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Summary of Jonah Lehrer’s “How we decide”

People often make incorrect choices when there are more than four variables.

Simple problems require reason, while the complex not so much. When there’s a large variety of items to choose from, get the one that maximises enjoyment.

People memorise patterns without even knowing.

The emotional brain, powered by dopamine, is paramount for good decisions.

People get addicted out of excitement, not necessity.

People get upset if what we expected didn’t come to fruition.

Being certain about something is a deceptive feeling.

Prize-linked savings accounts work because we like uncertainty.

Psychopaths don’t feel morality, and therefore, their wrongdoing.

People have a larger sense of loss than for win, even of the same value.

Never say that you wouldn’t do something in the way that that person handles it, because that person is who you would be at that moment in that situation.

When there’s a lot of information, we may infer the irrelevant. Cut down on the noise, focus on what’s important.

Don’t think too much.

Nov 19   book

Summary of “Exceptional service, exceptional profit”

Previously on Medium.

A customer is worth a lifetime.

Lead people to the place they’re looking for, don‘t just give directions.

Reset customer expectations you can’t meet, even if they seem obvious.

Adjust your service to fit the customer best, but without intrusion into privacy.

Note at least five things unique about the customer, whether preferences or complaints.

When there’s a problem, apologise, review the complaint with the customer, fix and follow up, document the problem in detail to make sure it never happens again.

Make processes as efficient as possible.

Keep the hiring bar high: a bad employee may cause others to quit.

The speed of a group is the slowest one’s.

Make everything feel seamless: if there’s a problem you know you can solve, it should seem like it never happened.

Make the customer feel special.

Nov 19   book

Auto-save while printing

I have a document open as I’m printing it. Then, I catch a typo. The part where it is hasn’t been printed yet. Why can’t I fix the typo and have the printer print out the correct version?

Nov 11   user interface

Driverless trains

How have driverless trains still not replaced normal ones? I get the situation with cars, as they need approvals and laws, but trains are different.

Moscow metro directors say that the intervals will be larger than with traditional drivers, but this can’t possibly be real. There is much more communication between driverless trains that between normal ones, so the intervals would be the same or smaller. Sure, the technology may need upgrading, but this is a no-brainer for a worthwhile investment.

I’ve been in several driverless trains: Paris’ airport shuttle, Milan’s M5 line, London’s DLR, the Turin metro, Pisa’s airport shuttle. They all work really well and insure more security than regular trains.

Don’t procrastinate, automate!

Nov 9   automation   trains

2018 fad of the year

2015 had hoverboards. 2016 had Pokémon Go. 2017 had fidget spinners. Where’s this year’s fad?

Nov 6   fads


Grom ice cream is the best ice cream I know. I have tried others, but Grom always came out on top. Vittoriana, a Genoese chain, also had quality ice cream, but closed for no apparent reason (tell me if you know why).

I have tried every flavour of Grom ice cream released in the past two years. Those are apple, apple cake, apricot, bacio (hazelnut chocolate), blueberry, bonet, candied chestnuts, candied chestnuts meringue, chocolate, extra dark chocolate, chocolate with orange, coconut, coffee, cream, “once upon a time” cream, crunchy delight, farmer pride (sic!), hazelnut, lemon, lemon meringue, mango cake, melon, milk cream, minty milk cream, nougat, nougat pastry cream, panettone, peach, filled peach, pear, pears with chocolate, pink grapefruit, pistachio, raspberry, raspberry mille-feuille, sacher, salted caramel, sicilian cassata, stracciatella, strawberry, tangerine, tiramisu, cookied vanilla, yogurt, yogurt with peaches and hazelnuts.

The only bad ones are salted caramel and apple.

Nov 4   ice cream
Nov 4  

The first website in the world with “prefers-color-scheme: dark”

As Apple begins the dark mode revolution, it wants it to be everywhere. I love dark mode, and I agree. A couple of days ago they released a new version of the Safari Developer Preview with support of the CSS feature “prefers-color-scheme: dark”. There is only one website in the world that supports it, and I happen to really like it.

It’s really simple to take advantage of:

@media (prefers-color-scheme: light) {
//code that is//

@media (prefers-color-scheme: dark) {
//code that changes//

Yep, it’s my website.

Nov 4   Apple   CSS   my projects   my website

Grapes with seeds

I call for the elimination of consumer-oriented grapes with seeds.

Oct 30   food

A better abbreviation for sine & cosine

For some weird reason the abbreviation for sine is sin and cos for cosine. This is madness compared to the beautiful and logical abbreviation for tangent and cotangent: tg and ctg respectively.

My proposal:

sine si
cosine csi
tangent tg
cotangent ctg

Quite obviously, I submitted them to my local ISO representative for review.

Oct 28   abbreviations   maths   naming
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