One day, translating will feel like rotation

There are some 6,800 unique languages in use today. Not every word translates perfectly, and meaning sometimes falls through the cracks. For instance, there is no English translation for the Japanese wabi-sabi—the idea of finding beauty in imperfection—or for the German waldeinsamkeit, the feeling of being alone in the woods. Different fields of science, too, […]

I’m glad that the evidence here matches what I want to be true.

Conclusion Coffee consumption seems generally safe within usual levels of intake, with summary estimates indicating largest risk reduction for various health outcomes at three to four cups a day, and more likely to benefit health than harm. Robust randomised controlled trials are needed to understand whether the observed associations are causal. Importantly, outside of pregnancy, […]

On the idea that consciousness creates 4D reality from a 2D hologram

I’m blocked on all my current tasks at work so I went to MacNiven’s to take a break, and, like I do, I’m reading a physics book. This one is about the various “Universe as Holographic Information” hypotheses. Short version The deepest reality of our universe is two-dimensional hologram, one of Space and one of […]

Reading: “The hard problem of consciousness is a distraction from the real one”

There is a final twist to this story. Predictive models are good not only for figuring out the causes of sensory signals, they also allow the brain to control or regulate these causes, by changing sensory data to conform to existing predictions (this is sometimes called ‘active inference’). When it comes to the self, especially […]

The Associated Press: Chimp owner begs police in 911 call to stop attack

Herold, a widow whose daughter was killed in a car accident several years ago, told the Today Show that the incident was “a freak thing.” She said Travis “couldn’t have been more my son than if I gave birth to him,” and rejected criticism that chimpanzees are inappropriate pets. “It’s a horrible thing, but I’m […]

Oldest Animal Fossils Discovered | Wired Science from Wired.com

The animals’ remains don’t look like traditional fossils. They’re more like fossil echoes: chemical traces of a compound only produced — at least in modern times — by demosponges, descendants of what some scientists consider to be the last common ancestor of all animals. “It is, definitively, the earliest evidence for animals,” said geochemist Gordon […]

Attenborough reveals creationist hate mail for not crediting God | World news | The Guardian

Sir David Attenborough has revealed that he receives hate mail from viewers for failing to credit God in his documentaries. In an interview with this week’s Radio Times about his latest documentary, on Charles Darwin and natural selection, the broadcaster said: “They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance.” Telling the magazine that […]

‘Jesus was born in June’, astronomers claim – Telegraph

Using the St Matthew’s Gospel as a reference point, Mr Reneke pinpointed the planetary conjunction, which appeared in the constellation of Leo, to the exact date of June 17 in the year 2BC. The astronomy lecturer, who is also news editor of Sky and Space magazine, said: “We have software that can recreate exactly the […]

we can read minds now. no, really.

Researchers from Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person’s mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people’s dreams while […]

Humans 80,000 Years Older Than Previously Thought?

Using argon-argon dating—a technique that compares different isotopes of the element argon—researchers determined that the volcanic ash layers entombing the tools at Gademotta date back at least 276,000 years. Many of the tools found are small blades, made using a technique that is thought to require complex cognitive abilities and nimble fingers, according to study […]