Optical illusions educate the mind – Aeon

"In 1962, Thomas Kuhn published The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and caused a small revolution of his own. He profoundly changed the way we now understand scientific knowledge, invoking the notion of a paradigm, and then claiming that we can only make sense of the world around us through the paradigm’s lens. A paradigm, for Kuhn, is the product of consensus. It’s the whole complex set of things that everyone (or at least every scientist) agrees about at any given time. When we change paradigms, our whole world view changes." Full article @ Aeon



How Can the Study of Complexity Transform Our Understanding of the World?

The “study of complexity” refers to the attempt to find common principles underlying the behavior of complex systems—systems in which large collections of components interact in nonlinear ways. Here, the term nonlinear implies that the system can’t be understood simply by understanding its individual components; nonlinear interactions cause the whole to be “more than the sum of its parts.” Full article @ Big Questions Online



Modifying DNA May Wipe Away Old Memories

Study in mice suggests way to diminish recall of traumatic events. News article @ Science/AAAS | News

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The learning machines

"Using massive amounts of data to recognize photos and speech, deep-learning computers are taking a big step towards true artificial intelligence. [...] Deep learning itself is a revival of an even older idea for computing: neural networks. These systems, loosely inspired by the densely interconnected neurons of the brain, mimic human learning by changing the strength of simulated neural connections on the basis of experience." Full news feature @ Nature News & Comment. A good companion reader is also Hyping Artificial Intelligence, yet again @ The New Yorker.

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What is reality?

"what is reality? The more we probe it, the harder it becomes to comprehend. In [these] eight articles [...] we take a tour of our fundamental understanding of the world around us, starting with an attempt to define reality and ending with the idea that whatever reality is, it isn’t what it seems. Hold on to your hats". Collection @ New Scientist

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