One-third of Americans are willing to eat lab-grown meat regularly

Are we on the cusp of the consumer biotech age, when lab-grown meat will be just as common as farmed meat? Recently, a company called Memphis Meats started selling in-vitro meat (IVM) that apparently tastes just like delicious chicken and duck. But if we want the price on an IVM burger to get below $1,000, we need consumers to buy lots of the stuff. That’s why two Australian researchers from the University of Queensland decided to study what the US public currently thinks about eating IVM.

Psychologist Matti Wilks and veterinary scientist Clive Phillips surveyed 673 people via Mechanical Turk, asking a wide range of questions about their backgrounds and attitudes toward meat eating. What they found is that roughly two-thirds of their subjects would be

Read the rest

The Nothingness of Personality: Young Borges on the Self

“There is no whole self. It suffices to walk any distance along the inexo­rable rigidity that the mirrors of the past open to us in order to feel like out­siders, naively flustered by our own bygone days.”


The Nothingness of Personality: Young Borges on the Self

You find yourself in a city you hadn’t visited in years, walking along a street you had once strolled down with your fingers interlacing a long-ago lover’s, someone you then cherished as the most extraordinary person in the world, who is now married in Jersey with two chubby bulldogs. You find yourself shocked by how an experience of such vivid verisimilitude can be fossilized into a mere memory buried in the strata of what feels like a wholly different person, living a wholly different life — it was you … Read the rest

Descartes on Opinion vs. Reason, the Key to a Wakeful Mind, and the Discipline of Critical Introspection

“It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to apply it well.”


Descartes on Opinion vs. Reason, the Key to a Wakeful Mind, and the Discipline of Critical Introspection

“The questions raised by the desire to know are in principle all answerable by common-sense experience and common-sense reasoning,” Hannah Arendt wrote in her brilliant treatise on thinking vs. knowing and the crucial difference between truth and meaning. “But the questions raised by thinking and which it is in reason’s very nature to raise — questions of meaning — are all unanswerable by common sense and the refinement of it we call science.”

What kind of reasoning, then, can we develop in order not only to inoculate ourselves against unreason, not only to arrive at truth, but to access meaning? More than that, in an age of instant … Read the rest

Video games may protect mental health and avert trauma, addiction

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Radachynskyi)

Video games often blamed for rotting minds may actually protect them, according to a series of studies.

Researchers report that Tetris—a classic game that takes hold of spatial and visual systems in the brain as players align irregular polygons—seems to jumble the mind’s ability to process and store fresh traumatic memories. Those improperly preserved memories are subsequently less likely to resurface as intrusive, distressing flashbacks, which can contribute to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, complicated grief, and other mental health issues.

For those struggling with cravings or addiction, other research has found that Tetris’ mental grasp can also diminish the intensity of hankerings and help game players fight off real-life dependencies.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | CommentsRead the rest

The Trailblazing 18th-Century French Mathematician Émilie du Châtelet on Jealousy and the Metaphysics of Love

“It is the privilege of affection to see a friend in all the situations of his soul.”


The Trailblazing 18th-Century French Mathematician Émilie du Châtelet on Jealousy and the Metaphysics of Love

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer,” Anaïs Nin admonished.“It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” No form of anxiety sinks the buoyancy of love more readily than jealousy. The Swiss philosopher Henri-Frédéric Amiel put it best in his reflections on love and its demons: “Jealousy… is precisely love’s contrary… the most passionate form of egotism, the glorification of a despotic, exacting, and vain ego, which can neither forget nor subordinate itself.”

Indeed, this corrosive yet common human experience is one which responds better to … Read the rest

The Trailblazing 18th-Century French Mathematician Émilie du Châtelet on Jealousy and the Metaphysics of Love

“It is the privilege of affection to see a friend in all the situations of his soul.”


The Trailblazing 18th-Century French Mathematician Émilie du Châtelet on Jealousy and the Metaphysics of Love

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer,” Anaïs Nin admonished.“It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” No form of anxiety sinks the buoyancy of love more readily than jealousy. The Swiss philosopher Henri-Frédéric Amiel put it best in his reflections on love and its demons: “Jealousy… is precisely love’s contrary… the most passionate form of egotism, the glorification of a despotic, exacting, and vain ego, which can neither forget nor subordinate itself.”

Indeed, this corrosive yet common human experience is one which responds better to … Read the rest

Forer’s Demonstration

From wikipedia:

In 1948, psychologist Bertram R. Forer gave a personality test to his students. He told his students they were each receiving a unique personality analysis that was based on the test’s results and to rate their analysis on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) on how well it applied to themselves. In reality, each received the same analysis:

“You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and … Read the rest