16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Games Allow for Low-Cost Failure

What Prensky and Gee had realized early on was that game designers had lowered the cost of failure so players would take risks. They'd figured out that well-designed problem solving that gives players a second chance and a way to share their successes is almost irresistibly attractive. In just a few years, game designers had discovered the principles of deep and pleasurable learning that it had taken educators more than a century to apply in schools. Game studios had hit upon "profoundly good...
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30 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Naysmiths

Magnus broods in his black tower, peering into the depths of the Great Ocean for validation, a sign that he was right to act as he did. He will find nothing, for there is nothing to find. His actions were never his own, for he forgot the first rule of the mysteries. He let his ambition and hubris blind him to his flaws and the knowledge that there is always someone stronger and more powerful out there. I will not make that mistake. But we are still creatures of flesh and inclined to repe...
Folksonomies: disputation contrarian
Folksonomies: disputation contrarian
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19 DEC 2014 by ideonexus

 How the Finance Industry Hurts the Economy

In perhaps the starkest illustration, economists from Harvard University and the University of Chicago wrote in a recent paper that every dollar a worker earns in a research field spills over to make the economy $5 better off. Every dollar a similar worker earns in finance comes with a drain, making the economy 60 cents worse off. [...] ...the growth of complex financial products has served primarily to boost income for the firms themselves, Philippon said. A new paper from researchers in t...
Folksonomies: economy finance
Folksonomies: economy finance
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01 SEP 2014 by ideonexus

 Literature Asks Questions without Offering Answers

Even when writers profess to know nothing about the inner man, they often make the profession in a way which suggests that they really know plenty When D. H. Lawrence says (in his essay on Benjamin Franklin) "The soul of man is a dark forest," he says it with a kind of knowing Satanic smirk, so that the profession of ignorance actually becomes a species of knowledge. When I first read that ominous Lawrence sentence I was young and it was news to me that my soul was a dark forest. For several ...
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21 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Knowledge Grows Faster Than Compound Interest

Remember that accumulated knowledge, like accumulated capital, increases at compound interest: but it differs from the accumulation of capital in this; that the increase of knowledge produces a more rapid rate of progress, whilst the accumulation of capital leads to a lower rate of interest. Capital thus checks its own accumulation: knowledge thus accelerates its own advance. Each generation, therefore, to deserve comparison with its predecessor, is bound to add much more largely to the commo...
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It accelerates beyond the comparatively stunted growth of wealth.

27 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Why Economists Will Continue to be Wrong

Carter had initially used arbitrary parameters in his perfect model to generate perfect data, but now, in order to assess his model in a realistic way, he threw those parameters out and used standard calibration techniques to match his perfect model to his perfect data. It was supposed to be a formality--he assumed, reasonably, that the process would simply produce the same parameters that had been used to produce the data in the first place. But it didn't. It turned out that there were many ...
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They make models based on past data, and when they fail to predict the future, they adjust them to match the new past data. The problem is that so many models will match the past data, there could be no end to the number of models they throw out.

18 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 Gender is Not Binary

he gender binary is the artificial division of the world into things that are "masculine" or "for men" and things that are "feminine" or "for women". One of the starkest ways to think of this is to consider the phrase "opposite sexes/genders" (as opposed to "different sexes/genders"), when both men and women are human beings with fundamentally many more commonalities than differences. The division is artificial in several ways: much of it is very clearly socially constructed. For example,...
Folksonomies: gender sexuality equality
Folksonomies: gender sexuality equality
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Interesting concept from feminist and homosexual literature. The scientific point of view on this is that human males and females are dimorphic to various degrees.

08 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 Economics Uses Magical Language

A common feature in systems of magic is animism — attributing to inanimate objects the functions of life, assuming things to possess will, purpose, and power. It is significant (though quite in keeping) that "Economists" and "Financiers" have this characteristic at- titude of mind towards, and employ animistic forms of expression in writing and talking about "Money" and "Capital." Whether this is due to unconscious belief in magic or is mere metaphor, the result, in either case, is befo...
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It's use of animism in describing the economy is suspect, but the same metaphors are used in real science as well.

22 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 The Point of Argument

The point of a good argument isn’t for one person to simply win over the other. It’s ideally for both to come away with cognitive gains. Even if the goal of an argument is to reach a decision, the goal isn’t to win, the goal is to define the parameters for a good decision and then make the best possible decision with that in mind. I’ve come to believe that when two reasonably smart people disagree on a subject, at the core, it is often because one of the following: One or both of the ...
Folksonomies: debate logic
Folksonomies: debate logic
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The goal should be to define the parameters of where everyone can agree.

21 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 von Neumann Correctly Hypothesizes How Memory Works

The question of the physical embodiment of this memory remains. For this, various authorrs have suggested a variety of solutions. It has beeen proposed to assume that the thresholds—orr, more broadly stated, the stimulation criteria—^f or various nerve cells change with time as functions of the previous history of that cell. Thus frequent use of a nerve cell might lower its threshold, i.e. ease the requirements of its stimulation, and the like. If this were true, the memory would reside i...
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Neurons that get used more often become easier to use. He's just speculating, but his description is spot on.