Self-Driving Cars
Nov01

Self-Driving Cars

People are so bad at driving cars that computers don’t have to be that good to be much better. — Marc Andreessen Estimates suggest that 75% of all cars on the road will be self-driving in less than 25 years. And for about half the population, that is a terrifying prospect. When surveyed, about 55% of consumers said they would not consider purchasing a self-driving car, mostly due to fears about malfunctions or even...

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An Explanation of Happiness
Oct18

An Explanation of Happiness

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. — Dalai Lama There are few things in life we pursue as consistently and determinedly as happiness. Heck, “the pursuit of happiness” is inscribed in the US Constitution (i.e., so you know it’s legit). But for as important as we all agree happiness is, the field of psychology hasn’t treated it so. For example, in 1981, there were close to 130 publications on...

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The Mind of a Terrorist
Oct11

The Mind of a Terrorist

There’s nothing more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man. — Kai Anderson, American Horror Story: Cult It’s hard to turn on the news these days with humans committing more and more extreme acts against one another. Whether that is explicit terrorism or a horrific mass shooting, in response to these events, we often (rightfully) feel anger. Anger, though, is often a “secondary” emotion. That is, we use anger to protect...

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What are Guilt and Shame?
Oct04

What are Guilt and Shame?

Guilt has very quick ears to an accusation. — Henry Fielding Last night I watched a show where the host (Derren Brown) psychologically manipulated a person into confessing to a murder he had never committed. It was awesome. I mean, sure there are some potential “ethical” issues with a televised “experiment” of that kind. But the show was used as a lesson to demonstrate the ease of forcing false confessions (25% of convicted...

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Warm Parent, Cold Parent
Sep20

Warm Parent, Cold Parent

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. — Robert Fulghum Parenting is hard—or at least I assume it must be. I mean I’ve never been a parent, but thinking of myself as a child takes little effort to recall moments that must have caused my parents to debate the age restriction on fire station drop-offs. And I was the good child 😉 Now, for nearly all forms of life, an animal’s...

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