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The Stanford Prison Experiment ... Professor Philip Zimbardo in 1971 ... randomly assigned roles of either ‘prison guard’ or ‘prisoner’ ... seemingly ordinary people can be manipulated by their environment into committing very bad acts. ... Isen and Levin found in 1972 that people who had just found a dime were 22 times more likely to help a woman who had dropped some papers than people who had not. ... situationism ... We create an illusion of freedom by attributing more internal control to ourselves, to the individual, than actually exists. ... What does it mean for ethics when moral behaviour appears to be largely governed by something outside ourselves? ... how is a virtue-centered ethical view plausible at all? ... biological determinism. One might go further and argue that, in the end, everything reduces to physical determinism anyway. ... before judging others .. we should realistically consider /15-07-07

Lawsuits about what it means to be an employee could shape the future of big industries ... she was an employee rather than, as Uber claims, an independent contractor .. social security ... in America, as in many other rich countries, employment law has failed to keep up with the changing realities of modern work. ... “on-demand” economy ... Forcing McDonald’s to become a co-employer ... Uber’s number of drivers has been doubling every six months ... The last thing the country needs is for over-strict interpretations of outdated laws to kill exciting new businesses and sabotage jobs. /15-07-03

Confirmation Bias - Test Your Awareness (Whodunnit?) YouTube/15-07-01

Palaeontologists hope that software can construct fossil databases directly from research papers. ... DeepDive ... Text mining ... The machine is really clear about uncertainty ... to extract 192,000 opinions on the classification of taxonomic names ... It's a little scary, the machines are getting that good. ... research papers to be described more systematically in the future. /15-07-01

benefits and risks of gene editing and artificial intelligence ... to modify human .. “unpredictable effects on future generations” and “profound implications for our relationship to nature” ... Concerns are coming from the silicon sector as well. Last year, the physicist Stephen Hawking proclaimed that rapidly advancing artificial intelligence (AI) could destroy the human race. ... When new technologies are introduced into complex socio-technical systems, everyone is ill-informed about the risks. ... Scientists are not elected. They cannot represent ... World Wide Views /15-06-30

Super-muscly pigs created by small genetic tweak ... meaty pigs could become the first genetically engineered animals to be approved for human consumption ... ‘double-muscled’ pigs ... Kim used a gene-editing technology called a TALEN ... Rather than trying to create meat from such pigs, Kim and Yin plan to use them to supply sperm that would be sold to farmers for breeding with normal pigs. The resulting offspring, with one disrupted MSTN gene and one normal one, would be healthier, albeit less muscly, ... “I think China will go first,” says Kim. /15-06-30

Software engineers at Google have been analyzing the 'dreams' of their computers. ... testing the ability of Google's servers to recognize and create images of commonplace objects ... artificial neural network is like a computer brain, .. reverse the process ... The computers have the ability to see images in objects in a way that artists can only dream of replicating. /15-06-26

If Mars was the mother planet, Earth would have been the nurturing planet. ... The magnetosomes found in earthly bacteria and in the Martian meteorite ... Mars and Enceladus and other /15-06-19

Schrödinger's cat ... warped space-time prevents quantum superpositions of large-scale objects. ... Somewhere in interstellar space it could be that the cat has a chance to preserve quantum coherence ... quantum physics applied to classical general relativity. In that way it doesn’t change our picture of the world /15-06-18

The modern human rights movement turns 40 ... The language of human rights has become the lingua franca ... Solidarity in Poland, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, and the Moscow Helsinki Group /15-06-18

the first direct proof of a metamorphosis between .. neutrinos — .. ‘muon’ and ‘tau’ ... OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tracking Apparatus) at the Gran Sasso ... 730 kilometres ... It could have been six — or four, or three /15-06-17

Pope Francis .. to limit climate change /Nature/15-06-16

For five years I worked part-time for the poet and Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz at his home in the Berkeley Hills. /15-06-16

The Attack on Truth We have entered an age of willful ignorance ... only 53 percent of American adults knew how long it takes for Earth to revolve around the sun. ... ignorance coupled with the decision to remain ignorant. ... scientifically absurd postmodernist paper ... disbelief in climate change. ... Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber .. to win arguments. .. the discovery of truth is only a byproduct. ... One likely candidate is the Internet. ... With the removal of editorial gatekeepers /15-06-14

DO physicists need empirical evidence to confirm their theories? ... “sufficiently elegant and explanatory.” ... Higgs boson .. at the LHC marked the end of an era. ... We also can’t know how to truly understand the Big Bang, ... Are superstrings and the multiverse, .. anything more than modern-day epicycles? ... If the upgraded collider does discover supersymmetric particles, it will be an astonishing triumph of modern physics. But if nothing is found, ... /15-06-11

ultra-elites are allowed to push the limits of human intelligence, while the less fortunate ... Increase concentration with Ritalin, for instance, and your creativity could suffer. ... But the day may come, .. personalized pills ... transcranial direct-current stimulation, ... deep-brain stimulation could also ensure that we remain smart for longer. ... And why stop at the Internet? A future mind could potentially connect directly to other future minds. ... not of stimulating the brain but of reengineering it. ... CRISPR ... engineering supersmart babies. ... our brains have evolved over millions of years and might already be at optimal neurochemical equilibrium, /15-06-10

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