Thursday, August 23, 2007


หนังสือ "X-Ray คนไทย 360 องศา" ครับ เขียนโดยคุณ พงษ์ ผาวิจิตร

เป็นข้อสังเกตว่าลักษณะของคนไทยเป็นอย่างไร และควรจะแก้นิสัยอะไรให้ดีขึ้น เขียนได้แสบๆ คันๆ แต่มีสาระดีครับ อ่านไปก็หัวเราะหึหึไป ผมอ่านแล้วก็สำรวจตัวเองและพบว่ามีนิสัยไม่ดีเยอะเหมือนกัน ถ้าไม่ได้อ่านก็คงไม่ได้เห็นนิสัยเสียของตนเองชัดๆ

เล่มไม่ใหญ่ 240 หน้า ราคา 200 บาท ถ้ามีเวลา ลองอ่านดูครับ

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sometimes Experts Don't Know Much

The Rosenhan experiment showed that psychiatric hospital staff couldn't reliably distinguish between the sane and the insane in the hospital. The full paper can be found here.

According to another study at Cornell, you can implant false memories into preschool children to make them think the memories are true, and experts cannot distinguish, by interviewing the children, which memories are true and which are false.

So, when experts' claims conflict with reality, you should be careful in checking whether the claims are true or not. Most people (yes, including me) appear (or pretend) to know more than they actually know.

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P.S. How to believe anything? That's a hard question that cannot be completely solved. I think we can only hope to converge closer and closer to the truth. Gotama Buddha tried to teach the Kalamas people using the list we know as Kalama Sutra. Personally, I like the Bayesian approach of updating my belief on whether something is true or false as I gain more and more evidences. A short overview of Bayesian inference is here. A reading list can be found here.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Surprisingly Honest Interview

In this 2005 Spiegel interview, Pan Yue, China's Deputy Minister of the Environment described how China's fantastic growth in GDP has tremendous environmental cost.

More info about Pan Yue can be found on Wikipedia. Here is another article by him in English in July 2007.

It will be good for everyone on this earth when policy makers are smart enough to ponder the true cost of development and have enough inner strength to do the right things. Measuring GDP without the cost to environment is simply incorrect, and we will ultimately pay the price.