“This advance is so meta. Theoretical physicists have forged a connection between the concept of entanglement—itself a mysterious quantum mechanical connection between two widely separated particles—and that of a wormhole—a hypothetical connection between black holes that serves as a shortcut through space. The insight could help physicists reconcile quantum mechanics and Einstein’s general theory of relativity, perhaps the grandest goal in theoretical physics. But some experts argue that the connection is merely a mathematical analogy.”
Immunostaining of planktonic Cnidari (Cnidarians). Acetylated tubulin (green), myosin (red), nuclei (blue). Image taken with ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1 during the EMBO course on Marine Animal Models in Evolution & Development, Sweden 2013. Sample courtesy of Helena Parra, Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Barcelona.
When you are typing away at your computer, you don’t know what your fingers are really doing.
That is the conclusion of a study conducted by a team of cognitive psychologists at Vanderbilt and Kobe universities. It found that skilled typists can’t identify the positions of many of the keys on the QWERTY keyboard and that novice typists don’t appear to learn key locations in the first place.
“This demonstrates that we’re capable of doing extremely complicated things without knowing explicitly what we are doing,” said Vanderbilt University graduate student Kristy Snyder, the first author of the study, which was conducted under the supervision of Centennial Professor of Psychology Gordon Logan.
A description of the research will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, which recently posted it online.
The researchers recruited 100 university students and members from the surrounding community to participate in an experiment. The participants completed a short typing test. Then, they were shown a blank QWERTY keyboard and given 80 seconds to write the letters in the correct location. On average, they typed 72 words per minute, moving their fingers to the correct keys six times per second with 94 percent accuracy. By contrast, they could accurately place an average of only 15 letters on a blank keyboard.
The fact that the typists did so poorly at identifying the position of specific keys didn’t come as a surprise. For more than a century, scientists have recognized the existence of automatism: the ability to perform actions without conscious thought or intention. Automatic behaviors of this type are surprisingly common, ranging from tying shoelaces to making coffee to factory assembly-line work to riding a bicycle and driving a car. So scientists had assumed that typing also fell into this category, but had not tested it.
What did come as a surprise, however, was a finding that conflicts with the basic theory of automatic learning, which suggests that it starts out as a conscious process and gradually becomes unconscious with repetition. According to the widely held theory – primarily developed by studying how people learn to play chess – when you perform a new task for the first time, you are conscious of each action and store the details in working memory. Then, as you repeat the task, it becomes increasingly automatic and your awareness of the details gradually fades away. This allows you to think about other things while you are performing the task.
Given the prevalence of this “use it or lose it” explanation, the researchers were surprised when they found evidence that the typists never appear to memorize the key positions, not even when they are first learning to type.
“It appears that not only don’t we know much about what we are doing, but we can’t know it because we don’t consciously learn how to do it in the first place” said Logan.
Evidence for this conclusion came from another experiment included in the study. The researchers recruited 24 typists who were skilled on the QWERTY keyboard and had them learn to type on a Dvorak keyboard, which places keys in different locations. After the participants developed a reasonable proficiency with the alternative keyboard, they were asked to identify the placement of the keys on a blank Dvorak keyboard. On average, they could locate only 17 letters correctly, comparable to participants’ performance with the QWERTY keyboard.
According to the researchers, the lack of explicit knowledge of the keyboard may be due to the fact that computers and keyboards have become so ubiquitous that students learn how to use them in an informal, trial-and-error fashion when they are very young.
An animation of the hexagonal storm present on Saturn’s north pole. The hexagon is 30,000 kilometers across and has constant winds of more than 300 kilometers per hour. Images acquired by the Cassini spacecraft on December 10th, 2012.
|—||Niccolo Machiavelli (via xipep)|
me when i wake up hungry in the middle of the night.
This is how many children that died in their Hunger Games, without even being mentioned throughout the three books. All these children were under 18. All these children had parents. All these parents’ hearts sank to their knees during their child’s reaping. All these parents saw their terrified child off at the train station. All these parents heard the sound that signified their child’s death. All these parents received their cold, dead child in a wooden box. All these parents’ lives ended there. All these parents could say or do nothing. All these parents were merely thanked that they gave up their child. Thanked.
And the media focuses on the love triangle.
All these children and all these parents aren’t real
Yeah, sure, I guess that’s true. None of these people were real.
But let’s focus on what this series, and this fact, say about our society.
In the series, the Capitol’s media focuses entirely on the ‘fun’ of the Games- the fashion, the plot twists, the favorites, the strategies, the romance. And the entire time, they completely overlook the fact that 1,678 children between the ages of 12 and 18 have died. Usually brutally murdered by other 12 to 18 year old children.
And how does our real-life media react to this story when news of a movie adaptation reaches them? They talk about the romance. This tragic story of a girl who must choose between her long-time best friend and her new love. Even if she chooses Peeta, they still must fight to the death. The star-crossed lovers of District 12. And many readers of the original novels saw the books through the same lens. You would tell them that you read/ were reading the books and their first reaction was, “Are you Team Gale or Team Peeta?”
Meanwhile, children are fighting to the death.
The fact that our media, and many every-day people reacted to the Hunger Games the same as the Capitol media scares me.
I don’t want this world to be anything like the Capitol. I don’t think any of us do.
And the fact that most of us (including myself) never really considered how many children had died in the games also scares me. But, hey, it didn’t happen now/ in the current story, so it doesn’t matter, right?
THIs is actually the reason I thought the book was so thoughtful. western society IS the capitol.
I just got goosebumps