Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mirror into the depth of psyche

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(1) So apparently if you're trying to impress someone in a teleconference setting, make your 3D avatar vaguely and subconsciously resemble that person. Hmmm! That should work for the vast majority of people who're not prone to self-hatred. While I'm not really endorsing self-hatred, America does need more people with even a modicum of such tendencies. Case in point: Donald Trump. [gag]

(2) In "The Finder", a recent episode of the TV series Bones that introduced the curious trio of Walter, Ike and Leo, Walter berates a waitress for bringing him decaf that he doesn't think it decaf and why does decaf cost the same even though it takes more processing to extract the caffeine out. Ike explained that people don't like to pay more for something less. Granted, Walter has a rather paranoid and suspicious nature, but this raises an interesting point. Humans are designed to be primarily sensory creatures, so a straightforward correspondence between size and cost (i.e. food) makes sense. Few people would ponder what processing took place behind the packaging, e.g. chemicals used, amount of water used, etc. That reminds me, I should start reading Buyology. Because economics is hardly about mere numerical models, however elegant they might be. Much of economics is behavior psychology, which is fascinating but rather messy...

(3) Ever since I could remember, I've always felt like something was lacking in those "happily-after endings". In fact, one of my favorite pastimes was mocking Disney fairy tales back in the '90s with some co-conspirators around my age. Morally ambiguous characters intrigue me, e.g. Dr. Gregory House, Dr. Remy Hadley (Thirteen), Dexter Morgan, Jack Bauer (and his reincarnated assassin in The Confession)... come to think of it, morally ambiguous female characters in TV are rather rare. Sonia from Crime and Punishment seems to be one. Hmm... Akemi Homura from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica could be one... at least in the beginning of the series :-P

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