Blink references of interest

Blink had a large number of notes and references in the back of it. The ones I found of interest are:

  • Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart, Peter M. Todd, Gerd Gigerenczer, and the ABC Research Group, ideas behind "fast and frugal", New York: Oxford University Press, 1999
  • Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious, by Timothy Wilson, Harvard University Press, 2002)
  • Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain, Antonio Damasio, HarperCollins, 1994
  • Lifting the Fog of War, William A. Owens, Farrar, Straus, 2000
  • Sources of Power, Gary Klein, MIT Press, 1998
  • Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre, Keith Johnstone, Theatre Art Books, 1979
  • The Total package: The Secret History and Hidden Meanings of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Other Persuasive Containers, Thomas Hine, Little Brown, 1995
  • Telling Lies: Clies to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics and Marriage, Paul Ekman, Norton, 1995
  • Facial Action Coding Systems, Part 1 and 2, Paul Ekman and Walllace V Friesen, Human Interaction Laboratory, Dept of Psychiatry, University of California, 1978

Oh! You're reading again!

Blog entry

A few days ago, Kris worked late and arrived home to see me on the couch reading. Usually, when he comes home, I'm in front of my computer at the dining area table. The computer faces the tall living room windows, so I get lots of light while I'm working. Well, during the day, anyway.

When he arrived home, and saw my reading a book, he exclaimed, "Oh! You're reading again!"

As my pile of books has been increasing, I've been making a concerted effort to read them, instead of the magazines and web articles that I'd been reading as of late. Being so far behind on my book reading, I've just now finishing blink: the power of thinking without thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell. I had bought it very early in the year from Costco, and intended to read it with Mike, Greg, and Raphael for the community site Raphael had built, but, well, didn't.

I didn't like the book. And, I have to say, I'm also disappointed with the book. I'll give it two stars of five (using the scale), but one of those is for the notes at the of the book, referring to other studies, papers and sources.

Why so low?

Because I can sum up the book with this sentence: "Hey, some people have intuition, which is basically their brain processing information they aren't aware they're aware of." To which the author says, "And this is really cool, let me give you four different main examples and a bunch more auxilliary examples."

Yes, people process more than they realize they process. And that uneasy feeling in your gut is part of that processing, so listen. Oh, and don't rush into anything, or try to describe why you have these feelings, because that'll mess up the processing. And, oh, yeah, training will help, so put yourself in the stressful situation so that you can deal with it next time.

The organization of the book is also odd. Several times (at least three times) while reading, I had to look at the page numbers to make sure I wasn't reading a section I had already read, ant to make sure there wasn't a mis-print in the book where a section of the book was printed twice (yes, I had books like that). The repetition for effect didn't emphasis the point for me. Instead, it distracted me because the emphasis was duplication.

Now, it's entirely possible that I'm more knowledgable than most people about the topics presented in the book; that by keeping up with various science journals and websites I've been exposed to the content of the book already. But I don't think so. I'm not convinced this is why I believe the book wasn't particularly good.

Here's what I did take away from the book:

  • Contempt is the biggest factor in determining marriage success.
  • Thinking outside the box makes you an outcast until people realize your brilliance.
  • Emotions and opinions can be manipultated by packaging.
  • People can be unconsiously primed to behave somewhat in desired ways
  • I want to learn more about Paul Van Riper and the Red team

Oh, and the book gave away the ending of the movie Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf for me. Bah.


Blog entry

Or, how I had fun losing every game at Beware-o the Sombrero.

Off to a late start, I dashed up to San Mateo this morning to play in the 9th annual Beware-o the Sombrero tournament. Now, the "9th" part bothers me a bit, because I thought Kris and I attended the first one, which Dave, Joshua, Dan and Mike organized when they were still in high school. The tournament has since grown huge, is still well organized, and, well, the four of them are all out of college now. Time flies.

The problem I have with that ninth, is that I've been in the Bay Area only eight years, and with Kris only seven, so I couldn't have attended the first one if it was nine years (or rather eight years plus a few days) ago. So, either my counting or their counting is off, or we didn't go to the first one.

Kris and I arrived late to the first one, and so were baggaged together on Dave's team. We lost every game, and Dave introduced us to the term 'Sucky suck', as we were indeed on the sucky-suck team. We still use that term. Clearly.

I arrived late, having called Joshua earlier to tell him that Kris wasn't coming, and I would be late, in hopes we would be drafted (or not) appropriately. As I was figuring out which team I was on, a woman injured her ankle on the field I was crossing. Joshua placed me on that team to replace the injured woman. We eventually played the team I would have been on. The team I was on went 0-4 to reign sucky-suck. The team I would have been on went 4-0 and made it to at least the playoffs (I couldn't figure out if the first round of playoffs was quarters or semis). Ah, well, fire missiles!

The biggest "Huh?!?" moment happened between the first game, which we had just lost by two points, and the second game, which we would also lose by two points. There were two of us on the team that were older, where older is hereby defined as "out of college." The rest of the team was, indeed, all college and high school students. I'd say I felt old, but I didn't (even when I realized I was twice as old as one of the players, because those are wiley veteran years, my child!). So, the other "old" guy said in the team huddle, "I hear we're going to run a dump that just stands there behind the thrower. He doesn't do anything until the count of five; he just stands there." The entire rest of the team answers, "Yes." To which he responds, "But I've never heard of that before."


Blink. Blink.

The player may have been old, but he clearly hasn't played the game.

I played fairly lackluster. Nothing in my game particularly stood out. In the last game we played, against another team that was also 0-3, I kept guarding the same woman. After her throwing the goal or the assist in the first three points I covered her, I became annoyed, and decided she wasn't going to touch the disc again while I was covering her. She didn't. And based on her grunts while cutting, I'm guessing it was starting to frustrate her. shrug You can't get better if you don't play against better competition.

We did end up losing all our games. According to Dan K, whom I caught up with on my way across the fields to lunch (in one of my Kris-defined social butterfly moments), the advanced male players were distributed on teams 1-12 in order, with the female advanced players distributed along the same path, giving team A the top male and female players, team B with the second top pair, etc. Unfortunately, there weren't 12 advanced male and female players, so later teams (I was on team H) had no advanced players. The team I would have played on was supposed to have Kris and me, and did fairly well without us.

(Fists to sky, looking up) We would have crushed! Bwa ha ha ha!

I had a really good time, despite the score and the losses. I played with Scoops (she would tell people she could juggle ice cream scoops) and Andrea, from Berkeley, as well as Jeff (Venga) from UCSD (even managed to be an honorary squid for a game), who had come to a Mischief track workout earlier this year. I also met many other up and coming players, some of whom I'm sure I'll see on the College Champies videos in future years.

And so that I have the memory connection down, Scoops was on the opposing team for the first game I played in two years ago at Beware-o the Sombrero. She was on Ben Wiggins' team, and had come off the field on one point frustrated that she was unable to play strong defense against me (i.e. I had worked her over that point). Ben was very encouraging. Scoops' playing has come a long way since that game two years ago. I don't know her real name, but she's tallish, blonde hair, wore glasses this year and has a younger brother Jacob, who barely missed catching a huck I threw this year..

Great. Now what?

Blog entry

So, Kris comes home tonight, and sitting on the front step is a box.

It's a big box.

He thinks, "Good lord, woman, what have you ordered this time?"

I arrive home ten minutes later. I walk in the door. Only, I can't actually get in the door, because there's a huge box in the way.

So, I ask, "What's this?"

And Kris looks at me like, "What do you mean, 'What's this?' Did you order this?"

"What? What? I didn't order this! I'm done spending money."

"Uh huh."

"For the year."

So, I scramble over the box and into the house, and look at the box. I tear into it, pulling all the pieces out, scattering them across the living room floor. Then, in true boy fashion, I assemble it without looking at the instructions:

If only I knew who sent it to me. I'd write them a thank you note. Fly out and give them a hug, too.

I hate domain squatters

Blog entry

For reasons I'm unable to comprehend at the moment, I happen to surf for good domain names when I'm idle and have a connection. At one point, Jamie commented that my domain (which I haven't done anything with yet) is one of the shortest personal domains he knows of. I commented that I have, which is my shortest domain name, but, well, this site is really the only site I'm particularly good at updating regularly. I also own, for Kris, but he does nothing with that one (nor with, which is also his).

Yet, even with a slew of unused domains, I still surf, looking at various domains. Today, I tried to find another short one, one that I could use with my name., the most obvious one, was taken. So was for Kris. Both had squatter pages on them "This domain name is for sale!".

Okay, so I kept looking. Taken. Taken. Taken. Taken. Taken. Taken. Taken.

My first thought was "Good lord!" followed by a mental note to put "coming soon!" notices on all the extra domains I have that aren't being used.

I guess Kris and I will stick to our k? domains as our short, short, shortest domains.