The Optimal Level of Modularity in K-Pop Groups

If you enjoyed my interview with Albert Kao, you may have caught yourself wondering, “Hmmm…I wonder what the optimal level of modularity is in the network of K-pop artists?” Fortunately, The Pudding released a semi-viral article discussing that exact question. Now, unlike the agents in Albert’s modeling experiments, K-pop artists are not necessarily trying to […]

An Economic Disclosure Statement

We’ve recently applied for several grants from the City and the County related to COVID-19 relief for South Loop Strength & Conditioning. After submitting a grant application, I received an email noting that I needed to fill out an EDS (Economic Disclosure Statement). Sure. No surprise that the EDS portion of the city’s website looks […]

How do you expect things to work?

We recently had a discussion at the latest Chicago Rationality meet-up on Jonathan Schulz’s paper on WEIRD psychology – and its possible origins in the Catholic church banning kin marriage. At some point, Joseph Heinrich realized that huge volumes of social psychology research is conducted on volunteer university students at prestigious institutions. Sure, everyone can recognize […]

Pseudoscience and Metaphorical Truth in Personality Modeling

I recently read a post on Steven Novella’s Neurologica blog about personality testing – and how it’s a bunch of pseudoscientific nonsense. I don’t disagree that a lot of personality testing is kind of bullshit, especially if you have some knowledge about the more evidence-based Five Factor model of personality (Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Openness to Experience, […]

Pushers on Vacation

Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg’s work on passion and “pushers” has opened my eyes to the dark side of of high conscientiousness behavior. Some of us turn everything we do into an assignment for ourselves that must be completed or else we are letting ourselves down. This is the type of thing that results in business owners […]

To Become More Productive, Notice Friction

I, like most people, want to be more productive. I also find that one of the most important skills to becoming more productive is not necessarily related to actual productivity habits themselves, but rather the meta-skill of noticing when something is full of friction. What counts as friction? Well, since we are discussing “productivity,” we […]

Growth Mindset: Probably Real but not all it’s Cracked Up to Be

Growth mindset sure is controversial. Magical thinking goofballs love it because it seems to indicate that – just by changing your mindset – you can become better at just about everything that you want to do. Rationalist-leaning scientists hate growth mindset because – well – magical-thinking goofballs love it. And, Carol Dweck didn’t do herself any […]

Don’t Tell People They’re Broken Because of Your Movement Screen

Coaches will often get excited about the possibilities of detailed movement assessments. Wouldn’t it be great to go down the rabbit hole and find all of the potential dysfunctions with a client – then fix them one by one? Every stone would be overturned for elite athletes, and all of those 1% gains in efficiency […]

“Old Man Hats” and Correlation vs Causation

Everyone knows that “correlation does not equal causation,” but most of us don’t know it. Like most people, my mind is quick to jump to causal relationships in just about every scenario possible. It’s always looking for things that I did wrong (“Why didn’t that client sign up?” “Why didn’t that potential podcast guest get back […]

Buzzy Social Media

If you ask me if I want to go to a nightclub, the answer will be an emphatic “hell no.” In fact, I can’t really think of a place that is ostensibly for fun and enjoyment fun that I would rather go less. However, there’s a good percentage of people who emphatically want to go […]