Summary of “Keeping Evolution in Mind: The Future of Evolutionary Social Science”

Evolution has shaped the human body, but it also shaped the human brain, so evolutionary principles are indispensable for understanding our psychology.
Teachers, and even social scientists struggle to see how our evolutionary history significantly shapes our cognition and behavior today.
The lack of willingness to view human cognition and behavior as within the purview of evolutionary processes has prevented evolution from being fully integrated into the social science curriculum.
Psychological adaptations for social learning, such as conformity bias, develop in complex and diverse cultural ecologies that work in tandem to shape the human mind and generate cultural variation.
Truly satisfying explanations of human behavior requires identifying the components of human cognition that evolution designed to be sensitive to social or ecological conditions and information.
Applying evolutionary theory to social science has the potential to transform education and, through it, society.
Evolutionary perspectives can help social scientists understand, and eventually address, common social problems.
The researchers recommend that the esteem bullies seek “Should be borne in mind when engineering interventions” designed to either decrease a bully’s social status or channel the bully’s social motivations to better ends.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Parents’ Screen Time Is Hurting Kids”

These findings attracted a decent bit of media attention to the physical dangers posed by distracted parenting, but we have been slower to reckon with its impact on children’s cognitive development.
In the early 2010s, researchers in Boston surreptitiously observed 55 caregivers eating with one or more children in fast-food restaurants.
Forty of the adults were absorbed with their phones to varying degrees, some almost entirely ignoring the children.
Unsurprisingly, many of the children began to make bids for attention, which were frequently ignored.
A follow-up study brought 225 mothers and their approximately 6-year-old children into a familiar setting and videotaped their interactions as each parent and child were given foods to try.
The mothers were then told that they would need to teach their children two new words and were given a phone so that investigators could contact them from another room.
To balance adults’ and children’s needs, much less their desires, and it’s naive to imagine that children could ever be the unwavering center of parental attention.
In some respects, 21st-century children’s screen time is not very different from the mother’s helpers every generation of adults has relied on to keep children occupied.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Pain Plus Reflection Equals Progress”

Rather than run from pain, we need to identify it, accept it, and learn how to use it to better ourselves.
Our images of learning are filled with positive thoughts about how we learn from others.
Ray Dalio, the longtime leader of Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world, argues that pain “Is a signal that you need to find solutions so you can progress.” Only by exploring it and reflecting on it can we start to learn and evolve.
We’ve known about this problem for a long time: We’ve watched others make mistakes and fail to learn from them.
They run from the pain that could be the source of learning.
For us to adapt, we need to learn from the uncomfortable moments.
It’s easy and comfortable to convince yourself that the world should work differently than it does, that you have nothing to learn from the pain.
If we don’t learn to embrace being uncomfortable, we will need to learn how to embrace irrelevance, and that will be much harder.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside Amazon’s $3.5 million competition to make Alexa chat like a human”

On the face of it, Amazon isn’t asking much: just create a chatbot using Alexa that can talk to a human for 20 minutes without messing up, and you get a $1.5 million prize.
Prasad says he hopes the Alexa Prize will have a similar effect on conversational AI. Each of this year’s eight teams, selected from universities around the world, will be building their chatbots using Amazon’s resources: basic speech recognition tools from Alexa, free computing power from Amazon Web Services, and stacks of training data from tens of millions of Alexa users.
Teams get to compete, and Amazon gets to pick talent Amazon isn’t doing this simply for the benefit of the academic community, of course.
As Prasad notes: “Every technology built as part of the Alexa Prize is applicable to Alexa.” When I ask the teams about this none of them felt they were being taken advantage of.
For the teams at this year’s Alexa Prize, there are two basic approaches for solving this huge task.
The team responsible for the voice assistant isn’t just making new features for consumers; they’re also building tools so other companies can use Alexa for their own products and services.
Talking to teams at the Alexa Prize, it’s clear that the AI community is dreaming much, much bigger than this.
The techniques being developed by the teams at this year’s Alexa Prize are ingenious and worthy of praise, but chatbots still have a long way to go before they match humanity in its gift of the gab.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Honey Bees Are the First Insect Known to Grasp the Concept of Zero”

Despite their small brains, bees are capable of complex behavior, such as solving puzzles and learning skills through imitation.
Now, researchers have discovered that honey bees also grasp the slippery concept of zero, marking the first time this ability has ever been observed in an insect.
According to a study published Thursday in Science, honey bees can distinguish between zero and other numbers, and even exhibited similar patterns of recognition to humans.
By rewarding the bees with food, the team trained one group to fly toward displays with higher quantities of black shapes, while a second group was given food for flying toward placards with fewer shapes.
Once the “Lesser than” bees figured out that they got treats for landing under displays with the smallest value, Howard’s team introduced a blank white display.
The bees understood that this card represented zero, and that its value was lower than one, with greater than 80% accuracy.
“Our findings show that honey bees can learn and apply the concepts of greater than and less than to interpret a blank stimulus as representing the conceptual number of zero and place zero in relation to other numerical values,” the team wrote.
“Bees thus perform at a level consistent with that of nonhuman primates by understanding that zero is lower than one.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Live, According to Anthony Bourdain”

Over the course of his wildly prolific career, he taught us so much-about eating, about traveling, and about experiencing the world with an open mind and heart.
The Editors of MUNCHIES. “We are, after all, citizens of the world-a world filled with bacteria, some friendly, some not so friendly. Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico, and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafés and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
“The school counsellors always told my parents, ‘Anthony needs a controlled environment.’ That’s what the kitchen is. For an undisciplined, dysfunctional guy like me, it’s a world of absolutes. I like the regimentation. You either fuck up or you don’t. My mission in life is conquering fear. Back there I’m strong; out here, as a civilian, I’m the biggest fucking pussycat in the world. I can go to someone else’s restaurant as a customer and I’ll put up with the worst abominations and still tip the waiter 20 cents at the end of the meal.”
“The people who cook for you, clean up after you, open doors, drive you home-where do they go when the work day’s over? What do they eat?”.
“One constant, then and now, is my still ironclad ground rule regarding music both during and after work: In any kitchen where I am in control, there is a strict NO Billy Joel, NO Grateful Dead policy. If you are seen visibly enjoying either act, whether during or even after your working hours, you can clean out your locker now. You’re fired.”
“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel-as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them-wherever you go. Use every possible resource you have to work in the very best kitchens that will have you-however little they pay-and relentlessly harangue every possible connection, every great chef whose kitchen offers a glimmer of hope of acceptance Money borrowed at this point in your life so that you can afford to travel and gain work experience in really good kitchens will arguably be better invested than any student loan.”
“Everyone should be able to make an omelet. Egg cookery is as good a beginning as any, as it’s the first meal of the day, and because the process of learning to make an omelet is, I believe, not just a technique but a builder of character I have long believed that it is only right and appropriate that before one sleeps with someone, one should be able-if called upon to do so-to make them a proper omelet in the morning. Surely that kind of civility and selflessness would be both food manners and good for the wold. Perhaps omelet skills should be learned at the same time you learn to fuck.”
“We are clearly at a long overdue moment in history where everyone, good hearted or not, will HAVE to look at themselves, the part they played in the past, the things they’ve seen, ignored, accepted as normal, or simply missed-and consider what side of history they want to be on in the future.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Become a More Productive Learner”

Today we consume five times more information every day than we did in 1986, an incredible amount that’s equivalent to a 174 newspapersa day.
The corporate e-learning space has grown by nine times over the last 16 years, such that almost 80% of U.S. companies offer online training for their employees, making more information accessible to them than ever before.
Scores of average American adults on tests of general civic knowledge – the type of information you’d assume people would pick up from scanning through all this information – has remained almost constant for the last 80 years.
We’re consuming more information but not learning more.
In addition to the obvious benefit of making it possible for new information to build on previously consumed information, there is another important benefit, which is anchored in how our brains work.
In a recent interview neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley shared from his book, The Distracted Mind, that “The highest level of performance in this domain of working memory is dictated more so by how well you filter all the irrelevant information. If you process information around you that is irrelevant to your goals, it will create interference. Our success at filtering that] is critical for our ability to perceive information, to remember it and then to make decisions about it.” Spreading your consumption habits too thin has real consequences.
Cycle between information feasting and information fasting.
Decide to become a productive learner, and you can actually reap the benefits of the incredible increase in the amount and accessibility of information.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Problem with “Learning Styles””

Indeed the notion that people learn in different ways is such a pervasive belief in American culture that there is a thriving industry dedicated to identifying learning styles and training teachers to meet the needs of different learners.
A recent review of the scientific literature on learning styles found scant evidence to clearly support the idea that outcomes are best when instructional techniques align with individuals’ learning styles.
Most previous investigations on learning styles focused on classroom learning, and assessed whether instructional style impacted outcomes for different types of learners.
It also raises the possibility that learning styles do matter-perhaps a match between students’ individual learning styles and their study strategies is the key to optimal outcomes.
More than 400 students completed the VARK learning styles evaluation and reported details about the techniques they used for mastering material outside of class.
Given the prevailing belief that learning styles matter, and the fact many students blame poor academic performance on the lack of a match between their learning style and teachers’ instructional methods, one might expect students to rely on techniques that support their personal learning preferences when working on their own.
Do we persist in our belief that learning styles matter, and ignore these tried and true techniques?
The popularity of the learning styles mythology may stem in part from the appeal of finding out what “Type of person” you are, along with the desire to be treated as an individual within the education system.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Be a Middle-Aged Rock Star: An Appreciation of Maynard James Keenan”

Maynard James Keenan is not a stereotypically cheerful man, and “Ænema”-a vicious 1996 jam from his beloved art-metal band, Tool-is not a stereotypically cheerful song.
There is much to learn from Keenan in 2018, about how to preserve one’s rock-star mystique in middle age.
Sunday night, Keenan dedicated Tool’s set to Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, who died by suicide in May 2017, just a few days before Soundgarden were set to deliver a headlining ROTR set of their own.
Keenan is technically a peer of those guys, but he was also an unruly anomaly from the moment Tool emerged in the mid-’90s, harder than anything else on alt-rock radio and more adept at sophomoric shock value than anybody not named Marilyn Manson.
As Tool’s legend grew, Keenan indulged in various standard rock-star pursuits, always with just a slightly more intense focus and dedication than strictly necessary.
Keenan also started his own wineries, the first bearing the very on-brand name Merkin Vineyards; at the Rock on the Range wine tent, you could sample his wares for $12 a cup, choosing from such varieties as Diddler White and Shinola Red.
Keenan does not dance, per se, but Friday night, in his banker’s suit, he dropped into a deep yoga crouch, doing a sort of evil-leprechaun jig as he sang yet more songs about the imminent apocalypse.
The new “TalkTalk” is a fairly conventional assault on the empty pieties of organized religion-“Thoughts / And prayers / Adorable / Like cake in a crisis / We’re bleeding out”-but the song’s slow-burn crunch is convincing, as is Keenan’s climactic wail of “Try walkin’ your talk or get the fuck out of my way.” It’s always less about what he says than how he says it, the naked rage in his voice clashing with the way he shrouds himself onstage, hiding in plain sight.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Dig Up Dinosaurs at These Family-Friendly Paleontology Sites”

Looking for a fun, educational summer activity the whole family can get in on? How about digging up actual dinosaur bones and other fossils! Here are a few of the best dig sites across the country that welcome newcomers who want to learn about paleontology.
You’re able to learn more about what you’re digging up, and you do so in an ethical fashion so researchers can actually use what you find.
Intended for ages 8 through 12 with parental supervision, $20 or less per person.
For ages 16 and older, $800 for five days of field work and lodging.
Adult programs available through Earthwatch Institute.
This isn’t all that’s out there, though-not even close! If you’ve got some money, time, and body that’s in decent shape, you can volunteer to participate in almost any paleontological dig.
Do some research on your local colleges with paleontology programs, or contact your local natural history museum to see what they have planned.
You can learn more about the digs listed above at the link below.

The orginal article.