Clarity beats accuracy

Quantum Physics for 7 Year Olds
Dominic Walliman
May 24, 2016
In this lighthearted talk Dominic Walliman gives us four guiding principles for easy science communication and unravels the myth that quantum physics is difficult to understand, it’s all in how it’s explained.

1. Start off in the right place. Everyone has a different background, everyone has a different set of knowledge …
2. Don’t go too far down the rabbit hole.
3. Clarity beats accuracy

4. Explain what you think is cool


Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.
A. P. W. B. Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Thinking with External Representations

4. Thinking with External Representations
Autor: David Kirsh
Verlag: Springer International Publishing
Erschienen in: Cognition Beyond the Brain, 2017

Why do people create extra representations to help them make sense of situations, diagrams, illustrations, instructions and problems? The obvious explanation—external representations save internal memory and computation —is only part of the story. I discuss seven ways external representations enhance cognitive power: …

for more on writing therapy:

Single-Tasking Makes You Smarter (2014)

Flex your cortex — 7 secrets to turbocharge your brain
December 2014

Why Single-Tasking Makes You Smarter
By Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D.
Forbes. May 8, 2013

Multitasking is a brain drain that exhausts the mind, zaps cognitive resources and, if left unchecked, condemns us to early mental decline and decreased sharpness. Chronic multitaskers also have increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can damage the memory region of the brain.

… the immediate satisfaction of beeps, dings and buzzes. Each creates an addicting release of dopamine in the brain, which perpetuates the need for speed and ceaseless stimulation, making the cycle more difficult to break.

3 Steps to Single-Tasking:

  • Give your brain some down time.
  • Focus deeply, without distraction.
  • Make a to-do list. Then identify your top two priorities for the day and make sure they are accomplished above all else.


Make Your Brain Smarter (book)

The Flash Crash

How High-Frequency Trading Is Changing Wall Street
January 13, 2011

On May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped hundreds of points in a matter of minutes — and then recovered moments later.

Known as the “flash crash,” the incident sparked congressional hearings as well as an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The two market regulators later issued a joint report in September blaming a single sale — of $4.1 billion in future contracts — for the nosedive.

On the downsides of computers making investment decisions:

“The downside is they don’t have a smell test. They don’t have the basic common sense that most of the rest of us do. So back in May, for instance, we had this incident known as the flash crash, where the stock market plunged over 500 points in the space of about 5 minutes. And no one really knows why that happened.
No one quite understands the mechanisms — the self-snowballing — which caused all of these computer programs to either pile onto the selling or else to just turn off altogether and to say, ‘This is too volatile; we’re leaving the market.’ What we do know is that there were some crazy trades which happened in those five minutes. We had stocks trading for a penny a share or $100 a share, and no human would do that.
What we think is that, left to their own devices, every so often when you have a highly complex system like this, it can just spin out of control, and it’s hard to know when or how or whether a market is going to spin out of control in that way. Most of the time, computerized trading makes things faster and better and more efficient, but sometimes you get these things called tail events — which you couldn’t ever expect — which can cause quite a lot of chaos.”

Algorithms Take Control of Wall Street
seven key factors, including the judgment of his neural network

we create more than we can understand

Augmented intelligence

Big Data and the Rise of Augmented Intelligence
Sean Gourley at TEDxAuckland
Dec 5, 2012

Dr. Sean Gourley is the founder and CTO of Quid. He is a Physicist by training. Sean worked at NASA on self-repairing nano-circuits and is a two-time New Zealand track and field champion. Sean is now based in San Francisco where he is building tools to augment human intelligence.

The top chess players in the world are not humans OR computers, but combinations of humans AND computers.  Gourley argues that the world we are living in is too complex for any single human mind to understand and that we need to team up with machines to make better decisions.

see also: