A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

Western communication has what linguists call a “transmitter orientation”—that is, it is considered the responsibility of the speaker to communicate ideas clearly and unambiguously. …within a Western cultural context, which holds that if there is confusion, it is the fault of the speaker. But Korea, like many Asian countries, is receiver oriented. It is up to the listener to make sense of what is being said.

Malcolm Gladwell (via inthenoosphere)

Reblogged from NOOSPHE.RE

Females have penises in sex-reversed cave insects
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Female insects with “penises” have been discovered in Brazil - the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia, scientists say. Neotrogla females insert the erectile organs into males’ vagina-like openings. The elaborate structure, dubbed a “gynosome”, is used to suck out sperm and nutritious seminal fluids. Copulation lasts an impressive 40-70 hours, the researchers report in Current Biology. “Although sex-role reversal has been identified in several different animals, Neotrogla is the only example in which the intromittent organ is also reversed,” said lead author Kazunori Yoshizawa from Hokkaido University in Japan. (via BBC News - Females have penises in sex-reversed cave insects)

Reza Negarestan “What Philosophy Does to the Mind Tuesday, April 22, 7–9pm, presented by Glass Bead | e-flux

See on Scoop.it - Philosophy everywhere everywhen

Reza Negarestani
“What Philosophy Does to the Mind”
Tuesday, April 22, 7–9pm

By approaching the game of truths—that is, making sense of what is true and making it true—as a rule-based game of navigation, philosophy opens up a new evolutionary vista for the mind’s development. Within this evolutionary landscape, the mind is understood as a set of activities or practices required to navigate a terrain which lacks a given map and a given compass—a desert bereft of natural landmarks, with a perpetually shifting scenery and furnished with transitory mirages. The mind is forced to adapt to an environment where generic trajectories replace specific trajectories, and where the consequences of making one single move unfold as future ramifying paths that not only uproot the current position in the landscape but also fundamentally change the travel history and the address of the past itinerary. It is within this environment that philosophy instigates an epochal development of yet unexplored possibilities. By simulating the truth of the mind and forcing it to interact with its own navigational horizon, philosophy sets out the conditions for the emancipation of the mind from its contingently posited settings and limits of constructability. In liberating itself from its illusions of uniqueness and ineffability, and by conceiving itself as an upgradable armamentarium of practices or abilities, the mind self-realizes itself as an expanding, constructible edifice that effectuates a mind-only system. But this is a system that is no longer comprehensible within the traditional ambit of idealism, for it involves “mind” not as a theoretical object but rather as a practical project of socio-historical wisdom.  

Throughout this presentation, we will lay out the minimal characteristics and procedures of the game of navigation by drawing on the works of Gilles Châtelet (the construction of a horizon), Guerino Mazzola (a dynamic theory of addresses), and Robert Brandom (the procedural system of commitments). We will subsequently unpack the consequences of playing this game in terms of the transition from self-conception to self-transformation of the mind, as outlined by the New Confucian philosophers Xiong Shili and Mou Zongsan.


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if you’re in NY


See on e-flux.com

Epigenetics Helps Explain Early Humans’ Appearances - D-brief | DiscoverMagazine.com

See on Scoop.it - Knowmads, Infocology of the future

Reconstructed epigenetics maps of Neanderthals and Denisovans reveal why their appearance and disease risk differ from ours.

Scientists have increasingly realized that DNA is only part of what makes us us — perhaps equally important is how our genes’ activity is modified by a process called epigenetics. Recently this cutting-edge field has turned its attention to some very old DNA: Researchers today announced they have reconstructed methylation maps for our extinct relatives. The findings might explain certain differences in appearances between Neanderthals, Denisovans, and us, as well as the prevalence of disease.

Epigenetics is a branch of science that explores how the expression of our DNA can be influenced by external factors without the DNA itself changing. Research in the field has focused on DNA methylation. This is when a chemical compound called a methyl group attaches to DNA. This can regulate an individual’s genetic expression and even be passed down through generations. DNA methylation has been linked to disease and also to an individual’s appearance and behavior. This is the first time, however, that an archaic pattern of methylation has been reconstructed for early humans.


See on blogs.discovermagazine.com
How Do Sperm Recognize Eggs? Mechanism Finally Found
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It’s the stuff of 3rd-grade sex ed: sperm meets egg to make baby. But, surprisingly, scientists have actually been in the dark about one crucial step: how the two sex cells recognize each other amidst the fluid frenzy in the Fallopian tubes. Now researchers have announced that they’ve found the missing piece of this fertilization puzzle, and that the discovery could lead to individualized fertility treatments and hormone-free birth control. Back in 2005, researchers found the first half of the the puzzle: a binding protein on the surface of sperm they called Izumol (after a Japanese marriage shrine). In the decade since then, scientists have been searching for Izumol’s counterpart on egg cells. Essentially, they’d found the plug but couldn’t locate the outlet. Today researchers at Cambridge announced they’ve found that outlet: a receptor protein on the surface of the egg cell. They’ve found it on the eggs of pigs, opossums, mice and even humans. (via How Do Sperm Recognize Eggs? Mechanism Finally Found - D-brief | DiscoverMagazine.com)

How Do Sperm Recognize Eggs? Mechanism Finally Found
-
It’s the stuff of 3rd-grade sex ed: sperm meets egg to make baby. But, surprisingly, scientists have actually been in the dark about one crucial step: how the two sex cells recognize each other amidst the fluid frenzy in the Fallopian tubes. Now researchers have announced that they’ve found the missing piece of this fertilization puzzle, and that the discovery could lead to individualized fertility treatments and hormone-free birth control. Back in 2005, researchers found the first half of the the puzzle: a binding protein on the surface of sperm they called Izumol (after a Japanese marriage shrine). In the decade since then, scientists have been searching for Izumol’s counterpart on egg cells. Essentially, they’d found the plug but couldn’t locate the outlet. Today researchers at Cambridge announced they’ve found that outlet: a receptor protein on the surface of the egg cell. They’ve found it on the eggs of pigs, opossums, mice and even humans. (via How Do Sperm Recognize Eggs? Mechanism Finally Found - D-brief | DiscoverMagazine.com)

Want a dog but don’t want to deal with dog poop or allergies or fleas? The Omnibot Hello! Zoomer Dog Robot is the robotic pet you’re looking for.

This man-made version of a dalmatian recognizes over 45 words (English and Japanese), has voice recognition, and can be trained to perform a variety of tricks, including shake, roll over, and play dead. Of course, unlike a dog, Zoomer also comes with a USB cord and needs to be charged for an hour to get twenty minutes of use. Just think of it as a nap… that includes electricit (via Omnibot Hello! Zoomer Dog Robot | GeekAlerts)

Want a dog but don’t want to deal with dog poop or allergies or fleas? The Omnibot Hello! Zoomer Dog Robot is the robotic pet you’re looking for.

This man-made version of a dalmatian recognizes over 45 words (English and Japanese), has voice recognition, and can be trained to perform a variety of tricks, including shake, roll over, and play dead. Of course, unlike a dog, Zoomer also comes with a USB cord and needs to be charged for an hour to get twenty minutes of use. Just think of it as a nap… that includes electricit (via Omnibot Hello! Zoomer Dog Robot | GeekAlerts)

Time’s Arrow Traced to Quantum Source
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Coffee cools, buildings crumble, eggs break and stars fizzle out in a universe that seems destined to degrade into a state of uniform drabness known as thermal equilibrium. The astronomer-philosopher Sir Arthur Eddington in 1927 cited the gradual dispersal of energy as evidence of an irreversible “arrow of time.” But to the bafflement of generations of physicists, the arrow of time does not seem to follow from the underlying laws of physics, which work the same going forward in time as in reverse. By those laws, it seemed that if someone knew the paths of all the particles in the universe and flipped them around, energy would accumulate rather than disperse: Tepid coffee would spontaneously heat up, buildings would rise from their rubble and sunlight would slink back into the sun. “In classical physics, we were struggling,” said Sandu Popescu, a professor of physics at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. “If I knew more, could I reverse the event, put together all the molecules of the egg that broke? Why am I relevant?” Surely, he said, time’s arrow is not steered by human ignorance. And yet, since the birth of thermodynamics in the 1850s, the only known approach for calculating the spread of energy was to formulate statistical distributions of the unknown trajectories of particles, and show that, over time, the ignorance smeared things out. Now, physicists are unmasking a more fundamental source for the arrow of time: Energy disperses and objects equilibrate, they say, because of the way elementary particles become intertwined when they interact — a strange effect called “quantum entanglement.” “Finally, we can understand why a cup of coffee equilibrates in a room,” said Tony Short, a quantum physicist at Bristol. “Entanglement builds up between the state of the coffee cup and the state of the room.” (via Quantum Entanglement Drives the Arrow of Time, Scientists Say | Simons Foundation)

Time’s Arrow Traced to Quantum Source
-
Coffee cools, buildings crumble, eggs break and stars fizzle out in a universe that seems destined to degrade into a state of uniform drabness known as thermal equilibrium. The astronomer-philosopher Sir Arthur Eddington in 1927 cited the gradual dispersal of energy as evidence of an irreversible “arrow of time.” But to the bafflement of generations of physicists, the arrow of time does not seem to follow from the underlying laws of physics, which work the same going forward in time as in reverse. By those laws, it seemed that if someone knew the paths of all the particles in the universe and flipped them around, energy would accumulate rather than disperse: Tepid coffee would spontaneously heat up, buildings would rise from their rubble and sunlight would slink back into the sun. “In classical physics, we were struggling,” said Sandu Popescu, a professor of physics at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. “If I knew more, could I reverse the event, put together all the molecules of the egg that broke? Why am I relevant?” Surely, he said, time’s arrow is not steered by human ignorance. And yet, since the birth of thermodynamics in the 1850s, the only known approach for calculating the spread of energy was to formulate statistical distributions of the unknown trajectories of particles, and show that, over time, the ignorance smeared things out. Now, physicists are unmasking a more fundamental source for the arrow of time: Energy disperses and objects equilibrate, they say, because of the way elementary particles become intertwined when they interact — a strange effect called “quantum entanglement.” “Finally, we can understand why a cup of coffee equilibrates in a room,” said Tony Short, a quantum physicist at Bristol. “Entanglement builds up between the state of the coffee cup and the state of the room.” (via Quantum Entanglement Drives the Arrow of Time, Scientists Say | Simons Foundation)