ideonexus writes "While the decision has been a footnote in most news stories, the Washington Post is raising the question of what it means that Google can shutdown access to the anti-Islam film in countries where that film has sparked riots, something the American government cannot do thanks to our First Amendment. A popular meme in the Information Age is that the Internet spreads democracy by enabling citizens to organize and speak out, but we forget that much of that speech is now hosted by third-parties who are under no obligation to protect it." Link to Original Source top
ideonexus writes "Three members of the punk-rock band Pussy Riot will be sentenced Friday. The trio have spent five months in pretrial detention and face three to seven years in prison for 30 seconds of singing a "Punk Rock Prayer" in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour protesting Vladimir Putin's reelection. They chose to use their closing statements not to defend their actions, but to further register their protests against the state, its President, and the Russian Orthodox Church, which has called for divine retribution against the women. The trial has gained international attention and sparked a Free Pussy Riot movement." Link to Original Source top
ideonexus writes "Jill Tarter, the woman who inspired the fictional character Ellie Arroway in Carl Sagan's "Contact," is retiring as a SETI Astronomer after 35 years in order to focus entirely on raising funds to keep the SETI project operational, which employs 150 people and costs $2 million a year to operate, but had to shut down for several months in 2011 due to budget problems." Link to Original Source top
ideonexus writes "NFL Linebacker Junior Seau's suicide this week bares a striking similarity to NFL Safety Dave Duerson's suicide last year, who shot himself in the chest so that doctors could study his brain, where they found the same chronic traumatic encephalopathy that has been found in the brains of 20 other dead football players. Malcom Gladwell stirred up controversy in 2009 by comparing professional football to dog fighting for the trauma the game inflicts on players' brains, but with mounting evidence that the repeated concussions football players recieve during their careers causing a lifetime of brain problems, it raises serious concerns about America's most popular sport and ethical questions for its fanbase." Link to Original Source top
Brown University Prof: Economists are Social Scientists
ideonexus writes "Controversial or insightful? Glenn Loury, an economist at Brown University, laments that economists arrogantly pretend to have empirical mathematical certainty on their side but are actually merely glorified social scientists." Link to Original Source top
The Addictive Potential of Brain Hacking with tDCS
ideonexus writes "Benjamin Jackson has published a summary in the Atlantic of an article to soon be published in the Kickstarter-funded journal Distance concerning the psychological strategy employed by social game makers like Zynga. Games like Angry Birds and Farmville use Pavlovian conditioning to turn human beings into rats in a Skinner box, pushing the button over and over again to get that little dopamine fix from our brains as we earn fake rewards. We have a finite amount of time in this life. If we want to spend it on games, then those games should be creative, challenging, and force us to grow, like Portal, Civilization, Magic the Gathering, Robo Rally, or Memrise." Link to Original Source top
ideonexus writes "Qatar has just wrapped up the third season of the reality show "Stars of Science, where innovators in the Middle East compete to have their inventions funded along the same lines as the American shows "Survivor" and "Project Runway." Wired has a write-up about the show and the drama the Arab Spring has brought on the contestants as well as how some of the more conservative contestants balanced socializing with a female contestant in the latest season. It's easy to forget that while Western Civilization was mired in the millennium-long dark ages, the Middle East was inventing Algebra, optics, and the Scientific Method before the region fell into its own dark ages of religious fundamentalism. Could this be the spark of a European-style Era of Enlightenment for the region?" Link to Original Source top
ideonexus writes "Once upon a time, newspapers were considered the "first draft of history." Today, rather than the daily episodic updates of major news stories developing a narrative over time, we have a perpetual stream of factoids from which a story emerges. Lauren Rabaino of mediabistro details this new lifecycle of a newspaper story, from tweets to blog posts to an eventual print edition, and asks What are the best standards of practice? Should news sources provide a single web address with a stream of updates, post new blog entries that link to older ones, or should they adopt a Wiki approach to the news--revising a single story with a history of revisions available behind the scenes?" Link to Original Source top
ideonexus writes "Previous studies have shown a correlation between people who have more friends on Facebook and increased grey matter in their brains, but there remained a question of whether social networking promoted the growth or if people with expanded regions were better at social networking. A new study in Science using 23 macaques assigned to social groups of varying numbers found "monkeys in the larger groups had more gray matterin brain areas linked to processing social information. " Sciam Blogger Eric Michael Johnson has an insightful write-up on this research in the context of historical primate studies and asks whether "online technology has allowed some individuals to express (and expand) a form of social behavior that emerged for other adaptive reasons but which has been underutilized until now?"" Link to Original Source
Thoughts on Time's POY 2010 Article on Mark Zuckerberg
ideonexus writes | more than 3 years ago
This article had its ups and downs, mostly downs. Here's my thoughts...
"There are other people who can write code as well as Zuckerberg â" not many, but some â""
If the Time profile of Zuckerberg is acurate, then I think even he would be offended by this statement.
"Websites entreat you to log onto them using your Facebook ID â" the New York Times does, and so do Myspace and YouTube."
Hmmm... So does Time. Great job on the full disclosure principle there.
"Right now the Internet is like an empty wasteland: you wander from page to page, and no one is there but you."
Right, because all World Wide Web content is produced by robots.
Facebook wants to populate the wilderness, tame the howling mob and turn the lonely, antisocial world of random chance into a friendly world, a serendipitous world. You'll be working and living inside a network of people, and you'll never have to be alone again. The Internet, and the whole world, will feel more like a family, or a college dorm, or an office where your co-workers are also your best friends.
It'll be a wonderful land of lollypops and puppies and kittens! Privacy concerns? No worries:
"If "liking" an ad the same way you "like" a news article or a photo of your spouse seems creepy to you â" it's more or less the definition of what Marx called commodity fetishism â" you don't have to do it."
If you have privacy concerns, then GO BACK TO YOUR COLD LONELY INTERNET COMMIE!!!
"Zuckerberg has a talent for understanding how people work, but one urge, the urge to conceal, seems to be foreign to him. Sometimes Facebook makes it harder than it should be. It is biased in favor of sharing. That is, after all, what Facebook is for."
Facebook isn't leaking your personal information to make money, they're doing it because they genuinely misunderstand why people need to keep some things private. Why do you have a problem with this? What's wrong with you? Do you have some secret perverse sexual fetish? Are you performing criminal activities? When did you stop beating your wife?
I did like this thoughtful paragraph:
But what makes life complicated in the postmodern technocratic aquarium we're collectively building is that there actually are good reasons to want to hide things. Just because you present a different face to your co-workers and your family doesn't mean you're leading a double life. That's just normal social functioning, psychology as usual. Identity isn't a simple thing; it's complex and dynamic and fluid. It needs to flex a little, the way a skyscraper does in a high wind, and your Facebook profile isn't built to flex.
But then it goes to the other extreme of The Social Network's Gonna make you demented:
An article published earlier this year in European Psychiatry presented the case of a woman who lost her job to a Facebook addiction, and the authors suggested that it could become an actual diagnosable ailment. (The woman in question couldn't even make it through an examination without checking Facebook on her phone.) Facebook is supposed to build empathy, but since 2000, Americans have scored higher and higher on psychological tests designed to detect narcissism, and psychologists have suggested a link to social networking.
I do totally dig this quote, which mirrors my opinion of twitter:
Now Facebook is the bottle, and we're the genie. How small are we willing to make ourselves to fit inside?
What a journalist rollercoaster! The article was all over the place, but it does give me a more favorable opinion of Zuckerberg, a less favorable opinion of Facebook, lots of concerns about adapting myself to the social network instead of it adapting to me, and now, if you'll excuse me, I must go break this comment down into 50+ tweets.