The giant soda ban as epistemological crisis

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This sounds like the setup to a joke, but I really was just minding my own business on a bench in Washington Square Park when I was approached by a perky young woman with an … Read More

What if speech is just a gooey, eggy mess all the way down the line?

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Last week in discussing Daniel Everett’s latest book, I touched briefly on some controversial issues in speech perception. I claimed, a bit glibly, that approaches to the problem in which it is assumed that the … Read More

Daniel Everett’s Recent Book is Mostly Not About Recursion and the Pirahã

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Pirahã settlement

It’s odd that the release of this book served mainly as an occasion for the re-ignition of the “Universal Grammar (UG) is recursion/Pirahã has no recursion, so UG is wrong/no it isn’t/and also UG isn’t … Read More

A dog, two monkeys and “Foundations of Cognitive Neuro- psychology”

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I know some of you out there are in the midst of chaotic semesters, already starting to feel like the grasshopper who fiddled away the long days of summer without preparing enough lecture notes, and … Read More

Failure is not an option, it’s an inevitability.

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Failure is normal

I was on a rooftop at an OHBM party, chatting with Niko Kriegeskorte about the ineluctable cruelty and arbitrariness of nature when my partner texted from back in NYC to say she had just seen … Read More

Science and capitalism: the Roaring Twenties and now

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  One consequence of being on sabbatical is never having to say TL;DR, and feeling free to read things that would normally accumulate in my pile of things to get around to one day. Another, … Read More

Are cognitive psychology experiments just bad video games?

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the most boring video game ever?

 When I describe the experiments we ask people to participate in for our research, I sometimes just say that we ask people to “play very boring video games.” In the “lexical decision” game, for example, … Read More

The twelve million dollar shark, the shoddy Science paper, and what it would mean if this analogy by Mark Carrigan were literally correct.

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Jeffrey Deitch deals with some labor issues

In this interesting post, Mark Carrigan points out some parallels between blue-chip art galleries and high-impact science journals. Here what I found to be the crux of it: In both cases the task of filtering, … Read More

A summer of talking apes

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  From the perspective of films about talking apes, this has been a very disappointing summer. I like apes, and I’ve always been fascinated by attempts to get them to talk, so last summer was … Read More

Measuring magic and some thoughts on speed

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What’s going on in this picture? Marina Abramovic is being introduced. She is about to stand in front of 47 Russian “re-performers” in green jumpsuits, talking about the speed of life, the constant external stimulus … Read More


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