Author Archives: Strange Loops

Last Week’s Potatoes

“So what is this mind of ours: what are these atoms with consciousness? Last week’s potatoes! They now can remember what was going on in my mind a year ago — a mind which has long ago been replaced. To … Continue reading

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Chimpanzee Memory

At the Primate Research Institute in Japan, Ai is a chimpanzee in her thirties who has been involved in cognition research for decades. She’s well-known for learning to use our familiar numerals (1, 2, 3…) to appropriately label sets of … Continue reading

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Shortage of Proper, Trained Sorcerers

The Catholic Church just announced an effort to train hundreds of priests to become exorcists. Apparently, right now “you have to hunt high and low for a proper, trained exorcist,” according to the Vatican’s Exorcist in Chief, Father Gabriele Amorth. … Continue reading

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Farcical Semiotics Returned

Fear not, I have done my best to banish the bandwidth-eating demon of hotlinking, so that you, my dear reader, may safely once again peruse my collection of odd signs at the Introduction to Semiotics.

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No More Hilarious Semiotics

I’ve taken down the Funny Signs (Intro to Semiotics) page from the website. I logged in to find that in a single day, many gigs of bandwidth had been burned by someone hotlinking to my images there. Initially, I tried … Continue reading

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Our Lives are a Waste

or: You Didn’t Pay For What You Bought When we buy an item at the store, there’s a price tag attached and we usually assume that price on the tag is made up of two things: the cost of making … Continue reading

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Poetic iTerrorism

Someone in Maryland has been secretly replacing ipods inside their boxes with culture-jamming ransom-style notes. Quote: “Reclaim your mind from the media’s shackles. Read a book and resurect[sic] yourself. To claim your capitalistic garbage go to your nearest Apple store.” … Continue reading

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Discrimination Against Atheists

A survey from Pew (Sep 2007) reported on Americans’ opinions of various religions. Basically, most people (76%) tend to have a favorable opinion of Jews and Catholics, more than half (53-60%) like Evangelical Christians, Mormons and Muslim Americans, though non-American … Continue reading

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Death Gives Life Meaning, or Cognitive Dissonance?

The Singularity Institute (Oct 2007) posted a piece on how immortality can give meaning to a life, in much the same way people have argued that death gives meaning to our lives. The author, E. Yudkowsky, gives some common arguments … Continue reading

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Dolphin Language?

The Telegraph (Dec 2007) has a story on Liz Hawkins’ research into dolphin communication which claims they might be using language. Basically, they used different whistles and clicks depending on environmental and behavioral context. Not exactly a surprise: many species … Continue reading

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New Blog Design, With RSS

I’ve switched my blog over from hand-coded HTML to a more comprehensive, managed solution (with open-source WordPress software). ┬áThe blog now allows syndication (click RSS up at the top of the menubar), and will have a tag cloud at the … Continue reading

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