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…

Faster than light… So?

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Faster-than-light speeds could be why gamma-ray bursts seem to go backwards in time. (1)

Amazing. Isn’t it?

But wait a minute.

If gamma rays can do that, then why are we so keen on doing the same?

And what is more…

Why are we so keen on doing something that common matter can do?

Do we consider our self as something common?

Why are we so desperate to act like matter when we are nothing but?

Why are we so desperate to do things which are so mundane in the cosmos?

Perhaps the cosmos itself is mundane. Perhaps the universe itself is boring.

No, we cannot do these things.

And this only means one thing…

(We are NOT mundane!)

Chairs into tables…

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Turning a chair into a table, or vice versa, might sound like somewhat of a magic trick. In this case, zero magic is involved, just plenty of complex geometry and machine learning.

Called LOGAN, the deep neural network, i.e., a machine of sorts, can learn to transform the shapes of two different objects, for example, a chair and a table, in a natural way, without seeing any paired transforms between the shapes. All the machine had seen was a bunch of tables and a bunch of chairs, and it could automatically translate shapes between the two unpaired domains. LOGAN can also automatically perform both content and style transfers between two different types of shapes without any changes to its network architecture. (1)

Chair… Table… Human… Cosmos…

Look at any shape.

Imagine any shape.

There are ways to go from one to the other. But there is nothing natural about it. All changes are abrupt. Raw. Untamed. Whenever something becomes something else, the first one dies. Completely and utterly. There is no gradual change. No “natural” way of dying. No “natural” way of changing. This is the secret we have chosen to ignore. And we keep on believing in the ability to change. This is the essence of our civilization. The cornerstone of our existence. That we can “change”. That things “change”.

Imagine a cosmos where everything is stable.

A perfect cosmos.

We hate this cosmos. For it nullifies existence.

Free beings we are.

And if we choose, we can choose to be!

And die…

So have we done.

So shall it be…

Massive filaments fuel the growth of galaxies and supermassive black holes

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Based on direct observations researchers have discovered massive filaments between galaxies in a proto-cluster, extending over more than 1 million parsecs and providing the fuel for intense formation of stars and the growth of super massive black holes within the proto-cluster. (1)

A filament fit for space: Silk is proven to thrive in outer space temperatures

The scientists who discovered that natural silks get stronger the colder they get, have finally solved the puzzle of why. (2)

Delicate structures in space.

Delicate creatures on Earth.

Holding together.

Patiently watching.

Afraid to break.

But it is not the unbreakable that God dreams of.

One day you will break.

And realize that that was what the cosmos was afraid all that time…

Delicate silk. Delicate humans.

Breaking apart.

And within their weakness.

With their cries and despair.

Rising together.

To hold the cosmos in their fragile arms…

Seeing what cannot be seen…

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Identifying geological features in a densely vegetated, steep, and rough terrain can be almost impossible. Imagery like LiDAR can help researchers see through the tree cover, but subtle landforms can often be missed by the human eye.

A team of scientists has tapped into the power of machine learning to identify hidden geologic features. Specifically, the scientists identified previously unidentified cave entrances that were difficult to see in imagery, and hard to access on the ground. (1)

What you cannot see is still there.

Not because someone sees it. But just because it is.

And yet, we need to see it to be able to know it.

Is that an insignificant detail we should discard?

Or an important artifact that could change the world?

Is it something denoting the importance of senses?

Or something perhaps emphasizing their insignificance?

“But the cave is there!” one might say. And it could be true. But can you convince me about that? And if not, what does that mean for the cave itself? Is it still “there”? Was it there in the first place? If the cave is there only when we see it, then this is a truly scary possibility. It would mean that we rule the cosmos and that our perception shapes the shape of existence. But if the cave is there anyway, no matter what, that would mean something even scarier. That our consciousness and existence matters not. That the cave is there and that we are already inside that cave. That we never left that cave. That we are still entangled in its darkness. And exactly because of that, we are conscious!

Are we children of light?

Or are we the daughters of darkness?

Look at the Sun.

Don’t you long the Moon?

Stare at the Moon.

Do you feel the Sun burning?

Could we be asking the wrong questions from the beginning?

Search inside you.

The inability to answer questions could only mean one thing.

Neither the Sun.

Nor the Moon.

We are not the bearers of questions.

We are the answers!

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