Monday, February 20, 2012


Interview about embodied cognition with Andrew Wilson and Sabrina Golonka in Psychology Today. Good discussion of what it is not, and the example they use (of how people catch balls in flight) gets the essential point across: there is no Newtonian model in our minds, we don't use a "computational, representational system that mentally transforms the input into motor commands" to predict where the ball will fall and then go there. As in so many other areas, we use heuristics.

Jeff at Cheap Talk has a lovely little post about why moving to California may disappoint. The ones who move are the ones who are over-optimistic, and so are more likely to be disillusioned.
It also explains why people who are forced to leave California, say for job-related reasons, are pleasantly surprised at how happy they can be in the Midwest. Since they hadn’t moved voluntarily already, its likely that they underestimated how happy they would be.
Surely this also works in the other direction: you expect something to be really bad, and you are pleasantly surprised. In both cases, it is better to be a pessimist than an optimist. Lesson learnt.

Karl Smith at Modeled Behavior makes a point which wise men have made before, but which we never seem to learn: being sincere is just not good enough.
It is this blog’s overarching conceit that none do more harm than those who seek to do a principled good. The selfish will always accept a Coasian bargain. True believers will stop at nothing.

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