Archive for December, 2010

The Sway

Posted: December 28, 2010 in Reposts
Tags: , , , ,

Taken from Today’s Zaman


Why do smart people act in irrational ways? We assume that smart people act in smart ways and foolish people act in foolish ways. However, in reality many smart people act irrationally.

Rom Brafman and Ori Brafman analyze this paradox in their book “Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.” They interviewed experts and collected stories from the realms of psychology, economics, sports, politics, aviation, anthropology and corporate management to distill the psychological forces that sway our behavior.The Brafman brothers give strange examples of human behavior. A common sway example is our response to loss. In encountering loss, many people lose their power of logical reasoning. An investor invests money in a stock because he believes the stock will rise. If the stock drops instead, an ordinary investor does not sell but waits until it rises again; however, when they start to fall, they usually continue to do so. The investor continues to lose money, but he cannot sell the stock in order to stop his loss because the loss itself clouds his reasoning. The same is true for gambling.The Brafman brothers claim that the passion for winning is another sway factor. Sometimes winning means losing; however, people still do their best to win. The authors give a funny example of Harvard students. Max Bazerman’s negotiations class at Harvard Business School would do well to hold on to their wallets when he introduces his “twenty-dollar auction.” On the first day of class, Professor Bazerman announces a game that seems innocuous enough. Waving a $20 bill in the air, he offers it up for auction. Everybody is free to bid; there are only two rules. The first is that bids are to be made in $1 increments. The second rule is the winner of the auction, of course, wins the bill. However, the runner-up must still honor his or her bid, while receiving nothing in return. In other words, this is a situation where second best finishes last. Without realizing it, the two students with the highest bids get locked in. Students start with $16 and continue bidding: $21, $22, $23, $50, $100, up to a record $204. Over the years that Bazerman has conducted the experiment, he has never lost a penny. Regardless of who the bidders have been — college students or business executives attending a seminar — they are always swayed.

Another sway factor is money incentives. It is believed that money incentives always motivate people; however, this is not always the case. In one experiment students are paid for each question they answered correctly in an examination. A control group is not paid but is told that the examination is for academic research. Surprisingly, the group that does not get paid performs better.

One of the most interesting sway factors is labeling. Even one of the finest violin players, Joshua Bell, cannot be a center of attraction without labeling. On a January morning in 2007, the Washington, D.C., L’Enfant Plaza subway station was about to be filled with incredible music. At exactly 7:51 a.m., during rush hour, an ordinary-looking man dressed in jeans and wearing a baseball cap nonchalantly took out his $3.5 million Stradivarius violin and got ready to play. The man was Joshua Bell, one of the finest violinists alive, who regularly performs in the best concert halls to sold-out crowds. For the 43 minutes of the concert, 1,097 people walked by but hardly anyone stopped. One man listened for a few minutes, a couple of kids stared, one woman and that was all. The value attribution of people is based on labeling, not facts. Sway is a good start for examining our decision process.

The article tells everything… ^^

NOTE: This is not my original article. It’s just a repost from Turkey’s leading English-language newspaper, Today’s Zaman.



If you stay in houses, well, watch out for BAHÇELIEVLER! This county is one of the best places to stay here in Istanbul…And for the best dormitory, i would suggest the Özel Zaman dormitory in Mahmutpaşa. This place is just a couple of minutes from Istanbul’s most famous tourist traps!

For transportation, you would like to have an “AKBIL” (it is practically a small circular metal device that has a microchip inside; also known as “Smart Tıcket”), so that you will not have to pay too much for going from one place to another! Unless you can have a “student electronic card” (you pay lesser than an AKBIL does) or the orange “state scholar/foreigner card” (you don’t have to pay anything!!!) , the AKBIL is the best choice.

For those who are curious, here’s how an AKBIL looks like:

AKBIL, Tram car, and bus.

Now back to the experiences part:

AYRAN pati YOGURT! Wow!!! Masarap! Always nasa hapagkainan…(especially kapag Çig Kofte na yung kasama!!!)

GRAPES kapag summer time (especially yung seedless, ubos ung dalawang kilo sa loob ng isang kainan lang!!!)

KURU FASULYE, TAZE FASULYE, FINDIK, FİSTİK, BADEM, atbp… Masarap silang lahat! Yung first two masarap para sa dinner, habang yung others ok na ok pang snack!!!

Kapag may activity naman, isang buong araw ang nauubos para lang matapos (kahit pwede naman yun gawin sa loob ng ilang oras!!)

Başakşehir, Kuyumcukent, İkitelli, İSTOÇ; puro industrial zone lahat! Andoon na ang mga gustu-gusto nating mga games, gadgets, teddy bears, flowers, jewelry, kotse, at marami pang iba!!!

Almost every month, may pa-promo (Hal.: Para sa isang buwan, kapag sino ang pinakamaraming nakabasa, may surprise na regalo na ibibigay! Usually, para sa guys, gadgets or ibang packages aang ibibigays…Ewan ko lang para sa mga ladies… Ask the experts!!)

Ang akala ni Khaleel, isang klase ng pagkain ang “buyrun”… 😀 (Plus, almost lahat ng mga students d2 ay nawala na once or twice!!!)

Every Ramadan pati Kurban Bayram, punta d2, punta doon, stay dito, stay doon, kain dito, kain doon…Halos lahat ng sweets, eh niluluto sa mga holidays na eto!

O yan. Tapos na. Cgurado naman na marami akong nakalimutan eh…Kayo na ang bahala!!!

Eto yung mga experiences ko dito:

KAHIT SAAN, MAY MGA AHAS, mga walang kwenta, mga HYPOKRITO, mga TAMPA-SENSITIVE,  etc. etc.

EVERY SOCCER MATCH, may SIMIT (ung version nila ng pandesal d2), tsaa, Camlıca (version nila ng Sprite), sunflower seeds, atbp.

Tapos, kailangan full gear ka talaga, de jersey, de “team scarf” atbp… (kapag nanonood ng match….)

KAPAG sa DORM naman, full blast yung pangalan sa sound system… tapos may “bang-bass”, kantahan, sigawan, atbp…

SA klase, puro “evet” at “tamam” ung maririrnig mo galing sa mga “low-level Turkish speakers”…

Paramihan d2 magbasa…Normal sa loob ng one week ang 200-300 pages…May mga tao pa nga na nagbabasa ng 350-400 per day! (Hindi ko kaya yun!!!)

Tapos, potato omelet ung breakfast almost everyday…Wikileaks d2, Balyoz doon…Marami rin pala scandal d2!!!

Kahit saan, may demonyo talaga…

Tapos, almost every week, kailangan pumunta ng PASIAD office, gastos na naman, gastos, gastos! PASAHE d2 per ride is 60 pesos!!!

Internet sa school, sa bus, sa…bahay…wow! Grabe ang buhay!

Five hours daw kailangan para mag study…oz…parang d tama ang estimate eh (may kaibigan ako, 9 am to 12 midnight nagstustudy, tapos extend up to 4 am!!!)

Punta sa SNOWPARK…may photo pa kame…

Kame tatlo... 😀


Eto naman ung sa Lunapark:

Tatlo na naman kame...Bakit kaya?


Marami pang ibang experiences akong naranasan d2…More to come!

Since i first came here in Istanbul, i have been eagerly looking forward to see two things: snow and university life.

I want to see snow for the following reasons:

Snow...Think of its magic...


1. I haven’t seen snow in the first 16 years of my life; since i’m here already, i should take the chance to do so!

2. I want to see what kind of magic does it bring…

3. I want to play snowballs, throw them at my friends, and watch them clothed in white!!!

4. I want to make a snow man (Childish, isn’t it?)

5. I want to see a white winter!

ON the other hand, i want to see university life, because:

NOTE: This is Bosphorus Univ., ok?


1. You’ll meet many friends…

2. You can choose your classes, (and if you’re lucky enough, even get exemptions for some of them!)

3. Sightseeing value: Most universities are located in “dramatic” places, especially those that look old, yet elegeant!

4. In universities, you’ve got to do the best, and be the best! Lots of opportunities for dreamers, cows (the Turkish expletive for “masipag“), and others!!!

5. And last but not the least…Of course, EDUCATION! Who doesn’t want to have a bachelor’s degree? (…from the cradle to the grave…)

Well, these are my reasons. Feel free to blast yours!

For those who are tired of those freaking stupid break-ups, hook-ups, and cliche-like love stories, well, here’s a story, which i hope, will give you a break from them…Enjoy reading!!!

 One day, at a college deli, two people met each other. Afterwards, they went on a relationship, and they have been just dating for five months when the girl suddenly and nonsensically got sick.

The guy brought the girl to the hospital, and at first, doctors thought it was just food poisoning. But it was much, much worse. The girl just got chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and she could barely move…

Eventually, she wasn’t able to go back to school, and years later, the guy went into graduate school in another place. The two were hoping to marry each other soon (if the girl gets well…) However, as the days flew by, the girl didn’t get any better. The boy began to be exhausted, terrified, frustrated, and sad, but he couldn’t tell that to the very person that he loves, knowing that it will just tax her health more.

Of course, the girl loved him very much, but the guy…began to think otherwise. He began to ask himself: “Am i just staying with her out of moral duty? Do i really love her?”

One day, he told the girl everything that he had in mind. However, the realtionship didn’t broke up, instead, it became stronger, and soon, the guy thought: “I thought it was possible for me to leave. BUT NOW, I DON’T WANT TO!!”

And not much later, both of them were married to each other at a hotel, during a good spell…Of course, the ending wasn’t exactly fairy tale-like, but the girl became a very successful author, and the guy went out of graduate school, becoming more successful in life…

The two of them are still married, up to this very day…