18 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Programming as a Way of Thinking

Running programs is the whole point of programming, of course, but there is more to it. The ability to execute code makes programming a tool for thinking and exploring. When we express ideas as programs, we make them testable; when we debug programs, we are also debugging our brains.
Folksonomies: programming thought
Folksonomies: programming thought
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10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Gamification Pattern Building Mechanic

Ms. Forsythe divides her class into four teams (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome). Each team, over the course of the unit, learns about all four artistic cultures but becomes an expert in one. For a 20- to 30-minute exercise in discerning and judging the difference among these artistic cultures, Ms. Forsythe displays a piece of sculpture from each of the four cultures onto a large piece of heavy paper or cardboard and then cuts that image into smaller tiles and tosses all of the pieces to...
Folksonomies: education gamification
Folksonomies: education gamification
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Human Combinatoric Reasoning

Humans, of course, were not created in a state of Original Reason. We descended from apes, spent hundreds of millennia in small bands, and evolved our cognitive processes in the service of hunting, gathering, and socializing. Only gradually, with the appearance of literacy, cities, and long-distance travel and communication, could our ancestors cultivate the faculty of reason and apply it to a broader range of concerns, a process that is still ongoing. One would expect that as collective rati...
Folksonomies: reasoning combinatorics
Folksonomies: reasoning combinatorics
  1  notes
 
30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Violence Must be Considered Proportionally When Compared ...

In absolute numbers, of course, civilized societies are matchless in the destruction they have wreaked. But should we look at absolute numbers, or at relative numbers, calculated as a proportion of the populations? The choice confronts us with the moral imponderable of whether it is worse for 50 percent of a population of one hundred to be killed or 1 percent of a population of one billion. In one frame of mind, one could say that a person who is tortured or killed suffers to the same degree ...
Folksonomies: violence quantification
Folksonomies: violence quantification
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24 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Elaboration on the RPG Definition

Instead of snakes and ladders, we'll put in hidden doors and secret passages. Don't roll a die to see how far you move; you can move as far as you want. Move down the corridor to the intersection. You can turn right, or left, or go straight ahead, or go back the way you came. Or, as long as you're here, you can look for a hidden door. If you find one, it will open into another stretch of corridor. That corridor might take you straight to the exit or lead you into a blind alley. The only way t...
Folksonomies: rpg role-playing games
Folksonomies: rpg role-playing games
  1  notes
 
16 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Argument Against Teacherbots

Computers can do a lot in education. Of course, books and magazines can do a lot in education. Of course, a lot of what computers do well is simply replacing books and magazines. A children's library needs a librarian. It's not a dumpster full of books. Librarians (like teachers) know what children will like and understand at different ages. They can recommend books, and buy books that are popular, so you can look at the spines of books on a bookshelf, pull out a book, and find something inte...
Folksonomies: education automation
Folksonomies: education automation
  1  notes
 
30 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Science Does Not Rob Life of Purpose

Presumably there is indeed no purpose in the ultimate fate of the cosmos, but do any of us really tie our life's hopes to the ultimate fate of the cosmos anyway? Of course we don't; not if we are sane. Our lives are ruled by all sorts of closer, warmer, human ambitions and perceptions. To accuse science of robbing life of the warmth that makes it worth living is so preposterously mistaken, so diametrically opposite to my own feelings and those of most working scientists, I am almost driven to...
Folksonomies: meaning life purpose
Folksonomies: meaning life purpose
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Prescience of Genetic Engineering

As a matter of fact it was not until 1940 that Selkovski invented the purple alga Porpbyrococcus fixator which was to have so great an effect on the world's history. . . . Porpbyrococcus is an enormously efficient nitrogen-fixer and will grow in almost any climate where there are water and traces of potash and phosphates in the soil, obtaining its nitrogen from the air. It has about the effect in four days that a crop of vetches would have had in a year. . . . The enormous fall in food prices...
Folksonomies: futurism science fiction
Folksonomies: futurism science fiction
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A science fiction vision.

12 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Prescriptivism and Descriptivism

So, you seem to be at an impasse. On the one hand, you have generations of grade school English teachers rightly warning their pupils that people might chuckle at them if they use the word ‘irregardless’. On the other hand, you have the scientific rigor of the modern linguistic community touting descriptivism as the torch-bearer of truth and enlightenment. Are you doomed to choose between a democracy of solecisms and a library of thousand-page tomes of writer’s regulations? Are things r...
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19 DEC 2014 by ideonexus

 John Cleese on Writing and Performing as Science

DAVIES: You know, and you say many times in the book that you're more a writer than a performer. CLEESE: It's always hard for people to believe that because of course, anytime they've seen me it's because I've been performing. You know, they don't go to their televisions and switch them on and see me sitting at home writing, you know? So naturally, people's image is of a performer, but the reality is the writing for me has always been the most important thing and the most rewarding thing. An...
Folksonomies: science comedy
Folksonomies: science comedy
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