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The Cognitive Tradeoff Hypothesis
Join us on a journey into the mysterious depths of the human psyche as we investigate the strange and surprising terrain of the Mind Field.
Chimps and Humans can be traced biologically back to a common ancestor. The Cognitive Tradeoff Hypothesis theorizes about the two different paths of development - particularly cognitive development - that occurred in these two species after the split. Chimps stayed in the trees and developed some extraordinary cognitive capabilities which are shown by the research work of Japanese scientists, while humans came down into the savanna and developed social capabilities and language.
The hypothesis is that humans 'traded' some aspects of cognitive capabilities by re-purposing areas of the brain that had evolved in the context of other uses. Those capabilities are kept in chimps and are far surpassing that of normal humans. This is shown by the research work of scientists at the Primate Research Center connected with Kyoto University.
What makes us human is the squishy triple-pounder inside our heads. It lets us build skyscrapers, and lift a special few of us into space. We are the only species on this planet that can construct realities in our mind and then go actually build it. The story of how our mind evolved on this one strange rock is one of chance, coincidence and impossible odds.
This episode is an investigation into the mystery of the human brain and the chain of events that produced the anomaly of human intelligence.
One Strange Rock
The Age of Revolution
Between 1850 and 1950, three cataclysmic revolutions shook China to the core, but out of them, today's China emerged. The film begins in Canton with the meeting of a US missionary and a Chinese student. Inspired by the Christian story and calling himself God's second son, Hong unleashed the bloodiest war of the 19th century, the Taiping Rebellion.
As imperial China weakened, foreign influence grew. Treaty ports expanded, bringing growth and wealth, trams, railways and western sensibilities. But this provoked another surge of violence, the Boxer Rebellion, an attack against the foreigners, which was crushed by those same foreigners, who extorted a huge indemnity - $60 billion in today's money.
Then in 1912, the empire fell, and many groups contested China's future. In World War I, China sent 100,000 men to the western front, only to be humiliated at Versailles when German colonies in China were handed to Japan. Between the two world wars, the disparity between rich and poor, city and countryside increased. We visit Hong Kong's Peninsular Hotel in the jazz age and then follow Mao on the Long March to Yan'an, the heartland of revolution.
World War II came to China two years earlier than it did in the west. Wood talks to a survivor of the Japanese massacre of Nanjing in 1937 and then charts the triumph of the communists, before ending the story with Mao's death and the boom time of the last 30 years. The series ends with the warmth of the Chinese family and, at Beijing's Altar of Heaven, a final haunting glimpse of eternal China.
The Story of China
For most of our history, we humans considered ourselves unique. But now, a new, artificial species might challenge our superiority. Mechanical beings have the potential to change everything. How we got them is a story of astonishing twists and amazing turns to achieve us the machine that may turn out to be the most revolutionary technology ever conceived--the robot.
Learn how robots were first conceptualized in ancient Rome and see how their use has evolved over the centuries, from the calculator to the Mars Lander. Then, take a sneak peek at what future robots will be able to do. Narrated by Patrick Stewart.
Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World
Finding Life in Outer Space
2019 Science HD
Over billions of years, planet Earth has become home to an amazing interdependent ecosystem, containing a dizzying variety of animals and plants. But how did life here begin? And does it exist anywhere outside of our solar system? We uncover the secrets of our world by tracking the evolution of the cosmos itself, from the Big Bang onwards. Follow scientists responsible for some of the major breakthroughs in understanding the origins of life and witness how their discoveries are fundamentally changing the way we perceive the universe.
Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity
In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great
Life in the Undergrowth
Seven Ages of Rock
Earth, the Power of the Planet
The Climate Wars
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