Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Brockman , John (2015-02-17), This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress, Edge.org, Retrieved on 2015-05-23
  • Source Material [edge.org]
  • Folksonomies: science ideas

    Memes

    25 MAY 2015

     Martin Rees: We'll Never Hit Barriers To Scientific Under...

    We humans haven't changed much since our remote ancestors roamed the African savannah. Our brains evolved to cope with the human-scale environment. So it is surely remarkable that we can make sense of phenomena that confound everyday intuition: in particular, the minuscule atoms we're made of, and the vast cosmos that surrounds us. Nonetheless—and here I'm sticking my neck out—maybe some aspects of reality are intrinsically beyond us, in that their comprehension would require some post-h...
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Laurie R. Santos & Tamar Gendler: Knowing is Half the Battle

    The irony is that knowing that the G.I. Joe Fallacy is a fallacy is—as the fallacy would predict—less than half the battle. As is knowing that people tend to experience $19.99 as a significantly lower price than $20.00. Even if you know about this left-digit anchoring effect, the first item will still feel like a significantly better deal. Even if you know about ego depletion effects, the prisoner you encounter after lunch will still seem like a better candidate for parole. Even if you kn...
    Folksonomies: knowledge knowing
    Folksonomies: knowledge knowing
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Jay Rosen: Information Overload

    Filters in a digital world work not by removing what is filtered out; they simply don't select for it. The unselected material is still there, ready to be let through by someone else's filter. Intelligent filters, which is what we need, come in three kinds: A smart person who takes in a lot and tells you what you need to know. The ancient term for this is "editor." The front page of the New York Times still works this way. An algorithm that sifts through the choices other smart people have...
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Kai Krause: The Uncertainty Principle

    Heisenberg’s idea had quickly been dubbed Unschärferelation, which transliterates to “unsharpness relationship,” but as there is really no such term in English ('blurred', 'fuzzy', 'vague' or 'ambiguous' have all been tried), the translation ended up as "the Uncertainty Principle"—when he had not used either term at all (some point to Eddington). And what followed is really quite close to the analogy as well: rather than stating that either position or momentum are "as yet undetermin...
    Folksonomies: physics semantics
    Folksonomies: physics semantics
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Paul Saffo: The Illusion of Scientific Progress

    The breathtaking advance of scientific discovery has the unknown on the run. Not so long ago, the Creation was 8,000 years old and Heaven hovered a few thousand miles above our heads. Now Earth is 4.5 billion years old and the observable Universe spans 92 billion light years. Pick any scientific field and the story is the same, with new discoveries—and new life-touching wonders—arriving almost daily. Like Pope, we marvel at how hidden Nature is revealed in scientific light. Our growing c...
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Buddhini Samarasinghe: Scientists Should Stick to Science

    It is a statistical fact that you are more likely to die while horseback riding (1 serious adverse event every ~350 exposures) than from taking Ecstasy (1 serious adverse event every ~10,000 exposures). Yet, in 2009, the scientist who said this was fired from his position as the chairman of the UK's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Professor David Nutt's remit was to make scientific recommendations to government ministers on the classification of illegal drugs based on the harm they c...
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Oliver Scott Curry: Associationism

    In communication theory, information is the reduction of prior uncertainty. Organisms are 'uncertain' because they are composed of conditional adaptations that adopt different states under different conditions. These mechanisms can be described in terms of the decision rules that they embody—'if A, then B', or 'If you detect light, then move towards it'. Uncertainty about which state to adopt (to B or not to B), is resolved by attending to the specified conditions (A). The reduction of unce...
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Brian Christian: Scientific Knowledge Should Be Structure...

    In my view, what's most outmoded within science, most badly in need of retirement, is the way we structure and organize scientific knowledge itself. Academic literature, even as it moves online, is a relic of the era of typesetting, modeled on static, irrevocable, toothpaste-out-of-the-tube publication. Just as the software industry has moved from a "waterfall" process to an "agile" process—from monolithic releases shipped from warehouses of mass-produced disks to over-the-air differential ...
    Folksonomies: peer review
    Folksonomies: peer review
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Kate Mills: Only "Scientists" Can Do Science

    What we think we know about ourselves through science could be skewed, since the majority of psychology studies sample individuals who do not represent the population on a whole. These WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic) samples make up the majority of non-clinical neuroimaging studies as well. Increased awareness of this bias has prompted researchers to actively seek out more representative samples. However, there is less discussion or awareness around the potential b...
    Folksonomies: citizen science
    Folksonomies: citizen science
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Ian Bogost: "Science"

    The rhetoric of science has consequences. Things that have no particular relation to scientific practice must increasingly frame their work in scientific terms to earn any attention or support. The sociology of Internet use suddenly transformed into “web science.” Long accepted practices of statistical analysis have become “data science.” Thanks to shifting educational and research funding priorities, anything that can’t claim that it is a member of a STEM (science, technology, engi...
    Folksonomies: science rhetoric
    Folksonomies: science rhetoric
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Simon Baron-Cohen: Radical Behaviorism

    The central idea of Radical Behaviorism—that all behavior can be explained as the result of learned associations between a stimulus and a response, reinforced or extinguished through reward and/or punishment—stems from the early 20th century psychologists B.F. Skinner (at Harvard) and John B. Watson (at John Hopkins). Radical Behaviorism came under public attack when Skinner's book Verbal Behavior (published in 1957) received a critical review by cognitivist-linguist Noam Chomsky in 1959 ...
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Paul Bloom: Science Can Maximize Our Happiness

    How can we determine the happiest society? As Derek Parfit and others have pointed out, even if you can precisely measure the happiness of each individual, this remains a vexingly hard question. Should we choose the society with the highest total happiness? If so, then a trillion people living miserable lives (but not so miserable that they would rather be dead) will be "happier" than a billion immensely happy people. This seems wrong. Do we calculate averages? If so, then a society with a m...
    Folksonomies: science happiness
    Folksonomies: science happiness
      1  notes
    25 MAY 2015

     Laura Betzig: Culture

    What if the 100,000-odd year-old evidence of human social life—from the arrowheads in South Africa, to the Venus figurines at Dordogne—is the effect of nothing, more or less, but our efforts to become parents? What if the 10,000-odd year-old record of civilization—from the tax accounts at temples in the Near East, to the inscription on a bronze statue in New York Harbor—is the product of nothing, more or less, but our struggle for genetic representation in future generations? [...] ...
    Folksonomies: atheism secularism cuture
    Folksonomies: atheism secularism cuture
      1  notes