Month: November 2017

Know Yourself

Jonathan Haidt talks about the power of ancient wisdom in The Happiness Hypothesis. Well, The Art of War was compiled around 600 BCE, though nobody knows who wrote it (likely, it was written by a bunch of people). It’s popular among oligarchs, salesmen, martial artists, and of course, military men. However, I like to look at it a book about conflict management and accomplishing goals. The whole book boils down to three sentences. 知彼知己,百战不殆。不知彼而知己,一勝一負。不知彼,不知己,每戰必敗。 Zhī bǐ zhījǐ, bǎizhànbùdài. Bùzhī bǐ ér zhījǐ, yī shèngyī fù. Bùzhī bǐ, bù zhījǐ, měi zhàn bìbài. Know the opponent, and know yourself, and in 100...

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It’s Time to Reclassify Humanity: We’re not Homo Sapiens; We’re Homo Socialis

At the very core of science lies a simple principle: when new evidence emerges we should change our minds. In theory, the scientific establishment’s record on this is perfect. In practice, scientists are humans whose whole living rests on their ideas. The destruction of their ideas is the destruction of their life’s work. Scientists defend their pet theories tooth and nail because that is what their livelihood, their identity, their status and their legacy depends on. Early in their careers scientists build their careers on pioneering new thoughts. Later in their careers scientists defend their careers by quashing new...

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Dumb-Barring: Humans Stereotype. Let’s Stereotype Better.

While Mixed Mental Arts teaches you about humanity’s cognitive biases one at a time, that’s just our way of making it easier to learn how you and your fellow humans think. In practice, the glorious thing about fast thinking is that it all happens at once, combining to create convincing beliefs that are not only bad at approximating reality, but inspire the worst behavior. Take, for example, the glorious cognitive crapfest that Mixed Mental Artist Adam Hansen calls Dumb-barring. If you’re an orange belt, then you already know about The Dunbar Number, or the inability of every human brain...

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The Path to Ikigai: Solving Society’s Many Dysfunctions By Designing for Humans as They Actually Are

Hunter-gatherers don’t have a problem helping everyone find their place in society. The older members of the tribe mentor the younger members of the tribe and find great satisfaction in passing on their knowledge. Some people are shamans. Some people are hunters. Some gather. Some cook. Some make pots. Some fish. In short, humans in small tribes kick ass at finding what the Japanese call ikigai. On the other hand, most large-scale societies suck at ikigai. A lot of people simply fall through the cracks and can’t find their place in society. On the surface, finding ikigai can seem...

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