Topics in ‘the brain’

Oh yeah, there’s a sugar pill for that.

Everybody knows about The Placebo Effect™. That’s what happens when you think you’re taking a medicine that will help you, and it does help you—but it turns out that it was a sugar pill, not a medicine at all. It was discovered by a clever, desperate nurse during World War II. She was running out […]

Are you thinking, or are you farting?

Thinking is supposed to be a question mark. But most people treat it like a period. Headology vs First Sight, Second Thoughts Terry Pratchett’s always written about witches and, by extension, the essence of humanity. But his Wee Free Men trilogy is the best yet, and the most true to life. He names the fundamentals […]

Jelly! Talk Excerpt 1: My Crusade, Twistori, & Elemental Design

This is the first in a series of 2 or 3 posts for the transcript of my Jelly! talk from SXSW. Jelly! talks are put on by Yahoo! and Jelly!, the casual coworking movement. This one was held in the lovely Austin coworking space of Conjunctured. Here’s a link to the video. My name is […]

Are you human? How CAPTCHA asks the wrong question & solves nothing

I hate spam. I also hate CAPTCHAs. Spam’s not just an issue for web site / app / email consumers, although it’s a major annoyance. It’s a huge problem for developers and those who run the services. While you might get 50 spams a day, say, the problem is that the servers used in the […]

Do "interesting details" really hurt learning?

Overcoming Bias has a little post that, for the most part, quotes the findings of a study on how “interesting details” affect learning. The researchers found that “interesting details” decreased the student’s understanding (transfer), while not affecting the student’s memory (retention) of what they read/watched. Case 1 was video trying to teach about how a […]

The economic downturn is not going to kill Wikipedia.

Please. Will the talking heads just shut up? That dude who wrote that book slamming “amateurs,” which I will not name because like hell I’m gonna give him free press, has written something else equally stupid. This time it’s short, at least, and free, and therefore not nearly as offensive as the whole goddamn book. […]

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