21 January 2012

Items to share (21 January)

  • ...and here on normal and formal language. I'm an ironic formalist; I know the "rules" and sometimes decide to break them (as does Pullum). It's not the same as not knowing the (sensible) ones.
  • Lecture by Nassim Nicholas Taleb on impact of failures within systems; one of the few people who seems to see systems as they are, rather than as we would like to believe them to be.
  • We know crows are bright, but who would have thought they went in for snowboarding? Thanks to Ben Goldacre for the link

"Maslow had a nobler humanity in mind than the one our cult of the self produces in barbaric multitudes. [...] The prospect of a race of moral giants has issued in a breed of selfish twerps, with a sizeable proportion of genuine degenerates. How the highest democratic longing — to realize the best in one’s nature — has been debased into a pervasive complacency, even a widespread monstrosity, is more than an interesting question in intellectual history; it is a grave and ongoing public catastrophe."
  • V S Ramachandran's quick tour of some of the most intriguing case studies revealing the powerful, adaptive potential of the human brain.

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