Posts Archives

  1. Memorization and Learning

    It’s funny how after so many years of being in school, there’s always something new to learn — especially about learning.  You would think that after more than 20 years of schooling somehow I would have learned every tip and trick, but nope, my ignorance seems to know no bounds.  Recently I rediscovered a technique…

  2. Consistency and Commitment

    If you’ve read my last post, a good model for human behavior is that of a moist robot.  We’re nothing more than mere automatons (or automata) except that we’re wet and squishy.  This post is about another common behavior among us squishy automatons: consistency and commitment. Influence by Cialdini describes this tendency in detail as…

  3. Moist Robots

    Scott Adams has this really memorable term for how to think about people: moist robots.  Moist because — well, we’re wet and squishy.  Robots because there are certain predictable behaviors that we repeat.  In situations like A, most people do f(A).  In situation; in situations like B, most people will do f(B).  Sounds very robot-like…

  4. On Vaccines, Guns and Good Science

    Atul Gawande, the surgeon, writer, and public health expert (and author of a couple of my favorite books: The Checklist Manifesto and Better), delivered a commencement speech to CalTech recently, here’s an excerpt: “The scientific orientation has proved immensely powerful… But even where the knowledge provided by science is overwhelming, people often resist it—sometimes outright…