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"Cargo Cult Science" - by Richard Feynman

"Cargo Cult Science" - by Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman From a Caltech commencement address given in 1974 Also in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas--which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn't work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science. But even today I meet lots of people who sooner or later get me into a conversation about UFO's, or astrology, or some form of mysticism, expanded consciousness, new types of awareness, ESP, and so forth. Most people believe so many wonderful things that I decided to investigate why they did. At Esalen there are some large baths fed by hot springs situated on a ledge about thirty feet above the ocean. One time I sat down in a bath where there was a beautiful girl sitting with a guy who didn't seem to know her. Yet these things are said to be scientific.

Related:  Information, Knowledge, Epistemology, Languagekarthikkrishnamoorthy

Opinion: Open access aids science research - Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner No one likes paying for the same thing twice. This holds true for federally funded scientific research. For years, scholarly journals have relied on taxpayers paying for research on the front end and access to the results on the back. It is past time to embrace an open access policy for scientific research. In fiscal year 2012, Washington spent nearly $139 billion of taxpayer money on federal research and development activities — a significant investment in the age of record deficits, growing debt and an ill-advised sequester.

Facebook AI Director Yann LeCun on His Quest to Unleash Deep Learning and Make Machines Smarter Artificial intelligence has gone through some dismal periods, which those in the field gloomily refer to as “AI winters.” This is not one of those times; in fact, AI is so hot right now that tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, Baidu, and Microsoft are battling for the leading minds in the field. The current excitement about AI stems, in great part, from groundbreaking advances involving what are known as “convolutional neural networks.” This machine learning technique promises dramatic improvements in things like computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. You probably have heard of it by its more layperson-friendly name: “Deep Learning.”

Eric Weinstein may have found the answer to physics' biggest problems Two years ago, a mathematician and physicist whom I've known for more than 20 years arranged to meet me in a bar in New York. What he was about to show me, he explained, were ideas that he'd been working on for the past two decades. As he took me through the equations he had been formulating I began to see emerging before my eyes potential answers for many of the major problems in physics. It was an extremely exciting, daring proposal, but also mathematically so natural that one could not but feel that it smelled right. The Case for Parallel Universes Editor's note: In the August issue of Scientific American, cosmologist George Ellis describes why he's skeptical about the concept of parallel universes. Here, multiverse proponents Alexander Vilenkin and Max Tegmark offer counterpoints, explaining why the multiverse would account for so many features of our universe—and how it might be tested. Welcome to the Multiverse By Alexander Vilenkin

Lessness: Randomness, Consciousness and Meaning Elizabeth Drew and Mads Haahr This paper was presented at the 4th International CAiiA-STAR Research Conference ‘Consciousness Reframed’ in Perth, Australia, 1-4 August 2002. A PDF version is also available. Recently I had a conversation Recently I had a conversation with someone near and dear to me when I verbalized a bunch of ideas about social media that I had apparently been dwelling on. They were thought provoking. Here are my observations... Car Lease Takeover - Lease Transfer - How does it work? What is a car lease takeover or lease transfer? How does it work? In a tough economy, automotive consumers look for affordable ways to drive the cars they need and want. Lease takeovers, or lease transfers, are increasingly providing the ideal answer for many of these consumers. Although lease transfers have been around for years, it has now become the hottest new way to acquire a late model automobile at the lowest possible cost. Here's how a car lease takeover works Someone who is currently leasing a car wants out of their lease.

Astronomy Without A Telescope – Star Formation Laws Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter NGC 1569 - a relatively close (11 million light years) starburst galaxy - presumably the result of some fairly efficient star formation processes. Credit: NASA/HST. Take a cloud of molecular hydrogen add some turbulence and you get star formation – that’s the law. The efficiency of star formation (how big and how populous they get) is largely a function of the density of the initial cloud.

Gödel, Escher, Bach Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (commonly GEB) is a book by Douglas Hofstadter, described by the author as "a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll".[1] On its surface, GEB examines logician Kurt Gödel, artist M. C. Dialogues of Plato Sacred Texts Classics Plato, the greatest philosopher of ancient Greece, was born in Athens in 428 or 427 B.C.E. to an aristocratic family. He studied under Socrates, who appears as a character in many of his dialogues. He attended Socrates' trial and that traumatic experience may have led to his attempt to design an ideal society. Following the death of Socrates he travelled widely in search of learning. After twelve years he returned to Athens and founded his Academy, one of the earliest organized schools in western civilization.