Black Whole



adverb, informal

(1) used to emphasize the novelty or distinctness of something.

“the man who’s given a whole new meaning to the term ‘cowboy’”

The Yeti

Psychological Predicates

There are many properties which we ascribe to people which we cannot ascribe to trees and Volkswagen’s. Among them are those properties designated by the predicates “wanting a drink,” “being near-sighted,” “falling asleep,” “looking for a better way of life,” “having a headache,” loving Marylin and “hating turnips.” Following Strawston, let us call these predicates which apply exclusively to people (and people-like creatures) “P-predicates,” and distinguish them from material object predicates, “M-predicates.” What is the difference between them?

There are many P-predicates that appear to be only contingently so, for example “wearing a three piece suit” and “sporting a top hat” or “having a pancreas.” Presumably trees suitably shaped might wear Harrods tweeds, and a Volkswagen after a party might be found better dressed than its driver. Cadavers have pancreases. It is necessary to further restrict the list of P-predicates to those which have to do, not with the facts about the size, shape, and constitution of human bodies, but with their having minds as well.


R.C. Soloman, Psychological Predicates, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Vol. 36, No.4 (Jun., 1976)


New Boots and Panties


Intertemporal choice is what we do when we make trade-offs between costs and benefits occurring at different points in time. We are always making intertemporal choices- when we choose between a hamburger now or a fine meal (or thinner body) later; between increasing our pension fund contribution or going to Hawaii; or between a sinful moment on earth or an eternity in heaven. Indeed, so broad is the domain of intertemporal choice that it is difficult to think of a consequential decision that is not an intertemporal choice. Given the importance of intertemporal choice, that it is a central theme in both psychology and economics is not surprising


G. Loewenstein, D. Reid & R. F. Baumeister, Time and Decision, Economic and Psychological Perspectives On Intertemporal choice.


Ape Discounting Apparatus


To make adaptive choices, individuals must sometimes exhibit
patience, forgoing immediate benefits to acquire more valuable future rewards [1–3]. Although humans account for future consequences when making temporal decisions [4], many animal species wait only a few seconds for delayed benefits [5–10]. Current research thus suggests a phylogenetic gap between patient humans and impulsive, present-oriented animals [9, 11], a distinction with implications for our understanding of
economic decision making [12] and the origins of human cooperation [13]. On the basis of a series of experimental results, we reject this conclusion. First, bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes ) exhibit a degree of patience
not seen in other animals tested thus far. Second, humans are less willing to wait for food rewards than are chimpanzees. Third, humans are more willing to wait for monetary rewards than for food, and show the highest degree of patience only
in response to decisions about money involving low opportunity costs. These findings suggest that core components of the capacity for future-oriented decisions evolved before the human lineage diverged from apes. Moreover, the different levels
of patience that humans exhibit might be driven by fundamental differences in the mechanisms representing biological versus abstract rewards.
When asked to decide between ten dollars in 30 days and 11 dollars in 31 days, people typically prefer the larger reward. However, when asked to choose between ten dollars now and 11 dollars tomorrow, people are more impulsive and prefer the immediate reward [3, 4]. These inconsistent preferences reveal that people often trade off between immediate and future benefits.
Rosati, A.G, Stevens, J.R., Hare, B., & Hauser, M.D. (2007). The evolutionary origins of human patience: Temporal preferences in chimpanzees, bonobos, and human adults
. Current Biology, 17: 1663–1668