Sunday, June 21, 2009

language and spatial awareness

How does language shape our perception of the physical world and thus our psychology? I'm not sure exactly 'how' but this article implies significantly.

So is language ultimately the mechanism responsible for cultural psychology? And thus cultural stereotypes? Or is it that the cultural psychology is the mechanism responsible for language evolving the way it did? The article makes a good case for the former.

scams and how to avoid them

I just read an amazing article on scams with some insight on how to avoid scams of all types. I wonder how much of the current financial debacle could have been avoided by using these tools. Were we, as society, taken in by any of these tricks?

Just at a glance it seems that we were. Take these two instances as an example:

Appeals to trust and authority
Obviously, the fund managers know something we don't. These companies must be sound if they are investing in them.

Visceral triggers
Everyone is trying to get rich as quickly as possible. Everyone is buying housing beyond their means at the behest of unscrupulous mortgage companies who appeal to Trust and authority (see above).

Scarcity cues

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Obviously the above examples are sweeping generalizations but it is interesting to see how these principles can be applied to our current financial woes.

I tend to blow off 'amazing' offers without much consideration of the actual offer. I'm not sure why this is but it works for me.

Monday, June 15, 2009