ideas

ooo (ooo) it feels just like we’re floatin’ in this pool and the water brought this fire out of you

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Lacan said that there was surely something ironic about Christ’s injunction to love thy neighbour as thyself – because actually, of course, people hate themselves. […]

The way we hate people depends on the way we love them and vice versa. According to psychoanalysis these contradictory feelings enter into everything we do. We are ambivalent, in Freud’s view, about anything and everything that matters to us; indeed, ambivalence is the way we recognise that someone or something has become significant to us. […]

We are never as good as we should be; and neither, it seems, are other people.

{ London Review of Books | Continue reading }

art { Gisèle Vienne, Teenage Hallucination, 2012 }

everything is stooopid

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EVERY 250m years the sun, with its entourage of planets, completes a circuit of the Milky Way. Its journey around its home galaxy, though, is no stately peregrination. Rather, its orbit oscillates up and down through the galactic disc. It passes through that disc, the place where most of the galaxy’s matter is concentrated, once every 30m years or so.

This fact has long interested Michael Rampino of New York University. He speculates that it could explain the mass extinctions, such as that of the dinosaurs and many other species 66m years ago, which life on Earth undergoes from time to time. Palaeontologists recognise five such humongous events, during each of which up to 90% of species have disappeared. But the fossil record is also littered with smaller but still significant blips in the continuity of life.

Many hypotheses have been put forward to explain these extinctions (and the events may, of course, not all have the same explanation). The two that have most support are collisions between Earth and an asteroid or comet, and extended periods of massive volcanic activity. Dr Rampino observed some time ago that cometary collisions might be triggered by gravitational disruptions of the Oort cloud, a repository of comets in the outermost part of the solar system. That would send a rain of them into the part of space occupied by Earth. This has come to be known as the Shiva hypothesis, after the Hindu god of destruction. […]

In his latest paper, Dr Rampino speculates that the real culprit may be not stars, but dark matter—and that this might explain the volcanism as well.

{ The Economist | Continue reading }

‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.’ —Mike Tyson

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The asteroid landed in the ocean and would have caused megatsunamis, for which evidence has been found in several locations in the Caribbean and eastern United States—marine sand in locations that were then inland, and vegetation debris and terrestrial rocks in marine sediments dated to the time of the impact. […]

The asteroid landed in a bed of gypsum (calcium sulfate), which would have produced a vast sulfur dioxide aerosol. This would have further reduced the sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface and then precipitated as acid rain, killing vegetation, plankton, and organisms that build shells from calcium carbonate (coccolithophores and molluscs). […]

The impact may also have produced acid rain, depending on what type of rock the asteroid struck. However, recent research suggests this effect was relatively minor, lasting for approximately 12 years. […]

Such an impact would have inhibited photosynthesis by creating a dust cloud that blocked sunlight for up to a year, and by injecting sulfuric acid aerosols into the stratosphere, which might have reduced sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface by 10–20%. It has been argued that it would take at least ten years for such aerosols to dissipate, which would account for the extinction of plants and phytoplankton, and of organisms dependent on them (including predatory animals as well as herbivores). […]

The event appears to have hit all continents at the same time. […]

The event eliminated a vast number of species. Based on marine fossils, it is estimated that 75% or more of all species were wiped out by the K–Pg extinction. In terrestrial ecosystems all animals weighing more than a kilo disappeared.

The most well-known victims are the non-avian dinosaurs. […]

The fact that the extinctions occur at the same time as the Chicxulub asteroid impact strongly supports the impact hypothesis of extinction. […]

The Chicxulub crater is more than 180 kilometres (110 mi) in diameter and 20 km (12 mi) in depth, making the feature one of the largest confirmed impact structures on Earth; the impacting bolide that formed the crater was at least 10 km (6 mi) in diameter. […] Researchers dated rock and ash samples from the impact to roughly 66 million years ago. […]

Some scientists maintain the extinction was caused or exacerbated by other factors, such as volcanic eruptions, climate change, or sea level change, separately or together.

{ The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event | Chicxulub crater }

related { Plants survive better through mass extinctions than animals }

related { Rising Sea Levels Are Already Making Miami’s Floods Worse }

related { 12 ways researchers think human civilisation is most likely to end }

The desert grows

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Dr. Yalom, I would like a consultation. I’ve read your novel “When Nietzsche Wept,” and wonder if you’d be willing to see a fellow writer with a writing block.

No doubt Paul sought to pique my interest with his email. […] Ten days later Paul arrived for his appointment. […]

“I was in philosophy at Princeton writing my doctorate on the incompatibility between Nietzsche’s ideas on determinism and his espousal of self-transformation. But I couldn’t finish. I kept getting distracted by such things as Nietzsche’s extraordinary correspondence, especially by his letters to his friends and fellow writers like Strindberg.

“Gradually I lost interest altogether in his philosophy and valued him more as an artist. I came to regard Nietzsche as a poet with the most powerful voice in history, a voice so majestic that it eclipsed his ideas, and soon there was nothing for me to do but to switch departments and do my doctorate in literature rather than philosophy.

“The years went by,” he continued, “my research progressed well, but I simply could not write. Finally I arrived at the position that it was only through art that an artist could be illuminated, and I abandoned the dissertation project entirely and decided instead to write a novel on Nietzsche. But the writing block was neither fooled nor deterred by my changing projects. It remained as powerful and unmovable as a granite mountain. And so it has continued until this very day.”

I was stunned. Paul was an old man now. He must have begun working on his dissertation well over a half-century ago. […]

“Tell me more,” I said. “Your family? The people in your life?”

“No siblings. Married twice. Divorced twice. Mercifully short marriages. No children, thank God.”

This is getting very odd, I thought. So talkative at first, Paul now seems intent on giving me as little information as possible. What’s going on?

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

49 days, surely I should be feeling a whole lot better

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Does morality depend on the time of the day? The study “The Morning Morality Effect: The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical Behavior” published in October of 2013 by Maryam Kouchaki and Isaac Smith suggested that people are more honest in the mornings, and that their ability to resist the temptation of lying and cheating wears off as the day progresses. […]

One question not addressed by Kouchaki and Smith was whether the propensity to become dishonest in the afternoons or evenings could be generalized to all subjects or whether the internal time in the subjects was also a factor.

All humans have an internal body clock — the circadian clock — which runs with a period of approximately 24 hours. The circadian clock controls a wide variety of physical and mental functions such as our body temperature, the release of hormones or our levels of alertness. The internal clock can vary between individuals, but external cues such as sunlight or the social constraints of our society force our internal clocks to be synchronized to a pre-defined external time which may be quite distinct from what our internal clock would choose if it were to “run free”. Free-running internal clocks of individuals can differ in terms of their period (for example 23.5 hours versus 24.4 hours) as well as the phases of when individuals would preferably engage in certain behaviors. […]

Some people like to go to bed early, wake up at 5 am or 6 am on their own even without an alarm clock and they experience peak levels of alertness and energy before noon. In contrast to such “larks”, there are “owls” among us who prefer to go to bed late at night, wake up at 11 am, experience their peak energy levels and alertness in the evening hours and like to stay up way past midnight. […]

The researchers Brian Gunia, Christopher Barnes and Sunita Sah therefore decided to replicate the Kouchaki and Smith study with one major modification: They not only assessed the propensity to cheat at different times of the day, they also measured the chronotypes of the study participants. Their recent paper “”The Morality of Larks and Owls: Unethical Behavior Depends on Chronotype as Well as Time of Day” confirms that Kouchaki and Smith findings that the time of the day influences honesty, but the observed effects differ among chronotypes. […]

[M]orning morality effect and the idea of “moral exhaustion” towards the end of the day cannot be generalized to all. In fact, evening people (”owls”) are more honest in the evenings. […]

Gunia and colleagues only included morning and evening people in their analysis and excluded the participants who reported an intermediate chronotype, i.e. not quite early morning “larks” and not true “owls”. This is a valid criticism because newer research on chronotypes has shown that there is a Gaussian distribution of chronotypes. Few of us are extreme larks or extreme owls, most of us lie on a continuum.

{ Fragments of Truth | Continue reading }

photo { Steven Meisel }

The knights of infinity are dancers and possess elevation

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No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning

The widely accepted age of the universe, as estimated by general relativity, is 13.8 billion years. In the beginning, everything in existence is thought to have occupied a single infinitely dense point, or singularity. Only after this point began to expand in a “Big Bang” did the universe officially begin.

Although the Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, some scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after—not at or before—the singularity.

{ Phys.org | Continue reading }

Hilbert managed to build a hotel with an infinite number of rooms, all of which are occupied.

Suppose a new guest arrives and wishes to be accommodated in the hotel. Because the hotel has an infinite number of, we can move any guest occupying any room n to room n+1 (the occupant of room 1 moves to room 2, room 2 to room 3, and so on), then fit the newcomer into room 1.

Now suppose an infinite number of new guests arrives: just move any occupant of room n to room 2n (room 1 to room 2, room 2 to room 4, room 3 to room 6, and so on), and all the odd-numbered rooms (which are countably infinite) will be free for the new guests.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

‘No man can bring about the perfect murder. Chance, however, can do it.’ –Nabokov

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Serendipity, the notion that research in one area often leads to advances in another, has been a central idea in the economics of innovation and science and technology policy. Claims about serendipity, and the futility of planning research, were central to the argument in Vannevar Bush’s Science–The Endless Frontier often considered the blueprint of post-World War II U.S. science policy. […]

The idea of serendipity has been influential not only in practice, but also in theory. Much of the economic work on the governance of research starts from the notion that basic research has economically valuable but unanticipated outcomes. Economic historians, most notably Nathan Rosenberg, have emphasized the uncertain nature of new innovations, and that many technologies (for example, the laser) have had important, but unanticipated, uses and markets. Like Vannevar Bush, prominent economists studying science policy have argued that research cannot and should not be targeted at specific goals but instead guided by the best scientific opportunities, as have influential philosophers of science. […]

[T]here is surprisingly little large-sample evidence on the magnitude of serendipity. This has contributed to perennial debate about the benefits of untargeted or fundamental research, relative to those from basic (or applied) research targeted at specific goals. […] [C]laims about serendipity have been important for diffusing calls (from Congress and taxpayers) to shift funding from fundamental research to that targeted at specific outcomes. […]

I provide evidence on the serendipity hypothesis as it has typically been articulated in the context of NIH research: that progress against specific diseases often results from unplanned research, or unexpectedly from research oriented towards different diseases. […] If the magnitudes of serendipity reported here are real, this would pose real challenges for medical research funding. If disease is not the right organizing category for NIH research, then what might be? Is it possible to mobilize taxpayer and interest group support for science that cuts across dis- eases, or is the attachment of disease categories, however fictitious, required? Even more fundamentally, serendipity makes it hard to fine tune policy to stimulate research areas that taxpayers care about (or even limit the growth of areas where there is too much innovation), and assess whether a funding agency is allocating its funds reasonably given what its patrons desire.

{ Bhaven N. Sampat/SSRN | Continue reading }

image { Radiograph of Brånemark’s initial rabbit specimen. While studying bone cells in a rabbit femur using a titanium chamber, Brånemark was unable to remove it from bone. His realization that bone would adhere to titanium led to the concept of osseointegration and the development of modern dental implants. | more }

‘La bêtise insiste toujours.’ —Albert Camus

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Facebook will soon be able to ID you in any photo

The intention is not to invade the privacy of Facebook’s more than 1.3 billion active users, insists Yann LeCun, a computer scientist at New York University in New York City who directs Facebook’s artificial intelligence research, but rather to protect it. Once DeepFace identifies your face in one of the 400 million new photos that users upload every day, “you will get an alert from Facebook telling you that you appear in the picture,” he explains. “You can then choose to blur out your face from the picture to protect your privacy.” Many people, however, are troubled by the prospect of being identified at all—especially in strangers’ photographs. Facebook is already using the system, although its face-tagging system only reveals to you the identities of your “friends.”

{ Science | Continue reading }

related { Bust detection algorithm }

photo { Rachel Roze }

‘Pittacus said that half was more than the whole.’ —Diogenes Laërtius

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The idea that unconscious thought is sometimes more powerful than conscious thought is attractive, and echoes ideas popularized by books such as writer Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling Blink.

But within the scientific community, ‘unconscious-thought advantage’ (UTA) has been controversial. Now Dutch psychologists have carried out the most rigorous study yet of UTA—and find no evidence for it. […] The report adds to broader concerns about the quality of psychology studies and to an ongoing controversy about the extent to which unconscious thought in general can influence behaviour.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

art { Bronzino, Portrait of Lucrezia Panciatichi, 1545 }

‘You’re blind baby, you’re blind from the facts on who you are, cause you’re watching that garbage.’ –Public Enemy

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The philosopher Socrates remains, as he was in his lifetime (469–399 B.C.E.), an enigma, an inscrutable individual who, despite having written nothing, is considered one of the handful of philosophers who forever changed how philosophy itself was to be conceived. […]

The extant sources agree that Socrates was profoundly ugly, resembling a satyr more than a man—and resembling not at all the statues that turned up later in ancient times and now grace Internet sites and the covers of books. He had wide-set, bulging eyes that darted sideways and enabled him, like a crab, to see not only what was straight ahead, but what was beside him as well; a flat, upturned nose with flaring nostrils; and large fleshy lips like an ass. Socrates let his hair grow long, Spartan-style (even while Athens and Sparta were at war), and went about barefoot and unwashed, carrying a stick and looking arrogant. […] Something was peculiar about his gait as well, sometimes described as a swagger so intimidating that enemy soldiers kept their distance. He was impervious to the effects of alcohol and cold, but this made him an object of suspicion to his fellow soldiers on campaign. […]

What seemed strange about Socrates is that he neither labored to earn a living, nor participated voluntarily in affairs of state. Rather, he embraced poverty and, although youths of the city kept company with him and imitated him, Socrates adamantly insisted he was not a teacher and refused all his life to take money for what he did. […] Because Socrates was no transmitter of information that others were passively to receive, he resists the comparison to teachers. Rather, he helped others recognize on their own what is real, true, and good—a new, and thus suspect, approach to education. He was known for confusing, stinging and stunning his conversation partners into the unpleasant experience of realizing their own ignorance, a state sometimes superseded by genuine intellectual curiosity. […] Socrates was usually to be found in the marketplace and other public areas, conversing with a variety of different people—young and old, male and female, slave and free, rich and poor—that is, with virtually anyone he could persuade to join with him in his question-and-answer mode of probing serious matters. […]

It did not help matters that Socrates seemed to have a higher opinion of women than most of his companions had, speaking of “men and women,” “priests and priestesses,” and naming foreign women as his teachers: Socrates claimed to have learned rhetoric from Aspasia of Miletus, the lover of Pericles; and to have learned erotics from the priestess Diotima of Mantinea. […]

Athenian citizen males of the upper social classes did not marry until they were at least thirty, and Athenian females were poorly educated and kept sequestered until puberty, when they were given in marriage by their fathers. Thus the socialization and education of males often involved a relationship for which the English word ‘pederasty’ (though often used) is misleading, in which a youth approaching manhood, fifteen to seventeen, became the beloved of a male lover a few years older, under whose tutelage and through whose influence and gifts, the younger man would be guided and improved. It was assumed among Athenians that mature men would find youths sexually attractive, and such relationships were conventionally viewed as beneficial to both parties by family and friends alike. A degree of hypocrisy (or denial), however, was implied by the arrangement: “officially” it did not involve sexual relations between the lovers and, if it did, then the beloved was not supposed to derive pleasure from the act—but ancient evidence (comedies, vase paintings, et al.) shows that both restrictions were often violated. What was odd about Socrates is that, although he was no exception to the rule of finding youths attractive, he refused the physical advances of even his favorite.

{ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy | Continue reading }

Allo, non mais allo quoi

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The weather impacts not only upon our mood but also our voice. An international research team has analysed the influence of humidity on the evolution of languages.

Their study has revealed that languages with a wide range of tone pitches are more prevalent in regions with high humidity levels. In contrast, languages with simpler tone pitches are mainly found in drier regions. This is explained by the fact that the vocal folds require a humid environment to produce the right tone.

The tone pitch is a key element of communication in all languages, but more so in some than others. German or English, for example, still remain comprehensible even if all words are intonated evenly by a robot. In Mandarin Chinese, however, the pitch tone can completely change the meaning of a word.

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }

‘Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.’ —Nietzsche

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[TheJosh]
If I go every other day I will be at the gym 4-5 times a week, is that over training?
I typically work out for 60-90 minutes, I push my self and raise the weight each week.

[…]

steviekm3
That makes no sense. There are only 7 days in a week. If you go every other day that is 3.5 times a week.

TheJosh
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. That is 4 days.
How do you go 3.5 times? Do a half workout or something? lol

Justin-27
7x in 2 weeks = 3.5 times a week, genius.
And yeah, 3x a week, full body workouts are good.

TheJosh
I never said anything about going exactly 7 times, like I said, if I go every other day, that is 4 DAYS A WEEK. How hard is that to comprehend?
Week 1 - Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Week 2 - Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday.
8 DAYS IN 2 WEEKS
In your terms,
8x in 2 weeks = 4 times a week, genius.
All Muscle and No Brains? lol

steviekm3
You double counted Sunday - that is 2 weeks plus 1 day.
Did you fail grade 2 math ?
PLUS your old post said 4 or 5 times a week. Now you just neglect to mention the 5.
Grow up and admit when you are wrong. Believe me you will get a a lot further in life this way.

TheJosh
Are you retarded?
Maybe you should look at a calander, I didn’t double count sunday, my two weeks started and ended on sunday, exactly 14 days.
What don’t you understand?
EDIT - Here is a Calender, I made little dots for each day so you could comprehend.

Justin-27
Dude THAT IS 15 DAYS!!!!!! You can’t have a week go Sun-Sat, then Sun-Sun. Look at the damn pic you posted, count the days what do they equal?!?!?! FIFTEEN!
I was right, 3.5 x a week, and so was the first guy to post it, and you my bright friend are el wrongo.

[…]

TheJosh
There is 7 days in a week, if you workout every other day, you work out 4 days a week, how hard is that to ****ing comprehend?!
Ill do it out in 4 weeks for you, maybe it will make more sense?
Week 1 - Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Week 2 - Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
Week 3 - Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday
Week 4 - Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday
Week 5 - Thursday, Saturday, Monday, Wednesday
Week 6 - Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday
No matter how you look at it, if you workout every other day, you work out 4 times a week.
[…]
A week is sunday-sunday.
I think you just don’t know how to count, it’s alright, I won’t tell anyone. lol
Sunday-Saturday is only 6 days, do you have 6 days weeks where you live?

Justin-27
Yes, you workout 4x the first week, then 3 the next.
I’m right, you’re a effing moron.
[…]
Sun-Sat is only 6 days?!
Sunday ONE
Monday TWO
Tuesday THREE
Wednesday FOUR
Thursday FIVE
Friday SIX
Saturday SEVEN
Arizona public schools=FAIL

{ Bodybuilding.com | Continue reading }