Continuing the quest to understand the personalities of fictional TV characters we turn to How I Met Your Mother. If Barney is awesome, what does that mean in terms of The Big Five? We throw in the Dalai Lama and the observers’ selves to get context.
Coordinating one’s actions with the actions of others is hard when there is no communication. It is even harder when we are trying to do whatever the other person is not doing, that is, when we try to achieve negative coordination.
Many believe the Dalai Lama can do no wrong, that he represents compassion, wisdom, humor, and serenity in its purest form. Not everyone agrees, and after reading Colin Goldner’s streitschrift, my enthusiasm has weakened.
Rational actors tragically don’t do well in social dilemmas according to game theory. Things would be different if play were to continue indefinitely. But there ain’t no such thing. All things must come to an end.
The experience of consciousness is powerful and obligatory (when you wake up in the morning). Yet, it is difficult to prove that consciousness even exists. I think there is a way, though, and it is surprisingly simple.
The advent of neuromarketing raises specters of high-tech mind-reading and the manipulation of consumer behavior. After reading a recent review, I expect that some of our preferences will remain private, at least for now.
When you have to give up logic to score points for free will, you should know that you are in trouble. Celebrity scholars Pinker and Kaku have no such compunction. Watch them on youtube and read my two cents.
Let’s declare the libertarian (incompatibilist) argument for free will dead. That leaves the watered-down, muddled, stir-fried, compatibilist argument. This too leaves me dyspeptic. Though logically superior to the libertarian argument, the compatibilist argument invites abuse by moralists.
Questions of psychological interest pop up everywhere. My approach to blogging is promiscuous, opportunistic, and heterodox. I comment on a variety of issues, ranging from animal behavior to the human experience of guilt and happiness to philosophy of science. I draw on personal experience, recent public events such as movies or media debacles, and of course the peer-reviewed archive of our field.