02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Chess is the Drosophila of Reasoning

Much as the Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly became a model organism for geneticists, chess became a Drosophila of reasoning. In the late 19th century, Alfred Binet hoped that understanding why certain people excelled at chess would unlock secrets of human thought. Sixty years later, Alan Turing wondered if a chess-playing machine might illuminate, in the words of Norbert Wiener, “whether this sort of ability represents an essential difference between the potentialities of the machine and ...
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12 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Evolution of the Eye

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every...
Folksonomies: eye evolution
Folksonomies: eye evolution
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"Absurd," Darwin admits, but entirely possible.
29 OCT 2014 by ideonexus

 So Many Objects in Space, Why isn't it Filled with Light?

So numerous are the objects which meet our view in the heavens, that we cannot imagine a point of space where some light would not strike the eye;—innumerable stars, thousands of double and multiple systems, clusters in one blaze with their tens of thousands of stars, and the nebulae amazing us by the strangeness of their forms and the incomprehensibility of their nature, till at last, from the limit of our senses, even these thin and airy phantoms vanish in the distance.
Folksonomies: astronomy
Folksonomies: astronomy
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21 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 The Tyranny of Public Opinion

You may talk of the tyranny of Nero and Tiberias, but the real tyranny is the tyranny of your next-door neighbour. What espionage of despotism comes to your door so effectively as the eye of the man who lives at your door? Public opinion is a permeating influence. It requires us to think other men's thoughts, to speak other men's words, to follow other men's habits.
Folksonomies: public opinion
Folksonomies: public opinion
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It influences our thoughts more than any individual.

01 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 Legal Perspective of "Semiotic Democracy"

"Cultural populists," . . . generally view popular culture as contested terrain in which individuals and groups (racial, ethnic, gender, class, etc.) struggle, albeit on unequal terms, to make and establish their own meanings and identities. As the populists see things, the consumers of cultural commodities (movies, songs, fashions, television programs, etc.) neither uniformly receive nor uncritically accept the "preferred meanings" that are generated and circulated by the culture industry. T...
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Also a way of saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," in that entertainers have no control over how the viewer reinterprets their work.

16 JUL 2013 by ideonexus

 Constant Surveillance Builds a Better Identity

There are some who argue that individuality suffers under universal surveillance. When everything about you is known, and you have little or no control over how your identity is presented to others, you become just another person in a mass of similar persons. With no way to define yourself, individuality is eroded. We all become everyman and everywoman, or so the argument goes. To the contrary, the amount of detail provided to everyone around us in a transparent society helps to show all of t...
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If people know a great deal about you with a simple web search before they meet you, social interactions are smoother.

27 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Molyneux's problem

I shall here insert a problem of that very ingenious and studious promoter of real knowledge, the learned and worthy Mr. Molyneux, which he was pleased to send me in a letter some months since; and it is this:- "Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and the other, which is the cube, which the sphere. Suppose then the cube and sphere placed on...
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A blind person, familiar with a cube and sphere by touch, is made to see. Without touching the objects, would they be able to distinguish them by sight?

15 NOV 2012 by ideonexus

 The Way of Chess

The Way of chess: The best place is the middle of the board, The worst is the side, And the comers are neither good nor bad. This is the eternal law of chess. The law says: "It is better to lose a piece Than to lose the initiative. When you are struck on the left, look to the right, When attacked in the rear, keep an eye on your front. Sometimes the leader is really behind, Sometimes the laggard is really ahead. If you have two 'live' areas do not let them be severed; If you can survive as yo...
Folksonomies: games rules chess
Folksonomies: games rules chess
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A poem about the general strategies to use.

01 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Laws for Physicians in 1760 B.C.

If a physician make a large incision with an operating knife and cure it, or if he open a tumor (over the eye) with an operating knife, and saves the eye, he shall receive ten shekels in money. … If a physician make a large incision with an operating knife, and kill him, or open a tumor with an operating knife, and cut out the eye, his hands shall be cut off. ... If a physician heal the broken bone or diseased soft part of a man, the patient shall pay the physician five shekels in money.
Folksonomies: history ethics law morals
Folksonomies: history ethics law morals
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Earliest known laws.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Humphery Davy: Poem About a Weeping Monument

My eye is wet with tears For I see the white stones That are covered with names The stones of my forefathers’ graves. No grass grows upon them For deep in the earth In darkness and silence the organs of life To their primitive atoms return. Through ages the air Has been moist with their blood The ages the seeds of the thistle has fed On what was once motion and form... Thoughts roll not beneath the dust No feeling is in the cold grave They have leaped to other worlds They are far above t...
Folksonomies: science poetry
Folksonomies: science poetry
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There are various versions of this early poem in the HD Archive: see Paris, vol 1, p29; Treneer, pp4-5; or Fullmer, p13