A recent project by designer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg proposes that bioengineered creatures be released into the wild to save endangered species and clean up pollution.
Her new project, called Designing for the Sixth Extinction, is intended to spark debate about how artificial animals could be used to solve environmental problems. She suggests we should go about "rewilding" in order to "preserve or maintain a state of nature using synthetic organisms that are designed to save other species."
Squaring recent research suggesting we're "naturally moral" with all the strife in the world.
In 1999, Joshua Greene—then a philosophy graduate student at Princeton, now a psychology professor at Harvard—had a very fertile idea. He took a pretty well-known philosophical thought experiment and infused it with technology in a way that turned it into a very well-known philosophical thought experiment—easily the best-known, most-pondered such mental exercise of our time. In the process, he raised doubts, in inescapably vivid form, about the rationality of human moral judgment.
The thought experiment—called the trolley problem—has over the past few years gotten enough attention to be approaching “needs no introduction” status. But it’s not quite there, so: An out-of-control trolley is headed for five people who will surely die unless you pull a lever that diverts it onto a track where it will instead kill one person. Would you—should you—pull the lever?
h+ Magazine IA|AI – The Rise of Intelligence Amplification & Artificial Intelligence h+ Magazine Consider some of the earliest and most basic human inventions — the wheel, the alphabet, the printing press — and later, more complex and advanced...
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.
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.
Research on naps, meditation, nature walks and the habits of exceptional artists and athletes reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity...
many important mental processes seem to require what we call downtime and other forms of rest during the day.
A herpes drug can make people with renal failure insist they are dead – a condition called Cotard's syndrome – and may provide insights into consciousness
What's fascinating, he says, is that there is now, in theory, a way to turn Cotard's on and off. "That's a very interesting model to investigate how you develop disorders of consciousness," says Helldén.
"The characteristic feature of this strange art is that it attempts to depict the extrasensory, to provide symbols for the mysterious forces to which we are subjected in our daily lives but which w...
Thi s short "story" by Jeff Vandermeer, included in City of Saints and Madmen is a gem (as is the whole book).
"In the first hour after death, the room is so still that every sound holds a terrible clarity, like the tap of a knife against glass. The soft pad of shoes as someone walks away and closes the door is profoundly solidâ€”each short footstep weighted, distinct. The body lies against the floor, the sightless eyes staring down into the wood as if some answer has been buried in the grain. The back of the head is mottled by the shadows of the trees that sway outside the open window. "
It seems that the key to creative cognition is opening up the flood gates and letting in as much information as possible. Because you never know: sometimes the most bizarre associations can turn into the most productively creative ideas.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics looked at the link between music preferences at age 12 and adolescent delinquency – finding that an early liking for ‘rebellious’ music predicted small scale anti-social behaviour like shoplifting, petty...
"One should not think of analogy-making as a special variety of reasoning (as in the dull and uninspiring phrase “analogical reasoning and problem-solving,” a long-standing cliché in the cognitive-science world), for that is to do analogy a terrible disservice. After all, reasoning and problem-solving have (at least I dearly hope!) been at long last recognized as lying far indeed from the core of human thought. If analogy were merely a special variety of something that in itself lies way out on the peripheries, then it would be but an itty-bitty blip in the broad blue sky of cognition. To me, however, analogy is anything but a bitty blip — rather, it’s the very blue that fills the whole sky of cognition — analogy is everything, or very nearly so, in my view."
Don't make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer. Let them. In a passionate talk that begins in her days as a street performer (drop a dollar in the hat f...
Don't make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer. Let them. In a passionate talk that begins in her days as a street performer (drop a dollar in the hat for the Eight-Foot Bride!), she examines the new relationship between artist and fan.
Consciousness emerges from communication between brain areas (194 regions of interest were studied) and is mainly tied to cortico-cortical (left and center)
UCLA psychologists have used brain-imaging techniques to study what happens to the human brain when it slips into unconsciousness.
Their research, published in the online open-access journal PLOS Computational Biology, is an initial step toward developing a scientific definition of consciousness, the researchers say.
“In terms of brain function, the difference between being conscious and unconscious is a bit like the difference between driving from Los Angeles to New York in a straight line versus having to cover the same route hopping on and off several buses that force you to take a ‘zig-zag’ route and stop in several places,” said
We need to recognize that the current "sharing" economy of Internet commerce is rapidly eroding our ability to portray our character, value, and lives within a context where we have sovereignty over how we're broadcast to the world.
Preamble:This is an approximate decryption. The exact meaning of the encrypted story, the precise words used to compose it in encrypted form, and the emotional resonance of decrypting the story are subject to change. Without decrypting the story yourself, your personal reaction to it will always be muted and inexact. A strange impulse will come over you. A kind of curiosity. This impulse will direct you to decrypt the story even after you believe you have interpreted its meaning from the pages that follow this note. At night, with a flashlight, your lover asleep next to you, you will find yourself turning pages, scribbling words, intuiting numerals. In the morning, spent, you will remember nothing but a faint tingle in the temples, where resides information you cannot quite retrieve.
The types of books we read may affect how we relate to others
When they read excerpts of genre fiction, such as Danielle Steel’s The Sins of the Mother, their test results were dually insignificant. However, when they read literary fiction, such as The Round House by Louise Erdrich, their test results improved markedly—and, by implication, so did their capacity for empathy.
...Literary fiction, by contrast, focuses more on the psychology of characters and their relationships. “Often those characters’ minds are depicted vaguely, without many details, and we’re forced to fill in the gaps to understand their intentions and motivations,” Kidd says. This genre prompts the reader to imagine the characters’ introspective dialogues. This psychological awareness carries over into the real world, which is full of complicated individuals whose inner lives are usually difficult to fathom.
Our memories constantly adapt and mould themselves to fit the world, but why do our brains generate false recollections?
"I've been studying memory for more than a decade, and I still find it incredible that our imagination can trick us into thinking we've done something we've never really done and lead us to create such compelling, illusory memories"