Placebo x Nocebo
Just like the perceived presence of a medicine (placebo) can have an effect to alleviate the condition, the perceived absence of a medicine (nocebo) can have the opposite effect. This is interesting because just as the brain can stimulate the presence of a drug (placebo), it can also negate the presence of a drug (nocebo)! This is important because the nocebo effect means that side-effects which...
How to become a writer
…or anything else, Ed Yong’s suggestion: 1) Pull your finger out and work really hard. Stay up late. Practice. Sacrifice your social time. Churn out a crazy amount of output. Practice. Enter competitions. Practice. 2) Give people a reason to read you. There are plenty of competent writers and not enough time to read them. Maybe you are the go-to person for a topic....
Probabilities don't exist
Not in the way we have been taught in school i.e. objectively, independent of the human mind. Instead probability is subjective and a widely accepted definition is a rate at which an individual is willing to bet on the occurrence of an event. Another neat way of making sense of this is that probability of an event is effectively the price that you are willing to pay for a lottery ticket that...
Understanding Small Talk
I hate small talk. It’s no surprise for those who know me well. But I do it because I can see it’s social utility. One must understand, though, that there is only so much social utility in it. Beyond a point, any small talk is a sheer waste of the time for everyone involved in the conversation.
When deciding whether to keep something prioritise...
Beautiful Things: Will you be driven to share it? Emotionally Important Things: Does it have a narrative? Tools/devices/appliances (things that efficiently perform useful functions): Have really high technical standards for this. Everything else.