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Trent Fowler
Lives in South Korea
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Trent Fowler

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I'd heard that Ashkenazi jews tend to be unusually intelligent, but, if these numbers are correct, the discrepancy between their IQ/achievement and that of other groups is much bigger than I'd been aware of. This article lays out twenty possible explanations for the cognitive boost:

http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/pellissier20130620?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EthicalTechnology+Ethical+Technology#When:11:30:00Z
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Trent Fowler

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Living in a foreign country produces no shortage of insights into language, but yesterday I had an especially strong peek into how inscrutable the whole process is. My boss, who has a near-comprehensive knowledge of English grammar, was preparing for one of our most advanced classes. She kept bursting into the office with her huge book filled with tiny little notes, and she would lay out sentences like this:

"The doctor told me I might/may/can/could/must/should take these pills."

Invariably she was confused by something the answer key was saying which didn't seem right. What she wanted me to do was explain my answers to her using words like "subjunctive", but I wasn't able to. Instead I just said the sentences out loud and told her which ones felt correct to me. At one point I overturned a rule she had been taught by professors as grammatical dogma, much to her frustration. 

Then it hit me: I'm an English language oracle. More generally, native speakers are oracles for their respective native language. 

You can read here for some discussion of what an oracle is and an application of the idea to linguistics:

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=1729

Of note however is how much I learned from the process as well. Not until I had to explain to a non-native speaker did I realize that, say, 'may' and 'might' are subtly different because 'might' is almost never used to grant permission, or how much more forceful the word 'must' feels compared to the word 'should'. 

What is this sort of thing called? Cognitive science of language? Neurolinguistics?
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Today marks the beginning of the journey of Drew Jacob, self-fashioned priest of many gods and professional adventurer.  His goal is to walk two continents, from North to South America, helping as many people as he can along the way.  Not content to dream big, he also chases down his aspirations, actively crafting his own future.  I have much respect for him.  
So this is it. Nearly a year ago I changed my life forever. I quit a happy job for the sake of a difficult dream. I left behind a promising and realistic future to seek something strange and rare. ......
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If this is robust, I guess I'm leveling up my rationality: 

http://bigthink.com/Mind-Matters/study-decisions-made-in-a-foreign-language-are-more-rational
Struggling with a foreign language is practically the definition of mental strain: what is the word for "screwdriver" again? did I produce that "ĥ" sound correctly? are they laughing with me or at me?...
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I recently found "Eliezer Yudkowsky Facts" over at Less Wrong and found it absolutely hilarious.

http://lesswrong.com/lw/4g/eliezer_yudkowsky_facts/


Personal favorites include the one about the Swiss Army Knife and the one about how Eliezer has mastered the art of "duction". The one about the Aztec god Aixitl took me a second (HINT: it might help if you read it as AIXItl).
Eliezer Yudkowsky was once attacked by a Moebius strip. He beat it to death with the other side, non-violently. Inside Eliezer Yudkowsky's pineal gland is not an immortal soul, but another brain. Elie...
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Trent Fowler

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http://fora.tv/2012/10/13/Luke_Muehlhauser_The_Singularity_Promise_and_Peril

A fantastic summary of what might happen after the invention of greater-than-human intelligences. It's true that many AI researchers in decades past made rash and optimistic predictions which have since made promoting these ideas difficult. If you pay attention, however, you'll notice that the machines are catching up to us. This goes far beyond the well-known victory of Deep Blue over Kasparov; AI's have now designed and executed original hypothesis, made new scientific discoveries, beaten human players of Jeopardy, diagnosed breast cancer better than human doctors, and written their own symphonies. 

Extrapolating a bit, I can't see any reason to think that this trend will stop. Today human social intelligence and moral reasoning seem like they'll forever be beyond the purview of machines, but the day may well come when AIs prove better at making small talk and evenly dispensing justice than any human. 

Still, enormous challenges loom ahead, and the price for failure could well be existential in scale. 
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http://bigthink.com/think-tank/seeing-sound-tasting-color-synesthesia

Mine has always been very visual. Sounds, letters, ideas, and tastes often present themselves with colors, textures, shapes, and sizes when I think about them. I don't experience synesthesia out-in-the-world, only in my head. In other words, when I read a book the letters on the page don't have any color, but if I think about a letter, or listen to a song, very often it'll have a color or a size. This happens most strongly with music, generally speaking. But I also remember that I almost got in trouble around the age of 3 or so because I was explaining to an older girl what size and shape various swear words were. 

This also seems to be rooted pretty deeply in my thought process. It's very difficult to watch your own mind think, but I've noticed that a small percentage of my thought is a stream of incomplete sentences and a bigger part is images related to those sentences. Another significant chunk, however, is just weird shapes moving and changing and banging into each other. I might be trying to think about something like "justice" or "anarchy" or "rationality", and what I see is a strange chalky prism morphing into a sphere and then shooting off to the right, leaving a colorful trail of liquid smoke. It doesn't make any sense, but I just somehow know that what I'm seeing is a thought related to justice. 

It's like the machine language of my mind is a polychromatic rainbow, and there is a synesthetic compiler in my unconscious which has to paint speech and thoughts before my brain can do anything with them. 

So remember that next time we're talking about something face-to-face. My sentences and thoughts may come out articulate and orderly, but between my ears it most likely looks like what would happen if Jimi Hendrix, Walt Disney, and Wassily Kandisky took LSD for a week and then were locked in a room with painting supplies, the collected works of Euclid, and high-end computer software after being instructed to make a video game together.
What's the Big Idea? On a late winter day in 1922, the sound of a gun shot resounded with a loud boom in the hills surrounding the house of three-year-old Edgar Curtis. The sound itself wasn't out of ...
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Trent Fowler

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David Eagleman is trying to pry open your umwelt.  It's not as dirty as it sounds:

David Eagleman: Welcome to Your Future Brain
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Tesla could well be the biggest badass you've never heard of:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla
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Have him in circles
40 people
Vanessa Pruitt's profile photo
Laura Harpool's profile photo
Young Do Park's profile photo
Christina Summers's profile photo
Roger Eveland's profile photo
Michael Newman's profile photo
Angela Moore's profile photo
Rebecca Benoit's profile photo
Timothy Nichols's profile photo
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South Korea
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Gyeryong
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Introduction
My name is Trent.  I'm a recent college graduate with interests in music, history, philosophy, psychology, writing, internet marketing, Libertarianism, consciousness, religion, and technology, among other things.  

My degree is in psychology.  I play the guitar.

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