16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Pianos Make Music Accessible Like Computers Make Math Acc...

Though it has become a naturalized part of music-making since the first one was built in 1710, the pianoforte (its name means "soft-loud") was a technical marvel for its time, a machine that changed music in ways that are hard to imagine. Computer pioneer Alan Kay once observed that any technological advance is "technology only for people who are born before it was invented,' and in the case of the piano, this applies to no one alive today. Seymour Papert, the MIT researcher, concluded, "That...
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13 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Why We Can't Have "Intuitive" Programming Languages

If a procedure named INSIGHT has been defined and then called seventeen times in the program, and the eighteenth time it is misspelled as INSIHGT, woe to the programmer. The compiler will balk and print a rigidly unsympathetic error message, saying that it has never heard of INSIHGT. Often, when such an error is detected by a compiler, the compiler tries to continue, but because of its lack of insihgt, it has not understood what the programmer meant. In fact, it may very well suppose that som...
Folksonomies: programming intuition
Folksonomies: programming intuition
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22 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Top-Down Engineering of AI

The philosophers’ fascination with propositions was mirrored in good old-fashioned AI, the AI of John McCarthy, early Marvin Minsky, and Allen Newell, Herbert Simon, and Cliff Shaw. It was the idea that the way to make an intelligent agent was from the top down. You have a set of propositions in some proprietary formulation. It’s not going to be English—well, maybe LISP or something like that, where you define all the predicates and the operators. Then, you have this huge database that ...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 Blockchains

Ownership on the Bitcoin blockchain is determined by a pair of cryptographic keys. The first, called the public key, resides in the blockchain for anyone to see. The second is called the private key, and its owner keeps it safe from view. The two keys have a special mathematical relationship that makes them useful for signing digital messages. Here’s how that happens: Helmut takes a message, combines it with his private key, does some calculations, and ends up with a long number. Anyone who...
Folksonomies: blockchains technology
Folksonomies: blockchains technology
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01 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 The secret to succeeding with computers is to lutz with t...

The secret to succeeding with computers is to lutz with them. BART EISENBERG: Push buttons, move text, insert lines, hit control characters, add dot commands, bring up menus, invoke commands and invoke more of them. Try it backwards, try it sideways, try it upside down. The method, lf you can call it that, is vaguely scientific-in that you perform some action and observe the results. A playful attitude will get you further with these machines than weeks of serious endeavor.
Folksonomies: learning experimentation
Folksonomies: learning experimentation
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Von Neuman and Predicting the Weather

I remember a talk that Von Neumann gave at Princeton around 1950, describing the glorious future which he then saw for his computers. Most of the people that he hired for his computer project in the early days were meteorologists. Meteorology was the big thing on his horizon. He said, as soon as we have good computers, we shall be able to divide the phenomena of meteorology cleanly into two categories, the stable and the unstable. The unstable phenomena are those which are upset by small dist...
Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
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29 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Douglas Engelbart's Idea of Small Changes

I'm reminded of Douglas Engelbart's classic paper "Augmenting Human itellect,"2 on his belief in the power of computers. He wrote this in 1962, way before the PC, and argued that it's better to improve and facilitate the tiny things we do every day than it is to attempt to replace entire human jobs with monolithic machines. A novel-writing machine, if one were invented, just automates the process of writing novels, and it's limited to novels. But making a small improvement to a pencil, for ex...
Folksonomies: invention change
Folksonomies: invention change
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Make a change to novel-writing and you've affected a small, specific domain, but improve the pencil, and you've impacted a wide range of domains.

03 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 The Computer is the Solutions to Over-Specialization

Getting ready for the assumed inexorable Armageddon, each applied science and all of the great scientific specialization capabilities only toward weaponry, thus developing the ability to destroy themselves totally with no comprehensively organized oppositional thinking capability and initiative powerful enough to co-ordinate and prevent it. Thus by 1946, we were on the swift way to extinction despite the inauguration of the United Nations, to which none of the exclusive sovereign prerogatives...
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With computers taking over the responsibility of specializing in computational and processing tasks, human minds are freed to resume our plasticity or "comprehensivlty" as Buckminster puts it.

29 SEP 2013 by ideonexus

 The World is a Function

Kakeru Seki: A fact is somehow related to another fact. Unless you understand these relationships, you won't be a real reporter. Noriko Hikima: True journalism! Kakeru Seki: Well, you majored in the humanities. Noriko Hikima: Yes! That's true--I've studied literature since I was in high school. Kakeru Seki: You havea lot of catching up to do, then. Let's begin with functions. Noriko Hikima: Fu...functions? Math? What? Kakeru Seki: When one thing changes, it influences another thing. A ...
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As a programmer I know that algorithms can relate to the real world, and since these algorithms are constructed in computers that ultimately run on bits and boolean logic, then the real world may be imagined to deconstruct to pure mathematics.

04 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Computers Can't Do Everything

The … truck driver is processing a constant stream of [visual, aural, and tactile] information from his environment. … To program this behavior we could begin with a video camera and other sensors to capture the sensory input. But executing a left turn against oncoming traffic involves so many factors that it is hard to imagine discovering the set of rules that can replicate a driver’s behavior. … Articulating [human] knowledge and embedding it in software for all but highly structur...
Folksonomies: employment automation
Folksonomies: employment automation
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They cannot drive trucks yet, but how long until they can?