Brain Lenses $5 / month

Brain Lenses explores the interaction between technology, society, and individual cognition. It delves into how external factors like technology, societal structures, and linguistic nuances influence our perceptions, behaviors, and well-being, often critiquing modern trends and psychological phenomena through the lens of historical, technological, and philosophical insights.

Technology and Society Psychology and Behavior Philosophy and Ethics Political and Social Dynamics Health and Well-being Leadership and Communication Economics and Productivity

The hottest Substack posts of Brain Lenses

And their main takeaways
78 implied HN points β€’ 09 Jan 24
  1. When we try to suppress a thought, it tends to resurface in our consciousness even more.
  2. Accepting and focusing on unwanted feelings may prevent them from intensifying.
  3. Refocusing our attention and investing in distractions can help deal with preoccupying thoughts more productively.
58 implied HN points β€’ 30 Jan 24
  1. Self-handicapping is a protective reflex when facing challenges we fear we can't handle.
  2. It involves holding back to preserve self-esteem by attributing failure to lack of effort, not lack of capability.
  3. Repeat reliance on self-handicapping can lead to lowered self-esteem and a pattern of unhelpful self-definition.
58 implied HN points β€’ 18 Jan 24
  1. In times of emotional overwhelm, consider doing the opposite of what you feel like doing.
  2. When overloaded with emotions, our cravings may lead us to actions that make us feel worse.
  3. Research shows that when feeling down, indulging in sad music can intensify the sadness.
58 implied HN points β€’ 16 Jan 24
  1. A conspiracy theory suggests that the internet is dominated by automated messages and bots, pushing humans out of online conversations.
  2. The increasing presence of AI-generated content raises concerns about overwhelming human-produced content and potential communication difficulties.
  3. There are worries that excessive AI content may lead to decreased human interaction on online platforms.
39 implied HN points β€’ 08 Feb 24
  1. Manipulated photographs can lead to false memories in participants.
  2. Replication studies can validate research findings.
  3. Cultural context can influence the impact of manipulated images on memory.
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39 implied HN points β€’ 06 Feb 24
  1. Filled pauses are common in conversations to indicate that the speaker is not done speaking yet.
  2. These filler sounds provide context clues about tone and intended meaning in conversations.
  3. Prejudices against filler words in communication seem to be based on societal biases rather than their actual impact.
19 implied HN points β€’ 25 Jan 24
  1. Max Weber coined the term 'iron cage' to describe how modern humans are enclosed within capitalistic systems with strict structures.
  2. The structures of capitalism and bureaucracies have created an almost indestructible shell that governs social, relational, and resource management aspects of our lives.
  3. Many people operate within this 'iron cage' without realizing the system they are enclosed in.
19 implied HN points β€’ 23 Jan 24
  1. Misophonia is a neurological syndrome causing heightened sensitivity to certain sounds triggering negative emotional states like anger and anxiety.
  2. Misophonia may be a learned conditioned response from childhood, possibly linked to anxiety disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorders.
  3. Research on misophonia is still in its early stages, with speculation on categorization and limited methods for managing symptoms.
19 implied HN points β€’ 11 Jan 24
  1. The Friendship Paradox states that your friends likely have more friends than you.
  2. People with a lot of friends are more likely to show up in multiple friend groups.
  3. This phenomenon skews the sample pool when looking at a random person's friend group.
19 implied HN points β€’ 23 Feb 23
  1. Most public middle and high schools start before 8:30am, which can affect teen's sleep
  2. Teens aged 13 to 18 should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night to avoid various negative consequences
  3. Lack of sleep can lead to symptoms of depression, health issues, decreased physical activity, and poor academic performance
19 implied HN points β€’ 14 Feb 23
  1. Jacques Ellul believed that modern technology has led to a loss of intellectual and practical liberty.
  2. Ted Kaczynski, influenced by Ellul's ideas, took a different path by using violence to address technology's negative impact.
  3. The concept of Surrogate Activities derived from Ellul's ideas focuses on non-essential tasks hindering efficiency and personal growth.
19 implied HN points β€’ 21 Feb 23
  1. Higher status individuals tend to live longer compared to lower status individuals within the same organization.
  2. Lower social status is associated with stress-related habits that can lead to health issues and a weakened immune system.
  3. The relationship between status, stress, and mortality is complex and debatable, with other variables like lifestyle choices and relationships also playing a role.
19 implied HN points β€’ 16 Feb 23
  1. Research suggests speaking more can be linked to leader emergence.
  2. Speaking more doesn't guarantee leadership perception or promotion.
  3. Be skeptical of the Babble Hypothesis due to earlier study limitations.
19 implied HN points β€’ 06 Apr 23
  1. Moore's Law observes that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit tends to double every two years-ish.
  2. Originally, Moore thought the doubling would occur annually, but later adjusted it to every two years for sustainability.
  3. Moore's Law is not a law but an observation made by Gordon Moore, a significant figure in the computer hardware industry.
19 implied HN points β€’ 30 Mar 23
  1. Negative partisanship is when some voters base their political opinions on who they dislike, not who they like.
  2. Traditional partisanship involves some dislike for the opposing team, but is more about central democratic tenets and country values.
  3. Negative partisanship is believed to be a factor in political polarization and increased tribal rhetoric in many countries.
19 implied HN points β€’ 09 Mar 23
  1. Need for cognition measures how much someone enjoys and engages in thinking-heavy activities.
  2. This personality metric relates to the cognitive effort put into understanding and organizing unfamiliar concepts.
  3. Feeling mentally exhausted from challenging tasks may indicate a high need for cognition.
19 implied HN points β€’ 14 Mar 23
  1. Cruel optimism is a concept of being held back by our desires and fantasies.
  2. Affect theory focuses on our subjective experiences and how they impact our optimism.
  3. There's a potential to swap cruel optimism for authentic optimism by addressing underlying issues.
19 implied HN points β€’ 02 Mar 23
  1. The term 'Narrative Violation' refers to something going against conventional expectations.
  2. Examples of narrative violations include unconventional paths to success, like a teacher becoming a tech CEO.
  3. Being a narrative violation depends on awareness of specific stereotypes or expectations.
0 implied HN points β€’ 23 Mar 23
  1. In high-crime areas, people may start to see crime as normal and acceptable.
  2. The Broken Windows Theory suggests that visible signs of crime can lead to more crime happening.
  3. The Crime Contagion theory has been around since the 1980s but has faced challenges over the years.
0 implied HN points β€’ 01 Feb 24
  1. AI systems can sometimes appear successful based on unintended factors, such as background images, rather than the desired data.
  2. AI reproducibility issues can arise when original research findings cannot be accurately replicated or verified.
  3. The validity and reliability of AI-based techniques require thorough evaluation and validation procedures.
0 implied HN points β€’ 07 Feb 23
  1. Explicit knowledge is easy to share, like knowing facts or math equations.
  2. Tacit knowledge is ingrained and harder to put into words, like knowing how to drive a familiar car.
  3. There are three types of tacit knowledge: relational (how we interact), somatic (understanding of our bodies), and collective (social norms and spaces).