17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Diderot on Information Overload

As long as the centuries continue to unfold, the number of books will grow continually, and one can predict that a time will come when it will be almost as difficult to learn anything from books as from the direct study of the whole universe. It will be almost as convenient to search for some bit of truth concealed in nature as it will be to find it hidden away in an immense multitude of bound volumes. When that time comes, a project, until then neglected because the need for it was not felt,...
Folksonomies: information overload
Folksonomies: information overload
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19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Transhumanist Declaration (2012)

1. Humanity stands to be profoundly affected by science and technology in the future. We envision the possibility of broadening human potential by overcoming aging, cognitive shortcomings, involuntary suffering, and our confinement to planet Earth. 2. We believe that humanity’s potential is still mostly unrealized. There are possible scenarios that lead to wonderful and exceedingly worthwhile enhanced human conditions. 3. We recognize that humanity faces serious risks, especially from the...
Folksonomies: manifesto transhumanism
Folksonomies: manifesto transhumanism
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The “Transhumanist Declaration” has been modified over the years by several organizations and individuals, although there is little record of the specific modifications and their respective authors. Nevertheless, the original “Transhumanist Declaration” was crafted in 1998 by, in alphabetical order: Alexander Sasha Chislenko, Anders Sandberg, Arjen Kamphuis, Bernie Staring, Bill Fantegrossi, Darren Reynolds, David Pearce, Den Otter, Doug Bailey, Eugene Leitl, Gustavo Alves, Holger Wagner, Kathryn Aegis, Keith Elis, Lee Daniel Crocker, Max More, Mikhail Sverdlov, Natasha Vita-More, Nick Bostrom, Ralf Fletcher, Shane Spaulding, T.O. Morrow, Thom Quinn.

24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Economic Forecasting VS Science Fiction Predictions

There are two ways to predict the progress of technology. One way is economic forecasting, the other way is science fiction. Economic forecasting makes predictions by extrapolating curves of growth from the past into the future. Science fiction makes a wild guess and leaves the judgment of its plausibility to the reader. Economic forecasting is useful for predicting the future up to about ten years ahead. Beyond ten years it rapidly becomes meaningless. Beyond ten years the quantitative chang...
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21 JUL 2014 by ideonexus

 Climate Forecasts vs Projections

"Projections are essential for giving us information on long-term trends, but the timescale is beyond what many policy makers (and the public) consider to be relevant to their decision-making processes. Climate forecasts seek to address this issue by providing information on a shorter term (decadal) that can be used directly to inform policy," he said. "As climate forecasts improve, they will become more and more important in providing reliable information on what is likely to happen to the c...
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Forecasts are short-term predictions intended to inform policymakers because projections, which predict the long-term trend, are beyond political scope.

27 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Why Economists Will Continue to be Wrong

Carter had initially used arbitrary parameters in his perfect model to generate perfect data, but now, in order to assess his model in a realistic way, he threw those parameters out and used standard calibration techniques to match his perfect model to his perfect data. It was supposed to be a formality--he assumed, reasonably, that the process would simply produce the same parameters that had been used to produce the data in the first place. But it didn't. It turned out that there were many ...
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They make models based on past data, and when they fail to predict the future, they adjust them to match the new past data. The problem is that so many models will match the past data, there could be no end to the number of models they throw out.

20 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Revolt Against Science

One response to the loss of control, for example, is a revulsion against intelligence. Science first gave man a sense of mastery over his environment, and hence over the future. By making the future seem malleable, instead of immutable, it shattered the opiate religions that preached passivity and mysticism. Today, mounting evidence that society is out of control breeds disillusionment with science. In consequence, we witness a garish revival of mysticism. Suddenly astrology is the rage. Zen,...
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Nostalgia and pseudo-science are a revolt against what they perceive as the strict rules of science and central planning, but the lack of rules and planning results in putting people at the whims of chaos, which is even more limiting.

13 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Problem with Occam's Razor

In climate forecasting, the situation is more equivocal: the theory about the greenhouse effect is strong, which supports more complicated models. However, temperature data is very noisy, which argues against them. Which consideration wins out? We can address this question empirically, by evaluating the success and failure of different predictive approaches in climate science. What matters most, as always, is how well the predictions do in the real world. I would urge caution against reducin...
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Not all models can be simple.

12 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Prediction VS Forecast

The official position of the USGS is even more emphatic: earthquakes cannot be predicted. “Neither the USGS nor Caltech nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake,” the organization’s Web site asserts.24 “They do not know how, and they do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future.” Earthquakes cannot be predicted? This is a book about prediction, not a book that makes predictions, but I’m willing to stick my neck out: I predict that there will...
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One is a definitive statement, the other a probabilistic one.

31 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Predictions of the Future are "Laughably Conservative"

If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run—and often in the short one—the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.
Folksonomies: prescience prediction
Folksonomies: prescience prediction
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Not always true, but a nice sentiment.

28 AUG 2011 by ideonexus

 The Difference Between Science and Pseudoscience

What I had in mind was that his previous observations may not have been much sounder than this new one; that each in its turn had been interpreted in the light of "previous experience," and at the same time counted as additional confirmation. What, I asked myself, did it confirm? No more than that a case could be interpreted in the light of a theory. But this meant very little, I reflected, since every conceivable case could be interpreted in the light Adler's theory, or equally of Freud's. I...
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Science makes risky predictions, predicting things that the theory must be strong in order to prove. Popper compares early psychology and its explanations of human behavior that work in all cases with Einstein's theory of relativity and it's risky predictions.