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3 min read

Spot the Gorilla

Spot the Gorilla

There is an experiment, well known to psychologists and anyone with an MBA, called a 'selective attention test.' The basics of the test, originally run by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris, are that you watch a video clip of some people passing a basketball and you have to count how many times the players wearing white pass the basketball.

selective attention test
The original, world-famous awareness test from Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris. Check out our book and website for more information (www.theinvisiblego...

During the test, a person dressed in a gorilla suit makes an appearance, walking directly across the frame, beats their chest and then exits the scene. Approximately half the people who watch this video fail to spot the gorilla the first time. In a sense, this experiment is emblematic of how we often go through life, failing to spot the gorilla because we are so busy trying to count the passes.

Moving beyond the lab, it is too easy to focus on the negatives with which news channels bombard our senses on a daily basis. For me, this can become frankly as depressing as, to quote Blackadder:

getting an arrow through the neck and discovering there's a gas bill tied to it.

So on this day, I take a moment to dwell on some of the better things to be happening in this thing we call life.

The Mars 2020 rover will join the Curiosity rover on the Red Planet.

Two Rovers to Roll on Mars Again: Curiosity and Mars 2020 – NASA’s Mars Exploration Program
They look like twins. But under the hood, the rover currently exploring the Red Planet and the one launching there this summer have distinct science tools and roles to play.

Gary Larson, Beloved Cartoonist of ‘The Far Side’ Publishes First New Comics in 25 Years.

New Work by Gary Larson | TheFarSide.com
Get an exclusive look at brand new cartoons and artwork from cartoonist Gary Larson, creator of the iconic comic strip The Far Side®.

Researchers from the UK and Switzerland have discovered a mathematical model to prevent AI from making unethical decisions. Possibly preventing the rise of SkyNET.

An unethical optimization principle | Royal Society Open Science

Not that this necessarily balances out all the harm and doom that is going on in the world, but it is important to celebrate the wins as well as commiserating the losses. What wins are you celebrating today?

Good night and good luck.


This post is day 070 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. If you want to get involved, you can get more info from 100daystooffload.com.

Posted in: 100DaysToOffload, Psychology, Thoughts