Rainy Streets


Mike Caulfield's wikified notes and bookmarks.

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UI Influence on Interpretation [...]

A writer pastes the same messages into a Facebook Chat UI, an email, and a plain text message and receives significantly different interpretations of the messagers personality and state of mind. - Discourse norms are defined by interface and culture as well. See [[Before Posting to NetNews]]...

 

Stories and Deception [...]

Maria Konnikova discusses how memory can fool us, even leading us to believe ideas that are not our own are ours. > That’s precisely why they can be such a powerful tool of deception. When we’re immersed in a story, we let down our guard. We focus in a way we wouldn’t if someone were just trying to catch us with a random phrase or picture or interaction. (“He ...

 

The Gates Ajar [...]

Modern conceptions of heaven feature a reunion with loved ones prominently, and posit an afterlife where people retain their bodily forms and personalities. This version of heaven, at least in in America, was heavily influenced by the 1868 religious novel *The Gates Ajar* by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (later Elizabeth Phelps Ward) The second best-selling religious novel...

 

The Least Contaminated Memory [...]

> “The least contaminated memory might exist in the brain of a patient with amnesia — in the brain of someone who cannot contaminate it by remembering it.” - See also [[False Memories are Common]] and [[Engram Lifecycle]]...

 

Letter from Anne Aldrich to Emily Dickinson [...]

Copy of a letter sent by the poet Anne Aldrich, two years before her death, to an Emily Dickinson, though likely not *the* Emily Dickinson given the date. Transcribed from the photographic version in the ASU archives. The note on that item reads: > Original manuscript is tipped in to a copy of the author's book "The Feet of Love" Local Call Number PS 1019.A7 F4. Boo...

 

Anne Reeve Aldrich [...]

Anne Reeve Aldrich (born & died New York City; April 25, 1866 - June 28, 1892) was an American poet and novelist. Her works include The Rose and Flame and Other Poems and The Feet of Love. Her father died when she was eight, and her mother moved her to the country where she was home-schooled, first by her mother, and then by tutors. She wrote constantly from a young a...

 

False Memories are Common [...]

Memories are not stored the way an event is stored in a video or audio file. For something to be remembered, it must be recreated. Furthermore, each time we remember something, we alter our memory of it. In the case of remembering events, the more we remember an event, the more we are likely to have distorted it. Surprisingly, the most-remembered events can sometimes ...

 

Tour:: Artifacts of Room One [...]

[[Historical Truth and Narrative Truth]] [[Morality and Gun Violence]]...

 

Whisk and a Blender [...]

Sometimes people have multiple tools that do roughly the same thing. Why does this happen, and what can we learn from it? If you're an adult with a moderately stocked kitchen, chances are you have both a whisk and an electric mixer. You might have a blender too. You can probably accomplish most things you do with the whisk with the electric mixer, and most things you ...

 

Dave’s Law of Feature Convergence [...]

In talking about Twitter's suggested move to release limits on tweet size, Dave Winer responds to those who complain that they don't want their products to look similar. Convergence is part of the product cycle: >[A]ll products in a space eventually get the features of all the other products. Most categories work that way. If Buick adds a radio, then so must Dodge ...

 

Kenbak-1 [...]

The Kenbak-1 is widely considered to be the world's first "personal computer". Designed and invented by John Blankenbaker of Kenbak Corporation in 1970, and was first sold in early 1971. Blankenbaker notes one of his big mistakes was trying to sell into schools instead of to hobbyists (as Apple would later do). See [[PO Death]] Others consider the [[Programma 101]] ...

 

The Recommender’s Paradox [...]

A recent-ish study looked at film recommendation systems and found an interesting result: perceived novelty of the recommendations was negatively correlated with user satisfaction, and user satisfaction was correlated adoption. One of the most striking things we found is that the novelty of recommended items has a significant negative impact on users’ perception ...

 

Camera Bump-down [...]

On a camera industry podcast, industry expert Heino Hibig talks about the sudden "bump-down" of the digital camera market in 2009, and argues it is *not* about the adoption of cameraphones. Why does he think that, and if it is not about the cameraphone, then what is about then? Hibig claims a deep statistical dive into the data shows there is no correlation between s...

 

The Best Camera Is the One That’s With You [...]

Chase Jarvis is known for popularizing the idea in the mid-00s that the iPhone should be taken seriously by professional photographers as a camera. His point was that the technology of any camera was really just a set of tools to help you uncover a story or insight, and that process was better served by the access and habit of mobile photography than the sporadic and ...

 

Cameraphone Convergence [...]

Digital cameras lived as a complement to cameraphones for a couple years, then not so much. As phones got better at taking pictures, people valued the all-in-one nature of the phone over the specialized device. For a while in the late 00s it seemed like single-purpose compact digital cameras had a future in fact they dramatically outsold their analog counterparts, as...

 

Walter Swennen [...]

[caption id="attachment_1563" align="alignnone" width="802"] Haunted 2014 (source)[/caption] From bio: >Walter Swennen (b. 1946, Brussels) is known for his radical, experimental and associative approach to painting, which is perhaps best summarised as a belief in the total autonomy of the artwork. For Swennen, a painting does not need to be ‘emotive’ or ‘unde...

 

Pizza Hamburger [...]

Andy Warhol eats a hamburger onscreen in one of his 1960s films. Years later, MacCauley Culkin made an identical remake of the film for his band Pizza Underground, only using pizza instead of a hamburger. We mention this only because it is bizarrely fascinating. Here is Warhol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ejr9KBQzQPM Here is Culkin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

 

Protected: Prediction Accounting: Synchronous Online [...]

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password:...

 

Tech Ho-Hum [...]

Kevin Drum on modern tech. We're always yawning at tech because by the time it works we feel we've seen it before. > This is just the nature of modern tech: The really cool stuff is always a "few years" away. And when it finally comes, we've been talking about it so long that it seems ho-hum. Yeah, Amazon is great, isn't it? So what's next? This is an alternative to...

 

Wiki Inversions [...]

Wiki inverted long-standing notions about publishing, based on the realization that the low cost of change of digital publishing, combined with the collaborative potential of the internet rendered traditional notions obsolete. Here are a few of them: * *From Omission to Opportunity*: Normal publishing saw omission as failure, and worked to remove traces of omission f...

 

On gardens, streams and Zettelkästen [...]

(From ) - ![Zettelkästen] [Zettel] I read Mike Caulfield's article on the web as a **garden** (e.g. wikis) and as a **stream** (e.g. Blogs, Twitter). It resonated strongly with my reading on *Zettelkästen* (German for 'index catalogue'). This post places the two concepts together or side by side to see how they fit. Another possibility is that neither the stream n...

 

Every Note of the Beatles [...]

An explanation from Devin Faraci of why Star Wars is genius and The Force Awakens is merely a reflection of that genius. His argument is this: Star Wars felt like the expression of George Lucas's soul, birthed fully formed. The Force Awakens feels like a tribute band. > You can play every single note exactly as The Beatles did, and it can sound the same but it will ne...

 

Print Made Moderate Gains in 2015 [...]

Print made moderate gains in 2015. > Rumors of the death of the print book were massively exaggerated, it turns out. According to the L.A. Times, 571 million print books were sold in 2015, 17 million more than in 2014. And ebooks, which had been forecast to hit 50 to 60 percent of book sales, were stuck around 25 percent. Now, a 17 million book increase in a 571 mill...

 

Secret Sauce Is Mostly Mayo [...]

Companies spend a lot of time talking about how their proprietary analytics can help identify opportunity. In reality, the most useful analytics are not that complex. In the most recent example a proprietary engagement metric was beat by a simple metric: how much time did the student spend reading? >Researchers also compiled an “engagement index,” based on stud...

 

Google Flu Trends [...]

Google Flu Trends a project to use Big Data around Google searches to predict flu trends faster than the CDC was the poster child for the glory of Big Data right up until it "failed spectacularly" in 2013. What happened? It began as a research experiment, followed by a paper in none other than *Nature*: > The paper demonstrated that search data, if properly tuned to...

 

The Missing Sense of User [...]

Things like Facebook arose mostly because of gaps in the basic HTML/HTTP infrastructure. A great example is that HTTP has no native concept of a persistent user across servers. An HTTP request can encode what machine address a request came from but it can't tell you, at the protocol level, what person it came from. This means that the only unified view you can get of...

 

Delta Bans Trophies [...]

A possible example of good coming out of a public shaming. Delta bans Big Game trophies in the Cecil the Lion aftermath. > The airline announced on Monday that it would ban the shipment of all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight. > The move comes weeks after Cecil, a popular male lion beloved by tourists and locals in Zimbabw...

 

Answer Garden [...]

> is a neat service that allows you to quickly create and distribute open-ended poll questions. It’s a great tool for group brainstorming and for quickly gathering responses to short questions that you pose to your students. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create a poll and gather feedback through AnswerGarden....

 

Friction in Tax Claims [...]

Many people eligible for tax benefits don't claim those tax benefits, and that's a problem. The IRS decided to experiment with direct mailings letting people know they had not claimed their money, and seeing if it resulted in them claiming it. But interestingly, they used an experimental method that reveals a lot about the concept of "friction" when it comes to action...

 

Before Posting to NetNews [...]

"Before Posting to NetNews" is the title of Intel guidelines for posting to Usenet newsgroups from their 1995 Netiquette document. Note this advice: you should read a mailing list or Usenet group for one to two *months* before posting anything. ``` 3.1.1 General Guidelines for mailing lists and NetNews * Read both mailing lists and newsgroups for one to two months b...

 

Rising Support for Open Materials [...]

Support is rising for open materials on college campuses. A 2014-2015 survey shows significant movement on this issue. And four-fifths (81 percent) of the survey participants agree that “Open Source textbooks/Open Education Resource (OER) content “will be an important source for instructional resources in five years.”(post) [caption id="attachment_197" align="al...

 

The Stalkers of Jimmy Wales [...]

Those that endure harassment on Wikipedia have often found Jimmy Wales to be a sympathetic advocate. Perhaps this is not surprising, since Wales himself deals with stalkers himself at a level unimaginable to most people. In a Quora question about voting, he revealed that fear of stalkers even keeps him from voting: > In Florida, in order to register to vote, you have ...

 

Mullet Strategy [...]

Simon Owens describes the "mullet strategy" of sites like Medium in a recent article: business in front, party in the back. The front pages are high quality, professional content to draw in users. The back is the social media platform of unknowns speaking to unknowns. [link][owens] The strategy was pioneered by early political blogging sites, most notably Daily Kos, w...

 

Crisis of Purpose [...]

Christopher Lucas, writing in 1996, identified the crisis at the heart of higher education in America as a "crisis of purpose", a result of a chain of historical events that resulted in the multiversity we have today, which must be all things to all people. From _Crisis in the Academy: Rethinking Higher Education in America_ by Christopher J. Lucas: > Second, if there...

 

Not a Boxing Fan [...]

In October 1899 the New South Wales parliament debated the institution of "bank holidays" holidays that when falling on a weekend would be celebrated on the following Monday. Member E.M. Clark was not a fan of the plan in general, but in what seems an attempt to mock the proposal, he argues that Boxing Day should be a bank holiday, postponed until the following Monda...

 

Instead of Big Data Try Basic Data [...]

While vendors talk about big data, the data districts and colleges actually need is often ridiculously simple: >For example, the state collects student attendance data, but right now that data only shows how many kids are going to school every day on average. "You might have 99 percent of students attending," Miller said, "but in fact there are six kids who are chr...

 

From Precinct to Voter [...]

Early political processes focused on precincts and wards as the unit of allocating campaign effort. You would get out the vote in the areas where you had broad support, and sometimes, less honorably, suppress the vote in those places where you didn't. As canvassing became supplemented with phone calls, direct mail, and other pieces, the unit increasingly became the in...

 

Fear-Selling Methodology [...]

Computer consultants want to help you do better and they may be sincere in what they promise but they might be fooling you and themselves when fear seals the deal. Ward Cunningham describes where he has seen this in the industry: I'm reminded of the time as a child when my father came home and told of an ex-convict dropping by his business selling check embosse...

 

Hate-Selling You Domain Names [...]

We've previously discussed the phenomenon of "hate-selling", whereby instead of offering you an attractive process at a good price, companies (driven by the logic of the marketing conversion funnel) create processes that generate the appropriate clicks, profits, and retention rates but destroy the experience. Jim Groom finds another instance that looks like hate-selli...

 

Hate-Selling [...]

A post on Skift introduces a new term: "hate-selling". You see it in travel where "conversion managers have run amok" and you are charged absurd combinations of little charges at the precise amounts analytics says you will tolerate. [link][skift] Some examples of hate-selling in the travel industry from the article: * Car rental sites with crazy surcharges (a 17.25% ...

 

Problems with the Fee Model [...]

Offering insufficient basic service for a flat price with fees for upgrades seems like a smart move in a number of ways. For one, it shifts the burden of certain amenities onto the people who actually use them. Why should you subsidize a companies "backup" feature, for example, when you aren't using backups? However, as experience in the airline indstry has shown, it ...

 

The Hirschsprung Family [...]

Numerous people have tweeted and blogged this 1881 family portrait as "People Ignoring People Before Cell Phones". It was rather difficult to track down details on it, so we capture them here. It was painted by Peder Severin Kroyer, a famous Dane known for painting scenes of 19th century Danish life. It was commissioned by Heinrich Hirschsprung, a tobacco manufacture...

 

Hierarchy and Cooperation [...]

> We have shown that achieving cooperation among humans is more difficult when there is an underlying hierarchical structure producing different ranks between people and therefore unequal payoffs for the participants. This result is driven by insufficient contributions from lower ranked individuals who cannot be confident that they will benefit from cooperating. Remar...

 

Horse_ebooks [...]

Horse_ebooks was a Twitter account initially thought to be generated by a spam bot slipping under the radar. It became famous for seemingly randomly generated yet poetic tweets. ![Source][horse_ebooks image] It was revealed in 2013 that the account had been, at least since 2011, the work of two media artists who had written each tweet in an attempt to impersonate a bo...

 

Lysenkoism in Poland (Test Page) [...]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oDQSmVtSzI This should be a YouTube video This a paragraph with a note, a note in the middle. [caption id="attachment_1414" align="alignright" width="300"] Lysenko with Stalin[/caption] First Header Second Header - - Content Cell Content Cell Content Cell Content Cell This is a link. [°][1]   [1]: http://cnn.com/  ...

 

Sensory Adaptation and Inattentional Blindness [...]

Although our perceptions are built from sensations, not all sensations result in perception. In fact, we often don’t perceive stimuli that remain relatively constant over prolonged periods of time. This is known as sensory adaptation. Imagine entering a classroom with an old analog clock. Upon first entering the room, you can hear the ticking of the clock; as you be...

 

Lysenkoism [...]

Lysenkoism, named for Russian botanist Trofim Lysenko, was a political doctrine in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union that mandated that all biological research conducted in the USSR conform to a modified Lamarckian evolutionary theory. It was imposed for largely ideological reasons. Lysekoism is today used as a term applied to centralized attempts to determine the directio...

 

From Toys [...]

From Jane Jacobs, on the way transformations come out of weird sectors. Even the most startling cultural and economic developments do not arise out of thin air. They are always built upon prior developments and upon a certain amount of serendipity and chance. And their consequences are unpredictable, even to their originators and the pioneers who believed in them and ...

 

Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope [...]

Nineteen years after the formation of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is thrust into the struggle of the Rebel Alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has lived for years in seclusion on the desert planet of Tatooine. Obi-Wan begins Luke's Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the beautiful Rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil...

 

Washington’s First Open Textbook Law [...]

It's well known that Washington State adopted one of the first open textbook laws in the nation. But what does it say? Here we excerpt the pertinent bits of H. B. 1025 of 2009. (1) The boards of regents of the state universities, the boards of trustees of the regional universities and The Evergreen State College, and the boards of trustees of each community and techni...

 

Circadian Typology [...]

Circadian rhythmic expression differs among individuals. Some individuals are night people and some are morning people. Mechanisms and evolutionary rationale for such differences are unknown, as is the reason behind related disorders. Studies have shown that "eveningness" may be associated with mood disorders, ADHD, and eating disorders. (pdf) - Circadian Typology cou...

 

Typewriter Art [...]

Typewriter art predates ASCII Art, and anticipates many of its techniques. See Basics of ASCII Art. [caption id="attachment_169" align="alignnone" width="315"] October 1898 typewriter art, by Flora Stacy in Phonetic Journal. (source)[/caption] Flora Stacy is the first well-known typewriter artist, although people were playing with the possibilities of typewriter art f...

 

Glitch Art [...]

[caption id="attachment_220" align="alignright" width="212"] An example of glitch aesthetic applied to furniture. The photo here is not glitching, the cabinet is carved to look exactly like this. (source)[/caption] Glitch art intentionally reproduces the glitches associated with analog and digital media for artistic effect. Examples of glitch art abound in the audiov...

 

Genesis of the OER Term [...]

The idea of open educational materials goes far back, and in fact predates most of the technology we associate with the movement today. The use of the particular term "open educational resources" however, has a more recent provenance, and can be traced to a 2002 UNESCO resolution. But what about the initialism "OER"? Where does that come from? The initial UNESCO repor...

 

Castle Bravo Miscalculation [...]

The famous detonation of a 15-megaton nuclear weapon off of the Bikini Atoll in the 1950s has an under-reported aspect: the size of the detonation was miscalculated, exposing many people to unanticipated levels of radiation: The designers of Castle Bravo seriously miscalculated the yield of the device, resulting in critical radiation contamination. They predicted that...

 

Australian Buggles Chart Position [...]

The sleeve notes to the reissue of The Buggles' Age of Plastic claim it was the biggest record in Australia for 27 years.[http://www.trevorhorn.com/horniculture/from_the_art_of_plastic_to_the.html cite] Yet very little other evidence of this claim can be found. Here we log possible interpretations of the claim and evidence supporting or refuting them. Along the way we...

 

Origin of the “Social Web” [...]

The origin of the social web is various, but the origin of the *term* is attributed to Howard Rheingold. From Wikipedia: The term "social Web" was coined by Howard Rheingold for this network in 1996; Rheingold was quoted in an article for Time on his website "Electric Minds", described as a "virtual community center" that listed online communities for users intereste...

 

ALEKS Is Public Software [...]

ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces) is an adaptive learning platform. It provides material in mathematics, chemistry, introductory statistics, and business. It is also an example of software developed with public, not private, funding. ALEKS was initially developed at UC Irvine starting in 1994 with support from a large National Science Foundation ...

 

Earliest Web Annotation Proposal [...]

People talked a decent bit about annotation on the www-talk list in the early 90s. The first lengthy treatment I can find of it is in a post by Dave Raggett in November 1992 (although he references earlier conversations). Raggett outlines a number of types of annotation, some structured around newsgroup-type functionality and others more focused on document markup aff...

 

Video Killed the Radio Star – Why History is Narrative (& Messy) [...]

On August 1, 1981, The Buggles' Video Killed the Radio Star became a staple of popular culture history when it was the first music video to be played on the MTV cable network.  The song had been a hit when released in 1979, but its status as the maiden voyage has elevated the song beyond the ebb and flow of popular music, allowing a narrative to be built around the ...

 

Harnessing the Potential of Memory in Writing [...]

A common problem for writers who want to write but are not sure on what specific topic:  how do those long-term memories [[bubble-up]], those we do not have pulled up in the short-term?  The answer is a trigger.  Some triggers are easy (pictures of events, artifacts of celebrations or accomplishments, places and people), but those are the ones people interact with...

 

Not Every Axis Should Be At Zero [...]

One of the more common forms of chart abuse is messing with the axis, starting from a non-zero point to make a trend look more substantial. But people often become dogmatic about this point, not realizing the point of the rule is to make meaningful differences meaningful (and *only* make meaningful differences meaningful). But first, let's show a somewhat egregious ex...

 

Town Equals 4,663 [...]

Machine Learning algorithms can only be as good as the structure of the data they use, and the scripts they have to inform them of data context. This sign from New Cuyama is a decent demonstration of what a world of unstructured data can look like to a machine. Roger Schank and Robert Abelson proposed Script Theory to deal with issues of cultural knowledge in machin...

 

First Women-Directed Theaters in Paris [...]

By the early 1920s it became common for women to act as directors of theaters in France. Sarah Bernhardt and the comic actor Gabrielle Rejane were two of the first, but others soon followed. The following note is from a Charlotte News article from 1921, titled "Parisian Women in Business Do Well": [cite l=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabrielle_R%C3%A9jane t="comic ...

 

Number Poem for Two Voices [...]

British Poet Neil Mills wrote a series of "number poems" in the early 1970s. "Number Poem for Two Voices" was one such work. It was recorded by Mills and his wife as part of the album Koncrete Canticle: Experiments in Disintegrating Language. Mills and his wife reading the poem: [embed]http://wikity.net/audio/4844484.mp3[/embed] Said Mills: "I believed that the meanin...

 

Stravinsky’s Player Piano [...]

Stravinsky, like many artists of his time, saw in mechanical reproduction of performance a way to ensure fidelity to the original artistic vision. Hedy's Folly records his initial reaction to the player piano (and later, the gramaphone): Pleyel had contacted Stravinsky in 1921 to propose that he transcribe his works for the Pleyela reproducing piano. The company offer...

 

Basics of ASCII Art [...]

ASCII art is a form of art which uses characters as its basic unit of construction. It is an extension of [[Typewriter Art]], which appeared shortly after the invention of the typewriter. ASCII art generators take text and create ASCII art algorithmically. (html) In the 1970s and 80s, large banners were often produced as ASCII art. ASCII art remains a staple of certai...

 

Rockefeller Drug Laws [...]

[caption id="attachment_243" align="alignright" width="207"] The Jan. 4, 1973 edition of the New York Daily News (via fair use)[/caption] The Rockefeller Drug Laws of 1973 radically changed how the American justice system worked. Under these New York State laws, the penalty for selling small amounts of heroin, opium, or marijuana became a minimum of 15 years to life i...

 

Philip Parker [...]

Philip Parker holds a patent on a method of generating computer generated books. Use a program called Eve he has developed a method of poetry creation he calls "graph theoretic". (wikipedia) He also holds a number of patents on computer produced books and media: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkS5PkHQphY[/embed] via wiki.matts.wiki...

 

Hamilton’s Rule [...]

Rule to predict kin selection effects in evolution. From Wikipedia: Formally, genes should increase in frequency when rB > C where r = the genetic relatedness of the recipient to the actor, often defined as the probability that a gene picked randomly from each at the same locus is identical by descent. B = the additional reproductive benefit gained by the recipient...

 

Wow So Portland! [...]

Wow So Portland! is a bot-run twitter account by @tinysubversions that selects random images from portions of the Google Street View of Portland and pairs them with common sayings about Portland's unique and quirky hipsterness. The images selected generally come from the office parks and factory shipping docks of Portland. The effect of the bot, which runs four times ...

 

Vague Dread [...]

The price of the Internet of Things will be a vague dread of a malicious world. by Marcelo Rinesi. [http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/rinesi20150925 post] Volkswagen didn’t make a faulty car: they programmed it to cheat intelligently. The difference isn’t semantics, it’s game-theoretical and it borders on applied demonology. The intrinsic challenge to our lega...

 

Two Beers and a Puppy [...]

From author of Works Well With Others: An Outsider's Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You If you want to really evaluate how you feel about someone, give them the “Two Beers and a Puppy” test. Both the office and, more broadly, life entail lots of interactions with people you’re no...

 

False Frame [...]

Interesting picture from the Baltimore protests of 2015. It looks like a purse is being snatched from an innocent victim, as the victim's friends try to assist and fend off the attacker. But the truth is more complex. According to the women in the glasses, Caitlin Goldblatt, the rehead, was a stranger to all of the others in the picture. She came out of a bar drunk ...

 

Cohen’s Law [...]

Quoting Clay Shirky, from [[Own Worst Enemy]]: Geoff Cohen has a great observation about this. He said "The likelihood that any unmoderated group will eventually get into a flame-war about whether or not to have a moderator approaches one as time increases." As a group commits to its existence as a group, and begins to think that the group is good or important, the ch...

 

Limerence [...]

Limerence is a form of obsessive love (to some romantic love) commonly experienced by people in some relationships but not in others, and often at the beginning of relationships. Psychologist Dorothy Tennov coined the term in her 1979 book Love and Limerence. It is also not necessarily unhealthy, although a craving for limerence above other forms of love can be. Whet...

 

Cocteau’s Bataclan Play [...]

Jean Cocteau's play Ox on the Roof (in French, Le bœuf sur le toit) played to appreciative audiences at the Bataclan in 1921, after being roundly mocked a few years earlier. From NYT 30 October 1921: Another event of great interest to all who are closely watching the modern manifestation of Paris is included In the new program at the Bataclan vaudeville house. This I...

 

Tenures [...]

Thomas Littleton’s Tenures (often New Tenures) was the first textbook written specifically on English land law. It was printed as a Textus Inclusus text, with wide margins for annotations. The language was a dialect of French called "law French". The earliest copies emerged in the 1480s, but the text was popular throughout the 16th century and in use through the 2...

 

Labor Illusion [...]

While we say that we only care about results, in reality we tend to value results based on the effort we perceive people put into a task. Artists get asked "How long did this take you to paint?" and workers that accomplish little but leave late are seen to be exemplary workers. Some psychologists refer this to the "labor illusion". And the ubiquity of complaining abou...

 

Peter Elbow [...]

Peter Elbow is a teacher and theorist of composition. His work focuses on the writing process, and the ways in which teachers can help their students become better writers through embracing the messiness of the writing process. - Techniques advocated by Elbow include Minimal Grading and The Believing Game....

 

Lewy Body Dementia [...]

Lewy body dementia, the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's disease, causes a progressive decline in mental abilities. (html) [caption id="attachment_460" align="alignright" width="300"] (source)[/caption] People with Lewy body disease have Lewy bodies in the mid-brain region (like those with Parkinson's disease) and in the cortex of the ...

 

Gated Openness [...]

[caption id="attachment_273" align="alignright" width="300"] Gated openness appears to encourage free interaction of diverse viewpoints but in reality prevents exposure to differences of opinion. (source)[/caption] In Heterotopic Communication, Leah A. Lievrouw asserts one of the paradoxes of virtual communication is it presents the appearance of openness while provid...

 

Birth of the Emoticon [...]

Kevin MacKenzie suggested emoticons in the very first internet community, MsgGroup. In 1979, Kevin MacKenzie, a member of the MsgGroup e-mail list, complained about the "loss of meaning," the lack of facial expressions, vocal inflection and gestures in e-mail correspondence. He suggested the use of a new form of punctuation in e-mails and used the example -). This was...

 

Heider and Simmel (1944) [...]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTNmLt7QX8E Take a minute to watch the video above. It's 90 seconds long. Try to summarize what happened in the video. We'll assume that you interpret the shapes as people (almost everyone does). Given that, how would you summarize the story the video depicts? Try to answer the following questions (watch the video again if you want). ...

 

Odor Network [...]

An interesting but mysterious site which claims to show the perceived relationships between smells. [http://odornetwork.com/network/index.html#pineapple site]...

 

Philippa Foot [...]

[caption id="attachment_59" align="alignright" width="200"] (credit)[/caption] Best known for her famous Trolley Problem, Philippa Foot is one of the most important 20th century philosophers in the field of ethics. She is known for her critique of consequentialism, and for work that led to a new virtue ethics, even though Foot herself did not embrace the movement.[htt...

 

Sensation [...]

What does it mean to sense something? Sensory receptors are specialized neurons that respond to specific types of stimuli. When sensory information is detected by a sensory receptor, sensation has occurred. For example, light that enters the eye causes chemical changes in cells that line the back of the eye. These cells relay messages, in the form of action potentials...

 

Up To £53,000  [...]

Good Cause, Bad Stats The sign reads "The poorest 40% of students will graduate with debts of up to 53,000 pounds. What are some questions we could ask of this statistic? In what ways is it deceptive?...

 

Sensitivity vs. Specificity [...]

People often want alarms, medical tests, and assessments to be as "sensitive" as possible: that is, in looking for condition X, we'd like to catch 100% of the occurrences of condition X. But increases in sensitivity almost always involve decreases in specificity and this can cause problems. To understand the difference between sensitivity and specificity, consider the...

 

Rockefeller Drug Laws [...]

[caption id="attachment_56" align="alignright" width="207"] The Jan. 4, 1973 edition of the New York Daily News (via fair use)[/caption] The Rockefeller Drug Laws of 1973 radically changed how the American justice system worked. Under these New York State laws, the penalty for selling small amounts of heroin, opium, or marijuana became a minimum of 15 years to life in...

 

Penalty Compression [...]

Making all offenses capital offenses can have unintended effects. From Slate Star Codex: Chen Sheng was an officer serving the Qin Dynasty, famous for their draconian punishments. He was supposed to lead his army to a rendezvous point, but he got delayed by heavy rains and it became clear he was going to arrive late. The way I always hear the story told is this: Chen ...

 

Broken Windows Theory Broken [...]

The broken windows theory is a sociological explanation of how "good" areas go "bad" and how bad areas go good. In the theory, tolerance of small offenses (such vandalism) leads to increases in larger offenses (such as murder). Application of policies informed by the theory were credited for New York City's decline in crime in the 1990's. However, there are many reaso...

 

Four Junto Questions [...]

The four questions that one had to answer to join Benjiman Franklin's [[Junto]]: 1. Have you any particular disrespect to any present members? Answer. I have not. 2. Do you sincerely declare that you love mankind in general; of what profession or religion soever? Answ. I do. 3. Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name or goods, for mere specul...

 

Alarm Fatigue [...]

Hospitals are overwhelmed with alarms, and it's a problem with severe consequences: "Current clinical alarm technology is generally based on Data Threshold Science, which detects when a specific data threshold has been crossed and activates an alerting mechanism (usually an audible alarm). Unfortunately, this creates a concept known as “alarm fatigue,” which has t...

 

Francis Galton [...]

A Victorian polymath, he is best remembered in educational history for founding the field of psychometrics, a subfield of Galton's larger interest in anthropometrics. He invented the use of percentile grades for showing distribution of phenomenon. The height charts that you saw as a kid (at age three 25% of children are above x inches, 50% of children are above y inch...

 

Wikipedia Backstage Pass [...]

Super fan David Spargo got access to the green room of his favorite Australian act Peking Duk last night in Melbourne by editing their Wikipedia page on the fly and listing himself as “Family”. The security guard, who was obviously sceptical first, was convinced by Spargo when he presented him with the edited Wikipedia page on his phone. Reportedly, the band was ...