past experiences when thinking about future scenarios. To test this hypothesis, a team of researchers studied brain‐damaged individuals with normal IQs.

So, for example, if the S&P 500 falls 1% in day, there are bull and bear ETFs that will fall or gain 3% alongside it. It's a legal gambling on steroids. My process was as follows: I would pick one of these products, my weapon of choice was FAZ (bearish banks), buy it, watch the price, and hope it went up. I thought that by trading a lot, I could control my destiny. I would later find out that this cognitive bias is so common that there's a name for it; it's called “the illusion of control.” By buying and selling within minutes or hours of each other, I wouldn't be held hostage to the market. It's hard to put into words the level of dumb this line of thinking is. Overtrading is probably the most common mistake that novice investors make, and I was no exception. A few months later I caught a break—employment.


Logically Fallacious: The Ultimate Collection of Over 300 Logical Fallacies (Academic Edition) by Bo Bennett

Black Swan, butterfly effect, clean water, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, Richard Feynman, side project, statistical model, the scientific method

Exception: When the claim being made is about the popularity or some related attribute that is a direct result of its popularity. People seem to love the movie, The Shawshank Redemption. In fact, it is currently ranked #1 at IMDB.com, based on viewer ratings. Tip: Avoid this fallacy like you avoid a kiss from your great aunt with the big cold sore on her lip. Variation: The bandwagon effect is a related cognitive bias that demonstrates people tend to believe and do things because many other people do as well. This is also referred to as “herd behavior” and “groupthink”. Appeal to Possibility (also known as: appeal to probability) Description: When a conclusion is assumed not because it is probably true, but because it is possible that it is true, no matter how improbable. Logical Form: X is possible.

Explanation: Refusing to “debate”, or consider other information is a refusal to reason. Exception: Refusing to reason with a non-reasonable person would be an exception, but it is also a contradiction. Wishful Thinking (also known as: appeal to consequences [form of]) Description: When the desire for something to be true is used in place of/or as evidence for the truthfulness of the claim. Wishful thinking, more as a cognitive bias than a logical fallacy, can also cause one to evaluate evidence very differently based on the desired outcome. Logical Form: I wish X were true. Therefore, it is true. Example #1: I know in my heart of hearts that our home team will win the World Series. Explanation: No, you don’t know that. And what the heck is, “heart of hearts” anyway? This is classic wishful thinking – wanting the home team to win so pretending that it is/has to be true.


pages: 412 words: 115,266

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

Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bayesian statistics, cognitive bias, end world poverty, endowment effect, energy security, experimental subject, framing effect, hindsight bias, impulse control, John Nash: game theory, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, scientific worldview, 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: 458 words: 112,885

The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English by Lynne Murphy

airport security, British Empire, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, illegal immigration, invention of the printing press, joint-stock company, moral panic, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steven Pinker, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, young professional

Our beliefs about language (and about people) are steeped in cognitive biases—error-ridden ways of thinking that rely on bad assumptions and poor reasoning. Cognitive biases are the reason linguists like me work hard to find concrete evidence about the whats, whos, hows, whens, wheres, and whys of language. We know it’s unwise to rely on our intuition or memory about how English is (or has been) because those memories are filtered through many layers of selective attention. A basic cognitive bias that interferes with our observational powers is the novelty bias: we tend to notice things that are unusual or new; familiar things go unnoticed. If someone says something in an “unusual” way, it makes an impression. I have to imagine this is why British commentator Simon Heffer proclaims, in two books, that Americans prefer the word repetitious over repetitive—even though repetitive is around nine times more common in American text.13 Linguistic oddities stand out and linguistic similarities don’t stick with us, and so people deceive themselves into conclusions like “I’ve only ever heard homicide in an American accent” or “Americans don’t say repetitive.”

People who think Americans “mangle” the language are more likely to notice it when Americans use real in place of the adverb really, as in real good—and to not notice that Brits also use adjective forms in adverb places, as in dead good and proper drunk. And Americans who think the British are adorably quaint will notice the cheerios and toodle-pips, while the much more frequent goodbyes fade into the background. A related cognitive bias means that we tend to stereotype members of groups we don’t belong to, but we see the individuality of people in our own group. This is called the out-group homogeneity effect.14 Just as you are much more likely to hear an exasperated woman say, “Men! They’re all the same!” than to hear an exasperated man say, “Men! We’re all the same!” it’s hard for Americans to think of themselves as “all the same,” but easier for them to make generalizations like “The British are so polite.”

à la mode 155 abbreviations 172–3 Académie Française 157–8 accent 10, 11, 20–1, 22–3, 65–6, 111–12 and attitudes 263–7 and Boston 95 and changes 279–82 and language learning 294–5 and pop music 285–6 and race 235–6 and society 34 and standardization 231–5 and twang 193–4 Adams, John 84–5 Addison, Joseph 136 adjectives 106–9 Advisory Committee on Spoken English 232–3, 236 Afrikaans 88–9 Aitkenhead, Decca 205 Algonquian language 79–80 Allen, Lily 285 alumin(i)um 176–7 American Committee for Spelling Reform 137–8 American Dictionary of the English Language (Webster) 84, 136, 240, 245 American English Grammar (Fries) 250–1 American Heritage Dictionary, The 256 American Verbal Inferiority Complex (AVIC) 19–22, 42, 163–4, 266 Americanisms 3–4, 16–18, 28–30, 31–3, 61–2, 126 and business 55–61 and length 174–7 Amerilexicophobia 11–13, 267–8 Amerilexicosis 13–18 Amis, Kingsley 123, 188 Anderson, Poul 132 Anglo-Saxonism 63, 130–3 anti-Americanism 6–9, 10, 12–13 Arabic language 295–6 Arctic Monkeys 285 aristocracy 42, 137 articulacy 237–8, 246–7 Ash, John 145–6 Asians 204 ate 113–14 Austin Powers in Goldmember (film) 41 Australia 18, 29, 80, 81, 83 and accent 265 and verbed nouns 182 autumn 103, 104–5 awesome 15 Ayoade, Richard 217 bacon 194–6, 198–9 Barnes, William 131 Barry, Dave 40–1 BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) 13–14, 17–18, 233 Beck, Romeyn 98 belittle 9 Benjamin, Baroness Floella 2 biases 36–7 Bible, the 121, 130, 240, 245 Bierce, Ambrose 107, 118, 161 birds 99–100 Black History Month 203–4 blasphemy 54–5 Blount, Roy, Jr. 122 “Blue-Back Speller” (Webster) 84, 136, 240 books 253–4 borrowed words 223–6 Bradbury, Malcolm 234–5 “Braddock Report, The” 248 Bragg, Billy 285 Brandreth, Gyles 113 bread 199–201 Britain, see Great Britain British Council 290, 291, 292 British Empire 63–4, 91–2, 289–90 British National Corpus (BNC) 15 Britishisms 20–1, 28–31, 40–5, 61–2, 276–9 and business 60–1 Broadcast English 231–2 broth 198 Buffon, Count de 9 bumbershoot 39–40, 45 Burchfield, Robert 123, 188 burgers 200–1 Burgess, Anthony 189 burgl(ariz)e 176 Bush, George W. 33 business jargon 1–2, 3, 55–61, 183–4 Butterfield, Jeremy 277 calque 101–2 Calvert, James 177 Cameron, David 6, 191–2 Cameron, Deborah 259 Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) 123–4 can I get 187–8 Canada 81, 83 Carnegie, Andrew 137 Case, Jack 257 Chamberlain, Neville 40 Chancellor, Alexander 8 Charles, HRH Prince 1, 180, 252, 269, 290 chat up 224 Chaucer, Geoffrey 99 cheerio 15–16 Cheke, Sir John 130 Chicago Manual of Style, The 259 children 2, 13–14, 171, 287 and grammar 252 and politeness 209, 213 China 290 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (film) 39–40 Churchill, Winston 63, 64, 215 Clarity International 2 class 5, 8, 20, 42, 201–2 and accent 233, 235 and middle 204–6 and pronunciation 113–14, 115, 153–4 see also aristocracy Cleese, John 37–8 clever 108 clichés 60 Clinton, Hillary 33 clipping 172–3 closed classes 90–1 Cockney rhyming slang 43–4 cognitive bias 36 colonial lag 97–8 colonialism 79–81, 92, 289–90 colo(u)r 5, 143 comedy 28–9, 45 comma 100, 102 complaints 23 Comprehensive Pronouncing and Explanatory English Dictionary, A (Worcester) 245 computers 3, 281 confirmation bias 37 Conservative Party 251–2 contractions 173 contrastive focus reduplication 26–7 controversy 46 conversion 183 cookie 224–6 Corbett, Philip 122 Corden, James 44, 262 cowboy 58 Crashaw, William 96–7, 98 Creoles 87–8 crime 35–6 Cruse, Alan 224 culture 21–2, 78, 262 Cumberbatch, Benedict 233 Davy, Sir Humphrey 177 Declaration of Independence 239 definite articles 177–9 Defoe, Daniel 18 Dewey, Melvil 137 dialect 24, 79, 110, 111–12, 284–5 Dickens, Charles 8, 81, 131 dictionaries 29, 31, 61–2, 73–4, 94 and EFL 290, 292 and the law 241–2 and meanings 195 and usage 242–6 see also Johnson, Samuel; Oxford English Dictionary; Webster, Noah Dictionary of Modern English Usage (Fowler) 9, 123, 151, 177, 188, 259 Dictionary of the English Language (Johnson) 136, 244 Dictionary Wars 94, 245, 255–6 digraphs 133, 135, 139, 140–1 dot 101 Dryden, John 136 Dutch language 42–3, 80, 88–9 Early Modern English 81 eaterie 31–2 Eats, Shoots and Leaves (Truss) 21 education 94–5, 227–8, 230–1, 246–53 efficiency 5 EFL (English as a Foreign Language) 291 Elements of Style, The (Strunk) 257 Elizabethans 97, 105, 109–10 embarrassment 28–9 emojis 193 emphasis 26–7 Engel, Matthew 118, 174 England 25–6, 27 English language 63–5, 79, 91–2, 125–6 and British Empire 289–90 and education 227–8 and flexibility 189–90 and foreignisms 128–9 and French 127–8, 129–30 and globalization 291–5, 296–7 and logic 159–63 and pidgin 87–8 and re-anglification 130–3 and spelling 133–4 and standardization 230, 231–6 and style guides 254–8, 259–60 and transplantation 97–8 and variations 81–2, 268–9 English testing 291, 292, 293 entrée 155–6 errors 47–9 Escoffier, Auguste 155–6 ESL (English as a Second Language) 291 Estuary English 234–5 ethnicity 64, 203–4 euphemisms 43, 50–5 Europe 7, 8 excuse me 212 face 207–8 Facebook 3 fall 103, 104–5 Fellowes, Julian 233 Ferguson, Craig 262 fetus/foetus 141–2 film 264, 265, 281–2 finicky 112 food 5, 10, 154–6 and bacon 194–6 and burgers 200–1 and cookies 224–6 and ordering 187–8, 221 and sandwiches 199–200 and singular/plurals 169, 170–1 and soup 196–9 and vocabulary 275–6 Fowler, Henry 259 Fowler brothers 98–9, 132 Franklin, Benjamin 85–6, 91, 136, 181–2 Frasier (TV show) 40 Freedland, Jonathan 61 freedom of speech 238 French language 47, 51, 80, 84–5, 101–2, 113 and English 127–8, 129–30, 156–8 and food 154–6 and pronunciation 115, 152, 153–4 and spelling 134–5, 142–5, 146–7, 149 Freshman Composition 247–8, 257 Friends (TV show) 187, 264–5 Fries, Charles 250–1 frown 192–3 full stop 101–2 Gaelic language 179 garage 33, 47 geography 79–80, 82, 110–11, 287 George III, King 6 German language 121, 122, 131, 139–40, 218–19 get 187–9 Gill, A.


pages: 254 words: 72,929

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

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, business cycle, 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, selection bias, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, 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: 258 words: 79,503

The Genius Within: Unlocking Your Brain's Potential by David Adam

Albert Einstein, business intelligence, cognitive bias, Flynn Effect, job automation, John Conway, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Skype, Stephen Hawking, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray

An unusually light brain of a great man was excused, and said to be down to the degradation of ageing, or because bits must have been left behind when a clumsy technician scooped it from his great head. The too-heavy brain of a lesser individual was blamed on disease or the chemicals used to preserve it. The data were massaged to fit the pattern and the world order the scientists believed in. This form of cognitive bias is a common trap for scientists, and the early anthropologists were far from the first, or last, to fall into it as they pursued the mystery of intelligence. Spitzka Junior’s own studies of executed criminals helped convince him an unusually heavy brain in the less gifted could be explained by disease or abnormality. It was unfair, he said, to include the weights of these brains in any true scientific analysis.

Yet, as rational thought is measured in part by the actions it directs, rationality seems to be covered by the catch-all broad definition of intelligence being something you use to get what you want. To act according to beliefs to achieve goals, however irrational those beliefs might be, demands intelligence. If Stanovich is wrong and intelligence and rationality do overlap, this is good news for our efforts to enhance intelligence. For rationality can be increased. Rational thought can be encouraged by making people aware of the types of cognitive bias that constantly seek to undermine it. No clever neuroscience necessary. Just thinking about circumstances in a different way, reframing the question, can usually help. Example: a guaranteed way to double your chance of winning on the national lottery exists. Want to know what it is? Buy a second ticket with different numbers. Congratulations, your chances have soared from one in fourteen million to one in seven million.


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

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, 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, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

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: 294 words: 81,292

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

AI winter, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Automated Insights, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, drone strike, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, 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, Thomas Bayes, 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: 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

banking crisis, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, delayed gratification, game design, impulse control, lifelogging, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, Richard Thaler, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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: 343 words: 101,563

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, endowment effect, energy transition, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, failed state, fiat currency, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Whole Earth Catalog, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

Among the most destructive effects that appear later in the behavioral economics library are these: the bystander effect, or our tendency to wait for others to act rather than acting ourselves; confirmation bias, by which we seek evidence for what we already understand to be true, such as the promise that human life will endure, rather than endure the cognitive pain of reconceptualizing our world; the default effect, or tendency to choose the present option over alternatives, which is related to the status quo bias, or preference for things as they are, however bad that is, and to the endowment effect, or instinct to demand more to give up something we have than we actually value it (or had paid to acquire or establish it). We have an illusion of control, the behavioral economists tell us, and also suffer from overconfidence and an optimism bias. We also have a pessimism bias, not that it compensates—instead it pushes us to see challenges as predetermined defeats and to hear alarm, perhaps especially on climate, as cries of fatalism. The opposite of a cognitive bias, in other words, is not clear thinking but another cognitive bias. We can’t see anything but through cataracts of self-deception. Many of these insights may feel as intuitive and familiar as folk wisdom, which in some cases they are, dressed up in academic language. Behavioral economics is unusual as a contrarian intellectual movement in that it overturns beliefs—namely, in the perfectly rational human actor—that perhaps only its proponents ever truly believed, and maybe even only as economics undergraduates.


pages: 340 words: 97,723

The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Sanders, bioinformatics, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Flynn Effect, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Inbox Zero, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, New Urbanism, one-China policy, optical character recognition, packet switching, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, uber lyft, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

The Royal Dutch Shell company popularized scenario planning when it revealed that scenarios had led managers to anticipate the global energy crisis (1973 and 1979) and the collapse of the market in 1986 and to mitigate risk in advance of their competition.8 Scenarios are such a powerful tool that Shell still, 45 years later, employs a large, dedicated team to researching and writing them. I’ve prepared risk and opportunity scenarios for the future of AI across many industries and fields and for a varied group of organizations. Scenarios are a tool to help us cope with a cognitive bias behavioral economics and legal scholar Cass Sunstein calls “probability neglect.”9 Our human brains are bad at assessing risk and peril. We assume that common activities are safer than novel or uncommon activities. For example, most of us feel completely safe driving our cars compared to flying on a commercial airline, yet air travel is the safest mode of transportation. Americans have a 1-in-114 chance of dying in a car crash, compared with a 1-in-9,821 chance of being killed on a plane.10, 11 We’re bad at assessing the risk of driving, which is why so many people text and drink behind the wheel.

See also Dartmouth Workshop Royal Dutch Shell company, 141–142 Rubin, Andy, 55 Rus, Daniela, 65 Russell, Bertrand: Principia Mathematica, 30–31 Ryder, Jon, 41 Safety issues, AI: robots, 58; self-driving cars, 58. See also Accidents and mistakes, AI Safety standards, AI: establishment of global, 251 Salieri, Antonio, 16 Scenario planning, 141; Royal Dutch Shell company use of, 141–142. See also Scenarios Scenarios, 141; as cognitive bias behavioral economics coping tool, 142; preferred outcomes and, 141; probability neglect and, 142; purpose of, 143. See also Future and AI, catastrophic scenario of; Future and AI, optimistic scenario of; Future and AI, pragmatic scenario of Schmidt, Eric, 211–212 Self-driving taxi services, catastrophic scenario of future and: Amazon riders, 218–219; Google riders, 219 SenseTime, 5 Sentinel AIs, need for, 241 Shannon, Claude, 24, 25, 29, 31; “A Symbolic Analysis of Switching Relay Circuits,” 24.


Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie

4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, chief data officer, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, computer vision, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Etonian, first-past-the-post, Google Earth, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

However, the opposite is true, and one is actually twice as likely in a typical English text to encounter words where the third letter is a k, such as ask, like, make, joke, or take. They tested for five letters (k, l, n, r, and v) like this. It is easier for people to think of words by first letter because we are taught to organize (or alphabetize) words by their first letter. However, people conflate this ease of recall with frequency or probability, even when this is far from the truth. This cognitive bias is called the availability heuristic, and is just one of many biases that affect our thinking. The bias is why, for example, people who see more news reports of violent murders on the news tend to think that society is becoming more violent when in fact global murder rates have been declining overall during the last quarter century. I had been pondering these ideas based on my experiences in politics, then fashion, and then information warfare.

After the Facebook data was collected, CA began exploring ways of taking this further by pulling photos of daughters of white men in order to pair them with photos of black men—to show white men what political correctness “really looked like.” Cambridge Analytica’s research panels also identified that there were relationships between target attitudes and a psychological effect called the just-world hypothesis (JWH). This is a cognitive bias where some people rely on a presumption of a fair world: The world is a fair place where bad things “happen for a reason” or will be offset by some sort of “moral balancing” in the universe. We found that people who displayed the JWH bias were, for example, more prone to victim-blaming in hypothetical scenarios of sexual assault. If the world is fair, then random bad things should not happen to innocent people, and therefore there must have been a fault in the victim’s behavior.


pages: 121 words: 31,813

The Art of Execution: How the World's Best Investors Get It Wrong and Still Make Millions by Lee Freeman-Shor

Black Swan, buy and hold, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, family office, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, tulip mania, zero-sum game

If the first time we are introduced to an investing idea we look at a price chart and see that it has consistently declined for the past ten years, we are likely to classify it as a ‘baddy’ (a ‘dog’ as the investment pros would call it). Thereafter this taints our view even when the underlying facts might have changed profoundly for the better. So there can be perfectly good companies shunned for no good reason. Committed value investors will not find this too surprising! 3. Anchor away A closely related cognitive bias to primacy error is anchoring – dropping our intellectual anchor and letting it sink deep into a view and being unwilling to accept new findings that suggest we are wrong and should haul it up and sail the hell out of there. If a Rabbit did eventually change his mind, it was always an achingly slow process. It took one Rabbit two and a half years to change his mind on Vyke, and another Rabbit almost two years to react to Raymarine’s decline.


pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

That much has been agreed upon since the 1950s when Herbert Simon broke rank with his fellow economists and started to study how people actually behaved, finding their rationality to be severely ‘bounded’. His findings, augmented by those of psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in the 1970s, gave birth to the field now known as behavioural economics, which studies the many kinds of ‘cognitive bias’ that systematically cause humans to deviate from the ideal model of rationality. Examples abound. We (the WEIRD ones, at least) typically exhibit: availability bias – making decisions on the basis of more recent and more accessible information; loss aversion – the strong preference to avoid a loss rather than to make an equivalent gain; selective cognition – taking on board facts and arguments that fit with our existing frames; and risk bias – underestimating the likelihood of extreme events, while overestimating our ability to cope with them.

Page numbers in italics denote illustrations A Aalborg, Denmark, 290 Abbott, Anthony ‘Tony’, 31 ABCD group, 148 Abramovitz, Moses, 262 absolute decoupling, 260–61 Acemoglu, Daron, 86 advertising, 58, 106–7, 112, 281 Agbodjinou, Sénamé, 231 agriculture, 5, 46, 72–3, 148, 155, 178, 181, 183 Alaska, 9 Alaska Permanent Fund, 194 Alperovitz, Gar, 177 alternative enterprise designs, 190–91 altruism, 100, 104 Amazon, 192, 196, 276 Amazon rainforest, 105–6, 253 American Economic Association, 3 American Enterprise Institute, 67 American Tobacco Corporation, 107 Andes, 54 animal spirits, 110 Anthropocene epoch, 48, 253 anthropocentrism, 115 Apertuso, 230 Apple, 85, 192 Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), 148 Arendt, Hannah, 115–16 Argentina, 55, 274 Aristotle, 32, 272 Arrow, Kenneth, 134 Articles of Association and Memoranda, 233 Arusha, Tanzania, 202 Asia Wage Floor Alliance, 177 Asian financial crisis (1997), 90 Asknature.org, 232 Athens, 57 austerity, 163 Australia, 31, 103, 177, 180, 211, 224–6, 255, 260 Austria, 263, 274 availability bias, 112 AXIOM, 230 Axtell, Robert, 150 Ayres, Robert, 263 B B Corp, 241 Babylon, 13 Baker, Josephine, 157 balancing feedback loops, 138–41, 155, 271 Ballmer, Steve, 231 Bangla Pesa, 185–6, 293 Bangladesh, 10, 226 Bank for International Settlements, 256 Bank of America, 149 Bank of England, 145, 147, 256 banking, see under finance Barnes, Peter, 201 Barroso, José Manuel, 41 Bartlett, Albert Allen ‘Al’, 247 basic income, 177, 194, 199–201 basic personal values, 107–9 Basle, Switzerland, 80 Bauwens, Michel, 197 Beckerman, Wilfred, 258 Beckham, David, 171 Beech-Nut Packing Company, 107 behavioural economics, 11, 111–14 behavioural psychology, 103, 128 Beinhocker, Eric, 158 Belgium, 236, 252 Bentham, Jeremy, 98 Benyus, Janine, 116, 218, 223–4, 227, 232, 237, 241 Berger, John, 12, 281 Berlin Wall, 141 Bermuda, 277 Bernanke, Ben, 146 Bernays, Edward, 107, 112, 281–3 Bhopal gas disaster (1984), 9 Bible, 19, 114, 151 Big Bang (1986), 87 billionaires, 171, 200, 289 biodiversity, 10, 46, 48–9, 52, 85, 115, 155, 208, 210, 242, 299 as common pool resource, 201 and land conversion, 49 and inequality, 172 and reforesting, 50 biomass, 73, 118, 210, 212, 221 biomimicry, 116, 218, 227, 229 bioplastic, 224, 293 Birmingham, West Midlands, 10 Black, Fischer, 100–101 Blair, Anthony ‘Tony’, 171 Blockchain, 187, 192 blood donation, 104, 118 Body Shop, The, 232–4 Bogotá, Colombia, 119 Bolivia, 54 Boston, Massachusetts, 3 Bowen, Alex, 261 Bowles, Sam, 104 Box, George, 22 Boyce, James, 209 Brasselberg, Jacob, 187 Brazil, 124, 226, 281, 290 bread riots, 89 Brisbane, Australia, 31 Brown, Gordon, 146 Brynjolfsson, Erik, 193, 194, 258 Buddhism, 54 buen vivir, 54 Bullitt Center, Seattle, 217 Bunge, 148 Burkina Faso, 89 Burmark, Lynell, 13 business, 36, 43, 68, 88–9 automation, 191–5, 237, 258, 278 boom and bust, 246 and circular economy, 212, 215–19, 220, 224, 227–30, 232–4, 292 and complementary currencies, 184–5, 292 and core economy, 80 and creative destruction, 142 and feedback loops, 148 and finance, 183, 184 and green growth, 261, 265, 269 and households, 63, 68 living metrics, 241 and market, 68, 88 micro-businesses, 9 and neoliberalism, 67, 87 ownership, 190–91 and political funding, 91–2, 171–2 and taxation, 23, 276–7 workers’ rights, 88, 91, 269 butterfly economy, 220–42 C C–ROADS (Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support), 153 C40 network, 280 calculating man, 98 California, United States, 213, 224, 293 Cambodia, 254 Cameron, David, 41 Canada, 196, 255, 260, 281, 282 cancer, 124, 159, 196 Capital Institute, 236 carbon emissions, 49–50, 59, 75 and decoupling, 260, 266 and forests, 50, 52 and inequality, 58 reduction of, 184, 201, 213, 216–18, 223–7, 239–41, 260, 266 stock–flow dynamics, 152–4 taxation, 201, 213 Cargill, 148 Carney, Mark, 256 Caterpillar, 228 Catholic Church, 15, 19 Cato Institute, 67 Celts, 54 central banks, 6, 87, 145, 146, 147, 183, 184, 256 Chang, Ha-Joon, 82, 86, 90 Chaplin, Charlie, 157 Chiapas, Mexico, 121–2 Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), 100–101 Chicago School, 34, 99 Chile, 7, 42 China, 1, 7, 48, 154, 289–90 automation, 193 billionaires, 200, 289 greenhouse gas emissions, 153 inequality, 164 Lake Erhai doughnut analysis, 56 open-source design, 196 poverty reduction, 151, 198 renewable energy, 239 tiered pricing, 213 Chinese Development Bank, 239 chrematistics, 32, 273 Christianity, 15, 19, 114, 151 cigarettes, 107, 124 circular economy, 220–42, 257 Circular Flow diagram, 19–20, 28, 62–7, 64, 70, 78, 87, 91, 92, 93, 262 Citigroup, 149 Citizen Reaction Study, 102 civil rights movement, 77 Cleveland, Ohio, 190 climate change, 1, 3, 5, 29, 41, 45–53, 63, 74, 75–6, 91, 141, 144, 201 circular economy, 239, 241–2 dynamics of, 152–5 and G20, 31 and GDP growth, 255, 256, 260, 280 and heuristics, 114 and human rights, 10 and values, 126 climate positive cities, 239 closed systems, 74 coffee, 221 cognitive bias, 112–14 Colander, David, 137 Colombia, 119 common-pool resources, 82–3, 181, 201–2 commons, 69, 82–4, 287 collaborative, 78, 83, 191, 195, 196, 264, 292 cultural, 83 digital, 82, 83, 192, 197, 281 and distribution, 164, 180, 181–2, 205, 267 Embedded Economy, 71, 73, 77–8, 82–4, 85, 92 knowledge, 197, 201–2, 204, 229, 231, 292 commons and money creation, see complementary currencies natural, 82, 83, 180, 181–2, 201, 265 and regeneration, 229, 242, 267, 292 and state, 85, 93, 197, 237 and systems, 160 tragedy of, 28, 62, 69, 82, 181 triumph of, 83 and values, 106, 108 Commons Trusts, 201 complementary currencies, 158, 182–8, 236, 292 complex systems, 28, 129–62 complexity science, 136–7 Consumer Reaction Study, 102 consumerism, 58, 102, 121, 280–84 cooking, 45, 80, 186 Coote, Anna, 278 Copenhagen, Denmark, 124 Copernicus, Nicolaus, 14–15 copyright, 195, 197, 204 core economy, 79–80 Corporate To Do List, 215–19 Costa Rica, 172 Council of Economic Advisers, US, 6, 37 Cox, Jo, 117 cradle to cradle, 224 creative destruction, 142 Cree, 282 Crompton, Tom, 125–6 cross-border flows, 89–90 crowdsourcing, 204 cuckoos, 32, 35, 36, 38, 40, 54, 60, 159, 244, 256, 271 currencies, 182–8, 236, 274, 292 D da Vinci, Leonardo, 13, 94–5 Dallas, Texas, 120 Daly, Herman, 74, 143, 271 Danish Nudging Network, 124 Darwin, Charles, 14 Debreu, Gerard, 134 debt, 37, 146–7, 172–3, 182–5, 247, 255, 269 decoupling, 193, 210, 258–62, 273 defeat device software, 216 deforestation, 49–50, 74, 208, 210 degenerative linear economy, 211–19, 222–3, 237 degrowth, 244 DeMartino, George, 161 democracy, 77, 171–2, 258 demurrage, 274 Denmark, 180, 275, 290 deregulation, 82, 87, 269 derivatives, 100–101, 149 Devas, Charles Stanton, 97 Dey, Suchitra, 178 Diamond, Jared, 154 diarrhoea, 5 differential calculus, 131, 132 digital revolution, 191–2, 264 diversify–select–amplify, 158 double spiral, 54 Doughnut model, 10–11, 11, 23–5, 44, 51 and aspiration, 58–9, 280–84 big picture, 28, 42, 61–93 distribution, 29, 52, 57, 58, 76, 93, 158, 163–205 ecological ceiling, 10, 11, 44, 45, 46, 49, 51, 218, 254, 295, 298 goal, 25–8, 31–60 and governance, 57, 59 growth agnosticism, 29–30, 243–85 human nature, 28–9, 94–128 and population, 57–8 regeneration, 29, 158, 206–42 social foundation, 10, 11, 44, 45, 49, 51, 58, 77, 174, 200, 254, 295–6 systems, 28, 129–62 and technology, 57, 59 Douglas, Margaret, 78–9 Dreyfus, Louis, 148 ‘Dumb and Dumber in Macroeconomics’ (Solow), 135 Durban, South Africa, 214 E Earning by Learning, 120 Earth-system science, 44–53, 115, 216, 288, 298 Easter Island, 154 Easterlin, Richard, 265–6 eBay, 105, 192 eco-literacy, 115 ecological ceiling, 10, 11, 44, 45, 46, 49, 51, 218, 254, 295, 298 Ecological Performance Standards, 241 Econ 101 course, 8, 77 Economics (Lewis), 114 Economics (Samuelson), 19–20, 63–7, 70, 74, 78, 86, 91, 92, 93, 262 Economy for the Common Good, 241 ecosystem services, 7, 116, 269 Ecuador, 54 education, 9, 43, 45, 50–52, 85, 169–70, 176, 200, 249, 279 economic, 8, 11, 18, 22, 24, 36, 287–93 environmental, 115, 239–40 girls’, 57, 124, 178, 198 online, 83, 197, 264, 290 pricing, 118–19 efficient market hypothesis, 28, 62, 68, 87 Egypt, 48, 89 Eisenstein, Charles, 116 electricity, 9, 45, 236, 240 and Bangla Pesa, 186 cars, 231 Ethereum, 187–8 and MONIAC, 75, 262 pricing, 118, 213 see also renewable energy Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, 145 Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 220 Embedded Economy, 71–93, 263 business, 88–9 commons, 82–4 Earth, 72–6 economy, 77–8 finance, 86–8 household, 78–81 market, 81–2 power, 91–92 society, 76–7 state, 84–6 trade, 89–90 employment, 36, 37, 51, 142, 176 automation, 191–5, 237, 258, 278 labour ownership, 188–91 workers’ rights, 88, 90, 269 Empty World, 74 Engels, Friedrich, 88 environment and circular economy, 220–42, 257 conservation, 121–2 and degenerative linear economy, 211–19, 222–3 degradation, 5, 9, 10, 29, 44–53, 74, 154, 172, 196, 206–42 education on, 115, 239–40 externalities, 152 fair share, 216–17 and finance, 234–7 generosity, 218–19, 223–7 green growth, 41, 210, 243–85 nudging, 123–5 taxation and quotas, 213–14, 215 zero impact, 217–18, 238, 241 Environmental Dashboard, 240–41 environmental economics, 7, 11, 114–16 Environmental Kuznets Curve, 207–11, 241 environmental space, 54 Epstein, Joshua, 150 equilibrium theory, 134–62 Ethereum, 187–8 ethics, 160–62 Ethiopia, 9, 226, 254 Etsy, 105 Euclid, 13, 15 European Central Bank, 145, 275 European Commission, 41 European Union (EU), 92, 153, 210, 222, 255, 258 Evergreen Cooperatives, 190 Evergreen Direct Investing (EDI), 273 exogenous shocks, 141 exponential growth, 39, 246–85 externalities, 143, 152, 213 Exxon Valdez oil spill (1989), 9 F Facebook, 192 fair share, 216–17 Fama, Eugene, 68, 87 fascism, 234, 277 Federal Reserve, US, 87, 145, 146, 271, 282 feedback loops, 138–41, 143, 148, 155, 250, 271 feminist economics, 11, 78–81, 160 Ferguson, Thomas, 91–2 finance animal spirits, 110 bank runs, 139 Black–Scholes model, 100–101 boom and bust, 28–9, 110, 144–7 and Circular Flow, 63–4, 87 and complex systems, 134, 138, 139, 140, 141, 145–7 cross-border flows, 89 deregulation, 87 derivatives, 100–101, 149 and distribution, 169, 170, 173, 182–4, 198–9, 201 and efficient market hypothesis, 63, 68 and Embedded Economy, 71, 86–8 and financial-instability hypothesis, 87, 146 and GDP growth, 38 and media, 7–8 mobile banking, 199–200 and money creation, 87, 182–5 and regeneration, 227, 229, 234–7 in service to life, 159, 234–7 stakeholder finance, 190 and sustainability, 216, 235–6, 239 financial crisis (2008), 1–4, 5, 40, 63, 86, 141, 144, 278, 290 and efficient market hypothesis, 87 and equilibrium theory, 134, 145 and financial-instability hypothesis, 87 and inequality, 90, 170, 172, 175 and money creation, 182 and worker’s rights, 278 financial flows, 89 Financial Times, 183, 266, 289 financial-instability hypothesis, 87, 146 First Green Bank, 236 First World War (1914–18), 166, 170 Fisher, Irving, 183 fluid values, 102, 106–9 food, 3, 43, 45, 50, 54, 58, 59, 89, 198 food banks, 165 food price crisis (2007–8), 89, 90, 180 Ford, 277–8 foreign direct investment, 89 forest conservation, 121–2 fossil fuels, 59, 73, 75, 92, 212, 260, 263 Foundations of Economic Analysis (Samuelson), 17–18 Foxconn, 193 framing, 22–3 France, 43, 165, 196, 238, 254, 256, 281, 290 Frank, Robert, 100 free market, 33, 37, 67, 68, 70, 81–2, 86, 90 free open-source hardware (FOSH), 196–7 free open-source software (FOSS), 196 free trade, 70, 90 Freeman, Ralph, 18–19 freshwater cycle, 48–9 Freud, Sigmund, 107, 281 Friedman, Benjamin, 258 Friedman, Milton, 34, 62, 66–9, 84–5, 88, 99, 183, 232 Friends of the Earth, 54 Full World, 75 Fuller, Buckminster, 4 Fullerton, John, 234–6, 273 G G20, 31, 56, 276, 279–80 G77, 55 Gal, Orit, 141 Gandhi, Mohandas, 42, 293 Gangnam Style, 145 Gardens of Democracy, The (Liu & Hanauer), 158 gender equality, 45, 51–2, 57, 78–9, 85, 88, 118–19, 124, 171, 198 generosity, 218–19, 223–9 geometry, 13, 15 George, Henry, 149, 179 Georgescu-Roegen, Nicholas, 252 geothermal energy, 221 Gerhardt, Sue, 283 Germany, 2, 41, 100, 118, 165, 189, 211, 213, 254, 256, 260, 274 Gessel, Silvio, 274 Ghent, Belgium, 236 Gift Relationship, The (Titmuss), 118–19 Gigerenzer, Gerd, 112–14 Gintis, Herb, 104 GiveDirectly, 200 Glass–Steagall Act (1933), 87 Glennon, Roger, 214 Global Alliance for Tax Justice, 277 global material footprints, 210–11 Global Village Construction Set, 196 globalisation, 89 Goerner, Sally, 175–6 Goffmann, Erving, 22 Going for Growth, 255 golden rule, 91 Goldman Sachs, 149, 170 Gómez-Baggethun, Erik, 122 Goodall, Chris, 211 Goodwin, Neva, 79 Goody, Jade, 124 Google, 192 Gore, Albert ‘Al’, 172 Gorgons, 244, 256, 257, 266 graffiti, 15, 25, 287 Great Acceleration, 46, 253–4 Great Depression (1929–39), 37, 70, 170, 173, 183, 275, 277, 278 Great Moderation, 146 Greece, Ancient, 4, 13, 32, 48, 54, 56–7, 160, 244 green growth, 41, 210, 243–85 Greenham, Tony, 185 greenhouse gas emissions, 31, 46, 50, 75–6, 141, 152–4 and decoupling, 260, 266 and Environmental Kuznets Curve, 208, 210 and forests, 50, 52 and G20, 31 and inequality, 58 reduction of, 184, 201–2, 213, 216–18, 223–7, 239–41, 256, 259–60, 266, 298 stock–flow dynamics, 152–4 and taxation, 201, 213 Greenland, 141, 154 Greenpeace, 9 Greenspan, Alan, 87 Greenwich, London, 290 Grenoble, France, 281 Griffiths, Brian, 170 gross domestic product (GDP), 25, 31–2, 35–43, 57, 60, 84, 164 as cuckoo, 32, 35, 36, 38, 40, 54, 60, 159, 244, 256, 271 and Environmental Kuznets Curve, 207–11 and exponential growth, 39, 53, 246–85 and growth agnosticism, 29–30, 240, 243–85 and inequality, 173 and Kuznets Curve, 167, 173, 188–9 gross national product (GNP), 36–40 Gross World Product, 248 Grossman, Gene, 207–8, 210 ‘grow now, clean up later’, 207 Guatemala, 196 H Haifa, Israel, 120 Haldane, Andrew, 146 Han Dynasty, 154 Hanauer, Nick, 158 Hansen, Pelle, 124 Happy Planet Index, 280 Hardin, Garrett, 69, 83, 181 Harvard University, 2, 271, 290 von Hayek, Friedrich, 7–8, 62, 66, 67, 143, 156, 158 healthcare, 43, 50, 57, 85, 123, 125, 170, 176, 200, 269, 279 Heilbroner, Robert, 53 Henry VIII, King of England and Ireland, 180 Hepburn, Cameron, 261 Herbert Simon, 111 heuristics, 113–14, 118, 123 high-income countries growth, 30, 244–5, 254–72, 282 inequality, 165, 168, 169, 171 labour, 177, 188–9, 278 overseas development assistance (ODA), 198–9 resource intensive lifestyles, 46, 210–11 trade, 90 Hippocrates, 160 History of Economic Analysis (Schumpeter), 21 HIV/AIDS, 123 Holocene epoch, 46–8, 75, 115, 253 Homo economicus, 94–103, 109, 127–8 Homo sapiens, 38, 104, 130 Hong Kong, 180 household, 78 housing, 45, 59, 176, 182–3, 269 Howe, Geoffrey, 67 Hudson, Michael, 183 Human Development Index, 9, 279 human nature, 28 human rights, 10, 25, 45, 49, 50, 95, 214, 233 humanistic economics, 42 hydropower, 118, 260, 263 I Illinois, United States, 179–80 Imago Mundi, 13 immigration, 82, 199, 236, 266 In Defense of Economic Growth (Beckerman), 258 Inclusive Wealth Index, 280 income, 51, 79–80, 82, 88, 176–8, 188–91, 194, 199–201 India, 2, 9, 10, 42, 124, 164, 178, 196, 206–7, 242, 290 Indonesia, 90, 105–6, 164, 168, 200 Indus Valley civilisation, 48 inequality, 1, 5, 25, 41, 63, 81, 88, 91, 148–52, 209 and consumerism, 111 and democracy, 171 and digital revolution, 191–5 and distribution, 163–205 and environmental degradation, 172 and GDP growth, 173 and greenhouse gas emissions, 58 and intellectual property, 195–8 and Kuznets Curve, 29, 166–70, 173–4 and labour ownership, 188–91 and land ownership, 178–82 and money creation, 182–8 and social welfare, 171 Success to the Successful, 148, 149, 151, 166 inflation, 36, 248, 256, 275 insect pollination services, 7 Institute of Economic Affairs, 67 institutional economics, 11 intellectual property rights, 195–8, 204 interest, 36, 177, 182, 184, 275–6 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 25 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 170, 172, 173, 183, 255, 258, 271 Internet, 83–4, 89, 105, 192, 202, 264 Ireland, 277 Iroquois Onondaga Nation, 116 Israel, 100, 103, 120 Italy, 165, 196, 254 J Jackson, Tim, 58 Jakubowski, Marcin, 196 Jalisco, Mexico, 217 Japan, 168, 180, 211, 222, 254, 256, 263, 275 Jevons, William Stanley, 16, 97–8, 131, 132, 137, 142 John Lewis Partnership, 190 Johnson, Lyndon Baines, 37 Johnson, Mark, 38 Johnson, Todd, 191 JPMorgan Chase, 149, 234 K Kahneman, Daniel, 111 Kamkwamba, William, 202, 204 Kasser, Tim, 125–6 Keen, Steve, 146, 147 Kelly, Marjorie, 190–91, 233 Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 37, 250 Kennedy, Paul, 279 Kenya, 118, 123, 180, 185–6, 199–200, 226, 292 Keynes, John Maynard, 7–8, 22, 66, 69, 134, 184, 251, 277–8, 284, 288 Kick It Over movement, 3, 289 Kingston, London, 290 Knight, Frank, 66, 99 knowledge commons, 202–4, 229, 292 Kokstad, South Africa, 56 Kondratieff waves, 246 Korzybski, Alfred, 22 Krueger, Alan, 207–8, 210 Kuhn, Thomas, 22 Kumhof, Michael, 172 Kuwait, 255 Kuznets, Simon, 29, 36, 39–40, 166–70, 173, 174, 175, 204, 207 KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, 56 L labour ownership, 188–91 Lake Erhai, Yunnan, 56 Lakoff, George, 23, 38, 276 Lamelara, Indonesia, 105–6 land conversion, 49, 52, 299 land ownership, 178–82 land-value tax, 73, 149, 180 Landesa, 178 Landlord’s Game, The, 149 law of demand, 16 laws of motion, 13, 16–17, 34, 129, 131 Lehman Brothers, 141 Leopold, Aldo, 115 Lesotho, 118, 199 leverage points, 159 Lewis, Fay, 178 Lewis, Justin, 102 Lewis, William Arthur, 114, 167 Lietaer, Bernard, 175, 236 Limits to Growth, 40, 154, 258 Linux, 231 Liu, Eric, 158 living metrics, 240–42 living purpose, 233–4 Lomé, Togo, 231 London School of Economics (LSE), 2, 34, 65, 290 London Underground, 12 loss aversion, 112 low-income countries, 90, 164–5, 168, 173, 180, 199, 201, 209, 226, 254, 259 Lucas, Robert, 171 Lula da Silva, Luiz Inácio, 124 Luxembourg, 277 Lyle, John Tillman, 214 Lyons, Oren, 116 M M–PESA, 199–200 MacDonald, Tim, 273 Machiguenga, 105–6 MacKenzie, Donald, 101 macroeconomics, 36, 62–6, 76, 80, 134–5, 145, 147, 150, 244, 280 Magie, Elizabeth, 149, 153 Malala effect, 124 malaria, 5 Malawi, 118, 202, 204 Malaysia, 168 Mali, Taylor, 243 Malthus, Thomas, 252 Mamsera Rural Cooperative, 190 Manhattan, New York, 9, 41 Mani, Muthukumara, 206 Manitoba, 282 Mankiw, Gregory, 2, 34 Mannheim, Karl, 22 Maoris, 54 market, 81–2 and business, 88 circular flow, 64 and commons, 83, 93, 181, 200–201 efficiency of, 28, 62, 68, 87, 148, 181 and equilibrium theory, 131–5, 137, 143–7, 155, 156 free market, 33, 37, 67–70, 90, 208 and households, 63, 69, 78, 79 and maxi-max rule, 161 and pricing, 117–23, 131, 160 and rational economic man, 96, 100–101, 103, 104 and reciprocity, 105, 106 reflexivity of, 144–7 and society, 69–70 and state, 84–6, 200, 281 Marshall, Alfred, 17, 98, 133, 165, 253, 282 Marx, Karl, 88, 142, 165, 272 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 17–20, 152–5 massive open online courses (MOOCs), 290 Matthew Effect, 151 Max-Neef, Manfred, 42 maxi-max rule, 161 maximum wage, 177 Maya civilisation, 48, 154 Mazzucato, Mariana, 85, 195, 238 McAfee, Andrew, 194, 258 McDonough, William, 217 Meadows, Donella, 40, 141, 159, 271, 292 Medusa, 244, 257, 266 Merkel, Angela, 41 Messerli, Elspeth, 187 Metaphors We Live By (Lakoff & Johnson), 38 Mexico, 121–2, 217 Michaels, Flora S., 6 micro-businesses, 9, 173, 178 microeconomics, 132–4 microgrids, 187–8 Micronesia, 153 Microsoft, 231 middle class, 6, 46, 58 middle-income countries, 90, 164, 168, 173, 180, 226, 254 migration, 82, 89–90, 166, 195, 199, 236, 266, 286 Milanovic, Branko, 171 Mill, John Stuart, 33–4, 73, 97, 250, 251, 283, 284, 288 Millo, Yuval, 101 minimum wage, 82, 88, 176 Minsky, Hyman, 87, 146 Mises, Ludwig von, 66 mission zero, 217 mobile banking, 199–200 mobile phones, 222 Model T revolution, 277–8 Moldova, 199 Mombasa, Kenya, 185–6 Mona Lisa (da Vinci), 94 money creation, 87, 164, 177, 182–8, 205 MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer), 64–5, 75, 142, 262 Monoculture (Michaels), 6 Monopoly, 149 Mont Pelerin Society, 67, 93 Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, The (Friedman), 258 moral vacancy, 41 Morgan, Mary, 99 Morogoro, Tanzania, 121 Moyo, Dambisa, 258 Muirhead, Sam, 230, 231 MultiCapital Scorecard, 241 Murphy, David, 264 Murphy, Richard, 185 musical tastes, 110 Myriad Genetics, 196 N national basic income, 177 Native Americans, 115, 116, 282 natural capital, 7, 116, 269 Natural Economic Order, The (Gessel), 274 Nedbank, 216 negative externalities, 213 negative interest rates, 275–6 neoclassical economics, 134, 135 neoliberalism, 7, 62–3, 67–70, 81, 83, 84, 88, 93, 143, 170, 176 Nepal, 181, 199 Nestlé, 217 Netherlands, 211, 235, 224, 226, 238, 277 networks, 110–11, 117, 118, 123, 124–6, 174–6 neuroscience, 12–13 New Deal, 37 New Economics Foundation, 278, 283 New Year’s Day, 124 New York, United States, 9, 41, 55 Newlight Technologies, 224, 226, 293 Newton, Isaac, 13, 15–17, 32–3, 95, 97, 129, 131, 135–7, 142, 145, 162 Nicaragua, 196 Nigeria, 164 nitrogen, 49, 52, 212–13, 216, 218, 221, 226, 298 ‘no pain, no gain’, 163, 167, 173, 204, 209 Nobel Prize, 6–7, 43, 83, 101, 167 Norway, 281 nudging, 112, 113, 114, 123–6 O Obama, Barack, 41, 92 Oberlin, Ohio, 239, 240–41 Occupy movement, 40, 91 ocean acidification, 45, 46, 52, 155, 242, 298 Ohio, United States, 190, 239 Okun, Arthur, 37 onwards and upwards, 53 Open Building Institute, 196 Open Source Circular Economy (OSCE), 229–32 open systems, 74 open-source design, 158, 196–8, 265 open-source licensing, 204 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 38, 210, 255–6, 258 Origin of Species, The (Darwin), 14 Ormerod, Paul, 110, 111 Orr, David, 239 Ostrom, Elinor, 83, 84, 158, 160, 181–2 Ostry, Jonathan, 173 OSVehicle, 231 overseas development assistance (ODA), 198–200 ownership of wealth, 177–82 Oxfam, 9, 44 Oxford University, 1, 36 ozone layer, 9, 50, 115 P Pachamama, 54, 55 Pakistan, 124 Pareto, Vilfredo, 165–6, 175 Paris, France, 290 Park 20|20, Netherlands, 224, 226 Parker Brothers, 149 Patagonia, 56 patents, 195–6, 197, 204 patient capital, 235 Paypal, 192 Pearce, Joshua, 197, 203–4 peer-to-peer networks, 187, 192, 198, 203, 292 People’s QE, 184–5 Perseus, 244 Persia, 13 Peru, 2, 105–6 Phillips, Adam, 283 Phillips, William ‘Bill’, 64–6, 75, 142, 262 phosphorus, 49, 52, 212–13, 218, 298 Physiocrats, 73 Pickett, Kate, 171 pictures, 12–25 Piketty, Thomas, 169 Playfair, William, 16 Poincaré, Henri, 109, 127–8 Polanyi, Karl, 82, 272 political economy, 33–4, 42 political funding, 91–2, 171–2 political voice, 43, 45, 51–2, 77, 117 pollution, 29, 45, 52, 85, 143, 155, 206–17, 226, 238, 242, 254, 298 population, 5, 46, 57, 155, 199, 250, 252, 254 Portugal, 211 post-growth society, 250 poverty, 5, 9, 37, 41, 50, 88, 118, 148, 151 emotional, 283 and inequality, 164–5, 168–9, 178 and overseas development assistance (ODA), 198–200 and taxation, 277 power, 91–92 pre-analytic vision, 21–2 prescription medicines, 123 price-takers, 132 prices, 81, 118–23, 131, 160 Principles of Economics (Mankiw), 34 Principles of Economics (Marshall), 17, 98 Principles of Political Economy (Mill), 288 ProComposto, 226 Propaganda (Bernays), 107 public relations, 107, 281 public spending v. investment, 276 public–private patents, 195 Putnam, Robert, 76–7 Q quantitative easing (QE), 184–5 Quebec, 281 Quesnay, François, 16, 73 R Rabot, Ghent, 236 Rancière, Romain, 172 rating and review systems, 105 rational economic man, 94–103, 109, 111, 112, 126, 282 Reagan, Ronald, 67 reciprocity, 103–6, 117, 118, 123 reflexivity of markets, 144 reinforcing feedback loops, 138–41, 148, 250, 271 relative decoupling, 259 renewable energy biomass energy, 118, 221 and circular economy, 221, 224, 226, 235, 238–9, 274 and commons, 83, 85, 185, 187–8, 192, 203, 264 geothermal energy, 221 and green growth, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267 hydropower, 118, 260, 263 pricing, 118 solar energy, see solar energy wave energy, 221 wind energy, 75, 118, 196, 202–3, 221, 233, 239, 260, 263 rentier sector, 180, 183, 184 reregulation, 82, 87, 269 resource flows, 175 resource-intensive lifestyles, 46 Rethinking Economics, 289 Reynebeau, Guy, 237 Ricardo, David, 67, 68, 73, 89, 250 Richardson, Katherine, 53 Rifkin, Jeremy, 83, 264–5 Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, The (Kennedy), 279 risk, 112, 113–14 Robbins, Lionel, 34 Robinson, James, 86 Robinson, Joan, 142 robots, 191–5, 237, 258, 278 Rockefeller Foundation, 135 Rockford, Illinois, 179–80 Rockström, Johan, 48, 55 Roddick, Anita, 232–4 Rogoff, Kenneth, 271, 280 Roman Catholic Church, 15, 19 Rombo, Tanzania, 190 Rome, Ancient, 13, 48, 154 Romney, Mitt, 92 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 37 rooted membership, 190 Rostow, Walt, 248–50, 254, 257, 267–70, 284 Ruddick, Will, 185 rule of thumb, 113–14 Ruskin, John, 42, 223 Russia, 200 rust belt, 90, 239 S S curve, 251–6 Sainsbury’s, 56 Samuelson, Paul, 17–21, 24–5, 38, 62–7, 70, 74, 84, 91, 92, 93, 262, 290–91 Sandel, Michael, 41, 120–21 Sanergy, 226 sanitation, 5, 51, 59 Santa Fe, California, 213 Santinagar, West Bengal, 178 São Paolo, Brazil, 281 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 43 Saumweder, Philipp, 226 Scharmer, Otto, 115 Scholes, Myron, 100–101 Schumacher, Ernst Friedrich, 42, 142 Schumpeter, Joseph, 21 Schwartz, Shalom, 107–9 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 163, 167, 204 ‘Science and Complexity’ (Weaver), 136 Scotland, 57 Seaman, David, 187 Seattle, Washington, 217 second machine age, 258 Second World War (1939–45), 18, 37, 70, 170 secular stagnation, 256 self-interest, 28, 68, 96–7, 99–100, 102–3 Selfish Society, The (Gerhardt), 283 Sen, Amartya, 43 Shakespeare, William, 61–3, 67, 93 shale gas, 264, 269 Shang Dynasty, 48 shareholders, 82, 88, 189, 191, 227, 234, 273, 292 sharing economy, 264 Sheraton Hotel, Boston, 3 Siegen, Germany, 290 Silicon Valley, 231 Simon, Julian, 70 Sinclair, Upton, 255 Sismondi, Jean, 42 slavery, 33, 77, 161 Slovenia, 177 Small Is Beautiful (Schumacher), 42 smart phones, 85 Smith, Adam, 33, 57, 67, 68, 73, 78–9, 81, 96–7, 103–4, 128, 133, 160, 181, 250 social capital, 76–7, 122, 125, 172 social contract, 120, 125 social foundation, 10, 11, 44, 45, 49, 51, 58, 77, 174, 200, 254, 295–6 social media, 83, 281 Social Progress Index, 280 social pyramid, 166 society, 76–7 solar energy, 59, 75, 111, 118, 187–8, 190 circular economy, 221, 222, 223, 224, 226–7, 239 commons, 203 zero-energy buildings, 217 zero-marginal-cost revolution, 84 Solow, Robert, 135, 150, 262–3 Soros, George, 144 South Africa, 56, 177, 214, 216 South Korea, 90, 168 South Sea Bubble (1720), 145 Soviet Union (1922–91), 37, 67, 161, 279 Spain, 211, 238, 256 Spirit Level, The (Wilkinson & Pickett), 171 Sraffa, Piero, 148 St Gallen, Switzerland, 186 Stages of Economic Growth, The (Rostow), 248–50, 254 stakeholder finance, 190 Standish, Russell, 147 state, 28, 33, 69–70, 78, 82, 160, 176, 180, 182–4, 188 and commons, 85, 93, 197, 237 and market, 84–6, 200, 281 partner state, 197, 237–9 and robots, 195 stationary state, 250 Steffen, Will, 46, 48 Sterman, John, 66, 143, 152–4 Steuart, James, 33 Stiglitz, Joseph, 43, 111, 196 stocks and flows, 138–41, 143, 144, 152 sub-prime mortgages, 141 Success to the Successful, 148, 149, 151, 166 Sugarscape, 150–51 Summers, Larry, 256 Sumner, Andy, 165 Sundrop Farms, 224–6 Sunstein, Cass, 112 supply and demand, 28, 132–6, 143, 253 supply chains, 10 Sweden, 6, 255, 275, 281 swishing, 264 Switzerland, 42, 66, 80, 131, 186–7, 275 T Tableau économique (Quesnay), 16 tabula rasa, 20, 25, 63, 291 takarangi, 54 Tanzania, 121, 190, 202 tar sands, 264, 269 taxation, 78, 111, 165, 170, 176, 177, 237–8, 276–9 annual wealth tax, 200 environment, 213–14, 215 global carbon tax, 201 global financial transactions tax, 201, 235 land-value tax, 73, 149, 180 non-renewable resources, 193, 237–8, 278–9 People’s QE, 185 tax relief v. tax justice, 23, 276–7 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), 202, 258 Tempest, The (Shakespeare), 61, 63, 93 Texas, United States, 120 Thailand, 90, 200 Thaler, Richard, 112 Thatcher, Margaret, 67, 69, 76 Theory of Moral Sentiments (Smith), 96 Thompson, Edward Palmer, 180 3D printing, 83–4, 192, 198, 231, 264 thriving-in-balance, 54–7, 62 tiered pricing, 213–14 Tigray, Ethiopia, 226 time banking, 186 Titmuss, Richard, 118–19 Toffler, Alvin, 12, 80 Togo, 231, 292 Torekes, 236–7 Torras, Mariano, 209 Torvalds, Linus, 231 trade, 62, 68–9, 70, 89–90 trade unions, 82, 176, 189 trademarks, 195, 204 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 92 transport, 59 trickle-down economics, 111, 170 Triodos, 235 Turkey, 200 Tversky, Amos, 111 Twain, Mark, 178–9 U Uganda, 118, 125 Ulanowicz, Robert, 175 Ultimatum Game, 105, 117 unemployment, 36, 37, 276, 277–9 United Kingdom Big Bang (1986), 87 blood donation, 118 carbon dioxide emissions, 260 free trade, 90 global material footprints, 211 money creation, 182 MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer), 64–5, 75, 142, 262 New Economics Foundation, 278, 283 poverty, 165, 166 prescription medicines, 123 wages, 188 United Nations, 55, 198, 204, 255, 258, 279 G77 bloc, 55 Human Development Index, 9, 279 Sustainable Development Goals, 24, 45 United States American Economic Association meeting (2015), 3 blood donation, 118 carbon dioxide emissions, 260 Congress, 36 Council of Economic Advisers, 6, 37 Earning by Learning, 120 Econ 101 course, 8, 77 Exxon Valdez oil spill (1989), 9 Federal Reserve, 87, 145, 146, 271, 282 free trade, 90 Glass–Steagall Act (1933), 87 greenhouse gas emissions, 153 global material footprint, 211 gross national product (GNP), 36–40 inequality, 170, 171 land-value tax, 73, 149, 180 political funding, 91–2, 171 poverty, 165, 166 productivity and employment, 193 rust belt, 90, 239 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 92 wages, 188 universal basic income, 200 University of Berkeley, 116 University of Denver, 160 urbanisation, 58–9 utility, 35, 98, 133 V values, 6, 23, 34, 35, 42, 117, 118, 121, 123–6 altruism, 100, 104 anthropocentric, 115 extrinsic, 115 fluid, 28, 102, 106–9 and networks, 110–11, 117, 118, 123, 124–6 and nudging, 112, 113, 114, 123–6 and pricing, 81, 120–23 Veblen, Thorstein, 82, 109, 111, 142 Venice, 195 verbal framing, 23 Verhulst, Pierre, 252 Victor, Peter, 270 Viner, Jacob, 34 virtuous cycles, 138, 148 visual framing, 23 Vitruvian Man, 13–14 Volkswagen, 215–16 W Wacharia, John, 186 Wall Street, 149, 234, 273 Wallich, Henry, 282 Walras, Léon, 131, 132, 133–4, 137 Ward, Barbara, 53 Warr, Benjamin, 263 water, 5, 9, 45, 46, 51, 54, 59, 79, 213–14 wave energy, 221 Ways of Seeing (Berger), 12, 281 Wealth of Nations, The (Smith), 74, 78, 96, 104 wealth ownership, 177–82 Weaver, Warren, 135–6 weightless economy, 261–2 WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialised, rich, democratic), 103–5, 110, 112, 115, 117, 282 West Bengal, India, 124, 178 West, Darrell, 171–2 wetlands, 7 whale hunting, 106 Wiedmann, Tommy, 210 Wikipedia, 82, 223 Wilkinson, Richard, 171 win–win trade, 62, 68, 89 wind energy, 75, 118, 196, 202–3, 221, 233, 239, 260, 263 Wizard of Oz, The, 241 Woelab, 231, 293 Wolf, Martin, 183, 266 women’s rights, 33, 57, 107, 160, 201 and core economy, 69, 79–81 education, 57, 124, 178, 198 and land ownership, 178 see also gender equality workers’ rights, 88, 91, 269 World 3 model, 154–5 World Bank, 6, 41, 119, 164, 168, 171, 206, 255, 258 World No Tobacco Day, 124 World Trade Organization, 6, 89 worldview, 22, 54, 115 X xenophobia, 266, 277, 286 Xenophon, 4, 32, 56–7, 160 Y Yandle, Bruce, 208 Yang, Yuan, 1–3, 289–90 yin yang, 54 Yousafzai, Malala, 124 YouTube, 192 Yunnan, China, 56 Z Zambia, 10 Zanzibar, 9 Zara, 276 Zeitvorsoge, 186–7 zero environmental impact, 217–18, 238, 241 zero-hour contracts, 88 zero-humans-required production, 192 zero-interest loans, 183 zero-marginal-cost revolution, 84, 191, 264 zero-waste manufacturing, 227 Zinn, Howard, 77 PICTURE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Illustrations are reproduced by kind permission of: archive.org


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The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats by Richard A. Clarke, Robert K. Knake

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business intelligence, call centre, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, DevOps, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Exxon Valdez, global village, immigration reform, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, open borders, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, ransomware, Richard Thaler, Sand Hill Road, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, software as a service, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day

Like many who worked in the Clinton campaign, Rosenberger thought then, and even more so now, that the Obama administration should have done more to say what the U.S. government knew about Russian interference before the American people voted. Clinton herself has tried to understand why there were few alarms sounding, and has written about Initial Occurrence Syndrome, citing Dick Clarke’s 2017 book Warnings. The first time a phenomenon occurs, there is a cognitive bias against believing it is true, or as significant as the data indicates. For Rosenberger, as for us, the day after the election gave her a very brief insight into what clinical depression might feel like. “I don’t even know how to describe what recovery was like. I was trying to fall off the face of the earth for a while.” Then, when it was less raw, she looked back at what had happened and realized that before the vote neither the Clinton campaign nor even the U.S. intelligence community were fully aware of some of the hybrid war tools that were being used.

If you are new to quantum, we advise you to avoid that analogy, which we find usually confuses people more than it helps explain the quantum phenomenon. We find it more useful to begin by cautioning the newcomer to quantum that the laws of physics that you know, or have implicitly grasped by observation, do not apply at the level of the smallest elements of matter. Once we know or are told about the way things work at the very tiny quantum level, most of us intuitively reject it. It just does not make sense. To overcome your cognitive bias to what we are about to discuss, think about Dick’s grandparents or Rob’s great-grandparents, people born in the nineteenth century. If they were brought back to life with the knowledge they had as teenagers and were shown an Airbus A380, a metal object weighing six hundred tons, they would not believe for a second that it could fly. If they then saw it fly, they would think it was magic. Nothing about a six-hundred-ton metal object traveling at five hundred miles an hour seven miles up in the air would make any sense to them.


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Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, longitudinal study, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

Hitt, and Heekyung Hellen Kim, “Strength in Numbers: How Does Data-Driven Decisionmaking Affect Firm Performance?” 2011, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=1819486. 43 7.5 billion: Worldometers, “Current World Population,” accessed February 26, 2017, http://www.worldometers.info/world-population. 43 “Because System 1 operates automatically”: Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, p. 28. 44 “1. Information overload sucks”: Buster Benson, “Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet,” Better Humans, September 1, 2016, https://betterhumans.coach.me/cognitive-bias-cheat-sheet-55a472476b18#.qtwg334q8. 45 “Judgment and justification are two separate processes”: Jonathan Haidt, “Moral Psychology and the Law: How Intuitions Drive Reasoning, Judgment, and the Search for Evidence,” Alabama Law Review 64, no. 4 (2013): 867–80, https://www.law.ua.edu/pubs/lrarticles/Volume%2064/Issue%204/4%20Haidt%20867-880.pdf. 45 “telling more than we can know”: Richard E.


pages: 199 words: 43,653

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

Airbnb, AltaVista, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, en.wikipedia.org, framing effect, game design, Google Glasses, IKEA effect, 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, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the new new thing, Toyota Production System, Y Combinator

Psychologists believe there are hundreds of cognitive biases that influence our behaviors; the four discussed here are just a few examples.12 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.13 Each card in his deck of fifty 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 explored 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: 476 words: 134,735

The Unpersuadables: Adventures With the Enemies of Science by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, call centre, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, David Attenborough, David Brooks, death of newspapers, full employment, George Santayana, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Simon Singh, Stanford prison experiment, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies

Holman Foundation 118 chemotherapy 35, 93 Chibnall, Albert 256, 257 chick-sexers 186–87 childhood abuse 165–72, 173–75, 176–78, 179 sexual 145, 146, 156–57, 162, 180 children 75 China 83 Christ Church, Oxford 200, 201 Christians 4, 6, 7, 133, 134 condemnation of homosexuality 14–15, 18 morality 15–16, 122 see also creationists Churchill, Winston 208, 235, 249, 250 Clancy, Susan 50 climate-change sceptics 200, 203–204, 216 Clinic for Dissociative Studies 171 Clinton, Hilary 118 Coan, Chris 166–67 Coan, Jim 166–67 cochlear implants 78 cognitive bias 85, 87–88, 90–91, 103–104, 111, 183, 186, 244, 272 see also confirmation bias cognitive dissonance 84–87, 96, 102, 181 coin toss tests 262 Colapinto, John 312 cold war 149, 212, 215 Coleman, Ron 136–37, 141, 146, 148, 157, 162, 186, 306 colour, perception of 80 Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) 275 Communists 212, 222, 249–50 con artists 107 concentration camps 220–21, 224, 230, 245 confabulation 189–90, 192–96, 203, 207, 218, 253, 307, 315 confirmation bias 85, 87, 96, 181, 182, 188, 221, 243, 246, 312 consciousness 267–68 as Hero-Maker 306 conviction, unconscious 33 Conway, Martin 201 Cooper, Alice 275 Copenhagen Climate Conference 204 Copenhagen Treaty 2009 216 core beliefs 183 cows, sacred 40 Creation Research 5 Creation Science Foundation 12 creationists 2–10, 13–19, 20, 26, 30, 100, 162, 261, 308, 310 Crick, Francis 258, 268 CSICOP see Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal culture, power of 211, 302 ‘culture heroes’ 311 ‘culture wars’ 30, 309 Daily Mail (newspaper) 225, 228, 232 Daily Telegraph (newspaper) 243–44, 263 Dali, Salvador 275 Darwin, Charles 2, 10, 11, 94 Davenas, Elisabeth 110–11 Dawkins, Richard 2, 6, 10, 19, 94, 142, 259, 261, 271, 272, 287, 290, 308 DDT 211 de-individuation 69 deafness 78, 82 decision-making 181, 267 and emotion 184–85, 189 dehumanization 69–70 delusions 103–104, 130, 178–79, 182, 272 finding evidence for 135 and Morgellons 120 of parasitosis (DOP) 120, 122, 124, 125, 129, 162 democracy, end of 216 Demon-Marker function 308–309 depression 33, 43, 45, 128, 141, 148 Dermatologic Therapy (journal) 128 development factors 183 Devil, Australia see Gympie Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 143, 144 dialogue-ing 149, 151–52 Diana, Princess of Wales 286 diazepam (Valium) 42 dinosaurs 13, 19 Dog World (magazine) 293–94 dogma 106–107, 258 domestic abusers 89 DOP (delusions of parasitosis) 120, 122, 124, 125, 129, 162 dopamine 155, 196 doubt 133, 257 sensitivity to 261 dragons 13 dreaming 193, 195 lucid 76 drunkenness, cultural determinants of 83–84 DSM see Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Eagleman, David 74, 79, 80, 185, 186, 192, 193, 268–69 eccentricity 310 Economist, The (weekly publications) 312 Eden 14 Eden, Anthony 208 Edward V111 208 ‘effectance motive’ 184 ego 224 dream 195 ego-bolstering, unconscious 96, 103, 181 egoists 88, 196 Eichmann, Adolf 245 Einstein, Albert 201, 285 Eliade, Mircea 302 emotions 183, 184–85, 187, 194, 305 and beliefs 188, 189, 196–97 culturally unique 83 and decision-making 184, 185, 187 see also anger; happiness energy clean 25 Enfield Gazette (newspaper) 280 Enfield Poltergeist case 280 Enlightenment 255 envy 218 epinephrine 189–90 Epley, Nicholas 88 escapology 273–74 ESP see extrasensory perception Ethics Committee of the Federal Australian Medical Association 39 European Union (EU) 212 European Union Parliament House 234 Evans, Dylan 83 Evans, Richard 224 Eve 5, 12 Eve, Mitochondrial 73 Everett, Daniel 312 evidence, denial of 221, 261 evil psychology of 69–70, 307–308 ‘supremely good’ motivations for 89 evolution 73 arguments against 2–7, 10–13 arguments for 19–20, 100–101 experimental psychology 88, 101, 142, 316 extrasensory perception (ESP) 255, 266, 274, 294 alien 24 sense of ‘being stared at’ 254–55, 258, 262 facts and belief 183 inefficiency 26 fairies 83 faith, as journey 21, 134 false memories 156, 165–70, 173–74, 178, 194 familiar, the, attraction to 183 ‘fan death’ 83 Fate magazine 281 fear 203, 205, 206 Feinberg, Todd E. 82 Felstead, Anthony 160, 164 Felstead, David 159–60, 164, 171, 175, 176 Felstead, Joan 164 Felstead, Joseph 160, 161, 164, 165 Felstead, Kevin 160, 161, 164 Felstead, Richard 159–160, 164, 176–77 Felstead family 163, 165, 166, 168, 170, 176 Festinger, Leon 85, 188 Financial Service Act 214 First World War 231 Fisher, Fleur 161, 163, 165, 166, 176, 307 Flim Flam (Randi, 1982) 271, 279, 288, 295 Flood, biblical 14 fMRI see Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging foetal development 74 fossil record 10, 13–14, 19, 101 Fourth Annual Morgellons Conference 121–28 Fox, Kate 84 Franklin, Wilbur 282, 293 free will 193, 217, 307 as confabulation 193 French Assembly 204 French, Chris 50, 104, 108, 169, 173, 288, 315 French Revolution 204 Freud, Sigmund 171, 302 Frith, Chris 70, 77, 206, 315 Fromyhr, Liam 13 Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) 71 fundamentalists 261 Garvey, James 203, 218 Gates, Bill 212 Gazzaniga, Michael 184, 190–92 Geertz, Clifford 75 Geller, Uri 99, 275, 280, 281, 287, 288, 290, 293 genes 221 genetic factors 205 and beliefs 221 and political attitude 205 and schizophrenia 145, 154 genome 205, 206 Genus Epidemicus 115 George, St, and the dragon 13 ghost-hunters 21 ghosts 104 Gilovich, Thomas 86 Gindis, Alec 277, 278 global financial crisis 213 global governance 216–217 global warming 203 gnomes 83 God 17, 202, 305 Catholic interpretations of 21 and creation 3, 4, 5–6, 10 creation of 26 Darwin’s arguments against the existence of 11 deference to 18 existence of as scientifically testable 11 knowableness of 11, 22 and morality 15 see also anti-God rhetoric Goebbels, Joseph 230, 232, 239, 245 Goenka, S.N. 57, 60, 61–63, 306 Goldacre, Ben 97 Göring, Hermann 232 Gottschall, Martin 25–26 Gottschall, Sheryl 26 governance, models of 217 Gray, Honourable Mr Justice 221, 223 Gray, John 81 Great Rift Valley 74 ‘greys’ (aliens) 23, 33 group psychology 69, 88, 197 conformity to group pressure 70, 72 and the production of evil 70 Guardian (newspaper) 6 Gururumba tribe 83 Gympie, Australia 2–7, 10, 14, 16, 22, 33–53 gympie-gympie tree 2, 19 Hahnemann, Samuel 96, 115 Haidt, Honathan 83, 184, 193, 194–95, 205, 216–17, 315 Hale, Rob 172 hallucinations 82 auditory 137, 139, 141, 144, 145 see also voice-hearing visual 152 halo effect 84 Ham, Ken 12 happiness, and religious belief 197 ‘hard problem, the’ 267 Harrow 209 Harvard University 28–29, 30, 50, 285 Hawthorne Effect 107 hearing, sense of 262 Hearing Voices Network (HVN) 137, 140–41, 154, 162 Hebard, Arthur 279, 280, 295 Hebb, Donald 266 herbal remedies 36 Hercules 302 hero, the, how your memory rebuilds you as 194, 231 hero narratives 302–303, 306–309, 311–13 parasite 307, 312 Hero-Maker 306–307, 310–311, 312, 314 Heydrich, Reinhard 245 Himmler, Heinrich 235 Himmler bunker 236, 245 Hitler, Adolf 228, 231, 238, 239, 242, 243, 244, 246, 247, 248, 151–52 Hitler Youth 204 Hitler’s bunker 238 HIV 207 see also AIDS HMS Edinburgh (ship) 231 Hoefkens, Gemma 92–95, 96–97, 115–16, 141, 142, 181, 310 Holocaust denial 155, 221, 226, 229–30, 243, 244 Homeopathic Research Institute 109 homeopathy 94–102, 105–107, 109–121, 134, 181, 269, 277, 278 evidence for 106–114, 121, 134, 269 ‘overdose’ protest against 96, 99, 105, 108–109 ‘radionic’ method 115 Homerton Hospital 132 hominins 74 Homo sapiens 73 homophobia 188 homosexuality 137 Christian condemnation of 14–15, 18 Horsey, Richard 186 Horst Wessel Song (Nazi Party anthem) 239 House of Commons Science and Technology Committee 94 Hrab, George 108 Hume, David 203 Humphrey, Nicholas 43 Huntington’s disease testing 197 HVN see Hearing Voices Network hypnotherapy and false memory generation 166 and past-life regression 44–45, 47 hypnotism 189 ‘I’, sense of 194, 196, 258 IBS seeirritable bowel syndrome Iceland 83 identity 203 ideology 272 Illuminati 286–87, 288, 304 imitation 206 immigration 206, 223 Mexican 223 in-groups 84, 133 incest 168 information field 257, 266 INSERM 200 110 intelligence, and cognitive bias 224 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 216 International Academy of Classical Homeopathy 277 Internet 112 intuition 187, 216, 238 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 43 Irving, David 269, 307, 308, 209, 333–335, 344, 345 Irving, John 219, 221, 238, 244 Irving, Nicholas 243 itch disorders 117–119 see also Morgellons Jackson, Peter 312 James, William 106 James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) 99, 260, 275, 276, 290, 294 jealousy, sexual 64, 66, 104 Jesus 142 knowableness of 11 Jewish Chronicle (newspaper) 230 Jews 221, 230, 231, 244–51, 253, 309 see also Holocaust denial Josefstadt Prison, Vienna 220 Journal of the American Medical Association 41 Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 113–114 Journal of Philosophical Studies 182 JREF see James Randi Educational Foundation Jutland, Battle of 231 Kahneman, Daniel 184, 303 Kaku, Michio 27 Kaptchuk, Ted 43 Keegan, Sir John 243–44 Keen, Montague 284 Keen, Veronica 283–88, 304 Kerry, John 87 KGB 212, 215 Kilstein, Vered 44–51, 53, 168, 305–306 King’s Cross station 136 ‘koro’ 83 Krepel, Scott 78 Krippner, Stanley 288–89, 295 Krupp 233 Kuhn, Deanna 86 Los Angeles LA Times (newspaper) 118 LaBerge, Stephen 76, 195 Labour Party 210 Lancet (journal) 109, 113 Langham, Chris 171 Lawrence, Stephen 236 Lebanese people 223 left, political 204–207, 211, 215 Leitao, Mary 118 Leitao’s Morgellons Research Foundation 118 Lemoine, Patrick 42 Lennon, John 49 Letwin, Oliver 214 Leuchter, Fred 229 Leviticus 14 Lewis, Andy 109, 114 Lipstadt, Deborah 221, 224, 243, 246, 309 Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854 210 Lo, Nathan 19–20, 22, 30, 100, 308 Loftus, Elizabeth 166, 173 love 44, 59 memories of 63, 133 Lucifer 4 see also Satan McCain, John 118 McCullock, Kay 23–25 McDonald’s 67–68, 84 Mack, John E. 28–30, 51, 102–103, 142, 145, 272, 284–85 Mackay, Glennys 22–23, 30, 33 Mackay, John 1, 4–6, 1–11, 15–20, 30, 33, 53, 91, 100, 109, 182, 305, 306, 308 MacLeish, Eric 29 Maddox, Sir John 271, 287 magic-makers 7 magnetometers 279 Majdanek concentration camp 224, 230 Mameli, Matteo 182 manic depression 141 Mann, Nick 130–31, 134, 162 Marianna, Dame of Malta 208 Marshall, Michael ‘Marsh’ 105–109 Marxists 210 ‘matchbox sign’ 124 materialism 256, 257–58, 259, 260–1, 266, 268–69 May, Rufus 148–49, 156, 182, 196, 304 meditation, Buddhist 52–53, 62, 182, 196 Meffert, Jeffrey 120 Mein Kampf (Hitler) 232, 233, 242 memory autobiographical 194 fallibility of 201 see also false memories; recovered- memory therapy mental illness 137, 141, 146, 147, 165 as continuum 147 depression 33, 42–43, 45, 89, 100, 120, 148, 197 manic depression 141 multiple personality disorder 165, 171, 173–74 obsessive compulsive disorder 128 sectioning 137, 140, 161 see also psychosis; schizophrenia mental models 76, 85, 87, 90, 102, 133, 142, 147, 183, 302, 303, 316 meta-analysis 112, 146, 157, 262, 267 Metzinger, Thomas 195 Mexican immigration 223 micro-stories 206 Milgram, Stanley 70–71 mind and the brain 255, 257–58, 266–67 as ‘out there’ 267 theory of 303 miners’ strike (mid-1980s) 212, 214–15 Mitchell, Joni 118 mites, tropical rat 132, 135 ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ 73 Moll, Albert 189 Monckton, Christopher Walter, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 200, 203–205, 207–16, 218, 304, 305, 309, 310 Monckton, Major General Gilbert, 2nd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 208 morality 193, 202 Christian 15 Morgellons 118–35, 162, 307 see also Fourth Annual Morgellons Conference, Austin, Texas morphine 41 Mosley, Sir Oswald 232 Mragowo 233 multiple personality disorder 165, 171, 173–74 murder, past-life 44, 48 murderers 89 Murray, Robin 183 Myers (formerly Felstead), Carole 159–61, 163–66, 168, 171–73, 176–80, 307 myoclonic jerk 195 myth 302, 304, 312–313 narratives hero 302–303, 306–14 master 206 nation state, end of 216 National Front 234, 305 National Health Service (NHS) 94, 148, 171 National Secular Society 5 National Union of Teachers 5 Native Americal tradition 186 Natural History Museum 132 natural selection 10 Nature (journal) 110–11, 257, 271, 287, 304 Nazi Party (German) 220, 239 Nazis 48, 89, 231, 239 Neanderthals 26 necrophilia 12, 18 neurological studies 87 neurons 74–75, 220, 253, 267 neuroscience 142 New Guinea 83 New Science of Life, A (Sheldrake) 256–57 New Scientist (journal) 257–266 New York Times (newspaper) 72, 120, 271, 272 New Yorker (magazine) 268, 312 Nix, Walte, Jr. 68 Noah 3, 5, 13, 14 Novella, Steven 107, 112, 120, 135, 272, 287, 309 Oaklander, Anne Louise 129–130 Oatley, Keith 303 Obama, Barack 118, 286 obedience studies 84 Observer (newspaper) 222, 257 obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) 128, 147 Oedipus 302 Offer, Daniel 194 Ogborn, Louise 67–68, 70, 84 Olsen, Clarence W. 82 openness 205 Origin of Species, The (Darwin) 2, 4 original sin 3 Orkney 166 ‘other people’, judgement of 67 out-groups 69, 105 Oxford Union 203, 207, 218 paedophilia 15 pain perception of 41 and the placebo effect 41, 42–43 palm reading 105 paranoia 30, 64, 150, 154, 178, 180 parapsychology 261–62, 265–67, 269, 279, 280, 287 past-life regression (PLR) 44–45, 47, 53, 168, 170 Patanjali Yog Peeth Trust 31 Paul McKenna Show, The (TV show) 263 Pearson, Michele 119 penis ‘koro’ effect 83 phantom 82 Penn and Teller 271, 290 perception and the brain 72, 76 of pain 41 and the placebo effect 41, 42, 43 of reality 27, 72, 76–77, 80, 81 see also extra-sensory perception peripeteia 303 Perkins, David 244 personality disorder 165 see also multiple personality disorder pesticides 211 Peter March’s Traveling Circus 274 Peters, Maarten 50 ‘phantom limbs’ 82 ‘Pagasus’ awards 260, 276, 288 Pirahã tribe 312 placebo effect 41–43, 45–46, 50–51, 53, 72, 107, 113, 134 and homeopathy 107, 113, 134 Playfair, Guy Lyon 280–82, 287, 293 political affiliation 205 political beliefs, and self-interest 217 political left 204, 206, 210, 211 political right 204, 205 Polonia Palace Hotel, Warsaw 219 poltergeists 280 Popoff, Peter 288 power, leftwing 211–12 Power, Joe 105, 106 ‘Pranayama’ (breath control) 32–36, 38, 40, 41, 45, 56, 134, 196 prefrontal cortex 73 prejudice 29, 53, 84, 86, 90, 100, 181, 248, 305 Pressman, Zev 280–82, 286, 288, 295 prophets 307 Prozac 42 psi phenomena 265–66 see also parapsychology psychiatry 28–29, 42, 71, 120, 130, 136, 137, 140–41, 142–43, 145–46, 150, 152, 162, 183, 189 psychic powers 253 animals with 258, 260, 261, 265, 266 testing 253, 258, 260, 263, 274, 279–80 psychics 98, 104 psychology of evil 69–70, 105, 243, 307 experimental 88, 101, 142, 316 parapsychology 261–62, 265, 266, 267, 269, 280, 287 situational 69 see also schizophrenia 157, 180, 310 Puthoff, Harold 279, 280 racism 104, 221, 223, 229, 305 radiotherapy 35, 401 Ramachandran, V.S. 75, 81, 82 Ramdev, Swami 31–41, 43, 134, 182, 306 Randi, Angela 291 Randi, James 98–99, 107, 108, 109–110, 112, 260–61, 269, 270, 271–98, 306, 309, 310, 312, 313 blindness to his own cognitive biases 272 childhood 273 death threats 275, 306 early adult life 274 emotional problems 292 homosexuality 292 interview with the author 291–98 psychic challenge prize 99, 260, 272, 276, 277, 278, 289 social Darwinism 296, 297 views on drug users 296–97 see also James Randi Educational Foundation Rank, Otto 302 Rasputin study 88, 103 rationalists, radicalised 9 reality, perceptions of 27, 72, 76–77, 80, 81, 91 ‘reality monitoring’, errors in 50 reason 26 inefficacy of 26–27 as not enough 309 recovered-memory therapy (RMT) 166, 170, 173, 176 Rees, Laurence 311 ‘regression to the mean’ 45 religious belief, and happiness 197 religious conversion mechanisms of 8 repression 169 right, political 204–207 Robertson, Shorty Jangala 300 robots, alien 23, 33 Rogo, Scott 279 Romme, Marius 137, 140, 143–45, 148, 154, 155 Rosenbaum, Ron 245 Royal College of Psychiatry 154 Royal Free Hospital, Camden 136, 139 Royal Institute of Philosophy 203 Royal Society 5 saccades 79 sacredness, irrationality surrounding 217 Sagan, Carl 266 Santayana, George 209 Satan 18 see also Lucifer santanic abuse 165–66, 168–70, 174–75, 177, 180 Saucer Smear magazine 281 Savely, Ginger 126, 127, 130 Schizophrenia 51, 136–37, 140, 141, 143, 145, 148, 150, 154, 162, 169, 178, 183, 309 as salience disorder 183 Schlitz, Marilyn 262 Schmidt, Stefan 262, 265 Schwartz, Gary 287, 188–89 science 8–9, 95–96, 255–59, 268, 273, 310 scientific method 305 Scientologists 155 sectioning 137, 140 Secular Student Alliance 290 Seeman, Mary 120 Segal, Stanley S. 172 self ideal 148, 313 multiple selves model 147 senses 77–91, 190, 196, 258 sensory deprivation 78 sexism, unconscious 86 sexual abuse 145, 146, 156–57, 162, 180 sexual assault 145–46 sexual jeaoulsy 64, 66, 104, 212 Shang, Aijing 112, 113–14 Sheldrake, Rupert 255–61, 262–70, 272–73, 276–77, 287, 289, 293–94, 307 Shermer, Michael 102 Silent Spring, The (Carson) 211 sin 17–18, 61, 66, 189 original 2 Sinason, David 171, 175, 179 Sinason, Valerie 170, 171, 178, 180, 304 Singer, Peter 304 situational psychology 69 Skeptic, The (magazine) 104, 108, 169, 271, 288 Skeptics 9, 95–112, 115, 120–21, 134, 142, 162, 260, 265, 271–73, 276–79, 290–91, 298, 309–310, 313–14 and Morgellons 134 and psi phenomenon 265–66, 279 and Sheldrake 260 ‘The Amazing Meeting’ of 290 see also Randi, James sleep 195 smell, sense of 184 Smith, Greg 122, 124, 130, 131 social Darwinism 296, 297 social roles, and the production of evil 69–70, 105 socialism 212 Sorel, George 304 ‘source-monitoring error’ 50 South Koreans 83 Soviet Union 212 sprinal tumours 129 spirituality 26 ‘split-brain’ patients 190–92 spoon-benders 98 spotlight effect 89 Stalin, Joseph 234 Stanford Prison Experiment 69–70 Stern Review 310 Stipe, Catherine 6 storytelling 183, 188, 189, 192, 194, 302, 206, 207, 312 see also confabulation; narratives ‘strip-search scams’ 68–69, 84 stroke patients 82 suicidal ideation 147 suicide 144 and voice-hearing 151, 154 Summers, Donna 67 survival of the fittest 3, 296–97 taboo violation scenarios, harmless 194 Targ, Russel 279, 280 Tavris, Carol 84, 88, 194, 243 Tea Party movement 204204 telepathy 257–59, 266, 269, 280 terrorism 9 Thatcher, Margaret 174, 204, 208, 212, 215 theft 66, 104 theory of mind 303 therapy 45, 169 group 133 placebo effect 45 This American Life (US radio show) 78 Thyssen 233 Time magazine 102 Times, The (newspaper) 263 ‘tjukurpas’ (Aboriginal stories) 275 Toronto Evening Telegram (newspaper) 274 Toronto Star (newspaper) 293 totalitarianism 216 Tournier, Alexander 109, 112, 113 traumatic experience repression 166 and voice-hearing 137, 139–41, 143–45, 148–49, 150–58 tribalism 84–85, 133, 171, 196, 217 truth 218 coherence theory of 218 and group pressure 44–45 and storytelling 312–13 Turing, Alan 266 Turner, Trevor 154–57, 162, 169, 178 twin studies 205 UFOs 22–27, 29–30, 272, 308 UK Independence Party (UKIP) 204 Ullman, Dana 107, 112, 309 Ultimate Psychic Challenges, The (TV Show) 284 unconscious 33, 44, 58–59, 60, 41–42, 183–88, 194, 269–70, 304 United Nations (UN) 216, 304 US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology 119 Vipassana Meditation Centre 52–53, 55, 57, 70 vision 79–80, 92–93, 96 Vithoulkas, George 99, 277–79, 295–96 voice-hearing 136–45, 148–59, 162, 169, 180 Wade, Kimberly 168–69 Warren, Jeff 76 Washington Post (newspaper) 120, 328, 344 water dreaming 300 Watson, Rebecca 107 ‘we mode’ 70 Wegner, Daniel 193, 331 welfare state 209–10 Western, Drew 87, 204, 206–7 Western medicine, disillusionment with 36, 39–40, 182, 306 Wexler, Bruce E. 75, 183, 185, 303 ‘wild pig, being a’ 83 Wilson, David Sloan 304 Wilson, Timothy D. 81 Wired (magazine) 271 Wiseman, Richard 259–66, 271–72, 287, 290, 335–37 Wolpert, Lewis 183–84, 189, 259, 313 Wootton, David 42 wormholes 27 Wymore, Randy 121–22, 124, 126, 128 yoga 31–39 Yuendumu 299–300 Zimbardo, Philip 68–70, 72, 104 WILL STORR is a novelist and longform journalist.

Holman Foundation 118 chemotherapy 35, 93 Chibnall, Albert 256, 257 chick-sexers 186–87 childhood abuse 165–72, 173–75, 176–78, 179 sexual 145, 146, 156–57, 162, 180 children 75 China 83 Christ Church, Oxford 200, 201 Christians 4, 6, 7, 133, 134 condemnation of homosexuality 14–15, 18 morality 15–16, 122 see also creationists Churchill, Winston 208, 235, 249, 250 Clancy, Susan 50 climate-change sceptics 200, 203–204, 216 Clinic for Dissociative Studies 171 Clinton, Hilary 118 Coan, Chris 166–67 Coan, Jim 166–67 cochlear implants 78 cognitive bias 85, 87–88, 90–91, 103–104, 111, 183, 186, 244, 272 see also confirmation bias cognitive dissonance 84–87, 96, 102, 181 coin toss tests 262 Colapinto, John 312 cold war 149, 212, 215 Coleman, Ron 136–37, 141, 146, 148, 157, 162, 186, 306 colour, perception of 80 Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) 275 Communists 212, 222, 249–50 con artists 107 concentration camps 220–21, 224, 230, 245 confabulation 189–90, 192–96, 203, 207, 218, 253, 307, 315 confirmation bias 85, 87, 96, 181, 182, 188, 221, 243, 246, 312 consciousness 267–68 as Hero-Maker 306 conviction, unconscious 33 Conway, Martin 201 Cooper, Alice 275 Copenhagen Climate Conference 204 Copenhagen Treaty 2009 216 core beliefs 183 cows, sacred 40 Creation Research 5 Creation Science Foundation 12 creationists 2–10, 13–19, 20, 26, 30, 100, 162, 261, 308, 310 Crick, Francis 258, 268 CSICOP see Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal culture, power of 211, 302 ‘culture heroes’ 311 ‘culture wars’ 30, 309 Daily Mail (newspaper) 225, 228, 232 Daily Telegraph (newspaper) 243–44, 263 Dali, Salvador 275 Darwin, Charles 2, 10, 11, 94 Davenas, Elisabeth 110–11 Dawkins, Richard 2, 6, 10, 19, 94, 142, 259, 261, 271, 272, 287, 290, 308 DDT 211 de-individuation 69 deafness 78, 82 decision-making 181, 267 and emotion 184–85, 189 dehumanization 69–70 delusions 103–104, 130, 178–79, 182, 272 finding evidence for 135 and Morgellons 120 of parasitosis (DOP) 120, 122, 124, 125, 129, 162 democracy, end of 216 Demon-Marker function 308–309 depression 33, 43, 45, 128, 141, 148 Dermatologic Therapy (journal) 128 development factors 183 Devil, Australia see Gympie Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 143, 144 dialogue-ing 149, 151–52 Diana, Princess of Wales 286 diazepam (Valium) 42 dinosaurs 13, 19 Dog World (magazine) 293–94 dogma 106–107, 258 domestic abusers 89 DOP (delusions of parasitosis) 120, 122, 124, 125, 129, 162 dopamine 155, 196 doubt 133, 257 sensitivity to 261 dragons 13 dreaming 193, 195 lucid 76 drunkenness, cultural determinants of 83–84 DSM see Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Eagleman, David 74, 79, 80, 185, 186, 192, 193, 268–69 eccentricity 310 Economist, The (weekly publications) 312 Eden 14 Eden, Anthony 208 Edward V111 208 ‘effectance motive’ 184 ego 224 dream 195 ego-bolstering, unconscious 96, 103, 181 egoists 88, 196 Eichmann, Adolf 245 Einstein, Albert 201, 285 Eliade, Mircea 302 emotions 183, 184–85, 187, 194, 305 and beliefs 188, 189, 196–97 culturally unique 83 and decision-making 184, 185, 187 see also anger; happiness energy clean 25 Enfield Gazette (newspaper) 280 Enfield Poltergeist case 280 Enlightenment 255 envy 218 epinephrine 189–90 Epley, Nicholas 88 escapology 273–74 ESP see extrasensory perception Ethics Committee of the Federal Australian Medical Association 39 European Union (EU) 212 European Union Parliament House 234 Evans, Dylan 83 Evans, Richard 224 Eve 5, 12 Eve, Mitochondrial 73 Everett, Daniel 312 evidence, denial of 221, 261 evil psychology of 69–70, 307–308 ‘supremely good’ motivations for 89 evolution 73 arguments against 2–7, 10–13 arguments for 19–20, 100–101 experimental psychology 88, 101, 142, 316 extrasensory perception (ESP) 255, 266, 274, 294 alien 24 sense of ‘being stared at’ 254–55, 258, 262 facts and belief 183 inefficiency 26 fairies 83 faith, as journey 21, 134 false memories 156, 165–70, 173–74, 178, 194 familiar, the, attraction to 183 ‘fan death’ 83 Fate magazine 281 fear 203, 205, 206 Feinberg, Todd E. 82 Felstead, Anthony 160, 164 Felstead, David 159–60, 164, 171, 175, 176 Felstead, Joan 164 Felstead, Joseph 160, 161, 164, 165 Felstead, Kevin 160, 161, 164 Felstead, Richard 159–160, 164, 176–77 Felstead family 163, 165, 166, 168, 170, 176 Festinger, Leon 85, 188 Financial Service Act 214 First World War 231 Fisher, Fleur 161, 163, 165, 166, 176, 307 Flim Flam (Randi, 1982) 271, 279, 288, 295 Flood, biblical 14 fMRI see Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging foetal development 74 fossil record 10, 13–14, 19, 101 Fourth Annual Morgellons Conference 121–28 Fox, Kate 84 Franklin, Wilbur 282, 293 free will 193, 217, 307 as confabulation 193 French Assembly 204 French, Chris 50, 104, 108, 169, 173, 288, 315 French Revolution 204 Freud, Sigmund 171, 302 Frith, Chris 70, 77, 206, 315 Fromyhr, Liam 13 Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) 71 fundamentalists 261 Garvey, James 203, 218 Gates, Bill 212 Gazzaniga, Michael 184, 190–92 Geertz, Clifford 75 Geller, Uri 99, 275, 280, 281, 287, 288, 290, 293 genes 221 genetic factors 205 and beliefs 221 and political attitude 205 and schizophrenia 145, 154 genome 205, 206 Genus Epidemicus 115 George, St, and the dragon 13 ghost-hunters 21 ghosts 104 Gilovich, Thomas 86 Gindis, Alec 277, 278 global financial crisis 213 global governance 216–217 global warming 203 gnomes 83 God 17, 202, 305 Catholic interpretations of 21 and creation 3, 4, 5–6, 10 creation of 26 Darwin’s arguments against the existence of 11 deference to 18 existence of as scientifically testable 11 knowableness of 11, 22 and morality 15 see also anti-God rhetoric Goebbels, Joseph 230, 232, 239, 245 Goenka, S.N. 57, 60, 61–63, 306 Goldacre, Ben 97 Göring, Hermann 232 Gottschall, Martin 25–26 Gottschall, Sheryl 26 governance, models of 217 Gray, Honourable Mr Justice 221, 223 Gray, John 81 Great Rift Valley 74 ‘greys’ (aliens) 23, 33 group psychology 69, 88, 197 conformity to group pressure 70, 72 and the production of evil 70 Guardian (newspaper) 6 Gururumba tribe 83 Gympie, Australia 2–7, 10, 14, 16, 22, 33–53 gympie-gympie tree 2, 19 Hahnemann, Samuel 96, 115 Haidt, Honathan 83, 184, 193, 194–95, 205, 216–17, 315 Hale, Rob 172 hallucinations 82 auditory 137, 139, 141, 144, 145 see also voice-hearing visual 152 halo effect 84 Ham, Ken 12 happiness, and religious belief 197 ‘hard problem, the’ 267 Harrow 209 Harvard University 28–29, 30, 50, 285 Hawthorne Effect 107 hearing, sense of 262 Hearing Voices Network (HVN) 137, 140–41, 154, 162 Hebard, Arthur 279, 280, 295 Hebb, Donald 266 herbal remedies 36 Hercules 302 hero, the, how your memory rebuilds you as 194, 231 hero narratives 302–303, 306–309, 311–13 parasite 307, 312 Hero-Maker 306–307, 310–311, 312, 314 Heydrich, Reinhard 245 Himmler, Heinrich 235 Himmler bunker 236, 245 Hitler, Adolf 228, 231, 238, 239, 242, 243, 244, 246, 247, 248, 151–52 Hitler Youth 204 Hitler’s bunker 238 HIV 207 see also AIDS HMS Edinburgh (ship) 231 Hoefkens, Gemma 92–95, 96–97, 115–16, 141, 142, 181, 310 Holocaust denial 155, 221, 226, 229–30, 243, 244 Homeopathic Research Institute 109 homeopathy 94–102, 105–107, 109–121, 134, 181, 269, 277, 278 evidence for 106–114, 121, 134, 269 ‘overdose’ protest against 96, 99, 105, 108–109 ‘radionic’ method 115 Homerton Hospital 132 hominins 74 Homo sapiens 73 homophobia 188 homosexuality 137 Christian condemnation of 14–15, 18 Horsey, Richard 186 Horst Wessel Song (Nazi Party anthem) 239 House of Commons Science and Technology Committee 94 Hrab, George 108 Hume, David 203 Humphrey, Nicholas 43 Huntington’s disease testing 197 HVN see Hearing Voices Network hypnotherapy and false memory generation 166 and past-life regression 44–45, 47 hypnotism 189 ‘I’, sense of 194, 196, 258 IBS seeirritable bowel syndrome Iceland 83 identity 203 ideology 272 Illuminati 286–87, 288, 304 imitation 206 immigration 206, 223 Mexican 223 in-groups 84, 133 incest 168 information field 257, 266 INSERM 200 110 intelligence, and cognitive bias 224 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 216 International Academy of Classical Homeopathy 277 Internet 112 intuition 187, 216, 238 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 43 Irving, David 269, 307, 308, 209, 333–335, 344, 345 Irving, John 219, 221, 238, 244 Irving, Nicholas 243 itch disorders 117–119 see also Morgellons Jackson, Peter 312 James, William 106 James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) 99, 260, 275, 276, 290, 294 jealousy, sexual 64, 66, 104 Jesus 142 knowableness of 11 Jewish Chronicle (newspaper) 230 Jews 221, 230, 231, 244–51, 253, 309 see also Holocaust denial Josefstadt Prison, Vienna 220 Journal of the American Medical Association 41 Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 113–114 Journal of Philosophical Studies 182 JREF see James Randi Educational Foundation Jutland, Battle of 231 Kahneman, Daniel 184, 303 Kaku, Michio 27 Kaptchuk, Ted 43 Keegan, Sir John 243–44 Keen, Montague 284 Keen, Veronica 283–88, 304 Kerry, John 87 KGB 212, 215 Kilstein, Vered 44–51, 53, 168, 305–306 King’s Cross station 136 ‘koro’ 83 Krepel, Scott 78 Krippner, Stanley 288–89, 295 Krupp 233 Kuhn, Deanna 86 Los Angeles LA Times (newspaper) 118 LaBerge, Stephen 76, 195 Labour Party 210 Lancet (journal) 109, 113 Langham, Chris 171 Lawrence, Stephen 236 Lebanese people 223 left, political 204–207, 211, 215 Leitao, Mary 118 Leitao’s Morgellons Research Foundation 118 Lemoine, Patrick 42 Lennon, John 49 Letwin, Oliver 214 Leuchter, Fred 229 Leviticus 14 Lewis, Andy 109, 114 Lipstadt, Deborah 221, 224, 243, 246, 309 Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854 210 Lo, Nathan 19–20, 22, 30, 100, 308 Loftus, Elizabeth 166, 173 love 44, 59 memories of 63, 133 Lucifer 4 see also Satan McCain, John 118 McCullock, Kay 23–25 McDonald’s 67–68, 84 Mack, John E. 28–30, 51, 102–103, 142, 145, 272, 284–85 Mackay, Glennys 22–23, 30, 33 Mackay, John 1, 4–6, 1–11, 15–20, 30, 33, 53, 91, 100, 109, 182, 305, 306, 308 MacLeish, Eric 29 Maddox, Sir John 271, 287 magic-makers 7 magnetometers 279 Majdanek concentration camp 224, 230 Mameli, Matteo 182 manic depression 141 Mann, Nick 130–31, 134, 162 Marianna, Dame of Malta 208 Marshall, Michael ‘Marsh’ 105–109 Marxists 210 ‘matchbox sign’ 124 materialism 256, 257–58, 259, 260–1, 266, 268–69 May, Rufus 148–49, 156, 182, 196, 304 meditation, Buddhist 52–53, 62, 182, 196 Meffert, Jeffrey 120 Mein Kampf (Hitler) 232, 233, 242 memory autobiographical 194 fallibility of 201 see also false memories; recovered- memory therapy mental illness 137, 141, 146, 147, 165 as continuum 147 depression 33, 42–43, 45, 89, 100, 120, 148, 197 manic depression 141 multiple personality disorder 165, 171, 173–74 obsessive compulsive disorder 128 sectioning 137, 140, 161 see also psychosis; schizophrenia mental models 76, 85, 87, 90, 102, 133, 142, 147, 183, 302, 303, 316 meta-analysis 112, 146, 157, 262, 267 Metzinger, Thomas 195 Mexican immigration 223 micro-stories 206 Milgram, Stanley 70–71 mind and the brain 255, 257–58, 266–67 as ‘out there’ 267 theory of 303 miners’ strike (mid-1980s) 212, 214–15 Mitchell, Joni 118 mites, tropical rat 132, 135 ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ 73 Moll, Albert 189 Monckton, Christopher Walter, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 200, 203–205, 207–16, 218, 304, 305, 309, 310 Monckton, Major General Gilbert, 2nd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 208 morality 193, 202 Christian 15 Morgellons 118–35, 162, 307 see also Fourth Annual Morgellons Conference, Austin, Texas morphine 41 Mosley, Sir Oswald 232 Mragowo 233 multiple personality disorder 165, 171, 173–74 murder, past-life 44, 48 murderers 89 Murray, Robin 183 Myers (formerly Felstead), Carole 159–61, 163–66, 168, 171–73, 176–80, 307 myoclonic jerk 195 myth 302, 304, 312–313 narratives hero 302–303, 306–14 master 206 nation state, end of 216 National Front 234, 305 National Health Service (NHS) 94, 148, 171 National Secular Society 5 National Union of Teachers 5 Native Americal tradition 186 Natural History Museum 132 natural selection 10 Nature (journal) 110–11, 257, 271, 287, 304 Nazi Party (German) 220, 239 Nazis 48, 89, 231, 239 Neanderthals 26 necrophilia 12, 18 neurological studies 87 neurons 74–75, 220, 253, 267 neuroscience 142 New Guinea 83 New Science of Life, A (Sheldrake) 256–57 New Scientist (journal) 257–266 New York Times (newspaper) 72, 120, 271, 272 New Yorker (magazine) 268, 312 Nix, Walte, Jr. 68 Noah 3, 5, 13, 14 Novella, Steven 107, 112, 120, 135, 272, 287, 309 Oaklander, Anne Louise 129–130 Oatley, Keith 303 Obama, Barack 118, 286 obedience studies 84 Observer (newspaper) 222, 257 obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) 128, 147 Oedipus 302 Offer, Daniel 194 Ogborn, Louise 67–68, 70, 84 Olsen, Clarence W. 82 openness 205 Origin of Species, The (Darwin) 2, 4 original sin 3 Orkney 166 ‘other people’, judgement of 67 out-groups 69, 105 Oxford Union 203, 207, 218 paedophilia 15 pain perception of 41 and the placebo effect 41, 42–43 palm reading 105 paranoia 30, 64, 150, 154, 178, 180 parapsychology 261–62, 265–67, 269, 279, 280, 287 past-life regression (PLR) 44–45, 47, 53, 168, 170 Patanjali Yog Peeth Trust 31 Paul McKenna Show, The (TV show) 263 Pearson, Michele 119 penis ‘koro’ effect 83 phantom 82 Penn and Teller 271, 290 perception and the brain 72, 76 of pain 41 and the placebo effect 41, 42, 43 of reality 27, 72, 76–77, 80, 81 see also extra-sensory perception peripeteia 303 Perkins, David 244 personality disorder 165 see also multiple personality disorder pesticides 211 Peter March’s Traveling Circus 274 Peters, Maarten 50 ‘phantom limbs’ 82 ‘Pagasus’ awards 260, 276, 288 Pirahã tribe 312 placebo effect 41–43, 45–46, 50–51, 53, 72, 107, 113, 134 and homeopathy 107, 113, 134 Playfair, Guy Lyon 280–82, 287, 293 political affiliation 205 political beliefs, and self-interest 217 political left 204, 206, 210, 211 political right 204, 205 Polonia Palace Hotel, Warsaw 219 poltergeists 280 Popoff, Peter 288 power, leftwing 211–12 Power, Joe 105, 106 ‘Pranayama’ (breath control) 32–36, 38, 40, 41, 45, 56, 134, 196 prefrontal cortex 73 prejudice 29, 53, 84, 86, 90, 100, 181, 248, 305 Pressman, Zev 280–82, 286, 288, 295 prophets 307 Prozac 42 psi phenomena 265–66 see also parapsychology psychiatry 28–29, 42, 71, 120, 130, 136, 137, 140–41, 142–43, 145–46, 150, 152, 162, 183, 189 psychic powers 253 animals with 258, 260, 261, 265, 266 testing 253, 258, 260, 263, 274, 279–80 psychics 98, 104 psychology of evil 69–70, 105, 243, 307 experimental 88, 101, 142, 316 parapsychology 261–62, 265, 266, 267, 269, 280, 287 situational 69 see also schizophrenia 157, 180, 310 Puthoff, Harold 279, 280 racism 104, 221, 223, 229, 305 radiotherapy 35, 401 Ramachandran, V.S. 75, 81, 82 Ramdev, Swami 31–41, 43, 134, 182, 306 Randi, Angela 291 Randi, James 98–99, 107, 108, 109–110, 112, 260–61, 269, 270, 271–98, 306, 309, 310, 312, 313 blindness to his own cognitive biases 272 childhood 273 death threats 275, 306 early adult life 274 emotional problems 292 homosexuality 292 interview with the author 291–98 psychic challenge prize 99, 260, 272, 276, 277, 278, 289 social Darwinism 296, 297 views on drug users 296–97 see also James Randi Educational Foundation Rank, Otto 302 Rasputin study 88, 103 rationalists, radicalised 9 reality, perceptions of 27, 72, 76–77, 80, 81, 91 ‘reality monitoring’, errors in 50 reason 26 inefficacy of 26–27 as not enough 309 recovered-memory therapy (RMT) 166, 170, 173, 176 Rees, Laurence 311 ‘regression to the mean’ 45 religious belief, and happiness 197 religious conversion mechanisms of 8 repression 169 right, political 204–207 Robertson, Shorty Jangala 300 robots, alien 23, 33 Rogo, Scott 279 Romme, Marius 137, 140, 143–45, 148, 154, 155 Rosenbaum, Ron 245 Royal College of Psychiatry 154 Royal Free Hospital, Camden 136, 139 Royal Institute of Philosophy 203 Royal Society 5 saccades 79 sacredness, irrationality surrounding 217 Sagan, Carl 266 Santayana, George 209 Satan 18 see also Lucifer santanic abuse 165–66, 168–70, 174–75, 177, 180 Saucer Smear magazine 281 Savely, Ginger 126, 127, 130 Schizophrenia 51, 136–37, 140, 141, 143, 145, 148, 150, 154, 162, 169, 178, 183, 309 as salience disorder 183 Schlitz, Marilyn 262 Schmidt, Stefan 262, 265 Schwartz, Gary 287, 188–89 science 8–9, 95–96, 255–59, 268, 273, 310 scientific method 305 Scientologists 155 sectioning 137, 140 Secular Student Alliance 290 Seeman, Mary 120 Segal, Stanley S. 172 self ideal 148, 313 multiple selves model 147 senses 77–91, 190, 196, 258 sensory deprivation 78 sexism, unconscious 86 sexual abuse 145, 146, 156–57, 162, 180 sexual assault 145–46 sexual jeaoulsy 64, 66, 104, 212 Shang, Aijing 112, 113–14 Sheldrake, Rupert 255–61, 262–70, 272–73, 276–77, 287, 289, 293–94, 307 Shermer, Michael 102 Silent Spring, The (Carson) 211 sin 17–18, 61, 66, 189 original 2 Sinason, David 171, 175, 179 Sinason, Valerie 170, 171, 178, 180, 304 Singer, Peter 304 situational psychology 69 Skeptic, The (magazine) 104, 108, 169, 271, 288 Skeptics 9, 95–112, 115, 120–21, 134, 142, 162, 260, 265, 271–73, 276–79, 290–91, 298, 309–310, 313–14 and Morgellons 134 and psi phenomenon 265–66, 279 and Sheldrake 260 ‘The Amazing Meeting’ of 290 see also Randi, James sleep 195 smell, sense of 184 Smith, Greg 122, 124, 130, 131 social Darwinism 296, 297 social roles, and the production of evil 69–70, 105 socialism 212 Sorel, George 304 ‘source-monitoring error’ 50 South Koreans 83 Soviet Union 212 sprinal tumours 129 spirituality 26 ‘split-brain’ patients 190–92 spoon-benders 98 spotlight effect 89 Stalin, Joseph 234 Stanford Prison Experiment 69–70 Stern Review 310 Stipe, Catherine 6 storytelling 183, 188, 189, 192, 194, 302, 206, 207, 312 see also confabulation; narratives ‘strip-search scams’ 68–69, 84 stroke patients 82 suicidal ideation 147 suicide 144 and voice-hearing 151, 154 Summers, Donna 67 survival of the fittest 3, 296–97 taboo violation scenarios, harmless 194 Targ, Russel 279, 280 Tavris, Carol 84, 88, 194, 243 Tea Party movement 204204 telepathy 257–59, 266, 269, 280 terrorism 9 Thatcher, Margaret 174, 204, 208, 212, 215 theft 66, 104 theory of mind 303 therapy 45, 169 group 133 placebo effect 45 This American Life (US radio show) 78 Thyssen 233 Time magazine 102 Times, The (newspaper) 263 ‘tjukurpas’ (Aboriginal stories) 275 Toronto Evening Telegram (newspaper) 274 Toronto Star (newspaper) 293 totalitarianism 216 Tournier, Alexander 109, 112, 113 traumatic experience repression 166 and voice-hearing 137, 139–41, 143–45, 148–49, 150–58 tribalism 84–85, 133, 171, 196, 217 truth 218 coherence theory of 218 and group pressure 44–45 and storytelling 312–13 Turing, Alan 266 Turner, Trevor 154–57, 162, 169, 178 twin studies 205 UFOs 22–27, 29–30, 272, 308 UK Independence Party (UKIP) 204 Ullman, Dana 107, 112, 309 Ultimate Psychic Challenges, The (TV Show) 284 unconscious 33, 44, 58–59, 60, 41–42, 183–88, 194, 269–70, 304 United Nations (UN) 216, 304 US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology 119 Vipassana Meditation Centre 52–53, 55, 57, 70 vision 79–80, 92–93, 96 Vithoulkas, George 99, 277–79, 295–96 voice-hearing 136–45, 148–59, 162, 169, 180 Wade, Kimberly 168–69 Warren, Jeff 76 Washington Post (newspaper) 120, 328, 344 water dreaming 300 Watson, Rebecca 107 ‘we mode’ 70 Wegner, Daniel 193, 331 welfare state 209–10 Western, Drew 87, 204, 206–7 Western medicine, disillusionment with 36, 39–40, 182, 306 Wexler, Bruce E. 75, 183, 185, 303 ‘wild pig, being a’ 83 Wilson, David Sloan 304 Wilson, Timothy D. 81 Wired (magazine) 271 Wiseman, Richard 259–66, 271–72, 287, 290, 335–37 Wolpert, Lewis 183–84, 189, 259, 313 Wootton, David 42 wormholes 27 Wymore, Randy 121–22, 124, 126, 128 yoga 31–39 Yuendumu 299–300 Zimbardo, Philip 68–70, 72, 104 WILL STORR is a novelist and longform journalist.


pages: 740 words: 236,681

The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever by Christopher Hitchens

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Ayatollah Khomeini, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, cosmic microwave background, cuban missile crisis, David Attenborough, Edmond Halley, Georg Cantor, germ theory of disease, index card, Isaac Newton, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, phenotype, risk tolerance, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics

., a plague, drought, or good weather) that no human would have the power to cause, then they assumed that some unseen, more-powerful agent had to have willed it, precisely for its good or bad effects on humans. So, if the event was good for people, they assumed that God willed it out of love for them; if it was bad, they assumed that God willed it out of anger at them. This mode of explanation is universally observed among people who lack scientific understanding of natural events. It appears to be a deeply rooted cognitive bias of humans to reject the thought of meaningless suffering. If we are suffering, someone must be responsible for it! Why did these representations of God as cruel and unjust not make God repugnant to the authors of Scripture and their followers? They were too busy trembling in their sandals to question what they took to be God’s will. The seventeenth-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes observed that people honor raw power irrespective of its moral justification: Nor does it alter the case of honour, whether an action (so it be great and difficult, and consequently a sign of much power) be just or unjust: for honour consisteth only in the opinion of power.

So the tendency, in the absence of scientific knowledge, to ascribe events having good and bad consequences for human beings to corresponding benevolent and malevolent intentions of unseen spirits, whether these be gods, angels, ancestors, demons, or human beings who deploy magical powers borrowed from some spirit world, explains the belief in a divine spirit as well as its (im) moral character. This explanatory tendency is pan-cultural. The spiritual world everywhere reflects the hopes and fears, loves and hatreds, aspirations and depravities of those who believe in it. This is just as we would expect if beliefs in the supernatural are, like Rorschach tests, projections of the mental states of believers, rather than based on independent evidence. The same cognitive bias that leads pagans to believe in witches and multiple gods leads theists to believe in God. Indeed, once the explanatory principle—to ascribe worldly events that bear on human well-being to the intentions and powers of unseen spirits, when no actual person is observed to have caused them—is admitted, it is hard to deny that the evidence for polytheism and spiritualism of all heretical varieties is exactly on a par with the evidence for theism.

Once we have stepped this far toward liberal theological approaches to the evidence for God, however, we open ourselves up to two further challenges to this evidence. First, the best explanation of extraordinary evidence—the only explanation that accounts for its tendency to commend heinous acts as well as good acts—shows it to reflect either our own hopes and feelings, whether these be loving or hateful, just or merciless, or else the stubborn and systematically erroneous cognitive bias of representing all events of consequence to our welfare as intended by some agent who cares about us, for good or for ill. Extraordinary evidence, in other words, is a projection of our own wishes, fears, and fantasies onto an imaginary deity. Second, all religions claim the same sorts of extraordinary evidence on their behalf. The perfect symmetry of this type of evidence for completely contradictory theological systems, and the absence of any independent ordinary evidence that corroborates one system more than another, strongly supports the view that such types of evidence are not credible at all.


pages: 516 words: 157,437

Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, cognitive bias, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Elon Musk, follow your passion, hiring and firing, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, microcredit, oil shock, performance metric, planetary scale, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, yield curve

CREATING BASEBALL CARDS Even after we were armed with the Myers-Briggs data and other tests we’d taken, I found that we were still having a hard time connecting the dots between the outcomes that we were seeing and what we knew about the people producing them. Over and over again, the same people would walk into the same meetings, do things the same ways, and get the same results without seeking to understand why. (Recently I came across a study that revealed a cognitive bias in which people consistently overlook the evidence of one person being better than another at something and assume that both are equally good at a task. This was exactly what we were seeing.) For example, people who were known not to be creative were being assigned tasks that required creativity; people who didn’t pay attention to details were being assigned to detail-oriented jobs, and so on.

; “Are we going to try to convince each other that we are right or are we going to open-mindedly hear each other’s perspectives to try to figure out what’s true and what to do about it?”; or “Are you arguing with me or seeking to understand my perspective?” 27 Psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman originally coined this term in Emotional Intelligence. 28 Some of this may be a result of what is called the Dunning-Kruger effect, a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals believe that they are in fact superior. 4 Understand That People Are Wired Very Differently Because of the different ways that our brains are wired, we all experience reality in different ways and any single way is essentially distorted. This is something that we need to acknowledge and deal with. So if you want to know what is true and what to do about it, you must understand your own brain.


pages: 229 words: 61,482

The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want by Diane Mulcahy

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mass immigration, mental accounting, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, passive income, Paul Graham, remote working, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wage slave, Y Combinator, Zipcar

In that article, Christensen’s classmates fell prey to this short-term bias by persistently overinvesting in immediate career “wins” and achievements at the expense of the longer-term reward of lasting and loving family relationships. This is a misallocation of time if we’re striving to build a meaningful and happy life, since relationships, not our careers, are what deliver those rewards. This cognitive bias is called hyperbolic discounting. Christensen asserts that we need to resist the allure of shorter-term gratification and make an explicit effort to keep our longer-term priorities “front and center” so that we allocate sufficient time and energy toward them. Like the exercises you did previously in chapter 1, explicitly identifying our priorities and values and reminding ourselves of them can be an effective way to overcome this bias.


pages: 204 words: 66,619

Think Like an Engineer: Use Systematic Thinking to Solve Everyday Challenges & Unlock the Inherent Values in Them by Mushtak Al-Atabi

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Black Swan, business climate, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, corporate social responsibility, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, follow your passion, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, invention of the wheel, iterative process, James Dyson, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Lean Startup, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, remote working, shareholder value, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker

This knowledge is useful when designing policies and systems when we would like a certain behaviour to occur. If you wish to encourage the students to submit their work on time, which technique will be more effective in convincing more students to do so, giving those who hand in their work in time a bonus of 5 extra marks or imposing a penalty of deducting 5 marks for late submission? Test the validity of your answer by asking a group of students how they would respond. 8.4.3 Anchoring This cognitive bias refers to the effect of initial, sometimes arbitrary, information on decision-making. In an experiment that was repeated around the world, the audience were shown an arbitrary number, say either 20 or 180, and asked a question “how many countries are there in the world?” Those who were shown the smaller number, 20, gave on average a smaller answer compared to those who were shown the number 180.


pages: 254 words: 69,276

The Metric Society: On the Quantification of the Social by Steffen Mau

Airbnb, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, connected car, crowdsourcing, double entry bookkeeping, future of work, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, mittelstand, moral hazard, personalized medicine, positional goods, principal–agent problem, profit motive, QR code, reserve currency, school choice, selection bias, sharing economy, smart cities, the scientific method, Uber for X, web of trust, Wolfgang Streeck

Whether these platforms are in fact suitable as a source of reliable information on teaching quality is much disputed, however (cf. Otto et al. 2008; Silva et al. 2008). Especially critical, say detractors, is the selection bias, as students with strong views (whether positive or negative) are more likely to express them. Moreover, online platforms are presumably affected even more than classroom surveys by what is known in psychology as the halo effect, meaning a cognitive bias that emphasizes certain favourable characteristics of a person while glossing over others. In the case of online evaluations, there is also the added factor that other people's assessments can be viewed and read in advance, resulting in a tendency to be swayed by them. The traffic density of these websites suggests that they are well used by students, with the side-effect that highly rated university lecturers become more in demand, while those with lower ratings can look forward to an accordingly smaller workload.


pages: 250 words: 64,011

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

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, publication bias, QR code, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, statistical model, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thomas Bayes, 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? 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?


Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity by Brian Hare, Vanessa Woods

Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Law of Accelerating Returns, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, out of africa, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, smart cities, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, white flight, zero-sum game

Leach, C. Groves, T. O’Connor, O. Pearson, M. Zeder, H. Leach, “Human Domestication Reconsidered,” Current Anthropology 44, 349–68 (2003). 48. N. K. Popova, “From Genes to Aggressive Behavior: The Role of the Serotonergic System,” Bioessays 28, 495–503 (2006). 49. H. V. Curran, H. Rees, T. Hoare, R. Hoshi, A. Bond, “Empathy and Aggression: Two Faces of Ecstasy? A Study of Interpretative Cognitive Bias and Mood Change in Ecstasy Users,” Psychopharmacology 173, 425–33 (2004). 50. E. F. Coccaro, L. J. Siever, H. M. Klar, G. Maurer, K. Cochrane, T. B. Cooper, R. C. Mohs, K. L. Davis, “Serotonergic Studies in Patients with Affective and Personality Disorders: Correlates with Suicidal and Impulsive Aggressive Behavior,” Archives of General Psychiatry 46, 587–99 (1989). 51. M. J. Crockett, L.


pages: 654 words: 191,864

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, 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, hedonic treadmill, hindsight bias, index card, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, medical residency, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, pre–internet, price anchoring, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Shai Danziger, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, 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.


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

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, information asymmetry, 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: 231 words: 73,818

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

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

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.


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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, backtesting, beat the dealer, Black Swan, business cycle, butter production in bangladesh, buy and hold, 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, Edward Thorp, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, forensic accounting, hindsight bias, intangible asset, 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, survivorship bias, 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.


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

Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, energy security, flex fuel, global pandemic, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John von Neumann, mass immigration, 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.


pages: 237 words: 74,109

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener

autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, basic income, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, charter city, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Extropian, future of work, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, means of production, medical residency, new economy, New Urbanism, passive income, pull request, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, union organizing, universal basic income, unpaid internship, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

This made sense: religious institutions were eroding, corporations demanded near-spiritual commitments, information overwhelmed, and social connection had been outsourced to the internet—everyone was looking for something. But rationalism could also be a mode of historical disengagement that ignored or absolved massive power imbalances. A popular rationality podcast covered topics such as free will and moral responsibility; cognitive bias; the ethics of vote trading. When the podcast did an episode with an evolutionary psychologist who identified as a transhumanist, bivalvegan classical liberal, she and the host discussed designer babies optimized for attractiveness without once bringing up race or the history of eugenics. Arguing fervently about a world that was not actually the world struck me as vaguely immoral. At best, it was suspiciously flattering to power.


pages: 290 words: 76,216

What's Wrong with Economics? by Robert Skidelsky

"Robert Solow", additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, full employment, George Akerlof, George Santayana, global supply chain, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market friction, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, precariat, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, survivorship bias, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

In reply, others pointed out that there were sampling issues: the census bureau had recently made an effort to sample more black males, who tended to have low incomes, and the sample was too small not to be swayed by this. Borjas in turn accused his critics of bad faith.19 Far from clarifying the matter, econometrics had spun everyone around in circles. There are too many examples of studies whose econometrics were subsequently discredited, either by spreadsheet mistakes, or cognitive bias. These problems point to the fundamental weakness of econometric testing: that the conditions needed for its success arise only in controlled experimental situations. Most econometricians recognise that these conditions fail to hold strictly but proceed as if this wasn’t important. They fail to understand that the very act of writing papers in learned journals using these techniques gives authority to faulty procedure.


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The average human being learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept but to seek responsibility. The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity, and creativity in the solutions of organizational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population. Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average human being are only partially utilized. These two lists force us to confront a cognitive bias that we hold about our exceptionality. As individuals, we each identify with Theory Y. I want to achieve great things. I am creative. I am responsible. But what about everyone else . . . our colleagues? It’s much easier to label them as Theory X. While we have direct access to our own thoughts and feelings, we have no such window into the minds of other people. We have to judge them purely by their behavior, and their behavior is shaped (at least in part) by their environment.


pages: 290 words: 82,871

The Hidden Half: How the World Conceals Its Secrets by Michael Blastland

air freight, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, central bank independence, cognitive bias, complexity theory, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, epigenetics, experimental subject, full employment, George Santayana, hindsight bias, income inequality, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, nudge unit, oil shock, p-value, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, selection bias, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, twin studies

Another approach to explaining why we know less than we think we know would be to invoke human irrationality or cognitive biases: the limiting effect on our understanding of the systematic ways that we distort or frame reality which lead to misjudgement and error. These undoubtedly play a part, but I will largely ignore them. That’s partly because cognitive biases have already received much excellent attention. But I also have a mild doubt about the current emphasis on people’s cognitive limitations: that it might suggest all we need do to overcome them is become a little smarter – which if you’re a reader of books about cognitive bias of course you will be. Whereas if – as I argue – a large part of the problem is an obdurate property of the world at large, rather than (primarily) in other people’s psychology (not ours, we’ve read the books), then flattering ourselves about our own exceptional genius will get us nowhere. People do take mental shortcuts, and they do go wrong, and although this is undeniably a problem partly to do with our own thinking, one reason that we take shortcuts is the sheer complexity of what we’re grappling with.


pages: 288 words: 81,253

Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Filter Bubble, hindsight bias, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, loss aversion, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, p-value, phenotype, prediction markets, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, urban planning, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

“From Parlor Games to Social Science: Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory 1928–1944.” Journal of Economic Literature 33 (June 1994): 730–61. Lerner, Jennifer, and Philip Tetlock. “Accounting for the Effects of Accountability.” Psychological Bulletin 125, no. 2 (March 1999): 255–75. Lerner, Jennifer, and Philip Tetlock. “Bridging Individual, Interpersonal, and Institutional Approaches to Judgment and Decision Making: The Impact of Accountability on Cognitive Bias.” In Emerging Perspectives on Judgment and Decision Research, edited by Sandra Schneider and James Shanteau, 431–57. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Letterman, David. The Late Show with David Letterman. Season 16, Episode 30. Produced by Eric Stangel and Justin Stangel. Aired October 27, 2008, on CBS. Levitin, Daniel. A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age.


pages: 301 words: 85,263

New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle

AI winter, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, congestion charging, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Snowden, fear of failure, Flash crash, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, late capitalism, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, oil shock, p-value, pattern recognition, peak oil, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, sorting algorithm, South China Sea, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stem cell, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, Uber for X, undersea cable, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

The miniaturisation principle, and its accompanying surge in computational power, is the ever-building wave that Berners-Lee rode through the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, in order to bring us, neatly and inevitably, to the World Wide Web and the interconnected world of today. But Moore’s law, despite the name by which it came to be known (one which Moore himself wouldn’t use for two decades), is not a law. Rather, it’s a projection – in both senses of the word. It’s an extrapolation from the data but also a phantasm created by the restricted dimensionality of our imagination. It’s a confusion in the same manner as the cognitive bias that feeds our preference for heroic histories, but in the opposite direction. Where one bias leads us to see the inevitable march of progress through historical events to our present moment, the other sees this progress continuing inevitably into the future. And, as such projections do, it has the capability both to shape that future and to influence, in fundamental ways, other projections – regardless of the stability of its original premise.


pages: 302 words: 83,116

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, longitudinal study, 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 Thaler, selection bias, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, William Langewiesche, 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: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

Eventually, the shock passed and I began to mourn. But until it happened, I didn’t have any way to predict that this particular tragedy would be something that I’d have to assimilate. We’re all the same in this regard. Programmers are no better than anyone else at anticipating unexpected, terrible situations. Social groups tend to have a collective blind spot when it comes to imagining the worst. It’s a kind of cognitive bias that sociologist Karen A. Cerulo calls “positive asymmetry” in her book Never Saw It Coming: Cultural Challenges to Envisioning the Worst. Positive asymmetry is a “tendency to emphasize only the best or most positive cases,” she writes. Cultures tend to reward those who focus on the positive and shun or punish those who bring up the downside. The programmer who brings up the potential new audience for a product gets more attention than the programmer who points out that the new product will likely be used for harassment or fraud.2 Eliza’s responses reflect its designer’s basically playful outlook.


Seeking SRE: Conversations About Running Production Systems at Scale by David N. Blank-Edelman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, bounce rate, business continuity plan, business process, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, dark matter, database schema, Debian, defense in depth, DevOps, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, fear of failure, friendly fire, game design, Grace Hopper, information retrieval, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, invisible hand, iterative process, Kubernetes, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, microservices, minimum viable product, MVC pattern, performance metric, platform as a service, pull request, RAND corporation, remote working, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ruby on Rails, search engine result page, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single page application, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, source of truth, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, web application, WebSocket, zero day

Smith’s Reliability, Maintainability, and Risk states a similar rate, 25%, for complicated tasks, and somewhat depressingly, a 50% error rate for “trivial” things such as noticing that valves are in the wrong position.22 In a paper on the subject,23Microsoft shows that middle-rank chess players double their chance of a serious blunder as they move from 10 seconds to 0 seconds left on their clock, and background error rates for programming — in the absence of any particular stressor — range between <1 and >13% in this comparison table. Any way you look at it, it is clear that to err is very definitely human. Another potentially large effect on on-call performance is cognitive bias, which (if you accept the overall psychological framework), strongly implies that human beings make errors in stressful situations in very systemic ways. A write-up goes into this in more detail here, but suffice to say that if you read Thinking, Fast and Slow and wonder if there’s any evidence SREs are affected by cognitive kinks of some kinds, there is indeed quite a lot of evidence to support it; for example, anchoring effects in the context of time-limited graph interpretation, closely matching the awkward constraints of on-call.

(This is most tractable during business hours and is hard to organize with small teams.) Aggressive hypothesizing, which is the technique of tossing out idea after idea about what’s going wrong, all as different as possible, can also be useful. This is particularly so when a number of things go wrong at the same time, due to the fact that increased stress narrows the mind. It also helps to correct for cognitive bias problems like anchoring. Finally, good discipline, such as always maintaining hand-off documents and following a well-drilled incident management procedure, is necessary to coping effectively with rapidly moving incidents; the “guide rails” provided by extensive drilling on a procedure helps you to react correctly in uncertain situations. We Need a Fundamental Change in Approach As useful as all of these practical recommendations are, there is something fundamentally unsatisfying with always chasing something you’ll never catch up with.


pages: 286 words: 90,530

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

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, zero-sum game

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: 346 words: 89,180

Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mother of all demos, Network effects, new economy, open economy, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, place-making, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, quantitative hedge fund, rent-seeking, revision control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Vanguard fund, walkable city, X Prize, zero-sum game

Wal-Mart and K-Mart are in the same industry, have more or less the same types of trucks and fixtures in their stores, and stock very similar goods. Yet even to the everyday observer, they are vastly different. What makes them different is in part their reputation, but also the very organization itself. So let us turn to the organization and, in particular, the role of management and leadership. Managing One reason for the celebrity status of managers is offered by the consistently fascinating blogger Chris Dillow,5 namely, the cognitive bias of “fundamental attribution error.” As we discussed in chapter 6, if people tend to relate the success of a company to its hero manager, rather than to general progress of technology or the state of the economy or the organizational capital embodied in the company itself, they may reward the manager too highly. Thus the manager or leader becomes the subject of a cargo cult. Boards, cowed by the social norms of the age, grant managers excessive salaries, which inattentive shareholders are apparently willing to put through on the nod.


pages: 294 words: 96,661

The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cognitive bias, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, estate planning, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, full employment, Hans Rosling, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mary Lou Jepsen, Moravec's paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

We intuitively know to step back from rattlesnakes, not vending machines, and despite decades of safe consumer aviation, we intuitively, and incorrectly, feel that driving is safer than flying. It is a predilection of humans to be overly cautious. For our ancestors, nervousness was a virtue. It was far better to mistake a rock for a bear and run away from it than to mistake a bear for a rock and stay put. A cognitive bias toward fear isn’t always a bad thing. So what are some of the things we have to worry about in the future? The most obvious challenges are in biology. There will be little to stop someone from bioengineering a pathogen. CRISPR genomic editing is so easy and inexpensive that $100 kits are available for elementary school students to modify yeast to turn it red. Existing pathogens are bad enough, but with a nip and tuck here and there, something even more terrible could be made.


pages: 342 words: 94,762

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy

algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, 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, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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: 299 words: 92,782

The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing by Michael J. Mauboussin

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Atul Gawande, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, commoditize, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Emanuel Derman, fundamental attribution error, Gini coefficient, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, income inequality, Innovator's Dilemma, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Menlo Park, mental accounting, moral hazard, Network effects, prisoner's dilemma, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, shareholder value, Simon Singh, six sigma, Steven Pinker, transaction costs, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipf's Law

When we make predictions, we often fail to recognize the existence of luck, and as a consequence we dwell too much on the specific evidence, especially recent evidence. This also makes it tougher to judge performance. Once something has happened, our natural inclination is to come up with a cause to explain the effect. The problem is that we commonly twist, distort, or ignore the role that luck plays in our successes and failures. Thinking explicitly about how luck influences our lives can help offset that cognitive bias. Quantifying Luck's Role in the Success Equation The starting place for this book is to go beyond grasping the general idea that luck is important. Then we can begin to figure out the extent to which luck contributes to our achievements, successes, and failures. The ultimate goal is to determine how to deal with luck in making decisions. This book has three parts: Chapters 1 through 3 set up the foundation.


pages: 377 words: 97,144

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

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, Norman Macrae, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, 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, twin studies, 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

agricultural Revolution, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, guest worker program, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, iterative process, mass immigration, 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: 360 words: 100,991

Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence by Richard Yonck

3D printing, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, friendly AI, ghettoisation, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of writing, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Skype, social intelligence, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing test, twin studies, undersea cable, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, zero day

“A forkhead-domain gene is mutated in a severe speech and language disorder.” Nature 413, 519–23 (October 4, 2001). 11. Enard W., Przeworski M., Fisher S.E., Lai C.S., Wiebe V., Kitano T., Monaco A.P., Pääbo S. “Molecular evolution of FOXP2, a gene involved in speech and language.” Nature 418, 869–872 (August 22, 2002). 12. Today we refer to such overconfidence as the Dunning-Kruger effect, a form of cognitive bias. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect. 13. Christiansen, M.H., Kirby, S. “Language evolution: consensus and controversies.” TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences, Vol.7 No.7. July 2003. 14. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. “The neural and cognitive correlates of aimed throwing in chimpanzees: a magnetic resonance image and behavioural study on a unique form of social tool use,” January 12, 2012, vol. 367 no. 1585 37–47. 15.


pages: 831 words: 98,409

SUPERHUBS: How the Financial Elite and Their Networks Rule Our World by Sandra Navidi

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, assortative mating, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, diversification, East Village, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, family office, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, high net worth, hindsight bias, income inequality, index fund, intangible asset, Jaron Lanier, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, McMansion, mittelstand, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Network effects, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Parag Khanna, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, rent-seeking, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Predators' Ball, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, women in the workforce, young professional

In the world of high finance, a stellar reputation within the industry is an indispensable requirement to becoming a superhub. Yet what might seem reputation-destroying to many of us sometimes appears not to matter much in the business world. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, oversaw the loss of $6.2 billion, yet his reputation as a competent leader in global finance did not suffer. A larger-than-life reputation tends to become self-sustaining due to a cognitive bias known as the “halo effect,”18 in which everything an individual does is viewed through the frame of his assumed excellence. In other words, once opinion leaders in the network deem someone to be extraordinary, the network assumes it as an eternal fact. Even in the event of a massive failure, the superhubs’ tight network connections often prevent peers from falling through the cracks.19 Loyalties and social capital are a strong base on which relationships are cemented, and most of the executives who lost their jobs during the financial crisis later resurfaced elsewhere.


pages: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

., Cox, D., & Navarro-Rivera, J. 2014. Believers, sympathizers, and skeptics: Why Americans are conflicted about climate change, environmental policy, and science. Washington: Public Religion Research Institute. Jussim, L., Krosnick, J., Vazire, S., Stevens, S., Anglin, S., et al. 2017. Political bias. Best Practices in Science. https://bps.stanford.edu/?page_id=3371. Kahan, D. M. 2012. Cognitive bias and the constitution of the liberal republic of science. Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper 270. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2174032. Kahan, D. M. 2015. Climate-science communication and the measurement problem. Political Psychology, 36, 1–43. Kahan, D. M., Braman, D., Slovic, P., Gastil, J., & Cohen, G. 2009. Cultural cognition of the risks and benefits of nanotechnology.

African AIDS relief policy of, 67 among know-nothings, 374–5 disdain for science and, 60, 387, 389 and nuclear weapons, 291, 319 prescription drug benefit of, 109 wealth creation malaprop, 81 Buturovic, Zeljka, 362 Cambodia, 78, 147, 161, 238 Cameroon, 162 Campbell, David, 432 Campbell, Joseph, 456n1 Camus, Albert, 446 Canada child mortality and, 56 depression and, 282 economic freedom in, 365, 483n39 education in, 237 emancipative values in, 225–7, 226, 227 and escape from poverty, 85 happiness and well-being, 438–9, 475n30 homicide rates in, 171 populism and, 341 secularization and, 436, 437, 438–9 social spending in, 108, 109, 365, 483n39 cancer, 61, 146 Cantril, Hadley, 266, 359 capitalism authoritarian, China and, 90, 201, 203–4, 343 as coexisting with regulations, 364, 365 as coexisting with social spending, 364, 365, 483nn39,42 and cultures, 85 and Great Escape from poverty, 90–91, 364 unbridled/unregulated/untrammeled, 364 See also commerce; economic inequality; economics capital punishment abolition of, 208–213, 209 cognitive bias study referencing, 359–60 homosexual behavior criminalized, 223 Capp, Al, 297 Caracas, Venezuela, 172 carbon tax, 139, 145–6, 149 Carey, John, 247 Caribbean countries, 89, 175, 201, 203 Carlson, Robert, 307 Carroll, Sean, 385 Carter Center, 65 Carter, Jimmy, 67 Carter, Richard, 63–4 Castro, Fidel, 376–7, 447, 484n79 Catholic Church, education and, 234 Catholic countries, emancipative values in, 227, 227 Catholics, 222, 437, 440 Central African Republic, 95, 162, 236 Central Asia, democratization and, 206 Chad, 160, 162 Chalk, Frank, 160–61 Chalmers, David, 425–6 Chamberlain, Houston Stewart, 398 Chaplin, Charlie, 186 charitable giving Effective Altruism, 381 as factor in happiness, 271 Charlie Hebdo massacre, 370 Chase, Chevy, 266 Chaucer, Geoffrey, 181 Chávez, Hugo, 91, 171, 447 Chekhov, Anton, 284, 387 Chenoweth, Erica, 405 Chernobyl disaster (1986), 146 child mortality, 55–7, 56, 58, 66–7, 66, 125 children, 228–30 abuse of, 229 bullying at school, 229 child labor, 230–32, 231 child marriage ban, 222 childrearing in emancipative values, 224 corporal punishment of, 229–30 negative media coverage of, 229 stunting due to undernourishment, 70–71, 71 trafficking in, 232 See also child mortality; education; teenagers Chile child mortality and, 56 earthquake (2010), 188 education and literacy in, 236, 238 GDP of, 85 military government of, 200 poverty in, 91 China An Lushan Rebellion, 484n77 authoritarian capitalism of, 90, 201, 203–4, 343 Axial Age and, 23 calories available per person in, 70, 70 capital punishment in, 209–210 carbon emissions of, 143, 143, 144 childhood stunting in, 71, 71 Chinese Civil War, 49, 158, 160, 199 Cultural Revolution (1966–75), 91, 161, 208 democratization and, 206 education in, 237, 237, 238 escape from poverty of, 85, 86, 90 famine in, 69, 72, 78 GDP of, 85 globalization and, 111 Great Leap Forward (1958–61), 78, 91 Great Recession and, 112 human rights in, 208, 208 mass killings (genocide deaths) in, 161 nuclear power and, 147, 150 nuclear weapons and, 313, 317, 318, 320 per capita income of, 86 perception of the world as getting better, 457n8 population-control program of, 74 quality of life and, 247 secularization and, 436 social spending in, 109 Tiananmen Square protests, 208 traffic death rates in, 178 and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 419 China Syndrome, The (film), 147–8 chlorofluorocarbons ban (1987), 134 Chomsky, Noam, 443, 456n1 Christian militias, 162 Christians and Christianity humanist denominations, 412 killings by ISIS, 162 Nietzsche’s rejection of, 444 religiosity of nation-states in world wars, 429–30 theoconservatism, 448–9 wars of religion, 8, 10, 364, 450, 488n46 See also Bible; Evangelical Christians Churchill, Winston, 205, 341 Cicero, 397 Cipolla, Carlo, 79–80 cities.


pages: 406 words: 109,794

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Exxon Valdez, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, functional fixedness, game design, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, precision agriculture, prediction markets, premature optimization, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, young professional

Except for Dmitry, the group agrees that there is “zero correlation at all,” as Alexander puts it, between temperature and engine failure. “Am I the only one?” Dmitry asks, to a few giggles. Jake is particularly unimpressed with engine mechanic Pat’s reasoning. “I think Pat’s a really good mechanic,” he says. “I don’t think he’s a really good root cause analysis engineer, and those are two very different things.” Jake thinks Pat is falling prey to a well-known cognitive bias, overemphasizing the importance of a single, dramatic memory—the three gasket breaks on a cool day. “We don’t even have the information to understand this graph,” Jake says. “There’s twenty-four races, right? How many of those were around 53 degrees and didn’t break? I don’t mean to attack your point,” he says to Dmitry, smiling and giving him a friendly tap on the hand. Everyone agrees it would be nice to have temperature data from the races with no engine problems, but that they’re stuck with what they have.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, 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, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, 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: 354 words: 105,322

The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis by James Rickards

"Robert Solow", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, cellular automata, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, jitney, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Pierre-Simon Laplace, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, price anchoring, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, reserve currency, RFID, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, stocks for the long run, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transfer pricing, value at risk, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

“Europeans found the Chinese amusing”: Ibid., 68. “Doubtless the King too had spoken in good faith”: Ibid., 74. Churchill once sent a cable to Keynes: Noel F. Busch, “Close-Up: Lord Keynes,” Life, September 17, 1945, accessed August 7, 2016, https://books.google.com/books?id=t0kEAAAAMBAJ&q=%22a+cable%22&hl=en#v=snippet&q=%22a%20cable%22&f=false. For example, Kahneman’s experiments show: This example illustrates a cognitive bias Kahneman called “risk aversion.” See Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 434–36. CHAPTER 1: THIS IS THE END “Nice, nice, very nice”: Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle (New York: Dial Press, 2010), 3. Under Larry Fink’s direction, BlackRock emerged: Some descriptions of Larry Fink’s management style and work habits in this material are from Carol J.


pages: 397 words: 112,034

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

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, 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, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, 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, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, 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: 372 words: 116,005

The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It's Broken by Secret Barrister

cognitive bias, Donald Trump, G4S, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mandatory minimum, race to the bottom, Schrödinger's Cat, statistical model

There is a vast body of psychological research demonstrating the prevalence and power of unconscious bias in human decision-making, and how we are hard-wired to respond positively to those we perceive as similar to us, and to react against those we perceive as different.10 It would appear arguable as a matter of common sense that the composition of a judiciary in which only 6 per cent identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME)11 might lead to overall sentencing outcomes which reflect an unconscious preferential treatment of white defendants compared to BAME defendants convicted of similar offences. But while inconsistency in sentencing might be accounted for in part by idiosyncratic judicial behaviour and cognitive bias, it is only a tiny piece of the jigsaw. The main reason for incoherent sentencing outcomes and policy isn’t capricious judges; it’s that incoherence is embedded in the sentencing framework. ‘Hell is a Fair Description of These Sentencing Laws’ A sentencing hearing broadly takes three parts: one, the prosecutor outlines the facts of what the defendant has done, and draws the court’s attention to relevant law and guidelines – note, unlike in America, the prosecutor does not actively call for the highest sentence possible, nor are neatly wrapped ‘plea bargains’ presented for a judge to green-light a sentence agreed between the parties.


pages: 393 words: 115,217

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Astronomia nova, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Gary Taubes, hypertext link, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Jony Ive, knowledge economy, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, PageRank, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, Wall-E, wikimedia commons, yield management

•  Fine-tune the spans: Widen management spans in loonshot groups (but not in franchise groups) to encourage looser controls, more experiments, and peer-to-peer problem solving. POSTSCRIPT FROM NOBELS AND NUDGES TO NURTURING LOONSHOTS A rapidly growing field called behavioral economics specializes in how incentives and environmental cues influence behavior. The influences studied by behavioral economists are often subtle, either because they are hidden or because they are based on quirks of psychology called cognitive biases. An example of a cognitive bias: In one study, experienced judges were asked to roll dice before sentencing. The jail terms they imposed were 60 percent longer after they rolled a high number than after they rolled a low number. The judge example is disturbing, but it is in the context of a controlled experiment. A real-world disturbing example of a hidden influence at work is in the choice of delivery made by patients and physicians during childbirth.


pages: 515 words: 117,501

Miracle Cure by William Rosen

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, biofilm, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, creative destruction, demographic transition, discovery of penicillin, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, functional fixedness, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, Haber-Bosch Process, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, New Journalism, obamacare, out of africa, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, stem cell, transcontinental railway, working poor

The really bad news was this: Since a Viennese chemist named Paul Gelmo had identified sulfanilamide as part of his 1908 doctoral thesis and patented it in 1909, the substance was now in the public domain. At Bayer, the news was devastating. No one yet knows how so many skilled researchers could fail so totally—the original documents remain sealed away—but a good guess is that Prontosil was a particularly acute example of the cognitive bias that psychologists call “functional fixedness” and civilians know as “if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” The large chemical industries had been built on dyes and wore blinders that shielded them from just about anything else. Which also explains why, even after Bayer knew that adding azo dyes to sulfanilamide did literally nothing to improve the drug’s antibacterial effectiveness, and that the active ingredient in the drug was freely available to anyone with the 1935 equivalent of a home chemistry set, they still persisted with the launch of Prontosil.


pages: 410 words: 114,005

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

Airbus A320, 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, creative destruction, credit crunch, crew resource management, 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, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, publication bias, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, Shai Danziger, 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, US Airways Flight 1549, 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: 405 words: 112,470

Together by Vivek H. Murthy, M.D.

Airbnb, call centre, cognitive bias, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, gig economy, income inequality, index card, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, stem cell, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft

But the natural response to protect ourselves in the face of threat is to close down and prejudge others, instead of opening up and giving them the benefit of the doubt. We can’t listen to another point of view nearly as well when we’re angry and scared—we all know this from our personal conflicts. And that drives us apart. Too often, we’re also filled with contempt, which poses a big obstacle when we try to come together. Much of this, according to a 2014 series of studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,44 is fueled by a cognitive bias known as “motive attribution asymmetry,” which tells us that our beliefs are grounded in love, while our opponents’ are based on hatred. The studies found that this bias applies to Israelis who believe they are fighting out of love for their people, while Palestinians are driven by hatred—and vice versa. The same bias infects both Democrats and Republicans in America, who believe that their own fervor is driven by “love of this country” while wondering why the other party “hates us.”


pages: 428 words: 121,717

Warnings by Richard A. Clarke

active measures, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Bernie Madoff, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Elon Musk, failed state, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forensic accounting, friendly AI, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge worker, Maui Hawaii, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, mouse model, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y2K

Implicitly they are saying that nothing new ever happens, despite the manifest evidence to the contrary. History is full of examples of things happening for the first time. In fact, much of what is taught in high school history classes is simply a list of things that happened for the first time: the first flight of an aircraft, the first man on the moon, the first African American President of the United States, etc. Social psychologists use the term “cognitive bias” to describe the filters, blinders, or limits we place between our points of view and reality. As we have seen in earlier chapters, one of the cognitive biases most relevant to our discussion is the “availability bias,” a filter on perception and thinking derived from relying on familiarity or prior experience. Most predicted events that would be an initial occurrence suffer from the audience’s availability bias, or lack of past experiences to which to relate the prediction.


pages: 448 words: 117,325

Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, business process, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Firefox, Flash crash, George Akerlof, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of radio, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, loose coupling, market design, medical malpractice, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, pattern recognition, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, ransomware, Rodney Brooks, Ross Ulbricht, security theater, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

We are biased towards preferring sure smaller gains over risky larger gains, and risky larger losses over sure smaller losses. Spending on preventive security is a sure small loss: the cost of more security. Reducing spending is a sure small gain. Having an insecure network, or service, or product, is risking a large loss. This doesn’t mean that no one ever spends money on security, only that it’s an uphill battle to overcome this cognitive bias—and it explains why so often CEOs are willing to take the chance. Of course, this is assuming that the CEOs are knowledgeable on the threats, which they almost certainly are not. This willingness to assume the risks of having an insecure network results partly from the lack of clear legal liabilities for producing insecure products, which I’ll talk about more in the next section. Years ago, I joked that if a software product maimed one of your children, and the software manufacturer knew that it would but decided not to tell you because it might hurt its sales, it still would not be liable.


pages: 497 words: 123,778

The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It by Yascha Mounk

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, basic income, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, David Brooks, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, Parag Khanna, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Our coffee houses are social networks.”4 It is easy to dismiss these grand claims out of hand. In generation after generation, so the charge goes, some leading thinkers have fallen prey to “chronocentricism,” or the erroneous belief that their own moment in time is somehow central to the history of mankind.5 Might the widespread belief that a recent invention like Twitter or Facebook represents a fundamental shift in human history not suffer from the same cognitive bias? It’s important to be on guard against chronocentrism. But it’s also difficult to deny that there are some real parallels between the invention of digital technology and the invention of the printing press: like the press, the advent of the internet and of social media fundamentally transformed the structural conditions of communication. In the five hundred years since the invention of the printing press, the cost and the speed of one-to-many communication fell significantly, even as its content and geographical reach expanded radically.


pages: 542 words: 132,010

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

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), lateral thinking, mandatory minimum, medical residency, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, 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

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, business cycle, cognitive bias, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, 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, Kenneth Arrow, linear programming, market bubble, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, new economy, open economy, peer-to-peer, 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: 539 words: 139,378

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

affirmative action, Black Swan, cognitive bias, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, invisible hand, lateral thinking, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Necker cube, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, social web, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, ultimatum game

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Lepre, C. J., H. Roche, D. V. Kent, S. Harmand, R. L. Quinn, J. P. Brugal, P. J. Texier, A. Lenoble, and C. S. Feibel. 2011. “An Earlier Origin for the Acheulian.” Nature 477:82–85. Lerner, J. S., and P. E. Tetlock. 2003. “Bridging Individual, Interpersonal, and Institutional Approaches to Judgment and Decision Making: The Impact of Accountability on Cognitive Bias.” In Emerging Perspectives on Judgment and Decision Research, ed. S. L. Schneider and J. Shanteau, 431–57. New York: Cambridge University Press. Lilienfeld, S. O., R. Ammirati, and K. Landfield. 2009. “Giving Debiasing Away: Can Psychological Research on Correcting Cognitive Errors Promote Human Welfare?” Perspectives on Psychological Science 4:390–98. Liljenquist, K., C. B. Zhong, and A.


pages: 567 words: 122,311

Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll, Benjamin Yoskovitz

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, bounce rate, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, constrained optimization, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, frictionless market, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, inventory management, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Marshall McLuhan, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, performance metric, place-making, platform as a service, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, sentiment analysis, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social software, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, telemarketer, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, web application, Y Combinator

How to Avoid Leading the Witness We’re a weak, shallow species. Human beings tend to tell you what they think you want to hear. We go along with the herd and side with the majority. This has disastrous effects on the results you get from respondents: you don’t want to make something nobody wants, but everybody lies about wanting it. What’s a founder to do? You can’t change people’s fundamental nature. Response bias is a well-understood type of cognitive bias, exploited by political campaigners to get the answer they want by leading the witness (this is known as push polling). You can, however, do four things: don’t tip your hand, make the question real, keep digging, and look for other clues. Don’t Tip Your Hand We’re surprisingly good at figuring out what someone else wants from us. The people you interview will do everything they can, at a subconscious level, to guess what you want them to say.


pages: 624 words: 127,987

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

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business cycle, 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 Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, 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, Vilfredo Pareto, 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: 488 words: 148,340

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

back-to-the-land, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, dark matter, epigenetics, gravity well, mandelbrot fractal, microbiome, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, 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: 590 words: 152,595

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

active measures, Air France Flight 447, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, brain emulation, Brian Krebs, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, DevOps, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, Flash crash, Freestyle chess, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, ImageNet competition, Internet of things, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, pattern recognition, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sensor fusion, South China Sea, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Turing test, universal basic income, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, William Langewiesche, Y2K, zero day

An automated system could conceivably mistake a satellite launch or missile test for an attack and, by destroying another country’s rocket, needlessly escalate a crisis. Even if mistakes could be avoided, there is a deeper problem with leaders attempting to increase their command-and-control in crises by directly programming engagement rules into autonomous weapons: leaders themselves may not be able to accurately predict what decisions they would want to take in the future. “Projection bias” is a cognitive bias where humans incorrectly project their current beliefs and desires onto others and even their future selves. To better understand what this might mean for autonomous weapons, I reached out to David Danks, a professor of philosophy and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Danks studies both cognitive science and machine learning, so he understands the benefits and drawbacks to human and machine cognition.


The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, computer age, Donald Trump, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Georg Cantor, hedonic treadmill, Henri Poincaré, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, Necker cube, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Schrödinger's Cat, social intelligence, social web, source of truth, stem cell, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind

., ‘Cerebral pathways for calculation: double dissociation between rote verbal and quantitative knowledge of arithmetic’, Cortex, 1997, 33(2), pp. 219–50 Dehaene, S., Piazza, M., Pinel, P. et al., ‘Three parietal circuits for number processing’, Cognitive Neuropsychology, 2003, 20(3–6), pp. 487–506 Delacroix, E., Journal de Eugène Delacroix, ed. P. Flat & R. Piot, Plon, Nourrit et Cie., Paris, 1893 ——, Œuvres littéraires, ed. É. Faure, Crès et Cie., Paris, 1923 Deldin, P. J., Keller, J., Gergen, J. A. et al., ‘Cognitive bias and emotion in neuropsychological models of depression’, Cognition and Emotion, 2001, 15(6), pp. 787–802 Delis, D. C., Kiefner, M. G. & Fridlund, A. J., ‘Visuospatial dysfunction following unilateral brain damage: dissociations in hierarchical and hemispatial analysis’, Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 1988, 10(4), pp. 421–31 Delis, D. C., Robertson, L. C. & Efron, R., ‘Hemispheric specialisation of memory for visual hierarchical stimuli’, Neuropsychologia, 1986, 24(2), pp. 205–14 den Ouden, H.

., ‘The role of the right cerebral hemisphere in processing novel metaphoric expressions: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study’, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2008, 20(1), pp. 170–81 Pockett, S., ‘On subjective back-referral and how long it takes to become conscious of a stimulus: a reinterpretation of Libet’s data’, Consciousness and Cognition, 2002, 11(2), pp. 144–61 Podell, K., Lovell, M., Zimmerman, M. et al., ‘The Cognitive Bias Task and lateralized frontal lobe functions in males’, Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 1995, 7(4), pp. 491–501 Poincaré, H., ‘La création mathématique’, Science et Méthode, Flammarion, Paris, 1908 Pontius, A. A., ‘Dyslexia and specifically distorted drawings of the face – a new subgroup with prosopagnosia-like signs’, Experientia, 1976, 32(11), pp. 1432–5 ——, ‘Links between literacy skills and accurate spatial relations in representations of the face: comparison of preschoolers, school children, dyslexics, and mentally retarded’, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1983, 57(2), pp. 659–66 ——, ‘Representation of spatial relations on the specific test, Draw-A-Person-With-Face-In-Front, as indicative of literacy skills in Australian Aboriginals and “Westerners”’, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1984, 59(1), pp. 275–84 Poole, J.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

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

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, creative destruction, 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, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, 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: 586 words: 186,548

Architects of Intelligence by Martin Ford

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flash crash, future of work, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, job automation, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Productivity paradox, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Right now, we’re stuck in our current conception of reality, and we can’t get past this contemplation that we might be able to create a future based on harmoniousness instead of competition, and that we might somehow have a sufficient amount of resources and a mindset for all of us to thrive together. We immediately jump into the fact that we always strive to hurt one another. What I am suggesting is this is why we need enhancement to get past these limits and cognitive bias that we have. So, I am in favor of enhancing everybody at the same time. That puts a burden on the development of the technology, but that’s what the burden needs to be. MARTIN FORD: When you describe this, I get the sense that you’re thinking in terms of not just enhancing intelligence, but also morality and ethical behavior and decision making. Do you think that there’s potential for technology to make us more ethical and altruistic as well?


pages: 631 words: 177,227

The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich

agricultural Revolution, capital asset pricing model, Climategate, cognitive bias, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demographic transition, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Flynn Effect, impulse control, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nash equilibrium, out of africa, phenotype, placebo effect, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, side project, social intelligence, social web, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, ultimatum game

Among the Maya, for example, stylized faces endured for six centuries as a central part of the writing system (see figure 14.1). This unusual element in writing harnesses our innate proclivities, including dedicated brain regions, for recognizing and remembering faces. It also seems likely that skilled Mayan readers probably got better at recognizing and remembering faces in nonreading contexts—unlike me and other obsessive English readers. This cognitive bias may be reasserting itself in the cultural evolution of modern writing systems, as I suspect that stylized faces are making a comeback .7 Reading, then, is a cultural evolutionary product that actually rewires our brains to create a cognitive specialization—an almost magical ability to rapidly turn patterns of shapes into language. Most human societies have not had a writing system, and until the last few hundred years, most people did not know how to read or write.


pages: 685 words: 203,949

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

airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Bayesian statistics, 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, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, shared worldview, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, ultimatum game, zero-sum 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: 669 words: 210,153

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

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, 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, zero-sum game

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?”


Engineering Security by Peter Gutmann

active measures, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, bank run, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Brian Krebs, business process, call centre, card file, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Debian, domain-specific language, Donald Davies, Donald Knuth, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, fault tolerance, Firefox, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, glass ceiling, GnuPG, Google Chrome, iterative process, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, Laplace demon, linear programming, litecoin, load shedding, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Network effects, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, post-materialism, QR code, race to the bottom, random walk, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, semantic web, Skype, slashdot, smart meter, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, telemarketer, text mining, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Market for Lemons, the payments system, Therac-25, too big to fail, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, web application, web of trust, x509 certificate, Y2K, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

Imposing patterns and meaning on everything around us may be useful in predicting important events in the social world [279] but it’s at best misleading and at Security and Rationality 161 worst dangerous when we start imagining links between events that are actually independent. The ability to mentally create order out of chaos (which is quite contrary to what humans do physically, particularly the “children” subclass of humans) is a known cognitive bias, in this case something called the clustering illusion. The term “clustering illusion” actually comes from statistics and describes the phenomenon whereby random distributions appear to have too many clusters of consecutive outcomes of the same type [280]. You can see this yourself by flipping a coin twenty times and recording the outcome. Can you see any unusual-looking runs of heads or tails?

The US Navy gave it the name “crystal-ball technique” in its review of decision-making under stress that occurred after the erroneous shootdown of a civilian airliner by the USS Vincennes [5]. In the Navy version people are told to assume that they have a crystal ball that’s told them that their favoured hypothesis is incorrect, so that they have to come up with an alternative explanation for an event. This is also one of the techniques used to try to combat cognitive bias that was mentioned in the discussion of the CIA analyst training manual in “Confirmation Bias and other Cognitive Biases” on page 145. (Unfortunately this type of analysis, or indeed any kind of real-world testing, was never applied to the security system that was compromised by the Walker spy ring, first introduced in “Theoretical vs. Effective Security” on page 5: “Much of the technical security built into the KW-7 and its key management plan relied on a series of assumptions which were highly unlikely to be met in practice.


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

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, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, 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, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, social intelligence, 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, zero-sum game

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.


Global Catastrophic Risks by Nick Bostrom, Milan M. Cirkovic

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, availability heuristic, Bill Joy: nanobots, Black Swan, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, death of newspapers, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, Doomsday Clock, Drosophila, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, feminist movement, framing effect, friendly AI, Georg Cantor, global pandemic, global village, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, P = NP, peak oil, phenotype, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, Singularitarianism, social intelligence, South China Sea, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, Tunguska event, twin studies, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, War on Poverty, Westphalian system, Y2K

Other historians of technology (Lanier, 2000; Seidensticker, 2006; Wilson, 2007) argue that Kurzweil ignores techno-trends which did stall, due to design challenges and failures, and to human factors that slowed the diffusion of new technologies, factors which might also slow or avert greater-than-human machine intelligence. Noting that most predictions of electronic transcendence fall within the predictor's expected lifespan, technology writer Kevin Kelly (2007) suggests that people who make such predictions have a cognitive bias towards optimism. Millennia! tendencies in responses to apocalyptic threats 81 The point of this essay i s not t o parse the accuracy or empirical evidence for exponential change or catastrophic risks, but to examine how the millennialism that accompanies their consideration biases assessment of their risks and benefits, and the best courses of action to reduce the former and ensure the latter.


The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830–1970 by John Darwin

anti-communist, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, cognitive bias, colonial rule, Corn Laws, European colonialism, floating exchange rates, full employment, imperial preference, Joseph Schumpeter, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, labour mobility, land tenure, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, open economy, railway mania, reserve currency, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Scientific racism, South China Sea, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, undersea cable

In their insular safety, they failed to grasp the cyclonic force of the ideological wars being fought in Eurasia. This was most tragically evident in Chamberlain's failure (and that of so many others) to grasp the unlimited scope of Hitler's ambitions, the savage nature of the Nazi regime, the tectonic scale of the coming conflict and the brutal imperatives behind the Nazi–Soviet pact. They were liberals at sea in a revolutionary age. Finally, they were also the victims of a cognitive bias that had grown notably stronger in Britain's inter-war culture. The idea that Britain formed a world of its own was very old. Primacy at sea, the rewards of trade and the growth of ‘new Britains’ sharpened the Victorians’ sense of British ‘exceptionalism’. The assumptions behind it were tested to the limit in the First World War. Through a tortuous rationale, they were vindicated by victory.