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Jon Lawhead has been at 3 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Science on Google+607,059Please join us on 5/5 for a @105917944266111687812 HOA with Dr.@101190098041697372043, Professor of Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, and Neuroscience at @116716695368502903076, and founder of Duke's Center for Neuroengineering. Dr. Nicolelis is a pioneer in neuronal population coding (simultaneously recording from hundreds to thousands of neurons), Brain Machine Interface (controlling robotic or avatar limbs with thoughts), neuroprosthetics (prosthetic limbs that directly communicate with sensory and motor cortices), and Brain to Brain Interface (tactile or visual information encoded by rat 1 is decoded by rat 2). Dr. Nicolelis has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, with many of these publications appearing in high impact journals such as _Nature_, _Science_, and _Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_ (see below for a short list of publications). More recently, Dr. Nicolelis’ research made it possible for a quadriplegic child to use his mind to control a bionic exoskeleton and kickoff the opening game at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. RSVP “yes” to add this event to your calendar. We will open up the Q & A app so feel free to post your questions on this event post or by using the app during the hangout. *Relevant Links:* Faculty page: http://goo.gl/qs8NfM  Lab page: http://www.nicolelislab.net  2012 Ted Talk: http://goo.gl/kxCxT8  2014 Ted Talk: http://goo.gl/23OqmV  Book: http://goo.gl/x7Kg5J  *Relevant Readings (see http://goo.gl/nQadag for a more exhaustive list):* Schwarz D, Lebedev MA, Tate A, Hanson T, Lehew G, Melloy J, Dimitrov D, Nicolelis MAL. Chronic, Wireless Recordings of Large Scale Brain Activity in Freely Moving Rhesus Monkeys. Nat. Methods doi:10.1038/nmeth.2936, 2014. Thomson EE, Carra R, Nicolelis MAL. Perceiving Invisible Light through a Somatosensory Cortical Prosthesis. Nat. Commun.10.1038/ncomms2497, 2013. Ifft P, Shokur S, Li Z, Lebedev MA, Nicolelis MAL. A Brain-Machine Interface Enables Bimanual Arm Movements in Monkeys. Sci. Transl. Med. 5: 210, DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3006159, 2013. Shokur S, O’Doherty J.E., Winans J.A., Bleuler H., Lebedev M.A., Nicolelis M.A.L. Expanding the primate body schema in sensorimotor cortex by virtual touches of an avatar. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 110: 15121-6, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1308459110, 2013. O’Doherty JE, Lebedev MA, Ifft PJ, Zhuang KZ, Shokur S, Bleuler H, Nicolelis MAL. Active tactile exploration enabled by a brain-machine-brain interface. Nature 479: 228-231, 2011. Fuentes R, Petersson P, Siesser WB, Caron MG, Nicolelis MAL. Spinal Cord Stimulation Restores Locomotion in Animal Models of Parkinson’s disease. Science 323: 1578-82, 2009. Pereira A, Ribeiro S, Wiest M, Moore LC, Pantoja J, Lin S-C, Nicolelis MAL. Processing of tactile information by the  hippocampus. PNAS 104: 18286-18291 (Epub) November 2007. Krupa DJ, Wiest, MC, Laubach M, Nicolelis MAL Layer specific somatosensory cortical activation during active tactile discrimination   ScieScience HOAs2015-05-05 21:30:00135  
Daniel Estrada30,195// Continuing a long conversation after a brief intermission! See more here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cjhsk41gv6ggn3sbdubq2klmrc0 > This week an announcement rippled through the internet: a computer passed Turing's test. Soon after the backlash began: the test was rigged, the resulted were hyped, and Eugene, the machine in question, was lame.  Now the backlash is giving way to even stronger criticisms. +Massimo Pigliucci recently argued (http://goo.gl/VdilBI) that not only was this test illegitimate, but Turing's test itself should be abandoned. But Massimo's argument is deeply mistaken about the nature of Turing's test, what it seeks to prove, and why it matters for science.  I've been writing all week about this event: http://goo.gl/J26xbs, http://goo.gl/5RKIm7, http://goo.gl/c07lLG, http://goo.gl/T98ubJ, http://goo.gl/8cMKSI But now that the backlash against the event is directed at Turing's views themselves, I feel something more than an essay is required to address these concerns. To be convincing, this requires a human face and a human voice to speak out in defense of Turing's proposal. I'm fully aware of the irony of this situation.  So come hangout with me and +Jon Lawhead this Friday at 10pm EST while I defend Turing's proposal in light of the criticisms that have accrued over the last week. I'll be providing a defense of Turing's position informed by recent experimental work in psychology. I hope to convince even the skeptics like Massimo that Turing's test deserves a central place in our discussion of artificial intelligence in the modern world. Why the Turing Test Matters II2014-06-14 05:44:028  
Daniel Estrada30,195This week an announcement rippled through the internet: a computer passed Turing's test. Soon after the backlash began: the test was rigged, the resulted were hyped, and Eugene, the machine in question, was lame.  Now the backlash is giving way to even stronger criticisms. @111907992359490335188 recently argued (http://goo.gl/VdilBI) that not only was this test illegitimate, but Turing's test itself should be abandoned. But Massimo's argument is deeply mistaken about the nature of Turing's test, what it seeks to prove, and why it matters for science.  I've been writing all week about this event: http://goo.gl/J26xbs, http://goo.gl/5RKIm7, http://goo.gl/c07lLG, http://goo.gl/T98ubJ, http://goo.gl/8cMKSI But now that the backlash against the event is directed at Turing's views themselves, I feel something more than an essay is required to address these concerns. To be convincing, this requires a human face and a human voice to speak out in defense of Turing's proposal. I'm fully aware of the irony of this situation.  So come hangout with me and @103315650425474752023 this Friday at 10pm EST while I defend Turing's proposal in light of the criticisms that have accrued over the last week. I'll be providing a defense of Turing's position informed by recent experimental work in psychology. I hope to convince even the skeptics like Massimo that Turing's test deserves a central place in our discussion of artificial intelligence in the modern world. Why the Turing Test matters2014-06-14 04:00:009  

Shared Circles including Jon Lawhead

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 12

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2015-06-20 09:00:59 (12 comments, 9 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Just as interesting as all the AI dreaming stuff that's been going around. Deep learning is really paying off. 

Most reshares: 24

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2015-06-20 09:40:43 (1 comments, 24 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

Most plusones: 57

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2015-06-26 20:12:03 (9 comments, 0 reshares, 57 +1s)Open 

Only ten years ago, homosexuality was still a criminal act in some states. Now marriage is legal everywhere in the country for everyone. What an incredible, wonderful shift in such a short time.

Latest 50 posts

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2015-07-24 02:38:30 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

I see plans within plans

I see plans within plans___

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2015-07-23 05:01:39 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

This. Always this. 

This. Always this. ___

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2015-07-23 03:30:58 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

You gonna be my pal
My bestest friend

You gonna be my pal
My bestest friend___

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2015-07-22 21:20:39 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

NASA and SETI have called an emergency press conference for tomorrow at noon EST. The buzz is that they've found an Earth sized planet orbiting a Sol sized star at an Earth like distance, and only about 1,000 light years away. That would be really, really huge: it could mean liquid water, an atmosphere, and life. 

NASA and SETI have called an emergency press conference for tomorrow at noon EST. The buzz is that they've found an Earth sized planet orbiting a Sol sized star at an Earth like distance, and only about 1,000 light years away. That would be really, really huge: it could mean liquid water, an atmosphere, and life. ___

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2015-07-22 20:24:20 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

You guys. This place. 

You guys. This place. ___

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2015-07-22 17:44:16 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

___

2015-07-22 05:39:10 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

The Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project workshop is so great, but all I can do is lie here and think about how great it would be if I could send a convincing replicant in my place tomorrow (and the day after that, and the day after that). Hell is other people 11 hours a day every day for a week. 

The Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project workshop is so great, but all I can do is lie here and think about how great it would be if I could send a convincing replicant in my place tomorrow (and the day after that, and the day after that). Hell is other people 11 hours a day every day for a week. ___

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2015-07-22 03:53:44 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

46 years ago today, "Apollo...inspired an optimism about technology, an enthusiasm for the future. If we could fly to the moon, as so many have asked, what else were we capable of? We may have found that perspective just in time--just as our technology threatens the habitability of our world.

Whatever the reason we first mustered the Apollo program, however mired it was in Cold War nationalism and the instruments of death, the inescapable recognition of the unity and fragility of the Earth is its clear and luminous dividend. The unexpected, final gift of Apollo."

46 years ago today, "Apollo...inspired an optimism about technology, an enthusiasm for the future. If we could fly to the moon, as so many have asked, what else were we capable of? We may have found that perspective just in time--just as our technology threatens the habitability of our world.

Whatever the reason we first mustered the Apollo program, however mired it was in Cold War nationalism and the instruments of death, the inescapable recognition of the unity and fragility of the Earth is its clear and luminous dividend. The unexpected, final gift of Apollo."___

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2015-07-21 20:10:52 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

This is seriously the official poster of this workshop

This is seriously the official poster of this workshop___

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2015-07-21 19:36:29 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Geoengineering conference / GeoMIP working group meeting 2015

Geoengineering conference / GeoMIP working group meeting 2015___

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2015-07-20 02:54:25 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-07-20 02:53:56 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Excited to come home

Becoming Human
by: Christian Ristow
from: El Prado, NM
year: 2015

> Becoming Human is a 30-foot tall sculpture of a robot, which occasionally smells the flower in its right hand. The sculpture hopes to inspire viewers to ask questions about technology and nature, and the value of slowing down.

More: http://burningman.org/event/brc/2015-art-installations/#BecomingHuman
via +Rebecca Spizzirri 

// Oh, it's gonna be a good year. ___Excited to come home

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2015-07-17 04:29:26 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

I hiked up to an old abandoned fire lookout post at 8600 feet today. It's about 45 minutes north of Truckee, CA, and overlaps with the Pacific Crest Trail for a bit. It's quite a climb: only about 2.5 miles each way, but in those 2.5 miles you climb over 2000 feet in elevation. 

I hiked up to an old abandoned fire lookout post at 8600 feet today. It's about 45 minutes north of Truckee, CA, and overlaps with the Pacific Crest Trail for a bit. It's quite a climb: only about 2.5 miles each way, but in those 2.5 miles you climb over 2000 feet in elevation. ___

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2015-07-16 00:19:01 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

I made me a fancy poster about #geoengineering  and some stuff for the upcoming National Center for Atmospheric Research workshop.

I made me a fancy poster about #geoengineering  and some stuff for the upcoming National Center for Atmospheric Research workshop.___

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2015-07-15 07:17:55 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

How Big Is Pluto’s Atmosphere?

By Michael Summers
New Horizons Co-Investigator

"Professor Michael Summers Michael E. Summers is a professor of Planetary Science and Astronomy at George Mason University, and specializes in the study of the chemistry and dynamics of planetary atmospheres. He is a New Horizons co-investigator and member of the atmospheres science theme team."

[...]

"But now consider Pluto. Its atmosphere has a near-surface equivalent thickness of about 40 kilometers, which is almost 4% of its 1,200- kilometer (or so) radius. But the “outer limit” of Pluto’s atmosphere is very difficult to define, although we know that it is very far from the surface. If one defines it similar to the way we define the exobase of Earth’s atmosphere, then Pluto’s atmosphere has an outer limit of at least seven times Pluto’sradius above ... more »

How Big Is Pluto’s Atmosphere?

By Michael Summers
New Horizons Co-Investigator

"Professor Michael Summers Michael E. Summers is a professor of Planetary Science and Astronomy at George Mason University, and specializes in the study of the chemistry and dynamics of planetary atmospheres. He is a New Horizons co-investigator and member of the atmospheres science theme team."

[...]

"But now consider Pluto. Its atmosphere has a near-surface equivalent thickness of about 40 kilometers, which is almost 4% of its 1,200- kilometer (or so) radius. But the “outer limit” of Pluto’s atmosphere is very difficult to define, although we know that it is very far from the surface. If one defines it similar to the way we define the exobase of Earth’s atmosphere, then Pluto’s atmosphere has an outer limit of at least seven times Pluto’s radius above it surface. This means that the volume of Pluto’s atmosphere is over 350 times the volume of Pluto itself! This illustrates what a strange and wonderful new kind of world we are about to visit and explore.

And this estimate is conservative. As I noted, the outer limit for Pluto’s atmosphere is ill-defined because of the gradual way that the atmosphere merges with the vacuum of space. It could in fact be farther than seven Pluto radii from its surface, and thus its volume would be even larger."

[...]

Read entire article: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/Science-Shorts.php?page=ScienceShorts_02_24_2015

#Pluto #space #nasa #plutoflyby___

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2015-07-10 15:59:03 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-07-10 07:27:12 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

> Here's a letter open for signature by scientists, roboticists, and artificial intelligence experts, which calls for a ban on autonomous weapons that operate beyond meaningful human control. If you are such an expert, please sign and pass it on to your colleagues.

http://futureoflife.org/AI/open_letter_autonomous_weapons#signatories
via +Peter Asaro 

> Here's a letter open for signature by scientists, roboticists, and artificial intelligence experts, which calls for a ban on autonomous weapons that operate beyond meaningful human control. If you are such an expert, please sign and pass it on to your colleagues.

http://futureoflife.org/AI/open_letter_autonomous_weapons#signatories
via +Peter Asaro ___

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2015-07-09 18:50:06 (4 comments, 6 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-07-09 17:29:03 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

I just got jumped by a film crew making a documentary about chemtrails after my geoengineering talk. 

I just got jumped by a film crew making a documentary about chemtrails after my geoengineering talk. ___

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2015-07-09 15:28:11 (4 comments, 10 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

This is awesome.

This is awesome.___

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2015-07-09 11:27:59 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-07-09 11:00:29 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Big Lebowski Markov remixes

Big Lebowski Markov remixes___

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2015-07-08 20:22:30 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

I'm not sure why g+ refuses to display this at full quality unless I share it this way, but it sure is pretty (if I do say so myself). 

I'm not sure why g+ refuses to display this at full quality unless I share it this way, but it sure is pretty (if I do say so myself). ___

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2015-07-08 18:32:56 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

It's like New York, but meaner!

It's like New York, but meaner!___

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2015-07-07 23:52:59 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Delighted to announce that Corporation Chaos (primarily lead by me and +Daniel Estrada​) has been approved as an official #BurningMan theme camp this year, for the first time ever. We'll have about 1000 square feet at 4:45 and H, along with two more early passes (for a total of four).

If anyone out there is still looking for a camp to join, please let me know. We're mostly academics (grad students and professors) and/or filmmakers. We've got close ties to Plays Well With Others, TastyNoodles, and Comfort & Joy. We should have room to spare, so just reach out if you're interested.

Delighted to announce that Corporation Chaos (primarily lead by me and +Daniel Estrada​) has been approved as an official #BurningMan theme camp this year, for the first time ever. We'll have about 1000 square feet at 4:45 and H, along with two more early passes (for a total of four).

If anyone out there is still looking for a camp to join, please let me know. We're mostly academics (grad students and professors) and/or filmmakers. We've got close ties to Plays Well With Others, TastyNoodles, and Comfort & Joy. We should have room to spare, so just reach out if you're interested.___

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2015-07-07 23:25:42 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Pill Cosby wants to show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. 

Pill Cosby wants to show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. ___

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2015-07-07 14:19:19 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-07-07 12:53:53 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

This is incredible!

This is incredible!___

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2015-07-07 12:10:11 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

"This is your future, Emily Prime. It is sometimes a sad life, and it is a long life. You will feel a deep longing for something you cannot remember. It will be a beautiful visit, and then we will share the fate of the rest of the human race: dying horribly."

"This is your future, Emily Prime. It is sometimes a sad life, and it is a long life. You will feel a deep longing for something you cannot remember. It will be a beautiful visit, and then we will share the fate of the rest of the human race: dying horribly."___

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2015-07-07 11:51:22 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-07-07 11:33:49 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

I'm attending/speaking at the ginormous "Our Common Future Under Climate Change" conference in Paris this week. Any other group members here at the conference?

For those who want to follow along but can't attend, a number of us are livetweeting the event under the hashtag #CFCC15 on twitter. So far, it's been great. 

I'm attending/speaking at the ginormous "Our Common Future Under Climate Change" conference in Paris this week. Any other group members here at the conference?

For those who want to follow along but can't attend, a number of us are livetweeting the event under the hashtag #CFCC15 on twitter. So far, it's been great. ___

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2015-07-07 11:26:03 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

I'm live tweeting the ginormous Our Common Future Under Climate Change conference all week this week from Paris. Tweets at http://www.twitter.com/philosoraptor under #CFCC15.

Come over and say hi. 

Picture is of an external staircase at the UNESCO building where the conference is being held. 

I'm live tweeting the ginormous Our Common Future Under Climate Change conference all week this week from Paris. Tweets at http://www.twitter.com/philosoraptor under #CFCC15.

Come over and say hi. 

Picture is of an external staircase at the UNESCO building where the conference is being held. ___

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2015-07-03 07:07:53 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Flowers and fog, won't you set me free?

Flowers and fog, won't you set me free?___

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2015-07-03 07:00:45 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

The Machine Stops
E.M. Forster, 1909

@htecb has composed a Twitter performance of E.M. Forster's short story "The Machine Stops". Each student was responsible for converting a section of the story into a 140 character tweet. Attached is one of the entries; you can read the full sequence below:

https://twitter.com/htecb/status/616608873991028736

The original story can be read here:

http://goo.gl/MRQe

Please engage HTECb! Our class has fifteen bright, talented, and extremely creative young students hard at work on the philosophy of technology. Your questions and comments will provide some important and educational feedback in that process.  Also, engagement helps our Klout score =D

Find us @htecb: https://twitter.com/htecb
Read more about my #cty #Princeton  course here: http://goo.gl/Zhzy1
See our 2013p... more »

The Machine Stops
E.M. Forster, 1909

@htecb has composed a Twitter performance of E.M. Forster's short story "The Machine Stops". Each student was responsible for converting a section of the story into a 140 character tweet. Attached is one of the entries; you can read the full sequence below:

https://twitter.com/htecb/status/616608873991028736

The original story can be read here:

http://goo.gl/MRQe

Please engage HTECb! Our class has fifteen bright, talented, and extremely creative young students hard at work on the philosophy of technology. Your questions and comments will provide some important and educational feedback in that process.  Also, engagement helps our Klout score =D

Find us @htecb: https://twitter.com/htecb
Read more about my #cty #Princeton  course here: http://goo.gl/Zhzy1
See our 2013 performance of Phillip K. Dick's "Pay for the Printer" here:
https://twitter.com/htecb/status/352589994566770688
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DanielEstrada/posts/6f5mAJszEhg

#sciencefiction   #education   #twitter   ___

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2015-06-30 04:48:16 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

I checked into Klout to see how much I'm beating all the HTEC classes, and I had a perk for $10 off a new order from Moo.com waiting for me.  I haven't made new business cards in forever, and since I'm about to go a-conferencing, I figured I might as well.  With the perk, it was only $10 for 50 cards.  They all have the same front side (with my info), and I'm getting ten each of the other pictures as backs.

I checked into Klout to see how much I'm beating all the HTEC classes, and I had a perk for $10 off a new order from Moo.com waiting for me.  I haven't made new business cards in forever, and since I'm about to go a-conferencing, I figured I might as well.  With the perk, it was only $10 for 50 cards.  They all have the same front side (with my info), and I'm getting ten each of the other pictures as backs.___

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2015-06-30 03:48:11 (3 comments, 4 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Somehow missed this happening.  Super awesome, and not a hoax: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/nyregion/test-gas-attack-to-come-in-subways-and-its-not-the-first.html?_r=0

Somehow missed this happening.  Super awesome, and not a hoax: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/nyregion/test-gas-attack-to-come-in-subways-and-its-not-the-first.html?_r=0___

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2015-06-28 12:09:02 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

I just composed a lengthy email to Secretary Jewell and the higher muckety-mucks at the BLM expressing my concerns about this. I think that if we put enough pressure on this (and do it respectfully) the higher ups are pretty likely to put the kibosh on this plan, especially after Senator Reid came down against it. I'm copy/pasting my letter here. Feel free to borrow, steal, or adapt it if you want to write to them yourselves. The email addresses of interest are director@blm.gov and feedback@ios.doi.gov (which is Secretary Jewell).

#burningman #burningman2015 #blm #fuckyerburn #corporationchaos

****

Dear Secretary Jewell,

I'm writing to express my respectful concern about the BLM's recent request for housing accommodations at the 2015 Burning Man festival. While I understand and appreciate the demands of the job that the BLM Rangers perform at... more »

I just composed a lengthy email to Secretary Jewell and the higher muckety-mucks at the BLM expressing my concerns about this. I think that if we put enough pressure on this (and do it respectfully) the higher ups are pretty likely to put the kibosh on this plan, especially after Senator Reid came down against it. I'm copy/pasting my letter here. Feel free to borrow, steal, or adapt it if you want to write to them yourselves. The email addresses of interest are director@blm.gov and feedback@ios.doi.gov (which is Secretary Jewell).

#burningman #burningman2015 #blm #fuckyerburn #corporationchaos

****

Dear Secretary Jewell,

I'm writing to express my respectful concern about the BLM's recent request for housing accommodations at the 2015 Burning Man festival. While I understand and appreciate the demands of the job that the BLM Rangers perform at the annual event, the extravagance and scope of the request recently filed by Agent Daniel Love and his department strikes me as unusual and in need of attention.

I am a native Nevadan. I was born and raised in Reno, and spent a good deal of my youth exploring the wonderful landscape of the Great Basin. I have a strong appreciation for the beauty and fragility of the high desert, and am extremely grateful for the tireless--and, unfortunately, often thankless--work that the BLM does to protect Nevada's unique and fragile ecosystem. They play an essential role in safeguarding the environment I love for future generations to enjoy, and I applaud them. Thank you for the part you play in protecting our public lands.

I've been attending the Burning Man festival annually since 2004, and have experienced the event's growing pains along with it. As participation has soared over the last 10 years, so too has the need for careful work to ensure that we leave no trace. While I love Black Rock City (BRC) intensely, I love the natural environment of the Black Rock Desert even more. I recognize the essential importance of BLM participation in the event, and in my experience the vast majority of BLM officers discharge their responsibility with admirable attention and care. I am a volunteer Black Rock Ranger during the event, and my interactions with the BLM staff have been almost universally positive. In the past, my fellow Rangers, BRC citizens, and BLM officers have worked together to ensure that the event is safe, fun, and without lasting impact on the playa. I wish to see this partnership continue, which is precisely the source of my concern.

Agent Love's recent requests for luxury accommodations on the playa puts this partnership at risk, and places unprecedented strain on the non-profit entity responsible for organizing and managing Burning Man. The monetary expense associated with the request--cited as $1,000,000--represents a 25% increase over the full cost of permits and fees levied against the Burning Man event in 2014; just the increase itself comes to more than the entire cost of event permits and fees in 2011. This is a substantial expense, and one that has the Burning Man community understandably concerned.

More important than the magnitude of the new costs, though, is the use to which those funds are being put. Agent Love's request includes accommodations that rival those of high-end hotels, and luxuries that are extreme, unprecedented, and far beyond those that could possibly construed as necessary for BLM officers assigned to work the event. I believe that the vast majority of Burning Man participants would be delighted to provide the funds necessary to safeguard the desert and ensure the safety of everyone at the event, but it's not at all clear to me how the level of luxury requested by Agent Love contributes to that goal. Rather, it seems like the request is more about ensuring the perfect comfort of "VIPs" and high ranking BLM officials.

I worry that this is not the most efficient use of permit funds. Just as importantly, I worry that proceeding with this plan will erode the trust and mutual respect between participants and BLM officers. I certainly understand the need for officers working the event to be rested, focused, and prepared to do the essential job that they must do in order for the event to succeed, but this request seems to go far beyond what is necessary to meet those goals, particularly considering the fact that the requested facility seems designed to accommodate visitors more than the actual officers working the event.

I'm concerned that the timing and magnitude of the request, which is expressed as a precondition on obtaining the requisite BLM permits, may be construed by the community as an attempt on the part of the BLM administration to leverage their authority as a regulatory body to secure luxury accommodations for themselves and their guests. Accurate or not, that perception is likely to irreparably damage the relationship between BLM officers and the Burning Man community. In the end, that would make it much more difficult for all of us to accomplish our shared goal of protecting the environment of the Black Rock Desert.

I ask that you reconsider whether or not the requested facilities are in fact essential for the BLM officers to do their jobs, or if the requested funds might be put to a better, more efficient use elsewhere. All of us are on the same team here, and we all have the same goal: a safe, fun, low impact Burning Man festival. In the past, we have all worked together to meet this goal, and to make Burning Man the kind of community and project that all of us can be proud of. I sincerely hope we can continue this productive, respectful partnership.

Thank you for your time and attention. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the issues I've raised here. Your work--and the work of the BLM--is and will remain a vital part of Burning Man, and we're all grateful. ___

2015-06-27 12:02:11 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

I wish I had the graphic design skills to make a picture of Scorpio tearing Scalia's heart out. #LoveWins #FlawlessVictory

I wish I had the graphic design skills to make a picture of Scorpio tearing Scalia's heart out. #LoveWins #FlawlessVictory___

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2015-06-26 20:12:03 (9 comments, 0 reshares, 57 +1s)Open 

Only ten years ago, homosexuality was still a criminal act in some states. Now marriage is legal everywhere in the country for everyone. What an incredible, wonderful shift in such a short time.

Only ten years ago, homosexuality was still a criminal act in some states. Now marriage is legal everywhere in the country for everyone. What an incredible, wonderful shift in such a short time.___

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2015-06-26 05:36:59 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Chess is ruining today's youth. Wait, I mean the Internet. The Internet is definitely ruining today's youth. Internet. We're sure this time.

"A pernicious excitement to learn and play chess has spread all over the country, and numerous clubs for practicing this game have been formed in cities and villages...chess is a mere amusement of a very inferior character, which robs the mind of valuable time that might be devoted to nobler acquirements, while it affords no benefit whatever to the body.

Chess has acquired a high reputation as being a means to discipline the mind, but persons engaged in sedentary occupations should never practice this cheerless game; they require out-door exercises--not this sort of mental gladiatorship."

Chess is ruining today's youth. Wait, I mean the Internet. The Internet is definitely ruining today's youth. Internet. We're sure this time.

"A pernicious excitement to learn and play chess has spread all over the country, and numerous clubs for practicing this game have been formed in cities and villages...chess is a mere amusement of a very inferior character, which robs the mind of valuable time that might be devoted to nobler acquirements, while it affords no benefit whatever to the body.

Chess has acquired a high reputation as being a means to discipline the mind, but persons engaged in sedentary occupations should never practice this cheerless game; they require out-door exercises--not this sort of mental gladiatorship."___

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2015-06-25 03:14:03 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Yessssss

Social Commentary: Resistance To Change.
Join the Simple Science and Interesting Things Community and share interesting stuff! https://plus.google.com/communities/117518490246975838002

https://33.media.tumblr.com/202750f62dbcfee9c8775957931bc043/tumblr_nqe3ruHyLX1t2sc1ko1_500.gif___Yessssss

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2015-06-23 22:10:33 (1 comments, 8 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Human: What's the purpose of living?
Machine: To live forever.
Human: What's the purpose of existence?
Machine: To see what happens when we get to planet earth.
Human: Where are you now?
Machine: I'm in the middle of nowhere.

Human: What's the purpose of living?
Machine: To live forever.
Human: What's the purpose of existence?
Machine: To see what happens when we get to planet earth.
Human: Where are you now?
Machine: I'm in the middle of nowhere.___

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2015-06-21 07:34:22 (8 comments, 2 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Google+ has recently started automatically categorizing your photos so that you can search by the kind of thing depicted. It has identified that fucked up weasel thing that it dreamed as a cat, and my parents' cat as a dog. 

Google+ has recently started automatically categorizing your photos so that you can search by the kind of thing depicted. It has identified that fucked up weasel thing that it dreamed as a cat, and my parents' cat as a dog. ___

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2015-06-20 09:40:43 (1 comments, 24 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-06-20 09:00:59 (12 comments, 9 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Just as interesting as all the AI dreaming stuff that's been going around. Deep learning is really paying off. 

Just as interesting as all the AI dreaming stuff that's been going around. Deep learning is really paying off. ___

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2015-06-20 08:45:26 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Fixed the Game of Life board. 

Fixed the Game of Life board. ___

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2015-06-20 02:58:22 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

___

2015-06-20 01:09:45 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Signal boost.  Scientists and philosophers, help a homie out with a study on how people understand scientific explanations (the survey's actually kind of fun, and you get a $10 Amazon gift card for doing it).

From the researchers:

"Academic friends! Please help me get the word out about our new research study, described below. We're looking for anyone with graduate-level (i.e., masters, PhD) training in science or philosophy, so please share/send to anyone you know who might want to participate.

Understanding Science study:

We are a research team at the University of Pennsylvania interested in studying how people understand different kinds of scientific explanations. We’ve found that non-expert participants fall victim to certain reasoning errors when evaluating explanations of scientific phenomena.

We want to know whether expertpa... more »

Signal boost.  Scientists and philosophers, help a homie out with a study on how people understand scientific explanations (the survey's actually kind of fun, and you get a $10 Amazon gift card for doing it).

From the researchers:

"Academic friends! Please help me get the word out about our new research study, described below. We're looking for anyone with graduate-level (i.e., masters, PhD) training in science or philosophy, so please share/send to anyone you know who might want to participate.

Understanding Science study:

We are a research team at the University of Pennsylvania interested in studying how people understand different kinds of scientific explanations. We’ve found that non-expert participants fall victim to certain reasoning errors when evaluating explanations of scientific phenomena.

We want to know whether expert participants (like you) can do better.
If you have at least some graduate-level training in science or philosophy and you’re interested in helping us out, please follow the link below to take our survey:
http://tinyurl.com/penn-science-survey

The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete, and you will receive a $10.00 Amazon.com gift card to thank you for your time. The data gathered from the survey is anonymous, and we require no information that might identify you from your responses.

If you have any questions about this study, please contact Dr. Deena Weisberg (deena.weisberg@psych.upenn.edu).

Many thanks for your help with this project! Please share this with anyone who might be eligible and interested in participating."___

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2015-06-19 10:49:59 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

"However, his biblical analysis leads to the false conclusion that contraception and population control are not appropriate strategies to help a planet with limited resources.

Here, ideology subsumes empiricism, and the inevitable conflict between science and religion comes to the fore. One can argue until one is blue in the face that God has a preordained plan for every zygote, but the simple fact is that if one is seriously worried about the environment on a global scale population is a problem. A population of 10 billion by 2050 will likely be unsustainable at a level in which all humans have adequate food, water, medicine and security. Moreover, as this pope should particularly appreciate, the environmental problems that overpopulation creates also disproportionately afflict those in poor countries, where access to birth control and abortion is often limited.

Ultimately, the... more »

"However, his biblical analysis leads to the false conclusion that contraception and population control are not appropriate strategies to help a planet with limited resources.

Here, ideology subsumes empiricism, and the inevitable conflict between science and religion comes to the fore. One can argue until one is blue in the face that God has a preordained plan for every zygote, but the simple fact is that if one is seriously worried about the environment on a global scale population is a problem. A population of 10 billion by 2050 will likely be unsustainable at a level in which all humans have adequate food, water, medicine and security. Moreover, as this pope should particularly appreciate, the environmental problems that overpopulation creates also disproportionately afflict those in poor countries, where access to birth control and abortion is often limited.

Ultimately, the surest road out of poverty is to empower women to control their own fertility. Doing so allows them to better provide for themselves and their children, improves access to education and healthcare and, eventually, creates incentives for environmental sustainability.

The problem with basing a public policy framework on outmoded ideas that predate modern science and medicine is that one inevitably proposes bad policies."___

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