April 18, 2014

Words to Know: Mokita

Cool Words

The word Mokita is a fantastic word taken from a language called Kivila.  It is spoken in Papua New Guinea.  The best English translation you can get of Mokita is, "the truth we all know but agree not to talk about." There are several concepts in the English language related to the notion of Mokita, such as the "elephant in the room" (e.g., a horribly scarred accident victim sees friends for the first time, none of whom mention the drastically altered appearance), as well as so-called "polite … [Read more...]

What’s Your Speech Dialect?

My Speech Dialect

There is a new interactive quiz at The New York Times that lets you see how your speech choices match up with various geographic regions in the nation.  It's fairly quick and can provide some interesting results.  Here's a look at mine. I'm most verbally at home in Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky, though, interestingly, I have a so-called General American Accent, which is the most neutral in the United States, probably because I grew up very close to the southern side of that shaded area nea … [Read more...]

Mental Model: The Psychology of Music and Its Influence on Mood and Business Results

Jurassic Park Theme Song

Following the post on the Dies Irae Principle earlier, I started thinking about the role of sound in regulating mood.  Thirteen years ago, I was sitting in my undergraduate freshman music theory class, having moved thousands of miles away from home to begin university.  At the time, I had enrolled in the Bachelor of Music program with a concentration in classical performance, using my voice to pay for a big part of the tuition bill and my piano skills to breeze through a lot of requirements ( … [Read more...]

Mental Model – Signaling Theory

Signaling Theory - Before Transformation

One of the biggest mental model obsessions I've had for the past few years - so consuming that I rarely even mention it in public, and hardly ever on this site as I am still working on fully grasping the implications and mechanics - is something called signaling theory.  The gist of signaling theory is that at all times, in all situations, you are broadcasting aspects of your identity, beliefs, personality, and lifestyle to the people around you, often with significant social implications.  It e … [Read more...]

The Secret 3-Parent Biological Children Born In the United States Are Now Teenagers

3 Parent Biological Children

With the public suddenly seeming to notice that three-parent biological children are now a scientific possibility, The Telegraph is reporting, "A group of 34 European politicians, including eight British MPs and peers, has signed a declaration attacking plans which will make the UK the first country in the world to permit the new IVF technique." Here's the thing: The technique was secretly used in New Jersey more than a decade ago, so the United States already has at least 30 teenagers who h … [Read more...]

The New Chipotle Ad Is the Best Advertisement I’ve Seen In Years

Chipotle Ad

The new Chipotle ad has been going around the Internet.  This is art.  Not only does it tell a story, the subconscious psychological reinforcements of the Chipotle brand (notice the pepper logo at 2:33) are well done and non-intrusive.  Then, after you watch the mini-movie, you can download an iPad and iPhone game that brings you further into the story.  This is brand equity building on steroids.  Fiona Apple's slight key change for the Willy Wonka, "World of Pure Imagination" theme is a big part … [Read more...]

How the Mere Association Mental Model Destroyed a Perfectly Good Diet Business

Ayds Diet Pills

In the 1930's and 1940's, the Carlay Company in Chicago, Illinois developed a candy coated dietary suppressant called Ayds.  It sold the business to Campana Corporation.  Campana was then sold to Dow Chemical.  In the 1960's, Dow sold the business to Purex and hired legendary Hollywood stars and other celebrities to endorse the product.  In 1981, Purex exited the business by selling it to a firm called Jeffrey Martin, Inc. Throughout the 1970's and early 1980's, Ayds was very successful, gen … [Read more...]

The 6 Most Common Biological Sexes in Humans

Human Biological Sex Gender

Many of you have expressed an interest in more of my personal essays; the documents I use myself to study various topics and take advantage of the so-called "orangutan theory", which states that forcing yourself to write down your ideas, or speaking them out loud, even if your only audience is a large primate in a circus tent, shifts your brain into a logical mode that gives you a better understanding of what you believe, both inherently and explicitly.  I decided to share another one of the … [Read more...]

Otherkin and Mental Models

Otherkin Cat

There are several things I'm studying on my "mental model" list and adding to my files.  The problem I have is I don't feel comfortable sharing them on the site because it would require pointing out many examples - and there are wonderful, textbook examples out there - that come in the form of angst-ridden Tumblr blogs.  If I could trust the audience to look, but not interact, with these people, I'd be more open about it, but the last thing I want is a mentally unbalanced person getting a b … [Read more...]

The Honey Bee Dance and Why You Should Know It

Honey Bee Dance and Waggle Dance

The honey bee dance, also known as the honey bee waggle dance, is one of the most amazing things found in nature.  To understand why it is so important, you need to appreciate how much we depend on the honey bee, how complex its hive behavior is, the specialization of tasks, and the ways in which a honey bee is really part of a superorganism that is greater than any individual member.  Without the parent hive, death is certain. We'll get to the waggle dance in a moment.  First, some ba … [Read more...]