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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06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 World-Play as Self-Apprenticeship

...worldplay can be studied as a kind of self-apprenticeship in creative practice, rather than prodigious application in discipline or craft. The childhood inventor of imaginary lands often elaborates his or her world in multiple ways at once. He or she may write stories and compose music, draw maps and build models, design games, and possibly construct a secret language—all within the context of play. It is likely, therefore, that childhood woridplay confers benefits that differ substantia...
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12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Animism, Solipsism, Language

Animism—the belief in n an intiterior spiritual reality to all things—sounds, to late twentieth-century eaars, quite a bi bit like solipsism, which holds that t only the self exists, manifesting itself in the architecture of reality. The "reality" of cyberspace falls somewhere in betwween these two; everything has an interior nature, which generates meaning, but this interior nature is self-created; collective will creating consensual reality. Appropriaately, there is precedent for this c...
Folksonomies: cyberspace language
Folksonomies: cyberspace language
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29 OCT 2014 by ideonexus

 Wandering into the Scientific Woods

Sometimes in an upper-level class I’ll assign a problem I don’t expect students to solve. It either involves some subtle trick, or requires theoretical techniques they haven’t yet learned. I assign them because I want students to struggle a bit with problems for which the solutions aren’t clear. “Wander into the woods,” I’ll tell them. “Find out what it feels like to be lost and start struggling to find your way out.” It’s a good skill to develop, because often in theoreti...
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27 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Why Economists Will Continue to be Wrong

Carter had initially used arbitrary parameters in his perfect model to generate perfect data, but now, in order to assess his model in a realistic way, he threw those parameters out and used standard calibration techniques to match his perfect model to his perfect data. It was supposed to be a formality--he assumed, reasonably, that the process would simply produce the same parameters that had been used to produce the data in the first place. But it didn't. It turned out that there were many ...
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They make models based on past data, and when they fail to predict the future, they adjust them to match the new past data. The problem is that so many models will match the past data, there could be no end to the number of models they throw out.

15 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Leo Szilard's Ten Commandments

1. Recognize the connections of things and the laws of conduct of men so that you may know what you are doing. 2. Let your acts be directed toward a worthy goal but do not ask if they will reach it; they are to be models and examples, not a means to an end. 3. Speak to all men as you do to yourself, with no concern for the effect you make, so that you do not shut them out from your world, lest in isolation the meaning of life slips out if sight and you lose the belief in the perfection of t...
Folksonomies: meaning morals life purpose
Folksonomies: meaning morals life purpose
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Deep and poetic.

12 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 All Models are Wrong, but some models are useful

As the statistician George E. P. Box wrote, “All models are wrong, but some models are useful.”90 What he meant by that is that all models are simplifications of the universe, as they must necessarily be. As another mathematician said, “The best model of a cat is a cat.”91 Everything else is leaving out some sort of detail. How pertinent that detail might be will depend on exactly what problem we’re trying to solve and on how precise an answer we require. Nor are statistical models...
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All models are simplifications of the universe, this includes language as a form of modeling.

23 MAR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Argonauts

You are part of a scientifc techno-progressive movement that seeks to solve transhumanity’s injustices and inequalities with technology. You support universal access to technology and healthcare, open source models of production, morphological freedom, and democratization. You try to avoid factionalism and divisive politics, seeing transhumanity’s splintering as a hindrance to its perpetuation.
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Fictional organization in the Eclipse Phase universe that is pro-science and technology as a means to justice.

31 OCT 2012 by ideonexus

 Metaphor of a Map as Hyperreality

If once we were able to view the Borges fable in which the cartographers of the Empire draw up a map so detailed that it ends up covering the territory exactly (the decline of the Empire witnesses the fraying of this map, little by little, and its fall into ruins, though some shreds are still discernible in the deserts - the metaphysical beauty of this ruined abstraction testifying to a pride equal to the Empire and rotting like a carcass, returning to the substance of the soil, a bit as the ...
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A map so detailed that it perfectly replicates the territory it represents is no longer a map, but reality.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 At Best Science Can Only Model

The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work—that is, correctly to describe phenomena from a reasonably wide area.
Folksonomies: reality modeling
Folksonomies: reality modeling
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And work on improving those models.