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冰山一角

在看完The Remains of the Day、The Better Angels of Our Nature等几本书后就如漫画中的George那样,千头万绪却又浮不上来。我的顾虑在于不敢落笔,因为今天的大数据可不象刚来澳洲那阵只会给发放“报考中文学习班”的小广告,连我年迈的父母都已经在电脑摄像头上贴好了邦迪。

能浮在水面的只多是风花雪月。我好想对Miss Kenton说,你不就是那个不想当管家只想跟着爱情跑的傻丫头?回顾往事还要徒劳无益地自我催眠”One should realize one has as good as most, perhaps better, and be grateful.”也好想对Mr Stevens说既然知道天地有大美而不言” What is pertinent is the calmness of that beauty, its sense of restraint. It is as though the land knows of its own beauty, of its own greatness, and feels no need to shout it out.”,又何必为了”greatness /dignity…” my heart was breaking?

在写下去就得狐假虎威先亮出Steven Pinker的观点:

The Rights Revolutions too have given us ideals that educated people today take for granted but that are virtually unprecedented in human history, such as that people of all races and creeds have equal rights, that women should be free from all forms of coercion, that children should never, ever be spanked, that students should be protected from bullying, and that there’s nothing wrong with being gay. I don’t find it at all implausible that these are gifts, in part, of a refined and widening application of reason.

我猜Steven Pinker教授对以上主流可能有点不合时宜的想法,几乎敢肯定的是男女性别差异。譬如他在10多年前的公开辩论>>,还有The Better Angels of Our Nature里曾引用了两个不怎么好笑却发人省思的笑话。第一个,In an old joke, a man asks a woman if she would sleep with him for a million dollars, and she says she would consider it. He then asks if she would sleep with him for a hundred dollars, and she replies, ‘What kind of a woman do you think I am?’ He answers, ‘We’ve already established that. We’re just haggling over the price.’ 第二个,A man wants what a woman has –sex. He can steal it (rape), persuade her to give it away (seduction), rent it (prostitution), lease it over the long term (marriage in USA), or own it outright (marriage in most societies).  不得不承认良家子的身体的确有价无市,可男人的尊严不也同属在一类里?(要是能甩出一张10000…的支票,大概得争先恐后才能强领胯下之辱。)显然我也蛮stereotype,看完的直觉反应就是能和女孩清白之躯相提并论的肯定不是浊臭逼人泥作的骨肉 。按照市场经济规律,物化后的身体高价者得,那低价者呢?Pinker教授直言不讳地说他们虽是不安定因素(成家立业的男性犯罪率显著降低)但也可派遣到边防保家卫国,所以政府才不会如表面上那般心急如焚。

 

Steven Pinker教授认定stereotype是人性的一个弱点,要克服就得启动逻辑。譬如为什么以取人不正确,因为任何一个种群里都有好人坏人。我则更倾向 诺本人得主Daniel Kahneman的理论。他说stereotype是个中性词,它也有积极正向的一面。比如盛传中国人数学都很厉害。通过实验确实发现华裔在阅读相关报道后再做数学题成绩有提高。其次动用System 2思考非常不容易,要不然很简单的一道题目The Bat and a Ball Problem(球和球拍一共为1.1元,球比球拍便宜1元,求球的价格)不可能难倒近乎一半的常青藤在校生。Nicholas Epley(插播一则八卦, Epley教授煞费苦心地终于通过实验和观测总结出与陌生乘客讲闲话能改善双方的well-being,结果芝加哥火车管理方告诉他,马上开始实行Quite Carriages)说stereotype致命缺陷是过于侧重不同点而忽视共同点。比如有一个大概家喻户晓的心理统计得出男女择偶果然大不同,郎爱貌女爱财。然而那篇论文还有一段鲜有人知的结尾,”Both sexes ranked the characteristics kind-understanding, and intelligent higher than earning power and attractiveness in all samples, suggesting that species-typical mate preferences may be more potent than sex-linked preferences.”意思是研究结果还发现无关性别大家最看重伴侣的特质是友善和聪慧。

Vline 很早就实行Quiet Carriages

Vline 很早就实行Quiet Carriages

我小时候看的是《三毛流浪记》,狄更斯的小说而不是《哈利波特》,所以对Parent-offspring conflict以及童话儿歌中的血腥阴暗面毫不惊奇。更何况我以为女性群体更看重生存而非繁衍。依据是西方学者曾先入为主地以为老龄化是富裕国家的专利,因此无法解释越来越多的“未富先老”。直到很后来才找到与出生率降低紧密关联的是女性能否access to contraception。现在有研究称越是男女平等的国家女性选择STEM专业的就越少,由此推断出女性打心眼里不喜欢数理化。我就想这会不会又是个“老龄化”问题呢?Epley教授也在课上讲过一则趣闻,他说一直以来科学家都想当然地以为小动物如蝴蝶甲虫身体上类似眼睛的东西是为了迷惑天敌,事实是只有人类才会将这些斑纹解读成眼睛,真正吓退掠食者的是颜色的鲜明反差。

“Currently no American state prohibits corporal punishment of children by their parents”这挺出乎意料的。我想这也属于stereotype吧,成因是读书太少。对于美国司法体系,我能想到的大概就是影视剧的警察给嫌疑人戴手铐时念遍米兰达警告。再举个例子,我读过1788 到 1868间有168,000英国罪犯流放来澳的史料,但我还读过当代澳洲的凶杀率比英国要低许多的统计,所以才能一眼看破《“偏见”中的澳大利亚》的漏洞。可没有其他信息渠道的读者呢,可能就象我以为“在美国父母不许打小孩”轻易就接受了作者输出的“除了出产金发碧眼胸大无脑的影视明星外澳洲一无是处”观点。至于编剧作者为什么不能老老实实地写实非要瞎七八搭乱讲一通,只好烂在心底了。

一叶障目看世界

一叶障目看世界

Nicholas Epley教授列出下面这张表格要想说明的是,大多数人都觉得自己持有的价值观(哪怕极其小众)和大众相一致。除此之外,我觉得还有一点很有意思,虽然有71%的被试者认为无故请病假不道德,但同一测试群中又有77%表示上班磨洋工没问题。”Although many mature individuals spontaneously express the intangible bases for their moral values and decisions, few people can articulate a principled justification, such as that human life is a cardinal value that trumps social norms, social stability, or obedience to the law. ”  再一次证明激活System 2思考有多难。也因此,在日常生活中Critical thinking要比intelligence更重要。Critical thinking is a collection of cognitive skills that allow us to think rationally in a goal-orientated fashion, and a disposition to use those skills when appropriate. 参照这个定义,我想若没有intelligence的根基似乎也难开出Critical thinking的果实。

到底有多少人觉得办公场所的“拿走主义”是不道德的呢?印刷数字有错误

到底有多少人觉得办公场所的“拿走主义”是不道德的呢?印刷数字有错误

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Thinking, fast and slow

Thinking, fast and slow是继A brief history of humankind第二本令我眼界大开的奇书。作者牢牢贯彻了 “If you care about being thought credible and intelligent, do not use complex language where simpler language will do. Needlessly.”的精神,走笔如行云流水。譬如,谈及英年早逝的好搭档Amos,他不过写了一简单复合句He was then thirty-two; I was thirty-five,就已经让我胸中翻滚出“草草杯盘供语笑,昏昏灯火话平生”的酸楚。在书中还窥探出这位诺贝尔得主的日常起居竟然和我有很多重叠。作者一边散步上下班一边想multitasking应该仅限于简单任务,稍微增加点难度譬如心算23*78,那肯定要停下/放慢脚步(你可以测试一下)。作者一边看歌剧《茶花女》一边又会对比remembering self 和experiencing self之间的关系,不无沮丧地发现I am my remembering self, the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me(这又是一句让我无法忘怀的金句)。作者和意见相左的同事一边吃着美味中国餐一边达成了对intuition的共识,即只在可预测的情景下(如下棋、拉琴、消防员救火等),反复训练才能培养出第六感,若情景千变万化(如买卖股票&红酒、诊疗)与其依赖专家经验不如听从计算机方程式。譬如执行 if ( good interactions : bad interactions >=5:1) {print “You’re In a Good Relationship”}就可在一团乱麻的感情关系中理出头绪,然而症结在于包括决策者在内的大多数人还没能作好心理准备接受披着白大褂的机器人。

说这是本奇书,是因为这些年来我所碰到的心理学方面的新名词新术语几乎都和作者有关,他自己的发现,和Amos的,和同事的,他学生的……以下就是总结。

Above-average effect: they compare themselves to the average without ever thinking about the average. The when people are asked about a task they find difficult (are you better than average in starting conversations with strangers?), they readily rate themselves as below average. Upshot is that people tend to be overly optimistic about their relative standing on any activity in which they do moderately well.  //我看到的版本是人们会夸大自己所有的能力,而这一版本表示只会夸大优点。

Affective forecasting: on their wedding day, the couple know that the rate of divorce is high and that the incidence of martial disappointment is even higher, but they do not believe that these statistics apply to them. //除了婚姻以外,通常以为很重要的决定因素如疾病、生育、贫穷似乎并不是左右人生质量整体评估的关键。

Affect heuristic: in which people let their likes and dislikes determine their beliefs about the world. For example, your political preference determines the arguments that you find compelling. //面对星巴克致癌新闻,有人讲撇开剂量谈毒性都是耍流氓,同一批人面对中医药可能用的是另一套逻辑(我不喝星巴克也不吃中医药)

Anchoring effect: it occurs when people consider a particular value for an unknown quantity before estimating that quantity.//我想iPhone的定价政策是个极好的例子,现在新出来的智能手机不再遵循“电子产品越来越便宜”的定律。

Availability heuristic: the process of judging frequency by the ease with which instances come to mind. People tend to assess the relative importance of issues by the ease with which they are retrieved from memory—and this is largely determined by the extent of coverage in the media.//作者举例Michael Jackson去世时铺天盖地的媒体报道,而我读这一章时恰逢霍金去世。作者虽然认为人们根本无法正确地理解past,但“太阳底下无新事”却又一次次地被佐证。

Base-rate neglect (Representativeness bias): WYSIATI-what you see is all there is. Ignore both the base rates and the doubts about the veracity of the description. They would then rank the small specialty as highly probable, because that outcome gets the highest representativeness score.

Black swan: all the headlines do is satisfy our need for coherence. A large event is supposed to have consequence, and consequences need causes to explain them. We have limited information about what happened on a day, and System 1 is adept at finding a coherent causal story that links the fragments of knowledge at its disposal. //之前看过的版本其中心思想是只要有一只黑天鹅就足够打破天鹅是白的定律,而这一版本的重点是人类低估了事件的偶然性,总以为有果必有因。

Certainty effect: the improvement from 0.95 to 1 is another qualitative change that has a large impact. Outcomes that are almost certain are given less weight than their probability justifies. A large industry of ‘structured settlements’ exists to provide certainty at a hefty price by taking advantage of the certainty effect. //付高昂保费只为提高一丁点的保险系数非常不理性, 100%理赔的保险项目要量力而为。

Confirmation bias: people seek data that are likely to be compatible with the beliefs they currently hold. The confirmatory bias of System 1 favors uncritical acceptance of suggestions and exaggeration of the likelihood of extreme and improbable events. //只看自己想看的东西,譬如支持Trump总统的多半只看Fox新闻台。

Conjunction fallacy: fallacy is used when people fail to apply a logical rule that is obviously relevant.  Conjunction fallacy means people commit when they judge a conjunction of two events to be more probable than one of the events in a direct comparison. When they judge a conjunction of two events (here, bank teller and feminist) to be more probable than one of the events (bank teller) in a direct comparison.

Denominator neglect: vivid imagery contributes to denominator neglect. The idea that fluency, vividness, and the ease of imagining contribute to decision weights gains support from many other observations. Tsunamis are very rare even in japan, but the image is so vivid and compelling that tourists are bound to overestimate their probability.  //希望工程要用大眼睛,世界自然基金会要用大熊猫。

Duration neglect: the duration of the procedure had no effect whatsoever on the ratings of total pain.

Peak-end rule: the global retrospective rating was well predicted by the average of the level of pain reported at the worst moment of the experience and at its end. //通过 cold-hand study推导出了Peak-end rule 和Duration neglect,证明出哪怕是亲身经历,我们的记忆也非常不可靠。也因此,作者说如果要长久快乐与其购置豪车不如参加能与他人互动的俱乐部。我并不同意后半句。因为发现有趣或新鲜的回答犹如大海捞针我现在戒掉了知乎。我猜有意思的人拥有更为广阔的世界,他们不太会浪费时间回答(脑残)问题,也不太会与没劲的人群(我)交往沟通。

Endowment effect: for goods that are not regularly traded, are held for use, to be consumed or otherwise enjoyed. No endowment effect is expected when owners view their goods as carriers of value for future exchanges, a widespread attitude in routine commerce and in financial markets. //我读到的版本一直围绕着“敝帚自珍”作文章,而这一版本并不在乎“朝朝暮暮”,只在意所有者的心态。作者鼓励大家thinks like a trader,这样不易落入销售圈套,提高股票市场的赚钱几率,增强The well-being that people experience as they live their lives。

Exposure effect: familiarity breeds liking. A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact. //植入广告花样繁多, 不看电视但看知乎的姐姐有次建议我买瓶好用的马**眼霜。

Focusing illusion: nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it. People do not engage in a careful examination when they evaluate their life. Thoughts of any aspect of life are more likely to be salient if a contrasting alternative is highly available. //只有卧病不起时,才觉察健康的珍贵。

Framing effects: different ways of presenting the same information often evoke different emotions.

  1. Broad framing: a single comprehensive decision with all available options. //推荐的思考模式
  2. Disposition effect: is an instance of narrow framing. If the problem is framed as a choice between giving yourself pleasure and causing yourself pain, you will certainly sell winner rather than loser and enjoy your investment prowess.

Halo effect: increases the weight of first impressions, sometimes to the point that subsequent information is mostly wasted.

Hindsight bias: ‘I-knew-it-all-along’ effect’ means your inability to reconstruct past beliefs will inevitably cause you to underestimate the extent to which you were surprised by past events. Hindsight bias has pernicious effects on the evaluations of decision makers. It leads observers to assess the quality of a decision not by whether the process was sound but by whether its outcome was good or bad (Outcome bias). Hindsight is especially unkind to decision makers who act as agents for others – physicians, financial advisers, politicians.//医生趋于保守疗法的主因。

Lady Macbeth effect: feeling that one’s soul is stained appears to trigger a desire to cleanse one’s body.

Less is more: they added a cheap gift to the expensive product, and made the whole deal less attractive. //这违背逻辑的选择是因为我们依赖直觉System 1而不是理性System 2的结果。

 比对两种思考模式

比对两种思考模式

Narrative fallacy: describe how flawed stories of the past shape our views of the world and our expectations for the future. Narrative fallacies arise inevitable from our continuous attempt to make sense of the world. We humans constantly fool ourselves by constructing flimsy accounts of the past and believing they are true. //譬如总结人生真谛,成功秘诀。作者认为Great success = a little more talent + a lot of luck,也就是说成功可遇不可求,无法复制。

Optimistic bias: psychologists have confirmed that most people genuinely believe that they are superior to most others on most desirable traits. Risk takers underestimate the odds they face, and do invest sufficient effort to find out what the odds are. //自知之明要有心且用力,不过这和above average说法有些矛盾。

Planning fallacy: when forecasting the outcomes of risky projects, executives make decisions based on delusional optimism rather than on a rational weighting of gains, losses, and probabilities. However,  who acknowledge the full extent of their ignorance may expect to be replaced by more confident competitors, who are better able to gain the trust of clients. An unbiased appreciation of uncertainty is a cornerstone of rationality—but it is not what people and organizations want. //世间的吊诡一言难尽。

Possibility effect: causes highly unlikely outcomes to be weighted disproportionately more than they ‘deserve.’ People who buy lottery tickets in vast amounts show themselves willing to pay much more than expected value for very small chances to win a large prize. People who learned from a new catalog that the merchant was now charging less for a product that they had recently bought at a higher price reduced their future purchases from that supplier by 15%. The customers who reacted the most strongly were those who bought more items and at higher prices. The losses far exceeded the gains from the increased purchased produced by the lower prices in the new catalog.

绝大多数人会作出不利于自己的选择

绝大多数人会作出不利于自己的选择

我正洋洋得意自己属于极为个别的一小撮,但接下来作者给出的解释是他们可能是穷人。Their problem is that all their choices are between losses. Money that is spent on one good is the loss of another good that could have been purchased instead. For the poor, costs are losses.

Probability neglect: the combination of probability neglect with the social mechanisms of availability cascades inevitably leads to gross exaggeration of minor threats, sometimes with important consequence. A basic limitation in the ability of our mind to deal with small risks: we either ignore them altogether or give them far too much weight-nothing in between.  //因为有万万万分之一的可能性,不愿意给孩子接种疫苗。

Precautionary principle: prohibits any action that might cause harm.  It imposes the entire burden of proving safety on anyone who undertakes actions that might harm people or the environment. The precautionary principle is costly, and when interpreted strictly it can be paralysing. // 柴静对丁仲礼的采访就可以很清楚地了解这个概念。

Priming effect:  if you have recently seen or heard the word EAT, you are temporarily more likely to complete the work fragment SO_P as SOUP than as SOAP. The opposite would happen, if you had just seen WASH. Priming effect另的一个应用就是 Florida effect。Florida effect involves two stages of priming. First, the set of words primes thoughts of old age; second, these thoughts prime a behavaior, walking slowly, which is associated with old age. All this happens without any awareness.

Regret: losses are weighted about twice as much as gains in several contexts.People expect to have stronger emotional reactions to an outcome that is produced by action than to the same outcome when it is produced by inaction. Consumers who are reminded that they may feel regret as a result of their choices show an increased preference for conventional options, favouring brand names over generics.  另一个相关应用是Taboo tradeoff, the salesperson showed me the most expensive car seat and said it was the safest, and I could not bring myself to buy the cheaper model. In fact, the resistance may be motivated by a selfish fear of regret more than by a wish to optimize the child’s safety.

Loss aversion是天性

Loss aversion是天性

作者的意思是如果不是富人那么家庭可支配资源必然有限,选择世界上最好的安全椅就得放弃营养最高的奶粉,总之不可能面面俱到。还有一些家长宁可自己节衣缩食也不愿委屈孩子,他们的“初心”可并不崇高无私,而是无法承担主动选择的后果。

Sunk-cost fallacy: the decision to invest additional resources in a losing account, when better investments are available.  A rational decision maker is interested only in the future consequences of current investments. Justifying earlier mistakes is not among the rational decision maker concerns.//覆水难收,过去的就让它过去吧。

Illusion of validity: we knew as a general fact that our predictions were little better than random guesses, but we continued to feel and act as if each of our specific predictions was valid. 与其关联的是对自信的一个剖析。Confidence is a feeling, which reflects the coherence of the information and the cognitive ease of processing it. It is wise to take admissions of uncertainty seriously, but declarations of high confidence mainly tell you that an individual has constructed a coherent story in his mind, not necessarily that the story is true. Paradoxically, it is easier to construct a coherent story when you know little, when there are fewer pieces to fit into the puzzle. Our almost unlimited ability is to ignore our ignorance. //所谓无知者无畏。

Muller-Lyer illusion: the lines are of equal length yet still see them as being different.

我在小学暑假课本里就看见过类似的题目,所以尽管System 1还会不断告诉我它们有长有短,可System 2知道它们其实一样长。当然意识错误要比视觉错误更难以甄别,可毕竟我也学习过这么多得思维陷阱,明白The emotional tail wags the rational dog,希望自己可以做得更好一些吧。。

 

The Jane Austen Handbook

Become an accomplished lady

  • Study several languages: French, Italian
  • Acquire a basic grasp of geography and history
  • Become a proficient musician: piano, harp
  • Draw or paint the picturesque
  • Master the art of needlework: fancy needlework as well as the more mundane aspects of sewing for the family
  • Learn to dance gracefully
奥斯丁时代Lady的服饰

奥斯丁时代Lady的服饰

Mistress’s responsibilities

  • Develop a good relationship with your housekeeper: tap into her institutional wisdom and follow her suggestions whenever practicable, but never let her forget that you are the mistress and she is the servant.
  • Work with your cook
  • Oversee the servants
  • Look after your less fortunate neighbours: do not insult them by offering them (might be a perfectly genteel family, the widow of your late vicar, for instance)money, though they will welcome an occasional gift of a hindquarter of port or bushel of apples.
  • Take care of the poor and sick.
  • Improve your interiors
  • Look after the family sewing.
  • Teach your children.
    • Instill good principles: teach children pride in their position in society, but teach them the duties that come with it: caring for those less fortunate and maintaining the family property for the next generation.
    • Do not allow them to be idle. Idleness leads to ignorance.
奥斯丁时代Lady的日常

奥斯丁时代Lady的日常

Master’s responsibilities

  • Oversee agricultural activity.
  • Improve the estate.
  • Participate in local government.
  • Maintain an open-door policy: the tenants often approach the estate owner with questions and problems about their crops, livestock, and love life.
  • Provide social security: ensure that everyone dependent on your estate has adequate shelter and enough to eat; however, don’t let the lazy bums take advantage of your good nature.
奥斯丁时代绅士的休闲活动

奥斯丁时代绅士的休闲活动

George Beau Brummell: Brummell advocated and championed good tailoring, sombre fabrics, a limited colour palette, personal hygiene, starch and polish. He bathed daily and kept his clothing scrupulously clean and fortunately for everyone copied that practice as well.

Morning calls are actually paid between eleven in the morning and three in the afternoon, “morning” being the term used for the time between rising and eating dinner.

奥斯丁时代的一日5餐

奥斯丁时代的一日5餐

The forbidden dance: the waltz. Hot from the hands promiscuously applied round the slight waist, or down the glowing side. –Lord Byron

Picturesque: introduced by clergyman Wiiliam Gilpin’s series of travel journals, a new idea of aesthetics in which the beauties of nature became more desirable than regulation forced upon nature by man.

Physician: a formally educated medical man who interpreted symptoms and prescribed treatment. Physicians were gentlemen and therefore did not perform surgery or any tasks classified as “work” in the standards of the day.

Professions: referred to the few vocations open to gentlemen: the army, the navy, the church, the law, and medicine.

奥斯丁时代一张信纸从上写到下,再从下写到上,然后再从左到右最后右到左,信息量很大

奥斯丁时代一张信纸从上写到下,再从下写到上,然后再从左到右最后右到左,信息量很大

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

很多人知道Adam Smith写过一本《国富论》。他是小政府主义者,认为通过“看不见的手”就能确定供求关系和商品价格,并最终达到市场效率最优化。哪怕用心良苦,政府一出手就会导致系统失灵甚至背道而驰,因为棋子都是self-interested。Adam Smith还写过另一本相比不太出名的书《道德情操论》,而且在其晚年重新做过修订,详细论证了“看不见的手”。

我不敢读《道德情操论》,读的是简装版的How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

这本书的关键句应该就是:

Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely. (人最想要的不但是被爱,还有可爱)

在Smith时代里,lovely是值得爱的意思。//读懂原文还真不是件容易事。这句话的意思是如果徒有其表/胜之不武,即便众星捧月,你也寝食难安。Smith认为这是追求世俗名望的困境之一。想象坐在高处听惯了掌声的富人/明星,大概很难有三省吾身的自觉。譬如郑渊洁父亲又一次在微博上宣布自己有新书出版,从字里行间他可真心实意地觉得自己的写作能力是可爱的。郑老伯80多岁,早已到了从心所欲不逾矩的境界,却仍然不停地签名售书,参加真人秀节目,似乎生怕别人不烦他了。

借用珍奇古玩凸显地位和财富来获得爱这也并不是我们这一代才独有的。

How many people ruin themselves by laying out money on trinkets of frivolous utility? What pleases these lovers of toys is not so much the utility, as the aptness of the machines which are fitted to promote it. All their pockets are stuffed with little conveniences. They contrive new pockets, unknown in the clothes of other people, in order to carry a greater number.

要变得更可爱,Smith认可的途径是propriety, prudence, justice, 和beneficence。在Smith眼里,justice等于非黑即白。如果“情有可原”,譬如偷土豪的钱/偶尔婚外恋,那么我们的道德情操则会每况愈下。Hard-and-fast rules are easier to keep than rules that are slightly relaxed. 这是Smith的人性观。

Prudence和beneficence 比较好理解。Prudence means taking care of yourself in the full sense of the phrase. Beneficence means being good to others.

而Propriety简装版作者用了整整一章来说明。

By appropriately, he means meeting the expectations of those around us – acting in the way that they expect and that allows them to interact with us in the way that we expect. Propriety is about matching our responses to those around us.

举得一个不合时宜的例子是与保姆的互动,隐含上下等级让我不快而且似乎也并不太贴切,因为雇主和保姆有明确的权责,言行合度有章可循。反之,Propriety在亲密无间的圈子里才更难把握住。譬如,结婚新房该不该加名;父母该不该照顾第三代;好友该不该同意借钱……由于没有明文规定才更容易滋生期望误差,一方觉得理所当然,另一方觉得岂有此理。

那么propriety又从何而来?Smith说来自于正面/反面的反馈,即“看不见的手”。所以我们虽然看重自己的小指头,但不会为了保住它就诅咒遥远国度发生大地震。所以我们在朋友圈发布孩子考满分的好消息却只与更亲密的人分享中500万头奖的大喜悦。

The man who, by some sudden revolution of fortune, is lifted up all at once into a condition of life, greatly above what he had formerly lived in, may be assured that the congratulations of his best friends are not all of them perfectly sincere.

维护好这个自发系统人人有责,简装版作者总结出:If you want to make the world a better place, work on being trustworthy, and honor those who are trustworthy. Be a good friend and surround yourself with worthy friends. Don’t gossip. Resist the joke that might hurt someone’s feelings even when it’s clever. And try not to laugh when your friend tells you that clever joke at someone’s expense. Being good is not just good for you and those around you, but because it helps others be good as well. Set a good example, and by your loveliness you will not only be loved, but you may influence the world.

其中一句非常喜欢:And try not to laugh when your friend tells you that clever joke at someone’s expense. 以后若再被问到什么是教养,可以不要再举对服务员礼貌,刀柄要对着别人这类听厌听滥的例子。

可我完全不同意他的观点。诚然,美丽动词“google”已收入字典而名词“meatplace”虽流行一时却因太难听被公众自发丢弃。可不是还有更多不堪入耳的词汇口口相传吗?譬如Time记者特别写了一篇 报道介绍“剩女leftover women”。其实根本不用翻译现成的“spinster”简直天造地设(我是不是能从中推测出英语世界里男女也不平等?不少语言学家毕生研究课题就对比各语种中的高频词来解释文化异同)。确实,无足轻重的一张投票可聚沙成塔,但如果投票内容是同性婚姻合法化/元宵是否放假投票对象局限在主要政党的候选人上,投不投票又有什么意义呢?更何况分工协作国际贸易的大背景下,投入和反馈往往是延迟的且干扰因素多。譬如最普通的家用咖啡,据说也经过了100双手,可是终端使用者的顾客可能只看到自己的一双手。

就像在经济上“看不见的手”无法反映咖啡豆的价值,在道德上“看不见的手”也无法让世界变得更美好。事实上,如果懂统计中regression的道理,就会明白正因为有投桃报李以牙还牙的天性,这“看不见的手”一直以来都在做相反的事——惩罚好人好事奖励坏人坏事。

We think we can move those chess pieces where we want. Sometimes it’s best to leave them alone.

Against Empathy

Did you hear about the Buddhist vacuum cleaner?

It comes with no attachments.

据说这个笑话历史悠久,不过我是在Against Empathy上第一次看到。整本书读完记得最牢的还是这两句话,也许这本书的亮点太少,作者的论调论据都不够新鲜,有些内容甚至连我都曾认证地思考过。

作者花了很大篇幅对这3个单词Sympathy, Empathy, Compassion下定义作区分。同时,还要反复强调自己并不反对 Empathy中友善的成分。

Empathy is to refer to this mirroring of others’ feeling. Sympathy is about your reaction to the feelings of others. If you feel bad for someone who is bored, that’s sympathy, but if you feel bored, that’s empathy. Compassion does not mean sharing the suffering of the other: rather, it is characterized by feelings of warmth, concern and care for the other, as well as a strong motivation to improve the other’s well-being. Compassion is feeling for and not feeling with the other.

Empathy is:

  1.  Narrow minded (对亲/相近的人更容易产生共鸣)
  2.  Innumerate (斯大林的一句名言:一个人死亡是悲剧,一百万人死亡则是统计数据)
  3. Able to lead us to make poor judgments (白人警察射杀无辜黑人后的舆论)
  4. Able to paralyzed someone if they feel too much (医患关系)
  5. Not moral by itself and can lead equally to helping or avoiding (希特勒是憎恨捕猎的爱狗人士,集中营附近居民的眼不见为净)

说来说去,作者要反对的就是“圣母”,尤其是被一叶障目的圣母。举出来的例子小到施舍给小乞丐食/财物到底是助人还是自娱大到拷打行凶者家属的作法是否合乎情理(24小时里常出现的情节)等等都在旁敲侧击Empathy中感情用事的那一部分。作者为此又高度赞扬了一番rational thinking,还又引用了一个跟佛教徒有关的典故(也是第一次看到),有人问Dalai ,为免遭生灵涂炭,你会不会结果希特勒?在和后援团商议几分钟后Dalai 给出的回答是:“ If it would stop the Holocaust, Kill Hitler, but don’t be angry.”

作者认为看可贵的品质除了rational thinking外,还有更为要紧的self-control,这点我双手赞成。

 

2017年圣诞

本来这张碟片One of Us想留着圣诞假期看,但在周日下午一次性看完。风格上和《小镇疑云》类似,人的内心如山雨欲来的天空,藏有不可见光的秘密。

我觉得若是给剧中的人物按喜好程度排个队的话,大概可以窥测出一点价值偏好来。直言不讳地讲,我最不喜欢的是新娘的母亲,Moira。主要原因倒不是她一时风流才导致了这场悲剧,而是她叹为观止推卸责任的方式。伯仁因她而死,她却没有表现出一丝愧疚感,反而和新郎的养母抱一抱泯恩仇。
反对同性恋结婚惯用的一个理由是“人们常常以爱为名,做出最可怕的事情”。本剧实践的好像就是这条中心,就连边缘人物的设计也是为这个主题服务。似乎公正不阿的女侦探暗地里盗卖毒品好筹足钱带女儿出国治病,女儿的同学则间接地沦为她的牺牲品。

美剧酣畅淋漓的节奏感让观众呼吸都来不及调整只能紧紧跟随角色快意恩仇;而英剧的节奏普遍疲疲塌塌,看客有的是时间吃薯片喝可乐遐想推敲,然后就沉入阴郁的剧情里一蹶不振。

圣诞则看的是一本讨论抑郁的书,名字叫The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic。在阳光充足的夏天,在欢天喜地的假期里探究见不到谷底的深渊,我觉得很契合。

多年以前,我曾抑郁过,抑郁的根本原因是伤逝。然而它不算抑郁症,因为这本书说,直到2013年,精神疾病诊断与统计手册DSM才把它归入进抑郁症里。

很多现代文明病如肥胖、高血压、糖尿病据说是某种进化而来的适应机制。现在普遍丰衣足食而不是有一顿没一顿的狩猎采集的原始社会,可身体里流淌的却是从祖先继承过来还未能与时俱进的节俭型基因。作者推测抑郁其实也是一种进化路上的身体防御机制。譬如,屡屡碰壁的人往往会习得性无助,然而这“放下”才让人不做徒劳无功的事节省出有限的资源养精蓄略寻找更适合的机会。

抑郁很有可能不是病,但在不恰当的环境下自行激活则对身体有害无益,可作者又否定掉了所有简单粗暴一刀切的治疗方案。他说吃抗抑郁药,还是认知行为治疗效果都很有限。根据统计数据,它们就和安慰剂差不多,而且对一些人有用,对另一些人没用,并且时常反弹。更可怕的是,再有经验的医生专家也没办法对症下药,因为他们根本不知道哪种方案对哪类患者有效果。

我很主观地认为,在一定范围里的心情低落不能算病态。譬如新名词路怒症、产后抑郁以及创伤后应激障碍都有夸大和商业的成分。不过我也非常认同作者的观点:Theories without data are like daydreams.所以即便在微博上看到兜售各种心理学商品的大V,我最勇敢的举动就是默默取关。

作者说抑郁的形成很复杂,原因有很多,有西方文化中过度强调的快乐崇拜,有人类之所以能脱颖而出的深谋远虑,有西西弗斯永不放弃的坚韧。

对照看,我的抑郁大概就是进入了作者说的Rumination mood,即 the urge to repetitively think about the causes and consequences of low mood can harden into a habit. Thinking your way out might actually provide new ways in, new ways for low mood to deepen into serious depression. 在“抑郁”期里,既没有看病也没有吃药,也没钱无法出去走走换个环境,就这么消极地与其共处了好一阵子。我都不知道它是怎么渐渐消失的,也许它根本就没有走开。就像有高血压的妈妈,只有在血压偏低的时候,才能感觉到它的存在。

缓解抑郁的正确打开方式

缓解抑郁的正确打开方式

小时候看《动物世界》时常会庆幸自己投胎做了人,而不用象狮子和斑马日夜担心生存问题。现在才明白,其实并没有完全摆脱掉这个枷锁,old sins cast long shadows。

The Secret of Happiness is T...

The Secret of Happiness is T…

50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology

作为一个心理学爱好者,很多Myths都不算是Myths了。

譬如不要说“雨人”智商很高,或是他们有正常的心智却被困在一个不完美的身体牢笼里。

譬如不要说三岁看到老;或是以为给小孩子听莫扎特就能提高他们的IQ。

譬如不要说心理分析师对寻找罪犯有任何用处。某集《天堂执法者》,穿蓝色连衣裙的心理师端着一盘罪犯喜爱的点心用只言片语便唤醒出他的另一个人格,这种剧情等于裤裆里掏手榴弹。

……

但还有一些Myth是我不知道或不敢肯定的。

在之前的博客提过,我的青春期很平淡很平稳,没有经历过激烈得心身冲突。对比别人的青春期焦虑、叛逆或抑郁,似乎我过的是一个假的青春期。事实是:只有一小部分(20%)受调查的,青春期才显著波动,加上东西方抚养后代的差异,象我这样一平如镜的青春期才是最为常见的,只是白开水的生活很难被导演搬上大屏幕。

 

另一个似是而非观点是“The SAT and other standardized tests are highly coachable”。虽然没有参加过 SAT,但大大小小的标准化考试也亲历了不少。我的实践经验是,智力正常+勤奋+不出意外>=中上成绩,但这本书却说只能平均提高20分。如果以1600为满分的话,那还不如把钱省下来换点好吃好喝的。还有与智力相关的是“天才的隔壁是疯子”,这本书说没有证据推论出IQ高的人容易有心身疾患,相反他们似乎比普通人身体更强健更能抵御精神分裂症,这和肺痨大概是娱乐节目中主角最容易得的两大病症。请注意,精神分裂症可不是说患者有2个以上的人格,而是心身失调,如想哭但却面露微笑。

电击方法治疗网络成瘾被世人诟病最多的估计是:都什么年代了还用这么古老的做法。然而在当今美国每年就有5万患者用电击治疗抑郁,通过脑扫描也发现电击确实对改善抑郁有用,相关报道请见>>。至于原理,科学界还莫衷一是。但我们普通人要做到“知之为知之,不知为不知”,不要只看了电视就以为掌握真理了。

 

 

会心一笑的是“Brain size and IQ are moderately correlated in humans”。作为大头一枚,我真的很不愿意和天生巴掌脸的白种人合影,他们体重可能是我2倍,但在照片里他们是白骨精而我是猪八戒。

整理了出所有50个Myths,以及其他流传许久却不可靠的观点。

链接: https://pan.baidu.com/s/1pKTnnB1

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