Study suggests humans are slowly but surely losing intellectual and emotional abilities

Human intelligence and behavior require optimal functioning of a large number of genes, which requires enormous evolutionary pressures to maintain. A provocative hypothesis published in a recent set of Science and Society pieces published in the Cell Press journal Trends in Genetics suggests that we are losing our intellectual and emotional capabilities because the intricate web of genes endowing us with our brain power is particularly susceptible to mutations and that these mutations are not being selected against in our modern society.


Ref: Study suggests humans are slowly but surely losing intellectual and emotional abilities – MedicalXpress

Data Cruncher Who Helped Obama Win

The analytics team used four streams of polling data to build a detailed picture of voters in key states. In the past month, said one official, the analytics team had polling data from about 29,000 people in Ohio alone — a whopping sample that composed nearly half of 1% of all voters there — allowing for deep dives into exactly where each demographic and regional group was trending at any given moment. This was a huge advantage: when polls started to slip after the first debate, they could check to see which voters were changing sides and which were not.

It was this database that helped steady campaign aides in October’s choppy waters, assuring them that most of the Ohioans in motion were not Obama backers but likely Romney supporters whom Romney had lost because of his September blunders. “We were much calmer than others,” said one of the officials. The polling and voter-contact data were processed and reprocessed nightly to account for every imaginable scenario. “We ran the election 66,000 times every night,” said a senior official, describing the computer simulations the campaign ran to figure out Obama’s odds of winning each swing state. “And every morning we got the spit-out — here are your chances of winning these states. And that is how we allocated resources.”


Team Romney has therefore devised a clever app that finds which friends are most likely to be influential on Election Day, given their geography and history of Facebook political activity.



Ref: Inside the Secret World of the Data Cruncher Who Helped Obama Win – The Time
Ref: Wrath of the Math: Obama Wins Nerdiest Election Ever – Wired
Ref: Romney’s New Facebook App Knows Which Friends Are Most Influential – TechCrunch
Ref: Google, Facebook And Twitter Want You To Use Their Election 2012 Web Tools – TPM

Unabomber Manifesto & THX-1138

Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, wrote in his manifesto about what he considers the power process and surrogate activities and how technology is a more powerful social force than freedom. In his power process, people need to have some attainable goal they have to work for in order to be fulfilled. Without the need to work to survive, a surrogate activity is needed, one that is determined by others for the good of the society. The Unabomber comes to the conclusion that not only does technology take away man’s ability to control his own power process, but that it further prevents society from shaping itself. This is exactly what happened in THX-1138 where each member of society gave up their individual freedoms to the technological society little by little until there were no individuals left.


Ref: THX-1138, A Lost Film – James Glettler