> Try your hand at working out the effect of anchoring on a problem of public policy: the size of damages in personal injury cases. These awards are sometimes very large. Businesses that are frequent targets of such lawsuits, such as hospitals and chemical companies, have lobbied to set a cap on the awards.
> Before this chapter you might have thought capping awards is certainly good for potential defendants, but now you should not be so sure. Consider the effect of capping awards at $1 million. This rule would eliminate all larger awards, but the anchor would also pull up the size of many awards that would otherwise be much smaller. It would almost certainly benefit serious offenders and large firms much more than small ones.
— Daniel Kahneman
> Many people falsely believe that I have some sort of crazy memory for clips and movies. Not really. I just keep everything organized. I’m an editor; this was beaten into me … For “Vancouver Never Plays Itself” we used footage from 85 different films, but there were actually over 200 films in the project file. Keeping everything organized and annotated was the only way I could find anything.
> The first time I watch something, I watch it with a notebook. The second time I watch it, I use FCPX and keyword anything that interests me.
> Keywords group everything in a really simple, visual way. This is how I figured out to cut from West Side Story to Transformers. From Godzilla to I, Robot. From Jackie Chan to Marvel films.
Abstractions scale, because they inflate as with hot air to encompass anything. Being concise, concrete, simple, and direct can be terrifying. You have to commit to something real.
A pomodoro-style desktop app that lets you define a task upfront and the applications you need to do it. It then locks you in those applications for a specified time, to try and reduce context switching.
Capital earns profit and the sale of a commodity turns a profit, but gifts that remain gifts do not earn profit, they give increase. The distinction lies in what we might call the vector of the increase: in gift exchange it, the increase, stays in motion and follows the object, while in commodity exchange it stays behind as profit. (These two alternatives are also known as positive and negative reciprocity.)
The practice of araihari, taking a whole kimono apart to wash it, dewrinkle it, redye it, and put it back together.
In a sense, the old kimono is gone, and a whole new garment is made.
An idea I read once was a breakdown of how the internet has changed our relationship with history.
People have traditionally understood history through which present history in a linear narrative. Books are linear in nature, with a beginning, middle, and end. Reading a history book meant you experienced a continuous framework for thinking about the events presented. Correct or not, it was a complete set of events and ideas.
With the advent of index-based search engines, readings of history have atomized. People have always asked specific questions (eg. "why did world war 2 start?") and are now jumped directly to answers, with varying degrees of context. History is atomized into one-liners and Quora answers. And this changes how we think about history.
(I think this idea was either from Steven Heller or Bruce Sterling)
[The chief of the Russian doctors] paused and asked Farmer, "Is America a democracy?"
Paul's face grew serious. "I think whenever a people has enormous resources, it is easy for them to call themselves democratic. I think of myself more as a physician than as an American. Ludmilla and I, we belong to the nation of those who care for the sick. Americans are lazy democrats, and it is my belief, as someone who shares the same nationality as Ludmilla, I think that the rich can always call themselves democratic, but the sick people are not among the rich." I thought he was done, but he was only pausing for the interpreter to catch up. "Look, I'm very proud to be an American. I have many opportunities because I'm American. I can travel freely throughout the world, I can start projects, but that's called privilege, not democracy."
As Farmer had talked, the colonel's face had begun showing signs of exertion. Now he let his laughter out. He said, "But I only wanted to know if you would permit me to smoke a cigarette."
Metaphor is typically viewed as a characteristic of language alone, a matter of words rather than thought or action … We have found, on the contrary, that metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.
Young people, teenagers, and prepubescents have been propagandize into buying, collecting, and soon discarding useless expensive trash. It is only rarely that young people overcome this indoctrination.
One notable rebellion against it, however, did occur in Sweden when a 10-day "Teenagers' Fair" attempting to promote products for a teenage market was boycotted so thoroughly it nearly got put out of business. According to a report in Sweden NOW (Vol. 2, No. 12, 1968), a good number of youths resisted what they considered over-consumption by holding their own "Anti-Fair," where the slogan of the day was "Hell, no, we won't buy!" On the big day, buses collected teens from all over Stockholm and drove them to experimental theatres where special programs of politically engagé films and plays were scheduled, and such subjects as world hunger, pollution, and drugs were discussed in workshop sessions. In the kids' opinion, the "Teenagers' Fair" was just the beginning of a systematic plan to exploit young Europeans by enticing them to want more clothes, cars, and "status junk."