02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Hawking Considers Computer Viruses Life

A living being like you or me usually has two elements: a set of instructions that tell the system how to keep going and how to reproduce itself, and a mechanism to carry out the instructions. In biology, these two parts are called genes and metabolism. But it is worth emphasising that there need be nothing biological about them. For example, a computer virus is a program that will make copies of itself in the memory of a computer, and will transfer itself to other computers. Thus it fits the...
Folksonomies: life
Folksonomies: life
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31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Mercurial Identities When Growing Up Online

From October 2015 to the present day, I have lived approximately 168 different lives on the internet. I was Eve the Nobody before I was Eve the Sex Writer before I was Eve the Comedian before I was Eve the Depressed Girl before I was Eve the Drunk before I was Eve the Feminist before I was Eve the Tech Blogger before I was Eve the Democratic Socialist before I was Eve the Hater before I was Eve the Teetotaler before I was Eve the Professional Politics Writer before I was Eve the Sword Girl be...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 The Myth of the Solitary Villain

The more sophisticated and powerful a technology, the more people are needed to weaponize it. And the more people needed to weaponize it, the more societal controls work to defuse, or soften, or prevent harm from happening. I add one additional thought. Even if you had a budget to hire a team of scientists whose job it was to develop a species-extinguishing bio weapon, or to take down the internet to zero, you probably still couldn’t do it. That’s because hundreds of thousands of man-year...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Nietzsche is the Opposite of Humanism

If one wanted to single out a thinker who represented the opposite of humanism (indeed, of pretty much every argument in this book), one couldn’t do better than the German philologist Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900).109 Earlier in the chapter I fretted about how humanistic morality could deal with a callous, egoistic, megalomaniacal sociopath. Nietzsche argued that it’s good to be a callous, egoistic, megalomaniacal sociopath. Not good for everyone, of course, but that doesn’t matter:...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 The Progressive Effects of Education

Homo sapiens, “knowing man,” is the species that uses information to resist the rot of entropy and the burdens of evolution. Humans everywhere acquire knowledge about their landscape, its flora and fauna, the tools and weapons that can subdue them, and the networks and norms that entangle them with kin, allies, and enemies. They accumulate and share that knowledge with the use of language, gesture, and face-to-face tutelage. [...] The mind-altering effects of education extend to every s...
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20 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Life is Joy If We Use Our Time to Correct Our Faults

There is no evil. Life is a blessing. If it is not, then know that you are at fault. And you have been given time to correct your error, to have the joy (the highest blessing) of correcting your fault. That is the only reason for time. If you do not correct your fault, it will be corrected against your will — by death. Yes, life is a blessing. There is no evil. There are only our faults, faults in general and our personal ones, and we have been given the joy through time of correcting them....
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20 JUN 2017 by ideonexus

 Ikigai and Mortality

Objective: To investigate the association between the sense of “life worth living (ikigai)” and the cause specific mortality risk. The psychological factors play important roles in morbidity and mortality risks. However, the association between the negative psychological factors and the risk of mortality is inconclusive. Methods: The Ohsaki Study, a prospective cohort study, was initiated on 43,391 Japanese adults. To assess if the subjects found a sense of ikigai, they were asked the que...
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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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