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this is all just theory

The Freedivers Who Eavesdrop On Whales
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 17, 2014 - 13 comments

I'm leaving my body to science, not medical but physics

Let's Talk About Science is a blog devoted to discussing the world of science and technology communication with clear, beginner-friendly language, written and compiled by nanoscientist/physicist Jessamyn Fairfield and science educator ErinDubitably. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 3, 2014 - 4 comments

"That just blew my mind"

I Sent All My Text Messages in Calligraphy for a Week. "The idea: I wanted to message friends using calligraphic texts for one week... Before I started, I established rules for myself: I could create only handwritten text messages for seven days, absolutely no using my phone’s keyboard. I had to write out my messages on paper, photograph them, then hit “send.” I didn’t reveal my plan to my friends unless asked, and I received a variety of responses." [more inside]
posted by quin on Jun 27, 2014 - 43 comments

The facebook algorithm is teaching you what to want

What is the greatest danger of algorithmic culture? Christian Sandvig describes it as "corrupt personalization."
posted by Tesseractive on Jun 26, 2014 - 37 comments

communication breakdown

Why you're (probably) not a great communicator [more inside]
posted by flex on Jun 24, 2014 - 23 comments

Anthropology, Archaeology and SETI

Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communication is a free book (PDF) from NASA. The premise is that communication with alien lifeforms will have some (cautious) analogues to interpreting past cultures, and to the work that anthropologists and linguists do cross-culturally. Among the 16 chapters are: Beyond Linear B - The Metasemiotic Challenge of Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence; Learning To Read - Interstellar Message Decipherment from Archaeological and Anthropological Perspectives; and, Mirrors of Our Assumptions: Lessons from an Arthritic Neanderthal.
posted by Rumple on May 23, 2014 - 27 comments

Sølar-pøwered flashlights? But wait, there's møre!

The Nordic Society for Invention & Discovery has brought never-before-seen and totally exclusive technologies into the world, such as the Aaltopuck (an ice hockey puck modeled after Alvar Aalto's Savoy Vase), the Flower Shell (a shotgun shell that shoots seeds into the ground), the Wall of Sound (an 8000-watt iPod dock) and No More Woof (a device that wraps around your dog's head and translates his or her brain waves to computerized speech).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 15, 2014 - 11 comments

Ill communication

Charlene deGuzman and Miles Crawford settle that age-old question, "What should we eat?" With drums.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Mar 9, 2014 - 10 comments

Animal Communication: What do we know ?

A recent workshop on Analyzing Animal Vocal Sequences provided some illuminating views of what we know and what we don't know about animal communication. In particular one notes the increased use of Machine Learning algorithms that are currently used to make sense of human interactions on the web. Talks at the workshop included:Unraveling dolphin communication complexity, Singing isn't just for the birds, Automated identification of bird individuals using machine learning, A receiver's perspective on analyzing animal vocal sequences, Animal communication sequence analysis using information theory, Machine learning for the classification of animal vocalizations and Information theoretic principles of human language and animal behavior
posted by IgorCarron on Jan 25, 2014 - 12 comments

Sociologist Cat is Watching You Text...in Public

Keith Hampton, an associate professor in Rutgers' School of Communication and Information, filmed people in Bryant Park (among other locations) in an ongoing effort to recreate and update sociologist William H. Whyte's Street Life Project. [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker on Jan 20, 2014 - 3 comments

full stop

When did our plainest punctuation mark become so aggressive? (New Republic) “In the world of texting and IMing … the default is to end just by stopping, with no punctuation mark at all,” Liberman wrote me. “In that situation, choosing to add a period also adds meaning because the reader(s) need to figure out why you did it. And what they infer, plausibly enough, is something like ‘This is final, this is the end of the discussion or at least the end of what I have to contribute to it.’”
posted by salix on Dec 3, 2013 - 149 comments

Game behind gamed: your narrative programming for the day

How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio[1] actually makes a case against austerity[2] and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 25, 2013 - 28 comments

Conflict Resolution Dojo

The Conflict-Resolving Game is a new and challenging alternative to the traditional Debate. It can be played by adults and by children and by teams of very mixed age groups. To succeed in this game you should know the difference between debate and dialog. You will need to master the Twelve Skills. You may want to consult a 270 page training manual.. This longer one will work also - even mentioning the principles of Aikido. Oh, and mastering the game is not just for adults.
posted by storybored on Aug 14, 2013 - 9 comments

Privacy Instincts

Too much information: Our instincts for privacy evolved in tribal societies where walls didn't exist. No wonder we are hopeless oversharers. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 8, 2013 - 14 comments

Communication not as a state of emergency.

Love is abundant, and every relationship is unique. Love and respect instead of entitlement. Find your core set of relationship values. Heterosexism is rampant and out there, but don’t let fear lead you. Build for the lovely unexpected. Fake it til’ you make it. Trust is better. Change through communication. Customize your commitments. The Short Instructional Manifesto for Relationship Anarchy by Andie Nordgren.
posted by davidjmcgee on Jul 15, 2013 - 43 comments

Here comes a tall, thin, yellow human!

After more than 25 years of studying the calls of prairie dog in the field, one researcher managed to decode just what these animals are saying. And the results show that prairie dogs aren't only extremely effective communicators, they also pay close attention to detail.
posted by cthuljew on Jun 2, 2013 - 33 comments

Important communication skills

Use "Metatalk" skill to discuss communication problems.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 15, 2013 - 46 comments

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day - Leah Coleman was born profoundly deaf. Her mother, Rachel, decided that the best way to deal with it was to try to change the world and Leah tells us about it.
posted by plinth on May 10, 2013 - 15 comments

International Art English

"The internationalized art world relies on a unique language. Its purest articulation is found in the digital press release. This language has everything to do with English, but it is emphatically not English. It is largely an export of the Anglophone world and can thank the global dominance of English for its current reach. But what really matters for this language—what ultimately makes it a language—is the pointed distance from English that it has always cultivated. " - Triple Canopy magazine on why do artists' statments and press releases sound so utterly odd and confusing.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 26, 2013 - 45 comments

Born Digital Folklore

"Its not like we all sat in silence and stared blankly at our TVs waiting for the Internet to show up. We have probably always had vernacular webs of communication." Digital studies scholar Robert Glenn Howard talks about vaccines, the Christian right [PDF], AC/DC guitar tutorials and other "born-digital folklore" on the "vernacular web."
posted by Miko on Feb 25, 2013 - 13 comments

Maps of global telecommunications

telegeography.com has a nice gallery of zoomable maps of global telecommunications and IT infrastructure, such as submarine cables (1 2), and internet backbones.
posted by carter on Jan 31, 2013 - 9 comments

Enough with the ad homonyms

Literacy Privilege: How I Learned to Check Mine Instead of Making Fun of People’s Grammar on the Internet. Also Part 2 and Part 3.
posted by divabat on Dec 12, 2012 - 130 comments

How and Why We Read

"Reading is always an act of empathy" - John Green of Crash Course (previously) explains "How and Why We Read" (... and recommends his favorite books). [more inside]
posted by mrgrimm on Dec 4, 2012 - 19 comments

missing link

Can’t get enough of these videos from AsapSCIENCE. Here’s an earlier one from the Your Brain On Drugs series entitled marijuana. I was pretty stoned when watching it and ended up cracking up at the funny cats – total highlight for me. Can’t remember the gist, but you should definitely check it out. (Text Via) (slyt)
posted by infini on Nov 23, 2012 - 13 comments

If a reader ends up confused, it’s not their failure as a reader but yours as a writer.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named the 2012 winners of their science journalism award. The winning text, radio and TV segments -- which cover subjects ranging from bat ecology to nuclear power post-Fukushima -- are all free access. [more inside]
posted by metaBugs on Nov 21, 2012 - 2 comments

Coronet Instructional Films

From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2012 - 41 comments

"This is the best time. The next 2 or 3 thousand years will be fantastic!"

In 2005, the Discovery Channel aired Alien Worlds, a fictional documentary based on Wayne Douglas Barlowe's graphic novel, Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the 2358 A.D. Voyage to Darwin IV." Depicting mankind's first robotic mission to an extrasolar planet that could support life, the show drew from NASA's Origins Program, the NASA/JPL PlanetQuest Mission, and ESA's Darwin Project. It was primarily presented through CGI, but included interviews from a variety of NASA scientists and other experts, including Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, John Craig Venter and Jack Horner. Oh, and George Lucas, too. Official site. Previously on MeFi. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 21, 2012 - 12 comments

Who asked you, you turkeys?

Man Gobbles at Turkeys, Turkeys Gobble Back. A heartwarming SLYT of interspecies communication for Friday afternoon.
posted by Meghamora on Aug 17, 2012 - 34 comments

There Is No Effective Way To Respond

Sam Harris- 'Wrestling The Troll' "Topics like torture, recreational drug use, and wealth inequality can provoke outrage and misunderstanding in many audiences. But discussing them online sets your reputation wandering like a child across a battlefield—perpetually. Anything can and will be said at your expense—or falsely attributed to you—today, tomorrow, and years hence. Needless to say, the urge to respond to this malevolence and obfuscation can become irresistible. "
posted by herbplarfegan on Aug 8, 2012 - 47 comments

The Payphone Stadium Project

In 1990, the avenues of information we have today weren't around. So what was a baseball fan who wanted to know the score of a game elsewhere in the country to do? Compile a list of pay phone numbers at stadiums and get the score from passers by who picked up.
posted by reenum on Mar 5, 2012 - 46 comments

Digital Images are SomeThing to aspire to? (A reflection on Hito Steyerl's proposal)

Artist and film-maker, Hito Steyerl, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me) - a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic* is SPAM - a liberated excess withdrawn** from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image we find our closest kin? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Feb 16, 2012 - 5 comments

"Technology presumes there's just one right way to do things and there never is." - Robert M. Pirsig

The Museum of RetroTechnology is a curated online collection of (mostly) obsolete inventions. The exhibitions include Gearwheels From Hell, the Dynosphere monowheel, Unusual Pedal Bicycles, Propeller-Driven Sleighs, Water Engines, Dog and Goat Engines, Acoustic Location and Sound Mirrors, Optical Telegraphs, and Combat Cutlery.
posted by troll on Feb 14, 2012 - 14 comments

Sending messages before texting/SMS

Teenage bicycle messengers carried messages around American cities in the early 20th century, including red light districts. Social reformer and photographer Lewis Hine documented their lives in image and text.
posted by brianogilvie on Dec 13, 2011 - 19 comments

"I would rather be sitting back home at my desk, believe me. But this is too important."

"The political elite have actually no interest in explaining to the people that important decisions are made in Strasbourg; they are only afraid of losing their own power." Jürgen Habermas on the crisis of the European project and how it could be overcome.
posted by daniel_charms on Nov 28, 2011 - 29 comments

Stories made from: microspores, fog maps, infected bass samples, mathematics, patterns of decay, broken machines, blood, code bugs…

Sparkletown, the twitter stories of Jeff Noon.
posted by Artw on Nov 10, 2011 - 19 comments

Lingua Canis Domestica

NOVA hosts a test to see how well you speak dog. Originally in association with Dogs Decoded, which is available to watch for the next week via NOVA's website.
posted by cmoj on Oct 13, 2011 - 44 comments

Now Robert Buckman, there's an atheist I could never get tired of hearing from!

Robert Buckman, Oncologist, Comedian, Good Without God, died this weekend at age 63.
posted by Chuckles on Oct 11, 2011 - 15 comments

Man writes on little blue website.

Great news: Broken Picture Telephone lives, it's called Teledraw!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 25, 2011 - 31 comments

Doctor Fox's Lecture

Video footage of the legendary Doctor Fox lecture. "The lecture that Myron L. Fox delivered to the assembled experts had an impressive enough title: 'Mathematical Game Theory as Applied to Physician Education'. Those responsible for running the University of Southern California School of Medicine's psychiatry department's continuing education programme had taken themselves off to Lake Tahoe in northern California for their annual conference and a continuing education program. There, Fox - who was billed as an 'authority on the application of mathematics to human behaviour' - presented the first paper. His polished performance so impressed the audience of psychiatrists, family doctors and general internists that nobody noticed that the man standing at the lectern wasn't really Myron L. Fox from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine but Michael Fox a movie actor who though having considerable experience in playing doctors in TV shows didn't know the first thing about game theory." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 23, 2011 - 37 comments

Does digital writing leave fingerprints?

"When legal teams need to prove or disprove the authorship of key texts, they call in the forensic linguists. Scholars in the field have tackled the disputed origins of some prestigious works, from Shakespearean sonnets to the Federalist Papers."
Decoding Your E-Mail Personality Ben Zimmer, of Language Log discusses the Facebook case and forensic linguistics in the NY Times. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Aug 2, 2011 - 13 comments

Gelotology

The Mad Music Archive and the Colorectal Surgeon Song as gelotological recommendations | Gelotology.com | Laugh Sounds | Laughter and the Brain | Gelotology: A laughing matter | Gelotology, the study of laughter | The Science of Laughter | What’s So Funny? Well, Maybe Nothing | The science of laughter - Humour may play a vital role in children's development, reports Alastair Clarke. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jul 10, 2011 - 4 comments

"We went to fight with flags.... Gadhafi forced us back to the stone age."

Shortly after the unrest in Libya started, the country was cut off from the internet, cell phone infrastructure was limited and used to send SMS messages calling on subscribers to attack foreigners, and satellite phones were jammed. In response, engineers have recently re-routed some of the national cellphone network to make a new system, Free Libya. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 13, 2011 - 15 comments

How We Know

How We Know. An essay about information theory in the New York Review of Books by Freeman Dyson, building off a review of James Gleick's The Information. [more inside]
posted by The Michael The on Feb 26, 2011 - 42 comments

Say What?

Seeing this article today about a defendant in a drug trafficking trial who if deaf, mute and without any language skills reminded me of this question from 5 years ago. One of the answers to that question linked to the Straight Dope which had this question and answer. [more inside]
posted by AugustWest on Jan 12, 2011 - 59 comments

Lubricating Sincerity

"On GChat, I type many things – sincere and not – that I would never say in person because it’s easy, when typing certain things into a box, to forget whom you are typing to." From Thought Catalog, writer Caroline Bankoff lists 45 things she thinks about when she thinks about google's chat service. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 6, 2011 - 34 comments

Sexless, Striving, and Ten Billion Strong

E.O Wilson: Ants are a lot like us. Deborah Gordon: No, ants are like ants.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 24, 2010 - 35 comments

Bacteria 'R' Us

Bacteria can communicate with each other, take concerted action, influence human physiology, alter human thinking, and work together to change their environment. The bacteria in your gut are talking to each other, and to you, and you are talking back to them. The mind boggles. [more inside]
posted by exphysicist345 on Oct 19, 2010 - 55 comments

After 24 years in isolation, learning to communicate

"Voice of San Diego reporter Adrian Florido set out to find a family, he writes, "whose experience could illustrate the day-to-day challenge for Burmese refugees" in San Diego, since "more than 200 Burmese families have arrived [in that city] since 2006." In the process, Florido met a 24-year-old man named Har Sin" who was unable to hear, speak, read, write or use sign language, and wound up writing a two-part story about him: In a New Land, Hoping to Hear and Breaking Free of a Life Without Language. The story is available as a downloadable pdf: A Silent Journey Series. / Via The Kicker, the daily blog of the Columbia Journalism Review [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 13, 2010 - 5 comments

Your data on the ocean floor.

Greg's Cable Map: the world's undersea data-cable architecture.
posted by jjray on Aug 17, 2010 - 21 comments

An eye the size of a grapefruit, keeping an eye on me...

...and there was just rope everywhere--it went around the whales mouth, around the whale's head, across her eye, over her back wrapped around the pectoral fins, all the way down to its tail. I thought there was no hope, there was no chance, we're looking at a dead whale, the whale just doesn't know it yet--but I knew that I had to try. ...It was a very surreal moment looking down and seeing the 20 crab traps and buoys just disappear into the abyss... And just like that, the whale was gone. ...I'm spinning around, where'd she go, where'd she go ? ...Now here's where the story takes a pretty startling turn. ...Next thing I know there's this fifty ton whale coming right at me...
From about 4:00 to 14:30 in nearly 23 minutes of the segment, Animal Blessings--in mp3 here, all 20 megs of it. Or you can try the podcast at RadioLab: Animal Minds. Either way, you are in for a most truly awesome anecdote. And listen to the whole program to have some back and forth science dropped on you in regards to what we think we know about what and how animals think. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 26, 2010 - 69 comments

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