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Tag Archives: Science

Yuval Noah Harari’s “Sapiens—A Brief History of Humankind”

Homo appeared roughly 2 million years ago in Africa and Homo sapiens roughly 200’000 years ago in East Africa. Harari divides his account of the last 70’000 years into four parts: The cognitive revolution (language), the agricultural revolution (about 10’000 years ago in today’s Turkey, Iran, Levant), the unification of humankind (through money, empire, and religion), and the scientific revolution. According to Harari, Sapiens developed more efficient strategies for cooperation than other...

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Yuval Noah Harari’s “Sapiens—A Brief History of Humankind”

Homo appeared roughly 2 million years ago in Africa and Homo sapiens roughly 200’000 years ago in East Africa. Harari divides his account of the last 70’000 years into four parts: The cognitive revolution (language), the agricultural revolution (about 10’000 years ago in today’s Turkey, Iran, Levant), the unification of humankind (through money, empire, and religion), and the scientific revolution. According to Harari, Sapiens developed more efficient strategies for cooperation than other...

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Objective Reality? Refuted

MIT Technology Review reports about the results of an experiment (arxiv.org/abs/1902.05080: Experimental Rejection of Observer-Independence in the Quantum World) suggesting that objective reality … does not exist. The experiment produces an unambiguous result. It turns out that both realities can coexist even though they produce irreconcilable outcomes, just as Wigner predicted. That raises some fascinating questions that are forcing physicists to reconsider the nature of reality. The...

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Objective Reality? Refuted

MIT Technology Review reports about the results of an experiment (arxiv.org/abs/1902.05080: Experimental Rejection of Observer-Independence in the Quantum World) suggesting that objective reality … does not exist. The experiment produces an unambiguous result. It turns out that both realities can coexist even though they produce irreconcilable outcomes, just as Wigner predicted. That raises some fascinating questions that are forcing physicists to reconsider the nature of reality. The...

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Truth, Triviality, and Contradiction

Nils Bohr chose Contraria Sunt Complementa as motto for his coat of arms. According to his son and others, Bohr distinguished between the logical properties of trivialities on the one hand and profound truths on the other: The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. [Unsourced] There are two sorts of truth: Profound truths recognized by the fact that the opposite is also a profound truth, in contrast to...

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Truth, Triviality, and Contradiction

Nils Bohr chose Contraria Sunt Complementa as motto for his coat of arms. According to his son and others, Bohr distinguished between the logical properties of trivialities on the one hand and profound truths on the other: The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. [Unsourced] There are two sorts of truth: Profound truths recognized by the fact that the opposite is also a profound truth, in contrast to...

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Models Make Economics A Science

In the Journal of Economic Literature, Ariel Rubinstein discusses Dani Rodrik’s “superb” book “Economics Rules.” The article nicely articulates what economics and specifically, economic modeling is about. Some quotes (emphasis my own) … … on the nature of economics: [A] quote … by John Maynard Keynes to Roy Harrod in 1938: “It seems to me that economics is a branch of logic, a way of thinking”; “Economics is a science of thinking in terms of models joined to the art of choosing models...

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Nobel Laureates? École Normale Supérieure

In Nature, Tom Clynes reports about research indicating that École Normale Supérieure has the highest proportion of undergraduates that eventually win a Nobel prize. The California Institute of Technology comes second ahead of Harvard, Swarthmore, Cambridge, École Polytechnique, MIT, Columbia, Amherst, and Chicago.

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Doubts about Empirical Research

The Economist reports about research by Paul Smaldino and Richard McElreath indicating that studies in psychology, neuroscience and medicine have low statistical power (the probability to correctly reject a null hypothesis). If, nevertheless, almost all published studies contain significant results (i.e., rejections of null hypotheses), then this is suspicious. Furthermore, Smaldino and McElreath’s research suggests that the process of replication, by which published results are tested...

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