|Thread title||Replies||Last modified|
|Social construction of gender (or part of gender) - ie, why girls like pink||18||20:10, 8 March 2012|
|Monsieur Harris||4||17:57, 6 March 2012|
|Scientst to build new brain...||11||18:56, 5 March 2012|
|Transhumanism as religion||23||17:26, 5 March 2012|
|Moved the rape article discussion back||3||11:30, 26 February 2012|
|Excess of Santorum||6||18:54, 24 February 2012|
|Birth control "clean up"||29||01:09, 24 February 2012|
|Memory||2||03:45, 23 February 2012|
|i've never been blocked before||4||00:19, 17 February 2012|
|0||02:15, 14 February 2012|
|Your mind can do amazing things||7||21:11, 6 February 2012|
|Question||33||00:04, 6 February 2012|
|I am confused||34||08:31, 31 January 2012|
|Memes||45||20:48, 30 January 2012|
|Legend||0||17:39, 30 January 2012|
|do we have a "woo that is no longer woo" page?||1||23:08, 19 January 2012|
|Pop evo-psych||3||19:15, 15 January 2012|
|brain man||4||05:07, 3 January 2012|
|New years||4||19:55, 2 January 2012|
|BBC show about the anthropological development of humans & the body||6||23:47, 30 December 2011|
This is a non techinincal, non science article that just points out how pervasive our culture is in keeping the "girls don't like science and math" ideas alive. here
Heh, I like the "just look it up in the back of the book part." Useful study habits for sciencin'!
least you get teh answers right! those dumb girls try to work it out and all, and get it wrong!
I would never do this to a child, but i would love to see what would happen if you took 10ish newborns, had a robot interact with them, and let 5 gender male, 5 gender female grow up together without outside influence.
THEN we'll see who is "so much more emotive" "Better at language skills and the other is clearly better at logic, math and science". "More aggressive", etc. Just to see.
"It's not social construction!!!!" "It's the way we are made. Genetics!!!" SO THERE!!!!!
I want to give my kid a real chemistry set, like they had in the 40' and 50s before the era of "safe" toys. Let them blow up whatever they can. boys and girls!!! :-)
I had two "toys" i loved. my barbies (don't know why so don't ask) and my dissection kit. I got that at like 8, and it was very dull, but it had pins and hooks along with the "scalpel" -- i cut up dead frogs, insects, stuffed animals. ;-)
Chemistry set? Bah! If my (hypothetical) child can't inject a sample into a GC-MS by the time they're 8, they have failed me.
..............My barbies were most definitely part of my dissection kit. Actually, I think my barbie dolls are what fueled my pyromaniac tendencies when I was little.
In response to your title, pink is such a manly colour. I'd find a better link but, well, it will do for now. I particularly like FDR in a dress.
Here's your favourite person talking relative sense - albeit nothing that I couldn't have said when I was 12. "God is a total dick when you actually think about it" is hardly ground-breaking theology, but he orates it well.
I'm getting a good kick from the comments, as always.
Okay, okay, so he stuck a couple of people in an MRI scanner and wrote about it. Next I'll be demanding to be called Dr for spending four years in a basement.
sure sure... Not that I want to be anti science, but can we please spend that money on something like space? http://bigthink.com/ideas/scientists-to-build-a-virtual-brain?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
Fuck space, I want my virtual brain! I like this part: "Some scientists do not think the plan will work." IANASY (I am not a scientist yet), but put me down on the (extremely) skeptical side.
You see no useful applications for AI, but lots for space travel? And yeah, this is probably total bullshit, but the idea is still nice.
Slightly more info on this article. This looks like it will actually work to some extent, but it's going to be a really shitty brain. Considering that much of our knowledge of the brain in terms of behavior is largely at the level of gross anatomy and current processors can't handle anything close to a real brain, I can't see this thing doing all that much. It might make a really cool toy, though.
Well, you know what they say -- you have to take baby steps before you can crawl.
Wait, I mixed those around.
Its not that i actually see more use for space, it's that I'm so dubious of people who talk with this kind of "authority" in the "we will have it done", that I would much rather spend the money somewhere people are saying "this is what I want to build, and we'll go from there".
We are so far away from understanding how the brain actually works, and yet we will "make one". It's just annoying as hell, and makes me think these guys are either blowhards, or not-scientists.
I'm more than happy to spend money in any area of science. I just like big space things right nwo. :-)
So, you'd rather have people who are unconfident about their technology than those who are our confident? I mean, obviously they aren't really sure this will work, but they have to get a grant and sell it as good investment.
I find arrogant scientists to be destructive, aggressive towards others, and far more likely to cheat than ones who say "I'm pretty aware of my limitations, and want to push it". And yes, this is only one article, so maybe they are being slightly misrepresented, but I don't really think so.
The business of science is not to "make" or "do" something, it's to "let's see where this goes, and work from there".
The entire space race which had HUGE economic benefits comes from way too many short cuts, shoddy science, and lack of regard for safety. But it worked. so in that sense, maybe you are right. But I am by nature, not into that kind of work, evne if it means we might not have been teh first on the moon.
If you want to get somewhere, you can't say "Yeah, this technology maybe might work, let's just spend $100 quadrillion billions and see where it takes us". You see to be unaware that they need a shitload of money to do this, and you don't get it by being timid and realistic with your predictions.
Incidentally, I'm currently reading/participating in a Facebook based discussion on atheism leading to nihilism and whether we can find some "meaning" in life... and someone's position is "What about a quest for immortality? Otherwise it's like being an amnesiac that has a 20 second memory". Surprise surprise, she's listed as an out-of-the-closet transhumanist.
Seriously, it seems like simulation, transhumanism, and the singularity is just religion for smart people (religion being religion for stupid people).
Took you that long to figure it out? :P Just cross out "god" and substitute "technology" or "computers" in any of their tracts.
Jebus The Singularity is coming, look busy!
Also, I should add the hard-line transhumanists scare me just as much as the Bible thumpers. Is it any surprise that the founding father of their fore-runner cult got mixed up with fascist movement?
Just trying to get my brain around the argument. Is it -
1."Atheism leads to nihilism therefore atheism is wrong"
2."Transhumanism does not lead to nihilism therefore it is superior to atheism."
If this is the argument, then it is one worthy of PJR.
Sort of, but I think it's more along the lines of "What now?" rather than what is "superior." Transhumanism is already atheistic.
So far it's going like:
"But atheism doesn't give life any meaning." "So what?"
That's why you should join my secular religion. Philosophical suicide hurts. Don't do it.
The grand irony being that I imagine most of these people subscribe to a Yudkowskian idea of rationality where beliefs must act as constraints for expectation of experience. Except where you're discussing cool sci-fi concepts where computers rule the world.
Might be no.2, individual involved are all atheists that I can tell. Transhumanism wasn't mentioned explicitly, but is on said person's FB profile in "about". But I can see it edging in that direction.
But even if we accept both 1 and 2 as being "true"- itself potentially dubious -, the first is an argument from adverse consequences and the second one is a non-sequitur.
Bob, you're using logic against religion. Stop that, you damn atheist fundamentalist.
Hey, I'm an atheist, transhumanist, and nihilist. :(
I moved it back because the forum space is for three things as far as I can tell. 1) Discussions that have moved off topic and are getting long. 2) General discussions about site policy. 3) Discussing rehashed topics that keep coming up. That was topical to the Rape article and as such it would be unnecessarily confusing for someone to come along later and go "Why does this article say X when it should say Y?" and we respond "We discussed why it should say X instead of Y over here somewhere"
so it seems Santorum is quoting one of your favorite authors in his explanation that birth control is bad, cause there's too many unwed mothers. here.
depends on what you think he said. I try to avoid thinking when reading about him. causes me to want to buy guns.
Contraception leads to unwanted pregnancy. Really? That's the OPPOSITE of true.
You must be mistaken. He has seen all the unwed mothers. and all the married people doing things that are not what sex is for. And contraception makes people do types of sex that are not right. (yes, he said that, too).
So apparently, "birth control" has been a cover article for a long time. It was also a lot of crap. I've worked on cleaning up the content, but there is one section that i don't really understand. any chance you'd take a look? birth control#With respect to natural selection? something tells me that code isn't going to work... oh well.
Yeah, a lot of cover articles are holdovers from when RW simply wasn't as good.
At some point we really need a site wide project to nominate articles to be cover articles. Get enough people involved on enough different topics and see what we have in each field, and where we can go.
Course, I can't even figure out a process to highlight essays. People seem to agree essays are important, but it's this 'all or nuttin" thing that's bugging me.
maybe we could make an "essay submission page" that individual authors or readers could submit an essay to the mob and (if hte author approves) do a general clean up of spelling, grammar, then put it in a "highlight bin".
i'm just thinking as I type, sorry.
Sounds like the Marching Morons argument. Either that or a load of jumbled nonsense. I say scrap the whole thing.
What I laugh about, in such films as idiodicy, is that it assumes "stupied" people are biologically, and not just socially stupid. That is, while it's true fundes are reproducing faster, nothing says their kids are inherently dumb, for all they might lack education.
there are, realistically, probable tons of literal "geniouses" whatever that means, who will never have a chance to *be* genious, cause they are born into poverty.
You might think I'm blowing a trumpet by saying that I'm proof that intelligence is definitely not inherited, but it's actually a slight against certain members of my extended family, who are, frankly, a bit special.
Nah, not the scientific one. I finally remember what my strange acronomy was for. my moment of "someone is wrong on the interwebs!" I knew i should not be arguing, but i was.....
Thanks. I fill like i've finally been accepted. I'm not sure that I am 'schooling' anyone. My own grasp of the subject is tenuous at best.
Nah, you had a block on your log. I'm a big Camus fan, but what you wrote is what it all essentially boils down to.
I essentially agree with the 'finding your own purpose and morality and all that bullshit' bullshit, but at the moment I can't really apply it to myself.
When I last saw that one do the rounds it did send me on a Google spree and I ended up with a very good paper explaining the current theories behind word recognition and how it relates to sight. It had an example where you can actually do the opposite and fuck with people's ability to read just by alternating or randomising the capitalisation, which I thought was kinda cool - and it would be even better (if slightly diabolical) to write an "only smart people can read this" rant in that style. Can't remember where it was, though...
...anyway, that post explains why the trick works nicely, I just wish they'd stop being accompanied "a brain study says this" crap too.
Context affects all perception. That's why you read this as "THE CAT" and not "TAE CHT". Without this, we wouldn't be able to read anyone's handwriting unless it was a near-perfect replication of "ideal" alphabetic letters.
Yeah, I've always understood the reason we can read things like that to be we're expecting certain words to appear after, so if there's something similar looking then we interpret it as that word.
If I replaced someone else's nervous sytem with somebody else's, then what?
That person would have a different nervous system. Easy, next question!
What he's not saying is "we don't know". The trick to all this stuff is that we don't really know how personality is formed, biologically. or why one event effects one person differently than another.
So if i cut out my brain and attached it to your eyes, and your ears, and your nose, what happens?????
I actually think, by the way, that we will reach a time when our knowledge of the brain is great enough that we can quite literally give you new idenity, give you false memories, or maybe even store your own personality... cause if it's all chemical, we will be able to some day reproduce it all.
Your user identification page claims you are a capitalist and against communism, yet it also states that you are in favor of socialized medicine and against the free market. How can you claim these contradictory positions?
He's actually a communist in disguise, and he slipped up when writing his user page. That silly Neb.
Don't worry, I promise not to tell Joseph McCarthy on you.
A mixed economy is merely the stepping stone to socialism. Look how in debt the social democracies in Europe are.
Yet you're the one who thinks "Doctors in Europe can cure cancer and diabetes" - yes, those doctors supported by socialised medicine - and thinks that "the FDA has outlawed their cures".
Big Pharma is overrun with commies suppressing the cure for cancer. Ever seen a pharmacist drink a glass of water? Homeopathic solutions, that's what they drink, Mandrake.
The FDA is an example of socialism intervention in the market. Using the correct medicine is still no excuse for suppressing the forces of the market.
The FDA has put scores of royal food testers out of work with its communist central planning. If only the people were free to test their own food for botulism!
Just a clarification. You say you often find memetics and memes to be a but woo-y or pseudoscience-y... but are you just objecting to things like applying natural selection to them? As in, do you accept it as a decent enough word for talking about social attitudes and how they bolt on to each other and how some ideas tend to be more compatible with others because they share similar "memes"?
Because I tend to use it more in that latter sense, as a form of analysis more than anything, and am wondering if there's a better set of terminology out there.
My problem with the former is the mis-application of natural selection to ill-defined cultural "units." And when you get into claiming that the big brain evolved as a "meme machine" a la Blackmore, you're really into crank territory. While the latter is a pretty metaphor, it is more or less a watered-down version of the concept of sign.
Maybe I'm a hundred years behind, but aren't "memes" just a made up term to help organize the way we think, and the way ideas spread?
On of my instinctive bristles about much of this cognitive vocab is the sense that people use these concepts (chunking, memes, seeding) as if they are "things" that actually exist in the world, rather than descriptions of how we as humans process the world.
ADK, when you talk about applying memetics to actual natural selection, then you take them out of the context of a social construction and make (individual memes, i think?) them "real" as if they can be acted upon by biology rather than social structure. Or am i again, lost, 20 years behind?
I figured that being so hard to define as "individual" groups would make adding natural selection a little difficult to formalise.
But isn't a Sign something in the real world, that triggers a response, while a Meme would be what goes on in our heads, and then "kinda" (in the fuzziest possible sense) spread over a society too.
The idea is that memes are analogous to genes, so they replicate and natural selection acts on them in a cultural form. It's a kind of pseudo-evolutionary analogy, something like a linguistic social Darwinism. In its more extreme forms, meme theory is anti-evolutionary because it ignores or denies the evolved cognitive architecture of the brain/mind (see esp. Atran's critique on the memetics page). This is why "memetics" is not really taken seriously in the cognitive literature -- it's not really cog psych at all, more of pop-culture phenomenon, evolution as ideology.
That makes sense. Atran's critique is interesting, certainly the idea behind it rests entirely on how well the genetics analogy holds - and it doesn't too far, particularly in fidelity of transmission. I've never taken the analogy literally, but there's something to be said for the differences in "horizontal" and "vertical" transmission that makes it less applicable.
I can see why it's attractive as an explanation, particularly to the likes of Dawkins with an evolutionary background. But once you've mashed it up with certain caveats, "natural selection" probably isn't exactly the best way of looking at it.
So I'm curious, since i've not paid much attention to memes other than Dawkins book. Is the argument that humans have done this for all of written history? or is it only a modern thing when people have a more instant access to ideas and spreading them around the world.
Yeah, like I said, I've seen some interesting things done with things like "meme maps," but at that point the "meme" is so far from its original intention that it doesn't really much resemble the original analogy at all and its purpose becomes more descriptive than explanatory ("meme of the gaps," if you will). As for memetics as a "science," add that to the scrapheap of cultural evolutionary history.
Been meaning to ask something for a while, kinda forgot. Concerning the fidelity of transmission problem, would it not be this that forms the basis of the selection effect rather than memes dying off a la natural selection?
Consider the "memeplex" of driving a car; it's composed of smaller units like "this is the peddle to make it go", "this is the gear stick", "this is what you do when you see this traffic sign" and so on. Obviously if fidelity of transmission of the entire memeplex was high, we'd only ever need one driving lesson. Obviously this isn't the case. But some of the sub-units do transfer quickly and effectively, and are learned in the first lesson. These individual pieces that do transfer over quickly are obviously either "easy" or somehow what someone is most receptive to. So, in fact, is it this lack of fidelity of memeplexes (or whatever you wish to call them) that actually causes a selection, rather than something like natural selection?
So you're saying only the simplest "memes" are "selected"?
No, that all "memes" would actually be simple enough to transfer, Any complicated piece of cultural information can be broken down into smaller ideas - although, as always, defining the "smallest unit of cultural information" is difficult, if not impossible to do, which is the major inherent problem. The memes that propagate successfully would be the ones that find a good home on the receiving side, i.e., someone most willing and accepting of them. We're well aware that people are picky and choosy over what aspects of a religion they take on board. So when trying to assimilate the Bible some people will happily latch onto the parts that say gay sex is wrong, but will happily ignore the bit about shellfish.
Yeah, the definition of meme itself has been one of the big points of contention. The gear shift for example -- is this even one singular meme? Why not the individual settings of "drive," "reverse," "park," etc.? Memetics proponents tend to give handwavey responses along the lines of "Ah, but it doesn't have to be so well-defined to be useful." True enough, but that part about actually being useful is pretty important. Memetic approaches haven't actually shown to have any advantage over previous models such as gene-culture co-evolution.
I was reading mayo clinic about various OTC cold remedies, and one of the articles there is about honey. it's actually proven to help reduce coughs at a level equivalent to OTC cough syrup. And vapor rub don't do shit for you. WHO KNEW THESE THINGs. ;-)
Good one found via Cosmocking:
“”It's fundamental to infant survival that a mother be able to react calmly and think on her feet in a crisis situation." [...] Back in prehistoric times she would need to have the wherewithal to grab the kids and run from a predator--becoming hysterical would quite literally be the kiss of death. And it's just as important today: showing you can stay levelheaded when minor things go wrong proves to him that you're a strong, capable woman he can trust with the kiddies.
So basically, it's an evolutionary advantage to not be an idiot (though if that was true, experience would call the entire theory of evolution into question) and men find that attractive. Makes total sense.
This one is a bit funny because it plays against stereotype -- besides the whole "women were made to pop out babies" part. I'm kind of surprised they didn't turn it around and say something like "Women evolved to be more emotional so their hysterics could be more easily heard when their children were in danger so their husband, Ugg the Caveman, could swoop in and save them."
It is Cosmo, though. They've effectively created their own stereotype of a woman who is super confident, attractive and awesome in bed and with guys and with her career... yet somehow is a complete wreck, constantly needs to lose weight, and needs all the bad sex and career advice she can get because she's totally feckless. I don't know how this is supposed to work, but that's effectively what they say. I suppose evolutionary psychology would say that they're like that because men find that sort of contradiction attractive or something... I dunno, it's Cosmo, and I ceased trying to completely fathom it a while ago.
Couldn't get a clear answer on TOW. Is neuroglia nervous tissue or connective tissue? Or is my histology narrowminded and bigoted? Thanks for any info you might provide.
Nervous tissue. Without them, our brains wouldn't work so well.
Well, I know that, myelin makes things go better or something, but I figured in terms of what it's made of. Or is histology studied through function rather than structure? If that were the case, wouldn't there be some serious overlap between certain epithelial and connective tissues? thx
There are different types of glial cells. However, recent neuroscience is showing that some may play at least some minor role in neurotransmission, but how that works exactly is not known yet. Due to that, I'd assume they'd fall under nervous tissue more definitively.
I parted some fools from their money, so a net positive.
Excellent!!! I kicked ass at Mah jong, did ok at hears, and was destroyed at spades. no money involved, though.
The great thing about poker is that to play a "good" game against most people, you don't really need that much strategy. If you know your basic starting hands, card odds, pot odds, and outs, you are probably way ahead of anyone at the table unless it's a bigger game than your average low-stakes table. Plus people start to get drunk as time goes on and push all-in against you when you have the nut hand.
Called Origins of Us. have you seen it?
For the most part, it has been really good, but the last part I wanted your take on, given all our discussions. The last bit is a discussion of risk taking in men. "studies are showing that men's willingness to take a risk goes up when (attractive) women are around." They of course do not cite the study, but here's what they give as details...
Young adult males (16-20) were shown a new and very difficult skateboard technique. The researchers tested how often each male would attempt the new trick, and how often they would "safe out" so they didn't fall. Each person of course makes his own choice on how often to try. Each male was rated uniquely. Then these same 30 skaters were given a new trick, same situation, except this time there was an audience of young women. Each male's rate went up 40% or more when a (young) woman came in. Control groups were done with a male audience, an audience of children, and an audience of mixed adults. (they risk went up anytime an audience was present, but by under 10%). Testosterone levels were taken in each case, and they went up roughly equivalent to the rate of increase of risk taking.
anything here? or a weak study? from your first gut reaction.
Haven't seen it, but it sounds in line with much of what I've read. Though I don't put a whole lot of stock in testosterone sampling -- I'm guessing they were salival samples and they weren't out there giving spinal taps to skateboarders. Testosterone is the precursor to a number of neurotransmitters and the most reliable way to test for it in the brain is by lumbar puncture, but that's obviously not an option in many cases.
They were skater dudes, and as such, I think they should have had to endure their backs being poked. :-)
I hope you have a lot of skater dude friends.
Both my nephews LOOK like skater dudes. but i suspect that has more to do with the way 18 year old boys dress today than anything else.
Though they both snowboard, is that the same?
(I not only have fallen down on the job, but i can't get up by the way)