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Adam Zielinski
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It's nice to have you folks in my circles, but I don't necessarily want to see what you +1.  If you spam me with what you +1 then you'll be muted or removed from circles.

It's very easy to turn off the feature that announces it to everybody that you just pressed +1 button.
You can find the simple guide on how to do it here: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1047397?hl=en "Choose who can see your +1's on Google+ posts" position.

Really - it's easy, it's what you should do. You don't want to be a spammer, you don't want to say 'fuck you, unfollow me if you mind what I spam".

Honestly, turn that thing off, don't be a spammer, don't send others crap they don't want to see.

If it's not important enough for you to reshare it - it's not important enough for me to read it. It's THAT simple.

Be reasonable, be civil, be polite - DO NOT LITTER G+!

Thank you in advance.

PS. Those of you who refuse to do it please give me a shout (+1 os OK)

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Because for humans everything can be addictive. Internet, sex, chocolate...
Engineering vs Willpower

With greater technological education, people are less susceptible to distraction, and can procrastinate with less guilt.

"Tech companies have the smartest statisticians and computer scientists, whose job it is to break your willpower."

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So should individuals be blamed for having poor self-control? To a point, yes. Personal responsibility matters. But it’s important to realise that many websites and other digital tools have been engineered specifically to elicit compulsive behaviour. In short, it’s not exactly a fair fight.

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[ B F Skinner's World ]

When I go online, I feel like one of B F Skinner’s white Carneaux pigeons. Those pigeons spent the pivotal hours of their lives in boxes, obsessively pecking small pieces of Plexiglas. In doing so, they helped Skinner, a psychology researcher at Harvard, map certain behavioural principles that apply, with eerie precision, to the design of 21st‑century digital experiences.

[ Training Animals ]

Skinner trained his birds to earn food by tapping the Plexiglas. In some scenarios, the pigeons got food every time they pecked. In other arrangements, Skinner set timed intervals between each reward. After the pigeon got food, the system stopped dispensing treats for, say, 60 seconds. Once that period had elapsed, if the bird pecked, it got another payday.

[ Variable Rewards ]

The pigeons never quite mastered the timing, but they got close. Skinner would randomly vary the intervals between food availability. One time there’d be food available again in 60 seconds. The next, it might be after five seconds, or 50 seconds, or 200 seconds. Under these unstable conditions, the pigeons went nuts. They’d peck and peck. One pigeon hit the Plexiglas 2.5 times per second for 16 hours. Another tapped 87,000 times over the course of 14 hours, getting a reward less than 1 per cent of the time.

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[ Variable Digital Rewards ]

So? Well, here’s a simple illustration of how Skinner’s pigeon research applies to contemporary digital life. I’ve picked a hypothetical example: let’s call him Michael S, a journalist.

Sending and receiving emails are important parts of his job. On average, he gets an email every 45 minutes. Sometimes, the interval between emails is only two minutes. Other times, it’s three hours. Although many of these emails are unimportant or stress-inducing, some of them are fun. Before long, whenever Michael S has an internet connection, he starts refreshing his email inbox every 30 minutes, and then every five minutes and then, occasionally, every two minutes. Before long, it’s a compulsive tic – the pecking pigeon of web usage.

[ Control vs Context ]

Should we blame Michael S for wasting hours of his life hitting a small button? We could. He does have poor self-control, and he chose a profession in which email is an important form of communication.

Then again, would we blame Skinner’s pigeons, stuck in a box, pecking away until they get their grains and hemp seeds, while a pioneering researcher plumbs the glitches in their brains? Who’s in charge, really, of this whole scenario? The pigeons? Or Skinner, who designed the box in the first place?

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Recommended long read...

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Philosophy and Diversity

Western philosophy is as intellectual lineage based on Greco-Roman tradition – but it used to be more cosmopolitan.

"Mainstream philosophy in the so-called West is narrow-minded, unimaginative, and even xenophobic. I know I am levelling a serious charge."

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Chinese philosophy is only one of a substantial number of less commonly taught philosophies that are largely ignored by US philosophy departments, including African, Indian, and Indigenous philosophies.

Many forms of philosophy that are deeply influenced by the Greco-Roman tradition (easy to incorporate into the curriculum) are also ignored in mainstream departments, including African-American, Christian, feminist, Islamic, Jewish, Latin American, and LGBTQ philosophies. Adding coverage of any of them to the curriculum would be a positive step toward greater diversity.

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I am not saying that mainstream Anglo-European philosophy is bad and all other philosophy is good. There are people who succumb to this sort of cultural Manicheanism, but I am not one of them. My goal is to broaden philosophy by tearing down barriers, not to narrow it by building new ones.

To do this is to be more faithful to the ideals that motivate the best philosophy in every culture. When the ancient philosopher Diogenes was asked what city he came from, he replied: ‘I am a citizen of the world.’ Contemporary philosophy in the West has lost this perspective. In order to grow intellectually, to attract an increasingly diverse student body, and to remain culturally relevant, philosophy must recover its original cosmopolitan ideal.

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Those who say that Chinese philosophy is irrational do not bother to read it, and simply dismiss it in ignorance.

To anyone who asserts that there is no philosophy outside the Anglo-European tradition, or who admits that there is philosophy outside the West but thinks that it simply isn’t any good, I ask the following: What do you think of Zongmi’s argument that reality must fundamentally be mental, because it is inexplicable how consciousness could arise from matter that is non-conscious?

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Evolution doesn't require Darwinian culling – new theories challenge the notion that all complexity must be adaptive.

"Complexity is not purely the result of millions of years of fine-tuning through natural selection—a process that Richard Dawkins famously dubbed “the blind watchmaker.” To some extent, it just happens."

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In Brief, conventional wisdom holds that complex structures evolve from simpler ones, step-by-step, through a gradual evolutionary process, with Darwinian selection favoring intermediate forms along the way.

But recently some scholars have proposed that complexity can arise by other means—as a side effect, for instance—even without natural selection to promote it. Studies suggest that random mutations that individually have no effect on an organism can fuel the emergence of complexity in a process known as constructive neutral evolution.

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Life on earth is characterized by three striking phenomena that demand explanation: adaptation—the marvelous fit between organism and environment; diversity—the great variety of organisms; and complexity—the enormous intricacy of their internal structure. Natural selection explains adaptation. But what explains diversity and complexity?

Unlike standard evolutionary theory, McShea and Brandon argue that there exists in evolution a spontaneous tendency toward increased diversity and complexity, one that acts whether natural selection is present or not. They call this tendency a biological law—the Zero-Force Evolutionary Law. This law unifies the principles and data of biology under a single framework and invites a reconceptualization of the field of the same sort that Newton’s First Law brought to physics. This statement is, they maintain, a fundamental law of biology—perhaps its only one.

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Pedopiles are more important to Catholic Church than their victims. Nihil novi.
Lara was able to keep his past hidden for so long because the diocese refused to tell the public which priests were removed from ministry because of “credible” allegations of molesting children

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"October 2017 was the second warmest October in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

Last month was +0.90 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean October temperature from 1951-1980, just barely warmer than October 2016 (+0.89 °C). The warmest month of October according to the analysis happened in 2015 (+1.08 °C).

The monthly analysis by the GISS team is assembled from publicly available data acquired by about 6,300 meteorological stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature, and Antarctic research stations.

The modern global temperature record begins around 1880 because previous observations didn't cover enough of the planet. Monthly analyses are sometimes updated when additional data becomes available, and the results are subject to change".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"Lurking in oceans, rivers and lakes around the world are tiny, ancient animals known to few people. Bryozoans, tiny marine creatures that live in colonies, are "living fossils"--their lineage goes back to the time when multi-celled life was a newfangled concept. But until now, scientists were missing evidence of one important breakthrough that helped the bryozoans survive 500 million years as the world changed around them.

Today, the diverse group of bryozoans that dominate modern seas build a great range of structures, from fans to sheets to weird, brain-like blobs. But for the first 50 or 60 million years of their existence, they could only grow like blankets over whatever surface they happened upon.

Scientists recently announced the discovery of that missing evolutionary link--the first known member of the modern bryozoans to grow up into a structure. Called Jablonskipora kidwellae, it is named after UChicago geophysical scientists David Jablonski and Susan Kidwell.

Both are prominent scholars in their fields: Jablonski in origins, extinctions and other forces shaping biodiversity across time and space in marine invertebrates; Kidwell in the study of how fossils are preserved and the reliability of paleobiologic data, especially for detecting recent, human-driven changes to ecosystems. They also happen to be married.

"We were absolutely thrilled. What a treat and an honor, to have this little guy named after us," said Jablonski, the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Service Professor of Geophysical Sciences.

"I never expected to have a fossil named after me," said Kidwell, the William Rainey Harper Professor in Geophysical Sciences, "and here it's one that is an evolutionary breakthrough. We're still smiling about it."

Jablonskipora kidwellae lived about 105 million years ago, latching on to rocks and other hard surfaces in shallow seas--a bit like corals, though they're not related. The fossils came from southwest England, along cliffs near Devon, originally collected in 1903 and analyzed by co-discoverers Paul Taylor and Silviu Martha from London's Natural History Museum.

Bryozoans never figured out a symbiotic partnership with photosynthetic bacteria, as coral did, so their evolution took a different turn. Each one in a colony is genetically identical, but they have specialized roles, like ants or bees. Their shelly apartment complexes house thousands of the creatures, which have soft bodies with tiny tentacles to catch nutrients".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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And Poland with the shitty coal-fixed gov we have right now will say "Fuck you, you leftists!"... :/ :/ :/
"The UK and Canada have launched a global alliance of 20 countries committed to phasing out coal for energy production.

Members including France, Finland and Mexico, say they will end the use of coal before 2030.

Ministers hope to have 50 countries signed up by the time of the next major UN conference in Poland next year.

However some important coal consuming nations, including China, the US and Germany have not joined the group.

Reducing global coal use is a formidable challenge, as the fuel produces around 40% of the world's electricity at present.

As a highly carbon intensive source, coal contributes significantly to the rising levels of CO2 emissions that scientists reported earlier this week.

Researchers say that if the world is to curb dramatic temperature rises this century then coal use must be limited.

Called the Powering Past Coal Alliance, this new initiative sees countries, regions and provinces, signing up to setting coal phase-out targets and committing to no new investments in coal-fired electricity in their national jurisdictions or abroad".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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"Nasa has captured 20 years of changing seasons in a striking new global map of planet Earth​.

The data visualization, released this week, shows Earth’s fluctuations as seen from space.

The polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons. The varying ocean shades of blue, green, red and purple depict the abundance – or lack – of undersea life".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)

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It's funy how the anti-GMO crowd will rely on science when it comes tho things like hurricanes or Global Climate Change, but will shit on Science when it comes to GMO...or vaccines...or homeopathy...etc...
"How can you see the atmosphere? The answer is blowing in the wind. Tiny particles, known as aerosols, are carried by winds around the globe. This visualization uses data from NASA satellites combined with our knowledge of physics and meteorology to track three aerosols: dust, smoke, and sea salt.

Sea salt, shown here in blue, is picked up by winds passing over the ocean. As tropical storms and hurricanes form, the salt particles are concentrated into the spiraling shape we all recognize. With their movements, we can follow the formation of Hurricane Irma and see the dust from the Sahara, shown in tan, get washed out of the storm center by the rain. Advances in computing speed allow scientists to include more details of these physical processes in their simulations of how the aerosols interact with the storm systems. The increased resolution of the computer simulation is apparent in fine details like the hurricane bands spiraling counter-clockwise. Computer simulations let us see how different processes fit together and evolve as a system.

By using mathematical models to represent nature we can separate the system into component parts and better understand the underlying physics of each. Today's research improves next year's weather forecasting ability. Hurricane Ophelia was very unusual. It headed northeast, pulling in Saharan dust and smoke from wildfires in Portugal, carrying both to Ireland and the UK. This aerosol interaction was very different from other storms of the season. As computing speed continues to increase, scientists will be able to bring more scientific details into the simulations, giving us a deeper understanding of our home planet".

(Posted by +rasha kamel​)
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