Wearing an eye mask while sleeping

22.jpegTeacher Charged After Elaborate Crypto Mining Operation Discovered in School Crawl Space

[T]he latest in technologies that use magnetic or electrical pulses to change the way our brains work. Some of these tools work by passing a device over a person’s head. Others involve cutting into people’s skulls to stick needle-like electrodes deep into the brain. And there are plenty of approaches that lie somewhere in between these extremes. […] In the meantime, some are generating huge amounts of data about individuals’ brains. And there’s a chance this data could be used against them in a court of law. We already know that brain stimulation can help some people with Parkinson’s disease and depression that doesn’t respond to medication. But the scientists here at this conference are pushing the boundaries. They’re exploring brain stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder, alcohol and substance-use disorders, stroke recovery, and even long covid. Others are working on ways to enhance the way healthy brains work, whether by improving our memory or helping us become more alert or better at math.

There’s no doubt that TikTok and ByteDance, the company that owns it, are shady. They, like most large corporations in China, operate at the pleasure of the Chinese government. They collect extreme levels of information about users. But they’re not alone: Many apps you use do the same, including Facebook and Instagram, along with seemingly innocuous apps that have no need for the data. Your data is bought and sold by data brokers you’ve never heard of who have few scruples about where the data ends up. They have digital dossiers on most people in the United States. If we want to address the real problem, we need to enact serious privacy laws, not security theater, to stop our data from being collected, analyzed, and sold—by anyone.

The Camera-Shy Hoodie —Unrelated (2010): 4th Amendment Wear

the tools, known as “generative AI,” are also unpredictable, prone to gibberish and susceptible to rambling in a way that can be biased, belligerent or bizarre. They can also be hacked with a few well-placed words, making their sudden ubiquity that much riskier for public use. […] “I’ve been a software engineer for 20 years, and it’s always been the same: You write code, and the computer does exactly what you tell it to do. With prompting, you get none of that. The people who built the language models can’t even tell you what it’s going to do.” […] Some AI experts argue that these engineers only wield the illusion of control. No one knows how exactly these systems will respond, and the same prompt can yield dozens of conflicting answers — an indication that the models’ replies are based not on comprehension but on crudely imitating speech to resolve tasks they don’t understand. […] “It’s not a science,” he said. “It’s ‘let’s poke the bear in different ways and see how it roars back.’” […] The AI, Goodside said, tends to “confabulate,” making up small details to fill in a story. It overestimates its abilities and confidently gets things wrong. And it “hallucinates” — an industry term for spewing nonsense. […] a job opening for a “prompt engineer and librarian” in San Francisco with a salary ranging up to $335,000. (Must “have a creative hacker spirit and love solving puzzles,” the listing states.) Boston Children’s Hospital this month started hiring for an “AI prompt engineer” to help write scripts for analyzing health-care data from research studies and clinical practice. The law firm Mishcon de Reya is hiring for a “legal prompt engineer” in London to design prompts that could inform its legal work.

ChatGPT as muse, not oracle

Some companies are already replacing workers with ChatGPT, despite warnings it shouldn’t be relied on for ‘anything important’

we collected tens of thousands of comparison responses from both human experts and ChatGPT, with questions ranging from open-domain, financial, medical, legal, and psychological areas […] ChatGPT’s answers are generally considered to be more helpful than humans’ in more than half of questions, especially for finance and psychology areas […] However, ChatGPT performs poorly in terms of helpfulness for the medical domain in both English and Chinese. [PDF]

In the largest study to date, we compared the accuracy of 3,347 citing claims to original findings across 89 articles in eight of top psychology journals. Results indicated that, although most (81.2%) citations were accurate, roughly 19% of citing claims either failed to include important nuances of results (9.3%) or completely mischaracterized findings from prior research altogether (9.5%).

REM sleep begins, and your heart rate, breathing and brain activity all increase. Brain regions involved in processing emotions and sensory input (from your dream world) light up. Meanwhile, your brain paralyzes the muscles in your arms and legs, preventing you from acting out your dreams […] If you’ve ever gone to bed upset about something and woken up noticeably less bothered, it’s likely a result of the emotional processing and memory reconsolidation that happen during REM. There’s evidence that your brain divorces memories from their emotional charge […] REM is “like a form of overnight therapy” […] REM also makes us better learners. During this sleep stage, your brain strengthens neural connections formed by the previous day’s experiences and integrates them into existing networks […] Some experts suspect that dreams are a mere byproduct of REM sleep — the mental manifestation of neurological work. But others think they might help people process painful experiences, Dr. Walker said.

Wearing an eye mask while sleeping improves memory encoding and makes you more alert the next day

Sexual Behaviors among Individuals Aged 20-49 in Japan […] 8000 men and women aged 20–49 years […] 15.3% of women and 19.8% of men reported never having had any partners with whom they engaged in vaginal, anal, or oral sex. […] […] 4.0% of women and 48.3% of men reported ever having used commercial sex worker services in their lifetime.

three-in-ten U.S. adults are single, meaning they are not married, living with a partner or in a committed romantic relationship

Why can only big cats roar?

We have learned to fear plutonium – one of the world’s most useful materials. But as long as you don’t eat it, you’re probably safe.

No One Knows If Decades-Old Nukes Would Actually Work — Atomic weapons are complex, sensitive, and often pretty old. With testing banned, countries have to rely on good simulations to trust their weapons work.

In 1700, almost 1 in 25 inhabitants on Earth, and one in five in Europe, was French. Today, less than a percent of humanity is French. Why did France’s population decline in relative terms so dramatically, and did it really mark the decline of France?