AJ your way: headlines | front page | classic | previous days | rss
May 20, 2013
Conflicted About Big Data
"We're still early in Big Data, and enterprises rightly suspect that Big Data isn't some magic pixie dust that immediately yields insights into how much to charge, where to market, etc. Big Data can help, but it's not The Answer."
May 19, 2013
Watches: They're Still Going, Increasingly As Complex Pieces Of Art
"Eight hundred ninety-one parts--each hand-finished to a tolerance of one hundredth of a millimeter--mesh to measure and display everything from the phases of the moon to an interesting but inessential equation used to account for the discrepancy between mechanical time and the time kept by the sun."
The New York Times 05/18/13
What Will Big Data Do For, And To, All Of Us?
"All cops carry smartphones and tablet computers to access the web-based prediction program while on patrol. They are encouraged to spend time in the marked zones whenever possible. Clark can tell many stories about how his officers have caught burglars and thieves red-handed in the predicted zones."
Der Spiegel 05/17/13
The Observer (UK) 05/18/13
May 17, 2013
Artificial Intelligence Computers Could Begin Taking Over For Lawyers
"Software tools are already important in the legal world, especially for big cases like company mergers, where algorithms help people comb through vast piles of documents. But the application of artificial intelligence to the law promises to go beyond document mining. It aims to let automated systems handle arguments where the logic is not clear."
New Scientist 05/17/13
May 16, 2013
Why Rituals Are Ubiquitous: They Work
"Recent research suggests that rituals may be more rational than they appear. Why? Because even simple rituals can be extremely effective. ... What's more, rituals appear to benefit even people who claim not to believe that rituals work."
Scientific American 05/14/13
Analogies Aren't Just SAT Questions; They're Fundamental To The Way We Think
"Is analogy the core of cognition? Yes. Is analogy irrational, subjective and concrete? Yes indeed, but it is also the underpinning of rationality, objectivity and abstraction. Analogy is not a rare luxury of thought or an exotic, remote corner of cognition. Analogy is the entire transport system of thought, including motorways, roads and trails."
New Scientist 05/09/13 (includes video)
May 14, 2013
The Limitations Of Empathy
"Empathy has some unfortunate features - it is parochial, narrow-minded, and innumerate. We're often at our best when we're smart enough not to rely on it."
The New Yorker 05/20/13
May 13, 2013
On The Verge Of A Golden Age Of Education
"In the last 20-30 years, cognitive scientists and neuroscientists have furthered our understanding, gaining a more literal "in-sight" into the mind's inner workings, and through this, they have just begun to test, measure, expand, and further stimulate the work of the artists and philosophers before them."
Sense and Sensation 05/13
May 12, 2013
The New York Times 05/11/13
The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/10/13
May 10, 2013
Can Neuroscience Really Say Something About Humanities?
"Neurohumanities has been positioned as a savior of today's liberal arts. The Times is able to ask "Can 'Neuro Lit Crit' Save the Humanities?" because of the assumption that literary study has descended into cultural irrelevance. Neurohumanities, then, is an attempt to provide the supposedly loosey-goosey art and lit crowds with the metal spines of hard science."
The Nation 05/07/13
When Animals Rescue Animals
"Tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombings remind us how important first responders are. Animals come to the rescue of members of their own species too. Dolphins, for example, form 'living rafts' to keep ill or injured dolphins buoyant."
May 9, 2013
Is Massively Open Online Education A Threat Or A Blessing?
"One might object that MOOCs are no different from textbooks. What is a textbook, really, but a programmed course template, a whole course in a box? Have popular textbooks destroyed local learning communities and entrenched established hierarchies? No. ... But maybe the comparison with textbooks breaks down."
It's Hard-Wired: Humans Need Stories
"It is in our nature to need stories. They are our earliest sciences, a kind of people-physics. Their logic is how we naturally think. They configure our biology, and how we feel, in ways long essential for our survival. Like our language instinct, a story drive - an inborn hunger for story hearing and story making - emerges untutored universally in healthy children."
Scientific American 05/08/13
May 7, 2013
Study: Women Are More Attracted To Men Who Are Musicians
"The implication that he was a musician dramatically increased the actor's appeal. When he was carrying the guitar case, 31 percent of the women gave him their number. This compares with nine percent when he was carrying the sports bag, and 14 percent when he was carrying nothing."
Pacific Standard 05/06/13
Evolutionary Science Takes On Self-Deception
"Why do we lie to ourselves? That's what evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers has spent 30 years trying to figure out." He's finally settled on an explanation - one that's perhaps a bit depressing.
May 6, 2013
Companies Get Rich Off Our Data. Shouldn't We Charge Them For It?
"Whenever Amazon uses our customer history to make a sale or whenever OkCupid matches a couple based on our dating history, we should get a cut -- a "nanopayment." As Google Translate gets smarter while we translate rap lyrics from Maltese to Latin, shouldn't we get something? Perhaps -- let's just wait for Google Translate to earn Google some money first."
Washington Post 05/03/13
May 5, 2013
H.G. Wells, Toy-Soldier Gamer (And Influencer Of Military Strategy?)
"While miniature war-gaming has never been able to claim a place in the mainstream, it has influenced almost everything we think of as gaming today. By the middle of the 20th century, war-gaming had not only added new sets of rules for armies of many periods, but it had inspired a new kind of richly complex board game."
The New York Times 05/03/13
Sharing Your Space With Many Others, Working Alone
"This was supposed to be the age of the mobile (a k a nonexistent) office, with 'solopreneurs' telecommuting from home or the beach in elastic-waist pants. But many who work independently are discovering alienation lurking behind the home-office fantasy."
The New York Times 05/03/13
Quinn Said 04/22/13
One-Upping Instagram With A Camera That Records Everything
"The Memoto camera can be clipped to your clothing or worn on a chain around your neck. There is no shutter release, no display and no on-off button. The camera simply takes a picture automatically every 30 seconds, which comes to 120 pictures an hour or 2,880 a day."
Der Spiegel 05/03/13
May 3, 2013
What's The Best Way To Argue With An Extremist? Get Him To Argue With Himself
"When people anywhere on the political spectrum hold extreme policy opinions, merely asking them to explain how the policies work leads them to moderate their views. That, at least, is the finding of [an] interesting new study, which finds that extremism is fueled by a lack of understanding, or perhaps a failure to think through just how things work in the real world."
The Wall Street Journal 05/02/13
May 2, 2013
The New York Times 04/28/13
May 1, 2013
What Researchers Can Tell About People On Facebook (A Lot)
"There are topics people discuss on Facebook, based on their gender and age, like movies or politics. Men are more interested in politics, and the amount men talk about politics increases with age. Women seem to be less interested in writing about travel, compared to men, the older they get. And people talk about the weather more and more as they get older."
Der Spiegel 05/01/13
Neurocriminology: Locating The Criminal Mind
"Modern-day scientists have now developed a far more compelling argument for the genetic and neurological components of criminal behavior. They have uncovered, quite literally, the anatomy of violence."
The Wall Street Journal 04/28/13
The Atlantic 04/30/13
Pornography Gets Its Own Academic Journal
It had to happen sooner or later. "Porn Studies
, to be published by Routledge starting in 2014, is described as 'the first dedicated, international, peer-reviewed journal to critically explore those cultural products and services designated as pornographic and their cultural, economic, historical, institutional, legal and social contexts."
The New York Times 04/30/13
April 30, 2013
Easter Sunday At London's Atheist Church
"A screen above [our] heads displayed the words 'Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More.' And then, our high priest arrived ... [in] a patterned tie and pink skinny jeans. As he stood before his beaming congregation, the band struck up a tune: 'Wild World,' by Cat Stevens. Jones danced along for a while, gangly beneath the yellow lights. When the song ended, he welcomed us to the Sunday Assembly's 'Easter for Atheists' service."
April 29, 2013
What Our Digital Future Will Look Like
"Connectivity on an unimaginable scale is coming and the vast majority of humankind will be net beneficiaries of it. But their experience of it will not be uniform. A "digital caste system" will endure well into the future, and the extent to which people will benefit from the technology will be critically dependent on their positions in that system: poor people will be the biggest beneficiaries simply because of where they live, but they will also face the worst drawbacks of the digital age."
Text And Text-Search Once Ruled The Web. Now Pictures Do
"That text-driven model of e-commerce is slowly but surely beginning to change, giving way to a more visual form of shopping, in which people peruse high-resolution pictures of products favored by friends and online colleagues and click through to buy the item that sounds - and looks - the coolest."
Putting The Entertainment-Industrial Complex In Perspective
"Whether you call it indie capitalism or an indiepocalypse or something else, there's clearly a not-only-Big moment happening in our economy right now -- especially when it comes to the entertainment-industrial complex. The traditional, big organizational layer of intermediaries that help filter, fund, and cultivate talent to create big hits is changing ... and it's changing quickly."