some wisdom about our society and us as social beings

Use the below link to watch video of a author David Brooks speak about some interesting human behaviors and psychological traits.  You only need to watch the first 30 minutes of the 60 minute long video, because the rest is just him answering not-so-interesting questions from the audience.  For me, some of the highlights from his talk include:

Are you struggling on how to choose between two choices?  …let your unconcious mind play a bigger role in the decision, and leave it to a coin flip.  Get a coin, assign each side of the coin to one choice, flip it, and let the flipping of the coin tell you how you should choose.  Do this by listening to your reaction to the outcome of the coin flip, not the actual result of the coin flip itself.”

Research shows that new born babies who do not receive hands on care (the physical touching from nurses and parents) are more likely to die than those who do.  This reflects our innate need to feel emotional connections to other people.  We are social beings.

Japanese sugar packets

Sugar packets on top of restaurant table in Japan. March '11.

I thought this sugar packet design was another example of how willing the Japanese are to pay close attention to  details, to wasting nothing, and to spending a little more effort upfront if doing so improves the user experience.   Notice that this sugar packet design allows all the sugar to pour out easily once the packet has been torn open.   Not only is the oblong geometric shape aesthetically pleasing, but it allows for no sugar to be left stuck in the packaging the way it does in the sugar packets used here in the United States.