Instant Closeness: software for generating interpersonal closeness between strangers

In the January 9th New York Times Fashion & Style section, there was a charming article by Mandy Len Catron called “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This“.  In it, she talks about some research published back in 1997, in which professor of psychology Arthur Aron and his co-authors describe a method for inducing … Read more

Are There Emotional No-Go Areas Where Logic Dare Not Show Its Face?

“Nothing should be off limits to discussion. No, let me amend that. If you think some things should be off limits, let’s sit down together and discuss that proposition itself. Let’s not just insult each other and cut off all discussion because we rationalists have somehow wandered into a land where emotion is king.” http://ift.tt/1n32d5L … Read more

Scientists are beginning to figure out why conservatives are…conservative

Something I’ve written a little bit about before. From the article: “There is by now evidence from a variety of laboratories around the world using a variety of methodological techniques leading to the virtually inescapable conclusion that the cognitive-motivational styles of leftists and rightists are quite different. This research consistently finds that conservatism is positively … Read more

Ask A Physicist To Speak At Your Funeral | IFLScience

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy is… Click here … Read more

Probabilistic Models of Cognition

Excellent web-based e-book discussing modelling cognition probabilistically and generatively. With live code samples to mess around with to illustrate what they’re talking about. Extremely interesting stuff, and not too dense. If you’re interested in making or learning about intelligent software, this should keep you busy for a little while. In this book, we explore the … Read more

Book Excerpt: Exposing India’s Blood Farmers | Science | WIRED

“The marks on his arms weren’t the tell-tale signs of heroin addiction; they came from where his captor, a ruthless modern-day vampire and also a local dairy farmer and respected landowner named Papu Yadhav, punctured his skin with a hollow syringe. He had kept the man captive so he could drain his blood and sell … Read more

New Tissue Synthesis Platform Promises Living Tissue on Demand

(Note: This article originally appeared on Acceler8or.com on July 31, 2012.  It’s republished here for my own archives.) Scientists in Canada have invented a device they claim can print large patches of living tissue. In an article which appears this month in the journal Advanced Materials, Axel Guenther of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and … Read more

GestureTek Turns You into the Controller

(Note – This article was first published by h+ Magazine, on May 12, 2010.  It’s republished here for my own archives.) Chances are, you’re not using the same computer you were twenty years ago. But chances are, you’re still using the same basic user interface — a mouse for pointing, a keyboard for typing. While … Read more