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Monday, November 15, 2010

Inflaton, Inflatino / A cognitive flaw connecting procrastination, obedience, and addiction

There's a new Paper on inflation released in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics.  In the Abstract it states that the theoretical particles "inflaton" and supersymmetric particle "inflatino" might be produced at the LHC at CERN.  It also states that the inflaton would be be "light," and probably "coupled to the Higgs sector."  I don't like the word "light" being used in this context.  It's ambiguous.


I was shown this Article about procrastination on the New Yorker by a friend recently.  A short ways into it, the author references a paper by George Akerlof: "Procrastination and Obedience."  Skipping the rest of the NYer article, I delved into the paper by Akerlof.

There's a cognitive flaw that we humans have, where a conspicuous event carries more importance or weight in internal decision making than it ought to.  If we know credible, statistical info that a purchase of brand A would be superior for our situation as opposed to a purchase of brand B, memorable or salient influences such as anecdotes can cause us to make a decision we specifically know is not the best. We purchase brand B anyway.  These tiny losses add up over time, and depending on the decisions, can cause one's downfall.

A series of wrong decisions can snowball to eventually make you become a person you never wanted to be, or have habits you regard with similar emotional distaste.

Obedience to cults, or uncommonly strong obedience to authority in general can arrise from this cognitive flaw.  Similar to cults, gangs gain followers partly due their recruits falling into this type of thinking.

Addiction also applies.  The tiny liberties taken while starting an addictive habit have an end result the consumer almost never intends.  Smokers seem to always be intending to quit soon, but they procrastinate.  The blaring horn (conspicuous event) is the physical withdrawal, yet smokers are consciously aware of the option that is most beneficial to them: quitting.

The strangest connection to all this is that the aforementioned cognitive flaw is seen quite clearly with a habit we all are aware of succumbing to on occasion: Procrastination.  With procrastination, the ideal path of action that we do not choose is that of maximum productivity.  I haven't read any data on the habits of procrastination being linked statistically to other negative behavior; but the cognitive connection here between such macabre scenarios and procrastination is going to make me look into it... tomorrow.  Well maybe the day after tomorrow, tomorrow I'm busy...  I'll get around to it.

So far as sinning goes, this idea could be said to have been expressed in the cautionary adage "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

You can get the paper if you click this link of a google search and then click the the first pdf link up top.  For some reason I can't link to it directly.




TODAY'S OVERFLOW:

Arsenic (yes THAT arsenic) treatment in early stages of leukemia is having dramatically positive results.  Article on PhysOrg

So I hear Kate Moss is super symmetric.  I'm gonna start calling her Skate Mossino...   "Kate Moss Has A Perfectly Symmetrical Face, Say Scientists." Article on ThaIndian  ... I think that's the nerdiest joke I've ever made.

Tons of SUSY lectures for free on Cambridge's site.  It's an awful lot, and it's amazing you can get stuff like this for free online.

"LHC Sees Its First ZZ Event" Article on PhysicsWorld... Well my eyelids are experiencing a weak force.  I'm gonna have to ZZ myself.  Goodnight!

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