Is it rational to vent to strangers?

Yes, if you're Adam Smith. For him the emotional intensity in pair conversations has an equilibrium in the middle, and also that it's harder for strangers to empathize with negative emotions ("...they'll go on eating their dinners"). Therefore it's one's goal to dissipate one's negative feelings, then venting to a stranger and reacting to their lack of reaction would be rational.

Ian Betteridge in shambles.


Korean fashion

Half the time in Seoul, people would greet me in Korean, but the other half people would directly use English. It wasn't clear initially how the latter group could tell I wasn't Korean. Turns out what mattered was that in cold (~10F) weather I wore a hat. Why? Because no real Korean would mess up their hair for warmth.


A weightlifting tip

Don't ask someone who skips leg day to spot you: because even when explicitly told otherwise, they inevitably assist with the lift too soon. As for why...


CLV of Hadestown

An unexpected occurrence of mood affiliation was when I saw the musical Hadestown. I enjoyed it and looked forward to the tax of listening to the soundtrack on repeat for the next few weeks. But interest dwindled after just a couple days. At least in my bubble this is a recurring theme. One hypothesis is that it's because the songs shift moods much more than most[0]. And because most people are looking to recreate a single mood or emotion when listening to a song, this results in a musical that's less easy to consume after the fact. This is in sharp contrast to other musicals[1] Here's a question: how should a creator prioritize the tradeoffs of something something better in performance, vs. more easily consumed afterwards?

[0] For example. In contrast the relatively longer lasting songs of Hadestown don't shift moods at all, consider Wait for Me

[1] Contrast it to songs from South Pacific, Moulin Rouge, or Aladdin