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Volume 2, Number 1
2013
ISSN 2166-9732

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Table of Contents

    Front Cover              0

    Understanding the Self Biologically banner             1 - 3
    by Yi Zheng and Gonzalo Munevar
    Abstract: In Total Recall the hero discovers that his good-guy self is just implanted memories. His body used to be occupied by another, vicious self, whose allies want back. This fantasy gains some plausibility from the traditional conception of the self as a collection of experiences kept in memory --- a unified conscious self that makes our experiences feel ours. Great fiction, bad neuroscience. There is no central brain structure that corresponds to that self, and some scientists have concluded that the self is an illusion. The notion that the self tags our experiences as ours seems to be wrong. And the idea that the self is a collection of remembered experiences turns out to be false. We propose instead a revolutionary biological conception of the self: The brain has evolved to constitute a self that is mostly unconscious and distributive, which does away with the paradoxes, explains all the seemingly contradictory experimental results, and opens up new avenues of research in neuroscience.
    Index terms: Self, evolution, neuroscience, distributive, brain-imaging

    Turn Slogans into “Science”? banner             4 - 7
    by D. W. Mabaho
    Abstract: Juyang Weng’s two letters to Obama amount to a lack and misuse of neuroscience knowledge, impoverishment and confusion in logic, as well as tailoring and misreading of historical facts. It is an example of ideological slogans disguised under the term “science”.
    Index terms: brain-mind, checks of government power, history

    Every Country should Self-Organize like a Brain: Rebuttal to D. W. Mabaho banner             8 - 11
    by Juyang Weng
    Abstract: I would like to thank D. W. Mabaho for raising many questions, which enable me to reply more comprehensively. I am more convinced that every country should self-organize like a brain. This is not an ideology, since the brain's self-organization is highly holistic.
    Index terms: history, checks-and-balances, self-organization

    Private Data: A Huge Problem with Education Research banner             12 - 13
    by R. James Milgram
    Abstract: A very influential paper on improving math outcomes was published in 2008. The authors refused to divulge their data claiming that agreements with the schools and FERPA rules prevented it. It turns out that this is not true. When, by other means, we found the identities of the schools, serious problems with the conclusions of the article were quickly revealed. The 2008 paper was far from unique in this respect. There are many papers that have had huge influences on K-12 mathematics curricula, and could not be independently verified because the authors refused to reveal their data. In this article we describe how we were able to find the real data, and point out the legal constraints that should make it very difficult for authors of such papers to withhold their data in the future.
    Index terms: Evaluation of publication, mathematical education

    Standing Up to Academic Bullying: and Those Who Block the Path to Improvements in Education banner             14 - 15
    by Jo Boaler
    Abstract: Honest academic debate lies at the core of good scholarship. But what happens when, under the guise of academic freedom, people distort the truth in order to promote their position and discredit someone’s evidence?
    Index terms: Evaluation of publication, mathematical education

    When a Reviewer's Comments Became Longer than the Submitted Paper banner             16 - 17
    by Mojtaba Solgi
    Abstract: The debate over the pros and cons of the so-called scholarly peer review of journals is as old as itself. In this short essay, I wish not to take a side, but to simply tell a story. The story is of how a recently published paper [1] was first hammered by the reviewers as vague, incomprehensible and worthy of rejection, and later praised as “unorthodox” and worthy of the attention of the research community.
    Index terms: Peer review, research evaluation, perceptual learning, transfer

    Brain Stories 3: Bitter Science banner             18 - 21
    by Brian N. Huang
    Abstract: Like the rest of this series, this is a true story. The developmental program for scientific research --- scientific policies and bylaws --- seems to be immature for upholding justice. The human race is paying dearly for this immaturity using taxpayer dollars. However, I do not mean to discourage bright young people from taking a career in scientific research.
    Index terms: Checks and balances, scientific policies, bylaws, shortsightedness, discrimination, injustice

    The 3rd Open Letter to the US President Obama: Why Government Ideologies Block Knowledge? banner             22 - 24
    by Juyang Weng
    Abstract: Ideologies are attractive to many constituents who are not aware of the limitations of each ideology. Although the US Constitution was designed for checks-and-balances of power, the most basic problem in the US is still the lack of checks-and-balances of power. Only after US governmental officials and politicians acquire knowledge about how the brain works can they enable the US to overcome the fundamental limitations of its Constitution. Many current major problems in the US cannot be solved without a holistic approach suggested by known theoretical understanding about how our own brains work.
    Index terms: US interest, science of brain and mind, domestic and foreign policies

    Back cover              25


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