07 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 Space Colonists as Selfish Fools

Human beings live in ideas. That they were condemning their descendants to death and extinction did not occur to them, or if it did they repressed the thought, ignored it, and forged on anyway. They did not care as much about their descendants as they did about their ideas, their enthusiasms. Is this narcissism? Solipsism? Idiocy (from the Greek word idios, for self)? Would Turing acknowledge it as proof of human behavior? Well, perhaps. They drove Turing to suicide too. No. No. It was not...
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Told from the perspective of the AI running the ship.

02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Scientific Laws Mean That God has No Freedom

he one remaining area that reHgion can now lay claim to is the origin of the universe, but even here science is making progress and should soon provide a definitive answer to how the universe began. I published a book that asked if God created the universe, and that caused something of a stir. People got upset that a scientist should have anything to say on the matter of religion. I have no desire to tell anyone what to believe, but for me asking if God exists is a valid question for science...
Folksonomies: science religion
Folksonomies: science religion
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02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 New Kind of Memory for AI

AI researchers have typically tried to get around the issues posed by by Montezuma’s Revenge and Pitfall! by instructing reinforcement-learning algorithms to explore randomly at times, while adding rewards for exploration—what’s known as “intrinsic motivation.” But the Uber researchers believe this fails to capture an important aspect of human curiosity. “We hypothesize that a major weakness of current intrinsic motivation algorithms is detachment,” they write. “Wherein the a...
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31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Bumper Sticker Computer Science

A few of my favorites, not found in the linked article: "There are two ways of constructing software. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. The other is to make it so complex that there are no obvious deficiencies." C.A.R. Hoare "The purpose of software engineering is to control complexity, not to create it." Dr. Pamela Zave "The most important single aspect of software development is to be clear about what you are trying to build." Bjarne Stroustrup "T...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 With Educational Games, Even if the Kids Don't Get It, Yo...

...where does probability theory come from? What is its source? Clearly, like many other sciences, like arithmetic itself, probability theory emerged from observations of certain real-world phenomena, namely, random, unpredictable phenomena. And it is exactly these kinds of observations—fundamental to the formation of science—which are worth making together with kids. Well, not all of them, of course, just the simplest ones. Besides, kids are making them on their own; e.g., when they play...
Folksonomies: education parenting
Folksonomies: education parenting
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Our Modern Worldview and Morality is Shaped by Science

To begin with, the findings of science imply that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures—their theories of the genesis of the world, life, humans, and societies—are factually mistaken. We know, but our ancestors did not, that humans belong to a single species of African primate that developed agriculture, government, and writing late in its history. We know that our species is a tiny twig of a genealogical tree that embraces all living things and that e...
Folksonomies: science humanism morality
Folksonomies: science humanism morality
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16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 A Student's Skill-Level Should be Private

A student's skill level should be a private matter, between him and the teacher, and students who are behind should be able to work comfortably, without embarrassment. "They know they should know more. They know they should not be working on tens and ones when their friends are doing division and fractions and all that, and there's no shame in working on it with the computer." Actually, the same principle applies to kids who are off-the-charts advanced: if they just want to relax and do high-...
Folksonomies: education personalization
Folksonomies: education personalization
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16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Games Allow for Low-Cost Failure

What Prensky and Gee had realized early on was that game designers had lowered the cost of failure so players would take risks. They'd figured out that well-designed problem solving that gives players a second chance and a way to share their successes is almost irresistibly attractive. In just a few years, game designers had discovered the principles of deep and pleasurable learning that it had taken educators more than a century to apply in schools. Game studios had hit upon "profoundly good...
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06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Health Concerns Spark Adult Interest in Science

Beginning in middle age and continuing through later adulthood, individuals are often motivated by events in their own lives or the lives of significant others to obtain health-related information.^^ Health-related concerns draw many adults into a new domain of science learning. At the same time, with retirement, older adults have more time to devote to personal interests. Their science learnmg addresses long-standing scientific interests as well as new areas of interest.^^ Adults differ fr...
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As do novelty, wonder, self interest, and relevance to personal.

06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Border Crossings into Science Culture

Learning to communicate in and with a culture of science is a much broader undertaking than mastering a body of discrete conceptual or procedural knowledge. One observer, for example, describes the process of science education as one in which learners must engage in "border crossings" from their own everyday world culture into the subculture of science.^ The subculture of science is in part distinct from other cultural activities and in part a reflection of the cultural backgrounds of scienti...
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