Evolution of a Large Online Social Network focuses on Weaklink, one of the largest online social networks in China, to illuminate its exposition of social networking’s evolution. The author created his own profile while adding anonymous friends. To monitor the evolution of the social network, the user logged in for a specific amount of time in order to evaluate when (and how) the networking developed. The article catalogues the initial peak interest, garnered among a few hardcore aficionados who transmitted their enthusiasm to their joining friends. Later, users habituated towards social networking’s novelty; the euphoria since declined. Interestingly, the article notes that most relationships were created between two old users or one old user and one new user. Ultimately, the virtual world encourages engagement by shattering invisible boundaries between social groups.
This piece provides a general overview of how social networks develop. The discussion regarding the rise, fall, and plateau of interest in social networking provides valuable insight to how social networks are formed and – more importantly – who forms them and for what purpose(s).
Being a resolute hydrophobe who has no more desire to go for a swim than might a kitten in a bag or Luca Brasi in “The Godfather,” I admit I never thought of myself as a large, scaleless fish out of water.
Yet after reading Neil Shubin’s brisk new book, “Your Inner Fish,” and speaking with other researchers who use fish to delve into the history of vertebrates in general and ourselves in particular, I realize that many traits we take pride in, the body parts and behaviors we exalt as hallmarks of our humanity, were really invented by fish.
Wrists, ankles and digits distinguish tetrapod limbs from fins, but direct evidence on the origin of these features has been unavailable. Here we describe the pectoral appendage of a member of the sister group of tetrapods, Tiktaalik roseae, which is morphologically and functionally transitional between a fin and a limb. The expanded array of distal endochondral bones and synovial joints in the fin of Tiktaalik is similar to the distal limb pattern of basal tetrapods. The fin of Tiktaalik was capable of a range of postures, including a limb-like substrate-supported stance in which the shoulder and elbow were flexed and the distal skeleton extended. The origin of limbs probably involved the elaboration and proliferation of features already present in the fins of fish such as Tiktaalik.
Four years ago, while digging in the Canadian Arctic, paleontologist Neil Shubin discovered the 375 million-year-old fossil of a fish that appeared to have both neck and hands. It was seemingly clear evidence of the transition from life in water to life on land. Scientists heralded the find as their best answer yet to the creationist argument that an absence of such "missing links" is evolutionary theory's most obvious flaw.
Working in rocks more than 375 million years old far above the Arctic Circle, paleontologists have discovered a remarkable new fossil species that represents the most compelling evidence yet of an intermediate stage between fish and early limbed animals.
Scientists have discovered fossils of a 375-million-year-old fish, a large scaly creature not seen before, that they say is a long-sought missing link in the evolution of some fishes from water to a life walking on four limbs on land.
DRAGONS and virgin births are the stuff of myth and religion. Except, that is, in Kansas, where they have recently come together in a way that should alter the way many of us look at nature and demonstrate the risks in our habit of using it to help us make ethical decisions.
Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus continue to lead the revolt against the Machine Army. In their quest to save the human race from extinction, they gain greater insight into the construction of The Matrix and Neo's pivotal role in the fate of mankind.
Two hundred and fifty years in the future, life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of evil. Only the fifth element can stop the evil from extinguishing life, as it tries to do every five thousand years.
Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, is desperately trying to balance his dual identities. He can't keep up at college, pay his rent, or seem to make amends with his estranged best friend Harry and his beloved Mary Jane is more skeptical than ever. Peter begins to notice that he's losing some of his powers and wonders if the cost of being a superhero isn't too high. Meanwhile Peter's idol, the renowned scientist Otto Octavius, has turned into a maniacal cyborg after a failed science experiment. Peter realizes he must decide between the ordinary life he so desires and the responsibilities of retaining his secret identity to stop "Doc Ock" and save New York City from destruction.
Story about an all-too-human man who dares to defy a system obsessed with genetic perfection. Vincent is an "In-Valid," who assumes the identity of a member of the genetic elite to pursue his goal of traveling into space with the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation. However, a week before his mission, a murder marks Vincent as a suspect. With a relentless investigator in pursuit and the colleague he has fallen in love with beginning to suspect his deception, Vincent's dreams steadily unravel.
Washington, D.C. has been murder-free thanks to astounding technology which identifies killers before they commit their crimes. But when the chief of the Pre-crime unit is himself accused of a future murder, he has just 36 hours to discover who sets him up.
River Tam and her brother Simon are hiding out from the totalitarian government that experimented with River's brain aboard a space-freighter. Captained by a down on his luck soldier, the crew of Serenity must take jobs, whether they are legal or not, while trying to avoid the Alliance, and keeping the Tams safe. Then things get out of control and the true extent of River's powers becomes known. At the same time, the Alliance sends a new Operative to make sure that what River knows doesn't get out.
In a world caught in the grip of information overload, Major Kusanagi is an elite officer and heavily modified cybernetic agent. She is on the trail of a computer-criminal who turns people into human marionettes, controlled by computer. She discovers that his true identity lies at the center of a vast and lethal political conspiracy.
A powerful psychic force known only as Akira resurfaces in Neo-Tokyo in the 21st century. Tetsuo, a young, inexperienced motorcycle biker driven beyond the boundaries of sanity by the power of Akira, is forced to conjure up demons laying dormant within his subconscious.
In the deepest reaches of space, the fight to save all human life from extinction has begun. Hoping for lasting peace following centuries of intense warfare, the Twelve Colonies gather to sign a treaty with their dreaded enemies, the Cylons. But after an act of treachery, the Cylons launch a devasting surprise attack, destroying the Colonies home planet. A lone flagship, the Galactica, remains to aid the surviving colonists on their epic journey to their new home -- far-off Earth.
Continuation of the epic, follows the ongoing battle of President Laura Roslin and Commander William Adama in their heart-pounding crusade to save humanity from the deadly robot Cylons.
"With the 12 colonies of man virtually destroyed in the climax of a hundred-year war with the Cylon Empire, President Roslin and Commander Adama gather up the few humans left and embark on a journey to find the mythical planet Earth, not realizing that the Cylon robot is no longer a recognizable enemy."--Container.
After 40 years absence, the Cylons return and launch a sneak attack on the colonies. The Battlestar Galactica and its fighter pilots can't prevent the colonies' obliteration. The Galactica leads survivors to find the 13th colony, a planet called Earth.
A mysterious artifact figures prominently in man's destiny. Starting with primative man and basic bone weapons, the object points man to outer space and "reappears" when the moon has been colonized. Now man looks to Jupiter. A space craft is outfitted for the misson there with an artifically intelligent computer that, during the course of the voyage, malfunctions forcing the lone survivor to flee. Encountering another of the black obelisks this man is propelled to the next level of human development.
The fly is the story of a scientist experimenting with the transmission of matter from one place to another. When a housefly accidentally enters the machinery with him, the scientist and housefly are combined into two hybrid creatures. Return of the fly takes up the story of the scientist's son, who continues his father's experiments 15 years later.
The Fly: Seth Brundle develops a system to transport objects in a matter of seconds, but when he tries it on himself, Seth's genes and molecules are accidently fused with those of a fly. At first Seth is elated by his new physical abilities but soon his excitement turns into a nightmare as his insect half begins to take over. The Fly II: Terrifying sequel to "The Fly", a young man, the son of a human fly, awaits a horrifying transformation when the mutant genes inside him come out of their dormant state.
"Recruited by the CIA to rescue hostages held by guerilla fights in a Central American country, Schwarzenegger and his men encounter an enemy more deadly than any on Earth--because the Predator is not of this Earth."--Container.
Desperate to alter the course of time, a visionary scientist invents a revolutionary machine that propels him 800,000 years into the future. There he discovers that humans have evolved into two groups: the hunters and the hunted. Now he must fight to save himself, and all of mankind, in a final, desperate battle.
"Charles Laughton plays Dr. Moreau, the benign-looking doctor who lives and works on his own private South Seas island. When a shipwreck leaves Edward Parker stranded on the island, he learns of the hideous experiments that the doctor has been conducting in an area of the island known as "the House of Pain". When Parker encounters the beautiful creature Lota, the panther woman, Dr. Moreau gets the idea to create the first human-animal child through the two of them. The lines between humans and animals, however, begin to blur and Dr. Moreau could become the next victim of his own twisted creations."--Container.
Lt. Ripley is the lone survivor when her crippled spaceship crash lands on Fiorina 161, a bleak wasteland inhabited by former inmates of the planet's prison. This is the story of her fears that an Alien was aboard her craft and the realization that may compel her to try to destroy not only the creature but herself.
Ripley is recovering from her first encounter with the deadly alien. Her account of that event is received with skepticism, but transmissions from a colony later established on the Alien's planet abruptly cease. Burke, an up-and-coming company man, talks Ripley into going back with a squad of colonial marines. Of course the Marines do not take her warnings seriously either, until they come face-to-face with the awesome alien spawn.
Terror begins when the crew of a spaceship investigates a transmission from a desolate planet and discovers a life form that is perfectly evolved to annihilate mankind. Each crew member is slain until only Ripley is left.
A group of experts discuss the birth, development, and transmission of language in humans as opposed to communication within animal species. Topics include the role of evolution; language as an innately guided behavior in babies and young children; the relationship between genes and language disorders; and the isolation of the Speech 1 gene through research of the KE family in London.
"Takes an in-depth look at the theory of evolution and its impact. The sexual selection process, the nature vs. nurture debate, Christian fundamentalism, and genetic testing are only some of the topics covered in this wide-ranging study of evolution."--Container.
"Clinical psychologist John Gottman, Robert Levenson, of the Institute of Personality and Social Research, Helen Fisher, Pepper Schwarz, Pat Love, authors, and others address numerous aspects of long-term relationships. The biological need for love, the physiological evolution of monogamy, the role of oxytocin in attachment, the dynamics of sexuality, the four-year and seven-year "itches," and the importance of communication are considered. Footage of an actual counseling session at Dr. Gottman's "Love Lab" is featured."--Container.
Presents new evidence that disputes the theory that modern man evolved from Africa. Asserts that Homo erectus was established in Australia simultaneous with its appearance in Africa.
Explores topics in human evolution including morphology, mutation and natural selection, genetics, microevolution/macroevolution, fossil record, extant record, biochemistry, homology of reproductive strategies & embryonic development, mathematical & computer models, direct observation, and behavioral homology.
Describes how four million life forms came to be as they are on Earth, not as isolated oddities but as elements in a long and continuous story that began billions of years ago.
Reviews the discovery of the Lapedo child, whose bones display what appear to be mixed Neanderthal-Cro Magnon characteristics. Did Neanderthals assimilate into the Cro-Magnon population, rather than become extinct?
"The reigning theory of human evolution maintains that the Cro-Magnons superseded the Neanderthals, who vanished entirely roughly 28,000 years ago. A recent discovery in Portugal's Lapedo Valley suggests another possibility. This video examines the body of the Lapedo child, whose Cro-Magnon chin and lower arms and Neanderthal jaw and build suggest he was the result of interbreeding between the species. It considers the veracity of this claim and discusses potential implications for evolutionary theorists"--Producer's website.
Explores human language, its origins, acquisition and evolution, with comments by Noam Chomsky, Frederick Newmayer, Howard Lasnik, Lila Gleitman, George A. Miller, Mark Aronoff .
The belief that human evolution ran in a continuous path from a single primitive apelike creature to modern Homo sapiens is almost certainly incorrect. Our lineage is more like a tree than a straight line and while the picture of human evolution grows more complicated as scientists discover new information from fossil remains, it becomes more certain that Africa is the cradle of humanity.
Steve Pinker, professor of Psychology and director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT, proposes in a lively and humorous lecture that the mind has been shaped by natural selection to solve problems faced by our ancestors.
Using fossil casts of skulls and bones, Dr. Anne Zeller investigates the pattern of morphological changes in human evolution since the Pleistocene era. Through comparison of skull areas such as the supra orbital torus, temporal fossa, zygomatic regions, and ramus, and examination of teeth, Dr. Zeller discusses Homo habilis, Homo erectus, archaic Homo sapiens, Neandertal man, and Homo sapiens sapiens, and their emergence in Java, China, and Spain.
Using fossil casts of skulls and bones, Dr. Zeller investigates the pattern of morphological changes over the last 28 million years of human evolution. Two major change factors are the increase in the size of the head and body, and the increase in the brain-to-face ratio.
Consists of an interview with Stephen Jay Gould, paleontologist, zoologist, biologist, and popular writer on evolutionary biology. Features discussion on a wide range of topics, including dinosaurs, consciousness, the relationship between chimpanzees and humans, biological determinism, morality, and the theory of contingency.
Genetic teams in England and Finland study how defective genes can be altered to halt transmission of disease through the generations. Genetic bases for cancer, blood diseases, and brain damage are discussed.
Reviews the work of Jane Goodall with chimpanzees in Gombe, and Sarah Boysen's work with particularized chimpanzee calls. " .. Frodo's killing of a child in May 2002 in [Gombe Stream National Park] prompted huge debate amongst scholars about whether the origins of aggressive male human behavior can be traced back to our shared evolutionary ancestry with chimps .
Questions the human evolution model which views the increase in hominid brain size and the transition to bipedalism as simultaneous events. Presents evidence that humans became bipedal before the enlargement of their brains.
Pt. 1: A multitude of evolutionary changes, anatomical and intellectual, gives rise to man's superiority among the animals. New computer techniques illustrate humanity's evolution, while x-ray and slow motion photography of an Olympic athlete in action show the complex interweaving of mind and body. Pt. 2: Man domesticates plant and animal life. With the Neolithic cultivators come the nomads and the roots of warfare. Cameras capture the unique lifestyle of the Bakhtiari tribe of central Iran and there recreate the war games of Genghis Khan.
Explores the evolution of humans from their primate origins. Examines the biological and cultural evolution of primates including their development of language, painting, sculpture, and tool-making.
In the year 2019 in Los Angeles, replicants, genetically engineered human beings of superior strength and intelligence, commandeer a space shuttle to Earth. Blade runner, Rick Deckard, a police officer who hunts down and terminates replicants is coerced into exterminating the replicants.
In an anti-utopian future, the "real" world as we know it is nothing more than a computer construct, created by an all-powerful artificial intelligence. A small group of humans as found a way out of the construct, and are now fighting for the future of the human race.
With the help of their new recruits, The Beast and Angel, the X-Men must face evolution itself in the form of their former teammate, Jean Grey. Possessed with the cosmic power of the Dark Phoenix, the resurrected Jean Grey has become a danger to herself, her mutant comrades, and the entire planet. A potential cure is discovered and processed to treat and ultimately eliminate the genetic mutations, once and for all. As the battle lines are drawn, the X-Men must contend with both Jean Grey's world-consuming powers, as well as the malevolent Brotherhood.
In a remake of the original film, after an astronaut crash-lands on an uncharted planet he finds himself at odds with a society in which apes are the rulers - and humans are little more than slaves.
Four American astronauts crashland on an uncharted planet and discover it is ruled by a race of intelligent apes who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport. Astronaut Taylor (Heston) soon finds himelf among the hunted, his life in the hands of a benevolent chimpanzee scientist (McDowall).
A historical drama of the so called "Monkey Trial" which pitted attorney Clarence Darrow and the fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan in a heated courtroom debate. It is set in a small Tennessee town which gained national attention in 1925 when a biology schoolteacher was arrested for violating state law by teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in the classroom.
A wealthy entrepreneur invites a top paleontologist, a paleobotanist, a mathematician/theorist, and his two eager grandchildren to visit his secret island theme park featuring living dinosaurs cloned from prehistoric DNA.
Using paleontology, evolutionary biology, genetics, the history of science, and social history, Gould tells the fascinating story of how racial differences have been misunderstood by scientists from pre-Darwinian days to the present to justify oppression, exploitation, and persecution. He describes how new genetic research methods confirm the African origins of homo sapiens.
"Evolution" offers a groundbreaking and definitive view of the extraordinary impact the evolutionary process has had on our understanding of the world around us. Beginning with Darwin's revolutionary theory, this seven-part series explores all facets of evolution--the changes that spawned the tree of life, the power of sex, how evolution continues to affect us every day, and the perceived conflict between science and religion.
This article discusses how memes catch on (or don't) and their impact on culture. The first approach is looking at history as either a narrative or a science. The narrative must be plausible, but not predictable, to be interesting. So too is culture. The things that catch on don't follow a formula per se, but in retrospect they aren't completely out of the blue. The second approach is a comparison with evolution. In this view, it is the glitches that move things forward, not just the formula. The good will continue, the bad will be cast off. However, the line between good and bad is blurry at best, and the very nature of parasitic things like memes is to trick the hosts. The article gives the example of a person with a sweet tooth. If the candy tastes good enough to make the person forget about its negative impacts, it will persist, furthering both the good and the bad qualities of candy. Memes are selected unconsciously and consciously. Even in the case of meme-engineering, in which someone tries to create an idea that will catch on by mimicking what is popular, nothing can be predicted for certain. It doesn't necessarily matter how good an idea is (although it helps), but rather the unpredictable pull of many natural and cultural forces that decides the fate of a meme. Cultural evolution is thus not a direction, but a trend, and not necessarily a very definite trend.
The article touches on a lot of different possibilities, but its tone makes it easy enough to read and digest. The nature of taking the side of unpredictability is that no firm conclusions will be drawn, but the article still discusses numerous possibilities. The question Dennett repeats is "cui bono?" or "who benefits?" He doesn't give an answer, or perhaps the answer is that even if one could measure the benefits, they wouldn't necessarily inform anything beyond that.