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pierredv : behavior   32

How Tech Utopia Fostered Tyranny - The New Atlantis -Winter 2019
"Authoritarians’ love for digital technology is no fluke — it’s a product of Silicon Valley’s “smart” paternalism"

"ools based on the premise that access to information will only enlighten us and social connectivity will only make us more humane have instead fanned conspiracy theories, information bubbles, and social fracture. A tech movement spurred by visions of libertarian empowerment and progressive uplift has instead fanned a global resurgence of populism and authoritarianism."

"But what we are searching for — what we desire — is often shaped by what we are exposed to and what we believe others desire. And so predicting what is useful, however value-neutral this may sound, can shade into deciding what is useful, both to individual users and to groups, and thereby shaping what kinds of people we become, for both better and worse."

"As long as our desires are unsettled and malleable — as long as we are human — the engineering choices of Google and the rest must be as much acts of persuasion as of prediction."

"Each company was founded on a variation of the premise that providing more people with more information and better tools, and helping them connect with each other, would help them lead better, freer, richer lives."

"Moreover, because algorithms are subject to strategic manipulation and because they are attempting to provide results unique to you, the choices shaping these powerful defaults are necessarily hidden away by platforms demanding you simply trust them"

"We can see the shift from “access to tools” to algorithmic utopianism in the unheralded, inexorable replacement of the “page” by the “feed.” "

"By consuming what the algorithm says I want, I trust the algorithm to make me ever more who it thinks I already am."

"What’s shocking isn’t that technological development is a two-edged sword. It’s that the power of these technologies is paired with a stunning apathy among their creators about who might use them and how. Google employees have recently declared that helping the Pentagon with a military AI program is a bridge too far, convincing the company to cancel a $10 billion contract. But at the same time, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, committed to the ideals of open-source software and collaboration toward technological progress, have published machine-learning tools for anyone to use, including agents provocateur and revenge pornographers."

"They and their successors, based on optimistic assumptions about human nature, built machines to maximize those naturally good human desires. But, to use a line from Bruno Latour, “technology is society made durable.” That is, to extend Latour’s point, technology stabilizes in concrete form what societies already find desirable."
politics  surveillance  technology  TheNewAtlantis  Google  Facebook  AI  prediction  ethics  morality  search  trust  behavior 
april 2019 by pierredv
Protecting your online privacy is tough—but here's a start — Quartz, Katarzyna Szymielewicz, Jan 2019
"Many decisions that affect your life are now dictated by the interpretation of your data profile rather than personal interactions. "

"The bad news is that when it comes to your digital profile, the data you choose to share is just the tip of an iceberg. We do not see the rest that is hidden under the water of the friendly interfaces of mobile apps and online services. The most valuable data about us is inferred beyond our control and without our consent. It’s these deeper layers we can’t control that really make the decisions, not us."

First layer: "data you feed into social media and mobile applications"

"The second layer is made of behavioral observations. ... It contains things that you probably do not want to share with everybody, like your real-time location and a detailed understanding of your intimate and professional relationships. "

"The third layer is composed of interpretations of the first and second. This layer infers conclusions about not just what we do but who we are based on our behavior and metadata. ... The task of these profile-mapping algorithms is to guess things that you are not likely to willingly reveal."

"Binding decisions made by banks, insurers, employers, and public officers are made by big data and algorithms, not people. "

"... China. As part of their “social credit score” system, every citizen is ranked on professional and personal interactions, online activity, and public appearances. Fail to pay a parking ticket? Look up banned topics online? Your actions in real life have lasting effects, such as your ability to buy train tickets or send your kids to good schools."
Quartz  privacy  data  surveillance  behavior  China 
february 2019 by pierredv
When Everything Clicks | Hidden Brain : NPR Jun 2018
Frisbee coach Martin Levy is a big fan of the clicker. He uses it to train his border collies to perform complex jumps and twirls on the Frisbee field. In 2012, after successfully using a clicker to teach his other Frisbee students — the human ones — he decided to up the stakes, and test it out at his day job: as an orthopedic surgeon.
learning  practice  behavior  training  psychology  NPR 
december 2018 by pierredv
Happy with a 20% chance of sadness - Nature Oct 2018
Researchers are developing wristbands and apps to predict moods — but the technology has pitfalls as well as promise.
behavior  NatureJournal  psychology  suicide 
november 2018 by pierredv
A mind trick that can break down your brain’s barrier to success - New Scientist Mar 2016
Article about “wise psychological interventions” (WPI) – apparently simple actions that produce long-lasting changes in behaviour
"At the heart of WPIs is the idea of “mental unblocking” – removing psychological barriers that keep people stuck in damaging patterns of behaviour. Simplistic though this may seem, it is actually surprisingly hard to achieve."
"Nudges are usually specific to a given choice at a given time, whereas WPIs aim to alter behaviour in a lasting way. More significantly, nudges tend to rely on environmental cues, whereas WPIs are rooted in theories about basic human psychology."
Built around Carol Dweck's ideas about "fixed" and "growth" mindsets - "that is, whether they see their abilities and personality as set in stone, or malleable."
psychology  NewScientist  behavior  motivation 
april 2016 by pierredv
Resolve to Stay on Track in the New Year - Evernote Blog
“SMART” — it’s specific, measurable, and achievable, there’s a reward for sticking with it, and our progress is tracked throughout the year. "focus on the habit, not the goal"
Evernote  resolutions  motivation  behavior 
january 2016 by pierredv
Orchid children: How bad-news genes came good - health - 01 February 2012 - New Scientist
"The set of genes that help create our most grievous frailties may also underlie our greatest strengths – and sometimes the choice is settled in childhood" Story about "a major revision taking place in behavioural science - a recasting of the "vulnerability gene" model of many mood and behavioural disorders. . . . A fresh look at the evidence is suggesting that in fact they often create greater strength and happiness in people who have fortunate childhoods. The so-called vulnerability genes, in short, make you more attuned and responsive to your environment, whether bad or good." W Thomas Boyce and Bruce Ellis "distinguished between "dandelion children", who did about the same whatever their environment, and "orchid children", who wilted under poor care but flourished if carefully tended" Seems to have an effect in adults, too: HSPs "highly sensitive persons" "Of the leading orchid-gene variants -...- none existed in humans 80,000 years ago."
behavior  psychology  genetics  childhood  evolution  NewScientist 
march 2012 by pierredv
BBC News - The myth of the eight-hour sleep
"Today, most people seem to have adapted quite well to the eight-hour sleep, but Ekirch believes many sleeping problems may have roots in the human body's natural preference for segmented sleep as well as the ubiquity of artificial light."
sleep  health  psychology  behavior  x:bbc  via:gmsv 
february 2012 by pierredv
How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did - Forbes
inferring life facts from shopping purchases - and finding ways not to weird people out; discussion of NYTImes piece.
Highlighted quote from Target statistician Andrew Pole: "We are very conservative about compliance with all privacy laws. But even if you’re following the law, you can do things where people get queasy."
privacy  Target  x:forbes  commerce  shopping  behavior 
february 2012 by pierredv
The genetics of happiness: Transporter of delight | The Economist
"Happiness is in your DNA; and different races may have different propensities for it" "personality is the single biggest determinant: extroverts are happier than introverts, and confident people happier than anxious ones." Research team concluded that "conclude that about a third of the variation in people’s happiness is heritable. That is along the lines of, though a little lower than, previous estimates on the subject." then talks about research by Jan-Emmanuel De Neve at UCL
genetics  TheEconomist  behavior  happiness 
november 2011 by pierredv
The dark side of altruism - opinion - 09 September 2011 - New Scientist
Opinion piece by Barbara and Guruprasad Madhavan; co-editors of "Pathological Altruism," Oakley author of "Cold-Blooded Kindness: Neuroquirks of a codependent killer" "A pathological altruist is someone who is sincerely motivated to help others, but whose supposedly altruistic acts have harmful consequences." Examples: "during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, many Hutus killed Tutsis because they thought that in doing so they would help to protect their fellow Hutus" "anorexia may be rooted in pathologies of altruism: ... tendency of people with anorexia to sacrifice their own needs and interests" "Hitler, for example, was a master at using people's best traits - their faith, hope, love and willingness to make sacrifices - to his own advantage as he steered his nation to war"
behavior  psychology  opinion  NewScientist  altruism 
november 2011 by pierredv
Quantum minds: Why we think like quarks - life - 05 September 2011 - New Scientist
Strapline: "The fuzziness and weird logic of the way particles behave applies surprisingly well to how humans think" Application of Hilbert space theory ("quantum logic") to behavior "We make systematic errors when reasoning with probabilities, for example. Physicist Diederik Aerts of the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, has shown that these errors actually make sense within a wider logic based on quantum mathematics. The same logic also seems to fit naturally with how people link concepts together, often on the basis of loose associations and blurred boundaries. That means search algorithms based on quantum logic could uncover meanings in masses of text more efficiently than classical algorithms." Cites research by Aerts; Tversky & Shafir; Busemeyer & Pothos; Widdows, Cohen; etc.
physics  behavior  maths  NewScientist  quarks  quantum-mechanics 
november 2011 by pierredv
Bacteria and behaviour: Gut instinct | The Economist Sep 2011
"Tantalising evidence that intestinal bacteria can influence mood" "The idea that gut-dwelling microbes can affect an animal’s state of mind" research by Javier Bravo et al
TheEconomist  behavior  mood  health 
october 2011 by pierredv
Kids with low self-control are less successful adults - health - 26 January 2011 - New Scientist
"Children who lack self-control are more likely to become adults with poor health and finances." Research by Avshalom Caspi at Duke University in North Carolina, Terrie Moffitt at King's College London and colleagues, who followed the progress of 1000 children born between 1972 and 1973 in New Zealand.
NewScientist  education  cognition  behavior  poverty  health  development  self-control 
march 2011 by pierredv
Stereotypic Animal Behaviour
via ZhengLabProductions on youtube's credits for their "Bad Project" video (they used the mouse)
behavior  animal 
february 2011 by pierredv
Brain damage skews our moral compass - life - 30 March 2010 - New Scientist
"The discovery is helping to unravel how we make moral judgements – and has implications for people's fitness to serve as jurors or judges " Moral dilemmas presented to people with damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex; responded differently to "normal" controls "Young concludes that both emotion and recognising intent in others are key to moral judgements." conclusion from Owen Jones of Vanderbilt: "They reveal regions that simply must be intact and functioning for people to make important moral and legal decisions"
NewScientist  experiment  brain-VMPFC  brain-temporparietal  ethics  neuroscience  behavior  morality 
may 2010 by pierredv
Mind over matter? How your body does your thinking - life - 24 March 2010 - New Scientist
New experimental results that seem to bear out Lakoff's contention about the embodiment of metaphors. Tobias Loetscher at Melbourne et al has run experiments where our ability to think of random numbers are linked to bodily movements: eye movement could predict the size of the number the subject was going to say. Also interesting other work where moving objects up or down between shelves affected mood.
cognition  psychology  neuroscience  behavior  metaphor  NewScientist 
april 2010 by pierredv
‘Pay It Forward’ Pays Off | Energy Bulletin
"researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Harvard provide the first laboratory evidence that cooperative behavior is contagious and that it spreads from person to person to person"
behavior  altruism  kindness  via:andrewcurry 
april 2010 by pierredv
Letters of Note: I was ready to sink into the earth with shame
"As far back as the 9th Century, the beautifully named 'Dunhuang Bureau of Etiquette' insisted that local officials use the following letter template (dated 856) when sending apologies to offended dinner hosts. The guilty party would copy the template text, enter the dinner host's name, sign the letter and then deliver with head bowed."
history  china  humor  culture  behavior  via:gmsv 
october 2009 by pierredv
The origins of prejudice | The price of prejudice | The Economist Jan 09
Report on experiments into subconscious prejudice. In the first, subjects were asked to pick team mates; they "reported that weight was the least important factor in their choice. However, their actual decisions revealed that no other attribute counted more heavily. In fact, they were willing to sacrifice quite a bit to have a thin team-mate. They would trade 11 IQ points—about 50% of the range of IQs available—for a colleague who was suitably slender." In the second experiment, they had to choose between job offers: "When it came to salary, location and holiday, the students’ decisions matched their stated preferences. However, the boss’s sex turned out to be far more important than they said it was (this was true whether a student was male or female). In effect, they were willing to pay a 22% tax on their starting salary to have a male boss."
psychology  behavior  economist  bias 
january 2009 by pierredv
Memories of your last meal can help you stay thin - health - 24 April 2008 - New Scientist
"certain ways of thinking can curb your appetite" - recalling a specific meal reduces amount eaten
cognition  behavior  NewScientist 
june 2008 by pierredv
Financial endocrinology | Bulls at work |
roles of cortisol, testoterone in trading behavior: "whether or not a trader will have a profitable day can be predicted by his testosterone level in the morning" - but note that there was a rebuttal in the letters pages a couple of issues later
economics  finance  cognition  behavior  psychology  via:economist 
june 2008 by pierredv
Dunning-Kruger effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The Dunning-Kruger effect is the phenomenon wherein people who have little knowledge tend to think that they know more than they do, while others who have much more knowledge tend to think that they know less."
behavior  cognition  via:wikipedia 
april 2008 by pierredv
The Traveler's Dilemma - Scientific American:
a variation of the Prisoner's dilemma, with a discussion of why people might not make the logically rational choice
fallacies  behavior  logic  psychology 
june 2007 by pierredv
Animated Knight
Portuguese (?) candid camera skit in which medieval knight in museum moves, scaring visitors. Good for seeng standard fear reactions
behavior  humor  video 
december 2006 by pierredv

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