Learning to read competes with face recognition ability…

A  New Scientist article

suggests that the human ability to read actually cannibalizes parts of the brain used for other visual skills, such as tracking animals… and recognizing faces. Neurologists have long been faced with the “reading paradox” of how our brain contains such a specific area for reading while reading itself has only existed for 5000 years–far too short a time for the reading area of the brain to be an adaptive trait.

[Our] visual plasticity may have allowed for humans to “recycle” visual portions of the brain for reading, but not, his new study suggests, without a cost…

That cost is our ability to recognize faces.

Wait, who said that?



““Every single thing you see is future trash. EVERYTHING.”

…[another]  cognitive problem is: Every single thing you see is future trash. Everything. So we are surrounded by ephemera, but we can’t acknowledge that, because it’s kind of scary, because I think ultimately it points to our own temporariness, to thoughts that we’re all going to die.

So says Robin Nagle [anthropologist-in-residence at New York City’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY), since 2006]…

For more, please read this fascinating interview with Robin in The Believer.

“[G]ild is ever so slightly off the lily…”


this is NOT me (via korosirego on Flickr)


Joel Johnson (Gizmodo) says the “gild is ever so slightly off the lily…” and the lilly is an ipad.

But it’s a pretty frustrating feeling to know that your data is inside the device you’re using but because of its closed system troubleshooting options are limited. It’s a little like being sick at Disneyland and getting stuck at the top of Space Mountain. Suddenly the veneer of blinking lights stops looking like the future and starts feeling like being trapped in a tiny car in the dark inside a warehouse.

I still really like the iPad for travel. I suspect even if I buy an Air—even the tiny version—I’ll still bring the iPad along for books, video, etc. I mean, hell, I already own it. Might as well.

But the gild is ever so slightly off the lily. And instead of being impressed with how capable the iPad can be compared to a traditional computer, today I’m missing traveling with a machine that gives me more flexibility when my expected path dead ends.

Do you agree?  Want more info?  Read the rest of his post here: my ipad  let me down