Tag: sociology

8 Winning Ways to Think Like a Freak

March 17th, 2016   •   no comments   

Think Like a Freak Stephen Dubner Steven Levitt

Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (courtesy of Freakonomics Facebook page)

Conventional wisdom can be a bitch. While there may be occasional wisdom in crowds, the truth is that fools seldom differ.

If going with the flow could land us in hot soup, how then should we solve the many problems in our world?
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Social Physics – A New Science of Influence

April 20th, 2015   •   1 comment   

Social Physics Influencer Marketing
Sandy Pentland of MIT (courtesy of MIT)

Why do ideas spread from person to person? How do we marry the worlds of social influence, big data, and behavioural economics?

Enter Social Physics, a concept coined by MIT Professor Alex “Sandy” Pentland. Director of the Human Dynamics Laboratory, Pentland’s book Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread – The Lessons from New Science proposes a new theory of human social interaction.
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The Ebb and Flow of the Social Web

March 12th, 2014   •   no comments   

Source of image

Catalysed by the ubiquitous social web, our lives are becoming inseparable from that of our networks. We are addicted to the constant online “strokes” delivered by our friends, and crave their likes, shares, comments and retweets.

Like it or loathe it, much of what happens in real life (IRL) is intimately intertwined to how we behave in the virtual world. And we’re lovin’ it.
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Mothernist – Helping Mothers Cope with Modern Living

January 1st, 2014   •   1 comment   

Life in a modern city can be hectic and stressful. Especially if you’re a working mother trying to balance multiple roles – career/business, caregiver, mother, wife, and friend.

The tremendous strain of continually juggling numerous balls may also result in the deterioration of one’s mental, spiritual and emotional health.

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The Art of Thinking Clearly: Book Review

July 24th, 2013   •   no comments   

The Art of Thinking Clearly Rolf Dobelli

This man wants you to think more clearly (courtesy of Wikimedia)

You’ve heard the saying “to err is human and forgive divine”.

What you may not know, however, is that us Homo sapiens have been hardwired over the millenia to be illogical, distorted in our perception of reality, and inaccurate in our judgements.

In other words, to err repeatedly is human.
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How Pleasure Works – Book Review

January 25th, 2013   •   no comments   

Why does pain sometimes feel like pleasure? Why do we enjoy music and art even though there aren’t any adaptive advantages? When does “one man’s meat” become “another man’s poison”?

The answers to these human behavioural puzzles (and more) can be found in How Pleasure Works. Written by Yale’s evolutionary psychologist Paul Bloom, the book uncovers the “new science of why we like what we like”. By delving into the fields of anthropology, evolution, history, biology and psychology, the book investigates why we humans are so different compared to our fellow earthlings. 
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The Danger of Digital Addiction

June 14th, 2012   •   no comments   

Are you addicted to social networks? (courtesy of Salsafrica Blog)

I’ve just watched a TED video featuring a highly impactful talk by psychologist Sherry Turkle on how we’re all becoming increasingly connected while becoming increasingly alone. It really set me thinking. Hard.

Quoting from Sherry:

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Freakonomics is Freaky Fun!

November 28th, 2010   •   3 comments   

Want to know why drug dealers live with their mothers?

Curious to uncover what dishonest schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?

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Outliers – The Story of Success (Book Review)

November 12th, 2010   •   1 comment   

Outliers - The Story of Success

What is the secret to outstanding performance in any field? What makes world class musicians, athletes and scientists different from the rest of us?

In a similar vein to earlier titles like The Tipping Point and Blink, acclaimed nonfiction writer Malcolm Gladwell spins a fascinating tale on what made people remarkable in Outliers – The Story of Success.
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Why Looks and Beauty Matter

October 19th, 2009   •   4 comments   

Do we have to look like Megan Fox to succeed in life? (courtesy of cras_dub)

Looks matter more than we think, according to Beauty Bias – Discrimination and Social Power authored by sociologist Bonnie Berry, and “lookism” is probably one of the last bastion of legally uncensured discrimination. Society at large is biased in many ways towards people who are beautiful or handsome, whether we like it or not. Often associated traits to one’s looks like ethnicity, skin colour, height, weight, age, disabilities and deformities, and the condition of the teeth also go hand in hand with that partiality towards the pretty.

The ones born with the right symmetrical and often Northern European features – a slim and straight nose, big round eyes, fair skin, tall, and light haired – often fair better than others in job markets. This is especially unfair, states Berry, because one’s looks are often difficult to change, and often have very little relation to how one performs in a job. You can’t choose your parents, or opt out of an obesity gene.
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