English language hits 1 billion words: “A massive language research database responsible for bringing words such as ‘podcast’ and ‘celebutante’ to the pages of the Oxford dictionaries has officially hit a total of 1 billion words, researchers said Wednesday.” (Fresno Bee)
“There’s something to be said for working smarter, and not harder, and humans have been looking for—and finding—loopholes to enable it for centuries. A look at some of our most celebrated loophole practitioners, and their tales.” (The Morning News thanks to walker)
In ‘Memetics and the Modular Mind’ (Henson 1987) I wrote about memetics as a path to social prediction, but while memetics provided an epidemic model for the spread of memes (that is, elements of culture), it didn’t develop as a science of social prediction. In retrospect, the focus was too narrow. The scope had to be widened to include the evolved psychology of a meme’s host in order to predict–given particular environmental circumstances–which memes would flourish and which would die out.
The present article proposes an evolutionary psychology based model of social prediction, particularly for wars and related social disruption such as riots and suicide bombers.” (kuro5hin)
Avian flu spread follows finances: “Thanks to the website www.wheresgeorge.com — which traces the travels of money around the country and around the world — University of California, Santa Barbara researcher Lars Hufnagel has developed a model of how infectious diseases spread locally, from person to person, as well as from city to city.” (Discover)
I have long been aware of ‘Where’s George?’, linked to it here a long time ago, considered it a fun novelty, and actually entered several bills into its database to track. Imagine my surprise to see it put to this innovative use.
However, one measure—the Implicit Association Test, or IAT—has proved especially popular.” (Science News)
But a polarizing debate rages around the meaning and the validity of IAT findings.