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14 OCT 2017 - Cognitive bias appears to be the experts latest attempt to solve the problems of the world. Here's an article about it in the Washington Post. Wikipedia defines it as "...the systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion." Essentially it is using your past experiences to judge something. Some would say this results in good decisions, some would say it results in bad.

My comments:

Cognitive biasYeah, this whole "cognitive bias" thing doesn't pass the smell test.

First of all, "bias" is a word that is too politically loaded to be useful. It automatically generates a negative impression when in fact, sometimes a bias is good. An employer wants to have a bias for hiring good employees. Students practice to develop a bias for choosing the correct answer on tests. If you are biased towards making good decisions, you will have a better chance at being successful in life.

Second, the complexity of life is not something that can be easily written down in a formula. Maybe the best way to say that is some people appear to have wisdom (the ability to correctly deploy knowledge) and some people don't. If the issues of life were as simple as writing an if/then statement, then we'd all be millionaires living on our own private islands.

I get that people have preferences and sometimes those preferences result in bad decisions. But that's because people are people, and "being human" means making mistakes. So how are government people, who would be writing the rules for this cognitive bias correction, any better at not making mistakes than non-government people? Same goes for academics. Same goes for any famous person that feels the need to lecture everyone else about what they think we should all be thinking/saying/doing.

This whole cognitive bias thing sounds like "the expert's" next big thing to solve the problems of the world. Because after 10,000 years of civilization, they stumbled upon that one simple trick that will make everything perfect.

 

14 OCT 2017 - My October workouts... trying to be more consistent and think that if I post this online it might motivate me to achieve my goal. Which is to workout at least 5 days a week. Right now I'm doing P90 videos, but after several consistent weeks I want to make the jump to P90X.

EDIT: This entry is dated 10/14/2017 but the image below has been updated because it's a link to my Workout page.

Workout

 

11 OCT 2017 - So working in Palo Alto and going into the office this morning and it smelled like a campfire. I didn't think too much about it because I don't pay attention to the news, even though I'd seen headlines about the fire in Napa. But the news always exaggerates everything so I didn't think much of it.

But leaving to go home at the end of the day it really hit me - the smoke from the Napa fires had inudated everything. Anything more than a mile away was covered with haze.

It's still to early to say what started the fire, or rather fires, as there are actually a half dozen separate fires in the Napa area. From what I've been able to gather so far, the biggest reason for so much damage is most of them started around 10pm on Sunday evening. People were caught unaware and had little time to prepare to fight the fire or even try to save their homes.

High winds and dry fuel are another factor. October is a bad time of year for fire in California since there's an abundance of dry grass from the hot summer, and it's too early for the winter rains. And the windborn embers spread the fire at a rapid pace across fields and neigbborhoods.

Napa is 80 miles away from us here in south San Jose, and yet the sky is extremely hazy and the air has a strong odor of burnt wood. With the fire is less than 10% contained you can bet things will be worse over the next few days. But that's nothing compared to the people that have lost their homes. My family living in the Napa area reported in safe, but they know of many others that lost it all.

Not good.

 

01 OCT 2017 - Updated items...

 

 

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