Friday, February 19, 2010

Chatting With a Star!

I can hardly type, I'm so excited that I had the opportunity to chat a little on Facebook today, with literary brilliance and human behaviorist extraordinaire, Jonah Lehrer.  Isn't social networking wonderful?  We can reach out and engage in conversations about something, everything... or nothing, with people who would have normally been consider unattainable.  Social networking makes us all seem a bit more "the kid next doorish" and I like that.  Please click on his name above so you can check out his home page and see not only his credentials and his articles (he writes for The New Yorker for instance) but his amazing blog called The Frontal Cortex 





Post #12
Jonah Lehrer wrote49 minutes ago
I was just talking to a scientist yesterday
(Jonathan Schooler at UCSB, who has done
some great stuff on mind wandering) and he
noted how surfing the web is a lot like mind
wandering. We simply follow the links, even
when the connections are tenuous. In other
words, the internet allows us to free associate
and make all sorts of new and unexpected
connections. So that's another way that
technology is assisting (or at least imitating)
some of the functions of the human brain.

















Eager Beaver Me jumping in at this point:  

Post #13
You wrote47 minutes ago
MORE MORE MORE on how social networks 
/ social media is affecting decision making...er... lack of. LOL









Post #15
Jonah Lehrer wrote45 minutes ago
I think that still remains unclear, Alexis. It's a really important
 question, but there are few good answers. I wrote recently
on my blog, for instance, about how having lots of facebook
friends doesn't mean we have more close friends in real life.

Anecdotally, one peculiar thing about having a smartphone
is that I rarely buy anything in a store without checking with
the web first. Is this a good price? A good product? The
end result is that I'm even MORE indecisive than usual.
So that's a classic case of paralysis by analysis, which I
think is becoming more and more common, at least in my life.










Post #17
You wrote43 minutes ago
Jonah, I'm quite the opposite. I was hesitant to
 buy if I didn't have enough information. I've 
been using social networks to ask for suggestions 
or experiences regarding products and/or services... 
with huge success. It's given me confidence to
 make purchases I normally would have sat on for a while. ; )










Post #21
Jonah Lehrer wrote40 minutes ago
Well, Alexis, I think the future will help us narrow down
the overflow of information by using our social networks,
weighting information according to whether or not our
friends also found that information useful. So you're
ahead of the curve!
(Did you see that?  Jonah Lehrer says I'm 
"ahead of the curve".   I'm going to blow that up 
and stencil it on my living room wall.)


















Post #30
You wrote34 minutes ago
Jonah, do you find a trend with females 
versus males as to who goes with the gut 
instinct the most? (I would guess females... 
perhaps being more intuitive... 
but just a big fat guess).










Post #33
Jonah Lehrer wrote59 minutes ago
Actually, there's little evidence that women are
more intuitive. However, there are real gender
differences in decision-making, which I wrote
about here:
http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2009/03/men_vs_women.php









Post #39
Jonah Lehrer wrote51 minutes ago
I haven't actually found any meaningful gender differences when it comes to creativity. But it's
an interesting question. One of the things that
drew me to creativity as a subject is that it's so
damn mysterious. We have virtually no idea
how the brain creates its new ideas, although
that seems to a big part of what the
human brain is doing....










Post #32
Hannah Pfeifle Harlow wroteabout an hour ago
Jonah, I'm so curious to know how you do your
research. I imagine you hanging out with scientists
 all day talking about cool research projects and
experiments. Am I glorifying it a bit? How do
you find the right people to talk to?









Post #35
Jonah Lehrer wrote55 minutes ago
Those are the fun days. The less fun days involve
 lots of time in the library, reading science
journals. But it's a true luxury getting to hang
out with brilliant researchers. I sometimes
think about the Auden quote, about how
when he's in the company of scientists he feels
like a "shabby curate in a room full of dukes"...










Post #36
You wrote54 minutes ago
LOL!!! What books do YOU read for pleasure? 
As if you have time.









Post #40
Jonah Lehrer wrote49 minutes ago
I love novels. I'm reading Wolf Hall on my
Kindle at the moment. Then I'm going to
re-read the Rabbit Trilogy by Updike.
The last book I read for research was
 an interesting book on Silicon Valley,
called "Regional Advantage". It's about
 the success of Silicon Valley (at least
when compared to Rt 128 outside Boston)
 is largely due to its social networks, and
the ease with which people can share ideas...
I love this comment about CREATIVITY ...
 it makes me think of HubSpot and 
the good things they are doing there.  
Check this out... and ask yourself 
what you're doing to encourage 
creativity in your workplace, home 
or where ever:  









Post #44
Jonah Lehrer wrote36 minutes ago
In general, creativity is accelerated by
sharing. So workplaces that
encourage "horizontal interactions"
generate more new ideas. That's
why Google puts free food in its
cafeterias. They want people to talk
while eating, and thus share all
their speculations, hypotheses, etc...
It's also why Pixar only has a single
bathroom for each gender...It's all
about designing workplaces
that maximize interactions. Cities,
by the way, seem to obey the same
principles, with cities that encourage
more interactions generating
more innovations...
(So NYC is more innovative than,
 say, Phoenix.)
Thanks to Jonah Lehrer and the other participants
of Fans of Jonah Lehrer on Facebook for
sparking my interest in decision making even more! 
on a side note from my facebook page:  
"Alexis and Jonah Lehrer are now friends."   Woohoo!







1 comment:

Connie said...

Alexis, thanks for "introducing" me to Jonah and his work via your blog. Also, you can count on my vote for the living room wall stencil. You truly are ahead of the curve!