Thursday 29th of July 2021

















Everyday we make a zillion decisions without knowing. Our billion cells carry on doing their complex chemistry that we have to feed at some stage to sustain the reaction. At the top of the system, there is a mechanism dedicated to the survival of the assemblage — when we, our consciousness and our subconscious, as the entity director of various cells have to make the best for “all of us”. It’s a ∑ ∞+n of importance.


Our choices dictate the status of who we are in order to become our ego. We think. Should we decide to go to war, we’re likely to get shot. We invent motivations — or our motivations are invented for us by our social construct — in order to do something crazy like being shot on a battlefield. Thus we need information of all sorts from the quality of the food we eat — we don’t want to poison ourselves — to changing our habit of taking the bus to work at 8:14 every day of the working week — and working from home because of Covid time… We try to rationalise our choices but often, in the face of equivalent rewards, our choices are influenced by our habits and tiny (or big) new pieces of information that forbid some actions… And the social world around us can and do press our buttons...


I had a boy-dog once… It was not mine but my sister-in-law’s… she’d gone to the US and had left him behind. He worked out a way to make the lolly machine work. Clever. But chocolate M&Ms are not good for dogs. They don’t know chocolate can kill them or make them sick. So was he irrational or did he not know better? Should I have filled the machine with pieces of beef jerky? I’m sure he would not have touched it.



Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions




Why do smart people make irrational decisions every day? The answers will surprise you. PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL is an intriguing, witty and utterly original look at why we all make illogical decisions. Why can a 50p aspirin do what a 5p aspirin can't? If an item is "free" it must be a bargain, right? Why is everything relative, even when it shouldn't be? How do our expectations influence our actual opinions and decisions?


In this astounding book, behavioural economist Dan Ariely cuts to the heart of our strange behaviour, demonstrating how irrationality often supplants rational thought and that the reason for this is embedded in the very structure of our minds.


Predictably Irrational brilliantly blends everyday experiences with a series of illuminating and often surprising experiments, that will change your understanding of human behaviour. And, by recognising these patterns, Ariely shows that we can make better decisions in business, in matters of collective welfare, and in our everyday lives from drinking coffee to losing weight, buying a car to choosing a romantic partner.


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This predictably irrational behaviour of course is at the core of ADVERTISING psychology, using techniques to make you believe anything even in the existence of god. Priest have been massaging your brains, dudes… But as well there is a balance between the known and the unknown in which the load (coefficient of) values can be affected by past history or complete ignorance.



Test were done to find out why more mice like to discover the attraction of the new things… and testing the waters to see if the new thing is dangerous or not. We’re explorers in our mind and don’t mind to be stupid, but in general, we don’t like to be exposed as being stupid… Self doubt about anything can ruin a good day. Many proper psychological tests have been done to source our decision making and it ain’t Kevin, because Kevin could be right and we could be blowing bubbles believing in our inflated worth.




Entrepreneur Kate Morris admits that sometimes there's a "little voice" in her head attempting to sow seeds of self-doubt. Determined not to let it take over, she's found a novel way to keep her imposter feelings in check.

"I've found it useful ... to name that voice and separate it from myself in that way so that it's not an inner voice of truth. It's just Kevin, [as in] 'you can zip it Kevin'," she tells ABC RN's This Working Life.

The founder of Adore Beauty isn't alone.

The idea of the imposter syndrome was conceived by US psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978, and further research by Dr Clance and Gail Matthews in the mid-1980s found 70 per cent of people felt like frauds sometime during their working lives.


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Sweet but nothing new here… No-one is immune to little voices questioning our own value in regard to what we accept in an offer, loaf about or should offer. Imagine Joan of Arc…


The Peter’s Principle in action shows that sometimes we fart above our station and become useless pigs, but we will hang onto the post… Prestige, money, backhanders are valuable benefits, even if everyone else believe we’re doing a shit job. And we will convince oursleves that we’re doing a fantastic job because we’re there doing it, even if we’re not doing anything but bark...


Welcome to the absolute ego believers — the politicians. In general, few pollies will question their worth. None will feel like an imposter,  otherwise they would have to shoot themselves politically and resign for fraud or rorts. Usually, politicians will blame someone or something else for their grand failures, their fucups and SNAFUs… It’s easier this way… makes one feel good. It is part of the game of politics. 


Anytime a politician says “the buck stops with me…” you don’t have to wait long for “…but blah blah blah”. The caveat sauces comes in different colours and thicknesses. Rorts are okay as long as you can "demonstrate" (I did not use the word "prove") their worth. Imagine a snake-oil merchant having doubts!… He’d end up like whatizname in the “Death of a Salesman”… We are told: "Death of a Salesman addresses loss of identity and a man's inability to accept change within himself and society. The play is a montage of memories, dreams, confrontations, and arguments, all of which make up the last 24 hours of Willy Loman's life.”


Yes “Kevin” can fuck up or zip it ("he” has trousers)…But, as women have a little man's voice in their deranged (we’re all deranged, aren’t we?) head — men should use Bertha as the name of the little voice, like that of the German “Big Bertha” — the 42 cm (!) kurze Marinekanone 14 L/12 (short naval cannon), or Minenwerfer-Gerät (M-Gerät), popularly known by the nickname Big Bertha … look it up… If this cannon does not make you believe in cannons, what will?


And of course, no-one is ever lying… EVEN TO ONESELF...


Covid’s mental health toll: one in five Australians report high levels of psychological distress

Young people, women and those living with a disability the most affected by poor mental health



There is a chance that we may be the best person at this point in time not to know what we are doing but to explore solutions to what we can do.


So where to from here? Do the best and carpe diem but don’t temp fate like buying dumbbells in a lockdown… Much can be said on this subject and our monkey knows better...


Being organised can sometimes slow things down. For example on the desktop there is a function to “align” every folder so the desktop looks neat. I tend to favour non aligned folders. finding a folder amongst aligned folders become a task to read the name of the folder below it or by reference points say 6 across and three down… It’s efficient but by experience it is slower than having folders non aligned and remember the off-skewed position in relation to other folders. This is visual memory at high speed. I believe that this “non-aligned” tactic would actually speed up the search engines, which to some extend have increased the bullshit about what they (you) search for. They have become inefficient and badly loaded in importance due to having to promote paying sites as well. It’s possible that they have become too disorderly as well...


Cartoon at top from The New Yorker c 1960...




When Jennifer Eberhardt appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in April 2019, she had a hard time keeping a straight face. But some of the laughs were painful. Discussing unconscious racial bias, which she has studied for years, the Stanford University psychologist mentioned the “other-race effect,” in which people have trouble recognizing faces of other racial groups. Criminals have learned to exploit the effect, she told Noah. In Oakland, California, a gang of black teenagers caused a mini–crime wave of purse snatchings among middle-aged women in Chinatown. When police asked the teens why they targeted that neighborhood, they said the Asian women, when faced with a lineup, “couldn't tell the brothers apart.”

“That is one of the most horrible, fantastic stories ever!” said Noah, a black South African.

But it was true. Eberhardt has written that the phrase “they all look alike,” long the province of the bigot, “is actually a function of biology and exposure.” There's no doubt plenty of overt bigotry exists, Eberhardt says; but she has found that most of us also harbor bias without knowing it. It stems from our brain's tendency to categorize things—a useful function in a world of infinite stimuli, but one that can lead to discrimination, baseless assumptions, and worse, particularly in times of hurry or stress.


Over the decades, Eberhardt and her Stanford team have explored the roots and ramifications of unconscious bias, from the level of the neuron to that of society. In cleverly designed experiments, she has shown how social conditions can interact with the workings of our brain to determine our responses to other people, especially in the context of race. Eberhardt's studies are “strong methodologically and also super real-world relevant,” says Dolly Chugh of New York University's Stern School of Business, a psychologist who studies decision-making.

“She is taking this world that black people have always known about and translating it into the principles and building blocks of universal human psychology,” adds Phillip Atiba Goff, a former graduate student of Eberhardt's who runs the Center for Policing Equity at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Eberhardt hasn't shied away from some of the most painful questions in U.S. race relations, such as the role of bias in police shootings. “What's distinctive about her work is how bold she is,” says Susan Fiske, a psychologist at Princeton University who wrote the authoritative textbook about social cognition. “She's not the only one working in social cognition or on police issues or on implicit bias. But she dares to go where other people don't.”

Eberhardt, a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” award winner in 2014, has long been putting her insights to work. At Stanford, she co-directs Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions, a group of researchers who aim to solve problems in education, health, economic mobility, and criminal justice. Eberhardt has been especially active in criminal justice, playing a key role in the court-ordered reform of the Oakland police department, which has a history of toxic community relations.


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Science 27 Mar 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6485, pp. 1418-1421