Lectures Bureau | SCIENCE
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SCIENCE

Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience have discovered a network of brain cells that expresses our sense of time within experiences and memories. The area of the brain where time is experienced is located right next to the area that codes for space.......

The number e is an important mathematical constant that is the base of the natural logarithm. It is approximately equal to 2.71828,and is the limit of(1 + 1/n)n as n approaches infinity, an expression that arises in the study of compound interest. It can also......

Quantum mechanics (QM; also known as quantum physics or quantum theory), including quantum field theory, is a fundamental branch of physics concerned with processes involving, for example, atoms and photons. Systems such as these which obey quantum mechanics can be in a quantum superposition of......

Like all falsifiable scientific theories, relativity makes predictions that can be tested by experiment. In the case of special relativity, these include the principle of relativity, the constancy of the speed of light, and time dilation.The predictions of special relativity have been confirmed in numerous......

At its introduction in 1915, the general theory of relativity did not have a solid empirical foundation. It was known that it correctly accounted for the “anomalous” precession of the perihelion of Mercury and on philosophical grounds it was considered satisfying that it was able......

TWELVE-ITEM TEST Here are twelve questions about you and your behavior toward institutions and things. Take this little quiz as your personal introduction to this chapter on how institutions and personal attitudes can victimize anyone who is willing to let it happen. Yes No ____......

The “Epicurean paradox” is a version of the problem of evil. Lactantius attributes this trilemma to Epicurus in De Ira Dei: God, he says, either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able, and is unwilling; or He is neither willing......

European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented during the course of the “long 18th century” (1685-1815) as part of a movement referred to by its participants as the Age of Reason, or simply the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout......

More complicated is the kind of neurotic disturbance in love which is based on a different kind of parental situation, occurring when parents do not love each other, but are too restrained to quarrel or to indicate any signs of dissatisfaction outwardly. At the same......

A different form of neurotic pathology is to be found in such cases where the main attachment is that to father. A case in point is a man whose mother is cold and aloof, while his father (partly as a result of his wife’s coldness)......

The basic condition for neurotic love lies in the fact that one or both of the “lovers” have remained attached to the figure of a parent, and transfer the feelings, expectations and fears one once had toward father or mother to the loved person in......

Before we begin, we may well ask whether we should bother fighting in the first place. Self-deception has been favored by natural selection, the better to deceive others and ourselves, so why should we fight such tendencies in ourselves? They are advancing our own evolutionary......

The number π is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as “pi” (/paɪ/). Being an......

Eventually, the mature person has come to the point where he is his own mother and his own father. He has, as it were, a motherly and a fatherly conscience. Motherly conscience says: “There is no misdeed, no crime which could deprive you of my......

In order to understand this shift from mother to father, we must consider the essential differences in quality between motherly and fatherly love. We have already spoken about motherly love. Motherly love by its very nature is unconditional. Mother loves the newborn infant because it......

For most children before the age from eight and a half to ten,” the problem is almost exclusively that of being loved— of being loved for what one is. The child up to this age does not yet love; he responds gratefully, joyfully to being......

It is only through a vast amount of experience and a lengthy and successful maturation that we gain the capacity to see the world and our place in it realistically, and thus are enabled to realistically assess our responsibility for ourselves and the world. There......

We cannot solve life’s problems except by solving them. This statement may seem idiotically tautological or self-evident, yet it is seemingly beyond the comprehension of much of the human race. This is because we must accept responsibility for a problem before we can solve it.......

The hedgehog’s dilemma, or sometimes the porcupine dilemma, is a metaphor about the challenges of human intimacy. It describes a situation in which a group of hedgehogs all seek to become close to one another in order to share heat during cold weather. They must......

One of the aspects of dependency is that it is unconcerned with spiritual growth. Dependent people are interested in their own nourishment, but no more; they desire filling, they desire to be happy; they don’t desire to grow, nor are they willing to tolerate the......

I define dependency as the inability to experience wholeness or to function adequately without the certainty that one is being actively cared for by another. Dependency in physical healthy adults is pathological-it is sick, always a manifestation of a mental illness or defect. It is......

Illusion or not, what explains the fact that for us time ‘runs’, ‘flows’, ‘passes’? The passage of time is obvious to us all: our thoughts and our speech exist in time; the very structure of our language requires time – a thing ‘is’ or ‘was’......

At first glance, the idea that our ignorance implies something about the behaviour of the world seems irrational: the cold teaspoon heats up in hot tea and the balloon flies about when it is released regardless of what I know or don’t know. What does......

‘What is heat?’   Until the mid-nineteenth century, physicists attempted to understand heat by thinking of it as a kind of fluid, called ‘caloric’; or two fluids, one hot and one cold. The idea turned out to be wrong. Eventually James Maxwell and the Austrian......

People of the Future The inhabitants of the earth are divided not only by race, nation, religion or ideology, but also, in a sense, by their position in time. Examining the present populations of the globe, we find a tiny group who still live, hunting......

We can already see how these biases and errors in thinking affect the way that people make financial decisions. When a large number of people and businesses are making these mistakes there is clearly the potential for these to impact on the wider economy and......

‘Economists think about what people ought to do. Psychologists watch what they actually do.’ Daniel Kahneman Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for economic sciences in 2002. Kahneman’s citation was for ‘integrating insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under......

All Mediterranean cultures developed through time a dogma against debt. Felix qui nihil debet goes the Roman proverb: “Happy is he who owes nothing.” Grandmothers who survived the Great Depression would have advised the exact opposite of debt: redundancy; they would urge us to have......

First, Mother Nature likes redundancies, three different types of redundancies. The first, the simplest to understand, is defensive redundancy, the insurance type of redundancy that allows you to survive under adversity, thanks to the availability of spare parts. Look at the human body. We have......

‘Regime shift in North Korea in two years.’ ‘Sour grapes for France as Argentinian wines expected to dominate.’ ‘Euro collapse likely.’ ‘Low-cost space flights by 2025.’ ‘No more crude oil in 15 years.’ Every day, experts bombard us with predictions, but how reliable are they?......

I would like to describe the major, natural steps a family undergoes at its members grow. All of these steps mean crisis and temporary anxiety and require an adjustment period and anew integration. The first crisis is the conception, pregnancy, and birth of a child.......

Happily, it is possible to raise anyone’s self-esteem, no matter what one’s age or condition. Since the feeling of low worth has been learned, it can be unlearned, and something new learned in its place. The possibility for this learning lasts from birth to death,......

As newspaper columns go, Parade magazine’s “Ask Marilyn” has to be considered a smashing success. Distributed in 350 newspapers and boasting a combined circulation of nearly 36 million, the question-and-answer column originated in 1986 and is still going strong. One might ask, especially if one......

Robert Merton, Jr., and Myron Scholes were founding partners in the large speculative trading firm called Long-Term Capital Management, or LTCM, which I mentioned in Chapter 4. It was a collection of people with top-notch résumés, from the highest ranks of academia. They were considered......

Someone with a low degree of epistemic arrogance is not too visible, like a shy person at a cocktail party. We are not predisposed to respect humble people, those who try to suspend judgment. Now contemplate epistemic humility. Think of someone heavily introspective, tortured by......

The jellyfish of the kind Turritopsis nutricula seems to be the only animal that has discovered the secret of eternal youth.This jellyfish has the ability to pass from the mature adult stage to the immature stage of the polypus and again from the beginning.Thus, basically,......

If it is easy to fall victim to expectations, it is also easy to exploit them. That is why struggling people in Hollywood work hard to look as though they are not struggling, why doctors wear white coats and place all manner of certificates and......

The actor’s name is Bruce Willis, and while he was in Los Angeles, an agent suggested he go on a few television auditions. One was for a show in its final stages of casting. The producers already had a list of finalists in mind, but......

People systematically fail to see the role of chance in the success of ventures and in the success of people. We afford automatic respect to superstar business moguls, politicians, and actors and to anyone flying around in a private jet, as if their accomplishments must......

In 1814, near the height of the great successes of Newtonian physics, Pierre-Simon de Laplace wrote: If an intelligence, at a given instant, knew all the forces that animate nature and the position of each constituent being; if, moreover, this intelligence were sufficiently great to......

One striking discovery is that humor and laughter appear to be positively associated with immune benefits. Humor in turn can be seen as anti-self-deception. Humor is often directed at drawing attention to the contradictions that deceit and self-deception may be hiding. These are seen as......

Why do we repeat ourselves so often? Why do we have compulsions that reappear despite our every effort to suppress them? Why do we have lifelong arguments inside ourselves that hardly change and are never resolved? Why no learning? The details differ from case to......

Where the Relevant Is the Sensational Our intuitions are not cut out for nonlinearities. Consider our life in a primitive environment where process and result are closely connected. You are thirsty; drinking brings you adequate satisfaction. Or even in a not-so-primitive environment, when you engage......

Assume that your activities depend on a Black Swan surprise—i.e., you are a reverse turkey. Intellectual, scientific, and artistic activities belong to the province of Extremistan, where there is a severe concentration of success, with a very small number of winners claiming a large share......

Do you believe in the power of telepathy? Many ordinary people accept telepathy as true and some say they even had telepathic experiences themselves. However, most scientists still remain skeptic and say there is no conclusive evidence supporting such claims. Nonetheless, there are hard-core scientists......

False historical narratives are lies we tell one another about our past. The usual goals are self-glorification and self-justification. Not only are we special, so are our actions and those of our ancestors. We do not act immorally, so we owe nothing to anyone. False......

While the family unit is certainly the cornerstone of American social development, the main institution where values and attitudes are taught, it is also the institution in which the greatest hostility, anxiety, stress, and depression are learned and expressed. If you visit a mental institution......

We continually create false personal narratives. By enhancing ourselves and derogating others, we automatically create biased histories. We were more moral, more attractive, more “beneffective” to others than in fact we were. Recent evidence suggests that forty- to sixty-year-olds naturally push memories of negative moral......

Is economics a science? The short answer is no. Economics acts like a science and quacks like one—it has developed an impressive mathematical apparatus and awards itself a Nobel Prize each year—but it is not yet a science. It fails to ground itself in underlying......

Sexual desire aims at fusion and is by no means only a physical appetite, the relief of a painful tension. But sexual desire can be stimulated by the anxiety of aloneness, by the wish to conquer or be conquered, by vanity, by the wish to......

Brotherly love is love among equals; motherly love is love for the helpless. Different as they are from each other, they have in common that they are by their very nature not restricted to one person. If I love my brother, I love all my......

It’s anything but easy to break old habit patterns and become a leveler. One way you might help yourself achieve this goal is to learn what some of your fears are that keep you from leveling. To thwart the rejection we so fear, we tend......

COMPUTER Words ultrareasonable: “If one were to observe carefully, one might notice the very workworn hands of someone present here.” Body computes: “I’m calm, cool, and collected.” Insides: “I feel vulnerable.” The computer is very correct, very reasonable, and shows no semblance of feeling. The......

After many years of listening to interactions among people, I gradually became aware of certain seemingly universal patterns in the way people communicate. Over and over again I observed four ways people had of handling the negative results of stress. These four patterns—which I call......

John Rawls (1921 —2002), a modest, quiet Haward academic, wrote a book that changed the way people thought about these things. That book was A Theory of Justice (1971) and the result of nearly twenty years of hard thinking. It’s really a professor’s book meant......

In addition to realizing that you are unique in this world, you must also accept that you are always alone. Yes, alone!   No one can ever feel what you are feeling, whether you are surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people, or making love......

How different it is to be in a nurturing family! Immediately, I can sense the aliveness, the genuineness, honesty, and love. I feel the heart and soul present as well as the head. People demonstrate their loving, their intellect, and their respect for life I......

After knowing hundreds of families, I find that each one can he placed somewhere along a scale from very nurturing to wry troubled. I see many similarities in the way nurturing families operate. Troubled families, too, no matter what their problems, seem to have much......

Well, no, there is nothing about us that can escape the norms of nature. If something in us could infringe the laws of nature we would have discovered it by now. There is nothing in us in violation of the natural behaviour of things. The......

What role do we have as human beings who perceive, make decisions, laugh and cry, in this great fresco of the world as depicted by contemporary physics? If the world is a swarm of ephemeral quanta of space and matter, a great jigsaw puzzle of......

CRISPR is a hot new molecular biology tool, that you may have heard of, because everybody is using it to edit genomes, to fix genes, and break genes, and do all kinds of things. CRISPR started out as a bacterial defense system and sniffs out......

Natural philosophy or philosophy of nature (from Latin philosophia naturalis) was the philosophical study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science. It is considered to be the precursor of natural science. From the ancient world, starting with......

In the third century BC, the famous Greek mathematician Archimedes issued a challenge to the Alexandrian mathematicians, headed by Eratosthenes. Written in the form of an epigram, Archimedes’s challenge begins thus:   “Compute, o friend, the number of oxen of the Sun, giving thy mind......

In philosophy, idealism is the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing. In a sociological sense,......

Romanticism (also the Romantic era or the Romantic period) was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism......

Figuring out the nuts and bolts of the cell’s recycling machinery has earned the 2016 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi of the Tokyo Institute of Technology has received the prize for his work on autophagy, a method for breaking down......

Epigenetics is the scientific field of Genetics particularly developed during the last two decades, and it studies the influence of the environment of an organism in its genome, and how external factors affect its development and behaviour. Examples of these factors are the toxic load,......

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TIMON My good sir, when is this careless indifference to cease? how long before you will punish such wickedness? Phaethon-falls and Deucalion-deluges — a...