Ozzy! Ozzy! Ozzy! -- Neuron Culture's Top 5 in June


You just never know what'll catch fire. Then again, maybe I should have figured "Ozzy Osbourne" and "genome" would have. In any case, Ozzy simply buried every other contender this past month, racking up 7 times as many hits as any other entry ever did in one month -- and accounting for two-thirds of June's unique pageviews altogether. The power of Stumbleupon. A fifth of those readers went on to other pages. So maybe something good came of it.

Without further ado, here are Neuron Culture's Top 5 from June.

Ozzy Osbourne. Now genomics is getting somewhere. Geneticists hope to figure out how lasted this long despite. If I'd fit Keith Richards into the headline, who knows what would have happened.

Tourette's, goalie timing, and downside & upsides. A response to a nice post from Jonah Lehrer on the same. Tim Howard takes Ozzy's superstar role. Genome unknown.

iPad, therefore iKludge. Or how the iPad ignores some of digital media's greatest assets.

Does Shirky's Cognitive Surplus undervalue meatspace?

Carr, Pinker, the shallows, and the nature-nurture canard.

I bring to this a bit of history: About a year or 18 months ago, I had several discussions with an editor (at Wired, of all places; this was going to be a sort of anti-Wired piece) about doing a story exploring a more tightly constrained version of Carr's argument: I would flesh out the notion that consuming digital culture, even just words on the net instead of words on the page, likely wired the brain differently than reading on the page did. I pitched the story because I wondered if that was happening to me; reading on the web felt different; perhaps it affected brain and cognitive development proportionately.

Perhaps things have changed since then, but at the time, we decided against doing the story because in a couple days of surveying literature and making phone calls to people who studied reading from a neuroscientific point of view ... well folks, I could not find anyone with data showing such rewiring. 

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Excellent. Ozzy rocks on. And I can rest easy now that his genes have been catalogued for history.

And there some great talent in the comments section here. I would like to work with such people if the opportunity arose.