To err is human

One of my favorite professors keeps classes lively by interspersing presentations of cognitive biases into his lectures on propositional logic and analytical philosophy. So far this semester he has expounded on: the framing effect – drawing different conclusions from the same information, depending on how that information is presented.the conjunction fallacy – a tendency to … Continue reading To err is human

Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?

In an excellent lecture last week on George Simmel’s essay Die Großstädte und das Geistesleben, my professor presented Simmel’s theory that the meaningful interpersonal relationships found in rural societies cannot be replicated in metropolises. Simmel argues that the sheer number of available relationship options coupled with urban anonymity overwhelm city dwellers. Effects on the individual … Continue reading Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?

How to be Austrian

I am Austrian by choice and people often ask me: “What makes one Austrian?” To paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Being Austrian is the ability to express two opposing emotions at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Allow me to illustrate with an anecdote. This morning at the post box I saw one of my neighbors … Continue reading How to be Austrian