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Your Brain Does Not Work Like a Computer

The brain-as-computer is a powerful meme. It’s no more accurate than metaphors inspired by fluid dynamics or automata, which were cutting-edge technology in their time, says Robert Epstein. The invention of hydraulic engineering in the 3rd century BCE led to the popularity of a hydraulic model of human intelligence, the idea that the flow of different fluids in the body – the ‘humours’ – accounted for both our physical and…

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Quebec teen discovers ancient Mayan ruins by studying the stars

This sounds like the plot of a Young Indiana Jones episode, or maybe Johnny Quest. William Gadoury is a 15-year-old student from Saint-Jean-de-Matha in Lanaudière, Quebec. The precocious teen has been fascinated by all things Mayan for several years, devouring any information he could find on the topic.  During his research, Gadoury examined 22 Mayan constellations and discovered that if he projected those constellations onto a map, the shapes corresponded…

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As yearbooks die, colleges lose a link to the past

This year, for the first time in decades, graduating seniors won’t have a yearbook to buy. Hopkins and colleges around the state and country are phasing out yearbooks in an age when students who already document their experiences themselves — and can access their memories — on social media are less interested in shelling out $100 or more for the hard copy. —Baltimore Sun

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Jimmy Maher’s Appreciation of Infocom’s Classic Sherlock Text Adventure

I learned a lot while reading this enjoyable essay by Jimmy Maher. Looked at today, however, Sherlock certainly wasn’t a bad note to go out on. Being built on the sturdy foundation of everything Infocom had learned about making text adventures to date, it’s not notably, obviously innovative, but, impressively given that it is a first-timer’s game, it evinces heaps of simple good craftsmanship. We may celebrate the occasional titles…

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Lawyers who won Happy Birthday copyright case sue over “We Shall Overcome” 

“We Shall Overcome,” a song that was the “unofficial anthem to the civil rights movement,” was wrongly placed under copyright and should be put in the public domain, according to a lawsuit filed today in federal court. The complaint (PDF) was filed by the same group of lawyers who succeeded at putting the world’s most famous song, Happy Birthday, into the public domain after years of litigation. It’s a proposed class action that seeks the…