Amateur Egghead - Why is psychology a science?

In this series, Amateur Egghead, I examine a range of different subjects on which I have no formal education or expertise of any kind. The opinions and thoughts within are my own and will likely piss a bunch of people off, mostly the ones who benefit from the things I talk about. -Ed.

It's difficult to start this without getting directly to the point; why is psychology still a science when the only thing we're learning about the human mind is all about the mechanics of the brain? The brain is the medium in which the "mind" resides, but it is not the mind itself without the person attached to it and the experiences that person has had. Science, as defined by Oxford, is:

"the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment..."

The world, as we know it, is already astonishingly complex, so much so that we don't know more than a fraction of what constitutes knowledge, and we've been hammering away at this ever since we became sentient. Hell, we don't even really know when that happened (though there are some really good guesses out there). Our universe, that which we can perceive and surmise from observation, is immensely enormous and, from our perspective, has no end. How do we even fathom that concept? 

How To Kill Money

“It's the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money.... Let me give you a tip on men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it. Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the...bell of an approaching looter.” -Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand was special, and not in a good way. She was a caustic, belligerent herald of the apocalypse that is raw, uncontrolled capitalism. And yet, Rand was simply a product of her time. [Keep in mind that this is not supposed to be an exhaustive analysis of the rise of Randian concepts, but just a loose overview of some of the things that led to the development of her ideas, so don’t troll me for being somewhat inaccurate, nerds. -TC]

Universal Basic Income in the Post Space Age

We should come to grips with the idea as soon as possible. We are, after all, heading for a rather dramatic shift in human thinking. We need to figure out how we humans are going to formulate our societies as soon as we have self-driving vehicles of all stripes, artificial intelligence running everything, smart grids that deliver all manner of clean energy, and robots that deal with all manner of work. We will be living in a version of the dystopian we’ve all seen in movies, but it won’t be quite so dystopian.

It will be a world without work.

Jony Ive's Innovation-Free Apple

Welcome to the brave new world of DESIGN OVER FUNCTION that Jonny Johnnee Jony Ive guy has crafted at Post Jobs Apple where a glass sandwich costs you $1,000 and you must pay for the privilege of using your purchased media in their walled garden. During Apple's unveiling of "One more thing" in the shiny new Steve Jobs Theater on the shiny new Cupertino campus, Craig Federighi tried to use Face ID to unlock the demo phone. It didn't work. Today in The Guardian, there's a convenient PR piece explaining why. 

Damn You, Walter Becker

Why'd you have to go and die, man. I get the news this morning from Rima via Telegram. I can't believe it, but it's true. So many people have passed in the last few years, it brings mortality into sharp, unpleasant focus. Since it would be ridiculous for me to suggest that you haven't heard Steely Dan, go ahead and have a fresh listen to an old friend, the Dan's Gaucho, my personal favorite (if you deem valuations based on tenths of a degree valid, otherwise ALL Dan records are my favorite). 

Steely Dan was really two bands. One was the studio iteration where Becker and Fagen crafted their amazingly textured albums, staffed with a never-ending assemblage of guest artists from all walks of music. The other was the band they ran for live shows. It would be easy to misunderstand that the two are not one in the same. I guess you could say that the live band played covers of their own music. I don't mean that as an insult. The albums are individual works of musical art, impossible to replicate live, even for Becker and Fagen. 

I am near tears as I write this, but my very first album ever was Can't Buy A Thrill and I have loved, adored, and revered Steely Dan every day of my life ever since. 

Much love to you for all you have ever given me, Walter.