Witness: 24 November 2015

Humanity is doomed! Kim Stanley Robinson discusses why. Of course, there’s value to such pessimism.

Symbols and words, words and symbols. Oxford Dictionary considers the emoji, and announces their word of the year.

One of my favorite novels to be a TV mini-series. Do I cringe or rejoice?

Lay down in bed, hit a switch on the alarm clock, drop into REM sleep instantly for N hours, alarm clock flips the switch in the morning. “Did you sleep well?” said Science.

Wired covers more of the discussion over inserting digital devices into your brain. Props to the early adopters of this tech.

Witness: 16 November 2015

Origins of popular expressions are always interesting. Makes me wonder who many internet memes of today will last as long as some of these.

So, this doctor puts electrodes inside his own head to try and translate imagined speech into real speech. Wow.

The reason your brain has trouble remembering that one guy who was in that thing that time with the other dude. You know who I’m talking about, right?

A chapter on the origins of the graphic novel from Paul Levitz’s book about Will Eisner.

Something fun to play with; a culturally aware thesaurus that uses natural language processing instead of lists.

Witness: 9 November 2015

How to grow new brain cells. Well, I guess managing two out of three isn’t bad.

Here’s a short list of  writers nobody reads.  In the same vein, how about some female writers from the 19th century who were best sellers, but are now all but forgotten.

Plato Not Prozac author Lou Marinoff discusses the concepts and his history with philosophical counselling.

One possible purpose for the internet: glimpses of shifting culture.

Here’s an interesting thought on using anxiety as a moral compass of sorts.

In the old days, did we wear shirts?
In the old days, did we have tongues?

Interesting research into how the sounds of languages may have come about due to climate and terrain.

Witness: 1 November 2015

Once, a friend and I were chased out of a strip mall parking lot by security for dumpster diving a bin full of books. Now, companies are buying that trash and reselling it, a nickle or a penny apiece, using sophisticated price-watching algorithms.

Another idea for a method to measure consciousness emerges and sparks some debate on the ethics of quantifying how conscious a thing is, if at all.

A look at the possibilities for future libraries; community spaces staffed with information stewards.  Something familiar about that idea.

Here’s a beautiful, orange and white mushroom that I encountered on a walk.