17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Encyclopedia as a Directory of Associations

Every science overlaps with others: they are two continuous branches off a single trunk. He who composes an opus does not enter abruptly into his subject, does not close himself strictly within it, does not leave it abruptly: he is obliged to anticipate terrain adjoining his; its consequences often take him onto another contiguous terrain on the opposite side; and how many other excursions are necessary in the body of the work? What is the purpose of the forewords, introductions, prefaces, ex...
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24 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Unlike Physics, Biology Can't Ignore Information

Physicists love to think about systems that take only a little information to describe. So when they get a system that takes a lot of information to describe, they use a trick called 'statistical mechanics', where you try to ignore most of this information and focus on a few especially important variables. For example, if you hand a physicist a box of gas, they'll try to avoid thinking about the state of each atom, and instead focus on a few macroscopic quantities like the volume and total en...
Folksonomies: physics biology information
Folksonomies: physics biology information
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Rational Ignorance

Of course, it is a cliché of our times that we suffer from information overload because of the ubiquity of electronic media. And for fifty years, cognitive scientists have been harping on the limitations of the brain in processing information. Some have argued that Grice’s cooperative maxims are a way to manage the flow of information in a conversation, maximizing the rate of transmission of usable knowledge. But the ultimate reason our speech is so indirect may lie in a different danger ...
Folksonomies: information ignorance
Folksonomies: information ignorance
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The Informational Stakes of Dominance

The commodity that is immediately at stake in contests of dominance is information, and that feature differentiates dominance from predation in several ways. One is that while contests of dominance can escalate into lethal clashes, especially when the contestants are closely matched and intoxicated with positive illusions, most of the time (in humans and animals alike) they are settled with displays. The antagonists flaunt their strength, brandish their weapons, and play games of brinkmanship...
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Information Fertilizes Moral Growth

...a flow of information can fertilize moral growth. Scholars who have puzzled over the trajectory of material progress in different parts of the world, such as the economist Thomas Sowell in his Culture trilogy and the physiologist Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, have concluded that the key to material success is being situated in a large catchment area of innovations.306 No one is smart enough to invent anything in isolation that anyone else would want to use. Successful innovators...
Folksonomies: information morality
Folksonomies: information morality
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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...
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19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Filters on Text and Perception

Many of us are used to having incoming email filtered, decrypted, formatted, and shown in our favorite colors and fonts. These techniques can be taken further. Customization of spelling (e.g., American to British or archaic to modern) would be a straightforward process. Relatively simple conversions could also let you see any text with your favorite date and time formats, use metric or imperial measures, implement obscenity filters, abbreviate or expand acronyms, omit or include technical for...
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From Alexander “Sasha” Chislenko's "Intelligent Information Filters and Enhanced Reality"

22 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Scent as Data in a Beehive

To shield her antennae from the many bruising signals in the air, she walked with her head low. Air currents and electrical pulses from thousands of bees rippled against her, but Flora ignored them all. The pulsing track alone held her focus, clear and simple across the perilously busy lobby, where she had to slow down because of the tempest of data underfoot. A rush of workers came through in a tumult of scent and Flora lifted her head—then the rhythm of the foot-current drew her on. She ...
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Technology is Information

The most revolutionary aspect of technology is its mobility. Anybody can learn it. It jumps easily over barriers of race and language. And its mobility is still increasing. The new technology of microchips and computer software is learned much faster than the old technology of coal and iron. It took three generations of misery for the older industrial countries to master the technology of coal and iron. The new industrial countries of East Asia, South Korea and Singapore and Taiwan, mastered ...
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07 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 The Invention of Printing Threatens the Church

This new invention of printing has produced various effects of which Your Holiness caimot be ignorant. If it has restored books and learning, it has also been the occasion of those sects and schisms which daily appear. Men begin to call in question the present faith and tenets of the Church; the laity read the scriptures and pray in their vulgar tongue. Were this suffered the common people might come to believe that there was not so much use of the clergy. If men were persuaded that they coul...
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[Cardinal] Thomas Wolsey.