Category Archives: Psychology

A Social Network for Climate Scientists

I’ve recently decided that human kind needs this even more immediately than brain augmentation.

There is no reason why large organized discussions about climate should be limited to yearly conferences. In fact it’s inexcusable in the internet age. I want to see a website that exclusively connects climate scientists, not only to expedite problem solving, but also to provide the public with a single reliable place to go to for the definitive scientific consensus on climate change. One reliable place for up to date data analysis on the front page that is easy enough for the layman to understand. Continue reading

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Minecraftian Slip

There are two types of people in the world  Those that lead, and those that follow.  That is, until you enter the strange world of Minecraft and realize that there are many blocks of gray.  Freud would have a field day in this blocky world full of neurosis.  All the hidden obsessions you push deep inside of you are methodically brought out, block by block.

Block one.  You are obsessive.  Sure, in your daily 3 dimensional world you function fine.  You go to work, perform your menial tasks, then come home to watch reruns of Twin Peaks and eat Pringles.  You’re so relaxed, you don’t care that your shirt is pink because you stuck a red sock in the wash or that there are now Pringles crumbs all over the couch.  Is that gas you smell?  Did you leave the burner on?  Meh, not worried about it.  But then Continue reading

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Psychics are Fake, James Randi is Awesome

Okay, I want to start this off by saying that there could be psychic powers in the world. I would love if it were true. It could be so well utilized in the information age. I am totally drawn to tv shows and movies about psychic powers and the like. It’s so appealing on a primal and emotional level, but I think  it is so very unlikely such things exist in the real world that there’s no point in living my life as though it were even remotely possible. Just as I wouldn’t live my life with the expectation that I might one day win the lottery. Not to mention that the chances of winning the lottery are without a doubt far far better than the likelihood of discovering psychic powers. After all, people have actually won the lottery before. Not just in an anecdotal “I swear it’s true” “friend of a friend” kind of way, but in a (verifiable) (no doubt about it) kind of way. No one in the history of the world has ever exhibited psychic power under reasonable repeatable experimental conditions, not once. This leads me to one of four conclusions. Three of them might seem slightly absurd. Lets see if you can guess which. Continue reading

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A Scrutiny of Being Mean

I do not consider myself a mean person.  I tend to mind my P’s and Q’s and try to avoid cutting people off on the interstate.  But sometimes one wonders… Is life easier being mean?  Could Alexander the Great possibly have become Alexander the Beige of Heart if he was a little bit nicer to his mom and had worried about his neighbor’s feelings before hacking those branches along the property line?  Could being mean be beneficial to the average person?

He who said – sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me – probably had the crap kicked out of him right after being ridiculed for his horrendous haircut.  Being on the receiving end of an unfriendly altercation can be an unpleasant experience.  Wouldn’t it be more pleasant to be the giving, generous person who doles out the noogies and wet willies?  Any bully will tell you the best way to avoid being hurt is to beat them to the punch.  Meanness can be an excellent protection mechanism.  It hardens you to life’s ills while creating a wonderful cushion of “personal space” around you that some weaklings find impenetrable. Continue reading

A critique of being nice

I am often told that I am nice. I usually take this as a compliment and I suspect it is mostly meant as one. But I have also spent a lot of time thinking about the ways being habitually nice has actually been a hindrance in my life, mainly in social settings. Additionally I think it is very related to being shy. So this is a list of ways I think being nice can make life more difficult if it is taken to excess. Of course, like most of my articles, it’s not based on any hard data, just my own observations from my life and people I have known.

Making niceness meaningless
When you are too nice too often, the very act of being nice means less and less. Like everything, it is understood and appreciated through comparison. If you are too nice, you may simply fade into the background and be forgotten. That, or be thought of as some kind of standby personality. As in, no one has to worry about you because you’ll be there if you are needed. Continue reading

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