Intelligence, Race, And Genetics: Conversations With Arthur R. Jensen [EPUB]
22 January 2015, 19:46
2008 | EPUB | 1.34MB
Arthur R. Jensen is the psychologist who set off an enduring controversy with his 1969 article in the Harvard Educational Review holding that an individual's IQ is largely attributed to heredity, including racial heritage, and that efforts to boost IQ educationally do not achieve much. Miele, senior editor of Skeptic magazine, set out to "skeptically cross-examine" Jensen on his views. The questions and answers traveled by e-mail, but they read like a conversation.
Jensen, professor emeritus of educational psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, holds that the scientific evidence is stronger now than it was in 1969 that IQ is highly genetic, that race is a biological reality rather than a social construct, and that the cause of the 15-point average IQ difference between blacks and whites in the U.S. is partly genetic. Miele hopes the exchange will enable the reader "to decide for yourself whether Jensenism represents one man's search for provisional, not metaphysical, truth through the continuous and vigorous application of the methods of science ...or a dangerous diversion back down a blind alley of old and disproven ideas, deceptively dressed up in modern scientific jargon."
Learning from Leonardo: Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius [EPUB]
22 January 2015, 19:20
2013 | EPUB | 19.12MB
Leonardo da Vinci was a brilliant artist, scientist, engineer, mathematician, architect, inventor, and even musician—the archetypal Renaissance man. But he was also a profoundly modern man.
Not only did Leonardo invent the empirical scientific method over a century before Galileo and Francis Bacon, but Capra’s decade-long study of Leonardo’s fabled notebooks reveals that he was a systems thinker centuries before the term was coined. At the very core of Leonardo’s science, Capra argues, lies his persistent quest for understanding the nature of life. His science is a science of living forms, of qualities and patterns, radically different from the mechanistic science that emerged 200 years later.
Because he saw the world as an integrated whole, Leonardo always applied concepts from one area to illuminate problems in another. His studies of the movement of water informed his ideas about how landscapes are shaped, how sap rises in plants, how air moves over a bird’s wing, and how blood flows in the human body. His observations of nature enhanced his art, his drawings were integral to his scientific studies, and he brought art, science, and technology together in his beautiful and elegant mechanical and architectural designs.
Capra describes seven defining characteristics of Leonardo da Vinci’s genius and includes a list of over forty discoveries he made that weren’t rediscovered until centuries later. Capra follows the organizational scheme Leonardo himself intended to use if he ever published his notebooks. So in a sense, this is Leonardo’s science as he himself would have presented it.
Obviously, we can’t all be geniuses on the scale of Leonardo da Vinci. But his persistent endeavor to put life at the very center of his art, science, and design and his recognition that all natural phenomena are fundamentally interconnected and interdependent are important lessons we can learn from. By exploring the mind of the preeminent Renaissance genius, we can gain profound insights into how to address the complex challenges of the 21st century.
The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More [EPUB]
13 January 2015, 01:30
2014 | EPUB | 0.8MB
A fascinating guided tour of the complex, fast-moving, and influential world of algorithms—what they are, why they’re such powerful predictors of human behavior, and where they’re headed next.
Algorithms exert an extraordinary level of influence on our everyday lives - from dating websites and financial trading floors, through to online retailing and internet searches - Google's search algorithm is now a more closely guarded commercial secret than the recipe for Coca-Cola. Algorithms follow a series of instructions to solve a problem and will include a strategy to produce the best outcome possible from the options and permutations available. Used by scientists for many years and applied in a very specialized way they are now increasingly employed to process the vast amounts of data being generated, in investment banks, in the movie industry where they are used to predict success or failure at the box office and by social scientists and policy makers.
What if everything in life could be reduced to a simple formula? What if numbers were able to tell us which partners we were best matched with – not just in terms of attractiveness, but for a long-term committed marriage? Or if they could say which films would be the biggest hits at the box office, and what changes could be made to those films to make them even more successful? Or even who is likely to commit certain crimes, and when? This may sound like the world of science fiction, but in fact it is just the tip of the iceberg in a world that is increasingly ruled by complex algorithms and neural networks.
In The Formula, Luke Dormehl takes readers inside the world of numbers, asking how we came to believe in the all-conquering power of algorithms; introducing the mathematicians, artificial intelligence experts and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who are shaping this brave new world, and ultimately asking how we survive in an era where numbers can sometimes seem to create as many problems as they solve.