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How it evolved, what we do with it, futures; And otherwise interesting stuff
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The False Allure Of Group Selection | Conversation | Edge

The False Allure Of Group Selection | Conversation | Edge | cognition | Scoop.it

"I am often asked whether I agree with the new group selectionists, and the questioners are always surprised when I say I do not. After all, group selection sounds like a reasonable extension of evolutionary theory and a plausible explanation of the social nature of humans. Also, the group selectionists tend to declare victory, and write as if their theory has already superseded a narrow, reductionist dogma that selection acts only at the level of genes. In this essay, I'll explain why I think that this reasonableness is an illusion. The more carefully you think about group selection, the less sense it makes, and the more poorly it fits the facts of human psychology and history."

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The City as an Ecosystem

The City as an Ecosystem | cognition | Scoop.it

Cities cannot be meaningfully recognized by their parts – they function as whole – and their character is emergent being co-authored by its communities. Cities are being robbed of their relationship to people and reduced into modular, meaningless items.

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Tribute to Ray Bradbury: Our Best Science Fiction Videos | The Conference Channel Blog

Tribute to Ray Bradbury: Our Best Science Fiction Videos | The Conference Channel Blog | cognition | Scoop.it
The great science fiction writer Ray Bradbury has died at the age of 91. His breadth of work defined the genre: The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, The Golden Apples of the Sun, Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

“By many estimations Mr. Bradbury was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream,” wrote Gerald Jonas in the New York Times.

In tribute to this literary icon, we’ve gathered a few of our best videos on science fiction. Enjoy!

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How We Came To Be Deluged By Tweets

by James Gleick
May 16, 2012

 

The story of information began in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, Ada Byron, Samuel Morse, Alan Turing and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself.


Via Complexity Digest
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Creative Cheating: The Link Between Creativity and Dishonesty | Moments of Genius | Big Think

Creative Cheating: The Link Between Creativity and Dishonesty | Moments of Genius | Big Think | cognition | Scoop.it

If we extrapolate these findings to the general population, we might say that higher brain connectivity could make it easier for any of us to lie and at the same time think of ourselves as honorable creatures. After all, more connected brains have more avenues to explore when it comes to interpreting and explaining dubious events – and perhaps this is a crucial element in the rationalization of our dishonest acts.

 

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Why working-class people vote conservative

Why working-class people vote conservative | cognition | Scoop.it
Across the world, blue-collar voters ally themselves with the political right – even when it appears to be against their own interests. Is this because such parties often serve up a broader, more satisfying moral menu than the left?

Via Rexi44
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Authors@ Jonah Lehrer on The Science of Creativity

Acclaimed science writer Jonah Lehrer regularly contributes to the New Yorker, New Scientist, The Wall Street Journal and Wired magazine. His latest book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, looks at the science of creativity (where does it come from? How can we harness it? Are only certain people 'creative'?) and puts forward ideas on how to maximise your creativity.

 

Filmed live from Google London on Thursday 27th April, 2012. Authors@ Presents...Jonah Lehrer's 'Imagine: How Creativity Works'.

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The Adolescent Brain | Conversation | Edge

The Adolescent Brain | Conversation | Edge | cognition | Scoop.it

That's what we're interested in looking at, the development of these kinds of cognitive processes like self-awareness, social understanding, the understanding of other people, and risk taking and decision making during this period of life.

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We, the web kids - manifesto by Piotr Czerski

Writing this, I am aware that I am abusing the pronoun 'we', as our 'we' is fluctuating, discontinuous, blurred, according to old categories: temporary. When I say 'we', it means 'many of us' or 'some of us'. When I say 'we are', it means 'we often are'. I say 'we' only so as to be able to talk about us at all. 1. We grew up with the Internet and on the Internet. This is what makes us different; this is what makes the crucial, although surprising from your point of view, difference: we do not 'surf' and the internet to us is not a 'place' or 'virtual space'. The Internet to us is not something external to reality but a part of it: an invisible yet constantly present layer intertwined with the physical environment. We do not use the Internet, we live on the Internet and along it. If we were to tell our bildnungsroman to you, the analog, we could say there was a natural Internet aspect to every single experience that has shaped us.


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Why Traveling Abroad Makes Us More Creative

Why Traveling Abroad Makes Us More Creative | cognition | Scoop.it
In one experiment the team of psychologists asked participants to list as many different modes of transportation as possible. They explained that the task was created by either Indiana University students studying in Greece (distant condition) or by Indiana University students studying in Indiana (near condition). This small ripple turned out to have large effects: participants in the distant condition generated more modes of transportation and were more original with their ideas.
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Watch Neil Gaiman’s Wonderful Commencement Address at the University of the Arts - Flavorwire

Watch Neil Gaiman’s Wonderful Commencement Address at the University of the Arts - Flavorwire | cognition | Scoop.it

This week, prolific science fiction and fantasy writer Neil Gaiman — quick to admit that he himself never went to college — gave a pitch perfect, funny, and inspirational commencement address at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. We think it’s applicable way beyond the confines of university however: as Gaiman wrote on his blog, the speech covered “everything I could think of that someone starting out on a career in the arts right now might need to know.” Which, to be honest, is mostly this: ”Make good art.” Even when your cat’s just exploded — no, especially then. Click through to watch the video of Gaiman’s speech, and then get out there and start creating.

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The Power of Networks: Fractals of Complexity | Think Tank | Big Think

The Power of Networks: Fractals of Complexity | Think Tank | Big Think | cognition | Scoop.it

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.” - Albert Einstein

In the latest RSA Animate production, Manuel Lima explores the power of network visualization in our increasingly complex world. A senior UX design lead at Microsoft, Lima explains how the world wide web we’ve mapped out on the Internet is eerily similar to many natural phenomenon in the world and universe at large.

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Neuroskeptic: Kids Today Are Not Inattentive

Neuroskeptic: Kids Today Are Not Inattentive | cognition | Scoop.it

More debunking of the digital-natives-have-damaged-attention-spans hype -- Howard

 

"There's no evidence that children today are less attentive or more distractible than kids in the past, according to research just published by a team of Pennsylvania psychologists: Long-Term Temporal Stability of Measured Inattention and Impulsivity in Typical and Referred Children."


Via Howard Rheingold
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With Science, New Portrait of the Cave Artist

With Science, New Portrait of the Cave Artist | cognition | Scoop.it
Paintings on cave walls in northwestern Spain are far older than previously thought — some of them more than 40,000 years old, scientists said, raising a possibility that Neanderthals were the artists.
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About - Radiolab

About - Radiolab | cognition | Scoop.it
Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.
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Readers build vivid mental simulations of narrative situations, brain scans suggest

Readers build vivid mental simulations of narrative situations, brain scans suggest | cognition | Scoop.it

Much of what is being learned about attention comes from studies of reading and reading disorders (I recommened Wolf's "Proust and the Squid" and Dehaene's "The Reading Brain" -- Howard

 

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new brain-imaging study is shedding light on what it means to 'get lost' in a good book — suggesting that readers create vivid mental simulations of the sounds, sights, tastes and movements described in a textual narrative while...


Via Howard Rheingold
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"New media are not bridges between man and nature: they are nature." Marshall McLuhan, 1969

"New media are not bridges between man and nature: they are nature." Marshall McLuhan, 1969 | cognition | Scoop.it
Media build an integrated environment based on flows of information. Information ecology aims at understanding the properties of this environment.
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YANSS Podcast – Episode Three

YANSS Podcast – Episode Three | cognition | Scoop.it
The Topic: Confabulation The Guest: V.S. Ramachandran The Episode: iTunes – Download – Stitcher – RSS - Soundcloud As a motto for the sapient, “cogito ergo sum” is pret...

 

There are about 100 accounts in the medical literature of people displaying what is now known as Cotard’s delusion. It is also sometimes known, unsettlingly, as walking corpse syndrome. If you were to develop Cotard’s delusion you might look in the mirror and find your reflection suspicious, or you may cease to feel as through the heartbeat in your chest is yours, or you may think parts of your body are rotting away. In the most extreme cases, you may think you’ve become a ghost and decide you no longer need food. One of Cotard’s patients died of starvation.

 

...What this reveals is your remarkable penchant for making shit up. For all of existence, there is an internal narrative upon which you cling, a story you construct minute-by-minute to assure yourself that you understand what is happening. Sufferers of conditions like Cotard’s delusion invent weird, nonsensical explanations for their reality because they are experiencing weird, nonsensical input. The only difference between these patients’ explanations and your own explanations is the degree to which they are obviously, verifiably false. Whatever explanations you manufacture at any given moment to explain your state of mind and body could be similarly muddled, but you don’t have fact checkers constantly doting over your mental health. Whether or not your brain is damaged, your mind is always trying to explain itself to itself, and the degree of accuracy varies moment to moment.

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The Meaning of Death: How do we know someone is no longer alive?

The Meaning of Death: How do we know someone is no longer alive? | cognition | Scoop.it

To what extent is the definition of death a philosophical question? With your answer to that question in mind, do you think doctors are the most well-equipped people to come to decisions involving life and death, and are there any realistic alternatives?

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Will our kids be a different species? Juan Enriquez

Will our kids be a different species? Juan Enriquez | cognition | Scoop.it
Throughout human evolution, multiple versions of humans co-existed. Could we be mid-upgrade now? At TEDxSummit, Juan Enriquez sweeps across time and space to bring us to the present moment — ...
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Does Speaking in a Second Language Make You Think More, or Feel Less?

Does Speaking in a Second Language Make You Think More, or Feel Less? | cognition | Scoop.it

For all of our capacity for rational, analytical thought, we can have different feelings about the same thing—even make different decisions about it—depending on the language used to talk about it.


Via Sakis Koukouvis, Rexi44
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A Chart that Reveals How Science Fiction Futures Changed Over Time

A Chart that Reveals How Science Fiction Futures Changed Over Time | cognition | Scoop.it
There are a few moments in history when all futures are almost equally represented, notably in the 1920s and the 1960s. Those are both periods of liberalization in the United States, when social roles were changing rapidly and the economy was booming. Perhaps these eras of rapid change turned people's eyes to both the near and far future. Interestingly, both eras were followed by periods of economic downturn that led to opposite effects: In the 1930s, we saw a spike in far future stories (indeed, the most of any era in our data); and in the 1970s we saw a spike in near future stories.
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Not guilty: Socrates narrowly acquitted 2,400 years after death — RT

Not guilty: Socrates narrowly acquitted 2,400 years after death — RT | cognition | Scoop.it
Crisis-enduring Greece received a bit of hope for belated justice. A re-trial of Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates in Athens, the very city that sentenced him to death in 399 BC, ended with his acquittal.
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What Your Brain Looks Like When You're Selling Out

What Your Brain Looks Like When You're Selling Out | cognition | Scoop.it

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" asks the gospel of Mark. Verily, I know not. But in contemplating the sale of his soul for gain, saith this study, such a man doth activate his temporoparietal junction, and also, lo, his ventrolateral prefrontal cortex stirreth, and great is the blood flow therein. And this is of interest because those regions are not very active when people negotiate over a price or do some other calculation of what economists call "utility."


Via Rexi44
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