20 MAR 2018 by ideonexus

 Human Females Menstruate to Eliminate Unviable Fetuses

From a female perspective, pregnancy is always a huge investment. Even more so if her species has a hemochorial placenta. Once that placenta is in place, she not only loses full control of her own hormones, she also risks hemorrhage when it comes out. So it makes sense that females want to screen embryos very, very carefully. Going through pregnancy with a weak, inviable or even sub-par fetus isn't worth it. That's where the endometrium comes in. You've probably read about how the endometriu...
Folksonomies: human evolution pregnancy
Folksonomies: human evolution pregnancy
  1  notes
 
10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 Applications for Simulated Worlds

Consider that applications of simulated worlds and simulated games to science and social science research are on the increase. Businesses build virtual worlds for commercial purposes. Scientists utilize video games to crowd-source solutions to protein folding, to invesfigate complexity theory and artificial life, to visualize the physics of black holes, and to research economic, social, and psychological behaviors. Call of Duty, Second Life, World of Warcraft—and the software that makes the...
  1  notes
 
10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 Computer Models as Play

There is, indeed, an "art" to worldplay in the social sciences that fuses narrative with analytical technique. There is also a kinship with the arts in the relationship between imagined world and reality, a point brought home by political scientist and ellow Robert Axelrod. In the early 1960s the teenage Axelrod won the Westinghouse kience Talent Search for a very simple computer simulation of hypothetical lifeforms behaving in an artificial environment. Ever since, he has worked on the appli...
  1  notes
 
01 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 We are Living in an Ancestor Simulation

Now we get to the core of the simulation argument. This does not purport to demonstrate that you are in a simulation. Instead, it shows that we should accept as true at least one of the following three propositions: (1) The chances that a species at our current level of development can avoid going extinct before becoming technologically mature is negligibly small (2) Almost no technologically mature civilisations are interested in running computer simulations of minds like ours (3) You are...
 1  1  notes

See also Are You Living in a Computer Simulation? by the same author.

01 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Evolution of French Prescriptivism

Prescriptive attitudes to language seem to be more deeply engrained in France than in many other speech-communities. This article traces their development between the sixteenth century and the present day within the model of language standardization proposed by E. Haugen and in the light of the notion of ‘standard ideology’ proposed by J. and L. Milroy. It will be argued that early definitions of what was considered ‘the best French’ were based simply on the observed usage of ‘the b...
Folksonomies: prescriptivism
Folksonomies: prescriptivism
  1  notes

Sounds as though it has often been used for discrimination.

12 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Spelling is an Invention, and May be Modified

Spelling was invented by man and, like other human inventions, is capable of development and improve- ment by man in the direction of simplicity, economy, and efficiency. Its true function is to represent as accurately as possible by means of simbols (letters) the sounds of the spoken (i. e. the living) language, and thus incidentally to record its history. Its prov- ince is not, as is often mistakenly supposed, to indicate the derivations of words from sources that ar in- accessible...
  1  notes

Note the intentional use of simplified spelling in the text.

15 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 The Market Forces Driving AI

Pretty soon, it will be possible to buy artificially brained robots that perform useful tasks around the house. If the price of such robots can be made affordable, then the demand for them will be huge. I believe in time that the world economy will be based upon brain-based computers. Such devices will be so useful and so popular that everyone on the planet will want to own them. As the technologies and the economics improve, the global market for such devices will only increase to the point ...
  1  notes
 
19 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Prejudice is an Enemy of Reason

We shall expose the origin and trace the history of general errors, which have more or less contributed to retard or suspend the advance of reason, and sometimes even, as much as political events, have been the cause of man’s taking a retrograde course towards ignorance. Those operations of the mind that lead to or retain us in error, from the subtle paralogism, by which the most penetrating mind may be deceived, to the mad reveries of enthusiasts, belong equally, with that just mode of re...
  1  notes

It is a cognitive bias, and it prevents the acquisition of new truths.

23 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Intelligence is a Natural Evolution

[T]here are some common animal behaviors that seem to favor the development of intelligence, behaviors that might lead to brainy beasts on many worlds. Social interaction is one of them. If you're an animal that hangs out with others, then there's clearly an advantage in being smart enough to work out the intentions of the guy sitting next to you (before he takes your mate or your meal). And if you're clever enough to outwit the other members of your social circle, you'll probably have enhanc...
  1  notes

Coming from the need for social intelligence.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 There is No End to Mechanical Progress

[To] mechanical progress there is apparently no end: for as in the past so in the future, each step in any direction will remove limits and bring in past barriers which have till then blocked the way in other directions; and so what for the time may appear to be a visible or practical limit will turn out to be but a bend in the road.
  1  notes

Because each development removes barriers to previous explorations.