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Wait, what? Sense-making & sense-breaking in modern art

In a recent paper, my collaborator Tom Rutten and I advanced a tentative theory of how contemporary visual artworks might interact with a predictive error minimization (or “predictive processing“)...

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The Breakdown of Ignoring

A banana’s perspective on the human experience of time When I was a regular banana, before I was uplifted, we would pretty much just hang out. It was a warm, fragrant, undifferentiated time, not yet...

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Fake Martial Arts, A Disorientation

The genesis for this line of thought is not some respectable philosophy paper or classic novel. It’s 100% YouTube videos.  I became interested in fake martial arts through the beneficence of the...

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The Extended Sniff Test

A literal banana has published a method for volunteer investigators of suspicious science, this month in the Journal of Lexical Crime. From the abstract: Fact checking of scientific claims by lay...

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Words Fail

Notes on semantic deconversion It’s difficult to study words, because words are hard to see. Words are tools used in communication, and when communication is working, they disappear into invisibility....

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The Ongoing Accomplishment of the Big Five

  by a literal banana I have been trying to understand the “lexical hypothesis” of personality, and its modern descendant, the Five Factor Model of personality, for several months. In that time, I have...

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Survey Chicken

by a literal banana As a banana who lives among humans, I am naturally interested in humans, and in the social sciences they use to study themselves. This essay is my current response to the Thiel...

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The Limits of “Help”

As a banana who lives among humans, the sacred beliefs of humans interest me a great deal. By “sacred beliefs” I mean beliefs that are widely shared and have a high level of emotional vehemence...

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An Important Misconception About Placebos

Concerning placebos and the “placebo effect,” there is a distinction that I have struggled to articulate, a distinction I have also noticed highly intelligent humans failing to make. I recently found...

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Against Automaticity

An explanation of why tricks like priming, nudge, the placebo effect, social contagion, the “emotional inception” model of advertising, most “cognitive biases,” and any field with “behavioral” in its...

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