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

 The Volumetric Approach to History

You will be thinking that we are coming to the end of this book: we’ve dealt with eight centuries, so there are only two to go. You may be surprised to learn, therefore, that in historical terms we are not even halfway. The reason for this discrepancy is that history is not time, and time is not history. History is not the study of the past per se; it is about people in the past. Time, separated from humanity, is purely a matter for scientists and star-gazers. If a previously unknown uninha...
  1  notes
 
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
  1  notes
 
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
  1  notes
 
 
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 ...
  1  notes
 
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...
  1  notes
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...
  1  notes
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
  1  notes
 
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...
  1  notes
 4   3   8 
 9   5   1 
 2   7   6