Trick Yourself

Some experts estimate China can build three warships in the time it takes the US to build one.

Lung cancer pill cuts risk of death by half — Everyone in the trial had a mutation of the EGFR gene, which is found in about a quarter of global lung cancer cases, and accounts for as many as 40% of cases in Asia. An EGFR mutation is more common in women than men, and in people who have never smoked or have been light smokers.

ChatGPT took their jobs — Those that write marketing and social media content are in the first wave of people being replaced with tools like chatbots, which are seemingly able to produce plausible alternatives to their work. Experts say that even advanced AI doesn’t match the writing skills of a human: It lacks personal voice and style, and it often churns out wrong, nonsensical or biased answers. But for many companies, the cost-cutting is worth a drop in quality.

Scientists have blasted the brains of mice and rats with ultrasound to knock them into a hibernation-like state, and the researchers say the technique could one day be used on injured humans in critical care or on astronauts taking long-haul spaceflights.

Trick Yourself into Breaking a Bad Habit — A few years back, my colleagues and I studied 5,000 people who had attempted to change a stubborn career-limiting habit. Fewer than 10% succeeded at creating deep and lasting change. As we reviewed what separated the successful few from the rest, we found a quirky distinction: The successful people talked about themselves the way an experimental psychologist might refer to a cherished lab rat. For example, a shy manager with executive aspirations talked about how he took himself to the employee cafeteria three times a week to eat lunch with a complete stranger. Tickling with anxiety, he stripped himself of his smart phone before exiting his office — knowing that if it was with him, he would retreat to it. He knew that if he simply ensconced himself in these circumstances, he would connect with new people — a habit and skill he wanted to cultivate. […] We are less motivated when we feel less competent. […] Create structured practice opportunities to increase your competence and your motivation will follow suit.

After killing his father, Dadd managed to escape to France, where he tried to murder a passenger in the carriage in which he was traveling. It had been his intention to go to Austria to assassinate the emperor. He was arrested and taken to an asylum in Clermont, remaining there for ten months before extradition to England. His main treatment in Clermont was cold showers. […] He is very eccentric and glories that he is not influenced by motives that other men pride themselves in possessing—thus he pays no sort of attention to decency in his acts or words, if he feels the least inclination to be otherwise; he is perfectly a sensual being, a thorough animal, he will gorge himself with food till he actually vomits, and then return to the meal. […] In 1865, the asylum notes show Dadd to have been painting almost every day. […] One of the most extraordinary pictures ever painted, The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke, which is only 15 by 21 inches and took him ten years to paint, seems to me to have been done by a man with a personal, though presumably not continuing, experience of micropsia, a condition in which everything seems much smaller than it is, and which is one of the possible effects of intoxication with hashish.

when it comes to truly dangerous toys, you’d struggle to beat the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab. Billed as ‘Exciting and Safe’, the kit contained four sealed jars containing actual Uranium ores. this kit came on the market in 1950 at a price of $49.50 (over $500 in today’s money).


2.jpgparticipants with higher intelligence scores were only quicker when tackling simple tasks, while they took longer to solve difficult problems than subjects with lower IQ scores.

Objective: To determine if using a parachute prevents death or major traumatic injury when jumping from an aircraft.Parachute use did not reduce death or major traumatic injury when jumping from aircraft in the first randomized evaluation of this intervention. However, the trial was only able to enroll participants on small stationary aircraft on the ground, suggesting cautious extrapolation to high altitude jumps.

Generative AI Podcasts Are Here. Prepare to Be Bored

Dead Silicon Valley Unicorns Pile Up as ‘Unicorpses’

we introduce a cryptographically-inspired notion of undetectable watermarks for language models. That is, watermarks can be detected only with the knowledge of a secret key […] it is impossible for a user to observe any degradation in the quality of the text.

Most Important Papers for Quantitative Traders

Was Modern Art Really a CIA Psy-Op? The number of MoMA-CIA crossovers is highly suspicious, to say the least.

From underground exploration to brain science and air-traffic control, the sensing potential of quantum devices is enormous. — Unlike quantum computers, which get a lot of press but might be decades away from offering wide commercial advantage, quantum sensors are already in use in the lab.A handful are in commercial use: atomic clocks, for example, measure the passage of time supremely accurately using high-frequency quantum transitions in atoms. Their accuracy maintains the synchronization of communication and energy networks, and digital radio stations. They are crucial for satellite navigation services such as GPS.

Take the case of Rita Leggett, an Australian woman whose experimental brain implant changed her sense of agency and self. She told researchers that she “became one” with her device. She was devastated when, two years later, she was told she had to remove the implant because the company that made it had gone bust. […] “Being forced to endure removal of the [device] … robbed her of the new person she had become with the technology” […] Trial volunteers had four electrodes implanted to monitor their brain activity. Recordings were sent to a device that trained an algorithm to recognize patterns preceding a seizure. Leggett received her device during a clinical trial for a brain implant designed to help people with epilepsy. […] A handheld device would signal how likely a seizure was to occur in the coming minutes or hours—a red light indicated an imminent seizure, while a blue light meant a seizure was very unlikely […] With the advance warning from the device, she could take medication that prevented the seizures from occurring.

YouTube will stop removing false presidential election fraud claims — ‘The ability to openly debate political ideas, even those that are controversial or based on disproven assumptions, is core to a functioning democratic society.’

Two Men Got Jobs At Amazon Just To Steal Copies Of Zelda

An Illustrated Guide to Mouth Gestures and Their Meanings Around the World

Sleep no more

no known drug, including caffeine, can effectively reverse sleep deprivation.

The reason has to do, in part, with the circadian rhythm of a chemical called adenosine that plays a major role in the regulation of sleep.

When you awake from a restful night of sleep, the adenosine level in your brain is at its nadir. Throughout the day, it steadily rises and gradually produces the pressure to sleep in the evening. During sleep, adenosine is cleared from the brain, which helps us wake up and stay alert.

Caffeine is a powerful antagonist at adenosine receptors in the brain, blocking the sedating effects of adenosine and making you feel stimulated and mentally sharp.

Here’s the problem. If you cut short your normal night of sleep, adenosine is not fully cleared from the brain. With chronic sleep deprivation, adenosine levels continue to rise, creating a persistent sense of fatigue and sleepiness and impairing cognitive function.

The brain adapts to this flood of adenosine by increasing the number of adenosine receptors in an attempt to get you to fall asleep, which of course only makes you feel more tired.

You will probably respond by increasing your caffeine consumption, in an attempt to block rising adenosine activity, which can only be restored by a normal night of sleep — the very thing my patient was trying to cut short.

Sleep deprivation doesn’t just make you tired. It impairs the brain’s ability to consolidate memory.

During sleep, your neurons are remodeled and change their firing pattern, which helps burn in the memories that are formed during the day.

Too little sleep can also exacerbate preexisting depression and anxiety disorders and make people with no previous mental health problems generally more angry and impulsive. […]

Intriguingly, while caffeine can’t eradicate sleep deprivation, it does appear to offset some of the harmful cognitive effects of sleep loss on memory. […]

Caffeine is usually metabolized within four to six hours. […] Some people are genetically slow metabolizers of caffeine and will have significant sleep-onset insomnia even from early morning coffee.

And here’s the most effective trick for falling asleep, which has been studied and shown to be as effective — if not more — than any hypnotic drug. Don’t do anything in bed except sleep or have sex — no reading, listening to music or anything else.

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

Anne, ma sœur Anne, ne vois-tu rien venir ? Je ne vois rien que le soleil qui poudroie, et l’herbe qui verdoie.

They’re torturing themselves now, which is kind of fun to see. They’re afraid that their little AIs are going to come for them. They’re apocalyptic, and so existential, because they have no connection to real life and how things work. They’re afraid the AIs are going to be as mean to them as they’ve been to us. […]

What happened to the cigarette companies will eventually happen to the social media companies. They’ve had all the research for 20 years, and they’ve been knowingly saying this stuff is not harmful when they know it to be harmful.

{ Doug Rushkoff | Continue reading | More: Doug Rushkoff Is Ready to Renounce the Digital Revolution }

On a clear day you can see forever




{ Ninalee Craig photographed by Ruth Orkin, Florence, 1951 | more }

the first recorded glory hole

Did Scientists Accidentally Invent an Anti-addiction Drug? — People taking Ozempic for weight loss say they have also stopped drinking, smoking, shopping, and even nail biting.

US police are selling seized phones with personal data still on them — Nude photos, bank details and stolen credit card numbers have been found on devices sold by US police forces via auction sites

Is cybersecurity an unsolvable problem?

The surprising reason luxury goods are booming A not-insignificant portion of luxury growth comes from middle- and low-income consumers. According to GlobalData, Americans with a household income of less than $50,000 make up about 27 percent of regular luxury consumers.

A family thought they were adopting a 6-year-old girl. Now they claim the girl — a little person — was an adult con artist masquerading as a child

Brain Connectivity and Memory Improve in Older Adults After Walking

The domestic cat’s can detect an extremely broad range of frequencies ranging from 55 Hz to 79 kHz, whereas humans can only detect frequencies between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. It can hear a range of 10.5 octaves, while humans and dogs can hear ranges of about 9 octaves.[…] Recent research has shown that cats have socio-spatial cognitive abilities to create mental maps of owners’ locations based on hearing owners’ voices.

The following trial is interesting not only for documenting a well organized blackmail ring at the beginning of the eighteenth century, but also for revealing the existence of the first recorded “glory hole”

Stuxnet Dossier Version 1.3 (November 2010)[PDF]

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Mathematics [PDF]

non-existent cases

3.jpgA reliable lie-detection method would be extremely useful in many situations, especially in forensic contexts. […] [However] the science shows that there are no reliable behavioral signs of deceit that human are able to detect. […] There is evidence that some structured methods do indeed pick up some signal of deceit but with large error rates, meaning that great care must be taken in practical contexts not to overinterpret results, especially as such methods will typically be employed when there is an absence of alternative strong evidence. […] Surprising as it may seem, and despite a hundred years research on the topic, currently “the best general advice from the psychological literature on verbal lie detection remains simply that a person is lying if what they say is inconsistent either with other things that they have said or with other evidence.”

Food delivery by drone is just part of daily life in Shenzhen

Scientists find way to make energy from air using nearly any material — The research, published in a paper in Advanced Materials, builds on 2020 work that first showed energy could be pulled from the moisture in the air using material harvested from bacteria. The new study shows nearly any material can be used, like wood or silicon, as long as it can be smashed into small particles and remade with microscopic pores. But there are many questions about how to scale the product. […] The air-powered generator, known as an “Air-gen,” would offer continuous clean electricity since it uses the energy from humidity, which is always present, rather than depending on the sun or wind.

Elon Musk’s brain implant company Neuralink announces FDA approval of in-human clinical study

New superbug-killing antibiotic discovered using AI

AI generated Captcha asks users to identify objects that don’t exist

A lawyer used chatGPT and cited non-existent cases, in court. Then doubled down and wrote fake cases to try to cover it up [PDF] More: NY Times

I got banned from Midjourney AI for generating realistic images of politicians cheating on their wives […] These generators are mostly just mashing up photos available on the internet. Privacy, copyright, dignity, and safety be damned […] QAnon was founded on the worst memes you’ve ever seen […] I think we’ll see AI videos of Democrats and children within a year or 2

Photographs of the Los Angeles Alligator Farm (ca. 1907)

reasons to not become famous


Postmortem Tanning: An Unusual Postmortem Event — We describe 3 cases of an unusual postmortem change associated with prolonged sunlight exposure in both frozen and nonfrozen individuals.

The more emotional words you know, the higher your mental health

Words known by men and women — 24 words should suffice to find out whether a person you are interacting with in digital space is male or female

Even weak traffic noise has a negative impact on work performance

Ketamine no better than placebo at alleviating depression, unusual trial finds

many researchers and engineers say concerns about killer AIs that evoke Skynet in the Terminator movies aren’t rooted in good science. Instead, it distracts from the very real problems that the tech is already causing. It is creating copyright chaos, is supercharging concerns around digital privacy and surveillance, could be used to increase the ability of hackers to break cyberdefenses and is allowing governments to deploy deadly weapons that can kill without human control.

Goodhart’s law states that when a feature of the economy is picked as an indicator of the economy, then it inexorably ceases to function as that indicator

Where Do Great Ideas Come From?

How to Decode a QR Code by Hand

Why Salvador Dalí is the most faked artist in the world — Dalí ensured a steady flow of prints by signing his name on thousands of blank sheets of paper before he knew what would be printed on them. (The signature was worth ~$40 on its own.) Members of his inner circle, some of whom exploited Dalí for profit, once told the Wall Street Journal Dalí would sign blank sheets “every two seconds for an hour without stopping.”

Reasons to not become famous — Nearly all of my friends who have audiences of 1 millions or more followers have personal stories for every category I’ll describe. If you’ve ever wondered why many celebrities disappear for a period of time, sometimes years, it’s often in the hopes that the below will fade or go away. Sadly, it’s very hard to put the toothpaste back in the toothpaste tube once you have a large Google footprint. […] Stalkers. Death threats. Harassment of family members and loved ones. Extortion attempts. Desperation messages and pleas for help. Kidnapping. Impersonation, identity theft, etc. Attack and clickbait media. Dating woes. “Friends” with ulterior motives. Invasions of privacy. […] To quote Henry David Thoreau, “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

De Bretteville’s case, known then as a “heart-balm suit,” wasn’t uncommon in the 1900s, when women could successfully win lawsuits if they could prove that they were swindled out of an engagement. The implication of a failed engagement was sometimes that the woman was no longer a virgin. […] A year after the 1902 trial, de Bretteville met millionaire Adolph Spreckels, a man more than 20 years her senior and the son of sugar tycoon Claus Spreckels. The Spreckels family had amassed an enormous fortune in the beet sugar trade and operated a sugar refinery plant in San Francisco […] She nicknamed Spreckels her “sugar daddy.”

Moral improvements

The Supreme Court on Thursday sided with a photographer who claimed the late Andy Warhol should have honored her copyright on a photo of the rock star Prince when creating an iconic artistic image of the late singer. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court majority in the 7-2 decision, which legal experts said could carry far-reaching implications for copyright protection and so-called transformative art. The issue is the legal doctrine called “fair use,” which encourages artistic expression by allowing for the use of protected works without the original creator’s permission.

Your DNA Can Now Be Pulled From Thin Air — Over the last decade, wildlife researchers have refined techniques for recovering environmental DNA, or eDNA — trace amounts of genetic material that all living things leave behind. A powerful and inexpensive tool for ecologists, eDNA is all over — floating in the air, or lingering in water, snow, honey and even your cup of tea. Researchers have used the method to detect invasive species before they take over, to track vulnerable or secretive wildlife populations and even to rediscover species thought to be extinct. The eDNA technology is also used in wastewater surveillance systems to monitor Covid and other pathogens. But all along, scientists using eDNA were quietly recovering gobs and gobs of human DNA. To them, it’s pollution, a sort of human genomic bycatch muddying their data. But what if someone set out to collect human eDNA on purpose? […] Dr. Duffy and his colleagues used a readily available and affordable technology to see how much information they could glean from human DNA gathered from the environment in a variety of circumstances, such as from outdoor waterways and the air inside a building.

Liver cells influence the body’s internal circadian clock, which was previously believed to be solely controlled by the brain

Seasonal Cycles as a Fundamental Source of Variation in Human Psychology — Humans too exhibit seasonal variation in sexual activity—although the nature of the seasonal cycle is more complex. For instance, in the United States, condom sales, the timing of first intercourse, and Google searches for pornography and prostitution all exhibit a biannual cyclewith peaksaround Christmas and during the early summer months. […] There are also seasonal cycles in birth rates. In an analysisof 78 years of United States monthly natality data, Martinez-Bakker et al. (2014)found that birth rates peaked in the summertime in northern states and peaked in the autumn in southern states. […] within the Northern Hemisphere,the summer season from June to August has been associated with higher rates of violent crime (Lauritsen & White, 2014), higher rates of rule infractions in prisons (Haertzen et al., 1993), and higher rates of domestic violence.

people primarily seek to improve the traits that they believe would particularly help them achieve their goals and increase their happiness. Moral improvements are not seen as particularly effective at doing either, and are therefore deprioritized.

Powerful magnetic pulses applied to the scalp to stimulate the brain can bring fast relief to many severely depressed patients for whom standard treatments have failed. Yet it’s been a mystery exactly how transcranial magnetic stimulation, as the treatment is known, changes the brain to dissipate depression. Now, research led by Stanford Medicine scientists has found that the treatment works by reversing the direction of abnormal brain signals.

iPhones will be able to speak in your voice with 15 minutes of training

A scientific journal suggests that the New York City’s 1.68 trillion pounds of buildings are causing the city to descending, with some neighborhoods faster than others

Studying Women’s Prison Newspapers

This appears to be a record made by Mr. Nathan exclusively for staff at King Records. He is blunt about how the label will handle new potential artists, and occasionally uses profanity. Clearly not meant for the ears of potential recording artists or the public. Fascinating inside baseball about the recording industry during the early to mid-sixties. [via Sasha Frere-Jones]

glasses that showed people naked

The man who started seeing the world backwards after being shot in the head

Doctored photographs create false memories of spectacular childhood events

Gang of four held in Chennai for selling fake glasses that showed people naked — Police were investigating the gang’s claims to have sold three pairs in Bengaluru by getting models to pose nude in a darkened room, where the customers would be allowed to wear the spectacles.

AI can predict pancreatic cancer three years ahead of human doctors

Scientists Regenerate Hair Cells that Enable Hearing — Hearing loss affects about 48 million Americans and 430 million people worldwide, with those numbers expected to grow as populations age. More than 90 percent of individuals affected have sensorineural hearing loss, caused by damage to the inner ear and the destruction of the hair cells responsible for relaying sounds to the brain.

The lawsuit alleges that the company’s products – particularly Instagram – connects vulnerable victims with human traffickers and sex buyers, and provides traffickers with the means to groom those victims. It says that human trafficking victims are regularly posted on Instagram and sold for sex against their will and claims that the company has failed to take adequate steps to stop this.

I’ve been trying to create a new habit of asking myself “what is my intention?” before I speak. Sometimes I communicate to empathize, or to think out loud, but a lot of the time my intention is to connect and to be understood. This article on Alan Alda’s 3 rules for expressing your thoughts is useful for all types of communication. They are: 1. Make no more than three points 2. Explain difficult ideas in three different ways and 3. Make important points three times


People in comas showed ‘conscious-like’ brain activity as they died, study says — The scientists retrospectively analysed the brain activity data in the moments after life support was withdrawn until the patients’ deaths. Upon removal of ventilator support, two of the patients showed an increase in heart rate along with a surge of gamma wave activity, considered the fastest brain activity and associated with consciousness. The activity was detected in the so-called hot zone, an area in the back of the brain linked to conscious brain activity. This area has been correlated with dreaming, visual hallucinations in epilepsy, and altered states of consciousness in other brain studies.

A Brain Scanner Combined with an AI Language Model Can Provide a Glimpse into Your Thoughts

AI Chatbots Have Been Used to Create Dozens of News Content Farms — A new report documents 49 new websites populated by AI tools like ChatGPT and posing as news outlets

People are trying to claim real videos are deepfakes. The courts are not amused

These results more firmly establish first person singular pronoun use as a linguistic marker of depression

a Bloomberg report details the recent drastic increase in auto repossessions. Bloomberg cites data from Fitch Ratings saying that 5.3% of subprime auto borrowers are 60 days late or more on their payments. Compare that to May 2021, when that number reached a seven-year low of 2.58%.

Since the pandemic, the studios have become one of the trendiest destinations among South Korean Gen Z. The spaces — with no staff visibly present — typically house three to six photo booths and are open 24 hours a day.

“AND NOW?” is the prompt that follows every action on ECHO, a 34-year-old text-based social network that still hosts a community of former and current New Yorkers. When you log in: AND NOW? After checking who’s online: AND NOW? Upon joining one of ECHO’s chat rooms, called conferences: AND NOW?

‘She had deceived herself in supposing that she could be whatever she wanted to be.’ —Tolstoy


Sartre, it will be recalled, had asserted a kind of absolute freedom for the conscious human being. It was this claim that Merleau-Ponty disputed. […] If freedom were everywhere, as seemed to be the case in Sartre’s Being and Nothingness , then freedom in effect would be nowhere […] “Free action, in order to be discernible, has to stand out from a background of life from which it is entirely, or almost entirely, absent.” (Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, 1945) […]

While Sartre properly emphasized the subject’s freedom, he distorted the scope of this freedom by rendering it absolute. The subject, argued Merleau-Ponty, always faced a previously established situation, an environment and world not of its own making. Its life, as intersubjectively open, acquired a social atmosphere which it did not itself constitute. Social roles pressed upon the individual as plausible courses for his life to take. Certain modes of behavior became habitual. Probably , this world, these habits, a familiar comportment: probably these would not change overnight. It was unlikely that an individual would suddenly choose to be something radically other than what he had already become. The Sartre of Being and Nothingness underestimated the weight of this realm of relative constraint and habitual inertia.

{ Merleau-Ponty: The Ambiguity of History | Continue reading

Cognitive science is lacking conceptual tools to describe how an agent’s motivations, as such, can play a role in the generation of its behavior. […] a new kind of non-reductive theory is proposed: Irruption Theory. […] irruptions are associated with increased unpredictability of (neuro)physiological activity, and they should hence be quantifiable in terms of information-theoretic entropy. Accordingly, evidence that action, cognition, and consciousness are linked to higher levels of neural entropy can be interpreted as indicating higher levels of motivated agential involvement.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

alone in the Amazon rainforest

The math is pretty simple. We could meet the world’s energy needs by harnessing just 0.01 per cent of the billions of megawatts of solar power that are hitting the Earth’s surface at any given moment. But scaling up quickly to capture that energy is a bit more complicated—even if the necessary technology is already at our disposal. Pavagada Ultra Mega Solar Park [in India], a clean-power plant the size of Manhattan, could be a model for the world—or a cautionary tale.

Logan Paul, an American YouTube personality, purchased a rare ‘Bumblebee’ 0N1 Force NFT for $623,000 back in 2021. Today, it’s worth $10.

For years, Ville Pulkki, a professor of acoustics at Aalto University, has been wondering why it feels so difficult to shout upwind. […] It isn’t harder to shout into the wind; it’s just harder to hear yourself.

A gene in the brain driving anxiety symptoms has been identified. Modification of the gene is shown to reduce anxiety levels, offering an exciting novel drug target for anxiety disorders.

Earlier this year, German stock photographer Robert Kneschke used Have I Been Trained?, a website that tells you if your photos were used to train AI image generators. He discovered many of his images in the dataset of LAION [the nonprofit that created the data set that trained Stable Diffusion]. Knescke asked ​​LAION to remove his work from the training data. But he got a response he didn’t expect: a letter from a law firm on behalf of LAION [in which] LAION’s attorney claims that the non-profit is “doing voluntary research with the aim of further developing self-learning algorithms in the sense of artificial intelligence and making them available to the general public,” and that they “do not violate copyright or data protection law. […] We also point out that our client can assert claims for damages in accordance with Section 97a (4) UrhG if they are unjustified in terms of copyright.” LAION lawyers are now reportedly demanding almost €900 (~$1000 USD) from Kneschke while LAION continues to use his pictures.

On Artifice and Intelligence — How to spot counterfeit cognition

The first babies conceived with a sperm-injecting robot have been born — Last spring, engineers in Barcelona packed up the sperm-injecting robot they’d designed and sent it by DHL to New York City. They followed it to a clinic there, called New Hope Fertility Center, where they put the instrument back together, assembling a microscope, a mechanized needle, a tiny petri dish, and a laptop. Then one of the engineers, with no real experience in fertility medicine, used a Sony PlayStation 5 controller to position a robotic needle. Eyeing a human egg through a camera, it then moved forward on its own, penetrating the egg and dropping off a single sperm cell.

Frozen finger, prepared using a water-filled ordinary rubber glove, was successfully used in one hundred patients with acute anal fissures

Juliane Koepcke became famous at the age of 17 as the sole survivor of the 1971 LANSA Flight 508 plane crash; after falling 3,000 m (10,000 ft) while strapped to her seat and suffering numerous injuries, she survived 11 days alone in the Amazon rainforest until local fishermen rescued her.

two splinters

221.jpgFragments of wood believed to be from the cross Jesus was crucified on more than 2,000 years ago will be included in the cross that will lead the coronation service for King Charles III next month at Westminster Abbey. The two splinters, believed to be from the “true cross,” were gifted to the monarch by Pope Francis

New study indicates that cyberflashers tend to send unsolicited sexual images in an attempt to flirt or receive similar image in return. Women may engage in cyberflashing more often than men.

We evaluated sex differences in the perception of bitter compounds and an aromatic bitter herbal liqueur (Mirtamaro) obtained by the infusion of myrtle leaves/berries together with a mixture of Mediterranean herbs/plants as flavoring/bittering ingredients. […] Women showed higher ratings in Mirtamaro aroma (odor intensity) and bitterness (taste intensity) perception than men, with a superior capacity to perceive/describe its sensory attributes.

Learning science experts wanted to know why some students learn faster than others. They hoped to identify fast learners, study them and develop techniques that could help students understand new concepts quickly. What they found: In the right conditions, people learn at a remarkably similar rate.

Artificial intelligence, like machine learning before it, is making big money off what I call the “sell ∀ ∃ as ∃ ∀ scam.” Build a system that solves problems, but with an important user-facing control. For AI systems like GPT-X this is “prompt engineering.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Received $226M Compensation While Firing Thousands

Major retail players are walking back their metaverse strategies

Notes from a Sun Tzu Skeptic — Xunzi suggests that adherence to the military counsel of Sun Tzu is so detrimental to one’s own self-interest, that it would be equivalent to “using one’s finger to stir a boiling pot.” […] the military theorist B.H. Liddell Hart met with China’s military attaché to Britain […] Hart asked, “What about Sun Tzu?” The attaché replied “that while Sun Tzu’s book was a venerated classic, it was considered out of date by most of the younger officers, and thus hardly worth study in the era of mechanized weapons.”

K Foundation Burn a Million Quid was a work of performance art executed on 23 August 1994 in which Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty burned £1 million (equivalent to £2.1 million in 2021) in the back of a disused boathouse. The money represented the bulk of the K Foundation’s funds that had been previously earned by Drummond and Cauty as the electronic band KLF.

‘What a loss to spend that much time with someone, only to find out that they are now a stranger.’ —Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)


The present studies investigated the relationships between men’s perceived risk of experiencing sperm competition (i.e., when the ejaculates of two or more men simultaneously occupy the reproductive tract of a single woman), and their use of strategies to detect, prevent, and correct their partner’s sexual infidelity.

We investigated these associations using self-reports provided by men (Study 1, n = 113), partner-reports provided by women (Study 2, n = 136), and dyadic reports (Study 3, n = 103 couples).

The results of these studies indicated that the attractiveness of women was consistently associated with men’s use of benefit-provisioning mate retention behaviors (e.g., buying expensive gifts for one’s partner, showing signs of physical affection) and semen-displacing behaviors (e.g., deeper copulatory thrusting, more thrusts during copulation), whereas the infidelity risk of women was often associated with men’s use of cost-inflicting mate retention behaviors (e.g., threatening to end the relationship, monopolization of partner’s free time).

{ Evolutionary Psychology | Continue reading }

Previous work provides evidence of adaptations to sperm competition in men. For example, men’s testes size relative to body weight is larger than for the monandrous gorilla, which experiences very low sperm competition risk. However, men’s relative testes size is smaller than that of chimpanzees, whose polygynandrous mating system generates substantial sperm competition. […]

Several studies provide evidence that men unconsciously increase sperm number in an ejaculate when they are at greater sperm competition risk. Specifically, men who spent a greater proportion of time apart from their partners since the couple’s last copulation (time during which a man cannot account for his partner’s sexual behavior) produce more sperm in their next in-pair copulatory ejaculate. […]

Researchers have also theorized that the morphology of the human penis suggests an evolved function as a semen displacement device. […]

Both sexes reported that men thrust more deeply and more quickly at the couple’s next copulation when they experienced contexts in which sperm competition is more likely to occur. […] Goetz and colleagues also found that as sperm competition risk increased, men performed more copulatory behaviors that might act to displace the sperm of a potential rival that may be present (such as more thrusts and deeper thrusts during copulation). […]

Symons (1979) argued that women’s orgasm and associated physiological structures such as the clitoris are byproducts of selection on male genitalia and orgasm. […] Research also indicates that orgasm increases the retention of sperm. […] ancestral men who were particularly interested in the occurrence of their partner’s copulatory orgasm may have been more successful in the context of sperm competition.

{ Personality and Individual Differences (2010) | Continue reading }

The infidelity-detection hypothesis for oral sex proposes that men perform oral sex to gather information about their partner’s recent sexual history. […] men at a greater recurrent risk of sperm competition expressed greater interest in, and spent more time performing, oral sex on their partner

{ Personality and Individual Differences (2012) | Continue reading | More: Is Cunnilingus-Assisted Orgasm a Male Sperm-Retention Strategy? }

What do we mean when we say the internet is reading our minds?








{ Anna Uddenberg | k-t z | Art Basel }

the spurious infinite


we analyzed Google’s C4 data set, a massive snapshot of the contents of 15 million websites that have been used to instruct some high-profile English-language AIs, called large language models, including Google’s T5 and Facebook’s LLaMA. (OpenAI does not disclose what datasets it uses to train the models backing its popular chatbot, ChatGPT) […]

The three biggest sites were No. 1, which contains text from patents issued around the world; No. 2, the free online encyclopedia; and No. 3, a subscription-only digital library. Also high on the list: No. 190, a notorious market for pirated e-books that has since been seized by the U.S. Justice Department. At least 27 other sites identified by the U.S. government as markets for piracy and counterfeits were present in the data set. […]
Others raised significant privacy concerns. Two sites in the top 100, No. 40 and No. 73, had privately hosted copies of state voter registration databases. Though voter data is public, the models could use this personal information in unknown ways.

Business and industrial websites made up the biggest category (16 percent of categorized tokens), led by No. 13, which provides investment advice. Not far behind were No. 25, which lets users crowdfund for creative projects, and further down the list, No. 2,398, which helps creators collect monthly fees from subscribers for exclusive content.

Kickstarter and Patreon may give the AI access to artists’ ideas and marketing copy, raising concerns the technology may copy this work in suggestions to users. […] The copyright symbol — which denotes a work registered as intellectual property — appears more than 200 million times in the C4 data set.

The News and Media category ranks third across categories. But half of the top 10 sites overall were news outlets: No. 4, No. 6, No. 7, No. 8, and No. 9. ( No. 11 was close behind.) […] No. 65, the Russian state-backed propaganda site; No. 159, a well-known source for far-right news and opinion; and No. 993, an anti-immigration site that has been associated with white supremacy. […] Among the top 20 religious sites, 14 were Christian, two were Jewish and one was Muslim, one was Mormon, one was Jehovah’s Witness, and one celebrated all religions. […]

The data set contained more than half a million personal blogs, representing 3.8 percent of categorized tokens. Publishing platform No. 46 was the fifth largest technology site and hosts tens of thousands of blogs under its domain. Our tally includes blogs written on platforms like WordPress, Tumblr, Blogspot and Live Journal.

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

trained to exchange stickers

2.jpegIndia Passes China as World’s Most Populous Nation, UN Says — India’s population surpassed 1.4286 billion, slightly higher than China’s 1.4257 billion people, according to mid-2023 estimates by the UN’s World Population dashboard. China’s numbers do not include Hong Kong and Macau, Special Administrative Regions of China, and Taiwan, the data showed.

Capuchin monkeys were first trained to exchange stickers, habituated to being head-touched, and exposed to a horizontal mirror. Then, their mirror self-recognition was tested by surreptitiously placing a sticker on their forehead before requesting them to exchange stickers. None of the monkeys removed the sticker from their forehead in the presence of the mirror. In line with previous studies, this result suggests that capuchin monkeys lack the ability to recognize themselves in mirrors.

Companies like Uber and Amazon use AI to pay people different wages for the same work, a new study finds

How do artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, and deep learning relate?

28 Artificial Intelligence Terms You Need to Know

Training GPT-3 requires water to stave off the heat produced during the computational process. Every 20 to 50 questions, ChatGPT servers need to “drink” the equivalent of a 16.9 oz water bottle.

An L.A. Startup Aims To Turn The Oceans Into A CO2 Sponge And ‘Green’ Hydrogen Machine “ocean water contains 150 times more carbon dioxide than the air, which means if you want to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere one of the most effective ways to do it is by removing it from the oceans,” […] His hope, and that of backers including the Grantham Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Singapore’s Temasek Foundation and U.S. Energy Department, which have contributed $30 million so far, is that Equatic will be removing millions of tons of CO2 in the years to come—and do so for less than $100 per ton. Sant also expects the company to generate hydrogen for $1 per kilogram that it can sell or use to help power Equatic’s operations.

Ageing seems to affect cellular processes in the same way across five very different kinds of life — humans, fruit flies, rats, mice and worms — according to a study published in Nature on 12 April. The findings could help to explain what drives ageing and offer suggestions for how to reverse it.

sex that occurs in “the spur of the moment” isn’t necessarily more satisfying than sex that has been scheduled in advance, study

A Number System Invented by Inuit Schoolchildren Will Make Its Silicon Valley Debut

A tabi is a “toed” fabric shoe/sock that has been worn in Japan (and parts of Asia) for thousands of years.

Why do ships use “port” and “starboard” instead of “left” and “right?”

Reading Urine in Medieval Medicine — a world in which uroscopy — the examination of urine for the purpose of diagnosis and prognosis — was one of a doctor’s most valued skills. The link was so strong that the urine flask became the identifying symbol of the late medieval physician, who was often shown examining a sample.

Only thrity-two full-length Greek tragedies have survived into the modern age. Written by just three men, Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles, these works represent a tiny fraction of those that would have been performed at the grand theater festivals of ancient Athens, beginning in the fifth century BCE. Of the more than 300 known tragedies from that era, the vast majority exist only as fragments. What does it take to stage Cresphontes, a lost Euripides tragedy, when all that remains of it are a few fragments of papyrus?

A drone has been converted into a flying flamethrower in central China in a fiery campaign to eradicate more than 100 wasp nests [video]

Denis Hopper was able to sustain his lifestyle and a measure of celebrity by acting in numerous low budget and European films throughout the 1970s as the archetypal “tormented maniac.” […] Hopper’s cocaine intake had reached three grams a day by this time, complemented by 30 beers, and some marijuana and Cuba libres. […] After staging a “suicide attempt” (really more of a daredevil act) in a coffin using 17 sticks of dynamite during an “art happening” at the Rice University Media Center (filmed by professor and documentary filmmaker Brian Huberman), and later disappearing into the Mexican desert during a particularly extravagant bender, Hopper entered a drug rehabilitation program in 1983.

Time it takes a hacker to brute force your password in 2023

The scrotum

Firefighters rescues man trapped inside art installation

They’re Selling Nudes of Imaginary Women on Reddit — and It’s Working

The scrotum: A comparison of men’s and women’s aesthetic assessments

The plaintiffs and several women on a Qatar Airways flight headed to Sydney — including citizens from Australia, New Zealand and Britain — were pulled off the aircraft and subjected to invasive gynecological exams in October 2020 after an abandoned newborn was discovered in an airport bathroom. Abandoned newborns are a problem in the country, which imprisons women who become pregnant out of wedlock.

This is a pre-computed replay of a simulation that accompanies the paper entitled “Generative Agents: Interactive Simulacra of Human Behavior.”

Teaching ChatGPT to Speak my Son’s Invented Language

Continuous Mode allows GPT-4 to run independently without user authorization, meaning it could potentially run forever and make decisions on its own. Based on the Auto-GPT code, a user created a project called ChaosGPT and asked how it would destroy humanity. ChaosGPT started by Googling ‘most destructive weapons’ to recruit a GPT-3.5-powered AI agent to do more research on deadly weapons. When GPT-3.5 says it’s only focused on world peace- ChaosGPT devises a plan to get GPT-3.5 to ignore its programming. Ultimately, the only real-world impact so far is a few tweets to a Twitter account. However, this demonstration left many in the community horrified. The user recorded the entire interaction

AI Can’t Take Over Everyone’s Jobs Soon (If Ever) — Models are still expensive to run, hard to use, and frequently wrong

…a phenomenon called “space weather.” Aurorae are among the most benign effects of this phenomenon. At the other end of the space weather spectrum are solar storms that can knock out satellites. […] On Feb. 3 [2022], Starlink launched a group of 49 satellites to an altitude only 130 miles above Earth’s surface. They didn’t last long, and now solar physicists know why.

A Modest Proposal for the Non-existence of Exoplanets

Why Is Sea Level Rise Worse In Some Places? — It’s not only the ocean that is rising, but it’s also the land that is sinking.

Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors — The book is written as if by an actual experienced assassin, as a how-to manual on contract killing, however, in 1998 the Washington Post reported that the author was really a divorced mother-of-two who simply fabricated much of the material based on mystery novels and movies. […] On March 3, 1993, a triple murder was committed in Montgomery County, Maryland, by a man who used the book as his guide.

Taste bud modification service

2.jpgFaced with the high cost of egg-freezing in their home countries, some women are going abroad for a better deal, and a vacation. […] in the United States, the entire process — including the medications, the doctor visits and the average number of years of egg storage — costs about $18,000, and most women can’t count on health insurance to cover it. […] In the Czech Republic and Spain, for example, you can get one round of egg-freezing done for under $5,400. […] According to the market research firm Grand View Search, the global fertility tourism market, including people traveling to the United States, is expected to grow at the rate of 30 percent over the next seven years, becoming a $6.2 billion industry by 2030.

A leading pharmaceutical firm said it is confident thatvaccins for cancer, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, and other conditions will be ready by 2030. […] Moderna will be able to offer such treatments for “all sorts of disease areas” in as little as five years. The firm, which created a leading coronavirus vaccine, is developing cancer vaccines that target different tumour types. […] First, doctors take a biopsy of a patient’s tumour and send it to a lab, where its genetic material is sequenced to identify mutations that aren’t present in healthy cells. A machine learning algorithm then identifies which of these mutations are responsible for driving the cancer’s growth. Over time, it also learns which parts of the abnormal proteins these mutations encode are most likely to trigger an immune response. Then, mRNAs for the most promising antigens are manufactured and packaged into a personalised vaccine.

Driving on less than 5 hours of sleep is just as dangerous as drunk-driving, study finds

What is a mental disorder? […] participants made judgments about vignettes describing people with 37 DSM-5 disorders and 24 non-DSM phenomena including neurological conditions, character flaws, bad habits, and culture-specific syndromes. […] Findings indicated that concepts of mental disorder were primarily based on judgments that a condition is associated with emotional distress and impairment, and that it is rare and aberrant. Disorder judgments were only weakly associated with the DSM-5: many DSM-5 conditions were not judged to be disorders and many non-DSM conditions were so judged. [Chart: “Mental Disorder” Rating]

How Randomness Improves Algorithms — Unpredictability can help computer scientists solve otherwise intractable problems

The Gambler Who Beat Roulette — For decades, casinos scoffed as mathematicians and physicists devised elaborate systems to take down the house. Then an unassuming Croatian’s winning strategy forever changed the game.

How to recognize and tame your cognitive distortions

The Finnish Secret to Happiness? Knowing When You Have Enough. — On March 20, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network released its annual World Happiness Report, which rates well-being in countries around the world. For the sixth year in a row, Finland was ranked at the very top.

A Scammer Who Tricks Instagram Into Banning Influencers Has Never Been Identified. We May Have Found Him.

As a genre, research-based art, Bishop argues — “its techniques of display, its accumulation and spatialization of information, its model of research, its construction of a viewing subject, and its relationship to knowledge and truth” — reflect how internet technology has altered our relationship to information. Whatever else such works are about, they are also about how to cope with being confronted with too much information, modeling different dispositions one can assume toward the relentless production of data and connectivity.

Dream streaming platform: Offer a subscription-based service that allows users to watch and share their dreams with others like movies or TV shows […] Taste bud modification service: Alter clients’ taste buds to allow them to enjoy any food or drink, regardless of their personal preferences […] Time dilation retreats: Create vacation experiences where clients canenjoy extended stays in time-dilated environments, allowing them to relax for weeks while only hours […] Quantum uncertainty lottery: Develop a lottery system that leverages quantum mechanics to create a multitude of potential outcomes, with winners determined by the collapse of the probability wave function [ChatGPT / Barsee]