Oroville >> It wasn’t surprising that Jackie Lucena took top honors at the Northern Section girls golf championships.But the hardware she received was.“Oh, sweet!” The Pleasant Valley High junior exclaimed when Vikings head coach Tom Fegley handed it to her and told her she gets to keep the sizable trophy for a year. “Cool!”Lucena figured the trophy would remain with officials. Instead, she now knows precisely where it will go. “Right on my counter, next to a couple of other …
(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Several recent articles illustrate the mental struggle materialists have with human uniqueness, particularly the mind and consciousness.The animal continuum: Described as a “highly influential researcher studying animality (our animal nature),” Dominique Lestel thinks the human-animal divide is a false dichotomy, reported Science Daily. He takes issue with Western philosophy that elevates humanness above the beasts. He thinks man needs to “reactivate his animality and animalize himself anew.” One might wonder what college students would do with that advice. Another might ask what other animals do research and publish it in Social Science Information, a journal of SAGE.The consciousness debate goes on: Live Science described a panel discussion at the World Science Festival in New York between philosophers and scientists about consciousness. Tanya Lewis opened with the material angle: “As you read this sentence, the millions of neurons in your brain are frantically whispering to each other, resulting in the experience of conscious awareness.” Her article gave the edge to the materialists who believe “the brain gives rise to conscious phenomena.” Her opening question, though, “But can modern neuroscience ever hope to crack this mysterious phenomenon?” led to admissions that they’re not there yet. The article led to a lively discussion in the comments between monists and dualists (i.e., those who see mind as separate from matter).Is morality mental or natural? Bob Holmes on New Scientist reviewed two books about the origin of human morality: The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates by Frans de Waal, and How Animals Grieve by Barbara J. King. Both books “show that we must be careful when studying animals to learn about the origins of human traits and behaviours,” he said. He thought de Waal was more thoughtful than King, but Holmes was inclined to agree (and believes most of New Scientist’s readers will concur) that morality is relative, not absolute:If he’s right, then there may be no absolute code of right and wrong out there to be discovered. Instead, each individual’s evolved sense of empathy and concern for the group may help shape the group’s consensus on what kind of behaviour is appropriate. In short, says de Waal, morality may be something we all have to work out together. It’s a persuasive argument, and de Waal’s cautious and evidence-based approach is one that many New Scientist readers are sure to find congenial.Is neuroscience the answer? Another article on New Scientist cast a shadow on materialist hopes in neuroscience. David Robson reviewed two more books that challenge the notion that neuroscience will ever understand consciousness. The books are, Brainwashed: The seductive appeal of mindless neuroscience by Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld, and A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What neuroscience can and cannot tell us about ourselves by Robert A. Burton. The titles alone indicate that the authors aren’t ready to give neuroscience a free pass, and neither does Robson:NO CREVICE of the human experience is safe. Our deepest fears and desires, our pasts and our futures – all have been revealed, and all in the form of colourful images that look like lava bubbling under the skull.That, at least, is the popular conception of neuroscience – and it’s worth big money. The US and the European Union are throwing billions of dollars at two new projects to map the human brain. Yet there is also a growing anxiety that many of neuroscience’s findings don’t stand up to scrutiny. It’s not just sensational headlines reporting a “dark patch” in a psychopath’s brain, there are now serious concerns that some of the methods themselves are flawed.And that takes the discussion right back to philosophy, so long criticized as asking good questions but not providing good answers. “Neurology is not destiny,” Robson says, after pointing out some false positives using fMRI (functional MRI) and other tools of neuroscience. But Robson is not ready to throw out the neuroscience baby with the bathwater. He puts his hope in what neuroscience will learn some day.Game Theory: Meanwhile, evolutionists continue to speak of human mental traits in materialist, evolutionary terms. Michael Taborsky in Current Biology continued sounding the ongoing paradigm that human cooperation and altruism are a result of social evolution; Milot and Pelletier in Current Biology advanced the idea that human beings are still a playground for natural selection (but cf. Science Magazine’s review of Paleofantasy and our 3/13/13 entry). The scientific institutions pay little respect to, or even notice of, the views of theologians or philosophical dualists.If the brain is a window, who is looking through it? If the brain is a computer, who is typing on the keyboard and watching the screen? If morality is a dark spot in an fMRI image, who is interpreting it?God help the disciples of Frans de Waal who think they can agree on a consensus for what is “appropriate” as a substitute for morality. Most likely, their consensus will be crushed by another culture with better weapons and more motivation for power. What will they say as they are dying? “You can’t do that. That’s not right!”Each of the authors above defeats materialism by arguing for it. Who is doing the arguing? Their brains? Who is deciding who is telling the truth? Someone who doesn’t accept that truth is real? Who is deciding who has the best arguments, someone who disbelieves in absolute morality? Those who think humans are “mere” animals (though even theologians acknowledge our animal natures) would make sense if they left off writing books, and concentrated on stuffing bananas into their mouths and scratching their bottoms. The moment they try to access the realms of the mind and consciousness, they become dualists in spite of themselves. The moment they assume truth exists and morality can be judged by each of us with sufficient accuracy, they become supernaturalists in spite of themselves. And the moment they say humans “should” do anything (like pay attention to their arguments rationally), they become theists in spite of themselves. You can’t argue for materialism without assuming the very thing you want to disprove: we are more than mere animals; we have a soul that is consciously aware of absolute truth and morality.
9 July 2014 Four places in the 2014/15 IRB Sevens World Series will be up for grabs when the Springbok Women’s Sevens team takes on 11 other countries in Hong Kong on 12 and 13 September, the International Rugby Board (IRB) confirmed on Tuesday. Japan, China, Kenya, Brazil, Fiji, Mexico, Hong Kong, France, Netherlands, Portugal and Argentina will also be in action at the Shek Kip Mei Stadium, aiming for a place on the circuit. Tournament format The competition will consist of three pools of four teams, with the top two sides in each pool progressing to the quarterfinals, along with the two best third-placed teams. The winners of the quarterfinals will progress to the semi-finals but, more importantly, they will secure automatic qualification for next season’s Women’s Sevens World Series. New Zealand, Australia, Russia, England, Spain, USA and Canada have already secured their places on the circuit.Olympic qualification With the top four teams on the 2014/15 Sevens World Series qualifying automatically for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel said in a statement that his team was determined to make the most of its opportunity. “Our two main goals from the beginning of this season has been to qualify for the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series and to do our best to ensure that we qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games,” he said. “This qualifying tournament will open the door to both of these objectives. “At this stage we have another important matter at hand and that is to deliver a quality performance in the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in France in August. Once that is completed our Sevens players will gather again in Port Elizabeth to prepare for the qualifying series.”‘Exciting times’ IRB head of competitions and performance Mark Egan said he expected a thrilling tournament in Hong Kong: “These are exciting times for women’s rugby Sevens. With the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro just over two years away, teams will have an eye on preparation for that, and so we expect a hugely competitive and high- quality qualification tournament for next season’s IRB Women’s Sevens World Series.” The Springbok Women’s squad, which includes a handful of Springbok Women’s Sevens players, including flyhalf Zenay Jordaan, and backs Veroeshka Grain and Lorinda Brown, will assemble in Cape Town on Monday for their Rugby World Cup holding camp, with the team set to depart for the international showpiece in France on 27 July. SAinfo reporter
dana oshiro 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Tags:#Augmented Reality#NYT#web Editor’s note: This story is part of a series we call Redux, where we’ll re-publish some of our best posts of 2009. As we look back at the year – and ahead to what next year holds – we think these are the stories that deserve a second glance. It’s not just a best-of list, it’s also a collection of posts that examine the fundamental issues that continue to shape the Web. We hope you enjoy reading them again and we look forward to bringing you more Web products and trends analysis in 2010. Happy holidays from Team ReadWriteWeb!Says Parviz, “We’re starting with a simple product, a contact lens with a single light source, and we aim to work up to more sophisticated lenses that can superimpose computer-generated high-resolution color graphics on a user’s real field of vision.” For now, Parviz mentions that single pixel visual cues for gamers and the hearing impaired are already quite possible with the lens prototypes. The group has also experimented with non-invasive biomonitoring including checking glucose levels for diabetics. Some of the obvious challenges of building an augmented reality contact lens include:1. The Need for Custom Parts: Regular circuitry and LEDs are incompatible with regular contact lenses. Every piece of this project must be fabricated from scratch. 2. Physical Constraints: The group must attempt to fit transistors, radio chips, antennas, diffusion resistors, LEDs and photodetectors onto a minuscule polymer disc. Additionally, the team is required to control lens position and light intensity relative to the pupil. And finally, because the lens is so close to the corneal surface, the group must project images away from the cornea using either micro-lenses or lasers. 3. User Safety: In addition to protecting the eye against chemicals, heat and toxins, the lens components must be semi-transparent in order for the wearer to view their surroundings. “We already see a future in which the humble contact lens becomes a real platform, like the iPhone is today, with lots of developers contributing their ideas and inventions. As far as we’re concerned, the possibilities extend as far as the eye can see.” And you thought the iPhone SDK was a tough nut to crack. For Parviz’s complete seven-page article, check out the IEEE Spectrum’s Biomedical page. Just as many of us are getting used to augmented reality applications for cellphones and digital cameras, Babak Amir Parviz and his University of Washington students are taking it one step further. The group is working on a human machine interface where LEDs are embedded into contact lenses in order to display information to the wearer. You heard right, in a few years your cyborg eye will talk to you. In an article with the IEEE Spectrum, Parviz relays the challenges of custom-building semi-transparent circuitry into a polymer lens roughly 1.2 millimeters in diameter. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Related Posts
A sharp decline in voting in Pune’s urban pockets is raising concern in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while giving hope to the Congress. A battered Congress, whose position in Pune city has progressively deteriorated in the past decade following senior leader Suresh Kalmadi’s drift into political oblivion, is hoping for a positive outcome in the Kasba Peth and Pune Cantonment Assembly segments.This could spark a minor renaissance in the party’s sagging fortunes in the city, said observers.Disappointing figuresIn the 2014 Assembly polls, the BJP had swept all eight seats in the city. This time, however, the urban segments of Kasba Peth, Shivajinagar and Pune Cantonment witnessed especially disappointing turnouts, recording poll percentage figures of 43, 43.65 and 42.68 respectively.In 2014, the Kasba Peth segment had recorded a figure as high as 61.57%, while Shivajinagar and the Pune Cantonment constituencies had recorded 52.12% and 47.24% respectively. Even the Kothrud Assembly segment, the focus of all electoral contests in Pune and the State owing to the BJP fielding its State chief, Chandrakant Patil, recorded a dismal turnout with only 47% voters exercising their franchise as compared with a 56% turnout in 2014.In the Kasba Peth segment, the BJP’s candidate is Pune Mayor Mukta Tilak, a scion of ‘Lokmanya’ Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s family, who faced the Congress’s Arvind Shinde, a three-time corporator. Ms. Tilak was given a ticket after Girish Bapat, the ‘unchallenged king’ of the seat since 1995, was elected as MP from Pune earlier this year. However, Ms. Tilak has had to contend with factionalism with BJP corporators Ganesh Bidkar and Hemant Rasane being disgruntled upon being denied a ticket. While the Pune Mayor has expressed confidence in securing a clear victory, the Congress is hoping this disaffection within BJP ranks is reflected in the low voter turnout. The local Congress leaders had mounted a low-key campaign that brought home unresolved civic issues as opposed to the BJP’s high-voltage extravaganzas that culminated with the Prime Minister’s public meeting in Pune.“Our campaign was not a below-the-belt one and we refrained from personal attacks on BJP candidates. Instead, we focused solely on extremely local, civic issues germane to residents in the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) area, the Kasba Peth and other segments and not on Article 370 or Kashmir as we anticipated the BJP would do,” said Ramesh Iyer, secretary and spokesperson, Pune City Congress.According to Mr. Iyer, despite the BJP having won the Pune Municipal Corporation election in 2017 by a landslide, the problems of crumbling wadas in Kasba Peth, traffic congestion and water shortages in both the Cantonment and the Kasba areas remain unresolved. Dissatisfied with his work in the Pune Cantonment area, the BJP had dropped Dilip Kamble, its two-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and erstwhile minister of State (MoS) for social justice and special assistance in the cabinet reshuffle in June. Mr. Kamble was denied a ticket as well. Instead, his brother Sunil Kamble, a long-time corporator, was fielded from the Cantonment segment, where he faced off against city Congress chief Ramesh Bagwe, a former MLA and erstwhile minister of State for home in the Congress-NCP government.“In his capacity as MoS for social justice, Dilip Kamble failed to bring about any development in Pune Cantonment. He was hardly to be seen among his constituents. The same is the case with his brother. Moreover, the duo lack the rapport that Ramesh Bagwe shares with the various communities and sections in the area,” says a city-based analyst.‘VBA a spoiler’Mr. Iyer said Mr. Bagwe had succeeded in bringing special funds for the development of the PCB between 2009 and 2014 and had utilised it to improve internal roads and repair water pipelines, among other things. “In 2014, the BJP had taken a lead of 12,000 votes in the Cantonment segment owing mainly to Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) queering our pitch in the Mangalwar Peth area, which led to a fragmentation of traditional Congress votes. This time, we told people that the VBA is a spoiler and voting for them was a waste as it would harm the development of the PCB,” said Mr. Iyer, who is confident of Congress victories in at least two seats.
Olive branch extended by Opposition Leader, says it is time for Turks and Caicos leaders to unite Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppFrom the House Assembly at last sitting: A second cruise port and it sounds as if the minister of finance, Hon Washington Missick is ready for a robust exchange on the notion. This is not the first time this idea is being put forth by the PNP Administration… and last week during his ministerial statement, Minister Misick shared that the EDF Funding 11 coming to the Turks and Caicos will be used in the transportation sector. “Mr. Speaker, to the development of a deep water port that will be strategically located to include a second cruise port. This will increase TCIG revenue from this subsector, as well as allow SMEs to tap into the new opportunities that these ventures provide. It is anticipated that such measures will reduce the cost of imports, and potentially reduce the duplication of social services by eventually linking the Caicos chain as one contiguous market.” Hon Washington Misick continued: “Mr. Speaker, I welcome public-private dialogue on issues regarding the ports, cruise industry and potential initiatives in any of the sectors. I encouraged further engagement between government, the private sector and even academia. As an aside, perhaps there could be specific curriculum offerings that are geared at tooling and retooling persons to maximize their potential in cruise tourism; by extension this broaden the skillset of the wider tourism sector.” Recommended for you Related Items:house of assembly, pnp, washingtonm misick Opposition Leader responds to Throne Speech 11 days later; says PDM Govt plan puts TCI in ‘deep doo doo’