Month: November 2009

  • Sugar Ray Robinson and Self-Reliance

    In Intelligent Life‘s review of Sweet Thunder, a Sugar Ray Robinson biography, they discuss Sugar Ray’s entrepreneurial spirit and tenacity in keeping control over his own business and brand. Robinson was savvy. He was the first black athlete to own most of the rights to his fights and to negotiate broadcasting deals on radio and…

  • Influencing Behaviour Online

    Ignoring, for a moment, the rather unsound and outmoded neuroscience propounded in the introduction, these tips for extending influence online and persuading your visitors are worth a few minutes: Show ratings and reviews by other users (for action through social validation). Provide instant gratification and a quick fix. Put the most important action to be…

  • Financial Equivalents of Life Events

    Willingness to pay to prevent traumatic life events is “the relevant standard” for measuring the hurt they inflict upon a person. This is according to Robin Hanson, responding to comments in an earlier article of his (previously) where he suggested that as cuckoldry “is a bigger reproductive harm than rape, so we should expect a…

  • Incidence and Prevention of ‘Non-Paternity Events’

    A non-paternity event is a situation whereby the biological father of a child is “someone other than who it is presumed to be”. Typically this involves some form of¬†paternity fraud. In one of the most gut-wrenching articles I’ve read in months (due to the many¬†human interest stories in the article, no doubt), the surprising incidence…

  • Why We Make Lists

    One of the current exhibitions being held in the Mus√©e du Louvre, Paris has been curated by author and consistent top intellectual, Umberto Eco. The Infinity of Lists, as the exhibition is called, looks at the human fascination with lists and how they have progressed cultures. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It…

  • Newspaper Design Using Web Design Principles

    Earlier this year Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger asked Information Architects, a Japanese-Swiss UX-oriented web design agency, to come up with a pitch for a redesign of their offline newspaper. The result is a concept and set of designs that are subtle re-workings of what works for print, integrated with what works online. The concept was:¬†Use all…

  • Blogs Designed Like Magazines

    With the blogs of Dustin Curtis, Gregory Wood and Jason Santa Maria as examples (each worthy of your time, by the way), Smashing Magazine looks at blogs designed like magazines,* discussing¬†what these ‘blogazines’ mean for the future of boring blog posts. Dustin Curtis had this to say on the drawbacks of designing like this on…

  • Why Pinker and Gladwell Disagree

    If you didn’t already know, Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, What the Dog Saw, is a collection of his best essays as published in The New Yorker (all of which are available on his site for free, if you prefer to read them there). Since its publication, journalists and scientists have been¬†criticising¬†Gladwell over what they¬†perceive¬†as his…

  • Breeding Trust Through Better Science Journalism

    With a public distrust of scientists comes the idea that “no scientific evidence will ever be compelling”. That’s what we can learn from Creationism, says Andrew Brown, and to solve this distrust we cannot rely on education to help the next generation understand, but instead we must improve science journalism. I’m not sure what the…

  • The End of the Inverted Pyramid

    The inverted pyramid style of reportage is broken, believes Jason Fry, and it is time to reinvent contextless reporting into a more reader-friendly style. Fry points to an essential Nieman Reports essay that suggests¬†how context-central reporting could be the future of reporting and a reason why Wikipedia is becoming the destination of choice for those…