Rumination #6: Behavioral Economics, Creativity, Learning Theories and more

Writing, Psychology and Economics, Creativity and Storytelling, Self-help, Decision-making, Learning Theories, Running Habits, Technology and AI

This is a special version of Weekly I/O. In this Rumination, I will pick some inputs that I found worth reviewing from Weekly I/O#51 to #60.

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Hope you enjoy it!


Psychology, Economics, and the mix of both (aka Behavioral economics)

  • Kuleshov Effect: Viewers derive more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation. [Kuleshov Effect]
  • Decoy Effect: When we are choosing between two options, introducing a third option can cause shifts in our preference between the first two items. [Decoy Effect]
  • Moral Hazard: People are more likely to take risks when they know they won't bear the full consequences of their actions. [Moral Hazard]
  • Adverse Selection: Asymmetric information in transactions can lead to the less-informed side potentially making bad choices. [Adverse Selection]
  • Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory: Job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are independent. Improving factors that cause dissatisfaction does not necessarily lead to satisfaction, and vice versa. [Motivation-hygiene Theory]
  • Reflexivity theory: positive feedback loops between expectations and economic fundamentals can cause price trends that substantially and persistently deviate from equilibrium prices. [Reflexivity Theory]
  • Volatility is the emotional price you need to pay to get high average annual returns. View volatility as a fee, not a fine. [Volatility as Fee not Fine]
  • Principal-Agent problem occurs when one person hires another person to do a job but cannot fully monitor or control their actions, potentially leading to conflicts of interest or suboptimal outcomes. [Principal-Agent Problem]

Creativity and Storytelling

  • If all we have is structure, we won't have magic. What we also need is unintentionality, like a mistake. Unintentionality is the real secret of creating interesting work. [Unintentionality and Mistake]
  • “Language can become a screen which stands between the thinker and reality. This is the reason why true creativity often starts where language ends.” - Arthur Koestler [Language and Creativity] | Related: [Wittgenstein and Language]
  • Jonny Harris's storytelling formula: Visual anchor before contextual bridge. Experience it and then understand it. [Visual before Context] | Related: [Direct Learning]
  • Creators need immediate connections to what they are creating because so much creation is discovery. We discover nothing if we cannot see the process of our changes effectively. [Immediate Connection to Creation]
  • When new artists do weird work, their first followers are the curators who transform their individual weirdness into public art. Make your work easy to find and follow. [First Follower]
  • “A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes." - Ludwig Wittgenstein [Philosophical Jokes]

Work on ourselves and in case we need motivation

Making better decision

Learning Theories

  • Dark Room Metaphor: Learning is a process of reconstruction (Constructionism), not transmission(Instructionism). Creating our mental 3D model of a room by exploring it in the dark is a slower but more effective learning method than being shown a picture of the room. [Dark Room Metaphor]
  • Desirable Difficulty in learning: Harder retrieval leads to better learning, given retrieval is successful. Test yourself before we think we are ready. Recall without a hint. [Desirable Difficulty]
  • Forward testing effect: Taking an exam before learning the subject can enhance future learning of that subject. [Forward Testing Effect]
  • True learning is understanding. True understanding is linking new information to existing knowledge and applying it to problems. [True Learning] | Related: [No Knowledge in Book], [Knowledge Pyramid], [Experience isn't Learning]
  • Learning new things is different from practicing new things. Passive learning brings knowledge while active practicing brings skills. [Skill and Knowledge] | Related: [Education or Training]
  • First step of learning: Learn directly by doing it and ensure the learning is tied to the context in which it will be used. Learn to speak a language by speaking it. [Direct Learning] | Related: [Visual before Context]

Running habits with Haruki Murakami

  • Having the kind of body that easily puts on weight can be a blessing in disguise. It forces you to stay healthier. [Body Blessing in Disguise]
  • The reason I can run for more than twenty years is not that I have a strong will. It just suits me. [Running Suits Me]
  • For habits, there are only a few reasons to keep on something and a truckload of reasons to quit. All we can do is keep those few reasons nicely polished. [Reason not to Quit] | Related: [Deliberate Habits]
  • I run to acquire a void. Emotions are not strong or consistent enough to sustain a vacuum. But thoughts and ideas that invade my emotions as I run remain subordinate to that void. [Running and Meditation]
  • Marathon runner competes with no one but a time they want to be. Writer competes with no one but a standard they want to attain. Sustainable motivation requires following something we won't compete with. [Noncompetitiveness]

Technology and AI

  • Claasen's law: Usefulness = log(Technology) [Claasen's law]

  • How does Bluetooth work? [Bluetooth]

  • ChatGPT is like a lossy compression of all the text on the Web. If it takes material generated by itself as training data for next model, the output will be worse. Can LLM's output be as good as its own input? [Lossy LLM]

  • Every quality that made a person more valuable than a database was a product of experience. [Experience Valuable than Database]

  • Rather than program an AI with what we want it to know, create ones capable of learning and have users teach them. Experience is the best teacher. Make AI charming so that users will be motivated to put effort into teaching them. [Make AI Charming to Learn]

  • When AI beat the chess world champion in 1997, it was claimed that "Chess is over". But 26 years later, chess is more popular than ever. [Chess Popularity after AI]

  • Humans are tool builders. We build tools like computers as the "Bicycle of the Mind" that take us beyond our inherent abilities. [Bicycle of the Mind]

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