02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Hawking Considers Computer Viruses Life

A living being like you or me usually has two elements: a set of instructions that tell the system how to keep going and how to reproduce itself, and a mechanism to carry out the instructions. In biology, these two parts are called genes and metabolism. But it is worth emphasising that there need be nothing biological about them. For example, a computer virus is a program that will make copies of itself in the memory of a computer, and will transfer itself to other computers. Thus it fits the...
Folksonomies: life
Folksonomies: life
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29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 We Compile What We Read in the Context of When We Read It

Reading and experience train your model of the world. And even if you forget the experience or what you read, its effect on your model of the world persists. Your mind is like a compiled program you've lost the source of. It works, but you don't know why. [...] ...reading and experience are usually "compiled" at the time they happen, using the state of your brain at that time. The same book would get compiled differently at different points in your life. Which means it is very much worth re...
Folksonomies: worldview memory reading
Folksonomies: worldview memory reading
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20 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Reason: A Fictional Software

Reason allows users to specify in advance the decision they want it to reach, and only then to input all the facts. The program's task was to construct a plausible series of logical-sounding steps to connect the premises with the conclusion. The only copy was sold to the US Government for an undisclosed fee.
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24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 You Can't Predict What You Are Going to Do

In the physical world, the only way to learn tomorrow’s weather in detail is to wait twenty-four hours and see, even if nothing is random at all. The universe is computing tomorrow’s weather as rapidly and as efficiently as possible; any smaller model is inaccurate, and the smallest error is amplified into large effects. At a personal level, even if the world is as deterministic as a computer program, you still can’t predict what you’re going to do. This is because your prediction me...
Folksonomies: predictability modeling
Folksonomies: predictability modeling
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Rudy Rucker on why our brains are like the weather, so complex that only the actual system can run the computation.

13 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Freestyle Chess

In fact, the best game of chess in the world right now might be played neither by man nor machine.47 In 2005, the Web site ChessBase.com, hosted a “freestyle” chess tournament: players were free to supplement their own insight with any computer program or programs that they liked, and to solicit advice over the Internet. Although several grandmasters entered the tournament, it was won neither by the strongest human players nor by those using the most highly regarded software, but by a pai...
Folksonomies: games chess
Folksonomies: games chess
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Similar to correspondence chess, where computer programs are allowed to offer suggestions and the players act like coaches directing the moves.

12 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 State of Mind in a Marathon Coding Session

The peak hour itself was tremendously intense, but during the hours before, and even during the hours afterward, a hacker attained a state of pure concentration. When you programmed a computer, you had to be aware of where all the thousands of bits of information were going from one instruction to the next, and be able to predict—and exploit—the effect of all that movement. When you had all that information glued to your cerebral being, it was almost as if your own mind had merged into th...
Folksonomies: programming coding hacker
Folksonomies: programming coding hacker
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There is a point where you have the whole program in your head at once, one with it, and you don't want to let it go, so you keep working in a marathon burst of energy.

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.

08 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Nature VS Nurture in Child Development

When a three-month-old, a one-year-old, and a four-year-old look at the same event, they seem to have very different thoughts about it. They seem to transform the light waves and sound waves into different representations, and they use different rules to manipulate those representations. Children don't have just a single, fixed program that gets from input to output. Instead, they seem to switch spontaneously from using one program to using another, more powerful program. That makes babies an...
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Are babies programmed to go through their cognitive developments or are they the natural result of their reaching a certain critical mass of understanding?

17 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 About Science Online 2011

ScienceOnline2011 is the fifth annual international meeting on Science and the Web. On January 13-15th, 2011 the Research Triangle area of North Carolina will once again host scientists, students, educators, physicians, journalists, librarians, bloggers, programmers and others interested in the way the World Wide Web is changing the way science is communicated, taught and done. As in all the previous years, the meeting will be held in an ‘Unconference’ style – the Program is built befor...
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Two quote from the Science Online 2011 website summarizing the conference.

01 JAN 2010 by ideonexus

 Beware Temporal Coupling

When people first sit down to design and architecture or write a program, things tend to be linear. That's the way most people think--do this and then always do that. But thinking this way leads to temporal coupling: coupling in time. Method A must always be called before method B; only one report can be run at a time; you must wait for the screen to redraw before the button click is received. Tick must happen before tock.
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Coupling things in time is a natural result of the linear design of a system.