20 MAR 2018 by ideonexus

 DNA from the Perspective of a Coder Excerpts

Of the 20,000 to 30,000 genes now thought to be in the human genome, most cells express only a very small part - which makes sense, a liver cell has little need for the DNA code that makes neurons. But as almost all cells carry around a full copy ('distribution') of the genome, a system is needed to #ifdef out stuff not needed. And that is just how it works. The genetic code is full of #if/#endif statements. This is why 'stem cells' are so hot right now - these cells have the ability to diff...
Folksonomies: science metaphor analogy
Folksonomies: science metaphor analogy
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21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Attention Capitalism

As someone who works in tech, I like the analogy of a DoS attack. The root of the issue is attention capitalism. Our attention is essentially a resource being exploited for profit. In that scenario, we're effectivley no longer in control of our own free will as long as someone else can profit by controlling it. On an individual scale, we can give it relatively benign labels like "distraction". But when you look at it from macro scale it's effectively a DDoS attack on our free will perpetrated...
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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...
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02 JUN 2015 by ideonexus

 Metaphor in Science

Metaphor in science, Boyd suggests, is a version of the everyday process in which a metaphor is pressed into service to fill gaps in a language’s vocabulary, like rabbit ears to refer to the antennas that used to sprout from the tops of television sets. Scientists constantly discover new entities that lack an English name, so they often tap a metaphor to supply the needed label: selection in evolution, kettle pond in geology, linkage in genetics, and so on. But they aren’t shackled by the...
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04 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Teaching as Gardening

If a teacher is a gardener, than a student is the seed. The classroom serves as the greenhouse creating a warm, safe environment for growth. An administrator is the soil, serving as a strong nutrient base for the seed to root. The parents are the water, providing live and maintaining it. When the water/parent is not plentiful, the seed will suffer. The curriculum is the sun. It shines knowledge to ensure growth. The aspects of the curriculum that some students do not make sense of can be cons...
Folksonomies: education metaphor teaching
Folksonomies: education metaphor teaching
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05 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 "Bug" is Not an Insult

Look at them, the bugs. Humans have used everything in their power to extinguish them: every kind of poison, aerial sprays, introducing and cultivating their natural predators, searching for and destroying their eggs, using genetic modification to sterilize them, burning with fire, drowning with water. Every family has bug spray, every desk has a flyswatter under it … this long war has been going on for the entire history of human civilization. But the outcome is still in doubt. The bugs ha...
Folksonomies: metaphor perspective insult
Folksonomies: metaphor perspective insult
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05 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Farmer Hypothesis

The farmer hypothesis, on the other hand, has the flavor of a horror story: Every morning on a turkey farm, the farmer comes to feed the turkeys. A scientist turkey, having observed this pattern to hold without change for almost a year, makes the following discovery: “Every morning at eleven, food arrives.” On the morning of Thanksgiving, the scientist announces this law to the other turkeys. But that morning at eleven, food doesn’t arrive; instead, the farmer comes and kills the entire...
Folksonomies: metaphor fable
Folksonomies: metaphor fable
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19 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Gardener Metaphor of Teaching

...like curriculum, the garden is primarily a social construct that reflects the intent of the maker and the prevailing cultural ideologies of the time. The lived experiences of the person within both curriculum and garden are a synthesis of orchestrated and phenomenological experiences. The garden and the curriculum employ a common interpretive stance by referencing the artistry of creation within an aesthetic of experience. Within this hermeneutic relationship lies the potential for moving ...
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27 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Universe as a Game Where the Rules are Hidden

‘I talked to a woman of the Kaminari once,’ he says, ‘before the Spike. Don’t give me such a look, it wasn’t like that, we were just friends. But one night on Ganymede, we got philosophical. The Universe is a game, she said. It makes us into players. We can’t see the moves that are not allowed. Like in chess. There is perfect freedom in the black and white, except that the rules make invisible walls. Two squares forward, one left. One left, whole row forward and backward, one righ...
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Intellectual Exploration as Geographical Exploration

My own field of physics is passing today through a phase of exuberant freedom, a phase of passionate prodigality. Sometimes as I listen to the conversation of my young colleagues at Princeton, I feel as if I am lost in a rain forest, with insects and birds and flowers growing all around me in intricate profusion, growing too abundantly for my sixty-year-old brain to comprehend. But the young people are at home in the rain forest and walk confidently along trails which to me are almost invisib...
Folksonomies: science metaphor physics
Folksonomies: science metaphor physics
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