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tsuomela : thinking   48

Why Should You Think Like a Scientist? – Uncertain Principles
"In the end, the core justification for everything I do in terms of trying to bring science to a broader audience comes back to the idea that science isn’t a collection of facts, it’s an approach to the world. Stripped to its essentials, science is a four-step process: you look at something interesting in the world, you think about why it might work that way, you test your idea with further observations and experiments, and you tell everybody you know what you found"
science  communication  purpose  thinking  method 
april 2013 by tsuomela
Rediscovering Literacy
"I used to think that the terseness of written language through most of history was mostly a result of the high cost and low reliability of writing technologies in pre-modern times. I now think these were secondary issues. I have come to believe that the very word literacy meant something entirely different before around 1890, when print technology became cheap enough to sustain a written form of mass media."
history  literacy  oral  culture  transmission  diffusion  sophistication  language  thinking 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Analytic Thinking Promotes Religious Disbelief
Scientific interest in the cognitive underpinnings of religious belief has grown in recent years. However, to date, little experimental research has focused on the cognitive processes that may promote religious disbelief. The present studies apply a dual-process model of cognitive processing to this problem, testing the hypothesis that analytic processing promotes religious disbelief. Individual differences in the tendency to analytically override initially flawed intuitions in reasoning were associated with increased religious disbelief. Four additional experiments provided evidence of causation, as subtle manipulations known to trigger analytic processing also encouraged religious disbelief. Combined, these studies indicate that analytic processing is one factor (presumably among several) that promotes religious disbelief. Although these findings do not speak directly to conversations about the inherent rationality, value, or truth of religious beliefs, they illuminate one cognitive factor that may influence such discussions.
science  religion  psychology  cognition  mental-process  analytic  thinking  style 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Lawyer Mind, Judge Mind
"Several recent discussions on a variety of unrelated topics with different people have gotten me thinking about two different attitudes towards dialectical processes. They are generalized versions of the professional attitudes required of lawyers and judges, so I’ll refer to them as lawyer mind and judge mind.

In the specialized context of the law, the dialectical process is structurally constrained and the required attitudes are codified and legally mandated to a certain extent. Lawyers must act as though they were operating from a lawyer-mindset, even if internally they are operating with a judge-mind."
law  mind  habit  professional  thinking  style  dialectic  judicial 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Are Emotions Prophetic? | Wired Science |
While there is an extensive literature on the potential wisdom of human emotion – David Hume was a prescient guy – it’s only in the last few years that researchers have demonstrated that the emotional system (aka Type 1 thinking) might excel at complex decisions, or those involving lots of variables. If true, this would suggest that the unconscious is better suited for difficult cognitive tasks than the conscious brain, that the very thought process we’ve long disregarded as irrational and impulsive might actually be more intelligent, at least in some conditions.
emotion  psychology  cognition  thinking  decision-making  complexity 
march 2012 by tsuomela
Everybody Thinks Scientifically : Uncertain Principles
I think we would be better served by making clear that scientific thinking is just thinking, and the sort of thing that everybody does all the time.
science  public-understanding  understanding  public  thinking  philosophy 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Is Economics the Problem? « The Baseline Scenario
"The conclusion is that simply thinking about money — even unconsciously — makes people more self-sufficient, more socially insensitive, and less cooperative."
economics  psychology  cooperation  altruism  money  thinking  bias 
february 2011 by tsuomela
Clive Thompson on How Tweets and Texts Nurture In-Depth Analysis | Magazine
"The popularity of this endless fire hose of teensy utterances means we’ve lost our appetite for consuming—and creating—slower, reasoned contemplation. Right?

I’m not so sure. In fact, I think something much more complex and interesting is happening: The torrent of short-form thinking is actually a catalyst for more long-form meditation."
internet  technology-effects  habit  behavior  twitter  thinking  patterns 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Stumbling and Mumbling: Dissonance, ignorance & Lib Dems
What’s going on here is a form of dissonance reduction. People have two conflicting beliefs: “I want to make money” and “I’m a fair person.” One way to reconcile these beliefs and reduce dissonance is simply to choose not to know the effects of one’s actions upon other people - which allows one to believe that a selfish choice was in fact “fair“.  People use strategic ignorance to reduce dissonance.
This doesn’t just happen in laboratories. The classic example was General Tommy Franks’ statement in the Iraq war: “We don’t do body counts.”  This was an attempt to save him from the dissonance that would have arisen from trying to reconcile the belief that the war was justified with the evidence that tens of thousands were dying.
politics  cognitive-dissonance  bias  thinking  rationalization  ignorance 
november 2010 by tsuomela
Notional Slurry » Richard Rorty, Voltairine de Cleyre, Peter Drucker and Clay Shirky walk into a bar…
The risk these social forces pose is that the increased potential for general and popular success of smart people draws our local unsung luminaries up and away. So they can talk amongst themselves.

And not with us.

We should be linked to one another by conversations that look back and forward and down, and most of all sideways at one another. Not just “up” at our luminous colleagues, our canon, but across at the friend we never suspected knew so much about that thing we were working on together.

I’ve come to detest the consensus of shared culture and its keepers, and our canon, and the news we’re told. I’m trying to rely more on the people in my presence, and the people they know personally.
We’re all of us always wrong. I pity the famous, the canon-makers, the revealers of truth, my professor friends because they’ve sacrificed their right to be wrong at the altar of Progress.

And as far as I can tell, that means they’re stuck; they’re not allowed to make mistakes in public.
community  pragmatism  anarchism  critique  business  success  professionalization  meritocracy  thinking 
november 2010 by tsuomela
The Top Idea in Your Mind
"Turning the other cheek turns out to have selfish advantages. Someone who does you an injury hurts you twice: first by the injury itself, and second by taking up your time afterward thinking about it. If you learn to ignore injuries you can at least avoid the second half. I've found I can to some extent avoid thinking about nasty things people have done to me by telling myself: this doesn't deserve space in my head. I'm always delighted to find I've forgotten the details of disputes, because that means I hadn't been thinking about them. My wife thinks I'm more forgiving than she is, but my motives are purely selfish.
psychology  attention  forgiveness  forgetting  thinking 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Manual for Civilization - The Long Now Blog
Today we received another email about creating a record of humanity and technology that would help restart civilization...
Over the years these proposals have been in different forms; create a book, set of books, stone tablets, micro-etched metal disk, or a constantly updated wiki. I really like the idea of creating such a record, in fact the Rosetta Disk project was our first effort in this direction. These Doomsday Manuals are a positive step in the direction of making a softer landing for a collapse, and the people creating them (like ourselves) are certainly out to help people. It took millennia for the world to regain the technology and levels of societal organization attained by the Romans, so maybe a book like this would help that.
survival  civilization  history  apocalypse  diy  thinking  environment 
april 2010 by tsuomela
Design Thinking » Special Report » Design Thinking « MIT Sloan Management Review
Design thinking — distinct from analytical thinking — has emerged as the premier organizational path not only to breakthrough innovation but, surprisingly, to high-performance collaboration, as well. “It’s not about the pretty,” says one design-thinking practitioner, “it’s about the productive.” In this special section of articles, interviews, illustrated cases and research findings, the Review explores how to put design thinking to work
design  thinking  innovation  creativity  management  design-thinking  analysis  business 
august 2009 by tsuomela
The Scope of Human Thought | Forum
It is a spectacular scientific puzzle that human beings are the sole species that seems to be able to think and feel beyond the limits of the scale for their species.
human-nature  human-scale  human  mental  mind  cognition  scale  network  thinking  species  animals 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Why Thought Suppression is Counter-Productive « PsyBlog
The irony of thought suppression, then, is that actively trying to manage our own minds can sometimes do more harm than good. Although it makes perfect intuitive sense to try and suppress unwanted thoughts, unfortunately the very process we use to do this contains the seeds of its own destruction. The more we try and push intrusive thoughts down, the more they pop back up, stronger than ever.
psychology  thinking  thinking-patterns  rebound-effect  philosophy 
may 2009 by tsuomela
Less Wrong
"a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality"
weblog-group  community  rationality  thinking  bias  cognition 
march 2009 by tsuomela
Caltech's Colin Camerer makes a game of economic theory
"The cognitive hierarchy theory finds that people only do a few steps of this kind of iterated thinking," he explains. "Usually, it's just one step: I act as if others are unpredictable. But sometimes it's two steps: I act as if others think *I* am unpredictable. You can think of the number of steps a person takes as their strategic IQ. A higher strategic IQ means you are outthinking a lot of other people."
game-theory  psychology  strategy  thinking  thinking-patterns 
february 2009 by tsuomela
The Problem of Induction (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Until about the middle of the previous century induction was treated as a quite specific method of inference: inference of a universal affirmative proposition (All swans are white) from its instances (a is a white swan, b is a white swan, etc.) The method had also a probabilistic form, in which the conclusion stated a probabilistic connection between the properties in question. It is no longer possible to think of induction in such a restricted way
philosophy  logic  reasoning  encyclopedia  thinking 
january 2009 by tsuomela
Overcoming Bias: Coherent Futures
While our future vision should fade into an increasingly vast and uncertain fog of possibilities, far future fans instead fragment into factions, each confident in a very different view of the important future issues. Factions use such different assumptions that they rarely build on each others' work, or even engage others in debate. Only they really "get it" you see, and few others ever seriously consider their arguments. Extreme far-thinking apparently produces extreme disagreement.

Such fragmentation may be acceptable when searching a large space for rare combinations, but it is severely dysfunctional for advising common actions. We instead need to find ways for the few people who actually care about the far future to work together via a division of labor. But how can we do that? Just tell each faction to reconsider that they might be mistaken?
futurism  philosophy  collaboration  community  methods  thinking  thinking-patterns 
december 2008 by tsuomela
Dave Gray » Q-tools: An approach for discovery and knowledge work
The list below attempts to define a set of “Q-tools” that may be used to generate, sort, classify and perform operations on information. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but more of a starting point for discussion.
patterns  thinking  information-use  thinking-patterns  knowledge-management  knowledge 
june 2008 by tsuomela
5 Traits of the Super Learner | Mission to Learn
Craig Lambert, identifies five “secrets” of super learners (I prefer “traits,” as I don’t see anything particularly secret about these):

* Wonder
* Humility
* Synthetic Thinking
* Patience
* Relishing Mistakes
learning  education  thinking  pedagogy 
june 2008 by tsuomela

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