Recent quotes:

Mapping social space in the hippocampus

Participants played the lead role in a “choose-your-own-adventure” game, in which they interacted with cartoon characters. We found that a geometric model of social relationships, in a “social space” framed by power and affiliation, predicted hippocampal activity. Moreover, participants who reported better social skills showed stronger covariance between hippocampal activity and “movement” through “social space.” These results suggest that the hippocampus is critical for social cognition, and imply that beyond framing physical locations, the hippocampus computes a more abstract, multidimensional cognitive map. Importantly, these neural representations of social space may be relevant for psychological wellbeing. Here we report new evidence on how this model can be predictive of social behavior and cognition. We found that a number of geometric variables, extracted from participants’ behavior in the game, correlated robustly with trait scores: participants with higher social anxiety tended to give less power to the game’s characters; and participants who reported less social avoidance and higher self-efficacy showed increased exploration of the social space. Additionally, we found that lower hippocampal volumes predicted lower fidelity tracking of social distance in the posterior cingulate cortex.

This device can tell how conscious you are

Being conscious is about more than simply being awake -- it's also made up of "noticing and experiencing", Chennu says. "When someone is conscious, there are patterns of synchronised neural activity racing across the brain, that can be detected using EEG and quantified using our software."

The many lies of GPS

And if you and a friend do the same ride, your files will be different. Each error is small individually, Anderson notes, “but everything has a compounding effect of small variables that overlap, so the cumulative error at the end of the activity can be a few minutes, or even a few tenths of a mile.”

Brain has internal ‘odometer’ and ‘stopwatch’

To prove the contrary, researchers put rats on treadmills and recorded the activity of grid cells, keeping either distance or duration of running unchanged, and only varying the speed. As a result, 92% of grid cells in rats emitted signals at specific moments: for instance, one cell would fire 8 seconds into the run, not taking into account speed or distance covered, and another cell would emit a signal every 400 cm, not depending on speed or duration of the run. 50 percent of the cells were affected by distance, another half by time, and around 40 percent by both factors. "Space and time are ever-present dimensions by which events can be organized in memory," senior study author Howard Eichenbaum, a psychologist and neuroscientist at Boston University, said in the official press release.

Decision trees

“Every moment is a moment of decision, and every moment turns us inexorably in the direction of the rest of our lives.” Quote by Mary Balogh

Mapping with must three words (of 40k)

"Precise GPS coordinates would mean 18 digits," says What3Words' founder Chris Sheldrick, "but we wanted something that humans could actually remember. People have flawless recollection for three words. A dictionary of 40,000 words is enough to fill those 57 trillion squares with unique combinations - you can't do it any other way."

Car makers buy mapping company from Nokia

BMW AG, Audi AG and Daimler AG will buy Nokia Oyj’s digital-map unit for 2.8 billion euros ($3.1 billion) to gain technology for connected cars that will eventually be the basis for self-driving vehicles. The world’s three largest makers of luxury cars will each acquire an equal share of Nokia’s HERE division, and the transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year, they said Monday. Nokia said its net proceeds on the sale will total slightly more than 2.5 billion euros. While there has previously been limited cooperation on auto parts, a joint acquisition on this scale involving BMW, Volkswagen AG’s Audi division and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler is unprecedented. The deal underscores the German competitors’ push for self-driving systems independent of technology giants such as Google Inc

How brand-new words are spreading across America

You can see, for example, how on fleek exploded almost simultaneously across the country last year. The phrase, which roughly translates to perfect or on point, was a linguistic surprise hit. It didn’t start with a celebrity or brand trying to coin a new phrase. What set it off was Kayla Newman, a not-yet-famous Vine user, saying, “Finna get crunk. Eyebrows on fleek.” From there it took off, fast. On fleek got picked up by IHOP, Taco Bell, and Kim Kardashian. Now it is fully in the lexicon, used regularly on Twitter as though it existed for many years, not just one. It is fundamentally a borderless word, native to the internet. The same is true of some other emerging words identified by Grieve, like amirite (“Am I right?”) and faved (to favorite a tweet).

Maps as libraries

“It’s almost like a repository of intelligence, a database where you can put everything you know about a place in the days before computers,” he says. Related Stories For These Post-Soviet Nations, Big Oil Offers Hope and Fear By GREG MILLER Strategic Defense: Military Uses of the Moon and Asteroids By DAVID S. F. PORTREE Photos: The Ruins of the USSR’s Secret Nuclear Cities By ZACHARY SLOBIG “They managed to turn so much information into something that’s so clear and well-presented,” Kent says. “There are layers of visual hierarchy. What is important stands out. What isn’t recedes. There’s a lot that modern cartographers could learn from the way these maps were made.”

Inside the Secret World of Russia's Cold War Mapmakers | WIRED

Soviets loved maps

They had mapped nearly the entire world at three scales. The most detailed of these three sets of maps, at a scale of 1:200,000, consisted of regional maps. A single sheet might cover the New York metropolitan area, for example. […]They mapped all of Europe, nearly all of Asia, as well as large parts of North America and northern Africa at 1:100,000 and 1:50,000 scales, which show even more features and fine-grained topography. Another series of still more zoomed-in maps, at 1:25,000 scale, covers all of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, as well as hundreds or perhaps thousands of foreign cities. At this scale, city streets and individual buildings are visible. […] The Soviets produced hundreds of remarkably detailed 1:10,000 maps of foreign cities, mostly in Europe, and they may have mapped the entire USSR at this scale[…] All in all, Watt estimated that the Soviet military produced more than 1.1 million different maps.

Who are the chosen ones? The use of historical names in today's Hungary - Hungarian Spectrum

When we thought that at last the frenzy of street name changes had died down, the Christian Democrats, who don’t seem to have enough on their plate, realized that there are still some buildings that were named after the wrong people. After weeks of wrangling, it was decided that the famous Ságvári Gymnasium in Szeged must change its name. As a student, Endre Ságvári (1913-1944) became interested in Marxism. First he was a member of the Hungarian Social Democratic Party, and later, in 1940, he joined the illegal communist party. During the war he organized anti-war rallies, and after the German occupation he was one of the few who tried to organize a resistance movement against the Germans. He was tracked down by the authorities, and on July 27 he was surrounded by four gendarmes, on whom he pulled a gun. He wounded three of them. After throwing his gun away, he ran out of the building but was mortally wounded by one of the gendarmes. One of the four gendarmes also died later in the hospital.

Unlocking the organization with simple network mapping

Our client asked us to map cooperation in their organization because they had the feeling something might not be quite right.When together we looked at the network map, our client immediately recognized the bottleneck:the Head of Customer Services. This manager’s centrality was constraining the speed, spread and quality of information flow, creating a major HR risk. If this person were occupied, then the exchange of information between the Customer Service department and the rest of the organization would be seriously impaired. And on top of all of this, given that all information in the organization flowed through this same person, all information had the same “imprint” and was colored by the values and opinions of this person.

Tatiana Trouvé Unwinds History in Public Art Project

when Tatiana Trouvé, a highly regarded sculptor who works in Paris, was asked by the Public Art Fund to create a work relating to the park, her instincts told her to dream big. The piece she made, “Desire Lines,” which goes on view Tuesday at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza near 60th Street and Fifth Avenue, is — in a manner of thinking — the size of the park itself. It is composed of miles of colored rope that, if unwound from the various-sized wooden spools that hold them, would stretch along every inch of the 212 paths, by Ms. Trouvé’s count, that snake through the park’s 843-acre rectangle. […] Like the Borges short story about a map so large and detailed it corresponds precisely to the territory it maps (“In the deserts of the West, still today, there are tattered ruins of that map, inhabited by animals and beggars”), Ms. Trouvé’s installation plays in the netherworld between the real and the represented. That seems only fitting because, as she said in an interview last week, she came to know the park first through studying maps and pictures and only later set foot in the thing itself.

A Path With Heart by Carlos Castaneda

You must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. Each path is only one of a million paths. If you feel that you must now follow it, you need not stay with it under any circumstances. Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping a path if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on a path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I caution you: look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone this one question. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush of the Universe. The only question is: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then it is a good path. If it doesn’t, then it is of no use.

The literary map of London is just beautiful

Certainly for artists of all stripes, the unknown, the idea or the form or the tale that has not yet arrived, is what must be found. It is the job of artists to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it’s where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long disciplined process of making it their own. Scientists too, as J. Robert Oppenheimer once remarked, “live always at the ‘edge of mystery’ – the boundary of the unknown.” But they transform the unknown into the known, haul it in like fishermen; artists get you out into that dark sea.
The pleasure of contemplating the world on a map might be likened to that of reading certain novels. In both cases, we are placed in a privileged position vis a vis a reality which we usually only glimpse from a limited perspective. With a world map, we rise above the constraints of our segment of land so as to hold the globe in our gaze, much as with novels, we may be granted intimate access to minds beyond our own. But of course, like a novel, a map can only ever be a model and reduction of reality. The journeys we make through the landscape look precariously unlike the lines we trace on a map — and it is here that the lost motorist moans. However, it seems we cannot do without abbreviations of complexity in order to make sense of our world, in order to get to our destination.
Our guide explained that the horses, despite being extraordinarily intelligent beings, had a hard time making sense of seeing their friends appear out of nowhere, then disappear into the distance. Falling out of sight held the terror of being forever lost. My horse was calling out, making sure his friend was still there – that neither was lost. Underneath the geographic disorientation, one can imagine, lies a primal fear of losing control.
The word “lost” comes from the Old Norse los, meaning the disbanding of an army, and this origin suggests soldiers falling out of formation to go home, a truce with the wide world. I worry now that many people never disband their armies, never go beyond what they know. Advertising, alarmist news, technology, incessant busyness, and the design of public and private space conspire to make it so.
They chart my life. I don't want to sound ponderous, but they chart my intellectual life. They chart everything that I've been interested in and thought about for the whole of my reading life. So if they went I would, in a sense, lose a sense of identity. They identify me. ... Most of them I shall never read again, but you never know what you may want to go back to. And it does constantly happen to me that there's something that I suddenly think, "Oh, I've got that book, let me just look that up." I do it every day.
In fact, mapping attention to power in an organization gives a clear indication of hierarchy: The longer it takes Person A to respond to Person B, the more relative power Person A has. Map response times across an entire organization, and you’ll get a remarkably accurate chart of social standing. The boss leaves e-mails unanswered for hours; those lower down respond within minutes. This is so predictable that an algorithm for it—called automated social hierarchy detection—has been developed at Columbia University. Intelligence agencies reportedly are applying the algorithm to suspected terrorist gangs to piece together chains of influence and identify central figures.
Offline maps. This feature is something of an Easter egg. It’s undocumented, a feature inserted by Google engineers simply because they wanted it. You can access it only if you know the secret. But wow, is it worth it. This feature memorizes the map data for whatever area is displayed on your screen right now (up to a whole city in size). That way, you can use Google Maps even when you’re overseas and don’t want to turn on data roaming (because that’s insanely expensive), or when you’re in an area where there’s no cell reception. It’s very handy. To capture a map snapshot like this, tap in the Search box. Use the speech-recognition button and say, “OK Maps.” (It’s a riff on the command “OK Glass” that prepares Google Glass, the company’s “smart headband,” for voice commands.) A message quietly lets you know you’ve successfully stored the displayed area.