07 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Scientists in New Atlantis

"These are (my son) the riches of Salomon's House. "For the several employments and offices of our fellows; we have twelve that sail into foreign countries, under the names of other nations, (for our own we conceal); who bring us the books, and abstracts, and patterns of experiments of all other parts. These we call Merchants of Light. "We have three that collect the experiments which are in all books. These we call Depredators. "We have three that collect the experiments of all mechanical...
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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: experience memory reading
Folksonomies: experience memory reading
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10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Gamification Simultaneous Action Selection Mechanic

Dr. Mays uses the Simultaneous Action Selection mechanic to structure his lesson. He creates two decks of cards—one with names of different cellular components (e.g., ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum) and another with a wide assortment of cellular functions and processes. He seats students in groups of five or six and explains the rules. During each turn, one student is going to pick a card from the component deck and read it out loud. Then the other students select a card from their hand (...
Folksonomies: education gamification
Folksonomies: education gamification
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21 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Children Are Naturally Skeptical of Santa Claus

First, researchers asked children between the ages of 3 and 9 about the possibility of various extraordinary events, some possible and some impossible. None of the events were related to Santa or to Christmas. (Shtulman used his own 4-year-old son as a “data point” in the study.) Next, the researchers asked children to help write a letter to Santa. Although children were free to include whatever they wanted, they were specifically encouraged to ask Santa some questions. “What we found...
Folksonomies: skepticism parenting
Folksonomies: skepticism parenting
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Shotgun Seminar

At our Institute in Princeton we sometimes organize meetings which are announced as Shotgun Seminars. A Shotgun Seminar is a talk given by an Institute member to a volunteer audience. The subject of the talk is announced a week in advance, but the name of the speaker is not. Before the talk begins, the names of all people in the room are written on scraps of paper, the scraps are put into a box, the box is ceremoniously shaken and one name is picked out at random. The name picked out is the n...
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24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 How Neural Circuitry is Laid Down

In thinking about hidden layers, it’s important to distinguish between the routine efficiency and power of a good network, once that network has been set up, and the difficult issue of how to set it up in the first place. That difference is reflected in the difference between playing the piano (or, say, riding a bicycle, or swimming) once you’ve learned (easy) and learning to do it in the first place (hard). Understanding exactly how new hidden layers get laid down in neural circuitry is ...
Folksonomies: cognition neurology
Folksonomies: cognition neurology
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Frank Wilczek describes one of the great questions of science, how the difficult taks of learning something leads to the learned easy of later doing it.

25 AUG 2012 by ideonexus

 Prayer is Silent Observation

Learning to pray, then as I understand it, is learning to listen with the mind and the heart – making oneself attentive to each exquisite detail of the world. It is a fearsome exhilarating task, best suited to solitude and silence. Such prayers are answered not with miracles tagged with our names, or those of our loved ones, but with beauty and terror. For the prayerful listener, the world becomes the sublime scripture, full of stories of structure and chaos, law and chance, complexificatio...
Folksonomies: observation prayer
Folksonomies: observation prayer
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Simply looking at the world for what it is and what it has to tell us.

08 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Science Depends on Revolutions Large and Small

Scientific development depends in part on a process of non-incremental or revolutionary change. Some revolutions are large, like those associated with the names of Copernicus, Newton, or Darwin, but most are much smaller, like the discovery of oxygen or the planet Uranus. The usual prelude to changes of this sort is, I believed, the awareness of anomaly, of an occurrence or set of occurrences that does not fit existing ways of ordering phenomena. The changes that result therefore require 'put...
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Small ones, like the discovery of oxygen and Uranus, that requires thinking in a way to uncover anomalies.

05 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Nature as a Game of Chess

Suppose it were perfectly certain that the life and fortune of every one of us would, one day or other, depend upon his winning or losing a game of chess. Don't you think that we should all consider it to be a primary duty to learn at least the names and the moves of the pieces; to have a notion of a gambit, and a keen eye for all the means of giving and getting out of check? Do you not think that we should look with a disapprobation amounting to scorn upon the father who allowed his son, or ...
Folksonomies: nature learning discovery
Folksonomies: nature learning discovery
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We are in the game, shouldn't we learn the rules?

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Humphery Davy: Poem About a Weeping Monument

My eye is wet with tears For I see the white stones That are covered with names The stones of my forefathers’ graves. No grass grows upon them For deep in the earth In darkness and silence the organs of life To their primitive atoms return. Through ages the air Has been moist with their blood The ages the seeds of the thistle has fed On what was once motion and form... Thoughts roll not beneath the dust No feeling is in the cold grave They have leaped to other worlds They are far above t...
Folksonomies: science poetry
Folksonomies: science poetry
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There are various versions of this early poem in the HD Archive: see Paris, vol 1, p29; Treneer, pp4-5; or Fullmer, p13