What to Do When Algorithms Rule The first American astronauts were recruited from the ranks of test pilots, largely due to convenience. As Tom Wolfe describes in his incredible book The Right Stuff, radar operators might have been better suited … Continue reading Using algorithms
The psychology of inequality In 2016, the highest-paid employee of the State of California was Jim Mora, the head coach of U.C.L.A.’s football team. (He has since been fired.) That year, Mora pulled in $3.58 million. Coming in second, with … Continue reading Does equity make us feel richer?
Complexity Bias: Why We Prefer Complicated to Simple Complexity bias is a logical fallacy that leads us to give undue credence to complex concepts. Faced with two competing hypotheses, we are likely to choose the most complex one. That’s usually … Continue reading Is life really simple?
Will You Outlive Your Money? Methuselah was lucky. The Biblical stalwart lived 969 years without any reported money worries. Like him, many Americans now survive to an advanced age—although nowhere near the record set by the man who might have … Continue reading The fear of living longer
Technology Designed for Addiction One of the things that Wade L. Robinson discusses in his book, Engineering Ethics, is the importance of avoiding “error-provocative” designs, in which the technological artifact not only allows for the possibility of human fallibility but … Continue reading The digital feedback loops
Policy shouldn’t rely on economic theory, but on data about actual human behavior The tax overhaul bill before Congress has a professed rationale that rests on economic theory. As neuroscientists who study decision making, we would like to raise a … Continue reading Truly rational policy
Fantastic Beasts and How to Rank Them Consider the yeti. Reputed to live in the mountainous regions of Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal. Also known by the alias Abominable Snowman. Overgrown, in both senses: eight or ten or twelve feet tall; … Continue reading The plausibility of impossible