Friday Links 07-06-01

From the Web

Thinking Errors – A good look at the psychological errors in reasoning. These biases seem to plague our thinking but can’t be controlled. Here’s two:

Conjunction Fallacy – The probability of two events happening simultaneously must be lower than each one happening on it’s own. For example, if I asked you the probability of a random day being both a Tuesday AND a date in June, it would be less probable than it being either a Tuesday OR a date in June. Unfortunately our minds don’t appear to be wired this way, when adding more details made people believe something was more probable, not less.

Confirmation Bias – Once beliefs take root, the mind tries to protect them and discredit alternatives. This goes beyond just being closed minded as this bias in thinking was demonstrated with number games where the person wouldn’t have an emotional attachment to a hypothesis.

The paper explores the subject in way more depth. One of the best things I’ve read this week. Thanks to Ben for pointing it out!

From the Archives

Overcoming the Frustration Barrier – I believe this was the first article I wrote, although it is third in the archives. I think I’ve come a long way as a writer since then.

From the Shelf

Vagabonding – Great book about world travel. Potts does a good job connecting the nitty gritty practical tips of world travel (bring your own toilet paper in third world countries where water and your hand is often the only alternative) and the philosophy that goes along with it.

From the Screen

Murderball – I don’t normally put movies up here, but I just got a chance to watch the movie Murderball and I must say it is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. The documentary follows a team of quadriplegic rugby players in their quest for Olympic gold. The show doesn’t aim for sympathy, as you can see each of the players lead normal lives and are connected by their passion for the sport.