If elephants aren’t persons yet, could they be one day? Have you ever stood in a field full of cows? It’s obvious that they’re aware of one another, but in a minimal kind of way. They tend to stay loosely clumped together as they graze, and they don’t deliberately knock into other members of the herd. Shouting gets their attention, but it tends to elicit a flickering inspection at most, which subsides into cud-munching indifference when they realise you represent neither a threat nor a treat. Stand or walk among a herd of elephants, however, and you’ll appreciate how different the experience is. What’s the significance of this contrast? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that elephants currently express the full range of personal and creative capacities that humans do. However, if elephants do have all the raw mental material it takes to be persons, a time could come in the near future when we might draw them into a more expansive kind of personhood. Updates on everything new at Aeon. How did the older bulls exert this control?
Study suggests physical changes to the brain due to learning happen differently than thought A team of researchers from the University of Tübingen and the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, both in Germany, has found evidence that suggests new-learning plasticity of the brain occurs faster than has been previously thought—and in different ways. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their study of the brain using a less well-known kind of MRI. Yaniv Assaf from Tel Aviv University has written a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. Prior research has suggested that learning is progressive—as people absorb new information, it is stored in physical locations in the brain that already exist. To learn more about what happens physically in the brain when a person is learning something new, the researchers studied volunteers with diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI). Explore further: Better connectivity of brain regions with training More information: S.
The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates This story was co-published with NPR’s Shots blog. The box of prescription drugs had been forgotten in a back closet of a retail pharmacy for so long that some of the pills predated the 1969 moon landing. Most were 30 to 40 years past their expiration dates — possibly toxic, probably worthless. But to Lee Cantrell, who helps run the California Poison Control System, the cache was an opportunity to answer an enduring question about the actual shelf life of drugs: Could these drugs from the bell-bottom era still be potent? Cantrell called Roy Gerona, a University of California, San Francisco, researcher who specializes in analyzing chemicals. “This was very cool,” Gerona says. The age of the drugs might have been bizarre, but the question the researchers wanted to answer wasn’t. Gerona and Cantrell, a pharmacist and toxicologist, knew that the term “expiration date” was a misnomer. ProPublica has been researching why the U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the world.
The Love Books of Ovid: The Art of Love: Book I IF there be anyone among you who is ignorant of the art of loving, let him read this poem and, having read it and acquired the knowledge it contains, let him address himself to Love. By art the swift ships are propelled with sail and oar; there is art in driving the fleet chariots, and Love should by art be guided. Automedon was a skilled charioteer and knew how to handle the flowing reins; Tiphys was the pilot of the good ship Argo. I have been appointed by Venus as tutor to tender Love. p. 98 I shall not try, O Apollo, to convey the notion that it was from thee I learned the art which I impart; no birds came and sang it in my ear. Hence, ye narrow frontlets, insignia of chastity, and ye trailing robes that half conceal the feet. You, who for the first time are taking up arms beneath the standard of Venus, find out, in the first place, the woman you are fain to love. p. 99 gathers within her own bosom all the treasures that the world can show. p. 100 cause. Click to enlarge p. 101 p. 102
Does Your Language Influence How You Think? Last November, I ran an episode on the myth that the Inuit language has a surprisingly large number of words for “snow.” I talked about how this myth is one example of a widely debunked idea called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, named after the linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf. This hypothesis claims that the language you speak determines the way you think, or at least influences it. This hypothesis is also sometimes called linguistic relativity. Here’s one of the arguments against the idea of linguistic relativity that I summarized in that episode. [M]ultiple languages have just one word that covers both the color blue and the color green. However, I recently read an article in “Smithsonian” magazine that seemed to challenge this view. So which is it? What kind of mind-blowing influence are we talking about that isn’t actually real? Now, on to some aspects of language where people have done research to test the idea of linguistic relativity.
Sustainability Ever since the writing of Thomas Malthus in the early 1800s, and especially since Paul Ehrlich’s publication of “The Population Bomb” in 1968, there has been a lot of learned skull-scratching over what the sustainable human population of Planet Earth might “really” be over the long haul. This question is intrinsically tied to the issue of ecological overshoot so ably described by William R. Catton Jr. in his 1980 book “Overshoot:The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change”. This article outlines my current thoughts on carrying capacity and overshoot, and presents six estimates for the size of a sustainable human population. “Carrying capacity” is a well-known ecological term that has an obvious and fairly intuitive meaning: “The maximum population size of a species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water and other necessities available in the environment." The problem with that view is that every objective indicator of overshoot is flashing red. Urk!
undefined Abstract Theories of choice from economics and philosophy suggest information requirements for good choices. In view of these requirements, we can see why current menus lead toward regrettable and isolating choices. Contents Introduction Human choicemaking Searching for OptionsSearch costs and desperate choices.Information Requirements The role of the device.IdentityOur values, our choices, our selves. Repairing individual choicemaking Visible PromisesWhat do we hope for when we click? Beyond individual choicemaking Social ChoicesChoices are rarely for ourselves.Best-Outcome EconomiesConsequences for business and society. Introduction Much of our daily lives are structured by menus. We can ask, then, what are the responsibilities of menu-makers? This essay focus on one key responsibility: to present options on-screen in a manner that is free from bias and manipulation. Hidden costs. What if time costs were estimated for everything? False promises. Human choicemaking Searching for Options Identity
A Neural Code That Predicts Behavior Greater activation of neurons on one side of the superior colliculus versus the other signals the detection of a relevant event. Credit: James Herman, Ph.D., NEI Scientists at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have found that neurons in the superior colliculus, an ancient midbrain structure found in all vertebrates, are key players in allowing us to detect visual objects and events. This structure doesn’t help us recognize what the specific object or event is; instead, it’s the part of the brain that decides something is there at all. By comparing brain activity recorded from the right and left superior colliculi at the same time, the researchers were able to predict whether an animal was seeing an event. Perceiving objects in our environment requires not just the eyes, but also the brain’s ability to filter information, classify it, and then understand or decide that an object is actually there. This article has been republished from materials provided by NIH.
The Impending Curtailment of Conventional Oil and the Total Resource Curtailment In a previous post titled "The Soft Belly of the Oil Industry", I mentioning the impending unlocking of numerous negative feedbacks affecting the oil industry. I argued that the gradual increase of production costs, the need of reducing emissions, the weakened demand created by the electrification of transport, and more were going to take the industry on a ride along the "Seneca Cliff." Here, Geoffrey Chia goes beyond that, arguing that the negative feedbacks generated by a collapsing oil industry will affect the whole economic system. It may be pessimistic as an interpretation, but it is a perfectly possible chain of events. Why the impending curtailment of Conventional Oil will lead to Total Energy curtailment and Total Resource curtailment by Geoffrey Chia, January 2018 Outside of Medicine I am an expert in nothing*. I have written and talked much about the imminent catastrophic curtailment of net conventional oil and why unconventional oils are a fraudulent mirage. G.
ZEN BUDDHISM | Buddhist Principles | The Eightfold Path Buddha laid down the eightfold path for his followers and enunciated that by following this path, they could put an end to their suffering. This eightfold path, as laid down by Buddha, helps an individual attain the state of Nirvana by freeing him from attachments and delusions and thereby helping him understand the innate truth of all things. This path, therefore, helps a person with his ethical and mental growth and development. Buddha laid great emphasis on implementing the teachings since a higher level or existence can be attained only by putting translating thoughts into actions. The eightfold path suggested by Buddha involves adherence to: 1. By right view, Buddha means seeing things in the right perspective. 2. Buddha says that we are what we are because of what we think. 3. Buddha asks his followers to speak truth, to avoid slander and malicious gossip and to refrain from abusive language. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Next: The middle way Please share:
Astrocytes Show Unexpected Role in Brain Plasticity Astrocytes are the main cell type in the brain producing Chrdl1. Through a technique called fluorescence in situ hybridization, the RNA of different proteins is tagged with fluorescent labels. In the image, Chrdl1 is in red, astrocytes in cyan (teal) and neurons in dark blue, in the upper layers of the mouse visual cortex. When we’re born, our brains have a great deal of flexibility. In a study published October 18, 2018 in Neuron, a team from the Salk Institute has shown that astrocytes—long-overlooked supportive cells in the brain—help to enable the brain’s plasticity, a new role for astrocytes that was not previously known. “We knew from our previous work that astrocytes are important for the development of the brain; however, we knew very little about the role of astrocytes in the adult brain,” says Nicola Allen, assistant professor and the study’s senior author. This article has been republished from materials provided by the Salk Institute. Reference: Blanco-Suarez, E., Liu, T.
Quelques liens et références pour découvrir la collapsologie – Journal d'un jeune écologiste Voir une liste non-exhaustive de personnalités d’articles, de vidéos, de livres, de sites web… traitant de l’effondrement de notre civilisation thermo-industrielle.Merci à Marielle Roger, membre du gfoupe Facebook Transition2030, d’avoir initié cette liste.La collapsologie est « l’exercice transdisciplinaire d’étude de l’effondrement de notre civilisation industrielle et de ce qui pourrait lui succéder, en s’appuyant sur les deux modes cognitifs que sont la raison et l’intuition et sur des travaux scientifiques reconnus » (Servigne & Stevens, 2015). Yves Cochet, mathématicien , ancien ministre de l’Environnement et député européen Tribune : De la fin d’un monde à la renaissance en 2050 – Libération, août 2017 Interview NEXT web série documentaire (épisode 5), 21 novembre 2017 « Et si tout s’effondrait ?» Gaël Giraud, Economiste en chef de l’AFD Divers Sites internet