07 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 "Scandals" - Animals Evolved from Cancer Cells

Panchin knows the idea of cancer-derived animals sounds far-fetched — so much so that, in the paper, he and his co-authors refer to them as Scandals (an acronym for “speciated by cancer development animals”). [...] According to Panchin’s three-step scenario, a Scandal would start off as a cancer, but not just any cancer. It would have to be transmissible, so that it wouldn’t die when its host did. Then the cancer would have to spread to other species, and then independently evolve...
Folksonomies: evolution biology cancer
Folksonomies: evolution biology cancer
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09 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 How Insular Media Protects Itself

One of the chief problems, Sykes said, was that it had become impossible to prove to listeners that Trump was telling falsehoods because over the past several decades the conservative news media had “basically eliminated any of the referees, the gatekeepers.” “There's nobody,” he lamented. “Let's say that Donald Trump basically makes whatever you want to say, whatever claim he wants to make. And everybody knows it's a falsehood. The big question of my audience, it is impossible for...
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01 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 Economic Principles for Students

Here are some examples of the principles that teachers can use to expand concepts presented in formal course material. These principles don't have to be taught in the context of any particular class. It's an empirical question. This is a comment that ought to terminate many more conversations than it does. For many of the questions and issues we discuss, there is an answer available. Look it up and see. There's no point in discussing the merits of taking multivitamins when there are several ...
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02 JUN 2015 by ideonexus

 Language as Set Theory

The revolution in our understanding of the logic of names began with a basic question: Where do the meanings of words live? There are two likely habitats. One is the world, where we find the things that a word refers to. The other is in the head, where we find people’s understanding of how a word may be used. For anyone interested in language as a window into the mind, the external world might seem to be an unpromising habitat. The word cat, for example, refers to the set of all the cats t...
Folksonomies: semantics set theory
Folksonomies: semantics set theory
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Human Combinatoric Reasoning

Humans, of course, were not created in a state of Original Reason. We descended from apes, spent hundreds of millennia in small bands, and evolved our cognitive processes in the service of hunting, gathering, and socializing. Only gradually, with the appearance of literacy, cities, and long-distance travel and communication, could our ancestors cultivate the faculty of reason and apply it to a broader range of concerns, a process that is still ongoing. One would expect that as collective rati...
Folksonomies: reasoning combinatorics
Folksonomies: reasoning combinatorics
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14 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Ode to Spot

Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature, An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature. Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses. I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations, A singular development of cat communications That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection. A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents. You would not be so agile if you lacked...
Folksonomies: science poetry
Folksonomies: science poetry
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Lieutenant Commander Data (2338 – 2379)

20 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Tipping Point of Sentience

When Mike was installed in Luna, he was pure thinkum, a flexible logic--"High-Optional, Logical, Multi-Evaluating Supervisor, Mark IV, Mod. L"--a HOLMES FOUR. He computed ballistics for pilotless freighters and controlled their catapult. This kept him busy less than one percent of time and Luna Authority never believed in idle hands. They kept hooking hardware into him--decision-action boxes to let him boss other computers, bank on bank of additional memories, more banks of associational neur...
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19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Make It a Treat

"Make It a Treat" is similar in spirit to "everything in moderation," but still very distinct. "Moderation" suggests a regular, low-level intake of something. MIAT asks for more austerity; it encourages you to keep the special things in life special. I apply this rule in a variety of ways. For instance, I wear makeup and high heels on special occasions. But if I dressed up all the time, it would become ordinary, and I would receive fewer compliments. If makeup and heels was my everyday look, ...
Folksonomies: humor moderation
Folksonomies: humor moderation
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31 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Fallacy of the Insect Age

To end on a more cheerful note, I think I have found a fallacy or two in some of the more spectacular arguments used by the Insect Age enthusiasts when they are hardest pressed. For one thing, the fact that insects as a class are 300,000,000 years old, if it is a fact, while we have been here only about 1,000,000 years, or 3,000,000 at the outside, does not prove to me that the insects are bound to win. It takes more than mere old age to get along these days. I think it quite likely that the ...
Folksonomies: humor logical fallacy
Folksonomies: humor logical fallacy
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01 DEC 2014 by ideonexus

 Schrodinger's Cat as a Lock for a Box

Quantum mechanics claims that there is no definite cat in the box, only a ghost, a superposition of a live cat and a dead cat. That is, until we open it and look. A measurement will collapse the system into one state or the other. So goes Schrödinger’s thought experiment. It is completely wrong, of course. A cat is a macroscopic system, and there is no mysterious intervention by a magical observer needed to make it live or die: just its interaction with the rest of the Universe, a phenome...
Folksonomies: quantum physics
Folksonomies: quantum physics
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