Why Math Rules

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Here is a good explanation of why a factual and maths based approach works best in problem solving and getting stuff done!

“What is mathematical biology?
It is easy to get lost in the details and idiosyncrasies of biology. Understanding molecular structures and how systems work on a cellular level is important, but this alone will not tell us the whole science story. To achieve this we have to develop our insight and understanding more broadly, and use this to make predictions. Mathematics allows us to do this. Continue reading

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Parasite Avoidance Drives Social Behaviors and Culture

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“The coevolution of parasite and host has not only influenced the evolution of defense mechanisms but also the evolution of social systems,”

This research suggests that parasites, similarly to kinship ties and social rank, influence mandrill behavior by shaping social dynamics in their group. This study of the evolution of antiparasitic behavior is currently focused on the influence of parasites spread merely by contact. But it could expand its scope to include other mandrill pathogens with different routes of transmission, such as nematodes spread through contact with the environment or retroviruses spread from male to male by biting. Continue reading

Skin Color Fear, “Racism”, Looks Innate

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“Infants Show Racial Bias toward Members of Own Race and against Those of Other Races – Researchers report infants show racial bias in favor of members of their own race as early as 6 months old. Continue reading

Our Brains Are Hyper-Visual, So Too Our Culture and Tech

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Below is a digest of a longer article on some findings in research on our visual systems, and other animals systems.  Western culture seems accelerating towards pretty much exclusively visual stimuli, adopting to our brain’s hyper-visual receptivity and processing speed.  This is largely from the research of Irving Beiderman at USC

Take Aways:

  • In about a tenth of a second—too quickly for us to even be aware it’s happening—our brains figure out what we are seeing and make sense of it

  • half of our brain is dedicated almost exclusively to vision.

  • Seeing an odd or unexpected interaction between two objects stimulates our brains to release more opioids, thus giving us increased enjoyment.”

  • “Because the concepts are remote, their linking will necessarily result in the activation of a great number of intervening neurons with a concomitant and sudden deluge of opioid activity, causing us to laugh

  • We get more opioid release and thus more pleasure from looking at those shapes….Our eye movements are not random but… they are directed towards entities that will give us more opioid activity—a system that is established as early as four months.”

Continue reading

Tech, Populist Politics and Human Nature: Ugli, Let’s Be Honest, Shall We?

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Good article edited below

How technology created a global village — and put us at each other’s throats

Technology is an amplifier. It magnifies our best traits, and it magnifies our worst.  What it doesn’t do is make us better people. That’s a job we can’t offload on machines.

If our assumption that communication brings people together were true, we should today be seeing a planetary outbreak of peace, love, and understanding…Yet we live in a fractious time, defined not by concord but by conflict. Xenophobia is on the rise. Political and social fissures are widening. From the White House down, public discourse is characterized by vitriol and insult. We probably shouldn’t be surprised. Continue reading