cognition
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How it evolved, what we do with it, futures; And otherwise interesting stuff
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INTERVIEW WITH ISAAC ASIMOV

1975 ARC Identifier 54491 / Local Identifier 306.9415. 

FastTFriend's insight:

BOURGIN INTERVIEWS ISAAC ASIMOV, BIOCHEMIST AND SCIENCE FICTION WRITER. MR. ASIMOV MAY BE THE MOST WIDELY READ OF ALL SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS, HAVING WRITTEN 155 BOOKS AND HUNDREDS OF MAGAZINE ARTICLES AND SHORT STORIES. A CLIP OF "FANTASTIC VOYAGE," BASED ON HIS BOOK, IS INSERTED IN THE PROGRAM. VIEWERS WILL FIND THIS INTERVIEW PROVOCATIVE IN REGARD TO WHAT MR. ASIMOV HAS TO SAY ABOUT WRITING AND THE FUTURE OF THIS EARTH

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We Think the Future Is Closer Than the Past: Scientific American Podcast

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The researchers interpret the finding to mean that the future feels closer because it seems like we’re literally moving towards it. Gives new meaning to the phrase, “Looking forward to seeing you.”


podcast available at the link.

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Daniel Dennett: 'I don't like theory of mind' – interview

Daniel Dennett: 'I don't like theory of mind' – interview | cognition | Scoop.it
American philosopher Daniel Dennett talks to Carole Jahme about faith, science, empathy – and Short Circuit

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This week American philosopher Daniel Dennett, a long-time stalwart of Darwin@LSE, shared his wisdom with a lunchtime crowd in the London School of Economics' Old Theatre. Since fellow philosopher Helena Cronin's 1995 launch of the LSE hub (which is devoted to evolution's maxims) Dennett has been a regular guest. His mission this week to persuade the public that cultural evolution exists and is facilitated due to our hierarchical nature, where those at the top tell others what to think and do. Dennett rhetorically asked, "Does culture make us smart enough to have minds?"

From studying the human ability to become good at things without understanding, which then leads to our acquisition of the cognisance to comprehend, via our competence, Dennett favours the theory (first suggested by Richard Dawkins) that our social learning has given us a second information highway (in addition to the genetic highway) where the transmission of variant cultural information (memes) takes place via differential replication. Software viruses, for example, can be understood as memes, and as memes evolve in complexity, so does human cognition: "The mind is the effect, not the cause."

Not all philosophers, including Cronin, agree that natural selection shapes culture. But Dennett goes even further, describing a spectrum where, at one end, memes are authorless and free floating and at the opposite end they are guided by forethought, are less Darwinian and more purposeful, such as statistics, computer software and poetry. "Natural selection is not gene centrist and nor is biology all about genes, our comprehending minds are a result of our fast evolving culture. Words are memes that can be spoken and words are the best example of memes. Words have a genealogy and it's easier to trace the evolution of a single word than the evolution of a language."

Because Dennett is an approachable, kind man, once his lecture finished I proposed accompanying him to his lunch appointment and asking a few questions en route. Luckily, he agreed.


Via Wildcat2030
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danijel drnić's curator insight, March 25, 2013 8:15 AM

..i da li je samo jezik slučajno ili namjerno sredstvo kojime se čitav svemir koristi. Jezik, govor, nije samo specifičan za ljude. Komunikacija se odvija na svim nivoima. 

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How Your Language Affects Your Wealth and Health: Scientific American

How Your Language Affects Your Wealth and Health: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
An international study suggests languages shape how we think about the future, and how we plan for it
FastTFriend's insight:

Chen’s recent findings suggest that an unlikely factor, language, strongly affects our future-oriented behavior. Some languages strongly distinguish the present and the future. Other languages only weakly distinguish the present and the future. Chen’s recent research suggests that people who speak languages that weakly distinguish the present and the future are better prepared for the future.

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FastTFriend's comment, March 23, 2013 5:46 AM
Language can move the future back and forth
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What is Life?

What is Life? | cognition | Scoop.it
Richard Dawkins, J. Craig Venter, Nobel laureates Sidney Altman and Leland Hartwell, Chris McKay, Paul Davies, Lawrence Krauss, and The Science Network's R
FastTFriend's insight:

Philosophers wrestling with the big questions of life are no longer alone. Now scientists are struggling to define life as they manipulate it, look for it on other planets, and even create it in test tubes.

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The Julian Jaynes Collection | Edited by Marcel Kuijsten

The Julian Jaynes Collection | Edited by Marcel Kuijsten | cognition | Scoop.it
The Julian Jaynes Collection edited by Marcel Kuijsten
FastTFriend's insight:
Discussion of the life of Julian Jaynes.All of Jaynes's relevant articles and lectures for the first time gathered together in one volume.Previously unpublished lectures by Julian Jaynes, including "The Dream of Agamemnon," which extends his theory to dreams and the discovery of time, and "Imagination and the Dance of the Self," discussing the nature of the self, emotions, and the consequences of consciousness.Rare and previously unpublished radio and in-person interviews and in-depth question and answer sessions with Julian Jaynes discussing many aspects of his theory, including: the nature of consciousness, dreams, consciousness in children, cognition in animals, the discovery of time, the nature of the self, the mentality of tribes, emotions, art, music, poetry, prophecy, mental illness, therapy, the consequences and future of consciousness, brain hemisphere differences, vestiges of the bicameral mind, and much more. In these interviews and discussions, Jaynes addresses nearly every question one might have about his theory. This is the closest one could come to having a personal conversation with Julian Jaynes.

 

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There Is Only Awe-"There is no such thing as a complete consciousness,”Julian Jaynes

There Is Only Awe-"There is no such thing as a complete consciousness,”Julian Jaynes | cognition | Scoop.it

“There is no such thing as a complete consciousness,” he writes.

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Julian Jaynes, a psychologist at Princeton, had little patience for his colleagues, who spent hours in the lab doing “petty, petty humdrum things.” He dismissed their “objective aridity,” “cunning lingo,” and “valiant nonsense.” The field of psychology, he wrote, was little more than “bad poetry disguised as science.” 

Jaynes published only one book, in 1976, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, which tells the story of how mankind learned to think. Critics described it as a bizarre and reckless masterpiece—the American Journal of Psychiatry called Jaynes “as startling as Freud in the Interpretation of Dreams.” Drawing on evidence from neurology, archaeology, art history, theology, and Greek poetry, Jaynes captured the experience of modern consciousness—“a whole kingdom where each of us reigns reclusively alone, questioning what we will, commanding what we can”—as sensitively and tragically as any great novelist. 

 


Via Wildcat2030, Xaos
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Pierre Levy's curator insight, March 17, 2013 1:23 PM

"The origin of consciousness in the bicameral mind" by Julian Jaynes, is a must read!

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The uncertain dance of the spoken word

The uncertain dance of the spoken word | cognition | Scoop.it
Stanford Magazine has a wonderful article by a writer who relies on lip-reading and experiences speech through this subtle movement-based language.
Rachel Kolb skilfully describes how this works, and more importantly, feels.
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The history of the birth of neuroculture

The history of the birth of neuroculture | cognition | Scoop.it
My recent Observer piece examined how neuroscience has saturated popular culture but the story of how we found ourselves living in a ‘neuroculture’ is itself quite fascinating.
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Truth and Trust: Maturana and Von Foerster

The first of a series of three 30 minute videos produced by the American Society for Cybernetics and Change Management Systems, directed by Pille Bunnell, 19...
FastTFriend's insight:

This one is about Science and Reality.

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What’s Wrong with the Brain Activity Map Proposal: Scientific American

What’s Wrong with the Brain Activity Map Proposal: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
With the president suggesting a multibillion-dollar neuroscience effort, a leading neuroscientist explains the deep conceptual problems with plans to record all the brain's neurons
FastTFriend's insight:

Very interesting take on big project Brain Mapping:


As we enter the era of Big Brain Science projects, it is important to know where the next firm foothold is.

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Ramez Naam - Infinite Resource, Graduate Studies Program 2012

Learn more at Singularityu.org In this video, Ramez Naam summarizes the pain points his new book 'The Infinite Resource' addresses. For the full lecture, bec...
FastTFriend's insight:

In this remarkable book, Ramez Naam charts a course to supercharge innovation -- by changing the rules of our economy -- that will lead the whole world to greater wealth and human well-being, even as we dodge looming resource crunches and reduce our impact on the planet.

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Why the mind is not in the head

Why the mind is not in the head | cognition | Scoop.it
FastTFriend's insight:

Though written almost 20 years ago, still beautifully put:

 

"Slowly the cards turned into considering that the basis of mind is the body in coupled action, that is, the sensory-motor circuits establish the organism as viable in situated contexts. Form this perspective the brain appears as a dynamical process (and not a syntactic one) of real time variables with a rich self-organizing capacity (and not a representational machinery). So in this sense the mind is not in the head since it is roots in the body as a whole and also in the extended environment where the organism finds itself.
Beyond embodied enaction, recent work with young children and monkeys (1995-) has re-discovered the profound importance of the coupling with other conspecifics. This means that the constitution of a mind is always concurrent with the extended presence of other minds in a network. Thus, beyond embodied enaction there is also generative enaction, a trend that points to the beginnings of a science or interbeing, the future for a proper understanding of the necessary unity of mind and nature."

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NOVA | Becoming Human

Support PBS! Blu-ray for this show is here: http://bit.ly/It428j Or donate: http://www.pbs.org/about/support-our-mission/ Part 1 --------- Where did we come ...
FastTFriend's insight:

"Last Human Standing" examines why "we" survived while those other ancestral cousins died out. And it explores the provocative question: In what ways are we still evolving today?

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The Long Earth: Multiverse Physics

The Long Earth: Multiverse Physics | cognition | Scoop.it
Philosopher of physics David Wallace guides us the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and the mind-bending claims it makes about our reality.
FastTFriend's insight:

The Science and the Science fiction.

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Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival

Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival | cognition | Scoop.it
The event was conceived as a response to the efforts of the Templeton Foundation to reconcile science with religion, according to its underwriter Robert Ze
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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
FastTFriend's insight:

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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Julian Jaynes and the Bicameral Mind Theory

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Dustin Eirdosh Interviews the founder of the Julian Jaynes Society Marcel Kuijsten.

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A neurobiological graphic novel

A neurobiological graphic novel | cognition | Scoop.it
The Guardian has a video about the collaboration between neuroscientist Hana Ros and artist Matteo Farinella as they’ve been working on the neurocomic project to create a brain science graphic novel.
FastTFriend's insight:

Go see the video

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The essence of intelligence is feedback

The essence of intelligence is feedback | cognition | Scoop.it
Here’s last week’s BBC Future column. The original is here, where it was called “Why our brains love feedback”.
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Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela’ Contribution to Media Ecology: Autopoiesis, The Santiago School of Cognition, an Enactive Cognitive Science

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Dr. Peter H. Diamandis — We are evolving into meta-intelligence group-minds

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis -- Physician, entrepreneur, founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation. Author of Abundance http://GF2045.com/...


Via The Asymptotic Leap, Spaceweaver
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George Por's comment, March 9, 2013 6:53 AM
This video is one of the pitch vids for the Global Future 2045 conference. Project Avatar, Android robotics, Anthropomorphic telepresence, Neuroscience, Mind theory, Neuroengineering, Brain-Computer Interfaces, Neuroprosthetics, Neurotransplantation, Long-range forecasting, Future evolution strategy, Evolutionary transhumanism, Ethics, Bionic prostheses, Cybernetic life-extension, Mid-century Singularity, Neo-humanity, Meta-intelligence, Cybernetic immortality, Consciousness, Spiritual development, Science and Spirituality.
George Por's comment, March 9, 2013 6:53 AM
This video is one of the pitch vids for the Global Future 2045 conference. Project Avatar, Android robotics, Anthropomorphic telepresence, Neuroscience, Mind theory, Neuroengineering, Brain-Computer Interfaces, Neuroprosthetics, Neurotransplantation, Long-range forecasting, Future evolution strategy, Evolutionary transhumanism, Ethics, Bionic prostheses, Cybernetic life-extension, Mid-century Singularity, Neo-humanity, Meta-intelligence, Cybernetic immortality, Consciousness, Spiritual development, Science and Spirituality.
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Is Cocoa the Brain Drug of the Future?: Scientific American

Is Cocoa the Brain Drug of the Future?: Scientific American | cognition | Scoop.it
Cognition-Boosting Compounds

It's news chocolate lovers have been craving: raw cocoa may be packed with brain-boosting compounds.
FastTFriend's insight:

Exactly how cocoa causes these changes is still unknown, but emerging research points to one flavanol in particular: (-)-epicatechin, pronounced “minus epicatechin.” Its name signifies its structure, differentiating it from other catechins, organic compounds highly abundant in cocoa and present in apples, wine and tea. The graph below shows how (-)-epicatechin fits into the world of brain-altering food molecules. Other studies suggest that the compound supports increased circulation and the growth of blood vessels, which could explain improvements in cognition, because better blood flow would bring the brain more oxygen and improve its function.

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Was Wittgenstein Right?

Was Wittgenstein Right? | cognition | Scoop.it
The man who insisted that Western philosophy was based in confusion and wishful thinking is not a popular one among philosophers. But he should not be dismissed.
FastTFriend's insight:

Insightful in writing (from "The Blue Book"):

 

Our craving for generality has [as one] source … our preoccupation with the method of science. I mean the method of reducing the explanation of natural phenomena to the smallest possible number of primitive natural laws; and, in mathematics, of unifying the treatment of different topics by using a generalization. Philosophers constantly see the method of science before their eyes, and are irresistibly tempted to ask and answer in the way science does. This tendency is the real source of metaphysics, and leads the philosopher into complete darkness. I want to say here that it can never be our job to reduce anything to anything, or to explain anything. Philosophy really is “purely descriptive.

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