theory of mind

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Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity by Brian Hare, Vanessa Woods

Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Law of Accelerating Returns, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, out of africa, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, smart cities, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, white flight, zero-sum game

I just enjoyed being with him, wondering what the world looked like through his eyes. When I went to college at Emory, I discovered that exploring the animal mind was a serious scientific endeavor. I began working with Mike Tomasello, a psychologist who was an expert on theory of mind in children. Mike’s experiments with babies connected their earliest theory of mind abilities with their ability to acquire all forms of culture—including language.4 Mike and I worked together for ten years, testing the theory of mind abilities of one of our two closest living relatives, chimpanzees. Before our experiments, there was no experimental evidence that any animal had theory of mind. But our research showed that the answer was more complicated. Chimpanzees had some ability to map the minds of others. In our experiments, we found that not only did chimpanzees know what someone else saw, they knew what someone else knew, could guess what someone else might remember, and understood the goals and intentions of others.

The political party you vote for, the religion you follow, the sports you play, and every other experience that involves other people, living or dead, real or imagined, all rely on your theory of mind. It is also the soul of your existence. Without it, love would be a cardboard cutout of itself, because what is love without the magic of knowing someone else feels the way you do? Theory of mind is the delight of moments when you both see something, then turn to each other and laugh. It is the comfort of finishing each other’s sentences, and the peace in holding hands and saying nothing at all. Happiness is sweeter if you think the people you love are happy too. Grief is more bearable if you believe someone you lost would be proud of who you are. Theory of mind is also the source of suffering. Hatred burns brighter if you are convinced someone intends you harm. Betrayal is more bitter when you can sift through a hundred memories for every subtle gesture that should have been a warning.

In contrast, even after being provoked, women with low emotional reactivity had a richer theory of mind and a higher tolerance for being provoked.14 This link between temperament and theory of mind in humans means that, during our evolution, selection on emotional reactivity could have increased our tolerance as well as our ability to communicate cooperatively. Acting on the different ways people react to one another, natural selection might have been central in shaping our cultural cognition. This points to the possibility of human self-domestication.15, 16, 17 TAKE CONTROL There was one problem with our human self-domestication hypothesis, as Richard began to call it.17 We were suggesting that, as in other domesticated animals, the connection between emotional reactivity and theory of mind might explain our cognitive evolution.


Cognitive Gadgets: The Cultural Evolution of Thinking by Cecilia Heyes

Asperger Syndrome, complexity theory, epigenetics, intermodal, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, phenotype, social intelligence, the built environment, theory of mind, twin studies

The fitness of a variant gadget can be measured by comparing the number of groups in which all or most heads carry the focal variant, with the number of groups in which all or most heads carry an alternative variant (or just the relative proportions of each variant across the whole population’s heads—see Chapter 9). For example, although each head contains only one theory of mind, the success of an “honor theory” of mind—a theory in which the desire to retaliate against insults is an important source of motivation—can be measured by comparing (other things being equal) the number of groups in which all or most people carry the honor theory, with the number of groups in which all or most people carry a theory of mind in which honor plays little or no part. Predominantly vertical inheritance may occur when the development of a cognitive mechanism is almost wholly dependent on social interaction in infancy, and in cultures where infants interact almost exclusively with their biological parents.

The role of control functions in mentalizing: Dual-task studies of theory of mind and executive function. Cognition, 107(2), 663–672. Burkart, J. M., Hrdy, S. B., and Van Schaik, C. P. (2009). Cooperative breeding and human cognitive evolution. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 18(5), 175–186. Burnham, D., Kitamura, C., and Vollmer-Conna, U. (2002). What’s new, pussycat? On talking to babies and animals. Science, 296(5572), 1435–1435. Burrow, C. (1993). Epic Romance: Homer to Milton. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Butterfill, S. A., and Apperly, I. A. (2013). How to construct a minimal theory of mind. Mind and Language, 28(5), 606–637. Butterfill, S., Apperly, I., Rakoczy, H., Spaulding, S., and Zawidzki, T. (2013). Symposium on S. Butterfill and I. Apperly, “How to Construct a Minimal Theory of Mind.” Mind and Language Symposia at the Brains Blog. http://philosophyofbrains.com/2013/11/11/symposium-on-butterfill-and-apperlys-how-to-construct-a-minimal-theory-of-mind-mind-language-28-5-606-63.aspx Byrne, R.

The distributed pattern is likely to be especially common for social cognitive mechanisms, like mindreading, because these mechanisms are not only acquired through social interaction, but used and broadcast in social interaction throughout the lifespan. For example, in cultures where mindreading is valued (Duranti, 2008), adults broadcast the workings of their theory of mind when they comment on the thoughts and motivations of others. Because mindreading has a regulatory as well as a predictive function (McGeer, 2007), these broadcasts are likely to fine-tune listeners’ theories of mind, and thereby to increase the similarity between the theories held by members of the same social group. In contrast, causal understanding—a mechanism that represents certain kinds of interactions between physical objects—may depend on social interaction for its development, but causal understanding is not used or broadcast as intensively as mindreading in social interaction throughout life.


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In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, animal electricity, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, millennium bug, Moravec's paradox, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, off grid, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

Because she did not know what he and I knew. Because his mummy had a different mind. My son had acquired what psychologists call ‘theory of mind’. Most humans14 have it. In fact, most humans at the age of four start believing that not only other humans but animals and objects have minds too: dolls and toy soldiers are very much alive in a child’s imagination. However, according to Wynn and others, our species took time to develop theory of mind. It is very possible that it was the acquisition of theory of mind that gave rise to the Upper Palaeolithic transition. English psychologist Nicholas Humphrey15 elaborated further on the evolutionary rationale for theory of mind. He argued that when individuals live within a group and enter into a diverse set of cooperative, competitive and mutualistic relationships, individuals with the ability to predict the behaviour of others will achieve the greatest reproductive success.

This social selection process will be reinforced further by the very nature of cognitive autopoiesis, which produces closed systems for which the environment acts merely as a trigger for internal processes.26 British psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen has hypothesised that autism correlates with an absence of theory of mind.27 Viewed from a cybernetic point of view, this suggests that there are many alternative ‘attractors’ for cognition in the brain. Not all types of cognition arrive at the same point, where we get theory of mind. Most of us have theory of mind because of the selection processes that we saw in Part I of the book, when I discussed how our species evolved general-purpose language and general intelligence. However, throughout our long journey as a species there have been many of us whose cognitive systems achieved dynamic equilibrium at points where theory of mind was either absent or wanting. We identify this state of alternative cognitive equilibriums using the word ‘autism’.

The human mind is a ‘strange loop’ – as Hofstadter likes to call it.18 Descartes would probably have agreed. His definition of consciousness – ‘I think therefore I am’ – is a fine example of recursive thought: the mind exists because it can think itself. We bootstrap ourselves in existence every time, out of nothing, by self-reflection. We saw in Part I how theory of mind is one of the most fundamental cognitive characteristics of the typical human mind. Theory of mind is also recursive. It gives us the ability to conceive our minds and the minds of others. It also allows us to perform mental time travel: thanks to theory of mind we can bring into our present consciousness events that took place in the past, as well as imagine ourselves in various, hypothetical future situations. The evolutionary advantages of recursive thinking are enormous. A cognitive system capable of meaning can strategise more effectively about future events and eventualities.


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Advances in Artificial General Intelligence: Concepts, Architectures and Algorithms: Proceedings of the Agi Workshop 2006 by Ben Goertzel, Pei Wang

AI winter, artificial general intelligence, bioinformatics, brain emulation, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, epigenetics, friendly AI, G4S, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, John Conway, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Occam's razor, p-value, pattern recognition, performance metric, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, semantic web, statistical model, strong AI, theory of mind, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Y2K

This additional programming does not just include what we think of a technology, but rather includes qualities regarded as core mental abilities. For example, only humans are said to have a theory of mind in that we understand that other individuals may have different beliefs than our own, and reason accordingly. However, apes display behaviors indicating aspects of theory of mind; and plovers feign injury, limping off to distract a predator from their nest, only when the predator seems to notice the nest. Thus plovers attend to the perception of the predator and modify their behavior accordingly. This ability requires subroutines on which any theory of mind must rely. This suggests that the human theory of mind is a complex modular program built on top of meaningful modules coded more explicitly in the genome, and that humans have been able to discover this more powerful program over generations, because we pass partial progress on.

Even if it is “solvable” without such heuristics, the solutions found may be overly fit to the particular problem and not usefully generalizable. 6. Theory of Mind Detailed Another, absolutely crucial, learning problem mentioned above that is typically classed in the Piagetan concrete-operational stage is ”theory of mind” – which means, in this context, fully understanding the fact that others have memories, perceptions and experiences. Consider this experiment: a preoperational child is shown her favorite “Dora the Explorer” DVD box. Asked what show she’s about to see, she’ll answer “Dora.” However, when her parent plays the disc, it’s “Spongebob Squarepants.” If you then ask her what show her friend will expect when given the “Dora” DVD box, she will respond “Spongebob” although she just answered “Dora” for herself. A child lacking a theory of mind can not reason through what someone else would think given knowledge other than her own current knowledge.

Several theorists [47,48], based in part on experimental work with autistic children, perceive theory of mind as embodied in an innate module of the mind activated at a certain developmental stage (or not, if damaged). While we consider this possible, we caution against adopting a simplistic view of the “innate vs. acquired” dichotomy: if there is innateness it may take the form of an innate predisposition to certain sorts of learning [49]. Davidson [50], Dennett [51] and others support the common belief that theory of mind is dependent upon linguistic ability. A major challenge to this prevailing philosophical stance came from Premack and Woodruff [49] who postulated that prelinguistic primates do indeed exhibit “theory of mind” behavior. While Premack and Woodruff’s experiment itself has been challenged [52], their general result has been 188 B.


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Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

autonomous vehicles, Bernie Madoff, biofilm, blood diamonds, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Brownian motion, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, desegregation, different worldview, double helix, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fudge factor, George Santayana, global pandemic, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, John von Neumann, Loma Prieta earthquake, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, publication bias, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

., “Changes of Brain Activity in the Neural Substrates for Theory of Mind During Childhood and Adolescence,” Psychiatry and Clin Nsci 61 (2007): 355; A. Saitovitch et al., “Social Cognition and the Superior Temporal Sulcus: Implications in Autism,” Rev of Neurol (Paris) 168 (2012): 762; P. Shaw et al., “The Impact of Early and Late Damage to the Human Amygdala on ‘Theory of Mind’ Reasoning,” Brain 127 (2004): 1535. 9. B. Sodian and S. Kristen, “Theory of Mind During Infancy and Early Childhood Across Cultures, Development of,” Int Encyclopedia of the Soc & Behav Sci (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2015), p. 268. 10. S. Nichols, “Experimental Philosophy and the Problem of Free Will,” Sci 331 (2011): 1401. 11. D. Premack and G. Woodruff, “Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?” BBS 1 (1978): 515. Evidence against: D.

As the capacity for moral indignation matures, coupling among the vmPFC, the insula, and amygdala emerges. And as perspective taking comes into play, the vmPFC is increasingly coupled to regions associated with Theory of Mind (like the temporoparietal junction). This was our picture of empathic states in kids being built upon the cognitive foundation of Theory of Mind and perspective taking. But as we also saw, there are empathic states earlier on—infants showing emotional contagion, a toddler trying to comfort a crying adult by offering her stuffie, long before textbook Theory of Mind occurs. And just as with empathic states in other animals, one must ask whether compassion in kids is mostly about ending the sufferer’s distress or ending their own. AFFECT AND/OR COGNITION? This again.

Singer, “The Neuronal Basis and Ontogeny of Empathy and Mind Reading: Review of Literature and Implications for Future Research,” Nsci Biobehav Rev 30 (2006): 855. 6. S. Baron-Cohen, “Precursors to a Theory of Mind: Understanding Attention in Others,” in Natural Theories of Mind: Evolution, Development and Simulation of Everyday Mindreading, ed. A. Whiten (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991); J. Topal et al., “Differential Sensitivity to Human Communication in Dogs, Wolves, and Human Infants,” Sci 325 (2009): 1269; G. Lakatos et al., “A Comparative Approach to Dogs’ (Canis familiaris) and Human Infants’ Comprehension of Various Forms of Pointing Gestures,” Animal Cog 12 (2009): 621 J. Kaminski et al., “Domestic Dogs are Sensitive to a Human’s Perspective,” Behaviour 146 (2009): 979. 7. S. Baron-Cohen et al., “Does the Autistic Child Have a ‘Theory of Mind’?” Cog 21 (2985): 37. 8. L. Young et al., “Disruption of the Right Temporal Lobe Function with TMS Reduces the Role of Beliefs in Moral Judgments,” PNAS 107 (2009): 6753; Y.


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Artificial You: AI and the Future of Your Mind by Susan Schneider

artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, Elon Musk, Extropian, hive mind, life extension, megastructure, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, silicon-based life, Stephen Hawking, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons

ARE YOU A SOFTWARE PATTERN? Patternism’s point of departure is the computational theory of mind, which I introduced earlier. The original versions of the computational theory of mind held that the mind is akin to a standard computer, but nowadays it is commonly agreed that the brain does not have that structure. But cognitive and perceptual capacities, such as working memory and attention, are still considered computational in a broad sense. Although computational theories of mind differ in their details, one thing they have in common is that they all explain cognitive and perceptual capacities in terms of causal relationships between components, each of which can be described algorithmically. One common way of describing the computational theory of mind is by reference to the idea that the mind is a software program: The Software Approach to the Mind (SAM).

Olson’s position rejects this, as the brain is just one organ among many (see his comments in Marshall [2019]). 10. Sociologist James Hughes holds a transhumanist version of the no-self view. See Hughes (2004, 2013). For surveys of these four positions, see Olson (1997, 2017) and Conee and Sider (2005). 11. This is a version of a computational theory of mind that I criticize in Chapter Eight, however. It should also be noted that computational theories of mind can appeal to various computational theories of the format of thought: connectionism, dynamical systems theory (in its computational guise), the symbolic or language of thought approach, or some combination thereof. These differences will not matter for the purposes of our discussion. I’ve treated these issues extensively elsewhere. (See Schneider 2011). 12.

One common way of describing the computational theory of mind is by reference to the idea that the mind is a software program: The Software Approach to the Mind (SAM). The mind is the program running on the hardware of the brain. That is, the mind is the algorithm the brain implements, and this algorithm is something that different subfields of cognitive science seek to describe.11 Those working on computational theories of mind in philosophy of mind tend to ignore the topic of patternism, as well as the more general topic of personal identity. This is unfortunate for two reasons. First, on any feasible view of the nature of persons, one’s view of the nature of mind plays an important role. For what is a person if not, at least in part, that which she thinks and reflects with? Second, whatever the mind is, an understanding of its nature should include the study of its persistence, and it seems reasonable to think that this sort of undertaking would be closely related to theories of the persistence of the self or person.


pages: 913 words: 265,787

How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, double helix, experimental subject, feminist movement, four colour theorem, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hedonic treadmill, Henri Poincaré, income per capita, information retrieval, invention of agriculture, invention of the wheel, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lake wobegon effect, lateral thinking, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Necker cube, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, random walk, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sexual politics, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, urban decay, Yogi Berra

If the bits of matter that constitute a symbol are arranged to bump into the bits of matter constituting another symbol in just the right way, the symbols corresponding to one belief can give rise to new symbols corresponding to another belief logically related to it, which can give rise to symbols corresponding to other beliefs, and so on. Eventually the bits of matter constituting a symbol bump into bits of matter connected to the muscles, and behavior happens. The computational theory of mind thus allows us to keep beliefs and desires in our explanations of behavior while planting them squarely in the physical universe. It allows meaning to cause and be caused. The computational theory of mind is indispensable in addressing the questions we long to answer. Neuroscientists like to point out that all parts of the cerebral cortex look pretty much alike—not only the different parts of the human brain, but the brains of different animals. One could draw the conclusion that all mental activity in all animals is the same.

The later chapters, which try to explain common sense, the emotions, social relations, humor, and the arts, build on the foundation of a complex computational psyche. THE DEFENDING CHAMPION Of course, if it was unimaginable that the computational theory of mind was false, that would mean it had no content. In fact, it has been attacked head-on. As one would expect of a theory that has become so indispensable, pea-shooting is not enough; nothing less than undermining the foundations could bring it down. Two flamboyant writers have taken on the challenge. Both have chosen weapons suitable to the occasion, though the weapons are as opposite as can be: one is an appeal to down-home common sense, the other to esoteric physics and mathematics. The first attack comes from the philosopher John Searle. Searle believes that he refuted the computational theory of mind in 1980 with a thought experiment he adapted from another philosopher, Ned Block (who, ironically, is a major proponent of the computational theory).

Beneath new culture is old psychology: Gossip and social stratification. In Barkow, Cosmides, & Tooby, 1992. Barkow, J. H., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (Eds.) 1992. The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. New York: Oxford University Press. Baron-Cohen, S. 1995. Mindblindness: An essay on autism and theory of mind. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Baron-Cohen, S., Leslie, A. M., & Frith, U. 1985. Does the autistic child have a theory of mind? Cognition, 21, 37–46. Bates, E., & MacWhinney, B. 1982. Functionalist approaches to grammar. In E. Wanner & L. R. Gleitman (Eds.), Language acquisition: The state of the art. New York: Cambridge University Press. Bates, E., & MacWhinney, B. 1992. Welcome to functionalism. In Pinker & Bloom, 1990. Baumeister, R. F., & Tice, D.


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Intense Worlds by Maia Szalavitz

Asperger Syndrome, Silicon Valley, theory of mind

But while the Sally-Anne experiment shows that autistic people have difficulty knowing that other people have different perspectives—what researchers call cognitive empathy or “theory of mind”—it doesn’t show that they don’t care when someone is hurt or feeling pain, whether emotional or physical. In terms of caring—technically called the affective empathy—autistic people aren’t necessarily impaired. Sadly, however, the two different kinds of empathy are combined in one English word. And so, since the 1980s, this idea that autistic people “lack empathy” has taken hold. “When we looked at the autism field we couldn’t believe it,” Markram says. “Everybody was looking at it as if they have no empathy, no theory of mind. And actually Kai, as awkward as he was, saw through you. He had a much deeper understanding of what really was your intention.”

“I’m very much in sympathy with what they do,” he says, although he is not convinced that they have proven all the details. Mottron’s support is unsurprising, of course, because the intense world dovetails with his own findings. But even one of the creators of the “theory of mind” concept finds much of it plausible. Simon Baron-Cohen, who directs the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University, told me, “I am open to the idea that the social deficits in autism—like problems with the cognitive aspects of empathy, which is also known as ‘theory of mind’—may be upstream from a more basic sensory abnormality.” In other words, the Markrams’ physiological model could be the cause, and the social deficits he studies, the effect. He adds that the VPA rat is an “interesting” model. However, he also notes that most autism is not caused by VPA and that it’s possible that sensory and social defects co-occur, rather than one causing the other.

The dark days of the mid–20th century, when autism was thought to be caused by unloving “refrigerator mothers” who icily rejected their infants, were long past. However, while experts now agree that the condition is neurological, its causes remain unknown. The most prominent theory suggests that autism results from problems with the brain’s social regions, which results in a deficit of empathy. This “theory of mind” concept was developed by Uta Frith, Alan Leslie, and Simon Baron-Cohen in the 1980s. They found that autistic children are late to develop the ability to distinguish between what they know themselves and what others know—something that other children learn early on. In a now famous experiment, children watched two puppets, “Sally” and “Anne.” Sally has a marble, which she places in a basket and then leaves.


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Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence by Richard Yonck

3D printing, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, friendly AI, ghettoisation, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of writing, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Skype, social intelligence, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing test, twin studies, undersea cable, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, zero day

In fact, without emotional empathy existing first, it’s challenging to see how theory of mind and self-awareness could have come about at all. The mechanisms for emotional empathy have been speculated on by many others. Emotional contagion, mirror neurons, and pheromones may all be involved. But I can’t help think back to Manfred Clynes’s sentograph and discussions with Beyond Verbal’s Yoram Levanon regarding the idea that emotions may be transmitted through the unique vibrations in human touch and sound.3 In this, a resonance is created between sender and receiver that is perceived somatically by the recipient, allowing for the sharing of a particular emotional state. Could such a transmission and remote activation of mirrored experience have been one of the initial bases for empathy? This could have begun long before we developed a true theory of mind, becoming a foundation on which cognitive empathy could later develop.

Dissertation: “The Quiet Professional: An investigation of U.S. military Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel interactions with everyday field robots.” 2013. Carpenter, J. University of Washington. 2. “Soldiers are developing relationships with their battlefield robots, naming them, assigning genders, and even holding funerals when they are destroyed.” Reddit, 2013. 3. Ibid. 4. “Personal Robot That Shows Emotions Sells Out in One Minute.” Gaudin, S. ComputerWorld. June 22, 2015. 5. Theory of mind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind. 6. Reductionism in this context being the idea that the mind is reducible to a set of physical processes that could then be emulated or replicated in an alternate substrate or environment, given sufficiently advanced technology. Ney, A. Reductionism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. IEP, University of Tennessee. 7. This assumes ToM is internalized and experienced on the part of the robot or AI and not merely emulated algorithmically. 8.

See transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) technium, 23 technological evolution “AI-human symbiote,” 264 emotional empathy and, 265–266 and “ end of the world” scenarios, 261–262 and the future, 266–273 intention, 260–261 Matrix scenario, 262–263 peaceful coexistence, 263 technological singularity, 239 technophobia, 29–30 TEDWomen, 175–176 Tega, 118–119 Tegmark, Max, 132 teledildonic devices, 188–189 telepresence, 201 telepresence robots, 151 Terminator scenarios, 242, 262 Terror Management Theory (TMT), 99 Terrorist Surveillance Act (2006), 145 Texas A&M, 127 theory of mind (ToM), 83–84, 131 therapeutic companion robots, 148–150 “Three Laws of Robotics,” 165, 230–233, 262 3D printing, 211 Tilbury, Nancy, 57 TMS. See transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) Tobii, 73 ToM. See theory of mind (ToM) Toshiba, 87 transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), 128–130 transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), 128–130, 217–218 transcription factors, DNA, 15 transhumanists, 105, 212, 223 TruCompanion, 184 True Link, 157 Turing, Alan, 36–37, 236–237 Turing test, 36–37, 236–238 Turkle, Sherry, 90, 196, 199 21st Century Robot project, 168 2001 (Clarke/Kubrick), 232 Tzezana, Roey, 166 U UAVs.


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, functional fixedness, global pandemic, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

., makes use of its knowledge in novel flexible ways, outside of the software that originally extracted that knowledge. An operating system so modular that it can pinpoint your location on a map in one window, but cannot use it to enter your address in the tax return software in another window, is missing a global workspace. 2.Theory of Mind: Cognitive scientists have discovered a second set of brain circuits dedicated to the representation of other minds—what other people think, know, or believe. Unless we suffer from a disease called autism, all of us constantly pay attention to others and adapt our behavior to their state of knowledge—or, rather, to what we think they know. Such Theory of Mind is the second crucial ingredient that current software lacks: an ability to attend to its user. Future software should incorporate a model of its user. Can she properly see my display, or do I need to enlarge the characters?

Do I have any evidence that my message was understood and heeded? Even a minimal simulation of the user would immediately give a strong impression that the machine is “thinking.” This is because having a Theory of Mind is required to achieve relevance (a concept first modeled by cognitive scientist Dan Sperber). Unlike present-day computers, humans don’t say utterly irrelevant things, because they pay attention to how their interlocutors will be affected by what they say. The navigator software that tells you, “At the next roundabout, take the second exit” sounds stupid, because it doesn’t know that “Go straight” would be a much more compact and relevant message. Global workspace and Theory of Mind are two essential functions that even a one-year-old child possesses yet our machines still lack. Interestingly, these two functions have something in common: Many cognitive scientists consider them the key components of human consciousness.

Perhaps this is why, when faced with the notion of thinking machines, we fall back on understanding them as though they were thinking beings—in other words, as though they were humans. We apply the best tools our mind has—namely, Theory of Mind and general-purpose reasoning. Unfortunately, the former isn’t designed for this job and the latter is hampered by our limited capacities for attention and working memory. Sure, we have disciplines like physics, engineering, and computer science that teach us how to understand and build machines, including machines that think, but years of formal education are required to appreciate the basics. A Theory of Machine module would ignore intentionality and emotion and instead specialize in representing the interactions of different subsystems, inputs, and outputs to predict what machines would do in different circumstances, much as Theory of Mind helps us to predict how other humans will behave. If we did have Theory of Machine capacities built into our brains, things might be different.


The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, computer age, Donald Trump, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Georg Cantor, hedonic treadmill, Henri Poincaré, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, Necker cube, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Schrödinger's Cat, social intelligence, social web, source of truth, stem cell, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind

If we think it’s a computer, we just are not engaged.201 The right hemisphere plays an important role in what is known as ‘theory of mind’, a capacity to put oneself in another’s position and see what is going on in that person’s mind.202 This capacity emerges in primates along with self-recognition and self-awareness, and is closely linked to it.203 It is a capacity that children do not acquire fully until the age of four (though elements are probably present from 12 to 18 months), and which autistic children never acquire.204 The classic test for theory of mind shows two dolls, Sally and Anne, playing with a marble. They put it away in a box, and leave the room. While Sally is out, Anne returns, plays with the marble and puts it away in a different box. The question is: ‘When Sally returns, where will she look for the marble?’ Those without capacity for theory of mind indicate the new box where they know the marble to be, not the original one where Sally last saw it placed.205 The right hemisphere has by far the preponderance of emotional understanding.206 It is the mediator of social behaviour.207 In the absence of the right hemisphere, the left hemisphere is unconcerned about others and their feelings: ‘social intercourse is conducted with a blanket disregard for the feelings, wishes, needs and expectations of others.’208 Patients with right frontal deficits, but not left frontal deficits, suffer a change of personality whereby they become incapable of empathy.209 Considerable interest has been raised by the discovery that there are neurones, nicknamed ‘mirror neurones’, which are active both when we do something and when we watch others do it.210 Physiological and behavioural evidence indicated that the left pars opercularis (part of Broca’s area), the area of the frontal lobe critical for speech production, contains mirror neurones which are involved in the imitation of finger movements.211 So absorbing was this finding – which is indeed highly significant, and which I will discuss in the next chapter – that it was until recently thought that mirror neurones were a speciality of the human left hemisphere, and their existence has even been put forward as a reason for language’s having developed in the left hemisphere, rather than the right.212 But that seems a bit like putting the cart before the horse, especially since both the left and right pars opercularis equally have mirror neurones, and both hemispheres contribute to the processing of watching and imitating.213 In fact, which hemisphere is involved on any one occasion has not only to do with what and where the action is that we are copying, but also with how instrumental (‘object-directed’) that action is.

The right hemisphere seems more engaged by emotional, autobiographical memories.494 It is hardly surprising that the ‘sense of self’ should be grounded in the right hemisphere, because the self originates in the interaction with ‘the Other’, not as an entity in atomistic isolation: ‘The sense of self emerges from the activity of the brain in interaction with other selves.’495 The right orbitofrontal cortex, the part of the right frontal lobe most crucial for social and empathic understanding, is larger in primates than the left.496 It is likely that this part of the brain expands during the period of playful interaction between infant and mother in the second half of the first year, and the second year, of life, during which the sense of the self emerges, and indeed the right orbitofrontal cortex is seen by Allan Schore as the crucible of the growing self.497 The right hemisphere matures earlier than the left, and is more involved than the left in almost every aspect of the development of mental functioning in early childhood, and of the self as a social, empathic being.498 Social development in the infant takes place independently of language development, another pointer to its right-hemisphere origins.499 The relationship between the evolution of a sense of self and the sense of others as beings like oneself, and therefore as evoking empathy and understanding, which I have referred to before as an achievement of the right frontal lobes, is borne out by the close relationship between the development of a sense of self and the development of ‘theory of mind’ (see p. 57 above). This is, for example, evidenced by the fact that the neuroimaging correlates of both self-awareness and theory of mind lie in the right frontal and right cingulate cortex.500 It is also the right hemisphere which is responsible for ‘maintaining a coherent, continuous and unified sense of self’.501 Evidence from patients with dementia is highly suggestive that it is the right hemisphere that ‘connects the individual to emotionally salient experiences and memories underlying self-schemas’, and which therefore forms ‘the glue holding together the sense of self’.502 The remark is reminiscent of a formulation of Douglas Watt’s that ‘emotion binds together virtually every type of information the brain can encode … [it is] part of the glue that holds the whole system together,’503 and indeed, to the degree that that is true, the observation that the right hemisphere binds together the sense of self would follow from this.

Forward planning, hitherto thought to be a hallmark of human cognition, is clearly present in birds that have no language (a point worth making since, for example, Irene Pepperberg’s African grey parrot, Alex, was able to communicate, plan and reason – but he had quite a vocabulary).61 Even ‘theory of mind’, the ability to attribute mental states to others, which has become the shibboleth of complex, multilayered thought – since children are commonly said not to acquire it till about the age of four, and some subjects, particularly those with autism, may never acquire it at all – is intact in human subjects who have lost language,62 and may be present to a degree in chimpanzees and primates.63 Clearly, therefore, ‘theory of mind’ cannot depend on language, either. Once again, not just animals, but the young of our own species, indicate that it is wrong to assume that meaning depends on language, though our conscious left hemisphere may be unable to conceive of meaning that is not conveyed in words.


The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey Into the Dark Side of the Brain by James Fallon

Bernie Madoff, epigenetics, Everything should be made as simple as possible, meta analysis, meta-analysis, personalized medicine, phenotype, Rubik’s Cube, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, theory of mind

Someone with damage to the hot system, let’s say in the orbital cortex, might not be able to predict others’ thoughts but will have the most trouble sharing his feelings. A dichotomy may exist between empathy, a fundamental connection with the pain of others and arising very early in life, and “theory of mind,” a more elaborated medial prefrontal system that allows us to consider others’ thoughts and beliefs, even if they’re different from our own. People with autism lack theory of mind but not empathy, while people with psychopathy lack empathy but not theory of mind. Without empathy you can still have sympathy, though—the ability to retrieve emotional memories, including those that can predict what painful event is probably about to befall another person, and the will to help that person. These brain circuits mature at different times during development, and although there are major maturational events that take place in the terrible twos, puberty, late adolescence, the twenties, and the mid-thirties, some are not completely integrated until one is in the sixties, which appears to be the typical average peak time of human insight, cognition, and understanding in many realms of life.

Beyond this mix of types of empathy according to individual versus group (in a sense also related to the dichotomy of empathy versus sympathy discussed at the beginning of this chapter) is another important dichotomy, and that is between emotional empathy and cognitive empathy, also known as “theory of mind.” Theory of mind, as I’ve previously discussed, arises early in childhood, developing progressively until adulthood, and is a key developmental accomplishment in which the child learns she possesses mental states like desires and intentions and beliefs, and that others possess similar states, though those may be different from her own. Someone with autism will not show a normal theory of mind. This lack may also be present in people with some personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder, and also some forms of bipolar disorder. In contrast, people with psychopathy, narcissism, and certain affective types of schizophrenia will have cognitive empathy but lack emotional empathy.

In contrast, people with psychopathy, narcissism, and certain affective types of schizophrenia will have cognitive empathy but lack emotional empathy. These two types of loss of empathy may be associated with underfunctioning of different parts of the lower, or ventral, half of the prefrontal cortex. Rebecca Saxe of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has recently shown that theory of mind is centered, in part, in the nondominant hemisphere where the temporal lobe abuts the parietal lobe, the so-called temporo-parietal junction, that is, one node in the mirror neuron system. It is a key spot in a circuit that processes how one perceives the intentions, morals, and ethics of others, a partner to the orbital cortex of the frontal lobe that processes one’s own intentions, ethics, and morality. And these two areas of the posterior and anterior cortices connect with each other, perhaps forming the neuroanatomical circuitry for the Golden Rule.


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The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better by Will Storr

David Brooks, Gordon Gekko, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Wall-E

Robert Browning (1812–1889) Contents COVER TITLE PAGE COPYRIGHT DEDICATION EPIGRAPH INTRODUCTION CHAPTER ONE: CREATING A WORLD 1.0 Where does a story begin? 1.1 Moments of change; the control-seeking brain 1.2 Curiosity 1.3 The model-making brain; how we read; grammar; filmic word order; simplicity; active versus passive language; specific detail; show-not-tell 1.4 World-making in fantasy and science fiction 1.5 The domesticated brain; theory of mind in animism and religion; how theory-of-mind mistakes create drama 1.6 Salience; creating tension with detail 1.7 Neural models; poetry; metaphor 1.8 Cause and effect; literary versus mass-market storytelling 1.9 Change is not enough CHAPTER TWO: THE FLAWED SELF 2.0 The flawed self; the theory of control 2.1 Personality and plot 2.2 Personality and setting 2.3 Personality and point of view 2.4 Culture and character; Western versus Eastern story 2.5 Anatomy of a flawed self; the ignition point 2.6 Fictional memories; moral delusions; antagonists and moral idealism; antagonists and toxic self-esteem; the hero-maker narrative 2.7 David and Goliath 2.8 How flawed characters create meaning CHAPTER THREE: THE DRAMATIC QUESTION 3.0 Confabulation and the deluded character; the dramatic question 3.1 Multiple selves; the three-dimensional character 3.2 The two levels of story; how subconscious character struggle creates plot 3.3 Modernist stories 3.4 Wanting and needing 3.5 Dialogue 3.6 The roots of the dramatic question; social emotions; heroes and villains; moral outrage 3.7 Status play 3.8 King Lear; humiliation 3.9 Stories as tribal propaganda 3.10 Antiheroes; empathy 3.11 Origin damage CHAPTER FOUR: PLOTS, ENDINGS AND MEANING 4.0 Goal directedness; video games; personal projects; eudaemonia; plots 4.1 Plot as recipe versus plot as symphony of change 4.2 The final battle 4.3 Endings; control; the God moment 4.4 Story as a simulacrum of consciousness; transportation 4.5 The power of story 4.6 The lesson of story 4.7 The consolation of story APPENDIX: THE SACRED FLAW APPROACH A NOTE ON THE TEXT ACKNOWLEDGMENTS NOTES AND SOURCES INDEX ABOUT THE AUTHOR ALSO BY WILL STORR ABOUT THE PUBLISHER INTRODUCTION We know how this ends.

Bankers project human moods onto the movements of the markets and place their trades accordingly. When we’re reading, hearing or watching a story we deploy our theory-of-mind skills by automatically making hallucinatory models of the minds of its characters. Some authors model the minds of their own characters with such force that they hear them talk. Charles Dickens, William Blake and Joseph Conrad all spoke of such extraordinary experiences. The novelist and psychologist Professor Charles Fernyhough has led research in which 19 per cent of ordinary readers reported hearing the voices of fictional characters even after they’d put their books down. Some reported a kind of literary possession, with the character influencing the tone and nature of their thoughts. But much as humans excel at such feats of theory of mind, we also tend to dramatically overestimate our abilities. Although there’s an admitted absurdity in claiming to be able to quantify human behaviour with such absolute numerical precision, some research suggests strangers read another’s thoughts and feelings with an accuracy of just 20 per cent.

It sounds complicated (and it is) but this is the very essence of giving some density to a character and, in turn, a scene.’ The author Richard Yates uses a theory-of-mind mistake to create a pivotal moment of drama in his classic Revolutionary Road. The novel charts the dissolving marriage of Frank and April Wheeler. When they were young, and newly in love, Frank and April dreamed of bohemian lives in Paris. But, when we meet them, middle-aged reality has struck. Frank and April have two children, with a third on the way, and have moved into a cookie-cutter suburb. Frank’s secured a job at his father’s old company and has found himself rather settling into a life of boozy lunches and housewife-at-home ease. But April isn’t happy. She still dreams of Paris. They argue, bitterly. Sex is withheld. Frank sleeps with a girl at work. And then he makes his theory-of-mind mistake. In order to break the impasse with his wife, Frank decides to confess his infidelity.


The Science of Language by Noam Chomsky

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, Brownian motion, dark matter, Drosophila, epigenetics, finite state, Howard Zinn, phenotype, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Pinker, theory of mind

So it looks as if – given the time involved – there was a sudden “great leap forward.” Some small genetic modification somehow that rewired the brain slightly. We know so little about neurology; but I can't imagine how else it could be. So some small genetic change led to the rewiring of the brain that made this human capacity available. And with it came the entire range of creative options [C] that are available to humans within a theory of mind – a second-order theory of mind, so you know that somebody is trying to make you think what somebody else wants you to think. It's very hard to imagine how any of this could go on without language; at least, we can't think of any way of doing it without a language. And most of it is thinking and planning and interpreting, and so on; it's internal. Well, mutations take place in a person, not in a group. We know, incidentally, that this was a very small breeding group – some little group of hominids in some corner of Africa, apparently.

No language uses all the options that are available. 3 Representation and computation JM: Continuing in the same vein, your understanding of computation seems to differ from the philosophically favored notion where it is understood as tied in with a representational theory of mind. Computation there is understood to be something like the operations of a problem-solving device that operates over symbols understood in traditional (not your) semantic terms, in terms of relationships of items inside the head that represent things outside in the world. NC: The term “representation” is used in a kind of technical sense in the philosophical literature which I think basically comes back to the theory of ideas. You know there's something out there and the impression of it becomes an idea, and then there's a relation – so, say, in Jerry Fodor's representational theory of mind – there's a causal relation between the cat over there and the concept cat in your language of thought.

That goes back to Aristotle and form and matter, but then it's very much extended in the seventeenth century; and then it kind of dropped. As far as I know, after Hume it virtually disappears from the literature. And now – these days – we're back to a kind of neo-scholastic picture of word–thing relations. That's why you have books called Word and Object [by W.V.O. Quine] and that sort of thing. But there's no reason to believe that that relation exists. So yes, the representational theories of mind are bound to a concept of representation that has historical origins but has no particular merits as far as I know. JM: I asked in part because, when you read works of people like Georges Rey, he seems to assume that when Turing speaks of computation, he was essentially committed to something like a representational account. NC: I don't see where that comes from – I don't see any evidence for that in Turing.


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How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, brain emulation, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer age, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, George Gilder, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, linear programming, Loebner Prize, mandelbrot fractal, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I’d like to express my gratitude to my wife, Sonya, for her loving patience through the vicissitudes of the creative process; To my children, Ethan and Amy; my daughter-in-law, Rebecca; my sister, Enid; and my new grandson, Leo, for their love and inspiration; To my mother, Hannah, for supporting my early ideas and inventions, which gave me the freedom to experiment at a young age, and for keeping my father alive during his long illness; To my longtime editor at Viking, Rick Kot, for his leadership, steady and insightful guidance, and expert editing; To Loretta Barrett, my literary agent for twenty years, for her astute and enthusiastic guidance; To Aaron Kleiner, my long-term business partner, for his devoted collaboration for the past forty years; To Amara Angelica for her devoted and exceptional research support; To Sarah Black for her outstanding research insights and ideas; To Laksman Frank for his excellent illustrations; To Sarah Reed for her enthusiastic organizational support; To Nanda Barker-Hook for her expert organization of my public events on this and other topics; To Amy Kurzweil for her guidance on the craft of writing; To Cindy Mason for her research support and ideas on AI and the mind-body connection; To Dileep George for his discerning ideas and insightful discussions by e-mail and otherwise; To Martine Rothblatt for her dedication to all of the technologies I discuss in the book and for our collaborations in developing technologies in these areas; To the KurzweilAI.net team, who provided significant research and logistical support for this project, including Aaron Kleiner, Amara Angelica, Bob Beal, Casey Beal, Celia Black-Brooks, Cindy Mason, Denise Scutellaro, Joan Walsh, Giulio Prisco, Ken Linde, Laksman Frank, Maria Ellis, Nanda Barker-Hook, Sandi Dube, Sarah Black, Sarah Brangan, and Sarah Reed; To the dedicated team at Viking Penguin for all of their thoughtful expertise, including Clare Ferraro (president), Carolyn Coleburn (director of publicity), Yen Cheong and Langan Kingsley (publicists), Nancy Sheppard (director of marketing), Bruce Giffords (production editor), Kyle Davis (editorial assistant), Fabiana Van Arsdell (production director), Roland Ottewell (copy editor), Daniel Lagin (designer), and Julia Thomas (jacket designer); To my colleagues at Singularity University for their ideas, enthusiasm, and entrepreneurial energy; To my colleagues who have provided inspired ideas reflected in this volume, including Barry Ptolemy, Ben Goertzel, David Dalrymple, Dileep George, Felicia Ptolemy, Francis Ganong, George Gilder, Larry Janowitch, Laura Deming, Lloyd Watts, Martine Rothblatt, Marvin Minsky, Mickey Singer, Peter Diamandis, Raj Reddy, Terry Grossman, Tomaso Poggio, and Vlad Sejnoha; To my peer expert readers, including Ben Goertzel, David Gamez, Dean Kamen, Dileep George, Douglas Katz, Harry George, Lloyd Watts, Martine Rothblatt, Marvin Minsky, Paul Linsay, Rafael Reif, Raj Reddy, Randal Koene, Dr. Stephen Wolfram, and Tomaso Poggio; To my in-house and lay readers whose names appear above; And, finally, to all of the creative thinkers in the world who inspire me every day. CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1. THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS ON THE WORLD 2. THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS ON THINKING 3. A MODEL OF THE NEOCORTEX: THE PATTERN RECOGNITION THEORY OF MIND 4. THE BIOLOGICAL NEOCORTEX 5. THE OLD BRAIN 6. TRANSCENDENT ABILITIES 7. THE BIOLOGICALLY INSPIRED DIGITAL NEOCORTEX 8. THE MIND AS COMPUTER 9. THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS ON THE MIND 10. THE LAW OF ACCELERATING RETURNS APPLIED TO THE BRAIN 11. OBJECTIONS EPILOGUE NOTES INDEX INTRODUCTION The Brain—is wider than the Sky— For—put them side by side— The one the other will contain With ease—and You—beside— The Brain is deeper than the sea— For—hold them—Blue to Blue— The one the other will absorb— As Sponges—Buckets—do— The Brain is just the weight of God— For—Heft them—Pound for Pound— And they will differ—if they do— As Syllable from Sound —Emily Dickinson As the most important phenomenon in the universe, intelligence is capable of transcending natural limitations, and of transforming the world in its own image.

As an example, consider the rather subtle phenomenon of Bernoulli’s principle, which states that there is slightly less air pressure over a moving curved surface than over a moving flat one. The mathematics of how Bernoulli’s principle produces wing lift is still not yet fully settled among scientists, yet engineering has taken this delicate insight, focused its powers, and created the entire world of aviation. In this book I present a thesis I call the pattern recognition theory of mind (PRTM), which, I argue, describes the basic algorithm of the neocortex (the region of the brain responsible for perception, memory, and critical thinking). In the chapters ahead I describe how recent neuroscience research, as well as our own thought experiments, leads to the inescapable conclusion that this method is used consistently across the neocortex. The implication of the PRTM combined with the LOAR is that we will be able to engineer these principles to vastly extend the powers of our own intelligence.

We have succeeded in reverse-engineering key functions of the auditory cortex, where we process information about sound; the visual cortex, where we process information from our sight; and the cerebellum, where we do a portion of our skill formation (such as catching a fly ball). The cutting edge of the project to understand, model, and simulate the human brain is to reverse-engineer the cerebral neocortex, where we do our recursive hierarchical thinking. The cerebral cortex, which accounts for 80 percent of the human brain, is composed of a highly repetitive structure, allowing humans to create arbitrarily complex structures of ideas. In the pattern recognition theory of mind, I describe a model of how the human brain achieves this critical capability using a very clever structure designed by biological evolution. There are details in this cortical mechanism that we do not yet fully understand, but we know enough about the functions it needs to perform that we can nonetheless design algorithms that accomplish the same purpose. By beginning to understand the neocortex, we are now in a position to greatly amplify its powers, just as the world of aviation has vastly amplified the powers of Bernoulli’s principle.


pages: 298 words: 84,394

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Albert Einstein, illegal immigration, Schrödinger's Cat, Skype, theory of mind, your tax dollars at work

In 2008, Josep Call and Michael Tomasello took another look at a whole range of approaches to this question and the results. Their conclusion was the same as Premack and Woodruff’s thirty years before. Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? They answered with a definite yes. Chimps do see that mental states, such as purpose and knowledge, combine to produce deliberate action. They even understand deceit. What chimps don’t seem capable of understanding is the state of false belief. They don’t have a theory of mind that accounts for actions driven by beliefs in conflict with reality. And really, who lacking that will ever be able to navigate the human world? • • • AROUND THE AGE of six or seven, human children develop a theory of mind that encompasses embedded mental states. They’ve long ago mastered the basic first-order stuff—i.e., Mommy thinks I’ve gone to bed. Next they learn to handle (and exploit) an additional layer—Daddy doesn’t know that Mommy thinks I’ve gone to bed.

“I hardly knew you,” I said. “And now you’re leaving me.” Her uncanny valley eyes stared up. She snapped her reptilian jaw. I made her wrap her arms around my neck as if she were also sorry. Her knitting needles poked my ear sharply until I shifted her. “Please don’t go,” she said. Or maybe I said that. It was definitely one of us. • • • THE FLIP SIDE to solipsism is called theory of mind. Theory of mind postulates that, even though these cannot be directly observed, we readily impute mental states to others (and also to ourselves, since the bedrock proposal is that we understand our own mental states well enough to generalize from them). And so we constantly infer someone else’s intentions, thoughts, knowledge, lack of knowledge, doubts, desires, beliefs, guesses, promises, preferences, purposes, and many, many more things in order to behave as social creatures in the world.

This means they miss the very thing that links and orders the images. They miss the story. Young children have the innate potential for a theory of mind, just the way Noam Chomsky says they do for language, but they haven’t developed it yet. Adults and older children sequence images easily into a coherent narrative. I myself took this test many times as a child and I never remember not being able to do it, though if Piaget says there was a time I couldn’t, then there was a time I couldn’t. In 1978, when Fern was still safely tucked into our family, psychologists David Premack and Guy Woodruff published a paper titled “Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?” In it, they relied primarily on a series of experiments done with a fourteen-year-old chimp named Sarah, in order to see if she could infer human goals in observed situations.


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The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Joan Didion, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

A family, peer group, and culture that ascribe high status to school achievement may be needed to give a child the motive to persevere toward effortful feats of learning whose rewards are apparent only over the long term.21 THE LAYPERSON’S INTUITIVE psychology or “theory of mind” is one of the brain’s most striking abilities. We do not treat other people as wind-up dolls but think of them as being animated by minds: nonphysical entities we cannot see or touch but that are as real to us as bodies and objects. Aside from allowing us to predict people’s behavior from their beliefs and desires, our theory of mind is tied to our ability to empathize and to our conception of life and death. The difference between a dead body and a living one is that a dead body no longer contains the vital force we call a mind. Our theory of mind is the source of the concept of the soul. The ghost in the machine is deeply rooted in our way of thinking about people.

The mind is connected to the world by the sense organs, which transduce physical energy into data structures in the brain, and by motor programs, by which the brain controls the muscles. This general idea may be called the computational theory of mind. It is not the same as the “computer metaphor” of the mind, the suggestion that the mind literally works like a human-made database, computer program, or thermostat. It says only that we can explain minds and human-made information processors using some of the same principles. It is just like other cases in which the natural world and human engineering overlap. A physiologist might invoke the same laws of optics to explain how the eye works and how a camera works without implying that the eye is like a camera in every detail. The computational theory of mind does more than explain the existence of knowing, thinking, and trying without invoking a ghost in the machine (though that would be enough of a feat).

We now know that people of both sexes and all races are capable of attaining any station in life. This sea change included a revolution in the treatment of human nature by scientists and scholars. Academics were swept along by the changing attitudes to race and sex, but they also helped to direct the tide by holding forth on human nature in books and magazines and by lending their expertise to government agencies. The prevailing theories of mind were refashioned to make racism and sexism as untenable as possible. The doctrine of the Blank Slate became entrenched in intellectual life in a form that has been called the Standard Social Science Model or social constructionism.5 The model is now second nature to people and few are aware of the history behind it.6 Carl Degler, the foremost historian of this revolution, sums it up this way: What the available evidence does seem to show is that ideology or a philosophical belief that the world could be a freer and more just place played a large part in the shift from biology to culture.


What Kind of Creatures Are We? (Columbia Themes in Philosophy) by Noam Chomsky

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, conceptual framework, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, liberation theology, mass incarceration, means of production, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Turing test, wage slave

Suppose we adopt the “mitigated skepticism” that was warranted after Newton, if not before. For the theory of mind, that means following Gassendi’s advice in Objections. He argued that Descartes had at most shown “the perception of the existence of mind, [but] fail[ed] to reveal its nature.” It is necessary to proceed as we would in seeking to discover “a conception of Wine superior to the vulgar,” by investigating how it is constituted and the laws that determine its functioning. Similarly, he urged Descartes, “it is incumbent on you, to examine yourself by a certain chemicallike labor, so that you can determine and demonstrate to us your internal substance”42—and that of others. The theory of mind can be pursued in many ways, like other branches of science, with an eye to eventual unification, whatever form it may take, if any.

For discussion, see Tad Schmaltz , Malebranche’s Theory of the Soul: A Cartesian Interpretation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 204ff. 24. Noam Chomsky, “Turing on the ‘Imitation Game,’” in The Turing Test: Verbal Behavior as the Hallmark of Intelligence, ed. Stuart Schieber (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), 317–21. 25. Desmond Clarke, Descartes’s Theory of Mind (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003), 12. See also Rene Descartes to Marin Mersenne, 1641, on the goal of the Meditations, cited in Margaret Wilson, Descartes (Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978), 2. 26. Clarke, Descartes’s Theory of Mind, 258. 27. Nancy Kanwisher and Paul Downing, “Separating the Wheat from the Chaff ,” Science, October 2, 1998, 57–58; Newton, General Scholium. 28. Eric R. Kandel and Larry R. Squire, “Neuroscience,” Science, November 10, 2000, 1113–20. 29. Charles R. Gallistel, “Neurons and Memory,” in Conversations in the Cognitive Neurosciences, ed.

See also pragmatic approach to inquiry Invitation to Cognitive Science, An, 39–40 islands, 22–23 Jackson, Frank, 101, 102 Jacobi, Carl Gustav Jacob, 54–55 Janiak, Andrew, 34, 52 Jefferson, Thomas, 79–80 Jespersen, Otto, 8, 9 Johnson, Samuel, 31 Joos, Martin, 5–6 justice, as concept universally supported and everywhere violated, 60 Kandel, Eric, 95 Kant, Immanuel, xx, 46, 97, 141n32 Kanwisher, Nancy, 95 Katz, Jerrold, xi Kekulé, August, 108 Kerry, John, 69 knowledge argument: and ignorance hypothesis, 124; vs. knowledge intuition, 101–2 knowledge intuition, vs. knowledge argument, 101–2 Korsch, Karl, 63 Koyré, Alexandre, 99 Kripke, Saul, 50 Kropotkin, Peter, 67 Kuhn, Thomas, 87–88 La Mettrie, Julien Offrey de, 144n51 Lange, Friedrich, 98–99 language: vs. animal signs, xviii–xix, 41–43, 48, 126; behaviorist accounts of, xii; as biological endowment, xi, xiv, 15, 20; common usage, theory of mind and, 117–19; communication as secondary to thought in, xi, xviii, 14–15, 16, 24, 125; facility of semantic interpretation vs. communication, 18–19, 22–23; as I-language, 4; as instrument of thought, 13–16, 23; as internal to individual subject, ix; lack of referential semantics in, 48; as mystery, 8, 92; pragmatic approach to study of, 109–11; pragmatics in, 48; syntax in, 48; and thought, relation between, 129n1; as unique to humans, xii, 59, 125; variety in, accounting for, 40–41, 125.


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Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, Arthur Eddington, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, diversification, diversified portfolio, double helix, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Ernest Rutherford, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, framing effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, housing crisis, incomplete markets, index fund, interest rate derivative, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, martingale, merger arbitrage, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, out of africa, p-value, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, prediction markets, price discovery process, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sam Peltzman, Shai Danziger, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical arbitrage, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, Thales and the olive presses, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

In the cobweb model, the proposed price spirals around the supply and demand curves until it reaches economic nirvana. It’s as though a buyer and seller were trapped in a hall of mirrors: the seller knows that the buyer knows that the seller knows 110 • Chapter 4 that the buyer knows . . . that the asking price is too high. In other words, market equilibrium requires a rather sophisticated theory of mind, and presumably a high level of abstract thought. Amazingly, a chance discovery in the early 1990s by a group of researchers at the University of Parma led by Giacomo Rizzolatti showed that the “theory of mind” was not just a figment of psychologists’ imagination, but a neurophysiologically hardwired feature of the brain.13 Using specialized recording microelectrodes attached to specific sites in a macaque monkey’s brain, Rizzolatti and his group found particular neurons that responded to “mirrored” motions in others.

One hypothesis, proposed by Rizzolatti and others, is that a deficit in the brain’s mirror neuron mechanism may be involved in autism. People with autism often have difficulty in understanding The Power of Narrative • 111 other people’s motives and, therefore, connecting socially. The British neuroscientist Simon Baron-Cohen believes that autism is caused by a neurologically underdeveloped theory of mind.15 Our own personal history shows us how this deficit might affect rationality. As children, we all pass through life stages where our own theories of mind were undeveloped. Before the age of four, generally, we weren’t able to understand that another person, perhaps a parent, could believe something that we knew was untrue from personal experience. This is a well-known stage in childhood psychological development. As adults, of course, most of us are comfortable with the idea that other people might be mistaken.

Most children, including those with Down syndrome, pass this stage at around this time, although many children with autism do not. It’s an important step on the pathway to a full “theory of mind.” Most four-year-olds can understand a statement like, “Alan thinks his Christmas present is in red wrapping, but the present is really in the green wrapping,” an example of a first-order false belief. But a typical four-year-old wouldn’t understand a statement like, “Bethany thinks Alan thinks his Christmas present is blue, and Alan thinks his Christmas present is red, but it’s really green,” a second-order false belief. The ability to understand a second-order false belief takes a few more years to develop but it’s usually present by age seven. This means their theory of mind is rich enough not only to model another person’s mental state, but also to model another person’s model of a person’s mental state.


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Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo

Alfred Russel Wallace, biofilm, butterfly effect, Celebration, Florida, corporate governance, delayed gratification, experimental subject, impulse control, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, longitudinal study, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, Rodney Brooks, Ted Kaczynski, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Walter Mischel

Having more intelligence has adaptive value for large mammals because it facilitates discovering better ways to find or capture food, avoid perils, and navigate territories, but the complexities of these demands pale by comparison to the complexities of social living. Living in groups placed a premium on having the ability to recognize the mental states of others—a capacity called “theory of mind.” But once again, theory of mind is a form of social cognition, an ability that becomes readily distorted through the experience of loneliness. But There’s a Catch Whether you are a relatively independent Greg or a need-to-be-close Katie, no one wants to feel the pain of loneliness, and no one should be blamed for being trapped inside it. What makes loneliness especially insidious is that it contains this Catch-22: Real relief from loneliness requires the cooperation of at least one other person, and yet the more chronic our loneliness becomes, the less equipped we may be to entice such cooperation.

Through accounts like these, most scientists acknowledge what animal lovers have long accepted as common sense: that some of our more intelligent fellow creatures—apes, elephants, porpoises—can be very sensitive to what goes on beneath the skin of others. Just ask any dog or cat owner, and they will tell you that pets know what “their” human is feeling, and know what to do to provide comfort when that human is feeling blue. By the same token, leave your Jack Russell alone too long and you may find that he’s taken out his displeasure on the throw pillows from your couch. Theory of Mind, and Then Some Among chimps, an aggressor who has attacked and bitten another, but who is now intent on reconciliation, will often look directly at the spot where he injured the other, inspect it, then begin to clean the wound. Bonobos, who, at least in captivity, often have sex face to face, carefully monitor and respond to the expressions and vocalizations of their partner. The Germans have a word for closely attuned perception of another’s emotional state.

If you want to build a flying machine, it helps to know some aerodynamics. If you want to build more satisfying social connections, it helps to know more about how “emotional connection” occurs in a functional sense, which is to say, how one human brain gains access to the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of another. It also helps to know how and why that system can become overwhelmingly confused. Theory of mind, which is what we call the ability to have insights into other people’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions, develops in humans when we are about two years old. This is the same time when we begin to recognize ourselves in mirrors. So self-awareness and the ability to understand the feelings and intentions signaled by others may be connected. The biologist N. K. Humphrey has even suggested that the adaptive value of being able to detect the emotional state of another person may be what led, not just to the development of human intelligence, but to the development of human consciousness itself.3 But beyond our ability to recognize what someone else is experiencing, and to exercise certain discretion in how we respond to it, we have the capacity to spontaneously share the experience.


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The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris

Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bayesian statistics, cognitive bias, end world poverty, endowment effect, energy security, experimental subject, framing effect, hindsight bias, impulse control, John Nash: game theory, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, scientific worldview, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, ultimatum game, World Values Survey

normal children age thirty-nine months and above tend to see these questions as fundamentally distinct and consider the latter transgression intrinsically wrong. In this, they appear to be guided by an awareness of potential human suffering. Children at risk for psychopathy tend to view these questions as morally indistinguishable. When asked to identify the mental states of other people on the basis of photographs of their eyes alone, psychopaths show no general impairment.84 Their “theory of mind” processing (as the ability to understand the mental states of others is generally known) seems to be basically intact, with subtle deficits resulting from their simply not caring about how other people feel.85 The one crucial exception, however, is that psychopaths are often unable to recognize expressions of fear and sadness in others.86 And this may be the difference that makes all the difference.

And another thing … Retrieved July 6, 2009, from http://philipball.blogspot.com. Baron, A. S., & Banaji, M. R. (2006). The development of implicit attitudes. Evidence of race evaluations from ages 6 and 10 and adulthood. Psychol Sci, 17 (1), 53–58. Baron, J. (2008). Thinking and deciding (4th ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. Baron-Cohen, S. (1995). Mindblindness: An essay on autism and theory of mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Barrett, J. L. (2000). Exploring the natural foundations of religion. Trends Cogn Sci, 4 (1), 29–34. Bauby, J.-D. (1997). The diving bell and the butterfly (1st U.S. ed.). New York: A. A. Knopf. Baumeister, R. F. (2001). Violent pride. Sci Am, 284 (4), 96–101. Baumeister, R. F., Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., & Vohs, K. D. (2005). Exploding the self-esteem myth.

E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being: Emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annu Rev Psychol, 54, 403–425. Ding, Y. C., Chi, H. C., Grady, D. L., Morishima, A., Kidd, J. R., Kidd, K. K., et al. (2002). Evidence of positive selection acting at the human dopamine receptor D4 gene locus. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 99 (1), 309–314. Dolan, M., & Fullam, R. (2004). Theory of mind and mentalizing ability in antisocial personality disorders with and without psychopathy. Psychol Med, 34 (6), 1093–1102. Dolan, M., & Fullam, R. (2006). Face affect recognition deficits in personality-disordered offenders: Association with psychopathy. Psychol Med, 36 (11), 1563–1569. Donadio, R. (2010a, March 26). Pope may be at crossroads on abuse, forced to reconcile policy and words.


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Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

4chan, basic income, cloud computing, corporate governance, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, gig economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Milgram experiment, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, theory of mind, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

THE LOST THEORY IN YOUR BRAIN The ability to theorize about what someone else experiences as part of understanding that person is called having a theory of mind. To have a theory of mind is to build a story in your head about what’s going on in someone else’s head. Theory of mind is at the core of any sense of respect or empathy, and it’s a prerequisite to any hope of intelligent cooperation, civility, or helpful politics. It’s why stories exist. You’ve heard expressions like “Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” You can’t understand people without knowing a little of what they’ve gone through. Most animals get by without theory of mind, but people need it. When you can only see how someone else behaves, but not the experiences that influenced their behavior, it becomes harder to have a theory of mind about that person. If you see someone hit someone else, for instance, but you did not see that they did it in defense of a child, you might misinterpret what you see.


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Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hedonic treadmill, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

While a successful whole brain emulation could be expected to produce something which thought somewhat like a human, an AGI based on traditional AI might think in an entirely alien way. 4.4 – A comprehensive theory of mind The third approach to building an artificial general intelligence is to develop a comprehensive theory of mind – that is, to achieve a complete understanding of how the mind works – and to use that knowledge to build an artificial one. Although neuroscience has probably made more progress in the last 20 years than in the whole of human history beforehand, we are still very far from a complete theory of mind. If no serious attempt was made to build an AGI until such a theory was complete it would probably not happen until well past the end of this century. Most AI researchers would argue this is to make the task unnecessarily difficult.

Quantum consciousness The distinguished Oxford physicist Sir Roger Penrose argued in 1989 that human brains do not run the same kind of algorithms as computers. He claimed that a phenomenon described by quantum physics known as the wave function collapse could explain how consciousness arises. In 1992 he met an American anaesthetist called Dr Stuart Hammeroff, and the two collaborated on a theory of mind known as Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch-OR). It attributes consciousness to the behaviour of tiny components of cells called microtubules. The two men have continued to develop their thinking ever since, but the great majority of physicists and neuroscientists deny its plausibility. The main line of attack, articulated by US physicist Max Tegmark, is that collections of microtubules forming collapsing wave functions would be too small and act too quickly to have the claimed impact on the much larger scale of neurons.

However, it is not hard to imagine that if and when the prospect of conscious machines comes closer, the research may come under fire from particularly ardent worshippers. In the next three sections we will look at three ways to build a mind – an artificial system which can perform all the intellectual activities that an adult human can. They are: Whole brain emulation Building on artificial narrow intelligence A comprehensive theory of mind 4.2 – Whole brain emulation Whole brain emulation is the process of modelling (copying or replicating) the structures of a brain in very fine detail such that the model produces the same output as the original. So if a brain produces a mind, then the emulation (the model) produces a mind also. A replicated mind which is indistinguishable from the original is called an emulation. If the replicated mind is approximately the same, but differs in some important respects it is called a simulation.


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Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI by John Brockman

AI winter, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, David Graeber, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, finite state, friendly AI, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, invention of writing, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Laplace demon, Loebner Prize, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Picturephone, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telemarketer, telerobotics, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K, zero-sum game

Naturally evolved brains are just the most familiar systems that achieve intelligence through information, computation, and control. Humanly designed systems that achieve intelligence vindicate the notion that information processing is sufficient to explain it—the notion that the late Jerry Fodor dubbed the computational theory of mind. The touchstone for this volume, Norbert Wiener’s The Human Use of Human Beings, celebrated this intellectual accomplishment, of which Wiener himself was a foundational contributor. A potted history of the mid-20th-century revolution that gave the world the computational theory of mind might credit Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver for explaining knowledge and communication in terms of information. It might credit Alan Turing and John von Neumann for explaining intelligence and reasoning in terms of computation. And it ought to give Wiener credit for explaining the hitherto mysterious world of purposes, goals, and teleology in terms of the technical concepts of feedback, control, and cybernetics (in its original sense of “governing” the operation of a goal-directed system).

He is the author of eleven books, including The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and, most recently, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Throughout his career, whether studying language, advocating a realistic biology of mind, or examining the human condition through the lens of humanistic Enlightenment ideas, psychologist Steven Pinker has embraced and championed a naturalistic understanding of the universe and the computational theory of mind. He is perhaps the first internationally recognized public intellectual whose recognition is based on the advocacy of empirically based thinking about language, mind, and human nature. “Just as Darwin made it possible for a thoughtful observer of the natural world to do without creationism,” he says, “Turing and others made it possible for a thoughtful observer of the cognitive world to do without spiritualism.”

Chapter 21 AIs VERSUS FOUR-YEAR-OLDS ALISON GOPNIK Alison Gopnik is a developmental psychologist at UC Berkeley. Her books include The Philosophical Baby and, most recently, The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. Alison Gopnik is an international leader in the field of children’s learning and development and was one of the founders of the field of “theory of mind.” She has spoken of the child brain as a “powerful learning computer,” perhaps from personal experience. Her own Philadelphia childhood was an exercise in intellectual development. “Other families took their kids to see The Sound of Music or Carousel; we saw Racine’s Phaedra and Samuel Beckett’s Endgame,” she has recalled. “Our family read Henry Fielding’s eighteenth-century novel Joseph Andrews out loud to each other around the fire on camping trips.”


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The Age of the Infovore: Succeeding in the Information Economy by Tyler Cowen

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Flynn Effect, framing effect, Google Earth, impulse control, informal economy, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, neurotypical, new economy, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, selection bias, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind

When it comes to autism, very often whether a given generalization is true depends on which subgroup of autistics is being considered. It is a common stereotype that autistics are unaware of the mental existence of other people, but this is a very poor definition of autism. Many autistics do fine on “theory of mind” tests and can understand the intentions of other people quite well. Furthermore many non-autistic children with handicaps, including linguistic handicaps, fail theory of mind tests just as some autistic children do. Theory of mind experiments usually test a complex bundle of human features, including attention-shifting abilities, interpretation of commands, linguistic skills, and common frames of cultural reference. A great number of autistics do find many features of mainstream society and social life quite baffling (I’ll return to this question), but it’s not because they are zombies with no conception of internal mental life.

It’s as if Smith felt he had to understand sympathy to survive in the world and so he studied it more intensely than any person had before him. Note also that Smith wrote down many observations about sympathy but he doesn’t seem to show an intuitive understanding of which points are brilliant insights and which are ordinary observations shared by every man on the street. When thinking about Smith, I am struck by Jared Blackburn’s web discussion of the autistic theory of mind. Jared is a self-described autistic and he opined that many autistic people obtain exceptional insight into others by drawing upon their cognitive skills and approaching the topic of other people from different angles. Even if autistics have slower response speeds in understanding non-autistics, their understanding is not necessarily inferior and it may in some regards be superior. Smith is not interested in sympathy alone but rather he also stresses how interactions with strangers bring about more objective forms of behavior and move society toward a greater emphasis on rules.

On the perceptual and sensory sensitivities of autistics, see for instance Grace T. Baranek, Fabian J. David, Michele D. Poe, Wendy L. Stone, and Linda R. Watson, “Sensory Experiences Questionnaire: Discriminating Sensory Features in Young Children with Autism, Developmental Delays, and Typical Development,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 47, no. 6 (2006), 591–601. On whether autistics suffer from the lack of a “theory of mind” or whether this is simply picking up speech deficits or other cognitive problems, see for instance Morton Ann Gernsbacher and Jennifer L. Frymiare, “Does the Autistic Brain Lack Core Modules?” Journal of Developmental and Learning Disorders 9 (2005), 3–16. See also Lawrence Hirschfeld, Elizabeth Bartmess, Sarah White, and Uta Frith, “Can autistic children predict by social stereotypes?” Current Biology 17, no. 12 (June 19, 2007), 451–52.


Asperger Syndrome: A Love Story by Sarah Hendrickx, Keith Newton

Asperger Syndrome, fear of failure, neurotypical, theory of mind

They may struggle to respond to their own emotional needs. Unfortunately, there may be an expectation from a partner that they will somehow ‘know’ what is required emotionally, and not doing so can cause distress and confusion for both parties: How can a man expect to understand women if he can’t even understand himself ? (AS male) Emotional support and managing feelings Those with AS are said to have a less developed ‘Theory of Mind’ compared to their same age peers (Baron-Cohen 2003). This is an ability that develops in small children who, as they grow, begin to realise that they are not the only people in the world, and that others have different thoughts and knowledge from their own. Many adults with AS can find it very difficult to anticipate and comprehend that a partner may have different emotional needs. Many AS people express bewilderment at the emotional reactions of their neuro-typical (NT) partners.

None of those questioned had experience of this type of behaviour, but since most were, or had been, in a relationship, this suggests that this would be less likely. Reasons for engaging in harassment can be a genuine lack of understanding of social signals by the person with AS. The focus of their attention may have been kind of friendly and this may have been misinterpreted. There may be a difficulty in perceiving that upset or distress is being felt by the person due to less mature ‘theory of mind’ abilities. There will doubtless be a logical thought process that has occurred in the mind of the person with AS, which has resulted in the behaviour. It is unlikely that there is real understanding of the consequences of the behaviour for themselves or their target: I can’t read sexual signals easily and this has got me into trouble before as I’ve often thought that people were being friendly when they were coming on to me sexually, and this has hurt and upset my partner greatly.

One man with AS who responded to the survey had been fired from his job for viewing pornography at his workplace. If this had been an establishment involving children or other vulnerable groups, this could have led to arrest. The desire to meet one’s needs may override the person’s perception of the appropriateness of the behaviour. It may also be difficult for a person with AS to transfer the concept that looking at pornography is OK in one setting but not in another. Less developed empathy/‘Theory of Mind’ skills may mean that the individual is not able to appreciate the consequences of their behaviour on others, making their own needs the only consideration. The tendency to speak the truth can also result in a person with AS making inappropriate remarks to others, which may be taken as offensive when the person only intends to express their thoughts or opinions. In most situations, it appears that deliberate intent to harm is not generally the case in offences committed by those with AS, but that they may be perceiving the world in a different way with different understandings and drives.


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The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism by Temple Grandin, Sean Barron

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, fundamental attribution error, index card, Mars Rover, neurotypical, theory of mind

Another time, Mother was having a dinner party downstairs, directly beneath my room. I took one of my dresses and put it on a coat hanger and then put a paper bag on it as a head and painted some eyes on it. I put it on a string, then lowered it out the window All the guests screamed as though someone had fallen out the window. It was pretty funny. I had a really good visual theory of mind, instead of emotional theory of mind. For instance, one time when we were playing hide and seek I got the idea of creating a fake person to distract the goal keeper. I thought, now if I take some coats and I stuff them with leaves and I put them up in the tree, the goal keeper is going to go over there and then we can run in and catch the goal. I was doing things like that when I was eight. In third grade I decided that for our school’s dog show I would go as a dog and have two other kids show me.

Despite what looked like a disregard for parents and people around him, Sean’s nature contained the seed of emotional-relatedness that exists in different degrees within people on the autism spectrum. Looking back now, we realize that his emotional-relatedness capacity was high; missing from the equation, however, was the ability to step outside his own mind, to think flexibly and with what we now refer to as Theory of Mind—the ability to perceive the world from another person’s point of view. Every social misstep was a blow to his fragile self-esteem; every misunderstanding a testament that something was inherently wrong with him, that he was “bad.” He was self-focused, not by choice but by his autism. Managing the fear and anxiety associated with daily functioning was often too much to bear; angry explosions were frequent and only dragged him down farther into the black hole of self-despair.

Are you teaching a child to respond to questions in order to keep a social conversation going? Or are you teaching him how to be diplomatic in his responses? A generic “Kyle, what do you think of this nice dinner that Aunt Mary has prepared for us?” can be confusing. For one child the issue is whether or not to obey (answer the question); to another it’s a decision to tell the truth or lie; a third child may have the Theory of Mind skills to understand that being diplomatic is the order of the day. And you thought the question was innocent and easy? Topics such as honesty, diplomacy, and socially approved white lies have no clear-cut boundaries; personal ethics and morals dictate our opinions and even within social groupings, what is “wrong” or “right” can differ tremendously. As a result, many adults adopt a very “autistic-like” rigid response to the social misbehavior of their children.


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Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz

affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, car-free, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, cosmological constant, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, desegregation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, lake wobegon effect, longitudinal study, mandatory minimum, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ronald Reagan, six sigma, stem cell, Steven Pinker, Tenerife airport disaster, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route

Rebecca Saxe, a neuroscientist at MIT and one of the leading contributors to our understanding of the brain structures underlying theory of mind, offers the example of Romeo and Juliet. As audience members, we know that the seemingly lifeless Juliet is not actually dead, as Romeo believes, but has merely taken a sleeping potion. But if we didn’t have theory of mind, we wouldn’t be able to set aside our own knowledge and see the scene as Romeo does—and so we wouldn’t understand why he kills himself. The false belief on which the whole tragedy turns would be completely lost on us. So, too, would entire expanses of the social landscape. Without theory of mind, we wouldn’t be able to register the subtleties of a flirtation, recognize our accidental offenses against a friend, or foresee that coming home two hours late might alarm and anger our family. As these examples suggest, theory of mind is vital to our emotional, intellectual, and moral development.

What children maintain about the imaginary Sally they also maintain about themselves: that their beliefs about the world cannot deviate from the world as it really is. This faith in the perfect accuracy of our beliefs is fleeting. By the age of five, virtually all children can pass the Sally-Ann test with ease. In coming to do so, these children have acquired what developmental psychologists call “representational theory of mind.” That is, they’ve figured out what a mind is, at least in general terms—not a photocopy of reality but a private and somewhat idiosyncratic means for making sense of the world—and they’ve figured out that everybody has one. This changed understanding leads to striking new insights: that beliefs about the world can be at odds with the world itself; that my beliefs can be at odds with yours; that other people don’t necessarily know everything I know; and, conversely, that I don’t necessarily know everything other people know.

As these examples suggest, theory of mind is vital to our emotional, intellectual, and moral development. (Tragically, we have some idea of how compromised we would be without it, because its absence or diminution is characteristic of people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome.*) Once you acquire theory of mind, there is no going back; barring serious brain injury, you will never fail the Sally-Ann test again. But the attraction of naïve realism never wholly fades. Granted, we come to understand, in the abstract, that our beliefs can be skewed by any number of factors, ranging from the silent nudgings of self-interest to the limits of omniscience—the fact that, like Sally, sometimes we just aren’t in the right room at the right time. When it comes to our specific convictions about the world, however, we all too easily lapse back into the condition of toddlers, serenely convinced that our own beliefs are simply, necessarily true.† Why do we do this?


New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind by Noam Chomsky

dark matter, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, theory of mind, Turing test

To raise them with regard to inquiries barely attempting to gain a foothold is pointless, scarcely more than a form of harassment of emerging disciplines. Naturalism, so understood, should be uncontroversial, though its reach remains to be determined; and the dualistic alternative should be highly controversial. I think that the opposite has been true, a curious feature of recent intellectual history. Explanatory theories of mind have been proposed, notably in the study of language. They have been seriously challenged, not for violating the canons of methodological naturalism (which they seem to observe, reasonably well), but on other grounds: “philosophical grounds,” which are alleged to show that they are dubious, perhaps outrageous, irrespective of success by the normal criteria of science; or perhaps that they are successful, but do not deal with “the mind” and “the mental.”

There are many further ramifications, including recent “evolutionary epistemology.” (For some discussion, see Chomsky 1966: Chapter 4; 1968/72; 1975: Chapter 1.) The enterprise of epistemic naturalism is uncontentious, apart from the term, which is misleading in a peculiarly modern way. The epistemic naturalism of the seventeenth and eighteenth century was science, an attempt to construct an empirical theory of mind; Hume, for one, compared his enterprise with Isaac Newton’s. Epistemic naturalism, in Naturalism and dualism 81 contrast, is presented as a “philosophical position,” something apparently different. We plainly cannot read back into earlier periods a distinction between science and philosophy that developed later. We would not use the term “visual naturalism” to refer to the empirical study of the growth and functioning of the visual system (also a topic of earlier rational psychology), implying that there was some coherent alternative for the same realm of problems.

The successful natural sciences, then, fall within the intersection of the scope of SFF and the nature of the world; they treat the (scattered and limited) aspects of the world that we can grasp and comprehend by naturalistic inquiry, in principle. The intersection is a chance product of human nature. Contrary to speculations since Peirce, there is nothing in the theory of evolution, or any other intelligible source, that suggests that it should include answers to serious questions we raise, or even that we should be able to formulate questions properly in areas of puzzlement. Specifically, it is unknown whether aspects of the theory of mind – say, questions about consciousness – are problems or mysteries for humans, though in principle we could discover the answer, even discover that they are mysteries; there is no contradiction in the belief that SFF might permit us to learn something about its limits. (See Chomsky, 1968 ch. 3; 1975, ch. 4. On the possible limits, and the relevance to philosophical inquiry, see particularly McGinn 1991; 1993.)


On Nature and Language by Noam Chomsky

Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, complexity theory, dark matter, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Murray Gell-Mann, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Turing test

Furthermore, the idea that language may be an optimal solution to interface conditions, in non-trivial respects, seems a good deal more plausible than it did a few years ago. Insofar as it is true, interesting questions arise about the theory of mind, the design of the brain, and the role of natural law in the evolution of even very complex organs such as the language faculty, questions that are very much alive in the theory of evolution at elementary levels, in work of the kind pioneered by D’Arcy Thompson and Alan Turing that has been somewhat at the margins until recently. It is conceivable that the comprehensive ethological approach discussed earlier might be enriched in these terms, though that remains a distant prospect. 90 Language and the brain Still more remote are the fundamental questions that motivated the classical theory of mind – the creative aspect of language use, the distinction between action appropriate to situations and action caused by situations, between being “compelled” to act in certain ways or only “incited and inclined” to do so; and in general, the question of how “members of animal bodies move at the command of the will,” Newton’s phrase in his review of mysteries that remain unresolved, including the causes of interaction of bodies, electrical attraction and repulsion, and other basic issues that remained unintelligible, by the standards of the scientific revolution.

“The world was merely a set of Archimedian simple machines hooked together,” Galileo scholar Peter Machamer observes, “or a set of colliding corpuscles that obeyed the laws of mechanical collision.” The world is something like the intricate clocks and other automata that excited the scientific imagination of that era, much as computers do today – and the shift is, in an important sense, not fundamental, as Alan Turing showed sixty years ago. Within the framework of the mechanical philosophy, Descartes developed his theory of mind and mind–body dualism, still the locus classicus of much discussion of our mental nature, a serious misunderstanding, I believe. Descartes himself pursued a reasonable course. He sought to demonstrate that the inorganic and organic world could be explained in terms of the mechanical philosophy. But he argued that fundamental aspects of human nature escape these bounds and cannot be accommodated in these terms.

Newton was formulating a new and weaker model of intelligibility, one with roots in what has been called the “mitigated skepticism” of the British scientific tradition, which had abandoned as hopeless the search for the “first springs of natural motions” and other natural phenomena, keeping to the much more modest effort to develop the best theoretical account we can. The implications for the theory of mind were immediate, and immediately recognized. Mind–body dualism is no longer tenable, because there is no notion of body. It is common in recent years to ridicule Descartes’s “ghost in the machine,” and to speak of “Descartes’s error” in postulating a second substance: mind, distinct from body. It is true that Descartes was proven wrong, but not for those reasons. Newton exorcised the machine; he left the ghost intact.


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Asperger Syndrome and Alcohol: Drinking to Cope? by Matthew Tinsley, Sarah Hendrickx

Asperger Syndrome, neurotypical, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), theory of mind

• In a further study regarding emotional information processing in alcoholics, the researchers conclude: ‘Alcoholics are specifically impaired on emotional non-verbal behaviour information processing: they are slower to correctly identify an emotion’ (Foisy et al. 2007). • Research examining theory of mind, humour processing and executive functioning – all areas which affect those with AS – in alcoholics found similar results (Uekermann et al. 2007). ASPERGER SYNDROME AND ALCOHOL – WHY SHOULD THERE BE A LINK? / 31 The findings indicate that the alcoholic participants showed humour processing deficits which were related to theory of mind and executive functioning. They note that these deficits may contribute to interpersonal problems. • Another study found that alcoholics had impairments in their ability to recognize correct prosody (the intonation and rhythm of speech which dictate meaning) and also in matching prosody to facial expression (Uekermann et al. 2005).

Any problems with our relationship or my drinking were brushed under the carpet in my mind. Alcohol meant that I never felt the full level of shame or discomfort when challenged about my drinking, and I used to drink more just to cover up feelings of guilt and inadequacy. My partners may have been seething, but I never really internalized their unhappiness. I suppose this was part of the lack of theory of mind; if I felt fine about things, even if this sensation was alcohol induced, then how could they have a problem? Looking back, this makes a lot of sense to me. The notion that they had their own unhappiness or problems simply didn’t register with me, if I perceived no difficulties myself. My problem with anger was that it was so intense inside that I daren’t let it out. I would prefer to switch off emotionally.

London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. The Information Centre (2007) Statistics on Alcohol: England 2007. London: The Information Centre. Thomas, S.E., Randall, C.L. and Carrigan, M.H. (2003) ‘Drinking to Cope in Socially Anxious Individuals: A Controlled Study.’ Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 27, 12, 1937–1943. Uekermann, J., Channon, S., Winkel, K., Schlebusch, P. and Daum, I. (2007) ‘Theory of mind, humour processing and executive functioning in alcoholism.’ Addiction 102, 2, 232–240. Uekermann, J., Daum, I., Schlebusch, P. and Trenckmann, U. (2005) ‘Processing of affective stimuli in alcoholism.’ Cortex 41, 2, 189–194. Van Wijngaarden-Cremers, P.J.M. and van der Gaag, R.J. (2006) ‘Addiction & Autism: Two sides of a same neurobiological coin?’ Available at www.ditplb.or.id/2006/ppt/09h15%20Patricia%20van%20Wijngaarden-Crem ers, accessed on 26 September 2007.


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The Cultural Logic of Computation by David Golumbia

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, American ideology, Benoit Mandelbrot, borderless world, business process, cellular automata, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, en.wikipedia.org, finite state, future of work, Google Earth, Howard Zinn, IBM and the Holocaust, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, late capitalism, means of production, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Stewart Brand, strong AI, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, web application

Fodor’s Mind As a student of both Chomsky and Putnam, Jerry Fodor articulated the most elaborated version of functionalism in the analytic literature. Developing out of his work on the compositionality of meaning with Katz (Fodor and Katz 1962), Fodor also followed up on Putnam’s essays of the early 1960s in creating the most explicit version of functionalism, which Fodor variously (and often simultaneously) calls the Representational Theory of Mind (RTM), the Language of Thought (LOT), and the Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) (see Fodor 1975, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1990, 2000). Fodor writes that CTM is “the best theory of cognition that we’ve got; indeed, the only one we’ve got that’s worth the bother of a serious discussion” (Fodor 2000, 1). Although it took some years for this model to develop its full terminology, it is implicit in Fodor’s early linguistic work and explicit as early as Fodor (1975).

Influential new concepts often emerge alongside technological shifts—they emerged alongside the shifts to steam power, electricity, and television, for example (see, e.g., Marvin 1988). Like enthusiasts during these other shifts, computer enthusiasts suggest that their bedrock principle is the one people need to use to resolve our most pressing social problems. To a greater degree than do some of those earlier concepts, computing overlaps with one of the most influential lines in the history of modern thought, namely the rationalist theory of mind. This may account in part for the strength of computing’s influence in contemporary culture. I argue that the current vogue for computation takes this old belief system—that something like rational calculation might account for every part of the material world, and especially the social and mental worlds—and repurposes it in such a way so as to give every appearance of its being something very new.

So if the mind is a sort of computer, we begin to see how you can have a theory of mental processes that succeeds where—literally—all previous attempts had abjectly failed; a theory which explains how there could be nonarbitrary content relations among causally related thoughts . . . . In computer design, causal role is brought into phase with content by exploiting parallelisms between the syntax of a symbol and its semantics. But this idea won’t do the theory of mind any good unless there are mental symbols: mental particulars possessed of both semantic and syntactic properties. (Fodor 1987, 19) The traditional Cartesian problem is how mind-stuff can affect worldstuff; rather than accepting that somehow mind and world are one (a view The Cultural Logic of Computation p 68 sometimes called monism), Cartesians insist that mind-stuff is somehow special, rational, willing, conscious.


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The Fitness Mindset: Eat for Energy, Train for Tension, Manage Your Mindset, Reap the Results by Brian Keane

Snapchat, theory of mind

See the nutrition section of the book for more on this. CHAPTER 10 WORRY How to crowd worry out of your mind I think worry and anxiety are two sides of the same coin – we are the only species that have acquired the capacity to envision and anticipate our future. We also have what’s called ‘theory of mind’, where I can think about what you’re thinking about. This can be an incredible thing – envisioning your future can allow you to create and be the architect of the lifestyle you wish to lead. Your theory of mind helps build incredible relationships with other people – the relationships that normally thrive are those where you can perceive the other person’s point of view, or figuratively, ‘put yourself in their shoes’. Our brain, specifically our pre-frontal cortex, has evolved to do this, but it also means that the same visionary mechanism can have opposite and negative effects if we don’t manage it.

This means that every second we don’t work, or when we are engaged in a conversation or focusing on a task, our brain automatically starts thinking about our social relationships – the ‘default mode’. Think about yourself. How often, as you’ve been driving home from work, have you replayed the conversations or interactions you had that day? ‘What did Suzie mean by that comment?’ or ‘I wonder if Paul likes me?’ We’ve all done it, and again, like most things, it constantly serves an evolutionary purpose. The more social awareness and theory of mind we possess, the more socially accepted we will be. Thousands of years ago, if you were isolated from your large hunter-gatherer group, it meant you ended up as dinner for some sabre-toothed tiger, so it was important to be accepted into the group. This may explain why we have such a yearning to be liked and accepted. It’s an evolutionary survival adaption. Like most things, when used positively, it can enhance your life tremendously.


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The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning by Jeremy Lent

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atahualpa, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, complexity theory, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, different worldview, Doomsday Book, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Georg Cantor, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of gunpowder, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Metcalfe's law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pierre-Simon Laplace, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Scientific racism, scientific worldview, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social intelligence, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, ultimatum game, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wikimedia commons

Perhaps the most important step in this understanding is the recognition that other people have minds like we do, and that, by thinking about how we ourselves respond to things, we can make predictions about how they might respond. This realization is known as “theory of mind,” and it forms the basis of much of our social existence. While chimpanzees have been shown to have some inklings of a theory of mind, it appears to be only a partial and hazy capability. It doesn't come easily even to human children. It's usually not until a child is three or four years old before a full theory of mind emerges. When that happens, a child realizes, for example, that her parents can be wrong, and that there are some things they can only know about if she tells them. Before too long, she will begin to experiment with lying and deception.10 Lying and deception.

McNeill, “A Short History of Humanity,” New York Review of Books 47, no. 11 (2000). 8. Merlin Donald, A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness (New York: Norton, 2001), 88, 263–65. 9. R. I. M. Dunbar and Susanne Shultz, “Evolution in the Social Brain,” Science 317, no. 7 (2007); Carl Zimmer, “Sociable, and Smart,” New York Times, March 4, 2008. 10. David Premack and G. Woodruff, “Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (1978): 515–26; Daniel J. Povinelli and Todd M. Preuss, “Theory of Mind: Evolutionary History of a Cognitive Specialization,” Trends in Neurosciences 18, no. 9 (1995): 418–24; Michael Tomasello, The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), 89–90, 179. 11. Richard D. Alexander, “The Evolution of Social Behavior,” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 5 (1974): 325–83. 12.

We may never completely settle this question, but one thing we know for sure is that by thirty thousand years ago, the Neanderthals were extinct. There was only one subspecies of Homo left in the world, from which we are all descended.13* The Tragedy of Cognition The power of the patterning instinct, even in this early stage of history, was impressive. The PFC's unique connectivity was responsible for theory of mind, which allowed people to see others as independent agents; for creating hierarchies of thoughts, leading to complex tools and the recursion of language; and for crossing the metaphoric threshold that permitted humans to think and communicate abstract thoughts. But these powers came at a terrible cost, something that has been fittingly named the “tragedy of cognition.”14 Once you understand that those around you are thinking and feeling people like you, a disturbing crescendo of implications is likely to occur in your mind when somebody dies.


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Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life by Steven Johnson

Columbine, double helix, epigenetics, experimental subject, Gödel, Escher, Bach, James Watt: steam engine, l'esprit de l'escalier, lateral thinking, pattern recognition, phenotype, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, zero-sum game

To pass the test, the insight has to reverberate for weeks or months after you’ve first encountered it; it has to pop up in conversation or in moments of self-reflection; it may even change your behavior based on what it teaches you about yourself. Long-decay ideas transform as much as they inform. For the most part, the long-decay ideas I’ve assembled here have direct relevance to ordinary minds, minds untroubled by the extreme conditions profiled in so much of the scientific literature: amnesia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, manic-depression, the many forms of aphasia. The most powerful theories of mind have always had something useful to contribute to generally healthy minds and not just troubled ones. Freud developed his theories partially by analyzing the debilitating disorders of hysterics and schizophrenics, but psychoanalysis ultimately attracted such a large audience because you didn’t need to be mentally ill to find something useful in it. You could explore your Oedipal complex and analyze your dreams even if you weren’t worried about your sanity.

Like almost all his writing, this is a complex, combinatorial language, filled with negations of negations and participatory metaphors. For all its complications, though, I think this passage does an admirable job of conveying both the insights and the blind spots of the Freudian model, at least when viewed through the lens of modern neuroscience. To be sure, the passage does not offer a comprehensive survey of Freud’s theory of mind. Parts of it conflict with writings from other stages of his career. This is one of the great problems-and great charms-of reading Freud: he changed his mind at several key points in his intellectual life. Beyond the Pleasure Principle, from which this passage is taken, marked just such a turning point. Freud had constructed an entire dynamic model of the psyche with the drive for pleasure as its central piston, and here were these veterans from the Somme endlessly revisiting the horrors of battle in their dreams.

When people complain about scientific or biological attempts to explain human behavior, what they’re often saying is that science “reduces” human complexity to biological component parts, and in that reduction, some essence is lost. The rainbow is just refracted light, the brain just a box of competing modules. Of course, anyone who has spent any time actually reading the scientific literature on the brain knows that the current model of how the brain works is an immensely complex one, hardly a crude simplification. It is vastly more complicated and multilayered as a theory than Freud’s theory of mind was, more elaborate than Shakespeare’s or Aristotle’s. Actual individual brains are of course more complicated than any theory that describes them, and so in building a model of brain function, there is a necessary reductive step in moving from object to model. But that is true of any attempt to explain the mind’s behavior, whether it takes the form of a sonnet, a philosophical discourse, or a peer-reviewed paper in the New England Journal of Medicine.


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Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception by George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller, Stanley B Resor Professor Of Economics Robert J Shiller

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, David Brooks, desegregation, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, equity premium, financial intermediation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, greed is good, income per capita, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, loss aversion, market bubble, Menlo Park, mental accounting, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, new economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, publication bias, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave

Many of our ideas—perhaps even the core of our thinking—are about our fellow human beings. The mentally healthy have subtle abilities to perceive the thoughts of others: they have a theory of mind. It is one of the most attractive features of humanity. It underlies our sympathy for one another. But theory of mind also has its downside. It also means that we can figure out how to lure people into doing things that are in our interest, but not in theirs. As a result, many new ideas are not just technological. They are not ways to deliver good-for-you/good-for-me’s. They are, instead, new uses of the theory of mind, regarding how to deliver good-for-me/bad-for-you’s. Such new ideas have emerged in every chapter of this book. We have seen, for example, the addictive slot machines of Las Vegas; the ratings agencies’ labeling rotten “avocados” (i.e., rotten derivatives) as triple-A; the selling of the man in the Hathaway shirt and of the senator on the lawnmower; the doggie strategically placed in the window.

., 184nn32–33 Phillips Petroleum, 128 phishing: asset price volatility and, 133–34; broader meaning of, xi; consequences of, xii–xvi; economic scholarship on, 164–65, 166–70; by focus manipulation, 32, 149–50; as general phenomenon, 170, 171, 173; information, xi, 75, 137; on Internet, x–xi, 150; legal protections, 141–43; psychological, 6–8, 146; resistance to, viii, xii, 136–37, 145–46; stories in, xiii–xiv, 10, 149, 162, 172–73; theory of mind used in, 98; trial and error in, 54; vulnerability to, x, 7, 163–66 phishing equilibrium: of Big Tobacco, 109; economic pressures for, vii–viii, xi–xii, 1–2; in economics, 163–73; in financial markets, 24, 37, 135; finger exercises, 2–5; in free markets, x, 5–6, 9; of news media, 58–59; in politics, xvi, 74, 75, 82–83, 159, 161–62; savings and loan crisis, 117–18 phood industry, 86, 94. See also food phools: bad decisions by, 1, 6–7; definition of, xi; information, xi, 75; psychological, xi, 75; voters as, 75; vulnerability of, 7, 163–64 pickpockets, 149–50 Piketty, Thomas, 223n35 Pinkham, Daniel, xiv Pizzo, Stephen, 121, 207n43, 221nn20–21, 221n27 Pogue, Mark, 122 political action committees (PACs), 72, 77, 81, 159 politics: advertising, 54–57, 73, 74, 75; costs of campaigns, 73–74, 205n22; equilibria in, 74–75; money’s role in, xvi, 73–74, 78–82, 159–62; phishing in, xvi, 74, 75, 82–83, 159, 161–62; presidential campaigns, 54–57, 78; Senate campaigns, xvi, 72–73, 74; special-interest groups in, 75, 77; stories in, 74, 78, 79.

., 226n44 poverty rates, 154 Pozsar, Zoltan, 191n21 Predators’ Ball, 131 Prelec, Drazen, 68, 70, 201n28 presidential campaigns, 54–57, 78. See also campaign contributions; politics Pride and Prejudice (Austen), 46 Prilosec, 211n53 printers, inkjet, 167 product quality. See quality standards psychological phishing, 6–8, 146 psychology: biases, 7, 149, 150, 167, 170, 186–87n26; causes of alcoholism, 111; decision making, 1, 6–7; mental frames, 10; of phools, xi, 75; theory of mind, 98 Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, 84, 85, 94 quality standards, 137–39, 140 race, of auto buyers, 60–61 Race Betterment Congress, 106 Radam, William, 85 Rajan, Raghuram, 189–90n1 Rakoff, Jed S., 157, 229n21 Ramey, Garey, 102, 214n14 Ramey, Valerie A., 102, 214n14 Rangel, Antonio, 214–15n1 rankings, 100–102, 214n11, 214nn15–17 ratings agencies. See credit ratings agencies Rau, P.


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Split-Second Persuasion: The Ancient Art and New Science of Changing Minds by Kevin Dutton

availability heuristic, Bernie Madoff, call centre, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, different worldview, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, equity premium, fundamental attribution error, haute couture, job satisfaction, loss aversion, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile

One thinks, for instance, of the profound attentional deficits found in those with autism. Autistic infants prove the exception to the rule when it comes to focusing on the eye region of faces, attending instead to the area around the mouth. As they get older, autistic individuals also lack the ability to see, in both a cognitive and an emotional sense, where others are ‘coming from’ – a deficit known as an absence of a Theory of Mind. 36Most children acquire the rudiments of a Theory of Mind by around the age of four, as assessed by a now classic experiment called the Sally Anne Task: Figure 2.12 – The Sally Anne task. (photo credit 2.12) Up until the age of four, children will invariably give the wrong answer to this question: in the box. Because they happen to be familiar with the marble’s new location it’s inconceivable to them that others may not be.

Eventually however, from about four onwards, the correct answer gradually begins to emerge as the neurological rumblings of self-awareness proceed to disentangle our own mind from those of others. Except, that is, in autism. From a clinical perspective, this is interesting. 37Disorders of the autistic spectrum are the only ones in DSM IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychological Association) specifically characterised by an absence of a Theory of Mind. In addition, they are also the only disorders in which an inability to engage in eye contact presents as a key diagnostic feature. Might it be that our innate perceptual bias for eyes, as well as facilitating our propensity to detect threat, also foreshadows our capacity to ‘read’ people? To infer the mental states of others? Think, for a moment, of the potential long-term consequences that an inability to make eye contact might entail.

Haxby and Mark H. Johnson (Eds.), The Handbook Of Face Perception (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). 35 Back in the sixties, the social psychologist Stanley Milgram … Milgram, Stanley, Bickman, Leonard and Berkowitz, Lawrence, ‘Note On The Drawing Power Of Crowds Of Different Size.’ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 13 (1969): 79–82. 36 Most children acquire the rudiments of a Theory of Mind … Wimmer, Heinz and Perner, Josef, ‘Beliefs About Beliefs: Representation and Constraining Function of Wrong Beliefs In Young Children’s Understanding of Deception.’ Cognition 13 (1983): 103–128. 37 Disorders of the autistic spectrum … ToM deficits have also been implicated in schizophrenia and psychopathy, as well as in anorexia and depression, but not to the same extent as in disorders of the autistic spectrum.


The Deep Learning Revolution (The MIT Press) by Terrence J. Sejnowski

AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Conway's Game of Life, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, discovery of DNA, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, Henri Poincaré, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Norbert Wiener, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, PageRank, pattern recognition, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Socratic dialogue, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize, Yogi Berra

He had a particular interest in the theory of mind. In psychology, we have an implicit theory of how our minds work, and we use that as a guide Figure 11.3 Held at a Lake Tahoe casino, the 2012 NIPS Conference was a turning point for the field and put the “Neural” back into “Neural Information Processing Systems.” Courtesy of the NIPS Foundation. 166 Chapter 11 to others’ minds. When we text our friends, we are unaware of the many decisions our brains have made concerning what to type and how to type it. Zuckerberg asked a lot of questions. “How does my brain make a mental model of myself?” “How does my brain make mental models of other people based on experience?” “How does my brain predict the future behavior of others?” “Do other species have a theory of mind?” I had recently coorganized a symposium at the Salk Institute on the theory of mind, and Zuckerberg wanted all the symposium references.

Demis Hassabis and I participated in intense debates about the future of and next priority for artificial intelligence that took place during the Brains, Minds and Machines symposium at the 2015 NIPS Conference in Montreal and the Bits and Brains workshop at the NIPS 2016 Conference in Barcelona. There are still many open questions in AI that need to be addressed. Foremost is the question of causality, which informs the highest levels of human reasoning, and the intentionality of actions, both of which presuppose a theory of mind. I mentioned earlier that none of the deep learning systems we have created are able to survive on their own. The autonomy of these systems will only be possible if they include functions similar to those from many other parts of the brain hitherto ignored, such as the hypothalamus, which is essential for feeding, reproduction, the regulation of hormones, and the homeostasis of internal organs, and the cerebellum, which helps us refine movements based on movement prediction error.

I had recently coorganized a symposium at the Salk Institute on the theory of mind, and Zuckerberg wanted all the symposium references. In machine learning, whoever has the most data wins, and Facebook has more data about more people’s likes, friends, and photos than anyone else. With all these data, Facebook could create a theory of our minds and use it to predict our preferences and political leanings. Facebook might someday know us better than we know ourselves. Will Facebook someday become the incarnation of Orwell’s Big Brother?5 Do you find this a chilling prospect, or would you find it convenient to have a digital butler to attend to your needs? We might well ask whether Facebook should have this power, but we may not have much say in the matter. Although we held the 2012 and 2013 NIPS Conferences in Lake Tahoe casinos, attendees avoided the gaming tables.


Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, American ideology, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate personhood, David Brooks, discovery of DNA, double helix, drone strike, failed state, Howard Zinn, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, land reform, Martin Wolf, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Powell Memorandum, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, single-payer health, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tobin tax, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

In my view, though, they’re just an utter waste of time. There are some very strange ideas out there. For instance, a lot of quite fashionable work claims that children acquire language because humans have the capacity to understand the perspective of another person, according to what’s called theory of mind. The capacity to tell that another person is intending to do something develops in normal children at roughly age three or four. But, in fact, if you look at the autism spectrum, one of the classic syndromes is failure to develop theory of mind. That’s why autistic kids, or adults for that matter, don’t seem to understand what other people’s intentions are. Nevertheless, their language can be absolutely perfect. Furthermore, this capacity to understand the intention of others develops long after the child has mastered almost all the basic character of the language, maybe all of it.

Federal Election Commission, 173–74 Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 70–71 Syria, 63, 95, 106 Taft-Hartley bill, 40 Taiwan, 9, 21, 169 Taliban, 15–16, 98, 100 taxes, 38, 75–76, 82, 159 cuts, 41–42 Tobin, 76 Tea Party movement, 28 technology, 9, 145–46 television, 67, 102 terrorism, 14, 21, 96, 109, 114, 139 against Kurds, 89–92 military detention and, 70–73 9/11 attacks, 14–16, 139 theory of mind, 132 Tobin, James, 76 Tobin tax, 76 torture, 37, 89, 92, 109, 145 totalitarianism, 64, 79, 158 trade, 9, 87–88 deficit, 9 Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAPI), 17–18 Trilateral Commission report, 150, 151 Truman, Harry S., 24 Tunisia, 44–45, 48–49, 53, 67, 112–13 Turkey, 51, 89–94 human rights violations, 89–92 -Israel relations, 92–94 Kurds, 89–92 Turkmenistan, 17 Twitter, 105, 145 UNASUR, 161 unemployment, 22–23, 38, 66, 76 United Arab Emirates, 8, 15, 49 United Auto Workers, 25 United Nations, 46, 50–52, 115, 162, 163 universal genome, 129 universal grammar, 126–29 universities, 150–53, 165–68 corporatization of, 152, 167–68 sports, 165–66 uprisings, 44–64 Arab Spring, 44–55, 60–64, 67, 112–13, 168 Egypt, 44–49, 60–64 Libya, 50–54 Vietnam War, 1–3, 15, 31, 64, 97 visual system, 141 voting, 81, 84, 117–18 Wallerstein, Immanuel, 77 Wall Street Journal, 54, 169 Walmart, 9 war, 13–18, 20 crimes, 114–17 Warfalla, 50 Washington, George, 3 Weathermen, 74 Weimar Republic, 25, 27–29 Weisskopf, Victor, 149, 154 welfare, 82–83, 84, 87 Western Sahara, 46 “When Elites Fail” (Chomsky), 22 Wiesel, Elie, 94 WikiLeaks, 99, 107–13 Wilson, Woodrow, 13, 23 Wisconsin, labor demonstrations in, 40–43 Wolf, Martin, 78 Wolff, Richard, 88 women’s rights, 79, 150, 177 World Bank, 47 World Trade Organization, 107 World War II, 5, 7, 56, 57, 115–16 Yemen, 49, 114 Yglesias, Matthew, 59, 63 YouTube, 104 Zaire, 17 Zinn, Howard, 1, 22, 78 About the Authors NOAM CHOMSKY is the author of numerous best-selling political works, including Hegemony or Survival and Failed States.


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Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Columbine, David Brooks, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Ferguson, Missouri, impulse control, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Paul Erdős, period drama, Peter Singer: altruism, publication bias, Ralph Waldo Emerson, replication crisis, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

But there is a related sense that has to do with the capacity to appreciate what’s going on in the minds of other people without any contagion of feeling. If your suffering makes me suffer, if I feel what you feel, that’s empathy in the sense that I’m interested in here. But if I understand that you are in pain without feeling it myself, this is what psychologists describe as social cognition, social intelligence, mind reading, theory of mind, or mentalizing. It’s also sometimes described as a form of empathy—“cognitive empathy” as opposed to “emotional empathy,” which is most of my focus. Later in this chapter, I’ll talk about cognitive empathy, rather critically, but right now we should just keep in mind that these two sorts of empathy are distinct—they emerge from different brain processes, they influence us in different ways, and you can have a lot of one and a little of the other.

It turns out, though, that this the-whole-brain-does-it conclusion arises because neuroscientists—along with psychologists and philosophers—are often sloppy in their use of the term empathy. Some investigators look at what I see as empathy proper—what happens in the brain when someone feels the same thing they believe another person is feeling. Others look at what happens when we try to understand other people, usually called “social cognition” or “theory of mind” but sometimes called “cognitive empathy.” Others look at quite specific instantiations of empathy (such as what happens when you watch someone’s face contort in disgust), and still others study what goes on in the brain when a person decides to do something nice for another person, which is sometimes called “prosocial concern” but which one normally thinks of as niceness or kindness. Once you start pulling these different phenomena apart, which I’ll do below, things get more interesting, and you see how these different capacities relate to one another.

Brown, “Teddy Bears and Toys Inundate Newtown,” Connecticut Post, December 17, 2012, http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Teddy-bears-and-toys-inundate-Newtown-4150578.php. 33 “Nothing to it” Annie Dillard, For the Time Being (New York: Vintage Books: 2010), 45. 35 Yet the program may have For a study of the consequences of the Massachusetts furlough program, see Massachusetts Department of Correction, “The Massachusetts Furlough Program,” May 1987, http://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/MADOC/Furloughpositionpaper.pdf. 37 many legal decisions turn on Thomas Colby, “In Defense of Judicial Empathy,” Minnesota Law Review 96 (2012): 1944–2015. Or take bullies Jon Sutton, Peter K. Smith, and John Swettenham, “Bullying and ‘Theory of Mind’: A Critique of the ‘Social Skills Deficit’ View of Anti‐social Behaviour,” Social Development 8 (1999): 117–27. 38 “‘You are afraid’ . . . ‘Do you remember’” George Orwell, 1984 (New York: Signet Classics, 1950), 257 and 271. 43 “We can’t feel compassion” Lynn E. O’Connor and Jack W. Berry, “Forum: Against Empathy,” Boston Review, August 2014, http://bostonreview.net/forum/against-empathy/lynn-e-oconnor-jack-w-berry-response-against-empathy-oconnor.


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Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, disintermediation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, game design, gig economy, Google bus, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, invisible hand, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, new economy, patient HM, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Vannevar Bush, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Social losses such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or expulsion from a social group, are experienced as acutely as a broken leg Matthew D. Lieberman, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect (New York: Crown, 2013). Managing social relationships also required humans to develop what anthropologists call a “theory of mind” Leslie C. Aiello and R. I. M. Dunbar, “Neocortex Size, Group Size, and the Evolution of Language,” Current Anthropology 34, no. 2 (April 1993). Prosocial behaviors such as simple imitation—what’s known as mimesis—make people feel more accepted and included Robert M. Seyfarth and Dorothy L. Cheney, “Affiliation, empathy, and the origins of theory of mind,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (Supplement 2) (June 18, 2013). In one experiment, people who were subtly imitated by a group produced less stress hormone Marina Kouzakova et al., “Lack of behavioral imitation in human interactions enhances salivary cortisol levels,” Hormones and Behavior 57, no. 4–5 (April 2010).

Our nervous systems learned to treat our social connections as existentially important—life or death. Threats to our relationships are processed by the same part of the brain that processes physical pain. Social losses, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or expulsion from a social group, are experienced as acutely as a broken leg. Managing social relationships also required humans to develop what anthropologists call a “theory of mind”—the ability to understand and identify with the thinking and motivations of other people. From an evolutionary perspective, the concept of self came after our ability to evaluate and remember the intentions and tactics of others. Unlike the relatively recent cultural changes that encouraged ideas of personal identity or achievement, our social adaptations occurred over hundreds of thousands of years of biological evolution.


pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles

business cycle, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, packet switching, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, South China Sea, stem cell, technological singularity, telepresence, The Chicago School, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, web of trust, Y2K, zero-sum game

Product of an arms race between predators and prey. If you watch a cat creeping up on a mouse, you'll be able to impute to the cat intentions that are most easily explained by the cat having a theory of mind concerning the mouse – an internal simulation of the mouse's likely behavior when it notices the predator. Which way to run, for example. And the cat will use its theory of mind to optimize its attack strategy. Meanwhile, prey species that are complex enough to have a theory of mind are at a defensive advantage if they can anticipate a predator's actions. Eventually this very mammalian arms race gave us a species of social ape that used its theory of mind to facilitate signaling – so the tribe could work collectively – and then reflexively, to simulate the individual's own inner states. Put the two things together, signaling and introspective simulation, and you've got human-level consciousness, with language thrown in as a bonus – signaling that transmits information about internal states, not just crude signals such as 'predator here' or 'food there.'"

Sirhan doesn't approve of swearing: The curse is an outward demonstration of his inner turmoil. "Forget what I was about to say, I'm sure you already know it. Let me begin again, please." "Sure. Let's play this your way." The cat chews on a loose nail sheath but his innerspeech is perfectly clear, a casual intimacy that keeps Sirhan on edge. "You've got some idea of what I am, clearly. You know – I ascribe intentionality to you – that my theory of mind is intrinsically stronger than yours, that my cognitive model of human consciousness is complete. You might well suspect that I use a Turing Oracle to think my way around your halting states." The cat isn't worrying at a loose claw now, he's grinning, pointy teeth gleaming in the light from Sirhan's study window. The window looks out onto the inner space of the habitat cylinder, up at a sky with hillsides and lakes and forests plastered across it: It's like an Escher landscape, modeled with complete perfection.

For a moment, he feels at gut level that he is in the presence of an alien god: It's the simple truth, isn't it? But – "Okay, I concede the point," Sirhan says after a moment in which he spawns a blizzard of panicky cognitive ghosts, fractional personalities each tasked with the examination of a different facet of the same problem. "You're smarter than I am. I'm just a boringly augmented human being, but you've got a flashy new theory of mind that lets you work around creatures like me the way I can think my way around a real cat." He crosses his arms defensively. "You do not normally rub this in. It's not in your interests to do so, is it? You prefer to hide your manipulative capabilities under an affable exterior, to play with us. So you're revealing all this for a reason." There's a note of bitterness in his voice now. Glancing round, Sirhan summons up a chair – and, as an afterthought, a cat basket.


The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease by Lanius, Ruth A.; Vermetten, Eric; Pain, Clare

conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, delayed gratification, epigenetics, false memory syndrome, impulse control, intermodal, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, p-value, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, Socratic dialogue, theory of mind, twin studies, yellow journalism

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010. 247 Section 3: Clinical perspectives: assessment and treatment and explicit processes). Second, we prefer a term that has a verb form (e.g., as contrasted with theory of mind, metacognition or psychological mindedness) to underscore agency. Third, mentalizing is something we clinicians and our patients aspire to do. Last but perhaps most importantly, mentalizing is linked explicitly to attachment research. Regarding this last point, while “theory of mind” holds sway in developmental research, we make the following distinction:€theory of mind is our folk psychological conceptual framework for explaining behavior [12] while the activity of mentalizing makes use of this framework. Although we are unabashed advocates of mentalizing, we have one reservation:€the word misleadingly connotes an intellectual process.

.), APSAC handbook on child maltreatment, 2nd edn (pp. 487–507). Thousand Oaks, CA:€Sage. 5. Pears, K. C. and Fisher, P. A. (2005). Developmental, cognitive, and neuropsychological functioning in preschool-aged foster children:€Associations with prior maltreatment and placement history. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 26, 112– 122. 6. Pears, K. C. and Fisher, P. A. (2005). Emotion understanding and theory of mind among maltreated children in foster care:€Evidence of deficits. Developmental Psychopathology, 17, 47–65. 7. Aarons, G. A., Brown, S. A., Hough, R. L., Garland, A. F. and Wood, P. A. (2001). Prevalence of adolescent substance use disorders across five sectors of care. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40, 419–426. 8. Simms, M. D., Dubowitz, H. and Szilagyi, M.

Moreover, the scope of mentalizing can be narrow (e.g., identifying a particular feeling) or broad (e.g., understanding a recurrent pattern of behavior in relation to an extended autobiographical narrative). The term mentalizing may have a discordant ring to the uninitiated, but, referring to the fundamental capacity that makes us human, it cannot be a new idea. Therefore, we add mentalizing to a host of overlapping concepts:€mindreading, theory of mind, metacognition, psychological mindedness, insight, empathy, emotional intelligence and mindfulness. Having drawn admittedly subtle distinctions among these terms elsewhere [3,11], we note here three primary reasons for employing mentalizing in clinical practice. First, although the term is multifaceted, it has optimal breadth (e.g., in balancing attention to self and others, as well as implicit The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease: The Hidden Epidemic, ed.


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Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports From My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, factory automation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, source of truth, theory of mind, twin studies

Writing did not come easily to her at first, not because she lacked verbal facility, but because she lacked an imagination of other minds, of the fact that her listeners were different from her, were not privy to the experiences, the associations, the background information in her own mind. There were strange discontinuities (people injected suddenly into the narrative without warning, for instance); casual reference to incidents of which the reader had no knowledge; and sudden, perplexing changes of topic. It is said by cognitive psychologists that autistic people lack “theory of mind”—any direct perception or idea of other minds, or other states of mind—and that this lies at the heart of their difficulties. What is remarkable is that Temple, now in her fifth decade, has developed some genuine appreciation of other people and other minds, their sensibilities and idiosyncrasies, in the ten years which have passed since writing Emergence. And it is this which now shows itself in Thinking in Pictures, and lends it a warmth and color rarely seen in her earlier book.

For example, at an autism meeting, a young man with Kanner's syndrome walked up to every person and asked, “Where are your earrings?” Kanner autistics need to be told in a clear simple way what is appropriate and inappropriate social behavior. Uta Frith, a researcher at the MRC Cognitive Development Unit in London, has found that some people with Kanner's syndrome are unable to imagine what another person is thinking. She developed a “theory of mind” test to determine the extent of the problem. For example, Joe, Dick, and a person with autism are sitting at a table. Joe places a candy bar in a box and shuts the lid. The telephone rings, and Dick leaves the room to answer the phone. While Dick is gone, Joe eats the candy bar and puts a pen in the box. The autistic person who is watching is asked, “What does Dick think is in the box?” Many people with autism will give the wrong answer and say “a pen.”

I have no problems if I mentally rehearse every scenario, but I still panic if I'm not prepared for a new situation, especially when I travel to a foreign country where I am unable to communicate. Since I can't rely on my library of social cues, I feel very helpless when I can't speak the language. Often I withdraw. If I were two years old today, I would be diagnosed with classic Kanner's syndrome, because I had delayed abnormal speech development. However, as an adult I would probably be diagnosed as having Asperger's syndrome, because I can pass a simple theory-of-mind test and I have greater cognitive flexibility than a classic Kanner autistic. All of my thinking is still in visual images, though it appears that thinking may become less visual as one moves along the continuum away from classic Kanner's syndrome. My sensory oversensitivities are worse than the mild difficulties some Kanner autistics have, but I do not have sensory mixing and jumbling problems.


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The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger

Albert Einstein, always be closing, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, twin studies, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

“That’s when kids begin to understand that there are things or people outside of their world and outside of themselves. It’s only at that point that they start to get sensitive to others.” But that awakening comes very slowly. Even when children begin to understand that people and objects exist outside of their reach, they still don’t grasp the idea that knowledge does, too. Acquiring this so-called theory of mind—the understanding that what’s in your head is not necessarily in other people’s heads—is a slow slog. In behavioral studies, toddlers who watch an experimenter hide a toy in a cabinet or drawer will automatically assume that anyone who walks in the room later will know where it’s hidden, too. The phenomenon becomes even more obvious as children acquire a sophisticated command of language. I would marvel at this assumed familiarity even when my daughters were seven or eight years old and would tell me about a TV show they’d seen that they knew full well I hadn’t.

“So the same girl walked in the door as before,” one of them would say, “except it was the smaller door and she was wearing red shoes instead of blue and that boy who was mean to her last time is nice.” What girl? What door? What mean boy? I could follow her eyes as they flicked around slightly, scanning the TV scene that was clearly still in her head, but I could not begin to follow her story. When children do start to acquire a theory of mind, it often, encouragingly, shows itself in the first green shoots of empathy—understanding that someone else is sad or suffering even if the children themselves are not. Even then, however, the toddler will behave egocentrically. “A small child will try to comfort his mother the same way he would want to be comforted,” Barnett says. “That may mean giving her his teddy bear or some other toy he likes.”

See entertainers; sports stars charm and charisma body language, 140–41, 179–80 bosses, 137–38 criminals, 219–21, 234–35 despots and dictators, 179–80, 234–35 liars, 69, 71 politicians, 140–41, 167, 168, 251 romantic narcissists, 102–3, 105, 107–8, 137 workplace narcissists, 70–75 cheating academic dishonesty, 16–17 presidential philandering, 70, 110–11, 156 romantic narcissism, 103, 109, 116–17 in workplace, 70–75, 77–79 children ambiguous parental messages, 48 control of narcissistic tendencies, 26–27, 36–37 empathy development, 27–30 evolutionary survival-based behavior, 24–26 fetus as parasite, 22–24 impulse control, 30–33 innate narcissistic temperament, 21, 26–27 natural and taught exceptionalism, 9–10 neglectful or unempathetic upbringing, 44–45 overvalidation, 46–47 permanence, concept of, 27 play, 52–55 primary narcissism, 25 privileged and liberal upbringing, 47, 50–51 remorse, 34–36 in self-esteem movement, 9–10, 12, 55–59 sexting, 65 sociopathic behavior, 19–20 theory of mind, 27–28 Christakis, Erika, 56–57 Christie, Chris, 6 Cialdini, Robert, 207–9 Clinton, Bill, 70, 110–11, 161–65, 168, 173, 183 Clinton, Hillary, 110–11, 176 collaboration, 53–54 collective narcissism. See tribalism Collins, Joan, 104 comedians. See entertainers Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, The (Spock), 50–51 compassion. See empathy competition, lack of, 54, 55–56 Coolidge, Calvin, 168, 171–72, 173 CORF (cutting off reflected failure), 208–9 corporate world.


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Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married by Abby Ellin

Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Burning Man, business intelligence, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, Donald Trump, double helix, dumpster diving, East Village, feminist movement, forensic accounting, fudge factor, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Lyft, mandatory minimum, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, telemarketer, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Lewis discovered that the toddlers who lied had verbal IQs about ten points higher than those who told the truth. (The few kids who didn’t look at the toy at all were the brightest of everyone, but that’s a whole other kettle of wax. Or fish.) The lying children, Lewis found, were better at remembering instructions, focusing attention, self-regulating, and multitasking. They were also better at putting themselves in other people’s shoes, a cognitive development stage known as “theory of mind.” The idea is that in order to lie effectively, you have to be able to empathize with others, at least intellectually, if not emotionally (because lying also requires a certain lack of empathy; nobody wants to be lied to). So what did the researchers conclude? That the more intelligent kids were better liars. Also, that kids lie to get attention, to compensate for feeling inadequate, or to cover up a misdeed.

Could any one of us learn the way of the successful repressor? “Some types of lying are, by definition, learned,” psychologist Nobuhito Abe, an associate professor at Kyoto University, told me in an email. “So-called skillful lying by a con artist would be based on learning.” In a sense, the capacity to lie is developmentally linked to, or at least broadly coincides with, our ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes (called, once again, “theory of mind”). “We learn pretty early on that you and I aren’t the same person, that we see the world differently,” said Timothy Levine, a communications professor at the University of Alabama. “In order to deceive, you have to know that the other person doesn’t necessarily know what you know. Anyone with basic human cognitive skills can do that. But some people can do that much better than others. Those people can be very successful as undercover agents or police or great at closing arguments in the courtroom.

But studies have shown that women are more honest than men (except when it comes to investigating people behind their backs. In that case, women are stupendous snoopers).10 A study of Italian men found that men were more likely to dodge bus fares than women,11 while in an Israeli study, women were more likely to return excess change at a restaurant.12 It’s theorized that women shy away from cheating more than men because they’re better able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes (theory of mind, again).13 Women are usually more empathetic. “Men are more likely to approve of questionable bargaining tactics, including promising future concessions that they will not carry through, guaranteeing to uphold an agreement while believing it will later be violated, or misrepresenting the progress of a negotiation to improve their position,” said Harvard professor Eugene Soltes, author of Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White Collar Criminal.


pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, twin studies, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Nor can we understand the decline of violence as an unstoppable force for progress that is carrying us toward an omega point of perfect peace. It is a collection of statistical trends in the behavior of groups of humans in various epochs, and as such it calls for an explanation in terms of psychology and history: how human minds deal with changing circumstances. A large part of the book will explore the psychology of violence and nonviolence. The theory of mind that I will invoke is the synthesis of cognitive science, affective and cognitive neuroscience, social and evolutionary psychology, and other sciences of human nature that I explored in How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, and The Stuff of Thought. According to this understanding, the mind is a complex system of cognitive and emotional faculties implemented in the brain which owe their basic design to the processes of evolution.

In chapter 9 we will look at a faculty of the mind that psychologists call self-control, delay of gratification, and shallow temporal discounting and that laypeople call counting to ten, holding your horses, biting your tongue, saving for a rainy day, and keeping your pecker in your pocket.27 We will also look at a faculty that psychologists call empathy, intuitive psychology, perspective-taking, and theory of mind and that laypeople call getting into other people’s heads, seeing the world from their point of view, walking a mile in their moccasins, and feeling their pain. Elias anticipated the scientific study of both of these better angels. Critics of Elias have pointed out that all societies have standards of propriety about sexuality and excretion which presumably grow out of innate emotions surrounding purity, disgust, and shame.28 As we will see, the degree to which societies moralize these emotions is a major dimension of variation across cultures.

The psychologists Liane Young and Rebecca Saxe put people in an fMRI scanner and had them read stories involving deliberate and accidental harms. 70 They found that the ability to exculpate harm-doers in the light of their mental state depends on the part of the brain at the junction between the temporal and parietal lobes, which is illuminated in figure 8–3 (though it’s actually the counterpart of this region in the right hemisphere that lit up in the study). The temporoparietal junction sits at a crossroads for many kinds of information, including the perception of the position of one’s own body, and the perception of the bodies and actions of other people. Saxe had previously shown that the region is necessary for the mental faculty that has been called mentalizing, intuitive psychology, and theory of mind, namely the ability to understand the beliefs and desires of another person.71 There is another kind of moral deliberation that goes beyond the gut: weighing the consequences of different courses of action. Consider the old chestnut from moral philosophy: a family is hiding from the Nazis in a cellar. Should they smother their baby to prevent it from crying and giving away their location, which would result in the deaths of everyone in the family, baby included?


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Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events by Robert J. Shiller

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, implied volatility, income inequality, inflation targeting, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, Jean Tirole, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, litecoin, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, publish or perish, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, stocks for the long run, superstar cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, universal basic income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, yellow journalism, yield curve, Yom Kippur War

Beauty Contests and Tail Feathers: How the Theory of Mind Feeds Economic Narratives Psychologists have noted that the human species is unique in the advanced development of its theory of mind—that is, humans’ strong tendency to form a model in their own minds of the activities in others’ minds. We are thinking about what others are thinking, about their individual thoughts. We observe their actions, their facial expressions, and their vocal intonation, which we then relate to their beliefs and intentions. The contagion of specific narratives may be related to storytellers’ impressions regarding what other people will think. People like to hear stories that they can retell to others who will like the same story, and so storytellers like to tell such stories. In 1936, Keynes introduced what we now call theory of mind into economic theory with his “beauty contest” metaphor,16 which he put forth to explain speculative markets, such as the stock market.

See also conspicuous consumption narratives; spending contagion of economic models, 24–28 contagion of economic narratives: affecting economic activity, 77; attached to celebrities, xii, 51; based on citations, 321n22; bimetallism and, 171; Bitcoin and, 21–23; consumer behavior and, 254; enhanced by memories, 252; focus group research and, 283; Frederick Lewis Allen and, x, xi; as heart of narrative economics, x; home prices and, 215, 226, 227; marketing-driven, 60–63, 297; medical model of epidemics and, 21, 23; by modern media, 297; mutation of narrative and, 109; new theory of economic change based on, 3; opportunities for repetition and, 97; perceptions of other people’s reactions and, 64; profiteer narrative and, 241–42; stock market crash of 1987 and, 233; wage-price spiral narrative and, 260 contagion of ideas or social epidemics, 296, 297 contagion of narratives: caused by unknown processes, 41; celebrity as source of, 102; functioning as metaphors, 17; historical recognition of, 58–60; by modern media, 297; often resulting from arbitrary details, 62–63; opportunities for repetition and, 97–100; theory of mind and, 63. See also contagion of economic narratives contagion rates: book jackets and, 60–61; credibility of narrative and, 28–29; cultural factors affecting, 274; declining with time, 296; difficulty of predicting, 41; in disease epidemics, 18–21, 289, 290; effect of slight changes in, 40; engineered by marketers, 60; great variability of, 88–89; increased by new context, 271; increased by social media, 297; models from epidemiology and, 23–24, 295, 296; new technology leading to changes in, 273–75; novel ideas and concepts affecting, 97; raised by small detail, 45; of true vs. false stories, 96–97; varying through time, 295 controlled experiments on causality, 72–73; from outside economics, 77–79 Coolidge, Calvin, 44, 125 Coolidge-Mellon bull tips, 125–26 corporate profits: taxes on, 45, 48; viral narratives associated with, 47–48 corporate raiders, as viral term in 1980s, 47–48 cortisol, 54–55 cosmopolitan culture, and Bitcoin, 4, 11, 87 cost-push inflation, 258–59, 259f, 260 Coué, Emile, 121 CPI (Consumer Price Index), 245 crash narrative, 228, 229–33.

See also narratives Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 33 structuralist literary theory, 16 Success Fundamentals (Marden), 122 suggestibility, 119–22, 120f; of less consumption during the Depression, 142 suicides after crash of 1929, 233–35 suitcases with wheels, 38–39 Sullivan, Mark, 172 sumptuary laws, 136 sunspots, 73–74 Sunstein, Cass, 277–78 super-spreaders, 20, 294 supply-side economics narratives, 48–52 surplus of goods produced by technology, 186, 192, 210 survey research, 285–86 susceptibles in epidemic, 20, 23, 289–90, 291f, 292, 294 Swing Riots in 1830, 174, 176 symbols, reminding people of the narrative, 62 synonyms, different connotations of, 94–95 talk shows, economic narratives spread through, 21 Talleyrand, 172 tax cuts: Laffer curve and, 42, 48, 51; of Reagan administration, 48, 51; supply-side economics and, 48–52 taxes: on corporate profits, 45, 48; Henry George’s single tax on land, 209; narratives of people paying more than 100%, 49; Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and, 50; reducing incentive to earn and create jobs, 42, 44; on Social Security benefits combined with Medicare surtax, 305n20 taxpayer revolt around 1978, 50 tax rates, of limited value in understanding economic events, 74–75 Taylor, Zachary, 110 teach-in, 33 technocracy, 192–94 technological unemployment narrative, 174, 175f, 183–86; automation with broader scope than, 200; concentration of business and, 190; during depressions, 176; economic effects of narrative itself, 211; epidemic models for, 294, 295; in Great Depression, 252; mutating after World War II, 196, 199; not strong in 1920s, 186–87; in run-up to World War II, 194–95; saturating the population in 1930s, 194; underconsumption and, 189. See also automation narrative; labor-saving machinery narrative “technology taking over our lives” narrative, 8–9 Temin, Peter, 133, 172 Terkel, Studs, 234 The Terminator (film), 203 textual analysis, 279, 287. See also databases for studying narratives; searching digitized data Thaler, Richard, 277–78 Thatcher, Margaret, 42, 51 Theobald, Robert, 210 theory of mind, 63–64 The Theory of the Leisure Class (Veblen), 310n1 “They say that …,” 92 Think and Grow Rich (Hill), 122 Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life (Trump with Zanker), 150 Thompson, Anne Kinsella, 226, 285 ticker projector, 228–29 time and motion studies, 184 Tmall Genie (Alibaba), 8, 207 Tobias, Ronald B., 16 Tracy, Spencer, 201 traffic light, replacing policemen, 182–83 Trans-Lux Movie Ticker, 228–29 “trending now,” x trickle-down economics, 44 Triumph of the Will (film), 122 Trohan, Walter, 51 Trulia, 218 Trump, Donald J.: bigly and yuge coined by, 244; downplaying modesty and compassion, 150; gold standard and, 156, 173; modeling ostentatious living, 272; narrative of, xii, 225–26 Trump administration, less generosity toward the poor during, 272 Trump supporters, resembling Silverites, 162–63 Trump University, 226 trust, in business dealings, 101 trusts, public anger about, 181 tulip mania in 1630s, 4, 5 Tversky, Amos, 66 Twain, Mark, 124 Twitter: meme quickly going viral on, 88; retweeting of mostly false stories on, 96–97 Typhoid Mary, 20 tyranny of metrics, 75, 306n5 Uchitelle, Louis, 150 Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture (Aiden and Michel), 24 Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Stowe), 33 underconsumption theory, 187–92 Understanding the Process of Economic Change (North), 14 unemployment: artificial intelligence narrative and, 273; automation and, 199–200, 204; constant reminders of possibility of, 89; crime and, 141, 142; in depression during 1890s, 111; employee morale and, 147; gold standard and, 172; in Great Depression of 1930s, xiv, 111, 132, 141, 142, 143, 146–47, 172, 187, 189–91, 193; Kiplinger’s 1930 list of causes of, 130, 132; labor-saving machinery narrative and, xiv, 9, 130, 177–81, 187–88, 191–92; narratives focused on massive occurrence of, 129–31; Nazi Party’s rise in Germany and, 195; robotics and, 209; technology raising specter of, 8–9, 130; underconsumption theory and, 187–91.


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Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans by Melanie Mitchell

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, dark matter, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, ImageNet competition, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, performance metric, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

You assume, most often, that other humans you encounter have had sufficiently similar life experiences to your own, and thus you assume they are using the same basic background knowledge, beliefs, and values that you do in perceiving, describing, and making decisions about the world. In short, where other people are concerned, you have what psychologists call a theory of mind—a model of the other person’s knowledge and goals in particular situations. None of us have a similar “theory of mind” for AI systems such as deep networks, which makes it harder to trust them. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that one of the hottest new areas of AI is variously called “explainable AI,” “transparent AI,” or “interpretable machine learning.” These terms refer to research on getting AI systems—particularly deep networks—to explain their decisions in a way that humans can understand.

Our intuitive knowledge of physics lets us reason that Obama’s foot will cause the scale to overestimate the weight of the person on the scale. Our intuitive knowledge of psychology tells us that the person on the scale is not aware that Obama is also stepping on the scale—we infer this from the person’s direction of gaze, and we know that he doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head. We also understand that the person probably can’t sense the slight push of Obama’s foot on the scale. Our theory of mind further lets us predict that the man will not be happy when the scale shows his weight to be higher than he expected. FIGURE 50: The photo discussed in Andrej Karpathy’s blog Finally, we recognize that Obama and the other people observing this scene are smiling—we infer from their expressions that they are amused by the trick Obama is playing on the man on the scale, possibly made funnier because of Obama’s status.

Smith, Brad speech recognition; adversarial examples for; word-error rate in Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD); human accuracy on Star Trek computer statistical machine translation strong AI; see also general or human-level AI subsymbolic AI; contrast with symbolic methods; integration with symbolic methods suitcase words Summer Vision Project (MIT) superhuman intelligence superintelligence, see superhuman intelligence Superintelligence (book) supervised learning; contrast with human learning; contrast with reinforcement learning; in IBM Watson support vector machines Sutherland, Amy Sutskever, Ilya Sutton, Richard symbolic AI; contrast with subsymbolic methods; integration with subsymbolic methods Szegedy, Christian T temporal difference learning; see also reinforcement learning test set theory of mind thought vectors training, see supervised learning training set transfer learning; for Breakout translation, see machine translation trolley problem Turing, Alan Turing test; Kurzweil and Kapor wager on; Kurzweil’s predictions for U understanding: in analogy; ascribing to computers; in automated image captioning; for creativity; in Cyc; in deep learning; in humans; in IBM Watson; in machine translation; for morality; for natural-language processing; in question-answering systems; for self-driving cars; in speech-recognition systems; in Star Trek computer; for vision; 263–65; for Winograd schemas unemployment unit unsupervised learning V vector Vinge, Vernor visual cortex visual situations von Neumann, John W Watson, see IBM Watson Watson, Thomas J.


Cartesian Linguistics by Noam Chomsky

job satisfaction, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Turing test

Beyond these achievements, the universal grammarians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have made a contribution of lasting value by the very fact that they posed so clearly the problem of changing the orientation of linguistics from “natural history” to “natural philosophy” and by stressing the importance of the search for universal principles and for rational explanation of linguistic fact, if progress is to be made toward this goal. 93 Acquisition and Use of Language We have so far extracted from “Cartesian linguistics” certain characteristic and quite important doctrines regarding the nature of language and have, quite sketchily, traced their development during the period from Descartes to Humboldt. As a by-product of this study of langue, and against the background of rationalist theory of mind, certain views emerged as to how language is acquired and used. After a long interlude, these views are once again beginning to receive the attention that they deserve, although their appearance (like the reappearance of the central ideas of transformational grammar) was, in fact, a largely independent development. The central doctrine of Cartesian linguistics is that the general features of grammatical structure are common to all languages and reflect certain fundamental properties of the mind.

Contemporary work has finally begun to face some simple facts about language that have been long neglected, for example, the fact that the speaker of a language knows a great deal that he has not learned and that his normal linguistic behavior cannot possibly be accounted for in terms of “stimulus control,” “conditioning,” “generalization and analogy,” “patterns” and “habit structures,” or “dispositions to respond,” in any reasonably clear sense of these much abused terms. As a result, a fresh look has been taken, not only at language structure, but at the preconditions for language acquisition and at the perceptual function of abstract systems of internalized rules. I have tried to indicate, in this summary of Cartesian linguistics and the theory of mind from which it arose, that much of what is coming to light in this work was foreshadowed or even explicitly formulated in earlier and now largely forgotten studies. It is important to bear in mind that the survey that has been presented here is a very fragmentary and therefore in some ways a misleading one. Certain major figures—Kant, for example—have not been mentioned or have been inadequately discussed, and a certain distortion is introduced by the organization of this survey, as a projection backwards of certain ideas of contemporary interest rather than as a systematic presentation of the framework within which these ideas arose and found their place.

., 15, 23, 56, 117 (n.40), 123 (n.59), 128 (n.80), 133 (n.100), 138 (n.114) 154 Index of Subjects abstraction, 138 (n.114); see also generalized learning procedures acquisition of concepts, 9–10, 20, 25–27, 30–32, 35, 38, 43 (n.15) of language, 10, 25–32, 35, 38, 40, 41 (n.2), 43 (n.15), 45, 55, 63, 94–103, 104, 112 (n.25), 119 (n.48) 124 (n.63), 133 (n.94), 135 (n.105) 136 (n.110), 138 (n.114) adequacy, see descriptive adequacy, explanatory adequacy analogy, 37–38, 58, 90, 104, 111 (n.21) 112 (n.22), 122 (n.53), 124 (n.61) animal, 13, 37, 51–59, 62, 64, 67, 70, 102, 107 (n.8), 107 (n.9), 110 (n.11), 110 (n.12), 110 (n.13), 110 (n.14), 111 (n.21), 112 (n.23), 116 (n.38), 117 (n.40), 120 (n.51) communication, 52, 55–57, 62, 70, 108 (n.8), 110 (n.14), 111 (n.21) 112 (n.23), 116 (n.38), 117 (n.40) appropriateness of language use, 11, 13–15, 19, 20–24, 42 (n.10), 52–54, 107 (n.8); see also creative aspect of language use art, 9, 32, 42 (n.9), 46, 61, 99, 114 (n.33), 114 (n.34) artistic creativity, see creativity association, 33, 55, 65, 85, 98, 138 (n.114); see also generalized learning procedures automaton, 13, 51–59, 62, 67, 107 (n.8), 108 (n.9), 110 (n.9), 111 (n.14), 111 (n.16), 120 (n.51), 124 (n.62) 140 (n.117) base rules, see rules behaviorism, 17, 23, 33–34, 40 (n.1), 110 (n.11), 133 (n.94); see also conditioning biological limits of human intelligence, see limits of human intelligence biological system, language as, 11–12, 18, 21–22, 24, 27–30, 35–39 biology, 22, 32, 66, 118 (n.46), 136 (n.110) boundlessness of language, 12–15, 18, 20, 37–38, 41 (n.4), 43 (n.10), 52, 59, 61–64, 107 (n.8), 112 (n.22); see also creative aspect of language use Cartesian linguistics, see linguistics case marking, 132 (n.88) system, 82 central processor hypothesis, 20, 24, 37 character of language (Humboldt), 68 common notions (Herbert of Cherbury), 32, 94–96 common sense, 12, 16, 18–19, 22–23 43 (n.18) comparative grammar, see grammar competence (opposed to performance), 19, 25–26, 45, 69, 105 (n.2), 108 (n.8) computer, 42 (n.4), 41 (n.10), 140 155 Cartesian Linguistics (n.123); see also automaton concept, 9–12, 18–40, 42 (n.14), 43 (n.15), 63, 68, 70, 72, 95, 101, 103, 116 (n.38), 126 (n.70); see also innate idea/concept/ machinery conceptual-intentional system, 21–22, 30, 36, 129 (n.80) conditioning, 10, 32–34, 38, 55, 58, 69, 97, 98, 104, 110 (n.11), 138 (n.114); see also general learning procedures, behaviorism, empiricism, standard social science model core grammar, see grammar creative aspect of language use, 8–25, 31–40, 42 (n.9), 43 (n.18), 51–72, 87, 90, 102, 104, 108 (n.9), 111 (n.18), 113 (n.29), 113 (n.30), 117 (n.44), 118 (n.45), 124 (n.61), 134 (n.100), 139 (n.115) creativity artistic, 12, 61, 65, 114 (n.34) ordinary, see creative aspect of language use scientific, 11, 44 (n.18) critical period hypothesis for language acquisition, 98 diversity of human language, 25–29, 119 (n.48), 125 (n.63) education, 9, 11, 18, 27, 39–40, 67, 139 (n.115) empiricism, 7, 9–11, 17, 31–39, 40, 41 (n.6), 86, 98, 101, 107 (n.7) 109 (n.9), 137 (n.110), 138 (n.114) empiricist linguistics, see linguistics, empiricism English, 29, 122 (n.53) evolution, 22, 42 (n.12), 107 (n.7) explanatory adequacy, 26–27, 42 (n.11) 135 (n.105) explanatory grammar, see grammar expression (sound-meaning pair), 12, 17–21, 24, 37 externalism, 10, 33 faculty, 9, 16, 17, 20–24, 32, 43 (n.14), 43 (n.15), 59–61, 95, 99, 100, 109 (n.9), 120 (n.51), 124 (n.62), 140 (n.117) folk science, 16. see also common sense form of language (Humboldt), 17, 62–69, 94, 117 (n.39), 117 (n.42) 117 (n.44), 118 (n.45) free will, 9, 15, 16, 18, 22, 23, 36, 66, 108 (n.9) free word order, 129 (n.82), 132 (n.88) freedom, social and political, 8, 11, 22, 23–24, 33, 39, 59, 66, 67, 120 (n.51) French, 29, 74, 78, 79, 82, 85, 86, 91 122 (n.53), 122 (n.54), 130 (n.83) 134 (n.101) functionalism, 23, 34, 39 deep structure, 29, 73–87, 88–93, 125 (n.67), 127 (n.70), 127 (n.73), 129 (n.80), 132 (n.93) derivation, 30, 83, 129 (n.80); see also transformational grammar Descartes’ problem, see creative aspect of language use descriptive adequacy, 27, 90, 42 (n.11) descriptive grammar, see grammar descriptivism, see linguistics general grammar, see grammar 156 Index of Subjects general linguistics, see linguistics generalization, 58, 69, 98, 104, 138 (n.114); see also generalized learning procedures generalized learning procedures, 10, 32–39, 98. see also conditioning, empiricism, standard social science model, behaviorism generative grammar, see grammar generative principles, 20, 63–66; see also rules German, 17, 33, 66, 116 (n.37), 126 (n.69) Germany, 66 government, see state grammar comparative, 122 (n.53) core, 105 (n.2) descriptive, 88, 91 explanatory, 91, 134 (n.103) general, 69, 88–89, 94, 105 (n.3), 114 (n.30), 122 (n.53), 123 (n.59), 125 (n.67), 130 (n.83), 133 (n.95), 134 (n.103), 138 (n.112) generative, 49, 68–70, 102, 105 (n.2), 106 (n.4), 117 (n.39), 135 (n.106) particular, 68, 88–89, 94, 133 (n.95), 134 (n.101) philosophical, 17, 89–92, 105 (n.3), 130 (n.83), 132 (n.94) 133 (n.95) Port-Royal, 17, 29, 33, 72–83, 86, 90, 91, 105 (n.3), 114 (n.30), 125 (n.67), 126 (n.69), 126 (n.70), 127 (n.72), 128 (n.75), 131 (n.85), 133 (n.94), 133 (n.95), 135 (n.106) speculative, 134 (n.101) transformational generative, 29, 77–87, 94, 127 (n.73), 128 (n.75), 135 (n.106) universal, 17, 19, 27–31, 72, 92, 104, 105 (n.3), 132 (n.88), 134 (n.100), 134 (n.103) grammatical transformation, 74–87 habit, language as, 10, 33, 58, 69, 104, 111 (n.21), 123 (n.56), 138 (n.114); see also conditioning and behaviorism Hebrew, 17 head-first language, 29 head-last language, 29 history of linguistics, see linguistics human nature, 11, 34, 40, 59, 66, 67, 102, 103, 120 (n.51) idea (Descartes), 126 (n.70) I-language, 19, 20, 25, 27 inflectional devices, 82 innate idea/concept/mental machinery, 9–12, 17–18, 24–39, 41 (n.5), 41–42 (n.9), 43–44 (n.14), 43 (n.18), 45, 59, 65, 94–101, 104, 113 (n.29), 138 (n.114), 135 (n.105), 138 (n.114), 139 (n.115) instinct, 10, 34, 36, 53, 58, 59, 60, 63, 94, 95, 96, 113 (n.29), 121 (n.51) intension, see semantics interface level, 19–20, 21–22, 30, 37, 129 (n.80); see also LF, SEM, phonetic form, phonetic interpretation internalism, 10, 33–34, 130 (n.83) 157 Cartesian Linguistics Japanese, 29 judgment, 32, 72–79, 100, 101 language faculty, 20–22, 59, 42 (n.14) 43 (n.15), 59; see also universal grammar language game (Wittgenstein), 117 (n.40) language, function of, 15, 52, 58, 62, 64, 72. langue (Saussure), 131 (n.85), 132 (n.89) Latin, 74, 78, 79, 81, 85, 121 (n.53), 130 (n.83), 131 (n.88) lexical item, 17, 19, 20, 22, 25, 26, 27, 43 (n.15), 90, 131 (n.85); see also concept lexicon, 63, 68 LF, 129 (n.80), 130 (n.83); see also logical form, SEM, semantic interface liberalism, 39 libertarianism, 39–40 limits of human intelligence, 8, 16, 20, 23, 25, 35, 37, 111 (n.18) linguistic universals, 27, 28, 29, 92, 94, 136 (n.108); see also innate idea, concept, machinery linguistics Cartesian, 49, 50, 62, 64, 69, 70, 72, 73, 87, 88, 90, 93, 94, 96, 97, 103, 104, 105 (n.3), 115 (n.36), 129 (n.80), 134 (n.101) descriptivism in, 90, 134 (n.101) 135 (n.105) empiricist, 41 (n.6) 106 (n.3); see also empiricism general, 62 history of, 49, 105 (n.1) minimalism in, 129 (n.80) modern, 45, 49, 57, 67–68, 90, 92, 98, 132 (n.92), 132 (n.93) pre-modern/traditional, 130 (n.83), 133 (n.94) prescriptivism in, 133 (n.96) principles and parameters in, 29, 136 (n.108); see also parameters standard theory of, 17, 29 structuralism in, 67, 68, 90, 106 (n.3) taxonomic, 106 (n.3) logical form, 82, 129 (n.80); see also LF, SEM machine, see automaton meaning, see semantics mechanism and mechanical explanation, 8, 12–13, 15–16, 51–55, 65, 106 (n.3), 106 (n.5), 107 (n.8) 120 (n.51), 124 (n.62) mechanical form (Romantics), 65, 118 (n.45) methodological dualism, 32 mind-body distinction, 15–16, 28, 73 problem, 16, 28 Miskito, 29 modularity of the mind, 19–24, 35, 36 37, 110 (n.11) morality, 39, 101, 137 (n.111) morpheme, 92, 127 (n.73) morphogenesis, 42 (n.12), 107 (n.7) mystery, 11, 25, 124 (n. 61), see also limits of human intelligence, creative aspect of language use nativism, 10, 24–34, 94–101, 104; see also innate idea/concept/mental machinery natural history, 93 natural philosophy, see philosophy 158 Index of Subjects natural rights, 66, 120 (n.51) neoliberalism, 39 organic form (Romantics), 65, 68, 117 (n.44), 118 (n.45), 118 (n.46) other minds, problem of, 53–54, 106 (n.5) output level, see interface level parameters, 20, 27, 29–30, 136 (n.108). see also principles and parameters parole (Saussure), 131 (n.85), 132 (n.89) particular grammar, see grammar perception, 22, 31–32, 46, 63, 66, 72, 84, 85, 86, 93, 98–103, 104, 105 (n.2), 105 (n.3), 116 (n.38), 141 (n.123) performance, opposed to competence, 15, 21, 24, 55, 69, 104, 105 (n.2) perspectives (provided by language faculty), 15, 21, 22, 37 philosophical grammar, see grammar philosophy, 33, 68, 93, 41 (n.6), 106 (n.3), 106 (n.4), 118 (n.46), 123 (n.59), 128 (n.80), 133 (n.95), 139 (n.114), 139 (n.115), 140 (n.120) of language, 62, 115 (n.35) of mind, 31, 46, 98, 105 (n.3) phoneme, see phonetics phonetic form/interpretation, see phonetics and surface structure phonetics, 92, 136 (n.108) phonetic form, 88 phonetic interpretation, 29, 73, 77 phonology, 28, 46, 43 (n.15), 121 (n.52), 141 (n.124) phonological system, 68 phrase structure, 80, 127 (n.73); see also deep structure physics, 51 physiology, 51 plasticity of the mind, 32–36, 40, 113 (n.29), 115 (n.34) Platonism, 33, 96, 124 (n.61), 136 (n.110), 140 (n.120) Plato’s problem, see poverty of stimulus facts poetry, 46, 61, 68, 41 (n.9), 114 (n.33) 114 (n.34), 139 (n.115) politics, see state Port-Royal grammar, see grammar postmodernism, 32 poverty of stimulus facts, 24–28, 30–31, 35, 38, 39, 43 (n.16), 98, 135 (n.105) premodern linguistics, see linguistics prescriptivism, see linguistics principles and parameters, see linguistics prototype, 119 (n.47) psychological reality, 117 (n.41) psychology, 45, 46, 51, 53, 96, 106 (n.3), 106 (n.4), 111 (n.19) psychological explanation, 111 (n.19) rationalism, 9, 10, 15, 30–33, 36–40, 41 (n.6), 41 (n.7), 50, 94, 97–99, 105 (n.3), 137 (n.110), 140 (n.119) rationality, 59, 60 recursion, 80 reference, see semantics reminiscence theory (of Plato), 26–27, 137 (n.111) representation, 21, 63, 80, 85, 103, 42 (n.14), 127 (n.73), 129 (n.80), 130 (n.83) romanticism, 9–11, 17–18, 24, 27, 30– 33, 38–40, 41 (n.7), 50, 60–71, 97, 101, 105 (n.3), 115 (n.35) 124 159 Cartesian Linguistics (n.61), 125 (n.63), 140 (n.120) rules base, 80 transformational, 75, 78–80 schemata, 103 science, 91, 133 (n.100), 134 (n.103) of behavior, 8, 16, 20, 22–23, 24, 25, 35 of language, 11–12, 15–18, 20–21, 26, 38–39, 134 (n.100); see also grammar and linguistics of mind, 11, 16–17, 21, 24, 25–26, 42 (n.11) scientific creativity, see creativity second language acquisition, 124 (n.63), 138 (n.114) semantics intension, 127 (n.70) meaning, 20, 43 (n.15), 75, 77, 79, 84, 86, 90, 91, 127 (n.70), 130 (n.83), 131 (n.85) reference, 75, 91 SEM, 129 (n.80) semantic content, 75, 88, 92, 103 129 (n.80) semantic interface, 21, 22, 30, 129 (n.80) semantic interpretation, 29, 73 ,77 127 (n.70), 129 (n.80) semantic representation, 130 (n.83) signification, 123 (n.57) sign language, 21, 25, 46 simplicity, 82, 42 (n.11) species specificity of traits, 19, 32, 45, 51, 52, 116 (n.38), 120 (n.51) speech organs, 52, 53, 56, 58, 62, 84 standard social science model, 34–39 standard theory of linguistics, see linguistics state (political), 8, 11, 17, 39–40, 66, 67, 121 (n.51), 139 (n.115) stimulus freedom, 13–15, 18–19, 23–24, 41 (n.5), 42 (n.10), 52, 58–61, 107 (n.8), 113 (n.29), 113 (n.30); see also creative aspect of language use structuralism, see linguistics surface structure, 73–80, 84–87, 88–92, 127 (n.72), 129 (n.80), 131 (n.86), 132 (n.92), 132 (n.93), 133 (n.94). see also phonetic form, phonetic interpretation syntactic structure, see deep structure syntactic theory, see syntax syntax, 28, 46, 68, 69, 72, 80–85, 93, 132 (n.93), 141 (n.124) taxonomic linguistics, see linguistics thematic assignment, 129 (n.80) theory of language, 17–18, 49, 80, 43 (n.15), 119 (n.48), 125 (n.67), 133 (n.100); see also grammar, linguistics, science of language theory of mind, 50, 94, 104; see also science of mind training, language acquisition as, see conditioning, standard social science model, general learning procedures transformational rules, see rules transformational generative grammar, see grammar translation, 125 (n.63) trigger/triggering 10, 12, 25, 27–29, 31, 33, 38, 96. Turing test, 13–14 ; see also computer. universal grammar (UG), see grammar Urform (Goethe), 66. 160 Index of Subjects use of language, 10, 15, 18, 45, 94, 132 (n.89), 133 (n.94), 133 (n.100) vision, theory of, 18, 19–20, 24, 30, 33, 35, 42 (n.14) will, see free will. 161


pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

My Judgment Enhancer Geoffrey Miller Evolutionary psychologist, University of New Mexico; author, Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior The Internet changes every aspect of thinking for the often-online human: perception, categorization, attention, memory, spatial navigation, language, imagination, creativity, problem solving, Theory of Mind, judgment, and decision making. These are the key research areas in cognitive psychology and constitute most of what the human brain does. The Websites of BBC News and the Economist extend my perception, becoming my sixth sense for world events. Gmail structures my attention through my responses to incoming messages: delete, respond, or star for response later? Wikipedia is my extended memory. An online calendar changes how I plan my life. Google Maps changes how I navigate through my city and world. Facebook expands my Theory of Mind—allowing me to better understand the beliefs and desires of others. But for me, the most revolutionary change is in my judgment and decision making—the ways I evaluate and choose among good or bad options.

The Royal Society, founded two decades after Galileo’s death, chose as their motto Nullius in verba (“On the authority of no one”), a principle strikingly at variance with the pre-Gutenberg world. The assumptions (e.g., I should be free to think about and question anything), methods (experimentation, statistical inference, model building), and content (evolutionary biology, quantum mechanics, the computational Theory of Mind) of modern thought are unimaginably different from those held by our ancestors living before Gutenberg. All this—to simplify slightly—because of a drop in the cost of producing books. So what is happening to us, now that the Internet has engulfed us? The Internet and its cybernetic creatures have dropped, by many more orders of magnitude, the cost in money, effort, and time of acquiring and publishing information.

But there is also the strong possibility, based on circumstantial evidence relating to a “cultural explosion” of human artifacts and technologies, that a mutation rewired the brain for computational efficiency. This rewiring allowed for recursion (embedding whole bundles of perceptions and thought within other bundles of perceptions and thoughts), which is an essential property of both human language (syntactic structures) and mind-reading skills (or Theory of Mind, the ability to infer other people’s thoughts and perceptions: “I know that she knows that I know that he knows that . . . ,” etc.). Language and mind reading, in turn, became critical to development of peculiarly human forms of thinking and communication, including planning and cooperation among anonymous strangers, imagining plausible versus fictitious pasts and futures, the counterfactuals of reason, and the supernaturals of religion.


pages: 573 words: 157,767

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel C. Dennett

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Andrew Wiles, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, computer vision, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fermat's Last Theorem, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information asymmetry, information retrieval, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, social intelligence, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

In any case, could bipedality and its ensuing suite of enabled competences open the floodgates for language and culture? Another proposed threshold is social intelligence (Jolly 1966; Humphrey 1976): the competence to interpret others as intentional systems whose actions can be anticipated by observing what these others observe and figuring out what they want (food, escape, to predate you, a mating opportunity, to be left alone). This competence is often called TOM (an acronym for theory of mind), which is an ill-chosen term because it invites us to imagine those having this competence as comprehending theoreticians, astute evidence gatherers and hypothesis considerers, instead of flying-by-the-seat-of-their-pants agent anticipators, blessed with an interpretive talent they don’t have to understand at all. It could be, in any case, that such perspective taking is required for complex cultural information to be transmitted, just as bipedality is apparently required for complex material culture, such as tools, weapons, housing, containers, clothing, and boats.

Other speakers of a language may have the “gift of gab” or more specialized gifts—the power to comfort, to persuade, to seduce, to amuse, to inspire. This all “comes naturally” to some and is largely beyond the talents of others. Some, especially those on the autism spectrum who are especially “high functioning,” like Temple Grandin, manage to devise, with much effort and ingenuity, a genuine TOM, a theory of mind, to help them interpret the kaleidoscopic social world that most of us can “perceive directly.” We are also gradually acquiring theoretical understanding, and genuine comprehension, of the reasons for the features of our communication systems. Those who excel at this research often sell their services as intelligent designers of communication—public speaking coaches, marketing consultants, advertisers—but as we can confirm in other areas of human endeavor—jazz comes particularly to mind—theory is often no match for ear, even when it is good theory.

See the chapters on memes in CE (1991), DDI (1995), and “The Evolution of Culture” (2001b). 254On the lancet fluke in the ant climbing the blade of grass, see “The Evolution of Culture” (2001b) and Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (2006). 265vervet monkey alarm calls. My BBS article on cognitive ethology (1983), discussed the difficulties of distinguishing anecdote from scientific evidence of animal intelligence. “Beliefs about beliefs,” (1978d), my commentary on Premack and Woodruff’s BBS Target Article, “Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?” (1978), was followed by a wide variety of studies, in the field and the laboratory, of signs of higher-order intentionality (such as the false belief tasks) in animals and children. See, for instance, Whiten and Byrne (1988) Machiavellian Intelligence and Machiavellian Intelligence, II: Extensions and Evaluations (1997), as well as more recent work by Tomasello, Call, Povinelli, and many others.


pages: 294 words: 80,084

Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler

Albert Einstein, Alexander Shulgin, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, epigenetics, gravity well, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, North Sea oil, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, private space industry, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, theory of mind, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

The Genius Who Sticks Around Forever THE SCIENCE OF MIND UPLOADING In his novel Terra Nostra, author Carlos Fuentes writes: “Incredible the first animal that dreamed of another animal.” Quite an idea, right? Both the origin story for dreaming and the initial step up the ladder that scientists describe with the phrase “theory of mind”: our ability to attribute mental states — beliefs, intents, desires — to oneself and others. It is, without question, an extraordinary ability. Now consider the opposite end of the spectrum, the farthest rung up the theory-of-mind ladder: the ability to share the mind of another. This is the frontier known as mind uploading, and it is a truly wild frontier. In the previous chapter, we explored using technology to battle back decrepitude. In this chapter, we’re using technology to battle death itself. Where will this lead?

., 216 Sterling, Bruce, 247 Steroid Control Act, 189–90, 198 steroids, 183–200 for AIDS treatment, 196–97 anabolic and androgenic, 192 for cosmetic purposes, 190 DHEA, 186, 198 early research on, 192–93 human growth hormone, 198 metabolic effects of, 190–92 misinformation about, 183–84, 188–90, 193–95 negative effects of, 188–89, 194 research on, 189–90 ’roid rage and, 189 in sports, 183, 187–90, 193–95 testosterone, 192–93, 198–99 Stewart, Jon, 145 Stratos Project, 127–30 Strauss, Lewis, 109 Studebaker, winged, 100 Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 233–34 sugarcane farming, 87–89 Sulgin, Alexander, 160 Survival Research Labs, 101 Svalbard Global Seed Vault, 249 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, 27 synthetic biology, xv, 219, 230–38, 241–42 Synthetic Genomics, 230 Szilárd, Leó, 109 Talent, Jim, 237 technology criminal use of, 235–36, 246 democratization of, 247–48 disruptive, xiv–xvi, 31, 151 evolution and, 56–59 irresistibility of, xvi–xvii rate of change in, 28, 57, 225–27 technopatric speciation, 58–59 techno-physio evolution, 54–57 telomeres, 191 temporal lobe, 43–45, 47–48 terraforming, 81–95 Terrafugia Transition, 100 Terra Nostra (Fuentes), 23 TerraPower, 121 terrorism, 229–30 bioweapons in, 233–38, 241–42 FBI biosecurity conferences and, 236–37 information technology in, 235 nuclear energy and, 120 testosterone, 192–93, 198–200 theory of mind, 23 This Is Reality (Martensson), 27 This Timeless Moment (Huxley), 181–82 Thompson, Hunter S., 168, 171 thorium reactors, 119–20 Three Mile Island, 110, 118 Thurmond, Strom, 213–14 Time on the Cross: An Economic Analysis of American Negro Slavery (Fogel & Engerman), 52–53 Tito, Dennis, 145 Toshiba, 121 Toth, Lou, 85–86 tourism, space, 129–30 transcendent states, 45–47, 165 trans fats, 198 transposable elements, 136–38 traveling wave reactors, 121 Truax, Robert, 101 Truax Engineering, 101 Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin, 145 Tsukamoto, Ann, 216 “The Tunnel Under the World” (Pohl), 27 tunnel vision, 41–42 UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 115 United Nations, 217 unity, cosmic, 45–47, 165, 175 US Air Force, 241 US Department of Energy, 119, 228 van Lommel, Pim, 40, 42 Venter, Craig, 228, 230, 231, 247 Vergel, Nelson, 196–97 Virgin Galactic, 129 vision artificial implants for, xiv, xvi, 26, 61–77 cost of artificial, 75–76 effects of electricity on, 79, 80–81 functional mobility in, 67 neuroprosthesis for, 67 religions on, 74 retinal implants for, 66–67 starry-night effect in, 64–65 tunnel, in near-death experiences, 41–42 “The Voice” (Butcher), 37 Walter Reed hospital, 15, 17 Walton, Ernest, 109 water impoundments, 88–90 Waterman, Waldo, 100 Watson (artificial intelligence), 223 weapons of mass destruction, 227, 245–46 Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, 236–37 weightlifters, 189–90 Weiland, James, 76–77 Weissman, Irv, 203–7, 209, 211, 215–17 Weldon, Dave, 215 Weldon Bill, 215 West Nile virus, 133, 134 What Technology Wants (Kelly), xvi–xvii Whinnery, James, 40–42 Wick, Douglas, 213–14 Wikileaks, 224, 242 Wimmer, Eckard, 233 Winkler, Allan, 110 World Health Organization (WHO), 61 Wright Brothers, 72–73 XPRIZE, xi–xiii, 129, 141, 151 yellow fever, 133, 137 Yesalis, Charles, 195 You, Edward, 236–37 Yushchenko, Viktor, 238 Zee-Aero, 105 Zucker, Jerry, 213–14


pages: 280 words: 85,091

The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton

Asperger Syndrome, Bernie Madoff, business climate, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, delayed gratification, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, G4S, impulse control, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, place-making, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, ultimatum game

When the control volunteers watched the videos of the needles being inserted, those areas of their somatosensory cortices corresponding to the relevant body regions lit up like Christmas trees, as did other brain areas such as the periaqueductal gray (the coordinator of the panic response) and the anterior cingulate cortex (which codes for error, anomaly, and pain processing). In contrast, there was barely a flicker of pain-related activity in the brains of the experts. Instead, they exhibited increased activation of the medial and superior prefrontal cortices, as well as of the temporoparietal junction: brain regions involved in emotion regulation and theory of mind.10 Moreover, the experts rated the acupuncture displays as significantly less unpleasant than the controls did—reminiscent of numerous laboratory findings showing attenuated physiological responses (e.g., heart rate, galvanic skin response [GSR], and cortisol levels) in psychopaths on presentation of fearful, disgusting, or erotic stimuli—and in the face of arduous social stress tests, such as the Trier.11 What the expert acquires through experience, psychopaths have from the start.

The general consensus centers around two possibilities. Either individuals who have problems with empathy show reduced yawn contagion because they don’t pay attention to the yawns of others. Or, alternatively, they’re simply not affected by them. A colleague, Nick Cooper, and I are currently in the process of testing the yawn reflex in psychopaths in an ongoing study in Sweden. 10 Broadly speaking, theory of mind refers to the ability to see, in both a cognitive and emotional sense, where others are “coming from.” 11 The Trier Social Stress Test typically involves volunteers being given only a brief amount of time to prepare a mock job talk, during which they are told that they will undergo various kinds of professional scrutiny, such as voice frequency analysis, assessment of nonverbal communication skill, etc.

Arm in a sling, crutches, that kind of thing. Bundy knew, rationally at least, which buttons to press in order to get their assistance. In order to gain their trust. Now, if he hadn’t known that, if he hadn’t been able to put himself in their shoes, would he really have been able to dupe them so effectively? “The answer, I believe, is no—a certain degree of cognitive empathy, a modicum of ‘theory of mind,’ is an essential requirement for the sadistic serial killer. “On the other hand, however, there has to be a degree of emotional empathy, too. Otherwise how would you derive any enjoyment from watching your victims suffer? From beating them and torturing them and so on? The answer, quite simply, is: you wouldn’t. “So the bottom line, strange though it may seem, is this. Sadistic serial killers feel their victims’ pain in exactly the same way that you or I might feel it.


pages: 310 words: 85,995

The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties by Paul Collier

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, assortative mating, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Bob Geldof, bonus culture, business cycle, call centre, central bank independence, centre right, Commodity Super-Cycle, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, full employment, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, greed is good, income inequality, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, negative equity, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, rent control, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, too big to fail, trade liberalization, urban planning, web of trust, zero-sum game

.* Yet Smith did not think that we are economic man.3 He regarded the butcher and the baker not just as individuals pursuing their self-interest, but as morally motivated people in a society. A computer predicts the behaviour of economic man from the axioms of rational self-interest. But we predict the actions of the butcher and the baker by putting ourselves in their shoes; it is known as the ‘theory of mind’. Smith recognized that seeing a person from the inside not only enables us to understand them, but induces us to care about them and assess their moral character. These emotions of empathy and judgement he saw as the foundation of morality, driving a wedge between what we want to do, and what we feel we ought to do. Morality stems from our sentiments, not our reason. He set this out in The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759).

If the educated see themselves as different from the less educated, and with diminished responsibility towards them, those others would be foolish to continue to trust them as much as when they knew that everyone had the same salient identity. We trust people if we are confident that we can predict how they will behave. We have more confidence in our predictions if we can safely use the techniques of a ‘theory of mind’: I predict your behaviour by imagining how I would behave in your circumstances. But using this technique is only reliable to the extent that I am confident that we share the same belief system. If we have radically different belief systems, I cannot put myself in your shoes because I do not inhabit the mental world that shapes your behaviour. I can’t trust you. The Utilitarian vanguard even developed a theory that anticipated the decline of trust and proposed how to prevent it.

., 120–21 business zones, 150 ‘Butskellism’, 49* Cadbury, 77 Cameron, David, 205 Canada, 22 capitalism competition, 21, 25, 56, 85, 86 ‘creative destruction’ concept, 21 current failings of, 4–5, 17, 25, 42, 45–6, 48, 201, 212–13 and decline of social trust, 5, 45–6, 48, 55, 59, 69 as essential for prosperity, 4–5, 18, 20, 25, 201 and families, 37 first mover advantage, 148 and greed, 10, 19, 25–7, 28, 31, 42, 58, 69, 70†, 81, 95 and Marx’s alienation, 17–18 and oppositional identities, 56, 74 vested interests, 85, 86, 135–6, 207 see also firms Catalan secession movement, 58 causality, narrative of, 33, 34 CDC Group, 122, 149* Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales, 129 Chicago, University of, 166 childhood adoption, 110–11 children in ‘care’, 104, 105, 110, 111, 157 children ‘reared by wolves’, 31–2 cognitive development, 105–6, 170, 175–6 fostering, 104, 105, 111 identity acquisition, 32 impact of parental unemployment, 160–61 learning of norms, 33, 35, 107–8 non-cognitive development, 105, 163, 169–70, 171–3, 174, 175–6 ‘rights of the child’ concept, 103–4 in single-parent families, 101, 102, 104–5, 155, 160 trusted mentors, 169–70 see also family China, 118–19, 149, 203 Chira, Susan, 52–3 Chirac, Jacques, 14, 120–21 Christian Democratic parties, 5, 14 Citigroup, 186 Clark, Gregory, The Son Also Rises, 106–8 Clarke, Ken, 206 class divide assortative mating among new elite, 99–100, 154, 188–9 author’s proposed policies, 19–20, 21, 183–4, 187–8, 190, 207–8 and breadth of social networks, 169 and Brexit vote, 5, 196 and cognitive development, 105–6 divergence dynamic, 7, 18, 48, 98–108, 154–61, 170–71, 172–80, 181–90 ‘elite’ attitudes to less-well educated, 4, 5, 12, 16, 53, 59, 60–61, 63 and family life, 20, 98, 99–106, 157–62 and fracture to skill-based identities, 3–5, 51–6, 78 and home ownership, 68, 181, 182–3 need for socially mixed schools, 164–5 and non-cognitive development, 105, 163, 169–70, 171–3, 174, 175–6 and parental hothousing, 100, 101, 105–6 post-school skills development, 170–76 pre-emptive support for stressed families, 20, 155, 157–60, 161–3, 208 and reading in pre-teens, 167–9 and recent populist insurgencies, 5 retirement insecurities, 179–80 and two-parent families, 155–6, 157 unravelling of shared identity, 15, 50, 51–6, 57*, 58–61, 63, 215 see also white working class climate change, 44, 67, 119 Clinton, Hillary, 5, 9, 203–4 coalition government, UK (2010–15), 206 cognitive behavioral therapy, 160 Cold War, 113, 114, 116 end of, 5–6, 115, 203 Colombia, 120 communism, 32, 36–7, 85–6 communitarian values care, 9, 11, 12, 16, 29, 31, 42, 116 fairness, 11, 12, 14, 16, 29, 31, 34, 43, 116, 132–3 hierarchy, 11, 12, 16, 38–9, 43, 99–100 left’s abandonment of, 16, 214* liberty, 11, 12, 16, 42 loyalty, 11, 12, 16, 29, 31, 34, 42–3, 116 new vanguard’s abandonment of, 9, 11–13, 14–15, 16, 17, 49–50, 113, 116–18, 121, 214 post-war settlement, 8–9, 49, 113–16, 122 and reciprocal obligations, 8–9, 11–12, 13, 14, 19, 33, 34, 40–41, 48–9, 201, 212–15 roots in nineteenth-century co-operatives, 8, 13, 14, 201 sanctity, 11, 16, 42–3 Smith and Hume, 21–2† values and reason, 29–30, 43–4 see also belonging, narrative of; obligation, narrative of; reciprocity; social democracy Companies Act, UK, 82 comparative advantage, 20, 120, 192, 194 Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 79 conservatism, 30, 36 Conservative Party, 14, 49, 205, 206 contraception, 98–9, 102 co-operative movement, 8, 13, 14, 201 Corbyn, Jeremy, 202, 204–5 Crosland, Anthony, The Future of Socialism, 17, 18, 19 Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), 114 debutante balls, 188 Denmark, 63, 178, 214* Descartes, Rene, 31 Detroit, 128, 129, 144 Deutsche Bank, 78, 185 development banks, 149–50 Development Corporations Act (1981), 150 Dickens, Charles, Bleak House, 108 digital networks detachment of narratives from place, 38, 61–2 economies of scale, 86–7 global e-utilities, 37, 38, 86–7, 89–90, 91 social media, 27, 61, 87, 173, 207, 215 value-based echo-chambers, 38, 61–2, 64–5, 212, 215 Draghi, Mario, 153 Dundee Project, 161–2 Dutch Antilles, 193 East Asia, 147, 192 eBay, 87 economic man, 10, 19, 25, 26–7, 31, 34–5, 196, 209, 210, 215 economic rent theory, 19, 91, 133–9, 140–44, 186–8, 192, 195, 207 education and collapse of social democracy, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 59, 63 and empathy, 12 and European identity, 57* expansion of universities, 99–100, 127 and growth of the middle class, 100 inequality in spending per pupil, 167 mis-ranking of cognitive and non-cognitive training, 174–6 need for socially mixed schools, 164–5 post-school skills development, 170–76 pre-school, 105–6, 163–4 quality of teaching, 165–6 reading in pre-teens, 167–9 and shocks to norms of ethical family, 98, 99–105 symbols of cognitive privilege, 175 teaching methods, 166–7 vocational education, 171–6 zero-sum aspects of success, 189 electoral systems, 206 Emerging Market economies, 129, 130–31 empires, age of, 113 The Enigma of Reason (Mercier and Sperber), 29 enlightened self-interest, 33, 40*, 97–8, 101, 109, 112, 113, 114, 117, 184, 213 Enron, 80 ethnicity, 3, 20, 56, 62, 64, 65, 211 Europe Christian Democrats in, 5, 14 class divides, 3, 4, 5, 125 decline in social trust, 45 and knowledge industries, 192 metropolitan-provincial divides, 3, 4, 125 and migration, 121, 197 and shared identity, 57–8, 64, 66, 125 social democracy in, 8–9, 49, 50 European Central Bank, 153 European Commission, 57 European Investment Bank, 149 European Union (EU, formerly EEC), 66, 67, 114, 115, 116, 117 Brexit vote (June 2016), 5, 125, 131, 196, 215 Eurozone crisis, 153 public policy as predominantly national, 212 universities in, 170 evolutionary theory, 31, 33†, 35–6, 66 externalities, 145–6 Facebook, 87 Fairbairn, Carolyn, 79 fake news, 33–4 family, 19 African norms, 110–11 benefits for single parents, 160 Clark’s ‘family culture’, 107–8 entitled individual vs family obligation, 99–103, 104–6, 108–9, 210 equality within, 39, 154 erosion of mutual obligations, 101–2, 210 identity acquisition, 32 ideologies hostile to, 36–7 impact of unemployment/poverty, 4, 7, 160–61 importance of, 36, 37 and increased longevity, 110, 161 in-kind support for parenting, 161 nuclear dynastic family, 102, 110, 154 one-parent families, 101, 102, 104–5, 155, 160 parental hothousing, 100, 101, 105–6 post-1945 ethical family, 97–8, 99–105, 108, 210 pressures on young parents, 159–60, 161–3 and public policy, 21, 154–5, 157–70, 171–3, 177, 209 and reciprocity, 97–8, 101, 102 shocks to post-1945 norms, 98–105 shrinking of extended family, 101–2, 109–10, 161 social maternalism concept, 154–5, 157–8, 190 two-parent families as preferable, 155–6, 157 see also childhood; marriage Farage, Nigel, 202 fascism, 6, 13*, 47, 113 Federalist papers, 82 feminism, 13, 99 Fillon, François, 204 financial crisis, global (2008–9), 4, 34, 71, 160 no bankers sent to gaol for, 95–6 financial sector, 77–9, 80–81, 83–5 asymmetric information, 88, 185 co-ordination role, 145–6 economies of scale, 87 localized past of, 84, 146 toxic rivalries in, 189 trading in financial assets, 78–9, 84, 184–5, 186, 187 Finland, 63 firms, 19, 21, 69 CEO pay, 77–8, 79, 80–81 competition, 21, 25, 56, 85, 86 control/accountability of, 75–81, 82–5 cultures of good corporate behaviour, 94–5 demutualization in UK, 83, 84 deteriorating behaviour of, 18, 69, 78, 80–81 economies of scale, 17–18, 37, 86–7, 88–91, 126–7, 144–5, 146–7 ethical, 70–71, 172, 209–10 and ethical citizens, 93–4, 95, 96 failure/bankruptcy of, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75–6 flattening of hierarchies in, 39 Friedman’s profit nostrum, 69–70, 71, 76, 78–9, 210 global e-utilities, 37, 38, 86–7, 89–90, 91 ideologies hostile to, 37, 81 low productivity-low cost business model, 173–4 ‘maximising of shareholder value’, 69–70, 76, 79, 82–3 ‘mutuals’, 83 need for bankslaughter crime, 95–6 new network features, 86–7 policing the public interest, 93–4 public dislike of, 69, 95–6 public interest representation on boards, 92–3 regulation of, 87–90, 174 reward linked to short-term performance, 77, 78–81 sense of purpose, 39–40, 41, 70–75, 80–81, 93–4, 96 shareholder control of, 76–7, 79, 80, 82–3 societal role of, 81–2, 92–3, 96, 209–10 utility services, 86, 89, 90 worker interests on boards, 83, 84–5 Fisher, Stephen, 196* Five Star, 125 Ford, 70, 71 France, 7, 63, 67, 114 écoles maternelles in, 164 labour market in, 176, 189 pensions policy, 180 presidential election (2017), 5, 9, 204 universities in, 170 working week reduced in, 189 Frederiksen, Mette, 214* Friedman, Milton, 15, 69–70, 71, 76 The Full Monty (film), 7, 129 G20 group, 118 G7 group, 118 G8 group, 194 Ganesh, Janan, 125 Geldof, Bob, 169 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), 114, 115, 116–17 General Motors (GM), 72, 73–4, 75, 86, 172 geographic divide, 3, 16, 18, 19, 215 author’s proposed policies, 19, 207 and Brexit vote, 125, 196 broken cities, 4, 7, 19, 48, 125, 129–30, 147–9 business zones, 150 co-ordination problem over new clusters, 145–50, 207 decline of provincial cities, 4, 7, 19, 48, 125, 129–30, 131, 144–5 economic forces driving, 126–30 and education spending, 167 first mover disadvantage, 148–9 ideological responses, 130–32 investment promotion agencies, 150–51 and local universities, 151–2 and metropolitan disdain, 125 need for political commitment, 153 as recent and reversible, 152–3 regenerating provincial cities, 19, 142, 144–50 and spending per school pupil, 167 widening of since 1980, 125 George, Henry, 133–6, 141 Germany 2017 election, 5, 205 local banks in, 146 Nazi era, 57 and oppositional identities, 56–7 oversight of firms in, 76 post-war industrial relations policy, 94–5 and post-war settlement, 114 re-emergence of far right, 5 rights of refugees in, 14 ‘social market economy’, 49 TVET in, 171–2, 174, 175 vereine (civil society groups), 181 worker interests on boards, 84–5 global divide, 7–8, 20, 59–60, 191–8, 208 globalization, 4, 18, 20, 126–7, 128, 129, 130–31, 191–8 Goldman Sachs, 70†, 83–4, 94 Google, 87 Great Depression (1930s), 114 Green, Sir Philip, 80 Grillo, Beppe, 202 ‘Grimm and Co’, Rotherham, 168–9 Gunning, Jan Willem, 165 Haidt, Jonathan, 11–12, 14, 16, 28, 29, 132–3 Haiti, 208 Halifax Building Society, 8, 84 Hamon, Benoît, 9, 204 Harvard-MIT, 7, 152 Hershey, 77 HIV sufferers in poor countries, 120–21 Hofer, Norbert, 202 Hollande, Francois, 9, 204 Hoover, 148 housing market, 181–4 buy-to-let, 182, 183, 184 and lawyers, 187 mortgages, 84, 176, 182, 183–4 proposed stock transfer from landlords to tenants, 184 Hume, David, 14, 21, 21–2†, 29 Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World (1932), 5 Iceland, 63 Identity Economics, 50–56, 65–7 ideologies based on hatred of ‘other’ part of society, 43, 56, 213, 214 ‘end of history’ triumphalism, 6, 43–4 hostile to families, 36–7 hostile to firms, 37, 81 hostile to the state, 37–8 and housing policy, 183 and migration, 198 New Right, 14–15, 26, 81, 129 norms of care and equality, 116, 132–3 polarization of politics, 38, 63, 202–5 pragmatic eschewal of, 17, 18, 21, 22, 29–30 and principle of reason, 9, 13, 14, 15, 21, 43 Rawlsian vanguard, 13–14, 30, 49–50, 53, 67, 112, 113, 201, 202, 203, 214 return of left-right confrontation, 5, 6, 81, 202–5 and rights, 12–14, 44, 112 seduction of, 6 and twentieth century’s catastrophes, 5–6, 22 views on an ethical world, 112 see also Marxism; rights ideology; Utilitarianism IFC (International Finance Corporation), 122 Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), 69–70, 75 India, 118–19 individualism entitled individual vs family obligation, 99–103, 104–6, 108–9, 210 fulfilment through personal achievement, 28, 99, 100–101, 102, 103, 108–9, 213 New Right embrace of, 14–15, 53, 81, 214–15 as rampant in recent decades, 19, 214–15 reciprocity contrasted with, 44–5 and withering of spatial community, 61–2 industrial revolution, 8, 126 inequality and assortative mating among new elite, 99–100, 154, 188–9 and divergence dynamic, 7, 18, 48, 98–108, 154–61, 170–71, 172–80, 181–90 and financial sector, 185 and geographic divide, 3, 7–8, 20, 125 global divide, 7–8, 20, 59–60, 191–8, 208 persistence of, 106–8 Rawls’ disadvantaged groups, 3–4, 13–14, 16, 50, 53, 121, 203–4, 214 and revolt against social democracy, 15–16 rising levels of, 3–5, 106, 125, 181, 190 and Utilitarian calculus, 132 innovation, 185–6, 208 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 114, 117 international relations achievement of post-WW2 leaders, 113–16, 122 building of shared identity, 114–16 core concepts of ethical world, 112, 113–14 erosion of ethical world, 116–18 expansion of post-war ‘clubs’, 116–18, 210 new, multipurpose club needed, 118–19, 122 and patriotism narrative, 67 situation in 1945, 112–13, 122 investment promotion agencies, 150–51 Irish Investment Authority, 151 Islamist terrorism, 42, 212, 213 Italy, 4, 58, 160 James, William, 29* Janesville (US study), 178 Japan, 72–3, 94, 101, 149, 192 John Lewis Partnership, 83, 172 Johnson, Robert Wood, 39–40, 72 Johnson & Johnson, 39–40, 41, 72, 74*, 79 Jolie, Angelina, 112 JP Morgan, 71* Juppé, Alain, 204 Kagame, Paul, 22 Kay, John, 82*, 84, 211 Keynes, John Maynard, 115 General Theory (1936), 47 kindergartens, 163 Knausgård, Karl Ove, 173 knowledge revolution, 126, 127–8 Kranton, Rachel, 35, 50–51 Krueger, Anne, 141 Krugman, Paul, 47 labour market flexicurity concept, 178 function of, 176–7 and globalization, 192, 194–6 and immigration, 194, 195, 196 investment in skills, 176–7 job security, 176, 177 and low productivity-low cost business model, 173–4 minimum wage strategies, 147, 174, 176, 180 need for reductions in working hours, 189 need for renewed purpose in work, 190 regulation of, 174, 189 and robotics revolution, 178–9 role of state, 177–8, 189 see also unemployment Labour Party, 49, 206 Marxist take-over of, 9, 204–5 language, 31, 32, 33, 39–40, 54, 57 Larkin, Philip, 99, 156 lawyers, 13–14, 45 Buiter’s three types, 186 and shell companies, 193, 194 surfeit of, 186–7 taxation of private litigation proposal, 187–8 Le Pen, Marine, 5, 63, 125, 202, 204 leadership and belief systems, 41–2, 43, 95 building of shared identity, 39–42, 49, 68, 114–16 changing role of, 39 and flattening of hierarchies, 39 and ISIS, 42 political achievements in post-war period, 113–16, 122 and pragmatist philosophy, 22 and shared purpose in firms, 39–40, 41, 71–5 strategic use of morality, 39–40, 41 transformation of power into authority, 39, 41–2, 57 League of Nations, 116 Lee Kwan Yew, 22, 147 Lehman Brothers, 71*, 76 liberalism, 30 libertarianism, 12–13, 15 New Right failures, 16, 21 Silicon Valley, 37–8 lobbying, 85, 141 local government, 182, 183 London, 3, 125, 127–8, 165–6, 193 impact of Brexit on, 131, 196 migration to, 195–6 Macron, Emmanuel, 67, 204 Manchester terror attack (2017), 212, 213 market economy, 19, 20, 21, 25, 48 and collapse of clusters, 129–30, 144–5 failure over pensions, 180 failure over skill-formation, 173–4 mutual benefit from exchange, 28 market fundamentalists, 147, 150 marriage assortative mating, 35, 99–100, 154, 188–9 cohabitation prior to, 99, 100 as ‘commitment technology’, 109, 155–6 divorce rates, 98, 99, 100–101, 102, 103 and female oppression, 156 religious associations, 109, 156 and rent-seeking, 141 ‘shotgun weddings’, 103 and unemployment, 103 Marxism, 13*, 26, 30, 43, 47, 113, 203, 214 alienation concept, 17–18 and the family, 36–7 late capitalism concept, 6 takeover of Labour Party, 9, 204–5 and ‘useful idiots’, 205* view of the state, 37 Maxwell, Robert, 80 May, Theresa, 205 Mayer, Colin, 18, 70 media celebrities, 6, 112, 204 Mélenchon, Jean-Luc, 5, 202, 204 mental health, 157, 158–9, 162 Mercier, Hugo, 29 meritocratic elites, 3–4, 5, 12–17, 20 Rawlsian vanguard, 13–14, 30, 49–50, 53, 67, 112, 113, 201, 202, 203, 214 Utilitarian vanguard, 9–10, 11–13, 15–16, 18, 52, 53, 59, 66–7, 209 see also Utilitarianism WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich and Developed), 3–4, 12, 14, 16, 17, 20, 116, 121, 133, 214* and white working class, 5, 16 Merkel, Angela, 14, 205 metropolitan areas, 3, 4, 7, 16, 19, 48, 125 co-ordination problem over new clusters, 145–50, 207 economies of agglomeration, 18, 19, 129, 131, 133–44, 195, 196, 207 gains from public goods, 134–5, 138–9 migration to, 195–6 political responses to dominance of, 131–2 scale and specialization in, 126–8, 130, 144–5 and taxation, 131, 132–43, 187, 207 Middle East, 192 Middleton, Kate, 188–9 migration, 121, 194–8, 203 as driven by absolute advantage, 20, 194–5, 208–9 and housing market, 182, 183 Mill, John Stuart, 9–10 minimum wage strategies, 147, 174, 176, 180 Mitchell, Andrew, 188 Mitchell, Edson, 78 modernist architecture, 12 Monarch Airlines, 75 monopolies, natural, 86–7, 88 and asymmetric information, 88, 90 auctioning of rights, 88–9 taxation of, 91–2 utility services, 86, 89, 90 ‘moral hazard’, 179 morality and ethics deriving from values not reason, 27, 28–9, 42–3 and economic man, 10, 19, 25, 26–7, 31, 34–5 and empathy, 12, 27 evolution of ethical norms, 35–6 Haidt’s fundamental values, 11–12, 14, 16, 29, 42–3, 132–3 and market economy, 21, 25, 28, 48 and modern capitalism, 25–6 and new elites, 3–4, 20–21 Adam Smith’s theories, 26–8 use for strategic purposes, 39–40, 41 and Utilitarianism, 9–10, 11, 14, 16, 55, 66–7, 209, 214 motivated reasoning, 28–9, 36, 86, 144, 150, 167 Museveni, President, 121 narratives and childhood mentors, 169–70 and consistency, 41, 67, 81, 96 conveyed by language, 31, 33, 57 detachment from place by e-networks, 38, 61–2 and heyday of social democracy, 49 and identity formation, 32 mis-ranking of cognitive and non-cognitive training, 174–6 moral norms generated from, 33, 97–8 and purposive action, 33–4, 40–41, 42, 68 and schools, 165 of shared identity, 53–6, 81 use of by leaders, 39–42, 43, 49, 80–81 see also belonging, narrative of; obligation, narrative of; purposive action National Health Service (NHS), 49, 159 national identity and citizens-of-the-world agenda, 59–61, 63, 65 contempt of the educated for, 53, 59, 60–61, 63 and distinctive common culture, 37†, 63 established in childhood, 32 esteem from, 51–3 fracture to skill-based identities, 3–5, 51–6, 78 legacy of Second World War, 15, 16 methods of rebuilding, 64, 65–8, 211–15 and new nationalists, 62–3, 67, 203, 204, 205 patriotism narrative, 21, 63, 67, 215 place-based identity, 51–6, 65–8, 211–14, 215 and polarization of society, 54–5 and secession movements, 58 unravelling of shared identity, 15, 50, 51–6, 57*, 58–61, 63, 215 and value identity, 64–5 National Review, 16 nationalism, 34 based on ethnicity or religion, 62–3 capture of national identity notion by, 62, 67, 215 and narratives of hatred, 56, 57, 58–9 and oppositional identities, 56–7, 58–9, 62–3, 68, 215 traditional form of, 62 natural rights concept, 12, 13 Nestlé, 70, 71 Netherlands, 206 networked groups as arena for exchanging obligations, 28 and ‘common knowledge’, 32–3, 34, 54, 55, 66, 212 decline of civil society networks/ groups, 180–81 and early man, 31 evolution of ethical norms, 35–6 exclusion of disruptive narratives, 34 families as, 97–8 leadership’s use of narratives, 39–42, 49 narratives detached from place, 38, 61–2 value-based echo-chambers, 38, 61–2, 64–5, 212, 215 see also family; firms Neustadt, Richard, 39* New York City, 5, 125, 128, 143–4, 193 NGOs, 71, 118, 157–8 ‘niche construction’, 35*, 36* Nigeria, 58 Noble, Diana, 149* Norman, Jesse, 21–2† North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 114, 115, 116, 117 North Korea, 85 Northern League, Italy, 58 Norway, 63, 206, 208–9 Nozick, Robert, 14–15 obligation, narrative of, 11, 12–13, 16, 19, 29, 33 and collapse of social democracy, 53–6, 210 entitled individual vs family obligation, 99–103, 104–6, 108–9, 210 in ethical world, 112, 113–22 and expansion of post-war ‘clubs’, 117–18, 210 fairness and loyalty instilled by, 34 heyday of the ethical state, 48–9, 68, 196–7 and immigration, 196–7 and leadership, 39, 40–41, 49 ‘oughts’ and ‘wants’, 27, 28, 33, 43 and secession movements, 58 and Adam Smith, 27, 28 see also reciprocity; rescue, duty of oil industry, 192 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 114–15, 125 Orwell, George, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), 5 Oxford university, 7, 70, 100 Paris, 5, 7, 125, 128, 174, 179 patriotism, 21, 63, 67, 215 Pause (NGO), 157–8 pension funds, 76–7, 79–81, 179–80, 185 Pew Research Center, 169 Pinker, Steven, 12* Plato, The Republic, 9, 11, 12, 15, 43 Playboy magazine, 99 political power and holders of economic rent, 135–6, 144 leadership selection systems in UK, 204–5, 206 minimum age for voting, 203 need to restore the centre, 205–7 polarization within polities, 38, 63, 202–5 polities as spatial, 38, 61–2, 65, 68, 211–13 and shared identity, 8, 57–61, 65, 114–16, 211–15 transformation into authority, 41–2, 57–8 trust in government, 4, 5, 48, 59, 210, 211–12 populism, political, 6, 22, 43, 58–9, 202 and geographic divide, 130–31 headless-heart, 30, 60, 112, 119, 121, 122 media celebrities, 6, 112, 204 pragmatism as opposed to, 30 and US presidential election (2016), 5, 203–4 pragmatist philosophy, 6, 9, 19, 21, 21–2†, 46, 201 author’s proposed policies, 19–20, 21, 207–15 limitations of, 30 and Macron in France, 204 and migration, 198 and post-war settlement, 113, 116, 122 and social democracy, 18, 201–2 successful leaders, 22 and taxation, 132, 207 and teaching methods, 166–7 values and reason, 29–30, 43–4 proportional representation, 206 protectionism, 113, 114, 130–31 psychology, social, 16, 54 co-ordination problems, 32–3 esteem’s trumping of money, 174 Haidt’s fundamental values, 11–12, 14, 16, 29, 42–3, 132–3 narratives, 31, 32, 33–4, 38, 39–42, 49, 53–6 norms, 33, 35–6, 39, 42–3, 44, 97–8, 107–8 ‘oughts’ and ‘wants’, 27, 28, 33, 43 personal achievement vs family obligation, 99–103, 104–6, 108–9, 210 ‘theory of mind’, 27, 55 Public Choice Theory, 15–16 public goods, 134–5, 138–9, 186, 202, 213 public ownership, 90 Puigdemont, Carles, 202 purposive action, 18, 21, 25, 26, 34, 40*, 53–4, 68, 112, 211–13 autonomy and responsibility, 38–9 and belonging narrative, 68, 98, 114, 211, 212, 213 in Bhutan, 37† decline in ethical purpose across society, 48 and heyday of social democracy, 47, 49, 114 and narratives, 33–4, 40–41, 42, 68 in workplace, 190 Putnam, Robert, 45–6, 106 Bowling Alone, 181 ‘quality circles’, 72–3 Rajan, Raghuram, 178 Rand, Ayn, 32 rational social woman, 31, 50–51, 196 Rawls, John, 13–14 Reagan, Ronald, 15, 26 Reback, Gary, 90 reciprocity, 9, 19, 31, 212–15 and belonging, 25, 40–41, 49, 53–6, 67, 68, 98, 181, 182, 210–11, 212–13 and collapse of social democracy, 11, 14, 53–6, 58–61, 201, 210 and corporate behaviour, 95 in ethical world, 112, 113–15, 116 and expansion of post-war ‘clubs’, 117–18, 210 fairness and loyalty as supporting, 29, 31, 34 and the family, 97–8, 101, 102 and geographic divide, 125 heyday of the ethical state, 48–9, 68, 96, 196–7, 201 and ISIS, 42 Macron’s patriotism narrative, 67 nineteenth-century co-operatives, 8 rights matched to obligations, 44–5 and three types of narrative, 33, 34, 40–41 transformation of power into authority, 39, 41–2, 57–8 Refuge (Betts and Collier), 27 refugees, 14, 27, 115, 119–20, 213 regulation, 87–90 and globalization, 193–4 of labour market, 174 religion, 56–7, 62–3, 109, 156 religious fundamentalism, 6, 30, 36–7, 212, 213, 215 rent-seeking concept, 140–41, 150, 186, 187–8, 195 rescue, duty of, 40, 54, 119–21, 210, 213 as instrument for ethical imperialism, 117–18, 210 as not matched by rights, 44, 45, 117 and post-war settlement, 113, 115–16 restoring and augmenting autonomy, 121–2 and stressed young families, 163 term defined, 27, 112 value of care as underpinning, 29 retirement pensions, 179–80 rights ideology and corresponding obligations, 44–5 emergence in 1970s, 12–14 human rights lobby, 112, 118, 118* individualism as rampant in recent decades, 19, 214–15 and lawyers, 13–14, 45 Libertarian use of, 12–13, 14–15 natural rights concept, 12, 13 and New Right, 12–13, 14–15, 53 Rawls’ disadvantaged groups, 3–4, 13–14, 16, 50, 53, 112, 121, 203–4, 214 ‘rights of the child’ concept, 103–4 and Utilitarian atate, 12–14 see also individualism Romania, communist, 32, 36 Rotherham, ‘Grimm and Co’, 168–9 rule of law, 138–9, 186 Rwanda, 22 Salmond, Alex, 202 Sandel, Michael, 105 Sanders, Bernie, 9, 64, 202, 203 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 204 Schultz, Martin, 14 Schumpeter, Joseph, 21* Scotland, 58 Seligman, Martin, 108–9 sexual behaviour birth-control pill, 98–9, 102 and class divide, 99, 102, 155–6 concept of sin, 156 and HIV, 121 and stigma, 156–8 sexual orientation, 3, 45 Sheffield, 7, 8, 126, 128–9, 131, 151, 168, 192 shell companies, 193, 194 Shiller, Robert, 34 Sidgwick, Henry, 55 Signalling, Theory of, 41, 43, 53, 63, 95 Silicon Valley, 37–8, 62, 145, 152, 164 Singapore, 22, 147 Slovenia, 58 Smith, Adam, 14, 21, 21–2†, 174 and mutual benefit from exchange, 28 and pursuit of self- interest, 26–7, 40 on reason, 29 The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), 27, 28, 174 Wealth of Nations (1776), 26, 28, 174 Smith, Vernon, 28 social democracy ‘Butskellism’, 49* collapse of, 9, 11, 50, 51–6, 116–18, 201–2, 210 communitarian roots, 8–9, 11, 13, 14, 17, 48–9, 201 and group identities, 3–4, 13–14, 51–6 heyday of, 8–9, 15, 17, 47, 48–9, 68, 96, 196–7, 201, 210 and housing, 181–2 influence of Utilitarianism, 9, 10, 14, 16, 18, 49–50, 201, 203, 214 Libertarian challenge, 12–13, 14–15 New Right abandonment of, 14–15, 16, 26, 53 and Public Choice Theory, 15–16 replaced by social paternalism, 11–13, 49–50, 209–10 and rights ideology, 12–14 and secession movements, 58 shared identity harnessed by, 15, 196–7 unravelling of shared identity, 15, 50, 51–6, 57*, 58–61, 63, 215 and Utilitarianism, 214 social maternalism concept, 21, 154–5, 190 free pre-school education, 163–4 mentoring for children, 169–70, 208 support for stressed families, 20, 155, 157–60, 161–3, 208 social media, 27, 61, 87, 173, 207, 215 social paternalism backlash against, 11–13, 15–16 as cavalier about globalization, 20 and child-rearing/family, 105, 110, 154–5, 157, 158, 159, 160, 190, 209 replaces social democracy, 11–13, 49–50, 209–10 ‘rights of the child’ concept, 103–4 and Utilitarian vanguard, 9–10, 11–13, 15–16, 18, 66–7, 209 social services, 159 scrutiny role, 162 Solow, Robert, 141 Soros, George, 15* South Africa, 85 South Asia, 192 South Korea, 129, 130–31 South Sudan, 192 Soviet Union, 114, 115, 116, 203 Spain, 58, 160 specialization, 17–18, 36, 126–8, 130, 144–5, 192 Spence, Michael, 41, 53, 95 Sperber, Dan, 29 St Andrews University, 189 Stanford University, 145, 152 Starbucks, 193 the state, 19 ethical capacities of, 11, 20–21, 48–9 failures in 1930s, 47, 48 ideologies hostile to, 37–8 and pre-school education, 163–4 and prosperity, 37 public policy and job shocks, 177–8 public policy on the family, 21, 154–5, 157–70, 171–3, 177, 209 public-sector and co-ordination problem, 147–8 social maternalism policies, 21, 157, 190 Utilitarian takeover of public policy, 10–12, 13–14, 15–17, 18, 49–50, 113, 201 Stiglitz, Joseph, 56 Stoke-on-Trent, 129 Stonehenge, 64 Sudan, 8 Summers, Larry, 187 Sure Start programme, 164 Sutton, John, 151* Sweden, 178 Switzerland, 175, 206 Tanzania, 193 taxation and corporate globalization, 193, 194 of economic rents, 91–2, 187–8 ethics and efficiency, 132–43 on financial transactions, 187 generational differences in attitudes, 59 Henry George’s Theorem, 133–6, 141 heyday of the ethical state, 49 issues of desert, 132–3, 134–9 and the metropolis, 131, 132–43, 187, 207 and migration, 197 of natural monopolies, 91–2 ‘optimal’, 10 of private litigation in courts, 187–8 and reciprocity, 54, 55, 59 redesign of needed, 19 redistributive, 10, 11, 14, 49, 54, 55, 60, 197 of rents of agglomeration, 19, 132–44, 207 social maternalism policies, 21, 157 substantial decline in top rates, 55 tax havens, 62 Venables-Collier theory, 136–9 Teach First programme, 165–6 technical vocational education and training (TVET), 171–6 technological change, 4 robotics revolution, 178–9 and withering of spatial community, 61–2 see also digital networks telomeres, 155–6 Tepperman, Jonathan, The Fix, 22 Thatcher, Margaret, 15, 26 Thirty Years War, 56–7 Tirole, Jean, 177, 178 Toyota, 72–3, 74, 94, 172 trade unions, 173, 174, 176 Troubled Families Programme (TFP), 162 Trudeau, Pierre, 22 Trump, Donald, 5, 9, 63, 64, 86, 125, 136, 202, 204, 206, 215 Uber, 87 unemployment in 1930s, 47 and collapse of industry, 7, 103, 129, 192 impact on children, 160–61 older workers, 4, 103, 213 retraining schemes, 178 in USA, 160 young people, 4 Unilever, 70, 71 United Kingdom collapse of heavy industry, 7, 103, 129, 192 extreme politics in, 5 and falling life expectancy, 4 financial sector, 80, 83, 84–5 IMF bail-out (1976), 115 local banks in past, 146 northern England, 3, 7, 8, 84, 126, 128–9, 131, 151, 168, 192 shareholder control of firms, 76–7, 79, 80, 82–3 statistics on firms in, 37 universities in, 170, 172, 175* vocational education in, 172, 175† widening of geographic divide, 125 United Nations, 65, 112 ‘Club of 77’, 116 Security Council, 116 UNHCR, 115 United States breakdown of ethical family, 104–5 broken cities in, 129, 130 extreme politics in, 5, 63 and falling life expectancy, 4 financial sector, 83–4, 186 and global e-utilities, 89–90 growth in inequality since 1980, 125 heyday of the ethical state, 49 and knowledge industries, 192 labour market in, 176, 178 local banks in past, 146 oversight of firms in, 76 pessimism in, 5, 45–6 presidential election (2016), 5, 9, 203–4 Public Interest Companies, 93 public policy as predominantly national, 212 ‘rights of the child’ concept in, 103–4 Roosevelt’s New Deal, 47 statistics on firms in, 37 taxation in, 143–4, 144* unemployment in, 160 universities in, 170, 172, 173 weakening of NATO commitment, 117 universities in broken cities, 151–2 in EU countries, 170 expansion of, 99–100, 127 knowledge clusters at, 127, 151–2 low quality vocational courses, 172–3 in UK, 170, 172, 175* in US, 170, 172, 173 urban planning, post-war, 11–12 Utilitarianism, 19, 30, 49–50, 55, 108, 112, 121, 210–11 backlash against, 11–13, 201, 202 belonging as absent from discourse, 16, 59, 66–7, 210–11 care as key value, 12 and consumption, 10, 11, 16, 19–20, 209 equality as key value, 12, 13, 14, 15, 116, 132–3, 214 incorporated into economics, 10–11, 13–14, 16 influence on social democrats, 9, 10, 14, 16, 18, 49–50, 201, 203, 214 origins of, 9–10 paternalistic guardians, 9–10, 11–13, 66–7, 210 takeover of public policy, 10–12, 13–14, 15–17, 18, 49–50, 113, 201 and taxation, 10, 132*, 133 vanguard’s switch of identity salience, 52, 53, 59 Valls, Manuel, 204 Venables, Tony, 18, 136, 191* Venezuela, 120, 214 vested interests, 85–6, 135–6, 165, 166, 207 Volkswagen, 74–5 Walmart, 87 Warsi, Baroness Sayeeda, 65 Wedgwood, Josiah, 129 welfare state, 9, 48–9 unlinked from contributions, 14 well-being and happiness belonging and esteem, 16, 25, 27, 29, 31–3, 34, 42, 51–6, 97–8, 174 entitled individual vs family obligation, 108–9 and financial success, 26, 94 ‘ladder of life’, 25* poverty in Africa, 37 reciprocity as decisive for, 31 Westminster, Duke of, 136 white working class ‘elite’ attitudes to, 4, 5, 16 falling life expectancy, 4, 16 pessimism of, 5 William, Prince, 188–9 Williams, Bernard, 55* Wittgenstein, 62, 63 Wolf, Alison, 52–3, 155 World Bank, 115, 117, 118, 118*, 122 World Food Programme, 115 World Health Organization, 115 World Trade Organization (WTO), 116–17 Yugoslavia, 58 Zingales, Luigi, 178 Zuma, Jacob, 85 Copyright THE FUTURE OF CAPITALISM.


pages: 313 words: 92,053

Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life by Colin Ellard

augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, megastructure, more computing power than Apollo, Oculus Rift, Peter Eisenman, RFID, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, sentiment analysis, smart cities, starchitect, the built environment, theory of mind, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen

When asked to describe what they saw, participants described the unfolding events in very human terms, attributing cognitive and emotional states to the objects. One viewer of the video described one of the triangles as an “aggressive bully,” for instance, and many viewers speculated about the possibility of a love-triangle between the shapes. These much-cited experiments helped to lay the foundation for a psychology of “theory of mind,” which supposes that we are predisposed to attribute the behavior of all kinds of objects to very human inner feelings and thoughts. More recent work has suggested that the development of the capacity to use theory of mind to account for simple perceptual phenomena is something that begins at a very young age. Even infants show some of the effects described by Heider and Simmel.4 In a related vein, the Belgian psychologist Albert Michotte reported experiments in 1947 showing what he called the “launching effect.”

See also geotracking; global positioning system; responsive design; virtual reality attention and, 50, 202–4 for body boundary remapping, 22 calm, 194–95, 196 emergence overview of, 13–14, 17, 25–27, 225 gaming, 75–76, 184–85 genericization and, 121–22, 123–24 loneliness and, 147, 149–50 personalization and, 27, 104–5, 189–90, 208–11 reality redefined by, 78, 90, 225 smartphone, 25, 196–97 smartphone apps, 77, 103–4, 129, 210 ubiquitous computing, 194–97 urban infrastructure, 212–16 wearable, 26–27, 210 Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED), 22 Technology and the Character of Modern Life (Borgmann), 202 teledildonics, 185 temporal cortex, 169, 200–201 tensegrity, 75 Terrenato, Nicola, 54 terror management theory, 164–65 testosterone, 22 theory of mind, 58 Thomas, Elizabeth, 47 threat detection of, 34–35, 134–35, 144–45 fight or flight response to, 126, 142–44 neuroscience of anticipated, 59, 128, 134 prospect and refuge theory and, 33–35, 97 social status and, 156–57, 167–68 thrill, 81–86, 89–93 time dilation, 166 Tinbergen, Niko, 33 Toronto, 133–34, 195 transcendence, 152–53, 155, 172–73 trees, 35 Tröndle, Martin, 91–92 trust, 136, 137–38 Turkey, Göbekli Tepe in, 14–15 Twitter, 210–11 ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp), 194–97 Ulrich, Roger, 31, 36 United States crime avoidance in, 141 singles demographic shift in, 145–46 upward gaze, 171–73 urban spaces.


pages: 165 words: 50,798

Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything by Peter Morville

A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, augmented reality, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business process, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, disruptive innovation, index card, information retrieval, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Lean Startup, Lyft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, Nelson Mandela, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game

While we may have inherited the mind/body dualism of our favorite reductionist, René Descartes, who concluded the mind (or soul) can exist without the body, we need not stay bound by what Gilbert Ryle called “the ghost in the machine.”xxiv In recent decades, the countervailing framework of embodied cognition has built momentum with respect to empirical research. This thesis holds that the nature of the mind is largely determined by the form of the body. Unlike computationalism, which views the brain as a central processing unit with inputs (sensory) and outputs (control), this theory of mind recognizes that how and what we think is shaped by the body’s systems of perception, action, and emotion. Our bodies constrain the nature and content of our thoughts, and cognitive processing is distributed beyond our brains. In short, cognition isn’t just in the head. Figure 2-1. Embodied cognition. Furthermore, according to the related theory of extended mind, thinking isn’t limited to skin and skull.

A song tickles us by surprise, managers count on cause and effect, and we dream in folded feedback, exploring the consequences of our own predictions. Anticipation is behind all we think and do. In the words of Jeff Hawkins, “Prediction is not just one of the things your brain does. It is the primary function of the neocortex and the foundation of intelligence.”lxxvi It’s impossible not to predict the future, yet we get it wrong all the time. We use our “theory of mind” to anticipate the actions and reactions of colleagues and customers, but people are full of surprises. Experiments help, but induction has its limits. Even minimum viable products can’t predict the long now at scale. Inevitably we must move forward, often at a fast clip, but it pays to be aware of error even as we race along. Often our mistakes are small, obvious, and easy to fix. It’s the big ones we must look out for.


pages: 380 words: 104,841

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, Internet of things, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microbiome, nuclear winter, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the High Line, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

Some other animals—orangutans and other cousins of ours, dolphins and octopuses, and some birds—are also self-aware. A wily jay might choose to cache a seed more quietly because other jays are nearby and it doesn’t want the treasure stolen; an octopus might take the lid off its habitat at night to go for a stroll and then replace the lid when it returns lest its keepers find out. They possess a theory of mind, and can intuit what a rival might do in a given situation and act accordingly. They exhibit deceit, compassion, the ability to see themselves through another’s eyes. Chimpanzees feel deeply, strategize, plan, think abstractly to a surprising degree, mourn, empathize some, deceive, seduce, and are all too conscious of life’s pressures, if not its chastening illusions. They’re blessed and burdened, as we are, by strong family ties and quirky personalities, from madcap to martinet.

Futurologists like Ray Kurzweil believe, as Lipson does, that a race of conscious robots, far smarter than we, will inhabit Earth’s near-future days, taking over everything from industry, education, and transportation to engineering, medicine, and sales. They already have a foot in the door. At the 2013 Living Machines Conference, in London, the European RobotCub Consortium introduced their iCub, a robot that has naturally evolved a theory of mind, an important milestone that develops in children at around the age of three or four. Standing about three feet tall, with a bulbous head and pearly white face, programmed to walk and crawl like a child, it engages the world with humanlike limbs and joints, sensitive fingertips, stereo vision, sharp ears, and an autobiographical memory that’s split like ours into the episodic memory of, say, skating on a frozen pond as a child and the semantic memory of how to tilt the skate blades on edge for a skidding stop.

., 87 Stanley Park, 78 starlings, 153, 165–66 Star Trek, 232, 253, 260 Statue of Liberty, 59 steam engine, 34 Steel Pier, 47 stem cells, 13, 150 Stockholm, 96–97 Stoermer, Eugene, 313 stomata, 91 Stony Creek harbor, 56–57, 66–67 storks, 124 Strauss, Richard, 269 suburban sprawl, 116 succulents, 83 sugar, 239 Suharto, 313 sulfur, 99 Summit, Scott, 236–37 sustainability, popularity of, 108 Sustainability Revolution, The (Edwards), 88 Svalbard Global Seed Vault, 154–55 Svensson, Tore, 101 Sweden, 96–97, 98–101, 106, 132 Swiss chard, 89, 90 Switzerland, 78, 132 swordfish, 65 sycamores, 111, 113 SyNAPSE, 256, 318 Taft, William Howard, 58 Tahiti, 159 Taiwan, 83 Taliban, 146 Tasmanian devils, 151, 164 taste, 211–12 Taylor, Robert, 89 technical nutrients, 87 technology, 10, 13–14 nature and, 188–200 Technology University, 104 Teitiota, Ioane, 49 Tel Aviv University, 293 telekenesis, 203 telephones, 171 telescopes, 171 televisions, 87, 191 temperate zones, 80 Tennessee, 46 termites, 92–93 Texas, 41 texting, 190 by plants, 205–7 Thailand, 79, 180 Thames Barrier, 50–51 theory of mind, 216–17, 218–19 Thimble Islands, 58 Thimble Island Salts, 62 “Thousand Dreams of Stellavista, The” (Ballard), 231 3D printing, 232–39, 244 Three Gorges Dam, 101 Thumb, Tom, 58 Thus Spake Zarathustra, 269–70 thyme, 90 Tiananmen Square, 271 tiger mosquitos, 132 time-rock, 32–33 titanium dioxide, 181 toads, 125 Tohoku, 46 Tokyo, 78 tomatoes, 89 Tom Jones (film), 294 Tonga, 158 tools, 171 human use of, 7, 9 orangutan use of, 5 tornadoes, 41 Toronto, Canada, 78 touch, 178 “Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, The” (Aesop), 115 Toxoplasma gondii, 296–99 trains, 102 transparent aluminum, 34 tree lizards, 80 trees, 83 trilobites, 29–30 trumpeter swans, 135 tube worms, 37–38 TU Delft, 104, 105 tuna, 65 Tushi, 272 Tuvalu, 48–49 23andMe, 271 twins, 282 Twitter, 317 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 269–70 Tybee Island Ocean Rescue, 65 typewriter, 191 typhoons, 46 Uganda, 72 United Kingdom, 83, 298 cities in, 72 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 99 United Nations Panel on Climate Change, 41–42 United States, 83 urban beekeeping, 88 urban eyes, 192 urbanization, 154 U.S.


pages: 345 words: 104,404

Pandora's Brain by Calum Chace

AI winter, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, Extropian, friendly AI, hive mind, lateral thinking, mega-rich, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing test, Wall-E

The jungle reclaimed a lot of them, and many of them are still waiting to be cleared. They look so impressive! I really want to spend some time over there exploring them.’ Carl grinned. ‘Well, I hope that one day you do.’ Carl’s resolve to get back to work was unconvincing, so Matt launched another topic of conversation. ‘So what’s the homework?’ ‘I’ve got to write a paper for the start of next term about personal identity and the theory of mind. I have to decide whether I think that personal identity is maintained over time and whether there really is any such thing as a ‘self’. A lot of philosophers use thought experiments to help draw out their intuitions, and I get rather distracted by discussions of artificial intelligence and brains in vats. The trouble with philosophy is that a lot of it’s science fiction without the fancy dress.’

Now this is just a worm, with about 300 neurons and 7,000 synapses. If they can’t model that, what chance is there of modelling a human brain, with a hundred billion neurons?’ Carl shook his head. ‘The computer scientists at Google and the rest of Silicon Valley think they can just build an analogue of a brain and that’s it – job done. But in reality that’s not even half the job. They haven’t got an adequate theory of mind, and there’s a little thing called psychology which they’ve completely forgotten about.’ He tapped the side of his head. ‘This took millions of years to evolve. It’s madness to think it can be replicated in a few years just because we have machines that can run a video game.’ ‘Well of course you may be right,’ Matt conceded. ‘But you know, you’re being every bit as dogmatic that it won’t happen soon as Kurzweil is that it will.

Just as we humans are capable of enormously more complex, subtle and dare I say fulfilling experiences than chickens and chimpanzees, so I am confident that a super-intelligent uploaded human would be capable of enjoying more subtle and more profound experiences than we are. The more we find out about the universe, the more we discover it to be a fascinatingly challenging and weird place. The more we know, the more we know we don’t know. So I don’t believe that our descendents will run out of things to explore. In fact you may be interested to know that there is a nascent branch of philosophy – a sub-branch of the Theory of Mind, you might say – called the Theory of Fun, which addresses these concerns.’ ‘As for over-population,’ Montaubon chipped in, ‘there is a very big universe to explore out there, and we now know that planets are positively commonplace. It won’t be explored by flesh-and-blood humans as shown in Star Trek and Star Wars: that idea is absurd. It will be explored by intelligence spreading out in light beams, building material environments on distant planets using advanced 3-D printing techniques.


The Chomsky-Foucault Debate: On Human Nature by Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault

new economy, nuremberg principles, Paul Samuelson, theory of mind

He was moving into the domain of something that went beyond well-established science, and was trying to integrate it with well-established science by developing a theory in which these notions could be properly clarified and explained. Now Descartes, I think, made a similar intellectual move in postulating a second substance. Of course he failed where Newton succeeded; that is, he was unable to lay the ground-works for a mathematical theory of mind, as achieved by Newton and his followers, which laid the groundwork for a mathematical theory of physical entities that incorporated such occult notions as action at a distance and later electro-magnetic forces and so on. But then that poses for us, I think, the task of carrying on and developing this, if you like, mathematical theory of mind; by that I simply mean a precisely articulated, clearly formulated, abstract theory which will have empirical consequences, which will let us know whether the theory is right or wrong, or on the wrong track or the right track, and at the same time will have the properties of mathematical science, that is, the properties of rigor and precision and a structure that makes it possible for us to deduce conclusions from assumptions and so on.


pages: 259 words: 67,261

Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad---And Surprising Good---About Feeling Special by Dr. Craig Malkin

Bernie Madoff, greed is good, helicopter parent, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Ronald Reagan, theory of mind

Emotional state talk and emotion understanding: A training study with preschool children. Journal of Child Language, 2011, vol. 38(5), pp. 1124–39. Gelb, C. M. The Relationship Between Empathy and Attachment in the Adolescent Population. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 2002, vol. 62(9-B), p. 4252. Goldstein, T. R., and E. Winner. Enhancing empathy and theory of mind. Journal of Cognition and Development, 2012, vol. 13(1), pp. 19–37. Henry, C. S., and L. Hubbs-Tait. New directions in authoritative parenting. In Authoritative Parenting: Synthesizing nurturance and discipline for optimal child development, R. E. Larzelere, A. S. Morris, A. W. Harrist, editors, pp. 237–64. American Psychological Association, 2013. Horton, R. S., and T. Tritch. Clarifying the links between grandiose narcissism and parenting.

Clarifying the links between grandiose narcissism and parenting. Journal of Psychology, 2014, vol. 148(2), pp. 133–43. Juang, L. P., D. B. Qin, and I. J. Park. Deconstructing the myth of the “tiger mother”: An introduction to the special issue on tiger parenting, Asian-heritage families, and child/adolescent well-being. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 2013, vol. 4(1), p 1. Kidd, D. C., and E. Castano. Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind. Science, 2013, vol. 342(6156), pp. 377–80. Kim, S. Y., Y. Wang, D. Orozco-Lapray, Y. Shen, and M. Murtuza. Does “Tiger Parenting” Exist? Parenting profiles of Chinese Americans and adolescent developmental outcomes. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 2013, vol. 4(1), pp. 7–18. Maccoby, E. E., and J. A. Martin. Socialization in the context of the family: Parent–child interaction. Handbook of Child Psychology: Vol. 4.


pages: 879 words: 233,093

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hedonic treadmill, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, off grid, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, scientific worldview, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social intelligence, supply-chain management, surplus humans, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, working poor, World Values Survey

While only a few species pass the mirror test for self- identity and despite the fact that mirror neuron systems, to date, have been found in only a few species—most species have not yet been studied—experiments show that many species demonstrate in their behavior that they possess theory of mind.19 Experiments conducted by Brian Hare of Harvard University and Michael Tomasello of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig showed that “domestic dogs understand what is meant when a human being points at something (as in ‘the food’s under this one!’).”20 While we take for granted that when one person points to an object, another knows how to look over at it, for a dog to do the same, he needs to know that “your movements aren’t about your arm and hand but about the mind that drives them.”21 That recognition requires that the dog be able to read the person’s mind and understand their intention in making the gesture. In other words, he must have a theory of mind. Some animal species even understand the idea of fairness, which requires a sophisticated awareness of oneself in relationship to another.

The premodern notion that faith and God’s grace are the windows to reality and the Enlightenment idea that reason is at the apex of modern consciousness are giving way to a more sophisticated approach to a theory of mind. Researchers in a diverse range of fields and disciplines are beginning to reprioritize some of the critical features of faith and reason within the context of a broader empathic consciousness. They argue that all of human activity is embodied experience—that is, participation with the other—and that the ability to read and respond to another person “as if ” he or she were oneself is the key to how human beings engage the world, create individual identity, develop language, learn to reason, become social, establish cultural narratives, and define reality and existence. The notion of embodied experience is a direct challenge to the older faith- and reason-based approaches to consciousness. While the new theory of mind makes room for both within a broader empathic framework, they no longer stand alone as autonomous constructs for framing reality.

Advocates of embodied experience eschew the idea that knowledge, reason, and thought itself are something that exist a priori, requiring only an inquiring mind to pluck them from the ether and store them in consciousness. They also take umbrage with the Newtonian assertion that reality is made up of discrete phenomena that can be measured in isolation, categorized and connected in a sterile causal way. Rather, they assert that mental life is always relational because it’s based on the idea that I know, that you know, that I know that you know—the very concept of a theory of mind. The development of thought itself, therefore, necessitates relationships to others. Indeed, we can only know ourselves in relationship to others. It is by the continuous process of engagement with others that we become who we are. In this sense, we are each an embodiment of that part of the other’s experience with us that we have absorbed into ourselves. Our relationships form us and make us who we are.


pages: 443 words: 123,526

Glasshouse by Charles Stross

cognitive dissonance, experimental subject, gravity well, lateral thinking, loose coupling, peer-to-peer, phenotype, prisoner's dilemma, sensible shoes, theory of mind, white picket fence

We may be living in a glass jar with bright lights and monitors trained on us the whole time, but it's not likely that everything we do is being watched by a live human being in real time. We massively outnumber the experimenters, and they're primarily interested in our public socialization. (At least, that's the official story.) To monitor an intelligent organism properly requires observers with a theory of mind at least as strong as the subject. We subjects outnumber the experimenters by a couple of orders of magnitude, and I've seen no sign of strongly superhuman metaintelligences being involved in this operation, so I think the odds are on my side. If we are up against the weakly godlike, I might as well throw in the towel right now. But if not . . . You can delegate all you want to subconscious mechanisms, but you run the risk of them missing things.

I am a lot younger—barely three gigs—and I'm also happy, at least at first. I'm in a stable family relationship with three other core partners, plus various occasional liaisons with five or six fuckbuddies. We're fully bisexual, either naturally or via a limbic system mod copied from bonobos. My family has two children, and we're thinking about starting another two in half a gig or so. I'm also lucky enough to have a vocation, researching the history of the theory of mind—an aspect of cultural ideology that only became important after the Acceleration, and which goes in and out of fashion, but which I hold to be critically important. The history of my field, for example, tells us that for almost a gigasecond during the old-style twenty-third century, most of humanity-in-exile were zimboes, quasi-conscious drones operating under the aegis of an overmind. How that happened and how the cognitive dictatorship was broken is something I'm studying with considerable interest and not a few field trips to old memory temples.

It's not just my arms and legs—all my joints are screaming at me in chorus with a whole load of muscles I wish I didn't have right now—but my head's throbbing and I feel like I'm freezing to death and my stomach's not so good either. And the blackouts and memory fugues are still with me. "What's wrong with, me?" I ask, and it takes a big effort to get the words out. "You are ill," the zombie repeats. It's useless arguing with her—nobody home, no theory of mind, just a bunch of reflexes and canned dialogues. "Who can I ask?" She's turning away, but I seem to have tripped a new response. "The consultant will visit at eight o'clock tonight, all questions must be addressed to the consultant. The patient is weak and must not be disturbed excessively. Drink lots of fluids." She picks up an empty jug that was out of view a moment ago and whisks it away toward one end of the ward.


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The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker

Albert Einstein, cloud computing, David Attenborough, double helix, Drosophila, elephant in my pajamas, finite state, illegal immigration, Joan Didion, Loebner Prize, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, meta analysis, meta-analysis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, natural language processing, out of africa, phenotype, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, Turing test, twin studies, Yogi Berra

Add an eye that can detect certain contours in the world and turn on representations that symbolize them, and muscles that can act on the world whenever certain representations symbolizing goals are turned on, and you have a behaving organism (or add a TV camera and set of levers and wheels, and you have a robot). This, in a nutshell, is the theory of thinking called “the physical symbol system hypothesis” or the “computational” or “representational” theory of mind. It is as fundamental to cognitive science as the cell doctrine is to biology and plate tectonics is to geology. Cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists are trying to figure out what kinds of representations and processors the brain has. But there are ground rules that must be followed at all times: no little men inside, and no peeking. The representations that one posits in the mind have to be arrangements of symbols, and the processor has to be a device with a fixed set of reflexes, period.

Subjunctives and the Chinese mind: Bloom, 1981, 1984; Au, 1983, 1984; Liu, 1985; Takano, 1989. A man without words: Schaller, 1991. Baby thoughts: Spelke et al., 1992. Baby arithmetic: Wynn, 1992. Animal thinking: Gallistel, 1992. Monkey friends and relations: Cheney & Seyfarth, 1992. Visual thinkers: Shepard, 1978; Shepard & Cooper, 1982. Einstein: Kosslyn, 1983. Mind’s eye: Shepard & Cooper, 1982; Kosslyn, 1983; Pinker, 1985. Representational theory of mind: in Haugeland, 1981, articles by Haugeland, Newell & Simon, Pylyshyn, Dennett, Marr, Searle, Putnam, and Fodor; in Pinker and Mehler, 1988, articles by Fodor & Pylyshyn and Pinker & Prince; Jackendoff, 1987. English versus mentalese: Fodor, 1975; McDermott, 1981. Headlines: Columbia Journalism Review, 1980. An example of mentalese: Jackendoff, 1987; Pinker, 1989. 4. How Language Works Arbitrary sound-meaning relation: Saussure, 1916/1959.

., 54–55, 453, PS11, PS21, PS22 Putnam, H, 10, 19, 451 Quayle, D., 337–338, 412 Quebec, 242 Quine, W. V. O., 147–152, 177, 396, 433–436 Race, 260–261, 447–448 Radner, G., 182 Rakic, P., 483 Raymond, E., 453, 454 Reading, PS 14, PS22–23 Reagan, R., 46, 101, 116, 123 Recursion, 93, 122–124, 126, 201–206, 291–292, 377, 380, PS21, glossary Reddy, R., 184 Redundancy, 178 Remez, R., 154 Renfrew, C., 255 Representational theory of mind, 64–73 Rodrigues, C., PS15 Rogers, C., 193 Rolling Stones, 183, 388 Rosch, E., 454 Rozin, P., 425 Ruhlen, M., 260–262 Rumbaugh, D., 350 Rumelhart, D., 454, 463 Russell, B., 47 Safire, W., 385, 402–412, PS21 Safran, E., 462 Sagan, C., 344 Sahin, N., PS18 Salinger, J. D., 391 San. See Khoisan Sapir, E., 14, 46, 48 Saussure, F. de, 75, 141, 145–147 Savage-Rumbaugh, S., 350, PS20 Savants, linguistic, 34, 39–43, 365 Scandinavian languages, 253 Schaller, S., 58–59 Schank, R., 457 Scholz, B., PS11 Schwartz, M., 462 Second language acquisition, PS9, PS16–17 Seidenberg, M, 210, 246 Selkirk, E., 454 Semantics, 93–95, 97–101, 105–107, 108, 110–111, 127–129, 130, 147–152, 197–200, 213–216, 282, 289–290, PS8, PS14 Semitic.


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Architects of Intelligence by Martin Ford

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flash crash, future of work, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, job automation, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Productivity paradox, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Look at a robot like Baxter, built by Rethink Robotics. It’s a manufacturing robot that’s designed to collaborate with humans on the assembly line, not to be roped off far from people but to work shoulder-to-shoulder with them. In order to do that, Baxter has got a face so that coworkers can anticipate, predict, and understand what the robot’s likely to do next. Its design is supporting our theory of mind so that we can collaborate with it. We can read those nonverbal cues in order to make those assessments and predictions, and so the robot has to support that human way of understanding so that we can dovetail our actions and our mental states with those of the machine, and vice versa. I would say Baxter is a social robot; it just happens to be a manufacturing social robot. I think we’ll have broad genres of robots that will be social, which means they’re able to collaborate with people, but they may do a wide variety of tasks from education and healthcare to manufacturing and driving, and any other tasks.

We don’t know how to build machines that can do that. We don’t know how to build machines that have human-level common sense. We can build machines that can have knowledge and information within domains, but we don’t know how to do the kind of common sense we all take for granted. We don’t know how to build a machine with deep emotional intelligence. We don’t know how to build a machine that has a deep theory of mind. The list goes on. There’s a lot of science to be done, and in the process of trying to figure these things out we’re going to come to a deeper appreciation and understanding of how we are intelligent. MARTIN FORD: Let’s talk about some of the potential downsides, the risks and the things we should legitimately worry about. CYNTHIA BREAZEAL: The real risks right now that I see have to do with people with nefarious intents using these technologies to hurt people.

We took that formalism for representing abstract knowledge and used that to generalize patterns of probabilistic and causal reasoning. That turned out to be very influential for both myself and others in terms of thinking about how to build systems that had a common-sense reasoning capacity—systems that really reasoned and didn’t just find patterns in data, and that could have abstractions that could generalize across many situations. We used these systems to capture, for example, people’s intuitive theory of mind—how we understand other people’s actions in terms of their beliefs and desires. Using these tools of probabilistic programs over the last ten years, we were able to build for the first time reasonable, quantitative, predictive, and conceptually correct models of how humans, even young children, understand what other people are doing, and see people’s actions not just as movements in the world, but rather as the expressions of rational plans.


The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin, Richard Panek

Asperger Syndrome, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, double helix, ghettoisation, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, impulse control, Khan Academy, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mouse model, neurotypical, pattern recognition, phenotype, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, theory of mind, twin studies

“There is concern over the lack of systematical empirical research into sensory behaviors in ASD and confusion over the description and classification of sensory symptoms,” wrote the authors of one 2009 study, while the authors of another study that same year complained of a “dearth of information.” In 2011, I contributed an article to a big scholarly book on autism. More than fourteen hundred pages. Eighty-one articles in all. Guess what. The only paper that addressed sensory problems was mine. Over the decades, I’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of research papers on whether autistics have theory of mind—the ability to imagine oneself looking at the world from someone else’s point of view and have an appropriate emotional response. But I’ve seen far, far fewer studies on sensory problems—probably because they would require researchers to imagine themselves looking at the world through an autistic person’s jumble of neuron misfires. You could say they lack theory of brain. I suspect that they simply don’t understand the urgency of the problem.

When ASD subjects were exposed to these gestures and sounds, they began imitating them, while normal subjects did not respond to the prompts because they’d long ago internalized these behaviors. Similarly, when these researchers slowed down spoken sentences, they found that ASD subjects experienced an increased understanding of meaning. The idea that hyperreactivity and hyporeactivity are two variations on a theme might even have implications for theory of mind. The “Intense World” paper proposed that if the amygdala, which is associated with emotional responses, including fear, is affected by sensory overload, then certain responses that look antisocial actually aren’t. “Impaired social interactions and withdrawal may not be the result of a lack of compassion, incapability to put oneself into someone else’s position or lack of emotionality, but quite to the contrary a result of an intensely if not painfully aversively perceived environment.”


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The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin

airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Exxon Valdez, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, impulse control, index card, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, invention of writing, iterative process, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, life extension, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, shared worldview, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

the mind-wandering mode In the scientific literature, what I’m calling the mind-wandering mode is referred to as the default mode or task-negative network, and the central executive is referred to as the task-positive network. These two brain states form a kind of yin-yang Binder, J. R., Frost, J. A., Hammeke, T. A., Bellgowan, P. S., Rao, S. M., & Cox, R. W. (1999). Conceptual processing during the conscious resting state: A functional MRI study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 11(1), 80–93. and, Corbetta, M., Patel, G., & Shulman, G. (2008). The reorienting system of the human brain: From environment to theory of mind. Neuron, 58(3), 306–324. and, Fox, M. D., Snyder, A. Z., Vincent, J. L., Corbetta, M., Van Essen, D. C., & Raichle, M. E. (2005). The human brain is intrinsically organized into dynamic, anticorrelated functional networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(27), 9673–9678. and, Mazoyer, B., Zago, L., Mellet, E., Bricogne, S., Etard, O., Houde, O., . . . Tzourio-Mazoyer, N. (2001).

People with brain damage to the insula who are trying to give up smoking have an easier time of it—the urges aren’t being passed up to consciousness. Naqvi, N. H., Rudrauf, D., Damasio, H., & Bechara, A. (2007). Damage to the insula disrupts addiction to cigarette smoking. Science, 315(5811), 531–534. Switching between two external objects involves the temporal-parietal junction Corbetta, M., Patel, G., & Shulman, G. L. (2008). The reorienting system of the human brain: From environment to theory of mind. Neuron, 58(3), 306–324. and, Shulman, G. L., & Corbetta, M. (2014). Two attentional networks: Identification and function within a larger cognitive architecture. In M. Posner (Ed.), The cognitive neuroscience of attention (2nd ed.) (pp. 113–128). New York, NY: Guilford Press. For an alternate view, see Geng, J. J., & Vossel, S. (2013). Re-evaluating the role of TPJ in attentional control: Contextual updating?

It is characterized by a sense of heightened awareness, sensory sensitivity, and arousal. The mind-wandering network recruits neurons Menon, V., & Uddin, L. Q. (2010). Saliency, switching, attention and control: A network model of insula function. Brain Structure and Function, 214(5–6), 655–667. dense mass of fibers connected Corbetta, M., Patel, G., & Shulman, G. L. (2008). The reorienting system of the human brain: From environment to theory of mind. Neuron, 58(3), 306–324. the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA Kapogiannis, D., Reiter, D. A., Willette, A. A., & Mattson, M. P. (2013). Posteromedial cortex glutamate and GABA predict intrinsic functional connectivity of the default mode network. NeuroImage, 64, 112–119. (of a gene called COMT) Baldinger, P., Hahn, A., Mitterhauser, M., Kranz, G. S., Friedl, M., Wadsak, W., . . . Lanzenberger, R. (2013).


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The Asperger Love Guide: A Practical Guide for Adults With Asperger's Syndrome to Seeking, Establishing and Maintaining Successful Relationships by Genevieve Edmonds, Dean Worton

fear of failure, neurotypical, place-making, theory of mind

Disagreements are a part of life and no one can avoid them without running away from their problems. 57 Nearly all couples have disagreements and it’s often a healthy part of a relationship. You should always try to see the argument from your partner’s point of view. For Aspies seeing things from another person’s point of view, or having empathy is something that doesn’t come easily if you are not used to it. Aspies are seen to be naturally lacking in ’Theory of Mind’, or being naturally empathic. This may be something initially you may have to force yourself to do. It is certainly possible to teach yourself to empathize with others. If you have great difficulty with seeing things only from your own point of view you may need to seek a good psychotherapist who understands the autistic spectrum who may be able to support you in learning how to empathize with others.


Psychopathy: An Introduction to Biological Findings and Their Implications by Andrea L. Glenn, Adrian Raine

epigenetics, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), statistical model, theory of mind, twin studies

Brain Imaging Findings in Psychopathy Brain region Function Reduced volume (Yang et al. 2005) Frontal lobe (general) Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex Gray matter thinning (Yang, Raine, Colletti, et al. 2009) Planning and organization Gray matter reductions (Müller et al. 2008) Attentional set shifting and cognitive Reduced activity when defecting in social interaction (Rilling et al. 2007) flexibility Cognitive reappraisal of emotional experience Orbitofrontal cortex/ventromedial prefrontal cortex Increased activity during moral decision making (Glenn, Raine, Schug, Young, et al. 2009) Increased activity during tasks involving emotional processing (Gordon, Baird, and End 2004, Intrator et al. 1997, Kiehl et al. 2001) Abstract reasoning Increased white matter concentration in youth (De Brito et al. in press) Processing social and emotional Gray matter reductions (de Oliveira-Souza et al. 2008) stimuli Reduced activity during fear conditioning (Birbaumer et al. 2005) Self-reflection Reduced activity during cooperation (Rilling et al. 2007) Guilt and embarrassment Reduced activity during evaluation of moral violations (Harenski et al. 2010) Cognitive appraisal of emotion Reduced activity during emotional processing (Gordon, Baird, and End 2004, Kiehl et al. Emotion regulation Frontopolar cortex Findings 2001, Müller et al. 2003, Schneider et al. 2000, Viet et al. 2002) Theory of mind (affective component) Increased gray matter concentrations in youth (De Brito et al. 2009) Shifting behavior when rewards change Increased activity during reversal learning (Finger et al. 2008) Gray matter reductions (de Oliveira-Souza et al. 2008) Table 5.1 (continued) Brain region Function Findings Gray matter thinning (Yang, Raine, Colletti, et al. 2009) Reduced volume (Dolan et al. 2002, Müller et al. 2008) Temporal lobe (general) Reduced blood flow (Soderstrom et al. 2002) Increased gray matter concentration and volumes in youth (De Brito et al. 2009) Amygdala Aversive conditioning Volume reductions (Yang, Raine, Narr, et al. 2009) Associating pain of others to one’s own Reduced activity during emotional processing (Kiehl et al. 2001, Gordon, Baird, and End actions Enhancing attention to emotional stimuli 2004) Reduced activity during fear conditioning (Birbaumer et al. 2005) Reduced activity during social noncooperation (Rilling et al. 2007) Reduced activity during moral decision making (Glenn, Raine, and Schug 2009) Increased activity when viewing emotional pictures (Müller et al. 2003) Reduced activity to fearful faces (Marsh et al. 2008, Jones et al. 2009) Hippocampus Retrieval of emotional memories Morphometric differences (Boccardi et al. 2010) Fear conditioning Asymmetry (Raine et al. 2004) Reduced volume (posterior) (Laakso et al. 2001) Reduced activity during emotional processing (Kiehl et al. 2001) Angular gyrus/superior temporal gyrus Complex social emotion Gray matter reductions (Müller et al. 2008) Linking emotional experiences to Gray matter reductions (de Oliveira-Souza et al. 2008) moral appraisals Reduced activity during semantic processing (Kiehl et al. 2004) Reduced white matter concentrations in youth (De Brito et al. in press) Anterior temporal cortex Gray matter reductions (de Oliveira-Souza et al. 2008) Reduced activity during evaluation of moral violations (Harenski et al. 2010) Table 5.1 (continued) Brain region Function Findings Effortful control Gray matter reductions (Müller et al. 2008) Self-regulation No volumetric differences (Glenn, Yang, et al. 2010) Signaling conflict or error Reduced activity during emotional processing (Kiehl et al. 2001) Affective processing, including Reduced activity during fear conditioning (Birbaumer et al. 2005, Viet et al. 2002) Other regions Anterior cingulate empathy-related functions Reduced activity when defecting in social interaction (Rilling et al. 2007) Increased gray matter concentrations in youth (De Brito et al. 2009) Reduced white matter concentrations in youth (De Brito et al. in press) Posterior cingulate Ventral striatum Recalling emotional memories Gray matter thinning (Yang, Raine, Colletti, et al. 2009) Experiencing emotion Reduced activity during emotional processing (Kiehl et al. 2001) Self-referencing Reduced activity during fear conditioning (Birbaumer et al. 2005) Reward sensitivity Reduced activity during emotional processing (Kiehl et al. 2001) Persistence in repeating actions related Increased volume (Glenn, Raine, et al. 2010) to rewards Increased activity in anticipation of reward (Buckholtz et al. 2010) Enhanced learning from rewarding signals Parahippocampal gyrus Processing of social context Reduced activity during emotional processing (Kiehl et al. 2001) Episodic memory Insula Emotional processing, including social Reduced activity during fear conditioning (Birbaumer et al. 2005) emotions Corpus callosum Transfer of information between left and right hemispheres of the brain Increased volume and length, reduced thickness (Raine et al. 2003) 118 << Brain Imaging that psychopathy is associated with deficits in a number of processes that are thought to rely on the functioning of the amygdala, including responding to aversive stimuli, aversive conditioning, augmentation of the startle reflex, and recognizing fearful facial and vocal expressions.

“Neuropsychological correlates of psychopathic traits in a non-incarcerated sample.” Journal of Research in Personality 41 (2):276–94. Serafim, A. D., D. M. de Barros, A. Valim, and C. Gorenstein. 2009. “Cardiac response and anxiety levels in psychopathic murderers.” Revista Brasileira De Psiquiatria 31 (3):214–18. Shamay-Tsoory, S. G., R. Tomer, B. D. Berger, D. Goldsher, and J. Aharon-Peretz. 2005. “Impaired ‘affective theory of mind’ is associated with right ventromedial prefrontal damage.” Cognitive Behavioral Neurology 18 (1):55–67. Shea, A., C. Walsh, H. MacMillan, and M. Steiner. 2005. “Child maltreatment and HPA axis dysregulation: Relationship to major depressive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder in females.” Psychoneuroendocrinology 30 (2):162–78. Shirtcliff, E. A., M. M. Vitacco, A. R. Graf, A. J. Gostisha, J.


On Language: Chomsky's Classic Works Language and Responsibility and Reflections on Language in One Volume by Noam Chomsky, Mitsou Ronat

conceptual framework, finite state, Paul Samuelson, theory of mind

Analogously, two individuals in the same speech community may acquire grammars that differ somewhat in scale and subtlety.4 What is more, the products of the language faculty vary depending on triggering experience, ranging over the class of possible human languages (in principle). These variations in structure are limited, no doubt sharply, by UG; and the functions of language in human life are no doubt narrowly constrained as well, though no one has as yet found a way to go much beyond a descriptive taxonomy in dealing with this question. 5 Restricting ourselves now to humans, suppose that we understand psychology to be the theory of mind, in the sense outlined earlier. Thus psychology is that part of human biology that is concerned at its deepest level with the second-order capacity to construct cognitive structures that enter into first-order capacities to act and to interpret experience. Psychology has as its primary concern the faculties of mind involved in cognitive capacity. Each such faculty of mind is represented as one of the LT(H,D)’s of earlier discussion.

We might try to approach the classic problem of accounting for action that is appropriate to situations but uncontrolled by stimuli in these terms. Given a partially structured system that provides an evaluation of outcomes, choices that are random except for maximizing “value” may have the appearance of free, purposeful, and intelligent behavior—but one must remain skeptical about this approach, though it is the only one that seems to fall within any conceptual framework intelligible to us. Within cognitive capacity, the theory of mind has a distinctly rationalist cast. Learning is primarily a matter of filling in detail within a structure that is innate. We depart from the tradition in several respects, specifically, in taking the “a priori system” to be biologically determined. 6 Outside the bounds of cognitive capacity, an empiricist theory of learning applies, by unfortunate necessity. Hence little learning is possible, the scope of discovery is minimal, and uniformities will be found across domains and across species.

Suppose further that the operation of rules of grammar is in part determined by semantic properties of lexical items; to form passive sentences, for example, we must take into account semantic properties of verbs and their “thematic relations” to surrounding noun phrases. These are by no means implausible ideas. If they are correct, the language faculty does not fix a grammar in isolation, even in principle. The theory of UG remains as a component of the theory of mind, but as an abstraction. Note that this conclusion, if correct, does not imply that the language faculty does not exist as an autonomous component of mental structure. Rather, the position we are now considering postulates that this faculty does exist, with a physical realization yet to be discovered, and places it within the system of mental faculties in a fixed way. Some might regard this picture as overly complex, but the idea that the system of cognitive structures must be far more simple than the little finger does not have very much to recommend it.


pages: 329 words: 88,954

Emergence by Steven Johnson

A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, edge city, epigenetics, game design, garden city movement, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, pez dispenser, phenotype, Potemkin village, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, slashdot, social intelligence, Socratic dialogue, stakhanovite, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush

That exploitation—a furtive pass concealed from the alpha male—is only possible because he is capable of building theories of other minds. Is it conceivable that this skill simply derives from a general increase in intelligence? Could it be that humans and their close cousins are just smarter than all those other species who flunk the mind-reading test? In other words, is there something specific to our social intelligence, something akin to a module hardwired into the brain’s CPU—or is the theory of minds just an idea that inevitably occurs to animals who reach a certain threshold of general intelligence? We are only now beginning to build useful maps of the brain’s functional topography, but already we see signs that “mind reading” is more than just a by-product of general intelligence. Several years ago, the Italian neuroscientist Giaccamo Rizzollati discovered a region of the brain that may well prove to be integral to the theory of other minds.

New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. Axlerod, Robert. The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books, 1984. Bak, Per. How Nature Works: The Science of Self-Organized Criticality. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1996. Ball, Philip. The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature. New York, Oxford, and Tokyo: Oxford University Press, 1999. Baron-Cohen, Simon. Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind. Cambridge, Mass., and London: MIT Press, 1999. ———, ed. The Maladapted Mind: Classic Readings in Evolutionary Psychopathology. East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press, 1997. Becker, Konrad, and Miss M. “An Interview with Manuel De Landa.” Online posting. www.t0.or.at/delanda/intdeladna.htm. May 2000. Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project. Cambridge, Mass., and London: Harvard University Press, 1999.


Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent by Robert F. Barsky

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, centre right, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, information retrieval, means of production, Norman Mailer, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strong AI, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, theory of mind, Yom Kippur War

These considerations lie at the heart of the dualist metaphysics of the Cartesians, which again accords rather well with our common-sense understanding" ("Creation"). Despite its accordance with "our common-sense understanding," however, much of what was postulated by Cartesian dualist metaphysics has subsequently been thrown into doubt. "[B]ut," Chomsky asserts, "it is important to recall that what collapsed was the Cartesian theory of matter; the theory of mind, such as it was, has undergone no fundamental critique" ("Creation"). Chomsky remarks on the notion Descartes put forward that we can train the smartest animals to perform various tasks and tricks, but no matter how high their level of competence they will never equal even the least skilled human in terms of linguistic ability. Descartes wrote: "[I]t is a very remarkable fact that there are none so depraved and stupid, without even excepting idiots, that they cannot arrange different words together, forming of them a statement by which they make known their thoughts; while, on the other hand, there is no animal, however perfect and for- file:///D|/export3/www.netlibrary.com/nlreader/nlreader.dll@bookid=9296&filename=page_108.html [4/16/2007 3:20:32 PM] Document Page 109 tunately circumstanced it may be, which can do the same" (Cartesian Linguistics 116-17).

In many respects, it seems to me quite accurate, then, to regard the theory of transformational generative grammar, as it is developing in current work, as essentially a modern and more explicit version of the Port-Royal theory. (38-39) This theory was formulated by a group that was associated with Port-Royal, a seventeenth-century French Jansenist lay community noted for its logicians and educators. Daniel Yergin explains: "In 1660, influenced by Descartes, [the Port-Royal group] produced a 'philosophical grammar' that suggested a distinction between deep and surface structures, and argued for psychological rules which, like Chomsky's, would permit us to make infinite use of finite means" (53). Chomsky elaborates the ways in which the rationalist theory of mind and the Cartesian approach to linguistics offer valuable support for studies of the acquisition and utilization of language as described by certain factions of the linguistic community (most of whom worked in building 20 at MIT). Such studiesof common forms of language, of general grammars, and of the conditions that prescribe the forms of human languagebuild on work undertaken by Cartesian linguists, and, in the process, acknowledge "the quite obvious fact that the speaker of a language knows a great deal that he has not learned" (Chomsky, Language and Responsibility 60).


Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology by Adrienne Mayor

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Elon Musk, industrial robot, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, life extension, Menlo Park, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, popular electronics, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, theory of mind, Turing test

AI can also be classified by types: Type I machines are reactive, acting on what they have been programmed to perceive at the present, with no memory or ability to learn from past experience (examples include IBM’s Deep Blue chess computer, Google’s AlphaGo, and the ancient bronze robot Talos and the self-moving tripods in the Iliad). Type II AI machines have limited capacity to make memories and can add observations to their preprogrammed representations of the world (examples: self-driving cars, chatbots, and Hephaestus’s automated bellows). Type III, as yet undeveloped, would possess theory of mind and the ability to anticipate others’ expectations or desires (fictional examples: Star Wars’ C-3PO, Hephaestus’s Golden Servants, the Phaeacian ships). Type IV AI of the future would possess theory of mind as well as self-awareness (fictional examples include Tik-Tok in John Sladek’s 1983 novel and Eva in the 2015 film Ex Machina). Since she is capable of deceit and persuasion, Pandora seems to fall between Types II and III. artificial life. Systems, beings, or entities that simulate natural life, natural processes; or replicate aspects of biological phenomena; human or animal artifacts brought to life.


pages: 351 words: 100,791

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford

airport security, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, digital Maoism, Google Glasses, hive mind, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, large denomination, new economy, new new economy, Norman Mailer, online collectivism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Stanford marshmallow experiment, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

This fact gets conveyed to the driver in a necessary and lawlike way with the familiar “brake fade” in conventional hydraulic brakes. What was so deeply disturbing about the Toyota recall episode of 2008, I believe, was the revelation that there was software—convention, language, representation—involved in the brakes. This design problem of disconnection or arbitrariness mirrors a fundamental problem in cognitive science: the symbol-grounding problem. In the computational theory of mind that prevails in conventional cognitive science, we are assumed to have internal representations of the world, and these representations are built on symbols that are meaningless in themselves; they “encode” features of the world in the same way a computer represents states of affairs with a string of zeroes and ones. The symbol-grounding problem is this: How can arbitrary symbols take on meaning?

massification and social class and sovereign self and uncertain notions of of will autotelic activities Avalon (Toyota) Averaged American, The (Igo) Bach, Johann Sebastian ball bearings barbarians, skateboarders as Baroque era bartending baseball baseball bats Beat era Beckerath, Rudolf von Bedos, Dom Behavioral and Brain Sciences behavioral conditioning behavioral economics Benihana biases big data, era of blackjack Blind Spot Assist (Mercedes) bluegrass BMW Boardwalk Hall Auditorium organ Bono, Chris Boody, John motivation by reverse engineering by Boudreau, Bruce Brake Assist (Mercedes) Brewer, Talbot Brombaugh, John Brooks, David Burke, Edmund business-class lounge Calvin, John Canada cane capital concentration of social capitalism affective creative destruction in carbon fiber caretaking practices carpenters Car Talk cartoons cave, allegory of cell phone, driving while on centralization of authority certainty Chamberlain, Neville character Charles de Gaulle airport chiff children’s television chimpanzees China Cultural Revolution in choice freedom as and presentation of options as totem of consumer capitalism choice architects chopsticks Churchill, Winston Cindy (bookkeeper) Circuit of the Americas citizens, relationship of (sovereign) to Civil War, English Clark, Andy classical conditioning Clinton, Bill clustering cognition, advanced cognitive extension cognitive psychology cognitive sciences coherence colored walls commerce, regulation of communism communitarianism computational theory of mind concentration of motorcycle riders concepts, skilled activities and conflict, between self and world conformity individuality vs. consciousness consent conservatives consumer credit contingencies contract, authority of conversations, retrospective understanding enhanced by cooking, see short-order cooks cooperation Corporate Gaming Act courts, failing to appear in craft craps creative destruction creativity Critique of Judgment (Kant) cross-modal binding cultural authority cultural jigs Cultural Revolution culture culture of performance Cussins, Adrian cybernetics Davis, Miles death instinct pleasure principle and the will and debt Declaration of Independence Declaration of the Rights of Man Demain, Erik Demain, Martin democracy without flattening social effects of in statistical constructs Democracy in America (Tocqueville) Denmark Dennett, Daniel depression deregulation Descartes, René American individualism and epistemology of on primary vs. secondary qualities design: attention and of automobiles computer-aided in glassmaking interior in machine gambling in organ making determinism de Zengotita, Thomas Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Diderot, Denis differentiation from others as basis of communal feeling as basis of individuality and identity politics as incubator of genuine attachments as inherently hierarchal vs. viewing oneself as representative “digital Maoism” dissidents distraction in cultural crisis of attention as neuroscience finding political economy and summary view of diversity divorce dogs, Frisbees as caught by Dreyfus, Hubert driving Droid Dumbaugh, Eric Dunkin’ Donuts Ebbesen, E.


Powers and Prospects by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, colonial rule, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deskilling, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invisible hand, Jacques de Vaucanson, John von Neumann, liberation theology, Monroe Doctrine, old-boy network, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, theory of mind, Tobin tax, Turing test

Fascination with the (possible) limits of automata is one respect in which the first cognitive revolution has been in part relived in recent years, though the usual preoccupation today is the nature of consciousness, not the properties of normal human action that concerned the Cartesians; crucially, the apparent fact that it is coherent and appropriate, but uncaused. Another similarity has to do with what are nowadays called ‘computational theories of mind’. In a different form, these were also a salient feature of the first cognitive revolution. Perhaps Descartes’ most lasting scientific contribution lies right here: his outline of a theory of perception with a computational flair (though our notions of computation were unavailable), along with proposals about its realisation in bodily mechanisms. To establish the mechanical philosophy, Descartes sought to eliminate the ‘occult properties’ invoked by the science of the day to account for what happens in the world.

Nevertheless, the story does provide a plausible indication of where to look for an answer to the question of how we remember things from an earlier existence, bringing it from the domain of mysteries to that of possible scientific inquiry. As in the theory of vision, and the cognitive sciences generally (in fact, much of science), we can study these questions at various levels. At one level, we can seek to identify the cellular structures involved in these operations. Or we can study the properties of these objects more abstractly—in this case, in terms of computational theories of mind and the symbolic representations they make available. Such investigations have something of the character of the study of structural formulas of chemistry or the Periodic table. In the case of language, we can be reasonably confident that the computational structure is largely innate; otherwise, no language could be acquired. A reasonable conjecture is that at root, there is only one fixed computational procedure that underlies all languages, and enough is understood for us to be able to spell out some of its likely properties.


pages: 347 words: 101,586

Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain by António R. Damásio

Albert Einstein, Benoit Mandelbrot, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discovery of DNA, experimental subject, longitudinal study, mandelbrot fractal, placebo effect, Richard Feynman, social intelligence, theory of mind

When a patient develops an inability to recognize familiar faces, or see color, or read, or when patients cease to recognize melodies, or understand speech, or produce speech, the description they offer of the phenomenon, with rare exceptions, is that something is happening to them, something new and unusual which they can observe, puzzle over, and often describe, in insightful and concrete ways. Curiously, the theory of mind implicit in those descriptions suggests that they “locate” the problem to a part of their persons which they are surveying from the vantage point of their selfhood. The frame of reference is not different from the one they would use were they referring to a problem with their knees or elbows. As I indicated, there are some rare exceptions; some patients with severe aphasia may not be as keenly aware of their defect and will not offer a clear account of the events in their minds.

The characterization of this plastic process is outside the scope of this text, but the account provided here is compatible with the idea that it largely occurs by selection of circuitries at synaptic level. The application of the notion of selection to the nervous system was first suggested by Niels Jerne and J. Z. Young and used by Jean Pierre Changeux. Gerald Edelman has championed the idea and built a comprehensive theory of mind and brain around it. CHAPTER 6 1. C. B. Pert, M. R. Ruff, R. J. Weber, and M. Herkenham (1985). Neuropeptides and their receptors: A psychosomatic network, The Journal of Immunology, 135:8205–265. F. Bloom (1985). Neuropeptides and other mediators in the central nervous system, The Journal of Immunology, 135:7435–455. J. Roth, D. LeRoith, E. S. Collier, N. R. Weaver, A. Watkinson, C. F.


pages: 323 words: 95,939

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff

algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

Birds do it, bees do it . . . free market economies do it. And now we have the fractals with which to catch them all in the act. Scientists from across the spectrum leaped on the systems bandwagon, applying what began as a mathematical proof of market equilibrium to, well, pretty much everything. Linguist Steven Pinker saw in Hayek and systems theory a new justification for his advancement of evolutionary psychology and his computational theory of mind: “Hayek was among the first to call attention to the emergence of large-scale order from individual choices. The phenomenon is ubiquitous, and not just in economic markets: What makes everyone suddenly drive SUVs, name their daughters Madison rather than Ethel or Linda, wear their baseball caps backwards, raise their pitch at the end of a sentence? The process is still poorly understood by social science, with its search for external causes of behavior, but is essential to bridging the largest chasm in intellectual life: that between individual psychology and collective culture.”13 As above, so below.

In the next century, it should change the way people think about organizations, networks, and the social order more generally.”14 And so scientists, economists, cultural theorists, and even military strategists15 end up adopting fractalnoia as the new approach to describing and predicting the behavior of both individual actors and the greater systems in which they live. Weather, plankton, anthills, cities, love, sex, profit, society, and culture are all subject to the same laws. Everything is everything, as Bateson’s theory of Mind finds itself realized in the computer-generated fractal. Where all these scientists and social programmers must tread carefully, however, is in their readiness to draw congruencies and equivalencies between things that may resemble one another in some ways but not others. Remember, the fractal is self-similar on all its levels, but not necessarily identical. The interactions between plankton in the coral reef may be very similar to those between members of Facebook—but they are not the same.


pages: 344 words: 104,077

Superminds: The Surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together by Thomas W. Malone

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asperger Syndrome, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, clean water, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, gig economy, happiness index / gross national happiness, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Rulifson, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Occupy movement, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, prediction markets, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Hill, Yogini Raste, and Ian Plumb, “The ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ Test Revised Version: A Study with Normal Adults, and Adults with Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 42, no. 2 (2001): 241–51, doi:10.1017/S0021963001006643; Simon Baron-Cohen, Therese Jolliffe, Catherine Mortimore, and Mary Robertson, “Another Advanced Test of Theory of Mind: Evidence from Very High Functioning Adults with Autism or Asperger Syndrome,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 38, no. 7 (1997): 813–22. Figure reproduced with author’s permission. 11. An adapted version of this figure was published in Anita Williams Woolley and Thomas W. Malone, “Defend Your Research: What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women,” Harvard Business Review 89, no. 6 (June 2011): 32–33. The collective intelligence scores are normalized with 0 as the average across all scores. 12. David Engel, Anita Williams Woolley, Lisa X. Jing, Christopher F. Chabris, and Thomas W. Malone, “Reading the Mind in the Eyes or Reading Between the Lines? Theory of Mind Predicts Effective Collaboration Equally Well Online and Face-to-Face,” PLOS One 9, no. 12 (2014), http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0115212, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115212. 13.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

The central subject of literature is society, and when we lose ourselves in a book we often receive an education in the subtleties and vagaries of human relations. Several studies have shown that reading tends to make us at least a little more empathetic, a little more alert to the inner lives of others. A series of experiments by researchers at the New School for Social Research, reported in Science in 2013, showed that reading literary fiction can strengthen a person’s “theory of mind,” which is what psychologists call the ability to understand what other people are thinking and feeling. “Fiction is not just a simulator of a social experience,” one of the researchers, David Comer Kidd, told The Guardian; “it is a social experience.” The reader withdraws in order to connect more deeply. THE DISCOVERIES about literature’s psychological and cognitive effects won’t come as a surprise to readers.

., 332 speech recognition, 137 spermatic, as term applied to reading, 247, 248, 250, 254 Spinoza, Baruch, 300–301 Spotify, 293, 314 “Sprite Sips” (app), 54 Squarciafico, Hieronimo, 240–41 Srinivasan, Balaji, 172 Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 68 Starr, Karla, 217–18 Star Trek, 26, 32, 313 Stengel, Rick, 28 Stephenson, Neal, 116 Sterling, Bruce, 113 Stevens, Wallace, 158 Street View, 137, 283 Stroop test, 98–99 Strummer, Joe, 63–64 Studies in Classic American Literature (Lawrence), xxiii Such Stuff as Dreams (Oatley), 248–49 suicide rate, 304 Sullenberger, Sully, 322 Sullivan, Andrew, xvi Sun Microsystems, 257 “surf cams,” 56–57 surfing, internet, 14–15 surveillance, 52, 163–65, 188–89 surveillance-personalization loop, 157 survival, technologies of, 118, 119 Swing, Edward, 95 Talking Heads, 136 talk radio, 319 Tan, Chade-Meng, 162 Tapscott, Don, 84 tattoos, 336–37, 340 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 164, 237–38 Taylorism, 164, 238 Tebbel, John, 275 Technics and Civilization (Mumford), 138, 235 technology: agricultural, 305–6 American culture transformed by, xv–xxii, 148, 155–59, 174–77, 214–15, 229–30, 296–313, 329–42 apparatus vs. artifact in, 216–19 brain function affected by, 231–42 duality of, 240–41 election campaigns transformed by, 314–20 ethical hazards of, 304–11 evanescence and obsolescence of, 327 human aspiration and, 329–42 human beings eclipsed by, 108–9 language of, 201–2, 214–15 limits of, 341–42 master-slave metaphor for, 307–9 military, 331–32 need for critical thinking about, 311–13 opt-in society run by, 172–73 progress in, 77–78, 188–89, 229–30 risks of, 341–42 sociology and, 210–13 time perception affected by, 203–6 as tool of knowledge and perception, 299–304 as transcendent, 179–80 Technorati, 66 telegrams, 79 telegraph, Twitter compared to, 34 telephones, 103–4, 159, 288 television: age of, 60–62, 79, 93, 233 and attention disorders, 95 in education, 134 Facebook ads on, 155–56 introduction of, 103–4, 159, 288 news coverage on, 318 paying for, 224 political use of, 315–16, 317 technological adaptation of, 237 viewing habits for, 80–81 Teller, Astro, 195 textbooks, 290 texting, 34, 73, 75, 154, 186, 196, 205, 233 Thackeray, William, 318 “theory of mind,” 251–52 Thiel, Peter, 116–17, 172, 310 “Things That Connect Us, The” (ad campaign), 155–58 30 Days of Night (film), 50 Thompson, Clive, 232 thought-sharing, 214–15 “Three Princes of Serendip, The,” 12 Thurston, Baratunde, 153–54 time: memory vs., 226 perception of, 203–6 Time, covers of, 28 Time Machine, The (Wells), 114 tools: blurred line between users and, 333 ethical choice and, 305 gaining knowledge and perception through, 299–304 hand vs. computer, 306 Home and Away blurred by, 159 human agency removed from, 77 innovation in, 118 media vs., 226 slave metaphor for, 307–8 symbiosis with, 101 Tosh, Peter, 126 Toyota Motor Company, 323 Toyota Prius, 16–17 train disasters, 323–24 transhumanism, 330–40 critics of, 339–40 transparency, downside of, 56–57 transsexuals, 337–38 Travels and Adventures of Serendipity, The (Merton and Barber), 12–13 Trends in Biochemistry (Nightingale and Martin), 335 TripAdvisor, 31 trolls, 315 Trump, Donald, 314–18 “Tuft of Flowers, A” (Frost), 305 tugboats, noise restrictions on, 243–44 Tumblr, 166, 185, 186 Turing, Alan, 236 Turing Test, 55, 137 Twain, Mark, 243 tweets, tweeting, 75, 131, 315, 319 language of, 34–36 theses in form of, 223–26 “tweetstorm,” xvii 20/20, 16 Twilight Saga, The (Meyer), 50 Twitter, 34–36, 64, 91, 119, 166, 186, 197, 205, 223, 224, 257, 284 political use of, 315, 317–20 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 231, 242 Two-Lane Blacktop (film), 203 “Two Tramps in Mud Time” (Frost), 247–48 typewriters, writing skills and, 234–35, 237 Uber, 148 Ubisoft, 261 Understanding Media (McLuhan), 102–3, 106 underwearables, 168–69 unemployment: job displacement in, 164–65, 174, 310 in traditional media, 8 universal online library, 267–78 legal, commercial, and political obstacles to, 268–71, 274–78 universe, as memory, 326 Urban Dictionary, 145 utopia, predictions of, xvii–xviii, xx, 4, 108–9, 172–73 Uzanne, Octave, 286–87, 290 Vaidhyanathan, Siva, 277 vampires, internet giants compared to, 50–51 Vampires (game), 50 Vanguardia, La, 190–91 Van Kekerix, Marvin, 134 vice, virtual, 39–40 video games, 223, 245, 303 as addictive, 260–61 cognitive effects of, 93–97 crafting of, 261–62 violent, 260–62 videos, viewing of, 80–81 virtual child, tips for raising a, 73–75 virtual world, xviii commercial aspects of, 26–27 conflict enacted in, 25–27 language of, 201–2 “playlaborers” of, 113–14 psychological and physical health affected by, 304 real world vs., xx–xxi, 36, 62, 127–30 as restrictive, 303–4 vice in, 39–40 von Furstenberg, Diane, 131 Wales, Jimmy, 192 Wallerstein, Edward, 43–44 Wall Street, automation of, 187–88 Wall Street Journal, 8, 16, 86, 122, 163, 333 Walpole, Horace, 12 Walters, Barbara, 16 Ward, Adrian, 200 Warhol, Andy, 72 Warren, Earl, 255, 257 “Waste Land, The” (Eliot), 86, 87 Watson (IBM computer), 147 Wealth of Networks, The (Benkler), xviii “We Are the Web” (Kelly), xxi, 4, 8–9 Web 1.0, 3, 5, 9 Web 2.0, xvi, xvii, xxi, 33, 58 amorality of, 3–9, 10 culturally transformative power of, 28–29 Twitter and, 34–35 “web log,” 21 Wegner, Daniel, 98, 200 Weinberger, David, 41–45, 277 Weizenbaum, Joseph, 236 Wells, H.


Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society by Nicholas A. Christakis

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, assortative mating, Cass Sunstein, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, invention of writing, iterative process, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, joint-stock company, land tenure, Laplace demon, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, out of africa, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, replication crisis, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, social web, stem cell, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

Additional powerful evidence of animal friendship comes from so-called third-party knowledge of the relationships between other pairs of animals. That is, animal A knows about its own relationship to animal B and its own relationship to animal C, but it also knows something about the relationship between B and C. In its most evolved sense, seen in ourselves and our closest primate relations, this recognition reflects what is termed a theory of mind, meaning an individual’s ability to imagine the mental states of others and recognize that those states may be different from one’s own. In fact, some species have evolved not only a theory of mind but also, distinctly, a theory of relationships—which is evolutionarily advantageous, because recognizing relationships between other individuals helps predict their social behavior. The most basic type of such knowledge is when one animal knows the relative dominance rank of two other animals, not just its own rank with respect to the others.

The babies reliably chose the blue square when given a choice (colors and shapes were varied to be sure that those features were not driving the preferences).8 In other experiments, babies could tell the difference between puppets who helped or hindered actions attempted by other puppets. Babies preferred the good guys, and they disliked the jerks. Still other experiments involving puppets showed that thirteen-month-old babies have a “theory of mind,” meaning that they have an understanding of the mental states (knowledge, beliefs, intentions) of others, which is obviously crucial for moral reasoning and helpful for social life.9 In another set of experiments, toddlers spontaneously and without any prompting helped adults who were pretending to struggle with opening a cabinet.10 In short, at a very young age, humans appear pre-wired (in the sense of having a strong, innate proclivity) to interact in positive ways, with insight into the intentions of others and with a tendency to care about being fair.


pages: 631 words: 177,227

The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich

agricultural Revolution, capital asset pricing model, Climategate, cognitive bias, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demographic transition, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Flynn Effect, impulse control, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nash equilibrium, out of africa, phenotype, placebo effect, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, side project, social intelligence, social web, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, ultimatum game

What’s Mentalizing For? If humans are a cultural species, then one of our most crucial adaptations is our ability to keenly observe and learn from other people. Central to our cultural learning is our ability to make inferences about the goals, preferences, motivations, intentions, beliefs, and strategies in the minds of others. These cognitive abilities relate to what is variously termed mentalizing, or theory of mind. Any learners who miss the boat on mentalizing and cultural learning, or get started too late, will be at a serious disadvantage because they won’t have acquired all the norms, skills, and know-how necessary to compete with other, better, cultural learners. This logic suggests that the mental machinery we need for cultural learning ought to fire up relatively early in our development. It’s this mental machinery that we will rely on to figure out what to eat, how to communicate, whom to avoid, how to behave, which skills to practice, and much more.

Not only was the young girl scolded by the mother, to whom she wasn’t related, but she was ostracized by the other children until she complied with requests for help with infant care.17 Thus, social norms help explain why more distantly related and unrelated people supply 20% to 30% of direct child care in small-scale societies. The convergence of cultural learning and alloparenting gives rise to a synergy between the psychological abilities for caring for others and for cultural transmission—both are enhanced by mentalizing or theory of mind (see chapter 4) and by greater prosociality. Alloparents will be more effective when they can assess the desires, beliefs, and goals of those in their care and are motivated to meet those needs. Recent experimental work across fourteen primate species confirms this by showing that those species with more intensive alloparenting are more proactive in helping their group mates. Like alloparents, cultural learners need to infer the goals, desires, beliefs, and strategies of those they are learning from.

“Infant imitation of peer and adult models: Evidence for a peer model advantage.” Merrill-Palmer Quarterly Journal of Developmental Psychology 46 (1):188–202. Saaksvuori, L., T. Mappes, and M. Puurtinen. 2011. “Costly punishment prevails in intergroup conflict.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 278 (1723):3428–3436. Sabbagh, M. A., and D. A. Baldwin. 2001. “Learning words from knowledgeable versus ignorant speakers: Links between preschoolers’ theory of mind and semantic development.” Child Development 72 (4):1054–1070. Sahlins, M. 1961. “The segmentary lineage: An organization of predatory expansion.” American Anthropologist 63 (2):322–345. Salali, G. D., M. Juda, and J. Henrich. 2015. “Transmission and development of costly punishment in children.” Evolution and Human Behavior 36 (2): 86–94. Sandgathe, D., H. Dibble, P. Goldberg, S. J. P. McPherron, A.


pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, off grid, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, scientific worldview, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, zero-sum game

Seen in this light, the learners we interact with every day are embryonic versions of the Master Algorithm, and our task is to understand them and shape their growth to better serve our needs. In the coming decades, machine learning will affect such a broad swath of human life that one chapter of one book cannot possibly do it justice. Nevertheless, we can already see a number of recurring themes, and it’s those we’ll focus on, starting with what psychologists call theory of mind—the computer’s theory of your mind, that is. Sex, lies, and machine learning Your digital future begins with a realization: every time you interact with a computer—whether it’s your smart phone or a server thousands of miles away—you do so on two levels. The first one is getting what you want there and then: an answer to a question, a product you want to buy, a new credit card. The second level, and in the long run the most important one, is teaching the computer about you.

Alice knows that Bob has a mental model of her and seeks to shape it through her behavior. If Bob is her boss, she tries to come across as competent, loyal, and hardworking. If instead Bob is someone she’s trying to seduce, she’ll be at her most seductive. We could hardly function in society without this ability to intuit and respond to what’s on other people’s minds. The novelty in the world today is that computers, not just people, are starting to have theories of mind. Their theories are still primitive, but they’re evolving quickly, and they’re what we have to work with to get what we want—no less than with other people. And so you need a theory of the computer’s mind, and that’s what the Master Algorithm provides, after plugging in the score function (what you think the learner’s goals are, or more precisely its owner’s) and the data (what you think it knows).


pages: 387 words: 120,155

Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference by David Halpern

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cognitive dissonance, collaborative consumption, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, different worldview, endowment effect, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, hindsight bias, IKEA effect, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, libertarian paternalism, light touch regulation, longitudinal study, market design, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, nudge unit, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, presumed consent, QR code, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Simon Kuznets, skunkworks, the built environment, theory of mind, traffic fines, twin studies, World Values Survey

Probably for as long as there have been human societies, each generation has sought to shape the thinking of those who follow and vice versa. Societies based on fishing or farming need different skills and temperaments from those living in times of conflict and war. We know so much more today than even a generation ago about how the way we raise our children affects their temperament and their ability to face life’s inevitable hardships. When we praise a child for their effort, rather than their ability, we instil in them a theory of mind that success in tasks, and the mastery of skills, is something that can be acquired through focus and effort. In contrast, if our feedback keeps linking their performance to inherent ability, when they struggle in the face of difficulty they will give up instead of striving harder.21 It is now thought that such patterns of thought, and mental resilience, not only affect how well a child will go on to perform at maths or music, but also ultimately affects their attainment and subjective well-being in later life.

In essence, children who are steered towards believing that a test result is a measure of their inherent ability (‘good result: you’re a smart kid’) show less persistence and lower subsequent performance on a difficult task than children who are steered towards believing that a test result is a measure of their effort (good result: good effort). In Dweck’s words, the latter type of feedback creates a ‘growth mindset’, or a theory of mind that personal achievements come from effort,8 leading the child to try harder and not give up in the face of personal challenge. As she demonstrates, these effects are very large. More positively, they suggest very practical and specific actions that parents and teachers can take to set a child on the road to personal discovery, resilience, and seizing the opportunities when they come along.


pages: 741 words: 199,502

Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class by Charles Murray

23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, basic income, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, p-value, phenotype, publication bias, quantitative hedge fund, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, school vouchers, Scientific racism, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, social intelligence, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies, universal basic income, working-age population

But given the parallel with personality facets—conceptually related but distinct traits—a calculation of Mahalanobis D for large samples of males and females who have taken a comprehensive test battery would be instructive. Perhaps many of the different types of skills are so intercorrelated that aggregating them would not add much to the largest individual effect size. It is a question that I hope will be explored. On Average, Women Have Better Social Cognition Than Men We take for granted that we can infer what someone else is thinking, but this inference is actually a theory—“theory of mind,” often abbreviated as ToM in the literature. It refers to our belief that other people have minds of their own that operate in ways we can understand. It is properly called a theory because the only mind we have direct access to is our own and because we can make predictions based on our theory.[45] Children acquire ToM as toddlers. As normal people mature, they employ ToM to navigate the social world in increasingly complex ways.

David, Brenna M. Henn, Muh-Ching Yee et al. 2013. “Sequencing Y Chromosomes Resolves Discrepancy in Time to Common Ancestor of Males Versus Females.” Science 341 (6145): 562. Prediger, Dale J. 1982. “Dimensions Underlying Holland’s Hexagon: Missing Link Between Interests and Occupations?” Journal of Vocational Behavior 21 (3): 259–87. Premack, David, and Guy Woodruff. 1978. “Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (4): 515–26. Pritchard, Jonathan K., Matthew Stephens, and Peter Donnelly. 2000. “Inference of Population Structure Using Multilocus Genotype Data.” Genetics 155 (2): 945. Protzko, John, and Joshua Aronson. 2016. “Context Moderates Affirmation Effects on the Ethnic Achievement Gap.” Social Psychological and Personality Science 7 (6): 500–507. Ramachandran, Sohini, Omkar Deshpande, Charles C.

Nature 393: 440–42. Weaver, Ian C. G., Nadia Cervoni, Frances A. Champagne et al. 2004. “Epigenetic Programming by Maternal Behavior.” Nature Neuroscience 7: 847. Weidenreich, F. 1946. Apes, Giants, and Man. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Weiner, Jonathan. 1994. The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time. New York: Random House. Wellman, Henry M., and David Liu. 2004. “Scaling of Theory-of-Mind Tasks.” Child Development 75 (2): 523–41. Whitehurst, Grover J. 2013. “New Evidence Raises Doubts on Obama’s Preschool for All.” In Brown Center Chalkboard Series Archive. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. Wicherts, Jelte M., Conor V. Dolan, and Han L. J. van der Maas. 2010. “A Systematic Literature Review of the Average IQ of Sub-Saharan Africans.” Intelligence 38 (1): 1–20. Wilde, Sandra, Adrian Timpson, Karola Kirsanow et al. 2013.


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Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Air France Flight 447, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, digital map, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, hiring and firing, index card, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

So just as much as they can say something sharply funny, they can also jab you with a quick, hostile (but also funny) remark….The atmosphere at SNL, although we all liked each other, could become highly competitive based on the fact that there were 10 writers and only so many sketches could go on the show, so we all did our best to write the winning sketch or make (in my case) the best short film.” 58 percent The correct answers to the quiz are upset, decisive, skeptical, and cautious. These images come from Simon Baron-Cohen et al., “Another Advanced Test of Theory of Mind: Evidence from Very High Functioning Adults with Autism or Asperger Syndrome,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 38, no. 7 (1997): 813–22. And Simon Baron-Cohen et al., “The ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ Test Revised Version: A Study with Normal Adults, and Adults with Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism,” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 42, no. 2 (2001): 241–51.

., “Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups,” Science 330, no. 6004 (2010): 686–88. “individuals in it” Anita Woolley and Thomas Malone, “What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women,” Harvard Business Review 89, no. 6 (2011): 32–33; Julia B. Bear and Anita Williams Woolley, “The Role of Gender in Team Collaboration and Performance,” Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 36, no. 2 (2011): 146–53; David Engel et al., “Reading the Mind in the Eyes or Reading Between the Lines? Theory of Mind Predicts Collective Intelligence Equally Well Online and Face-to-Face,” PloS One 9, no. 12 (2014); Anita Williams Woolley and Nada Hashmi, “Cultivating Collective Intelligence in Online Groups,” in Handbook of Human Computation, ed. Pietro Michelucci (New York: Springer, 2013), 703–14; Heather M. Caruso and Anita Williams Woolley, “Harnessing the Power of Emergent Interdependence to Promote Diverse Team Collaboration,” Research on Managing Groups and Teams: Diversity and Groups 11 (2008): 245–66; Greg Miller, “Social Savvy Boosts the Collective Intelligence of Groups,” Science 330, no. 6000 (2010): 22; Anita Williams Woolley et al., “Using Brain-Based Measures to Compose Teams: How Individual Capabilities and Team Collaboration Strategies Jointly Shape Performance,” Social Neuroscience 2, no. 2 (2007): 96–105; Peter Gwynne, “Group Intelligence, Teamwork, and Productivity,” Research Technology Management 55, no. 2 (2012): 7.


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Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology by Johnjoe McFadden, Jim Al-Khalili

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, bioinformatics, complexity theory, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Ernest Rutherford, Gödel, Escher, Bach, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Louis Pasteur, New Journalism, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, theory of mind, traveling salesman, uranium enrichment, Zeno's paradox

In this way the cell body of each nerve cell seems to be acting like the logic gate of a computer, generating an output—whether or not it fires—based on its inputs. So, if the neuron is like a logic gate, then the brain, made up of billions of neurons, might be thought of as some kind of computer; or at least, this is the assumption of most cognitive neuroscientists who subscribe to what is called the computational theory of mind. But we are jumping too far ahead—we haven’t yet reached the brain. Our artist’s motor nerve must have received lots of neurotransmitters in its nerve–nerve junction boxes, causing it to fire. Those inputs came from upstream nerves that mostly originated in her brain. Following the chain of causation back, the heads of those nerves would have made their decisions about whether or not they fired on the basis of their many inputs, and the inputs of those inputs, and so on further and further backward through the causal chain until we reach the nerves that received input signals from the artist’s eyes, ears, nose and touch receptors, and memory centers that would have received sensory inputs from her earlier observations of live and dead bison.

clownfish, see anemonefish cockroaches collagen: biomolecule collagenase action, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 dinosaur fossil, 3.1, 9.1 role structure, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 tadpole tail, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 collagenase: enzyme, 3.1, 3.2 how it works, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 jaws, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 role, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 structure, 3.1, 3.2 tadpole tail compass, avian entanglement mechanism, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 6.1, 6.2, epl.1 magnetic sense, 1.1, 1.2, 6.1, 6.2 magnetite question radical pair reaction, 6.1, 6.2 role of light Schulten’s work Wiltschkos’ work compass, chemical, 1.1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 compass, conventional compass, inclination, 1.1, 1.2, 6.1, 6.2 compass, quantum compass, radical pair, 6.1, 6.2 compass, sun, 6.1, 6.2 complexity theory computational theory of mind computers, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 viruses Condon, Edward consciousness: binding problem, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 emergence EM field theories explanations function hard problem ideas, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 ion channels, 8.1, 8.2 mechanics of thought Penrose-Hameroff theory quantum mechanical phenomenon, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 sense of “self,” what is it? Copernicus Crick, Francis, 2.1, 7.1, 7.2 cryptochrome, 1.1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 cryptophytes crystals aperiodic cyanobacterium cytoplasm, 2.1, 4.1 cytoskeleton Darwin, Charles: evolution theory, 1.1, 1.2, 7.1, 7.2 Lamarck’s work, 7.1, 7.2 Mendel’s work, 2.1, 7.1 natural selection, 7.1, 7.2, 9.1 on origin of life, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 On the Origin of Species, 7.1, 7.2 Darwin, Erasmus Datta, Abhijit Davies, Paul, 1.1 Davis, Captain John decaborane decoherence: enemy of quantum behavior kept at bay, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 8.1, 8.2, 10.1, 10.2 measurement process, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 10.1 proto-self-replicator quantum computing, 8.1, 8.2 quantum waviness radical pair theory temperature, 2.1, 8.1 Delbrück, Max, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 density functional theory (DFT) Descartes, René, 2.1, 3.1, 8.1, 10.1 deuterium, 1.1, 3.1, 5.1, 7.1, 9.1 deuteron DeVault, Don, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 de Vries, Hugo dice dinosaurs: ancestry Antarctica collagen and collagenase, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 9.1, 10.1 extinction fossil, 3.1, 3.2 quantum compasses dipentine, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 Dixson, Daniella DNA: bases, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 9.1 Cairns’s E. coli experiment chemical bond (shared proton), 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 chromosome, 2.1, 2.2, 7.1, 9.1 copying errors (mutations), 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 discovery of structure, 2.1, 2.2 double helix, 2.1, 2.2, 7.1, 9.1 emergence genetic engineering genetic information, 2.1, 7.1, 9.1 magnetoreception mitochondrial quantum mechanics, 1.1, 7.1 quantum tunneling, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 9.1 reading process, 7.1, 7.2 replication, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 9.1 sequencing technology structure, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 synthesized tautomers, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5 transcription, 7.1, 7.2 translation Vostok study DNA polymerase, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 9.1 dogs double potential energy well double-slit experiment, see two-slit experiment dualism D-Wave Dyson, Malcolm, 5.1, 5.2 E. coli, 7.1, 9.1 Einstein, Albert: E = mc2 on entanglement, 1.1, 1.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 relativity theory work, 2.1, 10.1 electron microscope, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 electrons: creation of radical pair entangled pairs, 1.1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6 enzyme activity, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 7.1, 9.1, 9.2 excitons, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle measurement oxidation, 3.1, 4.1, 10.1 photoelectric effect photosynthesis primordial quantum protocell protoenzyme, 9.1, 9.2 quantized orbits quantum heat engine quantum spin, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 quantum tunneling, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 5.1, 5.2, 7.1, 9.1, 9.2, epl.1 qubits wave function wave mechanics Emlen, John Emlen, Stephen, 6.1, 6.2 Emlen funnel, 6.1, 6.2 energy: barriers, 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 7.1, 9.1 concept free frequency and industry kinetic landscape, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 light quanta quantum protocell quantum tunneling respiration, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 sunlight, 1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 10.1 thermodynamics transport, 4.1, 4.2, 8.1, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3 wave theory, 1.1, 2.1, 2.2 Engel, Greg, 1.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 10.1, 10.2 entanglement: Aspect’s experiment, 1.1, 1.2, 4.1 avian compass, 1.1, 1.2, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, epl.1 fast triplet reaction, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 “instantaneous action at a distance,” ion channels measurement, 1.1, 1.2, 6.1 olfactory receptor principle Penrose-Hameroff consciousness theory, 8.1, 8.2 proven quantum state, 1.1, 6.1 qubits, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 9.1 radical pairs, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 “spooky action at a distance,” 1.1, 6.1, 6.2 entrainment entropy enzymes: active sites, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 5.1 ADH, 3.1, 3.2 beliefs about, 3.1, 3.2 catalysis, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 collagenase, 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9 converting reactants to products, 3.1 DNA polymerase, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 9.1 electron transfer, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1 engines of life, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 7.1, 10.1 exploitation, 3.1, 3.2, 10.1 kinetic isotope effect, 3.1, 7.1, 9.1 myosin Pasteur’s work, 2.1, 3.1 photosynthesis, 4.1, 4.2 protocells, 10.1, 10.2 proto-enzyme proton transfer proton tunneling, 3.1, 3.2, 7.1, 7.2, 10.1 quantum hypothesis, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 quantum tunneling, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 7.1, 7.2 replication, 9.1, 9.2, 10.1 respiratory, 3.1, 4.1, epl.1 ribozymes, 9.1, 9.2, 10.1 RNA polymerase structure transition state theory, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 vibrations, 3.1, 10.1 Europa evening primrose evolution, 1.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 exciton: binary system, 4.1, 4.2 quantum coherence, 4.1, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3 quantum protocell transport to reaction center, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 exponential growth extracellular matrix, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 extremophiles FAD molecule, 6.1, 6.2 fast triplet reaction, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) protein, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 10.1 fermentation, 2.1, 3.1 Feynman, Richard: on atoms on exciton energy at MIT on nanotechnology on photosynthesis, 4.1, 4.2 on quantum computing on trees on two-slit experiment “what I can’t make, I don’t understand,” 2.1, 3.1, 10.1, 10.2 field, term flavors Fleming, Graham, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 10.1 fossils, 3.1, 3.2, 9.1 Foster, Norman Frankenstein Franklin, Rosalind free energy free radicals, 1.1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 frequency Freud, Sigmund frogs, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 Fromme, Hans fruit flies: circadian sense, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 creation of mutant magnetic sense, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 sense of smell “T maze” experiment trained, 5.1, 6.1 Galen Galileo Gamow, George gas laws genes Cairns’s work copying, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 cryptochrome development of technologies, 2.1, 10.1 DNA, 2.1, 9.1 heredity, 2.1, 2.2 Mendel’s work, 2.1, 7.1 mutations, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 olfactory receptors, 5.1, 5.2 reading process, 7.1, 9.1 RNA Schrödinger’s work, 2.1, 2.2, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 Vostok sequences, 7.1, 7.2 genetic code, 7.1, 7.2, 9.1 genetic engineering genetics link with quantum mechanics, 7.1, 7.2, 10.1 genome: Cairns’s work, 7.1, 7.2 copying, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 DNA sequencing technology RNA Venter’s work, 2.1, 9.1, 10.1, 10.2 Gerlach, Gabriele, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 Gilbert, Jim giraffes, 7.1, 7.2 Godbeer, Adam Gödel, Kurt, 8.1, 8.2 Gödelian statements, 8.1, 8.2 Goldilocks zone, 10.1, 10.2 gravity, 1.1, 2.1, 4.1n, 8.1 Great Barrier Reef Greenland, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 Gribbins, John Gross, Jerome, 3.1, 3.2 Gurney, Ronald Haldane, J.


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Liars and Outliers: How Security Holds Society Together by Bruce Schneier

airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, crack epidemic, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, desegregation, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Hofstadter, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, hydraulic fracturing, impulse control, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, iterative process, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Julian Assange, longitudinal study, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, patent troll, phenotype, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, security theater, shareholder value, slashdot, statistical model, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, traffic fines, transaction costs, ultimatum game, UNCLOS, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y2K, zero-sum game

Of course—and this is important to remember—these are typical results, and there is a wide variety of behavior among individual people.23 This matches our experience in the world. Neuroscience may also help explain altruism, most recently using mirror neurons. These are neurons in our brain that fire both when we perform an action24 and when we observe someone else performing the same action. First discovered in 1992, mirror neurons are theorized to be critical in imitation and learning, language acquisition, developing a theory of mind, empathy, and a variety of other prosocial behaviors. Additionally, a large body of neuroscience research supports the notion that we are altruistic innately, even if we receive no direct benefit, because at a deep level we want to be. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) show that the amygdala, the primitive part of the brain associated with fear and anger, is involved in decisions about fairness and justice.

mirror neurons Giuseppe di Pellegrino, Luciano Fadiga, Leonardo Fogassi, Vittorio Gallese, and Giacomo Rizzolati (1992), “Understanding Motor Events: A Neurophysiological Study,” Experimental Brain Research, 91:176–80. Vittorio Gallese, Luciano Fadiga, Leonardo Fogassi, and Giacomo Rizzolatti (1996), “Action Recognition in the Premotor Cortex,” Brain, 119:593–609. Vittorio Gallese and Alvin Goldman (1998), “Mirror Neurons and the Simulation Theory of Mind-Reading,” Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2:493–501. altruistic innately Ernst Fehr and Simon Gächter (2002), “Altruistic Punishment in Humans,” Nature, 415:137–40. Alan G. Sanfey, James K. Rilling, Jessica A. Aronson, Leigh E Nystrom, and Jonathan D. Cohen (2003), “The Neural Basis of Economic Decision-Making in the Ultimatum Game,” Science, 300:1755–8. Tania Singer, Ben Seymour, John P. O'Doherty, Klass E.


Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

Actually, in the ten oral history interviews of some of the major actors of the IPTO community that I downloaded from the Charles Babbage Institute project, only a couple still mention Engelbart's contribution for more than the mouse, and several do not mention him at all. Chapter I I. In his chapter of the edited collectIon The BoundarIes of HumanIty, Allen Newell expresses dIssatIsfactIon with metaphorIcal thinking in general: "it is clearly wrong to treat science as metaphor, for the more metaphorical, the less scientific." For him, AI is about a theory of mind, and not a metaphor for the mind: it should provide organized knowledge about the mind (Newell 1991, 161-63). In his general introduction to the same collection, Morton Sosna, however, echoes AI critics who "have questioned whether AI has remained, or can or ought to remain, unmeta- phorical" (ibid., 7). Newell alludes to the relativist sociology of science-exemplified by Latour and Woolgar's Laboratory Life (I979)-and equates the "deconstruction of science" with "taking all science as metaphorical" (ibid., I60). 240 Notes to Chapter I 2.

Journal of the InstItutIon of ElectrI- cal Engineers 34: 555 -608. . 191 I. "Practical Aspects of Printing Telegraphy." Journal of the InstItutIon of ElectrIcal Engineers 47: 450 - 5 2 9. Nelson, T. H. 1990. "The Right Way to Think About Software DesIgn." In The Art of Human Computer Interface Design, edited by B. Laurel, pp. 235-43. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. Works C,ted 271 Newell, A. 1991. "Metaphors for Mind, Theories of Mind: Should the Humanities Mind?" In The Boundaries of HumanIty: Humans, AnImals, MachInes, ed- ited by J. J. Sheehan and M. Sosna, pp. 158 -97. Berkeley: UnIversity of California Press. Newman, W. M. 1976. "Trends in Graphic Display Design." IEEE TransactIons on Computers C-25, no. 12: 1321-25. Ninke, W. H. 1965. "GraphIc I-A Remote Graphical DIsplay Console System." In ProceedIngs of the APIPS 1965 Pal/ JOInt Computer Conference, pp. 839- 46.


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The Unpersuadables: Adventures With the Enemies of Science by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, call centre, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, David Attenborough, David Brooks, death of newspapers, full employment, George Santayana, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Simon Singh, Stanford prison experiment, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies

Peripeteia is the ultimate disruption – a life spun around without warning. What happened next? How did the hero struggle? Was resolution found? What valuable information can be harvested and fed into the neural models? * The brain constructs its models during childhood and adolescence, the period in which it is extraordinarily alive with creative activity. By the age of five, children have developed a sophisticated ‘theory of mind’ and are, therefore, ‘story-ready’. During our formative years we absorb many thousands of tales of ever-increasing complexity of message. Professor of Psychology Keith Oatley has observed that learning to negotiate the social world requires weighing up ‘myriad interacting instances of cause and effect. Just as computer simulations can help us get to grips with complex problems such as flying a plane so novels, stories and dramas can help us understand the complexities of social life.’

Holman Foundation 118 chemotherapy 35, 93 Chibnall, Albert 256, 257 chick-sexers 186–87 childhood abuse 165–72, 173–75, 176–78, 179 sexual 145, 146, 156–57, 162, 180 children 75 China 83 Christ Church, Oxford 200, 201 Christians 4, 6, 7, 133, 134 condemnation of homosexuality 14–15, 18 morality 15–16, 122 see also creationists Churchill, Winston 208, 235, 249, 250 Clancy, Susan 50 climate-change sceptics 200, 203–204, 216 Clinic for Dissociative Studies 171 Clinton, Hilary 118 Coan, Chris 166–67 Coan, Jim 166–67 cochlear implants 78 cognitive bias 85, 87–88, 90–91, 103–104, 111, 183, 186, 244, 272 see also confirmation bias cognitive dissonance 84–87, 96, 102, 181 coin toss tests 262 Colapinto, John 312 cold war 149, 212, 215 Coleman, Ron 136–37, 141, 146, 148, 157, 162, 186, 306 colour, perception of 80 Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) 275 Communists 212, 222, 249–50 con artists 107 concentration camps 220–21, 224, 230, 245 confabulation 189–90, 192–96, 203, 207, 218, 253, 307, 315 confirmation bias 85, 87, 96, 181, 182, 188, 221, 243, 246, 312 consciousness 267–68 as Hero-Maker 306 conviction, unconscious 33 Conway, Martin 201 Cooper, Alice 275 Copenhagen Climate Conference 204 Copenhagen Treaty 2009 216 core beliefs 183 cows, sacred 40 Creation Research 5 Creation Science Foundation 12 creationists 2–10, 13–19, 20, 26, 30, 100, 162, 261, 308, 310 Crick, Francis 258, 268 CSICOP see Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal culture, power of 211, 302 ‘culture heroes’ 311 ‘culture wars’ 30, 309 Daily Mail (newspaper) 225, 228, 232 Daily Telegraph (newspaper) 243–44, 263 Dali, Salvador 275 Darwin, Charles 2, 10, 11, 94 Davenas, Elisabeth 110–11 Dawkins, Richard 2, 6, 10, 19, 94, 142, 259, 261, 271, 272, 287, 290, 308 DDT 211 de-individuation 69 deafness 78, 82 decision-making 181, 267 and emotion 184–85, 189 dehumanization 69–70 delusions 103–104, 130, 178–79, 182, 272 finding evidence for 135 and Morgellons 120 of parasitosis (DOP) 120, 122, 124, 125, 129, 162 democracy, end of 216 Demon-Marker function 308–309 depression 33, 43, 45, 128, 141, 148 Dermatologic Therapy (journal) 128 development factors 183 Devil, Australia see Gympie Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 143, 144 dialogue-ing 149, 151–52 Diana, Princess of Wales 286 diazepam (Valium) 42 dinosaurs 13, 19 Dog World (magazine) 293–94 dogma 106–107, 258 domestic abusers 89 DOP (delusions of parasitosis) 120, 122, 124, 125, 129, 162 dopamine 155, 196 doubt 133, 257 sensitivity to 261 dragons 13 dreaming 193, 195 lucid 76 drunkenness, cultural determinants of 83–84 DSM see Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Eagleman, David 74, 79, 80, 185, 186, 192, 193, 268–69 eccentricity 310 Economist, The (weekly publications) 312 Eden 14 Eden, Anthony 208 Edward V111 208 ‘effectance motive’ 184 ego 224 dream 195 ego-bolstering, unconscious 96, 103, 181 egoists 88, 196 Eichmann, Adolf 245 Einstein, Albert 201, 285 Eliade, Mircea 302 emotions 183, 184–85, 187, 194, 305 and beliefs 188, 189, 196–97 culturally unique 83 and decision-making 184, 185, 187 see also anger; happiness energy clean 25 Enfield Gazette (newspaper) 280 Enfield Poltergeist case 280 Enlightenment 255 envy 218 epinephrine 189–90 Epley, Nicholas 88 escapology 273–74 ESP see extrasensory perception Ethics Committee of the Federal Australian Medical Association 39 European Union (EU) 212 European Union Parliament House 234 Evans, Dylan 83 Evans, Richard 224 Eve 5, 12 Eve, Mitochondrial 73 Everett, Daniel 312 evidence, denial of 221, 261 evil psychology of 69–70, 307–308 ‘supremely good’ motivations for 89 evolution 73 arguments against 2–7, 10–13 arguments for 19–20, 100–101 experimental psychology 88, 101, 142, 316 extrasensory perception (ESP) 255, 266, 274, 294 alien 24 sense of ‘being stared at’ 254–55, 258, 262 facts and belief 183 inefficiency 26 fairies 83 faith, as journey 21, 134 false memories 156, 165–70, 173–74, 178, 194 familiar, the, attraction to 183 ‘fan death’ 83 Fate magazine 281 fear 203, 205, 206 Feinberg, Todd E. 82 Felstead, Anthony 160, 164 Felstead, David 159–60, 164, 171, 175, 176 Felstead, Joan 164 Felstead, Joseph 160, 161, 164, 165 Felstead, Kevin 160, 161, 164 Felstead, Richard 159–160, 164, 176–77 Felstead family 163, 165, 166, 168, 170, 176 Festinger, Leon 85, 188 Financial Service Act 214 First World War 231 Fisher, Fleur 161, 163, 165, 166, 176, 307 Flim Flam (Randi, 1982) 271, 279, 288, 295 Flood, biblical 14 fMRI see Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging foetal development 74 fossil record 10, 13–14, 19, 101 Fourth Annual Morgellons Conference 121–28 Fox, Kate 84 Franklin, Wilbur 282, 293 free will 193, 217, 307 as confabulation 193 French Assembly 204 French, Chris 50, 104, 108, 169, 173, 288, 315 French Revolution 204 Freud, Sigmund 171, 302 Frith, Chris 70, 77, 206, 315 Fromyhr, Liam 13 Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) 71 fundamentalists 261 Garvey, James 203, 218 Gates, Bill 212 Gazzaniga, Michael 184, 190–92 Geertz, Clifford 75 Geller, Uri 99, 275, 280, 281, 287, 288, 290, 293 genes 221 genetic factors 205 and beliefs 221 and political attitude 205 and schizophrenia 145, 154 genome 205, 206 Genus Epidemicus 115 George, St, and the dragon 13 ghost-hunters 21 ghosts 104 Gilovich, Thomas 86 Gindis, Alec 277, 278 global financial crisis 213 global governance 216–217 global warming 203 gnomes 83 God 17, 202, 305 Catholic interpretations of 21 and creation 3, 4, 5–6, 10 creation of 26 Darwin’s arguments against the existence of 11 deference to 18 existence of as scientifically testable 11 knowableness of 11, 22 and morality 15 see also anti-God rhetoric Goebbels, Joseph 230, 232, 239, 245 Goenka, S.N. 57, 60, 61–63, 306 Goldacre, Ben 97 Göring, Hermann 232 Gottschall, Martin 25–26 Gottschall, Sheryl 26 governance, models of 217 Gray, Honourable Mr Justice 221, 223 Gray, John 81 Great Rift Valley 74 ‘greys’ (aliens) 23, 33 group psychology 69, 88, 197 conformity to group pressure 70, 72 and the production of evil 70 Guardian (newspaper) 6 Gururumba tribe 83 Gympie, Australia 2–7, 10, 14, 16, 22, 33–53 gympie-gympie tree 2, 19 Hahnemann, Samuel 96, 115 Haidt, Honathan 83, 184, 193, 194–95, 205, 216–17, 315 Hale, Rob 172 hallucinations 82 auditory 137, 139, 141, 144, 145 see also voice-hearing visual 152 halo effect 84 Ham, Ken 12 happiness, and religious belief 197 ‘hard problem, the’ 267 Harrow 209 Harvard University 28–29, 30, 50, 285 Hawthorne Effect 107 hearing, sense of 262 Hearing Voices Network (HVN) 137, 140–41, 154, 162 Hebard, Arthur 279, 280, 295 Hebb, Donald 266 herbal remedies 36 Hercules 302 hero, the, how your memory rebuilds you as 194, 231 hero narratives 302–303, 306–309, 311–13 parasite 307, 312 Hero-Maker 306–307, 310–311, 312, 314 Heydrich, Reinhard 245 Himmler, Heinrich 235 Himmler bunker 236, 245 Hitler, Adolf 228, 231, 238, 239, 242, 243, 244, 246, 247, 248, 151–52 Hitler Youth 204 Hitler’s bunker 238 HIV 207 see also AIDS HMS Edinburgh (ship) 231 Hoefkens, Gemma 92–95, 96–97, 115–16, 141, 142, 181, 310 Holocaust denial 155, 221, 226, 229–30, 243, 244 Homeopathic Research Institute 109 homeopathy 94–102, 105–107, 109–121, 134, 181, 269, 277, 278 evidence for 106–114, 121, 134, 269 ‘overdose’ protest against 96, 99, 105, 108–109 ‘radionic’ method 115 Homerton Hospital 132 hominins 74 Homo sapiens 73 homophobia 188 homosexuality 137 Christian condemnation of 14–15, 18 Horsey, Richard 186 Horst Wessel Song (Nazi Party anthem) 239 House of Commons Science and Technology Committee 94 Hrab, George 108 Hume, David 203 Humphrey, Nicholas 43 Huntington’s disease testing 197 HVN see Hearing Voices Network hypnotherapy and false memory generation 166 and past-life regression 44–45, 47 hypnotism 189 ‘I’, sense of 194, 196, 258 IBS seeirritable bowel syndrome Iceland 83 identity 203 ideology 272 Illuminati 286–87, 288, 304 imitation 206 immigration 206, 223 Mexican 223 in-groups 84, 133 incest 168 information field 257, 266 INSERM 200 110 intelligence, and cognitive bias 224 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 216 International Academy of Classical Homeopathy 277 Internet 112 intuition 187, 216, 238 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 43 Irving, David 269, 307, 308, 209, 333–335, 344, 345 Irving, John 219, 221, 238, 244 Irving, Nicholas 243 itch disorders 117–119 see also Morgellons Jackson, Peter 312 James, William 106 James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) 99, 260, 275, 276, 290, 294 jealousy, sexual 64, 66, 104 Jesus 142 knowableness of 11 Jewish Chronicle (newspaper) 230 Jews 221, 230, 231, 244–51, 253, 309 see also Holocaust denial Josefstadt Prison, Vienna 220 Journal of the American Medical Association 41 Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 113–114 Journal of Philosophical Studies 182 JREF see James Randi Educational Foundation Jutland, Battle of 231 Kahneman, Daniel 184, 303 Kaku, Michio 27 Kaptchuk, Ted 43 Keegan, Sir John 243–44 Keen, Montague 284 Keen, Veronica 283–88, 304 Kerry, John 87 KGB 212, 215 Kilstein, Vered 44–51, 53, 168, 305–306 King’s Cross station 136 ‘koro’ 83 Krepel, Scott 78 Krippner, Stanley 288–89, 295 Krupp 233 Kuhn, Deanna 86 Los Angeles LA Times (newspaper) 118 LaBerge, Stephen 76, 195 Labour Party 210 Lancet (journal) 109, 113 Langham, Chris 171 Lawrence, Stephen 236 Lebanese people 223 left, political 204–207, 211, 215 Leitao, Mary 118 Leitao’s Morgellons Research Foundation 118 Lemoine, Patrick 42 Lennon, John 49 Letwin, Oliver 214 Leuchter, Fred 229 Leviticus 14 Lewis, Andy 109, 114 Lipstadt, Deborah 221, 224, 243, 246, 309 Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854 210 Lo, Nathan 19–20, 22, 30, 100, 308 Loftus, Elizabeth 166, 173 love 44, 59 memories of 63, 133 Lucifer 4 see also Satan McCain, John 118 McCullock, Kay 23–25 McDonald’s 67–68, 84 Mack, John E. 28–30, 51, 102–103, 142, 145, 272, 284–85 Mackay, Glennys 22–23, 30, 33 Mackay, John 1, 4–6, 1–11, 15–20, 30, 33, 53, 91, 100, 109, 182, 305, 306, 308 MacLeish, Eric 29 Maddox, Sir John 271, 287 magic-makers 7 magnetometers 279 Majdanek concentration camp 224, 230 Mameli, Matteo 182 manic depression 141 Mann, Nick 130–31, 134, 162 Marianna, Dame of Malta 208 Marshall, Michael ‘Marsh’ 105–109 Marxists 210 ‘matchbox sign’ 124 materialism 256, 257–58, 259, 260–1, 266, 268–69 May, Rufus 148–49, 156, 182, 196, 304 meditation, Buddhist 52–53, 62, 182, 196 Meffert, Jeffrey 120 Mein Kampf (Hitler) 232, 233, 242 memory autobiographical 194 fallibility of 201 see also false memories; recovered- memory therapy mental illness 137, 141, 146, 147, 165 as continuum 147 depression 33, 42–43, 45, 89, 100, 120, 148, 197 manic depression 141 multiple personality disorder 165, 171, 173–74 obsessive compulsive disorder 128 sectioning 137, 140, 161 see also psychosis; schizophrenia mental models 76, 85, 87, 90, 102, 133, 142, 147, 183, 302, 303, 316 meta-analysis 112, 146, 157, 262, 267 Metzinger, Thomas 195 Mexican immigration 223 micro-stories 206 Milgram, Stanley 70–71 mind and the brain 255, 257–58, 266–67 as ‘out there’ 267 theory of 303 miners’ strike (mid-1980s) 212, 214–15 Mitchell, Joni 118 mites, tropical rat 132, 135 ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ 73 Moll, Albert 189 Monckton, Christopher Walter, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 200, 203–205, 207–16, 218, 304, 305, 309, 310 Monckton, Major General Gilbert, 2nd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 208 morality 193, 202 Christian 15 Morgellons 118–35, 162, 307 see also Fourth Annual Morgellons Conference, Austin, Texas morphine 41 Mosley, Sir Oswald 232 Mragowo 233 multiple personality disorder 165, 171, 173–74 murder, past-life 44, 48 murderers 89 Murray, Robin 183 Myers (formerly Felstead), Carole 159–61, 163–66, 168, 171–73, 176–80, 307 myoclonic jerk 195 myth 302, 304, 312–313 narratives hero 302–303, 306–14 master 206 nation state, end of 216 National Front 234, 305 National Health Service (NHS) 94, 148, 171 National Secular Society 5 National Union of Teachers 5 Native Americal tradition 186 Natural History Museum 132 natural selection 10 Nature (journal) 110–11, 257, 271, 287, 304 Nazi Party (German) 220, 239 Nazis 48, 89, 231, 239 Neanderthals 26 necrophilia 12, 18 neurological studies 87 neurons 74–75, 220, 253, 267 neuroscience 142 New Guinea 83 New Science of Life, A (Sheldrake) 256–57 New Scientist (journal) 257–266 New York Times (newspaper) 72, 120, 271, 272 New Yorker (magazine) 268, 312 Nix, Walte, Jr. 68 Noah 3, 5, 13, 14 Novella, Steven 107, 112, 120, 135, 272, 287, 309 Oaklander, Anne Louise 129–130 Oatley, Keith 303 Obama, Barack 118, 286 obedience studies 84 Observer (newspaper) 222, 257 obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) 128, 147 Oedipus 302 Offer, Daniel 194 Ogborn, Louise 67–68, 70, 84 Olsen, Clarence W. 82 openness 205 Origin of Species, The (Darwin) 2, 4 original sin 3 Orkney 166 ‘other people’, judgement of 67 out-groups 69, 105 Oxford Union 203, 207, 218 paedophilia 15 pain perception of 41 and the placebo effect 41, 42–43 palm reading 105 paranoia 30, 64, 150, 154, 178, 180 parapsychology 261–62, 265–67, 269, 279, 280, 287 past-life regression (PLR) 44–45, 47, 53, 168, 170 Patanjali Yog Peeth Trust 31 Paul McKenna Show, The (TV show) 263 Pearson, Michele 119 penis ‘koro’ effect 83 phantom 82 Penn and Teller 271, 290 perception and the brain 72, 76 of pain 41 and the placebo effect 41, 42, 43 of reality 27, 72, 76–77, 80, 81 see also extra-sensory perception peripeteia 303 Perkins, David 244 personality disorder 165 see also multiple personality disorder pesticides 211 Peter March’s Traveling Circus 274 Peters, Maarten 50 ‘phantom limbs’ 82 ‘Pagasus’ awards 260, 276, 288 Pirahã tribe 312 placebo effect 41–43, 45–46, 50–51, 53, 72, 107, 113, 134 and homeopathy 107, 113, 134 Playfair, Guy Lyon 280–82, 287, 293 political affiliation 205 political beliefs, and self-interest 217 political left 204, 206, 210, 211 political right 204, 205 Polonia Palace Hotel, Warsaw 219 poltergeists 280 Popoff, Peter 288 power, leftwing 211–12 Power, Joe 105, 106 ‘Pranayama’ (breath control) 32–36, 38, 40, 41, 45, 56, 134, 196 prefrontal cortex 73 prejudice 29, 53, 84, 86, 90, 100, 181, 248, 305 Pressman, Zev 280–82, 286, 288, 295 prophets 307 Prozac 42 psi phenomena 265–66 see also parapsychology psychiatry 28–29, 42, 71, 120, 130, 136, 137, 140–41, 142–43, 145–46, 150, 152, 162, 183, 189 psychic powers 253 animals with 258, 260, 261, 265, 266 testing 253, 258, 260, 263, 274, 279–80 psychics 98, 104 psychology of evil 69–70, 105, 243, 307 experimental 88, 101, 142, 316 parapsychology 261–62, 265, 266, 267, 269, 280, 287 situational 69 see also schizophrenia 157, 180, 310 Puthoff, Harold 279, 280 racism 104, 221, 223, 229, 305 radiotherapy 35, 401 Ramachandran, V.S. 75, 81, 82 Ramdev, Swami 31–41, 43, 134, 182, 306 Randi, Angela 291 Randi, James 98–99, 107, 108, 109–110, 112, 260–61, 269, 270, 271–98, 306, 309, 310, 312, 313 blindness to his own cognitive biases 272 childhood 273 death threats 275, 306 early adult life 274 emotional problems 292 homosexuality 292 interview with the author 291–98 psychic challenge prize 99, 260, 272, 276, 277, 278, 289 social Darwinism 296, 297 views on drug users 296–97 see also James Randi Educational Foundation Rank, Otto 302 Rasputin study 88, 103 rationalists, radicalised 9 reality, perceptions of 27, 72, 76–77, 80, 81, 91 ‘reality monitoring’, errors in 50 reason 26 inefficacy of 26–27 as not enough 309 recovered-memory therapy (RMT) 166, 170, 173, 176 Rees, Laurence 311 ‘regression to the mean’ 45 religious belief, and happiness 197 religious conversion mechanisms of 8 repression 169 right, political 204–207 Robertson, Shorty Jangala 300 robots, alien 23, 33 Rogo, Scott 279 Romme, Marius 137, 140, 143–45, 148, 154, 155 Rosenbaum, Ron 245 Royal College of Psychiatry 154 Royal Free Hospital, Camden 136, 139 Royal Institute of Philosophy 203 Royal Society 5 saccades 79 sacredness, irrationality surrounding 217 Sagan, Carl 266 Santayana, George 209 Satan 18 see also Lucifer santanic abuse 165–66, 168–70, 174–75, 177, 180 Saucer Smear magazine 281 Savely, Ginger 126, 127, 130 Schizophrenia 51, 136–37, 140, 141, 143, 145, 148, 150, 154, 162, 169, 178, 183, 309 as salience disorder 183 Schlitz, Marilyn 262 Schmidt, Stefan 262, 265 Schwartz, Gary 287, 188–89 science 8–9, 95–96, 255–59, 268, 273, 310 scientific method 305 Scientologists 155 sectioning 137, 140 Secular Student Alliance 290 Seeman, Mary 120 Segal, Stanley S. 172 self ideal 148, 313 multiple selves model 147 senses 77–91, 190, 196, 258 sensory deprivation 78 sexism, unconscious 86 sexual abuse 145, 146, 156–57, 162, 180 sexual assault 145–46 sexual jeaoulsy 64, 66, 104, 212 Shang, Aijing 112, 113–14 Sheldrake, Rupert 255–61, 262–70, 272–73, 276–77, 287, 289, 293–94, 307 Shermer, Michael 102 Silent Spring, The (Carson) 211 sin 17–18, 61, 66, 189 original 2 Sinason, David 171, 175, 179 Sinason, Valerie 170, 171, 178, 180, 304 Singer, Peter 304 situational psychology 69 Skeptic, The (magazine) 104, 108, 169, 271, 288 Skeptics 9, 95–112, 115, 120–21, 134, 142, 162, 260, 265, 271–73, 276–79, 290–91, 298, 309–310, 313–14 and Morgellons 134 and psi phenomenon 265–66, 279 and Sheldrake 260 ‘The Amazing Meeting’ of 290 see also Randi, James sleep 195 smell, sense of 184 Smith, Greg 122, 124, 130, 131 social Darwinism 296, 297 social roles, and the production of evil 69–70, 105 socialism 212 Sorel, George 304 ‘source-monitoring error’ 50 South Koreans 83 Soviet Union 212 sprinal tumours 129 spirituality 26 ‘split-brain’ patients 190–92 spoon-benders 98 spotlight effect 89 Stalin, Joseph 234 Stanford Prison Experiment 69–70 Stern Review 310 Stipe, Catherine 6 storytelling 183, 188, 189, 192, 194, 302, 206, 207, 312 see also confabulation; narratives ‘strip-search scams’ 68–69, 84 stroke patients 82 suicidal ideation 147 suicide 144 and voice-hearing 151, 154 Summers, Donna 67 survival of the fittest 3, 296–97 taboo violation scenarios, harmless 194 Targ, Russel 279, 280 Tavris, Carol 84, 88, 194, 243 Tea Party movement 204204 telepathy 257–59, 266, 269, 280 terrorism 9 Thatcher, Margaret 174, 204, 208, 212, 215 theft 66, 104 theory of mind 303 therapy 45, 169 group 133 placebo effect 45 This American Life (US radio show) 78 Thyssen 233 Time magazine 102 Times, The (newspaper) 263 ‘tjukurpas’ (Aboriginal stories) 275 Toronto Evening Telegram (newspaper) 274 Toronto Star (newspaper) 293 totalitarianism 216 Tournier, Alexander 109, 112, 113 traumatic experience repression 166 and voice-hearing 137, 139–41, 143–45, 148–49, 150–58 tribalism 84–85, 133, 171, 196, 217 truth 218 coherence theory of 218 and group pressure 44–45 and storytelling 312–13 Turing, Alan 266 Turner, Trevor 154–57, 162, 169, 178 twin studies 205 UFOs 22–27, 29–30, 272, 308 UK Independence Party (UKIP) 204 Ullman, Dana 107, 112, 309 Ultimate Psychic Challenges, The (TV Show) 284 unconscious 33, 44, 58–59, 60, 41–42, 183–88, 194, 269–70, 304 United Nations (UN) 216, 304 US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology 119 Vipassana Meditation Centre 52–53, 55, 57, 70 vision 79–80, 92–93, 96 Vithoulkas, George 99, 277–79, 295–96 voice-hearing 136–45, 148–59, 162, 169, 180 Wade, Kimberly 168–69 Warren, Jeff 76 Washington Post (newspaper) 120, 328, 344 water dreaming 300 Watson, Rebecca 107 ‘we mode’ 70 Wegner, Daniel 193, 331 welfare state 209–10 Western, Drew 87, 204, 206–7 Western medicine, disillusionment with 36, 39–40, 182, 306 Wexler, Bruce E. 75, 183, 185, 303 ‘wild pig, being a’ 83 Wilson, David Sloan 304 Wilson, Timothy D. 81 Wired (magazine) 271 Wiseman, Richard 259–66, 271–72, 287, 290, 335–37 Wolpert, Lewis 183–84, 189, 259, 313 Wootton, David 42 wormholes 27 Wymore, Randy 121–22, 124, 126, 128 yoga 31–39 Yuendumu 299–300 Zimbardo, Philip 68–70, 72, 104 WILL STORR is a novelist and longform journalist.


pages: 170 words: 49,193

The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

You once queued to pick up (and pay for) photographs that you took a week ago, without knowing if they were even any good. The result is a growing disconnection between the choice and freedom that characterise our lives as consumers, and the compromise and tedious plodding world of politics. Note how, for example, so many people who disagree with Brexit use the language of a small child that has yet to develop a theory of mind: why should I accept the result, I didn’t vote for it and I want my country back.* Second of all, the internet is primarily an emotional medium, which is something that many technologists fail to grasp. Speed and emotion are related, of course, because both are means by which our finite brain handles information overload and total connectivity. It is obviously true that citizens need information to form opinions and make judgements, and there are many benefits to a more democratic form of media.


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Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

active measures, Air France Flight 447, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, brain emulation, Brian Krebs, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, DevOps, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, Flash crash, Freestyle chess, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, ImageNet competition, Internet of things, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, pattern recognition, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sensor fusion, South China Sea, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Turing test, universal basic income, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, William Langewiesche, Y2K, zero day

Golems, unlike later intelligent creations, were powerful but stupid beings that would slavishly follow orders, often to the detriment of their creators. Golem stories often end with the golem killing its creator, a warning against the hubris of playing God. Human-level or superhuman AI tap into this deep well of fear of artificial beings. Micah Clark, a research scientist from the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition who studies AI, cognition, and theory of mind, told me that at “a very personal and philosophical level, AI has been about building persons. . . . It’s not about playing chess or driving cars.” He explained, “With the general track of robotics and autonomous systems today, you would end up with autonomous systems that are capable but very, very dumb. They would lack any real sense of intelligence. They would be effectively teleoperated, just at a higher level of commanding.”

COMMAND-AND-CONTROL AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CRISIS DECISION-MAKING Stability is as much about perceptions and human psychology as it is about the weapons themselves. Two gunslingers staring each other down aren’t interested only in their opponent’s accuracy, but also what is in the mind of the other fighter. Machines today are woefully unequipped to perform this kind of task. Machines may outperform humans in speed and precision, but current AI cannot perform theory-of-mind tasks such as imagining another person’s intent. At the tactical level of war, this may not be important. Once the gunslinger has made a decision to draw his weapon, automating the tasks of drawing, aiming, and firing would undoubtedly be faster than doing it by hand. Likewise, once humans have directed that an attack should occur, autonomous weapons may be more effective than humans in carrying out the attack.


Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian

Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mercator projection, Mont Pelerin Society, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Pearl River Delta, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, quantitative easing, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, statistical model, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

By the end of the 1970s, t­ here was a Geneva School consensus in the primary international institution devoted to governing trade, the GATT, that “distortions” of the price system ­were not economic prob­lems but po­liti­cal prob­lems. Beginning in 1977 ­these ­were seen as best solved through pro­cesses of constitutionalization modeled on the multitiered structure of the Eu­ro­pean Community. If Hayek “frequently uses machines to illustrate his theory of mind,” as one scholar observes, Geneva School neoliberals used Hayek’s theory of mind to illustrate world eco- A W o r l d of S ig n als 261 nomic order.233 Hayek’s inability or unwillingness to engage with mathe­matics and statistics kept him off the main road taken by economists inspired by cybernetics and systems analy­sis.234 In Geneva School neoliberalism, we find Hayek’s influence not in the field of economics but in the field of law.


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How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan

1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Mother of all demos, placebo effect, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, scientific mainstream, scientific worldview, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Whole Earth Catalog

But as any person can tell you, quite a lot happens in the mind when nothing much is going on outside us. (In fact, the DMN consumes a disproportionate share of the brain’s energy.) Working at a remove from our sensory processing of the outside world, the default mode is most active when we are engaged in higher-level “metacognitive” processes such as self-reflection, mental time travel, mental constructions (such as the self or ego), moral reasoning, and “theory of mind”—the ability to attribute mental states to others, as when we try to imagine “what it is like” to be someone else. All these functions may belong exclusively to humans, and specifically to adult humans, for the default mode network isn’t operational until late in a child’s development. “The brain is a hierarchical system,” Carhart-Harris explained in one of our interviews. “The highest-level parts”—those developed late in our evolution, typically located in the cortex—“exert an inhibitory influence on the lower-level [and older] parts, like emotion and memory.”

The default mode network, called that because it is most active when the brain is in a resting state, links parts of the cerebral cortex with deeper and evolutionarily older structures of the brain involved in emotion and memory. (Its key structures include, and link, the posterior cingulate cortex, the medial prefrontal cortex, and the hippocampus.) Neuroimaging studies suggest that the DMN is involved in such higher-order “metacognitive” activities as self-reflection, mental projection, time travel, and theory of mind—the ability to attribute mental states to others. Activity in the DMN falls during the psychedelic experiences, and when it falls most precipitously volunteers often report a dissolution of their sense of self. DMT (or N,N-dimethyltryptamine): A rapid-onset, intense, and short-acting psychedelic compound sometimes referred to as “the businessman’s trip.” This tryptamine molecule is found in many plants and animals for reasons not well understood.


pages: 1,132 words: 156,379

The Ape That Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve by Steve Stewart-Williams

Albert Einstein, battle of ideas, carbon-based life, David Attenborough, European colonialism, feminist movement, financial independence, gender pay gap, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, out of africa, Paul Graham, phenotype, post-industrial society, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, twin studies

A growing contingent of scholars argues that our “superpower” as a species is not our intelligence; it’s our collective intelligence and capacity for cumulative culture: our ability to stockpile knowledge and pass it down from generation to generation, tinkering with it and improving it over time.27 Biological evolution can give rise to the eye. But cumulative cultural evolution can give rise to entities every bit as complex as the eye: airplanes and smart phones, legal systems and the Internet. What makes these cumulative cultural achievements possible for us when they’re not possible for chimps or howler monkeys? No one knows for sure, but there are plenty of suggestions. These include language, theory of mind (that is, the ability to construe people as having thoughts, desires, and intentions), mental time travel, hypercooperativeness, practice, teaching, trade, shared attention, joint attention, imitation, true imitation, and overimitation – or, of course, some serendipitously fertile blend of these talents. Whatever it is, though, it makes all the difference in the world. It renders our cultural achievements utterly unique among the animals.

F. 10, 225 Smith, Adam, 235 smoking, 5, 45, 51, 53, 242, 252, 253, 296, 297, 303 snow monkeys, 66, 91 social psychology, 130, 133, 134, 177–178, 240, see also psychology Social Role Theory, 99–100, 106–107, 113, 116, 313n117 social sciences, 39, 42, 62, 64–65, 112, 114, 117, 123, 192, 283, 289–290, 294, see also Standard Social Science Model (SSSM) sociobiology, 40, 65, 68, 77, 289, 293, 310n8 Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 157 Sommers, Christina Hoff, 102, 117 spandrels, 57, see also by-product hypothesis speciation in cultural evolution, 227 Spencer, Herbert, 20 Sperber, Dan, 298–299 sperm competition, 169–170, 291 spiders, 4, 11, 37, 51, 53, 54, 66, 73, 90, 110, 185, 188 sports, 62, 106, 202, 242, 255 stabilizing selection, 278 Standard Social Science Model (SSSM), 40, 308n32, see also blank slate view of human nature Star Trek, 122 Steinem, Gloria, 56 Stendhal, 139 Stephens, William, 146 stepparental care, 157–161evolution of, 160–161 stink fights, 67 Story of the Human Body, The, 55 strawberry cheesecake hypothesis, 60, see also by-product hypothesis Streep, Meryl, 148 strong reciprocity, 206, 207, 208–209 suicide, 6, 55, 103, 137–138, 142, 143, 176, 185, 192, 213, see also copycat suicide supernormal stimuli, 52, 60 survival of, the fittest, 20 the fittest genes, 31 the fittest memes, 253, 269 the fittest theories, 229 the prettiest, 120–129 the species, 7, 18–20, 141, 156 the weakest, 278–279 swans, 148, 149 Symons, Donald, 58, 78, 81–82, 83, 89 Tallis, Frank, 138 Taylor, Timothy, 279 technology, 13, 49, 234, 236–237, 244, 272–273, 275, 278–279, 294 teddy bears, 13, 227–228, 261 Tennov, Dorothy, 138–139 termites, 13, 132, 176, 231, 232233 testicle size, see sperm competition testosterone, 128, 170–171, see also sex differences theory of mind, 233, 298–299 Thomas, Andrew G. 72, 76 Thought Contagion, 257 throwing, 273 thumb-sucking, 57–58, 61 tigers, 16, 68, 170, 270271 Tit-for-Tat, 198–200, 201 tolerated theft, 204 Tomasello, Michael, 234 Tooby, John, 40, 46, 47, 50 Top Ten sex differences in nonhuman animals, 66–68, 74, 77 toy boys, 94 tragedy of the commons, 197–198 Trivers, Robert, 68, 69, 70, 72, 193, 194, 196, 197, 198–199 Tucker, Philip, 228–229 Tutankhamun, 136 twins, 25, 69, 182–183, 184, 248, 286 Tylor, E.


pages: 678 words: 148,827

Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization by Scott Barry Kaufman

Albert Einstein, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, fear of failure, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, impulse control, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Rosa Parks, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, theory of mind

Developmental psychologist Paul Bloom has pointed out the potential pitfalls of empathy, biasing us toward only helping people with whom we have a shared emotional experience.31 Indeed, some of the greatest atrocities in human history have occurred in the name of empathy.32 B-loving people tend to have a healthy form of compassion that is motivated by universal concern and integrates both cognitive and affective empathy. Cognitive empathy reflects the ability to appreciate and understand another’s feelings—a perspective-taking, “theory-of-mind” ability—whereas affective empathy reflects the capacity to share another person’s emotional experience and to really feel what they are feeling.33 Interestingly, many people who score high on the dark triad score high in cognitive empathy but not affective empathy, using their cognitive empathy skills to exploit the weaknesses of others, rather than identifying with their suffering.34 To assess your placement on both dimensions, look at the following statements and see how much you are in agreement with them:35 COGNITIVE-AFFECTIVE EMPATHY SCALE Cognitive Empathy When two people argue, I can see both points of view.

Steven, 22 right to shine, 71 “rising tide,” high-quality connections, 43 Robbers Cave study, 39 Rogers, Carl, xviii, xxiv, 42, 59, 78, 107, 165, 185 “role abandonment”/role engulfment, 139 romantic love, 138, 139, 141, 142, 194, 228 romantic passion, 145, 146–47 Roosevelt, Eleanor, 88, 168, 169, 180 Rowan, John, xxviii “rumble of panic,” 234, 235, 236 rumination, 10, 104–5, 106, 176, 214 Russian nesting dolls analogy, xxviii Ryan, Richard, 59 Sacks, Oliver, 85 sacredness in all things, xxiii, 222, 223 safety, xiii, xiv, xxviii, xxx, xxxi, xxxii, xxxiii, xxxiv, xxxv, 1, 6, 7–34, 37, 39, 48, 71, 81, 86, 91, 92, 98, 119, 136, 148, 167, 221, 231, 245 sailboat, xxxi–xxxix, xxxii, xxxv, 1, 34, 53, 80, 81, 129, 136, 183, 187 salience network, 116 Salzberg, Sharon, 120, 142 samadhi, 194 Sam’s story, 37 Sandelands, Lance, 42 Sane Society, The (Fromm), xxxvi Saroglou, Vassilis, 213 Schachtel, Rabbi Hyman, 50 Schnell, Tatjana, 238–39 scientific/intuitive, 240 scientific investigation and Theory Z, 228, 228n Seale, Colin, 33–34 Search for Authenticity, The (Bugental), 155 “second naivete,” 225 “second tier” spiral dynamic, 226 “sectarians,” 168 secure attachment, 17, 18, 42, 140–41, 144 security, xiv, xviii, xxix, xxx, xxxi, xxxii, xxxiii, xxxiv, xxxv, 1, 1–80, 84, 86, 93, 98, 100, 119, 141, 146, 147, 167, 225, 227, 231, 233, 238 See also insecurity seismic earthquake metaphor for trauma, 103–4 self-acceptance, xxv, 68, 90, 174, 238 See also acceptance self-actualization, xiii–xv, xiv, xxi, xxiii, xxix, xxx, xxxi, xxxiii–xxxiv, xxxvi, 83–90 peak experiences, 193, 195, 196, 197, 205, 215 security, 7, 70, 79, 80 Theory Z, xiii, 217–44 See also exploration; Kaufman, Scott Barry; love; Maslow, Abraham; purpose; transcendence “Self-Actualization: A Study of Psychological Health” (Maslow), 88 selfactualizationtests.com, xxi, 89, 123, 131, 208 self-awareness, xxv, xxxvi, 17, 26, 117, 133–34, 136, 141, 236 self-compassion, 132–33, 238 self-concordant goals, 166 self-control, 100, 133 self-determination, 164–65, 170, 180 Self-Diminishment (Awe Experience Scale), 208 self-esteem, xiii, xiv, xxviii, xxx, xxxiii, xxxv, xxxvi, 245 growth, 81, 84, 86, 98, 132, 134, 135, 136, 143, 148, 152, 160, 167 healthy transcendence, 219, 236, 238 security, 1, 5, 6, 19, 35, 43, 53, 54–80 self-expansion theory of love, 138–39, 142 self-honesty, 136–37 “Selfishness and Self-Love” (Fromm), 130 selfish/unselfish dichotomy, 153 self-loss, 203–6 self-love, 130–33, 139, 147, 174 pathological, 132 self-presentation strategy, 68, 69, 78 self-preservation, 6, 39, 54, 86 self-regulation, 25, 59, 105, 161 self-respect, xv, 23, 57, 84, 131, 139 self-transcendence, xxiv, 126–27, 181, 200, 201, 227 Seligman, Martin, xxv, 27–28, 115, 200, 201 sensation seeking, 99, 101 sense of self (self-worth), xv, xxv, xxviii, 52, 59, 60–61, 62, 65, 66, 68, 69, 74, 75, 110, 135, 139, 140, 205, 208, 226 Seppälä, Emma, 47–48, 51, 52 sex, 6, 28, 36, 37, 77, 84, 94, 100, 122, 137, 138, 142, 143n, 143–47, 193, 194, 225, 228, 230 sex and dominance research, 54, 55–56, 83 sexploration, 144–46 sexual assault, 102, 214 Sheldon, Kennon, 160, 163–64, 165, 166, 170 Shonkoff, Jack, 24, 27 “sickness-fostering” victory, 215 signature strengths, 166, 171, 176–77 silent vs. quiet ego, 135 Simpson, Jeffry, 21–22 60 Minutes (TV show), 97 Skee-Ball, xxxvi Skenazy, Lenore, 92 SMART goals, 171–72 Snyder, Charles, 177, 178 social anxiety, 95, 145, 211 social curiosity, 95–97 social environment, 95, 96, 202 “social evasion,” 39 social exploration, 94–97 social intelligence, 126 “social interest,” xviii, 54, 55, 58, 78 social isolation, 45, 48 social media, 50–51, 52, 163, 166 social protection system, 38, 39, 41, 61, 67, 69–70 social psychology, xx, xxi, 19, 39, 42–43, 45, 60, 77, 133, 144, 152 social value, 60–61, 62, 64, 66, 67, 73 society and human nature, 216 society and Theory Z, 232–33 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 195 Some Do Care (Colby and Damon), 167 specific (quality of SMART goals), 171 Spiritual Evolution (Vaillant), 119 “splitting,” 26 “staleness of experience,” 111 states of mind and hierarchy of needs, xxvii–xxviii status-driven life motivations, 79, 80 Steger, Michael, 8–9 Sternberg, Robert, 30 “strange situation procedure,” 16 stress, 9–10, 11, 15, 15, 18–19, 21–22, 24, 25, 26, 38, 43, 45, 49, 69, 91, 101, 102, 106, 113, 132, 143, 174, 182, 208, 230 stress-adapted children, 30, 31–32 stress tolerance, 93, 98–99 striving for power, 55, 58, 78 striving wisely, 159–66, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 170, 173, 175 sublimation, 130, 154 suicide, 39, 46–47, 237 “Summer Notes on Social Psychology of Industry and Management” (Maslow), 152 Sumner, William Graham, 3–4, 5 supportive environment, 171, 178–83 suppression, xxvii, 5, 69, 70, 78, 101, 112, 129, 130, 140 Swann, William B., Jr., 61 synergy, xxxiv, 152–53, 169, 222, 225, 233 Tafarodi, Romin, 61, 62 Tedeschi, Richard, 102–3 Teicher, Martin, 25, 26 temporo-parietal junction, 202 Terror Management Theory (TMT), 236 “Theory of Human Motivation” (Maslow), 59, 86 “theory-of-mind” ability, 127–28 Theory of Successful Intelligence, 30 Theory X, 151 Theory Y, 151, 153, 220 Theory Z, xiii, 217–44 thinkLaw, 33 Third Force psychologists, xxiv Thorndike, Edward, 56, 83 Time (Awe Experience Scale), 208 “timelessness,” 194 time-saving vs. material purchases, 49 time-specific (quality of SMART goals), 171, 172 Torrance, E. Paul, 162 “total personality,” 84 Toward a Psychology of Being (Maslow), xv, xxiii, 107, 111, 112, 138, 184, 193, 206 Tracy, Jessica, 78, 79, 79n transcendence, xix, xx, xxi, xxvi, xxviii, xxix, xxxiii, xxxv, xxxvii–xxxviii, 148 healthy transcendence, xxxi, 187–244 peak experiences, xxxiii, 89, 185, 193–216, 219, 221, 223, 225, 228, 228n, 230, 242, 243 self-transcendence, xxiv, 126–27, 181, 200, 201, 227 Theory Z, xiii, 217–44 See also Kaufman, Scott Barry; Maslow, Abraham; self-actualization transcenders, 218–27 transcranial direct current stimulation, 214 transcranial magnetic stimulation, 214 transhumanism, 239, 251 trauma, xix, 9, 23, 24–30, 64, 67, 86, 94, 101–6, 178 tribal impulses, 40 true self, 211–12, 257–77 trust study, 28 trustworthiness and dependability for close loved ones, 126 truth seeking, xx, 89, 112 Tsukayama, Eli, 123 “tyrants,” 168 ultimate concern, xxiv, 161 ultimate responsibility, 158 ultimate unknown (death), xvi, xxxvii, 45, 150, 203, 210, 233–39, 244 unconditional love, 44, 127 unconditional positive regard, x, 42, 123 unitary continuum, 202–3, 203 “unitive consciousness,” 242 universal concern, 126, 127 universal tolerance, 126 unpredictability, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 25, 26–27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 125, 142 upward spirals, 43, 45, 166 “us” vs.


pages: 207 words: 57,959

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge From Small Discoveries by Peter Sims

Amazon Web Services, Black Swan, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, discovery of penicillin, endowment effect, fear of failure, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, PageRank, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, urban planning, Wall-E

Daniel Ansari, a psychology professor at the University of Western Ontario, published in NeuroImage, 41, 2008, 535–543; it received the journal’s 2008 Editor’s Choice Award in Systems Neuroscience. Attribution to Berkowitz about creative muscle: taken from appearance on the television program Charlie Rose on July 15, 2010, which can be found at: www.charlierose.com/guest/view/6944. Other reference: “People Thinking about Thinking People: The Role of the Temporo-Parietal Junction in “Theory of Mind,” by R. Saxe and N. Kanwisher, NeuroImage, vol. 19, 2003, 1835–1842. Flow and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi research. Interview with Csikszentmihalyi. “Go with the Flow,” by John Geirland, Wired, September 1996. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Harper Perennial (1991). Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Harper Perennial (1997).


pages: 202 words: 62,901

The People's Republic of Walmart: How the World's Biggest Corporations Are Laying the Foundation for Socialism by Leigh Phillips, Michal Rozworski

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carbon footprint, central bank independence, Colonization of Mars, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, corporate raider, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Elon Musk, G4S, Georg Cantor, germ theory of disease, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, liquidity trap, mass immigration, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, post scarcity, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, strikebreaker, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing

Essentially, Cockshott, Cottrell, Marciszewski, Murphy and a handful of others had revived the long-dormant calculation debate but recast it as a problem for the field of computational complexity theory, a branch of theoretical computer science that seeks to classify the inherent difficulty of different sorts of problems, and the resources needed to solve them. In the same way that neuroscientists have in recent decades stolen debates over the theory of mind away from philosophers, complexity theorists and computer scientists are stealing this debate away from economists and political scientists. However, the discussion still largely remains hidden within the realm of scientific journals—and even there, for many, it has become something of a mathematical parlor game. There is no active audience outside a tiny sprinkling of academics. Again, it’s capitalist realism: “Of course a nonmarket economy is absurd, Jim, but just as an exercise for my students …” Published just a bare two years after the 2008 financial crisis, Francis Spufford’s novel about economic planning, Red Plenty, prompted a burst of responses, particularly online.


pages: 200 words: 61,579

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal From Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson

impulse control, theory of mind

This definition includes being aware of both emotions and intentions. Beyond just sympathy, it entails correctly reading people’s interests and how their will is being directed. The highest form of empathy requires an effort of imagination, which has been called mentalization (Fonagy and Target 2008), meaning the ability to imagine that other people have their own unique minds and thought processes. Developmental psychologists refer to this as having a theory of mind. Acquiring this ability is an important developmental milestone for children. Mentalizing allows you to grasp other people’s viewpoints and overall inner experience because you realize they have a mind of their own, different from yours. Good parents are excellent at empathizing and mentalizing; their interest in their child’s mind makes the child feel seen and understood. It’s also an indispensable characteristic for leadership in business, the military, or any situation where understanding and predicting the motives of others is central.


pages: 542 words: 161,731

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, social intelligence, stem cell, technoutopianism, The Great Good Place, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, women in the workforce, Year of Magical Thinking

., “The Cog Project: Building a Humanoid Robot,” in Computation for Metaphors, Analogy and Agents, vol. 1562 of Springer Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence , ed. C. Nehaniv (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1998), and Rodney Brooks, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us (New York: Pantheon, 2002). Brian Scassellati did his dissertation work on Cog. See Brian Scassellati, Foundations for a Theory of Mind for a Humanoid Robot (PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001). Scassellati and Cynthia Breazeal worked together during early stages of the Kismet project, which became the foundation of Breazeal’s dissertation work. See Cynthia Breazeal and Brian Scassellati, “How to Build Robots That Make Friends and Influence People” (paper presented at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Kyongju, Korea, October 17-21, 1999), in Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) (1999), 858-863.

That process could follow the normal teaching of a child. Things would be pointed out and named, etc.” Alan Turing, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” Mind 59, no. 236 (October 1950): 433-460. 7 This branch of artificial intelligence (sometimes called “classical AI”) attempts to explicitly represent human knowledge in a declarative form in facts and rules. For an overview of AI and its schools that explores its relations to theories of mind, see Margaret Boden, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Man (1981; New York: Basic Books, 1990). 8 Hubert Dreyfus, “Why Computers Must Have Bodies in Order to Be Intelligent,” Review of Metaphysics 21, no. 1 (September 1967): 13-32. See also Hubert Dreyfus, What Computers Can’t Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason (New York: Harper & Row, 1972); Hubert Dreyfus with Stuart E. Dreyfus and Tom Athanasiou, Mind over Machine: The Power of Human Intuition and Expertise in the Era of the Computer (New York: Free Press, 1986); Hubert Dreyfus with Stuart E.


pages: 239 words: 64,812

Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty by Vikram Chandra

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, conceptual framework, create, read, update, delete, crowdsourcing, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, East Village, European colonialism, finite state, Firefox, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, haute couture, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, land reform, London Whale, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, pink-collar, revision control, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supercomputer in your pocket, theory of mind, Therac-25, Turing machine, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce

For pleasure, Chiti hides herself and reveals herself. One of the ways in which we know Chiti every day is in our recognition of the reality of other people’s individual subjectivities. Because we are aware of our own freedom (svatantrya) as subjects, because we are aware of our own self-awareness, we make a guess (uha) about the freedom inherent in other subjects, outside of one’s own individuality.15 And this theory of mind, this “awareness of the others’ existence is already a partial recognition of the universal Self.” The reality of Chiti also accounts for intersubjectivity: “If several subjects appear to share a single object of perception,” Isabelle Ratié explains, it is not because this object would have an independent existence outside of consciousness, as the externalists contend; nor is it because of a perpetual accidental correspondence between various particular illusions belonging to each cognitive series, as [the Buddhist] Dharmakīrti explains … rather, it is due to the absolute freedom of the single infinite consciousness, which is able both to present itself as scattered into a multiplicity of limited subjects, and to manifest its fundamental unity in these various subjects by making them one with respect to one particular object.16 The task of the seeker after truth, then, is merely one of recognition: recognition of the nature of the limited self and of that universal self, and recognition that the individual self is Chiti, the macrocosm.


pages: 238 words: 77,730

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker

23andMe, AI winter, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, commoditize, computer age, Frank Gehry, information retrieval, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, job automation, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, theory of mind, thinkpad, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Human grandmasters pondered a rich set of knowledge, jewels that had been handed down through the decades—from Bobby Fischer’s use of the Sozin Variation in his 1972 match with Boris Spassky to the history of the Queen’s Gambit Denied. Flipping through scenarios at about three per second—a glacial pace for a computing machine—these grandmasters looked for a flash of inspiration, an insight, the hallmark of human intelligence. Equally important, chess players tried to read the minds of their foes. This is a human specialty, a mark of our intelligence. Cognitive scientists refer to it as “theory of mind”; children develop it at about age four. It’s what enables us to imagine what someone else is experiencing and to build large and convoluted structures based on such analysis. “I wonder what he was thinking I knew when I told him . . .” Most fiction, from Henry James to Elmore Leonard, revolves around this very human analysis, something other species—and computers—cannot even approach. (It’s also why humans make such expert liars.)


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

A good outcome might be a table for a party of four at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, not an agreement to stop the enrichment of uranium in exchange for an easing of financial sanctions or a new contract with a different pay schedule, better retirement benefits, and fast-vesting shares. In those latter examples, as in much of life, negotiation is as much art as science. It requires evaluating how valuable certain things are, often when it is not obvious. It requires identifying and resolving conflicts and trying to sort out information asymmetries. It goes a lot better with a theory of mind, meaning an understanding that the guy on the other side of the table has different motivations and resources than you do. It is something at which computers are terrible and humans excel. A Facebook chatbot started off doing simple, formulaic negotiations, asking for two of a given item and agreeing to settle for one, for instance. Then it began analyzing reams of data and trying to refine and improve its own ability to come to a good resolution—teaching itself, in other words.


pages: 271 words: 77,448

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin

Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Black Swan, call centre, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Freestyle chess, future of work, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial cluster, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, rising living standards, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

CHAPTER TEN You’ll recall that teams have an intelligence all their own . . . The research was in Woolley et al., op. cit. (chap. 7, n. 7). You look at thirty-six black-and-white photos of just the eye region . . . You can take the RME test at http://kgajos.eecs.harvard.edu/mite/. In the new experiments, group members were separated . . . David Engel, Anita Woolley, Lisa X. Jing, Christopher F. Chabris, Thomas Malone, “Theory of Mind Predicts Collective Intelligence,” Proceedings of Collective Intelligence 2014, Cambridge, Massachusetts, http://humancomputation.com/ci2014/papers/Active%20Papers%5CPaper%20106.pdf. When researchers studied one-year-olds . . . Svetlana Lutchmaya, Simon Baron-Cohen, “Human Sex Differences in Social and Non-Social Looking Preferences at 12 Months of Age,” Infant Behavior and Development, vol. 25, no. 3, 2002, pp. 319–325.


pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

Then he added: ‘No computer is a brain, but all brains are computers.’”73 This debate is ongoing, with one camp claiming that computers will someday perfectly model the workings of the human brain and the other camp claiming that the je ne sais quoi of human thought is fundamentally different than the hard, rigid world of computer code. Yet this book has very little to say about questions epistemological. Protocol is not a theory of mind. Nor, following Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter in their forward to the fascinating collection Incorporations, is protocol a theory of the body. For, as they write, “Our topic is the problem of life itself, understood as a complex, labile, overtone structure, neither dependent upon, nor reducible to, an organic substrate or historical object—in short, to what contemporary habit too knowingly calls ‘the body.’”74 Instead protocological life is considered here as “the forces—aesthetic, technical, political, sexual—with which things combine in order to form novel aggregates of pattern and behavior.”75 Indeed, protocol is a theory of the confluence of life and matter (and ultimately we will see that protocol shows how life is matter).


pages: 317 words: 87,566

The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being by William Davies

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, business intelligence, corporate governance, dematerialisation, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gini coefficient, income inequality, intangible asset, invisible hand, joint-stock company, lifelogging, market bubble, mental accounting, nudge unit, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Philip Mirowski, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, social intelligence, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto

Precisely because he didn’t simply presume that the physical was prior to the psychological (as Bentham did), he needed to set about testing how one related to the other. This wasn’t a theory stating whether mental processes were really driven by biological ones, or vice versa. It was the opening up of a new field of scientific enquiry, which, by the end of the nineteenth century, would be populated by psychologists, economists and a nascent industry of management consultants. The quantitative and economic psychology in which theories of mind would be replaced by scales and measures, and which Bentham had merely speculated about, was now being assembled. The idea that individual feelings and behaviour might be amenable to expert adjustment was also now a technical, mechanical possibility. A democracy of bodies In the age of the fMRI scanner, it has become increasingly common to speak of what our brains are ‘doing’, ‘wanting’ or ‘feeling’.


pages: 262 words: 80,257

The Eureka Factor by John Kounios

active measures, Albert Einstein, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Flynn Effect, functional fixedness, Google Hangouts, impulse control, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, theory of mind, US Airways Flight 1549, Wall-E, William of Occam

Raichle, “The Brain’s Dark Energy,” Scientific American, March 2010, 44–49. Two recent fMRI studies investigated the relationship between the default-state network and mental travel. Spreng and Grady showed how different forms of mental simulation tap the same default-state network of brain areas: R. N. Spreng and C. L. Grady, “Patterns of Brain Activity Supporting Autobiographical Memory, Prospection, and the Theory of Mind, and Their Relationship to the Default Mode Network,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 22 (2009): 1112–23. Tamir and Mitchell extended these results, also showing stable individual differences in the predilection to think about psychologically distant, rather than near, things: D. I. Tamir and J. P. Mitchell, “The Default Network Distinguishes Construals of Proximal Versus Distal Events,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 23 (2011): 2945–55.


pages: 277 words: 87,082

Beyond Weird by Philip Ball

Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, dematerialisation, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes

Does a dog seeing a meter reading from a quantum experiment – or perhaps just observing a light bulb switching on, which even a dog can register and in some sense report – bring about collapse of the wavefunction? Indeed, even fruit flies can be trained to respond to the kinds of stimuli that could signal the outcome of a quantum experiment … At what point, then, does consciousness enter the picture? And how, in any case, can we reasonably make the mind responsible for reducing all the quantum probabilities to a single certainty while we still lack a theory of mind, brain and consciousness? In particular, mind-induced collapse seems to demand that we attribute to the mind some feature distinct from the rest of reality: to make mind a non-physical entity that does not obey the Schrödinger equation. How else could it do something to quantum processes that nothing else can? Perhaps most problematically of all, if wavefunction collapse depends on the intervention of a conscious being, what happened before intelligent life evolved on our planet?


pages: 271 words: 83,944

The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty

affirmative action, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, desegregation, El Camino Real, haute couture, illegal immigration, Lao Tzu, late fees, mass incarceration, p-value, publish or perish, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, telemarketer, theory of mind, War on Poverty, white flight, yellow journalism

Sometimes, while I’m sharpening the plowshare and shearing the sheep, I feel like every moment of my life isn’t mine but one of his “déjà vus.” No, I don’t miss my father. I just regret that I never had the nerve to ask him if it was really true that I’d spent the sensorimotor and preoperational stages of my life with one hand tied behind my back. Talk about starting life off with a handicap. Fuck being black. Try learning to crawl, ride a tricycle, cover both eyes while playing peek-a-boo, and constructing a meaningful theory of mind, all with one hand. Four You won’t find Dickens, California, on the map, because about five years after my father died, and a year after I graduated college, it, too, perished. There was no loud send-off. Dickens didn’t go out with a bang like Nagasaki, Sodom and Gomorrah, and my dad. It was quietly removed like those towns that vanished from maps of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, atomic accident by atomic accident.


pages: 249 words: 81,217

The Art of Rest: How to Find Respite in the Modern Age by Claudia Hammond

Anton Chekhov, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, Desert Island Discs, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, iterative process, Kickstarter, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, moral panic, Stephen Hawking, The Spirit Level, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen

True, unlike running, you can lie on a sofa or in a hammock while you do it, but it does demand cognitive work on many different levels. We read the letters. We form words from them. We take meaning from those words. We relate that meaning to what we’ve read before. We reach into our own memories. We create images in our minds. We mentally simulate the action, the sights and the sounds of the scenes. Meanwhile we use what psychologists refer to as ‘theory of mind’ to inhabit the characters’ minds in order to understand their motivations, to imagine their thoughts, to feel their feelings. Curiously, reading is not only effortful cognitively, but also physically, in a way that you might not expect. One of the things Victor Nell wanted to investigate when he recruited his bookworms back in 1988 was what happens physiologically while people read. This involved another complicated experiment.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

That doesn’t work either: now we need to define the difference between a person and a column, so we’re back to an object-classification problem. If the column can be recognized as a column, we could write a rule for columns and a rule for people. However, we don’t know it’s a column unless there’s vision or, at the very least, object recognition—which is why I almost died in a car that almost ran into a giant cement pillar. The core problem is sentience. Because there was no way to program theory of mind, the car would never be able to respond to obstacles the way that a human might. A computer only “knows” what it’s been told. Without sentience, the cognitive capacity to reason about the future, it can’t make the split-second decisions necessary to identify a streetlight as an obstacle and take appropriate evasive measures. This problem of sentience was the central challenge of AI from its inception.


pages: 286 words: 90,530

Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think by Alan Grafen; Mark Ridley

Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, bioinformatics, cognitive bias, computer age, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Haight Ashbury, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, loose coupling, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, phenotype, profit maximization, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

There are many intermediate cases of quasi-knowing deception in animals—the distraction displays of such low-nesting birds as piping plovers are a well-studied instance31—as well as a bounty of tempting anecdotes about the ‘Machiavellian’ intelligence of primates.32 In fact the question of whether Washoe could tell a deliberate lie is a deeply interesting theoretical question, investigated at length with another chimpanzee, Sarah, by David Premack and his colleagues, and leading to some intermittently fruitful and important research on both animals and children, the ill-named ‘theory of mind’ contro-versy.33 The transition from mindless deceit to mindful deceit is a good manifestation of a major transition in evolution—not a metaphysical or cosmic distinction, an unbridgeable chasm, but a passage, with intermediate transitional cases of deceit that may not be so mindless. Once that transition has been clearly accomplished, it opens up a whole new world of deceit (and other sophisticated behavior).


pages: 292 words: 94,324

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman

affirmative action, Atul Gawande, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, fear of failure, framing effect, index card, iterative process, lateral thinking, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, placebo effect, stem cell, theory of mind

The vignette told by Karen Delgado about the purple pills shows that system-wide solutions still require communication and are not default remedies for errors in care. Doctors have to keep thinking until they find the answer. Index Footnotes *I quickly realized that trying to assess how psychiatrists think was beyond my abilities. Therapy of mental illness is a huge field unto itself that encompasses various schools of thought and theories of mind. For that reason, I do not delve into psychiatry in this book. [back]


pages: 290 words: 94,968

Writing on the Wall: Social Media - the First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage

Bill Duvall, British Empire, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, New Journalism, packet switching, place-making, Republic of Letters, sexual politics, social intelligence, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, yellow journalism

Review of General Psychology 8, no. 2 (2004): 100–110. ———. Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997. ———. “Neocortex Size as a Constraint on Group Size in Primates.” Journal of Human Evolution 20 (1992): 469–493. ———. “The Social Brain: Mind, Language, and Society in Evolutionary Perspective.” Annual Review of Anthropology 32 (2003): 163–181. ———. “Theory of Mind and the Evolution of Language,” in Approaches to the Evolution of Language, eds. Hurford, J. R., M. Studdert-Kennedy, and C. Knight. Cambridge University Press, 1998. Edwards, C. “Epistolography,” in A Companion to Latin Literature, ed. Harrison, S. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005. Edwards, M. U. Printing, Propaganda, and Martin Luther. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. Eisenstein, E.


pages: 264 words: 90,379

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

affirmative action, airport security, Albert Einstein, complexity theory, David Brooks, East Village, haute couture, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, new economy, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, young professional

The Diallo shooting, in other words, falls into a kind of gray area, the middle ground between deliberate and accidental. Mind-reading failures are sometimes like that. They aren’t always as obvious and spectacular as other breakdowns in rapid cognition. They are subtle and complex and surprisingly common, and what happened on Wheeler Avenue is a powerful example of how mind reading works—and how it sometimes goes terribly awry. 2. The Theory of Mind Reading Much of our understanding of mind reading comes from two remarkable scientists, a teacher and his pupil: Silvan Tomkins and Paul Ekman. Tomkins was the teacher. He was born in Philadelphia at the turn of the last century, the son of a dentist from Russia. He was short and thick around the middle, with a wild mane of white hair and huge black plastic-rimmed glasses. He taught psychology at Princeton and Rutgers and was the author of Affect, Imagery, Consciousness, a four-volume work so dense that its readers were evenly divided between those who understood it and thought it was brilliant and those who did not understand it and thought it was brilliant.


pages: 369 words: 90,630

Mindwise: Why We Misunderstand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want by Nicholas Epley

affirmative action, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Cass Sunstein, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, drone strike, friendly fire, invisible hand, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, payday loans, Peter Singer: altruism, pirate software, Richard Thaler, school choice, social intelligence, the scientific method, theory of mind

This is a fairly intuitive explanation for anthropomorphism. Ask a friend why people might believe that God causes earthquakes or floods or other catastrophes, and you are likely to get some version of “because they don’t know any better.” The interesting point is that the explanation that remains when someone “doesn’t know any better” is one that relies on our sixth sense, using our intuitive theory of minds. This has profound implications. In one set of experiments, those who tended to reason by relying on their intuition were also more likely to report believing in the existence of a mindful god, whereas those who tended to reason more deliberately reported significantly less belief.34 Religious beliefs are intuitively compelling because minds—in this case, the mind of a god—are intuitive explanations for the behavior of almost anything.


pages: 321 words: 92,828

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed With Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, fear of failure, financial independence, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hiring and firing, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Sand Hill Road, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Toyota Production System, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor

“Great executives know how”: Julie Sweet, interview by author, March 2018. wisdom emerges through: Monika Ardelt, “Wisdom and Life Satisfaction in Old Age,” Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 52, no. 1 (1997): P15–P27; Ardelt, “Antecedents and Effects of Wisdom in Old Age”; Francesca G. E. Happé, Ellen Winner, and Hiram Brownell, “The Getting of Wisdom: Theory of Mind in Old Age,” Developmental Psychology 34, no. 2 (1998): 358; Ursula M. Staudinger, “Older and Wiser? Integrating Results on the Relationship Between Age and Wisdom-Related Performance,” International Journal of Behavioral Development 23, no. 3 (1999): 641–64. “what doesn’t go down”: Ursula Staudinger quoted in Anil Ananthaswamy, “The Wisdom of the Aging Brain,” Nautilus, May 12, 2016, http://bit.ly/​2xrFlvy.


pages: 846 words: 232,630

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, assortative mating, buy low sell high, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine, Turing test

Ray Jackendoff (1993) and other linguists have identified fundamental structures of spatial representation — notably designed to enhance the control of locomotion and the placement of movable things — that underlie our intuitions about concepts like beside, on, behind, and their kin. Nicholas Humphrey (1976,1983,1986) has argued that there must be a genetic predisposition for adopting the intentional stance, and Alan Leslie (1992) and others have developed evidence for this, in the form of what he calls a "theory of mind module" designed to generate second-order beliefs (beliefs about the beliefs and other mental states of others). Some autistic children seem to be well described as suffering from the disabling of this module, for which they can occasionally make interesting compensatory adjustments. (For an overview, see Baron-Cohen 1995.) So the words (and hence memes) that take up residence in a brain, like so many earlier design novelties we have considered, enhance and shape pre-existing structures, rather than generating entirely new architectures (see Sperber [in press] for a Darwinian overview of this exaptation of genetically provided functions by culturally transmitted functions).

Making mistakes for all to see, in the hopes of getting the others to help with the corrections. It has been plausibly maintained, by Nicholas Humphrey, David Premack (1986), and others, that chimpanzees are natural psychologists — what I would call second-order intentional systems, capable of adopting the intentional stance towards other things. This is not surprising if our own innate equipment includes a theory-of-mind module, as Leslie, Baron-Cohen, and others have maintained, for perhaps this is part of the endowment chimpanzees and we inherit from a common ancestor. But even if chimpanzees are, like us, innately equipped as natural psychologists, they nevertheless lack a crucial feature shared by all human natural psychologists, folk and professional varieties: they never get to compare notes. They never dispute over attributions, and ask to know the grounds for each other's conclusions.


pages: 358 words: 95,115

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman

affirmative action, Columbine, delayed gratification, desegregation, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, index card, job satisfaction, lake wobegon effect, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trial, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, theory of mind

However, Talwar has since replicated this pattern in many subsequent studies: the percentage of children who peek and those who lie remain amazingly consistent. Additionally, other scholars have since replicated her work in their own versions of the peeking game. Lying’s connection with intelligence: Talwar has found that children with more advanced executive functioning and working memory are better liars. She’s also seen relationships between children’s lying and “theory of mind”—the ability to understand and keep track of multiple people’s points of view. Children’s lying to make a parent happy: Along with Talwar’s research, Bussey’s work fleshes out this insight. When Bussey has presented children with anecdotes, and asked them to predict if the protagonist would be truthful or not, the children’s responses were in part determined by whether or not the story had said if the protagonist would be punished for a misdeed or its admission.


pages: 417 words: 103,458

The Intelligence Trap: Revolutionise Your Thinking and Make Wiser Decisions by David Robson

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, cognitive bias, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, deliberate practice, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fundamental attribution error, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, lone genius, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, pattern recognition, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

., Jones, B.F. and Uzzi, B. (2007), ‘The Increasing Dominance of Teams in Production of Knowledge’, Science, 316(5827), 1036?9. 8 Woolley, A.W., Chabris, C.F., Pentland, A., Hashmi, N. and Malone, T.W. (2010), ‘Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups’, Science, 330(6004), 686?8. 9 Engel, D., Woolley, A.W., Jing, L.X., Chabris, C.F. and Malone, T.W. (2014), ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes or Reading between the Lines? Theory of Mind Predicts Collective Intelligence Equally Well Online and Face-to-face’, PLOS One, 9(12), e115212. 10 Mayo, A.T. and Woolley, A.W. (2016), ‘Teamwork in Health Care: Maximizing Collective Intelligence via Inclusive Collaboration and Open Communication’, AMA Journal of Ethics, 18(9), 933?40. 11 Woolley, Aggarwal and Malone (2015), ‘Collective Intelligence and Group Performance’. 12 Kim, Y.J., Engel, D., Woolley, A.W., Lin, J.Y.T., McArthur, N. and Malone, T.W. (2017), ‘What Makes a Strong Team?


pages: 340 words: 97,723

The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Sanders, bioinformatics, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Flynn Effect, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Inbox Zero, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, New Urbanism, one-China policy, optical character recognition, packet switching, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, uber lyft, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

In 1943, University of Chicago psychiatry researchers Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts published their important paper “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity,” which described a new kind of system modeling biological neurons into simple neural network architecture for intelligence. If containers, programs, and data were intertwined, as Turing had argued, and if humans were similarly elegantly designed containers capable of processing data, then it followed that building a thinking machine might be possible if modeled using the part of humans responsible for thinking—our brains. They posited a modern computational theory of mind and brain, a “neural network.” Rather than focusing on the machine as hardware and the program as software, they imagined a new kind of symbiotic system capable of ingesting vast amounts of data, just like we humans do. Computers weren’t yet powerful enough to test this theory—but the paper did inspire others to start working toward a new kind of intelligent computer system. The link between intelligent computer systems and autonomous decision-making became clearer once John von Neumann, the Hungarian-American polymath with specializations in computer science, physics, and math, published a massive treatise of applied math.


pages: 370 words: 94,968

The Most Human Human: What Talking With Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive by Brian Christian

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, carbon footprint, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, complexity theory, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, George Akerlof, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, job automation, l'esprit de l'escalier, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, starchitect, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

Stoics placed the mind at the heart, and appear to have taken a dramatic step of severing the notion of the “soul” from the notion of life in general: for them, unlike for Plato and Aristotle, plants did not have souls. Thus, as Stoicism ascended to popularity in Greece, the soul became no longer responsible for life function in general, but specifically for its mental and psychological aspects.7 No Dogs Go to Heaven Stoicism appears to have been among the tributary philosophies that fed into Christianity, and which also led to the seminal philosophical theories of mind of René Descartes. For the monotheistic Descartes, presumably the (Platonic) notion of multiple souls crowding around was a bit unsavory (although who could deny the Christian appeal of the three-in-one-ness?), and so he looked to draw that us-and-them line using just a single soul, the soul. He went remarkably further than Aristotle, saying, in effect, that all animals besides humans don’t have any kind of soul at all.


Language and Mind by Noam Chomsky

Alfred Russel Wallace, finite state, John von Neumann, lateral thinking, pattern recognition, phenotype, theory of mind

Lenneberg, Biological Foundations of Language (New York: Wiley, 1967), for evidence bearing on this issue. 164 Language and Mind for the acquired competence, then we will have good reason to believe that Putnam’s empirical hypothesis is correct. If, on the other hand, we discover that different innate systems (whether involving schemata or heuristics) have to be postulated, then we will have good reason to believe that an adequate theory of mind will incorporate separate “faculties,” each with unique or partially unique properties. I cannot see how one can resolutely insist on one or the other conclusion in the light of the evidence now available to us. But one thing is quite clear: Putnam has no justification for his final conclusion, that “invoking ‘Innateness’ only postpones the problem of learning; it does not solve it.”12 Invoking an innate representation of universal grammar does solve the problem of learning (at least partially), in this case, if in fact it is true that this is the basis (or part of the basis) for language acquisition, as it well may be.


pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, private space industry, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra

Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, from a fifteenth-century manuscript called Nuremberg Chronicles. Anaxagoras lived from 510 to 428 BC and was the first philosopher to propose a natural mechanism for the cosmos and embrace the idea of pluralism or “many worlds.” Anaxagoras moved from Ionia to Athens, where he gravitated toward the center of intellectual life. The great Greek playwright Euripides incorporated Anaxagoras’s theory of mind into his tragedies, and his friend Pericles became the greatest statesman and orator of the Golden Age of Athens. Anaxagoras was prolific in his novel ideas and revolutionary theories. He believed that the Sun was a mass of molten metal much bigger than the Peloponnese peninsula, the Moon was a rock like the Earth that didn’t emit its own light, and the stars were fiery stones. He thought that the Milky Way represented the light of countless stars.


pages: 392 words: 104,760

Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard

Asperger Syndrome, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, complexity theory, European colonialism, pattern recognition, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Skype, Steven Pinker, theory of mind

They disputed the notion that Christopher is merely a good pattern recognizer—he fails to recognize them in music and games. And he got stumped when trying to learn an artificial language with a word whose meaning depended on where it was placed in a sentence. What does this remarkable man have to do with the rest of us? To Smith and Tsimpli, his case means that language learning doesn’t require some traits we take for granted, such as good general learning abilities, average cognition, and a theory of mind. Critics suggest that the only people who would want to perform like Christopher would be those who’d be satisfied with calquing their mother tongues—even though many language learners would happily accept his memory and skills at parsing and assembling words. This shows why language learning isn’t purely a memory feat: you have to make word orders more automatic than you can consciously retrieve through, say, a mnemonic.


The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations by Christopher Lasch

cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, feminist movement, full employment, George Santayana, impulse control, Induced demand, invisible hand, Kitchen Debate, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Norman Mailer, road to serfdom, Scientific racism, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, yellow journalism

oriented personality, 63 fun morality, 65 futurology, 215 psychoanalysis. 42; on fear of compelition, 117; on sexual pleasure, 199-200; on suicide, 200 Hemy, Jules: on abdication of authorny, 181; on culture and family, 177-8; on culture and personality. 34; on emulation, 85; on parental authority. 180 n. hero worship: and narcissistic idealization. 84-5 highereducation. 145 ff. Hill. Christopher, xvn Hill, Napoleon; on love of money, 58 gallantry; decline of, 189-90 games, 100 ff. Hiss, Alger, 79 historical time; "irrelevance" of, xiv, also see continuity, history Freud, Sigmund, xiv, 34,35 n., 36, 37, 39,41,42, 162, 179, 193; on psychic impotence, 204: structural theory of mind, 32 Friedenberg, EdgarZ.: on high schools. 182 Fromm, Erich: on individualism 31-3; on market. gamesman, 61-2. 185-6. as narcissist. 45-7 general educal ion. 145. 151 Generation of Vipers (Wylie). 204 generations; see continuity Hobbes.Thomas,49,69 Genet. Jean. 89 Hollingshead, August: on decline of exclusive attach- geriatrics. 207 gerontology. 207. 215 Gerzon. Mark: on professional intervention in family. 168 Gesell, Arnold, 161 Hoch, Paul, 104, 114; on competition, 117. on machismo. 116 Hoffman.


pages: 477 words: 106,069

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker

butterfly effect, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, Douglas Hofstadter, feminist movement, functional fixedness, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, index card, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, McMansion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, short selling, Steven Pinker, the market place, theory of mind, Turing machine

There is egocentrism, the inability of children to imagine a simple scene, such as three toy mountains on a tabletop, from another person’s vantage point.4 There’s hindsight bias, the tendency of people to think that an outcome they happen to know, such as the confirmation of a disease diagnosis or the outcome of a war, should have been obvious to someone who had to make a prediction about it before the fact.5 There’s false consensus, in which people who make a touchy personal decision (like agreeing to help an experimenter by wearing a sandwich board around campus with the word REPENT) assume that everyone else would make the same decision.6 There’s illusory transparency, in which observers who privately know the backstory to a conversation and thus can tell that a speaker is being sarcastic assume that the speaker’s naïve listeners can somehow detect the sarcasm, too.7 And there’s mindblindness, a failure to mentalize, or a lack of a theory of mind, in which a three-year-old who sees a toy being hidden while a second child is out of the room assumes that the other child will look for it in its actual location rather than where she last saw it.8 (In a related demonstration, a child comes into the lab, opens a candy box, and is surprised to find pencils in it. Not only does the child think that another child entering the lab will know it contains pencils, but the child will say that he himself knew it contained pencils all along!)


A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, bioinformatics, British Empire, colonial rule, dark matter, delayed gratification, demographic transition, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, phenotype, sceptred isle, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, twin studies

The legion purveyors of ackamarackus4 love a real but tricksy scientific concept that they can bolt their quackery onto. It happens with words like ‘quantum’, which offers up some magical scienceyness, none more so than in ‘quantum healing’ – an unfathomable extension of reiki, which, let’s face it, is a load of old cobblers already. The annexing of this word from fundamental physics also ranges from washing powder branding to the theory of mind. Lots of real scientific terms get borrowed for a spot of buzzword scienceyness. We see the same effect with the words ‘neuro-’ or ‘nano-’ added to almost anything. Neuromarketing, neuroentrepreneurism, neuropolitics are all new fields in which flaky science is used to put a patina of science onto a product. Due to predictable quackery, possibly embiggened by some overstatement or questionable scrutiny within science, epigenetics is threatening to become the new quantum.


pages: 354 words: 105,322

The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis by James Rickards

"Robert Solow", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, cellular automata, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, jitney, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Pierre-Simon Laplace, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, price anchoring, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, reserve currency, RFID, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, stocks for the long run, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transfer pricing, value at risk, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

CONCLUSION The debate proposition was a loaded gun: The debate proceedings including participants, audience participation, outcome, and moderator are available at: “Declinists Be Damned: Bet on America,” Intelligence2 Debates, February 11, 2015, accessed August 9, 2016, http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/1251-declinists-be-damned-bet-on-america. On March 1, 2016, Admiral Michael S. Rogers: Laura Hautala, “We’re Fighting an Invisible War—in Cyberspace,” CNET, March 5, 2016, accessed August 9, 2016, www.cnet.com/news/were-fighting-an-invisible-war-in-cyberspace/. Selected Sources ARTICLES De Martino, Benedetto, John P. O’Doherty, Debajyoti Ray, Peter Bossaerts, and Colin Camerer. “In the Mind of the Market: Theory of Mind Biases Value Computation during Financial Bubbles.” Neuron Vol. 79, 1222–31, September 18, 2013. Henriksson, Roy D., and Robert C. Merton. “On Market Timing and Investment Performance. II. Statistical Procedures for Evaluating Forecasting Skills.” The Journal of Business, Vol. 54, No. 4, October 1981. Lorenz, Edward N. “Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow.” Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 20, January 7, 1963.


pages: 370 words: 107,983

Rage Inside the Machine: The Prejudice of Algorithms, and How to Stop the Internet Making Bigots of Us All by Robert Elliott Smith

Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, AI winter, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, animal electricity, autonomous vehicles, Black Swan, British Empire, cellular automata, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, corporate personhood, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Gerolamo Cardano, gig economy, Gödel, Escher, Bach, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, p-value, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, women in the workforce

Why did people start thinking that while the substrate doesn’t matter, the architecture does? In particular, when did people begin to think that massive networks of simple computations held such vital power? I imagine that it is not a coincidence that the painting connects the idea of symbol association to the brain’s startling ability to decipher optical illusions like the Dalmatian. Associationism was a theory of mind that Dali was familiar with. Although associationism is a line of thought that descends from antiquity, it was eighteenth-century philosopher and psychologist David Hartley who developed it into a modern school of thought by founding the associationist school of psychology. This school posited that all human thought was triggered by sensations, which caused ‘vibrations’ in the brain. Each ‘vibration’ was the activation of a concept which led to progressive sympathetic ‘vibrations’ that were associated to related concepts.


pages: 360 words: 110,929

Saturn's Children by Charles Stross

augmented reality, British Empire, business process, gravity well, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, loose coupling, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, plutocrats, Plutocrats, theory of mind

For a moment my view blacks out as Lindy shields my face from the searing godwheel sun, then we roll around under the impulse of a tiny thruster and I see Mercury ahead of me, a half disk now visible, burnished and shining, larger than my fists held at arm’s length. “Two hours, and we’ll be down! Whee!” Lindy squeezes. “Are you worried? Be happy! I can relax you!” On a rail. I have an archaic emulation mode in my fight/flight module. It makes me swallow, my throat dry. “Massage. Please.” Resolved: If I’m to die at a time not of my choosing, I will die happy. But Lindy’s theory of mind is too weak to model me, and so she takes me at my word. I arrive on Mercury butt first, scared witless, with my spine totally relaxed. Just as well, really. Mercury’s escape velocity is over four kilometers per second, and there’s no atmosphere to speak of. We are coming in at just over orbital velocity, without a thruster pack, and there can’t possibly be enough orbital tethers for this crowd.


pages: 342 words: 115,769

Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures With Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robison

Asperger Syndrome, centre right, intermodal, Mason jar, neurotypical, pre–internet, sealed-bid auction, theory of mind

And when I consider family stories of eccentric ancestors, I suspect this difference has been in my family for a long, long time. As we got ready for the trial, Cubby and I had several conversations about Asperger’s and the role it played in this chapter of our lives. It was obvious to me that Cubby’s Asperger’s had blinded him to how other people might see his videos. His inability to imagine that anyone might be frightened or worried was a perfect example of what psychologists call lack of a theory of mind. I realized that Asperger’s had blinded me too on more than one occasion. My desire for Cubby to be “better than me” had been so strong that I failed to recognize one of the chief hallmarks of autism: his fixation on one thing after another: Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon, and finally, chemistry and explosives. I always told myself that he had my gifts but that he’d magically escaped the disabilities.


pages: 397 words: 110,130

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, superconnector, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

Some began editing one another’s posts to remove local jargon, reasoning that foreigners wouldn’t understand the references to, for instance, New Zealand’s national rugby team: “People in America won’t know what the ‘All Blacks’ are,” one student admonished another. “They were writing for a global audience,” one local literacy researcher, Colleen Gleeson, tells me. These are acts of self-awareness that professional writers struggle with: forming a theory of mind of one’s audience, the better to communicate with it. Or as Burt adds when I interviewed her: “The blogging environment gave the students an audience that had a choice not to read. So if they do choose to read it it’s because they want to.” A year into the program, the New Zealand schools decided to expand the experiment dramatically, by finding a way to get every student a netbook. It cost each family about twelve U.S. dollars per month per student—significant, but affordable—and after three years the student would permanently own the laptop.


pages: 426 words: 117,027

Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought by Barbara Tversky

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, clean water, continuous integration, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, fundamental attribution error, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Snow's cholera map, Lao Tzu, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, neurotypical, patient HM, Richard Feynman, Steven Pinker, the new new thing, theory of mind, urban planning

Contagious yawning in domestic dog puppies (Canis lupus familiaris): The effect of ontogeny and emotional closeness on low-level imitation in dogs. Animal Cognition, 16(2), 233–240. Romero, T., Konno, A., & Hasegawa, T. (2013). Familiarity bias and physiological responses in contagious yawning by dogs support link to empathy. PLoS One, 8(8), e71365. Saxe, R., & Kanwisher, N. (2003). People thinking about thinking people: The role of the temporo-parietal junction in “theory of mind.” Neuroimage, 19(4), 1835–1842. Waters, S. F., West, T. V., & Mendes, W. B. (2014). Stress contagion: Physiological covariation between mothers and infants. Psychological Science, 25(4), 934–942. Yong, M. H., & Ruffman, T. (2014). Emotional contagion: Dogs and humans show a similar physiological response to human infant crying. Behavioural Processes, 108, 155–165. Recognizing emotions in faces Ekman, P., & Friesen, W.


pages: 404 words: 124,705

The Village Effect: How Face-To-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter by Susan Pinker

assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, facts on the ground, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, Occupy movement, old-boy network, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, Yogi Berra

Given that Amanda Lenhart, from the Pew Center, has shown that teens communicate more through texts than through any other medium, including in-person socializing, it is important to convey that texts don’t always do the trick. Amanda Lenhart, Teens, Smartphones & Texting (Washington, D.C.: Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2012). 54. Ted Ruffman et al., “What Mothers Say and What They Do: The Relation Between Parenting, Theory of Mind, Language and Conflict/Cooperation,” British Journal of Developmental Psychology 24 (2006). 55. Barbara Schneider and L. J. Waite, eds., Being Together, Working Apart (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 56. B. Campos et al., “Opportunity for Interaction? A Naturalistic Observation Study of Dual-Earner Families after Work and School,” Journal of Family Psychology 23, no. 6 (2009). 7.


The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art by David Lewis-Williams

Alfred Russel Wallace, centre right, conceptual framework, Isaac Newton, Menlo Park, out of africa, social intelligence, theory of mind

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mithen, S. 1996a. The Prehistory of the Mind: A Search for the Origins of Art, Religion and Science. London & New York: Thames & Hudson. Mithen, S. 1996b. Domain-specific intelligence and the Neanderthal mind. In Mellars, P. & Gibson, K. (eds) Modelling the Early Human Mind, pp. 217–29. Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monographs. Mithen, S. 1998. A creative explosion? Theory of mind, language and the disembodied mind of the Upper Palaeolithic. In Mithen, S. (ed.) Creativity in Human Evolution and Prehistory, pp. 165–91. London & New York: Routledge. Moorhead, A. 1969. Darwin and the Beagle. London: Hamish Hamilton. Mulkay, M. 1979. Science and the Sociology of Knowledge. London: Allen and Unwin. Munn, H. 1973. The mushrooms of language. In Harner, M. J. (ed.) Hallucinations and Shamanism, pp. 86–122.


pages: 474 words: 136,787

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, assortative mating, Atahualpa, Bonfire of the Vanities, demographic transition, double helix, Drosophila, feminist movement, invention of agriculture, Menlo Park, phenotype, rent control, theory of mind, twin studies, University of East Anglia, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The faster mankind ran – the more intelligent he became – the more he stayed in the same place, because the people over whom he sought psychological dominion were his own relatives, the descendants of the more intelligent people from previous generations. As Pinker and Bloom put it, ‘Interacting with an organism of approximately equal mental abilities whose motives are at times outright [sic] malevolent makes formidable and ever-escalating demands on cognition.’35 If Tooby and Cosmides are right about mental modules, among the modules that were selected to increase in size by this intellectual chess tournament was the ‘theory of mind’ module, the one that enables us to read each other’s thoughts, together with the means to express our own thoughts through the language modules.36 There is plenty of good evidence for this idea when you look about you. Gossip is one of the most universal of human habits. No conversation between people who know each other well – fellow employees, fellow family members, old friends – ever lingers for long on any topic other than the behaviour, ambitions, motives, frailties and affairs of other absent – or present – members of the group.


pages: 480 words: 138,041

The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry by Gary Greenberg

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, back-to-the-land, David Brooks, impulse control, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Kickstarter, late capitalism, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, McMansion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, phenotype, placebo effect, random walk, selection bias, statistical model, theory of mind, Winter of Discontent

And it was psychoanalysis that claimed that when it came to our psychological lives, the line between illness and health could be drawn by determining if the problem was the result of intrapsychic conflict, of the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves, of the truths we dance around or repress and transmute into symptoms. Spitzer hadn’t much liked the psychoanalytic training that had been required of him and most psychiatrists of his era, and he really didn’t like being an analyst. “I was uncomfortable with not knowing31 what to do with their [patients’] messiness,” he said. “I just didn’t know what the hell to do.” And it was obvious to him that Freud’s theory of mind was a poor substitute for pathological anatomy, and the complexes and resistances and defense mechanisms—the psychoanalyst’s stock-in-trade—were far too ungrounded in any kind of empirical reality to be useful. Proving the existence of ego, id, and superego was like proving the existence of the Holy Trinity. These notions were more metaphysics than physics, psychoanalysis more religion than science, and the crises of the 1960s and 1970s were the result.


pages: 532 words: 140,406

The Turing Option by Harry Harrison, Marvin Minsky

industrial robot, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, theory of mind, Turing test, undersea cable

He was a psychiatrist working in the 1890s, before there were any computers. When he first proposed his theories—about how the mind is made of a number of different agencies—he gave them names like id, ego, superego, censor and so on. It is understood that every normal person is constantly dealing, unconsciously, with all sorts of conflicts, contradictions, and incompatible goals. That's why I thought you might get some feedback if you were to study Freud's theories of mind." "Sounds fine to me. Let's do it now, download all the Freudian theories into my memory banks." Snaresbrook was concerned. As a scientist, she still regarded the use of the implant computer as an experimental study—but Brian had already absorbed it as a natural part of his lifestyle. No more poring over printed texts for him. Get it all into memory in an instant, then deal with it later.


pages: 478 words: 142,608

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Brownian motion, cosmological principle, David Attenborough, Desert Island Discs, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, invisible hand, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, unbiased observer

Religion can be seen as a by-product of the misfiring of several of these modules, for example the modules for forming theories of other minds, for forming coalitions, and for discriminating in favour of in-group members and against strangers. Any of these could serve as the human equivalent of the moths’ celestial navigation, vulnerable to misfiring in the same kind of way as I suggested for childhood gullibility. The psychologist Paul Bloom, another advocate of the ‘religion is a by-product’ view, points out that children have a natural tendency towards a dualistic theory of mind. Religion, for him, is a by-product of such instinctive dualism. We humans, he suggests, and especially children, are natural born dualists. A dualist acknowledges a fundamental distinction between matter and mind. A monist, by contrast, believes that mind is a manifestation of matter – material in a brain or perhaps a computer – and cannot exist apart from matter. A dualist believes the mind is some kind of disembodied spirit that inhabits the body and therefore conceivably could leave the body and exist somewhere else.


pages: 539 words: 139,378

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

affirmative action, Black Swan, cognitive bias, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, index card, invisible hand, lateral thinking, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Necker cube, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, social web, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, ultimatum game

Cosmides, and J. Tooby, eds. 1992. The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press. Baron, J. 1998. Judgment Misguided: Intuition and Error in Public Decision Making. New York: Oxford. ______. 2007. Thinking and Deciding. 4th ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Baron-Cohen, S. 1995. Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ______. 2002. “The Extreme Male Brain Theory of Autism.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6:248–54. ______. 2009. “Autism: The Empathizing-Systemizing (E-S) Theory.” In “The Year in Cognitive Neuroscience,” special issue of Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1156:68–80. Barrett, H. C., and Kurzban, R. 2006. “Modularity in Cognition: Framing the Debate.” Psychological Review 113:628–47.


Adam Smith: Father of Economics by Jesse Norman

"Robert Solow", active measures, Andrei Shleifer, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, Corn Laws, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, incomplete markets, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, lateral thinking, loss aversion, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, moral panic, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, scientific worldview, seigniorage, Socratic dialogue, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Veblen good, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working poor, zero-sum game

The overlaps in thought between Smith and Peirce are of great interest and importance. Smith’s subtle Newtonianism and open-ended view of scientific advance anticipate Peirce’s emphasis on the fixation of belief, on abductive theorizing and on truth as the limit of inquiry. Smith’s emphasis on sympathy, communicative exchange and the impartial spectator finds an echo in Peirce’s radical anti-Cartesianism, public theory of mind and triadic semiotic theory. For a broadly if unconsciously congruent psychology of human reason, see Hugo Mercier and Daniel Sperber, The Enigma of Reason: A New Theory of Human Understanding, Harvard University Press 2017 ‘The state of property must always vary with the form of government’: Part 1, ‘Of Justice’, LJ(B); this is one of the key lessons of the stadial theory Facebook and vulnerable teenagers: ‘Leaked document reveals Facebook conducted research to target emotionally vulnerable and insecure youth’, The Australian, 1 May 2017; response by Facebook on https://newsroom.fb.com /news/h/comments-on-research-and-ad-targeting/.


pages: 445 words: 129,068

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

bioinformatics, gravity well, hiring and firing, industrial robot, life extension, theory of mind

Most of the autistic behaviors have been presented to us as deficits, not strengths. Unsocial, lacking social skills, problems with attention control… I keep coming back to that. It is hard to think from their perspective, but I have the feeling that this attention control issue is at the middle of the pattern, like a black hole at the center of a space-time whirlpool. That is something else we are supposed to be deficient in, the famous Theory of Mind. I am a little early. No one else is parked outside yet. I pull up carefully so that there is the most room possible behind me. Sometimes the others are not so careful, and then fewer people can park without inconveniencing others. I could be early every week, but that would not be fair to others. Inside, Tom and Lucia are laughing about something. When I go in, they grin at me, very relaxed.


pages: 475 words: 134,707

The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health--And How We Must Adapt by Sinan Aral

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, hive mind, illegal immigration, income inequality, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multi-sided market, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, performance metric, phenotype, recommendation engine, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social software, social web, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra

“think about other people’s minds”: Matthew D. Lieberman, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013). The false belief test: Daniel C. Dennett, Brainstorms: Philosophical Essay on Mind and Psychology (Montgomery, Ala.: Harvester Press, 1978). Sally-Anne task: Simon Baron-Cohen, Alan M. Leslie, and Uta Frith, “Does the Autistic Child Have a ‘Theory of Mind’?,” Cognition 21, no. 1 (1985): 37–46. “varied parametrically with both”: Penelope A. Lewis et al., “Ventromedial Prefrontal Volume Predicts Understanding of Others and Social Network Size,” Neuroimage 57, no. 4 (2011): 1624–29. recorded which regions of their brains lit up: Lauren E. Sherman et al., “The Power of the Like in Adolescence: Effects of Peer Influence on Neural and Behavioral Responses to Social Media,” Psychological Science 27, no. 7 (2016): 1027–35.


pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

After profiling Bateson for Harper’s magazine in 1972, Brand introduced him to readers of CQ in 1974. In a series of articles and interviews over the next seven years, Brand presented Bateson to his readers much as he had presented Buckminster Fuller some years earlier. Brand’s Bateson was an intellectual seeker, an autodidact and polymath possessed of an orphic speaking style and a childlike curiosity. Just as his theories of mind gave CQ’s readers a way to rationalize their return to society, Bateson himself served as an emblem of a possible adulthood. Like Fuller and, for that matter, like McLuhan and Wiener, Bateson had found a way to bridge high technology and communitarian idealism and to build a flexible career around their intersection. Tak i n g t h e W h o l e E a r t h D i g i t a l [ 125 ] Moreover, he had become an emotionally whole person.


pages: 471 words: 147,210

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

experimental subject, gravity well, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, microbiome, pattern recognition, post scarcity, remote working, side project, telepresence, theory of mind

Happiness is a universal, perhaps; or at least it was something the octopus read in that cackling face, and married to some state of its own. The octopus knew he was happy, and it loved him, or valued him, or felt something enough that his happiness was important to it. And that in itself is a miracle; that is the grand triumph Senkovi never grasped, that his creatures could empathize, could apply a theory of mind to entities quite unlike themselves, could be great-hearted enough to be happy that someone else was laughing, even if they couldn’t get the joke. She watches them for a long time, and then she turns the recordings off, lets the data lie fallow. She sits with her arms about her knees and stares at the solitary grey octopus in the next cell and feels unutterably sad. At last there is a faint touch down her lower back, one leg-tip stroking her tentatively.


pages: 600 words: 174,620

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van Der Kolk M. D.

anesthesia awareness, British Empire, conceptual framework, deskilling, different worldview, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, false memory syndrome, feminist movement, impulse control, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nelson Mandela, phenotype, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, theory of mind, Yogi Berra

., “Self-Reflection Across Time: Cortical Midline Structures Differentiate Between Present and Past Selves,” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 3, no. 3 (2008): 244–52; Y. Ma, et al., “Sociocultural Patterning of Neural Activity During Self-Reflection,” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 9, no. 1 (2014): 73–80; R. N. Spreng, R. A. Mar, and A. S. Kim, “The Common Neural Basis of Autobiographical Memory, Prospection, Navigation, Theory of Mind, and the Default Mode: A Quantitative Meta-Analysis,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 21, no. 3 (2009): 489–510; H. D. Critchley, “The Human Cortex Responds to an Interoceptive Challenge,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101, no. 17 (2004): 6333–34; and C. Lamm, C. D. Batson, and J. Decety, “The Neural Substrate of Human Empathy: Effects of Perspective-Taking and Cognitive Appraisal,” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 19, no. 1 (2007): 42–58. 13.


pages: 709 words: 191,147

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

A. Roger Ekirch, back-to-the-land, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, Copley Medal, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, full employment, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, joint-stock company, land reform, land tenure, mass immigration, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

On mothers conniving illicit liaisons for daughters and poor white women having sex with black men, see “The Low-Down People,” Putnam’s Magazine (June 1868): 704–13, esp. 705–6. On filthy refugees in boxcars, see Reid, After the War, 248; also see W. De Forest, “Drawing Bureau Rations,” Harper’s Monthly Magazine 36 (May 1868): 792–99, esp. 794, 799. On Herbert Spencer, see Robert J. Richards, Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), 303–4; Spencer first used “survival of the fittest” in his Principles of Biology (London, 1864), 1:444, 455. On the popularity of Darwin and Spencer, see “The Theory of Natural Selection,” The Critic (November 26, 1859), 528–30; “Natural Selection,” [New Orleans] Daily Picayune, January 9, 1870. And for an article underscoring Darwin’s tree analogy, and that the harsh law of natural selection meant that certain branches have “decayed and dropped off,” see “Review of Darwin’s Theory of the Origins of Species by Means of Natural Selection,” American Journal of Science and the Arts (March 1860): 153–84, esp. 159. 18.


pages: 662 words: 180,546