Monday, August 10, 2020

This Idea Must Die

      This book by John Brockman is a collection of answers to one main question: "what scientific idea is ready for retirement?" Each short essay is written by a highly respected member of their respective field, which ranged from philosophy to physics and back again to finance. Each describes an idea within their community that, in their eyes, prevents advancement. In our years on this earth, humans have learned many new ideas through the pursuit of truth called science. However, we have become stuck in some of our ways. We haven't always gotten everything right, and trying to build on a foundational idea that isn't necessarily true means that any conclusions draw from it are inherently at least partially false. While rejecting long-standing scientific truths may sound counter intuitive to progress, in some instances it must be done in order to remove them as an obstacle for true growth.

    The one entry that stuck out to me was titled "Simplicity" by A. C. Grayling. It discussed how the process decided which of two hypotheses is chosen, when they both explain the same phenomenon. Essentially, whichever hypothesis is "simpler" wins. Now this seems like a good idea, simpler is easier to understand and more accessible. On the other hand, simple is subjective. How "simple" a hypothesis can be based on how nicely it is worded, the conciseness, the elegance of the words used. He says, that simply the aesthetic value of a hypothesis doesn't actually add any scientific weight to it and does not make it inherently better than the other.

    This made me think of how in the lecture the simplest explanation, that Uri Gellar simply held magic powers and was using the power of his mind, was far from the truth. In actuality they were putting much preparation into their tricks beforehand, such as tampering with the spoon to just the perfect point of weakness, where his illusion would work. I really admired the commitment to the truth that James Randi held, using most of his time and money to fight lawsuits because he believed in spreading the truth that firmly. 

    Below is a video describing the ending of the movie The Prestige. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it; it is very engaging. This video does spoil the end of the movie, which follows a duo of magicians as they go from partners to rival acts, and the extents to which they go to pull off their acts. Throughout the movie they pull off a number of very impressive tricks, where the audience forms the "simplest" hypothesis to what occurred on stage, when the actual mechanics to pulling off such a feat is much more involved. This movie captured not just my imagination, watching the amazing tricks, but also my more critical scientific part of my mind in the mechanics that go on behind the scenes. It not only reminded me or Uri Gellar and his tricks but also really exemplifies how the "simple" answer isn't always the truth.

 

The End of the World

    There was a futurist called KFK, he claimed that he came back to 2019 from 2060. In 2019, he created a post on social media and let people ask him questions. Someone asked him if the Chinese women volleyball team are going to be the champion in the Tokyo Olympics. His answer was "There will be some accidents going to happen in the Tokyo Olympics. " A perfect example of Ambiguous. 

   Then he predicted some more specific prophecies. First, the 2032 Olympics will be hosted by Jakarta. Second, Bitcoin is going to disappear in 2060. Third, there will be no more cancer in 2060. 

   These prophecies have a specific year and event if any of these prophecies go south, we can make sure that this KFK is not a futurist. So let see if this KFK is really a futurist. 

Book Report: The Demon-Haunted World

 I chose to do a google slides for my book report on The Demon-Haunted World. The link is down below. 

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14q5qLPyoRmeaEFr0sm0yogrR3doG8UoGYke0yxnINeY/edit?usp=sharing





Book report “Factfulness”

     I decided to go with the book Factfulness by Hans Rosling. Factfulness was not my first option. I am glad that I chose this book because it was an eye opener. The way that the book started off was quite intriguing, I was reeled in with the thirteen questions that Hans Rosling presented at the beginning. I scored a zero out of the thirteen questions, although I was surprised with my grade. The book explains that the world isn't as bad as we believe it is. I highly recommend this book because it made me look at things differently. I realized that I was a bit close minded when it came to some causes. I genuinely feel that we can take the tactics that Rosling provided us and use it in our everyday lives.

    In each chapter Rosling explains to the reader each of the misconceptions that influence our viewpoints. These misconceptions are the gap instinct, the destiny instinct, the single perspective instinct, the negativity instinct, the straight line instinct, the fear instinct, the size instinct and the generalization instinct. Throughout the book Rosling provides data for each of the ten misconseptions. Throughout the book Rosling gives you more reasons to overcome these instincts that we have that influences our beliefs of how we look at the world and also how we make decisions. 

I enjoyed every part of the book but the chapter that stood out to me the most was “The Single Instinct”. In this chapter Rosling explains that we tend to just focus on one single thing. We are just fixated on one idea and don’t bother to look at it from another perspective. Rosling encourages people to be open to other ideas. If we just focus on one cause this can limit our imagination as he stated, “and rather than only talking only to people who agree with you, or collecting examples that fit your ideas, see people who contradict you, disagree with you, and put forward different idea as a great resource for understanding the world”.


Graphology

     Learning about graphology was very intriguing. I had always noticed a sort of correlation between handwriting and the person. It was mostly more general things, not as in depth as some of the videos we watched. Cursive or print, precise or messy, rounded or straight, different ways of writing individual letters, or those who mixed in uppercase letters. I never even thought to deduce whether or not someone was lonely or ambitious. It was interesting to see the extent to which graphology was both inaccurate and widespread. I'm not saying I think it's a real science, but I had always thought my less particular observations were fairly accurate. 

     In my experience, I always associated more rounded, bubbly writing as being feminine and straighter, pointier chicken scratch with more masculine energy. Messier, bigger handwriting was usually rushed, while smaller, neat print had more time invested into it. Of course, it is very easily to consciously or not change your hand writing in a moment, especially if you know someone is going to be looking at it closely and analyzing it. 

In middle school, I decided I wanted to have nicer, fancier handwriting so I started making myself write in different ways. I added the extra tail on top of my lowercase A's, crosses to my 7's and Z's, reduced the size and speed of my writing. Most of it fell away eventually, as it wasn't natural to me. My writing may have reverted to be large and quick, however, crossing my 7's and Z's stuck and I still do that to this day. 

Handwriting - Resourceaholic

“Believing in Magic - The Psychology of Superstition” by Stuart A. Vyse

This book about the psychology of superstition explains the origins of some popular superstitions while also explaining the type of person who is more likely to abide by them while also attempting to explain why. Many of these superstitions branch off from centuries ago when certain circumstances occurring in close conjunction could be easily correlated. Regardless, the types of people most likely to be involved with superstition such as lucky tokens or behaviors include athletes, sailors, soldiers, gamblers, and college students. Examples of these particular superstitions includes eating chicken before every baseball game, using a lucky pen (or pencil), or even entering a classroom from a window before an exam. While all of these behaviors seem relatively harmless, the book goes on to explain the repercussions that a come with continued heuristic thinking associated with superstitions. As a result, Vyse attempts to connect data retrieved from past research to help connect the dots in the world of pseudoscientific superstitions.

My favorite chapter in this book was the chapter on coincidences, probability, and contingency because of how it addressed how people came to think about circumstantial superstitions. An example could be that a basketball player did really well during a portion of the game and his likelihood of maintaining his scoring streak was “hot”. But, realistically it is more likely much more than just mere chance that the athlete chanced upon a hot streak. There are many variables within a the many nuanced moments of a basket ball game that one cannot deduce that it was simply about time that the player began to do well after a period of time without a hot streak. Another example could be a student did really well on a test one time after finding a coin before the test was administered. As a result, the coincidence of finding a coin beforehand could lead that student to need to find a coin before any test because they’ve connected the idea of their success on a test with finding a coin. These two examples may not be ultimately worrisome but when the student continues to search for coins it could negatively impact their test performance in the future. As a result, just because two circumstances might happen simultaneously doesn’t mean that their likelihood of increasing your luck/skill are true but rather that humans search for ways that give the, some semblance of control. People do not like letting chance being a determining factor in their daily lives because it isn’t trustworthy. A lucky pen or pair of socks on the other hand, despite being absurd, might allow someone to feel like they are taking control of their lives.


Book Report: A Demon Haunted World

 
For my book report, I chose to make a powerpoint to discuss the book, A Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan and to talk about my favorite section and how it relates to class. Below is a link to the powerpoint:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1mn4j5Akve7qRrcvzGtF0RlCkGwLCO0D11qrYFYZat-I/edit?usp=sharing

Post #3: Hypnosis and Alien Abductees

     In class, we have learned about how clinicians would use hypnosis to help people recall past events as well as projective tests which help the clinician examine a person’s personality and gather information about their client. Hypnosis has been commonly used for UFO abductees and while the individual is under hypnosis they are able to describe being abducted and what they witnessed. However, we learned that this method can usually be ineffective and does not improve one’s ability to recall events. When the client is hypnotized, they are in a highly suggestive state and clinicians can have a strong influence on their clients so this can cause them to have false memories since the clinician can use suggestive cues and their client will believe that they experienced something that never actually occurred as a result. I personally don’t believe in aliens and UFO’s but I found a video of a hypnotherapist who specializes in alien abductions and UFO’s and she talks about her sessions with clients and what they have experienced. She describes a little bit of what her clients remember and she even talks about how some of them have claimed to have had sexual experiences with extraterrestrials. I find it shocking that people have claimed to have that type of experience with extraterrestrials and I find her opinion on this topic very interesting overall.

Here's the video I found:



Book Report: Factfulness by Hans Rosling

     The novel Factfulness by Hans Rosling, was a very intriguing text for me. To begin, Rosling writes the book about ten different instincts and how they contribute to the real world. These instincts could be identified as stereotypes or even just someone's view of things. In short, this report will give a brief explanation about each instinct. The first instinct is the "gap instinct". This refers to the rich and poor or even first world or third world countries. People automatically make these assumptions and stereotypes comparing countries based on their wealth. The second instinct is the "negative instinct". This is believing that things are bad and will get worse with time. Moving to the next instinct, there is the "straight line instinct". This pertains to the belief that the world population will not continue to grow. It is more out of fear and ignorance to the already growing populations. Next, there is the "fear instinct. This is where people think something bad or violent is going to happen at all times. For example, doomsday preppers prepare for the possibility of the end of the world. 

    Moving on to the next instinct, there is the "size instinct". This relates to people overestimating how large a piece of data is. The example used was HIV and how people would think that the statistics were a lot, when in fact it was at a steady decrease. The sixth instinct is the "generalization instinct". This is the overgeneralization of a certain group or groups of people. Next, there is the "destiny instinct". This one was confusing, but seemed to be that people believe that some cultures are at a standstill and are not progressing with the development of the world. The eighth instinct is the "single perspective instinct". This seems to be happening more and more since the pandemic as people believe there is one solution or problem to a situation. Furthermore, there is the "blame instinct". This is where people always try to find someone or something to blame. This too is something that has been happening, especially with our president. Finally, there is the "urgency instinct". This is when people make decisions without thinking about them. They do not look at how to do something or fix something, rather they just make a decision recklessly and move forward. 

Overall, this book goes over how factfulness is practiced and gives several real world examples of these instincts. My favorite chapter was the "blame instinct" because I understood it so well. Rosling described it just as I imagined, and I immediately thought of my own examples to better understand its meaning. This chapter also talks about conspiracy theories and how some people blame things on outrageous scenarios. To tie this into a class discussion, conspiracy theories are a form of pseudoscience. Some can be proven with photos or videos, like the UFOs. 

In all, this book was very informative. It could be used to help people understand unconscious stereotypes we make, and give people a better understanding on how to address different scenarios. More people should read this to get a grip on how to be a better person, and think factually rather than with just an opinion. 

Attached is a clip from a press briefing that President Donald Trump had where he blamed protests, bars, and people traveling from Mexico as the reason for the increase in coronavirus cases. Protests have been occurring everywhere across the country, but not every state is seeing a rise in cases. This is a good example of the blame instinct as addressed by Hans Rosling.

https://youtu.be/cEIz2y-wKVA


The Mozart Effect

    Reading about the Mozart Effect and how people believed it made intellectual improvements was very interesting. I was familiar with the connotation of intellect with Mozart, but I didn't realize it was a supposed causation. When I was a baby, there was this video company called Baby Einstein and they would put out DVDs of clips of toys set to classical music. My mother would put it on for me in car rides so I would watch it instead of crying while she tried to drive. The attachment of names such as Einstein Beethoven and Mozart to this product insinuate that they will make you smarter. I don't know if it worked, but I am a first-gen student. I thought the music was just to stimulate the baby's mind and give them something to listen to, not to actually improve their IQ just simply my listening. Then, in my dad's favorite kid's movie of mine The Incredibles, the babysitter Connie is on the phone with Ellen and she says "you know what they say, Mozart makes babies smart!" Another reference to this Mozart Effect that I didn't even realize I was subject to. 

 

I also liked the prompt at the end of the lesson "students who receive extensive music training also receive..." It is easy to draw a straight line from music to improved brain power when you see a correlation like that, with those as the only two considered factors. However, the truth can really be six degrees of separation away. Parents who can afford to give their children music training, can also afford things such as a nice house in a nice neighborhood that has lots of property taxes funding their public schools, or a private tutor to help the student in areas they struggle in, or even to send their child to a private school should they decide that the local public school is not up to par. All of these factors can help lead to that alleged "improved intelligence," which may not be caused by the music at all, but rather just run parallel alongside it.

Bigfoot

    I watched this section of videos with my little sister. She was very interested in the elusive creatures. When we finished this lesson she asked me, "do you believe in them? Because I do." Now, in her mind, she equated these cryptids with other mythical creatures such as unicorns. She had been exposed to such legends through movies and shows for years. However, she had never heard of the Chupacabra, yet she now firmly believed it existed. Why is that?

She is still in elementary school. She hasn't gotten to the point of learning the scientific method or having to question the information that she's given. Children trust adults, parents, teachers, and in today's day and age actors and YouTubers. Everything in early education is given to children at face-value. If a parent answers you question, that's just how it is. If a teacher tells you something, that's just how it is. Anything they are presented with comes with that trust. This results in quick thinking. She doesn't stop to think "why haven't we caught one yet?" or "how is the Jersey Devil that old?" or even "what does (my dad's favorite response to a 'why?' question) 'because science' even mean?"

The Lore Of Bigfoot Lives On At North Carolina Bigfoot Festival | KUNC

    She simply accepts that the information given to her by someone who is established in her mind as being older and smarter than her. If they said it, then it must be true. Fast thinking. She relies on heuristics to navigate and understand the world around her. She has no use for slow thinking at this point in her life. So when she sees a video of Bigfoot walking through the forest, or a movie with unicorns, such as the one on the very shirt she is wearing, hiding in the woods that becomes a part of her world. She creates her reality at face value.

Book Report "Why People Believe Weird Things"

     For most of my life, I have always shook my head at conspiracy theorists. I never understood what was going on in their heads that made them so convinced about weird things. That is why the title of this book caught my eye and made me want to read it. In the first part of the book, the author, Michael Shermer, discusses the meaning of skepticism and why it is so important. He cited a personal experience on when he first became a skeptic. He was advised to use a mega vitamin therapy program during Race Across America by a trained nutritionist in a P.H.D. program. However, it caused negative effects for him and then he found out that the nutritionist had not been trained by an accredited school and lacked real research data and scientific training. He had just made claims that it would help him win. He then goes on to talk about how skepticism is an important part of the scientific method, and how all facts in science are provisional and can be challenged. Also, the process of making factual claims relies on self correction from scientists and strong evidence. 

    Throughout the rest of the book, Shermer uses science and evidence to attempt to debunk different beliefs and conspiracies. Some of these paranormal beliefs include alien abductions, UFOs, creationism, and denial of the Holocaust. Also throughout the book, Shermer explains why people, including smart and normal people, believe these things. He describes these people as those who had their thinking just go wrong. When describing smart people who believe weird things, he says that they are "skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." 

    The most interesting section of the book to me was the part about the deniers of the Holocaust. I honestly did not even know that there were people out there who deny it, so it was interesting for me to learn about the claims that they make. I have met people who believe in some pretty insane conspiracies, but I can not remember meeting any Holocaust deniers. 

    Shermer cited the arguments made by the Holocaust deniers. There are three main points that they deny. First, they deny that there was intentionality of genocide based primarily on race. Next, they deny that a highly technical and well-organized extermination program was implemented using gas chambers and crematoria. Third, they say that between 300,000 and 2 million Jews died instead of 5-6 million. Shermer goes to great lengths to debunk these deniers. He also criticizes their methodology. He says that they only focus on their opponent's weak points instead of helping their own argument, they treat one error as if it negates all other conclusions, they take quotes out of context, and they focus on what is not known instead of what is known. To me, based on this, it sounds like these deniers completely lack the fair-mindedness that is required to be a fair minded thinker.  

    Overall, this book relates to the class because it is about people believing things without having any real evidence. Examples that have been covered in the class include alien abductions, the Jersey Devil, and the end of the world. People want to believe these things, and they find ways to justify it, despite lacking real evidence. They believe witnesses even though they very well may have been hallucinating. I think this was a good book that highlights the importance of skepticism and science. I think it also encourages critical thinking, which is unfortunately lacking in society today. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T_jwq9ph8k

Book Report: The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan

 The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan discussed pseudoscience and real science. The book tries to explain differences between real science and thing that people believe. People are easily gullible when they either see things or people tell them things and this book tries to explain that in some cases these claims are not indeed true and he uses science to prove this. Carl Sagan uses science to help him explain to the reader that even those things may seem so, science proves otherwise and helps you see a different outlook on things now. It is important to have some sort of curiosity in science because without someone having curiosity about something, there would be no science. Science comes from someone being curious about something and figuring out a reason why things are the way they are. There were topics in the book that were controversial that even with proven fact, some people still may not believe.

All of the chapters in the book were titles that would draw you in and make you want to keep reading based off of what the title stated. There were topics in the book that people still may not believe are true but that is why Sagan tried his best at explaining things for the reader to understand in a better way. Sagan also warns readers about the "dumbing down America" to help people understand certain situations. Every chapter made you rethink a lot of things, especially if you've heard of a conspiracy that was in the book. The book was very good and it makes you have a totally different outlook on the topic after reading about it.

My favorite chapter was chapter four because I am very interesting in aliens and flying saucers and I believe there are other life forms that visit earth just like we visit other planets. It also discussed people missing time and feeling paralyzed when waking up in the middle of the night, meaning that they might have been abducted by aliens of some sort. I think if this were to happen, the person would not know that they were abducted due to not knowing what that would even feel like to be abducted in the first place. It never really made sense to me, Sagan stated as well, why aliens of some sort would travel so far just to abduct a human and go back to wherever they came from. Maybe to me they would like more information about earth and the life forms on it, but even then still would not make sense for me. I really enjoyed reading the book as a whole and I would recommend this book to anyone interested in these types of controversial topics because it makes you think a lot about things you already are curious about.

The link below is a link of a video I found of an Oprah show that showed a man that believed that he was abducted by aliens of some sort. I am still am not sure in my opinion if I believe in all of this but he explains what he went through and why he believes this was a real experience that he went through.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqVdg2zESE4

Amazon.com: Out There Human Being Abducted by Aliens Space Saucer ...

The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan (Book Report) Dan Baroni

 In "The Demon Haunted World, Science as a Candle In the Dark," Carl Sagan explains to us the reality of how many people on this planet are deeply engaged in pseudoscience and emphasizes why we need science and technology to move society forward.  He is saying today's humans are ideologically warped, meaning we believe in things that might not necessarily become true or help society grow in anyway. The title "Science as a Candle in the Dark" was meant to show how science throughout the centuries has progressed humans into what we are today, though we have lost that drive to push society because we are too focused on "baloney" as Sagan calls it. The baloney would be things like, superstition, UFO's, demons, things that many people believe but science has not shown a single shred of evidence for. Without condemning multiple popular beliefs, Sagan suggests a better way to understand the world through science. 

    The best part about the book for me was in the chapter "The Man in the Moon and the Face on Mars." In this chapter Sagan talks about how the government has "suppressed" many great or not so great discoveries about space.  This chapter made me question Carl Sagan philosophy because as a young adult we do not have the resources yet to discover something on another planet on our own. If the government is hiding some discoveries and facts, how can we use Sagan's philosophy of using science to propel humans forward. Or is Sagan blaming the scientists who made the discovery for not sharing it. If nothing was hidden where would society be right now? My mind was spinning through this chapter but had me heavily interested. 

In chapter "The Demon Haunted world," Sagan notes how similar some paranormal beings are described to extra terrestrial life. This is a perfect example from lecture one; Ways of thinking, because we are association learners. Humans are pattern seeking primates, we love to connect and relate things of our world. We use paternicity to understand a topic better because we can compare it to something we already know. 

Here is a video of a #StarTalk speaking about the "what ifs" about whether the government withheld alien contact. I think this is interesting because they explore the possibilities of what would happen  if the government came clean and told the public about extra terrestrial life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17TP7ppflYM

As non-progressive as it sounds, I think myths and unproven beliefs give some humans a better quality of life. Science is full of disappointments and unsettling realities. Pseudoscience is and will always remain prevalent just like religion.  

Post Three: The Hat Man

 I have never personally experienced the hat man but I know people that have. I remember growing up my grandpa told me a story about how he seen a shadow of man with a hat on and he was in a panic. He said that it felt like something heavy was on his chest and he could not move or talk, he was stuck like that. He said he was sleeping when he was suddenly woken up by something heavy on his chest and not really being able to breathe. I myself believe in bad spirits 110%. I believe if there are good spirits there has to be bad because there is always bad and good for everything. I think maybe people are stuck in a between area before they go to where they are going after death and some of the bad get stuck in between that process. I have struggled with the unknown of what's in the darkness my whole life and I do not take darkness very well. I personally am one to sleep with my bedroom door closed at night due to the fear of possibly looking into the darkness and seeing something I do not want to see. If I do hear something at night for any reason I ignore it and try to act like I do not hear it. In situations like the hat man experience, I pray before bed and say out-loud what I can thankful for so that I welcome good energy to come my way to stay away from things like the hat man happening. I sometimes though, freak myself out about stuff like this because I feel like just taking about it will bring bad energy your way. The video I posted below is a video of an actual reaction from someone who has seen this shadow and is terrified of what she saw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFBaXVBXQNE

The Top Hat Man | Grim Magazine

Post Two: UFO's/Aliens

 I believe in UFO's/Aliens. I kind of makes you think about what other life forms are out there that we do not know about. If we take space ships to other planets then what makes everything think there aren't other life forms that take their version of a space ship to other planets as well. After reading more on this topic, I feel like things about UFO's and Aliens are kept from civilians to "protect" the information that they discovered. I believe that when people come from space and other trips to foreign planets, they in fact find things that they do not want people to know due to scaring people, etc. When people find out new things they often bring it to social media and get scared about it and I do not think that's what they want on the media. This topic will always be interesting to me because I always find out something new after reading on these two things.

Navy confirms videos did capture UFO sightings, but it calls them ...

Area 51 officially acknowledged by CIA - CNN.com

Post One: Jersey Devil

 The Jersey Devil is something I've grown up hearing stories about my whole life. I've always been scared, growing up in a Puerto Rican household, this was something that older family members scared the young children with so that they listen and behave themselves. The way that Puerto Ricans talked about it was something more scary and I always known the Jersey Devil as the "Chupacabra" but after reading I see they are two different things. Reading more about the Jersey Devil has made me more interested learning more on the topic because it is a lot different than what I was taught about it growing up. I think the story behind it is very interesting because it is so close to home, knowing I live in South Jersey. It creeps you out thinking that there may be something walking around at night or near campus and it keeps you thinking.

Man Claims to Have Photographed Mythical 'New Jersey Devil' From ...

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Astral Projection

    Astral projection (AP) is something that has peaked my interest for a very long time. I first heard about AP in the movie Insidious 2 in 2013. I had to research and find out what they were talking about. Much to my surprise there was actually a lot of information out there. AP is the act of separating the soul from the body in a meditative state in order for the soul to reach the astral realm. It is said that when traveling through the astral realm you will find the answers to life's questions. I have wanted to try it out of curiosity, but I have been warned that it is very easy to become lost in the astral realm and never be able to return to the physical body. I don't necessarily believe that this is something that is true and can happen, but out of an abundance of caution I have decided against attempting it. However, I do still enjoy reading about it, and hope one day there will be answers to all of the unknowns regarding this practice. 

Mumbai: Class X student found hanging in alleged attempt of Astral  Travelling in Bhoiwada

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (Book Report)

            As a social work major whose goal is to become a psychotherapist, it is important for me to study how people think. I have found that for majority of my life it is something that I have always tried to learn, and it has helped me become more conscious of others in my environment. Growing up I was always told I was a very emotional and sensitive, which used to cloud my judgment significantly, but over the years of studying and receiving counseling I began thinking about my thinking. Now, I try to practice using System 2, slower thinking, when analyzing options and making decisions.

            I especially enjoyed Chapter 28 where the author, Daniel Kahneman, discusses loss aversion. Put simply, this is the idea that it is more important to avoid losing than it is to strive to win. It was discussed that it is much easier to point out a negative in a situation than to find a positive. Kahneman gives the example of having a bowl of delicious cherries in front of you and finding a roach in the bowl. This one cockroach ruins the entire bowl and deems it virtually inedible for most people. If, on the other hand, there was a bowl of cockroaches with one delicious cherry in the bowl, this would not make the bowl any less disgusting to most people. Negativity is much more powerful to the brain than positivity.

            This concept of loss aversion reminds me of what I have learned about cognitive distortions. A few come to mind, but the most prominent is the cognitive distortion of disqualifying the positive. This is when someone recognizes only the negative aspects in a situation, and completely ignores the positive. I personally try to remind myself to not become overwhelmed by what I could perceive as negative thoughts or feelings and try to think more logically and rationally. That isn’t to say I cannot have negative thoughts and feelings, but that I actively try to look for potential positives as well.

I have linked this video because I found it to be very informative and helpful when trying to understand the concept of loss aversion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBNtChg4t4k

Book Report Factfulness- written By Hans Roslings post by Carli Figlia

 Factfulness

Factfulness, written by Hans Roslings, makes you rethink your way of thinking and not to overthink things and to see the bigger picture. I found this book overall pretty interesting, it was full of a lot of facts. However, at times the book became a lot and overwhelming with information. I enjoyed all of the questions that the author asks throughout the book. This book really makes you think about life and how you are living it. The begging of chapter two was very interesting when he about is life getting better, worse, or not getting better or worse. Most people would say the world is getting worse but overall life is getting better and we came a long way. We have improved so much over the years, there are more workers, people live longer, we have better health conditions. We are very negative thinking about every little thing that go wrong we do not think about the big picture. 

I really enjoyed chapter 4 it was very interesting and I liked his story in beginning about the guy who crashed in war. And he was saying that he was so scared and freaked he was just panicking and not thinking. When we are in fear we panic and we can not think straight and we think the worse. We have an overdramatic view of the world. 

I also found chapter 9, the blame instinct very interesting and very relatable. We tend to want to blame someone or something else for or problems or something not going to plan. I like what Hans said about wanting to punch someone and getting so mad that life isn’t your way. We have to think more and stay calm in certain situations and stop blaming others and accept the fact that something went wrong and we can’t blame other people. We never want to be there when something goes bad. Also, the part about Syphilis and how every country renamed it based on where the affected person came from. We blame others because it is easier and we don’t want the bad to be in our hands. Like the author says we should take the blame as quickly as we take claim.  I also enjoyed chapter ten just overall. When he says not really to freak out during urgent things. Also, when he was talking about Global warming and how that is urgent but we are not doing anything about it. We are freaking out about but not doing anything about it so how urgent is it really. Also, throughout the book, he mentions Ebola and pandemics and things doubling and it made me think about how quickly Coronavirus spread and how everyone freaked out and how everything changed so quickly. How this book relates to this class is that it makes you think about life.

Overall, I really enjoyed certain parts of this book and found the studies very interesting. However, sometimes I was a little bored and confused. He also repeated a lot of similar ideas and it got respite at times. However, I really thought overall the book was very interesting and made me think more. I would recommend this book to anyone else talking about this class it is very inspirational and gives you a positive outlook in life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uooRe07mYM