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Posts tagged "Radiolab"

Sinners and Saints in a Pandemic

Sinners and Saints in a Pandemic

One of the oldest words in the history of hospital care is the French term “triage”—meaning, the sorting of patients. The practice of triage keeps a hospital organized (Intensive Care Unit here, Emergency Room there), but it also provides a way of prioritizing the care of patients. This is especially important on battlefields and in disaster zones, where the need for treatment can heavily outweigh the resources available. When the number of sick people is far greater than the number of doctors, triage provides a sieve for who sees the doctors first.

As you might guess, then, triage naturally moves medicine…

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Split or Steal: Radiolab Goes Game Theory

Split or Steal: Radiolab Goes Game Theory

A couple weeks ago, Radiolab did a segment on a British game show that lasted three seasons, called Golden Balls. Not joking. The host’s name was Jasper Carrott. It had all the game show tropes of its time—lighted floors, long silences, hot seats. But unlike Millionaire or Deal or No Deal, the money in Golden Balls is only won after two contestants have made an agreement with each other.

Here’s how it works. After the game is played down to two players, the final jackpot is compiled from both player’s earnings. The two contestants onstage must then make an individual decision…

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The Beautiful Identity Crisis of Radiolab

The Beautiful Identity Crisis of Radiolab

“Comfort zone” speak is generally relegated to those who live life, you know, really take it on. I’m reminded of the crew of bros driving that snazzy Cadillac ATS full bore through those Chinese mountain tunnels and laughing and talking about the extremeness of it all. Those guys, the ones who relish taking jumps over waterfalls with helmet cameras, are bent on motivating themselves and others to “push beyond.” And beyond isn’t just testosterone-based; there’s plenty of ways to be someone who goes beyond, just like there’s plenty of ways to be uncomfortable. You can adopt a child, you can…

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Conference Breakout - People are Strange: Modern Family, the Un-Free Will and the Roots of Compassion

Conference Breakout – People are Strange: Modern Family, the Un-Free Will and the Roots of Compassion

Alright, so I know that my breakout session was supposed to be “What Would Don Draper Do (to Eric Taylor)? Downward Mobility and Grace in Mad Men and Friday Night Lights”, and I’ll touch on those themes and would be happy to discuss them over drinks (Shiner or Rye:), but as someone once said, “the wind blows wherever it pleases,” and I have found my thinking gusting in other directions. Not to mention that, judging by Season 5 of Mad Men (at least so far), Don Draper and Eric Taylor aren’t such polar opposites anymore, and might actually be friends!…

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Artificial Intelligence, Imputation and the Desperate Need to be Heard

Artificial Intelligence, Imputation and the Desperate Need to be Heard

In 1966, MIT computer science professor Josef Weisenbaum wrote a very simple computer program named ELIZA. ELIZA was designed to mimic an empathetic psychologist, mirroring back key words to users in the form of questions, encouraging them to go deeper with their emotions. For example, if the user mentioned, in passing, that they were feeling a bit depressed, ELIZA would ask them why they were depressed. If the user mentioned a family member or significant other, ELIZA would ask them to elaborate on that particular person.

Weizenbaum intended ELIZA as a very rudimentary experiment in artificial intelligence, but was shocked to…

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Your Inner Chimp: Moral Evolution, Inception and the Thread of the Universe

Your Inner Chimp: Moral Evolution, Inception and the Thread of the Universe

Lots to chew on in this new one from Mbird Jason Redcay:

Have you ever wondered where morality comes from? Could it be something inherited biologically? Is it something that has evolved over years and years? Maybe it’s embedded socially by the people and environment around you? In 2007, the popular radio program Radiolab attempted to get to the bottom of these questions in their episode “Morality”.

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I’d like to add another possible view, the same one that the Apostle Paul offers in the second chapter of Romans, namely that the Law (the divine moral framework) is written on our hearts,…

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Another Week Ends: DFW50, Simpsons 500, Ira Talks Radiolab, Rowling Talks New Novel, Helpless Women, Helpless Kids, Lenten Identity, Cormac McCarthy Pictionary

Another Week Ends: DFW50, Simpsons 500, Ira Talks Radiolab, Rowling Talks New Novel, Helpless Women, Helpless Kids, Lenten Identity, Cormac McCarthy Pictionary

All the best wishes for those mockingbirds at the Liberate Conference in Fort Lauderdale this weekend, including our very own David Zahl.

1. Along with the rest of the blogosphere this week, we wish David Foster Wallace a happy 50th birthday. There’s too many blessings to recount, but the web has exploded with numerous avenues for you to get your feet wet or soul soaked. Take a look at The Awl’s “46 Things to Read and See for David Foster Wallace’s 50th Birthday,” a piece of which includes an 86-minute interview with German TV ZDF, the first of which you’ll find…

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