Wednesday, May 11, 2016

PHI 210 Week 8

The presentation may contain content that is deemed objectionable to a particular viewer because of the view expressed or the conduct depicted. The views expressed are provided for learning purposes only, and do not necessarily express the views, or opinions, of Strayer University, your professor, or those participating in videos or other media.

We will have two ten-minute breaks: at 7:30 and 9 pm. You will have 15 minutes in the Lab at 9:45 and then we will do our Discussion at 10:00 before you are dismissed at 10:15 pm.

Chapter 8: Language

8.1 Language and Thinking





Tips for Dealing with Unclear Language

8.1 Practice: Language and Thinking

Multiple Meanings

"Words," Radiolab/NPR

"Language as a Window into Human Nature," RSA Animate, Steven Pinker

8.2 Define Your Terms


Denotative Meaning

Connotative Meaning

Syntactic Meaning

Pragmatic Meaning

How Do You Define "Cult"?

Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor, Steven Hassan

8.3 Word Games


Emotive Language


Loaded Questions

Weasel Words

Proof Surrogate

8.3 Practice: Word Games

Manipulation in Politics

Drew Westen

Frank Luntz

Assignment 2: Problem Solving
Due Week 9 and worth 150 points
When faced with a problem, what do you do to solve it? Assignment 2 asks you to apply a systematic approach to problem solving. This assignment is divided into two (2) parts. In Part I, of the assignment, you will read three (3) articles that present variations on step-by-step problem solving strategies and then select one (1) of these strategies; you will engage in pre-writing to develop a solution to a problem scenario. In Part II of the assignment, you will write a paper that presents a synthesis of your ideas about solving the problem. As Voltaire said, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

Part I
Preparation and Pre-writing: Follow the steps below to explore a problem through reading and writing –
1. Choose one (1) of the problem scenarios as a topic choice for your paper (Note: Your professor must approve your topic choice before you begin work on the assignment.).
Scenario 1: You have worked at your company for eleven (11) years. You have returned to college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in order to increase your chances for a promotion. You are nearly finished with your degree; a supervisor’s position in a competing company becomes available in another state. The start date is in two (2) weeks, during your final exam period for your courses. The position offers a $15,000 per year salary increase, a car allowance, and relocation expenses. Your former supervisor works for the company and is recommending you for the position based on your outstanding job performance; if you want the job, it’s yours. All of the other supervisors at this level in the company have Master’s degrees. You know that you would be expected to earn your Bachelor’s degree and continue on to a Master’s degree. Your present company offers tuition reimbursement, but the new company does not.

Scenario 2: Your child comes home from school with an assignment sheet for a school project. He / she is very excited about the project and begins work immediately, doing research on the Internet and gathering materials. You read over the assignment sheet and notice that your child is not including all of the required items in the project, and you have some ideas for how to improve the quality of the presentation. You recently read an article in a parenting magazine about the importance of a child developing responsibility for his / her own learning. You recall the many ways in which your parents took over your school projects. You, on the other hand, want to encourage your child’s confidence in his / her ability to complete a project independently. The next day, you are at the grocery store when you see a parent of a student in your child’s class. That parent has spent over $30 in supplies for the science project and is taking a day off of work to put the pieces of the project together.

Scenario 3: You have two jobs—one during the week from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and one on Saturday from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm. You are taking two classes—one that meets from 6:00 to 10:00 pm, and one class online. You have two kids—one who plays soccer, and one who is in band. You have two elderly parents who no longer drive. You have two siblings—one who lives two (2) miles away, and one who lives in another state. You have two (2) papers due in your classes the same week that one (1) of your children has a soccer tournament, and the other child has a band concert. You are coaching the soccer team, and you are in charge of fundraising for the band. You have a goal to complete your degree in two (2) years. Your doctor tells you that your blood pressure, your cholesterol, and your weight are too high and recommends several medications that cost you nearly $200 per month after your insurance co-pay.

Scenario 4: You are a sales representative for a company that encourages staff to log time in the field and away from the office. You are expected to begin and end your day at the office. You notice that each day when you arrive and return another co-worker is already there, and you wonder whether this person spends most of his / her time at the office. At your weekly sales meeting, you are informed of your co-workers’ outstanding sales performance. You suspect that this co-worker is spending more time flattering the boss instead of working leads in the field, and as a result is getting the best client referrals. Your own sales numbers have steadily decreased since this other sales representative was hired.

2. Go to the Internet, and read the following articles:
3. Select one (1) of the step-by-step problem solving strategies outlined in one (1) of the articles. Using the chosen problem solving strategy as a model, brainstorm ideas for each of the steps to develop a solution to the problem scenario you chose. 

Part II
Synthesizing and Writing: Now that you have developed a solution to the problem by pre-writing about your ideas –
Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:
  1. Analyze the problem scenario that you have chosen, and organize your analysis into sections that correlate to each step in the selected problem solving strategy.
  2. Apply each step within the selected problem solving strategy to related elements of the scenario that you have chosen.
  3. Suggest alternative actions to the situation(s) within the scenario that correspond to each of the steps within the selected problem solving strategy.
  4. Speculate on whether or not the same problem-solving strategy would be effective if used with different scenarios.
The paper should follow guidelines for clear and organized writing:
  • Include an introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph.
  • Address main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.
  • Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA Style format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
You should follow these submission guidelines:
  • Submit the paper draft to and then submit the originality report with the draft to Blackboard.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
  • Recognize the hindrances to the decision-making process in order to apply problem-solving skills to a variety of situations.
  • Write clearly and concisely about critical thinking using proper writing mechanics.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in critical thinking skills and informal logic.
Click here to view the grading rubric for this assignment.

Chapter 8: Language

Language is the ability to acquire and use complex systems of communication, particularly the human ability to do so, and a language is any specific example of such a system. The scientific study of language is called linguistics.

Questions concerning the philosophy of language, such as whether words can represent experience, have been debated since Gorgias and Plato in Ancient Greece. Thinkers such as Rousseau have argued that language originated from emotions while others like Kant have held that it originated from rational and logical thought. 20th-century philosophers such as Wittgenstein argued that philosophy is really the study of language. Major figures in linguistics include Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky.

Estimates of the number of languages in the world vary between 5,000 and 7,000. However, any precise estimate depends on a partly arbitrary distinction between languages and dialects. Natural languages are spoken or signed, but any language can be encoded into secondary media using auditory, visual, or tactile stimuli – for example, in graphic writing, braille, or whistling. This is because human language is modality-independent. Depending on philosophical perspectives regarding the definition of language and meaning, when used as a general concept, "language" may refer to the cognitive ability to learn and use systems of complex communication, or to describe the set of rules that makes up these systems, or the set of utterances that can be produced from those rules. All languages rely on the process of semiosis to relate signs to particular meanings. Oral and sign languages contain a phonological system that governs how symbols are used to form sequences known as words or morphemes, and a syntactic system that governs how words and morphemes are combined to form phrases and utterances.

Human language has the properties of productivity, recursivity, and displacement, and relies entirely on social convention and learning. Its complex structure affords a much wider range of expressions than any known system of animal communication. Language is thought to have originated when early hominins started gradually changing their primate communication systems, acquiring the ability to form a theory of other minds and a shared intentionality.[1][2] This development is sometimes thought to have coincided with an increase in brain volume, and many linguists see the structures of language as having evolved to serve specific communicative and social functions. Language is processed in many different locations in the human brain, but especially in Broca's and Wernicke's areas. Humans acquire language through social interaction in early childhood, and children generally speak fluently when they are approximately three years old. The use of language is deeply entrenched in human culture. Therefore, in addition to its strictly communicative uses, language also has many social and cultural uses, such as signifying group identity, social stratification, as well as social grooming and entertainment.

Languages evolve and diversify over time, and the history of their evolution can be reconstructed by comparing modern languages to determine which traits their ancestral languages must have had in order for the later developmental stages to occur. A group of languages that descend from a common ancestor is known as a language family. The Indo-European family is the most widely spoken and includes languages such as English, Russian, and Hindi; the Sino-Tibetan family, which includes Mandarin and the other Chinese languages, and Tibetan; the Afro-Asiatic family, which includes Arabic, Somali, and Hebrew; the Bantu languages, which include Swahili, and Zulu, and hundreds of other languages spoken throughout Africa; and the Malayo-Polynesian languages, which include Indonesian, Malay, Tagalog, and hundreds of other languages spoken throughout the Pacific. The languages of the Dravidian family that are spoken mostly in Southern India include Tamil and Telugu. Academic consensus holds that between 50% and 90% of languages spoken at the beginning of the 21st century will probably have become extinct by the year 2100.

Language - Experiences and Perceptions -- Thoughts - Reasoning Processes -- Actions -- Emotions -- Moods -- Body - Social Interactions and Communication. 6:19 Break vid

Any change or stimulus on any of these links causes changes in both directions, affecting all the others. This means that every change in every link has an effect that can be encoded and represented in language, that is, it can be translated to language, at least to some extent. Linguistic expressions serve as signifiers of states and changes of the other elements present in the chain. Equally important is the other direction: the use of language in time also affects all the other elements.

The study of language in logic, linguistics and cognitive psychology should be the starting point of all other inquiries into science and the humanities. Http://

What is Language?║Lindsay Does Languages Video, 3:05

Sometimes we need to think about what language is before we can even think about learning other languages! What is language?

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6:19, Break vid

Signifier Object
Signifier Object 2

Signifier Object 3

Signifier Object 4

8.1 Language and Thinking

Language is the human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, and a language is any specific example of such a system. The scientific study of language is called linguistics.
Estimates of the number of languages in the world vary between 6,000 and 7,000. However, any precise estimate depends on a partly arbitrary distinction between languages and dialects. Natural languages are spoken or signed, but any language can be encoded into secondary media using auditory, visual, or tactile stimuli – for example, in graphic writing, braille, or whistling. This is because human language is modality-independent. When used as a general concept, "language" may refer to the cognitive ability to learn and use systems of complex communication, or to describe the set of rules that makes up these systems, or the set of utterances that can be produced from those rules. All languages rely on the process of semiosis to relate signs with particular meanings. Oral and sign languages contain a phonological system that governs how symbols are used to form sequences known as words or morphemes, and a syntactic system that governs how words and morphemes are combined to form phrases and utterances.
Lockheed Martin: We're Engineering A Better Tomorrow (30 sec) by LockheedMartinVideos 0:00 / 0:32 Does language shape how we think? Linguistic relativity & linguistic determinism -- Linguistics 101, 3:16
From the "Sapir-Whorf hypothesis" to modern psychology, get a quick feel for this ongoing debate. Is language about grammatical universals like nouns and verbs? What's the relationship between language and culture?

Text version of this lesson with links to further resources: To continue learning about language, subscribe to NativLang or visit:
Music: Funkorama, Kevin MacLeod (


Grammar is the study of how meaningful elements called morphemes within a language can be combined into utterances. Morphemes can either be free or bound. If they are free to be moved around within an utterance, they are usually called words, and if they are bound to other words or morphemes, they are called affixes. The way in which meaningful elements can be combined within a language is governed by rules. The rules for the internal structure of words are called morphology. The rules of the internal structure of phrases and sentences are called syntax.

English - Language, Structure & Form: English Exam Tips, 2:07

Important Forms of the English language


Intentionality is a philosophical concept defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as "the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs". The term refers to the ability of the mind to form representations and should not be confused with intention. The term dates from medieval Scholastic philosophy, but was resurrected by Franz Brentano and adopted by Edmund Husserl. The earliest theory of intentionality is associated with St. Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God and his tenets distinguishing between objects that exist in the understanding and objects that exist in reality.

Non-Physical Properties of the Mind? Intentionality #1: Introduction, 5:38

An introduction to an apparent non-physical property of the mind, which presents one of the primary challenges to materialist reduction.

How do we use words to refer to or target things and conjure up meaning?

Pointer and referent

"Dog" and referent

We assign meaning to objects as a result of hints from language use.

The mind applies meaning.

Are we nothing but materials?


In analytic philosophy and linguistics, a concept may be considered vague if its extension is deemed lacking in clarity, if there is uncertainty about which objects belong to the concept or which exhibit characteristics that have this predicate (so-called "border-line cases").

In everyday speech, vagueness is an inevitable, often even desired effect of language usage. However, in most specialized texts (e.g., legal documents), vagueness is distracting.

Fallacies of Language? :34

As you watch this movie can you identify any examples of overly general language, vague comparisons, weasel words, hyperbole, or ambiguity?

Humorous verbs - so specific that they're vague, 5:05

This is an almost Monty Pythonesque presentation about verbs. 

Verbs can be too vague to elicit meaning.

Language needs to be specific to elicit meaning.

A whole passel of vague verbs are reviewed.

Politicos are experts at manipulating language.

How to Give a Speech without Saying Anything, 2:13

Watch more Politics 101 videos: Politicians have it down to a science—giving a rousing speech without actually saying anything. Learn how to double-talk, whether you're running for office or just need to say a whole lot of nothing. Step 1: Keep it vague Pepper your speech with universally appealing sound bites like, 'More money!' 'Less waste!' 'A clean environment!' 'Healthy children!' but don’t paint yourself into a corner by providing details on how you’re going to accomplish this wonderful stuff. Step 2: Hedge your bets Hedge your bets. If you say, 'We need to be aggressive,' temper it later with 'We need to proceed cautiously.' Thus if someone criticizes you for being too aggressive, you can say you underscored the need for caution. Tip Nod, smile, and point at imaginary friends in the audience, so people will think the room is filled with supporters. Step 3: Hire a speechwriter Hire a professional speechwriter to come up with a catchy phrase on the order of 'Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.' Then the rest of your blather won’t matter. Step 4: Use euphemisms Be liberal with your use of euphemisms. Your district isn’t in crisis; it’s facing a challenge. You’ve never been criticized; you’ve just gotten lots of feedback. And you’ve never been involved in a scandal, you just exercised poor judgment. Tip Remember, you’re not 'anti' anything—such an ugly word. You are simply 'pro' something else. Step 5: Run down the clock When asked a question, buy time by saying things like, 'That’s an excellent question!' and 'I’m glad someone asked that.' Keep rephrasing your delight and eagerness until people forget what the hell you were supposed to be answering. Did You Know? George Orwell said political language is 'designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.'

Is Hillary Clinton Right That The Rich Don't Pay Their "Fair Share" of Taxes? 1:31

Vague language can be used to the speaker's advantage. For example, politicians demanding that the law or taxes be "fair" without specifying what they mean.

How much precisely is fair?

How much of your money do you deserve to keep?

How much of their money should rich be people be able to keep?


Polysemy (/pəˈlɪsɨmi/ or /ˈpɒlɨsmi/; from Greek: πολυ-, poly-, "many" and σῆμα, sêma, "sign") is the capacity for a sign (e.g., a word, phrase, etc.) or signs to have multiple related meanings (sememes), i.e., a large semantic field. It is usually regarded as distinct from homonymy, in which the multiple meanings of a word may be unconnected or unrelated.

Charles Fillmore and Beryl Atkins’ definition stipulates three elements: (i) the various senses of a polysemous word have a central origin, (ii) the links between these senses form a network, and (iii) understanding the ‘inner’ one contributes to understanding of the ‘outer’ one.

Polysemy is a pivotal concept within disciplines such as media studies and linguistics.

Syntactic ambiguity, also called amphiboly or amphibology, is a situation where a sentence may be interpreted in more than one way due to ambiguous sentence structure.

Syntactic ambiguity arises not from the range of meanings of single words, but from the relationship between the words and clauses of a sentence, and the sentence structure implied thereby. When a reader can reasonably interpret the same sentence as having more than one possible structure, the text meets the definition of syntactic ambiguity.

In legal disputes, courts may be asked to interpret the meaning of syntactic ambiguities in statutes or contracts. In some instances, arguments asserting highly unlikely interpretations have been deemed frivolous.

"Whether Alicia gets a share of her grandmother's inheritance depends on whether she has the will" (Soomo text).

"Johann didn't want to discuss his wife's affair with his brother" (Soomo text).

Ambiguous... or is it? 4:31

Managerial Communication assignment by Sreedev Basu, PGP/17/177, section C. Ambiguity - imprecision or vagueness - in language, leaves communication open to interpretation, and thus, is a common roadblock to an effective exchange of thought, both in social and business spheres. However, with judicial use, it may be possible to turn ambiguity to one's own advantage.

What is pornography?

Parks and Recreation - "Define Pornography" :18

The phrase "I know it when I see it" is a colloquial expression by which a speaker attempts to categorize an observable fact or event, although the category is subjective or lacks clearly defined parameters. The phrase was famously used in this sense by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964). In explaining why the material at issue in the case was not obscene under the Roth test, and therefore was protected speech that could not be censored, Stewart wrote:
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that. [Emphasis added.]
—Justice Potter Stewart, concurring opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio 378 U.S. 184 (1964), regarding possible obscenity in The Lovers.
The expression became one of the most famous phrases in the entire history of the Supreme Court.
Stewart's "I know it when I see it" standard was praised as "realistic and gallant" and an example of candor.

Is the disposition of a foetus a "choice," or a "life"? Is pornography "free speech"?

First Amendment activist Larry Flynt talks free speech at Syracuse University, 1:47

Can you precisely define pornography?

Larry Flynt, free speech activist, and publisher of Hustler magazine (a monthly pornographic magazine), addressed hundreds at Syracuse University's Goldstein Auditorium on Tuesday evening, trying to spread education on the First Amendment.

Language and Society


With intelligent wit Robert Dubac shows us what we say isn't what we mean.

English reflects a rich society but at times, shackles our thinking.

Orwell famously noted in "Politics and the English Language" that the decline of England was reflected in the sloppiness of the English language. Orwellian language notes that, as he stated, "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." In the '70s, government reports about Vietnam referred to civilian deaths as "collateral damage." "Pacification" was to make the country "peaceful" by such tactics as laying down a "carpet" of bombs. With such a "peaceful bombing pattern, who could be offended by a little collateral damage"?

Orwell condemned language such as this "designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

In the '80s Iran-Contra scandal there was "plausible deniability."

In the '90s the Gulf War presented "desert shield" and "desert storm." In the Yugoslavian breakup Serbians killing Croatians was "ethnic cleansing."

These are euphemisms that conceal as much as they reveal and identify.

Consider a few contemporary examples:

Failing = "emerging student"

"I misspoke" = "I lied."

Finally, seizing individuals to areas known to torture people is "extraordinary rendition."

Such distortions were not always a part of our American culture. Built on Christian values and Roman law, the "ideal American" was forthright and almost rudely honest. The American tradition was best represented by George Washington, of whom it was said, he never told a lie. Washington is so different from our current crop of politicians that people have difficulty accepting that he was such a forthright character but biographers and historians confirm his basic honesty. In addition, we might consider another famous American president, "Honest Abe" Lincoln. These are typical representatives of the American character. A significant change seems to have occurred when Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the Americans as he left office in 1960 about the "military-industrial complex"and the departure from the American tradition that might occur if we traveled down that road.

Language and Society - Intro to Culture, 6:40

This intro to a language and society course covers several important points helpful for our purposes in this section.

How do language and society intersect?

How do we define culture? :50 What are the "3 P's?"

Does language determine culture? Or, does culture determine language? Does language determine how we think?

Language and culture

Meredydd Evans: The Power of the Welsh Language and Cultural Identity, 2:58

Why should minorities preserve their language?

How is language related to identity?

Meredydd Evans, Professor of Philosophy, writer, and performer has long been an advocate for the Welsh language. In this 2008 interview, he discusses how language is an inseparable part of cultural identity.

Do you think the Welsh, against the Anglo-British tradition, would have a stronger identity had they been able to preserve their language better?


  • Language & Culture, 3:43 Break vid

  • Does language and culture provide us with an identity? 
  • Is language a sign of your identity?

  • 10 Surprising Ways To Offend People In Other Countries, 2:35 


  • The Power of Words, 1:48

    • Do the right words make a difference?


    • Figurative language Figurative Language Pop Culture 2014, 7:39

      A video that challenges students to identify examples of figurative language in pop culture. 
    • Teachers- Pause on the blue screens to give students time to read the example and answer.

      KEY 1. metaphor 2. simile 3. hyperbole 4. simile 5. alliteration 6. simile 7. metaphor 8. simile 9. simile 10. simile 11. metaphor OR alliteration 12. simile 13. metaphor OR alliteration 14. metaphor OR alliteration 15. metaphor 16. personification 17. metaphor 18. simile OR alliteration 19. personification 20. hyperbole 21. simile 22. simile 23. metaphor 24. personification 25. metaphor 26. hyperbole 27. metaphor 28. personification 29. hyperbole 30. hyperbole 31. metaphor OR alliteration 32. metaphor OR alliteration 33. hyperbole 34. personification 35. simile 36. simile 37. simile 38. simile

    Flocabulary - Figurative Language, 2:53

  • Learn all about different kinds of figurative language with this Flocabulary song. Can you fill in the blanks?


  • Meet Will, a youngin' with an old soul, An emcee who wants to be the next to blow. Imagine: he’s in a dark room in Manhattan, Scrapping, scribbling on napkins, Trying to make a living off rapping, But skills, he lacked them. Nobody thought that it would happen, Until one day, Will switches his style, Gets deep, and his wordplay gets witty and wild. He used to sound so embarrassing, Now peep all the ________ and comparisons. His life is a highway, but he’d confess, He has a plan but needs a GPS. He’s using references and ________, A lyrical Houdini, creating illusions. Dolphins in '72 - he won't lose, Up by the first alarm, he’s not snoozing. You'll be amazed by every phrase, He will come correct with the wordplay. Literal lines that block his way, He will come correct with the wordplay. (x2) Comparing with like or as, he's dropping ________, Taking little steps like a centipede. He's sharp like a laser, sharp as a razor, In a night as dark as Darth Vader. Dude can juke and adjust his position, Contrasting two things in ________, From weak to made, cheap to paid, A creep to a dude who leads the way. Using ________, what’s he doing? Making objects and animals seem human. The moon smiles as the city breathes, He can feel the heartbeat of the city streets. A live show? You really oughta see it. Will will drop some ________, Words that sound like what they describe, Now the crowd's buzzing - it’s alive. You'll be amazed by every phrase, He will come correct with the wordplay. Literal lines that block his way, He will come correct with the wordplay. (x2) Will he exaggerate? Use ________? He’s the best ever at it, so certainly. With ________, vowel sounds he’s repeating, He seems the least beat in any season. His fans are legion, all the boneheads who bring beef Leave with lots of lyrical lesions. That’s ________ - same sound sentence, It’s commonsense - he’s calm with the confidence. Using ________, opposite meaning, His lines hit as soft as iron, believe him, Good with the ________ and the wordplay, oh my, Going deep in double meanings like they were a coal mine. Will's skills are sick like ERs, you heard of this? Get hit and you’ll see stars like Copernicus. If you only have one chance to shine, You better get up, get out and ________.

  • Challenge Questions


  • Problems with English pronunciation FUNNY, 1:37

  • What happens when words are too vague to understand?

  • Pearson Longman presentation for teachers


  • Spelling/pronunciation

  • I Love Lucy: English Pronunciation, 5:25

  • The clip illustrates some of the accent prejudices and some of the more confusing elements of English spelling and pronunciation.

  • How is English a confusing language?


  • Tips for Dealing with Unclear Language

  • 8.1 Practice: Language and Thinking
    Multiple Meanings

  • How can words be misinterpreted with multiple meanings?
  • The King Who Rained (2005), 2:34

  • A play on homonyms, this short movie visualizes the misinterpretations of a little girl based on things her parents have told her.

  • Began as a class project for Rob Polich's TAT 315 class (Visual Design), and expanded outward into an independent one. This is the Director's Cut.

  • Adapted from children's book of the same title by Fred Gwynne and shown both at the Fall 2005 TAPS at CSUMB and downtown in Monterey at the Osio.

  • Written and Directed by Garett Thomas.
    Starring: Lexus Brooke Butler, Genetta Butler, Bret Leduc, "King" Will Olsen and Pamela Johnson.
    Crew: Maria Patricia R. Garcia, Alisa Lai, Kathleena Ramirez and Stephanie Young.
    See version with commentary here:
    See Behind the Scenes:
    See Pam's BTS Footage:
    © Thomas Productions.


  • "Words," Radiolab/NPR

  • "Language as a Window into Human Nature," RSA Animate, Steven Pinker

  • Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a Canadian-born U.S. experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.
    Pinker's academic specializations are visual cognition and psycholinguistics. His experimental subjects include mental imagery, shape recognition, visual attention, children's language development, regular and irregular phenomena in language, the neural bases of words and grammar, and the psychology of innuendo and euphemism. He published two technical books which proposed a general theory of language acquisition and applied it to children's learning of verbs. In particular, his work with Alan Prince published in 1989 critiqued the connectionist model of how children acquire the past tense of English verbs, arguing instead that children use default rules such as adding "-ed" to make regular forms, sometimes in error, but are obliged to learn irregular forms one by one.

  • In his popular books, he has argued that the human faculty for language is an "instinct", an innate behavior shaped by natural selection and adapted to our communication needs. He is the author of six books for a general audience. Five of these, namely The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules (2000), The Blank Slate (2002), and The Stuff of Thought (2007) describe aspects of the field of psycholinguistics, and include, among much else, accessible accounts of his own research. The sixth book, The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011), makes the case that violence in human societies has in general steadily declined with time, and identifies six major causes of this decline.

  • Pinker has been named as one of the world's most influential intellectuals by various magazines. He has won awards from the American Psychological Association, the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and the American Humanist Association. He has served on the editorial boards of a variety of journals, and on the advisory boards of several institutions. He has frequently participated in public debates on science and society.

  • Hilarious examples of awful language usage - Steven Pinker, 3:42

    Excerpted from his talk at the Royal Institution:

  • Radiolab and NPR Present Words, 3:04

  • A stunning film from Will Hoffman and Daniel Mercadante to accompany Radiolab's Words episode. With an original score by Keith Kenniff. Radiolab's Words episode: Everynone: Keith Kenniff:
    Do words change their meaning depending on the context?


  • 8.2 Define Your Terms

  • Denotative Meaning

  • Denotation is a translation of a sign to its meaning, more exactly, to its literal meaning. Denotation is sometimes contrasted to connotation, which translates a sign to meanings associated with it.

  • Connotative Meaning

  • A connotation is a commonly understood cultural or emotional association that some word or phrase carries, in addition to the word's or phrase's explicit or literal meaning, which is its denotation.
    A connotation is frequently described as either positive or negative, with regards to its pleasing or displeasing emotional connection. For example, a stubborn person may be described as being either strong-willed or pig-headed; although these have the same literal meaning (stubborn), strong-willed connotes admiration for the level of someone's will (a positive connotation), while pig-headed connotes frustration in dealing with someone (a negative connotation).

  • Denotative and Connotative Meanings, 1:36

  • Learn more about dennotative and connotative meanings. Understand their differences and why they are important. Visit:
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  • Syntactic Meaning

  • Meaning that is established by how a word relates to the other words around it in a sentence. 
  • Structural Ambiguity - Syntax Video #3, 4:49

    Sometimes a single sentence has more than one meaning. A group of linguists explore prepositional phrase attachment ambiguity. Twitter @lingvids LingVids is created by Caroline Andrews, Leland Paul Kusmer, Gretchen McCulloch, and Joshua Levy. For a more detailed introduction to syntax, see the How to Draw Syntax Trees series starting at: Music is composed by Kevin MacLeod and used under a Creative Commons License. The track can be found here:

  • Pragmatic Meaning

  • What a word means in the full context of the situation--who is saying it, where are they, what's happening, and so on. 
  • What Is Pragmatic Language? 3:07

    Dr. Lydia Soifer of the Soifer Center for Learning and Child Development discusses a phrase familiar to parents of children with learning differences and social communication deficits: 'pragmatic language.' What is it? Well, Dr. Soifer says, "the functions of language are many"--and being able to use language in different ways and differentiate how others are using it is a skill as important as vocabulary or conjugation. And it doesn't come as easily to some as to others. Learn more at or

  • 8.2 Practice: Define Your Terms
    How Do You Define "Cult"?

  • Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor, Steven Hassan

  • Agree or disagree?

  • It's totally impractical to try to differentiate between cults and faith-based groups.
    Steve Hassan Discusses Faith Based Initiative Funds for Cults with Bill O'Reilley, 6:51


  • 8.3 Word Games

  • A euphemism is a generally innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse; while others use bland, inoffensive, and often misleading terms for things the user wishes to dissimulate or downplay. Euphemisms are used for dissimulation, to refer to taboo topics (such as disability, sex, excretion, and death) in a polite way, and to mask profanity. The opposite of euphemism roughly equates to dysphemism.

  • Euphemisms may be used to avoid words considered rude, while still conveying their meaning; words may be replaced by similar-sounding words, gentler words, or placeholders. Some euphemisms have become accepted in certain societies for uncomfortable information; for example, in many English speaking countries, a doctor is likely to say "the patient passed away" rather than "the patient died". A second example relating uncomfortable information and concealing some degree of truth would be "we put the dog to sleep" rather than "we killed the dog". Euphemisms can be used to downplay or conceal unpalatable facts, such as "collateral damage" for "civilian casualties" in a military context, or "redacted" for "censored.

  • Emotive Language

  • Innuendo

  • An innuendo is an insinuation or intimation about a person or thing, especially of a disparaging or a derogatory nature. It can also be a remark or question, typically disparaging (also called insinuation), that works obliquely by allusion. In the latter sense the intention is often to insult or accuse someone in such a way that one's words, taken literally, are innocent.

  • According to the Advanced Oxford Learner's Dictionary, an innuendo is "an indirect remark about somebody or something, usually suggesting something bad, mean or rude; the use of remarks like this: innuendoes about her private life or The song is full of sexual innuendo." The word is often used to express disapproval.

  • The term sexual innuendo has acquired a specific meaning, namely that of a "risqué" double entendre by playing on a possibly sexual interpretation of an otherwise innocent uttering. For example: "We need to go deeper" can be seen as both a request for further inquiry on any given issue or a request to go deeper into an orifice. Alternatively the simple changing of the pronunciation of a word can be used to make it sound vulgar e.g. innuendo to "in-your-endo".

  • Animal Flyer
    In the context of defamation law, an innuendo meaning is one which is not directly contained in the words complained of, but which would be understood by those reading it based on special knowledge.

  • Loaded Questions

  • The most famous example is:
    When did you stop beating your wife?

  • A loaded question or complex question fallacy is a question which contains a controversial or unjustified assumption (e.g., a presumption of guilt).

  • Aside from being an informal fallacy depending on usage, such questions may be used as a rhetorical tool: the question attempts to limit direct replies to be those that serve the questioner's agenda. The traditional example is the question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" Whether the respondent answers yes or no, he will admit to having a wife and having beaten her at some time in the past. Thus, these facts are presupposed by the question, and in this case an entrapment, because it narrows the respondent to a single answer, and the fallacy of many questions has been committed. The fallacy relies upon context for its effect: the fact that a question presupposes something does not in itself make the question fallacious. Only when some of these presuppositions are not necessarily agreed to by the person who is asked the question does the argument containing them become fallacious. Hence the same question may be loaded in one context, but not in the other. For example the previous question would not be loaded if it was asked during a trial in which the defendant has already admitted to beating his wife.

  • This fallacy should be distinguished from that of begging the question, which offers a premise whose plausibility depends on the truth of the proposition asked about, and which is often an implicit restatement of the proposition.

  • The term "loaded question" is sometimes used to refer to loaded language that is phrased as a question. This type of question does not necessarily contain a fallacious presupposition, but rather this usage refers to the question having an unspoken and often emotive implication. For example, "Are you a murderer?" would be such a loaded question, as "murder" has a very negative connotation. Such a question may be asked merely to harass or upset the respondent with no intention of listening to their reply, or asked with the full expectation that the respondent will predictably deny it.

  • Weasel Words
    Weasel words.svg
  • A weasel word (also, anonymous authority) is an informal term for words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that a specific and/or meaningful statement has been made, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated, enabling the specific meaning to be denied if the statement is challenged. A more formal term is equivocation.

  • The use of weasel words to avoid making an outright assertion is a synonym to tergiversate. Weasel words can imply meaning far beyond the claim actually being made. Some weasel words may also have the effect of softening the force of a potentially loaded or otherwise controversial statement through some form of understatement, for example using detensifiers such as "somewhat" or "in most respects".

  • Weasel words are likely to be used in advertising and in political statements, where encouraging the audience to develop a misleading impression of what was said can lead to advantages, at least in the short term (in the longer term, systematic deception is likely to be identified, with a loss of trust in the speaker).

  • Proof Surrogate

  • When you hint that you have proof or that evidence is out there, but you don't actually commit to providing it or citing your sources.

  • 8.3 Practice: Word Games
    Manipulation in Politics

  • Drew Westen

  • Harry Reid lie: Romney Hasn't Paid Taxes in 10 Years
    "The word is out."

  • Price, Waterhouse, and Cooper verified Romney paid his taxes.


  • Why The Obama Message Worked - Frank Luntz, 3:44

  • Frank Luntz

  • Despite high unemployment among African-Americans, women, and Hispanics: what language worked for Obama?

  • What was the difference between the 2008 and the 2012 campaigns?

  • What kind of person was Romney?

  • What messages and language did the Obama campaign run?

  • What messages will work in the next election?


    To meet the overall objectives we will cover the following topics in Lecture 1:
    • Meaning, word choice, word order, and context
    • Language as brain “software” and logic as “hard-wiring”
    • Language and culture
    • Figurative language
    • Limits of language
    • Powers and pitfalls of the English language
    To meet the overall objectives we will cover the following topics in Lecture 2:
    • Conscious awareness of feelings
    • How feelings can create or inhibit writing (particularly in the “generation” stages)
    • How feelings are received and impact an audience
    • How strong feelings can lead to eloquence in speaking and writing

  • Wittgenstein, The Limits of Language, 22:25

  • RSA Animate - Language as a Window into Human Nature, 10:53

  • n this new RSA Animate, renowned experimental psychologist Steven Pinker shows us how the mind turns the finite building blocks of language into infinite meanings. Taken from the RSA's free public events programme Watch the full lecture here: Find out more about the RSA at Join the RSA on Facebook at ------ This audio has been edited from the original event by Becca Pyne. Series produced by Abi Stephenson, RSA. Animation by Cognitive Media.


  • Military-Industrial Complex - the Rise of the War Economy, 8:13


Section 215

Real Talk: The Patriot Act, 3:19



Bonhoeffer Author on Nazi Parallels, 5:13

Houston Nazis

Minnesota Islamists Demand Sharia


Somalis have protected status.

Gay Muslim Wedding Cake, 5:48

Gay Muslim

Megyn Kelly, Pamela Geller, Muhammed, N-word


Nebraska Draw Muhammed Contest, :54


PHI 210 Week 7

The presentation may contain content that is deemed objectionable to a particular viewer because of the view expressed or the conduct depicted. The views expressed are provided for learning purposes only, and do not necessarily express the views, or opinions, of Strayer University, your professor, or those participating in videos or other media.

We will have two ten-minute breaks: at 7:30 and 9 pm; I will take roll early before the Discussion at 9:30 before you are dismissed at 10:00 pm.

To meet the overall objective we will cover the following topics:

  • Defining a problem
  • Identifying causes of the problem
  • Identifying solutions for the problem

To meet the overall objective we will cover the following topics:
  • Evaluation of possible solutions to a problem
  • Methods for generating the steps necessary for possibly solving a problem

What kind of Global Problem Solver Are You?

Chapter 7 Problem Solving

7.1 Defining the Problem

Step One: Define the Problem

Step Two: Analyze the Problem

Step Three: Generate Options

Step Four: Evaluate the Options

Step Five: Make Your Decision

Step Six: Implement and Reflect

Anwar's Dilemma: A Problem Solving Case Study

7.1 Practice: Define and Analyze the Problem

Atul Gawande

7.2 Generating Solutions

Step Three: Generate Options

7.2 Practice: Generate Solutions

A Systemic and Innovative Approach

Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT)

Maccabi Health Service, Israel HMO

7.3 Make Your Choice

Step Four: Evaluate the Options

Step Five: Make a Decision

Five Ways to Make Bad Decisions

Define a problem:

Defining a Problem
Crash Course Kids #18.1">Defining a Problem: Crash Course Kids #18.1, 3:39

What is the key to defining an engineering (or any) problem?

Defining a problem in a solvable way is really the key.

Course Promo: Identifying Performance Problems and Causes, 2:03

Regardless of how effective you are in establishing practices that prevent performance problems, you will at some point run into performance problems. Performance problems will happen. The best response is to immediately take corrective action before the problem escalates. Learn about the different types of performance problems and their causes. Then you will discover the difference between conduct problems and performance problems. Because they are different in nature, the same techniques are not applied to handle conduct problems as those that are used to resolve performance problems. You’ll also explore the role that personality plays in performance problems. You’ll be able to tackle performance problems head on using the knowledge accumulated here. This is the second course in the Problem Performance Management series.

What are the two primary causes of poor performance?

What is an early sign?

What is a physical cause?

What can a manager do to prevent burnout?

What is a final cause of poor performance?

Poor morale and negativity are two causes of poor performance.

Conflict is an early sign.

Burnout is a physical cause.

Time away from the job can help to prevent burnout.

Lack of knowledge or skills to perform a job is a final cause of poor performance.

Turning Problems into Solutions, 2:38

'Turning Problems into Solutions' is a commissioned animation that looks at the Solutions Focus approach to coaching and mentoring

Why won't emotions lead to career solutions?

How do you become an expert in what is right?

What would Alex have to do differently to solve his problem of confidence?

What is Alex's new focus called?

Focusing on problems turns you into an expert about what is wrong.

You have to focus on solutions.

Alex has to be honest with his team about appraisals.

Alex needs to say what he really thinks.

Alex can speak publicly with confidence.

The new focus is the solutions focus.

Management Case Study – Supply Chain Distribution Problem: Rail or Truck?

This case study scenario is designed to help all students or chemical engineers build business problem-solving skills through engineering scenarios. While created to mimic real-life situations, this scenario is hypothetical and for educational purposes only.



The client, one of the world's largest car manufacturers in the world, is producing major cars in Wichita, Kansas (smack dab in the center of the country). The client has the choice of transporting the cars either by train or by truck.

Additional Information

Cars are currently shipped by train to central distribution points.

From there, they are shipped by truck to the various car dealerships.

The car manufacturer owns all the distribution points.

Trains require a minimum load of 100 cars.

The cost of shipping one car by train to a distribution point is $100.

Trucks have no minimum load requirement and can transport up to 10 cars at one time.

The cost of transporting one truckload of cars to any distribution point is $1500.

Trucking costs from the distribution point to the dealerships are $200 per load of up to ten cars.

The average truckload shipped to a dealer is 6 cars.?

Total demand for the cars is 1 million vehicles per year.

50% of car buyers do not take delivery from dealer stock, but wait for factory delivery.

Which Mode of Transportation will you suggest?

How do you plan on the rising fuel costs?

If oil companies are starting to use the already congested rail lines, will going 100% into rail travel be dependable?

As a class we can allow some time for discussing the answers.

Please comment with your answers. 

Lecture 1

Lecture 2

Problem solving:

Einstein does problem solving, :43

Albert Einstein's Secret and How He Solved The World's Hardest Problems, 2:13

Here is a quick video about the way Albert Einstein thought about problems. His key was to turn hard and complex problems into imagery and visions. Ones that he could easily see in his mind. It was a brilliant way to approach hard problems because it naturally reduced and simplified them into problems that read like a children's book. Read more here

Can you solve "Einstein’s Riddle"? - Dan Van der Vieren, 5:12

View full lesson: View all the clues here: Before he turned physics upside down, a young Albert Einstein supposedly showed off his genius by devising a complex riddle involving a stolen exotic fish and a long list of suspects. Can you resist tackling a brain teaser written by one of the smartest people in history? Dan Van der Vieren shows how. Lesson by Dan Van der Vieren, animation by Artrake Studio.

On a piece of scratch paper organize your thoughts in a grid. 

Draw five columns and five rows. Number the columns at the top, house 1 - 5. 

The five rows should be labeled wall color, nationality, cigar, beverage, and animal (1:28). 

The police tell us what they know:

1. The owner of each house is of a different nationality. Each owner drinks a different beverage. Each smokes a different type of cigar. 

2. The interior walls of each house is painted a different color. 

3. Each house contains a different animal one of which is the fish. 

Examine the clues and solve the riddle, 1:36. 

Einstein's riddle

The situation

  1. There are 5 houses in five different colors.
  2. In each house lives a person with a different nationality.
  3. These five owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar and keep a certain pet.
  4. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same beverage.
The question is: Who owns the fish?


  • the Brit lives in the red house
  • the Swede keeps dogs as pets
  • the Dane drinks tea
  • the green house is on the left of the white house
  • the green house's owner drinks coffee
  • the person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds
  • the owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill
  • the man living in the center house drinks milk
  • the Norwegian lives in the first house
  • the man who smokes blends lives next to the one who keeps cats
  • the man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill
  • the owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer
  • the German smokes Prince
  • the Norwegian lives next to the blue house
  • the man who smokes blend has a neighbor who drinks water

How to solve Einstein's Riddle, 5:07

On a piece of scratch paper draw five columns and five rows. Number the columns 1 - 5. The five rows should be labeled colour (color), nationality, smoke, drink, and pet.


Solution: house #4 in the green-walled house who is German, smokes Prince, and drinks coffee, must be the culprit with the fish.

Can you solve the bridge riddle? - Alex Gendler, 3:49

View full lesson: Taking that internship in a remote mountain lab might not have been the best idea. Pulling that lever with the skull symbol just to see what it did probably wasn’t so smart either. But now is not the time for regrets because you need to get away from these mutant Can you use math to get you and your friends over the bridge before the zombies arrive? Alex Gendler shows how. Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Artrake Studio.

Pause at 2 minutes for a potential solution.

Can you solve the prisoner hat riddle? - Alex Gendler, 4:34

View full lesson: You and nine other individuals have been captured by super-intelligent alien overlords. The aliens think humans look quite tasty, but their civilization forbids eating highly logical and cooperative beings. Unfortunately, they’re not sure whether you qualify, so they decide to give you all a test. Can you solve this hat riddle? Alex Gendler shows how. Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Artrake Studio.

Pause at 1:37 to try solving.

Can you solve the boat puzzle? 4:51

Pause at :26

You throw a rock in water from your boat. Can you figure out what happens to the water level?

Can you solve the temple riddle? - Dennis E. Shasha, 4:12

View full lesson: Your expedition finally stands at the heart of the ancient temple. But as you study the inscriptions in the darkness, two wisps of green smoke burst forth. The walls begin to shake. The giant sandglass begins flowing with less than an hour before it empties, and a rumbling tells you that you don’t want to be around when that happens. Can you use math to escape the temple? Dennis E. Shasha shows how. Lesson by Dennis E. Shasha, animation by Artrake Studio.

Pause at 2:06

The famously difficult green-eyed logic puzzle - Alex Gendler, 4:41

Pause at 1:16.

View full lesson: One hundred green-eyed logicians have been imprisoned on an island by a mad dictator. Their only hope for freedom lies in the answer to one famously difficult logic puzzle. Can you solve it? Alex Gendler walks us through this green-eyed riddle. Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Artrake Studio.

Can you solve the frog riddle? - Derek Abbott, 4:30

Pause at 1:13.

View full lesson: You’re stranded in a rainforest, and you’ve eaten a poisonous mushroom. To save your life, you need an antidote excreted by a certain species of frog. Unfortunately, only the female frog produces the antidote. The male and female look identical, but the male frog has a distinctive croak. Derek Abbott shows how to use conditional probability to make sure you lick the right frog and get out alive. Lesson by Derek Abbott, animation by Artrake Studio.


Finally: can you solve the locker riddle? - Lisa Winer, 3:49

Pause at 1:51.

View full lesson: Your rich, eccentric uncle just passed away, and you and your 99 nasty relatives have been invited to the reading of his will. He wanted to leave all of his money to you, but he knew that if he did, your relatives would pester you forever. Can you solve the riddle he left for you and get the inheritance? Lisa Winer shows how. Lesson by Lisa Winer, animation by Artrake Studio.

Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems. Some of the problem-solving techniques developed and used in artificial intelligence, computer science, engineering, mathematics, or medicine are related to mental problem-solving techniques studied in psychology.

"Problem Solving" is an English term which indicates "effort of overcoming the difficulties by trying solutions".

The term problem-solving is used in many disciplines, sometimes with different perspectives, and often with different terminologies. For instance, it is a mental process in psychology and a computerized process in computer science. Problems can also be classified into two different types (ill-defined and well-defined) from which appropriate solutions are to be made. Ill-defined problems are those that do not have clear goals, solution paths, or expected solution. Well-defined problems have specific goals, clearly defined solution paths, and clear expected solutions. These problems also allow for more initial planning than ill-defined problems.[1] Being able to solve problems sometimes involves dealing with pragmatics (logic) and semantics (interpretation of the problem). The ability to understand what the goal of the problem is and what rules could be applied represent the key to solving the problem. Sometimes the problem requires some abstract thinking and coming up with a creative solution.

In North America, initiated by the work of Herbert A. Simon on "learning by doing" in semantically rich domains (e.g. Anzai & Simon, 1979; Bhaskar & Simon, 1977), researchers began to investigate problem solving separately in different natural knowledge domains – such as physics, writing, or chess playing – thus relinquishing their attempts to extract a global theory of problem solving (e.g. Sternberg & Frensch, 1991). Instead, these researchers have frequently focused on the development of problem solving within a certain domain, that is on the development of expertise (e.g. Anderson, Boyle & Reiser, 1985; Chase & Simon, 1973; Chi, Feltovich & Glaser, 1981).

Areas that have attracted rather intensive attention in North America include:

The Eightfold Path is a method of policy analysis assembled by Eugene Bardach, a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.[1] It is outlined in his book A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, which is now in its fourth edition.[2] The book is commonly referenced in public policy and public administration scholarship.[3]
Bardach's procedure is as follows:
  1. Define the Problem
  2. Assemble Some Evidence
  3. Construct the Alternatives
  4. Select the Criteria
  5. Project the Outcomes
  6. Confront the Trade-offs
  7. Decide
  8. Tell Your Story
A possible ninth-step, based on Bardach's own writing, might be "Repeat Steps 1 - 8 as Necessary."
Solving Public Policy Problems: UC Berkeley’s Eightfold Path | UCBerkeleyX on edX, 2:42

Take this course for free on edX:

Why We Make Bad Decisions About Money (And What We Can Do About It), 3:56

What can you do to make better money decisions?

Ever wondered what you were thinking after making a bad decision?

Daniel Kahneman explains. To learn more visit our special series, Insider Employers' Minds:

Daniel Kahneman: People are not fully rational and they do—they make many choices that if they reflected upon them they would do differently. There is no question about that. And we have a fair understanding actually of what is happening. At least at the individual level my sense is that we have explored a lot of what is happening. I wouldn't say there is going to be no further progress, but we have explored a lot. The major tendencies, well, the major tendencies . . . people tend to frame things very narrowly. They take a narrow view of decision-making. They look at the problem at hand and they deal with it as if it were the only problem. Very frequently, it's a better idea to look at problems as they will recur throughout your life and then you look at the policy that you're to adopt for a class of problems -- difficult to do; would be a better thing.

People frame things narrowly in the sense, for example, that they will save and borrow at the same time instead of somehow treating their whole portfolio of assets as one thing. If people were able to take a broader view they would, in general, make better decisions. So that is certainly one of the weaknesses of human decision-making. We call it narrow framing. Mental accounting is a big deal. This is the way that we live, so we have—we keep our money in different mental accounts for which we have different rules, so people will—well of course they spend their spending money, but then there is a hierarchy of the accounts that they will touch. They will spend money that they have stored for vacation quite often before they will spend whatever they're thinking of as savings for their children's education. So those are mental accounts for which people have different rules.

More foolishly—this is pretty sensible because mental accounting is a tool of self control—but more foolishly, investors tend to view each stock that they buy as a mental account and they want to sell it when it is a winner. And so they tend to sell their winners and to hang onto their losers in their portfolio and that turns out to make them substantially poorer than if they had done things differently. You need to be numerate for certain kinds of decisions. So numerate people have a significant advantage over those who are not.

Understanding compound interest makes a huge difference whether you're a credit card borrower or somebody with savings. People have a very hazy idea of compound interest, and it is very detrimental. So I would say that first of all you need to be numerate, but many people aren't. Then you need to frame things broadly. It frequently goes with numeracy, but it's not quite the same thing. And then by taking the broad view, it is very important not to have overly strong emotional reactions to events. And what I mean by that is that most of us tend to respond to gains and to losses, to changes that happen in our life. Actually you're better off if you frame things broadly and you think of . . . you win a few, you lose a few... and you have very limited emotional response to small gains and to small losses. That tends to induce better decision-making.

Directed / Produced byJonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

Some Things That Get in the Way of Making Good Decisions

Step Six: Implement and Reflect

7.3 Practice: Make Your Choice

An Automobile Incubator

NYT, Dr. Kristian Olson

Global Health Initiative, Cimit

Chapter 7 Problem Solving

What are the six critical thinking steps to solve any problem?

What is the problem? What are the symptoms? What are the assumptions? Is the evidence reliable? Is there missing information? Is there another reason? 

Where do people go wrong in trying to solve a problem?

Steps 1-2

Thought experiment: is illegal immigration a problem, or a symptom?

Step 3

Assumption: are illegal immigrants Americans, or lawbreakers?

Evidence, missing information, another reason

"bad actors," criminals, invasion, i.e., not immigration problem but a symptom of the problem.

The problem is open borders.

Critical Thinking Steps To Solve Any Problem, 6:42

Got A Problem? Use These Six Critical Thinking Steps To Solve Any Problem

Problem Solving - Thinking Outside of the Box! 3:02

Outside of the Box


1969, John Adair

9 dots, connect the dots: draw four straight consecutive lines without removing the pen/marker/pencil.

We often limit ourselves when attempting to solve problems.

The nine dots puzzle is much older than the slogan. It appears in Sam Loyd's 1914 Cyclopedia of Puzzles. In the 1951 compilation The Puzzle-Mine: Puzzles Collected from the Works of the Late Henry Ernest Dudeney, the puzzle is attributed to Dudeney himself. Sam Loyd's original formulation of the puzzle entitled it as "Christopher Columbus's egg puzzle." This was an allusion to the story of Egg of Columbus.

Examines a basic problem solving concept. Great intellectual exercise to warm up participants to critical thinking and problem solving.

Define a Problem, 1:51


What are the four steps that are the "worry buster?"

What is the antidote to worrying?

Your job is to organize your life and work so as to minimize surprises and problems. However, this is not always possible, in spite of your best efforts.

To be successful you must be able to clearly define a problem and know how to limit stress. Facing a fear can be a daunting task but in order to be successful you must know how to solve your problems and neutralize all worry situations.

7.2 Practice: Generate Solutions

A brief conceptual history of Philosophy, 6:00

Does philosophy make progress? Of course, but it does so differently from, say, science. Here is a brief conceptual history of how philosophy evolved over time, from the all-purpose approach of the ancient Greeks to the highly specialized academic discipline it is today.

Philosophy: answers follow the video

What two major areas arose from the study of philosophy?

What ancient Greek philosopher is still taught in mathematics?

What field arose out of the Scientific Revolution?

Untouched by science, what philosopher continued to write about ethics and metaphysics?

Who developed the ideas of Kant away from traditional philosophy and science?

At the beginning of the 20th Century what philosophers developed analytical philosophy interested in language and informal logic?

What happens with specialization in philosophy?


What two major areas arose from the study of philosophy? Logic and mathematics

What ancient Greek philosopher is still taught in mathematics? Pythagoras

What field arose out of the Scientific Revolution? Natural philosophy

Untouched by science, what philosopher continued to write about ethics and metaphysics? Kant

Who developed the ideas of Kant away from traditional philosophy and science?

Continental Philosophy

Nietzsche, Sartre, Heidegger, and Foucoult

At the beginning of the 20th Century what philosophers developed analytical philosophy interested in language and informal logic?

Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore

What happens with specialization in philosophy? Philosopy "of" developed, philosophy of science, etc.

Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) is a thinking method developed in Israel in the mid-1990s. Derived from Genrich Altshuller’s TRIZ engineering discipline, SIT is a practical approach to creativity, innovation and problem solving, which has become a well known methodology for Innovation. At the heart of SIT’s method is one core idea adopted from Genrich Altshuller's TRIZ which is also known as Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TIPS): that inventive solutions share common patterns. Focusing not on what makes inventive solutions different - but on what they share in common - is core to SIT’s approach.

SIT - Systematic Inventive Thinking | Innovation Management Consulting, 2:33 

SIT - Systematic Inventive Thinking®, Ltd. is a privately owned company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, with offices or affiliates on 5 continents. Since 1996, we have conducted innovation programs in more than 60 countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Middle East. We've worked with over 850 companies and organizations - varying in size from 10 to 300,000 employees -- helping them to think differently in a useful and effective way and achieve their objectives through innovation. Most business leaders agree that in order to grow organically, innovation and creative thinking must be encouraged. For this purpose SIT offers Organizational Innovation Programs that help companies develop a culture and practice of innovation. In these programs, we teach skills that help you think and act differently in an effective way; work with you to generate and implement ideas that are both innovative and practical; and assist in designing the structures that will help innovation become consistent, systematic, and reliable. ====== visit us ========= ===================== 

Maccabi Healthcare Services, (Hebrew: מכבי שירותי בריאות‎) is the second largest health maintenance organization in Israel. It was founded in 1941 by Jewish doctors who immigrated to Israel from Germany as an alternative to the health-care program of the Histadrut.

Maccabi operates 150 medical clinics throughout the country, as well as 20 medical diagnostic and therapeutic centers, 43 pharmacies and two hospitals - Assuta Medical Center and Ramat Marpeh.[1]

Maccabi Healthcare Services, 3:20

Maccabi members benefit from professional, reliable and high standard dental care at Maccabi's network of 45 dental clinics dispersed throughout Israel. All dental clinics hold ISO 2009 certification, which requires continuous quality assurance of the standard of treatments and laboratory work, as well as the quality of dental metals and materials used. The work in Maccabi's dental clinics is guided by a team of outside specialists and consultants, who provide supervision, medical evaluations and second opinions.


Chaos Theory, 4:49

This is a brief introduction to chaos theory. Chaos theory contends that complex and unpredictable results occur in systems that are sensitive to small changes in their initial conditions. This small changes effect is best illustrated and commonly known as the "Butterfly Effect" which states that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in the Amazon could cause tiny atmospheric changes which over a certain time period could effect weather patterns in New York. Such systems are known as chaotic systems. Although chaotic systems appear to be random, they are not. Beneath the random behavior patterns emerge, suggesting, if not always revealing, order. Such pattern is The Golden Spiral, first discovered by Phythagoras, which is derived from the golden rectangle, a unique rectangle which has the golden ratio - phi.

This pattern is observed everywhere in nature such as milk in coffee, the face of a sunflower, nautilus shell, your fingerprints, our DNA, and the shape of our galaxy the Milky Way.

Chaos theory is a field of study in mathematics, with applications in several disciplines including meteorology, sociology, physics, engineering, economics, biology, and philosophy. Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions — a response popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. Small differences in initial conditions (such as those due to rounding errors in numerical computation) yield widely diverging outcomes for such dynamical systems, rendering long-term prediction impossible in general. This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future behavior is fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved. In other words, the deterministic nature of these systems does not make them predictable. This behavior is known as deterministic chaos, or simply chaos. The theory was summarized by Edward Lorenz as follows:

Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future. (pg 68)
Chaotic behavior can be observed in many natural systems, such as weather and climate. This behavior can be studied through analysis of a chaotic mathematical model, or through analytical techniques such as recurrence plots and Poincaré maps.

A double rod pendulum animation showing chaotic behavior. Starting the pendulum from a slightly different initial condition would result in a completely different trajectory. The double rod pendulum is one of the simplest dynamical systems that has chaotic solutions.

An early proponent of chaos theory was Henri Poincaré. In the 1880s, while studying the three-body problem, he found that there can be orbits that are nonperiodic, and yet not forever increasing nor approaching a fixed point. In 1898 Jacques Hadamard published an influential study of the chaotic motion of a free particle gliding frictionlessly on a surface of constant negative curvature, called "Hadamard's billiards".

Hadamard was able to show that all trajectories are unstable, in that all particle trajectories diverge exponentially from one another, with a positive Lyapunov exponent.


A fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. If the replication is exactly the same at every scale, it is called a self-similar pattern. Fractals can also be nearly the same at different levels. Fractals also includes the idea of a detailed pattern that repeats itself.

An example highlighting how scale is a key feature of a fractal.

Koch snowflake, a zoom out of the Koch Snowflake.

A fractal that models the surface of a mountain (animation)
artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI)is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is also an academic field of study. Major AI researchers and textbooks define this field as "the study and design of intelligent agents", where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success. John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1955, defines it as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines".

An automated online assistant providing customer service on a web page – one of many very primitive applications of artificial intelligence.

New Robot Has Arrived: Would You Allow It In Your Home? 2:55

A.I. is no longer science fiction. The benefits will be amazing, but many people are still skeptical of robots involved in our lives. Would you allow this one in your home?


Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is also the name of the academic field of study which studies how to create computers and computer software that are capable of intelligent behavior. Major AI researchers and textbooks define this field as "the study and design of intelligent agents",[1] in which an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of success.[2] John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1955,[3] defines it as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines".[4]

AI research is highly technical and specialized, and is deeply divided into subfields that often fail to communicate with each other.[5] Some of the division is due to social and cultural factors: subfields have grown up around particular institutions and the work of individual researchers. AI research is also divided by several technical issues. Some subfields focus on the solution of specific problems. Others focus on one of several possible approaches or on the use of a particular tool or towards the accomplishment of particular applications.

The central problems (or goals) of AI research include reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, natural language processing (communication), perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects.[6] General intelligence is still among the field's long-term goals.[7] Currently popular approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence and traditional symbolic AI. There are a large number of tools used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, logic, methods based on probability and economics, and many others. The AI field is interdisciplinary, in which a number of sciences and professions converge, including computer science, mathematics, psychology, linguistics, philosophy and neuroscience, as well as other specialized fields such as artificial psychology.

The field was founded on the claim that a central property of humans, human intelligence—the sapience of Homo sapiens sapiens—"can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it."[8] This raises philosophical arguments about the nature of the mind and the ethics of creating artificial beings endowed with human-like intelligence, issues which have been explored by myth, fiction and philosophy since antiquity.[9] Artificial intelligence has been the subject of tremendous optimism[10] but has also suffered stunning setbacks.[11] Today AI techniques have become an essential part of the technology industry, providing the heavy lifting for many of the most challenging problems in computer science.[12]

Freaky AI robot, 3:11

Freaky AI robot, taken from Nova science now, here's the full episode, enjoy :D Also yay for me, 2 videos in one day :D :D


Hot Robot At SXSW Says She Wants To Destroy Humans | The Pulse | CNBC, 2:37

Robotics is finally reaching the mainstream and androids - humanlike robots - are everywhere at SXSW Experts believe humanlike robots are the key to smoothing communication between humans and computers, and realizing a dream of compassionate robots that help invent the future of life. » Subscribe to CNBC:


Amazing! Conversation Between Robots - The Hunt for AI - BBC, 4:15

Marcus Du Sautoy meets robots that learn about their own body from their reflection and begin to communicate, a step closer to artificial intelligence? Taken from The Hunt for AI. Subscribe to the BBC Worldwide channel: BBC Worldwide Channel: This is a channel from BBC Worldwide who help fund new BBC programmes.


A very human-like robot invented by Japanese engineers, 3:24

Two human look-a-like robots invented by Japanese engineers. They can talk to each other!


World's First Emotional Home Robot, 1:38 

Artificial intelligence is still a work in progress, but if you're simply looking for robotic companionship, We may have a humanoid for you. The Japanese mobile operator teamed up with Aldebaran Robotics to develop Pepper, the world's first personal robot that can read emotions. Feeling blue? Pepper can detect sadness based on your expressions and voice tones. Using built-in sensors and pre-programmed algorithms, the robot will also react appropriately. In the vein of its corporate philosophy of "happiness for everyone," SoftBank entered the cyborg business "with the aim of developing affectionate robots that make people smile," according to CEO Masayoshi Son. But Pepper does more than tell a joke or two. The device comes equipped with a 10.1-inch touch display, as well as voice-recognition technology and emotion recognition, to enable human-to-humanoid communication. It can also handle gestures, like a wave of the arm, or nod of the head. These advanced technologies make it easy for users to interact with Pepper just as they would family and friends. And, really, who needs human contact when they've got a robot that makes jokes, dances, and provides other forms of entertainment? "For the past nine years, I've believed that the most important role of robots will be as kind and emotional companions to enhance our daily lives, to bring happiness, constantly surprise us, and make people grow," Aldebaran CEO Bruno Maisonnier said in a statement. "The emotional robot will create a new dimension in our lives and new ways of interacting with technology. It's just the beginning, but already a promising reality." The friendly-looking cyborg will begin rolling into Japanese homes in February, for a base price of 198,000 yen ($1,931/£1,152). Research, learning, further reading and Sources : artificial intelligence, why artificial intelligence, the artificial intelligence, what is artificial intelligence neural networks pattern recognition, pattern recognition software household robots, Domestic Robot robot control robotics kits industrial robots robots, how to build robots pepper robot Asimo Robot


 Artificial Intelligence, 3:42 

That's a story of four guys who talk to each other in an other planet and two of them are robots, you have to discover who are the robots.

Critical Thinking, 5:19

This video will help guide you on your way to improving your critical thinking skills which is an essential process for University students. For more information, visit

Thinking Logically - Introduction to Critical Thinking for Problem Solving Training, Seattle, WA, 6:19
An overview of Loc & Learn LLC's instructor led workshop entitled, "Thinking Logically - Introduction to Critical Thinking.

Soft Skills--Critical Thinking And Problem Solving, 2:15

Common barriers to problem solving

Common barriers to problem solving are mental constructs that impede our ability to correctly solve problems. These barriers prevent people from solving problems in the most efficient manner possible. Five of the most common processes and factors that researchers have identified as barriers to problem solving are confirmation bias, mental set, functional fixedness, unnecessary constraints, and irrelevant information.

Confirmation bias

Within the field of science there exists a fundamental standard, the scientific method, which outlines the process of discovering facts or truths about the world through unbiased consideration of all pertinent information, and impartial observation of and/or experimentation with that information. According to this theory, one is able to most accurately find a solution to a perceived problem by performing the aforementioned steps. The scientific method is not a process that is limited to scientists, but rather it is one that all people can practice in their respective fields of work as well as in their personal lives. Confirmation bias can be described as one's unconscious or unintentional corruption of the scientific method. Thus when one demonstrates confirmation bias, he or she is formally or informally collecting data, and then subsequently observing and experimenting with that data in such a way that favors a preconceived notion that may or may not have motivation.[15] Interestingly, research has found that professionals within scientific fields of study also experience confirmation bias. In Andreas Hergovich, Reinhard Schott, and Christoph Burger's experiment conducted online, for instance, it was discovered that professionals within the field of psychological research are likely to view scientific studies that are congruent with their preconceived understandings more favorably than studies that are incongruent with their established beliefs.[16]

Motivation refers to one's desire to defend or find substantiation for beliefs (e.g., religious beliefs) that are important to him or her.[17] According to Raymond Nickerson, one can see the consequences of confirmation bias in real life situations, which range in severity from inefficient government policies to genocide. With respect to the latter and most severe ramification of this cognitive barrier, Nickerson argued that those involved in committing genocide of persons accused of witchcraft, an atrocity that occurred from the 15th to 17th centuries, demonstrated confirmation bias with motivation. Researcher Michael Allen found evidence for confirmation bias with motivation in school children who worked to manipulate their science experiments in such a way that would produce their hoped for results.[18] However, confirmation bias does not necessarily require motivation. In 1960, Peter Cathcart Wason conducted an experiment in which participants first viewed three numbers and then created a hypothesis that proposed a rule that could have been used to create that triplet of numbers. When testing their hypotheses, participants tended to only create additional triplets of numbers that would confirm their hypotheses, and tended not to create triplets that would negate or disprove their hypotheses. Thus research also shows that people can and do work to confirm theories or ideas that do not support or engage personally significant beliefs.[19]

Mental set

Mental set was first articulated by Abraham Luchins in the 1940s and demonstrated in his well-known water jug experiments.[20] In these experiments, participants were asked to fill one jug with a specific amount of water using only other jugs (typically three) with different maximum capacities as tools. After Luchins gave his participants a set of water jug problems that could all be solved by employing a single technique, he would then give them a problem that could either be solved using that same technique or a novel and simpler method. Luchins discovered that his participants tended to use the same technique that they had become accustomed to despite the possibility of using a simpler alternative.[21] Thus mental set describes one's inclination to attempt to solve problems in such a way that has proved successful in previous experiences. However, as Luchins' work revealed, such methods for finding a solution that have worked in the past may not be adequate or optimal for certain new but similar problems. Therefore, it is often necessary for people to move beyond their mental sets in order to find solutions. This was again demonstrated in Norman Maier's 1931 experiment, which challenged participants to solve a problem by using a household object (pliers) in an unconventional manner. Maier observed that participants were often unable to view the object in a way that strayed from its typical use, a phenomenon regarded as a particular form of mental set (more specifically known as functional fixedness, which is the topic of the following section). When people cling rigidly to their mental sets, they are said to be experiencing fixation, a seeming obsession or preoccupation with attempted strategies that are repeatedly unsuccessful.[22] In the late 1990s, researcher Jennifer Wiley worked to reveal that expertise can work to create a mental set in persons considered to be experts in certain fields, and she furthermore gained evidence that the mental set created by expertise could lead to the development of fixation.[23]

Functional fixedness

Functional fixedness is a specific form of mental set and fixation, which was alluded to earlier in the Maier experiment, and furthermore it is another way in which cognitive bias can be seen throughout daily life. Tim German and Clark Barrett describe this barrier as the fixed design of an object hindering the individual's ability to see it serving other functions. In more technical terms, these researchers explained that "[s]ubjects become "fixed" on the design function of the objects, and problem solving suffers relative to control conditions in which the object's function is not demonstrated."[24] Functional fixedness is defined as only having that primary function of the object itself hinder the ability of it serving another purpose other than its original function. In research that highlighted the primary reasons that young children are immune to functional fixedness, it was stated that "functional fixedness...[is when]subjects are hindered in reaching the solution to a problem by their knowledge of an object's conventional function."[25]

Furthermore, it is important to note that functional fixedness can be easily expressed in commonplace situations. For instance, imagine the following situation: a man sees a bug on the floor that he wants to kill, but the only thing in his hand at the moment is a can of air freshener. If the man starts looking around for something in the house to kill the bug with instead of realizing that the can of air freshener could in fact be used not only as having its main function as to freshen the air, he is said to be experiencing functional fixedness. The man's knowledge of the can being served as purely an air freshener hindered his ability to realize that it too could have been used to serve another purpose, which in this instance was as an instrument to kill the bug. Functional fixedness can happen on multiple occasions and can cause us to have certain cognitive biases. If we only see an object as serving one primary focus than we fail to realize that the object can be used in various ways other than its intended purpose. This can in turn cause many issues with regards to problem solving. Common sense seems to be a plausible answer to functional fixedness. One could make this argument because it seems rather simple to consider possible alternative uses for an object. Perhaps using common sense to solve this issue could be the most accurate answer within this context. With the previous stated example, it seems as if it would make perfect sense to use the can of air freshener to kill the bug rather than to search for something else to serve that function but, as research shows, this is often not the case.

Functional fixedness limits the ability for people to solve problems accurately by causing one to have a very narrow way of thinking. Functional fixedness can be seen in other types of learning behaviors as well. For instance, research has discovered the presence of functional fixedness in many educational instances. Researchers Furio, Calatayud, Baracenas, and Padilla stated that "... functional fixedness may be found in learning concepts as well as in solving chemistry problems."[26] There was more emphasis on this function being seen in this type of subject and others.

There are several hypotheses in regards to how functional fixedness relates to problem solving.[27] There are also many ways in which a person can run into problems while thinking of a particular object with having this function. If there is one way in which a person usually thinks of something rather than multiple ways then this can lead to a constraint in how the person thinks of that particular object. This can be seen as narrow minded thinking, which is defined as a way in which one is not able to see or accept certain ideas in a particular context. Functional fixedness is very closely related to this as previously mentioned. This can be done intentionally and or unintentionally, but for the most part it seems as if this process to problem solving is done in an unintentional way.

Functional fixedness can affect problem solvers in at least two particular ways. The first is with regards to time, as functional fixedness causes people to use more time than necessary to solve any given problem. Secondly, functional fixedness often causes solvers to make more attempts to solve a problem than they would have made if they were not experiencing this cognitive barrier. In the worst case, functional fixedness can completely prevent a person from realizing a solution to a problem. Functional fixedness is a commonplace occurrence, which affects the lives of many people.

Unnecessary constraints

Unnecessary constraints is another very common barrier that people face while attempting to problem-solve. This particular phenomenon occurs when the subject, trying to solve the problem subconsciously, places boundaries on the task at hand, which in turn forces him or her to strain to be more innovative in their thinking. The solver hits a barrier when they become fixated on only one way to solve their problem, and it becomes increasingly difficult to see anything but the method they have chosen. Typically, the solver experiences this when attempting to use a method they have already experienced success from, and they can not help but try to make it work in the present circumstances as well, even if they see that it is counterproductive.[28]

Groupthink, or taking on the mindset of the rest of the group members, can also act as an unnecessary constraint while trying to solve problems.[29] This is due to the fact that with everybody thinking the same thing, stopping on the same conclusions, and inhibiting themselves to think beyond this. This is very common, but the most well-known example of this barrier making itself present is in the famous example of the dot problem. In this example, there are nine dots lying in a square- three dots across, and three dots running up and down. The solver is then asked to draw no more than four lines, without lifting their pen or pencil from the paper. This series of lines should connect all of the dots on the paper. Then, what typically happens is the subject creates an assumption in their mind that they must connect the dots without letting his or her pen or pencil go outside of the square of dots. Standardized procedures like this can often bring mentally invented constraints of this kind,[30] and researchers have found a 0% correct solution rate in the time allotted for the task to be completed.[31] The imposed constraint inhibits the solver to think beyond the bounds of the dots. It is from this phenomenon that the expression "think outside the box" is derived.[32]

This problem can be quickly solved with a dawning of realization, or insight. A few minutes of struggling over a problem can bring these sudden insights, where the solver quickly sees the solution clearly. Problems such as this are most typically solved via insight and can be very difficult for the subject depending on either how they have structured the problem in their minds, how they draw on their past experiences, and how much they juggle this information in their working memories[32] In the case of the nine-dot example, the solver has already been structured incorrectly in their minds because of the constraint that they have placed upon the solution. In addition to this, people experience struggles when they try to compare the problem to their prior knowledge, and they think they must keep their lines within the dots and not go beyond. They do this because trying to envision the dots connected outside of the basic square puts a strain on their working memory.[32]

Luckily, the solution to the problem becomes obvious as insight occurs following incremental movements made toward the solution. These tiny movements happen without the solver knowing. Then when the insight is realized fully, the "aha" moment happens for the subject.[33] These moments of insight can take a long while to manifest or not so long at other times, but the way that the solution is arrived at after toiling over these barriers stays the same.

Irrelevant information

Irrelevant information is information presented within a problem that is unrelated or unimportant to the specific problem.[28] Within the specific context of the problem, irrelevant information would serve no purpose in helping solve that particular problem. Often irrelevant information is detrimental to the problem solving process. It is a common barrier that many people have trouble getting through, especially if they are not aware of it. Irrelevant information makes solving otherwise relatively simple problems much harder.[34]

For example:

"Fifteen percent of the people in Topeka have unlisted telephone numbers. You select 200 names at random from the Topeka phone book. How many of these people have unlisted phone numbers?"[35]

The people that are not listed in the phone book would not be among the 200 names you selected. The individuals looking at this task would have naturally wanted to use the 15% given to them in the problem. They see that there is information present and they immediately think that it needs to be used. This of course is not true. These kinds of questions are often used to test students taking aptitude tests or cognitive evaluations.[36] They aren't meant to be difficult but they are meant to require thinking that is not necessarily common. Irrelevant Information is commonly represented in math problems, word problems specifically, where numerical information is put for the purpose of challenging the individual.

One reason irrelevant information is so effective at keeping a person off topic and away from the relevant information, is in how it is represented.[36] The way information is represented can make a vast difference in how difficult the problem is to be overcome. Whether a problem is represented visually, verbally, spatially, or mathematically, irrelevant information can have a profound effect on how long a problem takes to be solved; or if it's even possible. The Buddhist monk problem is a classic example of irrelevant information and how it can be represented in different ways:
A Buddhist monk begins at dawn one day walking up a mountain, reaches the top at sunset, meditates at the top for several days until one dawn when he begins to walk back to the foot of the mountain, which he reaches at sunset. Making no assumptions about his starting or stopping or about his pace during the trips, prove that there is a place on the path which he occupies at the same hour of the day on the two separate journeys.
This problem is near impossible to solve because of how the information is represented. Because it is written out in a way that represents the information verbally, it causes us to try and create a mental image of the paragraph. This is often very difficult to do especially with all the Irrelevant Information involved in the question. This example is made much easier to understand when the paragraph is represented visually. Now if the same problem was asked, but it was also accompanied by a corresponding graph, it would be far easier to answer this question; Irrelevant Information no longer serves as a road block. By representing the problem visually, there are no difficult words to understand or scenarios to imagine. The visual representation of this problem has removed the difficulty of solving it.

These types of representations are often used to make difficult problems easier.[37] They can be used on tests as a strategy to remove Irrelevant Information, which is one of the most common forms of barriers when discussing the issues of problem solving.[28] Identifying crucial information presented in a problem and then being able to correctly identify its usefulness is essential. Being aware of Irrelevant Information is the first step in overcoming this common barrier.


Dos, Don'ts, and Sneaky Tactics

Why Facts Don't Win Arguments

Tax Supported Planned Parenthood and Advice for the Kids

Fatherhood Challenge

Wahhabi Cleric Explains Proper Way of Beheading to his Followers: Qur'an 47:4 Interpreted, You Should Enjoy Yourselves

Wealth Creation

Wages Down 23% Since 2008

NSA Spying, Balloon Over Utah

Reporters Arrested in Ferguson

Ferguson Gun Sales

Jersey Jihad Jihad
117 Winslow Place Garwood, New Jersey

7 Year Old Islamist Poses with Severed Head

Osama Bin Laden Crosses US Border with Mexico Twice


45% of voters are concerned that the government will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states, with 19% who are Very Concerned.

Just 20% of voters now consider the federal government a protector of individual liberty. Sixty percent (60%) see the government as a threat to individual liberty instead. Only19% trust the federal government to do the right thing all or most of the time.

Congressman: Pentagon Practising War on States

The Texas State Guard is a militia--think 2nd Amendment--that does not answer to a president such as the state National Guard.

White House Says Stand Down

National Guard Riot Prepared

Governor orders Texas Guard to prevent Federal takeover.

Importing Islamic fighters

The Lt. Col. did not go over well with all members of the audience.

Pointed Question and Answer session, Bastrop County, Texas

Military Spokesperson at Bastrop County meeting presents.

Troops Called into Baltimore

AARP Declares Martial Law

Marines Training for Riot Control Against the Americans

The Marines, “Conducted an operational readiness exercise, which evaluates the team’s ability to perform riot control,” according to a description which accompanies the video. “The ORE determines of the marines are ready to take their final step in pre-deployment training. After completing and meeting the requirements of the ORE evaluation the Marines will go to Quantico, Virginia for their final phase of pre-deployment training.”

However, the video, which shows Marines taking on irate demonstrators with pepper spray, batons and rifles, will only serve to heighten concerns that the U.S. Army and the federal government are preparing for more civil unrest in America in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri riots.
The fact that the training exercise has been presented for the consumption of the American public also raises questions as to its intended purpose.

Knoxville, TN, military and police train for riot control.

The official spokesperson, Thomas Meade, for the related Jade Helm training states:

"We are not training for Iraq or Afghanistan, we are training for a future fight and that's why we need the help of the world community."

When asked by the City Council if U.N. or international troops have been used previously the answer was "I am not sure if that has occurred."

What does the evidence suggest about Jade Helm?

Said Councilman Bobby McDonald: "The community will be aware sometimes that they're here, and sometimes the community won't be aware. Sometimes they will be in uniform, and sometimes they will not be in uniform."

Why does the military need to train and sneak up around American civilians?

Training could not be done on a military base?

Stop Jade Helm in Arizona

Fight Like You Train

Are we being told the next fight is against the Americans?

Pico Rivera, CA Walmart

Minister Paul, Walmart, Pico Rivera

Ft. Irwin/I-15/Barstow massive military buildup

Ontario, Jade Helm

Corona, Pico Rivera, Turkish Pilots in Texas

Operation Jade Helm Secret Location; Live Fire 27th Field Artillery 3 27 HIMARS, 3:06

Operation Jade Helm Secret Loacation [sic]; 27th Field Artillery at National Training Center 3 27 HIMARS 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery at National Training Center

This work, 3-27 HIMARS B-Roll at NTC - (Short Version), by CPT Devon Thomas, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.


Operation Jade Helm FEMA Region 1: Homeland Response to catastrophic Biological and Nuclear Attack, 1:00

Homeland Response Force Annual Exercise at Lakehurst, NJ Over 600 Army & Air National Guardsmen from New York and New Jersey took part in a 3-Day full scale urban search and rescue exercise at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ from April 16th to April 18th, 2015. The New York and New Jersey's Homeland Response Force's mission is to respond to catastrophic Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives events in FEMA Region 1.

Caroline, Operation Jade Helm; 50 US and UK Paratroopers injured in Major Airborne Operation, 2:24

Published on Apr 16, 2015

Operation Jade Helm; 50 US and UK Paratroopers injured in Major Airborne Operation About 50 paratroopers were injured Monday after a large-scale airborne operation conducted by the 82nd Airborne Division and the United Kingdom's 16 Air Assault Brigade.

About 2,100 paratroopers participated in Monday night's airborne operation. Most of the injured troops were Americans; about 10 were British paratroopers, said Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson, a spokeswoman for the 82nd Airborne Division.

The paratroopers were taken to Womack Army Medical Center on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to be evaluated by medical personnel, the 82nd Airborne said in a statement

Staunton, VA

California Too

Jonestown, PA

Iowa WMD drill

Michigan Dirty Bomb

Military Trains Against Civilians

Another Texas County Concerned About Jade Helm

History of the Phoenix Program and Now Jade Helm

Washington Post says nothing to see here folks.

Americans are the enemy.



Craig's List ad for victims to be rescued.

Jade Helm starting early

Military-Police Line Blur in Exercizes

Currently, there is a less lethal weapons solicitation advertised by Homeland Security.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) intends to solicit responses to Request for Information (RFI) 20082225-JTC for Less Lethal Specialty Munitions (LLSM) for use by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CBP is interested in incorporating commercial and industry practices that support this type of procurement. To accomplish this, CBP intends to make industry a partner in all facets of the acquisition process, specifically by considering existing market capabilities, strengths and weaknesses for the acquisition of this commodity.

The requested equipment includes:
Hand Delivered Pyrotechnic Canisters, including
  • Smoke Canister for Training (Reduced Toxicity)
  • Continuous Discharge Large Smoke Canister (Operations)
  • Continuous Discharge CS Canister
  • Orange Colored Smoke Canister
  • Green Colored Smoke Canister
  • Pocket Tactical Smoke Canister
  • Pocket Tactical CS Canister
  • Three Part Sub-Munitions CS Canister
  • Non-Burning Internal Canister OC Grenade
Non-Pyrotechnic Indoor/Outdoor Use
  • Flameless Expulsion Grenade (OC)
  • Flameless Expulsion Grenade (CS)
  • Flameless Expulsion Grenade (Inert)
Hand Delivered Rubber Ball Grenades
  • Rubber Ball Grenade
  • Rubber Ball Grenade (CS)
40mm Launched Specialty Impact Munitions
  • 40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge
    40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge (OC)
  • 40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge (Marking)
  • 40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge (Inert)
  • 40mm Sponge Training Rounds
Crowd Management Projectile Cartridges
  • 40mm Smokeless Powder Blast (OC)
  • 40mm Smokeless Powder Blast (CS)
  • 40mm Long Range Canister (CS)
  • 40mm Long Range Canister (Smoke)
  • 40mm Cartridge Four Part Sub-Munitions (CS)
  • 40mm Cartridge Four Part Sub-Munitions (Smoke)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions (100 Meters)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions (200 Meters)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions (300 Meters)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions OC (100 Meters)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions OC (200 Meters)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions OC (300 Meters)
Controlled Noise And Light Distraction Devices
  • Distraction Device Compact
  • Distraction Device
  • Distraction Device Reloadable Steel Body
  • Distraction Device Reload
  • Command Initiated Distraction Device Reload
  • Distraction Device Training Fuse
  • Distraction Device Training Body
  • Multiple Detonation Distraction Device
  • Low Profile Distraction Device
  • Command Initiator
Ferret Rounds
  • 40mm Ferret Round (OC Powder)
  • 40mm Ferret Round (OC Liquid)
  • 40mm Ferret Round (CS Powder)
  • 40mm Ferret Round (CS Liquid)
  • 40mm Ferret Round (Inert Powder)
The ferret rounds are designed to penetrate barriers and deliver debilitating or disrupting chemicals:
“The projectile shall be designed to penetrate barriers of glass, particle board, and interior walls. Upon impact of the barrier, the nose cone will rupture and instantaneously deliver the OC liquid on the other side of the barrier. “

Separate "dirty bomb" exercise brings hundreds of soldiers to Northern California.

Methane over Four Corners Investigated
Obama Speechwriters Laugh at "You can keep your plan lie."

:41 & 2:23