Virtual Reality – Coming Soon To A World Around You

Google Cardboard, virtual reality

“Advances in graphics, computing power and interface devices such as the Nintendo Wii or Microsoft Kinect have opened the door to a new level of sophistication of virtual reality, he says. Most important, though, has been the continuing drop in cost of virtual reality technology, a trend largely driven by the gaming industry.”

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Facebook Can Sell You Anything, Including Krill Oil, But How?

facebook sticky notes

“In June, the social network accounted for about one of every six minutes that Americans spent online, and one of every five minutes on mobile phones, according to comScore, a research company. Mothers, the typical household’s chief buyer of consumer products, are among the most dedicated users, spending nearly four times as many minutes on Facebook as other people.”

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Actually, Some Material Goods CAN Make You Happy

some goods can make you happy

“It’s been the refrain of behavioral economists … for years: Spend your money on experiences, not things. A vacation or a meal with friends will enrich your life; new shoes will quickly lose their charm. That’s true, but it’s not the whole story, argue psychologists Darwin A. Guevarra and Ryan T. Howell in a new paper … Not all goods, they say, should be lumped together.”

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Research Archive Meets Warehouse Meets Database Meets Flea Market: Behold The Accumulibrary

accumu

“Unlike modern libraries, the Accumulibrary doesn’t segment or segregate media types. It fails to differentiate documents from things, books from periodicals from pamphlets, devices from objects, the new from the used from the old, the rare from the common. The sole laws that it holds sacred are the law of number and the law of stuff.”

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Is Your Name Your Destiny?

names

“Names work hard: They can affect who gets into elite schools, what jobs we apply for, and who gets hired. Our names can even influence what cities we live in, who we befriend, and what products we buy since, we’re attracted to things and places that share similarities to our names.”

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Get Happy! Scientists Work On Finding Out What That Means

happiness-concept

“To track happiness they had to figure out what signaled the feeling and then decide how best to measure that. That ability to track emotion, which is part of a broader field called sentiment analysis, is a nut that everyone from Facebook to the National Security Agency (NSA) is trying to crack, and Dodds and Danforth believe they have found a granular way to do it.”

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What People Think Of You Based On Your Photo

what people think

“It’s impossible to deduce personality traits from a quick glance at a duckface iPhone photo. But a new study finds that, when it comes to first impressions, certain facial features do tend to convey specific personality characteristics to others with shocking consistency. You may not be an approachable-yet-dominant sexpot, but you sure look like one in your Facebook photo.”

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Gee – We REALLY Don’t Like To Be Alone With Our Own Thoughts

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“In 11 experiments involving more than 700 people, the majority of participants reported that they found it unpleasant to be alone in a room with their thoughts for just 6 to 15 minutes. Moreover, in one experiment, 64 percent of men and 15 percent of women began self-administering electric shocks when left alone to think.”

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Why Do We Love Little Free Libraries So Much?

little free library

“Though they owe their spread largely to the Internet, Little Free Libraries often serve as an antidote to a world of Kindle downloads and data-driven algorithms. The little wooden boxes are refreshingly physical—and human.”

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The Best Way To Support An Artist

paintbrush_blue

“You may want your supportive activities to make her happy, but for some artists happiness doesn’t lead to creativity; they do their best work in times of turmoil or struggle – and they know it.”

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What’s It Like Working With, And Managing, Robots?

robots

“When the errors crop up–and they always do, in spectacularly catastrophic ways–it sort of feels like a rebellion because I am telling it to do this thing, and it doesn’t follow my instructions. And then it becomes this question of management. Can I convince this entity to do for me what I want it to do and what the entire company is telling it it should be doing?”

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Algorithm “Mutates” Art

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“The algorithm mutates the image in different ways: chopping it in half, overlaying it on another image or randomly altering it. The resulting images are either culled or kept depending on how closely they adhere to the user’s initial stylistic choices, and the process repeats. The person can stop the process at any time and select an image they like, or let it keep running.”

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Short Attention Spans? Why, That’s Just A Sign Of How Smart We’re Getting

boyhood

“The world is faster, faster, faster these days. That’s the current reality, and it’s not going anywhere. Leaving a page that isn’t loading isn’t a character fault; it’s smart. You can get the information you were after elsewhere, and you can get it faster. If we really valued what we were made to wait for, well, we would wait.”

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Why Do Our Brains Leap To Stereotypes?

stereotypes1

“In essence, they write, our minds are hard-wired to categorize information and create mental shortcuts (attribute A is associated with behavior B). This helps us retain knowledge using minimal mental effort, and provides a needed sense of structure to an otherwise chaotic universe. In doing so, however, nuances and complications tend to be discarded.”

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Does This Make Me Sound Insecure? The Linguistic Tics That Reveal Self-Doubt

insecurity

“Like a scarlet sock in the load of white wash, insecurity has the irksome power to stain our speech and writing, interfering with the immaculate poise we’d like to project. Yet if you know what linguistic tics to look for, you can recognize self-doubt (and perhaps bleach the fuchsia from your pants before anyone notices).”

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Self-Improvement, Original Sin, And The West’s Spiritual Crises

original sin

“Most people assume the western church shares the same creation story as Jews, Muslims, and Orthodox Christians.” Not so: the doctrine of original sin is unique to Western Christianity. “The search for salvation from an inherently broken self has defined modernity as much as it did Christendom. The need for redemption has shaped the language of the market, technological innovation, advertising, politics and, most obviously, self-help movements. But what is new is for there to be so little consensus on how to find salvation.”

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Do Creative Geniuses *Have* To Be Nuts?

genuis crazy

“Neuroscientist and literary scholar Nancy C. Andreasen tries to answer the question: If high IQ does not indicate creative genius, then where does the trait come from, and why is it so often accompanied by mental illness?” (audio)

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Happiness is… (How Can We Be It If We Can’t Define It?)

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“What is unhappiness? Your intuition might be that it is simply the opposite of happiness, just as darkness is the absence of light. That is not correct. Happiness and unhappiness are certainly related, but they are not actually opposites. Images of the brain show that parts of the left cerebral cortex are more active than the right when we are experiencing happiness, while the right side becomes more active when we are unhappy.”

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The Way Kids, Um, Talk Is, You Know, Like, Actually Conscientious

kidspeak

“Often enough, something we propose as a serious idea turns out to be more or less a joke. It’s much rarer that something proposed as a joke – or, at least, proposed as a semi-serious conceit, offered in the spirit of what’s often called, grimly, ‘tongue in cheek’ – turns out to be, or to have the germ of, a serious idea.” But Adam Gopnik has one.

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