There are Free Lunches Statement of Intentions

There are Free Lunches: Behavioral Clues to Live Happy in the Economic World is a blog that intends to present updated and relevant information about the "hidden" and only recently uncovered dimensions of the economic science: the behavioral factors. With this blog we intend to promote in Europe and in the rest of the World, the top research articles and perspectives on behavioral economics, decision making, consumer behavior, and general behavioral science. We aim to be followed by journalists, academics, managers, civil servants, and everyone who wishes to improve their daily interaction with the economic world and consequently, their lives' happiness.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

CO2 #3 10 Tips on Writing from David Ogilvy (via Brain Pickings)

“Never write more than two pages on any subject.”

How is your new year’s resolution to read more and write better holding up? After tracing the fascinating story of the most influential writing style guide of all time and absorbing advice on writing from some of modern history’s most legendary writers, here comes some priceless and pricelessly uncompromising wisdom from a very different kind of cultural legend: iconic businessman and original “Mad Man” David Ogilvy. On September 7th, 1982, Ogilvy sent the following internal memo to all agency employees, titled “How to Write”:

See here the Ogilvy statement: TipsWriting

O2 #2 The Data Detective (via Nature)

Uri Simonsohn explains how he uncovered wrongdoing in psychology research.

Psychology was already under scrutiny following a series of high-profile controversies. Now it faces fresh questions over research practices that can sometimes produce eye-catching — but irreproducible — results. Last week, Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands said that social psychologist Dirk Smeesters had resigned after an investigation found that he had massaged data to produce positive outcomes in his research, such as the effect of colour on consumer behaviour. Smeesters says the practices he used are common in the field. None of his co-authors is implicated. The university was tipped off by social psychologist Uri Simonsohn at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, who spoke exclusively to Nature about his investigation.

Read here some interesting details about how to discover if data was massaged: DataDetective

O2 #1 19 Thoughts About Finding Your Purpose (via InOverYourHead)

Those who win are producers, not consumers. The first thing you do each morning should be active, not passive– no Facebook, no email. Whatever you choose should put you in a state of mind for the rest of the day. Choose carefully.

The goals others set for you are usually wrong. The people who give them to you seem well meaning, and they have more experience, too. But your heart will guide you better than anyone. Find internal markers to know if what you’re doing is right.

If you do two things at once, one of them is getting done wrong. No matter how wrong you think this is, or how many exceptions you think there are… I sincerely doubt it.
Read here the remaining 16 thoughts: FindingPurpose

Thursday, 5 July 2012

CO2 #3 Fix Antibiotics - Meat Without Drugs (via Fix Food)

Antibiotics are critical, life-saving drugs. Yet, 80% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. go to factory farms, primarily for animals to grow faster and endure crowded, unsanitary conditions. This irresponsible use has led to the development of “superbugs” on the farm, and these antibiotic-resistant bacteria are making their way to us through the air, the water, and our food. Now, life-saving drugs may not be effective when we most need them.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration won’t take meaningful action, so we’re asking you, the consumer, to show your support for companies and retailers to help change this system and work to end the overuse of antibiotics. Join us in calling on Trader Joe’s to only sell Meat Without Drugs and help stop the superbugs.

Watch a persuasive video from MeatWithouthDrugs here: FixAntibiotics

CO2 #2 A Peek at Food Styling (The Consumer Trap)

For some reason, after somebody complained about the fact that fast food in real life is much uglier than in advertisements, McDonald’s Canada decided to take us behind the scenes and show us the intricate, “several hours”-long process behind every product photograph they issue.

The tour guide is Hope Bagozzi, head of McD’s marketing in Canada.

Hope’s hope (always wanted to type that) is undoubtedly that her matter-of-fact tone will prevent the audience from actually pondering the remarkable waste and dishonesty of the process she depicts.

Bagozzi really tips her hand near the end, however, when she attempts to claim that the reason the patty in the ads looks so much bigger and prettier than the allegedly non-primped one she buys from the allegedly unaware (yet somehow giggling and supremely compliant) counter workers is the “steam effect” from the box containing the real-world burger! ROFL. Compare that shameless howler to the footage of the “food stylist” lightly browning but distinctly not cooking the advertising patty at the 1:30 mark of the video below. (Why brown the edges if you’re about to cook the burger, as the video, after a strategic cut-away, attempts to suggest has happened?)

The real reason for the huge difference between ad and real burger patties is fat content, which, of course, shrinks and leaves a greasy, gnarly result upon actual frying. McD’s clearly avoids this process in preparing its marketing imagery. So, now we know: Hamburger patties are actually raw in food advertisement close-ups!

In any event, this is a very rare little video. Marketers are loath to lift the veil, even with careful misdirection such as Bagozzi attempts here. Definitely worth a look.

Whatch the rare little video about McDonald's food styling here: FoodStyling

CO2 #1 Michael Sandel: 'We need to reason about how to value our bodies, human dignity, teaching and learning (via The Guardian)

The political philosophy professor on his new book, What Money Can't Buy, and why economics needs to be seen not as a science but a moral philosophy.

Something curious happened when I tried to potty train my two-year-old recently. To begin with, he was very keen on the idea. I'd read that the trick was to reward him with a chocolate button every time he used the potty, and for the first day or two it went like a breeze – until he cottoned on that the buttons were basically a bribe, and began to smell a rat. By day three he refused point-blank to go anywhere near the potty, and invoking the chocolate button prize only seemed to make him all the more implacable. Even to a toddler's mind, the logic of the transaction was evidently clear – if he had to be bribed, then the potty couldn't be a good idea – and within a week he had grown so suspicious and upset that we had to abandon the whole enterprise.

It's a pity I hadn't read What Money Can't Buy before embarking, because the folly of the chocolate button policy lies at the heart of Michael Sandel's new book. "We live at a time when almost everything can be bought and sold," the Harvard philosopher writes. "We have drifted from having a market economy, to being a market society," in which the solution to all manner of social and civic challenges is not a moral debate but the law of the market, on the assumption that cash incentives are always the appropriate mechanism by which good choices are made. Every application of human activity is priced and commodified, and all value judgments are replaced by the simple question: "How much?"

Read the introduction to a book, because its' good and comes at the right time, I believe will be revolutionary: MoneyCant'Buy

Monday, 2 July 2012

O2 #3 7 Essential Books on Optimism (via BrainPickings)

What the love of honey has to do with ancient wisdom, our capacity for hope, and the future of technology.

Every once in a while, we all get burned out. Sometimes, charred. And while a healthy dose of cynicism and skepticism may help us get by, it’s in those times that we need nothing more than to embrace life’s promise of positivity with open arms. Here are seven wonderful books that help do just that with an arsenal ranging from the light visceral stimulation of optimistic design to the serious neuroscience findings about our proclivity for the positive.
Check here these great, and positive, reading suggestions for your summer: 7BooksOptimism

O2 #2 The Scientific Cure for Hangovers (via BrainPickings)

Everything you (n)ever wanted to know about the aftermath of partying, and then some.

In the legal disclaimer of every Friday — especially Summer Fridays, with their earlier drinking start times and later bedtimes — should be a note about hangovers. But with science on your side, you might be able to short-circuit some of the gnarly side effects of excessive booze. From the fine Canadian folks at ASAP Science comes this scientific hangover cure.

Check here the creative and pedagogical movies which will help to improve your relation with alchool: ScientificCureHangovers

O2 #1 54 Smart Thinkers Everyone Should Follow On Twitter (via BusinessInsider)

Today everyone is getting their news and information from Twitter. At Business Insider, it's how we get a lot of our story ideas.

But figuring out exactly who to follow is a tough task. So we've put together a guide of some of the most influential thought leaders in the world who tweet.

Our criteria was simply this: that these people are respected voices in their fields — whether it be neuroscience, economics, business or journalism — and that they have developed a following for their insightful commentary on Twitter.

Meet these guys and a brief description of their Tweets here: ThinkersTweet