The happiness of over 18,000 people worldwide has been predicted by a mathematical equation, with results showing that moment-to-moment happiness reflects not just how well things are going, but whether things are going better than expected.
Biological brains are unlikely to be the final stage of intelligence. Machines already have superhuman strength, speed and stamina – and one day they will have superhuman intelligence. This is of course not certain to occur – it is possible that we will develop some other dangerous technology first ...
"Your wildly inaccurate self-evaluations get you through rough times and help motivate you when times are good. [Research shows] that people who are brutally honest with themselves are not as happy day to day as people with unrealistic assumptions about their abilities."
At a recent event hosted by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists got together with film makers to discuss what both groups have learned---the scientists through painstaking experiments and analysis, and the film makers by intuition and experience---about the mechanisms of attention and perception.
From the article:
“We’re constantly calculating where we think the audience’s eye is going to be, and how to attract it to that area and prioritize within a shot what you can fake,” Favreau said. “The best visual effects tool is the brains of the audience,” he said. “They will stitch things together so they make sense.”
Just because there is more information available doesn't ensure that we make more informed choices. The modern media provide information in ways that play right into the brain's instinct to do as little work as possible, including the work of getting that information, and thinking carefully about it.
Religion wasn’t always based on morality, explains Nicolas Baumard, a psychologist at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. For the first several thousand years of human recorded history, he notes, religions were based on rituals and short-term rewards. If you wanted rain or a good harvest, for example, you made the necessary sacrifices to the right gods. But between approximately 500 B.C.E. and 300 B.C.E., a radical change appeared all over Eurasia as new religions sprung up from Greece to India to China. All of these religions shared a focus on morality, self-discipline, and asceticism, Baumard says. Eventually these new religions, such as Stoicism, Jainism, and Buddhism, and their immediate successors, including Christianity and Islam, spread around the globe and became the world religions of today. Back in 1947, German philosopher Karl Jaspers dubbed the pivotal time when these new religions arose “the Axial Age.”
"The ability to delay gratification has been held up as the one character trait to rule them all—the key to academic success, financial security, and social well-being. But willpower isn’t the answer. The new, emotional science of self-regulation."
During World War II, residents on the islands in the southern Pacific Ocean saw heavy activity by US planes, bringing in goods and supplies for the soldiers. In many cases, this was the islanders' first…
Checklist of Rationality Habits This checklist is meant for your personal use, so you can have a wish-list of rationality habits and see if you’re acquiring good habits. It’s not meant to be a way to get a ‘how rational are you?’ score, but, rather, to help you notice specific habits you...