cognition
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How it evolved, what we do with it, futures; And otherwise interesting stuff
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Rationally Speaking: Hanna Arendt: the movie, the philosopher

Rationally Speaking: Hanna Arendt: the movie, the philosopher | cognition | Scoop.it

I recently saw Hannah Arendt, a rare movie whose protagonist is a philosopher. And an exceedingly well done movie, it is. I was lucky enough to go to the US premier of it, held at Film Forum in New York, and which was attended by the director, Margarethe von Trotta, the leading actress, Barbara Sukowa, the screenwriter, Pamela Katz, and the main supporting actress, Janet McTeer. This sort of thing is a major reason I love living in New York.

The movie centers around a crucial period of Arendt’s career, when she covered the trial of former nazi officer Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem, on behalf of the New Yorker magazine. The result was a series of five articles that were then collected in a highly influential book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Yes, you’ve heard the phrase before, and that’s where it comes from.

Arendt was already famous at the time, a leading faculty member at the New School in New York, and the author of The Origins of Totalitarianism, which is why the notoriously picky New Yorker immediately accepted her offer to cover the Eichmann trial. Little did they know about the fury and heated controversy that Arendt’s writing would soon generate, a controversy that alienated her from some of her closest friends and family members, though it also made her the talk of the town and the idol of her students.

As I said, the movie is well worth watching because of the superb screenwriting, directing and acting, and von Trotta stressed — during the q&a following the first screening — that it is based on a painstaking analysis of the available documents, including letters from Arendt to her friends and family. Indeed, Arendt doesn’t come across as an unquestionable hero in the film. She was a complex woman and superb intellectual, embodying plenty of contradictions (she was the lover of famous philosopher, and nazi sympathizer, Martin Heidegger), and who had suffered personally at the hands of the nazis (she fled Germany, was interned in a camp in France, escaped and moved to the US).


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NAPOLEON CHAGNON: BLOOD IS THEIR ARGUMENT | Edge.org

NAPOLEON CHAGNON: BLOOD IS THEIR ARGUMENT | Edge.org | cognition | Scoop.it
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In his unique role as salon-host and impresario for science, John Brockman has performed what will come to be seen as an enduring service, by bringing Napoleon Chagnon together with four of today's leading Third Culture intellectuals: Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, Richard Wrangham and David Haig. Separately and in teams, these penetrating minds, combining deep scholarship with a rare ability to communicate and entertain, converse with Napoleon Chagnon and shed and reflect light on the life-work of a great anthropologist and a brave man.

 

Video's of the varoius discussions on page.                                                        

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Forgetting Is Harder for Older Brains: Scientific American

Forgetting Is Harder for Older Brains: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Adults hang on to useless information, which impedes learning
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More dramatically, their brains could barely weaken their synapses, a process that allows the loss of useless information in favor of more recent data.

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Arjen ten Have's curator insight, June 12, 2013 5:43 AM

There is two interesting aspect to this. The fact that learning can be hampered by ehm yeah well, learning and of course that this is a clue about the heuristics of memory storage in human brains.

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Mental Imagery May Hasten Recovery after Surgery: Scientific American

Mental Imagery May Hasten Recovery after Surgery: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Guided imagination exercises help the body repair itself after surgery
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Compared with the control group, participants who practiced imagery reported a larger reduction in stress, and their wounds showed signs of greater collagen deposition and faster healing. Although it is not possible to determine how much the effects result from the imagery versus simply being relaxed, Broadbent says both factors probably worked together and that the imagery most likely enhanced the stress-reducing effects of the relaxation.

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Mindscapes: First interview with a dead man - health - 23 May 2013 - New Scientist

Mindscapes: First interview with a dead man - health - 23 May 2013 - New Scientist | cognition | Scoop.it
Cotard's syndrome is the belief that your brain or body has died. New Scientist has the first media interview with someone who has come out the other side
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The power of metaphor: Graham's belief "was a metaphor for how he felt about the world – his experiences no longer moved him. He felt he was in a limbo state caught between life and death".

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Safe in Our Archives – The New Inquiry

Safe in Our Archives – The New Inquiry | cognition | Scoop.it
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There will no sense of self that doesn’t take into account how the self has been or will be recorded, how that self will turn up as an artifact of online searches.

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The role of curators in storytelling as tribal influencers and bankers | Tribaling

The role of curators in storytelling as tribal influencers and bankers | Tribaling | cognition | Scoop.it
FastTFriend's insight:

Something really interesting happens in the curation process, because stories don’t have intrinsic value. An unshared story is basically like rubbish, lying around without any value. Stories gain their meaning and value by sharing, but it’s not as simple as that. The curator imparts her own value, status and trust, upon the story.

Curators represent a new type of tribal leadership that operates bottom-up and peer to peer. As a member of a tribe, curators will always be more native and relevant than any outsiders will ever be. Within a tribe they are not only appreciated for leveraging their insider skills, but for sustaining and developing their culture.

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The Storytelling Animal

The Storytelling Animal | cognition | Scoop.it
Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country.
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aniamaclain's comment, May 16, 2013 5:23 AM
cool
FastTFriend's comment, May 16, 2013 7:47 AM
I think so too.
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John Searle on Ludwig Wittgenstein: Section 1

Bryan Magee talks to John Searle about the legacy of Ludwig Wittgenstein; ranging from his early work, the Tractatus, to his posthumously published, Philosophical Investigations.

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On Borges, Particles and the Paradox of the Perceived

How can science, philosophy and a work of pure imagination meet to deepen our understanding of the physical world?

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In 1927 a young German physicist published a paper that would turn the scientific world on its head. Until that time, classical physics had assumed that when a particle’s position and velocity were known, its future trajectory could be calculated. Werner Heisenberg demonstrated that this condition was actually impossible: we cannot know with precision both a particle’s location and its velocity, and the more precisely we know the one, the less we can know the other. Five years later he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for having laid the foundations of quantum physics.

This discovery has all the hallmarks of a modern scientific breakthrough; so it may be surprising to learn that the uncertainty principle was intuited by Heisenberg’s contemporary, the Argentine poet and fiction writer Jorge Luis Borges, and predicted by philosophers centuries and even millenniums before him.

While Borges did not comment on the revolution in physics that was occurring during his lifetime, he was obsessively concerned with paradoxes, and in particular those of the Greek philosopher Zeno. As he wrote in one of his essays: “Let us admit what all the idealists admit: the hallucinatory character of the world. Let us do what no idealist has done: let us look for unrealities that confirm that character. We will find them, I believe, in the antinomies of Kant and in the dialectic of Zeno.”


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Andres Lozano: Parkinson's, depression and the switch that might turn them off | Video on TED.com

Deep brain stimulation is becoming very precise. This technique allows surgeons to place electrodes in almost any area of the brain, and turn them up or down -- like a radio dial or thermostat -- to correct dysfunction.
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Real humans returns

Real humans returns | cognition | Scoop.it
The first season of the drama series Real Humans garnered a broad and enthusiastic audience when it aired in spring 2012.
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They return, it is yet unclear though if they have a plan.

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Where nature and nurture clash: Pioneering a new theory of language

Where nature and nurture clash: Pioneering a new theory of language | cognition | Scoop.it
BY DANIEL L. EVERETT



In the wake of Newtown, Americans must be asking themselves: Is there something inherently violent about us? Are we doomed by our nature or our culture to endure ongoing, r
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confronting "biology made me do it" world view:



We certainly are all cut from the same biological mode. But nature made us flexible not rigid. That is why the bold idea of Chomsky and the evolutionary psychologists simply cannot explain what we know about human diversity. 

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FastTFriend's comment, June 17, 2013 9:27 AM
Human reasoning is the core of human flexibility. And it is this flexibility, not hard-wiring, that is the truly distinctive advantage and characteristic of human beings.
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Justices, 9-0, Bar Patenting Human Genes

Justices, 9-0, Bar Patenting Human Genes | cognition | Scoop.it
The ruling will shape the course of research and testing, and it may alter the willingness of businesses to invest in understanding genetic material.
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Hallucinogens Could Ease Existential Terror: Scientific American

Hallucinogens Could Ease Existential Terror: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is being explored as a therapeutic tool to improve the lives of people with a life-threatening illness
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Say "yes" to Psilocybin

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Where Does Identity Come From?: Scientific American

Where Does Identity Come From?: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
A fascinating new neuroscience experiment probes an ancient philosophical question—and hints that you might want to get out more
FastTFriend's insight:

Regardless of these specifics, this experiment is a potent reminder that our lives are a work in progress. If we’re indeed living out a kind of tape, then it seems to be one in which the tracks can be tweaked as they’re read, even if they’re rather deep. As your brain is shaped by the choices you make, there is room for chance and noise – room for you to be unique.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, June 12, 2013 9:57 AM

Who we are is hard to measure and research, but it is important to seek the questions, if not the answers.

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Distinguishing Brain From Mind

Distinguishing Brain From Mind | cognition | Scoop.it
In coming years, neuroscience will answer questions we don't even yet know to ask. Sometimes, though, focus on the brain is misleading.

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luiy's curator insight, May 31, 2013 5:53 AM

Understanding the brain is of course essential to developing treatments for devastating illnesses like schizophrenia and Parkinson's. More abstract but no less compelling, the functioning of the brain is intimately tied to our sense of self, our identity, our memories and aspirations. But the excitement to explore the brain has spawned a new fixation that my colleague Scott Lilienfeld and I call neurocentrism -- the view that human behavior can be best explained by looking solely or primarily at the brain.

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Alastair Parvin: Architecture for the people by the people | Video on TED.com

Architect Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses?
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Languages, Litanies, and the Limit

Languages, Litanies, and the Limit | cognition | Scoop.it
In this article, I explore Stephenson's use of mathematical objects and philosophies in his novel Anathem (2008).
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Malcolm Gladwell Explains Why Human Potential Is Being Squandered

Highlights from a PopTech Talk by Sociologist Malcolm Gladwell, author of "Outliers: The Story of Success." "When we observe differences in how individuals s...
FastTFriend's insight:

"We have a scarcity of achievement... not because we have a scarcity of talent. We have a scarcity of achievement because we're squandering our talent. And that's not bad news that's good news; because it says that this scarcity is not something we have to live with. It's something we can do something about."

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Mind and brain podcast radio rush

Mind and brain podcast radio rush | cognition | Scoop.it
Several new mind and brain radio series have just started in the last few weeks and all can be listened to online.
The two ‘All in the Minds’ have just started a new series.
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Words, words, words | TED Playlists | TED

Words, words, words | TED Playlists | TED | cognition | Scoop.it
As Wittgenstein famously wrote, "The limits of my language means the limits of my world." Watch talks by linguists, data analysts and word nerds who explore the all-encompassing power of language.
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Including an interesting talk by John McWhorter: Txtng is killing language
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Joshua Foer: John Quijada and Ithkuil, the Language He Invented

Joshua Foer: John Quijada and Ithkuil, the Language He Invented | cognition | Scoop.it
Quijada, a fifty-four-year-old former employee of the California D.M.V., spent three decades inventing Ithkuil, an artificial language which is both maximally precise and maximally concise.
FastTFriend's insight:

It wasn’t long after he released his manuscript on the Internet that a small community of language enthusiasts began to recognize what Quijada, a civil servant without an advanced degree, had accomplished. Ithkuil, one Web site declared, “is a monument to human ingenuity and design.” It may be the most complete realization of a quixotic dream that has entranced philosophers for centuries: the creation of a more perfect language.

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danijel drnić's curator insight, April 26, 2013 2:54 PM

..So ... there are people that can simply be left as they guide you through the amazing world of fantasy adventure with no end and the beginning, in fact I've been thinking about a new letter odosno symbols that zamijenjivali complete dictionaries and actually serve the same need, at the level of communication the entire planet Earth. Always welcome the innovative and creative people.

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Review of Natural-Born Cyborgs

Review of Natural-Born Cyborgs | cognition | Scoop.it

A cyborg, or "cybernetic organism", was initially defined as follows: "The Cyborg deliberately incorporates exogenous components extending the self-regulating control function of the organism in order to adapt it to new environments." This verbose sentence can be simplified to, the cyborg represents "a notion of human-machine merging".  

This concept, dear to science fiction writers, is all about humans becoming stronger, faster, and more powerful through the use of integrated technology. One example of this is the cochlear implants used to help deaf people hear again; these implants are more than hearing aids, since they interface directly with nerve endings. Another example is prosthetics, which allow people who have lost limbs in accidents to function almost as before. 

Andy Clark, a cognitive scientist, sets out to recount why, in his eyes, "we shall be cyborgs not in the merely superficial sense of combining flesh and wires but in the more profound sense of being human-technology symbionts: thinking and reasoning systems whose minds and selves are spread across biological brain and nonbiological circuitry." This is quite a statement, if you look at it closely: he is suggesting that the systems we will incorporate into our bodies will be thinking systems, that they will merge with our minds, and that they will be come self-aware. 


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luiy's curator insight, June 26, 2013 12:20 PM


A cyborg, or "cybernetic organism", was initially defined as follows: "The Cyborg deliberately incorporates exogenous components extending the self-regulating control function of the organism in order to adapt it to new environments." This verbose sentence can be simplified to, the cyborg represents "a notion of human-machine merging".  

 

This concept, dear to science fiction writers, is all about humans becoming stronger, faster, and more powerful through the use of integrated technology. One example of this is the cochlear implants used to help deaf people hear again; these implants are more than hearing aids, since they interface directly with nerve endings. Another example is prosthetics, which allow people who have lost limbs in accidents to function almost as before. 

 

Andy Clark, a cognitive scientist, sets out to recount why, in his eyes, "we shall be cyborgs not in the merely superficial sense of combining flesh and wires but in the more profound sense of being human-technology symbionts: thinking and reasoning systems whose minds and selves are spread across biological brain and nonbiological circuitry." This is quite a statement, if you look at it closely: he is suggesting that the systems we will incorporate into our bodies will be thinking systems, that they will merge with our minds, and that they will be come self-aware.