https://www.economist.com/christmas-specials/2010/12/16/the-u-bend-of-life, posted 14 Aug by peter in cognition health
When people start out on adult life, they are, on average, pretty cheerful. Things go downhill from youth to middle age until they reach a nadir commonly known as the mid-life crisis. So far, so familiar. The surprising part happens after that. Although as people move towards old age they lose things they treasure—vitality, mental sharpness and looks—they also gain what people spend their lives pursuing: happiness.
https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/chatgpt-is-a-blurry-jpeg-of-the-web, posted Feb '23 by peter in ai cognition language opinion
This analogy to lossy compression is not just a way to understand ChatGPT’s facility at repackaging information found on the Web by using different words. It’s also a way to understand the “hallucinations,” or nonsensical answers to factual questions, to which large language models such as ChatGPT are all too prone. These hallucinations are compression artifacts, but—like the incorrect labels generated by the Xerox photocopier—they are plausible enough that identifying them requires comparing them against the originals, which in this case means either the Web or our own knowledge of the world. When we think about them this way, such hallucinations are anything but surprising; if a compression algorithm is designed to reconstruct text after ninety-nine per cent of the original has been discarded, we should expect that significant portions of what it generates will be entirely fabricated.
Sydney residents are resorting to increasingly sophisticated measures to prevent sulphur-crested cockatoos from opening and raiding household wheelie bins, detailed in new research published in the journal Current Biology.
But despite the nuts' value -- or perhaps because of it -- parrots are also willing to share their treats and the tokens to buy them with other birds. Given the option, the birds will transfer the precious metal rings to a friend in a neighboring cage so they, too, can enjoy some nutty nosh -- even without the promise of reciprocation, Brucks' latest research shows.
https://www.cell.com/iscience/fulltext/S2589-00422100197-8, posted 2021 by peter in cognition science
It is generally accepted that vertebrate animals experience pain; however, there is currently inconclusive evidence that the affective component of pain occurs in any invertebrate. Here, we show that octopuses, the most neurologically complex invertebrates, exhibit cognitive and spontaneous behaviors indicative of affective pain experience. In conditioned place preference assays, octopuses avoided contexts in which pain was experienced, preferred a location in which they experienced relief from pain, and showed no conditioned preference in the absence of pain. Injection site grooming occurred in all animals receiving acetic acid injections, but this was abolished by local anesthesia. Thus, octopuses are likely to experience the affective component of pain.
Doing something is better than doing nothing for most people, study shows | EurekAlert! Science News
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-07/uov-dsi063014.php, posted 2020 by peter in cognition science
"What is striking," the investigators write, "is that simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electric shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid."
habitatchronicles.com/2004/04/you-cant-tell-people-anything/, posted 2020 by peter in cognition management people
What’s going on is that without some kind of direct experience to use as a touchstone, people don’t have the context that gives them a place in their minds to put the things you are telling them. The things you say often don’t stick, and the few things that do stick are often distorted. Also, most people aren’t very good at visualizing hypotheticals, at imagining what something they haven’t experienced might be like, or even what something they have experienced might be like if it were somewhat different.
Time is seen in a particularly different light by Eastern and Western cultures, and even within these groupings assumes quite dissimilar aspects from country to country.
https://psmag.com/social-justice/confident-idiots-92793, posted 2019 by peter in cognition management science
But here is the real challenge: How can we learn to recognize our own ignorance and misbeliefs? To begin with, imagine that you are part of a small group that needs to make a decision about some matter of importance. Behavioral scientists often recommend that small groups appoint someone to serve as a devil’s advocate—a person whose job is to question and criticize the group’s logic. While this approach can prolong group discussions, irritate the group, and be uncomfortable, the decisions that groups ultimately reach are usually more accurate and more solidly grounded than they otherwise would be.
For individuals, the trick is to be your own devil’s advocate: to think through how your favored conclusions might be misguided; to ask yourself how you might be wrong, or how things might turn out differently from what you expect. It helps to try practicing what the psychologist Charles Lord calls “considering the opposite.” To do this, I often imagine myself in a future in which I have turned out to be wrong in a decision, and then consider what the likeliest path was that led to my failure. And lastly: Seek advice. Other people may have their own misbeliefs, but a discussion can often be sufficient to rid a serious person of his or her most egregious misconceptions.
Interesting article written by David Dunning, of Dunning—Kruger effect fame.
timharford.com/2019/06/why-brilliant-people-lose-their-touch/, posted 2019 by peter in business cognition management people
This is not to say that skill doesn’t matter — merely that in a competition in which all the leaders are highly skilled, randomness may explain the difference between triumph and failure. Good luck plus skill beats bad luck plus skill any time.