Memory, Concentration, and Distraction

From MedicalNewsToday: Principal investigator Edward K. Vogel, a UO professor of psychology, compares working memory to a computer’s random-access memory (RAM) rather than the hard drive’s size — the higher the RAM, the better processing abilities. With more RAM, he said, students were better able to ignore distractions people who hold their focus more intensely [Read More...]

Angular Momentum

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Why Do Torture And Increased Police Authority Increasingly Appeal To Americans?

The Economist has a chart on views on torture which reports a disquietingly high amount of tolerance among Americans for the practice: OPINIONS on whether the use of torture should be prohibited appear to vary widely around the world. According to opinion polls conducted early in 2008 respondents in western European democracies such as Britain [Read More...]

Atheist Testimonials In The Detroit Free Press

Mojoey, the founder and curator of the Atheist Blogroll to which we owe great gratitude, points us to a great series running in The Detroit Free Press in which atheists give their testimonials. Here’s the one Mojoey highlighted yesterday: I was at work when someone brought up that I am an atheist.A nearby coworker nearly [Read More...]

Differences In Power Correlated With Differences In Moral Judgment?

Interesting study: Those who were pre-programmed to think in terms of having power “had a stronger preference for the rule-based more considerations, compared to participants in the low-power condition, who had a stronger preference for the outcome-based moral considerations.” The researchers did find one exception to this pattern. In a final test, which was constructed [Read More...]

“The Real Occam’s Razor”

Michael Dickens connects two quotes which belong together.  First there’s Occam’s Razor: Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything And then Einstein’s superbly adds the missing qualification: Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. In both of these statements of the importance of parsimony are the [Read More...]

Plato: Myth and Logic

New on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, an interesting article on Plato’s attempt to merge muthos and logos.  Here’s the description: What the ancient Greeks—at least in the archaic phase of their civilisation—called muthos was quite different from what we and the media nowadays call “myth”. For them a muthos was a true story, a [Read More...]

New Research On Possible Sources Of Psychopathy Brain Abnormalities

Science Daily reports: Earlier studies had suggested that dysfunction of specific brain regions might underpin psychopathy. Such areas of the brain were identified as the amygdale, ie the area associated with emotions, fear and aggression, and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the region which deals with decision making. There is a white matter tract that connects [Read More...]

What’s Wrong With Prejudice And Is It Prejudicial To Dislike Someone Over His Bad Thinking?

Over at Unreasonable Faith, guest contributor Custador thinks he is a bigoted atheist: The knowledge that my cousin is a creationist has actually made me dislike him. I wonder now if I’m any better than any other prejudiced person — a racist or a sexist or a homophobe — because I pre-judge a group of [Read More...]


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