Location-based social networks are allowing scientists to study the way human patterns of behavior change in time and space, a technique that should eventually lead to deeper insights into the nature of society.
An inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more.
Courtney Pruitt's insight:
The other day, one of my friends ended up in a jail cell with no windows, no clock, and no phone. Just an intercom that ignored her pleas for her phone call. She broke down. Cried herself to sleep. I asked her what it felt like to be isolated from everything like that because I can't remember. She said it was horrible. But I haven't cried myself to sleep ages. I haven't closed eyes to darkness in ages. I haven't left the cell of light and clicks in ages.
We slept in separate beds, one with freedom. The other in prison.
WARNING: Reading this article may commit you to an eternity of suffering and torment. Slender Man. Smile Dog. Goatse. These are some of the urban legends spawned by the Internet. Yet none is as all-powerful and threatening as Roko’s Basilisk. For Roko’s Basilisk is an evil, godlike form of artificial...
Two and a half millenniums ago, a prince named Siddhartha Gautama traveled to Bodh Gaya, India, and began to meditate beneath a tree. Forty-nine days of continuous meditation later, tradition tells us, he became the Buddha — the enlightened one.
More recently, a psychologist named Amishi Jha traveled to Hawaii to train United States Marines to use the same technique for shorter sessions to achieve a much different purpose: mental resilience in a war zone.
“We found that getting as little as 12 minutes of meditation practice a day helped the Marines to keep their attention and working memory — that is, the added ability to pay attention over time — stable,” said Jha, director of the University of Miami’s Contemplative Neuroscience, Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative. “If they practiced less than 12 minutes or not at all, they degraded in their functioning.”
Few thinkers illustrate the contradictions of contemporary capitalism better than the Slovenian philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek. The financial and economic crisis has demonstrated the fragility of the free market system that its defenders believed had triumphed in the cold war; but there is no sign of anything resembling the socialist project that in the past was seen by many as embodying capitalism’s successor. Žižek’s work, which reflects this paradoxical situation in a number of ways, has made him one of the world’s best-known public intellectuals.
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