Archive of November 2016

Nov 18, 2016

If we’re constantly chasing the future moment when everything will feel perfect, won’t that make the daily grind seem even more arduous? Perhaps the only truly rewarding life is the one lived with no hope of reward.

Nov 15, 2016

When the algorithms are making the decisions, people often stop working to get better. The algorithms can make it hard to diagnose reasons for failures. As people become more dependent on algorithms, their judgment may erode, making them depend even more on the algorithms. That process sets up a vicious cycle. People get passive and less vigilant when algorithms make the decisions.

Nov 4, 2016

These findings illustrate how irritation and complaint are self-reinforcing: objecting to something you can’t control brings a moment of catharsis, but mainly makes things worse, by increasing the attention you bring to the problem, which makes it more intrusive. You end up listening more acutely for the next noise and getting more irritated when it comes. It’s stressful even when there’s no noise, because you’re on edge, waiting for the silence to be broken. No wonder a single complaint becomes hundreds: the complaining is nourishing the problem. This gets easier to see if you think about these minor irritations like a difficulty encountered in a relationship – in this case, between you and your environment. Railing against them is like falling out with your partner, then continuing, over and over, to pick further fights for the sake of it. And when has that ever helped?

Nov 3, 2016

The hoarder has “things” after all, items like books and records that are clues to a past when things were stores of knowledge, signifiers, totems of meaning. The cyber lords want it all destroyed. The library must be cleaned of nasty old books and filled with computers. The record collector must renounce his or her albums and replace them with an iPod.