The New Yorker, Dec. 4, 2019
Do We Have Minds of Our Own?
The [UCI Professor] cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman believes that these experimental observations prove that consciousness is fundamental to reality. In his recent book “The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes,” he argues that we must restart science on an entirely different footing, beginning with the brute fact that our minds exist, and determining, from there, what we can recover from evolutionary theory, quantum physics, and the rest.
The San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 2, 2019
Esports makes its way into San Diego high schools and has boosted some students into college
Inserting adults and teachers into video game culture also helps teach students how to be better citizens online, said Constance Steinkuehler, who studies links between video games and learning at UC Irvine’s Department of Informatics. A lack of oversight and mentorship in online spaces has led to “a real erosion of basic respectfulness for ourselves and others online,” she said. Esports in schools can help reverse that, she said. “We have kids reporting this is the first time anybody has ever talked to them about how losing their temper online is a problem,” Steinkuehler said.
Foreign Policy, Dec. 4, 2019
Chinese Diplomacy Takes an Aggressive Turn
What We’re Reading. Vigil, by Jeffrey Wasserstrom, [UCI Chancellor’s Professor of history]. Keeping up with Hong Kong’s rapidly changing protests is a tough task for a magazine—let alone a book—but the prolific China historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom does a fine job of keeping this short volume relevant. While the book doesn’t include dramatic recent developments like the university sieges or the council elections, it provides a strong account of what’s at stake, where Hong Kong’s spirit originates, and what might happen next.
KPCC – Take Two, Dec. 5, 2019 (Audio)
Vets and Grief
There’s been a lot of research into how military service can lead to things like PTSD and depression. But there’s another issue that hasn’t gotten much attention – it’s grief. Researchers at UC Irvine have just finished one of the first studies of grief in veterans. It found the loss of fellow troops can pack a much bigger emotional punch than previously thought – and that those effects can linger long after people leave the military. KPCC’s Emily Elena Dugdale reports. [starts at 24:40]
UPI, Dec. 5, 2019
Calving to leave Thwaites Glacier increasingly vulnerable to collapse
Under a worst-case scenario, Thwaites Glacier could disintegrate in just 60 years. More moderate scenarios suggest the glacier is likely to remain relatively stable for another century. “Worst-case scenario, it is going to be gone in less than a century,” lead study author Hongju Yu, an assistant specialist at the University of California, Irvine, said in a news release. “But it may also take much longer.” … Yu said, “Even if you stop the ocean warming, the glacier will continue to retreat and lose mass rapidly.”
Previously “In the News”