We hail individual geniuses, but success in science comes through collaboration

We need to celebrate this collaboration more than ever, because it doesn’t happen on its own. It needs an environment that encourages researchers to build international and interdisciplinary teams, to work in different countries, to attack problems that no one person, or nation, can solve alone.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/30/we-hail-individual-geniuses-success-in-science-collaboration-nobel-prize

 

Truthiness and Fake News

How do we determine what is true? What role do emotions play in our acquisition of knowledge?

In this clip from 2005, Stephen Colbert coins his phrase, “truthiness” which to some degree portended the coming of “fake news” and its pervasiveness a decade later.

Facts are believable and “true if they “feel” true. This also lends itself to a discussion of the role of emotion in the acquisition of knowledge.

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AI can produce pictures, but can it create art for itself?

 

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Creativity is something we closely associate with what it means to be human. But with digital technology now enabling machines to recognize, learn from and respond to humans and the world — from digital assistant

s to driverless cars — an inevitable question follows: Can machines be creative? And will artificial intelligence ever be able to make art?

https://www.cnn.com/style/article/artificial-intelligence-ai-art/index.html

Historical nonsense underpins UK’s Brexit floundering

From Hastings to Dunkirk a past that blinds Britain to reality has been peddled.

Superiority, antagonism and a fear of betrayal are not healthy historical lessons; instead they encourage Britain’s worst tendencies. “All the wrong people are cheering,” Dora Gaitskell told her husband Hugh – then Labour leader – of his 1961 declaration that joining the EEC would be “the end of a thousand years of history”. As our experience in Ireland shows, Europe offered not an end but a new beginning. By refusing to confront its complex and difficult history, Britain is turning its back on decades of shared progress, to the dismay of its friends. Britannia is adrift on the waves, and only by facing its past can it reclaim its future.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/historical-nonsense-underpins-uk-s-brexit-floundering-1.3630936

‘If you think you know everything, you can’t learn anything’

When students come into Dan Levitin’s lab, he spends most of his time trying to teach them that they don’t know everything they think they do. “Knowledge can only be created in an environment where we’re open to the possibility that we’re wrong,” he says. Levitin shares his humble opinion on the best way to help students.