“Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past. “
The Trolley Problem takes a dark turn.
How are models used in medicine? How does a faulty or limited model negatively impact our approaches to treating the human body? Really great TED talk about these questions
Current medical treatment boils down to six words: Have disease, take pill, kill something. But physician Siddhartha Mukherjee points to a future of medicine that will transform the way we heal.
“In 1969, two Berkeley researchers, Paul Kay and Brent Berlin, published a book on a pretty groundbreaking idea: that every culture in history, when they developed their languages, invented words for colors in the exact same order. They claimed to know this based off of a simple color identification test, where 20 respondents identified 330 colored chips by name. If a language had six words, they were always black, white, red, green, yellow, and blue. If it had four terms, they were always black, white, red, and then either green or yellow. If it had only three, they were always black, white, and red , and so on. The theory was revolutionary — and it shaped our understanding of how color terminologies emerge.”
“When they’re used well, graphs can help us intuitively grasp complex data. But as visual software has enabled more usage of graphs throughout all media, it has also made them easier to use in a careless or dishonest way — and as it turns out, there are plenty of ways graphs can mislead and outright manipulate. Lea Gaslowitz shares some things to look out for.”
Some interesting insights in this short video.
What is the purpose of a dictionary?
What are the criteria a word must meet to be included in a dictionary?
How is language like a child?
What is the difference between a prescriptivist and a descriptivist approach to language?