What Is Ritual?

ritual, culture, society, religion, rationality, irrationality, time, sacrifice, performance, bondin

Time is the default sacrifice. It is the measure of sacrifice that underlies our complex economic order, so it is no surprise that it also underlies our ritual order. In religions that have a Sabbath, an entire day of productivity is sacrificed to God every week. Every ceremony involves the sacrifice of the time of participants; often, ceremonies involve the sacrifice of time by high-status persons. An arraignment is a ceremony in which the legitimacy of a person’s incarceration is established; not much information is exchanged, but the ceremony requires sacrifice in the form of a grand courtroom built for the purpose, as well as the time of grand personages such as the judge and two attorneys. Ritual attendants such as court reporters and bailiffs are required as well. The sacred value of “justice” is understood to be the target of these sacrifices.

http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2015/02/11/what-is-ritual/

“We are nonchalantly throwing all of our data into what could become an information black hole without realising it. We digitise…

“We are nonchalantly throwing all of our data into what could become an information black hole without realising it. We digitise things because we think we will preserve them, but what we don’t understand is that unless we take other steps, those digital versions may not be any better, and may even be worse, than the artefacts that we digitised,” Cerf told the Guardian. “If there are photos you really care about, print them out.”

Google boss warns of ‘forgotten century’ with email and photos at risk | Technology | The Guardian (viaphotographsonthebrain)

In a sneak Guardian preview of the self-driving Meridian shuttle – a kind of elongated golf buggy with no clear front or back –…

“In a sneak Guardian preview of the self-driving Meridian shuttle – a kind of elongated golf buggy with no clear front or back – the public reaction in Greenwich was mixed. Some passersby stared open-mouthed while others remained engrossed in smartphones, inadvertently testing out the vehicle’s automatic object detection and emergency stop. The vehicle is operated by selecting a programmed route on a touch pad, and with the aid of radar, cameras, light detection and ultrasonic sensors to ensure the path is clear, off it goes.”

Driverless cars set to roll out for trials on UK roads (viaiamdanw)

Comparing the Effects of Nocturnal Sleep and Daytime Napping on Declarative Memory Consolidation

sleep, memory, polyphasic sleep, nap, siesta, learning, PLOS

Nocturnal sleep and daytime napping facilitate memory consolidation for semantically related and unrelated word pairs. We contrasted forgetting of both kinds of materials across a 12-hour interval involving either nocturnal sleep or daytime wakefulness (experiment 1) and a 2-hour interval involving either daytime napping or wakefulness (experiment 2). Beneficial effects of post-learning nocturnal sleep and daytime napping were greater for unrelated word pairs (Cohen’s d = 0.71 and 0.68) than for related ones (Cohen’s d = 0.58 and 0.15). While the size of nocturnal sleep and daytime napping effects was similar for unrelated word pairs, for related pairs, the effect of nocturnal sleep was more prominent. Together, these findings suggest that sleep preferentially facilitates offline memory processing of materials that are more susceptible to forgetting.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0108100