💡 the ikea effect

The IKEA effect is a cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created.

Closely related to “effort justification” which had demonstrated that the more effort someone put into something, the more someone will value it.

Mentioned in this episode of QI, next to the rhyme as reason effect and the frequency illusion.

💡 the mindset list

In 1998, Tom McBride and Ron Nief of Wisconsin’s Beloit College began compiling lists of what had “always” or “never” been true in the lives of each incoming class of students, to remind faculty to be mindful of the references they made in class.

For example, that first class, born in 1980, had been 11 years old when the Soviet Union broke up and did not remember the Cold War. They had never had a polio shot and never owned a record player. Their popcorn had always been cooked in a microwave, and they’d always had cable television. Here are some details of the worldview of the class of 2022:

  • Outer space has never been without human habitation.
  • The Prius has always been on the road in the U.S.
  • They never used a spit bowl in a dentist’s office.
  • Mass market books have always been available exclusively as Ebooks.
  • There have always been more than a billion people in India.
  • Films have always been distributed on the Internet.
  • The detachable computer mouse is almost extinct.
  • The Mir space station has always been at the bottom of the South Pacific.

Other recent lists are here.

via Futility Closet

💡 word of the day: teleology


  1. (philosophy) The study of the purpose or design of natural occurrences.
  2. (by extension) An instance of such a design or purpose, usually in natural phenomena.
  3. The use of a purpose or design rather than the laws of nature to explain an occurrence.


💡 2021 is the lem year

On 13th September 2021 “we celebrate the centenary of the birth of Stanisław Lem - writer, futurologist and philosopher, whose work ignites the imagination of readers all around the world.”

illustration: Daniel Mróz

Check out the awesome celebratory website: https://lem2021.org/

And some quotes:

  • “There is no such nonsense that people would be incapable of believing it.
  • “It’s impossible to talk to people who cannot see the obvious.
  • “Stupidity is the driving force of history.
  • “The world is actually an hallucination of some Superbrain gone berserk in a manner infinite but bounded.”

💡 tetraxenonogold

A highly unusual compound of four xenon atoms bound to a gold atom.

tetraxenongold ball model

“Tetraxenonogold(II) is unusual in that it is a compound of the notoriously inert atoms xenon and gold. It is also unusual in that it uses xenon as a transition metal ligand, and in that it contains gold in the +2 oxidation state. It can be produced by reduction of AuF3 in the presence of fluoroantimonic acid (the strongest superacid) and xenon, and crystallised at low temperature.

It was the first description of a compound between a noble gas and a noble metal. It was first described in 2000 by Konrad Seppelt and Stefan Seidel.”

via Wikipedia

💡 the history of the Bulgarian split squat

The Cold War period was a time of great experimentation for both weightlifters and their coaches. People played around with different rep schemes, techniques and numerous means of periodisation. All in the quest for Olympic glory. Oftentimes it was the Nations who dominated the lifting platform that brought us the real and lasting innovations. Think again about the Romanian deadlift and how it came to the wider lifting world.

Well one such weightlifting powerhouse during the 1970s and 1980s being the Communist state of Bulgaria. Demonstrating a ferocity and raw power, Bulgarian lifters were the go to experts of the field. Something evidenced by the fact that many lifters still emulate their training programmes from the era.

Weightlifter performing a split

more on Physical Culture Study

💡 the enlightenment of age

This year, people over 65 began to outnumber those under 5 for the first time in history.

What are we to conclude? Is ageing a disease that can be eradicated by science, or the natural third act of life, threatened by over-medicalization? Viewpoints will undoubtedly be as variable as experience and temperament. There might be some wisdom in simply following an adage attributed to seventeeth-century philosopher Francis Bacon: “old age is always 15 years older than I am”.

Nature 573, 193-194 (2019)