25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 It Takes a Network to Defeat a Network

...the 9/11 attacks were carried out by one network on another network: al Qaeda against the U.S. financial and political system. Yet it was not the immediate damage of the terrorist attacks that inflicted the real cost on the United States so much as the unintended consequences of the national security state’s response. Writing in the Los Angeles Times in August 2002, before it was even clear that Iraq was to be invaded, the political scientist John Arquilla presciently pointed out the fla...
Folksonomies: networks ideology war
Folksonomies: networks ideology war
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15 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 If a Harvard Degree is So Valuable, Why Not Franchise It?

But what if higher education is really just the final stage of a competitive tournament? From grades and test results through the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the colleges themselves, higher education sorts us all into a hierarchy. Kids at the top enjoy prestige because they’ve defeated everybody else in a competition to reach the schools that proudly exclude the most people. All the hard work at Harvard is done by the admissions officers who anoint an already-proven hypercompet...
Folksonomies: education academia
Folksonomies: education academia
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10 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Humanities are About "Inwardness"

It is the irreducible reality of inwardness, and its autonomy as a category of understanding, over which Pinker, in his delirium of empirical research, rides roughshod. The humanities are the study of the many expressions of that inwardness. Pinker’s condescension to the humanities is endless. He proposes for the humanities “a consilience with science,” but the only apparent beneficiary of such an arrangement would be the humanities, since they have nothing much to offer the sciences, w...
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Argument for why they cannot be reconciled with science.

09 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Humanism

The humanist is filled with wonder and admiration at the creatures that are human, at their capacity for accomplishment, for sacrifice, at the intricacy and precision of that nervous system which has made it; it possible for them to stand where they do today in nature' hierarchy. We are convinced that if we use to an eve greater extent our unique capacities for discovery and for for cooperation, the future of our race will be a brilliant and a happy one.
Folksonomies: humanism
Folksonomies: humanism
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A concise definition of the Humanist worldview.

30 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Facts VS Theories

Facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away while scientists debate rival theories for explaining them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air pending the outcome.
Folksonomies: data theory fact
Folksonomies: data theory fact
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Facts are data, theories are the best truths we have extrapolated from them.

13 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Fact, Theory, and Understanding

Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did s...
Folksonomies: truth theory fact
Folksonomies: truth theory fact
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Stephen J. Gould on science's evolving understanding of the Truth.

21 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Ken Thompson on Obfuscation in Modern Code

Suppose someone describing something to me from postulates like. "Here's a computer and here are the op codes." I can visualize the structure of programs and how things are efficient or inefficient based on those op codes, by seeing the bottom and imagining the hierarchy. And i can see the same thing with programs. If someone shows me library routines or basic bottom-level things, I can see how you can build that into different programs and what's missing—the kinds of programs that would st...
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Modern programming principles involve a great deal of delegation, resulting in code that is very hard to follow.

09 FEB 2011 by ideonexus

 Not Everything is On the Internet

The Internet shows me more and more about those who participate in it, but I worry lest I forget that not everything or everyone in the world has a home on the Internet. Missing are those who cannot read or write, who have no access to a computer, or who chose to remain disconnected. There is a danger of coming to think that what cannot be found on an Internet search doesn’t exist, and that the virtual world is the world. It isn’t. However bizarre and incredible the people populating the ...
Folksonomies: internet society
Folksonomies: internet society
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It's easy to forget that there is a large portion of the population that is not online or not contributing because they cannot afford it or outright reject it.