intuition a surprisingly powerful and accurate tool, park trees autumn wallpaper, Petraeus affair turning into cohen brothers comedy

Researchers find that intuition is a surprisingly powerful and accurate tool

Even at the intuitive level, an important part of the decision-making process is the “integration of value” — that is, taking into account the positive and negative factors of each option to come up with an overall picture, explains Prof. Usher. One weighs the strengths and weaknesses of different apartments for rent or applicants for a job. Various relevant criteria contribute to the decision-making process.

“The study demonstrates that humans have a remarkable ability to integrate value when they do so intuitively, pointing to the possibility that the brain has a system that specializes in averaging value,” Prof. Usher says. This could be the operational system on which common decision-making processes are built.

[   ]…..Of course, intuition is also subject to certain biases, explains Prof. Usher, and leads to more risks — risks that people are willing to take. That was shown when the researchers engaged participants in tests that measured their risk-taking tendencies, and were surprised to discover that the majority of the participants didn’t play it safe. When faced with a choice between two sets of numbers with the same average, one with a narrow distribution, such as 45 and 55, and another with a broad distribution, such as 70 and 30, people were swayed by the large numbers and took a chance on the broadly distributed numbers rather than making the “safe” choice.

This comes from a university web site’s news release of these findings with the original title being “Going with Your Gut.” That title concerned me because thinking with one’s gut is associated with a certain political movement here in the U.S. where the concept is a political movement that bases decisions largely on very base feelings such as xenophobia, misogyny and pride in the resistance to enlightened thought.

While there is probably some merit in this study, should the good doctor and associates revisit the testing they might want to consider other options than flashing numbers and tabulating the results as a product of intuition. I recently did a post based on part of this article that shows the brain may be registering and evaluating, in a perfectly logical way, information that is not fully comprehended by vision. So again, what we generally think of as intuition, is not some primal or mystic phenomenon detached from the brain, but some parts of the brain processing information in the background. Not terribly unlike a computer performing a function on our active screen, but also performing some other function like updating our Tweeter news stream data, in the background. When humans or perhaps other mammals do that it could be called a psychological task, but that tasking in grounded in real synaptic activity.

Boris Karloff taking a lunch break on the set of the original Frankenstein movie,1931. Karloff is made up as  Frankenstein’s monster. I haven’t seen any pools, but I wonder if Karloff is not best remembered as the voice of the Grinch in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). An interesting factlet from reading about the original Frankenstein is that the electrical effects – the jumping electrical charges, which became the standard setup for dozens of Frankenstein based movies were designed by Kenneth Strickfaden – fans call the electrical show “Strickfadens.” The giant coils themselves were secured from some guy, you may have heard of, Nikola Tesla.

fall leaves and trees

park trees autumn wallpaper

Joyce Carol Oates wondered the other day, one hearing the news about CIA chief David Petraeus affair and resignation, why adultery is “semi” illegal. Sometimes people’s marital issues can be interesting, provide some insight into their work in a historical context – Sigmund Freud’s affairs for instance. Most of the time as affairs go in popular culture and politics I would generally prefer not to know too much. Some reportage makes the reader feel like a voyeur. Adultery itself is about as old as humanity and as interesting as toasted white bread. Someone cheated on their spouse? Wow that never happens. Two married conservative Republicans meeting and deciding that the meeting of their genitalia in orgasmic delight is news. Not really. Self righteous hypocrisy is standard operating procedure for the conservative movement. It is becoming an interesting story – in the vain of a Cohen brothers comedy because of the twists and turns the story is taking. Report: FBI investigation into CIA chief’s email “started with two women,” not Petraeus (updated)

The Washington Post reports that the investigation into CIA chief David Petraeus began “when a woman whom he was having an affair with sent threatening e-mails to another woman close to him,” citing “three senior law enforcement officials with knowledge of the episode” as sources. The Wall Street Journal reports the probe said the FBI began investigating after “a complaint from a woman in Florida” about Paula Broadwell, his biographer and lover. Other news accounts suggested that the FBI began snooping on the spy boss’ Gmail account over fear it had been compromised by Chinese hackers.

If the prevailing narrative is true, Petraeus paramour Paula Broadwell used the same email account to send

A) Sexmail to Petraeus, and B)Threatmail to another woman.

Like condoms at a Baptist revival meeting so are the Days of Our Lives. Conservatives are excited because the Fox News meme about Libya and Obama as somehow negligent is falling apart, so this gives them new basket of stained old underwater to sniff through: Matt Drudge Sirens: Gen. David Petraeus Resigns CIA Due To Spying … Between The Sheets

Reaction from the wingnut press has been muted so far, although readers of the Stupidest Man On the Internet were quick to speculate that Barack Obama knew of the affair and blackmailed Petraeus to do nothing to save the lives of the Benghazi consulate staff.

Blind Pilot – “The Story I Heard”