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The Art of Thinking Clearly

以下很多思想方式都是互相作用影响的。譬如评价一个人一桩事,不能人云亦云-3. Social Proof(前两天有一则在微博上点击率非常高的视频-跳舞的小胖妞,收到众人点赞可长此以往她可能就变成丑人多作怪再一次被众人批评),不能迷信专家-7. Authority Bias,或是明星背书-2. Swimmer’s Body Illusion、14. Chauffeur Knowledge(入戏太深的靳东以及众多的新闻记者/主持人),不要计算沉没成本,包括经济上的-4. Sunk Cost Fallacy和精力上的-21. Endowment Effect(通过马拉松来募集,非常低效的做法),不要相信广告词-11. Story Bias和统计数据-49. Average Problem,不要相信免费午餐-55. Volunteer’s Folly(我从不以为义务劳动是一种善举),不要认为物以稀为贵-23.Scarcity Error。

那到底怎样才能尽可能地正确地评价人或事呢?-75. Feature-Positive Effect,简单地说就是列出负面清单。

 

  1. Survivorship Bias: overestimate their chances of success
  2. Swimmer’s Body Illusion: the models are born attractive and only for this reason are they candidates for cosmetics advertising.  Beauty is a factor for selection and not the result.
  3. Social Proof: roughly termed the herd instinct, dictates that individuals feel they are behaving correctly when they act the same as other people.
  4. Sunk Cost Fallacy: no matter how much you have already invested, only your assessment of the future cost and benefits counts.
  5. Reciprocity: refuse free offers
  6. Confirmation Bias: facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact
  7. Authority Bias
  8. Contrast Effect: we judge something to be beautiful, expensive or large if we have something ugly, check or small in front of us. We have difficulty with absolute judgement.
  9. Availability Bias: we create a picture of the world using the examples that most easily come to mind. This is absurd because in reality things don’t happen more frequently just because we can conceive of them more easily.
  10. It’ll Get Worse Before It Gets Better Fallacy
  11. Story Bias: they give us a false sense of understanding, which inevitably leads us to take bigger risks and urges us to take stroll on thin ice.
  12. Hindsight Bias: hindsight may provide temporary comfort to those overwhelmed by complexity, but as for providing deeper revelations about how the world works, you will benefit by looking your dairy.
  13. Overconfidence Effect: be aware that you tend to overestimate your knowledge. With all plans favour the pessimistic scenario,  you have a chance of judging the situation somewhat realistically.
  14. Chauffeur Knowledge:  knowledge from people who have learned to put on a show, like actor.
  15. Illusion of Control
  16. Incentive Super-Response Tendency: manager invest more energy in trying to lower the targets than in growing the business.
  17. Regression to Mean
  18. Outcome Bias
  19. Less Is More: given the flood of possibilities, is a form of irrational perfectionism. Learn to love a good choice.
  20. Liking Bias: judge a product independent of who is selling it.
  21. Endowment Effect: don’t cling to things. Consider your property something that the universe has bestowed on you temporarily.
  22. Neglect of Probability: the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertain
  23. Scarcity Error: assess products and services solely on the basis of their price and benefits. It should be of no importance if an item is disappearing fast.
  24. Base-Rate Neglect: the tendency to base judgments on specifics, ignoring general statistical information.
  25. Gambler’s Fallacy:  in the real life, all events are often interrelated.
  26. The Anchor
  27. Induction: nothing is certain but death and taxes.
  28. Loss Aversion: we are more sensitive to negative than to positive things. We remember bad behaviour longer than good.
  29. Social Loafing: people behave differently in groups than when alone. It can be mitigated by making individual performances as visible as possible.
  30. Exponential Growth:  magical number 70 (logarithm),  example,  5% inflation 70/5=14. In 14 years, a dollar will be worth only half what it is today
  31. Winner’s Curse: don’t go auction
  32. Fundamental Attribution Error:  the tendency for people to over-emphasize personality-based explanations for behaviours observed in others while under-emphasizing the role and power of situational influences on the same behaviour
  33. False Causality: correlation is not causality. Take a closer look at linked events, and sometimes there is no link at all.
  34. Halo Effect: it obstructs our view of true characteristics. To counteract this, go beyond face value.
  35. Alternative Paths: success that comes about through risky dealing is of less worth than success achieve the boring way.
  36. Forecast Illusion: be critical when you encounter prediction. Don’t publish any more forecasts without giving the pundit’s track record.
  37. Conjunction Fallacy:  the tendency to assume that specific conditions are more probable than general one
  38. Framing:  drawing different conclusions from the same information, depending on how that information is presented.
  39. Action Bias: all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
  40. Omission Bias:  the tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions. When the situation is intelligible, a future misfortune might be averted with direct action, but this insight doesn’t motivates us as much as it should.
  41. Self-Serving Bias: the tendency to claim more responsibility for successes than failures. It may also manifest itself as a tendency for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way beneficial to their interests
  42. Hadonic Treadmill: avoid negative things that you cannot grow accustomed to; expect only short-term happiness from material things; aim for as much free time and autonomy as possible, since long-lasting positive effects generally come from what you actively do.
  43. Self-Selection Bias:
  44. Association Bias: false connection with the past.
  45. Beginner’s Luck:  people who are new to a game and lose in the first few rounds are usually clever enough to fold. But whoever strikes lucky tends to keep going, convinced of their above-average skills, these amateurs increase the stakes.
  46. Cognitive Dissonance: you can play the clever fox all you want, but you’ll never get the grapes that way.
  47. Hyperbolic Discounting:  the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, where the tendency increases the closer to the present both payoffs are.
  48. Contagion Bias: how we are incapable of ignoring the connection we feel to certain items – be they from long ago or only indirectly related.
  49. Average Problem: if someone uses the word average, think twice. Try to work out the underlying distribution. If a single anomaly has almost no influence on the set, the concept is still worth-will. ‘the future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.’
  50. Motivation Crowding : when people do something for well-meaning, payments throw a wrench into the works. Financial reward erodes any other motivations.
  51. Twaddle Tendency: verbal expression is the mirror of the mind. Clear thoughts become clear statements, whereas ambiguous ideas transform into vacant ramblings. ‘if you have nothing to say, say nothing.’
  52. Information Bias: superfluous knowledge is worthless, whether you know it or not. ‘the greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.’.
  53. Effort Justification: whenever you have invested a lot of time and effort into something, stand back and examine the result – only the result.
  54. Simple Logic: participants with low CRT results tend to believe in God and the immortality of soul. This makes sense, the more intuitively people make decisions, the less rationally they query religious beliefs.
  55. Volunteer’s Folly: personal benefits such as gaining skills, experience, and contacts also play a big part.  Anyone who profits or feels even the slightest satisfaction from volunteering is not a pure altruist.
  56. Affect Heuristic: we are puppets of our emotions. We make complex decisions by consulting our feelings, not our thoughts.
  57. Introspection Illusion: nothing is more convincing than your own beliefs. First, it creates inaccurate prediction of future mental states. Second, we believe that our introspections are more reliable than those of others, which creates an illusion of superiority.
  58. Sleeper Effect: after a few weeks, you won’t remember if you picked up certain information from a well-researched article or from a tacky advertorial. First, don’t accept any unsolicited advice. Second, avoid ad-contaminated sources. Third, try to remember the source of every argument you encounter.
  59. Social Comparison Bias: the tendency, when making hiring decisions, to favour potential candidates who don’t compete with one’s own particular strengths
  60. Primacy and Recency Effects: the greater ease of recall of initial items in a sequence compared to items in the middle of the sequence. First and last impression dominate, meaning that the content sandwiched between has only a weak influence.
  61. Not-Invented-Here Syndrome: we are drunk on our own ideas. To sober up, take a step back every now and them to examine their quality in hindsight.
  62. The Black Swan: is an unthinkable event that massively affects your life. There are positive and negative black swans.
  63. Domain Dependence: what you master in one area is difficult to transfer to another. Especially daunting is the transfer from academia to real life. Book smarts doesn’t transfer to street smarts easily.
  64. False-Consensus Effect: the tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which others agree with them.
  65. In-Group Out-Group Bias: the tendency for people to give preferential treatment to others they perceive to be members of their own groups
  66. Ambiguity Aversion: the tendency to avoid options for which missing information makes the probability seem “unknown.”  Must understand the difference between risk and uncertainty. Only in very few areas can we count on clear probabilities
  67. Default Effect: reveal that we have a strong tendency to cling to the way things are, even if this puts us at a disadvantage. By changing the default setting, you can change human behaviour.
  68. Fear of Regret: tricks you into thinking this was one-time offer.
  69. Salience Effect: we tend to neglect hidden slow-to-develop discrete factors, and be blinded by irregularities.
  70. House-Money Effect: be careful if you win money or if a business gives you something for free. Chances are you will pay it back with interest out of sheer exuberance.
  71. Envy: the subject of envy is a thing; the subject of jealousy is the behaviour. Envy needs two people, jealous requires three.
  72. Planning Fallacy: the tendency to underestimate task-completion times. First, wishful thinking. We want to be successful and achieve everything we take on. Second, we focus too much on the project and overlook outside influences.
  73. Deformation Professionnelle: if your only tool is a hammer, all you problem will be nails. It becomes hazardous when people apply their specialised processes in areas where they don’t belong.
  74. Skill Illusion: certain people make a living from their abilities, such as pilots, plumbers. In other areas, skill is necessary but not critical, as with entrepreneurs and leaders. Finally, chance is the deciding factor in a number of fields, such as in financial markets.
  75. Feature-Positive Effect: we have problems perceiving non-events. We are blinded to what does not exist. The greatest philosophical question is why does something and not nothing exist?

 

认知偏差

认知偏差

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难说再见

超市货架商品琳琅满目。譬如雀巢速溶袋装就有几十种,更不用说罐装的,瓶装的,胶囊的,咖啡豆的,磨成粉的,浓度不一的,口味不一的,品牌不一的。即便每天喝不同的咖啡,估计一辈子可能也尝不完。依此类推,茶叶,美食,书籍,服饰……这着实让人焦虑。

Jam Study -More Isn't Always Better

Jam Study -More Isn’t Always Better

所以有专家认为与其花钱买东西不如买经历更容易让人快乐,并有很多测试作旁证。个人不太同意这种说法。其一,物质和经历并不是水火不相容。比方说收集名贵皮包一定会被归纳进物质吧,然而搭配照镜子时的好心情路人羡慕的目光同事的赞美对细节的如数家珍等等难道不是种经历么?再比方说出国旅行,它也不只是单纯的经历啊,至少要准备照相机/旅行袋/旅游鞋,还要购买食物/饮料/纪念品,这些可都是实体。其二,经历和物质一样也可以用来攀比。名牌皮包有价格标签,出国旅行也有价格标签。名牌皮包可以拍照上传到社交媒体,出国旅行也可以拍照上传到社交媒体。名牌皮包如雀巢咖啡无穷无尽,出国目的地也是无穷无尽。我以为快乐的根源是来自惊讶来自意外,这或许才是经历险胜实体的缘故。在购买名牌皮包前所有能带来的欢乐都在意料之中,而出国旅行哪怕是中规中矩的跟团游,也会有事故有惊喜让你意犹未尽。譬如吃饭吧唧嘴的大叔给晕车小朋友让了座,譬如坐错了车耽误了行程却看见别样的风景。

一口气看完Goodbye, things,因为搬过好几次家扔东西对我来说并不太难,可多年收藏的CD、磁带、书信和书籍还是有些舍不得。譬如小说书每本封面都有爸爸手写的书名;譬如贺年卡寄卡人早就消失在人生路上了。作者的方法是统统扫描数字化,但我是悲观主义者我会担心硬盘网盘突然不工作了……


55 tips to help you say goodbye to your things

  1. Discard the preconception that you can’t discard your things.
  2. Discarding something takes skill.
  3. When you discard something, you gain more than you lose.
  4. Ask yourself why you can’t part with your things.
  5. Minimizing is difficult, but it’s not impossible.
  6. There are limits to the capacity of your brain, your energy, and your time.
  7. Discard something right now.
  8. There isn’t a single item you’ll regret throwing away.
  9. Start with things that are clearly junk.
  10. Minimize anything you have in multiples.
  11. Get rid of it if you haven’t used it in a year.
  12. Discard it if you have it for the sake of appearance.
  13. Differentiate between things you want and things you need.
  14. Take photo of the items that are tough to part with.
  15. It’s easier to revisit your memories once you go digital.
  16. Our things are like roommates, except we pay their rent.
  17. Organizing is not minimizing.
  18. Tackle the nest (storage) before the pest (clutter).
  19. Leave your “unused” space empty.
  20. Let go of the ideal of “someday”.
  21. Say goodbye to who you used to be.
  22. Discard the things you have already forgotten about.
  23. Don’t get creative when you’re trying to discard things.
  24. Let go of the idea of getting your money’s worth.
  25. There’s no need to stock up.
  26. Feeling the spark of joy will help you focus.
  27. Auction services are a quick way to part with your possessions.
  28. Use auctions to take one last look at your things.
  29. Use a pickup service to get rid of your possessions.
  30. Don’t get hung up on the prices that you initially paid.
  31. Think of stores as your personal warehouses.
  32. The city is our personal floor plan.
  33. Discard any possessions that you can’t discuss with passion.
  34. If you lost it, would you buy it again?
  35. If you can’t remember how many presents you’ve given, don’t worry about the gifts you’ve gotten.
  36. Try to imagine what the person who passed away would have wanted.
  37. Discarding memorabilia is not the same as discarding memories.
  38. Our biggest items trigger chain reactions.
  39. Our homes aren’t museums; they don’t need collections.
  40. Be social; be a borrower.
  41. Rent what can be rented.
  42. Social media can boost your minimizing motivation
  43. What if you started from scratch?
  44. Say “see you later” before you say goodbye.
  45. Discard anything that creates visual noise.
  46. One in, one out.
  47. Avoid the Concorde fallacy.
  48. Be quick to admit mistakes. They help you grow.
  49. Think of buying as renting.
  50. Don’t buy it because it’s cheap. Don’t take it because it’s free.
  51. If it’s not a “hell, yes!” it’s a “no.”
  52. The things we really need will always find their way back to us.
  53. Keep the gratitude.
  54. Discarding things can be wasteful. But the guilt that keeps you from minimizing is the true waste.
  55. The things we say goodbye to are the things we’ll remember forever.

15 more tips for the next stage of your minimalist journey

  1. Fewer things does not mean less satisfactions.
  2. Find your unique uniform.
  3. We find our originality when we own less.
  4. Discard it if you’ve thought about doing so five times.
  5. If you’ve develop your minimalist skills, you can skip the “see you later” stage.
  6. A little inconvenience can make us happier.
  7. Discard it even if it sparks joy.
  8. Minimalism is freedom – the sooner your experience it, the better.
  9. Discarding things may leave you with less, but it will never make you a lesser person.
  10. Question the conventional ways you’re expected to use things.
  11. Don’t think. Discard!
  12. Minimalism is not a competition. Don’t boast about how little you have. Don’t judge someone who has more than you.
  13. The desire to discard and the desire to possess are flip sides of the same coin.
  14. Find you own minimalism.
  15. Minimalism is a method and a beginning.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

排队了一个多月,我才借到了这本比尔·盖茨推荐的书,有部分内容和前传重叠,只挑些不同且有意思的观点。

作者预言人类将告别饥荒,瘟疫和战争,并踏上追寻不朽,幸福和成仙的道路。

2013年Google成立了一家名为Calico的子公司,专门研究长生不老术 。从2000多年前始皇帝痴傻疯癫遍访仙山,再又编派出无数个神仙思凡的传说进行自我催眠,后来又一本正经地胡说八道出很多死亡的意义,小到活着太久不免孤单,大到生命有限才更为贵重。人类向来就有自圆其说的本事,最悲苦的死别都能吹成大欢喜,更何况是还有回转余地的逆境挫折,譬如天降大任于斯人也,必先苦其心志;譬如失败是成功之母;譬如塞翁失马焉知非福。所以聪明人就千万不要问为那些为孩子付出很多心力的夫妇生孩子好不好;不要问那些背了一身债的留学生留学好不好;不要问那些缴了很多咨询费的来访者心理咨询的疗效好不好。

虽然我贪生怕死,但我百分百相信科技达人将和秦始皇一样在作无用功。不过科技或许能够延长平均寿命到作者假设的150岁(可惜,我们这一代肯定等不及)。作者说如此一来就会产生出很多意想不到的新问题:除了显而易见得终生学习工作百年外,3-40岁养育孩子的艰辛和欢乐也就成为遥远模糊的回忆了,还有那些最忠诚的天主教徒大概也很难在婚姻中作到不离不弃“直到死亡才能将我们分开”。这一誓词出自《圣经》,想来当时天灾人祸频繁,相守一生可能也只够得找银婚。

作者用草坪来阐释学习历史的好处。他说你看很多人会不假思索地在前院铺上一无是处却需精心维护的草坪。寻根问底是模仿古时皇孙贵族的摆阔来凸显屋主的政治/经济/社会地位。学习过这一段历史后,以后设计花园时就再也不会拘泥于草坪了,你会发现假山池塘等等也都是不错的候选项。总而言之尽管无法完全脱离时代的限制,可你不再不假思索地人云亦云。然而,学习历史知识也存在一个悖论。比方讲,英法资本家也识字,他们熟读马克思后便及时调整了行为处事:如提高工人福利赋予工人投票权,增强民族归属感工人和资本家都是Us而不是Them等等。换句话说,《资本论》确实精准地总结出当时资本逐利的运作方式,可惜研究对象也随之拿出了对应办法,这本巨著便立刻失去了提纲挈领的先锋地位。我们越了解过去,越迅速变革,历史发展就越快地脱离了预计的轨道,原先掌握的知识就不再管用了。

Ultimatum Game在以前的Blog里提过,我想到的就是难怪我这种理性人老是吃闷亏。而作者却引申出假如博弈双方不再是1个人而是100个1000个千千万万个人结果还会是一样地么?他用古埃及或18世纪普鲁士的君主签订不平等条约作了回应。想来这是集体主义难以全面开花的又一个原因吧。

Cold-water experiment——诺奖获得者Daniel Kahneman 让被试经历两种不好的体验:一是把手泡在14摄氏度的冷水里持续一分钟;另一个则是在完成第一步骤后再多泡上半分钟,不过这一次冷水要稍暖些为15摄氏度。单凭想象大多数人会认为前一种要比后一种好受一点;然而经历过这两种体验后有70%的被试却给出相反的选择。这个实验证明人类的生理结构大概就无法做到心灵鸡汤所要求的活在当下领略每一个存在片刻(原文:experiencing self);我们的脑子更爱走捷径/偏门,通过抓取峰值和终点(原文:peak-end rule)两点囊括一段经历(原文:narrating self )。庆幸自己坚持写日记/Blog,不然临死前所能咀嚼的就只剩下他乡遇故知和曲终人散时这两个节点了。还有很多人在弥留之际会遗憾自己太过忽略家庭婚姻……,也许并不是他们真地做得不够而是experiencing self没能被唤醒。

比尔·盖茨在书评中否定高科技会拉大贫富差距的论点,他说医疗进步的受惠面有先有后但时间差是在越缩越短。作者则不那么乐观,他认为之前的医学主攻方向是治病救人而未来的目标是打造出更快更高更强更美更聪明的超人(原文:superhuman,比尔·盖茨这般富人才有财力时时与科技同步)。另外,20世纪普及医保义务教育等是因为工业大生产/战争等都需要源源不断的健康且有基本素养的劳动力(副产品还包括男女平等),而未来有超人有人工智能有强大的数据库就根本不需要这么多在历史演化路上可有可无的普通人。可悲的是,芸芸众生还鲜有意识到自己最宝贵的价值是为大数据平台添砖加瓦,为拿一个免费电邮账户看一段搞笑视频,不假思索地贱卖自己的网络足迹。再有,人类不会因为环境污染就停止经济发展,譬如北京空气不好?厂家反而从中看到了无线商机——空气净化器,然而只就不假思索地有富人才有相应的购买力。这些因素共同推动了两级进一步分化。最后,作者预测超人会像现在管理家畜一样来管理普通人(前两天新闻报道,猪不仅是人类盘中餐还将成为器官移植的供体)。

数字化过程是循序渐进的,拜数字教(原文:The Data Religion)和其他宗教一样也得聚沙才成塔,身在其中很难完全看清楚。譬如《辛德勒名单》,虽然葡萄牙政府召回了乱敲橡皮图章的外交官,但其他国家就认这个图章而不是人,那些拿到签证的犹太人都顺顺利利地出海关(办过公证开过证明的我表示此言不虚);回过头再看,譬如上医院,现在谁是医生谁是病人越来越不重要了,安排个全身检查测量出一行行的数据就能得出病症再开方下药。

如果在澳洲的话,点这个链接可测试出你的工作可智能化的百分比>>

我们不假思索地让渡权力给智能机器,中有很多人还特焦虑特怕跟不上,拼命连上数据库唯恐遭遗弃,和他们交流会发现永远只在新生事物中打转——谈中印对峙,谈特朗普的不靠谱,谈可燃冰,谈韩春雨,谈机器人,就是不谈自己的所思所感。吊诡的是,一边全身心拥抱信息时代一边又要把超人降临比作世界末日。

截图是上海广播电台《市民与社会》的讨论话题,更不消说微博的热门话题

截图是上海广播电台《市民与社会》的讨论话题,更不消说微博的热门话题

结尾处,作者提出三个问题让读者继续思考

  1. Are organisms really just algorithms, and is life really just data processing?
  2. What’s more valuable – intelligence or consciousness?
  3. What will happen to society, politics and daily life when non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms know us better than we know ourselves?

 

  1. 是,都是。虽说美与不美,全在观者(原文:Beauty is in the eye of the beholder), 然而即便是非常小众的审美也能找得到共鸣。譬如Marcel Duchamp的 ‘Fountain’

    Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’

    再从自身经验来看,我沮丧地发现所有自以为独特的感触领悟其实早就被他人(甚至众人)给精妙地描绘出来。之所以不晓得是因为书读得太少!
    最后从生理角度来看,所谓创意也并非无中生有空穴来风。下文选自Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst,创意来自与观察更来自与脑神经。

    选自Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

    选自Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

    因此我选择相信人生是有蓝本有套路的,而那些机器人无法拥有的品质如自我意识也许和死亡意义一样不过是人类共同想象体(原文: Intersubjective level )。缺乏自主性也不完全是坏事,对我来讲至少能大大降低对死亡的恐惧感。

  2. 那要先回答哪一个更看重,是公正效率还是自由民主?有大V曾对波伏娃的《第二性》增字解经,表示要实现男女平等就得取消女性的基本生活保障让她们无依无傍。从侧面映照出当今的物质财富还不够分配,所以我认为公正效率更要紧,智力优于意识。不太明白为什么有些地方会把consciousness翻译成良心,consciousness是对自己内心/外在环境的一个觉知。我以为意识和智力并不是鱼和熊掌的关系,它们是相辅相成的,能准确作出判断/定位的通常都是聪明人。
  3. 社会上组织架构扁平化,按需分配单一化。
    政治上除超人外,实现人人平等;但少数人的政治诉求得不到优先处理,如同性争取结婚合法化(澳大利亚可能要进行全民投票,所需花费高达1.22亿)。
    生活上每天大概只需工作2,3个小时就能衣食无忧;但智商退步因为事事顺遂。

 

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

对一个医学门外汉来说,这本书尤其是整个第二章不太好读。其实应该从附录看起,因为作者特意编写了有关神经科学内分泌及蛋白质的基础知识以便理解。

作者引用了以下这个寓言来概括出驱动行为的动因有很多:基因文化环境等共同作用,而科学家目前还只能在光亮处找链接。

一个叫莫拉的人,在大街上找东西。他的朋友看到了,问他,“莫拉,你在找什么?”“找钥匙”,他说。“我来帮你找!”朋友说着,也蹲在地上到处找。“莫拉,你记得钥匙掉在哪个角落吗?”“我在屋子里掉的”,他说。“那你在大街上找什么?”朋友责怪他。“因为街上比较亮啊!”

 

  • It’s great if your frontal cortex lets you avoid temptation, allowing you to do the harder, better thing. But it’s usually more effective if doing that better thing has become so automatic that it isn’t hard. And it’s often easiest to avoid temptation with distraction and reappraisal rather than willpower.
  • While it’s cool that there’s so much plasticity in the brain, it’s no surprise – it has to work that way.
  • Childhood adversity can scar everything from our DNA to our cultures, and effects can be lifelong, even multigenerational. However, more adverse consequences can be reversed than used to be thought. But the longer you wait to intervene, the harder it will be. //一想到“寒门难出贵子”的舆论,我就汗毛倒竖,给所有孩子基本的生活学习保障本就应该是整个社会应当承担的责任,而不是光指责不作为的家长没良心的商家。
  • Brains and cultures coevolve.
  • Things that seem morally obvious and intuitive now weren’t necessarily so in the past; many stared with nonconforming reasoning. //作者举例了美国黑奴制度。
  • Repeatedly, biological factors don’t so much cause a behaviour as modulate and sensitize, lowering thresholds for environmental stimuli to cause it.
  • Cognition and affect always interact. What’s interesting is when one dominates.
  • Genes have different effects in different environments; a hormone can make you nicer or crummier, depending on your values; we haven’t evolved to be ‘selfish’ or ‘altruistic’ or anything else-we’ve evolved to be particular ways in particular settings. Context, context, context.
  • Biologically, intense love and intense hate aren’t opposites. The opposite of each is indifference. //爱的反义词不是恨,而是冷漠,现在有了生理依据。
  • Adolescence shows us that the most interesting part of the brain evolved to be shaped minimally by genes and maximally by experience; that’s how we learn-context, context, context.

    青少年确实不能自已地会在情绪上大起大落。

    青少年确实不能自已地会在情绪上大起大落。

  • Arbitrary boundaries on continua can be helpful. But never forget that they are arbitrary.
  • Often we’re more about the anticipation and pursuit of pleasure than about the experience of it.//所以我们现在不容易开心了,因为再也不需要等一年才能吃上一碗黑洋酥猪油汤团……
  • You can’t understand aggression without understanding fear (and what the amygdala has to do with both).
  • Genes aren’t about inevitabilities; they’re about potentials and vulnerabilities. And they don’t determine anything on their own. Gene/environment interactions are everywhere. Evolution is most consequential when altering regulation of genes, rather than genes themselves.
  • We implicitly divide the world into Us and Them, and prefer the former. We are easily manipulated, even subliminally and within seconds, as to who counts as each. //有些 Us /Them显而易见,譬如家人/陌生人譬如男人/女人;有些则莫名其妙,譬如穿Prada/不穿Prada譬如司机/女司机
  • We aren’t chimps, and we aren’t bonobos, we’re not a classic pair-bonding species or a tournament species. We’ve evolved to be somewhere in between in these and other categories that are clear-cut in other animals. It makes us a much more malleable and resilient species. It also makes our social lives much more confusing and messy, filled with imperfection and wrong turns.

    作者说人类在两者之间,我觉得作者心地善良,怎么看都更接近Tournament。

    作者说人类在两者之间,我觉得作者心地善良,怎么看都更接近Tournament。

  • The homunculus has clothes.
  • While traditional nomadic hunter-gatherer life over hundreds of thousands of years might have been a little on the boring side, it certainly wasn’t ceaselessly bloody. In the years since most humans abandoned a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, we’ve obviously invented many things. One of the most interesting and challenging social systems is where we can be surrounded by strangers and can act anonymously.
  • Saying a biological system works ‘well’ is a value-free assessment; it can take discipline, hard work, and willpower to accomplish either something wondrous or something appalling. ‘doing the right thing’ is always context dependent.
  • Many of our best moments of morality and compassion have roots far deeper and older than being mere products of human civilization.
  • Be dubious about someone who suggests that other types of people are like little crawly, infectious things. //一个简单易行的鉴人方法。
  • When humans invented socioeconomic status, they invented a way to subordinate like nothing that hierarchical primates had ever seen before. //上周《海上畅谈》有位大学副教授举例说‘女同学在朋友圈里秀喜茶鲍师傅’~~连这个也能分成Us/Them
  • ‘Me’ versus ‘us’ (being prosocial within your group) is easier than ‘us’ versus ‘them’ (prosociality between groups). //同上
  • It’s not great if someone believes it’s okay for people to do some horrible, damaging act. But more of the world’s misery arises from people who, of course, oppose that horrible act…but cite some particular circumstances that should make them exceptions. The road to hell is paved with rationalization.
  • The certainty with which we act now might seem ghastly not only to future generations but to our future selves as well.
  • Neither the capacity for fancy, rarefied moral reasoning nor for feeling great empathy necessarily translates into actually doing something difficult, brave, and compassionate.
  • People kill and are willing to be killed for symbolic sacred values. Negotiations can make peace with Them; understanding and respecting the intensity of their sacred values can make lasting peace.
  • We are constantly being shaped by seemingly irrelevant stimuli, subliminal information, and internal forces we don’t know a thing about.
  • Our worst behaviors, ones we condemn and punish, are the products of our biology. But don’t forget that the same applies to our best behaviors.
  • Individuals no more exceptional than the rest of us provide stunning examples of our fines moments as humans.
  • This hostility toward someone being overly generous is because they’re going to up the ante, and soon everyone will be expected to be generous. Unequal cultures make people less kind, and less healthy, more crime and violence.//惩罚违反公序良俗的好理解,但为什么还有些社会反而花大力气惩罚善举呢?因为那些大善人提高了做好事的标准。

    以社会资本来看,我们成都超过韩国的首尔,赞

    以社会资本来看,我们成都超过韩国的首尔,赞

  • Despite the conservative nightmare of class warfare, of the poor rising up to slaughter the wealthy, when inequality fuels violence, it is mostly the poor preying on the poor. //配这条微博作为解释,穷人的日子确实很难过。

     It happens because so many of them are part of the same class – an exalted and privileged class. They are professionals and they believe in the things that so many other professional groups believe in: consensus, “realism”, credentialing, the wisdom of their fellow professionals and (of course) the stupidity of the laity.

    It happens because so many of them are part of the same class – an exalted and privileged class. They are professionals and they believe in the things that so many other professional groups believe in: consensus, “realism”, credentialing, the wisdom of their fellow professionals and (of course) the stupidity of the laity. These people are out of touch with their own life experiences. For all their training and expertise, as well as their obvious empathy in many cases, they raised in comfort and privilege can’t possibly understand what it’s like to live in certain circumstances.

 

 

The Art of Loving

写书评的几个读者似乎都用错了力。他们不约而同集中火力指责作者把爱情局限在男欢女爱里,可却忘记当时同性恋是一种病得治。若真要以政治正确来评价作者的话,他确实不太合格,但问题不是出在上面, 而是用man指代了男人又等同于human概括掉了全人类。吊诡的是,这些咬文嚼字看似很顶真且英语是母语的读者却没有一个看得见。

作者是大名鼎鼎的弗洛姆,看过心理学的应该都知道吧。他的另一本著作更加有名叫《逃避自由》,中心大意是虽然现代人好像是自己的主人,然而无论是生活工作学习休闲其实都身不由己。譬如,宣传平等的初衷是为了不论男女老少人人都能变得整齐划一如此这般才可以保证“缺了谁机器都能转”。在择偶上,弗洛姆认为大家面对的也是同样的一个幻象,以为在自由恋爱在从心所欲,可自己的理想对象也恰恰是被社会给规范定义好的了。譬如从改革开放时的寻找高仓健再到后来的文艺青年再到今天的霸道总裁。标杆是表象跟着时代发展会演化,内核却更骇人,和商品/劳动力市场的交换方式一模一样,即根据自身条件尽可能地在婚姻市场上换购到利益最大化的伴侣。

Two persons thus fall in love when they feel they have found the best object available on the market, considering the limitations of their own exchange values.

作者心目中的爱是一门艺术,和掌握绘画、音乐一样也要得经过理论和实践,但至关重要的前提是要有成为大师的强烈愿望。

随后又将爱细分成5类,分别是Brotherly love , Motherly love, Erotic love, Self-love 和Love of God。想不到的是,作者会用盲人摸象来说明东方宗教的独特性。第一次读这个成语时自己还是个有口无心的小学生,很多年后再听见一个外国人解文说字别有一番意味。

父母之爱对人的成长很重要,但灵魂要达到健康成熟的基础还须把这爱与自身融合一体。母爱是无条件的,但有一个无法控制的前提——必须是母亲的儿女。父爱是有条件的,不过却可以通过取悦模仿等方式来争取到。大概现在熊孩子多也因为所有亲人给予的爱都是无差别无条件的。前几日看电影Collateral Beauty,主题是帮助父亲走出女儿早夭的阴影。我比较悲观,想既然有collateral beauty,就一定有collateral damage。比方说后来夫妻俩又迎来一条新生命开始全心全意照顾小朋友,当某天再打开影碟机看到大女儿在扁扁的一帧帧图像中欢笑蹦跶是不是会惊觉出即便是世界上最无私、最伟大、最真挚的父母之爱原来也是可以遗忘转移完全放下的!只从这一假设来思考,我就信服作者说如果爱只是与一两个特定的人建立关联,那么就根本无法克服与生俱来的孤寂分离和恐惧。可是我仍然没有信念自己终可以圆满地步入博爱的崇高境界,据作者说这才是对付生存焦虑的唯一武器。

至于爱的实践,篇幅非常短,有点象冥想有点象放之四海而皆准的套路——即 patience, concentration, art of listening 和overcoming narcissism。

快到结尾处有一段不太起眼的评论,似乎与本书的主旨关系也不太大,但我却非常喜欢。

I should add…that just as it is important to avoid trivial conversation, it is important to avoid bad company. By bad company I do not refer only to people who are vicious and destructive; one should avoid their company because their orbit is poisonous and depressing. I mean also the company of zombies, of people whose soul is dead, although their body is alive, of people whose thoughts and conversation are trivial; who chatter instead of talk, and who assert cliché opinions instead of thinking.

文中提及的trivial conversation不是指话题的鸡毛蒜皮,而是指没有真情实感。头头是道宏观叙事若是缺乏真意那就是trivial conversation。翻译成通俗易懂的大白话大概就是吃别人嚼过的馍不会香。今天日报上刊登出一整版的新书推荐do nothing,在我看来可以归纳进trivial conversation,因为弗洛姆早在这本书里把其中的道理全给讲透了。他说:

Modern man thinks he loses something – time – when he does not do things quickly. Yet he does not know what to do with the time he gains, except kill it.

How should a man caught up in this net of routine not forget that he is a man, a unique individual, one who is given only this one chance of living, with hopes and disappointments, with sorrow and fear, with the longing for love and the dread of the nothing and separateness?

The Art of Frugal Hedonism

看完这本热门书挺感慨。当我们这里越来越多的人说“我家里没有热水瓶”,“速溶咖啡象泥巴水”,“没有车子生活半径就缩小了一大半”……而老外却开始学习节俭,譬如出门尽量靠11路尽量不买饮料,吃自己种的菜散步锻炼时也不忘拣邻居家成熟的果子留意扔在门口的旧物。

虽然不止一次看到面包店快打烊时店员把卖剩的统统倒进垃圾桶,但我还是鼓不起勇气敢像作者那样直接问店家要。虽然我每天连走带跑大概10公里,但仍不觉得半夜三更奔袭40公里看日出是一种愉悦身心的旅行。虽然这里的水电费比上海贵出许多,但我也不会因此不用洗衣机而是晒日光浴来清洁衣服。不过也有几个观点我很赞同。首先不要为了环保而购物。大到升级电动车小到买布衣收纳箱。其次修修补补又三年。电器好似黑箱让人望而却步,其实它们并不神秘,重启电源清洁内腔拧紧螺丝很多问题便自动消失。以下是维修流程图。

修理小家电的简易说明书

修理小家电的简易说明书

第三是购物前请三思而后行。也许小玩意小工具带来便利,可节省下来的时间又花到哪儿去了呢?如果只是上网看电视无所事事的话那还不如挽起袖子自己动手,DIY中的发现乐趣和技能会让你充实。这可能也是年味越过越淡的一个原因吧。再则购物引发的快乐其实很虚幻,因为聪明的广告商早就巧妙地把商品和哲人Epicurus(就是享乐主义者伊壁鸠鲁)所提出的快乐人生三元素friendship, freedom, and time for contemplation暗暗地联系在一起了。

接下来的一点是和朋友做交易。作者说的交易不是指合伙开生意或是卖产品给熟人,而是物物交换。比方说A常常问B借铲子,得知B需要一台电脑后A把自己快要淘汰的送给B;或者A出力帮B搬家,有绘画技能的B则送给A一幅自己的写生。自然不是每次交换都能成功,但在一来一往中双方不仅仅只是减少了对金钱的依赖而且还加深了友谊。对此我很有共鸣。国内朋友C常常帮助收发手机验证码,交往频率随之变高,关系也从互换问候到探讨三观,渐渐地C也不再是朋友而变成知己了。书中再次引用了Epicurus对友谊的一个解释。“Friendship as something which starts from a point of need, or from the hope of mutual benefit, but then grows into sheer pleasure at having the other person in one’s life. Friendship without some element of mutual need as being somewhat vacuous.”  读到粗体部分心里也有暖意,世间有你真好。

作者推荐

旅行不想住/住不起旅店的话

边旅行边打工

旅行信息汇总

  • wikitravel.org

别人不要的东西或许正是你所需要的(两个网站对比了下,freecycle的成员和物品要多的多)

DIY/小修小补说明书

两张时令菜谱

Chilled Zucchini, Purslane and Basil Soup ( Purslane是一种澳洲野菜 )

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 small zucchini (about 1 1/4 Kgs), thingly sliced
  • 2 cups purslane
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Steps

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and salt and cook over moderate heat until soft and translucent.
  2. Stir in the thyme and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the sliced zucchini and the purslane, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add 3 cups of the water and bring to a boil, then remove the saucepan from the heat.
  5. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the basil.
  6. Add 2 cups of cold water, then allow the soup to cool a little further.
  7. Puree the soup until very smooth. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours until thoroughly chilled.
  8. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Ladle into shallow bowls and decorate with a few purslane sprigs and zucchini shavings if you like.
  10. Add a drizzle of olive oil and some cracked pepper and serve.

 

Vegemite Gravy

Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Onion, very finely chopped (optional, garlic or mushrooms)
  • Plain flour
  • Stock made from meat/vegetable scraps
  • Vegemite or soy sauce
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Rosemary or thyme
  • Salt & pepper

Steps

  1. Melt know of butter in a fry-pan over medium heat, and fry onions gently until really soft, then remove them from the pan.
  2. Melt a small knob of butter in pan, then remove from heat.
  3. Slowly mix a spoonful of flour into the butter to make a paste.
  4. Return pan to a low heat and quickly start stirring in some stock until have something with a consistency like cream.
  5. Add about a teaspoon of Vegemite, a dash of wine, the rosemary, garlic or mushrooms, and some salt and pepper.
  6. Cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, or until thick and tasty.

 

 

理财

每次看当地报纸上登载的理财秘籍,我忍不住地就会笑出声。可能自己深受上海市井斤斤计较的言传身教,澳人所谓的省钱妙招,在我们上海土著看来非常非常小儿科。譬如不要到店里买咖啡,投资台胶囊机在家里也能有一样的好口福;譬如带午饭去上班,出去吃浪费时间和金钱;譬如不要空着肚子去超市,选购商品时不要注意力把集中在与视线相平行的货架上…………

不过这本书倒是让我大开眼界。在我们勤俭节约的中国人慢慢开始接受信用卡时(猜想大家都听说过中外两老太太在天堂交流买房经验的故事吧),这位土生土长的澳洲人却要求大家珍惜生命,远离贷款,并引用了 Warren Buffet的名句来再三强调。

Stay away from debt. If you’re smart, you don’t need it. If you’re dumb you got no business using it.

我喜欢作者的另一个原因是他的见义勇为,前不久他在报刊专栏上说自己拉上一个掉进类似传销沼泽里单身母亲。不像有些理财专家,总是言语的巨人,行动的矮子。

这本理财书很畅销,在图书馆大概于第二时间排了队,拿到的号码是78。

读后受益良多,不过有些似乎和中国特色相违背。譬如他说相比炒股,房子要在同一时期翻2倍几乎不太可能,而上海的房子在最近十几年都涨了数倍。再譬如他说炒股票要做长线,而在帮朋友的朋友的朋友(我可没有富朋友)翻译Business Plan时,财富积累几乎是一夜间,其中短期炒股功不可没,两三天就能盈利40多万。

 

以下是对理财书的总结,面向的是在澳洲定居的:

三只财富桶

三只财富桶

The Blow Bucket (100% of your take home pay)

2 * everyday transaction accounts – call them ‘Daily Expenses’ 60% and ‘Splurge’ 10% (short-term enjoyment, e.g. meal) and get an ATM card for each (ING Orange Everyday Debit Card, 特地去比较网对比了其他的银行卡,虽然不是独此一家免收手续费但它给的利息确实是最高的)

Daily Expense

  • Home loan: 30%
  • Utilities (power, gas, water, broadband, phones): 5-10%
  • Insurance: 5%
  • Food: 5-10%

2* online savings accounts – call them ‘Smile’10% (long-term enjoyment, e.g. trip)  and ‘Fire Extinguisher’ 20% and link them both to ‘Daily Expenses’ (ING Savings Maximisers)

Insurance

  • Go to privatehealth.gov.au to compare policies
  • Hospital-only cover, not purchase extras or combined, stay away from iSelect
  • Top level cover
  • A $500 excess(如遭遇理赔时,你得自己担负500刀,剩下的才有保险公司负担)
  • To make a co-payment for each day you spend in hospital because it’ll reduce your premium

The Mojo Bucket

1* online savings account with a different institution – call it ‘Mojo’.  Set it up with an initial $2000 deposit.

GOAL

  • Boost to three months of living expenses in case of an emergency.  The Blow Bucket*3 from your Fire Extinguisher Account.

 

The Grow Bucket  (Super + Investments)

Super

  • Go gov.au/superseeker, and put in your name, address and tax file number,to search for lost and unclaimed super
  • When you choose new low-cost super fund, ask them to do it for you. (作者推荐的Hostplus Indexed Balanced Fund,0.02%/Year + $78.50 admin fee 比我的管理费更低,收益率更高)
  • Boost super to 15 percent of your gross wage as ‘salary sacrifice’ after pay off mortgage

SMSF Lite

Buy shares when you’ve got the money. Sell your shares when you need the money.

  • Contact your existing super fund and ask them if they have a direct investment option. If they do, get them to send out their charges and terms and conditions.
  • Search industry funds. Look out for three things: fee, insurance options and investment features. Normally, they’ll start at around $180 a year.
  • Hostplus provides ‘ChoicePlus’, need a minimum of $10000 to start, and at least $2000 must be kept in one of Hostplus’s other investment options. It costs $180 a year.
  • Barefoot Blueprint newsletter for which shares should buy.

Share & Bond

  • To invest outside of super, contact your bank. They’ll have a share trading service or they’ll refer you to one. You will need $2000 to start.
  • To choose one, the same rules you used for choosing a super fund apply: you want to invest in shares and the lower the fees you can pay the better. Be away from Australian Scholarships Group Bound
  • There are a number of investment bond providers – Like Lifeplan’s NextGen Investments, Austock Life’s Imputation Bonds and AMP’s Growth Bonds.

Buy property

Retirement

GOAL

  • $250,000 in super
  • Own a home
  • Age pension
  • Continue part-time work

STEP

  • Go ASIC MoneySmart Retirement Calculator, calculate how much income you’ll likely have in retirement.  The extra repayments you can now make from your Fire Extinguisher.
  • At that time, Mojo Bucket sits insider Grow Bucket. It will go to three years of living expenses.  Call super fund and tell them that you want anything your contribute in the tree years before you retire, put into a cash account within super

Financial Advisor

只抄录我关心的,譬如并不需要会计,每年报税都是自己来地。

  • Call Centrelink on 132 300 and arrange a face-to face meeting with Financial Information Service Officer. They help you sort out your Centrelink entitlements and give you unbiased general retirement planning advice. Aged care options are provided. Free
  • Call your super fund, they’ll have financial advisors who can help you plan your retirement + recommend insurance and a risk assessment. Hourly fee
  • Buy some shares, join Barefoot Blueprint investment newsletter.
  • Need a home loan, first home check out online player like UBank and ING.

 

准备买作者提到的枕头,因为想法和他的差不多,最能带给自己身心愉悦的事物才值得花大价钱。皮包,华服,豪车等奢侈品固然有吸引力,但都比不及早饭要吃的像国王,这篇blog写于十年前,我的眼界果然遥遥领先。

当然也不会生搬硬套。譬如本人克制力颇强,才不会撕掉所有的信用卡来斩断信贷危机的根源。AMEX还是要保留下来地,数不尽地优惠啊。还有,两个享乐账号我会合二为一方便管理,这也是骄傲于自己的自控力吧。我的意志力可不像心理学家所描述的如肌肉般需要一张一弛,只要决定好的事不太会半途而废。最后,作者也象所有西方人一样,如有余力总喜欢做点善事。我明白予人玫瑰手留余香的寓意,但心眼小无法大爱无疆到亚非拉难民或是动物福利,不过愿意分享经验给打算留学移民澳洲的后来人,写email给我吧。。。

多年前别人夸奖我勤奋时,心里还颇不好受,因为在我的字典里勤奋等于笨鸟必须得先飞。很有意思的是,这本书在结尾处也有一段讲Be dumb smart,看来长相憨实的作者也曾有过不愉快的经历吧。

比起衣冠楚楚的金领,作者很接地气

比起衣冠楚楚的金领,作者很接地气

最后,我也分享一个不传秘籍,就是书不用买,去图书馆借~~~~~~~~