Why and how do we engage? — Simran Sethi

Why and how do we engage? — Simran Sethi
TEDxCibeles. Jul 12, 2012.

01:20 As a human species we seek two things: agency & comunion Agency is the desire to get ahead, to achieve mastery and to individuate. Communion is the desire to get along and to relate to others.

10:25 psychologists have almost no evidence that information changes people’s decision making. We tend to believe the facts and embrace the facts that already confirm our world view .
It’s called confirmation bias. And we tend to disregard the facts that don’t align with that view.
This is how we make sense of the world.

Psychologist Anthony Leiserowitz says that as a human species, we didn’t evolve to handle the complex problems that we’re seeing today; that we’re still walking around with the same brains that we had 200,000 years ago.

12:10 Risk researcher Paul Slovic says that we start to desensitize after magnitudes of one.

see also:


Paul Slovic, a prominent psychologist in the realm of risk

9 Lessons on How We Engage
February 4, 2013


Edward Tufte Wants You to See Better

Edward Tufte Wants You to See Better
January 18, 2013
Data scientist Edward Tufte (dubbed the “Galileo of graphics” by BusinessWeek) pioneered the field of data visualization. Tufte discusses what he calls “forever knowledge,” and his latest projects: sculpting Richard Feynman’s diagrams, and helping people “see without words.”


02:24 The Thinking Eye
03:30 How ca we see better?
devote all the brain processing power to seeing
I said to my friend “Let’s just not talk”
What happens to seeing, just seeing?
the environment itself should be quiet
seeing better -> thinking more clearly

7:00 The two optic nerves send 20 Megabits/second of information to the brain
7:26 The brain likes to economize.
7:34 If you’re told what to look for, you can’t see anything else.
Confirmation bias
7:49 Once you have a point of view all history will back you up.

teaching <> analytical seeing
Richard Feynman‘s diagrams
information throuput
information resolution
13:32 foreverness of science
forever cognitive tasks: causality, making comparisons, assessing the credibility of a display
~ 19: Nate Silver
19:25 Steve Jobs
You design the surface first, and then you view the software as simply, you know, hey, is there – anybody – any software out there that can solve the problem?
the viewer’s cognitive task
21:08 Is there data that cant’s be visualized well?
No, if you bring an artist
Picasso’s “Guernica,” one of the, you know, best few paintings of the 20th century and probably the best thing about the horror of war ever done, the unspeakable horror of war

The da Vinci of Data
March 30, 1998

In Defense of Nate Silver, Election Pollsters, and Statistical Predictions
By Zeynep Tufekci

Grand truths about human behavior