14 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Patenting Video Games as an Analytic Exercise

My initial reaction to discovering the Tapper patent was that it seemed like a hilarious parody. There are many silly patents, but this patent isn't silly in only the usual way, that it proposes an invention where I'm skeptical patent protection is really in order. It reads parodically because it seems to be describing the wrong thing entirely: It takes the formal structure of a patent, which is most at home when describing machines and other devices, and uses it to write a strange kind of g...
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08 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 China to Rate Online Behaviour in Social Credit System

Chinese internet firms are definitely interested, as Ant Financial, a subsidiary of ecommercegiant Alibaba, recently showed. To its popular app Alipay it added a new service which rated a person's credit worthiness on a scale of 350 to 950 points. This score is not only determined by one's lending behavior, but also by hobbies and friends. If friends have a poor lending reputation, this reflects badly on the person, just as prolonged playing of video games. Buying diapers indicates responsibi...
Folksonomies: socialism social ratings
Folksonomies: socialism social ratings
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12 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Spelling is an Invention, and May be Modified

Spelling was invented by man and, like other human inventions, is capable of development and improve- ment by man in the direction of simplicity, economy, and efficiency. Its true function is to represent as accurately as possible by means of simbols (letters) the sounds of the spoken (i. e. the living) language, and thus incidentally to record its history. Its prov- ince is not, as is often mistakenly supposed, to indicate the derivations of words from sources that ar in- accessible...
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Note the intentional use of simplified spelling in the text.

24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Pure Understanding of Nature is the Primary Aim of Science

Pupin believed with passionate intensity that the primary aim of science is the pure understanding of nature, and that useful applications must be considered of secondary importance. The prestige and influence which he derived from his inventions he used in an unceasing campaign to improve the standing of fundamental science in America. In this way the paradoxical situation arose, that it was Pupin the practical inventor who did more than any other man of his time to convince the American pub...
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From the preface.

24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Honour the Machine and Its Inventor

As I look round this room, at the bed, at the counterpane, at the books and chairs and the little bottles, and think that machines made them, I am glad. I am very glad of the bedstead, of the white enameled iron with brass rail. As it stands, I rejoice over its essential simplicity. I would not wish it different. Its lines are straight and parallel, or at right angles, giving a sense of static motionlessness. Only that which is necessary is there, whittled down to the minimum. There is nothin...
Folksonomies: humanism
Folksonomies: humanism
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16 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 Simultaneous Invention

Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1879. What if he had never been born, Would we still have light bulbs? And would they still have been invented in 1879? It turns out that this is not just a philosophical question and the answer is yes, the light bulb would have been invented at roughly the same time. We know this because at least 23 other people built prototype light bulbs before Edison1, including two groups who filed patents and fought legal battles with him over the rights (Sawyer ...
Folksonomies: invention synchronicity
Folksonomies: invention synchronicity
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Inventions being discovered simultaneously is not just coincidence, it's a regular phenomenon.

04 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Ideas Power the American Economy

Ideas are what power our economy. It’s what sets us apart. It’s what America has been all about. We have been a nation of dreamers and risk-takers; people who see what nobody else sees sooner than anybody else sees it. We do innovation better than anybody else — and that makes our economy stronger. When we invest in the best ideas before anybody else does, our businesses and our workers can make the best products and deliver the best services before anybody else. And because of th...
Folksonomies: ideas economy innovation
Folksonomies: ideas economy innovation
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The Human Genome Project returned $140 for every $1 spent.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Chemicals "Copulate"

From this time everything was copulated. Acetic, formic, butyric, margaric, &c., acids, alkaloids, ethers, amides, anilides, all became copulated bodies. So that to make acetanilide, for example, they no longer employed acetic acid and aniline, but they re-copulated a copulated oxalic acid with a copulated ammonia. I am inventing nothing—altering nothing. Is it my fault if, when writing history, I appear to be composing a romance?
Folksonomies: history chemistry
Folksonomies: history chemistry
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Making it sound natural, so the chemist describes his work as composing a romance for the elements' natural affinity for one another.

08 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Marvelous Invention of Indian Arithematic

It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity and the great ease which it has lent to computations put our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions; and we shall appreciate the grandeur of the achievement the more when we remember that it escaped...
Folksonomies: mathematics base-10
Folksonomies: mathematics base-10
   notes

Quoting Pierre-Simon Laplace.

07 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Inventors Know How to Fail

An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn't take his education too seriously. You see, from the time a person is six years old until he graduates form college he has to take three or four examinations a year. If he flunks once, he is out. But an inventor is almost always failing. He tries and fails maybe a thousand times. It he succeeds once then he's in. These two things are diametrically opposite. We often say that the biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intell...
Folksonomies: education invention success
Folksonomies: education invention success
   notes

In this way they are different from students, who only know success. Quote from Charles F. Kettering.