Samstag, 29. September 2018

Die Aufmerksamkeit:

>"Stellen Sie sich die Aufmerksamkeitsspanne Ihres Gehirns wie den Lichtsstrahl eines Scheinwerfers vor, der breitgestreut und unscharf oder fokussiert und hell sein kann", erläutert David Strayer, Kognitionspsychologe an der University of Utah. Unsere Aufmerksamkeitsspanne wird von unseren Absichten gesteuert. In den meisten Situationen entscheiden wir uns, ob wir den Scheinwerfer scharf stellen oder in die Breite leuchten lassen. Aber wenn wir automatisierten Systemen wie Computern und Autopiloten erlauben, an unserer Stelle aufmerksam zu sein, dimmt unser Gehirn den Scheinwerfer und lässt ihn herumfahren, wo immer er will.<

Charles Duhigg

Freitag, 28. September 2018

Active Repetition:

“A curious peculiarity of our memory is that things are impressed better by active than by passive repetition. I mean that in learning—by heart, for example—when we almost know the piece, it pays better to wait and recollect by an effort from within, than to look at the book again. If we recover the words in the former way, we shall probably know them the next time; if in the latter way, we shall very likely need the book once more.”

William James

Hast und Eile:

"Hast ist nicht Eile. Ein Wiesel, ein lebhaftes Kind, das quecksilberig beweglich keinen Augenblick still sitzt, der geschickte Fechter, der blitzgeschwind angreift und pariert - sie alle bewegen sich schnell, nicht hastig. Ihre Bewegungen sind genau dem Zweck angepasst, jede einzelne kommt, wenn sie muss, nicht früher, nicht später. Anders der Hastige."

Mittwoch, 26. September 2018

Lügen und Gerede:

"Die Lüge sagt das Gegenteil von dem, was einer weiß, was er fühlt und will, in der Lüge spricht sich der Mensch nicht aus, sondern er hüllt sich ein. Im Gerede aber hat er überhaupt nichts zu sagen, das Gerede ist unecht, es ist Vortäuschung einer Meinung, einer Stellungnahme, eines Gefühls, einer Absicht, es ist Fassade, hinter der nichts steht als innere Leere, Gedankenlosigkeit, Gefühl- und Ziellosigkeit."

Philipp Lersch

Montag, 24. September 2018

Human capital:

"Human capital is defined as everything within a person that helps to be productive in economic action. It comprises physical-bodily and psychological abilities as well as personality attributes; e.g. health and the ability to walk, see and hear; to understand and cognitively perceive and solve problems; to be diligent, reliable and motivated."

Heiner Rindermann

Samstag, 22. September 2018

"Almost anything can be interesting once. Only a few things ever become endlessly fascinating[.]"

Paul Silvia

Warum faszinieren uns manche Menschen, Dinge, Ideen und Sachverhalte so, dass wir uns wieder und wieder und wieder mit ihnen beschäftigen können? Warum geht von manchen Gegenständen ein dauerhafter, nie enden wollender Reiz aus? Was ist es genau, das dieses tiefe Interesse auslöst?

Freie Lesetätigkeit:

Auch die freie Lesetätigkeit sollte von Wert-Erwartungen gesteuert sein.
Z.B.: Von welchem Lesestoff erwarte ich mir besonders viel und besonders relevante Inhalte mitnehmen zu können?
Im Nachhinein kommt es zu einer Überprüfung der Erwartungen und zu einer Modifikation des weiteren Leseverhaltens.

Der innere Kompass:

"Menschen - so Asendorpf - suchen sich eher diejenigen Umwelten und Lebensbedingungen, die zu ihnen passen, anstatt sich der Umwelt aktiv anzupassen."


Linda Gottfredson:

"Our inner genetic compass is the core of our individuality ... it quietly but incessantly inclines us to take some paths rather than others, be attracted to or repelled by certain activities, seize different opportunities, respond differently to the same environments, and create different social niches for ourselves when given a choice."

"Individuals are self-activating, self-directed experience instigators, selectors, and evaluators. The genetic propensities with which we are born, including temperament, are the precursors of the general personality and ability traits that will soon take form (Funder, 2001; Lykken, Bouchard, McGue, & Tellegen, 1993). These propensities act like an internal compass, inclining us toward or away from possible forms of experience that we might encounter or create (for example, risky versus safe, people-related versus things-related). We tend toward those we resonate with and away from those that discomfit us. Emitting a constant stream of mostly preconscious feedback, this compass colours our past experiences and influences our future choices. Our genotypes thus help shape both the perceived and actual environments in which we develop. In other words, nature activates and shapes nurture."

"...behavior geneticists have proposed a genes-drives-experience theory (Bouchard, Lykken, Tellegen, & McGue, 1996). As children mature they take an increasingly active and independent role in selecting, shaping, and interpreting their environments. Moreover, when given the opportunity, they select experiences more in line with their genetic proclivities. Each comes into the world with a different internal genetic compass, which causes them to be attracted to or repelled by different kinds of people, activities, and settings. The anxiety-prone will more often avoid anxiety-provoking situations; the emotionally stable will perceive the world as more benign than will the neurotic; and the musically gifted will more often seek opportunities to develop their talent (called active gene-environment correlation). People also create different environments for themselves by evoking different reactions from the people around them. The obnoxious will evoke more hostile social environments for themselves than will the amiable, and parents will appropriately provide different kinds of toys, support, and developmental opportunities to their children when they differ in needs, interests, and talents (called evocative or reactive gene-environment correlation). In addition, people differ genetically in their sensitivity to given external influences, such as particular pathogens or kinds of instruction (gene-environment interaction)."

Freitag, 21. September 2018


"Learning is deeper and more durable when it's effortful. Learning that's easy is like writing in sand, here today and gone tomorrow."

make it stick, P. C. Brown et al.

Donnerstag, 20. September 2018

Fokussiertes Leben:

Will man fokussiert leben, kommt es darauf an, Ablenkungen zu identifizieren: Was sind die eigentlichen Quellen von wertlosem Lärm und von Hintergrundrauschen in der eigenen Innen- und Umwelt?

Suckers for Irrelevancy:

Suckers for Irrelevancy: The Surprising Hazards of Multitasking

“… the people we talk with continually said, look, when I really have to concentrate, I turn off everything and I am laser-focused. And unfortunately, they’ve developed habits of mind that make it impossible for them to be laser-focused. They’re suckers for irrelevancy. They just can’t keep on task.”

Dienstag, 18. September 2018

So zu lesen und zu studieren, dass es sich ansetzt:

"So zu lesen und zu studiren, daß es sich immer ansezt, kan ich rathen, obgleich die Welt nicht an mir den Nutzen dieses Rathes sieht, ich gebe ihn nicht weil ich ihn durch häufige Erfahrung nützlich befunden habe, sondern, weil ich jezt sehe und deutlich, daß ich ihn hätte befolgen sollen."

Georg Cristoph Lichtenberg


Aus welchen Büchern / Artikeln nahm man sich besonders viel und besonders relevante Inhalte mit?


Will man sich effektiv relevante Inhalte aus Lesestoff aneignen, sollte man mit folgenden zwei Voraussetzungen vertraut sein: Zum einen mit der Herangehensweise des effektiven Lesens. Diese besteht wohl darin, im Lesefortschritt des öfteren Pausen zu machen. Diese Zeitspannen werden für das Durchdenken oder Rekapitulieren relevanter Inhalte genutzt. Zum anderen kommt es darauf an, tatsächlich informativen Lesestoff zu wählen und mäßig informativen oder uninformativen Lesestoff zu meiden.

Sonntag, 16. September 2018


Wenn es ein Orakel gäbe in der Welt, das jedem Menschen einmal im Leben eine Frage wahrheitsgemäß beantworten würde, dann wäre es sehr spannend zu beobachten, wie unterschiedlich motiviert die Fragen wären, die gestellt werden würden.

Samstag, 15. September 2018

"[A]s many studies have shown, creativity (as achievement) must be based on a vast amount of knowledge and practice in order to produce original works of art and science; failing to give children the chance to acquire this basic knowledge condemns them to a life of complete failure as far as genuine, socially valued and creative activity is concerned."

"Those who advocate allowing children to 'express themselves' ... and failing to teach them the basic skills required for such expression, and the needed knowledge to have worthwhile creative ideas, are not helping the child to become creative in any meaningful way; they are making certain that he would never have anything worthwhile to contribute to society."

"The tragedy is that for 30 years or more children in the UK and the USA have been prevented from learning all about the necessary infrastructure on which any creative endeavour must be based."

Hans J. Eysenck, Genius, 1995

Freitag, 14. September 2018

An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish:

"I am persuaded that there is absolutely no limit to the absurdities that can, by government action, come to be generally believed. Give me an adequate army, with power to provide it with more pay and better food than falls to the lot of the average man, and I will undertake, within thirty years, to make the majority of the population believe that two and two are three, that water freezes when it gets hot and boils when it gets cold, or any other nonsense that might seem to serve the interest of the State. Of course, even when these beliefs had been generated, people would not put the kettle in the ice-box when they wanted it to boil. That cold makes water boil would be a Sunday truth, sacred and mystical, to be professed in awed tones, but not to be acted on in daily life."

Betrand Russell

Maps and Territories:

S. I. Hayakawa:

"The first of the principles governing symbols is this: The symbol is NOT the thing symbolized; the word is NOT the thing; the map is NOT the territory it stands for." 

"Now, to use the famous metaphor by Alfred Korzybski in his Science and Sanity (1933), this verbal world ought to stand in relation to the extensional world as a map does to the territory it is supposed to represent. If a child grows to adulthood with a verbal world in his head which corresponds fairly closely to the extensional world that he finds around him in his widening experience, he is in relatively small danger of being shocked or hurt by what he finds, because his verbal world has told him what, more or less, to expect. He is prepared for life. If, however, he grows up with a false map in his head [...] he will constantly be running into trouble, wasting his efforts, and acting like a fool."

"We all inherit a great deal of useless knowledge, and a great deal of misinformation and error (maps that were formerly thought to be accurate), so that there is always a portion of what we have been told that must be discarded. But the cultural heritage of our civilization that is transmitted to us -- our socially pooled knowledge, both scientific and humane -- has been valued principally because we have believed that it gives us accurate maps of experience."


Alfred Korzybski:

"If the map shows a different structure from the territory represented—for instance, shows the cities in a wrong order, or some places east of others while in the actual territory they are west,—then the map is worse than useless, as it misinforms and leads astray. One who made use of it could never be certain of reaching his destination."


S. I. Hayakawa:

>The human being, like any other creature, begins to make his acquaintance with the extensional world from infancy. Unlike other creatures, however, he begins to receive, as soon as he can learn to understand, reports, reports of reports, reports of reports of reports, and so on. In addition, he receives inferences made from reports, inferences made from other inferences, and so on. By the time a child is a few years old, has gone to school and to Sunday school, and has made a few friends, he has accumulated a considerable amount of second- and third-hand information about morals, geography, history, nature, people, games—all of which information together constitutes his verbal world.
Now this verbal world ought to stand in relation to the extensional world as a map does to the territory it is supposed to represent If the child grows to adulthood with a verbal world in his head which corresponds fairly closely to the extensional world that he finds around him in his widening experience, he is in relatively small danger of being shocked or hurt by what he finds, because his verbal world has told him what, more or less, to expect. He is prepared for life. If, however, he grows up with a false map in his head—that is, with a head crammed with false knowledge and superstition—he will constantly be running into trouble, wasting his efforts, and acting like a fool. He will not be adjusted to the world as it is[.]
Some of the follies we commit because of false maps in our heads are so commonplace that we do not even think of them as remarkable. There are those who protect themselves from accidents by carrying a rabbit’s foot in the pocket. Some refuse to sleep on the thirteenth floor of hotels—this is so common that most big hotels, even in the capitals of our scientific culture, skip “13” in numbering their floors. Some plan their lives on the basis of astrological predictions. Some play fifty-to-one shots on the basis of dream books. [...] All such people are living in verbal worlds that bear little, if any, resemblance to the extensional world.
Now, no matter how beautiful a map may be, it is useless to a traveler unless it accurately shows the relationship of places to each other, the structure of the territory. If we draw, for example, a big dent in the outline of a lake for, let us say, artistic reasons, the map is worthless. But if we are just drawing maps for fun without paying any attention to the structure of the region, there is nothing in the world to prevent us from putting in all the extra curlicues and twists we want in the lakes, rivers, and roads. No harm will be done unless someone tries to plan a trip by such a map. Similarly, by means of imaginary or false reports, or by false inferences from good reports, or by mere rhetorical exercises, we can manufacture at will, with language, “maps” which have no reference to the extensional world. Here again no harm will be done unless someone makes the mistake of regarding such “maps” as representing real “territories.”
We all inherit a great deal of useless knowledge, and a great deal of misinformation and error, so that there is always a portion of what we have been told that must be discarded. But the cultural heritage of our civilization that IS transmitted to us — our socially pooled knowledge, both scientific and humane — has been valued principally because we have believed that it gives us accurate maps of experience. The analogy of verbal worlds to maps is an important one and will be referred to frequently throughout this book. It should be noticed at this point, however, that there are two ways of getting false maps of the world into our heads: first, by having them given to us, second, by making them up for ourselves by misreading the true maps given to us. <

Donnerstag, 13. September 2018


In menschlichen Köpfen findet sich Hintergrundrauschen. In einigen außergewöhnlich viel, in einigen außergewöhnlich wenig. Ein effektiver Filter macht sich wohl auch über die Klarheit oder Relevanz sprachlicher Äußerungen bemerkbar.

World Population in 2018

Signalquellen und Störsignale:

Was eine Signalquelle und was eine Quelle von Störsignalen ist, wandelt sich beständig. Will man einen bestimmten Sachverhalt vestehen, können sich Signalquellen, die sonst relevante Information vermitteln, vorübergehend in Störsignalquellen verwandeln.

Mittwoch, 12. September 2018

The gossip test:

"Working in the Admiralty, I had several friends among the naval officers. They were interested in science but knew even less about it than I did. One day I noticed that I was telling them, with some enthusiasm, about recent advances in antibiotics - penicillin and such. Only that evening did it occur to me that I myself really knew almost nothing about these topics, apart from what I had read in Penguin Science or some similar periodical. It came to me that I was not really telling them about science. I was gossiping about it. This insight was a revelation to me. I had discovered the gossip test - what you are really interested in is what you gossip about. Without hesitation, I applied it to my recent conversations. Quickly I narrowed down my interests to two main areas: the borderline between the living and the nonliving, and the workings of the brain."

Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit
"It is amateurs who have one big bright beautiful idea that they can never abandon. Professionals know that they have to produce theory after theory before they are likely to hit the jackpot. The very process of abandoning one theory for another gives them a degree of critical detachment that is almost essential if they are to succeed."

Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit

Dienstag, 11. September 2018

Tim Hunt on Creativity in Science:


"To incorporate noise in a system of communication, it is only necessary to suppose, as Claude Shannon did, that the receiver's sensors have input from two sources: one is the source of the signals, the other the source of noise."

R. Haven Wiley

Working at Bell Labs:

"I was there for over thirty years and I was never once told what I should be working on[. At] the end of each year you had to write down on one side of one peace of a paper what you had done during the year and they used that to determine how much they would pay you next year."

Brian Kernighan

Freies Lernen:

Nutzt man die Freizeit zum Lernen, so scheint mir insbesondere folgender Rat hilfreich zu sein: "Nimm dir Zeit. Haste beim Lernen nicht. Nur so erwirbst du dir solides Wissen."

What's new?

>In the 1974 classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig decries the conversational opener "What's new?" - arguing that the question, "if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion"[.]<

B. Christian & T. Griffiths,
Algorithms to live by

Montag, 10. September 2018

Erkunden oder Ausschöpfen?

Was ist sinnvoller?:

  • Tausend Bücher oberflächlich anlesen oder drei ausgewählte Bücher gründlich verarbeiten?
  • Mit hundert Personen oberflächlichen Kontakt knüpfen oder mit drei Personen tiefen Kontakt eingehen?

Sonntag, 9. September 2018

Wahrheit und Wert in der Philosophie:

Eine wahre bzw. plausible Aussage ist nicht zwingenderweise auch wertvoll bzw. hochgradig relevant. Einem "Philosophierenden" sollte es somit nicht primär darum gehen, im Kopf eine große Fülle an plausiblen Gedanken zu beherbergen, sondern darum, Gedanken zu denken, die sowohl plausibel als auch relevant erscheinen.

Das Erlebnis:

"[Wir] sagen, es sei uns etwas Erlebnis, wenn wir damit meinen, dass uns etwas nicht fremd und distant geblieben, sondern zu einem Stück unseres Selbst geworden sei."

Philipp Lersch

Freitag, 7. September 2018

Crisis points:

Garry Kasparov:

>'Crisis' really means a turning-point, a critical moment when the stakes are high and the outcome uncertain. It also implies a point of no return. This signifies both danger and opportunity[.]<

>History is the story of crisis points, one after another.<


Algorithms to live by,
Brian Christian & Tom Griffiths:

>One day as a child, Brian was complaining to his mother about all the things he had to do: his homework, his chores .... "Technically, you don't have to do anything," his mother replied. "You don't have to do what your teachers tell you. You don't have to do what I tell you. You don't even have to obey the law. There are consequences to everything, and you get to decide whether you want to face those consequences."<


"Maximization is a style of decision-making characterized by seeking the best option through an exhaustive search through alternatives. It is contrasted with satisficing, in which individuals evaluate options until they find one that is 'good enough'."

Degrees of plausibility in science:

Francis Crick:

"I mean, that's one of the curious things about the scientific life, [...] you don’t have certainty, but nevertheless you have such [...] a range of degrees of plausibility that the very plausible ones approximate to certainty. Whereas when you look at what other people believe, they have a feeling of certainty for things which are probably completely wrong, you see, which is bizarre in a way."

Francis Crick about James Watson:

"he was young, but he was obviously very bright. I mean, you know, you could tell that just talking to him straight away. And, the fact that he had a strange manner… we were used to that sort of thing in Cambridge so it didn’t strike you as particularly odd, whereas it probably would strike you as odd… it would strike people as odd in more conventional places."

"he speaks… he speaks in a funny way and he is apt to express himself rather… his mind rather freely and a few things like that. These are some of the things you’ve got to get… expect with bright young men in places like Oxford and Cambridge. I mean, there are bright people who are perfectly normal and well adjusted but they don’t always give that impression, I mean, many of them."

"talking to Jim was always fun"

Tim Hunt about Francis Crick:

Francis Crick - What you gossip about is what you’re interested in:

"The test I used which I stumbled on was to see what it was I was gossiping to people about. What you’re telling people, what you gossip about is what you’re interested in, and that’s what I found I was telling them about, so I decided that’s what I must be interested in."


See also:
What makes science unique?

Dogs herding sheep:

[via David MacDonald]

Mittwoch, 5. September 2018

Mate Choice:

"In general the conditions upon which discrimination, when possible, can usefully be exercised seem to be (i) that the acceptance of one mate precludes the effective acceptance of alternative mates, and (ii) that the rejection of an offer will be followed by other offers, either certainly, or with such high probability, that the risk of their non-occurrence shall be smaller than the probable advantage to be gained by the choice of a mate."

Ronald A. Fisher

Francis Crick - On Motivation:

Montag, 3. September 2018

The utility of bad feelings:

"People of all statuses may get lethargic and glum when social, sexual, or professional prospects look dim, and then grow optimistic and energetic when opportunities arise. It's as if they have been resting up for a big match. And if no opportunities arise, and lethargy passes into mild depression, this mood may goad them into a fruitful shift of course - changing careers, jettisoning ungrateful friends, abandoning the pursuit of an elusive mate."

Robert Wright, The moral animal

Sonntag, 2. September 2018


"Die Vorgehensweise [der Wissenschaft ist] die einer Abbildung: ... die Erscheinungen der wirklichen Welt [werden durch Worte repräsentiert]. In stärker formalisierten Theorien oder Darstellungsweisen können das auch Buchstaben oder andere Symbole sein. Ein mehr oder weniger komplexes System solcher Repräsentationen beobachtbarer Erscheinungen und Sachverhalte können wir eine Theorie oder ein Modell der Wirklichkeit nennen. Mit dieser Abbildung oder Repräsentation von Erscheinungen durch Worte oder Symbole gehen Klassifikations- und Abstraktionsprozesse einher: Es wird nicht die Gesamtheit der Erscheinung abgebildet, sondern nur jeweils für relevant erachtete Aspekte[.] Es ist für eine Wissenschaft eine sehr wichtige Frage, welche Aspekte oder Merkmale der Wirklichkeit bei ihrer Abbildung oder Repräsentation durch eine Theorie sprachlich berücksichtigt und abgebildet werden[.]"

P. R. Hofstätter & D. Wendt

Samstag, 1. September 2018

Die Brute-Force-Methode


"Die Brute-Force-Methode (von englisch brute force ‚rohe Gewalt‘) bzw. Methode der rohen Gewalt, auch Exhaustionsmethode (kurz Exhaustion von lateinisch exhaurire ‚ausschöpfen‘), ist eine Lösungsmethode für Probleme aus den Bereichen Informatik, Kryptologie und Spieltheorie, die auf dem Ausprobieren aller möglichen (oder zumindest vieler möglicher) Fälle beruht. Auch der Begriff erschöpfende Suche (engl. exhaustive search) ist in Gebrauch."


"In immer größeren Teilen der Bevölkerung scheinen sich süchtige Verhaltensweisen in Schwachformen auszubreiten. Und das ist dann das Reservoir, aus dem sich die manifesten Suchtkrankheiten rekrutieren.
Diese 'Versüchtelung' kann sich z. B. darin zeigen, dass wir nicht angemessen mit Problemen umgehen, indem wir ihnen ausweichen und uns stattdessen mit Alkohol oder einem großen Essen 'zudröhnen', indem wir uns am Spielautomaten oder mit einer Kopfschmerztablette entspannen. Das hat mit Sucht im engeren Sinne noch nichts zu tun, aber es ist eine unangemessene (weil ausweichende) Konfliktlösung."

Werner Gross