• Quote of the Day
    "The voice of negativity says, 'Get real'. The voice of possibility says 'Get started'."
    Donna Satchell, posted by littlerabbit

Daniel

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Forget Self-Driving Cars. Bring Back the Stick Shift.
March 23, 2019

I was backing my wife’s car out of our driveway when I realized I wasn’t watching the backup camera, nor was I looking out of the rear window. I was only listening for those “audible proximity alerts” — the high-pitched beeps that my car emits as I approach an object while in reverse. The problem was that my wife’s car, an older model, doesn’t offer such beeps.

I had become so reliant on this technology that I had stopped paying attention, a problem with potentially dangerous consequences...

But there’s one feature available on some cars today that can increase a driver’s vigilance instead of diminishing it — the manual transmission.

A car with a stick shift and clutch pedal requires the use of all four limbs, making it difficult to use a cellphone or eat while driving. Lapses in attention are therefore rare, especially in city driving where a driver might shift gears a hundred times during a trip to the grocery store...
 

Daniel

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Blindsight - Wikipedia

Blindsight is the ability of people who are cortically blind due to lesions in their striate cortex, also known as the primary visual cortex or V1, to respond to visual stimuli that they do not consciously see...

There are three theories for the explanation of blindsight. The first states that after damage to area V1, other branches of the optic nerve deliver visual information to the superior colliculus and several other areas, including parts of the cerebral cortex. In turn, these areas might then control the blindsight responses.

Another explanation for the phenomenon of blindsight is that even though the majority of a person's visual cortex may be damaged, tiny islands of functioning tissue remain. These islands aren't large enough to provide conscious perception, but nevertheless enough for some unconscious visual perception...
 

Daniel

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... "problem solving" is largely, perhaps entirely, a matter of appropriate selection. Take, for instance, any popular book of problems and puzzles. Almost every one can be reduced to the form: out of a certain set, indicate one element. ... It is, in fact, difficult to think of a problem, either playful or serious, that does not ultimately require an appropriate selection as necessary and sufficient for its solution.

It is also clear that many of the tests used for measuring "intelligence" are scored essentially according to the candidate's power of appropriate selection. ... Thus it is not impossible that what is commonly referred to as "intellectual power" may be equivalent to "power of appropriate selection". Indeed, if a talking Black Box were to show high power of appropriate selection in such matters—so that, when given difficult problems it persistently gave correct answers—we could hardly deny that it was showing the 'behavioral' equivalent of "high intelligence".

If this is so, and as we know that power of selection can be amplified, it seems to follow that intellectual power, like physical power, can be amplified. Let no one say that it cannot be done, for the gene-patterns do it every time they form a brain that grows up to be something better than the gene-pattern could have specified in detail. What is new is that we can now do it synthetically, consciously, deliberately.

— W. Ross Ashby, An Introduction to Cybernetics, Chapman and Hall, London, UK, 1956. Reprinted, Methuen and Company, London, UK, 1964.
 

Daniel

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“We encounter a startling “Fitness-Beats-Truth” (FBT) theorem, which states that evolution by natural selection does not favor true perceptions—it routinely drives them to extinction. Instead, natural selection favors perceptions that hide the truth and guide useful action.”

― Donald D. Hoffman, The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes
 

Daniel

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Technology for our overlords :D

Animal-computer interaction - Wikipedia

Animal-computer interaction (ACI) is a field of research for the design and use of technology with, for and by animals. It emerged from, and is heavily influenced by, the discipline of [WIKI]human-computer interaction[/WIKI] (HCI)...

Much ACI work focuses on technologies to support communication and relationships between animals and humans. Researchers have investigated digital technologies for dogs, including systems for remote communication with dogs left at home, wearable interactive devices for them, and interfaces for working dogs. They have also explored technology for interactions with other domestic animals, including cats.
 

David Baxter

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I'd be very interested in learning more about what Mindy thinks I'm saying when we are having a conversation. :D
 

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Named after Soviet psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, in psychology the Zeigarnik effect occurs when an activity that has been interrupted may be more readily recalled. It postulates that people remember unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks...

Zeigarnik effect is being used in some SaaS systems to onboard users faster and effectively.

Zeigarnik effect emphasizes an "Aha! moment" as an uncompleted task.

Usually, being implemented as user interactions gamification. These are some examples:
  • Progress trackers which inform users of how close they are to complete a task. When users see a message like “You profile is 64% complete,” they are more likely to spend a few minutes on providing all missing details.
  • Checklists to provide a clear step-by-step on-boarding flow.
 
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Daniel

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VEDANTAM: William Henry Talbot's pioneering techniques in photography tell us something about how humans think. We have an impulse to share with others what is going on in our heads - our feelings, our experiences, our perspectives. Laurie [Santos] thinks this might be an important area of difference with other animals.

SANTOS: I think even if animals had photographs, they wouldn't use them. You know, if they had their iPhone 11, they wouldn't take pictures. And it's so funny when you realize that because, you know, that urge to share stuff is such a very human urge. You know, it's one that researchers like Mike Tomasello and colleagues find emerges, like, within the first year of life. Babies are already starting to point at things and trying to get their parents to look. And so it's a very, very fundamental urge. And remarkably, it seems to be one that's unique to humans. And you can see this so strikingly when you watch the behavior of, you know, mother primates and their kids. Like, they just don't tend to show each other stuff. Like, there's just not, like, active teaching or even active, like, hey, Mom, look at this; look at me. They kind of just don't care.
 
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Daniel

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Mobile devices are ever present when watching video content on a TV screen, easily allowing consumers to perform other activities simultaneously. The second screen, such as a smartphone or tablet, is used by 64 percent of consumers every week to complement the content on the big TV screen, such as looking up an actor, checking ratings, posting comments on social media, and watching video content on multiple screens.

TV and video content has always had a significant social component, for example, discussing TV programs while watching together at home. Today, those habits have migrated online, both for traditional TV content and for UGC [user generated content]. Millennials in particular have a more pronounced second screen behavior, and these habits continue to evolve. Since 2014, the habit of browsing the internet for content related to what is being watched on the big TV screen has increased by 35 percent, and watching 2 or more programs at the same time has increased just as much. This growth can partly be attributed to the basic human need for instant gratification, as well as never wanting to have a dull moment.
 
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David Baxter

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I'm not sure it's a question of "instant gratification" as much as convenience.

Often when I'm watching a movie, I have a question about a specific actor, like where have I seen him or her before?

At one time, I'd pause the movie and check IMDB on my desktop in the next room. Now I don't have to: I just open the IMDB app on my phone and check it our there. My point is that either way I would want to look it up — now it's just easier to look it up.

Or I might Google a question about a specific event in whatever I'm watching (e.g., I found myself doping this quite frequently watching The Crown on Netflix).
 

Daniel

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I'm not sure it's a question of "instant gratification" as much as convenience.
Often when I'm watching a movie, I have a question about a specific actor, like where have I seen him or her before?
Exactly. I was actually hoping you would say something like that. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew they were being overly simplistic.

Otherwise, I guess you are supposed to live in ignorance and embrace the uncertainty of never knowing :D
 
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Daniel

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While research on learning — arguably the most complex cognitive process — can be based on observations, surveys, or correlations, most of our research in cognitive psychology is experimental. We use experiments to examine how students learn everything from basic facts and vocabulary words to how students apply their knowledge using complex higher-order materials (Agarwal, in press). Or we might compare popular study methods, such as rereading or highlighting, to see which ones lead to longer-lasting learning. (It turns out that both rereading and highlighting are fairly ineffective; Putnam et al., 2016)
 
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David Baxter

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(It turns out that both rereading and highlighting are fairly ineffective; Putnam et al., 2016)
I learned this a long time ago.
  1. If I'm highlighting, I'm just highlighting. I don't actually read what I'm highlighting and I won't remember what I highlighted.
  2. I don't know whether re-reading the same text helps me learn something or not but I found it deadly boring. My strategy was to get at least 2 or 3 books or articles on the same topic and read them all — once each. I'd make short notes on each.
 
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