Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Random Snippets of My Day

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Some random snippets I’ve been collecting over the day:

* When people pondered the dilemmas that required killing someone with their bare hands, several networks in their brains lighted up. One, which included the medial (inward-facing) parts of the frontal lobes, has been implicated in emotions about other people. A second, the dorsolateral (upper and outer-facing) surface of the frontal lobes, has been implicated in ongoing mental computation (including nonmoral reasoning, like deciding whether to get somewhere by plane or train). And a third region, the anterior cingulate cortex (an evolutionarily ancient strip lying at the base of the inner surface of each cerebral hemisphere), registers a conflict between an urge coming from one part of the brain and an advisory coming from another. Steven Pinker on the moral instinct.

* “I don’t want the campaign at this stage to degenerate into so much tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, that we lose sight of why all of us are doing this,” Mr. Obama told reporters at a news conference here. “We’ve got too much at stake at this time in our history to be engaging in this kind of silliness. I expect that other campaigns feel the same way.” Obama tries to put the brakes on the scorched-earth primary. We’ll see if it works. More comment at TPM Election Central andDaily Kos.

* “Share” is Facebookspeak for “advertise”. Sign up to Facebook and you become a free walking, talking advert for Blockbuster or Coke, extolling the virtues of these brands to your friends. We are seeing the commodification of human relationships, the extraction of capitalistic value from friendships. *Seeing?* Where have you been, man? Marx was all over this in 1848.

* Vast areas of the Antarctic ice sheet — which has 10 times as much ice as Greenland — is losing mass much faster than anyone expected. And the rate of ice loss has quickened in the last decade. In fact, 2007’s ice loss was 75% higher than 2006’s. Just imagine how bad this would be if climate change were real…

Written by gerrycanavan

January 15, 2008 at 3:59 am

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