Evidence from some wrongful-conviction cases suggests that suspects can be questioned in ways that lead them to falsely believe…

crime, psychology, memory, false memory, conviction, story telling

Evidence from some wrongful-conviction cases suggests that suspects can be questioned in ways that lead them to falsely believe in and confess to committing crimes they didn’t actually commit. New research provides lab-based evidence for this phenomenon, showing that innocent adult participants can be convinced, over the course of a few hours, that they had perpetrated crimes as serious as assault with a weapon in their teenage years.

The research, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, indicates that the participants came to internalize the stories they were told, providing rich and detailed descriptions of events that never actually took place.

“Our findings show that false memories of committing crime with police contact can be surprisingly easy to generate, and can have all the same kinds of complex details as real memories,”

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/people-can-be-convinced-they-committed-a-crime-they-dont-remember.html

In an era of breathtaking, earth-changing engineering projects, this has been billed as the biggest of them all. Three times as…

The Guardian, infrastructure, canal, nicaragua, china, engineering, change, disruption

In an era of breathtaking, earth-changing engineering projects, this has been billed as the biggest of them all. Three times as long and almost twice as deep as its rival in Panama, Nicaragua’s channel will require the removal of more than 4.5bn cubic metres of earth – enough to bury the entire island of Manhattan up to the 21st floor of the Empire State Building. It will also swamp the economy, society and environment of one of Latin America’s poorest and most sparsely populated countries. Senior officials compare the scale of change to that brought by the arrival of the first colonisers.

“It’s like when the Spanish came here, they brought a new culture. The same is coming with the canal,” said Manuel Coronel Kautz, the garrulous head of the canal authority. “It is very difficult to see what will happen later – just as it was difficult for the indigenous people to imagine what would happen when they saw the first [European] boats.”

For the native Americans, of course, that first glimpse of Spanish caravels was the beginning of an apocalypse. Columbus’s ships were soon followed by waves of conquistadores whose feuding, disease and hunger for gold and slaves led to the annihilation of many indigenous populations.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/20/-sp-nicaragua-canal-land-opportunity-fear-route

The Yiwu - Madrid Railway line is a goods railway line from the Chinese city of Yiwu to the Spanish city of Madrid, a distance…

“The Yiwu - Madrid Railway line is a goods railway line from the Chinese city of Yiwu to the Spanish city of Madrid, a distance of roughly 10,000 kilometres (about 8,111 miles), 741 kilometres more than the Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest until now. It is a major component of the New Eurasian Land Bridge.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yiwu_-_Madrid_Railway_line

Experimental Simulation of Closed Timelike Curves

physics, quantum physics, time travel, close timelike curves, quantum computing, gravity

Closed timelike curves are among the most controversial features of modern physics. As legitimate solutions to Einstein’s field equations, they allow for time travel, which instinctively seems paradoxical. However, in the quantum regime these paradoxes can be resolved leaving closed timelike curves consistent with relativity. The study of these systems therefore provides valuable insight into non-linearities and the emergence of causal structures in quantum mechanics-essential for any formulation of a quantum theory of gravity. Here we experimentally simulate the non-linear behaviour of a qubit interacting unitarily with an older version of itself, addressing some of the fascinating effects that arise in systems traversing a closed timelike curve. These include perfect discrimination of non-orthogonal states and, most intriguingly, the ability to distinguish nominally equivalent ways of preparing pure quantum states. Finally, we examine the dependence of these effects on the initial qubit state, the form of the unitary interaction, and the influence of decoherence.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1501.05014

The Cathedral of Computation

The Atlantic, culture, technology, algorithmic culture, machine, religion, automation, computing, me

The algorithmic metaphor is just a special version of the machine metaphor, one specifying a particular kind of machine (the computer) and a particular way of operating it (via a step-by-step procedure for calculation). And when left unseen, we are able to invent a transcendental ideal for the algorithm. The canonical algorithm is not just a model sequence but a concise and efficient one. In its ideological, mythic incarnation, the ideal algorithm is thought to be some flawless little trifle of lithe computer code, processing data into tapestry like a robotic silkworm. A perfect flower, elegant and pristine, simple and singular. A thing you can hold in your palm and caress. A beautiful thing. A divine one. But just as the machine metaphor gives us a distorted view of automated manufacture as prime mover, so the algorithmic metaphor gives us a distorted, theological view of computational action.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/the-cathedral-of-computation/384300/

Extrastatecraft is a study of “infrastructure space”, which Easterling, a professor of architecture at Yale, defines as “the…

Extrastatecraft is a study of “infrastructure space”, which Easterling, a professor of architecture at Yale, defines as “the rules governing the space of everyday life” – mostly mundane, repeatable spaces such as car parks and hotels, cash machines, suburbs, business parks, satellite communications and electronic devices. Easterling sees urbanism as lying not in buildings so much as in the information layer of the city that determines how people, objects, buildings (and information itself) are organised and circulated. Urban space is delocalised into a “formula” that “replicates Shenzhen or Dubai anywhere in the world with a drumbeat of generic skyscrapers”.

The art of building this infrastructural space is of course “extra-state”: it still involves state planning and law, but is directed by “new constellations of international, intergovernmental and non-governmental players”. In infrastructure space, companies can be as big as governments.

Jay Owens (hautepop ) Reviews Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space by Keller Easterling for Icon //http://www.iconeye.com/opinion/review/item/11449-extrastatecraft-the-power-of-infrastructure-space (viastacktivism)

Imagine, for instance, a bike-rental system administered by a DAC hosted across hundreds or thousands of different computers in…

Imagine, for instance, a bike-rental system administered by a DAC hosted across hundreds or thousands of different computers in its home city. The DAC would handle the day-to-day management of bikes and payments, following parameters laid down by a group of founders. Those hosting the management programme would be paid in the system’s own cryptocurrency – let’s call it BikeCoin. That currency could be used to rent bikes – in fact, it would be required to, and would derive its value on exchanges such as BitShares from the demand for local bike rentals.

Guided by its management protocols, our bike DAC would use its revenue to pay for repairs and other upkeep. It could use online information to find the right people for various maintenance tasks, and to evaluate their performance. A sufficiently advanced system could choose locations for new stations based on analysis of traffic information, and then make the arrangements to have them built.

David Z. Morris, ‘RoboCorp’ (2015)

Operation Vegetarian was a British military plan in 1942 to disseminate linseed cakes infected with anthrax spores onto the…

anthrax, warfare, biological warfare, cattle, ww2, britain, germany, vegetarian

“Operation Vegetarian was a British military plan in 1942 to disseminate linseed cakes infected with anthrax spores onto the fields of Germany. These cakes would have been eaten by the cattle, which would then be consumed by the civilian population, causing the deaths of millions of German citizens. Furthermore, it would have wiped out the majority of Germany’s cattle, creating a massive food shortage for the rest of the population that remained uninfected.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Vegetarian

Why I Am Not a Maker

The Atlantic, making, culture, education, technology, diy, gender, make, doing, consumerism, commodi

Making is not a rebel movement, scrappy individuals going up against the system. While the shift might be from the corporate to the individual (supported, mind, by a different set of companies selling a different set of things), it mostly re-inscribes familiar values, in slightly different form: that artifacts are important, and people are not. It’s not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with making (although it’s not all that clear that the world needs more stuff). The problem is the idea that the alternative to making is usually not doing nothing—it’s almost always doing things for and with other people, from the barista to the Facebook community moderator to the social worker to the surgeon. Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/why-i-am-not-a-maker/384767/

Ok then, here’s the Waimea shots. 1973. I cannot thank Sean O’Hare enough for preserving them. It’s nice to have a tangible bit…

terminalreflector:

Ok then, here’s the Waimea shots. 1973. I cannot thank Sean O’Hare enough for preserving them. It’s nice to have a tangible bit of something you did too many decades ago, that you consider fair to partly significant, and without Sean’s diligence, this tangible bit would not have survived. A thousand and one thanks, Sean. These pictures were/are in pretty rough shape, having suffered the depredations of not only myself, but other people too. The originals that I scanned are very low contrast as well as fairly well nuked in the color department. An ex-wife who shall remain nameless assiduously cut them up so as to fit them into some kind of picture frame thing with pre-cut holes in it, and the years each of these shots spent in that thing caused a noticeably greater color distortion where the photo was continuously exposed to the light of day as opposed to the untrimmed parts that lay beneath the pre-cut hole mask.

1970’s Surfing Photos from Hawaii 

I paid $25 for an Invisible Boyfriend, and I think I might be in love.

excarnation, relationships, startup, internet, simulation, crowsourcing, love, deceit, image managem

There are no shortage of stories about couples carrying on “relationships” exclusively via Second Life, a sort of fictional, virtual world. The game critic Kate Gray recently published an ode to “Dorian,” a character she fell in love with in a video game. (“Isn’t it odd how it’s taken so long to reach this stage in games – the stage at which human conversations and relationships feel real?” she writes.) Researchers have even suggested that spambots induce some kind of emotional response in us, perhaps because they flatter our vanities; conversely, one anthropologist has argued that our relationships are increasingly so mediated by tech that they’ve become indistinguishable from Tamagotchis. […] All things considered, it’s hardly a jump to suggest someone might develop feelings for a “believable” virtual human who caters to her every whim. That’s basically the plot of “Her,” isn’t it? (For the record, Homann says, his start-up began before that movie did.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/01/22/i-paid–25-for-an-invisible-boyfriend-and-i-think-i-might-be-in-love/

Mount Sidley is Antarctica’s highest volcano, and one of the most inaccessible large mountains in the world. Only a few…

Mount Sidley is Antarctica’s highest volcano, and one of the most inaccessible large mountains in the world. Only a few scientists and adventure tourists have ever climbed it. Its huge crater, 5 km (3 mi) across, was created by a series of violent eruptions almost 5 million years ago. Many other details are still unknown: for example, its height is about 4,250 m (13,950 ft), but it has never been precisely measured with modern, GPS-based surveying techniques. A pattern of deep earthquakes has led geologists to believe that a new volcano may be building nearby to the south, although it might never reach through the ice sheet as Mount Sidley has. The ice is up to 1.5 km (1 mi) thick in this area, and covers what would be a very rugged landscape if it were exposed. Landsat 8 collected this image on the 21st. by mapbox (via http://instagram.com/p/yLi8yuTeae/)

NASA’S Voyager 1 took this picture of the planet Jupiter on Saturday, Jan. 6, the first in its three-month-long, close-up…

NASA’S Voyager 1 took this picture of the planet Jupiter on Saturday, Jan. 6, the first in its three-month-long, close-up investigation of the largest planet. The spacecraft, flying toward a March 5 closest approach, was 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) from Jupiter and 371.7 million miles (598.2 million kilometers) from Earth when the picture was taken. As the Voyager cameras begin their meteorological surveillance of Jupiter, they reveal a dynamic atmosphere with more convective structure than had previously been thought. While the smallest atmospheric features seen in this picture are still as large as 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) across, Voyager will be able to detect individual storm systems as small as 3 miles (5 kilometers) at closest approach. The Great Red Spot can be seen near the limb at the far right. Most of the other features are too small to be seen in terrestrial telescopes. This picture is really a combination of three images taken through color filters, then transmitted to Jet Propulsion Laboratory through the Deep Space Network’s antennas, and assembled by JPL’s Image Processing Lab. The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

(via JPL | Space Images | First Close-up Image of Jupiter from Voyager 1)

How Anti-Vaxxers Ruined Disneyland For Themselves (And Everyone Else)

disease, epidemic, vaccination, measles, USA, anti-vax, herd immunity, unvaccinated, health, public

There are now 67 confirmed cases of measles in an ongoing outbreak centered in California. According to the California Department of Public Health, 59 of the cases are in-state. Among the 34 California patients for whom vaccination status is known, 28 were unvaccinated and one had received partial vaccination. Only five were fully vaccinated. Forty-two of the California cases have been linked to an initial exposure at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park, and while cases were originally tied to people who visited the park in mid-December, state health officials now note other cases visited Disney parks in January. According to the CDC, the majority of measles cases reported so far during 2015 have been part of the “large, ongoing outbreak” connected with these parks.

http://io9.com/how-anti-vaxxers-ruined-disneyland-for-themselves-and–1680970446