Category Archives: human being

Hans Rosling

The overdramatic worldview in people’s heads creates a constant sense of crisis and stress. The urgent “now or never” feelings it creates leads to stress or apathy. “We must do something drastic. Let’s not analyze.” Or, “It’s all hopeless. There’s nothing we can do. Time to give up.” Either way, we stop thinking, give in to our instincts, and make bad decisions.
We are subjected to never-ending cascades of negative news from across the world: wars, famines, natural disasters, political mistakes, corruption, budget cuts, diseases, mass layoffs, acts of terror. Journalists who reported flights that didn’t crash or crops that didn’t fail would quickly lose their jobs. Stories about gradual improvements rarely make the front page even when they occur on a dramatic scale and impact millions of people.

Clifford Geertz

It is here, to come round finally to my title, that the concept of culture has its impact on the concept of man. When seen as a set of symbolic devices for controlling behavior, extra-somatic sources of information, culture provides the link between what men are intrinsically capable of becoming and what they actually, one by one, in fact become. Becoming human is becoming individual, and we become individual under the guidance of cultural patterns, historically created systems of meaning in terms of which we give form, order, point, and direction to our lives. And the cultural patterns involved are not general but specific—not just “marriage” but a particular set of notions about what men and women are like, how spouses should treat one another, or who should properly marry whom; not just “religion” but belief in the wheel of karma, the observance of a month of fasting, or the practice of cattle sacrifice. Man is to be defined neither by his innate capacities alone, as the Enlightenment sought to do, nor by his actual behaviors alone, as much of contemporary social science seeks to do, but rather by the link between them, by the way in which the first is transformed into the second, his generic potentialities focused into his specific performances. It is in man’s career, in its characteristic course, that we can discern, however dimly, his nature, and though culture is but one element in determining that course, it is hardly the least important. As culture shaped us as a single species—and is no doubt still shaping us—so too it shapes us as separate individuals. This, neither an unchanging subcultural self nor an established cross—cultural consensus, is what we really have in common.

Robert Lowell

Leave him alone for a moment or two,
and you’ll see him with his head
bent down, brooding, brooding,
eyes fixed on some chip,
some stone, some common plant,
the commonest thing,
as if it were the clue.
The disturbed eyes rise,
furtive, foiled, dissatisfied
from meditation on the true
and insignificant.

Barry Schwartz

False ideas about human beings will not go away if people believe that they’re true. Because if people believe that they’re true, they create ways of living and institutions that are consistent with these very false ideas.

Abraham Maslow

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization. This term, first coined by Kurt Goldstein, is being used in this paper in a much more specific and limited fashion. It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.

Christof Koch

Consciousness does not appear in the equations that make up the foundations of physics, nor in chemistry’s periodic table, nor in the endless ATGC molecular sequences of our genes. Yet both of us—I, the author of these lines, and you, the reader—are sentient. That is the universe in which we find ourselves, a universe in which particular vibrations of highly organized matter trigger conscious feelings. It seems as magical as rubbing a brass lamp and having a djinn emerge who grants three wishes.

Jimo Borjigin

ENDOGENOUS HALLUCINOGENS: It has been proposed that exceptional states of consciousness in humans such as psychosis may involve the brain synthesis of serotonin analogs exhibiting potent psychoactive properties. One such compound, N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), has been found naturally in several plants, in the bodily fluids of animals including humans, and in elevated levels in psychiatric patients. Exogenously administered DMT elicits intense visual and mental hallucinations in healthy humans. Our lab demonstrated the natural presence of DMT within the living rodent pineal gland and occipital cortex. More recently, we have begun to analyze regulatory mechanisms of endogenous DMT synthesis, secretion, and signaling. In addition, we plan to examine functional impact of exogenous DMT administration on electrical oscillations in mammalian brain. These studies will further the understanding of exceptional states of consciousness and pathophysiological mental states like schizophrenia, wherein hallucinations are reported.

Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Ronnlund

So why is the misconception of a gap between the rich and the poor so hard to change?
I think this is because human beings have a strong dramatic instinct toward binary thinking, a basic urge to divide things into two distinct groups, with nothing but an empty gap in between. We love to dichotomize. Good versus bad. Heroes versus villains. My country versus the rest. Dividing the world into two distinct sides is simple and intuitive, and also dramatic because it implies conflict, and we do it without thinking, all the time.
Journalists know this. They set up their narratives as conflicts between two opposing people, views, or groups. They prefer stories of extreme poverty and billionaires to stories about the vast majority of people slowly dragging themselves toward better lives. Journalists are storytellers. So are people who produce documentaries and movies. Documentaries pit the fragile individual against the big, evil corporation. Blockbuster movies usually feature good fighting evil.
The gap instinct makes us imagine division where there is just a smooth range, difference where there is convergence, and conflict where there is agreement. It is the first instinct on our list because it’s so common and distorts the data so fundamentally. If you look at the news or click on a lobby group’s website this evening, you will probably notice stories about conflict between two groups, or phrases like “the increasing gap.”

Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Ronnlund

The human brain is a product of millions of years of evolution, and we are hard-wired with instincts that helped our ancestors to survive in small groups of hunters and gatherers. Our brains often jump to swift conclusions without much thinking, which used to help us to avoid immediate dangers. We are interested in gossip and dramatic stories, which used to be the only source of news and useful information. We crave sugar and fat, which used to be life-saving sources of energy when food was scarce. We have many instincts that used to be useful thousands of years ago, but we live in a very different world now.

Rezzan Hussey

We’ll use my own introvert to illustrate the kinds of differences you see (we’ll call him A).
A — who for the record, is more sociable than me — likes to be in his head. For him, this is where life happens.
There is an independence and self-referential quality to his way of operating. His intuits come through reflection, rather than external stimulus.
It’s awfully subtle — and you’d never know from his LBC radio habit — but A doesn’t go to the outer world for his sense of what is real: he asks himself. Compared to me, he has a little less energy to go around. He is not quick to translate ideas into plans.
A is introvert-flavored.

Arthur Schopenhauer

The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.





ウィキペディア, Wikipedia

生物時計(biological clock)とは、生物が生まれつきそなえていると考えられる時間測定機構。体内時計、生理時計(physiolosical clock)とも言う。生物の睡眠や行動の周期に影響を与える。哺乳類では脳の視交叉上核によるとみなされている。


Biological clock may refer to:

  • Age and female fertility, decrease of female fertility with advancing maternal age
  • Ageing, biological program that limits the lifespan of an individual
  • Circadian clock, a molecular mechanism that results in a circadian rhythm in a living organism
  • Circadian rhythm, biological process that displays an oscillation about 24 hours, such as the human sleep-wake cycle (the “body clock”)
  • Epigenetic clock, a set of DNA sites whose methylation levels can be used to measure aging throughout the body
  • Molecular clock, a technique that uses the mutation rate of a biomolecule to deduce the time in prehistory when two life forms diverged
  • Vernalisation, the induction of flowering by prolonged exposure to low temperatures, as during the winter in a temperate climate
  • Menstrual cycle, the regular natural change that occurs in the female reproductive system (specifically the uterus and ovaries) that makes pregnancy possible.

Amy Cuddy

Usually we think that a person we’ve just met is either more warm than competent or more competent than warm, but not both in equal measure. We like our distinctions to be clear—it’s a human bias. So we classify new acquaintances into types: lovable fools or competent jerks.
Occasionally we see people as incompetent and cold—foolish jerks—or as warm and competent—lovable stars. The latter is the golden quadrant, because receiving trust and respect from other people allows you to interact well and get things done.
But we don’t value the two traits equally. First we judge warmth or trustworthiness, which we consider to be the more important of the two dimensions. People process words related to warmth and morality (friendly, honest, and others) faster than words related to competence (creative, skillful, and others).
Why do we prioritize warmth over competence? Because from an evolutionary perspective, it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust. If he doesn’t, we’d better keep our distance, because he’s potentially dangerous, especially if he’s competent. We do value people who are capable, especially in circumstances where that trait is necessary, but we only notice that after we’ve judged their trustworthiness.



Amartya Sen

Human beings are thoroughly diverse. We differ from each other not only in external characteristics (e.g. in inherited fortunes, in the natural and social environment in which we live), but also in our personal characteristics (e.g. age, sex, proneness to illness, physical and mental abilities). The assessment of the claims of equality has to come to terms with the existence of pervasive human diversity.

Leo Tolstoy

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

The only thing that we know is that we know nothing — and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.

Alysson Muotri

A team of researchers led by neuroscientist Alysson Muotri of the University of California, San Diego, coaxed human stem cells to form tissue from the cortex — a brain region that controls cognition and interprets sensory information. They grew hundreds of brain organoids in culture for 10 months, and tested individual cells to confirm that they expressed the same collection of genes seen in typical developing human brains1.
Muotri and his colleagues continuously recorded electrical patterns, or electroencephalogram (EEG) activity, across the surface of the mini brains. By six months, the organoids were firing at a higher rate than other brain organoids previously created, which surprised the team.
The EEG patterns were also unexpected. In mature brains, neurons form synchronized networks that fire with predictable rhythms. But the organoids displayed irregular EEG patterns that resembled the chaotic bursts of synchronized electrical activity seen in developing brains. When the researchers compared these rhythms to the EEGs of premature babies, they found that the organoids’ patterns mimicked those of infants born at 25–39 weeks post-conception.

Jessica Wildfire

We perform different selves for different people. Your coworkers see one side of you. Your friends another. Your lovers still another. You’re all of these, and none of these — all at the same time.

You can understand yourself in lots of ways. Your job does say something about you. So do your habits. And your likes and dislikes. Your fashion sense. The way you talk. You’re the sum of all that, plus what different people think about you.

Don’t waste your life trying to construct the full picture.

Wendell Wallach

Social disruptions, public health and economic crises, environmental damage, and personal tragedies all made possible by the adoption of new technologies will increase dramatically over the next twenty years.

If a convergence of multiple crises takes place, many of which result from unaddressed, foreseen problems, the answer could be the rapid onset of a dystopian future.


① 恋愛の特攻隊長♡フェニルエチルアミン(やっと覚えれた!!)略してPEAが、何の加減かで好きになりそうな相手と関わると出る。恋は盲目ホルモン。あなたしか見えない。。
② 快楽ホルモン♡エンドルフィン:PEAは、麻薬のモルヒネに似た構造を持つ脳内麻薬で、高揚感、陶酔感などの快感をもたらすエンドルフィンを分泌させる。 でもエンドルフィンは、その後も出続け安定した関係にも寄与。ストレスを感じた時も出るから、複雑な人。
③ 愛情ホルモン♡オキシトシン:性的な触れ合いで、特に子宮頸部の刺激で、女性に大量に放出されるホルモン。このホルモンの恐ろしいところは、その対象の相手への愛が一生持続するところ!ヒエ~~~!!
④ 興奮ホルモン☆ドーパミン:強力麻薬ドーパミン。ウキウキワクワクが止まらない。ずっと出し続けるのは無理。もっともっとと中毒症状。大騒ぎです。はい、恋愛の一番良くて苦しい状態を作り出しますね。
⑤ 落ち着けホルモン♡セロトニン:これが恋愛中は不足する(特に女子)ので、1~4までの暴走を止められない。苦しみを和らげる鍵はこのホルモン!
⑥ ブチ切れホルモン☆ノルアドレナリン:あまりにもきつい状況が続くと、これが分泌され、キレがちに。

Lucy Foulkes

All brains are different
Recognising that all adolescents are different has really important implications for things like education or advertising. If, for example, the way in which adolescents learn is dependent on their specific pattern of brain development, then educational strategies that are based on averages will only have limited use.
Similarly, advertising campaigns for things like sexual health, if based on the studies that are averaged across participants, will work for some adolescents but not others.
The sooner we understand the difference between adolescents, the sooner we can integrate this information into schools and policy. This is important, because after all, there’s no such thing as an average teenager, and we need to remember this as we continue to refine our understanding of the adolescent brain.

Bari Weiss

Women are hypocrites. Women are opportunists. Women are liars.
They are abusers and bullies and manipulators. They are capable of cruelty, callousness and evil.
Just like men.

Yorke Zhang, Jerod L. Ptacin, Emil C. Fischer, Hans R. Aerni, Carolina E. Caffaro, Kristine San Jose, Aaron W. Feldman, Court R. Turner & Floyd E. Romesberg

Since at least the last common ancestor of all life on Earth, genetic information has been stored in a four-letter alphabet that is propagated and retrieved by the formation of two base pairs. The central goal of synthetic biology is to create new life forms and functions, and the most general route to this goal is the creation of semi-synthetic organisms whose DNA harbours two additional letters that form a third, unnatural base pair. Previous efforts to generate such semi-synthetic organisms culminated in the creation of a strain of Escherichia coli that, by virtue of a nucleoside triphosphate transporter from Phaeodactylum tricornutum, imports the requisite unnatural triphosphates from its medium and then uses them to replicate a plasmid containing the unnatural base pair dNaM–dTPT3. Although the semi-synthetic organism stores increased information when compared to natural organisms, retrieval of the information requires in vivo transcription of the unnatural base pair into mRNA and tRNA, aminoacylation of the tRNA with a non-canonical amino acid, and efficient participation of the unnatural base pair in decoding at the ribosome. Here we report the in vivo transcription of DNA containing dNaM and dTPT3 into mRNAs with two different unnatural codons and tRNAs with cognate unnatural anticodons, and their efficient decoding at the ribosome to direct the site-specific incorporation of natural or non-canonical amino acids into superfolder green fluorescent protein. The results demonstrate that interactions other than hydrogen bonding can contribute to every step of information storage and retrieval. The resulting semi-synthetic organism both encodes and retrieves increased information and should serve as a platform for the creation of new life forms and functions.

Yuval Noah Harari

Why is liberal democracy in crisis? Is God back? What can we do about the epidemic of fake news? Which civilisation dominates the world? Should Europe keep its doors open to immigrants? Can nationalism solve the problems of inequality and climate change? What should we do about terrorism? What should we teach our kids?
Billions of us can hardly afford the luxury of investigating these questions, because we have more pressing things to do: we have to go to work, take care of the kids, or look after elderly parents. Unfortunately, history makes no concessions. If the future of humanity is decided in your absence, because you are too busy – you and they will not be exempt from the consequences. This is very unfair; but who said history was fair?

Chinmay Jadhav

We know that exercise boosts memory and thinking skills. But now, researchers have shown for the first time that physical activity can increase the size of children’s brains and improve academic performance.


1967年 北海道釧路市生まれ。
2008年 インドでALSを発症。
2011年 気管切開し24時間人工呼吸器を装着。声を失う。
2015年 手の指が動かなくなる。
2016年 視線入力で短編ミステリー小説「情報協力」を書きあげる。


The prisoner’s dilemma is a standard example of a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two completely rational individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interests to do so. It was originally framed by Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher while working at RAND in 1950. Albert W. Tucker formalized the game with prison sentence rewards and named it “prisoner’s dilemma”, presenting it as follows:

Two members of a criminal gang are arrested and imprisoned. Each prisoner is in solitary confinement with no means of communicating with the other. The prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to convict the pair on the principal charge, but they have enough to convict both on a lesser charge. Simultaneously, the prosecutors offer each prisoner a bargain. Each prisoner is given the opportunity either to betray the other by testifying that the other committed the crime, or to cooperate with the other by remaining silent. The offer is:

  • If A and B each betray the other, each of them serves two years in prison
  • If A betrays B but B remains silent, A will be set free and B will serve three years in prison (and vice versa)
  • If A and B both remain silent, both of them will only serve one year in prison (on the lesser charge).

It is implied that the prisoners will have no opportunity to reward or punish their partner other than the prison sentences they get and that their decision will not affect their reputation in the future. Because betraying a partner offers a greater reward than cooperating with them, all purely rational self-interested prisoners will betray the other, meaning the only possible outcome for two purely rational prisoners is for them to betray each other. The interesting part of this result is that pursuing individual reward logically leads both of the prisoners to betray when they would get a better reward if they both kept silent. In reality, humans display a systemic bias towards cooperative behavior in this and similar games despite what is predicted by simple models of “rational” self-interested action.

Peter Kropotkin

In the animal world we have seen that the vast majority of species live in societies, and that they find in association the best arms for the struggle for life: understood, of course, in its wide Darwinian sense – not as a struggle for the sheer means of existence, but as a struggle against all natural conditions unfavourable to the species. The animal species, in which individual struggle has been reduced to its narrowest limits, and the practice of mutual aid has attained the greatest development, are invariably the most numerous, the most prosperous, and the most open to further progress. The mutual protection which is obtained in this case, the possibility of attaining old age and of accumulating experience, the higher intellectual development, and the further growth of sociable habits, secure the maintenance of the species, its extension, and its further progressive evolution. The unsociable species, on the contrary, are doomed to decay.



Yuval Noah Harari

The milder forms of nationalism have been among the most benevolent of human creations. Nations are communities of millions of strangers who don’t really know each other. For example, I don’t know the eight million people who share my Israeli citizenship. But thanks to nationalism, we can all care about one another and cooperate effectively. This is very good. Some people, like John Lennon, imagine that without nationalism, the world will be a peaceful paradise. But far more likely, without nationalism, we would have been living in tribal chaos. If you look today at the most prosperous and peaceful countries in the world, countries like Sweden and Switzerland and Japan, you will see that they have a very strong sense of nationalism. In contrast, countries that lack a strong sense of nationalism, like Congo and Somalia and Afghanistan, tend to be violent and poor.

Albert Camus

Du port obscur montèrent les premières fusées des réjouissances officielles. La ville les salua par une longue et sourde exclamation. Cottard, Tarrou, ceux et celle que Rieux avait aimés et perdus, tous, morts ou coupables, étaient oubliés. Le vieux avait raison, les hommes étaient toujours les mêmes. Mais c’était leur force et leur innocence et c’est ici que, par-dessus toute douleur, Rieux sentait qu’il les rejoignait. Au milieu des cris qui redoublaient de force et de durée, qui se répercutaient longuement jusqu’au pied de la terrasse, à mesure que les gerbes multicolores s’élevaient plus nombreuses dans le ciel, le docteur Rieux décida alors de rédiger le récit qui s’achève ici, pour ne pas être de ceux qui se taisent, pour témoigner en faveur de ces pestiférés, pour laisser du moins un souvenir de l’injustice et de la violence qui leur avaient été faites, et pour dire simplement ce qu’on apprend au milieu des fléaux, qu’il y a dans les hommes plus de choses à admirer que de choses à mépriser.


もともと人間の情動は定量化できない。 なぜかと言えば人間の脳や感性は全ての個体が等質ではないし、同じものを見て誰かは「気持ち悪い」と感じ誰かは「カワイイ」といい誰かは「格好いい」という可能性は充分にある(もちろん感性をアウトプットする感覚言語の選択の問題である可能性は鑑みた上で)。
キティちゃんはカワイイ。 ではそのかわいさは林檎何個分か?という定量化はできない。 仮にキティちゃんがリンゴ3個分カワイイとして(この時点でおかしいが)、では橋本環奈の可愛さはリンゴ何個分か?と他に適用するのも難しい。 ひとつの定規を他に対しても適用し比較するのが定量化だが、感性や感覚は絶対的ではないからこそ定量化できない。 感覚とは、対象の絶対値ではない。 あくまで受け取り手により一程度変動する曖昧なものでしかない。
そもそも言語は、脳内の概念を定量的に置き変えるための擬似的な手段でしかない。 強力ではあるが、絶対的なツールではない。 共通コミュニケーションの手段であり、かつ人間の膨大な思考を擬似的に捕まえるためのツール。 人間の内的世界の抽象を、外的に定量化するための文字や数字に還元することは難しいし、出力した時点でそれは内的な抽象と等価ではない。
人間は0や1を入力すればそのまま0や1で出力する単純な仕組みではない。 感想、批評だと言うが、ひとつの物語・作品に含まれる膨大な情報の中のごく一部だけを、独りの人間が己の感性という装置を通し、さらに言語に変換したものはその人間のものでしかなく、作品とは関係ない。 作品が良いか悪いか? それはその作品を同じように観るしかない。 個々の感性により判断は異なり、価値もまた然り。 「誰かが○○と感じた作品(物語)だからそういう風に考える可能性が高いだろう」という目安にはなるが。
人間の美的感覚というのは定量化できず感覚を計るのに感覚を持って行うからこそ抽象的。 ファッションは、文字言語化できない感覚的な抽象を言語や数字などの言語記号に変換せず、直接的に形として表現し心理的効果として昇華したもの。

Journal of Neuroscience and Neuroengineering

Journal of Neuroscience and Neuroengineering deals with all branches of neurosciences and engineering including neurobiology, neurochemistry, neuroanatomy, regenerative medicine, brain-computer (machine) interface, cognitive neuroscience, neural engineering, neuro-electronics and neural circuits/interfacing, neuroimaging using various modalities such as electroencephalography, ultrasound, x-rays computed tomography, magnetic resonance, fluorescence and optical microscopy, molecular and cellular neuroscience, neuro-immunology, neuro-oncology, neuro-pharmaceutics, neuro-physiology, neuropsychology, neuroprotection, neuroradiology, neuroregeneration, brain disorders and diseases, cerebrovascular disease, cerebrovascular/gene regulation, neurosensors, neurosurgery, neurotransmitters, nanoscale neuroscience, novel techniques for neuroscience applications, medical engineering technologies for nervous system, neurochips, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation, systems neuroscience/biology, laser and optoelectronics technologies for neuroscience applications, theoretical and computational neuroscience, metabolic networks, translational neuroscience and translational medicine, neuroendocrinology, neuroepidemiology, neuroergonomics, neurogenetics, nanomedicine, diseases of the nervous system and their treatment, drug design and drug discovery, drug/alcohol effects, toxicity, environment and health effects, biocompatibility materials for neuroscience applications, bioelectronics and biosensors, biomedicine and much more.


The Weber–Fechner law refers to two related laws in the field of psychophysics, known as Weber’s law and Fechner’s law. Both laws relate to human perception, more specifically the relation between the actual change in a physical stimulus and the perceived change. This includes stimuli to all senses: vision, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.
Both Weber’s law and Fechner’s law were formulated by Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801–1887). They were first published in 1860 in the work Elemente der Psychophysik (Elements of psychophysics). This publication was the first work ever in this field, and where Fechner coined the term psychophysics to describe the interdisciplinary study of how humans perceive physical magnitudes.

Richard Schwartz

Loneliness is bad for you.

When you’re disconnected, your immune system goes to hell.

If we know that loneliness affects our immune response, it’s not surprising that it would happen at the level of DNA expression.

Few higher mammals are solitary. Humans are relatively helpless as individuals in the natural world. Part of what makes us so powerful is that we’ve banded together in small groups. And part of the pain of loneliness is the recognition that without other people we simply can’t survive.

Steven W. Cole

The conceptual relationship between genes and the social world has shifted significantly during the past 20 years. As genes have come to be understood in concrete molecular terms, rather than as abstract heritability constructs, it has become clear that social factors can play a significant role in regulating the activity of the human genome. DNA encodes the potential for cellular behavior, but that potential is only realized if the gene is expressed—if its DNA is transcribed into RNA. RNA and its translated proteins are what mediate cellular behaviors such as movement, metabolism, and biochemical response to external stimuli (e.g., neurotransmission or immune response). Absent their expression in the form of RNA, DNA genes have no effect on health or behavioral phenotypes. The development of DNA microarray and high-throughput RNA sequencing technologies now allows researchers to survey the expression of all human genes simultaneously and map the specific subset of genes that are active in a given cell at a given point in time—the RNA “transcriptome.” “Functional genomics” studies surveying RNA transcriptomes have shown that cells are highly selective about which genes they express, and humans’ DNA encodes a great deal more genetic potential than is actually realized in RNA. Even more striking has been the discovery that the social world outside one’s body can markedly influence these gene expression profiles.



Naomi Wolf

The vulva, clitoris, and vagina are just the most superficial surfaces of what is really going on with us. The real activity is literally far, and far more complexly, under these tactile surfaces. The vulva, clitoris, and vagina are actually best understood as the surface of an ocean that is shot through with vibrant networks of underwater lightning – intricate and fragile, individually varied neural pathways. All these networks are continually sending their impulses to the spinal cord and brain, which then send new impulses back down through other fibers in the same nerves to produce various effects. This dense set of neural pathways extends throughout the entire pelvis, far underneath that outer vulvar skin and inner vaginal skin (though this last phrase too is not, medically, technically accurate: the skin inside the vagina is called, in one of the many unpleasant terms we have, to refer to something so lovely, mucous membrane or mucosa).

Karin Jones

After being married for 23 years, I wanted sex but not a relationship. This is dicey because you can’t always control emotional attachments when body chemicals mix, but with the married men I guessed that the fact that they had wives, children and mortgages would keep them from going overboard with their affections. And I was right. They didn’t get overly attached, and neither did I. We were safe bets for each other.
I was careful about the men I met. I wanted to make sure they had no interest in leaving their wives or otherwise threatening all they had built together.

John Pickrell

Part of an upper jaw with teeth found in Israel shows that modern humans ventured out of Africa much earlier than previously thought. The find adds to evidence that our species was overlapping with human relatives such as Neanderthals in the crossroads of the Levant for longer than previously realized.
Until recently, the fossil record suggested that our species, Homo sapiens, first appeared in East Africa around 200,000 years ago. While a larger wave of migration didn’t leave the continent until 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, small numbers of modern humans made forays outside of Africa as far back as 120,000 years ago, based on the known fossils. (Explore a map of human migration.)
Then, last June, research on fossils from a site called Jebel Irhoud in Morocco turned conventional wisdom on its head: Those modern-looking humans are up to 350,000 years old, scientists discovered, pushing back the early origins of our species.
The new Middle Eastern discovery, detailed today in Science, complements the Moroccan find by showing that Homo sapiens were also taking initial steps into Eurasia much earlier—around 180,000 years ago.

Smithsonian Institution

The species that you and all other living human beings on this planet belong to is Homo sapiens. During a time of dramatic climate change 200,000 years ago, Homo sapiens evolved in Africa. Like other early humans that were living at this time, they gathered and hunted food, and evolved behaviors that helped them respond to the challenges of survival in unstable environments.
Anatomically, modern humans can generally be characterized by the lighter build of their skeletons compared to earlier humans. Modern humans have very large brains, which vary in size from population to population and between males and females, but the average size is approximately 1300 cubic centimeters. Housing this big brain involved the reorganization of the skull into what is thought of as “modern” — a thin-walled, high vaulted skull with a flat and near vertical forehead. Modern human faces also show much less (if any) of the heavy brow ridges and prognathism of other early humans. Our jaws are also less heavily developed, with smaller teeth.
Scientists sometimes use the term “anatomically modern Homo sapiens” to refer to members of our own species who lived during prehistoric times.




Five nines, commonly taken to mean “99.999%”, may refer to:
• High availability of services, when the downtime is less than 5.26 minutes per year

Availability % Downtime per year Downtime per month Downtime per day
90% (“one nine”) 36.5 days 72 hours 2.4 hours
99% (“two nines”) 3.65 days 7.20 hours 14.4 minutes
99.9% (“three nines”) 8.76 hours 43.8 minutes 1.44 minutes
99.99% (“four nines”) 52.6 minutes 4.38 minutes 8.64 seconds
99.999% (“five nines”) 5.26 minutes 25.9 seconds 864 milliseconds
99.9999% (“six nines”) 31.6 seconds 2.59 seconds 86.4 milliseconds
99.99999% (“seven 9s”) 3.16 seconds 262 milliseconds 8.64 milliseconds
99.999999% (“eight 9s”) 316 milliseconds 26.2 milliseconds 0.864 milliseconds
99.9999999% (“nine 9s”) 31.6 milliseconds 2.62 milliseconds 0.0864 milliseconds



Jared Diamond

History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.

Yuval Noah Harari

Is there any objective reality, outside the human imagination, in which we are truly equal? Are all humans equal to one another biologically? Let us try to translate the most famous line of the American Declaration of Independence into biological terms:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men evolved differently, that they are born with certain mutable characteristics, and that among these are life and the pursuit of pleasure.

Rebecca Surette

On this planet, at least, we’re all carbon-based organisms, and we all “inhale” something and “exhale” something else. I use quotation marks simply because the breathing mechanism is very different from animals to plants.

Dennis Richards

All animals and plants share similar cell structures with a cell membrane, nucleus, mitochondria, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi body, and cytoplasm. Plant cells also have a cell wall and chloroplasts. They also share the same genetic code and a common ancestor some 1.6 billion years ago.

Alex Stone

Should parents be troubled when their kids start to deceive them?
Odds are, most of us would say yes. We believe honesty is a moral imperative, and we try to instill this belief in our children. Classic morality tales like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and “Pinocchio” speak to the dangers of dishonesty, and children who lie a lot, or who start lying at a young age, are often seen as developmentally abnormal, primed for trouble later in life.
But research suggests the opposite is true. Lying is not only normal; it’s also a sign of intelligence.

Véronique Vincelli

Conscient ou inconscient, le fantasme sexuel est une rêverie, une envie, une image ou un sentiment plus ou moins réaliste.

En fait, il est l’organe sexuel le plus performant! La pensée est directement liée à l’excitation sexuelle et possède un pouvoir inouï sur l’organisme.

Wenqi Wei et al.

To test the relationship between ambient temperature and personality, we conducted two large-scale studies in two geographically large yet culturally distinct countries: China and the United States. Using data from 59 Chinese cities (N = 5,587), multilevel analyses and machine learning analyses revealed that compared with individuals who grew up in regions with less clement temperatures, individuals who grew up in regions with more clement temperatures (that is, closer to 22 °C) scored higher on personality factors related to socialization and stability (agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability) and personal growth and plasticity (extraversion and openness to experience). These relationships between temperature clemency and personality factors were replicated in a larger dataset of 12,499 ZIP-code level locations (the lowest geographical level feasible) in the United States (N = 1,660,638).

Rosie McCall

While improvements in training and nutrition in the 20th century saw athletic achievement improve in leaps and bounds, many scientists believe we’re now extremely close to reaching the human body’s full potential for endurance sports. This means that the era of record-breaking, at least as far as professional runners are concerned, could be coming to an end. To break the natural limits of human physiology and beat existing records, athletes may have to turn to artificial technology and doping.



Geoff Hinton

The brain has about 1014 synapses and we only live for about 109 seconds. So we have a lot more parameters than data. This motivates the idea that we must do a lot of unsupervised learning since the perceptual input (including proprioception) is the only place we can get 105 dimensions of constraint per second.

Mark Thompson

Humanism is a perspective on the world that the events one experiences and observes are not attributable to the will of one or more Supreme Beings or other invisible beings, but are fully comprehensible by humans through science and other intellectual endeavors. A Supreme Being is neither necessary nor sufficient to understand the world; the intellectual efforts of humans, collectively, are necessary and sufficient.
Humanitarianism is a synonym for charity but the “ism” suffix signifies a more institutional, or at least long- standing, perspective or approach, whereas “charity” can simply refer to one-off acts as well as a broader attitude. Humanitarianism also tends to refer to a secular attitude more often than charity which is used in a religious context as well as a secular one.



横田一, 小池百合子


Ulrich Boser

A forgotten memory is a lot like an old file on your computer. While the document still exists, you don’t have a good way of getting to it, and today many memory researchers don’t even use the word “forgetting.” The term implies that a recollection is gone forever. Instead, forgetting is a matter of “retrieval failure.”

Hannah Arendt

  • By its very nature the beautiful is isolated from everything else. From beauty no road leads to reality.
  • Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda.
  • The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
  • Nothing we use or hear or touch can be expressed in words that equal what is given by the senses.
  • Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence.
  • The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.

Leon Festinger

In short, I am proposing that dissonance, that is, the existence of nonfitting relations among cognitions, is a motivating factor in its own right. By the term cognition I mean any knowledge, opinion, or belief about the environment, about oneself, or about one’s behavior. Cognitive dissonance reduction can be seen as an antecedent condition which leads to activity oriented towards dissonance reduction just as hunger leads to activity oriented towards hunger reduction. It is a very different motivation from what psychologist are used to dealing with but, as we shall see, nonetheless powerful.

Canyon Ranch

Like the rest of your body, your brain changes with each passing year. From the time we are infants, our brains are adapting, learning, making memories and more. We become smarter and sharper, earning the wisdom that truly only comes with life experience. The less desirable effects of the march of time can certainly be felt, too. You may recognize them: An ever-lost set of keys, a to-do that never seems to stay top of mind, a name that’s on the tip of your tongue.
Once we hit our sixties, … the brain has begun to shrink in size and, after a lifetime of gaining accumulated knowledge, it becomes less efficient at accessing that knowledge and adding to it.





Glenn Geher, Scott Barry Kaufman

A wise man once told me, “As a man, you have to die once in order to live.” I never fully appreciated his advice, nor did I understand it until I experienced it firsthand. From that time on, I understood the origins of the Jerk vs. Nice Guy battle. Readers may be asking themselves, “What in the world is this guy talking about?” Well, I’m referring to the widely known fact that women habitually date men that are jerks while the “nice” guys are often left twiddling their thumbs in solitaire. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Figuratively speaking, in order for a man to enjoy the company of women and be able to seduce them, his inner nice guy must first die through heartache. It is at this point that his inner bad boy surfaces and goes on the prowl.

Glenn Geher

Many reach the top by being conspicuously caring – demonstrating a lifelong dedication to their broader communities and to helping others in their social worlds. Think Mother Theresa. On the other hand, there are relatively dark ways to reach the top in nearly all human social contexts. Displaying characteristics of the Dark Triad – being uncaring about others, self-absorbed, and manipulative – for better or worse, seems to also be an effective route to the top. It may not be a nice approach to social life, but it can be a successful one – particularly if others in the community allow this kind of strategy to succeed. Does Donald Trump demonstrate the features of the Dark Triad? Based on my expert opinion having published extensively in this area of psychology, I think the answer is this: Absolutely and unequivocally.

Kara Mayer Robinson

You may have heard people call someone else a “psychopath” or a “sociopath.” But what do those words really mean?
Doctors don’t officially diagnose people as psychopaths or sociopaths. They use a different term instead: antisocial personality disorder.
Most experts believe psychopaths and sociopaths share a similar set of traits. People like this have a poor inner sense of right and wrong. They also can’t seem to understand or share another person’s feelings. But there are some differences, too.
A key difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is whether he has a conscience, the little voice inside that lets us know when we’re doing something wrong.
A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to. He may observe others and then act the way they do so he’s not “found out.”
A sociopath typically has a conscience, but it’s weak. He may know that taking your money is wrong, and he might feel some guilt or remorse, but that won’t stop his behavior.
Both lack empathy, the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel. But a psychopath has less regard for others. Someone with this personality type sees others as objects he can use for his own benefit.

Heather F. Smith, William Parker, Sanet H. Kotzé, Michel Laurin

The evolutionary pressures leading to the appearance of the cecal appendix, its evolutionary relationships with the cecum, and the link between these gastrointestinal characters and ecology remain controversial. We collected data on appendix presence and size, other gastrointestinal characters, ecological variables, dietary habits, and social characters hypothesized to drive appendix evolution for 533 mammalian species. Using phylogeny-informed analyses, we identified the first evidence of a positive correlation between appendix presence and cecal apex thickness, and a correlation with cecal morphology, suggesting that the appendix and cecum may be evolving as a module, the cecoappendicular complex. A correlation between appendix presence and concentration of cecal lymphoid tissue supports the hypothesis of an adaptive immune function for this complex. Other new findings include an inverse correlation between relative cecum length and habitat breadth, and positive relationships between cecum length and mean group size, and between colon length and weaning age.

Bright Side

Yawning  The main purpose of yawning is to cool down the brain after it’s been overheated or overloaded.
Sneezing  Usually, we sneeze when our nasal passages fill up with too many allergens, microbes, dust, or other irritants. Sneezing is the body’s way of getting rid of this “trash.”
Stretching  We instinctively stretch in order to prepare our bodies for the physical loads we expect them to take during the day. At the same time, stretching works the muscles, restores blood flow, and improves our mood.
Hiccuping  When we eat very quickly, swallow large pieces of food, or simply overeat, our pneumogastric nerve can become irritated. This is closely connected to our stomach and diaphragm. The result is a bout of hiccups.

Ron Miller

While a machine can perform a given task, often more efficiently than we can, what it lacks is the artistry in the activity, that uniquely human ability to cater to the needs of the individual. The protocol may suggest one approach, but a person who is good at their job understands when to adjust and the subtleties that are required.
People still matter. And that’s an important point to keep in mind. Even in scenarios that don’t involve advanced education like physicians, it doesn’t mean that we as humans don’t want to interact with people instead of machines.
Technology marches relentlessly forward, and it would be foolish to argue otherwise, but some things remain fundamental, and people-to-people communication will continue to be one of them. Just because the tech is available, doesn’t mean it’s always going to be the best option in every situation.

Steven Shorrock

Following most major accidents, one phrase is almost guaranteed to headline in the popular press: ‘human error’. The concept is also popular in our own discipline and profession; it is probably among the most profitable in terms of research and consultancy dollars. While seductively simple to the layperson, it comes with a variety of meanings and interpretations with respect to causation and culpability. With its evocative associations, synonyms, and position in our own models, ‘human error’ is a key anchoring object in everyday and specialist narratives. Despite our efforts to look at what lies beneath, explanations, both in industry and the judiciary, often float back what people can see, with hindsight, at the surface. Our scientists’, designers’ and analysts’ perspectives are overpowered by common sense, management and legal perspectives. And the pervasive nature of the term clouds other ways of seeing that recognise the need for adjustments, variability and trade-offs in performance.





Ethan Kross, Marc G. Berman, Walter Mischel, Edward E. Smith, Tor D. Wager

How similar are the experiences of social rejection and physical pain? Extant research suggests that a network of brain regions that support the affective but not the sensory components of physical pain underlie both experiences. Here we demonstrate that when rejection is powerfully elicited—by having people who recently experienced an unwanted break-up view a photograph of their ex-partner as they think about being rejected—areas that support the sensory components of physical pain (secondary somatosensory cortex; dorsal posterior insula) become active. We demonstrate the overlap between social rejection and physical pain in these areas by comparing both conditions in the same individuals using functional MRI. We further demonstrate the specificity of the secondary somatosensory cortex and dorsal posterior insula activity to physical pain by comparing activated locations in our study with a database of over 500 published studies. Activation in these regions was highly diagnostic of physical pain, with positive predictive values up to 88%. These results give new meaning to the idea that rejection “hurts.” They demonstrate that rejection and physical pain are similar not only in that they are both distressing—they share a common somatosensory representation as well.

James Doty

dotySince the start of civilization, the source of human intelligence and consciousness has been a mystery. … While much was learned about brain anatomy and function, our understanding remained very limited. In fact, through most of the twentieth century, it was believed that the brain was fixed, immutable, and static. Today, we know that the brain has great plasticity and can change, adapt, and transform. It is molded by experience, repetition, and intention. It is only because of the extraordinary technological advances over the last few decades that we can see the brain’s ability to transform on a cellular, genetic, and even molecular level. Extraordinarily, as I learned, each of us has the ability to change the very circuitry of our brain.

Adam Dachis

While a little common sense and life experience can demonstrate the imperfections in your (and everyone else’s) memory, Schacter’s research points to two important things: we’re no good at recalling past events or imagining the future because our process for doing either is essentially the same—at least as far as our brain functionality is concerned. While this points to much more of a problem than a solution, it certainly helps to remember that no memory is perfect and we’re all designed to recall with error. Next time someone gets something wrong, it’s at least worth remembering that.



KJ Dell’Antonia

sorryimlate3A good friend and colleague, a real extrovert, sent me a link to a shirt recently that she knew I’d appreciate. “Sorry I’m late,” the T-shirt reads. “I didn’t want to be here.
I laughed — of course I laughed. I’m as introverted as she is outgoing, and we frequently play out our roles in tandem. At parties, she takes the lead; at meetings, she does the talking. I get to nod and smile.
But the shirt also made me wince, because it perfectly encapsulated the suspicion I’ve started to develop that my introversion is an excuse for something else. I’m shy, yes. But am I also rude? In a contest between my manners and my preferences, am I allowing my preferences to win?
Years ago, I was habitually late. “I can’t help it!” I declared to an expert in time management.
“Have you ever missed a plane?” she asked. I had not. “Then you can help it. You just care more about yourself than about the needs of others.”


ゴキブリの仲間は世界から約3700種も記録され、日本にも50種以上が分布しています。しかし、そのほとんどは人間の生活とは関係なく、 腐食などを食べて細ぼそと暮らしている野の虫で、家の中の“おじゃま虫”になっているのはほんの一握りの種類だけです。日本で知られている屋内性の種類はせいぜい10種たらずです。
屋内性のゴキブリのなかには、もうすっかり人間との同居生活に適応し、本来の原産地がどこなのか定かではない種類までいます。 彼らが「人造害虫」と呼ばれているゆえんです。
以前、ある生物学の大家がゴキブリのあまりの横行に、「人類のあと地球を継承するのはゴキブリであろう」との新説を唱えたことがあります。 しかし、決してそうはならないでしょう。試しに、冬のさなかに数日間暖房を切って窓を開けておけばゴキブリは全滅します。それが彼らの本来の姿です。屋内性のゴキブリはまさしく人類とは“運命共同体”です。生活を依存している人間の文明が失われたら彼らの生活も終わり、再びもとの自然界に戻ることすら難しいことになるでしょう。 その前に、人類が次の時代をほかの動物にゆだねるような、そんなりっぱな滅亡の仕方ができるかどうかの方が問題かもしれません。

Christof Koch

What do we know about Consciousness?

  • Consciousness is associated with some complex, adaptive, biological networks (not immune system nor enteric nervous system)
  • Consciousness does not require behavior
  • Consciousness does not require emotions
  • Consciousness can be dissociated from selective attention
  • Consciousness does not require language — babies are shown to be conscious
  • Consciousness does not require self-consciousness
  • Consciousness does not require long-term memory
  • Consciousness can occur in one cerebral hemisphere – which means that we could have 2 simultaneous separate conscious experiences
  • Destruction of cortical regions interferes with specific content of consciousness – which indicates that there is not a “center of consciousness” in the brain, but it arises from distributed activity

These facts are very interesting, and provide us with a specific lens to form hypotheses on how consciousness works, and could be created.

ステファノ・マンクーゾ(Stefano Mancuso), アレッサンドラ・ヴィオラ(Alessandra Viola)


For thousands of years, we were sure that we were the most exalted of living beings, and at the center of the universe, but in recent times that conviction has been painfully contradicted, and our certainties profoundly shaken. Just think: first we had to abandon the geocentric system, recognizing that we live on a very insignificant planet in a galaxy at the edge of the universe. Then we had to accept our resemblance to other animals, and even our descent from certain animals. What a slap in the face!


スポーツ万能な人のことを「運動神経がいい人だ」なんて言いますよね。ところが、医学的にいうとこの表現はあり得ないのです。なぜなら、運動オンチの人もスポーツ万能の人も、みんな運動神経は同じものだからです。この運動神経というものは鍛えて太くなるものでもありませんし、生まれつき特別に発達しているものでもありません。ですから、スポーツ選手は特別な運動神経を持っているわけではないのです。では、スポーツ選手とあなたの運動能力に差があるのはなぜでしょう? 筋肉の発達は大きな要素ですが、それ以上に運動能力に深く関係があるのは、実は小脳の中の記憶なのです。たとえば、長い距離を泳ぐための練習を繰り返したとします。最初は5メートルも泳げなかったとしても、練習を繰り返していくと、次第に長い距離を泳げるようになっていきますよね。これは練習を繰り返すことで、小脳の中に筋肉をもっとも効率よく動かせる回路が作り出されたからなのです。訓練というのは、何度も何度も練習することによって「どの筋肉を、どの程度動かせば長い距離を泳げるのか」といったことを試行錯誤し、小脳の中に最適な動きをするための回路をつくっていく作業のことなのです。ですから、訓練を繰り返し、小脳にその情報を叩き込むことができれば、誰だって運動能力を向上させることができる、というわけです。

Jessica Conditt

Even if scientists develop the technology to create an artificial brain, there is no evidence that this process will automatically generate a mind.
The technological singularity has a longer tail than the law of accelerating returns suggests. Nothing on earth operates in a vacuum, and before we can create AI machines capable of supporting human intelligence, we need to understand what we’re attempting to imitate. Not ethically or morally, but technically. Before we can even think of re-creating the human brain, we need to unlock the secrets of the human mind.

Yuval Noah Harari

  • homodeusSince the verbal/language revolution around 70,000 years ago, human beings live within “imaginary orders” such as countries, borders, religion, money, all created by man in order to enable large-scale cooperation between different individual human beings.
  • Humankind’s immense ability to give meaning to its actions and thoughts is what enabled it to carry out its many achievements.
  • Humanism, worship of humankind, putting mankind and its desires as a top priority in the world while basing itself as the dominant being.
  • The threat which technology has over humankind and humanism and the continued ability of humankind to give meaning to its life under new conditions which have arisen and prophesying the coming replacement of humankind with a super-man or a Homo Deus (God-man) endowed with supernatural abilities such as eternal life.