Winning the ultimate battle: How humans could end war

July 7, 2009


Optimists called the first world war “the war to end all wars”. Philosopher George Santayana demurred. In its aftermath he declared: “Only the dead have seen the end of war”. History has proved him right, of course. What’s more, today virtually nobody believes that humankind will ever transcend the violence and bloodshed of warfare. I know this because for years I have conducted numerous surveys asking people if they think war is inevitable. Whether male or female, liberal or conservative, old or young, most people believe it is. For example, when I asked students at my university “Will humans ever stop fighting wars?” more than 90 per cent answered “No”. Many justified their assertion by adding that war is “part of human nature” or “in our genes”. But is it really?

Site –


Berners-Lee, universities launch ‘Web science’ initiative

November 7, 2006

Representatives from MIT and the University of Southampton have announced the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI), a multidisciplinary project to study the social and technological implications of growing Web adoption.  Berners-Lee, who is also a senior research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), detailed the initiative with other organizers at MIT here on Thursday.  The universities intend to combine several disciplines, including social sciences, psychology and life sciences, with technology development.  The social aspect of the Web–and the Web’s huge impact on society–demands that a field separate from computer science be explored, organizers said.

Site –

Professor discovers how to prepare your mind for problem solving

April 14, 2006

A new study reveals that using different mental preparation techniques you can increase the likelihood of solving a problem. Professor John Kounios of Drexel University and Mark Jung-Beeman of Northwestern University published their findings in the journal Psychological Science. In their study participants were presented with a series of word puzzles each consisting of three words. Participants had to think of another word that could form a compound word or common phrase with each of the three words.

Site –

Time Out Of Mind

February 23, 2006

We can’t touch time, or smell it. Yet it is utterly inescapable. But, research shows, time is – at least partly – something we control in our heads.

Site –

‘Sleeping On It’ Best For Complex Decisions

February 17, 2006

Complex decisions are best left to your unconscious mind to work out, according to a new study, and over-thinking a problem could lead to expensive mistakes.  The research suggests the conscious mind should be trusted only with simple decisions, such as selecting a brand of oven glove. Sleeping on a big decision, such as buying a car or house, is more likely to produce a result people remain happy with than consciously weighing up the pros and cons of the problem, the researchers say.

Site –

The Path Less Travelled Feels Shorter

February 14, 2006

The more times we have walked a route, the longer we judge it to be, a UK researcher has confirmed. His studies could help explain why daily commutes can grow to seem interminably long.  Neuroscientists have long known that our brains are poor at estimating a set distance such as a kilometre. But most studies of this phenomenon have been carried out in simple artificial environments where, for example, people walk along paths taped out in a gymnasium.

Site –

Think Your Friends Know You? Think Again

January 31, 2006

Researchers conclude suggestions from our closest friends about matters of taste, such as movies or restaurants, may not be as helpful as we think they are. University of Michigan and Columbia University scientists say people tend to overestimate personal information they get from close friends more than comments from acquaintances.

Site –