Tsur’s larger argument is that fictional narratives affect us by delaying or disrupting “in some other manner” our cognitive…

“Tsur’s larger argument is that fictional narratives affect us by delaying or disrupting “in some other manner” our cognitive processes. Moreover, our awareness of those disruptions “indicates to consciousness” that our crucial cognitive adaptations are in good shape (always welcome news).”

Zunshine, Lisa. Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 2006. 2012. (viacarvalhais)

In this respect, and despite its small population – a little over 2 million – and complete absence from any travel guide or tour…

“In this respect, and despite its small population – a little over 2 million – and complete absence from any travel guide or tour package, Yiwu possesses a remarkable international character. More than that, Yiwu leads us to a different conception of “globalization” in today’s China. Unlike, for instance, Beijing’s Sanlitun or Shanghai’s Pudong, the Mayide area in Yiwu narrates a different tale of modernity and globalization, one maybe less known but by no means less real or important. Foreigners in Yiwu seem to prefer a shalwar kameez over a suit, and enjoy some apple-shisha tobacco rather than an imported French wine. Inside the various restaurants, televisions broadcast Bollywood movies, cricket games and news in Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, and Russian. As I, in the neon lights of the Mayide, felt often bewildered, most people seem to be feeling home. Modernity, I told myself, occurs in many different ways, and Yiwu most definitely offers a glimpse of something alternative from the version that we too often take for granted.”

China Policy Institute Blog » Alternative modernities and international trade in China (viaiamdanw)

The presence of methane is significant because the gas cannot exist for long. Calculations indicate that sunlight and chemical…

“The presence of methane is significant because the gas cannot exist for long. Calculations indicate that sunlight and chemical reactions in the Martian atmosphere would break up the molecules within a few hundred years, so any methane there now must have been created recently. It could have been created by a geological process known as serpentinization, which requires both heat and liquid water. Or it could be a product of life in the form of microbes known as methanogens, which release methane as a waste product.”

‘A Great Moment’: Rover Finds Clue That Mars May Harbor Life - NYTimes.com (viaiamdanw)

Baron-Cohen points out that “attributing mental states to a complex system (such as a human being) is by far the easiest way of…

“Baron-Cohen points out that “attributing mental states to a complex system (such as a human being) is by far the easiest way of understanding it,” that is, of “coming up with an explanation of the complex system’s behavior Thus our tendency to interpret and predicting what it will do next.””

Zunshine, Lisa. Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 2006. 2012. (viacarvalhais)

Host in the Shell

thenewinquiry:

By Sarah Black McCulloch

Immune systems don’t make for clean narratives, even as we expect them to keep us pure.

Spinoza said: we don’t know what a body can do. The question of a body’s power [pouvoir] pushes aside another question that we tend to ask right away: the…

Host in the Shell

From 7–8pm on Friday, software used by third-party sellers to ensure their products are the cheapest on the market went a bit…

From 7–8pm on Friday, software used by third-party sellers to ensure their products are the cheapest on the market went a bit haywire and reduced prices to as little as 1p. “Amazon is all kinds of broken,” one observer tweeted. “Mattress 1p. Heaphones 1p. Batteries, clothing, games all 1p. Someone messed up big time.”

Martin Le Corre, who sells toys and games via his MB Homewares store on Amazon, told the Guardian that the glitch in software developed by RepricerExpress could have cost him more than £100,000.

“We got a call from a competitor to say ‘do you realise all your listings at a penny?’ By the end of the hour, we had 1,600 orders,” he said. “People were buying 10, 50, 100 copies of everything. It is £50,000, £60,000, £100,000 of stock; we can’t even work it out.”

Le Corre immediately took his store offline, but more than £30,000 worth of orders had already been marked as dispatched by Amazon. Orders that have already been dispatched cannot be cancelled and shoppers will be able to keep the goods.

Amazon sellers hit by nightmare before Christmas as glitch cuts prices to 1p (viaiamdanw)

Operation Socialist: How GCHQ Spies Hacked Belgium’s Largest Telco

Belgacom, GCHQ, espionage, EU, state sponsored hacking, NOCTURNAL SURGE, MUTANT BROTH, Five Eyes, Sn

The Belgacom hack, he said, is the “first documented example to show one EU member state mounting a cyber attack on another…a breathtaking example of the scale of the state-sponsored hacking problem.” Publicly, Belgacom has played down the extent of the compromise, insisting that only its internal systems were breached and that customers’ data was never found to have been at risk. But secret GCHQ documents show the agency gained access far beyond Belgacom’s internal employee computers and was able to grab encrypted and unencrypted streams of private communications handled by the company.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/13/belgacom-hack-gchq-inside-story/

Biologists discover electric bacteria that eat pure electrons rather than sugar

bacteria, biology, metabolism, electronics, electricity, ecology, microbiology

University of Southern California (USC) have discovered bacteria that survives on nothing but electricity — rather than food, they eat and excrete pure electrons. These bacteria yet again prove the almost miraculous tenacity of life — but, from a technology standpoint, they might also prove to be useful in enabling the creation of self-powered nanoscale devices that clean up pollution. Some of these bacteria also have the curious ability to form into ‘biocables,’ microbial nanowires that are centimeters long and conduct electricity as well as copper wires — a capability that might one day be tapped to build long, self-assembling subsurface networks for human use.

http://mobile.extremetech.com/extreme/221698-biologists-discover-electric-bacteria-that-eat-pure-electrons-rather-than-sugar-redefining-the-tenacity-of-life

"President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government have committed over $16 billion towards building the required infrastructure to…

silk road, silk route, trade, history, rail, china, eurasia, economics, Asia, Europe

“President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government have committed over $16 billion towards building the required infrastructure to recreate the centuries-old trade route stretching from China to the Mediterranean. The new ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’, a high-speed train line running through Eurasia, Iran and Turkey before finishing in Western Europe, is one of two large-scale, global trading projects China is aiming to create, as well as the ‘Maritime Silk Road’, which will run via Southeast Asia, India, and Kenya, before finishing in the Mediterranean.”

The human race is not divided into the irrational and the rational, as some idealists think. All humans are irrational, but…

“The human race is not divided into the irrational and the rational, as some idealists think. All humans are irrational, but there are two different kinds of irrationality – those who love old ideas and hate and fear new ones, and those who despise old ideas and joyfully embrace new ones. Homo neophobus and homo neophilus. Neophobus is the original human stock, the stock that hardly changed at all for the first four million years of human history. Neophilus is the creative mutation that has been popping up at regular intervals during the past million years, giving the race little forward pushes, the kind you give a wheel to make it spin faster and faster. Neophilus makes a lot of mistakes, but he or she moves. They live life the way it should be lived, ninety-nine percent mistakes and one percent viable mutations.”

Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson in theIlluminatus! Trilogy

Within an hour of its posting, the Vine had garnered thirty-two thousand likes. After waiting three more hours, to whet interest…

“Within an hour of its posting, the Vine had garnered thirty-two thousand likes. After waiting three more hours, to whet interest in his director’s cut, Bach uploaded a fifteen-second version to Instagram. “If it gets six thousand likes in four minutes, that’s good,” he said. “Eight thousand is epic.” The likes clocked in at 8,115. “Now I’ll upload it to Facebook, get those views, and fans put all my Vines on YouTube—it’s too much work for me to upload them—which gets me ten to fifteen K a month from the ads.” By expertly tuning every knob on the digital mixer of himself, Bach made the video one of his top three ever. On Vine alone, it’s been viewed forty-one million times.”

The Stars of YouTube and Vine | The New Yorker (viaiamdanw)

Measurements from Rosetta’s Rosina instrument found that water on comet 67P /Churyumov-Gerasimenko contains about three times…

Measurements from Rosetta’s Rosina instrument found that water on comet 67P /Churyumov-Gerasimenko contains about three times more deuterium – a heavy form of hydrogen – than water on Earth.

The discovery seems to overturn the theory that Earth got its water, and so its ability to harbour life, from water-bearing comets that slammed into the planet during its early history.

Comet 67P is thought to have come from what is called the Kuiper belt, a broad band of frozen bodies that begins beyond the orbit of Neptune. The main asteroid belt contains more rocky objects that circle the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Kathrin Altwegg at the University of Bern said that rather than comets ferrying water to Earth, it may have arrived onboard asteroids instead. Details of the discovery are reported in the journal, Science.

“Today asteroids have very limited water, that’s clear. But that was probably not always the case, said Altwegg. In the earliest period of the solar system, 3.8bn years ago, asteroids are thought to have crashed into Earth regularly in what is called the late heavy bombardment. “At that time, asteroids could well have had much more water than they have today,” Altwegg said.

The Rosina instrument measured water coming off the comet as it flew around the body. Scientists plan to take more measurements as the comet nears the sun and its begins to spew more water vapour and dust out into space.

Measurements from other comets have found water with similar deuterium contents to that on Earth. But the strange composition of comet 67P’s water suggests that the picture of comets bringing water to Earth is too simplistic.

TIRED: comets are the source of water for Earth.

WIRED: asteroids are the life giving, death dealing forces of nature.

and my updated guide to Panspermia needs revising again.

(viam1k3y)