MachineMachine /stream - tagged with psychology en-us LifePress <![CDATA[The ancient Greeks warned us about AI: Chips with Everything podcast | Technology | The Guardian]]>

Author Adrienne Mayor discusses the myths that contained the first blueprints for artificial intelligence

Fri, 02 Nov 2018 12:42:48 -0700
<![CDATA[Compulsive Decluttering: The Opposite of Hoarding - The Atlantic]]>

As long as she can remember, Annabelle Charbit has loathed “stuff.” She hated birthdays because birthdays meant gifts. And gifts meant finding a way to toss them. At 5 years old, Charbit would sneak toys into her younger brother’s room.

Wed, 09 Sep 2015 11:27:54 -0700
<![CDATA[Cooperation Is What Makes Us Human - Issue 18: Genius - Nautilus]]>

Tales about the origins of our species always start off like this: A small band of hunter-gatherers roams the savannah, loving, warring, and struggling for survival under the African sun. They do not start like this: A fat guy falls off a New York City subway platform onto the tracks.

Sat, 22 Nov 2014 05:23:54 -0800
<![CDATA[Is It Normal to Hoard? - Issue 10: Mergers & Acquisitions - Nautilus]]>

Animals like to hoard. Christopher E. Overtree, director of the Psychological Services Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a specialist in treating hoarding, says that “the mechanisms triggering this kind of biological reflex are present in all of us.

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 09:06:23 -0800
<![CDATA[Why we can 'see' the house that looks like Hitler | Science | The Observer]]>

The Latvian psychologist Konstanins Raudive spent the summer of 1965 trying to contact the dead. Every day, with careful precision, he would take a new reel of recording tape from its box, thread the tape through the rollers of the recorder and set up the microphone next to a mistuned radio.

Wed, 20 Nov 2013 05:13:16 -0800
<![CDATA[The mysterious Munich recluse who hoarded €1bn of Nazis' stolen art | World news |]]>

There's nothing remarkable about Rolf Nikolaus Cornelius Gurlitt's flat, a fifth-floor apartment on the shady side of a modernist apartment block in Munich's Schwabing district: walking distance to the lush English Gardens nearby; a balcony with black stains from years of inefficiently drained rain

Sat, 09 Nov 2013 04:02:24 -0800
<![CDATA[Scans of Hoarders’ Brains Reveal Why They Never De-Clutter]]>

Hoarding disorder is categorized as “the excessive acquisition of and inability to discard objects, resulting in debilitating clutter,” wrote the researchers behind the new study, led by Yale University School of Medicine’s David Tolin.

Many of us might feel our homes or workspaces are far more cluttered than we would like—or than might be good for our peace of mind. But those with diagnosed hoarding disorder usually have taken this behavior to a different level. The Mayo Clinic even has a guide for treatment and prevention of hoarding disorder. One recommendation they provide: “Try to keep up personal hygiene and bathing. If you have possessions piled in your tub or shower, resolve to move them so that you can bathe.”

Tue, 07 Aug 2012 00:24:00 -0700
<![CDATA[A dirty twist on beating the prisoner's dilemma]]>

The "prisoner's dilemma" is a classic psychology game used to study how collaboration evolves in animal societies. Now, a pair of mathematicians have identified a new way of playing the game that allows a player to do significantly better than their opponent. Whereas most winning strategies involve playing nice, the new method relies on playing dirty.

In the prisoner's dilemma, if both players keep quiet, each gets a brief sentence. But if one betrays the other, the snitch gets off scot-free while their partner suffers a long sentence. If both players betray each other, each gets a medium sentence. As a united pair, players do better if they both keep shtum. But crucially, if criminal A thinks B won't blab, it is in A's best interest to snitch, as he will then walk free - at B's expense.

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 02:42:45 -0700
<![CDATA[Google Knowledge Graph]]>

Last Wednesday, with relatively little fanfare, Google introduced a new technology called Google Knowledge Graph. Type in “François Hollande,” and you are offered a capsule history (with links) to his children, partner, birthday, education, and so forth. In the short-term, Knowledge Graph will not make a big difference in your world—you might get much the same information by visiting Hollande’s Wikipedia page, and a lot of people might still prefer to ask their friends. But what’s under the hood represents a significant change in engineering for the world’s largest search-engine company. And more than that, in a decade or two, scientists and journalists may well look back at this moment as the dividing line between machines that dredged massive amounts of data—with no clue what that data meant—and machines that started to think, just a little bit, like people.

Wed, 30 May 2012 01:59:03 -0700
<![CDATA[The madness of crowds: hoarding (Will Self)]]>

Wherefrom comes this urge to expose such traumatic interiors? After all, hoarding can be nothing new – it’s easy to imagine a Cyclops’s cavern stuffed to the roof with sheep bones, cheese rinds and the remains of hapless Argonauts. The splurge of reality obesity shows that the explanation is simple: schadenfreude. We look upon those poor wobblers being shaken to their core by life coaches and think to ourselves, I may be a little on the tubby side but – Jesus! – I’m not that bad. Actually, my suspicion is that the compulsive hoarder craziness is an even more craven attempt to affect such a catharsis. As the crack team of cleaners goes into the bungalow, black bags and bug spray at the ready, we sit on the sofa watching and, for a few dreamy minutes, can forget all about the landfill-in-waiting that surrounds us.

Wed, 30 May 2012 01:50:49 -0700
<![CDATA[We must set planetary boundaries wisely]]>

As pressure on resources increases, pollution accumulates and humanity's impact on Earth escalates, global-scale governance of the environment is increasingly necessary. In June, the United Nations' Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will grapple with these difficult political issues. Up for discussion is a relatively new scientific concept: planetary boundaries.

Formulated in 2009 by Johan Rockström, director of the Stockholm Environment Institute, and his colleagues, the concept is based on the idea that humanity flourished under the conditions on Earth in the 10,000 years leading up to the industrial revolution — the Holocene epoch. So, to maintain human progress, we should keep the planet under similar biophysical conditions. The researchers set out nine key environmental measures and thresholds that should not be breached for fear of pushing Earth out of the Holocene-like 'safe operating space for humanity'. The boundaries include thresholds for climate change and bio

Wed, 23 May 2012 09:39:50 -0700
<![CDATA['Will reading in the digital era erode our ability to understand the world?' No, the world has designs of its own...]]>

Quite the opposite, so long as we grasp the fresh routes to knowledge, and connection, that technological change brings, says Nick Harkaway.

These are old, old fears in a new form. In ancient Greece, Socrates reportedly didn't fancy a literate society. He felt that people would lose the capacity to think for themselves, simply adopting the perspective of a handy written opinion, and that they would cease to remember what could be written down. To an extent, he was right. We do indeed take on and regurgitate information, sometimes without sufficient analysis, and we do use notes as an aide memoire - though even now, when our brains have begun to assume the ability to Google information, studies show we can still memorise facts perfectly well if we know we will need to. But Socrates was also wrong: literacy isn't a catastrophe for knowledge, but a huge boon. It allows us to gain an understanding of the work of lifetimes in short order, preparing the way for research into topics we might

Thu, 17 May 2012 03:38:40 -0700
<![CDATA[People see sexy pictures of women as objects, not people]]>

Sexual objectification has been well studied, but most of the research is about looking at the effects of this objectification. "What's unclear is, we don't actually know whether people at a basic level recognize sexualized females or sexualized males as objects," says Philippe Bernard of Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. Bernard cowrote the new paper with Sarah Gervais, Jill Allen, Sophie Campomizzi, and Olivier Klein. Psychological research has worked out that our brains see people and objects in different ways. For example, while we're good at recognizing a whole face, just part of a face is a bit baffling. On the other hand, recognizing part of a chair is just as easy as recognizing a whole chair.

Thu, 17 May 2012 03:28:58 -0700
<![CDATA[Inheriting The Hoard]]>

“I knew as a kid I’d have to take care of it. I had prepared myself for it – for this moment,” Greg M., 41, says rather stoically of the overwhelming hoard that he inherited four months ago. Even so, “this is beyond what I thought it would be.”

Fri, 04 May 2012 04:36:06 -0700
<![CDATA[Psychology of Hoarding: Characteristics of a Hoarder]]>

Infographic on compulsive hoarding

Fri, 04 May 2012 03:47:14 -0700
<![CDATA[Children of Hoarders on Leaving the Cluttered Nest]]>

In dealing with her mother’s home in Minneapolis, Ms. Sholl has spent much of her life alternating between feeling shame about its squalid condition and attempting to rid it of the books, scraps of paper, empty food cartons and thrift-store tchotchkes littering every available surface.

When she learned that her mother had cancer, in 2006, Ms. Sholl flew out for one last-ditch cleanup attempt, an effort that inspired “Dirty Secret.” “The stove was piled feet-high with dirty pans,” Ms. Sholl said. “It gnawed at me that she was living that way.”

Many children of hoarders know the feeling. Even as scientists study the cognitive activity that accompanies the disorder and television shows like TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and A&E;’s “Hoarders” have made it a mainstream issue, scant attention has been paid to how hoarding affects families of the afflicted, especially their children.

Fri, 04 May 2012 03:45:17 -0700
<![CDATA[THEORY BEYOND THE CODES: Doing with Icons makes Symbols; or, Jailbreaking the Perfect User Interface]]>

Mediation and technologies of mediation, whether the sign (Vygotsky), the symbol (Piaget), or the mirror or signifier (Lacan), all play central roles in accounts of human development and activity. They are not simply metaphors enabling, say, a particular conception of memory, perception or language -- as is the case for Plato's wax tablet, Descartes' camera obscura or Chomsky's computational "language organ." Instead, media form the organizing principles for the psyche and its functions overall; they provide the pivotal moment for maturation and humanization -- the point where human development allegedly diverges decisively from the animal to the human. But in these contexts, media are not simply the basis, cause or source of psychological phenomena; they are inextricable from and in a sense even constitutive of them.

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 00:29:31 -0700
<![CDATA[Free Will and “Free Will” : How my view differs from Daniel Dennett's : Sam Harris]]>

I have noticed that some readers continue to find my argument about the illusoriness of free will difficult to accept. Apart from religious believers who simply “know” that they have free will and that life would be meaningless without it, my most energetic critics seem to be fans of my friend Dan Dennett’s account of the subject, as laid out in his books Elbow Room and Freedom Evolves and in his public talks. As I mention in Free Will, I don’t happen to agree with Dan’s approach, but rather than argue with him at length in a very short book, I decided to simply present my own view. I am hopeful that Dan and I will have a public discussion about these matters at some point in the future.

Sat, 07 Apr 2012 16:04:29 -0700
<![CDATA[A Conversation with film-maker Adam Curtis]]>

Since the early 1990s Adam Curtis has made a number of serial documentaries and films for the BBC using a playful mix of journalistic reportage and a wide range of avant-garde filmmaking techniques. The films are linked through their interest in using and reassembling the fragments of the past—recorded on film and video―to try and make sense of the chaotic events of the present. I first met Adam Curtis at the Manchester International Festival thanks to Alex Poots, and while Curtis himself is not an artist, many artists over the last decade have become increasingly interested in how his films break down the divide between art and modern political reportage, opening up a dialogue between the two.

Sun, 12 Feb 2012 04:36:52 -0800
<![CDATA[Man as Machine]]>

A peculiar experiment inspired by the Enlightenment sheds light on the age-old question of what makes us human.

Thu, 09 Feb 2012 10:34:36 -0800