🎧 Analysis, Parapraxis, Elvis, Season 3 Episode 10 | Revisionist History

Listened to Analysis, Parapraxis, Elvis, Season 3 Episode 10 by Malcolm Gladwell from Revisionist History

"The one song The King couldn’t sing."

Elvis Presley returned from his years in the army to record one of his biggest hits, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” But he could never quite get the lyrics right. Why? Revisionist History puts the King of Rock and Roll on the couch.

I expected Gladwell to circle back around to the opening song about beating the dog, but he left us hanging…

🎧 “Malcolm Gladwell’s 12 Rules for Life” Season 3 Episode 7 | Revisionist History

Listened to “Malcolm Gladwell's 12 Rules for Life” Season 3 Episode 7 by Malcolm Gladwell from Revisionist History

"Crucial life lessons from the end of hockey games, Idris Elba, and some Wall Street guys with a lot of time on their hands."

Revisionist History wades into the crowded self-help marketplace, with some help with from a band of math whizzes and Hollywood screenwriters. It's late in a hockey game, and you're losing. When should you pull your goalie? And what if you used that same logic when a bad guy breaks into your house and holds your entire family hostage? We think the unthinkable, so you don’t have to.

Why one should be a bit more disagreeable and “pull the goalie”.

Pulling the Goalie: Hockey and Investment Implications on SSRN.

🎧 “The Hug Heard Round the World” Season 3 Episode 6 | Revisionist History

Listened to “The Hug Heard Round the World” Season 3 Episode 6 by Malcolm Gladwell from Revisionist History

"Q: Was there a period where you felt you had something to prove? A: The first 45 years of my life."

Sammy Davis Junior was one of the world’s greatest entertainers for the better part of half a century. He was black. But he thought the best way to succeed in the world was to act as if he wasn’t. Did we judge him too harshly?

I’m always astounded by some of the finer points that Gladwell comes up with. Taking a look back at this bit of history has a wonderfully enlightening idea. I was near tears at the end of the Roast segment.

I can also certainly relate to the idea of changing myself so as not to be an “outsider”.

🎧 George Lakoff on How Trump uses words to con the public | Reliable Sources podcast

Listened to George Lakoff on how Trump uses words to con the public by Brian Stelter from Reliable Sources | CNN

President Donald Trump has "turned words into weapons" -- and journalists are providing additional ammunition.

That's according to Trump critic George Lakoff, a renowned linguist and professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley. Lakoff wrote in a recent article for the Guardian that the president manipulates language to control the public narrative. The press, he said, functions as a sort of "marketing agency for [Trump's] ideas" by repeating his claims, even when trying to fact-check or debunk his statements.

"By faithfully transmitting Trump's words and ideas, the press helps him to attack, and thereby control, the press itself," he writes.

As the guest on this week's Reliable Sources podcast, Lakoff spoke to Brian Stelter about Trump's linguistic frames, what the press should do differently, and why journalists need to tackle Trump's words like a "truth sandwich."

👓 Anomie | Wikipedia

Read Anomie (Wikipedia)

Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a "condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals". It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community, e.g., under unruly scenarios resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.

The term is commonly understood to mean normlessness, and believed to have been popularized by French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his influential book Suicide (1897). However, Durkheim first introduces the concept of anomie in his 1893 work 'The Division of Labour In Society.' Durkheim never used the term normlessness; rather, he described anomie as "derangement", and "an insatiable will". Durkheim used the term "the malady of the infinite" because desire without limit can never be fulfilled; it only becomes more intense.

👓 Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound | Maryanne Wolf | The Guardian

Read Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound by Maryanne Wolf (the Guardian)
When the reading brain skims texts, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings or to perceive beauty. We need a new literacy for the digital age writes Maryanne Wolf, author of Reader, Come Home

👓 ‘We Are All Accumulating Mountains of Things’ | The Atlantic

Read ‘We Are All Accumulating Mountains of Things’ (The Atlantic)
How online shopping and cheap prices are turning Americans into hoarders

The irony of reading this given the material I’ve been reading about materialism and minimalism lately. I think that just today I threw out about 50 pounds of old junk I didn’t need and have piles of old, well-used things that have gone past their useful lives to me.

People keep fettering while I’m always unfettering….

Following Julia Strand

Followed Julia Strand (juliastrand.com)

Julia Strand is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Carleton College.  She holds a B.A. in Psychology & English from Tufts University, an M.A. and PhD. from Washington University in St. Louis, program Brain, Behavior, & Cognition, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Laboratory of Sensory Neuroscience and Neuroengineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

She teaches courses including Introduction to Psychology, the Psychology of Spoken Words, Sensation & Perception, and Perceptual & Cognitive Expertise. Her research focuses on how humans are able to turn sensory information about speech into meaningful representations. Topics of research include how cognitive abilities influence language perception, what traits of words promote easy recognition, how word recognition abilities change with age, and how visual information (seeing the talker) influences language processing.

Julia Strand

Reply to Greg McVerry on Memes as Lazy Metaphors

Replied to Memes as Lazy Metaphors by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (jgregorymcverry.com)
You could choose any picture in the world to represent you and you chose a meme… Day One We started off our #dailyponderances in thinking visually. Each person was asked to post a picture that represented how you felt. The funny memes flooded in I laughed, but I also grasped how frustrated...

As I’ve been reflecting on this further, it does dawn on me that on day one or two of the course many of us had probably just read the Schedule of Assignments/Workflow page of the course site, which also carries the title How The Sausage is Made.

Perhaps we all went to meme-speak because you had subtly primed us to go there? You could try a nice experiment when you teach this course again…

 

 

👓 If You Say Something Is “Likely,” How Likely Do People Think It Is? | Harvard Business Review

Read If You Say Something Is “Likely,” How Likely Do People Think It Is? (Harvard Business Review)
Why you should use percentages, not words, to express probabilities.

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Phil Tetlock, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who has studied forecasting in depth, suggests that “vague verbiage gives you political safety.”  

This result is consistent with analysis by the data science team at Quora, a site where users ask and answer questions. That team found that women use uncertain words and phrases more often than men do, even when they are just as confident.  

A large literature shows that we tend to be overconfident in our judgments.  

The best forecasters make lots of precise forecasts and keep track of their performance with a metric such as a Brier score.  

👓 The Marshmallow Test: What Does It Really Measure? | The Atlantic

Read Why Rich Kids Are So Good at the Marshmallow Test (The Atlantic)
Affluence—not willpower—seems to be what’s behind some kids' capacity to delay gratification.

I think I’ve read about the Marshmallow Test about 10 times in the past year and in no source did it manage to mention the miniscule or highly biased sample of the original study.

🔖 Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

Bookmarked Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier (Henry Holt and Co.)

You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we’re better off without them. In Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Lanier, who participates in no social media, offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online platforms.

Lanier’s reasons for freeing ourselves from social media’s poisonous grip include its tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people even as we are more “connected” than ever, to rob us of our free will with relentless targeted ads. How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance and are constantly being prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history that have no way of making money other than being paid to manipulate our behavior? How could the benefits of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom? Lanier remains a tech optimist, so while demonstrating the evil that rules social media business models today, he also envisions a humanistic setting for social networking that can direct us toward a richer and fuller way of living and connecting with our world.

This looks like an interesting book to read for some related IndieWeb research. Perhaps something Greg McVerry could use in his proposed talk?

👓 Power Causes Brain Damage | The Atlantic

Read Power Causes Brain Damage (The Atlantic)
How leaders lose mental capacities—most notably for reading other people—that were essential to their rise

This is an impressive thesis and area for research. I’m impressed with their restraint in not making a single mention of Donald Trump here who would be a sterling example, particularly given his background, bullying behavior, and complete lack of any empathy.

🎧 Bonus: Malcolm Gladwell debates Adam Grant | Revisionist History

Listened to Bonus: Malcolm Gladwell debates Adam Grant by Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell from Revisionist History

In a special live taping at the 92nd Street Y in New York, Malcolm talks with WorkLife’s Adam Grant about how to avoid doing highly undesirable tasks, what makes an idea interesting, and why Malcolm thinks we shouldn't root for the underdog.

While there was a great conversation here, I was most struck by the incredibly well done and specific nature of the way Gladwell did the embedded advertisement in this episode.

👓 Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult | C Thi Nguyen | Aeon Essays

Read Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult by C Thi Nguyen (Aeon)

First you don’t hear other views. Then you can’t trust them. Your personal information network entraps you just like a cult

Something has gone wrong with the flow of information. It’s not just that different people are drawing subtly different conclusions from the same evidence. It seems like different intellectual communities no longer share basic foundational beliefs. Maybe nobody cares about the truth anymore, as some have started to worry. Maybe political allegiance has replaced basic reasoning skills. Maybe we’ve all become trapped in echo chambers of our own making – wrapping ourselves in an intellectually impenetrable layer of likeminded friends and web pages and social media feeds.

But there are two very different phenomena at play here, each of which subvert the flow of information in very distinct ways. Let’s call them echo chambers and epistemic bubbles. Both are social structures that systematically exclude sources of information. Both exaggerate their members’ confidence in their beliefs. But they work in entirely different ways, and they require very different modes of intervention. An epistemic bubble is when you don’t hear people from the other side. An echo chamber is what happens when you don’t trust people from the other side.

A stunning essay that gives me hope that we’re not in a “post-truth” world. On the other hand, we’re going to need to do a lot of work …

hat tip: Ian O’Byrne