17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 The Collector's Fallacy

There’s a tendency in all of us to gather useful stuff and feel good about it. To collect is a reward in itself. As knowledge workers, we’re inclined to look for the next groundbreaking thought, for intellectual stimulation: we pile up promising books and articles, and we store half the internet as bookmarks, just so we get the feeling of being on the cutting edge. Let’s call this “The Collector’s Fallacy”. Why fallacy? Because ‘to know about something’ isn’t the same as ...
Folksonomies: knowledge reasearch
Folksonomies: knowledge reasearch
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29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 The Irrelevance of Current Events

Chang told him that there were other books published up to about the middle of 1930 which would doubtless be added to the shelves eventually; they had already arrived at the lamasery. "We keep ourselves fairly up-to-date, you see," he commented. "There are people who would hardly agree with you," replied Conway with a smile. "Quite a lot of things have happened in the world since last year, you know." "Nothing of importance, my dear sir, that could not have been foreseen in 1920, or that wi...
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29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 How Science Fiction Got Its Start with Frakenstein

It’s not completely fanciful to say that science fiction began with three things: a dead frog, a volcano, and a teenage bride. The dead frog was one that an Italian physician named Luigi Galvani was experimenting with in the 1780s, when he found that a mild electric shock could cause the frog’s leg to twitch. It was just an induced muscle reflex, but it suggested that there might be a connection between electricity and life. The volcano was Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which exploded in ...
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09 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 How Insular Media Protects Itself

One of the chief problems, Sykes said, was that it had become impossible to prove to listeners that Trump was telling falsehoods because over the past several decades the conservative news media had “basically eliminated any of the referees, the gatekeepers.” “There's nobody,” he lamented. “Let's say that Donald Trump basically makes whatever you want to say, whatever claim he wants to make. And everybody knows it's a falsehood. The big question of my audience, it is impossible for...
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09 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 Childhood Fascination with What Adults Consider Mundane

If you know kindergartners, you know that a thread on the carpet can become one of the most fascinating objects on the face of the earth. The child will pick it up and run her fingers the length of it, scrutinizing every centimeter of that thread. She might hold it up in the sunlight to get a better look and then lay it on her lap to continue the intense observation of the thread. Those who are sitting close to the thread scientist may notice this intriguing object and want in. So they’ll ...
Folksonomies: cognition learning
Folksonomies: cognition learning
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17 AUG 2016 by ideonexus

 Words of Advice: Become a School Insider

Steven Hodas is the former Executive Director of Innovate NYC Schools, a New York City Department of Education initiative to foster smart demand and innovative solutions. Hodas has worked closely with early-stage entrepreneurs and launched two companies of his own. "Assuming you were not recently a teacher yourself, I suggest that you work hard to get inside the school, inside the classroom, inside the day-to-day lives of the educators you want to help. If you’re resourceful enough to get ...
Folksonomies: education technology
Folksonomies: education technology
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22 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 Freeman Dyson's Optimism

Brand: I was looking at your 1988 book, Infinite in All Directions, and remembering what it was that excited me about it. Ten years ago, most people I knew were in the depths of a kind of bad mood, harboring a pessimistic feeling that things were going to keep getting worse for the rest of their lives. But your book had this pragmatic and also rather cosmic optimism about it; it came as a complete counter to the cultural flow at that point. Did you perceive that at the time? Dyson: Oh yes. I...
Folksonomies: futurism optimism
Folksonomies: futurism optimism
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15 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 How Scientific Thought Differs from Ancient Thought

If we consent for the time being to denude the mind of philosophical and metaphysical presuppositions, and take the matter in the most simple and naive way possible, I think our answer, stated in technical terms, will be that [science] substitutes data for objects. (It is not meant that this outcome is the whole effect of the experimental method; that as we saw at the outset is complex; but that the first effect as far as stripping away qualities is concerned is of this nature.) That Greek sc...
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Ancient thought saw things as immutable, to be appreciated aesthetically. Science sees the world as an endless series of mysteries to be solved.

08 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 We Are Living in a Science Fictional Age

1) We’re living in a science fictional era, thanks to all the incredible technological and scientific discoveries we’ve made. (At the time, we were just starting to discover exoplanets and sequence the DNA of individual people.) In some sense, science fiction has “come true.” 2) This means science fiction is uniquely qualified to comment on the era we’re living in, and is the only pop culture that accurately reflects the world around us. 3) Meanwhile, science fiction itself has cl...
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30 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Co-veillance

At first sight, things seem quite similar in City Number Two. Again, there are ubiquitous cameras, perched on every vantage point. Only here we soon find a crucial difference. The devices do not report to the secret police. Rather, each and every citizen of this metropolis can lift his or her wristwatch/TV and call up images from any camera in town. Here, a late-evening stroller checks to make sure no one lurks beyond the corner she is about to turn. Over there, a tardy young man dials to s...
Folksonomies: surveillance panopticon
Folksonomies: surveillance panopticon
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