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tsuomela : perception   188

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The evolution of lossy compression | Journal of The Royal Society Interface
"In complex environments, there are costs to both ignorance and perception. An organism needs to track fitness-relevant information about its world, but the more information it tracks, the more resources it must devote to perception. As a first step towards a general understanding of this trade-off, we use a tool from information theory, rate–distortion theory, to study large, unstructured environments with fixed, randomly drawn penalties for stimuli confusion (‘distortions’). We identify two distinct regimes for organisms in these environments: a high-fidelity regime where perceptual costs grow linearly with environmental complexity, and a low-fidelity regime where perceptual costs are, remarkably, independent of the number of environmental states. This suggests that in environments of rapidly increasing complexity, well-adapted organisms will find themselves able to make, just barely, the most subtle distinctions in their environment."
evolution  culture  fitness  perception  metaphor  computer-science 
january 2018 by tsuomela
Psychic Numbing and Genocide
"Most people are caring and will exert great effort to reserve "the one" whose needy plight comes to their attention. But these same people often become numbly indifferent to the plight of "the one" who is one of many in a much greater problem."
psychology  emotion  statistics  perception  genocide  tragedy 
june 2017 by tsuomela
www.nytimes.com
"But in a recent paper in the journal Cognition, we argue that the situation is more complicated than that. After conducting a series of experiments that examined how people decide whether something is normal or not, we found that when people think about what is normal, they combine their sense of what is typical with their sense of what is ideal. "
normalization  psychology  perception  bias 
january 2017 by tsuomela
www.nytimes.com
A video and story on the scares about power lines beginning in the 1970s and continuing for the next 30 years.
fear  risk  perception  1980s  1990s  electricity  electric-grid  health  psychology  retro 
december 2014 by tsuomela
The More Republicans Know About Politics, the More They Believe Conspiracy Theories | Mother Jones
"But whatever the ultimate cause, the idea that everybody is equally biased, but in different directions, continues to have a key weakness—namely, the data."
politics  partisanship  perception  bias  conspiracy  democrats  republicans  bipartisanship 
january 2013 by tsuomela
Locus Online Perspectives » David Brin: Our Favorite Cliché — A World Filled With Idiots…, or,Why Films and Novels Routinely Depict Society and its Citizens as Fools
"It can be hard to notice things you take for granted — assumptions that are never questioned, because everyone shares them. One of these nearly ubiquitous themes is a tendency for most authors and/or film-makers to disdain the intelligence and wisdom of society as a whole, portraying a majority of their fellow citizens as sheep or fools."
fiction  perception  groups  societies  authority  trust  literature  cliche  intelligence  groupthink  bureaucracy  infrastructure 
january 2013 by tsuomela
Facebook’s Categorial Imperative | TechCrunch
"Facebook’s newest feature adds some much-needed relevance to the huge proportion of its data hoard that no user has seen or, if we’re honest, thought about, in days, weeks, or years. But Graph Search is ultimately nothing more than a handy sorting algorithm, and it’s indicative of the fact that really, Facebook doesn’t understand the first thing about us."
facebook  social-networking  search  demography  perception  social 
january 2013 by tsuomela
Adam Green: The Spectacular Thefts of Apollo Robbins, Pickpocket : The New Yorker
"Robbins, who is thirty-eight and lives in Las Vegas, is a peculiar variety-arts hybrid, known in the trade as a theatrical pickpocket. Among his peers, he is widely considered the best in the world at what he does, which is taking things from people’s jackets, pants, purses, wrists, fingers, and necks, then returning them in amusing and mind-boggling ways. "
profile  magic  perception  con 
january 2013 by tsuomela
The Technium: The Improbable is the New Normal
"I am unsure of what this intimacy with the improbable does to us. What happens if we spend all day exposed to the extremes of life, to a steady stream of the most improbable events, and try to run ordinary lives in a background hum of superlatives? What happens when the extraordinary becomes ordinary?"
online  behavior  psychology  probability  unusual  improbable  rarity  black-swan  perception  technology-effects 
january 2013 by tsuomela
We're living the dream; we just don't realize it - CNN.com
"The public sector doesn't have billions of dollars to spend on marketing campaigns to trumpet its successes. A multinational corporation invents a slightly better detergent, and it will spend a legitimate fortune to alert the world that the product is now "new and improved." But no one takes out a prime-time ad campaign to tout the remarkable decrease in air pollution that we have seen over the past few decades, even thought that success story is far more important than a trivial improvement in laundry soap. That blind spot is compounded by the deeper lack of interest in stories of incremental progress. Curmudgeons, doomsayers, utopians and declinists all have an easier time getting our attention than opinion leaders who want to celebrate slow and steady improvement."
progress  perception  incrementalism  change 
december 2012 by tsuomela
Frank Jackson, latter day physicalist | The Philosophers Magazine
"Here is one of the best thought experiments in the whole of the philosophy of mind: “Mary is a brilliant scientist who is, for whatever reason, forced to investigate the world from a black and white room via a black and white television monitor. She specialises in the neurophysiology of vision and acquires, let us suppose, all the physical information there is to obtain about what goes on when we see ripe tomatoes…. What will happen when Mary is released from her black and white room or is given a colour television monitor? Will she learn anything or not?” Well, what do you think? Take your time, because there’s a lot at stake: nothing less than the fundamental metaphysical nature of the universe itself. And don’t worry if you’re not sure what to say, because apparently there’s a lot to be said. There are more than a thousand published papers, innumerable conferences, and even several books addressing the question of what Mary did or didn’t know. It’s Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument, and it appeared in 1982 in a paper with the agreeably strange title, “Epiphenomenal Qualia”."
philosophy  physicalism  dualism  epistemology  perception  representation  metaphysics 
december 2012 by tsuomela
Seeing God in the Third Millennium - Oliver Sacks - The Atlantic
"Hallucinations, whether revelatory or banal, are not of supernatural origin; they are part of the normal range of human consciousness and experience. This is not to say that they cannot play a part in the spiritual life, or have great meaning for an individual. Yet while it is understandable that one might attribute value, ground beliefs, or construct narratives from them, hallucinations cannot provide evidence for the existence of any metaphysical beings or places. They provide evidence only of the brain's power to create them."
hallucination  brain  neurology  experience  perception  religion  spirituality 
december 2012 by tsuomela
World Forum for Acoustic Ecology
The World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE), founded in 1993, is an international association of affiliated organizations and individuals in Europe, North America, Japan, and Australia that share a common concern with the state of the world's soundscapes. WFAE members represent a multi-disciplinary spectrum of individuals engaged in the study of the social, cultural and ecological aspects of the sonic environment.
sound  acoustics  ecology  environment  perception  commons  professional-association 
july 2012 by tsuomela
nanopublic: How the NAS helped turn Natalie Portman into a physicist
In many cases, our views of reality are not based on personal experience.  We find politicians personable or despicable, even though we have never met them in person.  And we feel intimately familiar with landmarks in foreign countries even though we have never visited them.  For many of us, the same is true for scientists working in a lab.  We have mental images of how they act or what they look like, even though few of us have never been in a lab watching a scientist at work. The tricky part: Many of those images may have little to do with reality.
science  public-understanding  media  cultivation  imagery  public  perception  communication 
may 2012 by tsuomela
War and Presidential Greatness by David Henderson, Zachary Gochenour :: SSRN
"Historians and journalists commonly survey other historians on the relative 'greatness' of American presidents, and these rankings show remarkable consistency between surveys. In this paper we consider commonalities between highly ranked presidents and compare plausible determinants of greatness according to historians. We find that a strong predictor of greatness is the fraction of American lives lost in war during a president’s tenure. We find this predictor to be robust and compare favorably to other predictors used in previous historical research. We discuss potential reasons for this correlation and conclude with a discussion of how historians’ views might affect policy. "
political-science  war  military  perception  success  greatness 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Glimpses of a Cryptic God
"The more I study technology, the more I tend to the view that it is a single connected whole. Recurring motifs like container ships can turn into obsessions precisely because they offer glimpses of a cryptic God. An object for the devoutly atheist and anti-humanist soul to seek in perpetuity, but never quite comprehend.

I go on infrastructure pilgrimages. I write barely readable pop-theology treatises with ponderous titles like The Baroque Unconscious in Technology, and I do my little dabbling with math, software and hardware on the side.

But I still haven’t seen It. Just an elbow here, a shoulder blade there. And I make my modest attempts to measure those distances."
technology  philosophy  infrastructure  scale  perception  visibility  legibility 
april 2012 by tsuomela
The Architect Has No Clothes | On the Commons
"Environmental psychologists have long known about this widespread and puzzling phenomenon. Laboratory results show conclusively that architects literally see the world differently from non-architects. Not only do architects notice and look for different aspects of the environment than other people
architecture  design  urban  urbanism  psychology  bias  perception  psychogeography 
october 2011 by tsuomela
MIT Press Journals - Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience - Abstract - The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations
Explanations of psychological phenomena seem to generate more public interest when they contain neuroscientific information. Even irrelevant neuroscience information in an explanation of a psychological phenomenon may interfere with people's abilities to critically consider the underlying logic of this explanation.
neuroscience  neurology  explanation  belief  perception  credibility  trust 
october 2011 by tsuomela
University of Pennsylvania Political Science Department - Mutz, Diana
"Diana C. Mutz, PhD Stanford University, teaches and does research on public opinion, political psychology and mass political behavior, with a particular emphasis on political communication. At Penn she holds the Samuel A. Stouffer Chair in Political Science and Communication, and also serves as Director of the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics at the Annenberg Public Policy Center. She has published articles in a variety of academic journals including American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, Journal of Politics and Journal of Communication. She is also the author of Impersonal Influence: How Perceptions of Mass Collectives Affect Political Attitudes (Cambridge University Press, 1998), a book awarded the Robert Lane Prize for the Best Book in Political Psychology by the American Political Science Association. "
people  research  political-science  psychology  social-psychology  perception 
september 2011 by tsuomela
Yale Law School | Dan M. Kahan
Dan Kahan is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law at Yale Law School. In addition to risk perception, his areas of research include criminal law and evidence.
people  academic  law  school(Yale)  risk  perception  culture  cognition 
august 2011 by tsuomela
www.culturalcognition.net - home
The Cultural Cognition Project is a group of scholars interested in studying how cultural values shape public risk perceptions and related policy beliefs. Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g., whether global warming is a serious threat
academic-center  law  school(Yale)  cognition  culture  motivated-cognition  science  perception  bias  psychology 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Pareidolia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse. "
psychology  perception  pattern  patterns  bias  randomness 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Predicting Premeditation: Future Behavior is Seen as More Intentional than Past Behavior by Zachary Burns, Eugene Caruso, Daniel Bartels :: SSRN
"People‟s intuitions about the underlying causes of past and future actions might not be the same. In three studies, we demonstrate that people judge the same behavior as more intentional when it will be performed in the future than when it has been performed in the past. We found this temporal asymmetry in perceptions of both the strength of an individual‟s intention and the overall prevalence of intentional behavior in a population. Because of its heightened intentionality, people thought the same transgression deserved more severe punishment when it would occur in the future than when it did occur in the past. The difference in judgments of both intentionality and punishment were partly explained by the stronger emotional reactions that were elicited in response to future actions than past actions. We consider the implications of this temporal asymmetry for legal decision making and theories of attribution more generally. "
future  perception  intention  intentionality  law  temporal  explanation  behavior  social-psychology 
august 2011 by tsuomela
On Being an Illegible Person
"I’ve been drifting slowly through California for the past three weeks at about 100 miles/week, and  several times I’ve been asked an apparently simple question that has become nearly impossible for me to answer: “What are you here for?”

Unlike regular travelers, I am not here for anything. I am just here, like area residents. The only difference is that I’ll drift on out of the Bay Area in a week.  The true answer is “I am nomadic for the time being. I just move through places, the way you stay put in places. I am doing things that constant movement enables, just like you do things that staying put enables.” That is of course too bizarre an answer to use in everyday conversation."
nomad  work  labor  places  perception  attitude 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Ugo Mattei on the Commons, Market and State | David Bollier
"The real problem is that the State and Market are locked in a symbiotic alliance to the detriment of the commons. This unholy alliance so tenacious because it is embedded in our very phenomenological understanding of life, writes Mattei. We perceive the world as a mechanistic system in which subject and object are separate and distinct, and we supposedly have individual autonomy to do what we wish to act upon the world. As subjects, we tend to pracel out and commodify the world into units that are isolated from the larger whole
commons  state  market  politics  economics  ideology  reductionism  phenomenology  perception  markets 
july 2011 by tsuomela
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