Science fiction and public opinion

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the best-selling books Sapiens and Homo Deus thinks that science fiction shapes the understanding of people on issues such as intelligence and biotechnology, which will likely change our society in the future.

Science fiction wrestles with concepts such as AI taking over the jobs of workers. One good science fiction movie is worth a hundred articles in Science of Nature.

Lila S. (@lila_ls86) - Profile Photo




It is uncertain how many times a person can reinvent themselves during a lifetime. Reinventing yourself five or six times would cause immense psychological stress.

It would be interesting to see a science fiction movie that explores the mundane issue of someone reinventing themselves. Just when they settle down in a job, they hear that the new job has been automated, and they have to reinvent themselves again.

After reading 1984, it leaves one questioning how to avoid getting there. But with Brave New World, it's more difficult. Everyone is satisfied and happy. There are no resistance or secret police. Yet, we have this very uneasy feeling that something is very wrong with a society that's been hacked in such a way that they're content all the time.

When it was first printed, it was a frightening dystopia, but today, many people read it as a utopia. It says a lot about the shift in our worldview.

On immortality: Another interesting science fiction movie considers what kinds of relations parents and children would have when the parents keep on living to be 200.

On technology: Many science fiction scenarios can't materialise because society can take action against dangerous technologies, such as envisioning huge body farms where millions of people are raised to harvest their organs and then sold to rich people.

The Framing Effect

It happens when people respond differently to the same choice depending on how it is framed.

People place greater value on moving from 90 percent to 100 percent—high probability to certainty—than from 45 percent to 55 percent, even though they’re both ten percentage points.

Tactical empathy means balancing the subtle behaviors of emotional intelligence and the assertive skills of influence, to gain access to the mind of another person.

Psychotherapy research shows that when individuals feel listened to, they tend to listen to themselves more carefully and to openly evaluate and clarify their own thoughts and feelings. In addition, they tend to become less defensive and oppositional and more willing to listen to other points of view.

Chris Voss
"Contrary to popular opinion, listening is not a passive activity. It is the most active thing you can do."
Life Is A Negotiation
  • The majority of the interactions we have at work and at home represent negotiations.
  • Negotiation serves two distinct functions: information gathering and behavior influencing—and includes almost any interaction where each party wants something from the other side.
  • Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible.
"Negotiation as you’ll learn it here is nothing more than communication with results. Getting what you want out of life is all about getting what you want from—and with—other people. Conflict between two parties is inevitable in all relationships. So it’s useful—crucial, even—to know how to engage in that conflict to get what you want without inflicting damage."

Your most powerful tool in any verbal communication is your voice.

There are essentially 3 voice tones available to negotiators: 

  • The late-night FM DJ voice: Inflect your voice downward, keeping it calm and slow, to create an aura of authority.
  • The positive/playful voice: It’s the voice of an easygoing, good-natured person.
  • The direct or assertive voice: Used rarely. Will cause problems and create pushback.
Passage Of Time: The Most Important Tool For Negotiators

Going too fast is one of the mistakes all negotiators are prone to making. If we’re too much in a hurry, people can feel as if they’re not being heard and we risk undermining the rapport and trust we’ve built.

The passage of time is one of the most important tools for a negotiator. When you slow the process down, you also calm it down. After all, if someone is talking, they’re not shooting.

"The goal is to identify what your counterparts actually need (monetarily, emotionally, or otherwise) and get them feeling safe enough to talk and talk and talk some more about what they want. The latter will help you discover the former."
The Mirroring Technique

A “mirror” is when you repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said.

Mirroring is the art of insinuating similarity, which facilitates bonding. By repeating back what people say, you trigger this mirroring instinct and your counterpart will inevitably elaborate on what was just said and sustain the process of connecting

Instead of ignoring emotions, good negotiators identify or influence them.

Labeling is a technique used to acknowledge a counterpart’s emotion, leaving them feeling validated:

  • Detect the other person’s emotional state
  • After spotting an emotion you want to highlight, label it aloud without using “I” statements
  • After throwing out a label, be quiet and listen.
  • You’re dealing with a person who wants to be appreciated and understood. So use labels to reinforce and encourage positive perceptions and dynamics.
"Great negotiators seek 'No' because they know that’s often when the real negotiation begins."
“No” Has A Lot Of Skills
  • No” allows the real issues to be brought forth
  • “No” protects people from making—and lets them correct— ineffective decisions
  •  “No” slows things down so that people can freely embrace their decisions and the agreements they enter into
  • “No” helps people feel safe, secure, emotionally comfortable, and in control of their decisions
  • “No” moves everyone’s efforts forward.

Reaching “that’s right” in a negotiation creates breakthroughs (it conveys true understanding of someone's reality).

Use a summary to trigger a “that’s right.” The building blocks of a good summary are a label combined with paraphrasing. Identify, rearticulate, and emotionally affirm “the world according to . . .

  • Don’t try to force your opponent to admit that you are right.
  • Avoid questions that can be answered with “Yes” or tiny pieces of information. Ask calibrated questions that start with the words “How” or “What.”
  • “Why” is always an accusation, in any language.
  • Calibrate your questions to point your counterpart toward solving your problem.
  • When you’re attacked in a negotiation, pause and avoid angry emotional reactions.
  • There is always a team on the other side. If you are not influencing those behind the table, you are vulnerable.
The Rule Of Three In Negotiation

It means getting the other person to agree to the same thing three times in the same conversation.

In doing so, it uncovers problems before they happen. It’s really hard to repeatedly lie or fake conviction.

People who are lying are more worried about being believed, so they work harder at being believable.

The researchers dubbed this the Pinocchio Effect because, just like Pinocchio’s nose, the number of words grew along with the lie.

  • The accomodator: The most important thing to this type of negotiator is the time spent building the relationship; as long as there is a freeflowing continuous exchange of information time is being well spent.
  • The analyst: Analysts are methodical and diligent. They are not in a big rush.
  • The assertive: The Assertive type believes time is money; every wasted minute is a wasted dollar.

Knowing their negotiation style will help you to find the correct way to approach them.

Types of Leverage
  • Positive Leverage: Your ability as a negotiator to supply or withhold things that your counterpart
  • Negative Leverage: A negotiator’s ability to form his counterpart suffer
  • Normative Leverage: Using the opposite party’s norms to advance your position.
Kurt Vonnegut: How to write a good short story
  1. Use the time of a total stranger in a way that they won't feel it was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character to root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even just a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Make awful things happen to your leading characters so that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person.
  8. Give your reader as much information as soon as possible. Readers should understand what is going on, where and why, enough that they can complete the story themselves.
Emotions Work Backwards

Positive emotions and enthusiasm are useful and contagious. If we are stuck in a negative emotion we can shake it off by changing our body, moving, sitting or standing.

If we want to be enthusiastic, we can act enthusiastically and suddenly we will be the same.

We are emotional creatures, not logical ones. Most interactions in life are based on emotions. And body language and voice tone make up for more than 90 percent of communication.

We need to be in a positive mood while interacting, which positively impacts our relationships and our results.

Most people are criticizing, condemning, and complaining, as these three C’s offer us a twisted pleasure.

There is negativity hidden in these three C’s which is lowering your mood, motivation, and wellbeing, pulling you inside a negative spiral of emotions.

When we stop talking about ourselves and listen to others, we will come across as great talkers and communicators.

Actively listening and responding meaningfully is the best way to win a friend. Let people talk about their ideas, children, hobbies, etc.

We can make great friends by being genuinely interested in other people, rather than trying to get people to be interested in us.

If you treat people nicely and are interested in them, they will be interested in you. You can make use of your body language, words, and voice tonality for ensuring the same.

We are too dependent and reliant on external validation, and like to be measured by the ratings, book sales, likes, retweets, and other types of communication that seem to applaud us, and show that we are smart, pretty, or successful.

This makes others take control of your emotions and brings you on an emotional roller coaster. We need to be emotionally stable and cultivate emotional muscles that help us be optimistic and enthusiastic in all kinds of weather.

We are building self-doubt by caring about what people think, something which holds us back to do what we want to do.

We need to accomplish something that will be admired, but not be bothered by what people say or think during the entire process. Most people do not care about you and are too busy in their ups and downs. We need to unchain ourselves from other people and put positive feelings inside us, showing it in our words and actions.

People will do what you want them to do if they want to do it. They are not doing stuff based on our motivation, but only if they want to get something out of it.

You have to tell the person what’s in it for them and be genuine and positive about the same.

The best way to win an argument is to avoid it. Two egos are head-to-head in an argument, and both are trying to defend their turf.

The result, even if you win the argument, is resentment and negativity from the other person.

The world evaluates and classifies us in the following four ways:

  1. What we do.
  2. How we look.
  3. What we say.
  4. How we say it.

We are mostly focused on what we say but are ignoring or putting less emphasis on the other three. The world will reflect back to you all these four ways of contact, according to our own efforts in each one.

Credibility Comes With Clear Writing

Whoever you may be and the audience you are talking to, it is important to denote that people will tend to misunderstand whatever you post or publish online.

A simple misunderstood statement can lead to irreparable damage. So try to avoid ambiguity when writing and imagine that you're talking to a know-it-all who's out to get you stuck in a corner.

Clear Writing is a Time Saver

A writing habit most of us have is to write and send what comes into our head 90% of the time.

A good writing habit to develop is the careful reassessment of your post, reply, or article and keenness to details.

Understand that your time is of importance and other people think the same. Do not let your valuable time be wasted because of a misunderstood statement that could have been avoided in the first place.

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