Donnerstag, 30. November 2017

Fehler in Aufmerksamkeit und Handeln:

Fehler der Aufmerksamkeit

Fehler 1: 
Nichtbeachtung eines Phänomens, obwohl es sinnvoll oder notwendig wäre, das Phänomen zu beachten.

Fehler 2:
Beachtung eines Phänomens, obwohl es sinnvoll oder notwendig wäre, das Phänomen nicht zu beachten.

Fehler im Handeln

Fehler 1:
Nichtausführung einer Handlung, obwohl es sinnvoll oder notwendig wäre, die Handlung auszuführen.

Fehler 2:
Ausführung einer Handlung, obwohl es sinnvoll oder notwendig wäre, die Handlung nicht auszuführen.

Mittwoch, 29. November 2017

"Do Gametes Woo? Evidence for Their Nonrandom Union at Fertilization"


A fundamental tenet of inheritance in sexually reproducing organisms such as humans and laboratory mice is that gametes combine randomly at fertilization, thereby ensuring a balanced and statistically predictable representation of inherited variants in each generation. This principle is encapsulated in Mendel’s First Law. But exceptions are known. With transmission ratio distortion, particular alleles are preferentially transmitted to offspring. Preferential transmission usually occurs in one sex but not both, and is not known to require interactions between gametes at fertilization. A reanalysis of our published work in mice and of data in other published reports revealed instances where any of 12 mutant genes biases fertilization, with either too many or too few heterozygotes and homozygotes, depending on the mutant gene and on dietary conditions. Although such deviations are usually attributed to embryonic lethality of the underrepresented genotypes, the evidence is more consistent with genetically-determined preferences for specific combinations of egg and sperm at fertilization that result in genotype bias without embryo loss. This unexpected discovery of genetically-biased fertilization could yield insights about the molecular and cellular interactions between sperm and egg at fertilization, with implications for our understanding of inheritance, reproduction, population genetics, and medical genetics. 

[See also: Quanta Magazine]

Mental Time Travel:

Wir können einem Gegenstand Aufmerksamkeit widmen, obwohl er nicht, nicht mehr, oder noch nicht existiert.

Mental Space Travel:

Wir können einem Gegenstand Aufmerksamkeit widmen, obwohl er sich gegenwärtig nicht in unserer Nähe befindet.

Dienstag, 28. November 2017

On Opportunities:

"Unless we have a destination in mind, it's tough to separate the opportunities from the distractions."

"most opportunities have expiration dates. If missed, they are often lost forever."

Living Forward, M. Hyatt & D. Harkavy

Montag, 27. November 2017

Ziele und Weggabelungen:

Für den, der keine Ziele verfolgt, ist es letztlich gleichgültig, welchen Weg er bei einer Weggabelung einschlägt:

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to go to," said the Cat.
"I don't care much -" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Die Kunst der Lebensgestaltung scheint in dem Gebrauch der Fähigkeit zu bestehen, die Stunde, den Tag, das Monat, das Jahr, das Leben, vom Ende her zu denken.


Es gibt / gab Menschen, die einem optimalen bzw. durch und durch konstruktiven Verhalten zumindest sehr nahe kommen / kamen.

Spatial Behavior:

Michael Argyle, Bodily Communication:

"Argyle and Dean (1965) found that in a given situation people seek a certain degree of proximity, lean forward or back to attain it, and feel uncomfortable if they cannot. We proposed that this is the result of a balancing of forces of approach and withdraw: people are attracted to others (as the result of past rewards) and also repelled (as the result of past punishment)."

"If one person likes another, the approach forces will be stronger and the avoidance forces weaker, resulting in greater proximity."


"People stand closer to others whom they like. This has been found consistently using a variety of methods."

"Willis (1966) found that subjects stood at different distances in real-life settings, in order of closeness as follows:

close friends

Individuals sit and stand closer to each other if they are of similar rather than different status, age (Lott and Summer 1967), or if they are similar in other ways, such as race."

"Orientation is also affected by liking: people generally sit side by side with close friends, while with those they do not like they choose a directly facing position. The main exception to this is that people like to face eating friends (Cook 1970)."

"Argyle and Dean (1965) ... found that people seek a certain degree of proximity, lean forward or back to attain it, and feel uncomfortable if they cannot.
It follows from the model that if a person comes too close this will arouse stronger avoidance forces than approach, so that the other will both be disturbed and back away. Particular discomfort is produced if the other is too close, and for people who like one another a different kind of discomfort is produced by being too far apart. In either case attempts are made to restore equilibrium. This can be done by changes in spatial position, for example by moving further away, leaning backwards, or adopting a less direct orientation (Patterson 1973)."

Freitag, 24. November 2017

Über Fesseln:

"Eine andere Symmetrie ist vonnöten, um Sokrates, eine wieder andere um Platon zu fesseln, eine andere in bezug auf die Menge, eine wieder andere in bezug auf die wenigen. Die einen lieben die Männer, die anderen eine Frau, die einen eine Jungfrau, die anderen eine Hure."

Giordano Bruno

Eyes and Interest:

"A person’s eye movements and eye fixations correlate strongly with a person’s interest in, and attention to, things in their surroundings. People tend to look at what attracts them, especially at what they find curious, novel, or unanticipated."

"True, one can be attending to something, yet not looking directly at it; and one can look at something yet not be attending to it. Mainly, however, when we are in fact paying attention to things in our visual surround, the eye’s point-of-regard is a very good index of the distribution of that attention." 


See also: Eyes: Knowledge for Managers

"Where our eyes look, at whom and for how long, is important for human sociality. Much knowledge has been accumulated on eye behaviour, mainly attention or 'gaze direction'. Eye contact can cut or caress – a dagger in dominance contests and a feather in social grooming."


women test men:

"We also don't know to what degree women test men sheerly through provocation. It's a lot. Because if you want to test someone, you don't have a little conversation with them. You poke the hell out of them. ...'I ... go after you and see where your weak spots are.' ..."

Jordan Peterson

Every organism ... (II):

“Every organism, whether a bacterium or a member of Homo sapiens, has a set of things in the world that matter to it and which it (therefore) needs to discriminate and anticipate as best it can.”

Daniel C. Dennett

Dienstag, 21. November 2017

Some Notes:

On Genius (1996, Arthur Jensen):

On Achievement (1980, Arthur Jensen):

"If achievement depends on other normally distributed factors in addition to ability, such as motivation, interest, energy, and persistence, and if all these factors act multiplicatively, then theoretically we should expect achievement to show a positively skewed distribution. ... Theoretically a multiplicative effect of ability and motivation (or other traits involved in achievement) makes sense. Imagine the limiting case of zero ability; then regardless of the amount of motivation, achievement would equal zero. Also, with zero motivation, regardless of the amount of ability, achievement would equal zero. Great achievers in any field are always high in a number of relevant traits, the multiplicative interaction of which places their accomplishments far beyond those of the average person—much farther than their standing on any single trait or a mere additive combination of several traits. A superior talent alone does not produce the achievements of a Michelangelo, a Beethoven, or an Einstein. The same can be said of Olympics-level athletic performance, which depends on years of concentrated effort and training as well as certain inborn physical advantages. Thus it is probably more correct to say that a person’s achievements are a product, rather than a summation, of his or her abilities, disposition, and training."

Ambition/Zeal & Exceptional Achievement (1998, Arthur Jensen):

"The sine qua non of truly exceptional achievement, or greatness, in any field is an extraordinary level of ambition and zeal in one's endeavors. It is the opposite of a lackadaisical attitude toward one's work. Zeal is probably what makes possible the enormous amount of diligent practice in one's pursuit without which a world-class level of performance is simply not possible. The extraordinary level of virtuoso skill seen in great musicians, Olympic athletes, world-class mathematicians, chess champions, and top-level surgeons, for example, owes at least as much to their many years of disciplined study and practice as to their inborn talent. Their talent, in fact, might actually consist in large part of their unusual drive and capacity for assiduous persistence in developing their specialized skills over many years. Ten years seems to be about the minimum amount of 'practice time' needed for attaining a high level of expertise in one's vocation, even for famous geniuses. Ambition seems to consist of a high level of goal-directed drive, persisting in the face of difficulties and obstacles. It is possessed to an extraordinary degree by the world's greatest achievers. The personal sources of the immense ambition that overrides all obstacles are scarcely understood and, as yet, have not been very much studied by psychologists. Dean Simonton, the leading contemporary researcher on the origins of high-level achievement, has remarked that the source of the exceptional level of drive and ambition evinced by the most illustrious achievers in history is still one of the great mysteries of psychology. Psychologists often speak of 'achievement motivation', but this simply names the phenomenon without explaining it. The topic is crying out for scientific research."

Goals & Plans:

"A goal is something you want to achieve. A plan is your specific way of achieving that goal."

"school systems rarely, if ever, teach students to set goals and create plans to achieve them."

"most people have no goals or plans. Others have vague goals without any specific plan to achieve them. And others set goals that are unrealistic because the plans they create are unworkable."

"Take ten minutes each day to review your goals and your plans to keep them in front of you ..."

Flirtation Blindness:

"Some guys can be a bit flirtation-blind - especially the nerdboys I've always gone for."

Amy Alkon

Montag, 20. November 2017

The investment theory:

"Briefly, the investment theory is that gf is a generalized inherent capacity to perceive relations, based on total volume of effective cortical cells. In the course of school and life experience this potential enables the individual to perceive and commit to memory all sorts of relations he perceives in the real world. One can think of gf as describing the power of a process and gc as being the product resulting from gf and experience."

Intelligence, 1987  - Raymond B. Cattell

Beyond purely 'rational' choices:

"Now, let us think of the new mammalian brain as having evolved as a sort of portable computer, an information-processor capable of doing simulations with great speed and clarity. It is 'programmed' to calculate the path of least pain and greatest pleasure. But, as we have seen, the resulting calculations at times fail to enhance inclusive fitness. At such times, selection will favor the 'overriding' of the new mammalian brain. ... We experience these overrides, subjectively, as emotions. This does not mean that this is all there is to the emotions or that they serve no other functions, of course, but they do seem to be associated with what is tempting to think of as limbic-system overrides of the neocortex, of the old mammalian brain overriding the new."

Jerome H. Barkow, 1989

Sonntag, 19. November 2017

Robin Dunbar on Monogamy:

"a monogamous pairbond might actually be much more psychologically demanding than any number of casual relationships."

Robin Dunbar

William James on Hyperthymic and Dysthymic Temperaments:

"The sanguine and healthy-minded live habitually on the sunny side of their misery-line, the depressed and melancholy live beyond it, in darkness and apprehension. There are men who seem to have started in life with a bottle or two of champagne inscribed to their credit; whilst others seem to have been born close to the pain-threshold, which the slightest irritants fatally send them over."

William James


"People learn prestige criteria, in part, by focusing on the attention structure - those high in prestige are typically those to whom the most people pay the most attention (Chance, 1967)."

David M. Buss
"dominance, once attained, is attention-getting in its own right."

Frank Salter

"Members of a group pay far greater attention to the activities of the high- rather than low-ranking members."

Jerome H. Barkow

Bonding in Human Relationships:

"When it comes to bonding our relationships through the endorphin mechanism, we do have a bit of a problem. We live in super-large social groups where not everyone is as familiar with each other as they are in small monkey and ape groups. At one level, our solution to this problem has been to invent conversation. But conversation on its own is very dull stuff and hardly the basis for an intimate relationship. What we seem to have done is to use laughter to bridge the gap, because laughter turns out to be a very good releaser of endorphins. Laughter seems to produce a more generalised effect that applies rather more equally to everyone who happens to be in the conversation at the time, whereas physical contact is very much a one-on-one thing. Laughter allows us to trigger an endorphin effect in a less risky way."

Robin Dunbar

Humor & Timing (II):

"If you memorize a thousand jokes, that doesn't make you a person with a sense of humor. Sense of humor is more subtle. A good sense of humor is about timing, the ability to say the funny thing at the right time and to the right people."

Gil Greengross

Who Do We Notice? Principles of Selective Attention

"Several theorists have suggested that a relationship is born at the exact moment when one person first becomes aware of another person (e.g., Levinger & Snoek, 1972). However, ..., a true relationship requires mutual influence; thus, it is probably more accurate to locate a relationship’s beginning in the moment in which two people first become consciously aware of each other. Because the human brain has limited conscious/attentional capacities, we cannot possibly be fully aware of all of the information our senses take in, and all the people we come in contact with, at any given moment (see Nørretranders, 1998). Consequently, some people are more likely than others to capture our attention."

Close Relationships - Pamela Regan

Samstag, 18. November 2017

Personal Social Networks:

"Personal social networks in humans appear to consist of a series of sub-groupings arranged in a hierarchically inclusive sequence (Kahn and Antonucci 1980, Hill and Dunbar 2003, Zhou et al. 2005, Roberts 2010, Sutcliffe et al. 2012). An individual can be envisaged as sitting in the centre of a series of concentric circles of acquaintanceship, which increase in size with a scaling ratio of ~3 (Hill and Dunbar 2003, Zhou et al. 2005) and differ in relationship quality. These have been labelled the support clique (of ~5 members), sympathy group (~15), affinity group (~50) and active network (~150) (Sutcliffe et al. 2012)."

 "the support clique of approximately five individuals, ... can be defined as all those individuals from whom one would seek advice, support, or help in times of severe emotional or financial distress (Dunbar and Spoors 1995). Many different measures have been used to determine the number of individuals in a typical support clique. One of the standard questions, used in the US General Social Survey in 1985 and 2001, is ‘looking back over the last 6 months—who are the people with whom you have discussed matters important to you?’(Marin 2004, Marsden 1987, McPherson et al. 2006, Ruan 1998, Straits 2000). This produces a mean size of support clique of between 2.1 (McPherson et al. 2006, but see Fischer 2009) and 5.6 (Marin 2004). However, limiting the time frame to the last six months may exclude people who are important to the respondent, but whom they have not contacted recently, and asking the same question without this time limit produces a value of 6.9 (Bernard et al. 1990)."

 "Other methods of eliciting the support clique have used questions relating to whom the respondent would turn to in the event of a major personal problem (Nettle 2007, Stiller and Dunbar 2007), whom they have relied on for advice and/or help at the personal level (Dunbar and Spoors 1995), whom the respondent feels ‘especially close to’(Fischer 1982) or to whom the respondent is ‘socially close’(Wellman et al. 1988) or feels so close to that it would be hard to imagine life without them (Lang 2000, van Sonderen et al. 1990) or whose ‘opinions of your personal life area you would consider important’(Johnson and Milardo 1984). All these different definitions produce a mean network size of between 4.7 and 7.4, indicating that they are eliciting the same, inner layer of the social network. This support clique usually consists of immediate kin (parents, siblings, adult children), one or two very close, long-term friends and, if the respondent is in a relationship, a partner (Dunbar and Spoors 1995, Kahn and Antonucci 1980, Wellman and Guilia 1999, Wellman and Wortley 1990)."

 "The next layer out is the sympathy group. Typically, this layer of relationships has been elicited by asking, following Buys and Larson (1979), ‘whose death tomorrow would you be upset by?’"


"During ... repeated interactions in the early stages of friendship, more intimate information is gradually exchanged. This exchange of intimate information can be seen as a sign of trust in the relationship partner—this information could potentially be damaging or embarrassing if it was widely disseminated, so by telling the friend the information you are trusting them not to pass it on. This process is especially pronounced in female–female friendships, whereas male–male friendships tend to be based more around shared physical activities (Benenson and Christakos 2003, Dindia and Allen 1992, Reis et al. 1985)."


 "At the sympathy group level, maintaining these close, emotionally intense relationships is cognitively extremely demanding. Each relationship is unique, in the sense that ‘the partner is important as a unique individual and is interchangeable with none other’(Ainsworth 1989: 711). It takes a long history of interaction in a variety of contexts, as well as emotional commitment, to build up and maintain these relationships—very close relationships have higher frequencies of both face-to-face and telephone contact than less close (but still important) relationships (Mok et al. 2007, Roberts and Dunbar 2011a)."


 "there is growing evidence that the size of support and sympathy groups correlates with individual differences in social cognitive competences."


The general factor of personality and job performance: Revisiting previous meta-analyses

The general factor of personality and job performance: Revisiting previous meta-analyses; Dirk H. M. Pelt, Dimitri van der Linden, Curtis S. Dunkel, Marise Ph. Born; 2017 


The relationship between the General Factor of Personality (GFP) and several work-related outcomes such as job performance and organizational citizenship behavior was examined using meta-analytic data. Confirmatory factor analyses showed sizeable relationships between the GFP and various performance indicators ( r = .34), larger than for any of the Big Five dimensions. Controlling for social desirability did not change the relationship between the GFP and job performance. Moreover, regression analyses showed that the GFP accounted for a larger part of the explained variance in the outcome measures than the unique variances of the Big Five. The results add to the evidence for the GFP as a social effectiveness factor and highlight the validity of the GFP in organizational contexts.

The Big Sort: Selective Migration and the Decline of Northern England, 1800-2017

The Big Sort: Selective Migration and the Decline of Northern England, 1800-2017
Gregory Clark and Neil Cummins, 2017


The North of England in recent years has been poorer, less healthy, less educated and slower growing than the South. Using two sources - surnames that had a different regional distribution in England in the 1840s, and a detailed genealogy of 119,000 people in England giving birth and death locations - we show that the decline of the North is mainly explained by selective outmigration of the educated and talented. Surnames associated with the north in 1840, for example, show no disadvantage relative to those associated with the south in terms of educational attainment, occupation, and political power in 2017 in England as a whole. Similarly, in the individual genealogies migrants from the north were more educated, wealthier, and have higher occupational status than the resident southern population, even back in 1800. But stayers in the north were less educated, poorer, and with lower occupational status. This implies that policies designed to aid the population in the north in the form of regional investments, or encouragement of migration south, are likely to be ineffective in boosting outcomes for the remaining northern population.

Donnerstag, 16. November 2017

Lust-Unlust-Steuerung des Verhaltens:

Lust-Unlust geben uns ein Feedback bezüglich unseres Verhaltens. Es ist ein Schlüsselmerkmal des Menschen, dass er dieses Feedback in gewissem Ausmaß ignorieren kann und also in der Lage ist, anders  zu handeln, als es das Feedback vorsieht:

"Consciousness, foresight, self-awareness, conscience, and related aspects of the human psyche have evolved as a set of >overrides< of more widespread (and not necessarily solely human), generalized indicators of immediate costs and benefits. The most prominent and perhaps most general of such indicators of immediate costs and benefits are pain and pleasure. ..."

The Biology of Moral Systems
Richard D. Alexander (1987)

Development of a Synchronization Coefficient for Biosocial Interactions in Groups and Teams

Mittwoch, 15. November 2017

Episodic thoughts:

Almost all the time there is some simulation going on within our minds.
(At least in our waking hours.)
Every scientific field has its distinct population of ideas and statements.

Everyday Life as an Intelligence Test (II):

>We all make mistakes in life, and Alexander Pope’s “To err is human” is a familiar refrain. There is good reason, however, for supposing that the probabilities of making a mistake in any given situation, independent of experience, vary from individual to individual according to IQ or score on any good test of g, the general intelligence factor. This would help explain why “some people make more errors than other people” ... . Full recognition of this probability differential is blunted by the fact that, although life in some ways resembles a test of general intelligence, life departs in many ways from the formal requirements of a well-designed psychometric instrument. Combined with age differences in experience (which can easily be mistaken for differences in intelligence) and with age differences in cumulative lifetime risk (which can let the histories of younger and hence less exposed persons seem more error free than those of older, more exposed ones of equal intelligence), such departures from psychometric rigor obscure the role of g but do not negate it. ...<

Everyday Life as an Intelligence Test: Effects of Intelligence and Intelligence Context
Robert A. Gordon (1997)


A person selects ...
(I) ... what he wants to attend to.
(II) ... his actions.

Consciousness & Attention:

By reading Winifred Gallagher's book "Rapt", one's brain becomes hijacked by the following thought: >'Consciousness' almost equals 'Attention'.<

In that sense the earlier mentioned "life advice" could be translated into the statement: "By managing your attention wisely, you manage your consciousness wisely."

Life Advice:

"Try to manage your finite amount of time and attention wisely."

Dienstag, 14. November 2017

Book Reviews: "The Good, The True, The Beautiful"


Durch die Fähigkeit zur Selbstreflexion ist der Mensch in der Lage, sich sprachlich über folgende drei Kernfragen Auskunft zu geben:

Wo befinde ich mich?
Wie kam ich da her?
Wohin will ich?

[Ergänzend ließe sich noch fragen: Wie komme ich da hin? Warum will ich da hin?]

Paternal Investment:

In cultures where paternal investment is common, women are highly motivated to extract actions, thoughts and resources from a male of their choice.

Montag, 13. November 2017

La joie de vivre:

"no matter who you are, your joie de vivre mostly derives from paying attention to someone or something that interests you."

Winifred Gallagher

Mistakes & Slips (II):

"Although 'mistake' has a loose meaning in common language, it has come to have a rather precise technical meaning among those who study error, due the way it has been used in the work of Reason (1990) and Norman (1988), who distinguish between 'slips' and 'mistakes'. Mistakes are planning failures: errors of judgment, inference or the like, when actions go as planned-but the plan is bad. ...
A 'slip' is defined as an action not in accord with the actor's intention, the result of a good plan but a poor execution."

Senders & Moray, 1991
"I think she kind of fell in love with me, honestly, when she read my Stanford PhD Dissertation. She is probably one of three people who have ever read it."

Geoffrey Miller about his ex-wife

Living Forwards:

"One of the things that is so unhealthy and untherapeutic about most modern psychotherapies is they are so past-oriented. So resentment oriented. ... Whereas you can only live in the future. And it's all well and good to understand your past, you have to do that, but to dwell upon it, once you understand it sufficiently, is terribly unhealthy. ..."

"The key to life is to constantly live forwards."

Sonntag, 12. November 2017

The Consequences of Drifting:

Living Forward - M. Hyatt and D. Harkavy (2016):

1. Confusion. When we are drifting, we lose perspective. Without a clear destination in view, the challenges on the journey seem pointless. There’s no larger story to provide meaning to life’s smaller dramas. When this happens, we get disoriented. Like a hiker without a compass or GPS, we walk in circles, lost in a forest of unrelated events and activities. ...

2. Expense. Drifting through life can also be enormously expensive, both in terms of money and—more importantly—time. Too often we zigzag our way through life, uncertain of the destination and eating up valuable and finite resources. Sometimes the best thing you can do is stop and get your bearings. While doing so may seem to delay the journey, ultimately it is faster and cheaper in terms of getting where you really want to go.

3. Lost opportunity. Unless we have a destination in mind, it’s tough to separate the opportunities from the distractions. Will this situation move me closer to my goal or further away? we ask. Without a plan, we have no way of knowing. There’s no real sense of urgency, no reason to seize the opportunity, and no sense that we might lose it if we don’t. Then it’s easy to procrastinate. And most opportunities have expiration dates. If missed, they are often lost forever.

4. Pain. While some pain in life is unavoidable, we bring much of it on ourselves. Too often this is simply because we failed to plan. For example, 
Without a plan for our health, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, we can end up sick, without energy, stuck in the doldrums ...
Without a plan for our career, we can end up unfulfilled, stalled, or unemployed ...
Without a plan for our parenting, we can end up with estranged relationships, damaged kids, and real regrets.

5. Regrets. Perhaps the saddest consequence of all is getting to the end of life with deep regrets.


Wo bin ich?
Wo will ich hin?
Wie komme ich da hin?

[Siehe auch: Planen]

[Wo stehst du? Wo willst du am Ende der Stunde? Am Ende des Tages? Am Ende der Woche? Am Ende des Monats? Am Ende des Jahres? Am Ende des Lebensjahrzehnts stehen?]

Routes to Achievement:

"there are two routes to achievement: conformity and originality."

Adam Grant

[Ein 'Talent' macht mehr von dem, was 'alle' machen. Ein 'kreativer Kopf' macht Neues und Anderes.]

Samstag, 11. November 2017

"I bet you there is not a person in this room, who hasn't rejected someone, because they were to nice to them."

Donnerstag, 9. November 2017

Exploration & Exploitation:

"our intuitions about rationality are too often informed by exploitation rather than exploration. When we talk about decision making, we usually focus on the immediate payoff of a single decision - and if you treat every decision as if it were your last, then indeed only exploitation makes sense. But over a lifetime, you're going to make a lot of decisions. And it's actually rational to emphasize exploration - the new rather than the best, the exciting rather than the safe, the random rather than the considered - for many of those choices, particular earlier in life."

Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths

Play and the Escape from Local Optima:

"Play has features that make it suitable for finding the best way forward in a world of conflicting demands. In acquiring cognitive skills, individuals are in danger of finding suboptimal solutions to the many problems that confront them. In deliberately moving away from what might look like the metaphorical final resting point, each individual may end up somewhere better. Play may therefore fulfill a probing role that enables the individual to escape from false endpoints, or local optima (Bateson, 2011). An analogy is a mountain surrounded by lesser peaks. A climber might get to the top of a lesser peak only to discover that they must descend again before scaling a higher one. When stuck on a metaphorical lower peak, it can be beneficial to have active mechanisms for getting off it and onto a higher one. In practice this means that play is an evolved mechanism for uncovering possibilities that are better than those obtained without playing."

Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation
Bateson & Martin

[See Also: The concept of play]

Mittwoch, 8. November 2017


(I) Welche Gegenstände oder Ereignisse beachten?
(II) Welche Handlungen (Veränderungen, Ereignisse, Gegenstände) generieren?

[Wir entscheiden immer wieder bezüglich den Fragen: Was tun? Worauf die Aufmerksamkeit richten?]
"There is a great deal of evidence that the road to mastery of any subject is guided by play. Learning a subject by rote can take one only so far. To become a master, the pupil has to go beyond what is known, has to learn what has not been shown by others in the field. Those who study the history of the arts and sciences have many examples of discoveries that came about not through the progression of a planned series of experiments (or at least not a series of experiments that went as planned)."

Stuart Brown
"the opposite of play is not work—the opposite of play is depression."

Stuart Brown

Dienstag, 7. November 2017

Raum & Zeit:

Der Mensch findet sich eingebettet in:
(I) ein Feld von Gegenständen
(II) ein Feld von Ereignissen

Menschen unterscheiden sich darin:
(I) welche Ereignisse oder Gegenstände sie beachten
(II) wie und ob bzw. auf welche Ereignisse sie reagieren
(III) welche Ereignisse oder Gegenstände sie generieren

The Evolution of Autistic-Like and Schizotypal Traits: A Sexual Selection Hypothesis

Schizotypy and creativity

"Nettle (2001) argued that positive schizotypy confers a direct reproductive advantage, especially at moderate levels and when the individual does not develop severe mental disorders. Even in individuals who eventually develop a damaging clinical condition, the benefits accrued before the onset of the condition may sometimes make up for the fitness costs caused by pathology. The reproductive benefits of positive schizotypy would stem from its association with creativity, which enhances attractiveness and contributes to successful courtship. In accord with this hypothesis, Nettle and Clegg (2006) found a significant relationship between self-reported positive schizotypy and mating success (i.e., number of sexual partners). In contrast, negative schizotypy appeared to decrease one's mating potential. The relationship between positive schizotypy and mating success was mediated by the intensity of creative activity. Nettle (2006) showed that poets and visual artists score as high as schizophrenic patients in positive-schizotypal traits, but lower than controls in negative schizotypy; furthermore, Haselton and Miller (2006) found that women tend to prefer highly creative men as short-term mates in the fertile phase of their cycle ..."

Sexual selection for autistic-like traits

"high-autistic-like traits are likely to lead to diminished motivation and opportunity for short-term mating relationships with multiple partners. The smaller social networks of individuals with autistic-like personalities, together with their low extraversion and openness to experience (Austin, 2005; Wakabayashi et al., 2006), predict reduced interest in novelty (including sexual novelty) and fewer opportunities to interact with potential mates. Indeed, low extraversion and openness have been found to correlate with fewer sexual partners (Nettle, 2005; Miller and Tal, 2007). Individuals high in autistic-like traits also lack the verbal/artistic creativity that seems to partly mediate the effects of positive schizotypy on mating success, although they may be quite creative in the technical and/or scientific sense. In human societies, men with autistic-like personalities can gain status not by direct social manipulation but rather by attaining “cultural success,” that is, by developing and mastering culturally valued technical or cognitive skills (see Baron-Cohen, 2003; Spikins, 2009)."

In Defense of The Pursuit of Mastery // Narrow vs Broad

In Defense of The Pursuit of Mastery

Narrow vs Broad: Apologies for Being a Generalist

Montag, 6. November 2017

Die menschliche Kapazität zur Langeweile:

"Much is made of the fact that human beings are the only creatures to know that they must die, but they're also the only ones to know that they must find something engaging to focus on in order to pass the time ..."

Winifred Gallagher

Die Hand voll Bücher:

Nur selten begegnet man einem Buch, bei dem es sich auszahlt, es so ausdauernd und intensiv zu lesen, bis es in Fleisch und Blut übergeht.

The Tall Poppy Syndrome (II):

"The ethical idea of fairness, with all its many virtues, has sometimes been corrupted into a set of attendant vices. One such vice has been so widely perceived in New Zealand that it has its own name in common speech. New Zealanders call it "the Tall Poppy Syndrome." It might be defined as envy or resentment of a person who is conspicuously successful, exceptionally gifted, or unusually creative.
More than that, it sometimes became a more general attitude of outright hostility to any sort of excellence, distinction, or high achievement - especially achievement that requires mental effort, sustained industry, or applied intelligence. All this is linked to a mistaken idea of fairness as a broad and even-handed distribution of mediocrity. The possession of extraordinary gifts is perceived as unfair by others who lack them. Those who not only possess them but insist on exercising them have sometimes been punished for it.
New Zealand lexicographers believe that tall poppy is an Australian expression, which appears in the Australian National Dictionary with examples as early as 1902. It is also widely used in New Zealand, where it has given rise to a proper noun, an adjective, and even a verb. Successful people are called "poppies", and when abused for their success they are said to be "poppied" by envious others. In 1991, a Wellington newspaper reported that successful businessmen "are being 'tall-poppied' by other New Zealanders."
We were told by many people in New Zealand that the Tall Poppy Syndrome is not as strong as it used to be, and that it never applied to all sorts for achievement. One New Zealander observes that "there is no such thing as a tall poppy playing rugby." Nearly all New Zealanders take pride in  the Music of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and in the mountaineering of Sir Edmund Hillary, who where rarely tall-poppied.
But other bright and creative New Zealanders have been treated with cruelty by compatriots who appear to feel that there is something fundamentally unfair about better brains or creative gifts, and still more so about the determination to use them. This attitude is linked to a bizarre and destructive corruption of fairness, in which talented young people are perceived as tall poppies and are severly persecuted. Perhaps to most deleterious work of the Tall Poppy Syndrome is done in school yards and classrooms among the young. In any society, nothing is more destructive than the persecution of children because they exercise gifts that others lack. It discourages not only excellence itself but the striving for excellence. Taken to an extreme, the great good that is fairness can become an evil, and even a sin - one of the Seven Deadly Sins, which is the sin of envy."

Fairness and Freedom (2012)
David Hackett Fischer

The g factor and the "w" factor (II):

>The distinctness of from many other valued personal characteristics was clearly recognized within ten years after Spearman discovered it. In 1915, one of Spearman’s doctoral students, E. Webb, published a factor analysis of a ma­trix of correlations including a number of highly g-loaded tests and a number of ratings of character, or personality. The particular personality traits chosen for study and obtained from ratings by students’ teachers and associates were actually selected because they were expected to be related to g, and hence to show significant loadings on the factor. This expectation, however, was com­pletely contradicted by Webb’s analysis, which yielded two wholly distinct fac­tors— g and a general “character” factor, which Webb labeled and characterized as “will” and “persistence of motives.” The types of items most highly loaded on the factor were described as: perseverance, as opposed to willful changeability; perseverance in the face of obstacles; kindness on prin­ciple; trustworthiness; and conscientiousness. It seemed puzzling that this cluster of traits would emerge independent of g. Teachers’ and other people’s subjective impressions of any given person’s level of intelligence create a “halo effect” which biases the observers’ ratings of that person’s personality traits. Despite this bias of the personality ratings by halo effects, Webb’s factor analysis, be­cause it included objective tests of g, gave a clean-cut separation of the two domains. What Webb’s study and subsequent studies seemed to indicate was that g, even as fallibly measured by psychometric tests, is an entirely cognitive variable.
Later studies of the relationship between personality factors and have fully substantiated this conclusion.<

Arthur Jensen

Misjudgments about individual IQ-levels (II):

Arthur Jensen; 1980

Misjudgments of an individual’s general intelligence are usually a result of basing judgment on an atypical aspect of the person’s behavior. Almost everyone may do or say something that is particularly clever or bright or sagacious now and then, or may behave quite stupidly on occasion. If we give too much weight to these atypical occurrences in our subjective judgment of a person’s mental capacity, we are apt to take exception to his or her tested IQ. Parents seem especially prone to judge their own children by their atypical performances. Each person’s abilities vary about his own mean, and we usually notice the deviations more than the mean. Prejudices and the like may cause us consistently to give greater weight to the positive deviations than to the negative for some persons and vice versa for others. School teachers, who observe large numbers of children of similar age over a wide range of ability, are usually better judges of intelligence than parents are. I once had occasion to interview independently the mothers and the classroom teachers of a number of children to whom I had given individual IQ tests. I found that the teachers had a much better estimate than the mothers of a given child’s rank in the total distribution of IQs. In giving their reasons for their estimate of a particular child’s IQ, the teachers usually noted the child’s typical behavior in cognitively demanding situations, whereas mothers more often pointed out exceptional instances of clever behavior. On this basis, low-IQ children especially are often rated average or above by their parents. Very-high-IQ children, on the other hand, are often underrated by their parents, who are usually surprised to learn that their child is quite exceptional. Parental judgments of children’s intelligence tend to cluster more closely around the mean (or slightly above) than do the children’s IQs. Personality factors affect subjective judgments, too, for both parents and teachers. The socially outgoing, extraverted child tends to be overrated as compared with the more shy, quiet, or introverted child.

Remembering Names:

"The reason you can't remember the name of the person you just met isn't impending Alzheimer's, but because you didn't pay attention to it in the first place."

"if you want to master and retain certain material, from a bird's name to your Speak French Like a Native tapes, you'd best really pay attention to it in the first place."

Winifred Gallagher


Einiges weniges beachten.
Vieles nicht beachten.

Sonntag, 5. November 2017


~ Wir nehmen die Dinge immer nur wahr, wie sie unserem Gesichts-, Hör- und Tastapparat ... erscheinen, doch nie die "Dinge an sich".

~ Raum, Zeit und Kausalität stecken in unseren Sinnen und in unserem Denkapparat von vornherein drinnen, und kommen da nicht erst durch die Erfahrung hinein.

Implizite Denkprozesse:

Mit Hilfe 'impliziter Gedankengänge' stellt unser Gehirn, auch ohne Beteiligung der bewussten Aufmerksamkeit, Beziehungen zwischen unterschiedlichen Erlebnissen, Wahrnehmungen und Denkinhalten her.

Welche Probleme und Aufgaben sind nur über die Zuwendung bewusster Aufmerksamkeit lös- und bewältigbar? Bei welchen Problemstellungen sind wir nicht auf bewusste Überlegungen angewiesen?

Das Spiel:

Das Spiel ermöglicht ein Ausschöpfen des Bewegungs- und Handlungsspielraums, wie es der 'Ernstfall' nur selten erlaubt.

Samstag, 4. November 2017

"Being the best you can be is a major top-down focus for saints, workaholics, and others who continually strive to improve ..."

Winifred Gallagher

Freitag, 3. November 2017


"Since it is believed that various human courtship behaviors (like physical touching) may act to strengthen pair-bond attachments, it is not surprising to find that females also place greater value than males on these types of relationship activities (Denney, Field, & Quadagno, 1984; Hughes, Harrison, & Gallup, 2007; Hughes & Kruger, 2011; Johnson & Edwards, 1991; Symons, 1979). Romantic kissing may actually be one of the most effective bond-mediating courtship behaviors, with both males and females rating it as the type of physical affection ‘‘most expressive of love’’ (Gulledge et al., 2003). Recent neurological evidence suggests that romantic physical contact may function to mediate romantic pair-bonds by elevating levels of arousal, by activating the brain’s reward and motivational systems, or by initiating the release of neurotransmitters, opioids, and other neurohormones (Carter, 1998; Dunbar, 2010; Esch & Stefano, 2005; Fisher, Aron, & Brown, 2006; Light et al., 2005; Macdonald & Macdonald, 2010; Marazziti & Canale, 2004). Preliminary studies into romantic kissing confirm that it is women who seem to place greater overall importance on romantic kissing than men (Hughes et al.,2007), and that women in the late follicular phase of their cycle (at highest risk of conception) value kissing at initial relationship stages more than women in the luteal phase of their cycle (Wlodarski & Dunbar, 2013). Similarly, research also demonstrates that men are more likely to initiate kissing before sex, when it might be used for arousal purposes, whereas women are more likely to initiate kissing after sex, where it might better serve a relationship maintenance function (Hughes &Kruger, 2011). Women are also more likely to utilize kissing to assess a partner’s level of commitment throughout the relationship (Hughes et al., 2007). The evidence thus suggests that the ritual of romantic kissing serves several possible functions in the process of human mating: to assess the suitability of potential mates; to increase levels of autonomic arousal (and initiate coitus); and to mediate feelings of attachment in pair-bonded relationships."



"shame is prototypically elicited by situations in which (1) the actor has failed to live up to some cultural standard for behavior, (2) others are aware of this failure, and (3) the actor is aware of others’ knowledge in this regard."

Shame & Pride:


1) averted gaze
2) face turned down and away from others
3) stooped shoulders
4) shrinking posture
5) bent-kneed, shuffling gait
6) reddening of the face and neck
7) attempts to avoid being seen, culminating in flight


1) eye contact is sought
2) face is slightly elevated and turned towards others
3) squared shoulders
4) erect posture
5) stiff-legged gait
6) seek out opportunities for exhibition


Schlüsselcharakteristika (II):

"Ginge es darum, durch nicht mehr als drei Angaben eine möglichst reichhaltige Information über einen Menschen zu gewinnen, würde ich mich wahrscheinlich für Alter, Beruf und Geschlecht entscheiden."

Peter R. Hofstätter

Was erfasst der Intelligenztest? (II)

Ein Intelligenztest erfasst, wie leistungsstark der Verstand / das Denkvermögen / das Denkorgan / der Denkapparat einer bestimmten Testperson ist (dies im Verhältnis zu einer bestimmten Bevölkerung). Unser Denkapparat ermöglicht uns, Gesetz- und Regelmäßigkeiten, Zusammenhänge und Muster an den Ereignissen oder Gegenständen der Um- und Innenwelt aufzufinden, und jenen aufgefundenen Gesetz- und Regelmäßigkeiten, Mustern und Zusammenhängen auf deduktivem Wege gewisse Informationen bzw. Vorhersagen abzuleiten. Je intelligenter eine Person, desto effektiver spürt sie Ordnung auf, und desto effektiver schließt sie von Aufgefundenem auf Unbekanntes.

Donnerstag, 2. November 2017

On Writing:

>it’s very hard to teach people to write, because it’s unbelievably time intensive. Marking a good essay, that’s really easy: “Check. A.” You did everything right. Marking a bad essay: Oh my god. The words are wrong, the phrases are wrong, the sentences are wrong, they are not ordered right in the paragraphs, the paragraphs aren’t coherent, and the whole thing makes no sense. So, trying to tell the person what they did wrong: it’s like: “Well you did everything wrong. Everything about this essay is wrong.”<

Jordan Peterson

Boredom and Creativity (II):

"Sammy Davis Jr once said that he thought boredom was a great help to creativity, because when you start getting bored without constant external stimulation, that's when stuff starts coming up from the inside, which is really what creativity is about."

 John Cleese
"… where there is always kind of a beta male guy who is being really friendly and always failing miserably with the women because basically he is lying to himself and to them. He’s a persona. And a persona is the face that you show to the world when you are trying to convince yourself and others that you’re, I would say harmless, but we could say a good person. But a good person isn’t harmless ..."

Jordan Peterson

Mittwoch, 1. November 2017

"Intimate relationships are the source of our most positive and most negative emotional experiences."

Thomas Bradbury

Undergraduate Essays:

"When I read undergraduate essays, what I see very frequently is, especially the first essay is just nothing but cliches, it's awful, it's dull, you can hardly stand reading it, because there is  nothing in it that is gripping or alive. And then maybe the second essay you can see there is a layer of cliche and now and then the person will be brave enough to poke up a thought of their own. ... it's like this little green shoot that is barely alive and the person is brave enough to pop it up in the hope that maybe it won't get ... down with a sledge hammer. One of the things I try to do is to point that out. Look ... there is a real thought here. ..."

Jordan Peterson

Sprache und Wahrnehmung:

Das Sprechen spiegelt Aufmerksamkeit und Fokus des Sprechenden wider; d.h. welche Ereignisse, Gegenstände oder Subjekte die Person mit Aufmerksamkeit belichtet.