16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Pianos Make Music Accessible Like Computers Make Math Acc...

Though it has become a naturalized part of music-making since the first one was built in 1710, the pianoforte (its name means "soft-loud") was a technical marvel for its time, a machine that changed music in ways that are hard to imagine. Computer pioneer Alan Kay once observed that any technological advance is "technology only for people who are born before it was invented,' and in the case of the piano, this applies to no one alive today. Seymour Papert, the MIT researcher, concluded, "That...
 1  1  notes
 
12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Two Kinds of Science-Fiction Innovations

Most common are the fictions that begin with Jules Verne, and concern the single artifact—a submarine, flying machine, or death ray—and its consquence for all of humanity. These extraordinary voyages—to use Verne's term—play along the fault line between what we think we are and what we can do. Nemo is no accident, or a tragic figure, but the natural consequence of the intersection between present-day humanity and extraordinary technology. Even 2001: A Space Odyssey plays on the same t...
Folksonomies: futurism science fiction
Folksonomies: futurism science fiction
  1  notes
 
27 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Star Trek: The Motion Picture as a Meditation on Cybernetics

Consider for a moment just how many times Star Trek: The Motion Picture lingers upon the important act of a man entering -- or connecting to -- a machine. We watch Kirk's shuttle pod "dock" with Enterprise after a long, lingering examination of the ship. We see Spock, in a thruster suit, "penetrate" -- in his words, "the orifice" leading to the next interior "chamber" of V'Ger. This terminology sounds very biological, doesn't it? Consider that Spock next mentally-joins with V'Ger, utilizing a...
  1  notes
 
09 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 The Machine Euthanizes the Atheletic

"Well, the Book"s wrong, for I have been out on my feet." For Kuno was possessed of a certain physical strength. By these days it was a demerit to be muscular. Each infant was examined at birth, and all who promised undue strength were destroyed. Humanitarians may protest, but it would have been no true kindness to let an athlete live; he would never have been happy in that state of life to which the Machine had called him; he would have yearned for trees to climb, rivers to bathe in, meado...
Folksonomies: distopia
Folksonomies: distopia
  1  notes
 
09 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Cultural Homogenization Makes Travel Pointless

But she thought of Kuno as a baby, his birth, his removal to the public nurseries, her own visit to him there, his visits to her-visits which stopped when the Machine had assigned him a room on the other side of the earth. "Parents, duties of," said the book of the Machine," cease at the moment of birth. P.422327483." True, but there was something special about Kuno - indeed there had been something special about all her children - and, after all, she must brave the journey if he desired it. ...
Folksonomies: culture futurism diversity
Folksonomies: culture futurism diversity
  1  notes
 
25 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Jay Rosen: Information Overload

Filters in a digital world work not by removing what is filtered out; they simply don't select for it. The unselected material is still there, ready to be let through by someone else's filter. Intelligent filters, which is what we need, come in three kinds: A smart person who takes in a lot and tells you what you need to know. The ancient term for this is "editor." The front page of the New York Times still works this way. An algorithm that sifts through the choices other smart people have...
  1  notes
04 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Picard Defends Data as Life

Commander Riker has dramatically demonstrated to this court that Lieutenant Commander Data is a machine. Do we deny that? No, because it is not relevant: we, too, are machines, just machines of a different type. Commander Riker has also reminded us that Lieutenant Commander Data was created by a man; do we deny that? No. Again, it is not relevant. Children are created from the 'building blocks' of their parents' DNA. Are they property? [...] Your honor, the courtroom is a crucible; in it, w...
  1  notes
 
24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Honour the Machine and Its Inventor

As I look round this room, at the bed, at the counterpane, at the books and chairs and the little bottles, and think that machines made them, I am glad. I am very glad of the bedstead, of the white enameled iron with brass rail. As it stands, I rejoice over its essential simplicity. I would not wish it different. Its lines are straight and parallel, or at right angles, giving a sense of static motionlessness. Only that which is necessary is there, whittled down to the minimum. There is nothin...
Folksonomies: humanism
Folksonomies: humanism
  1  notes
 
14 OCT 2014 by ideonexus

 Robots and Nature

Our most powerful tool against the robots is the natural world. This fact is overlooked almost entirely in human/robot war literature because humans are the ones writing it, and humans tend to think of the natural world as basically a good thing to be in. Sure, we like our air conditioning, to be sheltered from the rain, and to avoid poisonous snakes, but in general we view the habitable zone of the Earth to be a pretty great thing to be in. This is no coincidence! Trillions of experiments co...
  1  notes
 
26 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 A Small Contribution to a Large Project

That evening, at a café near the work site, I had a drink with an iter physicist, who was despondent, fearing that the machine would never work. Why he was staying with the project he couldn’t say. But a few weeks later, after thinking about it, he told me that his mood had lifted. He had come to see his role in both small and sublime terms—akin to a stonemason toiling for years on the York Minster cathedral (begun 1220, finished 1472) without witnessing the work being completed. “I no...
  1  notes

What's it like to be a single individual working on a project that takes many lifetimes? Perspective.