06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Of All Times in which to Live, You Would Choose Today

I don't think in terms of one year, but I can tell people what I genuinely believe, which is that if we take responsibility in being involved in our own fate if we participate, if we engage, if we speak out, if we work in our communities, if we volunteer, if we see the joy that comes from service to others, then all the problems that we face are solvable despite all the terrible news that you see, despite all the genuine cruelty, pain, and hardship people are experiencing all around the world...
Folksonomies: optimism
Folksonomies: optimism
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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

 When Information is Cheap, Attention Becomes Expensive

Negative reviews are fun to write and fun to read, but the world doesn’t need them, since the average work of literary fiction is, in Laura Miller’s words, “invisible to the average reader.” It appears and vanishes from the scene largely unnoticed and unremarked. “Even the novelists you may think of as ‘hyped’ are in fact relatively obscure,” writes Miller. “I’ve got a battalion of perfectly intelligent cousins who have never heard of either Jonathan Franzen or Dave Eggers...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 The Web Enslaves Us With Convenience

In The Matrix, Neo learns that humanity is enslaved by machines. The populace “lives” in a virtual world, unaware that their body heat is being used as an energy source. I see a sort of low-fi parallel of this in our relationship with Facebook. Every member operates in that “free” forum, largely unaware that they’re powering the thing by relinquishing their user data. This scenario is in stark contrast to what we once hoped the web to be. We imagined it as a means of liberating peo...
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10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Stapleton's Use of Religious Terms

At the risk of raising thunder both on the Left and on the Right, I have occasionally used certain ideas and words derived from religion, and I have tried to interpret them in relation to modern needs. The valuable, though much damaged words "spiritual" and "worship," which have become almost as obscene to the Left as the good old sexual words are to the Right, are here intended to suggest an experience which the Right is apt to pervert and the Left to misconceive. This experience, I should s...
Folksonomies: language religiosity
Folksonomies: language religiosity
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24 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Number Scrabble: Numerical Tic-Tac-Toe

In psychological research on problem-solving, sometimes the game of Tic-Tac-Toe is employed, which, though very simple to learn and play, still offers sufficient problems to the investigator in that it is not at all clear what heuristics are used by the subjects, except avoiding the winning move of the opponent. The same is apparently true for the isomorphic game of Number Scrabble, which is based on the fact that there exists a 3 X 3 magic square, of which rows, columns, and main diagonals a...
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15 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 The Singularity of the Human Species

The singularity of the human species, 1 the study and defence of which form the plan of this work, stands out principally in the actual characteristics of what we shall call in these pages the Noosphere (or thinking envelope) of the earth. But just because, forming a true singularity (and not a simple irregularity) in evolutionary matter, humanity is born not by an accident but from the prolonged play of the forces of cosmogenesis, its roots must theoretically be recognisable (as in fact they...
Folksonomies: evolution science culture
Folksonomies: evolution science culture
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19 JAN 2016 by ideonexus

 The Tragedy of Never Understanding Our Children

You must face the fact that yours is the last generation of homo sapiens. As to the nature of that change, we can tell you very little. All we have discovered is that it starts with a single individual—always a child—and then spreads explosively, like the formation of crystals around the first nucleus in a saturated solution. Adults will not be affected, for their minds are already set in an unalterable mould. In a few years it will all be over, and the human race will have divided in tw...
Folksonomies: parenting generations
Folksonomies: parenting generations
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