27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Shannon and Thorp Hack the Roulette Wheel

It was in this tinkerer’s laboratory that they set out to understand how roulette could be gamed, ordering “a regulation roulette wheel from Reno for $1,500,” a strobe light, and a clock whose hand revolved once per second. Thorp was given inside access to Shannon in all his tinkering glory: Gadgets . . . were everywhere. He had a mechanical coin tosser which could be set to flip the coin through a set number of revolutions, producing a head or tail according to the setting. As a joke...
Folksonomies: play hacking gambling
Folksonomies: play hacking gambling
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25 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Mankind Overspecialized for Living in "Gadget-Ridden Envi...

The outlook seems grim. Natural selection under civilized conditions may lead mankind to evolve towards a state of genetic overspecialization for living in gadget-ridden environments. It is certainly up to man to decide whether this direction of his evolution is or is not desirable. If it is not, man has, or soon will have, the knowledge requisite to redirect the evolution of his species pretty much as he sees fit. Perhaps we should not be too dogmatic about this choice of direction. We may b...
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Would it be a bad thing for humans to adapt to such a state of things?

03 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 All Technology is Social Engineering

Stanford University researcher Jeremy Bailenson has demonstrated that changing the height of one’s avatar in immersive virtual reality transforms self-esteem and social self-perception. Technologies are extensions of ourselves, and, like the avatars in Jeremy’s lab, our identities can be shifted by the quirks of gadgets. It is impossible to work with information technology without also engaging in social engineering. [...] When developers of digital technologies design a program that re...
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When a developer designs an interface for a user to interact with a computer, they imply you are a program. When they put up a wiki, they suggest humans ultimately have a single point of view.

19 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Technology Manufactures Social Change

The main thing, it seems to me, is to remember that technology manufactures not gadgets, but social change. Once the first tool was picked up and used, that was the end of cyclical anything. The tool made a new world, the next one changed that world, the one after that changed it again, and so on. Each time the change was permanent. Using the tool changes the user permanently, whether we like it or not. Once when I was in Moscow talking to academician Petrov, I said, “Why don’t you buy Am...
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Examples of technology changing society, unintended consequences.