Next #SoCIA18 talk looks exciting: "Body Snatchers: What whole body hijacking reveals about our definitions of life," by Lucas Mix.
(Note that this is a 2-track conference, so I am missing at least 50% of talks.)
"What is life?" He thinks it's a process, not an object. Four useful/overlapping subcategories: Darwin (evolve by natural selection), Woese (uses SSU rRNA), Aristotle (perpetuate with nutrition), Haldane (self-regulation).
He's got a nonfic book (out or coming out?): "Life Concept from Aristotle to Darwin: On Vegetable Souls"
Up next in this #SoCIA18 track is Sheri Wells-Jensen with "Things you didn't see because you were looking: Blind aliens, science and inter- species miscommunication.” I'm not sure what this is about but I'm excited to find out.
Speaker - who is visually impaired, which is relevant given the talk title, and obvious to us here in the room - starts by noting that her introduction name/affiliation/title slide could be full of lies and nobody would notice.
But we have assumptions about this slide starting off a talk. We look for it, and compare against it.
Next #SoCIA18 talk: “On aliens and robots: moral status, epistemological and (meta-)ethical considerations" by Keith Abney!
(These are 20min talks, so they'll come fast & furious.)
How do robot ethics inform alien ethics? Robot Ethics definitely a big question, what with lethal autonomous weapons systems being developed. (Abney is from a group with a neutral position - finds some anti-roboweapon arguments compelling, others not)
Here we go, folks! The first talk (of those that I'll be trying to livetweet) at #SoCIA18: "Logic, Ethics and History: the Mistake is Thinking It's a Mistake," by Daniel Wueste.
How will alien contact change our understanding of ethics, logic, and history? People think logic and ethics as having some kind of fixed rules. We ask questions to fit things into our heuristics. ("Is it conscious? If so, rational conclusion is...")
But people really like the idea of getting objective, rational certainty. Even though it's mostly a fairytale.
I hope you all are ready to help me welcome #NeuroThursday back in action this week with a story about how you stay balanced - and the amazing things you accomplish with that ability!
This topic was requested by the illustrious @KJKabza, who wondered: "Are there special strengths of the human balance system (we all know that it is easily disrupted if you spin around)?"
Yes, KJ, oh yes. Your balance system is doing highly badass things all the time, quietly under the hood while you go about your life. Like the devil, its best trick is making you think it's not even there.
#NeuroThursday may have grown sporadic under my sciencejob deadlines, but it's back this week! Thanks to @tithenai, we shall discuss "the choke:" when you freeze up on something that should be precisely your area of mastery.
We've all experienced some form of this. You have to explain your process, and no words come. You have to perform (on the stage, on the pitch), and everything locks up. Once it begins, it's self-perpetuating: hard to un-choke while you're panicked about choking.
There's a fair amount of scientific research on this, from sports-science and psychology. But in some ways, the explanation is so simple, it's something we've already covered here: skill memory.