Author: Hunter Maats

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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The Aristocracy of Citizenship: How Different is the Nation State System from Apartheid?

It’s now been a little over 20 years since the end of apartheid. From this distance and looking at South Africa from the United States, it’s a simple matter to understand. White South Africans were racist. They built a racist system. Racism is bad. Now, apartheid is gone. South Africa has a black President. Hurray! There is no more apartheid. And yet, it wasn’t until I went to South Africa these past two weeks that I even thought to ask WHY white South Africans built the apartheid system. As I found out at breakfast with Roman Cabanac, the co-host...

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Attention Economy: What Price Do We All Pay for Justin Bieber’s Cult of Personality?

Everyone wants attention.  The individual family provides a beautiful microcosm for thinking about the dynamics of the “Attention Economy.”  Kids compete for their parents’ attention, and video games, movies, music, and social media compete for the kids’ attention.  School books very often lose out in the competition for attention.  While mom is exhausted by having to give everyone else her complete attention, her needs (attention) often fall by the wayside.  She needs more of her attention for herself.  It’s an underappreciated fact that economics comes from the Greek words oikos (house) and nomos (managing).  Home economics is a redundant...

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