Psychology


When you woke up this morning were you an expert water measurer? No? Well, you will be after reading this article. But that might not be a good thing: experts are sometimes worse off than regular Janes and Joes. To see why, first we need to wire your brain for expertise–read on.
We are driven (some of us more than others) to identify, classify, and organize.
Not so long ago I started adding atheists to my Facebook account. I added about 100 of them and at least 20 of them are aggressive atheists. Aggressive atheist are easy to recognize, they often have the red ''A'' of atheism on their profile picture. What I mean by aggressive is that they are very integrated into atheism and will make it looks like a religion.

I consider myself ignostic, I'm not religious in any way and I am a critical thinker. After observing them for a while I came up with the conclusion that some of them were more dedicated to atheism than the average religious people. 
In my last post I wrote about how Hedge Fund managers base their choices on “stories” they weave with the information they gather.

If you believe in rationality and evidence based thinking, the thought that these men responsible for such obscene amounts of money could be no better than grotesquely overpaid fiction writers, can be deeply disconcerting.
 
My last post got me thinking a bit more about uncertainty and decision making. It reminded me of a podcast I had listened to a while back, on uncertainty, storytelling and hedge fund managers.

It is based on the work of David Tuckett at University College London.

This is the line that I remembered. In the interview Tuckett said, “Fund managers have too much information but never enough; therefore [they] have to gain conviction for their actions by telling themselves stories.”

Tuckett is an economist turned psychoanalyst who has been studying the emotional underpinning of financial markets.
What happens in your brain when you experience pleasure? Why are fantasies so powerful? Why do our brains love dopamine so much? Why do some images arouse, while others turn us off? Why are the most attractive people often not the ones we are most drawn to sexually? How can you create the longest neurological orgasm possible?

For the next several weeks, I will be writing a series of articles centered around the topic, The Science of Pleasure. Because there is soooo much good information on the science of how and why we derive pleasure from certain things, I felt this should be a series of articles, rather than trim it down to one post. Sound exciting? Well, it IS.

I was on the phone the other night with a friend. She is in a bit of bind. Every conversation we’ve had recently, we’ve been doing the same thing. We analyze every minutiae of her situation, as women are wont to, and come to the same conclusion. Things are not good nor are they bad. It is just limbo.
The attention we give to (or withhold from) tragedies has little to do
with numbers: many hundreds can die in a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe or hundreds of thousands in an earthquake in China and it receives 
nowhere near the press and public outrage as nearly 200 killed in terrorist attacks in Mumbai. (This isn’t meant to diminish the tragedy 
of Mumbai, only to act as comparison.)
Here's how I roll: my wife loves three-dollar bagels from the Sunday farmers' market. And so she says, "let's get a loaf of bread, some flowers, and a flat of strawberries!" When we roll home with only bagels, I feel I've won.

No more. I've armed myself with the tools of illogic, thus guaranteeing I win every marital argument from this point forward. You can too.

Use the following brain-deflating fallacies to ensure dominance in debate club and/or with unsuspecting significant other.

How To Win Any Argument (Part 1) and (Part 2)

Here's how I roll: my wife loves three-dollar bagels from