04 NOV 2018 by ideonexus

 A Computer Algorithm for Randomization

Back in the early days of computers, one of the more popular methods of generating a sequence of random numbers was to employ the following scheme: 1. Choose a starting number between 0 and 1. 2. Multiply the starting number by 4 ("stretch" it). Subtract 4 times the square of the starting number from the quantity obtained in step 2 ("fold" the interval back on itself in order to keep the final result in the same range). 3.Given a starting number between 0 and 1, we can use the proce-dure...
Folksonomies: algorithms randomization
Folksonomies: algorithms randomization
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From John Casti.

31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Homo Laborans and Homo Faber

Homo Laborans sails in the sea of “making things” where work is an end in itself, and is dictated by the needs imposed by technology. Subjected to technology or pleasantly attracted by it, we are ‘Animal laborans’, as Arendt would say, being enslaved to the tasks we are immersed in by the will of technology. Our doing is comparable to the manual work of past industrial revolutions. Think, for example, of the smartest machines, which can alert their human handlers when they will need m...
Folksonomies: two cultures
Folksonomies: two cultures
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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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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Shannon's Learning Mouse Theseus

Theseus was propelled by a pair of magnets, one embedded in its hollow core, and one moving freely beneath the maze. The mouse would begin its course, bump into a wall, sense that it had hit an obstacle with its “whiskers,” activate the right relay to attempt a new path, and then repeat the process until it hit its goal, a metallic piece of cheese. The relays stored the directions of the right path in “memory”: once the mouse had successfully navigated the maze by trial and error, it ...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 The Myth of the Solitary Villain

The more sophisticated and powerful a technology, the more people are needed to weaponize it. And the more people needed to weaponize it, the more societal controls work to defuse, or soften, or prevent harm from happening. I add one additional thought. Even if you had a budget to hire a team of scientists whose job it was to develop a species-extinguishing bio weapon, or to take down the internet to zero, you probably still couldn’t do it. That’s because hundreds of thousands of man-year...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Successful Prediction

Successful prediction is the revenge of the nerds. Superforecasters are intelligent but not necessarily brilliant, falling just in the top fifth of the population. They are highly numerate, not in the sense of being math whizzes but in the sense of comfortably thinking in guesstimates. They have personality traits that psychologists call “openness to experience” (intellectual curiosity and a taste for variety), “need for cognition” (pleasure taken in intellectual activity), and “int...
Folksonomies: statistics prediction
Folksonomies: statistics prediction
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 The Information Age has Increased Abstract Intelligence

Most dramatically, an increase in one kind of abstract intelligence is visible all over the world: mastery of digital technology. Cyberspace is the ultimate abstract realm, in which goals are achieved not by pushing matter around in space but by manipulating intangible symbols and patterns. When people were first confronted with digital interfaces in the 1970s, like videocassette recorders and ticket machines in new subway systems, they were baffled. It was a running joke of the 1980s that mo...
Folksonomies: intelligence iq
Folksonomies: intelligence iq
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16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Teens Need a Psychological Moratorium

She remembered psychologist Erik Erickson's exhortation about teenagers: they need a "psychosocial moratorium," he wrote, an environment and a stretch of time in which they can explore different aspects of their personality and try on a series of identities without fear of consequence. In a way, that was what school was supposed to offer, but it didn't always do so with much success. She realized that this was exactly what virtual worlds offered all the time, to anyone with a computer and an ...
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A time when they can find their identity.

16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Pianos Make Music Accessible Like Computers Make Math Acc...

Though it has become a naturalized part of music-making since the first one was built in 1710, the pianoforte (its name means "soft-loud") was a technical marvel for its time, a machine that changed music in ways that are hard to imagine. Computer pioneer Alan Kay once observed that any technological advance is "technology only for people who are born before it was invented,' and in the case of the piano, this applies to no one alive today. Seymour Papert, the MIT researcher, concluded, "That...
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