Quotes, other video, links from the last few days

  • "It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question." - John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism
  • Crazy statue in Magnitogorsk.
  • Evidence that our perceptions of people are almost entirely subconscious and don't rely at all on what the person actually says. This article was printed and placed on the dorm room wall, below the David Foster Wallace speech and right next to the Bash Brothers poster. Hat tip to Overcoming Bias. My immediate reaction was one expressed by a commenter:
  • "To what extent could the causation be going in the other direction? Perhaps the researchers have merely identified markers that are statistically likely to accompany competence. The competence would lead to success. For instance, good instructors will tend to utilize every channel of communication, including non-lingual ones, even if those channels don't contribute the main impact of their lecture. Hence instructors using non-lingual channels would tend to be rated higher. The same reverse causation could easily be seen with good salesmen (they want to eek out every possible advantage, hence use every mode of communication even though the non-lingual ones may be substantially less helpful)."
  • Really, Kellogg? This segment was great, and unexpectedly bold from SNL. "If you want someone to stop smoking weed, don't give them three months off."
  • Finally, Gretchen Rubin with indispensable advice, in a sidenote! This deserves its own post. It works best when confronted with a personal appeal.
(As a sidenote, I use this trick frequently: If I’m not sure about my reaction to some event, I imagine someone describing the situation to me as if it happened to a stranger. That often clarifies my view. Along the same lines, I remember reading somewhere that writer Anne Lamott thinks about herself in the third person, to take better care of herself: “I’m sorry, Anne Lamott can’t accept that invitation to speak; she’s finishing a book so needs to keep her schedule clear.”)
  • My two favorite songs recently:
Shadow Journal, by Max Richter. Tilda Swinton is the narrator Guru Josh, Infinity 2008 (video slightly NSFW, song slightly ridiculous)

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