By Jacqueline Leo How many of the Ten Commandments can the average person name? Almost no one aces this test including respondents in a survey by Kelton Research who were able to name the seven ingredients in a Big Mac, but not recall the commandment, “thou shalt not kill.” Yet the Ten Commandments are the equivalent of a social contract that informs our legal system, our civil behavior, and our love and respect for God. The Commandments are shared by Jews and Christians, but other religious groups subscribe to many of the same principles. So why can’t we name them all? I believe it’s because we can’t hold more than 7 independent objects in short term memory—a proposition that was proved scientifically in 1956 by George Miller, then a professor at Harvard who wrote the seminal paper, “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information.” Miller is known as the father of cognitive science, and I often wonder how he would apply his magi
Remember the letter that Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and others released in August 2015 warning the world about artificially intelligent weapons could destroy civilization? An organization called autonomousweapons.org has turned that prophesy into a compelling short video. Please take a look and tell me your thoughts.
The National Football League took in $13 billion in revenue in 2016 , nearly three times as much as the NBA and 37 percent more than Major League Baseball. The NFL’s commissioner and chief negotiator, Roger Goodell, the guy reviled by Tom Brady and network television CEOs alike, made a salary of nearly $32 million in 2015, not including his massive expense account. With the big money dangling like a gold ring on a carousel, you would think nothing could stop kids from wanting to reach for that ring. Nothing except Mom and the American Academy of Pediatrics , who want to prevent children from getting head injuries. Concussions have come out of the shadows of X-rays and into the light of functional MRIs and PET scans, where the damage from repeated head trauma can be traced. Parents realize that no amount of money can stop the shaking from Parkinson’s disease or cure Alzheimer’s and related cognitive disorders that can result from multiple concussions. If a lot of kids stop p