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Bruce Johnson
Works at FullStory
Lives in Atlanta
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Am I crazy, or did Google Docs lose the feature for linking from one Google Doc to another? You used to be able to type Ctrl-K and start typing in the search box that pops up to see the names of other documents. It made it really easy to cross-link among docs. Now it doesn't do that for me.

Is that just me?
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I'll check to see if "Exhibit random bugs" is checked in Google Admin :)
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One of the more exciting articles on physics that I've read in a long time.
 
The quantum source of space-time
Many physicists believe that entanglement is the essence of quantum weirdness — and some now suspect that it may also be the essence of space-time geometry.  http://www.nature.com/news/the-quantum-source-of-space-time-1.18797
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Very cool. If I ever want to be humbled, I listen to that Susskind lecture. (especially at 52:36.) 
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Just learned about this fantastic video series. So much cool stuff!
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Don't be scared off by the title. "Ultimately, when we hesitate to openly question beliefs because we don’t want to risk offense, questioning itself becomes taboo."
Kim Davis’s supporters are protesting what they believe to be an affront to her religious freedom. Credit Photo by Ty Wright/Getty
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+Jaime Yap I think it's worth noting that supporters of marriage equality are also codifying a set of principles that they hold to be moral and just as law. The pattern of behavior is not fundamentally different than that of the "traditional" marriage supporters; the game is still being played.

For the issue of marriage equality, I think the only way to stop playing the game and guarantee the (mutual) separation of church and state is to replace the word "marriage" with the word "civil union" in the legal code. All the legal rights can remain unchanged, or improved as needed. The participants would then be free to define the word "marriage" however they please.
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It's surprisingly easy to find serious UX problems in your web apps with this new round of search features in FullStory. Worth a look unless you hate things that are awesome.
 
Happy to announce shipping this :). It is just the tip of the iceberg. Barely getting our toes wet with this stuff. But it's already super high leverage.

Give it a shot!

http://blog.fullstory.com/2015/07/moar-magic-announcing-rage-error-and-dead-clicks/
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I was so wrong, and I'm happily eating my words. I told +Andrew Bowers​ a few years back that high-end Chromebooks made no sense, because they'd be too expensive for consumers and too limited for businesses. Turns out that at FullStory we are starting to want to order Chromebook Pixels by the dozen. They rock, and the security story is stellar.

We're even working hard to figure out how to use them for developers. Pixels are great. I was wrong. Andrew was right.
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Regarding cool, one of the hardest things to explain to people about hardware is that there's an element of image in physical stuff we buy as users. Again, like with cars, some people care alot and some don't.

And it is a 'soft' spec, meaning you can have two products roughly identical in specs but one can be sexy and one can be dull. You can't capture that in a requirements doc. I equate it to that old Supreme Court porn test - you know it when you see it. Yet it makes a huge difference.

I actually think this is true of software services we use as well, but because you don't carry them around it's to a lesser extent.

Don't worry, Chrome OS isn't going anywhere contrary to some memes around the Pixel C. With Pixel C, we really wanted to prove that you could build a super portable typing experience with a 10" tablet form factor. Because it is a tablet, Android made sense at this time. I'll make the prediction on record that the trackpad will go the way of the command line in 5-10 years. It will still be around for specialized power users, but most people will touch objects on the screen directly and the software and hardware will be so much better at handling that experience. But I digress to an entirely different subject!

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If that's a real screenshot, it is too aggressive. Not cool.
 
Safari is getting nasty with trying to get Chrome users to switch permanently. Note that selecting either option in this dialog would make Safari your default web browser. The two buttons are actually presenting only an illusion of choice; the real choice to be made is pre-selected.

Whoever designed this has looked a lot into human psychology & decision-making.
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My most accusatory self might suspect that the button caption confusion is part of the intention: as a user, you're asking "what do these buttons do?" instead of "what's that hugely critical checkbox?" If it's intentional, it's evil genius.
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It appears that quantum mechanics can be misappropriated for any subject area at all, to provide a cheap veil of mystery. "I think the mathematical formalism provided by quantum theory is consistent with what we feel intuitively as psychologists. Quantum theory may not be intuitive at all when it is used to describe the behaviors of a particle, but actually is quite intuitive when it is used to describe our typically uncertain and ambiguous minds." Blech.
The next time someone accuses you of making an irrational decision, just explain that you're obeying the laws of quantum physics.
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I'd like to coin a new term: The Chopra Limit. It's the limit of pseudoscience articles as (bullshit -> ∞).
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Adorable.
 
Depending on where you are employed this may not be safe for work.
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So that's where they grow those things.
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Epic. Brian describes what is, to me, broken about the world. We have to evolve past the stupid infectious memes that convince people from a young age to voluntarily handicap themselves with a disempowering worldview.
 
You Are Not Stupid

“So what do you do for a living?” I always cringe a bit when that question comes up among strangers, because when I reveal that I’m an astrophysics professor the response is almost always the same. “Um…wow…. You must be really smart!”

While it’s often intended as a compliment, it really isn’t. Smart didn’t allow me to become an astrophysicist. Hard work, dedication and the support of family and friends did. It’s also one of the most deeply divisive misconceptions about scientists that one can have: scientists are smarter than you. Part of this stems from the idolization of brilliant scientists. Albert Einstein was so smart that fictitious quotes are attributed to him. Media buzzes whenever Stephen Hawking says something about black holes. Any quote by Neil Tyson is a sure way to get likes on Facebook. We celebrate their genius and it makes us feel smart by association. But this stereotype of the “genius scientist” has a dark side.

For one there’s expectation that to do science you must be super smart. If you struggle with math, or have to study hard to pass chemistry, you must not have what it takes. The expectation to be smart when you don’t feel smart starts to foster a lack of self confidence in your abilities. This is particularly true if you’re a girl or minority where cultural biases presume that “your kind” aren’t smart, or shouldn’t be. Lots of talented children walk away from science because they don’t feel smart.

Then there’s the us vs. them mentality that arises from the misconception. Scientists (and fans of science) are smart. Smarter than you. You are stupid. But of course, you’re not stupid. You know you’re not stupid. The problem isn’t you, it’s the scientists. Scientists are arrogant. For example, when I criticized a particular science website for intentionally misleading readers, the most popular rebuttal was that I (as a scientist) was being elitist.

Where this attitude really raises its head is among supporters of fringe scientific ideas. Some of the strongest supporters of alternative scientific ideas are clearly quite intelligent. Presidential hopeful and evolution denier Ben Carson is a neurosurgeon. Pierre Robitaille made great advances in magnetic resonance imaging, but adamantly believes that the cosmic microwave background comes from Earth’s oceans. Physicist and Nobel laureate Ivar Giaever thinks global warming is a pseudoscience on the verge of becoming a “new religion.” None of these folks are stupid.

If there’s one thing most people know about themselves it’s that they’re not stupid. And they’re right. We live in a complex world and face challenges every day. If you’re stupid, you can quickly land in a heap of unpleasantness. Of course that also means that many people equate being wrong with being stupid. Stupid people make the wrong choices in life, while smart people make the right ones. So when you see someone promoting a pseudoscientific idea, you likely think they’re stupid. When you argue against their ideas by saying “you’re wrong,” what they’ll hear is “you’re stupid.” They’ll see it as a personal attack, and they’ll respond accordingly. Assuming someone is stupid isn’t a way to build a bridge of communication and understanding.

One of the things I love about science is how deeply ennobling it is. Humans working together openly and honestly can do amazing things. We have developed a deep understanding of the universe around us. We didn’t gain that understanding by being stupid, but we have been wrong many times along the way. Being wrong isn’t stupid.

Sometimes it’s the only way we can learn.
One of the most deeply divisive misconceptions about scientists is that they are smarter than you.
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There's apparently a 14:1 liberal:conservative ratio among (a polled, presumably representative group of) psychologists. I get it. Learning much more about psychology over the past 5 years has been hugely transformative for me in exactly the ways this article describes. It's hard to come to very different conclusions when you read enough about what's now known about psychology and the brain.

Snippet:
"One of social psychology’s most powerful insights is that humans are not homo liberti. Thinking about ourselves in this way is alluring, but also mistaken. We are not radical individuals; we are social creatures. We do not think logically at all times; we take shortcuts. We do not always consider the future. And even when we do, we are biased by the present context."
 
Psychologists are known for being liberal – but is that because they understand how people think?
Is the field of social psychology biased against political conservatives? There has been intense debate about this question since an informal poll of over ...
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Being pithy, I'm not sure microeconomics has views.

In the context of shifting political affiliations, I've never heard of behavioral economics swaying an economist's politics either way. I bet it would only compound them if pushed, ie, libertarian economists would want you to own your irrational economic choices and liberals would want government intervention to attempt to prevent them (somehow). It would fit the pattern.

Staying on topic, I'd be interested in seeing what a poll looks like before and after students' psychology studies. I'd then be convinced of the premise. 

    
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Web apps could be a lot better.
Introduction
Founder at FullStory. Founded and led Google Atlanta engineering for 7 years. Co-creator of Google Web Toolkit, Speed Tracer, and related technologies to help make web apps faster and more usable. 

I'm also super-interested in education and psychology (and I'm a physics fanboy). We should start teaching kids logical thinking skills and how to apply the scientific method at a much earlier age. We should also introduce them to evolutionary psychology and warn them about cognitive distortions as early as possible, so that they have a better opportunity to build a worldview based solidly in reality and a deep understanding that they need not be slaves to their emotions and knee-jerk reactions. Then, one day, we can all have, y'know, legitimate discourse.
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Software development, historically development tools, but now focusing on things that makes users say "yay"
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Computer hacking Nunchucku Bow hunting
Employment
  • FullStory
    COO, Co-founder, 2012 - present
  • Google
    Atlanta Engineering Site Director, 2005 - 2012
  • Innuvo
    CEO/Founder/Janitor, 2001 - 2005
  • AppForge
    Director of Product Development, 1999 - 2001
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End Piracy, Not Liberty – Google
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Predictably Irrational
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books.google.com - Why do smart people make irrational decisions every day? The answers will surprise you. Predictably Irrational is an intr

The paradox of choice
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books.google.com - In the spirit of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, a social critique of our obsession with choice, and how it contributes to

Why zebras don't get ulcers
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Renowned primatologist Robert Sapolsky offers a completely revised and updated edition of his most popular work, with nearly 90,000 copies i

Physics for Future Presidents
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The Halo Effect
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books.google.com - Much of our business thinking is shaped by delusions -- errors of logic and flawed judgments that distort our understandi

Flashed Face Distortion Effect: Ugly Optical Illusion - Technabob
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Sean Murphy was looking at sets of faces for one of his experiments when he observed something really freaky. Skimming fairly rapidly throug

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Fooled by Randomness
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The Science of Fear
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Thinking, Fast and Slow
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