background preloader

Information, Knowledge, Epistemology, Language

Facebook Twitter

Who Does the Ethicist Think He Is? Is it ethical for a student to submit the same paper in two college classes? That was the question posed to the Ethicist in last Sunday’s Times Magazine. His answer, in brief, was yes. It may be lazy, he concluded, but it’s not unethical. The Ethicist, also known as Chuck Klosterman, wrote: “I don’t think this is cheating. I wouldn’t say it qualifies as ‘genius,’ and it might get you expelled from some universities. Yet I can’t isolate anything about this practice that harms other people, provides you with an unfair advantage or engenders an unjustified reward.” A number of readers were quick to object. Another reader, Sandra Wilde of the City University of New York, suggested that by any measure — university rules or the common-sense use of one’s conscience — Mr.

“I often think he gets it wrong, but today’s column crosses a line,” she wrote. I asked Mr. I understand people’s response to this, and it’s not an unreasonable argument to make. I asked Mr. Here’s my take: Mr. Journal of Practical Ethics | Volume 1 Number 1. June 2013. Introducing the Journal of Practical Ethics Roger Crisp & Julian Savulescu Journal of Practical Ethics 1(1): 1-2 The Journal of Practical Ethics is a new open access, interdisciplinary journal in applied moral philosophy and related areas of philosophy, including political and legal philosophy. It is supported by the Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education and we are most grateful to the Foundation for making the journal possible. Associative Duties and the Ethics of Killing in War Seth Lazar Journal of Practical Ethics 1(1): 3-48 This paper advances a novel account of part of what justifies killing in war, grounded in the duties we owe to our loved ones to protect them from the severe harms with which war threatens them.

Biotechnology, Justice and Health Ruth Faden & Madison Powers Journal of Practical Ethics 1(1): 49-61 New biotechnologies have the potential to both dramatically improve human well-being and dramatically widen inequalities in well-being. Situationism and Agency Alfred R. Expositions: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, ethics issue. Commonsense Computing papers | Common Sense Computing Initiative. Knotty Fun at the Joint Math Meetings | Roots of Unity. Mathematicians attempting to untangle a human knot at a knot "flash mob" on January 11, 2013 at the Joint Mathematics Meetings. Image: American Mathematical Society Anyone with necklaces or lace-up shoes has some first-hand experience with knots, but believe it or not (knot?) , there is an entire mathematical discipline dedicated to studying knots and some closely related concepts. A mathematical knot is almost like a real-world knot, but it can’t have any ends. So if you’re thinking of a shoelace, imagine tying it in a normal knot and then gluing the aglets together.

(OK, I just wanted to show off the fact that I know the word “aglet.” It’s the little plastic bit on the end of your shoelace.) My first knotty experience was on Thursday afternoon during the joint prize session. MurphyKate Montee, winner of this year's Alice T. But as a young(-ish) female mathematician, I was most excited about the Alice T. Montee’s research has been primarily in the area of knot theory. Two knot diagrams. Sokal affair. The resultant academic and public quarrels concerned the scholarly merit of humanistic commentary about the physical sciences; the influence of postmodern philosophy on social disciplines in general; academic ethics, including whether Sokal was wrong to deceive the editors and readers of Social Text; and whether the journal had exercised appropriate intellectual rigor before publishing the pseudoscientific article.

Background[edit] In an interview on the NPR program All Things Considered, Sokal said he was inspired to submit the hoax article after reading Higher Superstition (1994), by Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt. In their book, Gross and Levitt said that an anti-intellectual trend had swept university liberal arts departments (especially English departments), causing them to become dominated by a "trendy" branch of postmodernist deconstructionism. The article[edit] Content of the article[edit] Moreover, the article's footnotes conflate academic terms with sociopolitical rhetoric, e.g.

Language

How We Know by Freeman Dyson. The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick Pantheon, 526 pp., $29.95 James Gleick’s first chapter has the title “Drums That Talk.” It explains the concept of information by looking at a simple example. The example is a drum language used in a part of the Democratic Republic of Congo where the human language is Kele. Sadly, the drum language was only understood and recorded by a single European before it started to disappear. Carrington understood how the structure of the Kele language made drum language possible. In 1954 a visitor from the United States came to Carrington’s mission school. The story of the drum language illustrates the central dogma of information theory. Another example illustrating the central dogma is the French optical telegraph.

The distance between neighbors was about seven miles. Unlike the drum language, which was based on spoken language, the optical telegraph was based on written French. Letters. Knowledge How. First published Tue Dec 4, 2012 It is common in epistemology to distinguish among three kinds of knowledge. There's the kind of knowledge you have when it is truly said of you that you know how to do something—say, ride a bicycle. There's the kind of knowledge you have when it is truly said of you that you know a person—say, your best friend. And there's the kind of knowledge you have when it is truly said of you that you know that some fact is true—say, that the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series. Here we will be concerned with the first and last of these kinds. The first is usually called “knowledge-how” and the last is usually called “knowledge-that” or “propositional knowledge.” Debates about knowledge-how revolve around two main issues.

Second, there are debates about exactly what knowledge-how consists in. 1. 1.1 Epistêmê and Technê The ancient Greek philosophers had one word, epistêmê, that is usually translated as knowledge and another, technê, often translated as craft or art. 2. Daniel Ellsberg on the Limits of Knowledge. "Henry, there's something I would like to tell you, for what it's worth, something I wish I had been told years ago. You've been a consultant for a long time, and you've dealt a great deal with top secret information. But you're about to receive a whole slew of special clearances, maybe fifteen or twenty of them, that are higher than top secret. "I've had a number of these myself, and I've known other people who have just acquired them, and I have a pretty good sense of what the effects of receiving these clearances are on a person who didn't previously know they even existed.

And the effects of reading the information that they will make available to you. "First, you'll be exhilarated by some of this new information, and by having it all — so much! Incredible! Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Birthday Boy - Brainstorm. Happy birthday, you wild child! Today, June 28, is Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s 300th birthday. Although it’s hard to imagine philosophers as squalling newborns, in Rousseau’s case, it makes sense. His whole philosophy hinges on the idea that we humans are born good but, along the way of making civilization, we manage to destroy what’s good in ourselves. From the moment the umbilical cord is cut, Rousseau essentially says, we systematically obliterate our real nature, which is one of benevolent beings happily living a simple existence. But for someone living in any complex society since the Industrial Revolution, Rousseau’s philosophy is not only difficult to believe (aren’t education, exposure to the arts, technological progress inarguably good things?)

Why would a young college student who was just discovering the solitary joys of painting pictures become obsessed with the one and only Enlightenment thinker who ferociously attacked the very value of art (and science as well)? Return to Top. There Is Such a Thing as Truth « Errol Morris. How Science Changes - Rebecca J. Rosen.

An interview with Samuel Arbesman, author of The Half-Life of Facts Dim Dimich/Shutterstock/Rebecca J. Rosen In 1947 a mathematician named Derek J. de Solla Price came to Raffles College in Singapore to teach. He did not, Samuel Arbesman writes in his new book, "intend to spearhead an entirely new way of looking at science. " But as you probably guessed, that's exactly what he did, or we would not be retelling his story here. Price's discovery came when construction on the college library forced him to take a complete set of Philosophical Transactions, published by the Royal Society of London since 1665, back to his dormitory.

It is this insight that opened up the field of scientometrics, which is the topic of Arbesman's new book, The Half-Life of Facts, published this fall by Current books. What is scientometrics and what is meant by the title of your book The Half-Life of Facts? Arbesman: Scientometrics is the quantitative measurement and study of science.

Imitation of Life. Can a computer program reproduce everything that happens inside a living cell? Brian Hayes Almost 30 years ago, Harold J. Morowitz, who was then at Yale, set forth a bold plan for molecular biology. He outlined a campaign to study one of the smallest single-celled organisms, a bacterium of the genus Mycoplasma. The first step would be to decipher its complete genetic sequence, which in turn would reveal the amino acid sequences of all the proteins in the cell. In the 1980s reading an entire genome was not the routine task it is today, but Morowitz argued that the analysis should be possible if the genome was small enough. He calculated the information content of mycoplasma DNA to be about 160,000 bits, then added: Alternatively, this much DNA will code for about 600 proteins—which suggests that the logic of life can be written in 600 steps.

There was one more intriguing element to Morowitz’s plan: which doesn’t reveal much about what’s actually happening inside the cell. Teaching complete evolutionary stories increases learning. Public release date: 15-Jun-2013 [ Print | E-mail Share ] [ Close Window ] Contact: Tim Beardsleytbeardsley@aibs.org 703-674-2500 x326American Institute of Biological Sciences Many students have difficulty understanding and explaining how evolution operates. In search of better ways to teach the subject, researchers at Michigan State University developed complete evolutionary case studies spanning the gamut from the molecular changes underlying an evolving characteristic to their genetic consequences and effects in populations.

The results of the research, described in the July issue of BioScience, are significant because evolution is not usually taught in this comprehensive, soup-to-nuts way. White and his colleagues note that "surprisingly few" comprehensive evolutionary study systems have been described, although the number is growing. BioScience, published monthly, is the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS; [ Print | E-mail. Half the Facts You Know Are Probably Wrong. Dinosaurs were cold-blooded. Increased K-12 spending and lower pupil/teacher ratios boost public school student outcomes. Most of the DNA in the human genome is junk. Saccharin causes cancer and a high fiber diet prevents it. Stars cannot be bigger than 150 solar masses. In the past half-century, all of the foregoing facts have turned out to be wrong.

In the modern world facts change all of the time, according to Samuel Arbesman, author of the new book The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date (Current). Fact-making is speeding up, writes Arbesman, a senior scholar at the Kaufmann Foundation and an expert in scientometrics, the science of measuring and analyzing science. In 1947, the mathematician Derek J. de Solla Price was asked to store a complete set of The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society temporarily in his house.

In other words, half of what physicians thought they knew about liver diseases was wrong or obsolete 45 years later. Arens: GER 389K.1: Fundamentals of Scholarship. Description: This course is designed for beginning graduate students, to introduce the various branches of literary, linguistic, and cultural studies today, in the context of the national literatures and for comparative literature. The first section of the course focuses on today's professions of teaching and research in languages and literature; it introduces literary, linguistic, and cultural studies as professions and as areas of scholarship. Intertwined with this introduction of the major subject areas will be systematic work on bibliographic and reference sources, professional organizations, journals, and conferences.

The goal of this introduction is to aid students in developing efficient research strategies and to familiarize them with basic reference tools; students will work on evolving their own lists of professional tools as they go along. The second section of the course is an introduction institutions of higher education, and how they function and will affect your career. Arens: CL382: Kristeva and Žižek Read Lacan. 1968 Course - Fall 2008 | Texas Theory. It’s a Smart, Smart, Smart World. Human Intelligence: The Flynn Effect. This page is now located at an updated address. Please update your bookmarks! The new address is posted below. You will be redirected to the new page in 15 seconds or you can click the link below. The Flynn Effect Originally prepared by: Charles Graham (fall 2001)Revised: Jonathan Plucker (fall 2002) The Flynn Effect deals with the issue of how the general IQ scores of a population change over time.

Outline (back to top) Introduction How large are the IQ gains? Where is the IQ test data from? What are possible causes for the Flynn Effect? Why must IQ tests be constantly restandardized? Who has written about the Flynn Effect? Introduction (back to outline) In his study of IQ tests scores for different populations over the past sixty years, James R.

How large are the IQ gains? Research shows that IQ gains have been mixed for different countries. Fluid Intelligence Crystallized Intelligence Where is the IQ test data from? What are possible causes for the Flynn Effect? Deary, I. Books: None of the Above. Correction appended. One Saturday in November of 1984, James Flynn, a social scientist at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, received a large package in the mail. It was from a colleague in Utrecht, and it contained the results of I.Q. tests given to two generations of Dutch eighteen-year-olds. When Flynn looked through the data, he found something puzzling. The Dutch eighteen-year-olds from the nineteen-eighties scored better than those who took the same tests in the nineteen-fifties—and not just slightly better, much better.

Curious, Flynn sent out some letters. He collected intelligence-test results from Europe, from North America, from Asia, and from the developing world, until he had data for almost thirty countries. In every case, the story was pretty much the same. Flynn has been writing about the implications of his findings—now known as the Flynn effect—for almost twenty-five years. For almost as long as there have been I.Q. tests, there have been I.Q. fundamentalists. Race, IQ, and Wealth. 7.2 Metaphors of the Mind. Where Memes Really Come From. The Word Tree, an Interactive Visual Concordance. Lessness: Randomness, Consciousness and Meaning. Rectification of names. The Philosophy of Data. A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place to Be (Ursula K. Le Guin. Opinion: Open access aids science research - Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

A Brief History of Open Data. Pragmatism, Idealism and DeepDyve’s Five Minutes in Heaven | Information Culture. Gödel, Escher, Bach. Time Regained! by James Gleick. Physics: What We Do and Don’t Know by Steven Weinberg. Let’s Shake Up the Social Sciences. Defensive political science responds defensively to an attack on social science. Nick Brown Smelled Bull by Vinnie Rotondaro Narratively. The Magic Ratio That Wasn't - Percolator.

The Essayification of Everything. The legitimacy and usefulness of academic blogging will shape how intellectualism develops. The Question About Man. Information, Knowledge & Intelligence | Issue 98. 18 Complicated Scientific Ideas Explained Simply. Ten Hundred Words of Science. "Cargo Cult Science" - by Richard Feynman. 29 answers to the question 'What is a human being?' What is Science and Why Should We Care? Logos. A Brief History of Anti-Intellectualism in American Media. The state of our union is … dumber: How the linguistic standard of the presidential address has declined | World news. The Edinburgh Companion to the History of Democracy | Benjamin Isakhan. The Computer Delusion by Todd Oppenheimer. How Computerized Tutors Are Learning to Teach Humans.

Technology Affordances. Teaching Me Softly - Issue 6: Secret Codes.