Language shift

language shift, linguistics, celtic, english, monolingual, bilingual, modeling, drift, language

‘Language shift’ is the process whereby members of a community in which more than one language is spoken abandon their original vernacular language in favour of another. The historical shifts to English by Celtic language speakers of Britain and Ireland are particularly well-studied examples for which good census data exist for the most recent 100–120 years in many areas where Celtic languages were once the prevailing vernaculars. We model the dynamics of language shift as a competition process in which the numbers of speakers of each language (both monolingual and bilingual) vary as a function both of internal recruitment (as the net outcome of birth, death, immigration and emigration rates of native speakers), and of gains and losses owing to language shift.

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1559/3855.full

What you’re hearing is the way 20th century technology tunneled through a 19th century network

digital, analogue, audio, noise, history, technology, sound, modem

Of all the noises that my children will not understand, the one that is nearest to my heart is not from a song or a television show or a jingle. It’s the sound of a modem connecting with another modem across the repurposed telephone infrastructure. It was the noise of being part of the beginning of the Internet.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/06/the-mechanics-and-meaning-of-that-ol-dial-up-modem-sound/257816/

Katie Falkenberg, from The Human Toll: Mountaintop Removal Mining Maria Gunnoe is an activist working to alert the public and…

bremser:

Katie Falkenberg, from The Human Toll: Mountaintop Removal Mining

Maria Gunnoe is an activist working to alert the public and elected officials to the environmental dangers of coal mining. She intended to use the above photograph of a young girl, bathing in water contaminated with arsenic, to illustrate her testimony to the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. The details on who prevented her and why she was not allowed to use the photograph are not clear, but one blog mentions that the photograph was considered “inappropriate.” Aaron Bady at the New Inquiry has a more specific story - Republican members of the subcommittee alerted the capitol police that the photograph might be considered “child pornography.”

Look at: Katie Falkenberg’s entire series on the subject.
Read:This PDF of Gunnoe’s testimony, as well as her slides, including aerial photographs she has taken of the impact of mining operations.
Read the full caption of the photograph: Erica and Rully Urias must bathe their daughter, Makayla, age 5, in contaminated water that is the color of tea. Their water has been tested and contains high levels of arsenic. The family attributes this water problem primarily to the blasting which they believe has disrupted the water table and cracked the casing in their well, allowing seepage of heavy metals into their water, and also to the runoff from the mountaintop removal sites surrounding their home. The coal company that mines the land around their home has never admitted to causing this problem, but they do supply the family with bottled water for drinking and cooking. Contaminated and colored water in has occurred in other coalfield communities as well where mountaintop mining is practiced.

There is now substantial evidence from cognitive neuroscience that humans readily find patterns and impart agency to them. In…

“There is now substantial evidence from cognitive neuroscience that humans readily find patterns and impart agency to them. In his 2009 book Supersense, University of Bristol psychologist Bruce Hood documented the growing body of data that demonstrates our tendency not only to infuse patterns with agency and intention, but to also believe that objects, animals, and people contain an essence—something that is at the core of their being that makes them what they are—and that this essence may be transmitted from objects to people, and from people to people. There are evolutionary reasons for this essentialism, rooted in fears about diseases and contagions that contain all-too-natural essences that can be deadly (and hence should be avoided), and thus there was a natural selection for those who avoided deadly diseases by following their instincts about essence avoidance. But we also generalize these essence emotions to both natural and supernatural beings, to any and all objects and people, and to things seen and unseen; we also assume that those seen and unseen objects and people have agency and intention. “Many highly educated and intelligent individuals experience a powerful sense that there are patterns, forces, energies, and entities operating in the world,” Hood wrote. “More importantly, such experiences are not substantiated by a body of reliable evidence, which is why they are supernatural and unscientific. The inclination or sense that they may be real is our supersense.””

Shermer, Michael. The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies — How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. New York: Times Books, 2011. (viacarvalhais)

Show Me The Honey by Mary Taylor “Inspired by bee colony collapse disorder. 6 page accordion fold book, Arches paper, gelatin…

fuckyeahbookarts:

Show Me The HoneybyMary Taylor

“Inspired by bee colony collapse disorder. 6 page accordion fold book, Arches paper, gelatin monoprint outside, digitally printed interior pages. Finished with encaustic, gold leaf, inkjet transfer and metallic pigments. Case: wood and gold colored transparency film. 7.25” x 5” Variant Edition of 15.”

Opinions are non-contemporary

conjecture, culture, fiction, quotes, future present, future, James Bridle

It was essentially a quotedump of what’s in my head at the moment, but several people asked for the links mentioned, so here goes. The collective false memory syndrome that the UK is being implanted with, in regard of the Jubilee in particular, but everything from the Festival of Britain to “austerity”, is really weird and a little bit frightening; but imagine if we could invert it. Instead of falsifying the past to transform and rationalise the present, we could engineer the future in order to finally reach it. This is a pretty standard design fiction conjecture except I don’t care about design and people might actually get the idea if you explained in in terms of the Jubilee: the dark nostalgia mirror of empire that is eating the real. Eject! Eject!

http://booktwo.org/notebook/opinions-are-non-contemporary/

The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks

Seeming public apathy over climate change is often attributed to a deficit in comprehension. The public knows too little science, it is claimed, to understand the evidence or avoid being misled1. Widespread limits on technical reasoning aggravate the problem by forcing citizens to use unreliable cognitive heuristics to assess risk. We conducted a study to test this account and found no support for it. Members of the public with the highest degrees of science literacy and technical reasoning capacity were not the most concerned about climate change. Rather, they were the ones among whom cultural polarization was greatest. This result suggests that public divisions over climate change stem not from the public’s incomprehension of science but from a distinctive conflict of interest

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1547.html#/f1

The Queen’s Android (via http://bit.ly/Krr44d)

robot, dulcimer, sculpture, automation, automaton, music

The Queen’s Android (via http://bit.ly/Krr44d)

“This famous android was a collaborative effort by two Germans. Clockmaker Peter Kintzing created the mechanism and joiner David Roentgen crafted the cabinet; the dress dates from the 19th century. Automatons were in circulation and aroused much curiosity. Roentgen probably sent the tympanum to the French court and Marie-Antoinette bought it in 1784. The queen, aware of its perfection and scientific interest, had it deposited in the Academy of Sciences cabinet in 1785. The tympanum is a musical instrument that plays eight tunes when the female android strikes the 46 strings with two little hammers. Tradition has it that she is a depiction of Marie-Antoinette.”

Face recognition in humans is another form of the SS-IRM-FAP system of patternicity, and it begins shortly after birth. (…) Two…

“Face recognition in humans is another form of the SS-IRM-FAP system of patternicity, and it begins shortly after birth. (…) Two black dots on a cardboard cutout elicit a smile in infants, although one dot does not, indicating that the newborn brain is preconditioned by evolution to look for and find the simple pattern of a face represented by two to four data points: two eyes, a nose, and a mouth, which may even be represented as two dots, a vertical line, and a horizontal line.”

Shermer, Michael. The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies — How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. New York: Times Books, 2011. (viacarvalhais)

Can Hydras Eat Unknown-Unknowns for Lunch?

pessimism, optimism, resilience, taleb, knowledge, unknown, philosophy

The general idea behind the Hydra narrative in a broad sense (not just what Taleb has said/will say in October) is that hydras eat all unknown unknowns (not just Taleb’s famous black swans) for lunch. I have heard at least three different versions of this proposition in the last year. The narrative inspires social system designs that feed on uncertainty rather than being destroyed by it. Geoffrey West’s ideas about superlinearity are the empirical part of an attempt to construct an existence proof showing that such systems are actually possible.

http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2012/03/22/can-hydras-eat-unknown-unknowns-for-lunch/

Welcome to the Future Nauseous

Venkatesh Rao, present, experience, futurism, future

There is an unexplained cognitive dissonance between changing-reality-as-experienced and change as imagined, and I don’t mean specifics of failed and successful predictions. My new explanation is this: we live in a continuous state of manufactured normalcy. There are mechanisms that operate — a mix of natural, emergent and designed — that work to prevent us from realizing that the future is actually happening as we speak.  To really understand the world and how it is evolving, you need to break through this manufactured normalcy field. Unfortunately, that leads, as we will see, to a kind of existential nausea.

http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2012/05/09/welcome-to-the-future-nauseous/