Monday, February 22, 2010

Dyson When Poetry and Science were Friends

Media Miser Thesis Quotations

Happiness and spending quotes
The following is a collection of quotes which are randomly shown to Merry Miser's
users when they go to a store. The quotes are collected from (Schumaker 2007) and
other sources.
\Happiness is a way station between too little and too much." | Channing
\We travel through life searching for the beautiful, but unless we carry it with
us as we go, we will never nd it." | Ralph Waldo Emerson
\If you want to be happy, be." | Leo Tolstoy
\It is the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top" | Robert Pirsig
\Remember that happiness is a way of travel | not a destination." | Roy M.
\Appreciation can make a day, even change a life" | Margaret Cousins
\To happiness the same applies as to truth; one does not have it, but is in it."
| Theodor Adorno
\But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life
he leads." | Albert Camus
\The goal of life is living in agreement with nature." | Zeno of Elea
\A tear dries quickly when it is shed for the trouble of others." | Marcus
Tullius Cicero
\Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little." | Epicurus
\Never value anything as pro table to thyself which needs walls or curtains."
| Marcus Aurelius
\I know what the cure is: it is to give up, to relinquish, to surrender, so that our
little hearts may beat in unison with the great heart of the world." | Henry
\He who never knew the price of happiness will not be happy." | Yevgeny
\The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."
| Kahlil Gibran
\Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense
of ten thousand desires makes a wise and happy purchase." | John Balguy
\Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won't
have to hunt for happiness." | William E. Gladstone
\`Well', said Pooh, `what I like best|' and then he had to stop and think.
Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a
moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were,
but he didn't know what it was called." | A. A. Milne
\To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness."
| Bertrand Russel
\The wisdom of the world consists in making oneself very little." | Robert
Luis Stevenson
\I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only
ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found
how to serve." | Albert Schweitzer
\The sage leaves no footprints when he passes through the village." | Chinese
\A rock stands
where I kneel." | Cid Corman
\O Snail
Climb Mt. Fuji
But slowly, slowly!!" | Kobayashi Issa
\If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy,
practice compassion." | The Dalai Lama
\We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements in life, when
all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about." |
Reverend Charles Kingsley
\It was the best place to be, thought Wilbur, this warm delicious cellar, with
the garrulous geese, the changing seasons, the heat of the sun, the passage of
the swallows, the nearness of rats, the sameness of sheep, the love of spiders,
the smell of manure, and the glory of everything." | E. B. White
\A certain power of enduring boredom is essential to a happy life." | Bertrand
\If things do not turn

fab lab

Monday, February 08, 2010

Framing thoughts

How framing affects our thought processes

By BPS research Digest

A take-away restaurant near my house offers customers free home delivery or a ten per cent discount if you pick up. It sounds much better than saying you get no discount for picking up and suffer a ten per cent fee for delivery – this is the power of ‘framing’. Now David Hardisty and colleagues have dug a little deeper into framing, to show first, that these kinds of effects can interact with people's political persuasion, and second, that they can act by altering the order of people's thoughts.

Hundreds of online participants chose between various flights, computers and so on. In each case they could plump for a cheaper option or a more expensive, greener option, the latter including either a 'tax' to help reduce carbon emissions, or an 'offset' to do the same – depending on how the choice was framed. Whether the expensive option was framed as a tax or offset made no difference to Democrat (left-wing) participants. By contrast, Republicans (right-wing) and Independents were much less likely to choose the more expensive option when it was labelled as a tax.

In a second study the researchers added a technique known as 'concurrent thought listing', which involved the participants sharing their thoughts as they made their product choices.

This process revealed that when the expensive option was labelled as a tax, the Republicans and Independents, but not Democrats, had a consistent tendency to weigh-up the advantages of the cheaper option first before they considered the benefits of the greener choice. This is significant because past research shows that when we appraise options in sequence, the first item we consider tends to be favoured. Consistent with this, the tax frame led Republican participants to not only consider the cheaper option first but also to generate more supporting evidence for it. By contrast, when the expensive, greener option was labelled as an offset, political affiliation was no longer associated with the order in which options were considered, nor the weight of evidence generated for each option.

A final study tested whether the order in which we consider options really does have a causal role in our decision making. Participants of all political persuasions were instructed to consider the benefits of the greener, more expensive option first, whether it was labelled as a tax or offset. Despite this instruction, 54 per cent of Republicans failed to comply (showing just how averse they were to the 'tax' label). However, among those participants who did comply, this instruction had the effect of eliminating the interaction between framing and political affiliation – that is, the Republicans were no longer repelled by the greener, expensive option even when it was labelled as a tax.

‘Policy makers would be wise to note the differential impact that policy labels may have on different groups,’ the researchers concluded. ‘What might seem like a trivial semantic difference to one person can have a large impact on someone else.’

Hardisty, D., Johnson, E., & Weber, E. (2009). A Dirty Word or a Dirty World?: Attribute Framing, Political Affiliation, and Query Theory. Psychological Science, 21 (1), 86-92 DOI: 10.1177/0956797609355572

Friday, February 05, 2010

'Desire' and 'Reason'

How do we resist impulsive desires? Apparently our anteroventral prefrontal cortex tells our nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental areas (involved in reward and pleasure) to chill out. From Diekhof and Gruber:

Human decisions are guided by "desire" or "reason," which control actions oriented toward either proximal or long-term goals. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess how the human brain mediates the balance between proximal reward desiring and long-term goals, when actions promoting a superordinate goal preclude exploitation of an immediately available reward option. Consistent with the view that the reward system interacts with prefrontal circuits during action control, we found that behavior favoring the long-term goal, but counteracting immediate reward desiring, relied on a negative functional interaction of anteroventral prefrontal cortex (avPFC) with nucleus accumbens (Nacc) and ventral tegmental area. The degree of functional interaction between avPFC and Nacc further predicted behavioral success during pursuit of the distal goal, when confronted with a proximal reward option, and scaled with interindividual differences in trait impulsivity. These findings reveal how the human brain accomplishes voluntary action control guided by "reason," suggesting that inhibitory avPFC influences Nacc activity during actions requiring a restraint of immediate "desires."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

yeasayer acapella

Paterson on Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus

‘The two principal religious errors seem to me beautifully refuted in the Sonnets. The first is to think of truth as being in the possession of an inscrutable third party, whose knowledge and intentions can only be divined. However, we are all the thinking that matter is doing in this part of the universe. If the universe has an eye, it sees only through the eyes on this Earth and elsewhere; if a mind it thinks only in these minds …

‘The second error is to think of an afterlife or any reincarnation we are bound for as more extraordinary than finding ourselves here in the first place. This projection of ourselves into a future beyond our deaths warps our actions in, and therefore our sense of responsibility to, the here and now – as well as our negotiations with the real beings with whom we share and to whom we will bequeath a home … This, in a perfectly straightforward sense, is already life after death, as remarkably so as any “you” you might wake as in the future. Factor out the illusion of the unitary self – being a phantom centre created by an evolutionary necessity – and its back-formations of ego and soul, and being here once is the identically equivalent miracle to being here again.’
- - [Technorati] Poemanias Technorati cosmos for Poemanias Wed, 09 Mar 2005 09:48:55 GMT 474652 2 3 Technorati v1.0 - Technorati logo 60 - Mike Snider's Formal Blog and Sonnetarium: "Poemanias" ... Via Poemanias , I've found this tribute site to Michael Donaghy, surely one of the best poets of the late 20th century in English. There's video, audio, and links to poems and transcripts of talks. I met Michael only briefly ...
Mike Snider's Formal Blog and Sonnetarium View Technorati Cosmos
Mon, 07 Mar 2005 21:39:33 GMT 2005-03-07 20:34:58 GMT
- Silliman's Blog: "Edward Farrelly" ... Amanda Drew Joseph Duemer Cliff Duffy Jilly Dybka E Martin Edmond kari edwards Stuart Eglin AnnMarie Eldon Scott Esposito Steve Evans F Roberta Fallon & Libby Rosof (Philly Artblog) Edward Farrelly Rona Fernandez Caterina Fake Ryan Fitzpatrick Jim Flanagan Flarf Debby Florence Juan Jose Flores Paul Ford William Fox Gina Franco Suzanne Frischkorn G Jeannine Hall Gailey C.P. ...
Silliman's Blog View Technorati Cosmos
Mon, 07 Mar 2005 15:48:43 GMT 2005-03-07 14:50:46 GMT