In a zero-sum game, a rational actor seeking the greatest gain for himself or herself will necessarily be seeking the maximum loss for the other actor. In a positive-sum game, a rational, self-interested actor may benefit the other guy with the same choice that benefits himself or herself. More colloquially, positive-sum games are called win-win situations, and are capture in the cliché "Everybody wins."
The idea underlying the power of signal detection theory is simple: The world gives noisy data, never pure. Auditory data, for instance, are degraded for a variety of reasons having to do with the physical properties of the communication of sound. The observing organism has properties that further affect how those data will be experienced and interpreted, such as ability (e.g., a person's auditory... acuity), the circumstances under which the information is being processed (e.g., during a thunderstorm), and motivation (e.g., disinterest). Signal detection theory allows us to put both aspects of the stimulus and the respondent together to understand the quality of the decision that will result given the uncertain conditions under which data are transmitted, both physically and psychologically.
Nonrevolving credit rose $16.55 billion, to $1.697 trillion. The increase, which followed a big surge in November and was the largest since November 2001, was driven by federal student loans and has been increasing a lot over the past year – -a sign high joblessness in the U.S. has led many people to go back to school.
First, "the middle of 2013" is not "a date certain." Second, Romney failed to explain why a withdrawal target undermines U.S. policy in Afghanistan in any way. [Update: Jay Bookman added, "Romney himself has publicly endorsed a deadline of 2014 for the withdrawal of almost all NATO military forces, including Americans, from Afghanistan. To borrow his language, Romney announced that support 'so the... Taliban hears it, the Pakistanis hear it, the Afghan leaders hear it.' So I’m not sure exactly what his argument is, other than to make meaningless noise on the campaign trail and try to pump himself up as a strong-willed military leader."]
The idea that the brain is basically an engine of prediction is one that will, I believe, turn out to be very valuable not just within its current home (computational cognitive neuroscience) but across the board: for the arts, for the humanities, and for our own personal understanding of what it is to be a human being in contact with the world.
Deeper spending cuts required for extra loans of at least 130 billion euros ($170 billion) and domestic resistance to overhauling the economy risk limiting the impact of any second aid package, the economists say. The deal is also slated to include a 50 percent cut in the face value of more than 200 billion euros of Greek debt through a voluntary exchange by private creditors of outstanding bonds for new securities.
Where did we come from? I find the explanation that we were made in stars to be deep, elegant, and beautiful. This explanation says that every atom in each of our bodies was built up out of smaller particles produced in the furnaces of long-gone stars. We are the byproducts of nuclear fusion. The intense pressures and temperatures of these giant stoves thickened collapsing clouds of tiny elemental... bits into heavier bits, which once fused, were blown out into space as the furnace died. The heaviest atoms in our bones may have required more than one cycle in the star furnaces to fatten up. Uncountable numbers of built-up atoms congealed into a planet, and a strange disequilibrium called life swept up a subset of those atoms into our mortal shells. We are all collected stardust. And by a most elegant and remarkable transformation, our starstuff is capable of looking into the night sky to perceive other stars shining. They seem remote and distant, but we are really very close to them no matter how many lightyears away. All that we see of each other was born in a star. How beautiful is that?
So when individuals who receive unemployment benefits are asked if they are seeking work, as they might if they are surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they answer yes - even if they have really given up because their economic prospects are so bad.
In other words, prions violate most of biology’s sacred rules. They are one of those annoying reminders of how much we don’t know. (It’s important, I think, to not get too caught up for now in the nomenclature. CPEB might not be a prion in the most literal sense, but it certainly has properties that are prion-esque.) In fact, prion-like proteins in neurons may provide an important key to... understanding the mysterious endurance of memory. Take CPEB, this synaptic ingredient that can copy itself, with additional copies serving as an indicator of synaptic strength. Like a prion, this “active” version of CPEB is virtually indestructible. It’s also “infectious,” able to recruit single copies of the protein to join its cut-and-pasting party. Lastly, CPEB seems to be regulated by neural stimulation, so that training fruit flies with a simple learning paradigm triggers the start of the oligomerization, or copying, process. The protein has been flicked on; the synapse has been marked as a memory.
This is sad on a number of levels. For one thing, the friendships were actually closer and longer lasting at the small colleges, suggesting that there is nothing intrinsically beneficial about seeking out similar people. (Opposites don’t attract, but they should.)