Category: Type-Article

You can't teach an old dog (or your brain) new tricks: why learning is hard

You can’t teach an old dog (or your brain) new tricks: why learning is hard

VIDEO EXPLAINER/ ARTICLE: The hallmark of intelligence is the ability to learn new tasks. How does the human brain go about the task? The human brain, remarkable as it is, does not go about the task of learning in a very efficient manner. It uses a highly inefficient approach called "Reassociation." We appear to  learn new tasks simply by repeating the original neural activity patterns and swapping their assignments. Although "quick and dirty" it's not the best way to learn. SOURCE: Quanta ...
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Here's a list of 1,174 Coursera courses that are completely free

Here’s a list of 1,174 Coursera courses that are completely free

UTILITY: Generally speaking, Coursera courses are free to audit but if you want to access graded assignments or earn a Course Certificate, you will need to pay. There are a few courses that are still completely free. When you sign up for these courses, you would see an option of “Full Course, No Certificate.” More than 1,150 Coursera MOOCs (1,174, to be exact) that are still completely free (including the graded assignments, minus the certificate). SOURCE: Fast Company ...
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Your speech Is packed with misunderstood, unconscious messages: "dysfluencies"

Your speech Is packed with misunderstood, unconscious messages: “dysfluencies”

ARTICLE: folk wisdom that ums and uhs betray a speaker as weak, nervous, ignorant, and sloppy, and should be avoided at all costs, even in spontaneous conversation. Many scientists, though, think that our cultural fixation with stamping out what they call “disfluencies” is deeply misguided. Saying um is no character flaw, but an organic feature of speech; far from distracting listeners, there’s evidence that it focuses their attention in ways that enhance comprehension. SOURCE: Nautilus ...
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Get rid of negative thoughts and ideas by identifying 4 bad habits

Get rid of negative thoughts and ideas by identifying 4 bad habits

INFOGRAPHIC: A pessimistic, negative outlook extracts a toll on your life in many ways. It is strongly linked to heightened risk of physical health disorders, mental health problems, dysfunctional relationships, and financial difficulties. Negative thinking is not a fixed state that persists unchanged. Everyone can learn how to combat negative thinking by keeping a watch for 4 patterns of behaviour. SOURCE: Inc ...
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The population bomb has been defused -- Malthus was wrong

The population bomb has been defused — Malthus was wrong

VIDEO/ INFOGRAPHIC/ ARTICLE: In order to put the dire prognostications of Malthus and Ehrlich about population growth outstripping the capacity of the Earth to feedits people, inally to rest, an important component is needed - lower fertility rates. Overall world fertility has fallen. There's a strong association between fertility and income levels - once a country passes about $5,000 in per capita annual gross domestic product, it almost never has a high fertility rate. Overpopulation concerns have shifted from global to regional. Countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo still have very high fertility rates. SOURCE: Bloomberg ...
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The grim conclusions of the largest-ever study of fake news

The grim conclusions of the largest-ever study of fake news

ARTICLE: By every common metric, falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter. Fake news and false rumours reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories. A massive new study analyses every major contested news story in English across the span of Twitter's existence-some 126,000 stories, tweeted by 3 million users, over more than 10 years-and finds that the truth simply cannot compete with hoax and rumour. Labeling fake news as such, on a social network or search engine, may do little to deter it. SOURCE: The Atlantic ...
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Say goodbye to the information age: it’s all about reputation now

Say goodbye to the information age: it’s all about reputation now

ARTICLE: Without an evaluative judgment about the reliability of a certain source of information, that information is, for all practical purposes, useless. From the 'information age', we are moving towards the 'reputation age', in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated and commented upon by others. In the reputation age, our critical appraisals should be directed not at the content of information but rather at the social network of relations that has shaped that content and given it a certain deserved or undeserved 'rank' in our system of knowledge. A civilised cyber-world will be one where people know how to assess critically the reputation of information sources, and can empower their knowledge by learning how to gauge appropriately the social 'rank' of each bit of information that enters their cognitive field. SOURCE: Aeon ...
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This is where your childhood memories went

This is where your childhood memories went

ARTICLE: While the brain undergoes this prolonged development outside the womb, the large and complex network of disparate brain regions that collectively create and maintain our memories is still under construction and not as capable of forming memories as it will be in adulthood. As a consequence, the long-term memories formed in our first three years of life are the least stable memories we ever make and highly prone to disintegrating as we age. Studies have shown that people can retrieve at least some childhood memories by responding to specific prompts. Even if we manage to untangle a few distinct memories that survive the tumultuous cycles of growth and decay in the infant brain, we can never fully trust them; some of them might be partly or entirely fabricated. SOURCE: Nautilus ...
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