The Maudlin Consumer

"Because the coldhearted equations of classical economics neglect emotion, their description of our decisions remained woefully incomplete." The Frontal Cortex on the irrational consumer.

"We’ve come to realize that we’re not nearly as rational as we like to believe, that the brain is driven by all sorts of inarticulate feelings and pre-programmed instincts. It’s worth noting, however, that the modern investigation into our irrationality didn’t begin with a brain scan, or with discussions of the amygdala. Instead, it began with a few inconsistent people, making economic decisions about their vacation. ... Patients exhibit a similar bias: When asked whether they would choose surgery in a hypothetical medical emergency, twice as many people opted to go under the knife when the chance of survival was given as 80 percent than when the chance of death was given as 20 percent."

Technology & Innovation
  • 3.1 million individuals could lose their job to self-driving cars.
  • But A.I. is not a monolith: it makes a lot of mistakes.
  • To better understand how to navigate our economic future, we should pay attention to these mistakes.
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Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
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