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tsuomela : near-far   9

Overcoming Bias : Far Truth Is For Extremes
"So assuming you actually have a viable choice, the situations where it makes sense to reject religion in favor of far truth are extreme – either there are big personally-useful far contrarian claims to learn, or you have a good shot at being a rare far expert, respected by a community with truth-correlated standards. So if such extremes seem unlikely to you, far truth probably isn’t worth its costs to you."
religion  belief  construal-level-theory  near-far  truth  benefits  psychology  atheism 
may 2012 by tsuomela
California and Bust | Business | Vanity Fair
The smart money says the U.S. economy will splinter, with some states thriving, some states not, and all eyes are on California as the nightmare scenario. After a hair-raising visit with former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who explains why the Golden State has cratered, Michael Lewis goes where the buck literally stops—the local level, where the likes of San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and Vallejo fire chief Paige Meyer are trying to avert even worse catastrophes and rethink what it means to be a society.
state(California)  economics  money  politics  pensions  bankruptcy  debt  municipal  failure  government  near-far  future 
september 2011 by tsuomela
Beyond Prediction - Charlie's Diary
"In other words I have a new ambition for my own SF: not as prediction, and not cautionary, either--but aspirational.

The fact is that if I've learned one thing in two years of studying how we think about the future, it's that the one thing that's sorely lacking in the public imagination is positive ideas about where we should be going. We seem to do everything about our future except try to design it. It's a funny thing: nobody ever questions your credentials if you predict doom and destruction. But provide a rosy picture of the future, and people demand that you justify yourself. Increasingly, though, I believe that while warning people of dire possibilities is responsible, providing them with something to aspire to is even more important. The foresight programme has given me a lot of tools to do that in a justifiable way, so I might as well use them."
foresight  futurism  futures  aspiration  sf  literature  writing  prediction  near-far 
july 2011 by tsuomela
Experimental Philosophy and the Problem of Free Will
"Many philosophical problems are rooted in everyday thought, and experimental philosophy uses social scientific techniques to study the psychological underpinnings of such problems. In the case of free will, research suggests that people in a diverse range of cultures reject determinism, but people give conflicting responses on whether determinism would undermine moral responsibility. When presented with abstract questions, people tend to maintain that determinism would undermine responsibility, but when presented with concrete cases of wrongdoing, people tend to say that determinism is consistent with moral responsibility. It remains unclear why people reject determinism and what drives people’s conflicted attitudes about responsibility. Experimental philosophy aims to address these issues and thereby illuminate the philosophical problem of free will. "
philosophy  experimental  free-will  freedom  near-far  construal-level-theory  choice  judgment  morality  ethics  abstraction 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Overcoming Bias : Beware Commitment
"Speechifiers through the ages, including policy makers today, usually talk as if they want decisions to be made in far mode. We should try to live up to our ideals, they preach, at least regarding far-away decisions. But our reluctance to use contracts to enable more far mode control over our actions suggests that while we tend to talk as if we want more far mode control, we usually act to achieve more near mode control. "
psychology  choice  rationality  rational  decision-making  perspective  near-far 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Overcoming Bias : The Future Seems Shiny
Since blue light scatters more easily than red, far away things in our field of view tend to look more blue. So we expect future stuff to look blue. And since blue stuff looks cold, we expect future stuff to look cold. Finally, since we expect far away things to have less detail, we tend to imagine them with fewer parts and flourishes, and less detailed textures and patterns. The future is not paisley.

And in fact, if you Goggle “futuristic style” images, you’ll tend to see images like those in this post – simple, smooth, cool, blue, and sky/spacy. In a word, “shiny.”
future  future-shock  vision  near-far  psychology 
november 2010 by tsuomela
Why Russians Don’t Get Depressed | Wired Science | Wired.com
Here’s where the cultural differences became clear. When Russians engaged in brooding self-analysis, they were much more likely to engage in self-distancing, or looking at the past experience from the detached perspective of someone else. Instead of reliving their confused and visceral feelings, they reinterpreted the negative memory , which helped them make sense of it. According to the researchers, this led to significantly less “emotional distress” among the Russian subjects. (It also made them less likely to blame another person for the event.) Furthermore, the habit of self-distancing seemed to explain the striking differences in depressive symptoms between Russian and Americans. Brooding wasn’t the problem. Instead, it was brooding without self-distance
psychology  depression  russia  culture  self-analysis  distance  near-far 
august 2010 by tsuomela

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