nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Some scientific ideas to retire, part 2

There is no statistical independence. Damn. I should have thought of that one, considering that random sequences are so rare that if you see one, you should suspect it was deliberately designed.

Apparently, there is no perfectly white noise because the real world doesn't work that way.

We may not be able to explain that much about our minds by referring to our evolutionary past.
Reading provides a nice example. The ability to pass on and accumulate information has transformed our world, but written languages appeared only in the past 5,000 years ago, not long enough for us to have evolved an innate "reading module". Still, if you look inside the brain of a literate person, it will light up quite differently from that of an illiterate one, not just when reading but also when listening to spoken words. During the social process of being taught to read, infant brains are remodeled and new pathways created. If we didn't know this cognitive capacity was produced by social learning we'd likely think of it as a genetically-inherited system. But it is not: our brain and minds can be transformed through the acquisition of cognitive tools which we are then able to pass on again and again.

And I'd like to see something about the fairly common compulsion to do fiber arts.

A claim that inclusive fitness isn't mathematically sound. I'm not sure the piece is solid, but it does seem plausible to me that nature isn't maximizing anything simple.

The extent to which thinking runs on its own, though I think the author underestimates the extent to which people deliberately zone out.

More about problems in science. "The bias against corrections is especially harmful in areas where the results are cheap, but the underlying measurements are noisy. In those scientific realms, the literature may quickly become polluted with statistical flukes."

History of the idea of unlimited growth-- alchemy, Faust, money and imagination

F=ma doesn't mean that force *causes* acceleration, they just happen together.

This entry was posted at Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded