Human and Machine Intelligence: An Intriguing Perspective

Jeff Hawkins developed the Palm Pilot, the Treo smart phone, and other mobile computerized devices. It’s not surprising that he’s also very interested in our brain—another pretty good mobile information processor. He’s now teamed with Sandra Blakeslee (the renowned New York Times science writer) to produce a marvelous thoughtprovoking book, On Intelligence: How a New…

A Conversation With Howard Gardner

Powerful ideas have universal impact. The concept of Multiple Intelligences, for example, started as a theory in the halls of Harvard University and has now grown to be one of the most influential movements in teaching practices in the 20th century. Instead of seeing the mind as possessing finite quantities of a substance known as…

We’re Inside-Out Crustaceans

Observing Mobility. The recent death of the renowned evolutionary theorist, Stephen J. Gould, recalls his intriguing comment that we’re inside-out crustaceans. A crustacean’s skeleton is on the outside, ours is on the inside. Our soft tissue and appendages are out where we can readily observe them. Llinas (2002) expands briefly on this concept in his…

A Conversation With Bruce McEwen

In the life cycle of an academic research scientist, developmental maturation usually consists of achieving a secure tenured position, establishing a productive lab, and becoming a respected member of the scientific community. Once this is achieved, most academic researchers busy themselves with worrying about their next grant application or find themselves drawn into the inevitable…

How Mass Media Affect Our Perception of Reality — Part 2

We gather and dispense information about our intimate environment through personal and electronic contact with family, friends, and associates. Mass media (MM) provide much of our knowledge of the larger environment. Last month’s column focused on MM as a cultural phenomenon that we must understand if it’s to inform but not unduly influence our cognitive…

How Mass Media Affect Our Perception of Reality — Part 1

The U.S. mass media were focused on sports, the lives of various celebrities, and a Congressman’s relationship with a missing staff member just before September 11. Then everything changed. A skyscraper complex, militant group, and distant country suddenly dominated mass media as people sought to understand what had occurred, what to make of passenger planes…