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.

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In this climate of economic uncertainty, America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future.
Yet innovation remains tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects. Art + Design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century.
We need to add Art + Design to the equation — to transform STEM into STEAM.
STEAM is a movement championed by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and widely adopted by institutions, corporations and individuals.
The objectives of the STEAM movement are to:

  • transform research policy to place Art + Design at the center of STEM
  • encourage integration of Art + Design in K–20 education
  • influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation
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Harold Jarche

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Christian Madsbjerg

Sensemaking is practical wisdom grounded in the humanities. We can think of sense making as the exact opposite of algorithmic thinking: it is entirely situated in the concrete, while algorithmic thinking exists in a no-man’s land of information stripped of its specificity. Algorithmic thinking can go wide — processing trillions of terabytes of data per second — but only sense making can go deep.

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Whence things have their origin,
Thence also their destruction happens,
According to necessity;
For they give to each other justice and recompense
For their injustice
In conformity with the ordinance of Time.

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Victor Gevers

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Kris Gage

When I was 18, I attended a 50th wedding anniversary party. After dinner, the couple stood up and said:

“Sometimes people ask us how we stayed together for so long…”

They laughed, then said:

“The secret is: we never fell out of love at the same time.”

And that’s it; all of it — including the very real implication: sometimes, one of you will fall out of love.

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John Snow

Neither Shodan nor Censys are likely to be used by some serious cybercriminals — the real big bad guys have had botnets for a while, which can serve the very same purpose yet yield more power. It took Shodan’s creator John Matherly only 5 hours to ping and map all the devices on the whole Internet, and a botnet utilising hundreds of computers would probably do that even faster.
But there are a lot of other people who already have tried to misuse Shodan and Censys to play bad tricks and pranks on other people.

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Devin Coldewey

The security lapse was discovered by Victor Gevers at the GDI Foundation, a security organization working in the public’s interest. Using the infamous but useful Shodan search engine, he found a MongoDB instance owned by the Chinese company SenseNets that stored an ever-increasing number of data points from a facial recognition system apparently at least partially operated by the Chinese government.
Many of the targets of this system were Uyghur Muslims, an ethnic and religious minority in China that the country has persecuted in what it considers secrecy, isolating them in remote provinces in what amount to religious gulags.
This database was no limited sting operation: some 2.5 million people had their locations and other data listed in it. Gevers told me that data points included national ID card number with issuance and expiry dates; sex; nationality; home address; DOB; photo; employer; and known previously visited face detection locations.

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Devin Coldewey

The planned Robot Science Museum in Seoul will have a humdinger of a first exhibition: its own robotic construction. It’s very much a publicity stunt, though a fun one — but who knows? Perhaps robots putting buildings together won’t be so uncommon in the next few years, in which case Korea will just be an early adopter.

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Gabrielle Chanel

L’extrait est la quintessence d’un parfum. Son geste est précis et particulier. Parfumez-vous « sur tous les endroits où vous risquez d’être embrassée » conseille Gabrielle Chanel. Cou, poignet, décolleté, creux du coude… Déposez une goutte sur les points les plus intimes du corps, là où vibrent les battements du cœur.

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国立天文台 天文情報センター

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Devin Coldewey

For the first time in history, people have a way of securing their communications quickly, automatically, and at will from any threat, be it hackers or government snoops.
Good for us — but for the FBI and the police, it’s a calamity. Where once they could pry open locked drawers to find incriminating letters, or force a company to reveal private records, now everything depends on the willingness of the owner to allow that information to be decrypted.
Since they can’t go through the front door, so to speak, they have asked repeatedly for a back door. But what exactly is a backdoor, and why should you care?
The concept of a backdoor is simple to state but not so simple to definitively pin down. Like the back door of a house, a crypto backdoor (generally written as a single word) is a way to circumvent the locks and protections of the main entrance in order to walk in unobstructed and make oneself comfortable. A backdoor could be in a phone, laptop, router, security camera — any device, really.

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Devin Coldewey

Because AI is so poorly defined, it’s really easy to say your device or service has it and back that up with some plausible-sounding mumbo jumbo about feeding a neural network a ton of data on TV shows or water use patterns.

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Devin Coldewey

Intelligence is the ability to solve new problems.
That, after all, is really what is at the heart of the “adaptability,” the “generalizing,” the “initiative” that alloys alternately the “reason,” “judgment,” or “perception” abundant in the intelligent mind. Clearly it is important that one is able to solve problems, to reason one’s way through the world — but more important than that, one must be able to turn the ability to solve some problems into the ability to solve other problems. That transformative nature is key to intelligence, even if no one is quite sure how to formalize the idea.
Will our AIs one day be imbued with this all-important adaptable reason, and with it slip the leash, turning to new problems never defined or bounded by their creators?

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No. ラテン語月名 日数 由来 現在該当
1 Martius 31日 軍神マルスの月 3月
2 Aprīlis 30日 美の女神ウェヌスの月 4月
3 Māius 31日 豊穣の女神マイアの月 5月
4 Jūnius 30日 女性と結婚の守護神ユーノーの月 6月
5 Quīntīlis 31日 quīntus(5番目の月) 7月
6 Sextīlis 30日 sextus(6番目の月) 8月
7 September 30日 septem(7の月) 9月
8 Octōber 31日 octo(8の月) 10月
9 November 30日 novem(9の月) 11月
10 December 30日 decem(10の月) 12月
(月は置かれない) 約61日
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  手をつなぐ (33%)
  キスをする (21%)

  キスをする (27%)
  手をつなぐ (23%)

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世界的な大富豪は地位も名誉も資産もあるから、どんな美女も選び放題。でもその妻たちは、お顔もスタイルもどう見ても〝普通の女〞だってご存知かしら? 男って弱っているときに自分に優しくしてくれる女性が〝天使〞に見えちゃうの。『弱った男性には優しく』。これが狙っている男性を落とす一番有効なテクニックだと確信しております。

わたくしは今まで、たくさんの物を男性から頂きました。「どうしたらそんなに高価なプレゼントばかりもらえるんですか?」 と聞かれると、決まってこう答えています。「そういうものをくださる男性の近くにいるからよ」と。会社帰りの合コン、街コンや相席居酒屋で10カラットのダイヤをいただける男性と出会える確率はいかほどかしら?

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Frédéric Lère

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Imogen Heap

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足立経済新聞 すみだ経済新聞 深川経済新聞 浅草経済新聞 アキバ経済新聞 神田経済新聞 日本橋経済新聞 銀座経済新聞 新橋経済新聞 品川経済新聞 東京ベイ経済新聞 六本木経済新聞 赤坂経済新聞 市ケ谷経済新聞 池袋経済新聞 赤羽経済新聞 板橋経済新聞 練馬経済新聞 高田馬場経済新聞 新宿経済新聞 中野経済新聞 高円寺経済新聞 下北沢経済新聞 三軒茶屋経済新聞 二子玉川経済新聞 自由が丘経済新聞 目黒経済新聞 シブヤ経済新聞 吉祥寺経済新聞 調布経済新聞 北多摩経済新聞 立川経済新聞 八王子経済新聞 町田経済新聞 西多摩経済新聞  石垣経済新聞 台北経済新聞 香港経済新聞 ホーチミン経済新聞 バンコク経済新聞 シンガポール経済新聞 バリ経済新聞 マニラ経済新聞 ドバイ経済新聞 ニューヨーク経済新聞 

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Drago Anguelov

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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.

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Le tracé du CEVA (acronyme de « Cornavin – Eaux-Vives – Annemasse ») est constitué de quatre secteurs principaux :

  1. Entre la gare Cornavin et le Bachet-de-Pesay : la ligne CFF existante depuis 1949 entre Cornavin et la gare de La Praille sera réaménagée.
  2. Entre le Bachet-de-Pesay et la gare de Genève-Eaux-Vives : la ligne CFF est à construire et comportera un franchissement de l’Arve au moyen d’un pont puis un tunnel sous le quartier de Champel.
  3. Entre la gare des Eaux-Vives et la frontière franco-suisse : l’ancienne ligne à voie unique exploitée par la SNCF qui existe depuis 1888 est supprimée et une nouvelle ligne à deux voies sera construite sur le même tracé mais en tranchée couverte.
  4. Entre la frontière et la gare d’Annemasse (900 mètres) : la ligne à voie unique du réseau ferré national français qui existe depuis 1888 sera réaménagée selon les souhaits des autorités françaises. La tranchée couverte venant de Suisse sera prolongée et comportera deux voies électrifiées jusqu’à l’entrée en gare d’Annemasse. Deux passages à niveau seront ainsi supprimés et un troisième devrait laisser place à un pont-route.
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Frédéric Joignot

En avril 1993, Tim Berners-Lee obtient du prestigieux laboratoire européen qu’il enregistre le nouvel outil dans le domaine public, publie son code source et l’ouvre au « réseau des réseaux » mondial en gestation, l’Internet. Il est persuadé que le « véritable potentiel » du Web ne peut être libéré que s’il devient « un espace universel » où n’importe qui, en n’importe quel lieu, peut aller chercher librement des ressources, cela « gratuitement » et « sans permission ».
Il pressent qu’un des plus vieux rêves de l’humanité – rassembler toute la connaissance connue dans un espace que tous puissent explorer, une utopie qui remonte à la bibliothèque d’Alexandrie (fondée par Ptolémée en 288 av. J.-C.) et passe par l’imprimerie de Johannes Gutenberg (1400-1468) – devient possible, à la croisée du Web et d’Internet, et pense qu’il doit être offert au monde.

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Michael Beckerman

Fewer than five clicks. That’s all it takes to change privacy settings on your favorite social media or streaming service.
Online platforms, unlike most traditional business, proactively create contextual tools that help people better understand and control their privacy settings. Contrast that with cellphone carriers selling our location to bounty hunters or magazine publishers selling our subscription information to data brokers.
Companies across every sector of the economy collect and use consumer data. That’s why we support an economywide federal privacy law that requires real transparency and meaningful control over how data is collected, used and shared.

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Tony Cenicola

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十方無量 百千万億 世々累劫 深甚微妙 無明暗中 流々草花 遠離一輪 莫明無明 未生億海

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Dharam Barrett

(Shouldn’t you announce your goals, so friends can support you?)
When dealing with identity goals — that is, the aspirations that define who we are — sharing our intentions doesn’t necessarily motivate achievement.
On the contrary, a series of experiments shows that when others take notice of our plans, performance is compromised because we gain “a premature sense of completeness” about the goal.

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Yahoo! Japan

Yahoo!ジオシティーズ サービス終了のお知らせ

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  • しわがよるほくろができる背がかがむあたまがはげる毛が白くなる
  • 手はふるう足はよろつく歯はぬける耳は聞こえず目はうとくなる
  • またしても同じ話に孫自慢達者自慢に古きしゃれいう
  • くどくなる気短かになるぐちになる思いつくことみな古くなる
  • 身にそうは頭巾えり巻きつえめがね湯婆温石にしびんまごの手
  • 聞きたがる死にともながるさびしがるでしゃばりたがる世話やきたがる
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Ralph Waldo Emerson

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

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The International Churchill Society

“You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.”

While often attributed to Churchill, a search of over 2.5 million words by and about Churchill in The Churchill Centre’s research database fails to show that Churchill ever spoke or wrote those words.

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Paulo Coelho

The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.
 The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.
 But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.
 He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.
 ”Why do you weep?” the goddesses asked.
 ”I weep for Narcissus,” the lake replied.
 ”Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,” they said, “for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.”
 ”But… was Narcissus beautiful?” the lake asked.
 ”Who better than you to know that?” the goddesses asked in wonder. “After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!”
 The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said:
 ”I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.”
 ”What a lovely story,” the alchemist thought.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald

There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired.

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オリジナル曲が一曲だけあると言った。というその曲を聞かせてもらうことにした。その歌を聴いて驚いた。空もひとり 海もひとり 私もひとりという歌詞の、底知れない孤独感にうちのめされる思いがした。りりィが17歳の時に初めて書いたというには、孤独な少女の叫びが込められていた。ヒット曲になるような歌ではない。だが素直な歌詞とハスキーなヴォーカルから、純粋な心根が伝わって3人の心をゆさぶった。

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クワエ (Kuwae) は、南太平洋の国バヌアツのシェパード諸島に存在する火山、海底火山、カルデラ。1452年から1453年にかけて発生した大噴火が知られている。火山爆発指数はVEI6。当時の噴火の様子を記録されたものはない。大量の火山噴出物は大気中に拡散して日射量を減少させ、世界各地で火山の冬(もしくは夏のない年のような状況)のような極端な寒冷化をもたらした。日本では、長禄・寛正の飢饉の引き金になったほか、欧州でも飢饉となり同時期(1453年5月)にコンスタンティノープルの陥落(東ローマ帝国の滅亡)も生じたことから関連付けて語られることがある。

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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.

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Rogelio de Egusquiza

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Arthur Schopenhauer

Never in my life having enjoyed the true happiness of love I shall erect a memorial to this loveliest of all dreams in which, from the first to the last, love shall, for once, find utter fulfillment.

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  • VRで、どんなイベントも特等席から。
  • エンターテイメント:対応アプリは1000本以上。人と会うのも、一緒にイベントを楽しむのも、音楽を聴くのも、ゲームで遊ぶのも思いのまま。
  • 外出にもそのまま持っていける。
  • OCULUSスタジアム:自宅の椅子が会場の特等席に。
  • Oculus Goケース:カバンの中に、すっきり収納。持ち運びも安心。
  • Oculusアプリ:いつでもどこでも、すぐに楽しめる
  • ストレージ:容量は2種類、どちらでも体験は快適
    (32GB ¥23,800、64GB ¥29,800)
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Andrew Juniper

Wabi sabi describes a traditional Japanese aesthetic sensibility based on an appreciation of the transient beauty of the physical world.
It embodies the melancholic appeal of the impermanence of all things―especially the modest, the rustic, the imperfect, and even the decayed.
With its focus on the delicate subtitles, objects, effects, and environments of the natural world, wabi sabi promotes an alternative approach to the appreciation of the beauty and life itself.

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Carol Vogeldec

In the preface to his only novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Oscar Wilde famously proclaimed that “all art is quite useless.” The statement seemed so intriguing to a contemporary, an Oxford University student named Bernulf Clegg, that in 1891 he wrote Wilde asking him where in his other work he “may find developed that idea of the total uselessness of all art.”
Wilde, not directly answering Clegg’s question, responded: “Art is useless because its aim is simply to create a mood. It is not meant to instruct or influence action in any way. It is superbly sterile, and the note of its pleasure is sterility.

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Traduttore, traditore est une expression italienne signifiant littéralement : « Traducteur, traître », soit : « Traduire, c’est trahir » (« all translation is treason »). Il s’agit d’une paronomase, expression qui joue sur la ressemblance entre les deux mots. Elle est couramment utilisée dans d’autres langues que l’italien, en raison de sa concision et du jeu de mots.
Le fait de comparer un traducteur à un traître signifie que la traduction d’un texte d’une langue dans une autre ne peut jamais respecter parfaitement le texte de l’œuvre originale. Beaucoup de polyglottes préfèrent lire une œuvre en version originale car ils veulent la découvrir telle qu’elle a été créée par l’auteur. Dans un cas extrême, traduire un poème en le modifiant pour garder les rimes altère singulièrement l’œuvre du poète.

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Alan Watts

To Taoism that which is absolutely still or absolutely perfect is absolutely dead, for without the possibility of growth and change there can be no Tao. In reality there is nothing in the universe which is completely perfect or completely still; it is only in the minds of men that such concepts exist.

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Green Beryl

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さて、いったい何がラオスにあるというのか? 良い質問だ。たぶん。でもそんなことを訊かれても、僕には答えようがない。だって、その何かを探すために、これからラオスまで行こうとしているわけなのだから。それがそもそも、旅行というものではないか。


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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.
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Neil Strauss

Now, if I met that person who was 100 per cent deep into The Game [using rehearsed lines and psychological tactics to pick up women], I don’t think I’d like him. But I know I had to be that man to become the person I knew I could be. For me, it was a shallow path to self-esteem.
A pick-up artist gave me a good piece of advice: the three most important things in a relationship are honesty, trust and respect, and if you don’t have those, you don’t have love. I have found that to be true. A friend said recently that you should date someone for a year, live with them for a year, then get engaged for a year before getting married. To me, that seems sensible.

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Malcolm Forbes, Ryan Anderson

Earlier this month, Australia canceled the visa of controversial self-styled “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc. Blanc espouses sexist views and advocates grabbing women around the neck and aggressively forcing their heads toward his crotch in an attempt to seduce them. He has been widely criticized and publicly rebuked for his misogynistic views, and campaigns to bar him from entering Japan and the UK are gaining momentum. Blanc’s website tells would-be followers that he can help “make girls beg to sleep with you after short-circuiting their emotional and logical mind into a million reasons why they should.”
A “pick-up artist” is a person who practices finding, attracting, and seducing sexual partners, and often promotes his skills in workshops for audiences of young heterosexual men. Some of these individuals suggest, as Blanc does, that they use techniques that subvert a target’s autonomy.

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21st Century Loving

People change as they go through life and we need to adjust our expectations to allow for it.
If a situation arrives and you think that you know how your significant other would react, think again. You can be stuck with an outdated opinion of her. Maybe she would do what you never thought she would, or would not do what she always used to do.
Our knowledge of people and things also evolves. It is extremely rewarding to spend effort understanding your significant other. Why does she react, in what might seem as strange ways to you, in some circumstances? There might be some interesting stories hidden under some of these behaviors. And if you query nicely, you might be surprised to learn them.

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Roberta Flack

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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.

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Ella Alderson

  • The fourth dimension is not a spacial one but it consists instead of time. Time helps plot an object’s location in the universe and also adds a way for the third dimension to change.
  • In the fifth dimension there would be a new world that would allow us to see the similarities and differences between our world and this new one, existing in the same position and having the same beginning as our planet, i.e. the Big Bang.
  • The sixth dimension is an entire plane of new worlds that would allow you to see all possible futures, presents, and pasts with, again, the same beginning as our universe.
  • In the seventh dimension up through the ninth, we now have the possibility of new universes with new physical forces of nature and different laws of gravity and light. The seventh dimension is the beginning of this, where we encounter new universes which have a different beginning from ours. That is, they were not born from the Big Bang.
  • The eight dimension is a plane of all the possible pasts and futures for each universe, stretching infinitely.
  • The ninth dimension lays bare all the universal laws of physics and the conditions of each individual universe.
  • Some scientists believe that the multiverse has only 10 dimensions while others put that number at 11. However, a universe cannot have more than 11 dimensions because of self consistency — they become unstable and collapse back down into 11 or 10 dimensions. At this point, anything is possible. There are all futures, all pasts, all beginnings and all ends, infinitely extended, a dimension of anything you can imagine. Everything comes together.
Posted in globe | 1 Comment



Posted in Japanese way | 3 Comments


谷をまたいで張られたホースを遠くから見ると、ホースの表面から離れられない蟻が歩く次元はホースの長さの方向に沿った左右の次元一つしかない。肝心なのは遠く離れた視点から見ると、長いホースが一次元の物体に見えるということだ。現実にはホースには太さがあり、ズームアップして見れば、ホースの表面に住んでいる蟻が二つの次元(ホースの長さに沿った左右の次元と、環状にホースを巡る「時計回り-反時計回り」の次元)に沿って歩けることがわかる。この例から、空間次元には大きく拡がっておりすぐ目に付くものと、小さく巻き上げられていてずっと認めにくいものがある、とわかる。環状の次元は新たな次元であり、どの点にも上下、左右、前後の次元それぞれが存在するように、拡がった次元のどの点にも存在する、新たな独立した次元だ。しかし「小さい」とはどのくらい「小さい」のか? 1926年クラインは、カルーザの最初の示唆と、量子力学の分野から借りた概念を組み合わせ、環状の次元の大きさはプランクスケールほどでしかない、と計算した。それ以来、小さな空間のなかに新たな次元がある可能性を「カルーザ-クライン理論」と呼ぶ。

Posted in perception | 3 Comments



Posted in human being | 1 Comment

Paul Amerigo Pajo

An autocracy is a form of government in which one person possesses unlimited power.1 An autocrat is a person (such as a monarch) ruling with unlimited authority.
Autocracy and totalitarianism are related concepts. Autocracy is defined by one individual having unlimited legislative and executive power, while totalitarianism extends to regulating every aspect of public and private life. Totalitarianism does not imply a single ruler, but extends to include absolute rule by any faction or class of elites who recognize no limit to their authority. Autocracy differs from military dictatorship, as these often take the form of “collective presidencies” such as the South American juntas. However, an autocracy may be totalitarian or be a military dictatorship.

Posted in human rights and democracy | 1 Comment

Erica Frantz

Dictatorships have dominated global politics for hundreds of years, from the pharaohs of Egypt to the absolute monarchs of Europe. Though democracy has since spread to much of the world, about a third of today’s countries are still ruled by dictatorship. And yet, compared to democracies, we know very little about how dictatorships work, who the key political actors are, and where decision-making powers lie. Political processes are opaque, and information is often intentionally distorted. Political survival depends not on maintaining the favor of voters, as in democracies, but on securing the backing of a considerably smaller coalition of supporters. The absence of a reliable third party to enforce compromises among key players means that power-sharing deals lack credibility and the threat of forced ouster is omnipresent. Uncertainty pervades authoritarian politics.
Modern autocrats respond to this uncertain environment in a variety of ways. They use political parties, legislatures, elections, and other institutions typically associated with democracies to lessen their risk of overthrow.

Posted in human rights and democracy | 1 Comment

Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt

From Getúlio Vargas and other better-known dictators in the 1930s to Indira Gandhi and Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s and on to Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan more recently, autocratic-minded leaders have long used national emergencies — some real, some fabricated — to claim extraordinary powers. One of our greatest concerns about Donald Trump’s presidency has always been that he would exploit (or invent) a crisis in order to justify an abuse of power.
Autocratic-minded leaders find democratic politics intolerably frustrating. Most lack the skills or the temperament for the give-and-take of everyday politics. They are allergic to criticism and compromise. They have little patience for the intricacies of the legislative process.

Posted in human rights and democracy | 1 Comment