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Thomas Colthurst
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2017: Biologists Hilton Japyassú and Kevin Laland propose, based on experiments conducted in 2008 by Japyassú, that a spider's web functions as part of its sensory/cognition system.

1998: Philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers propose the idea of extended cognition, in which the physical substrate of your mind is taken to not only include your brain, but also the tools you use for assistance in cognitive tasks: post-it notes, books, a calculator, the arrangement of papers on your desk, etc.

1993: Thomas Colthurst posts the following piece of short fiction to the Internet newsgroup talk.bizarre:

From Ars Dragonica, chapter three (translation mine):

"Early commentators on the subject assumed that a dragon's
hoard functioned primarily as a status symbol: the larger
and more valuable the hoard, the more powerful and respected
the dragon. It was also implied that the size of a dragon's
hoard was an indicator of the dragon's rank in both the
sexual and social hierarchies. ...

Recent evidence has cast considerable doubt on this theory.
The fragments of dragon society to which we have had access
have shown it to be incredibly individualistic in nature.
Territorial disputes are settled by combat to death, and mating
is done entirely by rape. Social ranking, when done at all,
seems to be based on seniority and lineage: direct male
descendants of Tiamet, for example, are grudgingly given respect
by even the lowliest dragon. Also, the status symbol theory
does not account for the shoddy manner in which most dragon
hoards are organized; the dominant principle of arrangement seems
to be more sentimentality than display.

To fill this theoretic void, many novel and speculative hypotheses
have been advanced. The most intriguing of these, advanced by
Bishop Camler, holds that the dragon's hoard functions as an
exterior memory. Each gem, coin, or artifact is in effect a
mnenonic device, triggering when sensed the remembrance of that
object's history and meaning. This theory, for instance, would
naturally explain a dragon's legendary knowledge of its hoard
down to the last copper piece. Given the relative sensitivity of
a dragon's belly, it would seem that this mnemonic loop would continue
to function even while the dragon was asleep, producing in it
dreams of poetic scope and detail."!search/talk.bizarre$20colthurst$20dragon/talk.bizarre/F0nRg-Qg3gw/m-SA8xabZTEJ

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"On the Impossibility of Supersized Machines", by Garfinkel et al.

In recent years, a number of prominent computer scientists, along with
academics in elds such as philosophy and physics, have lent credence to
the notion that machines may one day become as large as humans. Many
have further argued that machines could even come to exceed human size
by a signicant margin. However, there are at least seven distinct arguments
that preclude this outcome. We show that it is not only implausible
that machines will ever exceed human size, but in fact impossible.

HT to +gwern branwen

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A critical review of Gary Taubes's "The Case Against Sugar". Recommended. Hat tip to

+Karen MacArthur

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In Barcelona. The green birds are parakeets, which describes as "Most notable among non-native species. It bred in the city for the first time in 1974 from a group of escapees. They now reign over the whole city. Although they add a streak of colour and fun to the city’s dull litany of pigeons, sparrows and seagulls, they can cause serious problems as they expand out into the country."

Two of the photos are of La Sagrada Familia, which is the most beautiful place I've ever been.
4 Photos - View album

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TAP Portugal lost my bag, but luckily I was able to restock my witticisms here.

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You know that "Oh yeah" early-electronica song from Ferris Bueller's Day Off? This is the original video for that song. Recommended, especially if your day has otherwise lacked WTFs.

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I'm really hoping the tattoo artist didn't charge him, because then it would be a free Nelson mandala.

HT to

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Dear World,

Could you stop sending me links of this article with the "But the kinds of people who work at Google are often the ones who became software engineers because they wanted to avoid talking about feelings in the first place." sentence highlighted?


Your humble and eternal servant,

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This is what I've been working on for the past year.  Very excited for it to have finally launched!
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