Tips for parking

How To Keep Your Parking Spot After a Snow Storm Boston, the South End just prohibited winter dibs. As one resident proclaimed “…South Enders believe that the streets are a public resource and nobody has a right to claim them.” Elsewhere in Boston, in Chicago, Philadelphia, parts of NYC, you just have to shovel your car out of a snowy parking space and…”Winter Dibs.” You leave a marker to signal temporary ownership and the spot should remain unoccupied until you return. The Winter Dibs Dilemma. Normally, a parking space belongs to the occupant. When “you leave it, you lose it.” … Continue reading Tips for parking

How memory reconsolidation works

Interfering With Traumatic Memories of the Boston Marathon Bombings The Boston Marathon bombings of April 15, 2013 killed three people and injured hundreds of others near the finish line of the iconic footrace. The oldest and most prominent marathon in the world, Boston attracts over 20,000 runners and 500,000 spectators. The terrorist act shocked and traumatized and unified the city. What should the survivors do with their traumatic memories of the event? Many with disabling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) receive therapy to lessen the impact of the trauma. Should they forget completely? Is it possible to selectively “alter” or “remove” … Continue reading How memory reconsolidation works

Are we addicts all the time on the web?

The Truth About Addiction: We’re All Junkies Now Isn’t it time we start telling the truth about addiction? What is that truth? That we are all addicts and all the time. For this to make sense, it helps to first understand that our ideas about addiction are built atop a deeper fallacy—the idea of normalcy—the notion that there is an unadulterated state of consciousness, a “normal” state where our interpretation of reality is accurate. There are a number of huge problems with this idea. First, we know that ‘consciousness’ is a vast reduction in information. No one is exactly sure … Continue reading Are we addicts all the time on the web?

Apps for managing impulsive shopping

Will consumers adopt a digital finance conscience? What’s wrong with a consumer who eats lunch out every day, prefers Starbucks to the office Keurig coffee machine and splurges on Uber instead of public transportation? Maybe nothing. But Moven, a digital app that combines real-time spending analysis with digital banking capabilities has extended its capabilities to a new smartwatch app that will help consumers determine whether these “splurges” are interfering with their personal financial goals. Moven’s app provides real-time analysis of users’ spending habits and financial health by displaying alerts as soon as any transaction is made. An in-app spending meter … Continue reading Apps for managing impulsive shopping

Gambler’s fallacy makes you unfair

Opinion: The gambler’s fallacy and real-world decisions A new report suggests that the fallacy leads asylum judges, loan officers and baseball umpires to make major mistakes. The result can be serious unfairness. SUPPOSE you’re watching a baseball game, and your favorite player, a terrific hitter with a .320 average, has struck out three times in a row. If you’re like most people, you might think, “He’s due!” — and conclude that on his fourth at-bat, he’s likely to get a hit. Now suppose that you are working in a college admissions office. Your job is to evaluate 200 applicants, about … Continue reading Gambler’s fallacy makes you unfair

How to save energy by changing people

The next energy revolution won’t be in wind or solar. It will be in our brains. In the arid lands of the Mojave Desert, Marine regimental commander Jim Caley traveled alongside a 24-mile stretch of road and saw trucks, tanks and armored tracked vehicles all idling in the heat — and wasting enormous amounts of expensive fuel. Caley had already led forces in Iraq, and at the time was charged with seven battalions comprising 7,000 Marines. But this was a new and different challenge. Overseeing a major spring 2013 training exercise at the Marine Corps’ Twentynine Palms base in southern … Continue reading How to save energy by changing people

How to improve self-control

Hard Work, Hard Times: Self-control and Joblessness A big part of parenting is teaching kids self-control. Yes, sugary snacks do taste good, but even so, we shouldn’t eat them too often. Yes, we know that math homework may not always be fun, but it must come before TV. Yes, soccer practice may seem tedious, but it’s the road to excellence on the field and beyond. And so forth. No parent disputes this. It’s in the manual. Indeed, we’re all expected to take this life lesson on faith. Hard work and effort are virtues worth instilling, and worth having. But what … Continue reading How to improve self-control