17 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Teaching as Natural Selection

Teaching is commonly associated with instruction, yet in evolution, immunology, and neuroscience, instructional theories are largely defunct. We propose a co-immunity theory of teaching, where attempts by a teacher to alter student neuronal structure to accommodate cultural ideas and practices is sort of a reverse to the function of the immune system, which exists to preserve the physical self, while teaching episodes are designed to alter the mental self. This is a theory of teaching that ...
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21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 The Extended Peer Community

The perspective of Funtowicz and Ravetz on post normal science [59] – characterized by conflicting values and deep uncertainties – is useful in moving forward on messes and wicked problems. When the stakes are high and uncertainties are large, Funtowicz and Ravetz point out that there is demand by the public to participate and assess quality, which they refer to as the extended peer community. The extended peer community consists not only of those with traditional institutional accreditat...
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An argument for open science that we should bring climate change science to the public to appeal on science not consensus.

09 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Humanists Do Not Fear Technology

As humanists who value human creativity and human reason and who have seen the benefits of science and technology, we are decidedly willing to take part in the new scientific and technological developments around us. We are encouraged rather than fearful about biotechnology, alternative energy, and information technology, and we recognize that attempts to reject these developments or to prevent their wide application will not stop them. Such efforts will merely place them in the hands of othe...
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They are cautiously optimistic about scientific progress.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Science is Built on a Swamp

Science does not rest upon solid bedrock. The bold structure of its theories rises, as it were, above a swamp. It is like a building erected on piles. The piles are driven down from above into the swamp, but not down to any natural or 'given' base; and when we cease our attempts to drive our piles into a deeper layer, it is not because we have reached firm ground. We simply stop when we are satisfied that they are firm enough to carry the structure, at least for the time being.
Folksonomies: science metaphor
Folksonomies: science metaphor
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Standing on piles driven down into reality, but never solidly in it.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Science Works from Approximation to Approximation

I have no patience with attempts to identify science with measurement, which is but one of its tools, or with any definition of the scientist which would exclude a Darwin, a Pasteur or a Kekulé. The scientist is a practical man and his are practical aims. He does not seek the ultimate but the proximate. He does not speak of the last analysis but rather of the next approximation. His are not those beautiful structures so delicately designed that a single flaw may cause the collapse of the who...
Folksonomies: science progress
Folksonomies: science progress
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Getting better all the time.

30 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Ignorance is Slavery

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men, long after nature has released them from alien guidance (natura-liter maiorennes), nonetheless gladly remain in lifelong immaturity, and why it is so easy for others to establish themselves as their guardians. It is so easy to be immature. If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think,...
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Laziness prevents men from maturing, causing them to remain subjugated to the knowledge of others.

02 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Web Topology

Web topology contains more complexity than simple linear chains. In this section, we will discuss attempts to measure the global structure of the Web, and how individual webpages fit into that context. Are there interesting representations that define or suggest important properties? For example, might it be possible to map knowledge on theWeb? Such a map might allow the possibility of understanding online communities, or to engage in 'plume tracing' - following a meme, or idea, or rumour, or...
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Mapping the web allows us to find patterns in it, with potential applications.