Monthly Archives: September 2011

Electric Mayhem posters

 Electric Mayhem posters

This is part of a whole series of awesome Electric Mayhem posters featuring Floyd, Dr. Teeth, Janice, Zoot, and Animal.

By Michael De Pippo, via Ffffound.

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God makes sense, intuitively

Razib Khan highlights a paper about the correlation between intuitive reasoning and belief in God. According to three studies, how a person performs on a Cognitive Reflection Test tells you how likely they are to believe in God and that this likelihood is independent of a whole lot of other factors like education level, IQ, income, and more. A Cognitive Reflection Test is one that gives you math problems that aren’t difficult to solve if you can ignore the intuitive and wrong answers that they all have. Here are some examples:

  1. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball.
    How much does the ball cost?
  2. If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take
    100 machines to make 100 widgets?
  3. In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size.
    If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it
    take for the patch to cover half of the lake?

(Answers at the end of the post.)

This suggests that people are more likely to believe in God when they rely more on shortcuts in their reasoning. That’s not a knock on shortcut reasoning, which is an essential human skill that lets us react quickly to things that can’t be — or aren’t worth being — thought through analytically.

Khan ties this in with a recent study that shows a link between atheism and autism. Autistic people rely more on analysis than intuition, so it makes sense that they would be less swayed by God’s intuitive nature.

‘People with autism tended to be more consistent in their pattern of choices, their greater attention to detail perhaps helping them avoid being swayed by their emotions,’ says Dr Neil Harrison.

Although this attention to detail and a reduced influence of emotion during decision-making is beneficial in some situations, it may be a handicap in daily life, explains Dr Benedetto De Martino.

‘During social interactions a lot of information must be processed simultaneously, making this a very complicated computational task for the brain,’ he says.

‘To solve these complex problems we rely on simplifying heuristics – gut instincts – rather than extensive logical reasoning.

Answers: 1. $0.05, 2. 5 minutes, 3. 47 days

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The best things come long-dead in an air-tight plastic bag

 The best things come long dead in an air tight plastic bag

From Mitch O’Connell, via Boing Boing.

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There are snapping turtles in the Ganges meant to eat up all the dead bodies

For religious beliefs, for lack of money, and for having nothing better to do with them, Indians dump a lot of corpses into the Ganges.

Even the flesh-eating turtles released in the Ganga to munch the dead bodies have failed to make any significant impact. Released into a stretch of river at Varanasi in the late 1980s, poaching may have accounted for a better part of their promised appetite.

From Pratie Place, via Reddit.

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R2-D2 is just kinda doing his own thing

tumblr lqjrl4xQS41qz6f9yo1 5001 R2 D2 is just kinda doing his own thing

Via Ffffound.

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In the DMZ, the North Korean guards face other, so neither can defect

 In the DMZ, the North Korean guards face other, so neither can defect

All North Korean border guards are armed with pistols,and are well-fed officers who stand in rigid military posture. In each space, two North Korean soldiers stand facing each other rather than the South, so that neither one can defect to the South, and another guard stands behind them facing the North to prevent anyone else from defecting.

From Wikipedia, via Reddit.

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