18 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Habituation and Novelty

Beginning in infancy and throughout the life span, humans are motivated by newness, change, and excitement. Habituation, the tendency to lose interest in a repeated event and gain interest in a new one, is one of the most fundamental human reflexes. If the thermostat were to suddenly turn the air conditioning on, you would hear the loud humming sound begin, but within minutes you couldn’t even hear it if you tried. Habituation, a fundamental property of the nervous system, provides mechanis...
Folksonomies: education learning novelty
Folksonomies: education learning novelty
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29 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Emotional ABCs

The ABC model of emotion, widespread in contemporary psychotherapy, holds that it is not an activating (A) event, such as rejection by a friend or lover, that causes you emotional consequences (C) such as depression; rather, the linchpin is your invisible beliefs (B) about the event that come in between A and C. Fortunately, it's often easier to intentionally change beliefs than emotions. Since at least the time of the ancient Stoics, some have believed that our circumstances don't control ...
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ABC model of emotion relates to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in recognizing how our beliefs affect our emotional responses.

24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Web of Causation

...complex systems, such as financial markets or the Earth’s biosphere, do not seem to obey causality. For every event that occurs, there are a multitude of possible causes, and the extent to which each contributes to the event is not clear, not even after the fact! One might say that there is a web of causation. For example, on a typical day, the stock market might go up or down by some fraction of a percentage point. The Wall Street Journal might blithely report that the stock market move...
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Nigel Goldenfeld explains why the simplistic explanations for market movements so popular in the news media are also so ridiculous.

24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Predictability and the Base Rate

Whenever a statistician wants to predict the likelihood of some event based on the available evidence, there are two main sources of information that have to be taken into account: (1) the evidence itself, for which a reliability figure has to be calculated; and (2) the likelihood of the event calculated purely in terms of relative incidence. The second figure here is the base rate. Since it is just a number, obtained by the seemingly dull process of counting, it frequently gets overlooked wh...
Folksonomies: predictability
Folksonomies: predictability
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Keith Devlin explains why the accuracy of tests and measurments must take into account the base rate for the phenomenon.

14 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 The Implications of a Facebook Bankruptcy

One reason companies like Facebook should be interested in what I am proposing is that planning a regulation regime is better than morphing involuntarily into a dull regulated utility, which is what would probably happen otherwise. Suppose Facebook never gets good enough at snatching the “advertising” business from Google. That’s still a possibility as I write this. In that event, Facebook could go into decline, which would present a global emergency. It’s not an outlandish scenario....
Folksonomies: social media
Folksonomies: social media
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People would lose their friends, contacts, and much online history.

30 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 Our Collective Memory

Taken globally, the set of traces that we leave in the world does without doubt add up to something. It is through operations on sets of traces that I understand an event that I take part in. Tolstoy wrote about the foot soldier in the Napoleonic wars. The soldier he describes cannot have the experience of the war he is waging nor the battle he is fighting because the only “global” traces of the war are inscriptions—notably, maps and statistics. There is no scalable observation that mov...
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No one soldier experiences a War. They experience details from their microcosm encounter with the war. The war itself is a collective memory experienced only in history books.

08 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Myriad Reasons for Untruths

Untruth naturally afflicts historical information. There are various reasons that make this unavoidable. One of them is partisanship for opinions and schools... Another reason making untruth unavoidable in historical information is reliance upon transmitters... Another reason is unawareness of the purpose of an event ... Another reason is unfounded assumption as to the truth of a thing. ... Another reason is ignorance of how conditions conform with reality... Another reason is the fact that p...
Folksonomies: history error
Folksonomies: history error
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The main reason for historical errors are ignorance.

29 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Why Every Fact is Interesting

It seems to me that every phenomenon, every fact, itself is the really interesting object. Whoever explains it, or connects it with other events, usually only amuses himself or makes sport of us, as, for instance, the naturalist or historian. But a single action or event is interesting, not because it is explainable, but because it is true.
Folksonomies: science facts
Folksonomies: science facts
  1  notes

Because it is true.

23 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Naming the Science of Probability

A distinguished writer [Siméon Denis Poisson] has thus stated the fundamental definitions of the science: 'The probability of an event is the reason we have to believe that it has taken place, or that it will take place.' 'The measure of the probability of an event is the ratio of the number of cases favourable to that event, to the total number of cases favourable or contrary, and all equally possible' (equally like to happen). From these definitions it follows that the word probability,...
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A definition of the early field of mathematics.

23 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 The One Piece of Dogmatism Allowed the Scientist

It is the business of science to offer rational explanations for all the events in the real world, and any scientist who calls on God to explain something is falling down on his job. This applies as much to the start of the expansion as to any other event. If the explanation is not forthcoming at once, the scientist must suspend judgment: but if he is worth his salt he will always maintain that a rational explanation will eventually be found. This is the one piece of dogmatism that a scientis...
Folksonomies: science religion empiricism
Folksonomies: science religion empiricism
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That a rational explanation will eventually be found.