My Dark Triad Profile

The Dark Triad is one of those things that I hadn’t heard about until recently. It’s a trifecta of "negative" personality traits: Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy – or, roghly speaking, preoccupation with self, tendency toward deceit, and lack of emotional depth/sensitivity. I could have told you before I took the test that the only one…

The Experts on Expert Advice

One thing that gets a little wearying in political discussions online is argument from authority. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, that’s when someone avoids an argument by pointing to an expert who supports their opinion. So, for example, when you say something disparaging about Obamacare’s finances, people will frequently point you to some CBO…

Intelligence and its Discontents

A very interesting article on the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies page by Daniel Eubanks (Is Intelligence Self-Limiting?) toys with the idea that intelligence may be self-limiting – in the following way: modifying the environment is not that much different from modifying the input signals from the environment, save that modifying input signals is…

Dynamical Symbols

Noah put me on to some gratifying articles on the Dynamical Systems approach to cognition appearing in the latest edition of Topics in Cognitive Science. They all share a skepticism of Dynamical Systems as a scientific movement. Sure, it’s a useful approach that should be pursued; it tells us things about cognition we would otherwise…