Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content marketer, bestselling author

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Tagged humans

Money, brands, and nations: Why humans believe in intersubjectivity

When it comes to believing a story, most people think there are only two kinds of truth: objective realities (such as a physical head wound) and subjective realities (such as an untraceable but observable mental illness).

But there is actually a third kind of truth: intersubjective reality, which depends on communication among many humans, rather than the observations, beliefs, or feelings of a few individuals.

Take currency, for example. Money only has value because we say it does. Is $100 bill really worth $100? Only because a lot of respected people (i.e. governments) say it is.

Similarly, the stock market is another great example of intersubjectivity, since a stock is only worth as much as a lot of people believe it is.

Same goes for alma maters, sports teams, companies, even nations. While we can physically view these institutions, they only have value because a lot of people believe in them. From an objective or pure subjective point of view, they do not exist.

Interestingly, intersubjective realities are just as influential (if not more so) than objective and subjective realities.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t be. But they are a fascinating and powerful reminder of just how social we are as a species. It’s another phenomenon that makes us uniquely human.

Why you should always pay attention to people’s feet

Blake Snow

Blake Snow

“If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join the conversation,” teach the smart people of Quora. “Similarly, if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you, and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing another direction, they want the conversation to end.”

Wonderful observation. Another one I like: “If you are angry at the person in front of you driving like a grandmother, pretend it is your grandmother. It will significantly reduce your road rage.” As of 6:58 yesterday on I-15 southbound, I can confirm this works.

Speaking of feet: Did I pass that on? Human genetics are incredible

Did I pass that on? Human genetics are incredible

Blake Snow

Blake Snow

See how my daughter is wearing her socks? I’m the only other person I know that does that, particularly if my ankles get hot.

Your ankles get hot? Yeah, my ankles get hot.

The complexing thing about this behavior, however, is that I haven’t “half socked” in years, certainly not since my daughter was old enough to notice. “Where did you learn to do that??!!” I asked in amazement the first time I witnessed her doing it. “I don’t know,” she shrugged. “Why?” I followed up. “Because my feet were hot.”

Maybe my daughter did observe me doing it and followed suit. Maybe she saw some other weirdo do it and mimicked them. I don’t doubt other explanations.

But maybe, just maybe, my daughter did it because her genetics told her to. Maybe, just maybe, human offspring remember select quirks that having nothing to do with evolution and everything to do with social continuity.

As a father, it was an exhilarating connection that I imagine gets better with age.

My gift to the genetic world: Collecting non-precious rocks and biting lips

One of the most fascinating things I observe as a father is the seemingly useless genes I impart on my offspring. Things like collecting non-precious rocks at a young age and biting my lower lip when I see something cute or cuddly.

Although still amusing, seeing my temperament traits being passed on is expected. (You know, high energy, strong emotions, stuff like that.) Why on earth, then, is it so important for things like collecting junk or biting lips to persist? Would it be such a bad thing if people stopped collecting crap or making funny faces when they got excited?

Although I no longer fill my bottom drawer with non precious materials, I know my 2yo will. Just like I know my 4yo will probably bite her lower lip every freakin’ time she’s sees a kitten or encounters her cute little baby sister.

Just like her father.