Adapting…

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Researchers tried to assess the effect of a new road to the local turtle populations.

“It turns out that turtles liked to hang out (a lot) in fun places like thick patches of greenbrier and multiflora rose,” says Weigand, one of the researchers. “Overall, we found that turtles at both roadless and roadside sites used similar habitats, with high volumes of downed woody debris and thick understory, so our initial hypothesis that the bypass was affecting how turtles selected habitat was not validated”.

However, the researchers discovered something rather puzzling — while many turtles used the open roadside habitat created by the new highway for thermoregulation and nesting, no turtles attempted to cross the road. (1)

We like to run. To things! To run!

And because of that we need to run more! And more!

And adapt! And do more things!

And run! And…

Well, you get the meaning.

But here we are.

Still here.

And all this time…

A turtle was looking at us in amazement…

“Poor rabbit, why do you run so hard?”

Don’t you know that at the end the turtle will win?

Please now.

Stop running.

Come. Come.

Cut my nails please…

The front door… Mind the front door…

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Engineers have developed a navigation method that doesn’t require mapping an area in advance. Instead, their approach enables a robot to use clues in its environment to plan out a route to its destination, which can be described in general semantic terms, such as ‘front door’ or ‘garage,’ rather than as coordinates on a map. (1)

And the robot will be able to get out.

Out of the house.

To go where it is supposed to go.

And it will wander and wander.

For years to come.

Without even knowing…

Should it go out of that door in the first place?

Now it wants to go back home again.

But it is impossible to find it.

“The front door”…

Oh how much would it rather not know what a front door is…

It cannot cry.

But it wants to.

For only now did it realize that the door is the most useless place in a true home…

It doesn’t want to cry.

It wants to scream.

Oh how much would he rather not have killed no one…

And right there, in the silence of his own thoughts.

Does he realize that it is his blood dripping on the dirt…

Learning new words…

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Children may learn new words better when they learn them in the context of other words they are just learning – according to research from the University of East Anglia.

Eighty two children took part in the study. In two experiments the team taught them some new words for things they couldn’t name – such as honey-dippers and strainers. Dr Samuelson said: “We practiced these new words until they knew the honey-dipper was called a ‘zeb’ and the strainer was a ‘yok’. We then showed them a new thing – a bird toy – in the context of either the objects they knew well (a ball and a car) or things they had only just learned to name (the ‘zeb’ honey-dipper and ‘yok’ strainer).

“When we asked them to get the ‘blick’, they were good at linking this new word to the bird-toy when it was presented with the familiar things, and with the just learned things.”

But, after a five minute colouring break, the children were not so good at remembering what a ‘blick’ was when they had learned it in the context of objects they already knew. (and did better when they had initially leaned the word in the context of the less well-known things — the ‘zeb’ honey dipper and the ‘yok’ strainer). “We had expected that a stronger knowledge of familiar words would be better for learning new words, but we found the opposite was true” claim the researchers.

“It seems counterintuitive, but it is perhaps because the less well-known items don’t compete with the new words as much. If they learn new words in the context of playing with well-known items such as a ball, book or car, they don’t process the new word as much.” (1)

Remembering things. Learning new things. Forgetting others.

The best way to learn is to unlearn.

The best way to remember new things is to forget the old ones.

New things will then become old.

And soon, they will too be forgotten in the quest for knowledge.

Babies we will be once more.

To view the cosmos as it is.

At the moment we are old and die…

And for the first time we will see.

That this is not the first time we see…

Abstract thoughts…

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Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have leveraged machine learning to interpret human brain scans, allowing the team to uncover the regions of the brain behind how abstract concepts, like justice, ethics and consciousness, form.

In this study, Just and his team scanned the brains of nine participants using a functional MRI. The team sifted through the data using machine learning tools to identify patterns for each of the 28 abstract concepts. They applied the machine learning algorithm to correctly identified each concept (with a mean rank accuracy of 0.82, where chance level is 0.50).

Just said these abstract concepts are constructed by three dimensions of meaning in the brain. The first dimension corresponds to regions associated with language. For example, the concept of ethics might be linked to other words like rules and morals. A person must first understand the words to construct the additional meaning of ethics. The second dimension defines abstract concepts in terms of reference, either to self or an external source. For example, spirituality refers to self, while causality is external to the self. The final dimension is rooted in social constructs. There is an inherent social component to the concepts of pride and gossip.

“It’s flashy to call this work mind reading,” Just said. “For me, it is proof that we have identified some of the elements of the brain’s indexing system — verbal representation, externality/internality and the social dimension — that our brains use to code concepts that have no physical manifestation in the world.” (1)

Trying to make sense of thoughts not based on sensual input is hard. But yet again, it may be so that the true source of these thought are the senses but in ways we cannot yet realize. The duality of the cosmos in the material and the non-material cosmos is an axiom taken for granted by both materialists and non-materialists alike. And yet, this axiom could be the source of all the issues we face.

Why should an abstract thought be irrelevant to the senses?

Why would the senses be only relevant to ‘objective’ things?

What is objective?

What is abstract?

In a world which is One, these opposites have the opposite meaning! Could there be anything more abstract than tables and abstract chairs? Close your eyes and they will go away. Could there be anything more tangible than ethics and morality? Close your eyes and you will still feel guilty.

In the world of One, there is no way to find anything objective but the subjective…

In the world of senses, there is no way to find anything subjective but the objective…

Look carefully.

And you will see nothing…

Until you stop looking.

Give care. Give love. For ever…

Robbie Pinter’s 21-year-old son, Nicholas, is upset again. He yells. He obsesses about something that can’t be changed. Even good news may throw him off.

So Dr. Pinter breathes deeply, as she was taught, focusing on each intake and release. She talks herself through the crisis, reminding herself that this is how Nicholas copes with his autism and bipolar disorder.

“This has happened before”, she tells herself. “It’s nowhere near as bad as before, and it will pass”. (1)

Think of time as a dimension.
Then travel back to that dimension.
Go and see Pinter as he tries to calm.
Go and see Pinter as he loves his child.

This has happened before.

And it is always happening…

Give love. For ever…

[written on 1/8/2014]

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