Perceived cost-benefit and (online) behavior

Often I hear these broad blanket statements on what people do or don’t do online: “people don’t read,” “people don’t scroll,” “people don’t wait.” It’s usually from those who have just enough knowledge of usability to be dangerous, but sometimes, alas, I’ve heard usability people uttering them. When I hear statements like this I’ll usually slowly count to 10 to regain self-control and then with the calmest tone of voice I can fake I’ll say: “Well, let’s talk about it.”

So, let’s talk about it.

Do people read online? – Of course people read online. Don’t you go online to get your news? Aren’t you reading this blog post online? You read content online all the times. But even a more specific statement such as “people don’t read instructions online” is incorrect.

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Empathy, compassion, and revolution

Why do people do make the life decisions they make? Why somebody decides to become a revolutionary and another a dictator? Why some people become doctors and go to Haiti to cure AIDS and others become Kenneth Lay?

After watching Walter SallesThe Motorcycle Diaries I couldn’t stop thinking about empathy, compassion, and revolution.

The empathy continuum – One could describe empathy as a two-dimensional continuum: on one axis the distance between the subject and the objects of his or her empathy; on the other the intensity of the feeling.

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In a land far far away…

On September 4, scientists observed the most distant explosion in the universe. The gamma-ray burst (a really bright and powerful explosion that happens when a huge star dies and collapses in a black hole) happened 12.6 billion light-years from Earth, which means 12.6 billion years ago, just 900 million years after the birth of our … Read more…

Coming back

I was on vacation last week, for a family trip to the Bay Area. I thought I would blog like crazy, but I didn’t. Partly it was because of Katrina. As my sister Paola wrote, the storm drowned my thoughts. The sadness, the anger, and the helplessness merged in a total paralysis. I enjoyed reading … Read more…