allaboutgeorge + science   123

The meaning of life, according to a spaceship | The Outline
I have a hard time accepting care, attention and love as good responses to these horrifying events. In the middle of disaster, what is caring other than false hope?
fiction  storytelling  science  scifi  books  love  relationships  life  space 
26 days ago by allaboutgeorge
You have less friends as you get older, and you spend more time alone, according to the data — Quartz
Hours spent in the company of children, friends, and extended family members all plateau by our mid-50s. And from the age of 40 until death, we spend an ever-increasing amount of time alone.
age  life  aging  science  research  health  friendship  relationships  marriage 
june 2017 by allaboutgeorge
The neuroscience of Bob Dylan's genius | Music | The Guardian
Just look at poets, who often rely on literary forms with strict requirements, such as haikus and sonnets. At first glance, this writing method makes little sense, since the creative act then becomes much more difficult. Instead of composing freely, poets frustrate themselves with structural constraints. Unless poets are stumped by the form, unless they are forced to look beyond the obvious associations, they'll never invent an original line. They'll be stuck with clichés and conventions, with predictable adjectives and boring verbs. And this is why poetic forms are so important. When a poet needs to find a rhyming word with exactly three syllables or an adjective that fits the iambic scheme, he ends up uncovering all sorts of unexpected connections; the difficulty of the task accelerates the insight process.
creativity  music  science  brain  dylan  poetry  writing  songwriting 
april 2012 by allaboutgeorge
WE ARE ALL AFRICAN NOW | More Intelligent Life
It is not the Rastafarian return to the Rift Valley that comes to mind as I listen, genetically elegant though it now seems, but the first hunter-gatherers making it through the Gate of Tears and heading for every point in our world.
science  evolution  africa  genealogy  research  nationalism  race 
may 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Francis Fukuyama’s New History of Human Social Structures -
Much of what I read here reminded me strongly of Kim Stanley Campbell's "The Years of Rice and Salt."
books  nonfiction  science  behavior  power  culture  research 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Urge to Own That Clapton Guitar Is Contagious, Scientists Find -
The most important factor seemed to be the degree of “celebrity contagion.” The Yale team found that a sweater owned by a popular celebrity became more valuable to people if they learned it had actually been worn by their idol. But if the sweater had subsequently been cleaned and sterilized, it seemed less valuable to the fans, apparently because the celebrity’s essence had somehow been removed.

“Our results suggest that physical contact with a celebrity boosts the value of an object, so people will pay extra for a guitar that Eric Clapton played, or even held in his hands,” said Paul Bloom, who did the experiments at Yale along with George E. Newman and Gil Diesendruck.
celebrity  music  rock  behavior  science  economics  money  design 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
NYT: Sustainable Love - Tara Parker
While the notion of self-expansion may sound inherently self-serving, it can lead to stronger, more sustainable relationships, Dr. Lewandowski says.

"If you're seeking self-growth and obtain it from your partner, then that puts your partner in a pretty important position," he explains. "And being able to help your partner's self-expansion would be pretty pleasing to yourself."

The concept explains why people are delighted when dates treat them to new experiences, like a weekend away. But self-expansion isn't just about exotic experiences. Individuals experience personal growth through their partners in big and small ways. It happens when they introduce new friends, or casually talk about a new restaurant or a fascinating story in the news.
psychology  love  marriage  relationships  power  work  creativity  science  education  identity  attention  presence 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Further Improbables -
What if, during the act that gave the world me — and you — the phone had rung in the middle of everything? Resumption on the parents’ part later would have resulted in — not me, or you, but “not-me” and “not-you.”

(I was 13 and in the bathtub again — where thoughts seem to hit — when this one did; I recall that, for whatever reason, it made my legs involuntarily jump, causing a terrific splash. Can someone explain?)

Resumption on the parents’ part would have meant an entirely different configuration of those eager little wigglers assaulting mom’s egg. Who, I wondered, would be in this tub now? Followed by the unsettling thought, “It might even be a girl.”
science  fertility  research  identity  biology  time  sex 
september 2010 by allaboutgeorge
About My Job: The Indologist - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
The purpose of my field, then, is to understand something about the ways of being human in the world. And if I could find a single term to convey all that I’d be home free!
india  academia  humans  science  research  work  education  asia 
september 2010 by allaboutgeorge
The Information That Is Needed to Identify You: 33 Bits - Digits - WSJ
How many pieces of information are needed to identify an individual? In the field of re-identification science, it’s 33 “bits,” specifically “33 bits of entropy.” (Information-science researchers refer to random pieces of information as “entropy.”)

Why 33? Because a “bit” is computer lingo for an on-off switch that can have only two values, 0 or 1. And 2 multiplied by itself 33 times is a bit more than the number of people on earth — 6.6 billion. Two to the 32nd power is lower than the world’s population. So, in theory, it takes at least 33 “bits” of information to uniquely identify someone — getting the pool of people down to 20, which equals one.

Each piece of information you add reduces the pool of possible individuals. But not every data point is worth the same number of “bits.”
privacy  twitter  mathematics  science  marketing  identity  technology 
august 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Music Is Science Fiction: An Interview With The Lisps | Lightspeed Magazine
Over the past two weeks, I’ve exchanged several e-mails with The Lisps. In the interview that follows, we touch on topics such as self-help songs, The Difference Engine, string theory, and, of course, The Singularity.
music  songwriting  sciencefiction  writing  creativity  art  indie  rock  literature  books  science 
july 2010 by allaboutgeorge
MediaShift . Why Journalists Should Learn Computer Programming | PBS
I'm still just a beginner, but I feel that this perspective provides you with an acute awareness of data. You start looking for data structures, for ways to manipulate data (in a good sense) to make them work for your community.

When covering a story, you'll think in terms of data and interactivity from the very start and see how they can become part of the narrative. You'll see data everywhere -- from the kind that floats in the air thanks to augmented reality, to the more mundane version contained in endless streams of status updates. Rather than being intimidated by the enormous amount of data, you'll see opportunities -- new ways to bring news and information to the community.

You probably won't have time to actually do a lot of the programming and data structuring yourself. But now you're equipped to have a valuable and impactful conversation with your geek colleagues. A conversation that gets better results than ever before.
computing  data  diy  html  journalism  media  science  information  newspapers  radio  television 
june 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Embrace the Wonk : CJR
These powerful, simple explanations are often married to an almost monastic skepticism of narratives that can’t be substantiated, or that are based in data—like voter’s accounts of their own thinking about politics—that are unreliable. Think about that for a moment, and the challenge to journalists becomes obvious: If much of what’s important about politics is either stable and predictable or unknowable, what’s the value of the sort of news—a hyperactive chronicle of the day’s events, coupled with instant speculation about their meaning—that has become a staple of modern political reporting? Indeed, much of the media criticism on The Monkey Cage is directed at narratives that, from the perspective of political science, are either irrelevant or unverifiable.
politics  power  science  research  blogging  technology  journalism  media  news 
june 2010 by allaboutgeorge
A Conversation With Aniruddh D. Patel - Exploring Music’s Hold on the Mind - Question -
What do humans have in common with parrots? Both species are vocal learners, with the ability to imitate sounds. We share that rare skill with parrots. In that one respect, our brains are more like those of parrots than chimpanzees. Since vocal learning creates links between the hearing and movement centers of the brain, I hypothesized that this is what you need to be able to move to beat of music.
interviews  music  brain  science  nytimes  medicine  language  thinking 
june 2010 by allaboutgeorge
"For Better": The science of marital unhappiness - Nonfiction -
It's not that if you have a bad memory of your first date that you're headed for divorce, but I think it's a useful tool to listen to yourself and your partner, and when you start to hear the negativity creep in, it's a red flag.

I was in marriage counseling at one point and the counselor wanted to hear about our first date, and I thought it was a ridiculous question. I thought we needed to talk about what's happening now, not what happened 20 years ago. And I wish she had stopped to explain that it does matter. Later, I would tell the exact same story and there would be a few little negative fingers in there. There's a big difference between saying, "We got horribly lost on our first date," and, "Of course, you didn't stop to ask for directions." It's the same first date but by the time he's being accused of not getting directions, you can tell that the relationship is going south. You can see that the structure of the relationship has changed.
marriage  relationships  love  science  research  books  nytimes  memory  story 
may 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Attention Whole Foods Shoppers - By Robert Paarlberg | Foreign Policy
If we are going to get serious about solving global hunger, we need to de-romanticize our view of preindustrial food and farming. And that means learning to appreciate the modern, science-intensive, and highly capitalized agricultural system we've developed in the West. Without it, our food would be more expensive and less safe. In other words, a lot like the hunger-plagued rest of the world.
farming  food  shopping  science  power 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Is Marriage Good for Your Health? -
“When someone holds your hand in a study or just shows that they are there for you by giving you a back rub, when you’re in their presence, that becomes a cue that you don’t have to regulate your negative emotion,” he told me. “The other person is essentially regulating your negative emotion but without your prefrontal cortex. It’s much less wear and tear on us if we have someone there to help regulate us.”
marriage  health  relationships  love  family  brain  emotion  research  science 
april 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Vital Signs - Study Finds Women Wear Shoes That Cause Pain -
“I think women need to really pay attention to how a shoe fits and realize that what you’re buying could have potential effects on your feet for the rest of your life,” said the paper’s lead author, Alyssa B. Dufour, a doctoral student in biostatistics at Boston University. “It’s important to pay attention to size and width, and not just buy it because it’s cute.”
fashion  marketing  women  men  health  science  research  massachusetts  beauty  gender 
december 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Music mimics the emotion of speech - Telegraph
"There is a strong biological basis to the aesthetics of sound," he said
"Humans prefer tone combinations that are similar to those found in speech."
speech  sound  words  language  beauty  music  research  science  uk 
december 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Anthropology Matters, Vol 11, No 2 (2009) -- Being cool or being good: researching mobile phones in Mozambique by Julie Soleil Archambault (SOAS)
Drawing on my fieldwork experience in Inhambane, southern Mozambique, where I conducted research on mobile phone use amongst youth, my paper tackles issues of acceptance and rejection. As I sought to gain acceptance amongst youth I found myself participating in various controversial and, at times, dangerous activities that made me the victim of intense gossip and outright rejection by some. The fact that I came to the field accompanied by my husband and daughter only made matters worse. In this paper, I present the challenges of “being cool”, while also “being good”, and the repercussions of my research choices on my social standing. I then discuss how, instead of compromising my research, this predicament had a positive outcome by revealing social dynamics that might otherwise have remained hidden, namely the importance of concealment and the ambiguous role mobile phones play in deceit.
mobile  africa  research  science  social  behavior  ethics  family  story 
december 2009 by allaboutgeorge
A.I. Anchors Replace Human Reporters In Newsroom of the Future | Popular Science
Engineers at Northwestern University have created virtual newscasts that use artificial intelligence to collect stories, produce graphics and even anchor broadcasts via avatars.
The project, dubbed “News At Seven,” goes beyond simply regurgitating news stories gleaned from the Web. The system can generate opinionated content like movie reviews or pull the most relevant facts from a box score to pen a hometown sports story. The AI is even learning to crack wise, injecting humor into reports.
media  journalism  television  robots  intelligence  science  attention  identity 
november 2009 by allaboutgeorge
It’s Not You, it’s Me: Detecting Flirting and its Misperception in Speed-Dates
"Our flirtation-detection system uses prosodic, dialogue, and lexical features to detect a speaker’s intent to flirt with up to 71.5% accuracy, significantly outperforming the baseline, but also outperforming the human interlocuters. [...] Our analysis shows that humans are very poor perceivers of intended flirtatiousness, instead often projecting their own intended behavior onto their interlocutors."
love  language  relationships  men  women  sex  pdf  attention  dating  science  thinking  data  information  filetype:pdf  media:document 
october 2009 by allaboutgeorge
A Long, Melancholy Roar - Olivia Judson Blog -
No other animal does this. Chimpanzees don’t hang themselves from trees, slit their wrists, set themselves alight, or otherwise destroy themselves. Suicide is an essentially human behavior. And it has reached unprecedented levels, especially among the young.

I’m not sure what this means. But it has made me think. We live in a way that no other animal has ever lived: our lifestyle is unprecedented in the history of the planet. Often, we like to congratulate ourselves on the cities we have built, the gadgets we can buy, the rockets we send to the moon. But perhaps we should not be so proud. Something about the way we live means that, for many of us, life comes to seem unbearable, a long, melancholy ache of despair.
suicide  death  behavior  science  evolution  nature  biology  emotion 
october 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Why women have sex | Life and style | The Guardian
I thought that my lover adored me. No – it is because I have a symmetrical face. "I love you so much," he would say, if he could read his evolutionary impulses, "because you have a symmetrical face!" "Oh, how I love the smell of your compatible genes!" I would say back. "Symmetrical face!" "Compatible genes!" "Symmetrical face!" "Compatible genes!" And so we would osculate (kiss). I am really just a monkey trying to survive. I close the book.

I think I knew that.
sex  women  men  gender  power  relationships  love  beauty  communication  behavior  ethics  science  psychology 
october 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Increasing Residential And Employment Density Could Mean Reductions In Vehicle Travel, Fuel Use And Carbon Dioxide Emissions
The committee disagreed about the feasibility of achieving the target density in the upper-bound scenario -- doubling the density of 75 percent of new development -- by 2050. Some members of the committee thought that these higher densities would be reached due to macroeconomic trends -- higher energy prices and carbon taxes -- in combination with growing public support for infill development, investments in transit, and higher densities along transit rail corridors. Other members thought that the high-density scenario would require such a significant departure from current low-density development patterns, land-use policies, and public preferences that it is unrealistic without a strong state or regional role in growth management.
transit  research  science  transporation  cities  environment  cars  jobs  work  housing  gas  urban 
september 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Rating Attractiveness: Consensus Among Men, Not Women, Study Finds
"As far as we know, this is the first study to investigate whether there are differences in the level of consensus male and female raters have in their attractiveness judgments," Wood says. "These differences have implications for the different experiences and strategies that could be expected for men and women in the dating marketplace."
women  men  relationships  sex  gender  culture  psychology  science  beauty  marketing 
september 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Imitation Promotes Social Bonding In Primates
"It has been argued that the link between behavior matching and increases in affiliation might have played an important role in human evolution by helping to maintain harmonious relationships between individuals," the study authors wrote. "We propose that the same principle also holds for other group-living primates."
friendship  relationships  science  research  fauna  attention  reputation  social 
september 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Female Supervisors More Susceptible To Workplace Sexual Harassment
"This study provides the strongest evidence to date supporting the theory that sexual harassment is less about sexual desire than about control and domination," said Heather McLaughlin, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota and the study's primary investigator. "Male co-workers, clients and supervisors seem to be using harassment as an equalizer against women in power."
discrimination  society  work  jobs  sex  bias  power  men  women  gender  science  research 
september 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Well - Divorce, It Seems, Can Make You Ill -
In a series of experiments, scientists at Ohio State studied the relationship between marital strife and immune response, as measured by the time it takes for a wound to heal. The researchers recruited married couples who submitted to a small suction device that left eight tiny blisters on the arm. The couples then engaged in different types of discussions — sometimes positive and supportive, at other times focused on a topic of conflict.

After a marital conflict, the wounds took a full day longer to heal. Among couples who exhibited high levels of hostility, the wound healing took two days longer than with those who showed less animosity.
marriage  health  science  divorce  communication  friendship  relationships  love  research  happiness  exercise 
august 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Wired: Know Thyself: Tracking Every Facet of Life, from Sleep to Mood to Pain, 24/7/365
The basic idea of a macroscope is to link myriad bits of natural data into a larger, readable pattern. This means computers on one side and distributed data-gathering on the other. If you want to see the climate, you gather your data with hyperlocal weather stations maintained by amateurs. If you want to see traffic, you collect info from automatic sensors placed on roadways and cars. If you want new insights into yourself, you harness the power of countless observations of small incidents of change—incidents that used to vanish without a trace. And if you want to test an idea about human nature in general, you aggregate those sets of individual observations into a population study.

The macroscope will be to our era of science what the telescope and the microscope were to earlier ones. Its power will be felt even more from the new questions it provokes than from the answers it delivers. [...]
technology  data  information  identity  science  social  culture 
june 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Findings - Message in What We Buy, but Nobody’s Listening -
“Evolution is good at getting us to avoid death, desperation and celibacy, but it’s not that good at getting us to feel happy,” he says, calling our desire to impress strangers a quirky evolutionary byproduct of a smaller social world.

“We evolved as social primates who hardly ever encountered strangers in prehistory,” Dr. Miller says. “So we instinctively treat all strangers as if they’re potential mates or friends or enemies. But your happiness and survival today don’t depend on your relationships with strangers. It doesn’t matter whether you get a nanosecond of deference from a shopkeeper or a stranger in an airport.”
psychology  science  nytimes  marketing  books  biology  friendship  relationships  happiness  death  love  evolution  social 
may 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Baby Names Quantify the Faddishness of Fads | Wired Science |
Take Tricia. Back in the 1950s, almost nobody named their baby girls Tricia. By the 1970s, the name had skyrocketed to the 144th most popular girl’s name and then just as quickly, Tricia fell back into disuse. It’s no longer in the top 1,000 names for girls. Literally hundreds of other names have followed similar trajectories.

It turns out that a name’s sad tumble into obscurity is tightly correlated with the speed of its rise. And that principle — what goes up quickly, must come down quickly — could be applicable to a broader set of memes.
names  identity  usa  beauty  children  parenting  science  thinking 
may 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Magazine Preview - The Civil Heretic - Freeman Dyson - Profile -
“I don’t think of myself predicting things,” he says. “I’m expressing possibilities. Things that could happen. To a large extent it’s a question of how badly people want them to. The purpose of thinking about the future is not to predict it but to raise people’s hopes.”
futurism  time  weather  physics  climate  science 
march 2009 by allaboutgeorge
UC Davis News & Information :: Study Finds Brain Hub That Links Music, Memory and Emotion
“What’s cool about this is that one of the main parts of the brain that’s tracking the music is the same part of the brain that’s responding overall to how autobiographically salient the music is,” Janata said.

Because memory for autobiographically important music seems to be spared in people with Alzheimer’s disease, Janata said, one of his long-term goals is to use this research to help develop music-based therapy for people with the disease.

“Providing patients with MP3 players and customized playlists,” he speculated, “could prove to be a quality-of-life improvement strategy that would be both effective and economical.”
memory  science  brain  music  beauty  health  mp3  identity 
february 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Beauty Affects Men's and Women's Brains Differently | Wired Science from
"In current hunter-gatherer groups, men are in charge of hunting; meanwhile women collect," said Cela-Conde. "If this is a scheme that can be extended to ancestors’ behavior, then we can think about a selective pressure to increase the capacity of spatial orientation in men, and the capacity to identify edible plants and tubers in women."
psychology  brain  science  research  beauty  men  women  sex  gender 
february 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Science News / It’s Written All Over Your Face
"The average person you pass on the street is probably not ‘hot or not.' But if they are hot or not, they should activate some kind of socially behavioral response [the reward circuitry] that says go after that person at all costs or avoid them at all costs because mating could be really horrific for your [offspring’s] genes."
science  health  psychology  beauty  sex  relationships 
january 2009 by allaboutgeorge
Jack in the Box burger tops unhealthful list - Los Angeles Times
The $1 burger from San Diego-based Jack in the Box topped the ranking because of its hamburger patty and "hefty helpings of cheese and mayo-onion sauce," said Krista Haynes, Cancer Project staff dietitian. The item contains 23 grams of fat, 860 milligrams of sodium, and bacon, a processed meat that Haynes said was associated with increased colorectal cancer risk.

[...] After ranking the Jack in the Box burger as the worst choice, the group said that Taco Bell's Cheesy Double Beef Burrito was a close second. The burrito contains processed beef and nacho cheese sauce. It weighs in at 20 grams of fat, including 7 grams of saturated fat, as well as 460 calories and contains what the Cancer Project called "an astonishing 1,620 milligrams of sodium."

Burger King's Breakfast Sausage Biscuit ranked third on the list of five. The McDouble from McDonald's was fourth and Wendy's Junior Bacon Cheeseburger was fifth.
food  business  corporations  vegan  cancer  health  science  research 
december 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Strangers May Cheer You Up, Study Says -
“There’s kind of an emotional quiet riot that occurs and takes on a life of its own, that people themselves may be unaware of. Emotions have a collective existence — they are not just an individual phenomenon.”
sociology  nytimes  happiness  psychology  health  social  friendship  relationships  emotion  research  science 
december 2008 by allaboutgeorge
How flags flap | Blowin' in the wind | The Economist
OFTEN it pays not to be leader of the pack—just ask a racing cyclist or a Formula One driver. Conserving energy by following the leader, a trick known as slipstreaming, can give a rider or driver that extra bit of juice to pull ahead at the very last moment. In the natural world, however, bodies are more likely to be flexible, like a fish’s, rather than rigid, like a car’s. In these systems, as a recent paper in Physical Review Letters reports, it is the leader that enjoys a significant dynamic advantage over the followers.
science  sports  fauna  aesthetics  cars  physics 
november 2008 by allaboutgeorge
A Commitment Pill? - Olivia Judson - Evolution - Opinion - New York Times Blog
"Examples of the socially monogamous? They include Kirk’s dik-dik, a small African antelope; the fat-tailed dwarf lemur, a small primate from Madagascar; the prairie vole, a North American rodent; some human beings."
science  love  relationships  research  health  animals  fauna 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Basics - Gut Instinct’s Surprising Role in Math -
“What’s interesting and surprising in our results is that the same system we spend years trying to acquire in school, and that we use to send a man to the moon, and that has inspired the likes of Plato, Einstein and Stephen Hawking, has something in common with what a rat is doing when it’s out hunting for food. I find that deeply moving.”
mathematics  science  aesthetics  education  biology  fauna  animals  philosophy  attention 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Talking Points Memo | Upcountry
"[...] You can look at states like Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states and see the different numbers and they are all explained by one basic fact. [...]"
geography  pyschology  mapping  usa  science  research  politics  obama 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
US personalities vary by region, say researchers | World news |
"Some of the poorest states in the US ranked high for 'neuroticism,' which the researchers described as 'anxious, stressful and impulsive.' Those states, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana and West Virginia, are five of the six poorest, measured by median household income."
psychology  research  science  usa 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Love and infidelity: How our brains keep us from straying - Los Angeles Times
[...] "A new line of research is exploring how automatic psychological mechanisms kick into action when the eye starts to wander, helping resist temptation and strengthening the relationship -- even without us being aware of it. Here's a sample from some recently published experiments (all on heterosexual men and women in committed monogamous relationships) that show how our brain keeps us connected to -- and, yes, even happy with -- the old ball and chain. (Spoiler: When it comes to relationships, men and women are a bit different.) [...]"
love  men  women  marriage  relationships  beauty  sex  psychology  biology  science  research 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Findings - As External Barriers Disappear, Internal Gender Gaps Widen -
“Humanity’s jaunt into monotheism, agriculturally based economies and the monopolization of power and resources by a few men was ‘unnatural’ in many way. In some ways modern progressive cultures are returning us psychologically to our hunter-gatherer roots. That means high sociopolitical gender equality over all, but with men and women expressing predisposed interests in different domains. Removing the stresses of traditional agricultural societies could allow men’s, and to a lesser extent women’s, more ‘natural’ personality traits to emerge.”
men  women  gender  psychology  health  evolution  research  science  sex  culture  nytimes  nature  poverty 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
BBC NEWS | Health | Declaring love boosts sex appeal
"Combining information about others' physical beauty with information about how attracted they appear to be to you allows you to allocate your social effort efficiently."
love  relationships  beauty  men  women  sex  communication  thinking  information  social  dating  behavior  health  science  research  psychology 
september 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Wired Magazine: Novelist Neal Stephenson Once Again Proves He's the King of the Worlds
"I could never get that idea, the notion that society in general is becoming aliterate, out of my head. People who write books, people who work in universities, who work on big projects for a long time, are on a diverging course from the rest of society. Slowly, the two cultures just get further and further apart."
literature  libarry  writing  reading  books  fiction  culture  science  history  society  academia  education  philosophy  interview  sciencefiction  time  future 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
The new Joy of Sex: why you still need help in bed - Times Online
“I think what a lot of the other material out there misses is how powerful sex is; people die for it, literally. One of the ways we've gone wrong in the past is that we haven't recognised this emotional power. Sex isn't a game - it's not pink and black and fluffy. So I think there still is a need for a book that takes sex seriously.”
sex  books  aesthetics  biology  science  reading  1970s  uk  gender  men  women  health 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Perception propels TV's latest chic geek - The Boston Globe
"Every time I do art, I feel like I'm not serving utility in a direct way. Every time I do science, I miss the spark of the creative impulse. But I've come to realize it's the same. In science or art, it's about intro
science  art  aesthetics  creativity  research  television  cable 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge
The Happiness Gap: USC College : News : 2008 : July : Anke Plagnol & Richard Easterlin
"In their analysis, the researchers control for birth cohort and demographic characteristics such as race and education. They find that women are, on average, happier than men in early adulthood — but the glow wears off with time. Specifically, after the age of 48, men’s overall happiness exceeds women’s happiness."
happiness  research  academia  men  women  race  education  science 
august 2008 by allaboutgeorge Ink Q&A - Mark Alpert
"I came away with the sense that Einstein had led a very messy life; although he had high ideals and great compassion for people in general, on a person-to-person level he could be exasperating. This understanding turned out to quite helpful."
writing  science  attention 
july 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Paul Saffo on why he’s leaving the Institute for the Future | Chris O’Brien
“It’s the forecasters disease. I’m constantly thinking about the implication of what I was seeing on the horizon of my work. Fundamentally, many of those things were outside the scope of what my clients were willing to fund."
futurism  thinking  attention  science  cities  urban  environment 
july 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Are we closer to a 'Matrix'-style world? - Frontiers-
“We are, as humans, just trained to look at faces. In a virtual environment, where you use a computer-generated figure that doesn’t look quite right, it’s a distraction from the action of the movie.”
science  marketing  technology  computers  cinema  games  aesthetics 
may 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Scans pinpoint alcohol's effects on the human brain | Science |
"The key finding of this study is that after alcohol exposure, threat-detecting brain circuits can't tell the difference between a threatening and non-threatening social stimulus."
alcohol  beverages  uk  research  science  social 
april 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Slate V - Bookmark: Sex Research, the Video
"Mary Roach, author of the new book Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, relates how she and her husband became the first couple to be filmed on 4-D ultrasound while having sex. We have the tape, too."
sex  science  research  academia  men  women  biology 
april 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Sex? It's written all over your face | Family and relationships | Life and Health
"What was interesting was the strength of the preference among men for women who were interested in short-term sex and the strength of the preference of the women for men not interested in short-term sex."
sex  relationships  science  love  marriage  health  research  uk  men  women 
april 2008 by allaboutgeorge From the Author - Neil Shubin
"What we see lying inside ancient rocks and inside these embryos is almost a mirror of ourselves. Here, in these humble places, we discover how our humanity, with all its uniqueness, has emerged from parts common to the rest of life on our planet."
evolution  science  research  animals  fauna  history  aesthetics 
january 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Nerve: Man vs. Machine
"Do you worry robots might be more attracted to other robots than to humans?" "That's just a matter of programming."
science  sciencefiction  research  love  relationships  sex  society 
january 2008 by allaboutgeorge
Twilight of the Books: A Critic at Large: The New Yorker
"[T]he N.E.A. reports that readers are more likely than non-readers to play sports, exercise, visit art museums, attend theatre, paint, go to music events, take photographs, and volunteer. Proficient readers are also more likely to vote."
books  culture  education  literature  newyorker  reading  television  usa  society  science  publishing  psychology  history  toread 
december 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Drugs to build up that mental muscle - Los Angeles Times
"Just think what it would do to anybody's career in about any area. There are not too many occupations where it's really good to be dumb."
brain  drugs  health  music  marketing  science  classical  classicalmusic  games  athletes 
december 2007 by allaboutgeorge
BLDGBLOG: Comparative Planetology: An Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson
"I’ve been working all my career to try to redefine utopia in more positive terms – in more dynamic terms."
toread  sciencefiction  archaeology  architecture  cities  environment  fiction  interview  interviews  literature  reading  science  writing 
december 2007 by allaboutgeorge
The Dance of Evolution, or How Art Got Its Start - New York Times
"Through the harmonic magic of art, the relative weakness of the individual can be traded up for the strength of the hive, cohered into a social unit ready to take on the world."
art  creativity  science  public  social  ritual  beauty  aesthetics  identity 
november 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Slashdot: Brains Hard-Wired for Math
"[T]he ability of most humans to sing (speak for yourself!), play music, and even distinguish different tunes implies an intrinsic hard-wired affinity for numbers since music depends on very specific ratios of frequencies to be gauged and produced accurat
music  science  research  evolution  fauna  animals  aesthetics 
november 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Rigging a study to make conservatives look stupid. - By William Saletan - Slate Magazine
"You've manufactured a tiny world of letters, half-seconds, and button-pushing, so you can catch us in clear errors and keep out the part of life where our tendencies correct yours."
politics  science  research  psychology  memory  identity  brain  statistics 
september 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Brain study finds political divide - Los Angeles Times
"Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than conservatives when they saw a W, researchers said." O RLY?
science  research  psychology  politics  brain 
september 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Study: Romantic love affects brain like drug addiction | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Entertainment: Break Room
"We saw activity in the ventral tegmental area and other regions of the brain's reward system associated with motivation, elation and focused attention."
love  relationships  sex  story  science  brain  health  research  attention  drugs 
september 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Feline's four-legged walk reveals how memory works: study
"Although we use vision extensively to guide our walking, we don't look at our feet as we walk — we look three or four steps ahead and remember the terrain."
research  science  animals  fauna  brain  memory 
august 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Study: Why Girls Like Pink - TIME
"This is the first study to pinpoint a robust sex difference in the red-green axis of human color vision. And this preference has an evolutionary advantage behind it."
science  research  men  women  gender  design 
august 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Evolutionary psychology | Blatant benevolence and conspicuous consumption |
"Geoffrey Miller is a man with a theory [...] His idea is that the human brain is the anthropoid equivalent of the peacock's tail. In other words, it is an organ designed to attract the opposite sex."
altruism  brain  culture  ethics  evolution  gender  men  nature  volunteering  psychology  research  science  sex  social  sociology  women  relationships  via:boycaught 
august 2007 by allaboutgeorge
The Myth, the Math, the Sex - New York Times
"Surveys and studies to the contrary notwithstanding, the conclusion that men have substantially more sex partners than women is not and cannot be true for purely logical reasons."
science  sex  research  men  women  gender  relationships  dating 
august 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Natalie Angier - Science Column - Smart, Curious, Ticklish. Rats? - New York Times
“It’s not simply instinctual for them. Rats know what good sex is and what bad sex is. And when they have reason to anticipate great sex, they give you every indication they’re looking forward to it.”
sex  fauna  behavior  animals  science  research 
july 2007 by allaboutgeorge
Neil deGrasse Tyson-The Perimeter of Ignorance
"Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance. You cannot build a program of discovery on the assumption that nobody is smart enough to figure out the answer to a problem."
toread  science  astronomy  aesthetics  research  religion 
july 2007 by allaboutgeorge
CBC News: Culture shapes how brain interprets signals
"Culture has a measurable influence on our brain and, as a result, our behavior. Researchers need to take this into consideration when drawing conclusions about brain function and human behavior."
culture  behavior  science  health  research  communication  brain 
july 2007 by allaboutgeorge
The genes that build America: Piecing together the DNA jigsaw | Magazine | The Observer
"I want to reclaim my history. My wife is Indian. She speaks her native language. She knows where her family is from. I want to know my history, too."
family  genealogy  history  news  politics  race  racism  science  usa 
july 2007 by allaboutgeorge
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