08 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 Words are More Powerful than Pictures

This “algebraic” flexibility of a word encapsulates the essence of something while leaving unnecessary concretes out. A photo doesn’t and can’t. Further, a word offers enormous flexibility in terms of input/output. It can be spoken, thought, gestured (as in sign language), written, grammatically combined with other words, or stored with very little memory. A photo can’t. Words are altered by syntax and grammatical endings. A photo can’t be modified in this way, other than the temp...
Folksonomies: communication
Folksonomies: communication
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08 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 What are Observations?

What are observations? Some philosophers have taken them to be sensory events: the occurrence of smells, feels, noises, color patches. This way lies frustration. What we ordinarily notice and testify to are rather the objects and events out in the world. It is to these that our very language is geared, because language is a social institution, learned from other people who share the scene to which the words refer. Observation sentences, like theoretical sentences, are for the most part senten...
Folksonomies: belief
Folksonomies: belief
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02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Logic as Magical Thinking

These battles over definition are not taking place in the same universe as the one in which men throw around these terms online. But for the Logic Guys, the purpose of using these words — the sacred, magic words like “logic,” “objectivity,” “reason,” “rationality,” “fact” — is not to invoke the actual concepts themselves. It’s more a kind of incantation, whereby declaring your argument the single “logical” and “rational” one magically makes it so — and by e...
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02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Knowledge Work

The growing importance of knowledge as an economic resource reflects the fact that, as economies and production technologies develop, they become ever more complex and specialized, leading to increasing coordination costs. In the language of information economics, the organizational or informational task of coordinating the diverse steps in the productive chain grows, as the number of transactions within and among productive units increases (Joncher, 1983). Logically, the increasingly complex...
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Knowledge is becoming increasingly specific. Professionals of all types are managing larger quantities of sybolic reasoning. Informational laborers or symbolic analysts are a growing portion of the workforce.

04 NOV 2018 by ideonexus

 Probability is Truth-Resembling

The study of mathematical uncertainty is called probability. According to Richard Epstein, "The word 'probability' stems from the Latin probabilis, meaning 'truth-resembling'; thus the word itself literally invites semantic misinterpretation." [1]What Epstein means by "semantic misinterpretation" is that if something is "truthresembling," then it isn't actually truthful; at the same time, the truth is exactly what the something does resemble.
Folksonomies: etymology
Folksonomies: etymology
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 How the Internet's Consensus of Information Undermines Au...

Heretofore, the technological advance that most altered the course of modern history was the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, which allowed the search for empirical knowledge to supplant liturgical doctrine, and the Age of Reason to gradually supersede the Age of Religion. Individual insight and scientific knowledge replaced faith as the principal criterion of human consciousness. Information was stored and systematized in expanding libraries. The Age of Reason originated ...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Fluid Intelligence has Made the Most Gains

So which kinds of intellectual performance have been pushed upward by the better environments of recent decades? Surprisingly, the steepest gains have not been found in the concrete skills that are directly taught in school, such as general knowledge, arithmetic, and vocabulary. They have been found in the abstract, fluid kinds of intelligence, the ones tapped by similarity questions (“What do an hour and a year have in common?”), analogies (“BIRD is to EGG as TREE is to what?”), and ...
Folksonomies: intelligence iq
Folksonomies: intelligence iq
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22 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Top-Down Engineering of AI

The philosophers’ fascination with propositions was mirrored in good old-fashioned AI, the AI of John McCarthy, early Marvin Minsky, and Allen Newell, Herbert Simon, and Cliff Shaw. It was the idea that the way to make an intelligent agent was from the top down. You have a set of propositions in some proprietary formulation. It’s not going to be English—well, maybe LISP or something like that, where you define all the predicates and the operators. Then, you have this huge database that ...
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29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Modern Propaganda Exhausts Critical Thinking

The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.
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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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