Tag: decision making

Quirky Habits of Geniuses: How Intellectuals and Scientists Randomly Induce Ideas-Part 2

By on January 18, 2015 in Articles

Genius means thinking outside the box. We owe this world to geniuses. You are reading this article using a highly intricate digital device with the help of the internet, and these facilities would have never existed if there were no geniuses who were brave enough to follow their imagination, helping humanity in the process.

And while this post pays tribute to some of these geniuses, it has more to do with their quirky sides. I mean, after all, you can’t expect someone to conform to the societal standards of normalcy while also coming up with original ideas, right?
So here is a second list of some amazing thinkers with oddball thinking habits that are random, but yet are credited with enabling these people to come up with some of the most creative ideas in history. Read on!

Honore de Balzac

Balzac was a prolific author and playwright, best known for his La Comedia Humaine. However, such a legendary figure in French literature ascribed all his creative output to coffee. Not one or two cups after every couple of hours. No. Honore de Balzac consumed 50 cups of coffee every day. You can call him an addict, but he wasn’t shy about his indulgences. In fact, he wrote an entire article on the creative benefits of coffee in a highly poetic language. Read here. You are right to think that all this coffee wouldn’t have caused him insomnia. This brings us to our next genius.

Nikola Tesla

Tesla is perhaps the most underrated scientist of all time. Had it not been for Christopher Nolan and the internet, most new science students would have virtually missed him altogether, despite his stellar accomplishments. Known for his work on electricity, Tesla filed for more than 300 patents.
His secret? Sleep is for the weak! Tesla used to wake up in the early hours of the night, and continue till the clock struck 11 PM. This wasn’t even polyphasic sleep, which Edison practiced. Needless to say, Tesla suffered for his lack of sleep when he had mental breakdown at the age of 25. Of course, he recovered and continued his scientific output. But don’t forget that sleep is essential for healthy cognition.

Albert Einstein

No list of quirky men or geniuses (or both) can be complete without Einstein. A ‘slow’ person since childhood, Einstein had his mind so firmly fixed on the deep questions, such as the origins of space and time that he found himself unable to do many mundane tasks that we take for granted. It is alleged that he failed to learn to drive. He would also embark on bird watching walks, where he would play his violin till his eyes filled with tears.

Can These Random ‘Techniques’ Be Explained?

Maybe. Possibly the sections of the brain responsible for repeated actions like driving or tying shoe laces may be weaker in these men as compared to sections devoted to creative and critical thinking. For instance, Werner Heisenberg developed the famous uncertainty equations involved in quantum mechanics, the rules that explain the behavior at small scales of tiny subatomic particles. However, Werner almost failed his doctoral exam because he knew virtually nothing about experimental techniques. Strange, isn’t it?

Does Forex Trading Require Random Decision-Making?

By on January 18, 2015 in Articles

Forex is a lucrative business, but the industry is not without its challenges. Nevertheless, there is ample opportunity for you to earn money in currency exchange, and if you have decided to start Forex trading, then congratulate yourself, for you have entered the largest financial market in world that boasts a daily volume of $3 trillion+ in futures and equity.

For starters, it is easy to enter the world of Forex trading. There may have been barriers in the past, but now with the common internet connection and bandwidth, anyone can become a trader. Not to mention, with the backing of the largest financial institutions in the world, you can get started with Forex trading for as little as $1.

But the question that we seek to answer today is this: Is Forex trading random?

Randomness and Gambling in Forex Trading

There are many people that promote the myth that all forms of trading (Forex, stocks, bonds, and futures etc.) are nothing but a gamble. But while there is no hard and fast formula of achieving success with Forex trading, as we shall discuss shortly), it is simply unfair to equate it with gambling. Since Forex solely deals with performance, structure, and behaviour of currency markets and their relationships as a whole, it is nothing but macro economics in its purest form.

And while short time fluctuations in the market may look random, the truth is quiet the opposite. Forex trading works like this: when you order a trade, someone has to make a counter trade to it. While there is a certain range of probability, in the long-run, you can predict movements of currency pairs. In short, there is nothing random about Forex trading.

However, this is not to say that Forex trading isn’t risky. All activities that involve trading or investing come with a certain degree of risk, and there is always a chance that you will lose out your investment completely.

How to Approach Forex Trading?

To begin with, there is no single strategy out there that will continue to earn money at all times without fail. The path to success lies somewhere between a strict adherence to a particular strategy and randomness. In fact, successful Forex traders are those that adapt their strategies to current market conditions. They are always changing their game plan instead of acting impulsively when they are ‘on a roll’.

With sound risk management strategies, you can significantly diminish your chances of incurring heavy losses. Of course, one way to do this is to never put all your family’s money on the line, even if you think that have this trade in your hand. The good thing is that the latest trading systems online actually prevent you from losing more than you invest.

But you should still exercise caution. The best way to engage in Forex trading is to educate yourself, give it due time, and adopt a trial-and-error approach. This will improve your chances of succeeding in currency trading while saving you from heavy losses.

Android Apps for Random Decision-Making

By on January 9, 2015 in Articles

In the previous blog post, we talked about the general benefits that smartphone apps bring to our lives. Here is a brief rundown:

  • There is a great variety of apps out there, offering everything from entertainment to productivity at work
  • There are many apps that can be operated without Wi-Fi (perfect for the making decisions at the spur of the moment)
  • Native apps are feature-rich, while 3rd party apps add to the diversity

Here, however, we will talk specifically about Android apps. We will talk about some reasons why the Android platform is so popular, and then list down some of the best Android apps for random decision-making.

A Wide Range of Products at Affordable Prices

You cannot beat Android’s ubiquity in the mobile market. It is available to a wider range of people across the world. The best part is that there is no one person or company that gets to decide when the next Android smartphone will hit the market. It’s up to Samsung, Sony, HTC, and so on. That is why you see new technology and products being developed on Android faster than any other platform.

But it is not just about the product range. Android has a lower price range compared to Apple, which allows consumers from a wide demographic to get started with these smartphones and pay for high-end models when they have to.

However, it is interesting to note that Android is not just competing with Apple. Every company using the former to build smartphones is competing with each other, and this ultimately benefits the customer.

Free for All

The Google Play Store has opened its arms for 3rd-party developers, and as a result, Android users enjoy access to the hundreds of thousands of apps. Granted that this also enables poor quality apps to enter the Store, but it is not long before these are weeded out.

Not to mention, Android follows the creative spirit of Google, which has established itself as leading provider of web technologies in the past decade.

So then, how will Android help us make random decisions? Here are some fun apps that you can try:

Russian roulette

This is a free app that has been called a ‘fund decision maker’ by users. The way to make decisions is simple, the last player ‘alive’ wins!

Coin Flip

Why the hell would I need an app to flip a coin?’ Ah, but Coin Flip is not just any app. It lets you make random decisions using coins of 28 different countries. You don’t carry that kind of change, do you?

Pandom Board

Stuck between two options? Download Pandom Board and ask Tiny (the cute Panda) to make the decision for you. The app is highly interactive for you need to write both choices with your finger and then tap ‘START’.

Of course, our Random Decision Maker! App allows you to choose between 6 options at once. But in case you are stuck somewhere with nothing but your Android smartphone, then do use these apps to your benefit.

Apps and Random Decision-Making

By on January 9, 2015 in Articles

Mobile apps have taken over. All of us are now spending more time on our smartphones and tablets, consuming digital content instead of surfing the web on a PC. If you reading this in the US, then you are most probably spending almost 90% of your mobile usage time inside applications. In fact, 52% of all media consumption owes itself to mobile phones.

Mobile apps are used on a daily (nay, an hourly) basis, and the average smartphone user downloads at least one app per month. And if that is a favorite app, then you are most likely to spend more than 40% of your smartphone usage time on that app.

Some apps enjoy ubiquitous popularity. The prime example in this regard is Facebook, which can be found in each demographic and it is also most popular in terms of the time spent on an individual app.

So why do people download apps, and many times even pay for them?

The bottom line is that as digital devices get tinier, there is a greater demand for customization in the user experience, and apps fulfill this demand.

Here are some specific reasons why we are in love with mobile applications:

There is a Great Variety

To start off, content is dynamic in the world of applications. One app helps you find a new restaurant, while the other one offers GPS capabilities to take you there. You can play games, and then share your scores on social media with your score. In short, apps offer plenty of interaction as compared to passive consumption of digital content.

Offline Capabilities

While our web browser solves most of the problem, there is a condition that has to be fulfilled at all times if you need to reap its benefits, namely that it has to be connected to the internet. However, there are many apps out there that are ‘self-contained’, in that they will work just fine outside of a Wi-Fi range.

Native Apps Are Overflowing with Features

If you are using a native app, whether on Android or iOS, the application will provide you the best features as it has been designed to make full use of the device’s technology. These run fast and smooth, and allow you to enjoy a seamless picture, motion, and sound experience.

But this is not to say that 3rd party apps serve no purpose. In fact, the fact that independent developers are dishing out new applications is what adds to the diversity.

What Does All This Have to Do With Random Decision-Making?

You must be thinking what the benefits of mobile applications have to do with random decision-making. The answer is ‘everything’.

There are specific apps out there that help you out with when you need to make a choice but are unable to do so. Look no further than our very own Random Decision Maker! App.

However, there are several apps on the market (both free and paid) that help you make decisions on the spur of the moment via your smartphone.

Hence, in the next couple of posts, we will talk about some of the most popular decision making apps on a variety of smartphone platforms.

How Exercise Helps Random Decision-Making

By on January 9, 2015 in Articles

We are still on the subject of random decision-making (as this is the theme of our website), and today we will look at yet another technique that help you make tough choices in important situations. Today’s technique is one that has been largely ignored in our culture: exercise.

Rising cases of obesity (even in children) and issues of joints, muscles, and blood circulation all owe themselves to an inactive lifestyle. Too much time sitting in the office and then in front of the television doesn’t only make us physically weak and lazy, but also impacts the brain negatively, which is not an optimal condition to be in if you need to make random decisions all the time.

Research shows that both regular exercise and sudden bursts of physical activity aid in decision-making.

Writers, intellectuals, and thinkers are regularly seen putting this technique into practice, i.e. whenever they are facing a tough challenge or need to think clearly, they go out for a walk (or a jog or bike ride). This increases blood flow to the brain, particularly to areas responsible for keeping you calm, helping you thinking ahead, and aiding you in decision-making.

This is exactly the same principle behind recess at school. Nowadays, more and more schools are actually moving towards a no-recess academic day. However, medical and psychological experts warn against this dangerous trend, simply because recess was made part of the school due to very important reasons. It will not help, as these schools think, to help children get done with their coursework and make them more studious.

Experts suggest that recess is actually a learning tool in itself, and the benefits of all that physical activity actually help to cement the knowledge that children learn in the classroom. Regard has to be given to children’s attention span. That is why in Japan, there is a break for up to 15 minutes after every hour for schoolchildren.

But that is not to say that exercise and physical activity is the domain of the young. Research suggests that you are never too old for exercise. In fact, in old age, blood circulation (especially to the brain) slows down. However, exercise can reverse this situation.

So, we have established the importance of exercise in random-decision making. It is even more beneficial for your thinking and cognition than mental exercise, such as doing puzzles or engaging in hobbies. But how do we get started?

The key is to go slow. If you try to run 25-miles or attempt the Tour de France in the first try, you will naturally fail. Instead, start with any exercise (jogging, brisk walking, or biking) for 25 to 30 minutes, 4 days a week.

However, it is essential that you exercise at the same time every day. This will make your body accustomed to the drill, and soon you will find it easy to increase the rigor and frequency of the workout.

Finally, try to make yourself more active in general life, such as climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator and making small shopping trips on foot.

Stress and Random Decision-Making

By on January 9, 2015 in Articles

Stress and decision-making are inextricably linked. Not to mention, it is a two-way relationship in that stress can help you make random decisions, but it can also result in costly mistakes.

As we noted in an earlier post, stress is an inbred evolutionary mechanism since time immemorial. In fact, it even predates the development of cognitive processes such as decision-making.

We as human beings are the only biological creatures that have the ability to analyze situations and decide the best course of action in a deliberate manner. However, what has stayed with us all this time is the primitive response for survival, the fight-or-flight mode as like to call it.

Basically what happens is that when we are stressed, the most primitive parts of our brain (specifically the middle and lower brain) become fully active, while the neo-cortex (part of the brain responsible for deliberation) is virtually shut down. Hence, logical and deliberate decisions are buried under the survival response. In this impulsive mode, you can either make the best decisions if the situation really is a matter of life and death. However, for everything lesser than the fear of death, this is no way to make decisions.

For example, when experiencing intense fear, you are unlikely to try out new ideas and you are most likely to stay within your comfort zone.

Secondly, stress produces internal conflict. These ‘inner voices’ clout your ability to make random decisions. Not to mention, due to the turmoil inside your head, you become much more sensitive to external distractions.

All this puts you in a mode of negative re-enforcement. ‘What ifs?’ and other such worst-case scenarios come to your mind so much so that you find it hard to concentrate.

The solution, then, is to reduce the amount of stress in your life. You need to convince your mind that the current problem is not as serious as it is posing it to be.

Not to mention, most of the techniques discussed in previous Random Reads to enhance random decision-making (such as getting good sleep and exercise) prove effective in reducing stress. For example, working out for 30-45 minutes gives you an adrenaline rush that stays with you for hours, helping you stay active and maintaining your mood.

Other helpful tips for stress relief include:

Meditation

Prayer or meditative practices like Yoga have amazing stress-relief effects.

Music

Soothing music (such as ambient or classical music) also lowers stress. In fact, meditation becomes more powerful with certain types of sounds (especially binaural beats)

Socialize

Hanging out with friends and loved ones is a good way of overcoming stress in your life. Beware, though, for some people can actually give you stress!

Read

The act of reading itself involves your cognition in such a way as to help you divert your mind away from any stressful thoughts. However, when you read inspiring stories and biographies of successful people, you will learn to see the positive in life.

Help Out

Finally and most importantly, help someone out from time to time. Volunteer to shovel snow from your block, or provide assistance at a homeless shelter. The feeling you get from helping others keeps stress at bay.

Decision Making on the Internet

By on December 20, 2014 in Articles

World Wide Web – How Wide It Actually Is

Indeed, sometimes it can be overwhelming feeling to find yourself searching for a specific topic or item on the internet, and in a matter of seconds, you get millions upon millions of results for one simple term. Now, in majority of cases, this could be a good thing, but if you are not sure of what exactly you need or how to deal with the information provided, this might feel like daunting task. This is why I decided to make your life a little easier and show you how to make decisions easily. If you are interested on this topic, please keep reading on, as I will provide you with simple, yet useful tips on decisions making easily.

Tip Number 1: Keep It Simple

Everyday Google, and other search engine providers, work hard on advanced search algorithms to fine-tune and broaden our search for every specific keyword. In most cases this is good effort, however if you are looking for simple answers you can easily be distracted with millions of other topics search engine provided. This is why it’s so important to keep your search inquiries simple and this will help your decisions making easily. If you are looking for specific item like school books for 2nd grade, just type “school books for 2nd grade” in your browser. By doing it this way, you will get results that are more specific and if you find what you are looking for, there is no need to add more keywords.

Tip Number 2: Start Small

For results that didn’t satisfy your inquiry you should try increasing the search field. Making decisions easily here is prime thought, therefore you should start adding only small changes; “buy school books for 2nd grade”. Most likely you will be shown the results with websites offering you to buy 2nd grade school books. Small changes like that and to-the-point keyword searches will help on making decisions easily. Keeping it small will still bring many results in most search engines but they will be more specific, which, in return, means more relevant sites with important content for your search. There is absolutely no need for you to add “I want to buy books for 2nd grade George Washington school”. What will happen, you will broaden your search and might end up confused, making decisions easily should be your beacon, therefore you shouldn’t complicate your life needlessly.

Tip Number 3: Safety Issues

Even if you get what you were looking for in first go, it is important for you to know which sites on the internet you can trust. Safety issues should be your primary concern, especially if you are looking to buy or sell over the internet. There are numerous fraud sites lurking all over the internet, many of which will take your private information. Before selling or buying anything, on the internet, what will get your making decisions easily is researching for the safe and trusted sites. For instance, you probably heard of Ebay and Amazon, right? There is a reason most people buy and sell there; they are safe sites, which guarantee your money back and are dedicated in making decisions easily for you.

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