10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 Applications for Simulated Worlds

Consider that applications of simulated worlds and simulated games to science and social science research are on the increase. Businesses build virtual worlds for commercial purposes. Scientists utilize video games to crowd-source solutions to protein folding, to invesfigate complexity theory and artificial life, to visualize the physics of black holes, and to research economic, social, and psychological behaviors. Call of Duty, Second Life, World of Warcraft—and the software that makes the...
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25 FEB 2016 by ideonexus

 Sequencing and Confluence to Inspire Technological Innova...

...innovation often occurs through sequencing—building on prior innovation. Recall that suitcases didn't used to have wheels. Then someone created a suitcase with two wheels. Now many suitcases have four wheels. What helpful improvement on the suitcase might come next? I've pitched this question to students, who then produced amazing renditions of future suitcases, with elements like GPS tracking devices and built-in digital scales that check whether a suitcase is over a weight limit—or ...
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24 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Painting "Las Meninas"

The painter is standing a little back from his canvas [1]. He is glancing at his model; perhaps he is considering whether to add some finishing touch, though it is also possible that the first stroke has not yet been made. The arm holding the brush is bent to the left, towards the palette; it is motionless, for an instant, between canvas and paints. The skilled hand is suspended in mid-air, arrested in rapt attention on the painter's gaze; and the gaze, in return, waits upon the arrested gest...
Folksonomies: art identity perspective
Folksonomies: art identity perspective
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07 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 How Los Angeles Regulates Air Pollution

Los Angeles is not really a city of skyscrapers. All around those skyscrapers is a flat expanse of one- and two-story buildings. This low-density urban development means you have to drive to get around in LA. Los Angeles’ sprawl is considered a classic case of failed urban planning.Los Angeles’ sprawl is considered a classic case of failed urban planning. Its public transportation has not been developed or utilized to its fullest potential. This has caused an inevitable increase in car o...
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Despite increased traffic.

09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Human Respiration is Not a Source of Carbon Emissions

That's not a problem. The CO2 that's released by humans (and animals) is produced by metabolising carbon from food, and the food comes from plants that have been grown recently. During their growth, the plants have absorbed an equivalent amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. Even when eating meat, the animals are typically only a few years old and were fed on recently grown plants. In contrast, the cars run on fossil fuels that are hundreds of million years old.
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03 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 The Great Demotions and the Promotion of the Human Race

Sagan had talked of the “great demotions.” Humanity had learned, painfully, that it did not live on a planet at the center of the universe, and further demotions followed. We were not (in Sagan’s view) the purpose of the Creation, not specially chosen by a divine authority, and were in fact just one evolutionary twist in a complicated biosphere shaped by the mindless process of natural selection. If we were ever to make contact with another intelligent species, those aliens would in all...
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History has shown us how small and insignificant we are, but it has also revealed the profound impact we have on our own little world.

24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Evolution as Cyclical Repetition

If we lapse into thinking of the prebiotic, pre-reproductive world as a sort of featureless chaos of chemicals (like the scattered parts of the notorious jetliner assembled by a windstorm), the problem does look daunting and worse, but if we remind ourselves that the key process in evolution is cyclical repetition (of which genetic replication is just one highly refined and optimized instance), we can begin to see our way to turning the mystery into a puzzle: How did all those seasonal cycles...
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Daniel C. Dennett adds a cognitive tool to help understand how evolution works over time--by recognizing that evolution keeps trying, reproduction is a cycle.

18 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 How a Democratic Government Serves the People

In our democracy, government is not some make believe thing that has an independent will of its own. In our democracy, government is just how we describe all of the things that “we the people” have already decided to do together. It is not complicated. Our government has three basic functions: provide for the national defense; put in place rules of the road, such as speed limits, and bank regulations that are fair and transparent; and build the things together that none of us can build a...
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It makes our lives safer in a myriad of ways and improves our quality of life.

14 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 Prediction Errors for the Information Age

Perhaps the best way to describe the flawed vision of fin de siecle futurists is to say that, with few exceptions, they expected the coming of an ''immaculate'' economy -- one in which people would be largely emancipated from any grubby involvement with the physical world. The future, everyone insisted, would bring an ''information economy'' that would mainly produce intangibles. The good jobs would go to ''symbolic analysts,'' who would push icons around on computer screens; knowledge, rathe...
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Economists misunderstood the value of information and material goods in the information revolutions.

12 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Hackers Hate Driving Cars

Imperfect systems infuriate hackers, whose primal instinct is to debug them. This is one reason why hackers generally hate driving cars—the system of randomly programmed red lights and oddly laid out one-way streets cause delays that are so goddamned unnecessary that the impulse is to rearrange signs, open up traffic-light control boxes . . . redesign the entire system.
Folksonomies: hacking systems
Folksonomies: hacking systems
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The imperfect traffic systems infuriate them.