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Home News Philosophical thoughts from AI and detective with humor: the books Rest, Good Son and Sleep and Sleep were published in April
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Philosophical thoughts from AI and detective with humor: the books Rest, Good Son and Sleep and Sleep were published in April

Photo by Jonathan Fink on Unsplash

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To make this book appear, poet Ian S. Thomas, along with computer science expert Jasmine Wang put a wealth of literature, both scientific and fiction, into OpenAI’s advanced artificial intelligence GPT-3. They then asked the AI questions about life that have plagued humanity for centuries and received answers based on the wisdom of millennia.

In this book the reader can follow the thoughts of the artificial intelligence and learn its opinion on a number of questions, both global (“What is truth?” and “How to preserve faith?”) and more down-to-earth, everyday ones (“How to live without stress?”, “What is the secret of the creative process?” and “What should I build with my hands?”). The program also discusses what drives people’s lives, motivates them, makes them happy, and simply makes people who they are.

Through such a daring experiment, experts proved that artificial intelligence can be intelligent, poetic and profound. It also turned out that its thoughts can be chaotic and as if aimless. It all depends on the ideas and knowledge invested in the AI.

“Can you learn to see failure as a good thing?

The purpose of life is to learn.

Through adversity and overcoming it, we gain strength and knowledge. If you have had to overcome failure, it means that you have tried something that has prevented you from achieving your goals.

Here’s the key to success: First, fall in love with the process of achieving success. Find the process itself worthy, not the goal. Second, fall in love with the action taken to achieve success. Find the action worthy, not the results or the goal. By going through these two steps, you will have what you need: a deep source of intrinsic motivation.

All that remains is to identify your passion-imagine your success-and then rush toward it with all the energy you have.

Many people in today’s world work every day on computers or other gadgets, and after the day’s work they are still trying to make time for their loved ones and clean up. There is no time for rest, and as a result a person turns into a walking clot of stress. Neurophysiologist and educator Carla Hannaford even coined a term for such a condition – “OWISL” (survival-oriented stress-depleted personality).

The concept of Friluftsliv is not as well known in the world as, for example, “hygge,” but it is important in human life. It can be deciphered as “being outdoors, communicating with nature, in the course of which a person can reboot. This is what the book is about.

There are no clear rules for following this principle of life: staying in nature can be different – from the usual walk in the park with friends or alone to camping or hiking. Friluftsliv is about communicating with the environment, so active recreation (snowboarding, rock climbing) is not on this list.

For a deeper understanding, Linda Okeson-McGurk has compiled a list of ten basic principles of outdoor living. Thus, the reader will learn how to become one with nature, to stop being afraid of the weather, to appreciate the environment and other important things.

Swedish-American writer and journalist Linda Okeson-McGurk believes in the benefits of fresh air for a person’s physical and psychological health. “Friluftsliv: The Norwegian Key to a Happy Life” is her second book. The author’s first was published in 2017 and was titled “There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather.

“That year, Anna, an elementary school teacher, was diagnosed with emotional exhaustion (or simply “burnout”): a stress-induced condition that can cause cognitive loss, anxiety, depression and severe fatigue.

“It was very hard for me, I was distracted, I couldn’t remember anything at work, and no matter how much I slept, I felt very tired all the time. The hardest part was the indifference, everything around me seemed to turn gray,” Anna said about this difficult period in her life.

Her doctor put her on sick leave and prescribed a course of powerful antidepressants.

“I was saying: “Yes, of course,” but already, sitting there, I knew I wasn’t going to take any of those. I wanted to own my body, I wanted some kind of natural treatment.

Anna was treated for almost six months when on television she saw a program about a woman suffering from exhaustion and depression, which the researcher persuaded to try to swim in the winter. The idea wasn’t entirely far-fetched. It is believed that depression is related to insufficient production of the stress hormone norepinephrine. Immersion in cold water triggers the production of noradrenaline, and it, in turn, increases resistance to stress – almost the same principle of vaccination protects us from disease by triggering the body’s immune response.

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Ian Moore, a comedian who performs regularly at London’s famous Comedy Store, has written a humorous detective novel about the mysterious murder of a hotel guest and a local hen. Fans of British humor and intriguing stories with charming characters and mysterious investigations will enjoy the book.

The main character, Richard Ainsworth, once moved from Britain to France and is now the owner of a small but cozy inn in the Loire Valley, where tourists come for a quiet and measured vacation. Surprisingly, in such a profession Richard doesn’t particularly like to talk to people and get to know them better, and he is also a little shy about his French, although he knows it very well;

Richard doesn’t like mornings and surprises, preferring every day to go by smoothly and according to a familiar plan. Usually on Thursdays he serves breakfast to guests, strolls through the market, chews on a fresh baguette, tastes sausage at the local fair, and drinks in the square afterward. But this time it’s different, because one of the hotel guests, the elderly Mr. Grandchaux, has gone missing and there are traces of blood and broken glasses in his room.

Now on Thursday, Richard Ainsworth will have to investigate the disappearance of a guest along with two women and a Chihuahua. At first he is not interested in the case, but the murder of one of his favorite chickens named Ava Gardner changes his mind. This is something Richard is not ready to forgive.

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The plot of the fantasy novel “Rest” centers on Alden Dennis Weare, an elderly man who is a stroke survivor. He was born in the early twentieth century in a small town, where he lives out his days, wistfully remembering his journey. His walks are walks from the fireplace to the fireplace timbers and the chair in which he constantly sits, and instead of friends he meets with doctors. Throughout the novel, the reader, along with the hero’s memories, will discover new dimensions and strange, intriguing, and sometimes creepy events that once took place in the life of the ordinary successful businessman Alden Dennis Weare.

American science fiction writer Gene Wolfe wrote the novel almost half a century ago, and to this day it is still debated on many literary forums. This complex and multifaceted mystery book has, on the one hand, a measured narrative about the typical life of an old man pining for his youth, and on the other, plot twists that have made the work one of the 100 best horror novels of the 20th century.

The book is published in Russian for the first time. In Russia, Gene Wolfe is best known to readers for the cycle of works “The Book of the New Sun.

“There is no greater amazement and shock than the one we experience when something thought for fun to be magical and mysterious actually manifests the properties attributed to it by the imagination as a joke: a toy gun shoots real bullets, a magic well grants real wishes, lovers who live next door throw themselves into the crushing embrace of death from the Suicide Rock of lovers. I sank deeply into my reverie – serene and enchanted, like a little swan prince, despite the jolting of the Studebaker – and then suddenly noticed that the cloud tower was no longer pearlescent and rose-white, no longer suggestive of the princess from my favorite green-covered book; Now it had darkened to a blackness in which purple could be seen in places, and was growing denser and denser, until the illusory spire seemed to be carved entirely out of the night.

The authors of the book, Victor Meads and Oscar Verport, met when they were 13 and have been inseparable ever since. Bringing them together then a common hobby: both teenagers had a passion for illusionism. Now they work together on Dutch television and host a popular show, surprising viewers with tricks. As a couple, they have published a book in which they share the secrets of their activities. Using knowledge of psychology and anatomy, the authors give a different angle to the workings of the brain and understand how people cheat themselves.

What makes this manual unique, in a sense, is that the reader is invited to participate in the tricks themselves and learn why they work, and then study the technique used. In this way, one can understand how the trick with the spoons melted in one’s hands is performed, why one will not distinguish a card swap, and how to do the trick with the scarf going through one’s neck.

“Ask one of your friends to take a coin in his hand. Then tell him to hide it behind his back in one hand and then show you clenched fists afterwards. Now the trick is to guess without prompting your friend which hand he hid the coin in. Please note: The following tips are based on the personal experience of many magicians and mentalists, but they have never been scientifically proven.

First of all, you need to look carefully at the way the hands are stretched forward. For example, more often than not, the coin ends up in the hand that is extended first, even if the difference is minimal. This may be due to the fact that a person unconsciously concentrates more on the hand in which the coin is located. Therefore, the hand with the coin, which occupies one’s thoughts, will appear from behind a little faster than the other hand.

If you still can’t see which hand he reaches out first, there is another visual clue: his nose. It is often instinctively pointed in the direction of the hand with the coin.

Dutch writer Rob van Essen has combined several genres at once in The Good Son. It is a travel novel, similar to Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” where the writer and his old friend travel south on a secret mission and encounter various adventures along the way. It is also a dystopia about a not-too-distant future in which the characters communicate with furniture and drive unmanned cars, and partly an autobiography about the author’s relationship with his deceased mother. Also in the book, Essen reflects on age-related illnesses such as dementia, new technologies, the difference between young and old, and art.

The future in van Essen’s work is full of gadgets: there are unmanned cars and trucks, talking beds that give sleep advice, and voice-activated school backpacks that follow their owners on their heels. Everyone in this world has a kind of supermobile called the Palio, a high-tech, multifunctional device. Robots, in turn, occupy a service niche. For example, a robot assistant works in a nursing home, and a robot receptionist serves at the hotel reception. At the same time, all machines are different: those that work with the elderly have a sense of humor, and the cleaners are equipped with fur;

The story centers on a 60-year-old detective author with a problem of uncontrollable anger, popularly dubbed the “master of plotless thrillers.” He is lonely, recently buried his ailing mother, and his latest book has been rejected by publishers. A call from an old friend of Lennox’s changes the protagonist’s life. They haven’t seen each other in 40 years and now the two of them must travel in the last gasoline car to a monastery in the south of the country on a secret mission to recover some of the memory of a friend Bonzo, who before his staged death was known as De Meister.

Along the way, the men will have vivid, sometimes psychedelic and absurd adventures, interesting encounters, and heartwarming dialogues.

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The work of Susanna Wedlich belongs to popular science literature and is published in the “World Around” series, which includes books with radical and unusual research, covering unconventional topics and aimed at a new generation of readers.

Wedlich’s book is all about slime with scientific evidence, facts from history and amusing remarks by the author herself. The word “mucus” tends to conjure up nasty associations — toxins, worms, physical secretions and more. Slime is always present in movies and books when describing monsters, such as in Alien or the works of H.F. Lovecraft.

Nevertheless, in 26 chapters of the book with vivid drawings, the author proves that the world and its inhabitants would be very different without mucus, as this fluid is present in almost every living thing.

Thus, readers will learn how mucus interacts with microbes in the human body, whether cats can be called “liquid”, why people are afraid of mucus, how it is related to the apocalypse and other fascinating facts.

In addition, the author draws a parallel between mucus and art, as well as suggesting in what direction research on mucus will develop in the future and what conclusions they will lead to.

Suzanne Wedlich is a writer and science journalist. She studied biology and political science in Munich and worked for many years as a scientific editor in the press office of the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU). Wedlich now writes articles for magazines such as National Geographic, Der Spiegel and Spektrum der Wissenschaft.

“The Australian slug Triboniophorus graeffei has a red triangle on its back, which made me mistakenly think, when I first met it, that some rascal had scratched it with a razor. The most dangerous to these snails are tree frogs, though the former know how to deal with them. Instead of clinging themselves, they prefer to stick their adversary to the surface. Scientists came to this conclusion after finding one unfortunate frog that got stuck in the glue while trying to climb a tree branch close to such a snail.

For several days the frog had been in the gluey slime as if petrified, and the scientists had only managed to get it out by force. Without help, it would have either completely dried up or been eaten by another animal. This aggressive biological glue could find new uses, as it is easily regenerated by contact with water. How do these tenacious materials function? For example, the adhesive protective slime of light-brown forest slugs contains 11 special proteins that provide a particularly strong molecular structure to the gel, which is fundamental to the adhesive strength. Nevertheless, we are only at the very beginning of a full-fledged study of these substances. Full understanding will come when they are used or laboratory reproduced as needed.

In her book, Nuria Ruhr, a sleep disorder specialist with 15 years of experience, talks about everything to do with sleep, uses scientific research, gives examples from practice and shares the author’s methodology with which you can get your sleep and life back on track in a short period of time.

The reader will learn what sleep deprivation is and how to cure it without medication, what happens to the brain during each phase of sleep, what types of insomnia there are, and why the worst sleep is on Sunday through Monday nights, and how external factors and communication affect sleep quality.

In addition, the author offers a short test to see how well one sleeps, after which he details and gives an example of how to keep a sleep diary to keep track of improvements (or deteriorations) in the process.

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