06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Considering Art Creative but Engineering Not as a Questio...

In retrospect, Cohen and MacKeith made a number of questionable assumptions that undermine that conclusion. To be fair, these assumptions were quite common among psychologists at the time and still persist to a significant degree among the public. One of these assumptions is that some activities, such as the arts, are inherently creative, whereas others, such as science or engineering, are not. Another assumption is that creativity is a function of one's ability to fantasize, which is to say,...
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20 JUL 2017 by ideonexus

 Old CRPGs are Unplayable for Modern Gamers

They had five days to play (Ultima IV), and I asked them to make as much progress as they could in that time. When we gathered to debrief in class, a few students explained how they’d overcome some of their difficulties, but the vast majority was utterly flummoxed by the game. As one of them put it, “I’d say for gamers of our generation, an RPG like Ultima IV is boring and pretty much unplayable.” After removing the arrow from my chest, I asked them to explain why. It mostly came dow...
Folksonomies: gaming preservation history
Folksonomies: gaming preservation history
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24 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Unlike Physics, Biology Can't Ignore Information

Physicists love to think about systems that take only a little information to describe. So when they get a system that takes a lot of information to describe, they use a trick called 'statistical mechanics', where you try to ignore most of this information and focus on a few especially important variables. For example, if you hand a physicist a box of gas, they'll try to avoid thinking about the state of each atom, and instead focus on a few macroscopic quantities like the volume and total en...
Folksonomies: physics biology information
Folksonomies: physics biology information
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02 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 Math Exercise: Comparisons

Select two boxes or cans of food that weigh 8 ounces and 16 ounces, respectively. Have students hold each as you tell them (or they read) the weights of the containers. Give students a box or can with the weight covered and have them compare the weight of the new package to the weight of the 8- and 16-ounce samples. Th ey can then estimate whether the new item’s weight is closer to 8 or 16 ounces. As students become more successful, they may want to predict a more specifi c weight. Ask them...
Folksonomies: education games math
Folksonomies: education games math
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Shotgun Seminar

At our Institute in Princeton we sometimes organize meetings which are announced as Shotgun Seminars. A Shotgun Seminar is a talk given by an Institute member to a volunteer audience. The subject of the talk is announced a week in advance, but the name of the speaker is not. Before the talk begins, the names of all people in the room are written on scraps of paper, the scraps are put into a box, the box is ceremoniously shaken and one name is picked out at random. The name picked out is the n...
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29 SEP 2013 by ideonexus

 The World is a Function

Kakeru Seki: A fact is somehow related to another fact. Unless you understand these relationships, you won't be a real reporter. Noriko Hikima: True journalism! Kakeru Seki: Well, you majored in the humanities. Noriko Hikima: Yes! That's true--I've studied literature since I was in high school. Kakeru Seki: You havea lot of catching up to do, then. Let's begin with functions. Noriko Hikima: Fu...functions? Math? What? Kakeru Seki: When one thing changes, it influences another thing. A ...
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As a programmer I know that algorithms can relate to the real world, and since these algorithms are constructed in computers that ultimately run on bits and boolean logic, then the real world may be imagined to deconstruct to pure mathematics.

03 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Primitive Aliens Encountering a Laptop

“I have a suggestion,” said Scriber. His voice was slurred from the effort of concentrating over Scrupilo’s thoughts. “When you touch the four/three square and say”—he made the alien sounds; they were all very easy to do—“the screen shows a collection of pictures. They seem to match the squares. I think we … we are being given choices.” Hm. “The box could end up training us.” If this is a machine, we need some new definitions. “ … Very well, let’s play with it....
Folksonomies: technology magic
Folksonomies: technology magic
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Vinge describes a clan of alien wolflike being with mideval technology encountering a computer carried by a human alien visitor.

07 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Babies Look to Mothers for Cues on How to React to the World

Other experiments also show that one-year-olds have a radically new understanding of people. What happens when you show a baby something new, something a little strange, maybe wonderful, maybe dangerous—say, a walking toy robot? The baby looks over at Mom quizzically and checks her out. What does she think? Is there a reassuring smile or an expression of shocked horror? One-year-olds will modify their own reactions accordingly. If there's a smile, they'll crawl forward to investigate; if th...
Folksonomies: babies learning development
Folksonomies: babies learning development
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When presented with an unknown, the infant will look to the mother's expression to understand how it should react and if it should engage.