10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 The Thermian Argument

So there's a bad habit people have gotten into. It's nothing new, but it's become more and more common. It goes like this: Critic: Hello. This is Folding Ideas. I recently watched the anime Women Getting Ripped Apart by Orcs and was, you know, disturbed by the seeming perverse glee the way the show takes the frequent and excessive dismemberment of its female cast members. In fact, the entire purpose of the show seems to be little more than showing women being brutally violated by orcs. Mino...
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10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 Applications for Simulated Worlds

Consider that applications of simulated worlds and simulated games to science and social science research are on the increase. Businesses build virtual worlds for commercial purposes. Scientists utilize video games to crowd-source solutions to protein folding, to invesfigate complexity theory and artificial life, to visualize the physics of black holes, and to research economic, social, and psychological behaviors. Call of Duty, Second Life, World of Warcraft—and the software that makes the...
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06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 American Exceptionalism Prevents Americans from Recognizi...

Americans enjoy lower qualities of life on every single indicator that you can possibly think of. Life expectancy in France and Spain is 83 years, but in America it’s only 78 years — that’s half a decade of life, folks. The same is true for things like maternal mortality, stress, work and leisure, press freedom, quality of democracy — every single thing you can think of that impacts how well, happily, meaningfully, and sanely you live is worse in America, by a very long way. T...
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06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Border Crossings into Science Culture

Learning to communicate in and with a culture of science is a much broader undertaking than mastering a body of discrete conceptual or procedural knowledge. One observer, for example, describes the process of science education as one in which learners must engage in "border crossings" from their own everyday world culture into the subculture of science.^ The subculture of science is in part distinct from other cultural activities and in part a reflection of the cultural backgrounds of scienti...
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21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 African Americans are the Descendants of Alien Abductees

Dery identified the parallels in "Black to the Future" as 'African Americans are, in a very real sense, the descendanmt of alien abductees," Dery writes. He compares the atrocities of racism experienced by blacks in the United States to "a sci-fi nightmare in which unseen but no less impassable force fields intolerance frustrate their movement; official histories undo what has been done; and technology is too often brought to bear on black bodies (branding, forced sterilization, the Tuskegee ...
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21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Being Geek from Outcast to Success Story

More than just a hipster fashion statement where big glasses, tight suits, and high-water pants are the norm, the black geek phenomenon normalizes all things formally couched as geeky. Science lovers, space dreamers, comic book fans, techies, or anyone who relishes super-high-level analysis just for the fun of it could be a geek, according to conventional wisdom. Today, such interests are cool, functional, and often necessary—or at least there's a larger world where those of like minds can ...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 American and French Revolutions Led to Different Results

...the structure of a network determines its virality. As recent work by the social scientists Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler has shown, the contagiousness of a disease or an idea depends as much on a social network’s structure as on the inherent properties of the virus or meme. The history of the late eighteenth century illustrates that point well. The ideas that inspired both the American Revolution and the French Revolution were essentially the same, and both were transmitted throu...
Folksonomies: enlightenment history
Folksonomies: enlightenment history
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Networks in the Enlightenment

Like the Reformation, the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment were network-driven phenomena, yet they spread faster and farther. This reflected the importance of acquaintances in correspondence networks such as Voltaire’s and Benjamin Franklin’s, communities that might otherwise have remained subdivided into national clusters. It also reflected the way that new social organizations—notably, Freemasonry—increased the connectedness of like-minded men, despite established divisio...
Folksonomies: networks enlightenment
Folksonomies: networks enlightenment
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20 JUL 2017 by ideonexus

 The Need for Moral Universals in Democracy

Working societies — if they are to endure, grow, and cohere, if they are to prosper, hang together, and really mature — need moral universals. Moral universals are simply things that people believe everyone should have. In the UK, those things — those moral universals — are healthcare and media and welfare. In Germany, they are healthcare and media and welfare and higher education. And so on. Moral universals anchor a society in a genuinely shared prosperity. Not just...
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17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 The Collector’s Fallacy and Tsundoku

One of my favorite Japanese words is tsundoku (積ん読). Aside from being a fantastic pun, I think it’s captures our shared problem pretty well: “Tsundoku” is the condition of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. Buying books does not equal reading books. We all know that. Yet, so many end up victims of tsundoku anyway. Why? One problem, I think, is that collecting feels like learning. Each time we discover a new productivi...
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