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Sam Brinson Posts

Is Overconfidence Tearing the World Apart?

Is it good to think you’re better than you are? By most accounts, confidence is a positive characteristic. It convinces people to trust you, motivates you towards big goals, and is for the most part a more positive experience than doubt or uncertainty. Low confidence suggests a lack of belief in oneself. It will likely…

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Your Future-Self is Better at Taking Risks

Confronted with risks and gambles, people often make irrational decisions. This is no surprise—but what makes many of these errors in rationality so interesting is that we make them systematically. We are, to steal Dan Ariely’s words, predictably irrational.  One well-researched phenomenon is loss-aversion. Simply put, we prefer to avoid losses more than we enjoy equivalent…

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The Nourishing Relationship Between Nature and Your Brain

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau spent over two years in…

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All Too Human

To pass the Turing test, a computer program must convince a human judge that it is a human by answering a series of questions the judge presents. “A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human.” —Alan Turing What does convincing the judge prove?…

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Making the Transition From Biological to Mechanical Mind

“I propose to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?’” —Alan Turing If we can map the brain in all its fine detail and reproduce it on a computer, perhaps we can upload people. As data residing in the cloud, life could extend on forever, the world we experience could consist of any conception from within…

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What Can We Share on a Mind-Melding Social Network?

We’re still in the early days of brain science. The most complex thing in the universe still constantly surprises and confuses us. But, that won’t stop us from connecting them. I know that because we already have. While the signals being sent back and forth are rudimentary words such as “hola,” we all know how…

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The Ins and Outs of Brain-to-Brain Communication

Can you imagine a world in which we can think thoughts at each other? No talking, no texting, typing, or hand-waving. You just think something to someone, then they experience that thought. The world would be a very different place. But it appears we might one day see it. The pieces required for brain-to-brain communication are already…

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Computers are Going to Steal Your Face

It’s getting harder and harder to believe what’s in front of your eyes. A new app called FaceApp can artificially add a smile to your selfie. It can also make you old, young, or convert you to the opposite sex. It’s pretty good too. More realistic than the pixies and aliens you find on Snapchat. But it’s all…

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