Malign forces are waging a battle for your brain. It's tempting to throw up your hands, declare ourselves in a "post-truth" world, and give up trying to make sense of it all. But that means ceding the public sphere to dissemblers and propagandists. We at WIRED are here to help. Our new video series, Argument Clinic, provides a crash course in critical thinking to help you spot–and combat–nonsensical arguments online.
This post is part of Hard Refresh, a soothing weekly column where we try to cleanse your brain of whatever terrible thing you just witnessed on Twitter. The internet's deep well of ambient noise websites are usually touted as productivity hacks -- as in, "listening to soft rain sounds while you sit at your desk will help you work faster." That might be true (in fact, it probably is), but I don't really care. In my opinion, ambient noise shouldn't be relegated to the background. It should be the main attraction.
If you didn't like piano lessons as a kid, then you might be missing out. Chances are, playing the piano has been on your bucket list for some time now, but you don't have the time or energy to sign up for lessons. This online class, appropriately called Learn How to Play The Piano, can help. The course is available 24/7 and features nine modules (a total of 12 hours of content) that will take you from beginner to tolerable piano player in no time. First, you'll learn the importance of middle C and how to play with your right and left hands separately.
This question originally appeared on Quora. Understanding the mammalian brain and nervous system makes it possible to (harmlessly) control the behavior of people and animals using the principles of Operant Conditioning laid down by behaviourists. You can keep your sex life exciting, change your partner's perception of you from predictable to intriguing, make the children do chores around the house, eat their greens and always say'Thank you' and'I'm sorry', and successfully teach your pets toileting skills or fun tricks. Humans' and other mammals' brains are extremely responsive to external modification of behaviour using either reflexive associations (classical conditioning – just think of Pavlov's dog), or rewards and punishments (operant conditioning – surely you've heard of rats getting electric shocks if they didn't push a lever). The mammalian brain in rats, cats, dogs, monkeys, and humans is built on similar lines, and neurons work pretty much in the same way.
Entreprenuer Sam Altman is one of 25 people on a waiting list at Nectome, a startup company that says it is able to upload a person's brain into a computer so they can live forever A Silicone Valley tech-billionaire is paying $10,000 to be killed so his brain can be preserved forever. Entrepreneur Sam Altman is one of 25 people on a waiting list at Nectome, a startup company that says they can upload the contents of a person's brain and store it on a computer. But in exchange for eternally preserving his mind, the 32-year-old will have to die in a process similar to physician-assisted suicide - which is only legal in five US states. Somewhat ironically, the company Altman founded - Y Combinator - funds startups like Nectome. The process he's signed up for involves embalming the brain so it can later be simulated onto a computer, according to the MIT Technology Review.