Tag: Psychology

2018, Books, Non-Fiction

The Misinformation Age (2018, Cailin O’Connor, James Owen Weatherall)

This is a compelling examination of mathematical models about the way beliefs spread through human social networks.

2018, Personal, Philosophy, Psychology, Society

What if One of Your Core Beliefs is Based Upon a Lie?

Like any self-reflective adult, I like to believe that the beliefs I hold are based upon facts, not other beliefs. I spent a long time between the ages of 18 and 25 working to come to what I thought were defensible beliefs, beliefs based upon objective reality (as much as possible), rather than what I …

2008, Books, Economics, Non-Fiction

Predictably Irrational (2008) by Dan Ariely

This is a fascinating and sometimes amusing exploration of behavioural economics through descriptions of experiments that the author has conducted, and some he’s read about. It’s a pretty good introduction to behaviourial economics and social psychology. A number of these experiments were unfamiliar to me and some of them are really illuminating. I’m particularly interested …

Psychology, Society

How Does Donald Trump Have Friends?

This morning, I read an excerpt from the new book about Donald Trump’s first year in office as President of the United States of America. It was a fascinating read, confirming many things I believed and giving me much more of an in depth portrait into the madness that is the White House currently.  But …

2001, Books, Non-Fiction

Fooled by Randomness (2001) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This is an important, valuable book. It’s basically a must-read. It would go on my list of essential non-fiction only I have a few reservations (all of them stylistic). Still, very, very important stuff.

1994, Books, Non-Fiction

Jung: A Very Short Introduction (1994) by Anthony Stevens

When I was a teenager, some adult told me about Jung’s collective unconscious. I didn’t read a thing about it, but took whatever they told me and created my own elaborate theory about our thoughts influencing others (which has nothing to do with Jung). Ultimately, that theory was a responsible for a lot of mental …

2011, Books, Non-Fiction

The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011) by Steven Pinker

If you watch the news today, you will be told the world is awful. Even if, like me, you do not have cable, you can still get enough news of the awfulness of the world from your antenna or the internet. The news is an endless barrage of controversy and tragedy; controversy over the supposedly …

2016, Psychology, Society

We do not want to know what we do not want to know

People say we’re rational. Human beings may be animals, but we are animals who have overcome our animal natures to make calculated decisions about our choices. I mean, look at all we’ve accomplished with our big brains. We tell each other we think rationally, even logically. And we  want rational explanations for what is happening …

Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

The belief in Justice is probably the breeding ground for injustice

I have long identified myself as an atheist – even though I’m an agnostic – in religion, an existentialist in philosophy and “anti-apocalyptic” or “anti-ideological” person in politics (i.e. a pragmatist). I have long struggled with this last definition, not because I don’t know what I am – I know exactly what I am, politically …

Politics, Psychology, Society

Proposal for Improved Voter Turnout

The Proposal A number of years ago, a friend of mine proposed an interesting idea for promoting voter turnout in Canada during one of our writer’s group meetings: turn voting into a lottery. The idea is relatively simple: each ballot cast is also a ticket for Canada’s largest lottery. Every voter is only allowed one …

2012, Movies, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Society

You pissed me off, it’s your fault!

Human beings are sensitive creatures. It’s interesting that this is so because, as a species, we have survived for an unimaginable length of time and more threats to our existence than we could count (none worse than ourselves). So it is always somewhat entertaining (or sad, depending on your point of view) to see how …

Personal, Psychology

On the sanity of living with another human being

I have vivid dreams. I mean: really, really vivid. Sometimes they are so vivid I am convinced I am living them, until I wake up. Sometimes they are so vivid they take the place of my memories and I occasionally get confused about whether or not something realistic that happened in a dream actually happened …

Philosophy, Society

Why is metaphysics dangerous in the hands of those who govern us?

All people generally think alike and don’t think alike at the same time. We have some things in common and other things which aren’t in common. But the claim there is a class, a coherent, self-contained ruling elite, that is distinctly different from the average joe, has no basis in fact; its basis is in …

Philosophy, Politics, Society

Why is metaphysics dangerous in the hands of those who govern us?

Metaphysics, i.e the study of “things” outside of physical reality, is incredibly dangerous for politics. But first, why do we use metaphysics? For some reason or other, human beings need to use abstracts to express themselves. We cannot always refer our ideas to concrete things. There is a whole field of philosophy that studies this …

Personal, Psychology

What’s your view on casual sex?

I doubt that most sex is casual. I think this is one of those ideas that people can’t (or mostly can’t) live up to. Sex is an emotional thing and I suspect only certain people are capable (if any indeed are) of having NSA sex. It’s mostly a male dream, me thinks. I love how …

Psychology, Society

Phones make people crazy

I understand that losing something is annoying and maybe even saddening (depending on what it is). But it should hardly be the catalyst for a breakdown, especially when that thing is a phone, bought and paid for by work. It’s hardly the end of the world. I operate without one and I seem to do …

2009, Psychology

The Miracles of Modern Parenting

Dear Parents of [name deleted to protect the child], Your kid was pissed on at school. That’s horrible. What an awful thing to happen to your kid. So what did you do about it? You put him in the paper? Seriously?! Because that’s going to make him feel better, especially 10 years from now…

2009, Politics, Psychology, Society

Americans Are Crazy

http://www.the912project.com/ I try not to be anti-American, I really do. Especially since my relatives are American. But this is fucking crazy…I love how on one of these pages I guy thinks he’s writing an open letter to the government and it begins with name-calling and “???”s. That’s how you get politicians to pay attention to …

Books, Non-Fiction

Best Books of the 20th Century – Non-Fiction

I find it a lot harder to pick non-fiction. That’s why this list is shorter. I’ve also read lots of silly non-fiction over the years, that really isn’t very good. Hannah Arendt: The Human Condition; The Origins of Totalitarianism Albert Camus: The Rebel Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel Victor Frankl: Man’s Search for Meaning …

1999, Movies

American Movie (1999, Chris Smith) & Me

My dad keeps telling me I have a remarkably strong sense of self and that I’m very patient. He asked me yesterday if I ever get rattled. I used a whole tank of gas in two days. I was doing lots of chauffeuring. I just watched American Movie and as much as it was very …