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Everything posted by Marzshox

  1. As Maryanne Wolf coined in her book Proust and the Squid, the story and science of the reading brain, humans were never born to read. There is no genetic disposition, or specific brain region designed to tackle the act of reading. Actually, our brains miraculous ability to make sense of the written word, is a testimony to the brains plasticity. It's billions of neurons and vast neural networks and various brain structures, combine and synchronize In such a way, that one may be able to obtain reading fluency. These underlying structures that are recruited for reading, were actually developed for various tasks such as vision, language and speaking, memory and cognition. These areas combine their efforts in such a way, to make reading possible. Once the basic ability to decode words from their smaller, combined syllables and letters, the brains neural circuitry to comprehend writing grows in competence. As earlier brain structures for decoding become more efficient, they do also become more condensed, requiring less cortical "space". But slowly the expert reader emerges as these simpler operations become more automatic and less demanding on the brains varrying structures. (Streamlined for reading) One discussion Maryanne Wolf is part of, is the topic of reading on the Internet. She fears, like many educators, that the Internet is "giving birth" to a generation of readers who do not have the capacity to deeply immerse themselves in deep reading. This type of reading that we should be doing includes reading complex syntax, increasing exposure to vocabulary in content area, exposure to complex material and topics written at length, which all aid in building robust reading and thinking skills. (All of this requiring us to critically think, analyze, infer, and understand varying meanings of words, syntax, and the ability to follow cohesive argument + supporting details). The fear is not only that reading ability has been compromised by all the skimming, scanning, and lack of focused attention due to digital media, but also the complexity of the reading online requires no deep thought/reading strategy. Most material online only superficiously scratches the surface of any topic, and material is often found on search engines based on number of hits, rather than based on valid source of information (powerful cited sources). What are your thoughts?
  2. Star-ship Earth

    I would like to expand on a topic that I originally wrote about in the Objectivismonline Chat room. The topic of human evolution and survival. You may or may not be aware, but our sun (like many stars) eventually will burn out after a period of initial expansion in which the Earth will be consumed by the expanding and dying star. Most scientist's today realize that such an event is far off (5 billion years from now) and due to the very long length of time in which this will eventually occur, there is no immediate need to prepare for such an event. When scientists grapple with the inevitable result of the expanding sun, usually they are thinking in modern terms. In other words, they are looking through the lens of our current time period and our current capabilities. Leaving the Earth in spaceships seems like the logical consensus (instead of burning up with our planet.) However, what variables do our current scientists leave out of the "equation" (for retaining life)? For one, the advances in technology alone over the next "billions" of years, would surely provide us with more options and technical abilities that we simply can not fathom as this time. Imagine trying to restore a famous painting or maintain an ancient building that has historical significance. People go to great lengths to keep our past alive! Now imagine, 5 billion years of that history, and it is all on the Earth. It seems that keeping the Earth safe would be a priority. What I propose we do is simple. Move the Earth. Move it out of orbit of the sun. Technology in 5 billion years likely will be able to help us move cosmic bodies, and also construct artificial atmospheres and heat without the need of a sun to provide sustenance. We are far off from worrying about doomsday. If we can get our heads in the game now, and work toward a goal of maintaining Earth at all costs, we'll be ready when the time comes! I don't mean attach big rocket boosters to our planet. I mean, future scientists working toward a way to sustain our planetary home! Please advise if you have an alternative solution or idea worth sharing. Cheers.
  3. The Shallows, Nicholas Carr

    In his book, The Shallows, blog writer Nicholas Carr shares his view on how internet use in the modern age is effectively limiting the cognitive capacities of the current generation plus future generations to come. Inferring from just the title of his book, The Shallows, Nicholas Carr depicts a world whose reading habits barely graze the surface of content and rarely plunge deeper than the superficial levels of reading we are so accustomed to in our current digital age. In contrast to some popular research findings that internet use and digital immersion is in fact beneficial for the human brain (refining and full globalization of cerebral brain networks), this books implications, that the developed digital brains of tech users are far less likely to be sufficient for embracing and excelling in today's modern society... seems a bit prematurely exaggerated. Though his proclamations are specific and sometimes a little thought provoking, it's silly to make claims that digital reading is sub par based on the declaration that a digital book lacks spacial navigability that one would get from print literature (page numbers in a book). In other words, the heft of pages read on the left side of the book and the pages not read on the right side of a book, somehow gives aid to overall understanding... "location cues" To say that ones comprehension is impeded because there is no heft of pages on the left of the book which would indicate how much of the book is completed, is a bit overly obtuse. Moreover, the authors claims that the presence of hyperlink's in digital text work as a distraction and can take away from the immersive experience one would expect from a printed book, hence 'should I click this link or not' falters the reading experience. Again, such silly arguments insinuate digital reading is sub par, however, what of those who simply ignore the hyperlinks? They can continue reading on their own accord and just because there is one link in an article, does not mean apprehension has suffered. A big part of being a digital native is dealing with multi-tasking, which is paramount in today's technological age. Checking emails, following hyperlinks, dividing attention among social media, smart phones, and family obligations are all familiar to today's fast paced human brain. This rapid altering of attention among different tasks, Carr states is also a cause of distraction and jumpy brains, which takes away from the concentration one must develop to immerse themselves in prolonged reading of good literature. My take away is... multitask to your hearts content, be rapid in your attention shifts and focus for as long or as short as you want. Just don't allow other parts of your brain that are developed for slow immersive learning, atrophy. Be a multi-tasker. But also, train your brain to read for sustained periods of time and achieve the deep comprehension afforded by societies original medium, print literature. My next book review will be on Smarter Than you Think: How technology is changing our minds for the better, by Clive Thompson. This book will demonstrate the opposing view, and is more in line with what I think technology does to the human brain. Cheers.
  4. A friend recommended me this book. The synopsis is that technology such as microchips, military stealth and other technologies were developed as the result of our Government obtaining alien technologies. My immediate feeling is that such a reality is possible. However, I feel that aliens would not deliberately share any such technologies with a nuclear crazed world population. It is then, that my friend coined in that the technology was not given to us, but found at the Roswell crash site. Then, reverse engineered. And poof, technology existed! The reality that begins to unfold, is that humans simply lacked the capacity to innovate much less create our modern world. That is interesting... However, whatever technology found at a crash site would surely be limited. As to not be able to account for the wide spectrum of increasingly limitless varieties of technologies that exist today. Just the fact that processors and technical components become more advanced every year, shows that humans are quite versatile in understanding and developing new waves of the future. This entire conversation emerged from a question that derived in my mind... A question about human capacity to create amazing technological feats. (Such as a space ship, a computer, or a visual display.) What intellectual requirements does one possess in order to break things down on a chalk board, understand everything, and bring it all to fruition... Does University really mold fine minds, enabling such creative ability?? ...Or is there an imaginative experimental curiosity that leads to such "linear" advancements?
  5. Gee Wiz. First of all, thank you for the post. I enjoyed reading it from start to finish! I am someone who tends to talk a lot. But I try to do 50% listening and 50% speaking. Usually I will ask questions about someone, and give them ample opportunity to tell me about themselves as I do not swarm the entire conversation (monopolize talking). And I let them express their ideas as much as they'd like because I love learning via listening. I will also bring up subjects that interest me, and ask someone what they think of a topic. I will often also ask them what definitions are of different words I'm using, and I ask them if they know synonyms, or better words to express similar ideas. All this, just so both of us actually get some blood flowing to our brains! Also, sometimes I will read to friends articles I have wrote, or a writers small excerpt or synopsis, and ask what they think of the content. Also, to make sure people are following, I sometimes ask them to paraphrase such content, and tell me in their own words what the material is saying. If you're not part of a book club, or collaborating/studying with peers - than everything I have mentioned is great for expanding conversations and reaching new levels of social bonding. I think, sometimes being quiet is the best course of action. But, conversation creates social bonds and connects people with each other. Humans are social animals, and it's old news that socializing and bonding with others is one of the best medicines for your brain. But your sentiment is right. I have been told to before by people, to please stop haggling them with questions. Or they politely cease talking, and return their attention to their iPad. That doesn't mean that we can't sometimes have great conversations (With the perfect company).
  6. Actually, in most places on earth, an intelligent mind is considered the best asset of all human characteristics. A smart brain, is a sexy brain. However, physical insecurities run rampant even through the most beautiful of peoples minds. In fact, some may have inferred that the prettier one is, the stronger their physical insecurities are (as a fragile ego) - swayed in to insecurity by one backwards cap comment about how "unattractive you are!" I may be a bit overweight. But I am strong, like a football player. I try to manifest a strong bubble of confidence. I am smart and fun. Also, I exercise my mind, knowing that a healthy, well endowed brain is one attribute that will keep me sharp well into the sunset years of my life. My suggestion for you, is to read as much as you can. Find what interests you and pursue that field, practice in that field, and develop a set of expertise and tools used within that pursuit. Learn what you love, and learn it inside out, upside down, sideways and backwards. Master something, and study all the theory behind it! Or discover your own theories, strategies and techniques by repetitious practice and trial and error learning. As one article I read put it: No matter what. If you lose your money, if you lose your health, even if you lose you belongings... You will never lose your brains and knowledge you acquire. A smart brain, is a sexy one.
  7. Silicon Vally emerged from Roswell, Technology

    Thank you for an interesting response. You made some great points. I guess what I am left with considering, is how on earth one could obtain the level of creativity needed to create advanced technologies... Such as understanding of say, creating transmissible data, through optic cables that break down an image into bytes, travel such data through optic cables, and then recreate the image on a PC Monitor, half way across the globe. (Sorry if that is a mouth full.) Such a technically complex action is greatly possible due to human innovation. I just would like to believe that such a person with highly advanced technical know how who has conceived such modern phenomenon, likely lives in some sanctuary of the mind, where average people simply will never lay eyes. Very lovely way of explaining what higher education is presumably good for. (Organizing the mind and creating efficient pupils who can grapple with life's demands and apply themselves effectively.)
  8. Ayn Rand boxset

    Paperback and hardcover are so cheap on Amazon, when they are used. I don't mind a little wear on the books I buy. I'm getting Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged in a 2 book boxset. http://www.amazon.com/Ayn-Rand-Box-Set/dp/0451947673/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456290252&sr=1-4&keywords=ayn+rand I've lost my previous editions. I'm going to read these, then I can really join the discussion.
  9. New Zealand - What Is Notable About It?

    It's the home of the great Burt Monroe, whose Indian motorcycle won him records at Bonneville Salt Flats!
  10. Last night I decided to listen to an audiobook on my phone while I fell asleep. I figured I'd try Shakespeare since it's supposedly so great. I expected that it would sound like Chinese. Thus far I've had little exposure to Shakespeare or anything like it. Right away I realized I was unable to make sense of 98% of the narrative (closer to 99%) After about 15 minutes I was beginning to become painfully aware that I had no power of mind to make the material at all comprehensible. I became frustrated and right before I was about to give up, something extraordinary happened. (Well not too extraordinary) I began to listen with an ear that did not try to follow the narrative as dialogue with literal meaning. I opened up to the idea that every line in Shakespeare is some form of simile or metaphor, to be subjectively interpreted (with multiple layers of meaning). My assumption was that all Shakespeare's writing, unearths the power of words, whose heavy subjective tones can carry deep uncovered meaning that leads the mind to deeper comprehension, inferences and extraordinary ideas. Do you think that understanding the multiple meanings of context in Shakespeare is something he intended for his readers? (Interpreting all his words subjectively seems the only way to make sense of all the dicerse and syntax he drowns you in).
  11. Understanding Shakespeare.

    I believe to understand Shakespeare requires familiarity with a lot of other similar works (writing and plays - new and old). More exposure to various supports, likely aids in understanding. A novice like me simply can not muster the ability to leave the shallows, in hopes to swim in the deep end (understanding Shakespeare). Understanding Shakespear is no easy task.
  12. Understanding Shakespeare.

    Haha. That was fun reading Shakespeare lines and then your version. T'was Hamlet I'd had conspurd upon, at darkest hours in withered light. (It was Hamlet I fell upon at bed time, with little understanding)
  13. Apple encryption

    At university, we were taught to question everything, and produce opposing points of views in places were there were none. In other words, to stretch ourselves to imagine multiple possibile causes and solutions to any problem we investigate. I was simply exercising my ability to come up with a possible scenario. Just as my instructor had me do in class. Are you saying my professor was stupid? I might be a little naive about tech devices and uses of how the word backdoor fits in context to such devices. That doesn't give you the right to suggest I'm some pulmonate in your after school remedial classroom. Especially when I have aknowleded the aforementioned concepts you say are impossible, I have already dispose of. Read everything before you jump on something with ADD like awesomeness.
  14. Apple encryption

    Actually I'm not full of theories. Just a storm in my mind that sometimes comes up with unlikely ideas. Even if I don't find truth in them or consider them good ideas, I will occasionally share them anyway just as food for thought. For example. A television from Japan that has a finger sensor button, could actually be a webcam that the Japanese use to have access to every Americans living room. Though unlikely, if you think of what technology exists and realize that such a scenario is possible... It's not so far fetched. However, because such possibilities are unlikely occurences, doesn't mean they're not possible: The government usually reverse engineers such technology, before it is carelessly put on the market. I don't believe such unlikely scenarios actually happen, but they are none the less interesting ideas.
  15. Instinct (1999)

    This is one of my favorite movies, with one of my favorite actors. He prefers that people call him Tony. In portraying characters with such emotional intensity, Anthony Hopkins can strike nerves, evoke awe in people, and tremendously move one at ones core. I chose this movie to discus because its plot is quite controversial when you analyze the main character (Tony), and follow a series of events that had led him to murdering 3 African park rangers. Tony plays anthropologist, Ethan Powell, who spends some time in Africa studying gorillas. He follows the large animals every day for 3 years (taking photos and analyzing the animals) while symotaneously getting closer and closer to them in their natural environment. One day, the Alpha Gorilla begins to interact back with Powell, as the animals had become accustom to his presence. Slowly but surely, the Gorillas begin to accept Powell as one of their own. One day, one of the gorilla mothers who had become comfortable with Powell, gave her baby gorilla to Powell and Powell felt a strong emotional connection with the baby as well as at home with the entire gorilla group. At that moment, holding the baby gorilla, suddenly a gun shot came out of nowhere, and one of the big gorillas fell to the ground. Powell took the baby gorilla and ran win the other gorillas to hide. He safetly hid the baby gorilla in the brush, as the baby reached his hands back at Powell asking to be picked up and comforted in all the chaos. More bullets went off and more gorillas were falling dead. Hopkins becomes overcome by rage and picks up a thick stick rushing through the trees beating the African poachers, like an overly powerful wild animal. Poachers finally stop him with a bullet to the leg, and one of the poachers puts his foot on Hopkins head and points a gun at him. At this moment, the alpha gorilla sees Powell in distress and charges the poachers, who react quickly and kill the gorilla. Anthony Hopkins and the big gorilla who are both laying on the ground make eye contact as Hopkins fills with tears. He is arrested and sent home to America to a high level psychiatric ward. The second part of the film is basically a story of a psychologist listening to Hopkins story of the gorilla pack, as he slowly begins to talk with the psychologist after not muddering a word for years since he was detained. Hopkins jeopardizes his ability for parole by attacking a prison guard who was beating other mentally ill patients who have all come to love Powell.
  16. The reading brain

    Father and mothers usually pass down characteristic and personality traits. But this usually occurs as offspring mimicks behavior or learns to act by watching their parents. You often hear the comment "You're just like your mother". I think most of us learn how to handle much of life by having witnessed how our parents had handled it.
  17. Physical infinity

    Actually I digress. For some reason my unfamiliarity with your logic makes it hard to understand. But if I grasp what you're saying There is a 100% chance that One person is likely to be the one in a million. And there is a 100% chance that person has to be somebody in the lager picture, you're saying that everyone alive is actually just that one black ball out of a million white balls? if that is the case, you're supporting my idea that we are the unlikely winners of insurmountable odds for life
  18. Physical infinity

    Let me tell you how it was taught in most regular third grade classrooms, so the rest of us can understand what I mean. If you have 999,999 white balls, and 1 black ball, all in a bucket, and as you instruct, begin to "grab the balls"... Out of 1 million attempts, you should grab the black ball at least once, whether it's your first time grabbing balls, your 500,000th time. Or maybe your a millionth time grabbing balls. Some asinine theory of probability, with intricate flatulous fallacy ways of thinking, does not change the laws of probability we're all familiar with.
  19. The reading brain

    Yeah, I meant decedents not ancestors. Sorry, It's been awhile since I've typed this much online. Glad you cleared this up. This teaches me something I did not know.
  20. The reading brain

    Sorry, let me be more clear. I thought it was common knowledge, but now I see how ridiculous it sounds: That every memory and experience one has in their lifetime, is passed down to their ancestors. Though the memories are largely subconscious, I still can see how this Idea may seem preposterous. I also do not know of any evidence to prove this hypothesis, but I have encountered this idea at more than one place and time. As for the rest of your post, it's largely up to opinions, opinions I do not possess. I believe that all traits that are beneficial for the species, are indeed passed down. It's just hard to say what is passed down genetically and what must be passed down through learning. For example, if I practice video games at a professional level, will my offspring be better at games too because they share a trait... or did my playing pass down more successful "video game genes" (that I had honed, and now they can do it because of passed genes.) I'm treading in deep water on this topic. I'm not sure I have the answers, but this field of study is probably pretty thorough and well established. I suppose a googling would be a good idea to clear things up.
  21. Physical infinity

    Well the odds you pick out a white ball is extremely unlikely. I think that's conclusive to my point. The odds of living for a short time span during a period of infinite years, is not only not likely, but nearly impossible, since there are infinite times one could have been born instead. I feel like I can explain this forever in multiple ways, but still find it hard to expand on this anymore cohesively than I have... How is it that 100 years of life is occurring now, when there are infinite other opportunities to have been born (in the past and in the future). The odds that you are alive right now are 1 in infinity! One way to explain this winning of the infinite "jack-pot" is to assume that in some form or another, you have always existed. Alternatively, you would have to hit some unlikely odds
  22. Why hello again. It's been about ten years since I last posted here. Can't really remember my username. More interestingly though, is I just arrived here via time machine, spanning those ten years. So more or less, we can carry on like it was yesterday. The time machine is a bit tricky and unstable (burned my groin in the process, and chunks of hair is missing from all sides of my head) Otherwise, it was a safe trip.p You can call me Mars. Since you guys are probably more advanced than before, and now with the iPad, maybe you can suggest an app, that can bring me back to in one piece! Sorry about the triple post, seems a few of me have arrived out of the space time continuum.
  23. Apple encryption

    Apple and gov't pulling a fast one. It probably comes as no surprise that government will likely get into the backdoors on our iPhones. Meanwhile, Apple tells media they will not comply with obstructing privacy rights, making a big deal in the media which indicates we are all still secure. Meanwhile, people preoccupied with Apples claims to protect rights, in the media... Apple secretly complies with backdoor agreement, while false headlines are devised to trick public, in hopes they won't dig deep into what is actually happening with their digital devices. We are all being watched by big brother on all devices, and this has always been the case IMO. News is to just divert us from the possibility that we are in fact, not secure. I'm full of crazy theories!
  24. Introduction: A Brit sees the light.

    Edit: I am one of those ppl with Homer Simpson in his head.
  25. Introduction: A Brit sees the light.

    I think objectivism has a great appeal. One good reason to be a part of objectivism, is the amount of intelligent output amoung the members, some of whom have great personal magnetism. It's ideal to surround yourself with people you want to be like. The old belief that your IQ is the average of the 3 people you hang around with most, is Peru'feaipeur (don't know what this word means, but it sounds nice) Most other people you might encounter come across as ppl whose brains are essentially just Homer Simpsons pushing buttons and pulling levers in their head.