background preloader

ToK

Facebook Twitter

Thinking Deeper. From: Investigating Intelligence. From: Investigating Intelligence What if you could take a pill that would make you more intelligent?

Thinking Deeper. From: Investigating Intelligence

Science fiction? Well, maybe not. Researchers have been studying intelligence for some time now and have begun to make significant progress. But it all starts, of course, with understanding what, exactly, we mean by intelligence in the first place. In his popular book, How Intelligence Happens, University of Cambridge cognitive scientist John Duncan sets the stage by re-introducing us to the work of the influential English scientist Charles Spearman. Back in 1904, Spearman discovered that a clear correlation existed between people’s abilities to perform various tasks. Intriguingly, some tasks proved to be fairly reliable indicators of this factor almost all by themselves: Spearman applied his statistical approach to the work of Alfred Binet and others, and the modern “IQ test” was born.

But what does it all mean? The first is sociological. The key word here is “organizing”. Covid-19: Can 'boosting' your immune system protect you? - BBC Future. “Spanish Influenza – what it is and how it should be treated,” read the reassuringly factual headline to an advert for Vick’s VapoRub back in 1918.

Covid-19: Can 'boosting' your immune system protect you? - BBC Future

The text beneath included nuggets of wisdom such as “stay quiet” and “take a laxative”. Oh, and to apply their ointment liberally, of course. The 1918 flu pandemic was the most lethal in recorded history, infecting up to 500 million people (a quarter of the world’s population at the time) and killing tens of millions worldwide. But with crisis comes opportunity, and the – sometimes literal – snake oil salesmen were out in force. Vick’s VapoRub had stiff competition from a panoply of crackpot remedies, including Miller’s Antiseptic Snake Oil, Dr Bell’s Pine Tar Honey, Schenck’s Mandrake Pills, Dr Jones’s Liniment, Hill’s Cascara Quinine Bromide, and A. Fast-forward to 2020, and not much has changed. You might also like: There’s no such thing as boosted immunity Fast-forward to 2020, and not much has changed.

Political dramaturgy and character in 2012. By Jeffrey C.

Political dramaturgy and character in 2012

Alexander In the wake of the party conventions, the shape of the Presidential contest has crystallized. Shocking to pundits and purveyors of conventional wisdom, Barack Obama has stretched his lead, narrowly in the national polls, more decisively in the critical swing states. Campaigns are all about hope and bluff.

Though “no one will hear a discouraging word” from the Romney campaign, the writing is on the wall. From the Greeks and American Founding Fathers to modern political scientists, democracy has been misunderstood as an exercise in rationality. Voters don’t decide whom to vote for by weighing their objective costs and benefits. Candidates are characters in this social drama, casting themselves as heroic protagonists and opponents as wearing black hats. Those auditioning for Presidential power aim to become collective representations, symbols that embody the best qualities of citizens and nation.

Obama-character presents a sharp contrast. Are Colors Real? How to be happy: Try saying it in another language. Part of The Happiness Issue of The Highlight, our home for ambitious stories that explain our world.

How to be happy: Try saying it in another language

“Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Screw that. The saying, sometimes attributed to the novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, cautions us to not pursue happiness aggressively; we’ve got to just let it come to us. But for many of us today, such 19th century romantic musings seem quaint, if not downright un-American.

The pursuit of happiness inscribed into the Declaration of Independence has grown into a national obsession. I admit that I, too, zealously hunt down happiness these days. So when I stumbled across the work of Tim Lomas, I pounced on his books, butterfly net in hand. With the help of far-flung strangers on the internet, he’s since mined 140 languages to come up with a whopping 1,200 words. And a sense of well-being seems to be in short supply in the US. I began to plan my experiments.

My Drive. Kilogram, redefined: Why the world’s new definition of mass is such a big achievement. On Monday, May 20 — World Metrology Day — humanity will have a new definition of the kilogram, the standard unit of mass used the world over.

Kilogram, redefined: Why the world’s new definition of mass is such a big achievement

The change will occur more silently than when a leap second was added to a year. It will disrupt nothing. The number on your bathroom scale isn’t going to change, for better or worse. But still, it represents an impressive achievement: a victory of humankind against the chaos that pervades the universe. When scientists met at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles in November, and voted for the change, they were realizing the founding dream of the metric system.

Halima Aden Becomes Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue's First Hijab-Wearing Model. The secret to scientific discoveries? Making mistakes - aplakmeyer - IST Mail. BQ4 Knower/s - Home. Thinking Maps & Graphic Organizers. ToK.