Monday, March 30, 2009
Picture this: the whole of human knowledge as a figurative mind that can selectively focus on certain areas. It’s a profound notion, and visualizing such a construct is an enormous undertaking. The visualization should be based on users’ downloading and browsing behavior, known as clickstream data. This data was collected, aggregated, and normalized across a wide variety of journal publishers and institutions. The graphic shows a map with the connections among a comprehensive sample space of scholarly research.
Inherent in citation data may be what psychologists call a social desirability bias. Scientists tend to cite the same articles from the same top journals written by the same big-name authors - and rarely cite outside their specific field. “When scientists cite publicly, they act very differently than when they’re just looking at the literature and following their true interests. This tendency causes a “narrowing” artifact within the literature and may inflate the appearance of scientific consensus. The trend seems to be continuing, despite the increasing number of research articles.
The worth and importance of a scientist’s research is often determined by the prestige of the journals in which he or she has published. That prestige is typically based on the publication’s impact factor, which is in turn calculated by citation data. The visualization gives us the possibility of moving beyond simple citation counts and the potential of these new map to serve as the underpinnings of a better scholarly evaluation system.
There are many stories one can tell by tracing the epistemological branches of this new map. For instance, it’s apparent that biology slowly merges with the social sciences and humanities; it gradually becomes biodiversity and ecology, before finally connecting to architecture and design. But perhaps the most interesting story is the one not yet told - the unexpected breakthrough inspired by a scientist reaching out beyond his own field. And it’s certainly possible that eavesdropping on what researchers are reading will act as some sort of innovation bellwether, identifying and facilitating aha moments before they happen.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Who are the scientists of today? Where do they work? What motivates them?
Recently academia and industry as scientific work environments have converged in all sorts of ways. At the same time, these ties and convergences have elicited diverse reactions from within the scientific community: Just as there are scientists wholly comfortable doing their work in industry, there are others who take the responsibility of defending scientific integrity and who seek to foreground commercial bias or government interference as public issues.
It was not always this way. In the 19th and 20th centuries, science was typically more of an avocation than a job. In the 17th century, the great chemist Robert Boyle not only financed his science but also believed that doing science as a "trade" was demeaning.
The transformation of science from a calling to a job happened mainly in the past century and with the advent of the Bomb, almost all scientists began to appear as sources of power. Also
the dissolution of boundaries between academia and industry has given enormous strength to modern American science: resources to do what scientists want to do, time to do it, and the reputation that comes from aligning science with the concrete goods.
-Text is the largest repository of human knowledge and is growing quickly, there are emails, news articles, web pages, chat archives, scientific articles, insurance claims, customer complaints letters, transcripts of phone calls, technical documents, government documents, patent portfolios, court decisions, contracts, and so on.
-Nowadays we have access to huge amounts of information, much more than in the past decades, one of the problems with this is that we are not reading any faster than before, therefore we can not take full advantage of this new situation. NlP tries to optimize the human usage of information.
-Dealing with natural language is a difficult task. We need to understanding multiple disciplines including multivariate statistics, learning algorithms, clustering, hidden Markov models and part of speech tagging. We need to have knowledge about language, grammar, ontology and folksonomy.
-Processing of a huge amount of data in a limited amount of time is required so special algorithms are needed. We generally apply algorithms that have low computational cost or algorithms that allow reducing the amount of computational processing needed by pre-processing the data we have. To do this there are techniques for reducing the size of the text by extracting stop words, removing words that appear too often and also words that appear very few times.
-The applications of NLP include answering queries, identifying spam, recognizing what is the main theme of a document, grouping similar texts, obtaining the main keywords of a document, detecting syntactic errors and identifying the secondary themes of a document.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Communities themselves are built by common, shared myths, which are just symbolic and meaningful stories. And good stories require tactile human experience, things we can all relate to physically--hard falls, soggy shoes, dry mouths and tired arms. We'll receive no Moby Dicks from Second Life, and in the six years since the popular advent of blogs, how many good books have been made from collections of blog posts?
One of the problems with some social networks like Twitter is that the messages are to brief; they give no opportunity for creating relationships. It's like trying to know someone through what they scrawl in a restroom stall.
Another issue you can find while using social networks is that members do not spend as much time at networking or exchanging information, as they do in “broadcasting their lives to an outer tier of acquaintances.
Once again, “social networks” does not mean “friends networks” or “party networks” it means “society networks”. We connect to people who are interested in observing, reading about, being linked to, finding out stuff but not necessarily relating to others. If social networks really are the next generation of news, it implies that we are more interested in reading Facebook posts than we are in reading newspapers.
Monday, March 23, 2009
There is nothing with which we are so familiar with and yet when you try to pin it down you find only a relentless torrent of questions. Why does time appear to flow? What makes it different from space? What is it?
Physicists have also struggled to understand what time really is. In fact, they are not even sure it exists at all. Some researchers increasingly suspect that time is not a fundamental feature of nature, but rather an artifact of our perception. One group has recently found a way to do quantum physics without invoking time, If this approach is correct it reinforces the theory that time is an illusion, and that we may need to rethink how the universe works.
According to general relativity, time is stitched together with space to form four-dimensional space-time. The passage of time is not absolute; instead, time differs from one frame of reference to the next, and what one observer experiences as time, another might experience as a mixture of time and space.
Nothing. There’s nothing original. So I might as well give up now.
That’s what I often end up mumbling to myself, usually an hour or so after I’ve finished writing something new, once the initial elated feeling that it was the most powerful piece of prose ever committed to pixels has dissipated, to be replaced by the awful realization that someone, somewhere, probably did it all before. And did it far better, too.
When I came up with sing your own lullaby, that joyful sensation lasted for perhaps the shortest time I have ever experienced, possibly no more than three seconds. I knew with absolute certainty that the domain would already have been snapped up not just once, but a number of times. I was right.
Great amounts of blogs just replicate existing articles, like the ones from newspaper or the ones with product reviews. I do not get it, why take the time to copy the information if it is already there and they are not even adding any interesting comment.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Sometimes we want to remember facts that are dificult to learn for us. Luckyly there are several techniques that can help us improve the chance of remember what we desire to;a popular one consits in relate and integrate the new information with knowledge we already have.
Fragments of our experiences are constructed by an "encoding process"; a procedure for transforming something a persons sees, hears, thinks and feel into a memory. This process resides in the area of the brain that is in charge of constructing the fragments of out past experiences.
One of the problems with this mechanism is that encoding and remembering are virtually inseparable. The close relationship between them can cause dificulties in our everyday life. The problem is that we remember only what we have encoded and what we enconde depends on our experiences knowledge and needs.
When perforimg the retrieval and encoding of a certain memory the conditions are not always similar. Nevetheless when we recall this particular memory the subjective perception, such as: present thoughts, emotional state and corporal posture present at the moment of encoding are usually reinstantiated at recall time. This mechanim make ourselvs more consistent given that subjetivity does not affect the interpretation of the stored facts.
Memory is part of the brains's attempt to impose ordern in our environment.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
When people tell stories this becomes evident. Tellers are doing their own interpretation of the story; listeners are doing their own interpretation of the interpretation of the teller.
.Facts are sequential information that can stand the test of time. Whereas, stories are used to convey emotions and experiences; as the storyteller's emotional state vacillates so does the story they tell. Storytelling is a powerful and dangerous activity because tales we tell can mean whatever we make them to mean. We perceive the world though the lens of how we are and not as it is. This is not to say that we do not perceive the facts but it is to say that the facts are shaped to fit the stories we tell.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Worrying is usually thought of as a bad thing because it focuses on the negative side. However, it is possible to use the same set of resources with a positive focus. You may be surprised to hear people speaking of worrying as being skill. But don't forget that skills are something we practise in order to eventually get good at them.. .Worrying actually involves two key psychological skills: the ability to form vivid mental pictures and to create inner dialogue.
Both are usually stuck with a bad connotation..Once we switch the emphasis to ‘inspire’ we can create and rehearse positive mental pictures and words instead of bad ones. Using these skills helps us support our goals, such as ttaking exams, going on a dates, giving a presentation, and so on. If you’ve got a desired end result in mind, the you can use positive worrying to builld yourself up rather than down.
Positive worrying involves creating a mental image of the end result, or the finishing line, not how you are going to get there. Focusing on the end result creates a sense that you’ve already succeeded and helps to build motivation.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe:, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Perfectionism is described as a personality trait or a type of dysfunctional assumption where people feel their self-worth is dependent on 100% or perfect success. It can be quite hard to shift, owing to the fact that some people find it hard to see why doing something perfectly isn't a useful goal to aim for. However, when a desire for perfection is over-applied it tends to lead to harsh self-criticism and is self-defeating - ironically, people often perform worse as a result.
Perfectionism is a phobia of mistake-making, It is the feeling that 'If I make a mistake, it will be catastrophic. Striving for perfection is fine. The issue is how you interpret your own inevitable mistakes and failings. Do they make you feel bad about yourself in a global sense? Does a missed shot in tennis make you slam your racket to the ground? Do you think anything less than 100 percent might as well be zero?
Not so PerfectPerfect
feel that in order to be a worthwhile person, they have to perform in such and such a manner, they have to behave perfectly. In order to change these false beliefs it is recommended to encourage them to open up about their mistakes, and to help them realize that others will not condemn them for their failures. It also helps making them understand that as much as they want to be perfect, they needed to stay within the realm of what it is possible.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
In a study by the university of Pagua it was found that manipulation of the photographs influenced the participants' memories of the events very strongly.If misleading information can so easily distort previously encoded memories about past events, then memories of public events, and attitudes towards them, could be distorted even more drastically if doctored images are presented when the event is taking place (i.e. when memories of the event are being encoded).
The findings have important practical implications. They demonstrate clearly the power that the mass media has over how we perceive and remember public events, and the ease with which misinformation and propaganda can be used to manipulate public opinion. Finally, as the authors note, sophisticated software for altering images - and, therefore, for creating misinformation - is now readily available.
Images can lie, and so can texts. The most false, influential, and vile deception in the modern era is not an image but a text: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In public commentary today, however, images are routinely blamed for problems endemic to all representation. It's fine to caution against visual manipulation, but don't let the selection and framing of verbal reports off the hook. Indeed, many people today are likely to be more skeptical of images that texts because of the widespread familiarity with Photoshop.
Perhaps the political problem is not how people are deceived, but how they avoid the truth. In the US, whether you look at war, health insurance, whatever, bad things are happening right in front of our faces. The key deficits might be not knowledge but political will, imagination, participation, and leadership.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Past research has shown that making eye contact has an impact on social perception and subsequent behaviour.
The article notes that eye contact has been found to increase the likelihood of recognising someone and helps work out whether someone is male or female.
It also seems to increase general arousal and fixes attention - we're less likely to notice things happening on the periphery of our vision if we're staring at a face with eye contact than at a face where the eyes are diverted to the side.
In neuroimaging studies eye contact has been found to increase activity in a group of areas (medial prefrontal cortex, superior temporal gyrus, fusiform gyrus) that have often been associated with social interaction across a wide range of studies.
Interestingly, the authors suggest that basic eye contact information might be detected by a specific subcortical mechanism that quickly detects simple light/dark differences, presumably to pick out the direction of the pupil, which then triggers more complex social processing to make sense of its social meaning.
It's an interesting field, not least because recognising eye contact and following the gaze direction of others are thought to be some of the most fundamental building blocks on which social communication develops in babies.
The eye contact effect: mechanisms and development, A. Senju and M. H. Johnson
Communication technology is invading all aspects of human life, everybody is connected all the time either to a beeper, a cellphone, a palm , a laptop or a combination of them.
This new ways of communication that technology enabled instead of bringing people closer to each other may diminish the quality of human interaction; You can see young people going out together but instead of talking to each other spend most of their time sending text messages trough their phones expecting who knows what response.
Given that most of the people stopped believing in god and miracles maybe this new ways of communications are becoming our new deities.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Computers had got in the way with of our relationship to nature. As we increasingly connect with the world through computer screens, we’re removing ourselves from direct sensory contact with nature. In other words, we’re learning to substitute symbols of reality for reality itself. I think that’s particularly true for children who’ve grown up surrounded by screens from a young age. You could argue that this isn’t necessarily something new, that it’s just a continuation of what we saw with other electronic media like radio or tv. But I do think it’s an amplification of those trends.
Every time there’s a transition to a new computer architecture, there’s a tendency simply to assume that existing applications will be carried over (ie, word processors in the cloud). But the new architecture actually makes possible many new applications that had never been thought of, and these are the ones that go on to define the next stage of computing such as social media websites that are also changing the way people are communicating with each other.
What exactly is behind our rage to document and publish in internet the minutiae of our daily existence? That's hard to say. Maybe it's just another manifestation of modern-day narcissism. Maybe it's a byproduct of our media-saturated culture, with its sense that nothing's real until it's been recorded and broadcast. Or maybe it goes deeper than that. In striving to preserve the moments of our lives, to immortalise them, might we simply be expressing our fear of death?
Thursday, March 5, 2009
It is great to have access to huge amounts of information, but since we are not reading faster than before, we can not take advantage of this new situation. Therefore the need of a discipline that help human beings deal with all that data is fundamental.
Natural language processing is the process of building computational models for understanding natural language. It studies the problems of automated generation and understanding of natural human languages. NLP includes natural-language-generation systems that convert information from computer databases into normal human language and natural-language-understanding systems that convert samples of human language into more formal representations that are easier for computer programs to manipulate.
NLP also studies the information contained in human generated texts, along with its language structure.NLP is a multidisciplinary field, which studies artificial intelligence techniques, multivariate statistics, linguistics and any other domain that can be used to process, generate or interpret language with computers.
Linguistics is the scientific and philosophical study of language, encompassing a number of sub-fields. At the core of theoretical linguistics is the study of language structure (grammar) and the study of meaning (semantics). The first of these encompasses morphology (the formation and composition of words) and syntax (the rules that determine how words combine into phrases and sentences).
A controlled vocabulary is a list of terms that have been enumerated explicitly. This list is controlled by and is available from a controlled vocabulary registration authority. All terms in a controlled vocabulary should have an unambiguous, non-redundant definition.
Named entity recognition is a subtask of information extraction that seeks to locate and classify atomic elements in text into predefined categories such as the names of persons, organizations, locations, expressions of times, quantities, monetary values, percentages, etc.
A taxonomy is a collection of controlled vocabulary terms organized into a hierarchical structure (tree shaped). Each term in the taxonomy is in one or more parent-child relationships. The child kind of thing has by definition the same constraints as the father type ones plus one or more additional constraints. For example, car is a child of vehicle. So any car is also a vehicle, but not every vehicle is a car. There are also specific kind of taxonomies like an “enterprise taxonomy” which contains terms related only to this specific field. Taxonomies are seen as less broad than ontologies because ontologies include logic inference and allow a larger variety of relation types.
An ontology is a formal representation of a set of concepts within a domain and the relationships between those concepts. It is used to reason about the properties of that domain, and may be used to define the domain. They are a form of knowledge representation.
Part-of-speech (POS) tagging is a process whereby tokens are sequentially labeled with syntactic labels, such as "finite verb" or "gerund" or "subordinating conjunction".
Morphology is the study of the internal structure of words.
Lexeme is the distinction between these two senses of "word" is arguably the most important one in morphology. The first sense of "word," the one in which dog and dogs are "the same word," this is called lexeme. The second one is called word-form. We thus say that dog and dogs have a common Lemma. a Stemmer is used to transform words to its Lemma (also called root). ttjere are different forms of the same lexeme. There is a form of a word that is chosen conventionally to represent the canonical form of a Lemma. A Lexicon is the collection of all the lexemes of a language.
Grammar is the field of linguistics that covers the rules governing the use of any given spoken languages. It mainly includes morphology and syntax, but it can be complemented with other linguistic fields.
Syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing sentences in natural languages; the term syntax is also used to refer directly to the rules and principles that govern the sentence structure. Semantics is basically the study of the meaning of signs. These studies can be performed at word level, sentence level, paragraph level, and even larger units of discourse levels..
Corpus is a large and structured set of texts used to do statistical analysis, text-mining, validation of linguistic rules, calculate document similarities, etc..
Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence (AI) concerned with algorithms that allow computers to learn; these algorithms rely heavily on mathematics and statistics. What learning means, in most cases, is that an algorithm is given a set of data and infers information about the properties of the data—and that information allows it to make predictions about other data that it might see in the future. This is possible because almost all nonrandom data contains patterns, and these patterns allow the machine to generalize. In order to generalize, it trains a model with what it determines are the important aspects of the data.
There are many different machine-learning algorithms, all with different strengths and suited to different types of problems. Some, such as decision trees, are transparent, so that an observer can totally understand the reasoning process undertaken by the machine. Others, such as neural networks, are black box, meaning that they produce an answer, but it’s often very difficult to reproduce the reasoning behind it.
Machine learning is not without its weaknesses. The algorithms vary in their ability to generalize over large sets of patterns, and a pattern that is unlike any seen by the algorithm before is quite likely to be misinterpreted. Machine-learning methods can only generalize based on the data that has already been seen, and even then in a very limited manner. Methods can over generalize, or overfit; when any of these circumstances occur machine learning objectives fail.
NLP and machine learning
We can view NLP as “an extension of what machine learning” or “a special kind of machine learning”. Both need to build models using algorithms and datasets in order to be able to process the new data with these already built models.
Machine-learning can provide natural language processing a range of alternative Learning algorithms as well as additional general approaches and methodologies.
NLP also introduces new learning frameworks and techniques such as: information retrieval and extraction, through speech recognition to syntax, semantics and language understanding related tasks. It also presents the theoretical paradigms: learning theoretic, probabilistic and information theoretic, and the relations among them, along with the main algorithmic techniques developed within these and in key natural language applications.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
La totalidad de nuestro mundo está dado no más que por la totalidad de las palabras, imágenes y otras representaciones que tenemos para significarlo.
Todo lo existente en nuestro universo, que por ende delimita lo que somos, no permite incluir la idea de la existencia de cosas a las cuales aun no se le han asignado significado. uno jamás siente, efectivamente, que falta algo que desconoce. Incluso a la nada le damos una existencia, la cual abarca desde la palabra “nada” hasta la imagen de vacío (representada por cada cual a su manera). A medida que incorporamos conocimiento-contexto-significado este pasa a formar parte de nuestro modelo de interpretacion. Hay que tener cuidado ya que este modelo es frecuentemente entendido como realidad. Pero la relación que tenemos con nuestro entorno y la comunicación que con hacemos, la realizamos a través de signos y símbolos. Medios de nula eficacia para capturar de manera íntegra la misma. No importa quién y cómo los use, todos los simbolos son indefectiblemente incompletos y defectuosos.
Modelizar es un esfuerzo motivado por la pereza. Quien lo hace busca simplificar y unificar. Adecuar la realidad a sus objetivos y necesidades. Mediante el pensamiento se busca entender y representar el universo de la manera más simple posible aunque esto implique una la degradacion de la representación. De todas formas abstraer y simplificar el mundo nos permite comprender globalmente al mismo sin necesidad de analizar todos sus detalles y complejidades.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Play the What if Game and other negative self talk- Setting Ourselves up for Failure.
Low self esteem- thinking we're not worthy to be around others and be liked for who we are.
Put too much pressure on ourselves to be "perfect" for others or not to have an attack.
Focus on ourselves more than those around us.
Eat poorly, drink a lot of caffeine.
Do not exercise and or meditate regularly.
Full Exposure to our phobias instead of baby steps.
Do not get enough rest at night.
Hold in our feelings.
Overcoming anxiety is no small task. It takes practice and hard work. Utilizing the techiques below, you will slowly gain control over your anxiety and stop the panic attacks from occuring.
As the anxiety creeps up, begin to count in your head. Count 1,2,3,4 - 1,2,3,4 - 1,2,3,4 pausing on the dashes and so on. Practicing really helps a lot. Practice in a controlled environment. Practice before bed. When panic does hit, this self-defense mechanism kicks in without effort.
Control Your Thinking:
When you have negative thoughts, negative things will come into your life. Conversely when you have positive thoughts, positive things will come into your life. The same holds true in moments of high anxiety. It's important during these times to monitor your thoughts and make sure you force calming ideas and images into your head. Always bear in mind that nothing is really as bad as it seems and ten years from now,this particularly stressful situation won't exist - so control your thinking to avoid your mind from falling into a negative thought spiral.