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How to Understand the Deep Structures of Language: Scientific American

How to Understand the Deep Structures of Language: Scientific American | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
In an alternative to Chomsky’s "Universal Grammar," scientists explore language’s fundamental design constraints

 

and...

 

Starting with pioneering work by Joseph Greenberg, scholars have cataloged over two thousand linguistic universals (facts true of all languages) and biases (facts true of most languages). For instance, in languages with fixed word order, the subject almost always comes before the object. If the verb describes a caused event, the entity that caused the event is the subject ("John broke the vase") not the object (for example, "The vase shbroke John" meaning "John broke the vase"). In languages like English where the verb agrees with one of its subjects or objects, it typically agrees with the subject (compare "the child eats the carrots" with "the children eat the carrots") and not with its object (this would look like "the child eats the carrot" vs. "the child eat the carrots"), though in some languages, like Hungarian, the ending of the verb changes to match both the subject and object. 

 

When I point this out to my students, I usually get blank stares. How else could language work? The answer is: very differently. Scientists and engineers have created hundreds of artificial languages to do the work of mathematics (often called "the universal language"), logic, and computer programming. These languages show none of the features mentioned above for the simplest of reasons: the researchers who invented these languages never bothered to include verb agreement or even the subject/object distinction itself. 

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Explores writing, applications of thought and theory, solutions, engineering, design, DIY, Interesting approaches to problems, examples of interdisciplinary explorations and solutions.
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The brain is wired in a 3D grid structure. Our brain pathways are organized like woven sheets and not as tangled as once thought

The brain is wired in a 3D grid structure. Our brain pathways are organized like woven sheets and not as tangled as once thought | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it

"The brain appears to be wired in a rectangular 3D grid structure, suggests a new brain imaging study. (...) “Far from being just a tangle of wires, the brain’s connections turn out to be more like ribbon cables — folding 2D sheets of parallel neuronal fibers that cross paths at right angles, like the warp and weft of a fabric,” (...)

 

“The wiring of the mature brain appears to mirror three primal pathways established in embryonic development.” (...) “Before, we had just driving directions. Now, we have a map showing how all the highways and byways are interconnected,” said Wedeen. “Brain wiring is not like the wiring in your basement, where it just needs to connect the right endpoints. Rather, the grid is the language of the brain and wiring and re-wiring work by modifying it.”

//

 

"By looking at how the pathways fit in the brain, we anticipated the connectivity to resemble that of a bowl of spaghetti, a very narrow and discreet object," (...) "We discovered that the pathways in the top of the brain are all organized like woven sheets with the fibers running in two directions in the sheets and in a third direction perpendicular to the sheets. These sheets all stack together so that the entire connectivity of the brain follows three precisely defined directions." (...)
"This is the first time it has ever been determined that the geometry of the brain is described by a three-dimensional grid," (...)

 

"The research took MRI scanners and new mathematical algorithms to determine a geometry to the relationship of nearby pathways in the brain so that each pathway was part of a two-dimensional sheet of pathways that together looked exactly like a woven sheet of fabric," Each pathway was part of a parallel series next to it crossed by a perpendicular series at a right angle, together which formed a woven grid.

 

The structure was part of a three-dimensional scaffold connections of the brain conformed to the extremely simple three-dimensional structure, a single woven grid with fibers in only three axes. By using diffusion MRI and mapping the three-dimension motion of the water molecules in the brain, the scientists ran the maps through mathematical algorithms that inferred from the water motion pattern the fiber architecture of the tissue of the brain." -- http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=123711&org=NSF&from=news


Via Amira
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Behavioral Changes Seen after Sleep Learning

Behavioral Changes Seen after Sleep Learning | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Researchers exposed smokers to pairs of smells – cigarettes together with that of rotten eggs or fish – as the subjects slept, and then asked them to record how many cigarettes they smoked in the following week.
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Why Is Justin Wolfe Still in Prison?

Why Is Justin Wolfe Still in Prison? | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
A few years back, I wrote about prosecutorial misconduct in the Northern Virginia capital murder trial of Justin Wolfe.
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Great Opening Sentences From Science Fiction Novels

Great Opening Sentences From Science Fiction Novels | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
You can tell a lot about a science fiction book from its first sentence. A truly great first sentence establishes a tone, sticks in your mind, and serves as a little otherworldly koan, confounding your expectations.
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Neaten Up Your Writing With Parallelism | Online Writing Jobs

Neaten Up Your Writing With Parallelism | Online Writing Jobs | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Sometimes, sentences simply sound better when you use parallelism. Learn what it is and how to use it to make your sentences and paragraphs easier to read. It's

Via Laura Brown
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How The Cartoon Network Grew Up

How The Cartoon Network Grew Up | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it

Via The Digital Rocking Chair
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The Digital Rocking Chair's curator insight, November 7, 1:56 PM


KC Ifeanyi:  "The network has proven that cartoons aren't just for kids. CN vet Michael Ouweleen explains how it's evolved its shows for new generations."

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8 Elements to NAILING Your Plot & Owning NaNo

8 Elements to NAILING Your Plot & Owning NaNo | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
I promised not to leave you guys hanging with my last post. Now that I have a lot of you beating your shields ready for NaNo, I'm going to give you battle tactics to come out victorious (or maybe a...

Via Ruth Long
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Do Financial Experts Make Better Decisions Than the Rest of Us?

Do Financial Experts Make Better Decisions Than the Rest of Us? | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
No, says a new study of mutual-fund managers.

 

There are experts, and then there's everybody else. In finance, experts have studied the subject and follow the markets closely, so you'd expect that they'd be superior at betting on the stock market as well as on other financial matters, right? Well, perhaps not so much. As the psychologist Philip Tetlock—who did a20-year study on the subject—famously said: Experts are poorer at predictions than dart-throwing monkeys.

 
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Rich kids game the system by working for their dads

Rich kids game the system by working for their dads | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
The easiest way to get your foot in the door is for your dad to hold it open for you.
That's because even though the Good Ole Boy Network might not be what it used to, it still very much exists.
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A Guide For Teaching With Analogies -

A Guide For Teaching With Analogies - | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
A Guide For Teaching With Analogies by Terry Heick Analogies are one of the best kept secrets in education. Often used as multiple choice question items or as warm-ups to begin a lesson, analogies are...
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With teaching, analogies help get ideas across. This is something writers of fiction as well as nonfiction are expected to do. This article may be helpful in developing that skill. 

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How To Write Letters: A Vintage Guide to the Lost Art of Epistolary Etiquette from 1876

How To Write Letters: A Vintage Guide to the Lost Art of Epistolary Etiquette from 1876 | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
"A letter should be regarded not merely as a medium for the communication of intelligence, but also as a work of art." As a lover of old
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What It Takes to Design a Good Life

What It Takes to Design a Good Life | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
"Busy is a decision… You don't find the time to do things -- you make the time to do things." What does it take to have a good life? Th
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Unlocking Creativity in the Brain

Unlocking Creativity in the Brain | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Almost 20 years and five Academy Awards later, Catmull, now president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, is considered an authority on creativity.
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8 Epic Eating Contests In American History

8 Epic Eating Contests In American History | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
In the Land of Plenty, Americans put the eat in compete.
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52 Of The World's Most Widespread Myths And Misconceptions, Debunked

52 Of The World's Most Widespread Myths And Misconceptions, Debunked | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
A dropped penny won't kill you, alcohol doesn't keep you warm, and swallowed gum doesn't take seven years to digest. These are just three of more than fifty rumors debunked in this compendious collection of common myths and misconceptions.

Via Jocelyn Stoller, Lynnette Van Dyke
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6 Ways to Make Money as an Author (in Addition to Selling Books) | Lindsay Buroker

6 Ways to Make Money as an Author (in Addition to Selling Books) | Lindsay Buroker | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
The "KU Apocalypse," as some writers have called it, has cut into the bottom line for many independent authors, especially those who have refused to participate

Via Ruth Long
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Upgrade Your Willpower: Brain Hacks to Achieve Your Goals

Upgrade Your Willpower: Brain Hacks to Achieve Your Goals | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it

“The failure-proof secret to hacking your brain, forming new habits, and unstoppable willpower.”


Via Luis Valdes
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A Better Way to Think About the Genre Debate - The New Yorker

A Better Way to Think About the Genre Debate - The New Yorker | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
The distinction between literary fiction and genre fiction is neither contemporary nor ageless. It bears the stamp of a unique time in literary history.
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What is mental illness?

What is mental illness? | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it

Illness is like the street you've driven down your whole life. So familiar you've never bothered to look around. We've all experienced illness, either first-hand or via someone we know, but rarely do we stop to wonder what it really is.

 

The psychiatrist Dan Stein at the University of Cape Town and five others have tackled these issues and more in an editorial for the journal Psychological Medicine. Their approach has been to consider the definition of mental disorder stated in the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and to recommend modifications to it to be used in the forthcoming fifth edition, for which they are Work Group members.

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The stark difference between what poor babies and rich babies eat

The stark difference between what poor babies and rich babies eat | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
What you eat in the first year of your life can affect what you crave for the rest of it. (Paul Sakuma/AP Photo)
The difference between what the rich and poor eat in America begins long before a baby can walk, or even crawl.
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The 23 Best Countries for Work-Life Balance (We Are Number 23)

The 23 Best Countries for Work-Life Balance (We Are Number 23) | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
The OECD ranks the work-life balance among its members by focusing on daily hours worked, leisure time, and employment rate for women with children.
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This Man Is on a Quest to Have Coffee with Each of His 1,088 Facebook Friends

This Man Is on a Quest to Have Coffee with Each of His 1,088 Facebook Friends | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
It seems that all it takes to make the news these days is a social media account and a bizarre quest of some sort. Like this Australian man, who is making headlines with his quest to have coffee with all 1,088 of his Facebook friends.

Via F. Thunus
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Online tools for researchers

Online tools for researchers | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
Here you will find a list of online "web 2.0" tools, designed for researchers. The list will be updated progressively as this blogs explores the different services out there. I - Using "the crowd" ...

Via Irina Radchenko
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5 Mysteries of Ancient Religions (Easily Explained)

5 Mysteries of Ancient Religions (Easily Explained) | Writing, Research, Applied Thinking and Applied Theory: Solutions with Interesting Implications, Problem Solving, Teaching and Research driven solutions | Scoop.it
The little ploys that modern faith healers and shady preachers use to fleece the masses have been around for thousands of years, and if anything, they've only gotten less inspired over time.

Via F. Thunus
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