Saturday, December 21, 2013

Guess Which One's Using The Battleship

Today is TED talk day, celebrated randomly whenever I feel like it, so start making circles on your calendar. Any circles. I'll make them for you, in fact. Just bust into your house with a Sharpie and draw circles on anything that looks like a calendar.

Today's speaker is Paul Piff, a social psychologist at Cal-Berkeley; he spoke in San Rafael, CA in October. The subject is, at its center, whether money makes you mean. As the talk goes on, it gets more into general economic inequality and matters you've likely heard before, which by itself wouldn't result in my selecting it for usage here. But the first half of the talk in particular is what I want to pass along. It concerns a series of experiments he and his people did regarding the small-scale behavior of individuals when that inequality is taken into account. He begins with everybody's favorite game to rage-boardflip, Monopoly, by giving one player twice the money and twice the speed on dice rolls as their opponent, and seeing how they acted towards each other.

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