02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 Loss of Legacy Programmers Means Loss of Systems Understa...

At Livermore, a legendary senior weapons designer is about to retire. At the Spring 2005 MIT workshop, his colleagues discuss this retirement and refer to it as “a blow.” They are anxious about more than the loss of one man’s ability to make individual scientific contributions. He has irreplaceable knowledge about the programming that supports current practice.10 His colleagues fret: “He has such a great memory that he hasn’t written down lots of important stuff. How will people kno...
Folksonomies: simulation abstraction
Folksonomies: simulation abstraction
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The newer users only know the interface, the abstraction, they don't know the code beneath it.

28 JAN 2021 by ideonexus

 Computing is Pop Culture without History

Binstock: You seem fastidious about always giving people credit for their work. Kay: Well, I'm an old-fashioned guy. And I also happen to believe in history. The lack of interest, the disdain for history is what makes computing not-quite-a-field. Binstock: You once referred to computing as pop culture. Kay: It is. Complete pop culture. I'm not against pop culture. Developed music, for instance, needs a pop culture. There's a tendency to over-develop. Brahms and Dvorak needed gypsy music ba...
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09 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 A Quantum Game

Bell came up with “nonlocal” games, which require players to be at a distance from each other with no way to communicate. Each player answers a question. The players win or lose based on the compatibility of their answers. One such game is the magic square game. There are two players, Alice and Bob, each with a 3-by-3 grid. A referee tells Alice to fill out one particular row in the grid — say the second row — by putting either a 1 or a 0 in each box, such that the sum of the number...
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10 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Asymmetrical Psychology: Computers Use Knights Better Tha...

e. Chess players have the most trouble visualizing the moves of knights because their move is unlike anything else in the game, an L-shaped hop instead of a predictable straight line like the other pieces. Computers, of course, don't visualize anything at all, and so manage every piece with equal skill. I believe it was Bent Larsen, the first GM victim of a computer in tournament play, who stated that computers dropped a few hundred rating points if you eliminated their knights. This is an ex...
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10 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Chess Concept: Running Out of Book

One of the problems with playing against computers is how quickly and how often they change. Grandmasters are used to preparing very deeply for our opponents, researching all of their latest games and looking for weaknesses. Mostly this preparation focuses on openings, the established sequences of moves that start the game and have exotic names like the Sicilian Dragon and the Queen's Indian Defense. We prepare new ideas in these openings, and look for strong new moves ("novelties") with whic...
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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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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'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

 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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