Newsletter - June 2018
Tim’s Reading Recommendation
I’ve been traveling a bunch lately – much of it with Kurt – and I found an article in The New Yorker of interest about people who believe with real devotion that the earth is flat. The article, called Looking for Life on a Flat Earth, documents a dive into the very small group of people who rely on their perceptions, not science, to judge what is real. The International Space Station, the moon landing in 1969, the Sandy Hook shootings, 9/11, dinosaurs…the list goes on. One flat- earther noted, “Facts are not true just because they’re facts,” and dismisses ‘realities’ of things that cannot be seen. Author Alan Burdick does a great job of reporting on this group at one of their conventions. The article is a reminder that we humans are a strange bunch.
Kurt’s Reading Recommendation
I’m in the middle of reading “Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition” by Michael J. Mauboussin. It overviews many of the behavioral science principles and biases that have been outlined in other popular books like “Predictively Irrational” and “Nudge” but also provides some new insights and pretty good writing. My favorite line so far, “…there are plenty of people who succeed largely by chance.” I think I should include myself in that category.
I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately (surprise) and so that is limiting my musical intake. However, one of my favorite songs recently has been by a band I know relatively little about. It is called “Middle Distance Runner” by Sea Wolf. The lyrics are of a man giving a realistic assessment of his ability to have a long-term relationship and determining that he is only a middle distance runner. It is haunting, sad and beautiful all at the same time.
My last record, Another Orion, was produced by Kevin Bowe. A terrific songwriter and producer, Kevin has a local band called The Okemah Prophets and they have a new record out called Every Part of the Buffalo. Solid rock and roll with deep roots in Minneapolis. Check it out.
Behavioral Science Principles for June
Hot Hand Fallacy
The “hot-hand fallacy” (also known as the “hot hand phenomenon” or “hot hand”) is the fallacious belief that a person who has experienced success with a random event has a greater chance of further success in additional attempts.
The tendency to attribute greater accuracy to the opinion of an authority figure (unrelated to its content) and be more influenced by that opinion.
A model developed by sociologist James Coleman, PhD (U of Chicago) that includes both macro and micro social exchanges in examining how things change. Macro (societal) changes happen by influences of individuals and Micro (individuals) change due to societal influences. Both are at play.
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