The Logic of Absurdity – and the puzzle of leadership irrelevance

“Leaders are often thought to be instrumental to the performance of the organizations they lead. However, considerable research suggests that their influence over organizational performance might actually be minimal. These claims of leader irrelevance pose a puzzle: If leaders are relatively insignificant, why would someone commit to leading?” Taking steps towards explaining the puzzle, Daniel […]

Sagging pants and the logic of abductive inference

Not all that many academic studies have examined the possibilities of abductive inference with regard to sagging pants [sagging trousers (UK)]. There are exceptions though. Professor Marcia Morgado of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa has a paper in the journal Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion (Volume 2 Issue 2-3, September 2015) which: “[…] explores […]

‘Unperformable’ music – an ontological approach

There are some musical works which are, in some way or another, impossible to perform, viz. they are ‘Unperformable’. But how many varieties of unperformable music are there? Professor Wesley D. Cray of Grand Valley State University, Allendale, US, investigates the subject in a new paper for the British Journal of Aesthetics, finding that there […]

PR of the week: Video game-playing might cause Alzheimer’s disease

This week’s Impressively-Complicated-Chain-of-Logic Press Release of the Week implies that playing video games might cause Alzheimer’s disease. Or, more precisely, it says that no one has ruled out the possibility that playing video games causes or might cause Alzheimer’s disease. It’s complicated. McGill University issued the press release, which says: “For more than a decade now, […]

A complicated new way to try to measure complicated brain stuff

The human brain does complicated things in complicated ways that no one understands. You can think up complicated new ideas about how to do complicated tests to measure some of those complications. A new study seems to do exactly that. The study invents “a new form of logic, dual logic.” The study is: “Dual Logic and Cerebral Coordinates for Reciprocal Interaction […]

Simple-Logic Essay Competition: Finger-length paper

Here’s this weeks’s Simple-Logic Essay Competition. In clear simple sentences, describe the chain of logic for this academic paper: “Correction for van Honk et al., ‘Testosterone administration impairs cognitive empathy in women depending on second-to-fourth digit ratio‘” [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 17] COMPETITION RULE: Your simple, clear explanation must be […]

Headline of the day: “Having a wider face could save your life”

Today’s Headline of the Day arrived in a press release* from the publisher Elsevier: “Having a wider face could save your life.” It pertains to this study: “Male facial width is associated with death by contact violence: narrow-faced males are more likely to die from contact violence,” Michael Stirrat [whose face is pictured here], Gert […]

Puzzle: Hoped to Learn What? Teens & Music

Today’s Puzzle of the Day concerns a newly published study. The question is: What, if anything, did the researchers hope to learn by doing this research? The study is: “Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to Determine Media Use by Individuals With and Without Major Depressive Disorder,” Brian A. Primack, MD, EdM, MS [pictured here], et al., […]