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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05 MAY 2018 by ideonexus

 “Judge the value of what you have by what you had to gi...

The principle of an opportunity cost does not at first glance seem hard to understand. If you spend half an hour noodling around on Twitter, when you would otherwise have been reading a book, the lost book-reading time is the opportunity cost of the tweeting. If you decide to buy a fancy belt for £100 instead of a cheaper one for £20, the opportunity cost is the £80 shirt you could otherwise have bought. Everything has a cost: whatever you were going to do instead, but couldn’t. [...] ...
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16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Pianos Make Music Accessible Like Computers Make Math Acc...

Though it has become a naturalized part of music-making since the first one was built in 1710, the pianoforte (its name means "soft-loud") was a technical marvel for its time, a machine that changed music in ways that are hard to imagine. Computer pioneer Alan Kay once observed that any technological advance is "technology only for people who are born before it was invented,' and in the case of the piano, this applies to no one alive today. Seymour Papert, the MIT researcher, concluded, "That...
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06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 The Case Against Reading Too Broadly

The real problem with telling young writers to fan out across genres and forms is that it doesn’t help them find a voice. If anything, it’s antivoice. Learning the craft of writing isn’t about hopping texts like hyperlinks. It’s about devotion and obsession. It’s about lingering too long in some beloved book’s language, about steeping yourself in someone else’s style until your consciousness changes colour. It’s Tolkien phases and Plath crushes. It’s going embarrassingly, un...
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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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10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 The Case for the Gamified Classroom

Gamified instruction empowers students to own their learning. Students who learn in a gamified classroom have a better capacity for persistence. Gamified instruction helps students develop a capacity for selfdirection. Gamified classrooms impart critical social skills. Gamification of learning enables students to build and sustain learning communities. Gamified instruction is inherently democratic and meritocratic and hence encourages risk taking. Gamified instruction helps students maintain ...
Folksonomies: education gamification
Folksonomies: education gamification
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14 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 One in 1,000 to 500 Chance of Cancer from Childhood CT Scan

The first study to assess directly the risk of cancer after CT scans in childhood found a clear dose-response relationship for both leukemia and brain tumors: risk increased with increasing cumulative radiation dose. For a cumulative dose of between 50 and 60 milligray or mGy (mGy is a unit of estimated absorbed dose of ionizing radiation) to the head, the investigators reported a threefold increase in the risk of brain tumors; the same dose to bone marrow (the part of the body responsible fo...
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The Question of Methodology

The methodological question. In a previous book I gave a good deal of thought and analysis to the methodological importance f°r work in the human sciences of finding and formulating a first s t eP. a point of departure, a beginning principle.11 A major lesson I learned and tried to present was that there is no such thing as a merely given, or simply available, starting point: beginnings have to be made for each project in such a way as to enable what follows from them. Nowhere in my experien...
Folksonomies: methodology
Folksonomies: methodology
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19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Religion Prevented Immortality

The other way was if you do various kinds of mumbo-jumbo then this great agent in the sky will come down and give you eternal life, in which case you could have an infinite number of sports cars. And so Pascal’s wager: either you believe in God or you don’t; if there is no God it can’t do any harm to believe in him because he’s not going to punish you because he doesn’t exist; on the other hand if you don’t believe in him and there is one then he’ll be mad at you and you won’t...
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From Marvin Minsky'S "Why Freud Was the First Good AI Theorist"

31 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Plural of Thrips

Much the same can be said of the Thrips, those tiny plant insects that haven't so much as a decent singular to their name, one wished to specify an individual Thrips. You may speak many Thrips, or of one Thrips, but never of one Thrip, how strongly you may feel that such a ruling is in restraint of 'our personal liberties. Nor may you employ the word Thripses to mean one or more Thrips, convenient as it might be in a pinch. The New English Dictionary states, with what end in view I don't know...
Folksonomies: grammar humor
Folksonomies: grammar humor
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