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Yohan John
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" By this strange route, physics became revolutionized through the analogy with statistical laws of society."

Read this article if you're curious about the quote above, or any of the following: "rationality", cognitive fallacies/illusions, the history/philosophy of probability, and the unexpectedly close relationship between psychology and probability.

<<In the first part, drawing on recent work in the history of probability, I will show that the distinction between single-event probabilities and frequencies was dependent on theories of mind: the meaning of probability changed when theories of mind changed. In the second part, drawing on recent experimental work, I will show that apparently stable cognitive illusions are dependent on the distinction between single-event probabilities and frequencies: cognitive illusions disappear when single-event probabilities are changed into frequencies. Thus, I argue that the distinction between single-event probabilities and frequencies is not just the province of philosophers and mathematicians, but of direct relevance for psychology, and vice versa.>>

Why the distinction between single-event probabilities and frequencies is important for psychology (and vice versa)

#science   #psychology   #probability #statistics #stats #Bayesian #frequentist   #math #mathematics #cogsci  

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The question: What are the chances that we will discover how to upload our minds onto computers?

My answer: Zero (or NaN).

My apologies to any techno-utopians or sci-fi devotees who feel offended.  ;)

There's also an addendum on probability theory, because the notion of "chance" here is deeply problematic.

#science   #neuroscience   #philosophy   #technoutopianism   #scifi   #SF #mind #philosophy #technology   #future   #futuretech   #consciousness  

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"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice," says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs," says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.

#neuroscience   #science  #genetics #epigenetics #mindfulness #meditation #stress

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Interesting article that touches on how the ideology of individualism blinded many biologists to symbiosis.

Apparently constrained by his culture’s prevailing individualist perspective, Geddes never fully articulated a theory of symbiotic-driven speciation, nor did any other Western European or American scientists for another two generations.

If an evolutionary theory featuring symbiotic-driven speciation was to emerge, then it would likely do so outside Western Europe and North America. In fact, by 1910 Russian biologists had raced ahead with the idea of symbiotic-driven speciation. In that year enough relevant evidence had accumulated in the Russian scientific community for the botanist Constantin Merezhkowsky to create a new evolutionary term: symbiogenesis. He declared that the term aptly described “the origin of organisms by the combination or by the association of two or several beings which enter into symbiosis.”

#science #evolution #biology #competition #cooperation #symbiosis  

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A very interesting discussion on the importance of choice of color map in data visualizations. The wrong color choice can give misleading impressions about the data.;utm_source=pulsenews

#science #engineering #data #bigdata #infographics #visualization 

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When it comes to evolution, there is no such thing as perfection. Even in the simple, unchanging environment of a laboratory flask, bacteria never stop making small tweaks to improve their fitness.

That's the conclusion of the longest-running evolutionary experiment carried out in a lab.


That undermines one of the favourite metaphors of evolutionary biology, which sees species evolving towards peaks of fitness in a landscape of possibilities. In the real world, species live in ever-changing environments. "What this result says is that there are even more ways of adapting to environments than we imagined," says John Thompson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

#biology #evolution #science

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"There is an old New Yorker cartoon of a wine factory in California. The director says to some visitors to the factory, “We used to employ humans to press wine, but now we use up-to-date methods. ” In the background, you see a huge mechanical foot going up and down. To my mind that’s the present state of the art in AI"

Gian-Carlo Rota, in an interview from 1985.


##artificialintelligence #neuroscience #ai  

How long before people start marketing candles that smell like your worst fears?

*Sleep aromatherapy curbs conditioned fear*

#neuroscience   #emotion   #science  

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The view from nowhere is also a view from no-when.

#physics #science #time
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