17 OCT 2021 by ideonexus

 Philosophers are "Loafers"

We were not originally made to be learned; we have become so perhaps by a sort of abuse of our organic faculties, and at the expense of the State, which nourishes a host of loafers whom vanity has adorned with the name of “philosophers.” Nature created us all solely to be happy—yes, all, from the crawling worm to the eagle that soars out of sight in the clouds. That is why she has given all animals some share of natural law, a share of greater or less delicacy according to the needs of ...
Folksonomies: commentary
Folksonomies: commentary
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17 OCT 2021 by ideonexus

 Humans Trained Themselves in Symbolic Thought

From animals to man, the transition is not violent, as good philosophers will admit. What was man before the invention of words and the knowledge of tongues? An animal of his species, who, with much less native instinct than the others, whose king he then considered himself to be, could not be distinguished from the ape and from the rest, except as the ape itself differs from the other animals; which means, by a face giving promise of more intelligence. Reduced to the bare “intuitive knowle...
Folksonomies: philosophy empiricism
Folksonomies: philosophy empiricism
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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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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 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 Bias in Praise VS Punishment and Reversion to the Mean

I had the most satisfying Eureka experience of my career while attempting to teach flight instructors that praise is more effective than punishment for promoting skill-learning. When I had finished my enthusiastic speech, one of the most seasoned instructors in the audience raised his hand and made his own short speech, which began by conceding that positive reinforcement might be good for the birds, but went on to deny that it was optimal for flight cadets. He said, “On many occasions I ha...
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User Cortesoft has a good analogy for this:

"Flip 100 coins. Take the ones that 'failed' (landed tails) and scold them. Flip them again. Half improved! Praise the ones that got heads the first time. Flip them again. Half got worse :(

"Clearly, scolding is more effective than praising."

(source)

See also Regression Fallacy

12 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Neurons Use Viruses to Share Information and Learn

When genes are activated, the instructions encoded within their DNA are first transcribed into a related molecule called RNA. Shepherd’s colleague Elissa Pastuzyn showed that the Arc shells can enclose RNA and move it from one neuron to another. And that’s basically what retroviruses do—they use protein shells to protect their own RNA as it moves between cells in a host. So our neurons use a repurposed viral gene to transmit genetic information between each other in an oddly virus-like...
Folksonomies: dna neurons virus microbiology
Folksonomies: dna neurons virus microbiology
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08 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Negative Attention is Better Than No Attention at All

To give and receive attention is a fundamental human need. In the 13th century, King Frederick II of Sicily wanted to find out what language children would naturally grow up to speak if they were never spoken to. He took babies from their mothers at birth and placed them in the care of nurses who were strictly forbidden to either speak to or touch them. The babies, as it turned out, didn’t grow up to speak any language, as they all died of attention deprivation within a fortnight of the sta...
Folksonomies: parenting attention focus
Folksonomies: parenting attention focus
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21 APR 2017 by ideonexus

 A Cerebral Cortex Makes Animals Programmable

As we ascend the scale of cerebral development the possibility of teaching increases. It becomes possible to domesticate and train these higher-brain animals in just the measure that their brains are developed. You can teach very little to a fish or a reptile, but directly you come to the higher cerebral mammals you are confronted by the new possibility of establishing an artificial, taught, motive system to control, supplement or altogether replace natural instinct. You must catch them young...
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10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Gamification Memory Mechanic

In Memory games, the action of the game has some element that is dependent on players’ memory. This is simple and straightforward enough on its surface, but it becomes interestingly complex when examined in greater detail. What particular parts of memory are being tasked by the game? Some games ask the player to memorize and recall specific details or patterns. Others call on memories that a player brings into the game from his or her actual life. Still other memory games ask players not on...
Folksonomies: education gamification
Folksonomies: education gamification
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Summary of "Sirius"

Fifty years ago, the philosopher Olaf Stapledon published a novel, Sirius, which explores some of the depths of loneliness and alienation to which genetic engineering might lead. Stapledon knew nothing of DNA and molecular biology, but he foresaw the possibility of genetic engineering and saw that it would give rise to severe dilemmas. His hero, Sirius, is a dog endowed with a brain of human capacity by doses of nerve-growth hormone given to him in utero. His creator raised him as a member of...
Folksonomies: science fiction
Folksonomies: science fiction
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