It always intrigues me how humans tend to imagine matters of opinion to be empirically true – as if matters of fact – even when they are not. It’s a cognitive issue, one that I suspect is linked to the way some people validate themselves. And it leads to a logical disconnect, a favourite of… More When the conclusion doesn’t follow the premise it’s called – stupidity?
How fast is time? If you’re trapped in the office or enduring a maths class or something dull you’d no doubt tell me it drips past. Just as you’d also tell me it moves damn fast if you’re enjoying the latest Star Wars movie. But that’s personal perception of time. To physicists, no matter how… More Einstein’s cool way to make time go slower
I need to tell you about a cognitive bias that keeps cropping up. It’s a very human thing. And – as a species – we keep tripping over it. What I’m on about is a form of attribution bias, as applied to groups: the supposition that the behaviour or attitudes of a few reflects the… More One bad apple doesn’t spoil the barrel, does it
Facts are curious things. There are empirical facts that can be independently shown to be true. And there are facts we ‘believe’ to be true, which most of us treat as if empirical. I have to share an experience I had involving the latter. Soon after my book on New Zealand’s engineering achievements hit the… More When ego intrudes into the facts of history
A doctor I consulted for a while in another town and time had the dynamite combination of incompetence, ego and an ability to intellectualise his ineptitude in a way that threw people on to the back foot. If he couldn’t diagnose something – which was just about everything – it was due to ‘psychological’ problems on the part of the patient,… More Why ‘psychology’ fails Popper’s falsifiability tests and isn’t a science
One of my pet peeves is judgementality – the way people draw a negative response to what they imagine to have happened, on what they superficially see – but without actually checking with the target of their judgement to discover the facts. It’s where the recent craze for ‘shaming’ comes from, among other things –… More Does judgementality annoy you?
Back when I was a kid, the latest woo-de-jour involved ‘ancient’ aliens who’d apparently arrived in the ‘ancient’ world to help humanity build pyramids and become civilised. Stupid humans! The idea wasn’t original – Arthur C. Clarke had been toying with it for decades in his science fiction. But as he well knew, it was… More Bring me some new ancient astronauts. I like not the ones I have.