A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

The higher you go, the more the members of the civilization (whether biological or more sentient machines by that point) are effectively deities, which in a way turns the theism-atheism paradigm on its side, inside out, or disintegrates it completely, putting the mortal-to-deity difference onto a sliding scale. The gods lived in the clouds in the minds of our ancestors, and today we cross those clouds routinely. To cave people, we would be gods, despite our vulnerabilities.

How Advanced Are We Earthlings? Here’s a Cosmic Yardstick

PARTICLE FEVER - Official Trailer (2014) HD
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“Particle Fever succeeds on every level” - The Hollywood Reporter

Imagine being able to watch as Edison turned on the first light bulb, or as Franklin received his first jolt of electricity.

For the first time, a film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.

As they seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe, 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries joined forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter. But our heroes confront an even bigger challenge: have we reached our limit in understanding why we exist?

Directed by Mark Levinson, a physicist turned filmmaker, and masterfully edited by Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient), Particle Fever is a celebration of discovery, revealing the very human stories behind this epic machine.

Why is ketchup so hard to pour? - George Zaidan
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Ever go to pour ketchup on your fries…and nothing comes out? Or the opposite happens, and your plate is suddenly swimming in a sea of red? George Zaidan describes the physics behind this frustrating phenomenon, explaining how ketchup and other non-Newtonian fluids can suddenly transition from solid to liquid and back again.

Lesson by George Zaidan, animation by TOGETHER.

fascinating..

Neuroscience: Where is the brain in the Human Brain Project?

See on Scoop.it - The future of medicine and health

Europe’s €1-billion science and technology project needs to clarify its goals and establish transparent governance, say Yves Frégnac and Gilles Laurent.

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Launched in October 2013, the Human Brain Project (HBP) was sold by charismatic neurobiologist Henry Markram as a bold new path towards understanding the brain, treating neurological diseases and building information technology. It is one of two ‘flagship’ proposals funded by the European Commission’s Future and Emerging Technologies programme (see go.nature.com/icotmi). Selected after a multiyear competition, the project seemed like an exciting opportunity to bring together neuroscience and IT to generate practical applications for health and medicine (see go.nature.com/2eocv8).

Contrary to public assumptions that the HBP would generate knowledge about how the brain works, the project is turning into an expensive database-management project with a hunt for new computing architectures. In recent months, the HBP executive board revealed plans to drastically reduce its experimental and cognitive neuroscience arm, provoking wrath in the European neuroscience community.

The crisis culminated with an open letter from neuroscientists (including one of us, G.L.) to the European Commission on 7 July 2014 (see www.neurofuture.eu), which has now gathered more than 750 signatures. Many signatories are scientists in experimental and theoretical fields, and the list includes former HBP participants. The letter incorporates a pledge of non-participation in a planned call for ‘partnering projects’ that must raise about half of the HBP’s total funding. This pledge could seriously lower the quality of the project’s final output and leave the planned databases empty.

With the initial funding, or ‘ramp-up’, phase now in full swing, the European Commission is currently evaluating the HBP directors’ plan for the larger second part of the project. This offers an opportunity to introduce reforms and reconciliation. Here, we offer our analysis of how the HBP project strayed off course and how it might be steered back.


See on nature.com

Possible neurobiological basis for tradeoff between honesty, self-interest

See on Scoop.it - The future of medicine and health

What’s the price on your integrity? Tell the truth; everyone has a tipping point. We all want to be honest, but at some point, we’ll lie if the benefit is great enough. Now, scientists have confirmed the area of the brain in which we make that decision, using advanced imaging techniques to study how the brain makes choices about honesty.

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What’s the price on your integrity? Tell the truth; everyone has a tipping point. We all want to be honest, but at some point, we’ll lie if the benefit is great enough. Now, scientists have confirmed the area of the brain in which we make that decision.

The result was published online this week in Nature Neuroscience.

"We prefer to be honest, even if lying is beneficial," said Lusha Zhu, the study’s lead author and a postdoctoral associate at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, where she works with Brooks King-Casas and Pearl Chiu, who are assistant professors at the institute and with Virginia Tech’s Department of Psychology. "How does the brain make the choice to be honest, even when there is a significant cost to being honest?"

Previous studies have shown that brain areas behind the forehead, called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex, become more active during functional brain scanning when a participant is told to lie or to be honest.

But there’s no way to know if those parts of the brain are engaged because an individual is lying or because he or she prefers to be honest, King-Casas said.

This time, researchers asked a different question.

"We asked whether there’s a switch in the brain that controls the cost and benefit tradeoff between honesty and self-interest," Chiu said. "The answer to this question will help shed light on the nature of honesty and human preferences."

Researchers compared the decisions of healthy participants with decisions made by participants with damaged dorsolateral prefrontal cortices or orbitofrontal cortices.

The team, including scientists from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and the University of California at Berkeley, had volunteers decide between honesty and self-interest in an economic “signaling game,” which has been extensively studied in behavioral economics, game theory, and evolutionary biology.

In one game, the researchers presented participants with an option that gave them more money at a cost to an anonymous opponent, and an option that gave the opponent more money at a cost to the participant. Unsurprisingly, participants chose the option that filled their own pockets.

In a different game, the researchers presented participants with the same options and but asked the participants to send a message to their opponents, recommending one option over the other. The participants either lie and reap the reward, or tell the truth and suffer a loss.


See on sciencedaily.com