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Editors’ Note: Portions of this post appeared in similar form in a December, 2009, piece by Jonah Lehrer for Wired magazine. We regret the duplication of material. Last week, Gallup announced the results of their latest survey on Americans and evolution. The numbers were a stark blow to high-school science teachers everywhere: forty-six per cent of adults said they believed that “God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years.”
by Maria Popova “Anything that puts a sense of the miraculous in you… Anything that makes you feel alive is good.” After this morning’s remembrance of Ray Bradbury through 11 of his most memorable quotes , here comes a rare archival gem: On August 22, 2003, SCVTV news man Leon Worden conducted a short but wide-ranging interview with the beloved author, in which he discusses such timely subjects as future of space exploration , what’s wrong with the education system , and where technology is taking us , exploring ideas as broad and abstract as the possibility of alien life and as specific and concrete as tackling the 40,000 highway deaths that take place every year. The interview is now available online , mashed up with images from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory — highlights below. In commenting on the cultural impact of mainstream media, Bradbury echoes David Foster Wallace’s lament :
In 1920, after writing two novels with a conventional Victorian narrator (the kind that, like an omniscient God, views everything from above), Virginia Woolf announced in her diary: “I have finally arrived at some idea of a new form for a new novel.” Her new form would follow the flow of our consciousness, tracing the “flight of the mind” as it unfolds in time. “Only thoughts and feelings,” Woolf wrote to Katherine Mansfield, “no cups and tables.” The mind, however, is not an easy thing to express.
Su condición de autodidacta y la falta de recursos en su juventud llevó a Ray Bradbury a defender a ultranza las bibliotecas y la experiencia vital como base para convertirse en escritor. El autor de Crónicas Marcianas y Fahrenheit 451 , fallecido a los 91 años en Los Angeles , recomendaba además empezar poco a poco y no lanzarse a intentar escribir una novela sin haber vivido, y aprendido, lo suficiente. A los escritores en ciernes les instaba a vivir, experimentar . “Si uno escribe sin garra, sin entusiasmo, sin amor, sin divertirse, únicamente es escritor a medias”, decía en su ensayo 'Zen en el Arte de Escribir' (1994). "Para rescribir ya habrá tiempo. Hoy, ¡estalle, hágase pedazos, desintégrese!
Creative people think differently. But why? There is no magic bullet or single pill.
Brain scans are revealing what happens in our heads when we read a detailed description, an evocative metaphor or an emotional exchange between characters. Stories, this research is showing, stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life. Researchers have long known that the “classical” language regions, like Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, are involved in how the brain interprets written words. What scientists have come to realize in the last few years is that narratives activate many other parts of our brains as well, suggesting why the experience of reading can feel so alive. Words like “lavender,” “cinnamon” and “soap,” for example, elicit a response not only from the language-processing areas of our brains, but also those devoted to dealing with smells.
by Maria Popova “Children are not deceived by fairy-tales; they are often and gravely deceived by school-stories. Adults are not deceived by science-fiction; they can be deceived by the stories in the women’s magazines.” “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t,” Mark Twain reflected on the osmotic balance of truth and fiction, which has long fascinated famous authors .
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 Cognitive scientist Sian Beilock writes: “Our performance is often linked to financial incentives. But not everyone responds to financial incentives in the same way. While some thrive when the proverbial carrot is dangling out in front of them, others choke. Why?
Excuse me while I try to get a word in edgewise. I have someone in my head at the moment, and she’s talking very loudly. It’s Wobbly Wendy doing her thing in my left lobe. She natters away, worrying about Mayan prophecies and the cancer that’s surely the reason for the pain in my right knee.
“Where can I find the maltodextrin?” It’s a question that’s likely to result in a blank stare from your local grocer’s stock boy. But the scarcity of such ingredients is a real problem for molecular gastronomy enthusiasts. This avant-garde cooking style combines traditional foods with obscure, technical ingredients and processes, with outlandish results. Peanut butter powder with jelly noodles , anyone? The technique was popularized by chefs like Wylie Dufresne of WD-50, Ferran Adria of elBulli, and former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, who wrote the magnum opus in the field, Modernist Cooking .
Hoy en día contamos con una gran cantidad de softwares para crear mapas mentales, probablemente más de 100. Sin embargo, vale la pena destacar el lanzamiento de MindMaple , que tuvo lugar en diciembre pasado. Estoy probando este programa desde unos días y me gusta mucho por su simplicidad de uso, la calidad gráfica de los mapas, la posibilidad de crear, como en XMind , un multimap: cada archivo es un clasificador de varios mapas.
+ Author Affiliations Author contributions: J.M.M. and J.P.M. designed research; J.M.M. and E.J. performed research; J.M.M. and E.J. analyzed data; J.M.M. and J.P.M. wrote the paper. A sizeable number of studies have implicated the default network (e.g., medial prefrontal and parietal cortices) in tasks that require participants to infer the mental states of others (i.e., to mentalize).
Psychologists have identified an important reason why our insight into our own psyches is so poor. Emily Balcetis and David Dunning found that when predicting our own behaviour, we fail to take the influence of the situation into account. By contrast, when predicting the behaviour of others, we correctly factor in the influence of the circumstances.
Big schools, small schools and social relationships Abstract Social ecologies shape the way people initiate and maintain social relationships. Settings with much opportunity will lead to more fine-grained similarity among friends; less opportunity leads to less similarity. We compare two ecological contexts—a large, relatively diverse state university versus smaller colleges in the same state—to test the hypothesis that a larger pool of available friendship choices will lead to greater similarity within dyads.
Jan. 24, 2012 — Want to think outside the box? Try actually thinking outside of a box. In a study to be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science , a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers had students think up solutions to problems while acting out various metaphors about creative thinking and found that the instructions actually worked. The authors of the new paper were inspired by metaphors about creativity found in boardrooms to movie studios to scientific laboratories around the world and previous linkages established between mind and body.