Psychology

Banner: Movie clickMaking plans to change, and New Year’s Eve resolutions, is easy. Making them stick, is not.

However, it is simple – once you understand the science behind habit forming. Here’s Kruzgesagt with a wonderful primer on becoming the best you you can be.

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Banner: Movie clickVeritasium says it all. The key 3 points of how to make New Year’s resolutions that stick:

  • Keep it small
  • Write it down
  • Adapt your environment, not yourself

See the entire thing here:

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It only takes 4 things to become an expert:

  1. A valid environment
  2. Many repetitions
  3. Timely feedback
  4. Deliberate practice

And I bet that you don’t correctly understand at least one of them… Check out the explanation by Veritasium:

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Banner - Fountain PenHave you ever had a case of BITS? That’s “Big Important Thing Syndrome.”

That’s when we attach a lot of importance to something, which then brings with it all manner of strange and destructive critters, from plain fear to insidious perfectionism and delusions of grandeur. Which completely destroys our creative ability.

The solution? Do something that moves you forward that is completely NOT important. (more…)

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Border Crosser by Tom Doyle coverTLDR: a psychopathic, psychotic spy/killer/extreme artist/harbinger of Armageddon wants to save/kill/fuck/all of the above humanity. Strange, cold, bloody, and strangely sympathetic.

Warning: Triggers galore!

I have no idea how to classify Border Crosser. By rights, it should be horrible, a 2020’s psychological equivalent of the 1970’s blaxploitation movies. A psycsploitation. Or weirdsploitation.

Even so, it works because… I have no idea why, but it does. (more…)

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Pop psychology is full of pithy seize the day quotes. The purpose of life is to live it, to taste each experience to the utmost. Memento mori. Live like you would die tomorrow.

If I knew I’d die tomorrow, I’d spend the day playing video games, bingeing on chocolates, and wailing that life wasn’t fair.

If I lived this way every day, I’d get obese, depressed, and likely would die tomorrow. (more…)

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Banner - Fountain PenIn relationship psychology, there is this thing called the “five times positive”-rule. It says that for any relationship to remain positive over time, you need to have at least five times as many positive interactions as negative ones.

This is most commonly applied to parenting. If you yell at your kid once you have to make sure to have five positive play-dates with them before you yell at them again.

Otherwise, you’re going to get into recurring battles with your kids and your life will turn into a living hell.

Trust me on that one. (more…)

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Banner - rowersOnce upon a time in the dark ages of economic history, the human being was a rational agent.

We evaluated what we want, and found the cheapest way to get it. This, of course, had nothing to do with how humans act in reality. Instead, there came the much simplified theory of behavioral rewards.

It said that the brain creates neural pathways, using dopamine to reinforce or suppress them based on the rewards it’s received. This, too, proved wrong. (more…)

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Repetitions and Motifs

Repetitions and MotifsWhy do some scenes feel powerful and others do not? Why do some stories make us cry and others, just as skillfully told, leave us indifferent? Why do some books and games draw us in so strongly?

David Farland, in his Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing has the answer: because some events or experiences in the story are alike to what we ourselves have experienced and been moved by. Of course, different readers will react differently. If you ate a cheese-and-baloney sandwich when you found out that your beloved kitten had been run over by a bulldozer, you might cry at the thought of baloney, while I may not[note]I always cry at the though of baloney, especially in politics.[/note]. Different people have different experiences.

But what if there was a way to create these sorts of emotions within the story itself, regardless of who the reader is? (more…)

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Worldbuilding: Writing Unequal Societies

Worldbuilding: Writing Unequal SocietiesWhere are the chamberpot-technician? The dragon-brushers? The stepping stools-carriers? Nowhere, that’s why.

Fact is, that most works of fiction, whether SF, Fantasy, Horror, you name it, operate from the basic assumptions of an equal society. And that means that we’re missing whole segments of world building, encounters and stories that are never told because they can’t be conceived of.

But way, you say, here’s the poor pig herder who became prince. There’s the general that grew up in the slums. Aladdin – the diamond in the rough.

Nope, still operating from basic assumptions of equality. Let’s take a look. (more…)

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