Author Archive | majestic

Scientists Can Map Your Brain And Predict Your Intelligence

This is pretty scary: your brain is either wired right – or it’s not! Wired reports in the brain mapping that can predict intelligence:

Humans have a love/hate relationship with the cliques, clades, and classes that compartmentalize their world. That tension forms the backbone of so much dystopian sci-fi: The protagonist of Divergent is special because she doesn’t fit into her society’s rigid castes of personality traits; Minority Report is all about the follies of judging people before they act. These stories are fun to think about in part because they’re fiction, not fact.

Human brain illustrated with millions of small nerves

But now that neuroscientists have used maps of people’s brains to accurately predict intelligence, reality creeps ever so much closer to fiction.

By intelligence, in this case, the scientists mean abstract reasoning ability, which they inferred by mapping and analyzing the connections within people’s brains. But the study, published today in Nature Neuroscience, is compelling because it gets at a fundamental and very uncomfortable truth: Some brains are better than others at certain things, simply because of the way they’re wired.

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Bridget Nielsen Explains the Alien Hybrid Program

Last week we published the story of Jeffrey Alan Lash, “Baby, I’m A Secret Agent, Alien Hybrid Here To Save The World.” The craziness of the tale stirred a lot of interest so we thought you all might enjoy this video of Bridget Nielsen, who explains the Alien Hybridization program that is responsible for her bearing 10 Alien Hybrid babies through dreamstate on an Alien craft…

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The Rothschilds sank the Titanic to set up the Federal Reserve

There’s a conspiracy theory doing the rounds that the Rothschilds sank the Titanic to set up the Federal Reserve, reports Business Insider Australia:

There’s a conspiracy theory that links the Rothschilds, the sinking of the Titanic, and the creation of the Federal Reserve.

On Friday I stumbled across a tweet sent in reply to a prominent finance parody account on Twitter. It featured the black-and-white image of three men and the Titanic.

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter


The text on the photos named Benjamin Guggenheim, Isa Strauss (actual name Isador Straus), and David Astor as three wealthy men who died on the Titanic. So far, so correct. The men were all real and all wealthy.

Below each name it says “opposed new Federal Reserve Bank.” The Titanic’s sinking happened in 1912, and the opening of the Federal Reserve happened in 1913. Was the hint that their opposition to the Fed and their deaths were somehow linked?

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Christian cult that predicted Wednesday’s world annihilation will study Bible for revised deadline

Last week we posted the story of Chris McCann, the evangelist Christian who published multiple articles about “Why October 7, 2015 is the Likely End of the World.” Now he’s going back to the scriptures to come up with a better date, reports the Guardian via Raw Story. Will they never learn?

The leader of a Christian group who claimed that the world would end on Wednesday has admitted his prediction was “incorrect”.

William Blake's The Day of Judgment printed in 1808 to illustrate the Robert Blair's poem "The Grave"

William Blake’s The Day of Judgment printed in 1808 to illustrate the Robert Blair’s poem “The Grave”


Chris McCann, head of the eBible fellowship, warned that the planet would be destroyed “with fire” on 7 October. This did not happen.

“Since it is now 8 October it is now obvious that we were incorrect regarding the world’s ending on the 7th,” McCann said.

McCann originally told the Guardian that by Thursday the world would be “gone forever: annihilated”.

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Against The Singularity

Are you hoping for Ray Kurzweil’s infamous “Singularity” to occur, or not? Jon Evans, for one, is just plain annoyed by it, as he explains at TechCrunch:

Ray Kurzweil’s predictions of the Singularity annoy me sufficiently that I once sat down to write a TechCrunch column attacking them. A brief primer: Singularity theory argues that our exponential technological growth will, several decades hence, culminate in an unimaginable transcendence that redefines humanity, sentience, and/or reality. It is also known as the Rapture of the Nerds

Symbolic Immortality

I never wrote that column, because, irritatingly, Kurzweil’s prophesied timeline of technological development is not (yet) actually flagrantly wrong. It’s aggressive; it’s hyper-optimistic; the exponent on its projected exponential curve is too large; but its overall shape is not actually obviously off. He may annoy me, but to date, his portfolio of prognostications is a lot more impressive than that of the average prophet.

So why is it that the Singularity annoys me so?

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‘Witchcraft’ Child Abuse Cases on the Rise

Child abuse may be on the rise in the UK, but is it really related to witchcraft and exorcisms, as this BBC News report suggests:

Child abuse linked to exorcism and witchcraft accusations is on the rise, figures obtained by the BBC suggest.


The Metropolitan Police said there had been 60 crimes linked to faith in London so far this year. It saw reports double from 23 in 2013 to 46 in 2014.

Half of UK police forces do not record such cases and many local authorities are also unable to provide figures.
The NSPCC said authorities “need to ensure they are able to spot the signs of this particular brand of abuse”.

London is unique in having a police team, Project Violet, dedicated to this type of abuse.

Its figures relate to crime reports where officers have flagged a case as involving abuse linked to faith or belief. Many of the cases involve children…

[continues at BBC News]

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Stephen Hawking says we should be more frightened of capitalism than robots

He’s getting a lot of flak for not having a good understanding of economics, but could it be that Stephen Hawking just isn’t afraid to throw stones in a glass house? CNET describes the fallout from his reddit AMA:

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, Hawking offered a new disturbance in an answer to a long question about technological unemployment.

the hawk

“If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed,” he wrote. “Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution.”

Some might almost see this as a hope for technological socialism. However, Hawking observed: “So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”

Many have debated and will continue to debate whether technology really does drive inequality or whether people adjust to new circumstances and new ingenuity brings new markets and new jobs, ones previously unforeseen.

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Why You Should Save Your Poo

Serious story, you never know when your poo might save you. Moises Velasquez-Manoff explains at the New York Times:

By last August, my 1-year-old son had taken five courses of antibiotics for recurrent ear infections. That was alarming. By age 10, the average American child has had about 10 courses, and some microbiologists argue that even one course a year is too many — that it might damage our native microbial ecosystem, with far-reaching consequences.

No Feces!

My son was off to a worrisome start. Why, I wondered, didn’t doctors work harder to prevent this collateral damage, not with store-bought probiotics, but with “microbial restoration”? Why didn’t we reinfuse patients with their own microbes after antibiotics?

The scientific term for this is “autologous fecal transplant.” In theory, it could work like a system reboot disk works for your computer. You’d freeze your feces, which are roughly half microbes, and when your microbiome became corrupted or was depleted with antimicrobials, you could “reinstall” it from a backup copy.

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Can We End the Meditation Madness?

What is there to hate about meditation? If you’re Adam Grant, quite a lot, and he let’s loose in an op-ed at the New York Times:

I am being stalked by meditation evangelists.

They approach with the fervor of a football fan attacking a keg at a tailgate party. “Which method of meditation do you use?”

I admit that I don’t meditate, and they are incredulous. It’s as if I’ve just announced that the Earth is flat. “How could you not meditate?!”

I have nothing against it. I just happen to find it dreadfully boring.

“But Steve Jobs meditated!”

Yeah, and he also did L.S.D. — do you want me to try that, too?

“L.S.D. is dangerous. Science shows that meditation is good for you. It will change your life.”

Will it?

Meditation is exploding in popularity. There are classes to learn meditation in all its flavors: mindfulness-based stress reduction, transcendental meditation, Zen and more.

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