Listening to words…

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For humans to achieve accurate speech recognition and communicate with one another, the auditory system must recognize distinct categories of sounds – such as words – from a continuous incoming stream of sounds. This task becomes complicated when considering the variability in sounds produced by individuals with different accents, pitches, or intonations. In a new paper, researchers detail a computational model that explores how the auditory system tackles this complex task. (1)

In the beginning there was silence.

And then… noise.

Noise cancelling everything out.

With time, we managed to get used to it.

In time, we managed to recognize words.

And we thought we discovered Logos.

Meaning out of nothingness.

Order out of chaos.

But there can be no such thing.

For chaos is chaos.

And noise is noise.

Listen carefully.

Beyond the words.

And you will see the void.

Don’t be afraid of that void.

For it is you.

Unique.

Alone.

Complete.

Staying silent.

Listening to everything…

Before it was ever spoken…

Stop listening to the music…

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How listening to music ‘significantly impairs’ creativity: The popular view that music enhances creativity has been challenged by researchers who say it has the oppositeeffect. Psychologists investigated the impact of background music on performance by presenting people with verbal insight problems that are believed to tap creativity. They found that background music ‘significantly impaired’ people’s ability to complete tasks testing verbal creativity – but there was no effect for background library noise. (1)

If you want to create music, you must stop listening to music…

If you want to write a great novel, never spend much time reading great novels…

Listen to the whispers in the wind.

If you want to understand them, just stop whispering yourself…

There is wisdom in the silence of the ocean…

But you must drown in it in order to hear it…

And only then will you be able to swim to the shore.

Stop listening to the music.

And your feet will start dancing…

Μπορείς να με καταλάβεις;

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As two people speak, their brains begin to work simultaneously, synchronizing and establishing a unique bond. This is what in neuroscience is called brain synchronization.

New research by the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) in San Sebastián and published in Cortex magazine confirms that this phenomenon depends on the language we use to communicate.

“When a conversation takes place in one’s native language, both interlocutors pay attention to it in a more global way, focusing on the sentences and the global content of the message,” stresses Jon Andoni Duñabeitia, co-author of the study. However, when done in a foreign language, attention resources focus primarily on other, more complex linguistic levels for non-native speakers, such as sounds and words.

“In the latter communicative context we need to reconfigure our attention strategies so that we can understand each other, and this may be directly related to the difference in the areas synchronised during the conversation,” suggests Duñabeitia. (1)

Language.

Portrayed as a facilitator of communication.

But it is actually a barrier we must overcome.

Only when this barrier is lifted can we actually speak to each other.

Because communication and understanding never stem from logos.

But Logos is the result of the understanding we already have.

Speak to me.

And I will understand you…

Only if I already do…

Note: “Μπορείς να με καταλάβεις;” = “Can you understand me?” in Greek…

Reading emotions… Listen to the silence…

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Research shows for the first time that adults with autism can recognize complex emotions such as regret and relief in others as easily as those without the condition.

Psychologists at the University of Kent used eye-tracking technology to monitor participants as they read stories in which a character made a decision then experienced a positive or negative outcome. The lead author Professor Heather Ferguson, from the University’s School of Psychology, explained that the study highlights a previously overlooked strength in adults with ASD.

The researchers found that adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were quickly able to think about how things might have turned out differently (either better or worse than reality), then judge whether the story character would feel regret or relief (known as counterfactual emotions).

The adults with ASD were found to be just as good at recognizing regret emotions in the character as adults without the condition, and even better at computing relief. (1)

We believe that reading emotions is important. But there is nothing to read. Because everything lies within our self. Let go and become a hole for the cosmos to fill. And you will understand everything.

People with ASD do not try to understand, explain or respond as we do. They simply receive. And their inability to express what they know makes us believe that they know nothing, even though the truth is exactly the opposite.

It is the silence which holds the knowledge we try to find.

It is the absence of understanding which holds the wisdom we seek.

Listen to the ones who speak not.

And in their absence of words.

You will hear everything…

Spreading bad ideas.

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How ideas move through academia may depend on where those ideas come from – whether from big-name universities or less prestigious institutions – as much as their quality, a recent study from the University of Colorado Boulder suggests.

The new research borrows a page from epidemiology, exploring how ideas might flow from university to university, almost like a disease. The findings from CU Boulder’s Allison Morgan and her colleagues suggest that the way that universities hire new faculty members may give elite schools an edge in spreading their research to others.

In particular, the team simulated how ideas might spread out faster from highly-ranked schools than from those at the bottom of the pile — even when the ideas weren’t that good. The results suggest that academia may not function like the meritocracy that some claim, said Morgan, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science. (1)

Science progresses. But still, the more we discover the more we realize that what we know is void of any meaning. Once upon a time we used to believe we will prove everything. Then came Gödel. And we forgot about him. Now we still believe that what we say – regardless of whether it is proved or not – is related to reality per se. And yet, philosophy has for a long time clarified that any assertion related to ‘reality’ is a very dangerous one.

Humbleness was always correlated with wisdom. But today’s society has discarded that trait as a mark of weakness. And yet, it is only the strong ones which admit that they are the weakest of them all. Our world is full of people who speak loudly and yet they know nothing. And the humble wise men who once roamed the cities, have now left for the desert.

LISTEN TO ME!

I KNOW WHAT I AM SAYING!

(And that is why I don’t… Shhhhhh…)