All posts tagged with information

Notable: Culture and compressibility

less than 1 minute read

Notable paper: Tamariz, Monica and Simon Kirby. 2015. Culture: Copying, Compression, and Conventionality. Cognitive Science 39:171-183. doi:10.1111/cogs.12144

Mailbag: Cultural evolution

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I just finished listening to your lectures of rise of humans and it was thoroughly a very nice and complete coverage of recent understandings of this matter....

Boas goes low

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While researching another question, I have been reviewing some Franz Boas. In 1936, American Anthropologist ran a piece by Alfred Kroeber which reviewed some...

Jebel Faya and early-stage reduction

9 minute read

Simon Armitage and colleagues Armitage:2011 describe archaeological remains from Jebel Faya, in the United Arab Emirates. The assemblages come from a rock sh...

Bitwise consciousness

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Carl Zimmer writes about theories of consciousness in today’s Science NY Times, and describes the work of my Wisconsin colleague, Giulio Tononi.

Book notes: Free, by Chris Anderson

9 minute read

I read Chris Anderson’s book because it was, well, “Free”. The book’s thesis is simple: Sometimes people profit by giving things away.

Data warehousing in genomics interview

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Software publisher O’Reilly is running an interview with David Dooling, data chief of the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University: “Sequencing a ge...

Will Wolfram make bioinformatics obsolete?

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I was talking with a scientist last week who is in charge of a massive dataset. He told me he had heard complaints from many of his biologist friends that to...

A debate: information overload?

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If you’re looking for a way to waste your time today, you might check out The Economist’s online debate, which focuses on the question of whether the world i...

Information theory: a short introduction

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I lectured this week in my Biology of Mind course about information theory, and in particular the concept of Shannon entropy. I’ve typed up a few notes...

How much data in your genome

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Daniel Macarthur, of Genetic Future, reviews the amount of information required to store genomic information. Naturally, you’d probably think it was around 1...

Full frontal genomes

7 minute read

In Erika Check's Nature article on celebrity genomes, she includes a passage in which Francis Collins points out a problem with public access to private ge...

Randomness

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From a passage on the statistical behavior of aggregates and probability theory, p. 64-65 in Entropy for Biologists by Harold J. Morowitz, Academic Press, N...

Information measures

less than 1 minute read

Pp. 66-67 in Entropy for Biologists by Harold J. Morowitz, Academic Press, New York, 1970 (emphasis added):

Origami chaine operatoire

5 minute read

The New Yorker has a nice profile of origami artist (and physicist) Robert J. Lang. My print edition of Discover had a profile of Lang earlier this year, wh...

Waggle information

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A nice post on bee dancing and the bee sensory system at Neurophilosophy. From an information perspective, here we have a good example of adapting a nervous...

Oyama taboo ontogeny

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On the subject of taboos, Susan Oyama has a discussion of taboo in The Ontogeny of Information.

Complex structure of whale song

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An interesting story from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (via Science Blog) about the information content of whale song. They don't know what the whales ar...

Intelligence in the age of the internet

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CNET is running a series of articles on the kind of intelligence required for the world of changing technology. The first installment starts thusly:

Money, status, and social cognition

10 minute read

Via Instapundit, a link to a review of the new book Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. Looks like a very interesting bo...