The Psychology of Facebook

Facebook has taken a lot of flack lately. First there are the revelations that most user profiles (representing about 2 billion people) have been scraped and sold for commercial and political ends. And now the very nature of social media is being exposed as potentially damaging to your mental health. So how does this work? How does a social media website cause psychological harm, when all it’s apparently doing is populating your screen with news and photos from your friends?

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How Do Jellyfish Have Sex?

How jellyfish have sex is really alien and unintuitive, at least in the eyes of humans. If they had vocal chords, or brains, or cognitive processing abilities, jellies would argue that they’re an ancient group of animals who mastered sexual reproduction a long time before us, and we’re the ones who are frankly odd-balling it with our penises and vaginas and miserable, painful childbirth.

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Everything You Need to Know About Elon Musk

If superheroes were real, Elon Musk would be Science Man. Or Technology Chap. Or Business Acumen Person. Either way, he’s a major force behind our industrial and technological evolution, and that’s why we should all know who he is and what he’s doing. Because he’s literally trying to save the human race.

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Why Dogs Are More Intelligent Than You Think

The last decade of dog research has revealed a great deal. We now know that thousands of generations of domestication – starting about 12,500-15,000 years ago – have evolved in dogs the capacity to interpret human facial expressions, body language and even social gestures. This relies on the development of a number of cognitive processes. And so, the unique relationship between humans and dogs has bestowed them with intelligent traits like inferential learning, specific examples of which sets us – and now dogs – apart from all other life on Earth.

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Classical Conditioning is Power

This is my friend Sutton, who volunteered for a harmless experiment in classical conditioning. Let’s start by poking him in the eye. He didn’t like that. Look at the way his eye is now twitching and red. It’s not surprising that Sutton is now upset. Prodding his vitreous humour caused him great pain – and primal responses like pain and hunger are excellent fodder for classical conditioning. Let’s poke Sutton in the eye again.

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Evolution 101

All life on Earth is connected by evolution. Whether you’re a marine worm or a marmoset, the same genetic code proliferates your DNA. But how can dinosaurs and dandelions be related? How can human intelligence have arisen from brainless bacteria? The answer is evolution: the blind, trial-and-error process that stumbles on incremental adaptations and, over massive periods of time, builds them into the breathtaking diversity of life.

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Nikola Tesla Quotes

Nikola Tesla is sometimes referred to as the man who invented the 20th century. And why not? It was Tesla who first produced the alternating current, radio waves, x-rays, radar, hydroelectric power and transistors. Unfortunately, due to his apparent lack of commercial sense, plus some ruthless exploitation of his patents by fellow scientists and businessmen, Tesla is the most underrated inventor in history (although in running a $50 billion car company named for him, Elon Musk is somewhat correcting that).

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