Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, July 28-Aug 3, 2019

And now, it’s time to get your mental corn popping.

‘They have become the new religion’: Esther Perel says we expect too much from relationships. “Out in the open” with Piya Chattopadhyay on CBC.

Why the trend of surveilling strangers online proves we are horrible. This ties in to the post I shared by Kim Fahner last week and why we should resist objectifying others for our amusement or sense of superiority. “Spark” with Nora Young on CBC.

Allie Volpe explains why kids invent imaginary friends. Guess us writers just never grew up 😉 The Atlantic

SciShow Psych looks at the differences between men and women who are diagnosed with ADHD.

Ethan Siegal: today is not 24 hours long. Forbes

Dr. Becky observes the cartwheel galaxy. Space is weird

The BBC reports on the discovery of a clay tablet on which the oldest extract of Homer’s Odyssey has been found. Struggled for a while over whether to post this in Tipsday or here on Thoughty Thursday, but the latter won out, because archeology.

Chris Dawson: North Bay unrolls its first accessible beach mat. The Northern Life

Jeffery DelViscio explains how a bionic hand helps amputees “feel” again. Scientific American

Martin Giles wonders, is AI the next big climate change threat? We have no idea. MIT Technology Review

Massive ice melt caused by heatwave over Greenland. CBC

Kent German explores the relationship between redwoods, birds, and microphones in the quest to save an endangered species. CNET

SciShow makes a dog Q&A compilation 🙂

Because tardigrades! Chubby, misunderstood, and not immortal. Journey into the microcosmos

Thanks for visiting and I hope you found some inspirational fuel for your next (or current) creative project.

Until tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

ThoughtyThursday2019

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Dec 2-15, 2018

Last week, I had two skimpy links to offer. As I said, my brain refused to brain in the week following NaNoWriMo. This week, the neurons mustered, and so I have a reasonable selection of stuff to pop your mental corn 🙂

The Guardian editorial staff shares its view on editing human DNA: a bad idea, and badly executed.

This “city” for people with dementia is the future of memory care. Katherine Schwab for Fast Company.

More neuroscience with Shannon Odell. Your brain on hangovers. Inverse

 

David Paul Kirkpatrick is breathing in the light. An instruction in the “Golden Flower” meditation. Better Humans/Medium

Matt Novak: how did Mary Queen of Scots send her secret messages? Paleofuture

Lizzie Philip takes a close-up look at the most influential medical book of the 16th century. Atlas Obscura

Robert Iriondo: differences between AI and machine learning and why it matters. Data Driven Investor

Brandon Specktor reports that Earth’s mysterious “deep biosphere” harbours millions of undiscovered species. NBC

Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its baby powder. Lisa Girion for Reuters.

Christine Ro: the psychology behind stalking. Vice

And on that disturbing note, that was thoughty Thursday.

Until next Tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories.

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 9-15, 2017

Pop that mental corn! It’s good for you!

Petula Dvorak: Mary Magdelene has been reviled as a prostitute. That’s not how she was portrayed in the Bible. The Washington Post

Angela Gemmill reports on the latest developments on a new combined art gallery and library for Sudbury. CBC

Drew Hayden Taylor considers smudging to be spiritual, but not religious. The Globe and Mail

Caitlin Thompson reports on the Heiltsuk village that is three times older than the pyramids and what it means for indigenous oral history. Coast Mountain News

Michaeleen Doucleff explains how scientists cracked a 50 year old mystery about measles. NPR

Andrew North: how Mongolia is getting palliative care right. Quartz

Belinda Luscombe: Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Option B, is a guide for finding life after the death of a loved one. Time

Robyn Reisch explains why intelligent people choose to be less social. Intelligence.com

Dan Dowling says, here’s why you can’t stay focused. Entrepreneur

Olga Khazan examines recent studies that may prove difficult childhoods can improve cognition. The Atlantic

Alice G. Walton lists seven habits that may actually improve brain function. Forbes

Yes, you can measure white privilege. Michael Harriot for The Root.

Stephen Hui: five reasons why we should stop calling white people “Caucasian.” The Georgia Straight

Hannah Devlin discovers why AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases. The Guardian

Natalie Wolchover covers the retiree who discovered an elusive mathematical proof. Wired

Rob Waugh: Hubble just spotted something massive coming out of Uranus. Yes, you may giggle. Metro

Phil Plait shares a video from the ESA’s Gaia project: how the sky may look in 5 million years. Blastr

Physicists say they’ve created a fluid with negative mass. Holy crap is right. Fiona MacDonald for Science  Alert.

It’s okay to be smart looks at the relationship between dogs and humans.

 

And minute earth cover the feline side of the tale. Tail?

 

See you on the weekend!

Be well, my lovelies 🙂

thoughtythursday2016

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Feb 12-18, 2017

Time to warm the ole brain pan. There’s mental corn that needs popping.

Arnie Seipel shares the dark origins of Valentine’s Day. NPR

Daniele Cybuskie relates three fairy tale romances in honour of Valentine’s Day. Medievalists.net

Henry Rollins: what side of history do you want to be on? LA Weekly

Mario Livio reports on the discovery of Winston Churchill’s lost essay on alien life. Nature

Tom Hale shares these stunning aquatic vistas by finalists of the underwater photograph of the year competition. IFLS

Cats sailed with the Vikings to conquer the world. Bec Crew for Science Alert.

Katy Evans reports on how dogs and monkeys judge you on how you treat others. IFLS

Do crows have funerals? You betcha. Ask a Mortician

 

Tom Hale encourages you to observe the evidence of evolution in your own body. IFLS

Lesley Alderman: the year of conquering negative thinking. The New York Times

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie reports on the people who never forget and what they’re teaching us about memory. The Guardian

Sarah Knapton: our seas have become a plastic graveyard, but can technology turn the tide? The Telegraph

Google’s “DeepMind” AI understands the benefits of betrayal. Robin Andrews for IFLS.

I admit it. I was #furiouslyhappy to find this list of more than 150 learning resources compiled by Janet Alexandersson for Medium.

Here’s hoping creative connections are being made.

See you on Saturday for more WorldCon 2016 reportage.

Stay strong, be kind, and be well!

thoughtythursday2016

WorldCon 2016: Humans and robots

Disclaimer: I am not perfect and neither are my notes. If you notice anything that requires clarification or correction, please email me at melanie (dot) marttila (at) gmail (dot) com and I will fix things post-hasty.

Panellists: Kevin Roche, G. David Nordley, Brenda Cooper (moderator), Walt Boyes, Jerry Pournelle

humansandrobots

Joined in progress …

KR: They have built and programmed competent bartending robots.

GDN: There’s an S-curve with any technological development. If you picture the letter S and start from the bottom of the letter, robotics is at the first upsweeping curve.

WB: Google is the largest robotics company in the world. Boston Robotics sells services in robotic hours.

JP: With regard to artificial intelligence (AI), every time we started something that looked like AI, people said nope, that ain’t it. Unemployment is higher than the statistics report. In the near future, over half of jobs will be replaced by robots or other automation. The unemployable won’t be visible. They won’t be looking. We’ve not lost jobs to overseas corporations, or not as many as we think. We’ve lost jobs to automation. The “useless” class is on the rise. Look at it this way, an employer saves an employee’s annual salary and spends maybe 10% of it to maintain a robot doing the same work. They’d need one human to service 20 robots.

BC: How do you assign value to human work?

WB: In 1900, the second industrial revolution saw farm workers move to the cities and the factories. The real issue is a philosophical one. We’ve been assigning value to people by the work that they do. A corporate lawyer has, subjectively, greater value than a garbage man. What happens when automation and artificial intelligence replaces both?

KR: When workers are underpaid, the social contract bears the cost. Increasing the minimum wage and increased automation are exposing the dirty little secret. People need to be valued differently. Teachers and artists, in particular, can’t be replaced.

GDN: The top level docs of our society assign value to every citizen. The big question is how do we realize that? The recession has meant fewer tax dollars dedicated to the arts and infrastructure. We have to have the social conversation.

JP: Will advances in artificial intelligence implement Asimov’s three laws? Drones don’t use the three laws. IBM created an AI that beat a human at go [the game]. They took two machines, programmed them with the rules of the game, and let them play each other. After ten million games, they could functionally beat anyone. If you ask a robot to stop humans from killing each other, what’s to stop the robot from coming up with the solution to kill all humans? We have to proceed carefully.

KR: Watson won Jeopardy. Its job is to parse huge amounts of information and look for patterns. It’s humans who decided to test the system by putting it on the show.

GDN: Right now, computers are still, by and large, working on bookkeeping tasks. As we get to the point where we have to consider the three laws, we have to be cautious.

WB: We have to expand out definition of robotics. We have the internet of things with programmable thermostats and refrigerators we can access through our phones. Though still imperfect, we have self-driving cars. We need to figure out how to program morality.

GDN: Human beings don’t consistently make the same moral choices. Fuzzy logic and data sets would be required. Positronic brains would have to deal with potentialities.

KR: We don’t have an algorithmic equivalent for empathy.

And that was time.

Next week, we’re going to explore the steampunk explosion 🙂

Until then, be well, be kind, and be awesome!

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 2-8, 2016

Thoughty Thursday’s all over the map!

The Vintage News reports that Amelia Earhart’s remains may have been found on an island.

Gabriel Samuels reports on a piece of engraved wood that suggests a Persian taught math in Japan 1,000 years ago. The Independent

Medievalists.net compiled this comprehensive list of online resources for researching the Black Death.

Medievalists.net shared this entertaining piece on Viking nicknames. My favourite? Eystein Foul-Fart 🙂

And, for the hat trick, Medievalists.net explains why cats were hated in medieval Europe.

An oldie from Barbara G. Walker of Church and State (2008!): local wise women who carried on ancient traditions were exterminated by Christianity.

Margaret Rhodes invites us to obsess over this infographic about the history of alternative music. Wired

Jonathan Jones looks at the legacy of painter Artemesia Gentileschi. The Guardian

Azeen Ghorayshi reports that transgender children as young as three are getting the help they need. Buzzfeed

Katrina Schwartz wonders why we’re so obsessed with teaching kids cursive handwriting. Mind/Shift

America is obsessed with happiness and it’s making everyone miserable. Ruth Whippman for Vox.

What it’s like to have “high-functioning” anxiety. The Mighty

 

Baby Boomers may be more susceptible to treatment-resistant depression. Anna Gorman for CNN.

Myke Cole writes about PTSD. This is from a few years ago (2013) but it’s still relevant.

Dominik Parisien shares his experience with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. Uncanny

Justin Gammill lists ten things to keep in mind when loving a highly creative person. I heart intelligence

Paul Stamits talks about how fantastic fungi can save the world.

 

Bees are demonstrating problem-solving and transmission of knowledge. Daily Science

Scientists declare the dawn of the human-influenced epoch. Damian Carrington for The Guardian.

AI and deep machine learning are changing your life. Roger Parloff for Fortune.

What Emma Thompson learned from spending a week in the arctic. Time

Beware of dog, indeed. Upshout

Adieu until Saturday.

Be well until then 🙂

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, April 24-30, 2016

Light-headed? Yeah, I think so. Oh! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Your thoughty funny for the week:

First, Newsner reports that farts can prevent cancer. Then, IFLS reports that theory stinks.

NASA’s ‘impossible EM drive works: German researcher confirms it can take us to the moon in four hours. Physics-Astronomy.

Then a friend shared this MIT Technology Review article: the curious link between the fly-by anomaly and the ‘impossible’ EM drive thruster.

If Saturn was this close on May 1st, we’d all be dead. Phil Plait for Slate.

Lucy Orr reviews the evolution of AI in popular culture. The Register.

How the “Moth Radio Hour” helped scientists map out meaning in the brain. Amina Khan for The LA Times.

The secret language of narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths: how abusers manipulate and traumatize their victims. The Minds Journal.

The Awesome Daily has collected these pictures of the 40 most breathtaking abandoned places in the world.

Cosmopolitan lists 22 of the most beautiful places in the world.

Dala sings Red is the Rose.

 

Priming the pump, popping the mental corn, call it what you will, I hope it happened.

Now . . . go write!

Thoughty Thursday