Sundry Links and Comments

» A Publishers Weekly review of a book about expanding human perception: We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time, Kara Platoni, Author

This is a superb account of human perception and the first, clunky but potentially breathtaking efforts to expand it.

PvC #2: there is almost certainly more to the universe than what people commonly perceive. But not in any way that appeals to human nature.


A nice Jerry Coyne quote in this post

The world I want is one in which the strength of one’s beliefs about matters of fact is proportional to the evidence. It is a world where it is okay to reserve judgment if one doesn’t know the answer, and where it’s not seen as offensive to doubt the claims of others.


Brain researchers show that using “transcranial magnetic stimulation,” to tweak the posterior medial frontal cortex of subjects’ brains, the result is to reduce “both belief in God and prejudice towards immigrants.”. In other words, belief and prejudice are things going on in certain minds, not something about the real universe.


The term “politically incorrect” is way overused – as an excuse for any kind of bad behavior.
Herb Silverman in Huffington Post:

Some Republican presidential candidates have generalized “politically incorrect” to justify any bad behavior, which includes stereotyping, offensive comments, scientific ignorance, and refusal to answer difficult questions. Some proudly consider themselves politically incorrect because they would not vote for a Muslim, or because they don’t believe in scientific theories like evolution and climate change. Since when did rejecting the overwhelming consensus of scientists around the globe become a proud politically incorrect position? I suppose I’m politically correct because I like to make evidence-based and reality-based decisions.

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