Archive for August, 2012

via A connected world – YouTube.

Interesting big picture, needs serious discussion. lw

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Written language was only developed around six thousand years ago, and until relatively recently, essentially every human on earth was illiterate. No one would argue that the brain systems that support reading are products of natural selection; it is a novel function that our brains acquire. Reading shows all of the signs of being another domain-specific modular construction, the kind that would have been assumed to be genetically based if we didn’t already know that it wasn’t. There is even a part of the brain—a posterior patch of the left midfusiform gyrus—that reliably activates when it is presented with written letters and nothing else. Some researchers have named it the “visual word form area” (though others have challenged how specific it is). Nevertheless, reading activates a recurring network in the same way as other actions which are argued to have deep evolutionary roots.

via What is the “New Thinking” about Human Cognitive Evolution? « The Cultural Niche.

“naïve dualism”.. is the belief that acts are brought about either by intentions or by the physical laws that govern our brains and that those two types of causes — psychological and biological — are categorically distinct. People are responsible for actions resulting from one but not the other. (In citing neuroscience, the Supreme Court may have been guilty of naïve dualism: did it really need brain evidence to conclude that adolescents are immature?)

Naïve dualism is misguided. “Was the cause psychological or biological?” is the wrong question when assigning responsibility for an action. All psychological states are also biological ones.

A better question is “how strong was the relation between the cause (whatever it happened to be) and the effect?”

via Neuroscience and Moral Responsibility – NYTimes.com.

//”I am patterns of synaptic activity” does not imply “I am not responsible.” – lw

The 3 pieces that are turning WordPress into a platformBy Adii Pienaar, WooThemesGigaOm, 23 July 2012These days, WordPress acts more like a development framework or a PaaS Platform as a Service, says WooThemes CEO Adii Pienaar. And in the last year, several new services have sprung up to help make WordPress a platform in the truest sense of the word.

via Michel Bauwens: 3 Pieces Turning WordPress Into Global Platform « Public Intelligence Blog.