Research in recent years has suggested that young Americans might be less creative now than in decades past, even while their intelligence — as measured by IQ tests — continues to rise. But new research hints that the dynamics of creativity may not break down as simply as that. […] Some aspects of creativity — such as those employed in visual arts — are gently rising over the years, while other aspects, such as the nuances of creative writing, could be declining. [University of Washington]
Teenagers’ brains are wired to confront a threat instead of retreating, research suggests. The results may help explain why criminal activity peaks during adolescence. [Science News]
Our brains perceive objects in everyday life of which we may never be aware, a study finds, challenging currently accepted models about how the brain processes visual information. [EurekAlert]
Here’s another reason to love coffee. Researchers from Brazil found that morning coffee consumption not only keeps you awake and alert, but also improves performance on cognitively demanding tasks. That is, if you’re already a habitual drinker.
Using examples from a wide range of application areas in science and engineering, we will demonstrate how standard uses of color can distort the meaning of the underlying data, and can lead the analyst to incorrect evaluations, conclusions or decisions.
The future of computing, after about 2035, is adiabatic reservable hardware. When such hardware runs at a cost-minimizing speed, half of the total budget is spent on computer hardware, and the other half is spent on energy and cooling for that hardware. Thus after 2035 or so, about as much will be spent on computer hardware and a physical space to place it as will be spent on hardware and space for systems to generate and transport energy into the computers, and to absorb and transport heat away from those computers. So if you seek a career for a futuristic world dominated by computers, note that a career making or maintaining energy or cooling systems may be just as promising as a career making or maintaining computing hardware. [Overcoming bias]
Can computers be creative? […] The team has gathered information by downloading a large corpus of recipes that include dishes from all over the world that use a wide variety ingredients, combinations of flavours, serving suggestions and so on. They also download related information such as descriptions of regional cuisines from Wikipedia, the concentration of flavour ingredients in different foodstuffs from the “Volatile Compounds in Food” database and Fenaroli’s Handbook of Flavor Ingredients. So big data lies at the heart of this approach—you could call it the secret sauce. They then develop a method for combining ingredients in ways that have never been attempted using a “novelty algorithm” that determines how surprising the resulting recipe will appear to an expert observer. [The arXiv]
In the new report, the NIC describes how implants, prosthetics, and powered exoskeletons will become regular fixtures of human life — what could result in substantial improvements to innate human capacities. By 2030, the authors predict, prosthetics should reach the point where they’re just as good — or even better — than organic limbs. By this stage, the military will increasingly rely on exoskeletons to help soldiers carry heavy loads. Servicemen will also be adminstered psychostimulants to help them remain active for longer periods. [io9 | Thanks Tim]
South Korea now has five times as many credit cards as people — and more per capita debt than anyone. But the market is not what it was.
Francis Bacon’s 1969 triptych, “Three Studies of Lucian Freud,” sold for $142.4 million at Christie’s, described as the highest price ever paid for an artwork at auction. […] Sometime in the 1970s the three panels were sold separately. The right-hand panel was bought by a collector in Rome who spent 20 years trying to reunite the triptych. He bought the middle panel from a Paris dealer in the early 1980s. Then, in the late ‘80s, he bought the left and final panel from a collector in Japan. It is also one of just two full-length triptychs that Bacon painted of Freud — the other, from 1966, is missing. [NY Times]
What is the value of stolen art? [NY Times]
NSA Surveillance Drives U.S. Writers to Self-Censor [PDF]
What exactly possesses PR people into thinking it’s a wise idea to launch live “Twitter Q&As?” JPMorgan is taking questions from Twitter.