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cognition
How it evolved, what we do with it, futures; And otherwise interesting stuff
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Three Paradoxes of Big Data - Stanford Law Review

Three Paradoxes of Big Data - Stanford Law Review | cognition | Scoop.it
Introduction Big data is all the rage. Its proponents tout the use of sophisticated analytics to mine large data sets for insight as the solution to many of our society’s problems.
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First, we want to suggest that the utopian rhetoric of big data is frequently overblown, and that a less wild-eyed and more pragmatic discussion of big data would be more helpful. It isn’t too much to ask sometimes for data-based decisions about data-based decisionmaking.

Second, we must recognize not just big data’s potential, but also some of the dangers that powerful big data analytics will unleash upon society. The utopian ideal of cyberspace needed to yield to human reality, especially when it revealed problems like identity theft, spam, and cyber-bullying. Regulation of the Internet’s excesses was (and is) necessary in order to gain the benefits of its substantial breakthroughs. Something similar must happen with big data, so that we can take advantage of the good things it can do, while avoiding as much of the bad as possible. The solution to this problem is beyond the scope of this short symposium essay, but we think the answer must lie in the development of a concept of “Big Data Ethics”—a social understanding of the times and contexts when big data analytics are appropriate, and of the times and contexts when they are not.

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Religion Without God by Ronald Dworkin | The New York Review of Books

Religion Without God by Ronald Dworkin | The New York Review of Books | cognition | Scoop.it
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The new religious wars are now really culture wars. They are not just about scientific history—about what best accounts for the development of the human species, for instance—but more fundamentally about the meaning of human life and what living well means.

As we shall see, logic requires a separation between the scientific and value parts of orthodox godly religion. When we separate these properly we discover that they are fully independent: the value part does not depend—cannot depend—on any god’s existence or history. If we accept this, then we formidably shrink both the size and the importance of the wars. They would no longer be culture wars. This ambition is utopian: violent and nonviolent religious wars reflect hatreds deeper than philosophy can address. But a little philosophy might help.

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The Biology and Psychology of Ethical Behavior

Is morality culturally determined and relative, an evolved social contract that is absolute, or something else? In this session, we examine the biology of carin
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Being Human, a daylong exploration of human nature in the light of cutting edge science, philosophy, and evolution. (more vids. available).

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21st Century Enlightenment

21st Century Enlightenment | cognition | Scoop.it
Matthew Taylor explores the meaning of 21st century enlightenment, and how the idea might help us meet the challenges we face today. At the heart of this t
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Xaos's curator insight, December 24, 2012 2:15 AM

Matthew Taylor explores the meaning of 21st century enlightenment, and how the idea might help us meet the challenges we face today.

At the heart of this talk about the future prospects for the human race is the question ‘can we go on like this?’ Will the ideas and values which transformed our world in the last two centuries be sufficient to find solutions to the challenges we now face or do we need new ways of thinking?

The focus on 21st century enlightenment invites us to return to core principles of autonomy, universalism and humanism, restoring dimensions which have been lost and seeing new ways to fulfill these ideals.