03 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 Liberal Arts Majors in Technical Professions

While we’ve hired many computer-science majors that have been critical team members, It’s noncomputer science degree holders who can see the forest through the trees. For example, our chief operating officer is a brilliant, self-­taught engineer with a degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He has risen above the code to lead a team that is competitive globally. His determination and critical-thinking skills empower him to leverage the power of technology without getting bo...
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Reminds me of my own career graduating with an English Degree and going into Computer Programming.

03 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Example of Lexical Context

A duct-less split can produce the exact amount of energy needed to temper an envelope. When I first read this sentence, my mind started to try to make connections to envelopes and wondered if tempering had something to do with getting or keeping the glue on the flap. If you are an engineer, you probably know that the sentence above refers to equipment and its capability of cooling a room. As with any topic, the more you know about heating and cooling, the easier it is to learn and understa...
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Warm-Blooded Plants: Zero-g, Zero-T, and Zero-P

There are three principal obstacles to be overcome in adapting a terrestrial species to life in space. It must learn to live and be happy in zero-g, zero-T, and zero-P, that is to say, zero-gravity, zero-temperature, and zero-pressure. Of these, zero-g is probably the easiest to cope with, although we are still ignorant of the nature of the physiological hazards which it imposes. To deal with zero-T is simple in principle although it may be complicated and awkward in practice. Fur and feather...
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Soviet Union, Von Neuman Predictions, and Computers

I have a friend, a young American physicist, who spent a year doing theoretical physics in the Soviet Union. He likes to go to the Soviet Union, not because it is a good place to do physics, but because it is a good place to observe the human comedy. When he went back to Leningrad recently for a shorter visit, he received a proposal of marriage and was called in twice for questioning by the KGB, all within the first week. He speaks fluent Russian, and the KGB people find it difficult to belie...
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22 JUL 2014 by ideonexus

 The Myth of the Lone Genius

Today, the Romantic genius can be seen everywhere. Consider some typical dorm room posters — Freud with his cigar, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the pulpit, Picasso looking wide-eyed at the camera, Einstein sticking out his tongue. These posters often carry a poignant epigraph — “Imagination is more important than knowledge” — but the real message lies in the solitary pose. In fact, none of these men were alone in the garrets of their minds. Freud developed psychoanalysis ...
Folksonomies: genius collaboration
Folksonomies: genius collaboration
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26 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 The Problem of Energy

As a child, I read Friday by Robert A Heinlein, which portrayed a future in which energy needs are addressed by energy storage devices called "Shipstones", which are described as a way to pack more kilowatt-hours into a smaller space and a smaller mass than any other engineer had ever dreamed of. To call it an "improved storage battery" (as some early accounts did) is like calling an H-bomb an "improved firecracker." In the novel, the Shipstone's eponymous inventor realised "that the problem...
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Isn't that is isn't plentiful. The sky is raining energy. It's that we have to collect it into buckets for use.

These are partial direct quotes, the direct quote is from a hacker news comment.

14 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 The Problem of Machine-Aggregated Knowledge

he nuts and bolts of artificial-intelligence research can often be more usefully interpreted without the concept of AI at all. For example, in 2011, IBM scientists unveiled a “question answering” machine that is designed to play the TV quiz show Jeopardy. Suppose IBM had dispensed with the theatrics, and declared it had done Google one better and come up with a new phrase-based search engine. This framing of exactly the same technology would have gained IBM’s team as much (deserved) rec...
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If an AI works by aggregating the works of the sum total of human knowledge, should the humans that discovered that knowledge be compensated? Science works the same way, but ideas remain free.

13 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 The Clock, Icon of Science

Philosophers were always looking for new handles on the universe—new similes, new metaphors, new analogies. Despite their scorn for those who cast the Creator of the Universe in man's image, the theologians never ceased to scrutinize man's own handiwork as their clues to God. Now man was a proud clockmaker, a maker of self-moving machines. Once set in motion, the mechanical clock seemed to tick with a life of its own. Might not the universe itself be a vast clock made and set in motion by t...
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The first icon to replace religous icons in Western culture.

16 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Human Cognome Project

The Human Cognome Project was an academic research venture to reverse engineer the human brain, paralleling in many ways the Human Genome Project and its success in deciphering the human genome. The HCP was a multidisciplinary undertaking, relevant to biology, neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and philosophy of mind. Funded and supported by scientific and corporate entrepreneurs and early transhumanist groups, the HCP developed the fundamentals of digitizi...
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A science fiction idea of modeling the human mind.

13 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Today's Problems Are Too Complex for Individuals to Solve

The human race has had a long and romantic tradition of crediting great breakthroughs to the tribulations of single individuals: Einstein, Archimedes, Benjamin Franklin, Van Gogh, da Vinci—the list is lon^g. Interestingly, every story about an epiphany is similar: An eclectic individual attempts to solve a complex problem that has stumped humankind for centuries, when suddenly he stumbles on an "aha!" moment. At first his revelation is rebuked by everyone, and then, over time, the inventor ...
Folksonomies: history invention
Folksonomies: history invention
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History is filled with the names of inventors who made great discoveries, but it took teams to invent the Internet, Cell Phone, and Semi-Conductor.