Language, Security, and the IoT

As far as we know, the alphabet was invented only once* -- in Phoenicia (covering modern-day Lebanon, Syria, and Israel). It spread and persisted because with it, you can render any word in any language. This is what the physicist David Deutsch called "the beginning of infinity" in his book of the same name. It …

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Ten Depictions of the Cosmos

Depictions of the universe, variously defined. List of figures: Cosmological Mandala with Mount Meru. China. Yuan Dynasty (circa 1300) l'Image du Monde by Gautier du Metz (1245) Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer (1785) Sphaera Coelestis Mystica (1739) plate 7 by Johann Georg Hagelgans Lokapurusha (Cosmic Man), Rajasthan (circa 19th cent.) Sheppard's Geographical and Astronomical Clock (circa …

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Do Popular Genres Map to the Seven Emotional Pathways of the Mammalian Brain?

The eminent neuroscientist, Jaak Panskepp, pioneered the study of emotion in mammals. He is famous for, among other things, tickling rats in the lab to make them laugh, but his work wasn't a joke. He discovered that all mammals, including humans, share the same seven emotional pathways, commonly identified as: fear, care, lust, rage, panic/grief, …

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The Problem with “The Three-Body Problem”

From a recent review of Cixin Liu's Nebula Award-nominated and Hugo Award-winning "The Three-Body Problem" on Big Think: "Why We Should Really Stop Trying to Contact Aliens" by Robby Berman Cixin’s writing is beyond smart — it’s brilliant — and it's science fiction of the best kind, with mind-boggling ideas and perceptions, and characters you …

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