Abstraction

There are scales of explanation. A human can be considered a person, mammal, collection of cells, collection of stardust. Sometimes the reason people can't agree completely is that they're unwittingly considering things at various levels of abstraction.

Scope Neglect

We evolved for the small scale of tribal life, so we can't comprehend the big numbers that recently entered human life. We can appreciate the difference between 50 and 100, but not a million and a billion. It's why we often treat geopolitics like family politics.

The Law of Very Large Numbers

Given a wide enough dataset, any pattern can be observed. A million-to-one odds happen eight times a day in NYC (population eight million). The world hasn't become crazier, we're just seeing more of everything. Social media has a lot to do with that.

Benford's Law

Numbers in natural sets of data are not uniformly distributed (e.g., 30% of numbers have 1 as their first digit). Used by the ATO, IRS and other tax agencies to determine if you've lied about your finances.

Brandolini's Law (aka the Bullshit Asymmetry Principle)

It takes a lot more energy to refute bullshit than to produce it. Hence, the world is full of unrefuted bullshit.

The Toxoplasma of Rage

The ideas that spread most are not those everyone agrees with, but those that divide people most, because people see them as causes to attack or defend to signal their commitment to a tribe. Emotion trumps logic in the emotionally unintelligent.

Network Effect

The more people using a network, the more useful it becomes. A phone gains utility as more people use phones because more people can be called with it. It's why Twitter & Facebook are so dominant; we're stuck on these platforms because everyone else is. Leave these platforms and see what happens to your network.

Paradox of Abundance

Easy availability of food led to obesity for the masses but good health for the few who used the increased choice to avoid the mass-produced junk. Equally, you can avoid intellectual diabetes by ignoring junk info like gossip & clickbait. Mental diet is just as, if not more so, than a physical diet.

Parkinson's Law

Work expands to fill the time allotted for it. No matter the size of the task, it will often precisely take the amount of time you set aside to do it, because more time means more deliberation & procrastination.

Flow States

You're in flow when you're so engrossed in a task that the world vanishes, and the work seems to do itself. Flow is automatic, and it makes work much easier than you imagined. All you must do is overcome the initial hurdle of beginning a task; flow does the rest.