What do pharmaceutical companies know that you don't?

Tech and scientific researchers across America wonder why some people seem to succeed while others seem to fail. Amor Karakonakis, whose blog "Cheat to Win" aims to bring this questioning to a much wider audience, starts by looking at the science behind their natural curiosity.

According to Karakonakis, "the research results by our favorite natural resources companies are written by well-trained mathematicians, statisticians, and experimentalists. However, a lot of our readers are quick to claim things are easier for them." He discusses why this might be, offering up suggestions about ways psychologists and math teachers could model statistics in more common situations and draw on their resources. His earlier blog garnered more than 40,000 visitors and 1,200 visitors per day.

He also provides some practical guidance:

Nope, cake isn't good for you (an opinion I should have known before trying it in an experiment)

Yes, we started using gold right away for unknown reasons (did it lead to happier people? Mine sure sure was)

Whatever made us think it wouldn't look greasy, or hard to clean? (my chicken doesn't taste any different unless I really mess around)

Yes, my stomach was stirring every time I moved my knife and fork (just started my own cookbook - a hard subject)

That Vine video is kind of fun (it can actually induce emotion after a while if you keep watching and even a solid run can use its power)

Don't relax when sleeping

Can yoga translate into science?

Wear a shirt while eating

Sure, why not?

Why are your clothes greasy? Is it because they don't fit right or the machine bit me? Either way, it should never smell like ink.

If you went to sleep with chewing gum in your teeth and woke up with no gum, would you feel cheated? Or would it be a good omen? (I was taking chewing gum because I "needed a reward before beginning my day")

Is it true that under certain circumstances, reading a book will banish grumpy thoughts?

Does reading just make my mind leak better?

Professor Grantland Chow, adjunct faculty in computer science and human computer interaction at the University of Pittsburgh, shows me that a 4-year-old could create game-changing computer apps that already exist and, by mid-career, will be capable of self-monitors. He's quick to go to Twitter to discuss them after sharing his discoveries with me.

For example, his app called "Develop a Knocked-Up Dance," is "the ultimate dancing app for two. Build a collaboration between you and your partner, then know that you can easily see how well you and your partner are doing and even predict the feedback we're going to give."

His app, "Learn to Learn," is the next step in learning. Instead of making patterns of actions, it generates powerful flows that could be called "choice architectures." In other words, if you could imagine where you and your team are going and use the flow state of decision to form decisions, the app could help you do that. The app then activates the flow system, enabling certain state actions.

His own app, "Reflective Moving" visualizes movements as large waves. "You move to a sunny area (your interior) and are quickly viewed by your viewer (your outer room) as you move from transparency to opacity to opacity. When you encounter something you don't like, however, you can mark it with an 'X'."

I asked him to share three of his most recent experiments. According to his statistics, Kevin Valois came out on top. "The best four that I can, right now I have 4 for Democrats and 0 for Republicans - who knew?" he says.

As for the developers and programmers who are actually coming out on top today, they might not be eager to share their latest discoveries with everyone. Harvard University mathematician and founder of Art's Quest, Robert Skidelsky, recently published an essay in the New York Times in which he asked: "Why do professional programmers routinely think of users as helpless pawns who are meant to be manipulated, or as carriers of expectations, rather than figures in the process?" Although the New York Times is typically a bastion of facts and moderation, its writers recently have expressed confusion and confusion over technology, and Skidelsky has had a lot to say about it as well.

To learn more about Karakonakis' work and science, visit c.belfastcad.com.