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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22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Trade and Large Populations are Needed to Sustain Innovation

The most striking case of technological regress is Tasmania. Isolated on an island at the end of the world, a population of less than 5,000 hunter-gatherers divided into nine tribes did not just stagnate, or fail to progress. They fell steadily and gradually back into a simpler toolkit and lifestyle, purely because they lacked the numbers to sustain their existing technology. Human beings reached Tasmania at least 35,000 years ago while it was still connected to Australia. It remained connect...
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22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Borrowing Against Our Futures is Required

By the age of 15 chimpanzees have produced about 40 per cent and consumed about 40 per cent of the calories they will need during their entire lives. By the same age, human hunter-gatherers have consumed about 20 per cent of their lifetime calories, but produced just 4 per cent. More than any other animal, human beings borrow against their future capabilities by depending on others in their early years. A big reason for this is that hunter-gatherers have always specialised in foods that need ...
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Science Fiction Shows Us the Human Output

TO UNDERSTAND TECHNOLOGY AS IT IS seen by people outsid e the technological elite, I have found science fiction more illuminating than science. Science provid es the technical input for technology; science fiction sh ows us the human output.
Folksonomies: technology society
Folksonomies: technology society
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 States Reduce Violence

So did Hobbes get it right? In part, he did. In the nature of man we find three principal causes of quarrel: gain (predatory raids), safety (preemptive raids), and reputation (retaliatory raids). And the numbers confirm that relatively speaking, “during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war,” and that in such condition they live in “continual fear, and danger of violent death.” But from his armchair in 17th-ce...
Folksonomies: society governance violence
Folksonomies: society governance violence
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29 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Loss of Hope Accelerates the Death of Trantor

"The fall of Trantor," said Seldon, "cannot be stopped by any conceivable effort. It can be hastened easily, however. The tale of my interrupted trial will spread through the Galaxy. Frustration of my plans to lighten the disaster will convince people that the future holds no promise to them. Already they recall the lives of their grandfathers with envy. They will see that political revolutions and trade stagnations will increase. The feeling will pervade the Galaxy that onl...
Folksonomies: society hope justice
Folksonomies: society hope justice
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 The Northeast Megalopolis

The megalopolis encompasses the District of Columbia and part or all of 11 states: from south to north, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. It is linked by Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1, which start in Miami and Key West, Florida, respectively, and terminate in Maine at the Canada–United States border, as well as the Northeast Corridor railway line, the busiest passenger rail line in the count...
Folksonomies: society civilization cities
Folksonomies: society civilization cities
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Insulation of Elites Compounds Societal Collapse

The scenarios most closely reflecting the reality of our world today are found in the third group of experiments (see the scenarios for an unequal society in section 5.3), where we introduced economic stratication. Under such conditions, we nd that collapse is dicult to avoid, which helps to explain why economic stratication is one of the elements consistently found in past collapsed societies. Importantly, in the rst of these unequal society scenarios, 5.3.1, the solution appears to be on a ...
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Two Kinds of Societal Collapse

Running the model in dierent scenarios produces two kinds of collapses, either due to scarcity of labor (following an inequality-induced famine) or due to scarcity of Nature (depletion of natural resources). We categorize the former case as a Type-L (Disappearance of Labor) Collapse and the latter as a Type-N collapse (Exhaustion of Nature). In a Type-L collapse, growth of the Elite Population strains availability of resources for the Commoners. This causes decline of the Commoner Population ...
Folksonomies: society modeling collapse
Folksonomies: society modeling collapse
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 The HANDY Model is Based On Predator-Prey Cycles

As indicated above, Human And Nature DYnamics (HANDY) was originally built based on the predator-prey model. We can think of the human population as the predator", while nature (the natural resources of the surrounding environment) can be taken as the prey", depleted by humans. In animal models, carrying capacity is an upper ceiling on long-term population. When the population surpasses the carrying capacity, mechanisms such as starvation or migration bring the population back down. However, ...
Folksonomies: society modeling cycles
Folksonomies: society modeling cycles
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