29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Government Internet Shutdown Mobilized the Masses

The government could have been smarter. The best way to divert our youth from politics would have been to give them free, unlimited internet access a few days before the protests, and drop the price of beer and condoms – all the while playing “Be safe, live long” songs on the radios. The youngies would have been watching porn, WhatsApping and YouTubing, and would have been too distracted to think about politics. Shutting down the internet achieved the opposite. Far from limiting youth ...
  1  notes
 
29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Modern Propaganda Exhausts Critical Thinking

The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.
  1  notes
 
29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 It’s Okay to “Forget” What You Read

What we get from books is not just a collection of names, dates and events stored in our minds like files in a computer. Books also change, via our mental models, the very reality that we perceive. You can think of mental models as psychological lenses that color and shape what we see. Some of this is genetic or cultural (Americans focus on very different parts of a picture than the Japanese do), but much of our perception is also shaped by experience — and experience includes the book...
Folksonomies: reading memory experience
Folksonomies: reading memory experience
 1  1  notes
 
29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 We Compile What We Read in the Context of When We Read It

Reading and experience train your model of the world. And even if you forget the experience or what you read, its effect on your model of the world persists. Your mind is like a compiled program you've lost the source of. It works, but you don't know why. [...] ...reading and experience are usually "compiled" at the time they happen, using the state of your brain at that time. The same book would get compiled differently at different points in your life. Which means it is very much worth re...
Folksonomies: reading memory worldview
Folksonomies: reading memory worldview
 1  1  notes
 
29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Roman Arithmetic

...basic Roman arithmetic is largely rather simple, even for those of us spoiled by Arabic notation. Addition is no sweat, because complex Roman numbers already use what math pros call additive notation, with numerals set beside one another to create a larger number. VI is just V plus I, after all. To add large numbers, simply pile all the letters together, arrange them in descending order, and there’s your sum. CLXVI plus CLXVI? CCLLXXVVII, or CCCXXXII. And one of the advantages of the Rom...
Folksonomies: education mathematics math
Folksonomies: education mathematics math
  1  notes
 
22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Civilization is About Capturing Energy

Civilisation, like life itself, has always been about capturing energy. That is to say, just as a successful species is one that converts the sun’s energy into offspring more rapidly than another species, so the same is true of a nation. Progressively, as the aeons passed, life as a whole has grown gradually more and more efficient at doing this, at locally cheating the second law of thermodynamics. The plants and animals that dominate the earth today channel more of the sun’s energy thro...
Folksonomies: energy
Folksonomies: energy
  1  notes
 
22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Trade and Large Populations are Needed to Sustain Innovation

The most striking case of technological regress is Tasmania. Isolated on an island at the end of the world, a population of less than 5,000 hunter-gatherers divided into nine tribes did not just stagnate, or fail to progress. They fell steadily and gradually back into a simpler toolkit and lifestyle, purely because they lacked the numbers to sustain their existing technology. Human beings reached Tasmania at least 35,000 years ago while it was still connected to Australia. It remained connect...
  1  notes
 
22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Declaration of Interdependence

As I write this, it is nine o’clock in the morning. In the two hours since I got out of bed I have showered in water heated by North Sea gas, shaved using an American razor running on electricity made from British coal, eaten a slice of bread made from French wheat, spread with New Zealand butter and Spanish marmalade, then brewed a cup of tea using leaves grown in Sri Lanka, dressed myself in clothes of Indian cotton and Australian wool, with shoes of Chinese leather and Malaysian rubber, ...
  1  notes
 
22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Borrowing Against Our Futures is Required

By the age of 15 chimpanzees have produced about 40 per cent and consumed about 40 per cent of the calories they will need during their entire lives. By the same age, human hunter-gatherers have consumed about 20 per cent of their lifetime calories, but produced just 4 per cent. More than any other animal, human beings borrow against their future capabilities by depending on others in their early years. A big reason for this is that hunter-gatherers have always specialised in foods that need ...
  1  notes
 
22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Prosperity as a Measure of Time Saved

This is what prosperity is: the increase in the amount of goods or services you can earn with the same amount of work. As late as the mid-1800s, a stagecoach journey from Paris to Bordeaux cost the equivalent of a clerk’s monthly wages; today the journey costs a day or so and is fifty times as fast. A half-gallon of milk cost the average American ten minutes of work in 1970, but only seven minutes in 1997. A three-minute phone call from New York to Los Angeles cost ninety hours of work at t...
Folksonomies: quantification prosperity
Folksonomies: quantification prosperity
  1  notes