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Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Measure of Human Brain Processing Speed 

via Nat Torkington
[The brain is] clocked at 60 bits/second, according to this MIT Technology Review article. Their approach eventually led to Hick's Law, one of the few laws of experimental psychology. It states that the time it takes to make a choice is linearly related to the entropy of the possible alternatives. The results from various reaction-time experiments seem to show that this is the case. Although one byproduct of this approach is that the results are intimately linked to the type of experiment used to measure the reaction time. And that makes each study peculiarly vulnerable to the idiosyncrasies of the experimental approach. Today, Fermi Moscoso del Prado Martín from the Université de Provence in France proposes a new way to study reaction times by analyzing the entropy of their distribution, rather in the manner of thermodynamics.

Topics: Brain | Information


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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Does "Linked Data" have to be RDF 

Rob Styles
Ian is saying a spreadsheet isn’t Linked Data, even if it’s on the web and even if it’s linked to. The only standard for describing how one resource relates to others using URIs is RDF. Sure, you can put URIs into a spreadsheet, but there is no standard interpretation of what the sheets, rows and columns mean.

Topics: RDF | LinkedData


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Philosophy, Science, Sociology and ID 

Francis Williamson
Even within an immanent teleological schema of the Aristotelean sort there are going to be things best explained as the result of regularities in nature (efficient causes), such as the tides of the sea or the orbits of the planets, whilst others are best explained by reference to actual mental states (desires/intentions/goals/plans) of agents, such as my writing these very words right now. Whichever way you go, you are going to have to have a schema whereby you can discern which belongs to the former and which to the latter. The ID movement has attempted to articulate that schema, and in this it has done a service to the intellectual community whatever the underlying metaphysics you happen to adopt, independently of whether you think this is the best way or not with which to oppose naturalistic atheism.

Isn't it, just maybe perhaps, the desperate desire to avoid being lumped with naive creationists that makes so many people dismiss even that which is good and proper and right about ID?

Topics: philosophy | evolution


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