Studies on signaling should not be overweighted

Studies on signaling should not be overweighted

December 10, 2013
Filed under Exclude From Homepage List, OPINION

Humans are one of the only species with an additional layer of consciousness and rationality above mere instincts that drive behavior. Precisely how much of this layer is real and how much is illusory is a subject of great debate among philosophers and neuroscientists. Nonetheless, we tend to think tha... Read more »

Reproducibility needs to be re-emphasized

Reproducibility needs to be re-emphasized

December 3, 2013
Filed under Exclude From Homepage List, OPINION

Reproducibility is one of the main pillars of the scientific method. It refers to the degree to which scientists devise experiments and studies that can be repeated by others while obtaining the same results. For instance, if a study proposes a drug for a certain disease, it must be tested many times... Read more »

What Would I Say shouldn’t say anything

What Would I Say shouldn’t say anything

November 26, 2013
Filed under Exclude From Homepage List, OPINION

If you use Facebook, you might have noticed in the past few weeks a number of bizarre posts from an app called What Would I Say. Implemented by a team of grad students during a hackathon in Princeton less than three weeks ago, it is the latest Internet trend. What Would I Say is yet another addition t... Read more »

Scientists to suffer from psychological trauma

Scientists to suffer from psychological trauma

November 19, 2013
Filed under Exclude From Homepage List, OPINION

In 1897, Spanish scientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal published an essay titled “Diseases of the Will,” in which he described a set of virtual illnesses that hit 19th century scientists, turning them into contemplators, bibliophiles, theorists and other caricatures. A little over a decade into the... Read more »

Electric cars not realizable in the near future

Electric cars not realizable in the near future

November 14, 2013
Filed under Editor's Picks, Exclude From Homepage List, OPINION

Last week and for the third time in less than two months, a Model S from electric carmaker Tesla Motors caught fire after being involved in an accident. Shares of the company fell at least 7 percent for two consecutive days. The business, run by celebrity CEO Elon Musk, had already reported a net lo... Read more »

Digital advances outpace cultural evolution

Digital advances outpace cultural evolution

November 5, 2013
Filed under Exclude From Homepage List, OPINION

There is a theoretical concept in computer science called technological singularity. It refers to the hypothetical point in time when artificial intelligence passes the cognitive capabilities of the human brain, implying radical changes in human nature and society as a whole. Astrophysicist Neil deGrass... Read more »

Apple’s iWork should be truly free for users

Apple’s iWork should be truly free for users

October 29, 2013
Filed under Exclude From Homepage List, OPINION

In one of its standard product-release events last week, Apple announced an upgrade in the speed and slimness of its line of tablets. Most people were not impressed. The predictability of these events has become somewhat monotonous. Nick Bilton of The New York Times even called the event boring, as it followed the same stale routine. Mr. Bilton has a point. Nevertheless, Apple in fact announced something interesting and genuinely new last week. The new version of the Mac OS X operating system, called Mavericks, is free of charge, along ... Read more »

Mathematics provides extension of mind

Mathematics provides extension of mind

October 22, 2013
Filed under Exclude From Homepage List, OPINION, Uncategorized

When I was in graduate school studying mathematics, every time I’d hang out with colleagues at a bar or restaurant, we had a hard time splitting the check. Despite our academic background, us mathematicians are horrible at doing arithmetics — and basic math in general. Also surprising is the fact that e... Read more »

Facebook ad system not suitable for Google

Facebook ad system not suitable for Google

October 17, 2013
Filed under Editor's Picks, OPINION

In a terms of service update released last Friday and effective Nov. 11, Google announced the start of its use of shared endorsements on its advertising network. The program is similar to Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, launched back in 2011. Users who reveal their endorsement may serve as pitchmen to t... Read more »

Robots contribute to society, despite sci-fi stereotype

Robots contribute to society, despite sci-fi stereotype

October 8, 2013
Filed under Exclude From Homepage List, OPINION

Residing in one of the more bizarre neighborhoods of the Internet is the webpage of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, whose purpose is, according to Catherine Rampell of The New York Times, to “research a ‘Terminator’-like scenario in which supercomputers rise up and destroy their human overlords.” How far exactly are we from such a scenario? Last week, according to the BBC, “‘Terminator’ self-assembling cube robots” have been revealed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technol... Read more »

Richard Dawkins shifts dialogue

Richard Dawkins shifts dialogue

October 1, 2013
Filed under Exclude From Homepage List, OPINION

I rarely idolize writers or public personalities. But last Wednesday I found myself in a long line at Kimmel Center to get my copy of Richard Dawkins’ new book signed after a talk he gave. The talk at NYU was part of a series of appearances to advertise the launching of his memoir, “An Appetite for... Read more »

Facebook, Internet etiquette requires user attention

Facebook, Internet etiquette requires user attention

September 26, 2013
Filed under OPINION

Who never had a second thought about something posted online? A comment might receive no attention, trigger too much controversy or simply embarrass the author after a — literally or not — sober analysis. Acting as Orwell’s Ministry of Truth can possibly clear one’s public image. Although... Read more »

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