10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 Computer Models as Play

There is, indeed, an "art" to worldplay in the social sciences that fuses narrative with analytical technique. There is also a kinship with the arts in the relationship between imagined world and reality, a point brought home by political scientist and ellow Robert Axelrod. In the early 1960s the teenage Axelrod won the Westinghouse kience Talent Search for a very simple computer simulation of hypothetical lifeforms behaving in an artificial environment. Ever since, he has worked on the appli...
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24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Sensory Desktop

We must take our sensory experiences seriously but not literally. This is one place where the concept of a sensory desktop is helpful. We take the icons on a graphical desktop seriously; we won’t, for instance, carelessly drag an icon to the trash, for fear of losing a valuable file. But we don’t take the colors, shapes, or locations of the icons literally. They are not there to resemble the truth. They are there to facilitate useful behaviors. Sensory desktops differ across species. A ...
Folksonomies: metaphor perception
Folksonomies: metaphor perception
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Donald Hoffman on how our sensory perception of the world is like a computer desktop, a representation of things, not how things actually are. We must remember the difference.

27 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Why the Brain Takes So Much Time and Effort

The brain’s chief job description—yours, mine, and your hopelessly adorable children’s—is to help our bodies survive another day. The reason for survival is as old as Darwin and as young as sexting: so we can project our genes into the next generation. Will a human willingly overcome self-interest to ensure the survival of his or her family’s genes into the next generation? Apparently, yes. Enough of us did hundreds of thousands of years ago that we grew up to take over the Seren...
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Babies must be born before they are ready to prevent killing the mother, thus parenting became an evolutionary strategy in humans.

20 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Evolutionary Arms Race Produces Tall Trees

Look at a single tall tree standing proud in the middle of an open area. Why is it so tall? Not to be closer to the sun! That long trunk could be shortened until the crown of the tree was splayed out over the ground, with no loss in photons and huge savings in cost. So why go to all that expense of pushing the crown of the tree up towards the sky? The answer eludes us until we realize that the natural habitat of such a tree is a forest. Trees are tall to overtop rival trees - of the same and ...
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As they compete for sunlight.

02 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Information Retrieval is an Arms Race Between Algorithms ...

IR is the focus for an arms race between algorithms to extract information from repositories as those repositories get larger and more complex, and users' demands get harder to satisfy (either in terms of response time or complexity of query). One obvious issue with respect to IR over the Web is that the Web has no QA authority. Anyone with an ISP account can place a page on the Web, and as is well known the Web has been the site of a proliferation of conspiracy theories, urban legends, tr...
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As the web gets larger and data grows more complex, less trustworthy in many regards, algorithms will need to grow more sophisticated to adapt to it.