29 November 2016

Suzanne Simard: How trees talk to each other

So... Apparently, trees communicate and swap resources with each other. Simard talks about her experiments tracking chemical exchanges between trees. Her research shows that forests not just a collection of trees but highly complex systems in which "mother" trees send support to their seedlings, pull back their roots to provide growing room, and send encoded chemical messages signalling danger.

Suzanne Simard: How trees talk to each other

15 November 2016

Alison Gopnik: What do babies think?

Babies are surprisingly brilliant at learning. In years past, we thought about babies and child as resource sinks, thinking that human learning was a long, grueling process that took decades.

Gopnik shows some of her research that shows 4 years old are better identifying unlikely hypothesis than adults. Further, they are better able to think up variations of hypotheses much more rapidly.

Alison Gopnik: What do babies think?

10 November 2016

Kevin Kelly: How technology evolves

Kelly presents the idea that technology mimics life in "what it wants":

  • Ubiquity
  • Diversity
  • Specialization
  • Complexity
  • Socialization
Interestingly however, unlike life--which evolves and extinguishes predecessors--technology never really goes extinct. Instead, once a technology is created, it is forever around and can even spawn new evolutionary spurs.


Kevin Kelly: How technology evolves

01 November 2016

Noah Feldman: Politics and religion are technologies

From a philosophical view, Feldman describes not just how politics and religion can be thought of as technologies but also how we can use out tech savvy knowledge to allow the two to better coexist.

Noah Feldman: Politics and religion are technologies