Nicholas Carr's latest article for The Atlantic
posits that automation presents risks, specifically of losing skill and talent. "The lack of awareness and the degradation of know-how raise the odds that when something goes wrong, the operator will react ineptly. The assumption that the human will be the weakest link in the system becomes self-fulfilling."
posted by Athanassiel
on Nov 2, 2013 -
are calling this
the oldest brain found. However, there have been other finds and at least one
major site in Florida that holds older remains. The trick now is to extract DNA and information that can aid in medical advances.
posted by Eicats
on Oct 29, 2013 -
In a nutshell
, this new study provides evidence that we need a certain amount of sleep every night, because the brain takes this time to rid itself of toxic metabolic byproducts, which would otherwise accumulate in the brain and impair brain function, destroy neurons — and potentially cause neurodegenerative disorders.
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Oct 19, 2013 -
Our Inconsistent Ethical Instincts
We like to believe that the principled side of the equation is rooted in deep, reasoned conviction. But a growing wealth of research shows that those values often prove to be finicky, inconsistent intuitions, swayed by ethically irrelevant factors. What you say now you might disagree with in five minutes. And such wavering has implications for both public policy and our personal lives. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 18, 2013 -
Is Psychometric g a Myth?
- "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth
approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g
." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 11, 2013 -
Have you ever been in a room with lots of people and not great ventilation. Or even a room with normal ventilation. You may be cognitively impaired due to elevated levels of CO2 once considered safe now thought enough to make you a little dumb
. 600ppm is now thought too much, but “there are plenty of buildings where you could easily see 2,500 ppm of CO2 — or close to it — even with ventilation designs that are fully compliant with current standards.. classrooms frequently exceed 1,000ppm." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach
on Oct 18, 2012 -
"Beyond the Brain" In the 1990s, scientists declared that schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses were pure brain disorders that would eventually yield to drugs. Now they are recognizing that social factors are among the causes, and must be part of the cure.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies
on Sep 20, 2012 -
Have you ever wondered why you don't see motion blur when your eyes flick to a new position? Why, if you sit in front of a mirror and watch yourself, you never see your eyes move? That is saccadic masking
, one of
the lies your brain tells to avoid confusing you.
Have you noticed that the first tick after glancing at a clock with a second hand can take more than one second? No, it's not just you! That's a related phenomenon called chronostasis
, or more commonly the stopped clock illusion
posted by gilrain
on Aug 16, 2012 -
"...Pam agreed to die in order to save her life—and in the process had what is perhaps the most famous case of independent corroboration of out of body experience (OBE) perceptions on record...Pam later said, she felt herself “pop” out of her body and hover above it, watching as doctors worked on her body. Although she no longer had use of her eyes and ears, she described her observations in terms of her senses and perceptions...with considerable accuracy.
Near Death, explained. [more inside]
posted by anazgnos
on Apr 23, 2012 -
NDE studies [such as these] suggest that after physical death, mind and consciousness may continue in a transcendent level of reality that normally is not accessible to our senses and awareness."
“There are no images and no representations in our minds,” he insisted. “Our visual experience of the world is a continuum between see-er and seen united in a shared process of seeing.”
I was curious, if only because, as a novelist I’d always supposed I was dealing in images, imagery. This stuff might have implications. So we had a beer together
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Apr 19, 2012 -
Your Brain in Love and Lust
- This Valentine's Day, Scientific American traces the flow of chemicals in the brain during different phases of romance and describes surprising insights from the science of attraction.
posted by nickyskye
on Feb 14, 2012 -
Does Football have a Future?
: Football players are anywhere from five to nineteen times more likely than a member of the general population to suffer from a dementia-like illness. This is likely a result of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
), neurodegeneration caused by receiving multiple concussions or even subconcussions that are not detectable around time of impact. CTE has been linked to other mood and behavior changes, including suicidal depression (a great review of the medical literature generally),
and has been found in football players as young as 21
. And, of course, there is the sometimes debilitating physical disability (either acutely or later in life) from playing a hard-contact sport. The NFL has a long history of adjusting safety standards in bits and pieces (e.g., legalization of the forward pass
) to meet public concern over potential injury and disability from playing the sport, though still to some degree publicly denies a connection between football and brain damage
. New Yorker writer Ben McGrath
talks to football players (past and present), their families (often left behind by untimely death or dementia-twilight), franchise heads, and doctors to explore this history, the crushing legacy of sports injuries, and the question of whether it is possible to reform the rules to minimize the risk of concussion and thus the risk of CTE (if any such risk is acceptable). Would it still be football if such changes were to tone down the violence? (Yes, No [from iconoclast Buzz Bissinger]
) And, uncomfortably: is the sport of football unethical for its players, even if entered into on their own volition? (previously in the New Yorker
; previously on MetaFilter 1, 2, 3
) [more inside]
posted by Keter
on Feb 13, 2012 -