08 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Our Life is What We Pay Attention To

When our attention is lured, herded, and commandeered in such a way, our full human potential is profoundly subverted. “Our life experience,” William James once said, “will equal what we have paid attention to, whether by choice or default.” We become what we attend to — nothing more, nothing less. A steady and exclusive stream of reality TV, entertainment gossip, social media chatter, and “breaking news” about the latest celebrity scandal or Trump’s most recent tweets — all...
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21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Being Geek from Outcast to Success Story

More than just a hipster fashion statement where big glasses, tight suits, and high-water pants are the norm, the black geek phenomenon normalizes all things formally couched as geeky. Science lovers, space dreamers, comic book fans, techies, or anyone who relishes super-high-level analysis just for the fun of it could be a geek, according to conventional wisdom. Today, such interests are cool, functional, and often necessary—or at least there's a larger world where those of like minds can ...
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29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 It’s Okay to “Forget” What You Read

What we get from books is not just a collection of names, dates and events stored in our minds like files in a computer. Books also change, via our mental models, the very reality that we perceive. You can think of mental models as psychological lenses that color and shape what we see. Some of this is genetic or cultural (Americans focus on very different parts of a picture than the Japanese do), but much of our perception is also shaped by experience — and experience includes the book...
Folksonomies: experience memory reading
Folksonomies: experience memory reading
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22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Outsourcing our Thinking to Algorithms and Those Who Engi...

...even as an algorithm mindlessly implements its procedures – and even as it learns to see new patterns in the data – it reflects the minds of its creators, the motives of its trainers. Amazon and Netflix use algorithms to make recommendations about books and films. (One-third of purchases on Amazon come from these recommendations.) These algorithms seek to understand our tastes, and the tastes of like-minded consumers of culture. Yet the algorithms make fundamentally different recommend...
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30 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 What Is Learning?

Learning is very difficult to define. It is the matter of our minds, and includes thinking, becoming aware, imagining, seeing, hearing, hoping, remembering, abstracting, planning, and problem solving (Malone, 1991). Learning is deep in our species, emerging from our desire to take in new information by actively exploring new territory. Learning is a physical phenomenon, occurring in the sensory systems, as energy from light waves and vibrations in the air is converted into electrical impulses...
Folksonomies: education learning
Folksonomies: education learning
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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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23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Human Propensity for Making More Complicated Things Out o...

A child stacks and packs all kinds of blocks and boxes, lines them up, and knocks them down. What is that all about? Clearly, the child is learning about space! But how on earth does one learn about time? Can one time fit inside another? Can two of them go side by side? In music, we find out! It is often said that mathematicians are unusually involved in music, but that musicians are not involved in mathematics. Perhaps both mathematicians and musicians like to make simple things more complic...
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23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 A Sonata as Teacher

Music makes things in our minds, but afterward most of them fade away. What remains? In one old story about Mozart, the wonder child hears a lengthy contrapuntal mass and then writes down the entire score. I do not believe such tales, for history documents so few of them that they seem to be mere legend, though by that argument Mozart also would seem to be legend. Most people do not even remember the themes of an evening's concert. Yet, when the tunes are played again, they are recognized. So...
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26 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Shock: Social Science Fiction

What happens when a mind is no longer tied to a body? What happens when those of greatest ability are enslaved by those of greatest power? What happens when Humanity is the new kid on the block? When minds are read like books and books are illegal? Shock: Social Science Fiction is a game, a set of rules, that you’re about to use with your friends to create some science fiction stories. You’ll create a world sitting around a table, or on a floor in a circle, and use these rules to reach a...
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Collaborative Storytelling.

19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 We are the Dreams of a Future AI

An evolving cyberspace becomes effectively ever more capacious and long lasting, and so can support ever more minds of ever greater power. If these minds spend only an infinitesimal fraction of their energy contemplating the human past, their sheer power should ensure that eventually our entire history is replayed many times in many places, and in many variations. The very moment we are now experiencing may actually be (almost certainly is) such a distributed mental event, and most likely is ...
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From Hans Moravec's "Pigs in Cyberspace"