What Darwin and Turing had both discovered, in their different ways, was the existence of competence without comprehension. This inverted the deeply plausible assumption that comprehension is in fact the source of all advanced competence. Why, after all, do we insist on sending our children to school, and why do we frown on the old-fashioned methods of rote learning? We expect our children’s growing competence to flow from their growing comprehension. The motto of modern education might be: “Comprehend in order to be competent.
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It turns out that both exercise and computer use each have protective effects - but the two together are even better.
In addition to exercise and good nutrition for the aging brain, using the computer to keep your mind active could prevent mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This form of cognitive decline falls in between normal age-related memory problems and the beginnings of Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s long been thought that how a word sounds — its very phonemes — can be related in some ways to what that word means. But language is no longer solely oral. Much of our word production happens not in our throats and mouths but on our keyboards. Could that process shape a word’s meaning as well?
That’s the contention of an intriguing new paper by linguists Kyle Jasmin and Daniel Casasanto. They argue that because of the QWERTY keyboard’s asymmetrical shape (more letters on the left than the right), words dominated by right-side letters “acquire more positive valences” — that is to say, they become more likable. Their argument is that because its easier for your fingers to find the correct letters for typing right-side dominated words, the words subtly gain favor in your mind.Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]
At today’s Apple event, CEO Tim Cook showed this slide, which we have borrowed from The Verge’s excellent liveblog. It shows that Apple has shipped more iPads than its competitors have shipped computers. And that was before Apple announced the new and improved iPad.
Cook devoted the beginning of the event to talking about Apple’s vision of a “post-PC” world, one in which your primary computer doesn’t have a mouse or a keyboard. This chart shows the success of that vision.
“…nor does anyone in our organization have any appreciable knowledge.”
This is a stop-motion animation about new ideas in mainframe computing, using wooden blocks and hand-made drawings on construction paper to illustrate the ideas. With an acoustic guitar soundtrack, this is an interesting period piece using folk-revival style graphics and music to describe technological advances that had their initial primary applications in the Cold War military industry.
Read more at The Atlantic