09 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 A Lack of Uncertainty Impacts Learning in Adults

Healthy aging can lead to impairments in learning that affect many laboratory and real-life tasks. These tasks often involve the acquisition of dynamic contingencies, which requires adjusting the rate of learning to environmental statistics. For example, learning rate should increase when expectations are uncertain (uncertainty), outcomes are surprising (surprise) or contingencies are more likely to change (hazard rate). In this study, we combine computational modelling with an age-comparativ...
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19 JAN 2016 by ideonexus

 Close Reading: Emily Dickinson

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant— Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth's superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind— When we first discussed this text with the two teachers who were leading the project, Nealie Bourdon and Becky Campbell, they questioned our choice because they felt that the poem was too difficult for their students. We argued that we wanted to challeng...
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Social Rules for Polite Intellectual Interactions

Another way we try to remove obstacles to learning is by having a small set of social rules. These rules are intended to be lightweight, and to make more explicit certain social norms that are normally implicit. Most of our social rules really boil down to "don't be a jerk" or "don't be annoying." Of course, almost nobody sets out to be a jerk or annoying, so telling people not to be jerks isn't a very productive strategy. That's why our social rules are designed to curtail specific behav...
Folksonomies: professionalism etiquette
Folksonomies: professionalism etiquette
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22 JUL 2014 by ideonexus

 Human Respiration is Carbon Neutral

The very first time you learned about carbon dioxide was probably in grade school: We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Any eight-year-old can rattle off this fact. More specifically, the mitochondria within our cells perform cellular respiration: they burn carbohydrates (in the example shown below, glucose) in the oxygen that we breathe in to yield carbon dioxide and water, which we exhale as waste products, as well as energy, which is required to maintain...
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We exhale carbon and that carbon is sequestered in the next plant we eat.

21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 Feigned Surprise

he best developers I’ve worked with were willing to admit when they didn’t know something. Of course they could learn quickly. If you meet an arrogant developer who pretends to know everything, be careful. To them, their ego is more important than your software. An insecure person who mixes up their self-worth with their programming ability can be very unpleasant to work with. Sadly, some workplaces and development teams reward bombastic claims made with absolute certainty, even on comple...
Folksonomies: conduct professionalism
Folksonomies: conduct professionalism
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Being surprised that someone doesn't know something is denigrating and demonstrates that you don't know your field.

13 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 Creative Space

A Cornell experiment in the 1960s polled a group of computer science students and divded them into those who liked to work with music in the background and those who didn't. They put 1/2 of each group together in a silent room, and the other 1/2 in a different room equipped with headphones and a musical selection. To no one's surprise, they performed about the same in speed and accuracy of completing a Fortran programming task. The part of the brain required for arithmetic and related logic i...
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Experiment shows that listening to music while you program can prevent deep logical insights.

23 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 Metaphor for the Mathematician

The mathematician may be compared to a designer of garments, who is utterly oblivious of the creatures whom his garments may fit. To be sure, his art originated in the necessity for clothing such creatures, but this was long ago; to this day a shape will occasionally appear which will fit into the garment as if the garment had been made for it. Then there is no end of surprise and delight.
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As a designer of garments for unknown beings, who delights in learning their shape as they go.

20 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 The Evolutionary Arms Race

Before asserting that the deceptive appearance of a grasshopper or butterfly is unnecessarily detailed, we must first ascertain what are the powers of perception and discrimination of the insects' natural enemies. Not to do so is like asserting that the armour of a battle-cruiser is too heavy, or the range of her guns too great, without inquiring into the nature and effectiveness of the enemy's armament. The fact is that in the primeval struggle of the jungle, as in the refinements of civiliz...
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Adaptations are based on the senses and abilities of the predators.