Cognitive biases [...]

Every cognitive bias is there for a reason — primarily to save our brains time or energy. If you look at them by the problem they’re trying to solve, it becomes a lot easier to understand why they exist, how they’re useful, and the trade-offs (and resulting mental errors) that they introduce. (Source)

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Valorizing Self-Harm [...]

higher education — like other knowledge work industries, especially in technology and software development — has exploited and normalised anxiety-driven overwork as a culturally-acceptable self-harming activity (Source)

Soft Programming [...]

While hierarchy and abstraction are valued by the structured programmers' "planner's" aesthetic, bricoleur programmers, like Levi-Strauss's bricoleur scientists, prefer negotiation and rearrangement of their materials. The bricoleur resembles the painter who stands back between brushstrokes, looks at the canvas, and only after this contemplation, decides what to do next. Bricoleurs use a mastery of associations and interactions. For planners, mistakes are missteps; bricoleurs use a navigation of midcourse corrections. For planners, a program is an instrument for premeditated control; bricoleurs have goals but set out to realize them in the spirit of a collaborative venture with the machine. For planners, getting a program to work is like "saying one's piece"; for bricoleurs, it is more like a conversation than a monologue. (Source)

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Dysfunctional Illusions of Rigor [...]

Treisman (1992; Fullilove & Treisman, 1990) found that about 60 percent of the African Americans enrolled in calculus at the University of California at Berkeley made a D or F or withdrew. He surveyed faculty from multiple departments for solutions. They overwhelmingly suggested that something was wrong with the African American students: ability, preparation, social shock, employed excessively, and so on. Treisman showed that these hypotheses were largely not applicable. Most spectacularly, the African Americans with the highest math entry scores were most likely  to do poorly. The groups of students who were doing best spontaneously formed study groups, consulted with older peers, and obtained old exams and homework form older friends. Students who were not doing as well tended to do as the instructor suggested-study two hours out of class for every hour in class-but did it by themselves with little social support. Treisman invited the African Americans into honors homework sections and required that they do group work. They attended the regular large lectures sections and took the regular exams. The D, F, or W rate went from 60 percent to 4 percent. There were no deficits that were not made irrelevant by appropriate pedagogy. (Source)

How Technology Hijacks People’s Mind [...]

We need our smartphones, notifications screens and web browsers to be exoskeletons for our minds and interpersonal relationships that put our values, not our impulses, first. People’s time is valuable. And we should protect it with the same rigor as privacy and other digital rights. (Source)

Grading Effort [...]

Removing the anxiety of grades and grading opened room for experimentation and risk, which resulted in more writing and even – if this is a concern – better writing. The student stories were, on the whole, as good or better than when I was grading the quality of the stories. (Source)

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