Epistemology, Cognition, and the Future of Technology

  1. The Facebook Emotion Contagion Study

    I recently published an essay to help contextualize the data from the famous 2014 Facebook Emotion Contagion study– a study in which Facebook researchers removed between 10 and 90% of either positive or negative emotional content on user news feeds to see if it affected their emotions. The study sparked…

  2. Pop-Science Psychology Books are Untrustworthy

    I recently wrote a post outlining how the popular book Glow Kids undermined its credibility with a fraudulent data.  I also examined an overstatement by New York Times best-selling author Robert Cialdini in his most recent book.   Pop-psychology needs to be approached with a high degree of skepticism. Poor statistical…

  3. 'Glow Kids' Cites Bad Research

    I recently finished the pop-science book 'Glow Kids', which is a reasonably compelling look at the damage screen culture is having on children.  Unfortunately, the author was fooled by some fraudulent research.   The Cover of 'Glow Kids'Glow Kids and Screens ThemselvesI think about quite a bit is the separation of…

  4. Never Say 'Statistically Significant' Again

    2019 was the year of revolt against 'statistical significance', with major critiques signed by hundreds of statisticians appearing across many major journals.  We're witnessing a fundamental change in how we evaluate and condense academic literature; a tectonic shift away from misapplied frequentist statistical techniques that have led to decades of…

  5. Quick Note on Rationality

    Rationality has two definitions that I frequently come across– here's a quick note on some important concepts related to the idea. Rationality in EconomicsIn economics, the word 'rational' is used to describe self-consistency– i.e. if you prefer A over B over C, you prefer A over C.  You have…

  6. The Lever Problem

    The modern academic and journalistic refrain calls out the same arguments– Twitter, Facebook, and Google are radicalizing our political dialog, supplanting our meaningful social connections, and driving us towards predictable consumerist self-medication.  The only solution is more oversight, increased regulation, and tighter control of our communication technologies.  This analysis has…