Sundry: Placebo, Tarkovsky, parking, the key to love, Dalí meets Freud, loss aversion


The Netherlands doesn’t want to be called Holland anymore. Holland is home to three of the most visited cities in the Netherlands: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. The government is rebranding to reduce overtourism —

What if the key to love was understanding? No, like real understanding. Here’s a metaphor, courtesy of Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk: “If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform —

Parking in NYC’s Upper West Side might experience a steep price increase. By making parking prohibitive, the administration hopes to encourage alternative methods of transportation —

Dalí meets Freud. In 1938, the Spanish painter met his longtime idol. How did it go? Well, we can argue that the master of mind games out mind-gamed a more novice mind-trickster:On being shown the painting, Freud supposedly said, “in classic paintings I look for the unconscious, but in your paintings I look for the conscious.” The comment stung, though Dali wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. But apparently, Freud opened his mind to surrealists since then —

Akira Kurosawa tells the story of his visit on Tarkovsky’s set for Solaris. With the maestro himself —

Loss aversion, an important idea in behavioural design and psychology, might be a fallacy. This is the idea that people experience more displeasure from losing something than they experience happiness from gaining something. “People do not rate the pain of losing $10 to be more intense than the pleasure of gaining $10. People do not report their favorite sports team losing a game will be more impactful than their favorite sports team winning a game.” —

Simply carrying a placebo analgesic, like a fake Panadol, reduce perception of pain. So you don’t even need to swallow the placebo in order to benefit from its effect. Isn’t that amazing? For a quick thought experiment: last time you were very hungry and went to buy a sandwich, didn’t you feel slightly less hungry the moment you bought it and knew that in the near future you would eat it? —

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