Dubious Kurzweil prediction

I really, really, doubt that this is as simple as merely uploading the brain. I do not believe we’re just our thought patterns anymore than we’re just our skeleton. Or our genitals. Actually, if we’re anything, I’d say we’re our genitals because it certainly seems like everything else is there to make sure those get used. If Google can upload our genitals then I’ll go with the rest of our mind being there, too.


Interesting debate at Facts & Other Stubborn Things

If one has an interest in economics and philosophy this is an interesting series of exchanges between Daniel Kuehn and David Friedman. Unlike many such exchanges I’ve read, (in much the same spirit as one compelled to keep viewing a train wreck) this has not devolved into something less. Instead, it’s actually become something more, and is exploring an idea. I’m going to have to think about some stuff a bit, but…worth the read if you’re, like me, still looking to distract yourself from other pressing issues.



Understanding why the magic works with Penn & Teller

I found this link, https://peerj.com/articles/19/ whilst perusing Nat Torkington’s Four Short Links. Granted, it’s way beyond my usual wondering, “How do dey do dat?” But if you’re interested in a lot more detail on the Cups and Balls trick? Here ya’ go!

Robert Cotrell shares some great links

Robert Cotrell shares some great links

A short composition that is worth the reading for the links, alone, but worth the read for its own sake, too.

Brain Pickings R-O-C-K-S!

I don’t know how I haven’t come across this site before, Brain Pickings is one of the best sites I’ve seen in a long while! I’m really surprised I’ve not seen someone link to it prior to now. I gotta’ say this is my new must-read site. I’ll probably be looking through that one and considering even donating to the site. If you’ve not checked out this one before, I really recommend it. 3QuarksDaily linked the article from NYTimes.

Structural Similarities of Objections to Nate Silver and Global Warming from RealClimate

I found this article at Realclimate that does an excellent job of depicting the idea that if people don’t want to hear something? They won’t. Nate Silver, in case you live in America but also live in a hole, has the 538 Blog where he does election predictions based upon polling results. He wasn’t the only one predicting a victory for President Obama, to be sure, but he attracted the most negative attention from, largely, conservative commentators. As Gavin Schmidt introduced it, the type of criticisms were eerily reminiscent:

Does this sound familiar? A quantitative prediction is inconvenient for some heavily invested folks. Legitimate questions about methodology morph quickly into accusations that the researchers have put their thumb on the scale and that they are simply making their awkward predictions to feather their own nest. Others loudly proclaim that the methodology could never work and imply that anyone who knows anything knows that -it’s simply common sense! Audit sites spring up to re-process the raw data and produce predictions more to the liking of their audience. People who have actually championed the methods being used, and so really should know better, indulge in some obvious wish-casting (i.e. forecasting what you would like to be true, despite the absence of any evidence to support it).

Yes, I should probably say I’m one of those horribly maladjusted people who tend to think the case for human influence upon the climate is a reasonable conclusion. So, yes, I tend to enjoy reading RealClimate. Oh, I also go to Anthony Watts’ WUWT to see what objections are being raised against whatever new paper comes out in support of AGW. (I’d type anthropogenic, but I’d only strain myself; I can only handle so many polysyllabics each day.) In fairness to Watts, he does have an active site with many contributors, and I would encourage people to check out both. I happen to think RealClimate is more correct in its conclusions and observations, though. And I think Schmidt has made a very good point about the analogous nature of the two camps of objections in response to the source of their ire.

OMNI magazine at Internet Archive!

I loved OMNI as a kid! I wasn’t usually able to get a hold of an issue but…I always browsed through it at the magazine rack. Someone posted that the Internet Archive had the complete run of OMNI magazine and yeah! It’s true 🙂

Liu Bolin

The Smithsonian had this small collection of photos by Liu Bolin. I’d never encountered his work before, but was impressed. Worth a peek if you have a minute.

TED Talk by Amy Cuddy

She did ask to share this one out. It’s a good piece with some information that might help.

Fireside #7

I turned off my monitor and just listened to Roosevelt speak. That experience alone was interesting but to go through the transcript of the chat and examine how Roosevelt put the information together? This is some good, persuasive writing well worth examining for its own sake, and not just historical interest.

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