Wednesday Open Thread: perception, aging, sentencing, and logs

It's Day 9 of the Year 2019 CE,
January 9, 2019, FWIW


Truck load of ponderosa pine, Edward Hines Lumber Co. operations in Malheur National Forest, Grant County, Oregon  (LOC)



Ahhh, but not those logs, these logs: logb(x). It turns out that our perceptions of many things in this world, including aging and duration follow a logarithmic curve of one sort of another. With that said, I'm going to drop a relatively short video on the matter right here:

In summary the presenter, Sarah, uses Brady as a foil and has him try to discriminate between two different weights, one in each hand. He can, for 100 and 120 grams, respectively, but not for 200 and 220. She states that this is Weber's law and that it applies to many things, including our perception of time and demonstrates graphically how this works. On the x axis she has weight (stimulus) and on the y perceived weight (response). At low x values the log curve is nearer to vertical and the perceived difference is great relative to the actual difference, while at higher values the log curve is nearer to horizontal and the perceived difference relative to the actual difference is quite small. So, when you're a kid, a year is a big chunk of your life and lasts a loooong time, but when you're 70 something, it just flies by. She applies this to many things such as marketing, pricing, and jail sentences (an area of concern to her). It is noted that there is more fine granularity in short judicial sentences, 30 days, 6 months, etc. than in long sentences, 20 years, 30 years, etc. Six months is perceived as way more than 3 months, but 20 years and 3 months isn't really perceived as that much more than 20 years. This is reflected in judicial sentences all over the globe. OK, that's all well and good, but the whole presentation is something of a gloss.

Zo, Weber's law is strictly about perception. It was formulated by Gustav Fechner and is part of the foundation of psychophysics, which Fechner also invented. Fechner came up with several formulations of Weber's law, such as:

"Simple differential sensitivity is inversely proportional to the size of the components of the difference; relative differential sensitivity remains the same regardless of size."

This is a more comprehensive version of Sarah's statement that delta I over I = k. That the perceived change is proportional to the initial stimulus can be best illustrated by another aspect of Weber's law relating to the Just Noticeable Difference. In the experiment with Brady, had they continued with ever decreasing differences, they would've hit a point where Brady couldn't detect the difference. At, for example 104.999999, he couldn't and at 105 he could. That would mean that the just noticeable difference, for Brady, for weight, would be 5 grams at the 100 gram level. That would be 5% of the base rate of 100 grams. The 5% proportionality would hold for Brady with respect to weights, for any base weight. Thus, if the initial weight were 400 grams, then the just noticeable difference would be 20 grams, 5% of 400. This just noticeable difference differs for each sense and for each person, but there always is one and the proportionality rule holds. A horizontal line on a monitor or billboard will have to be a certain percentage longer for any of us to notice the difference, and that difference, which varies among individuals, is proportional to the original length.

So, beyond that, perception is proportional to the log of the stimulus. The basic Weber's law and the formulations concerning just noticeable differences, were based on experiments performed by Weber. From those laws, Fechner then derived the law that perception is logarithmically proportional to stimulus. This law is not strictly true, but works over a very broad range. It is only a very useful approximation, as formulated. All that said, however, it is kind of good to know. Also, though it is strictly about "perception" as in sensation, there does seem to be some applicability to the broader sense of "perception" such as our perception of the passage of time and maybe even the value of tangible things.

Of course, the discussion of sentencing sent me straight to "30 days in the workhouse, 6 long months in jail":

Some got 6 months, some got one solid year, but...


Image is: Truck load of ponderosa pine, Edward Hines Lumber Co. operations in Malheur National Forest, Grant County, Oregon (LOC)

Its an open thread so have at it. The floor is yours
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chemical reactions to stimulus producing an electrical current we get to interpret/decipher for meaning.
Matrix on, Baby!

I DO love these open threads.

peace

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

enhydra lutris's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly
friend's living room in Sonoma now wondering about the extent to which chemical and electro-chemical reactions have any properties that follow a logarithmic curve. I seem to recall that some chemical eactions do, but don't wish to try to do serious research from my tablet,

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

detroitmechworks's picture

Then depression took over and I stopped going to pre-calculus.

I think I learned just enough to know to never trust the stock market. When even a Math Professor can make an error like forgetting that all sides of a square are equal when solving a problem...

However, I've also found EVERY Math professor loves this joke.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

enhydra lutris's picture

@detroitmechworks
to that when I get home- I didn't bring headphones with me this trip,

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris lol brother from another mother, that's how DM is sometimes reading my mind. Anyway, that vid was a commercial that would come on tv in between bizarre Ren & Stimpy episodes. Sorry, but I have a plastic CD called "You eediot!" of cartoon characters singing silly songs.

What rolls down stairs alone or in pairs
Rolls over your neighbor's dog?
What's great for a snack and fits on your back?
It's Log, Log, Log!
It's Log, Log, it's big, it's heavy, it's wood.
It's Log, Log, it's better than bad, it's good!
Everyone wants a log! You're gonna love it, Log!
Come on and get your log! Everyone needs a Log!

I want some log now. Mm, log. Log politics = incremental politics? Incrementally less free, etc.. Boiling frog theory makes sense again, but not surgically speaking. heh I don't really understand the formula, yet. I might never, the hockey stick graphs don't look so incremental. good marketing
--
Hey it is drenched up here in Cloverdale, the whole county is pretty soaked I think. Lots of rain last night, showers intermittent. Always Talking Man stopped on the sidewalk, looked up and asked me "how do you know me?". I was so stunned by the question, all I could say was "I see you around all the time, and you're always talking", which satisfied him but now he knows where I live and that makes me a little nervous. Christmas Eve morning he was out there yelling in the dark "f*cking c*nt" I have no idea at who or why, but it's what he does sometimes. He screamed "f*cking nazi bitch" at my neighbor before, in broad daylight but he doesn't really know us, except from the river path. I can't figure out his formula either.

be careful out there
creeks running high
peace

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enhydra lutris's picture

@eyo

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

and a day late...
eighth of January

Human population on Earth is growing much faster than exponentially, from year 0 to year 2010. Here's a logarithmic graph
worldPopulationGraph_year10000BCto2000AD_logplot_bilinear-overlay_439x423_pngcrush-brute.png

Here's an arithmetic graph
worldPopulationGraph_year0to2100_billionPopYears_400x270.gif
Note that it took about 123 years for the world human population to go from 1 billion to 2 billion --- from about 1804 to about 1927. But nowadays, in the 1950 to 2050 timeframe, we are adding about a billion people every dozen years --- that is, about 10 times faster than only a couple of hundred years ago.
http://www.subdude-site.com/WebPages_Local/Blog/topics/environment/world...

Hold on here we gooooo....

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout
today. The graphs lood seriously scary, which stands to reason because the underlying data is itself scary. That curve is a classic of iterative processes,

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

@Lookout
thanks for the charts... and the world emitted 37.1 gigatonnes of co2 last year. woo hoo! hold on to your socks...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

mhagle's picture

Only took 2 years of math in high school, none for my BA. Then had to take statistics in grad school. Got an A . . . but not without the help of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Statistics" and a great instructor. I think I get the concept, but not the math.

Always interesting though. I appreciate these OTs in a mind-expanding sense. Smile

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

enhydra lutris's picture

@mhagle
are easier to follow and understand than the math describing them. A twenty cent increase in something that used to cost a buck seems like a big deal, while a twenty cent increase in something that used to cost 50 bucks is completley immaterial.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

mhagle's picture

Storing the info away for later applicable retrieval.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

thread. So, I will just say, thanks, as always, el; and, to all Caucusers, I wish a productive and/or restorative day.

As for me, I am getting tired of things that should not talk talking and things that should not make noise making noise.

T Shirts, pillows, bedspreads, underwear, framed sayings on walls, etc. All saying stupid stuff. I don't mean the sampler or hankie your Great Aunt Mathilda embroidered painstakingly; I mean those bland, printed things, inside bland frames that match the color of the print. Which reminds me: I'm tired of colors, "popping," too. What do they think they are anymore, champagne corks?

Why, yes, I do have a headache this morning. What made you ask? (-;

I'm off to self-medicate, whereupon I hope to be able to revel in the rest of this glorious day.

Ignore the crabby person and enjoy the day.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@HenryAWallace
later. Headaches suck, hope you get over it, and try to have a good day.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

mhagle's picture

@HenryAWallace

Smile

Sorry about the headache. Cheers for the medication!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

QMS's picture

@HenryAWallace
sometimes the foundation requires re-stabalization.

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Listen to your higher mind.

@QMS

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The Aspie Corner's picture

painting wagons made of Ponderosa Pine logs?

And for Futurama fans....

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

enhydra lutris's picture

@The Aspie Corner
would be a major concern in such a situation. Wink

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Raggedy Ann's picture

I'm not bad at math, but I never liked geometry, much less anything above it. I understand about the perception thing. When my mom was about 83, I asked her what she felt like at that age. She said, "I feel like 16, except my body can't perform like a 16 year old anymore!" It was enlightening for me.

Have a beautiful day, everyone! Pleasantry

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Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

enhydra lutris's picture

@Raggedy Ann
she put on things.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

Pretty much describes how I've lived my life. Never very good at it, I was never very interested in it. Except for Algebra. That somehow made sense to me and I was reasonably good at it. When I began tutoring adult students many years ago how to pass their GED, I buckled down and taught myself how to convert the word problems into algebraic equations. Then I taught my students how to do it. And you know what? They caught on and eventually went on to pass their GED's. I was very proud Smile

But that's as far as I go on the Math Train. What made you so interested in numbers?

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
clear just how useful it is.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

I cook a lot and find my lack of math skills when tweaking a new recipe very frustrating at times. Fractions! Ugh!

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

magiamma's picture

et al...

how's the wind up your way ? crazy wind here most of last night. calm now. more debris all over the place. I keep waiting for it to cease in order to clean up. maybe this is the new normal.

have a good one...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma
breezy. Tuesday we were in Sonoma and inside from about 4 pm om. Didn't notice any really serious wind.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --