Mobile memories, sharing, Iran deal, the bristlemouth, rare earths, dying neurons and the 4th industrial revolution

“The thought is that memories are gradually moved around the brain,” said Schnitzer, who is also a member of Stanford Bio-X and the Stanford Neurosciences Institute.

“The neocortex is a long-term repository, whereas considerable evidence indicates that memories stay in the mouse hippocampus only about a month.”

In 1936, reflecting on how easily photography could duplicate and disseminate paintings, the German philosopher Walter Benjamin worried that mechanical reproduction threatened to strip history’s glow from artifacts and works of art. “Every day,” he wrote, “the urge grows stronger to get hold of an object at very close range by way of its likeness, its reproduction.” Of course, such reproduction has a proud history of its own. Roman casts provide our only evidence of some Greek statues. Medieval manuscripts survive thanks to diligent copiers.

When the verb “share” showed up in the mid-1500s, it meant to cut into parts or cut off, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s ultimately derived from scearu, an Old English term for cutting.

But the impending deal is not a good one. It legitimizes a rogue state, shifts regional power to the world’s most aggressive state sponsor of terror, strengthens the mullahs’ hold on power, and guides Iran to nuclear threshold status. Those are not our “core objectives.” They are Iran’s.

the bristlemouth — a fish of the middle depths that glows in the dark and can open its mouth extraordinarily wide, baring needlelike fangs — is the most numerous vertebrate on the earth.

The Supreme Court made a decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case today that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Here’s how the people who want to be president in 2016 reacted

Until the 1990s, the U.S. was the dominant producer of rare earths and China mined almost none. That would soon change as the largest U.S. mine shut and Chinese producers took advantage of cheap labor and more relaxed environmental regulations. By the early 2000s, China supplied 97 percent of the global market, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

That scene from The Life of Brian always reminds me of what America has to put up with. We do more for the world than any other 10 nations combined and then all we hear is endless complaining that we’re not saving the world the right way. Maybe instead of whining so much about how lousy America is, more people should appreciate everything we’ve done.

Each of those tiny little cells in your brain has a destiny to fulfill from the very beginning. Before we are even born, our neurons are programmed to find their precise spot in the multi-structured, layered tissue that makes up our brain. And unlike many other types of cells, like those found in the skin or muscle tissue, neurons are built to stick around.

Describing Estonia’s digital government makes it sound like a futuristic fantasy world. The list of bureaucratic tasks Estonians can complete online is seemingly endless:  as well as completing tax returns, they can set up businesses, sign contracts, obtain prescriptions, manage pensions, interact with utilities companies, apply for visas and permits, and vote. The Prime Minister, Taavi Rõivas, can even approve government bills using his iPhone.

The first industrial revolution was started by James Watt’s steam engine, enabling mass production. The second was electrification and division of labour in the late 19th century and third started in the late 20th century with the introduction of IT.

Capitalism is ever-changing. The fourth revolution is about integrating data from sensors and machines with the physical processes in production. It is the production counterpart of the consumer’s Internet of Things, where everything from cars to dishwashers are connected to the internet. The name Industry 4.0 was launched by a German industrial initiative in 2011, with the support of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Similar visions are becoming common, such as the American Industrial Internet Consortium.

In fact, as the world has become more capitalist and more globalized, the quality of life for the average person, and especially for the average poor person, has increased substantially.


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