28 FEB 2021 by ideonexus

 Evolutionary Origins of Play

There are several kinds of speculation about the origins of play: (a) The first holds that play originates as a mutation and therefore an amelioration of dangerous adaptational conJicts. According to John Allman in Evolving Brains, this play mutation constitutes a pre-existing genetic function. (b) Some scholars claim the most fundamental conJict arises between dangerous and mutually threatening opponents. In studies of such conJicts, 80 percent of the time creatures from ants to mammals ac...
Folksonomies: play evolution
Folksonomies: play evolution
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19 JAN 2016 by ideonexus

 Chomsky on the Failure of Postmodernism to Simplify

Since no one has succeeded in showing me what I'm missing, we're left with the second option: I'm just incapable of understanding. I'm certainly willing to grant that it may be true, though I'm afraid I'll have to remain suspicious, for what seem good reasons. There are lots of things I don't understand -- say, the latest debates over whether neutrinos have mass or the way that Fermat's last theorem was (apparently) proven recently. But from 50 years in this game, I have learned two things: (...
Folksonomies: postmodernism
Folksonomies: postmodernism
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19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Transclusion

Now, with respect to literature, authors are frequently faced with the task of re-explaining and restating background material that has been explained well elsewhere. If you could just borrow that material, those existing good explanations, and incorporate them (with automatic credit where due), your efforts could be spent stating what is new. We introduce the concept of transclusion to separate the arrangement of a document from its content. There is an underlying shared pool of contents, an...
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From Mark S. Miller's "The Open Society and Its Media"

24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Genetic Drift is More Important than Natural Selection

[Motoo Kimura] has been the chief advocate of the neutral theory of evolution. The neutral theory says that, through the history of life from beginning to end, random statistical fluctuations have been more important than Darwinian selection in causing species to evolve. Evolution by random statistical fluctuation is called genetic drift. Kimura says that genetic drift drives evolution more powerfully than natural selection.
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24 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Make Mistakes

For evolution, which knows nothing, the steps into novelty are blindly taken by mutations, which are random copying “errors” in DNA. Most of these typographical errors are of no consequence, since nothing reads them! They are as inconsequential as the rough drafts you didn’t, or don’t, hand in to the teacher for grading. The DNA of a species is rather like a recipe for building a new body, and most of the DNA is never actually consulted in the building process. (It is often called “...
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Evolution makes them all the time, and look what it has produced. Appreciate your mistakes, view them as works of art.

13 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 The Fundamentals of Cancer

Cancer, we now know, is a disease caused by the uncontrolled growth of a single cell. This growth is unleashed by mutations—changes in DNA that specifically affect genes that incite unlimited cell growth. In a normal cell, powerful genetic circuits regulate cell division and cell death. In a cancer cell, these circuits have been broken, unleashing a cell that cannot stop growing. That this seemingly simple mechanism—cell growth without barriers—can lie at the heart of this grotesque an...
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It is a mutated cell, a renegade, the key is to keep it from mutating.