Weekly Newsletter

Brain Computer Interfaces #

Meet the Neuroscientist Who Installed an Implant in His Own Brain Profiles the risk-taking neuroscientist Phil Kennedy. Kennedy researches enabling locked-in patients to communicate using implanted electrodes. Kennedy took his research into his own hands after the FDA prevented him from continuing his work. Kennedy had a surgeon from Belize implant a set of electrodes in his head so that he could continue studying neuronal correlates of speech. With a few bumps along the way, Kennedy managed to implant the electrodes in his head and get a few weeks of good data before the electrodes had to be removed. This piece raises questions about the value and ethics of self-experimentation. Members of the scientific community seem split in their opinions on the ethics of Kennedy’s experiment. In my mind, we all have the right to do whatever we want to our bodies and minds as long as others aren’t put in danger.

How to Unlearn a Disease Starts off by discussing how some epilepysy patients have managed to control their seizures. Uses this to segue into questioning ethical implications of being able to selectively modify brain pathways.

Prediction #

How To Tell Good Studies From Bad? Bet On Them Scientists interested in better predicting study reproducibility create a prediction market. The scientists found that the prediction market did a better job of predicting study reproducibility than a survey answered by the same group of scientists. The dynamic of the prediction market caused participants to make better estimations in the market than in their survey answers.

Other Contributions #

Will Baird #

University of Missouri Protesters Block Journalists’ and Watch Students Tell Yale to Fire a Staff Member
Two recent high-profile instances of “social justice” activism highlight the terrifying implications and ideas behind the movement. Because words and actions have meanings that can cause offense (or, simply because they have meaning), the very concept of meaning must be destroyed. So, we see protesters appeal to a right to privacy while in the middle of a campus quad, the definitive public space; request personal space as they shove a reporter; and attack his ethics and “humanity” as they berate, mock, and push him. War is peace! Ideas and discussion can make us aware of uncomfortable truths, so we must eliminate intellectualism. And ultimately, if people refuse to cooperate peacefully, physical violence is an appropriate response (or, if you are a genteel Ivy Leaguer, you let all of New Haven know you hope your enemy loses sleep). Ignorance is strength! Ultimately, these events show the fundamental nihilism of “social justice” ideology as understood and practiced by its advocates today. These actions are about more than political disagreement. If words have no meaning, and if information can’t be created or spread, there is no foundation for interaction between human beings.