10 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Outboard Brain

Following in the grand tradition of nearly every new technology, nobody started to panic about the potential downsides of cognitive outsourcing until kids starting doing it, and doing it in ways that their parents didn't understand. They type with their thumbs in ugly slang and funny symbols. They have short attention spans. They can't remember their own phone numbers. They spend more time on social media than they did with their friends irl (that's "in real life," my daughter tells me). They...
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10 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Processing Power to Chess Rating Ratio

50 here is what the Deep Thought team wrote about the relationship between search depth and chess strength in a 1989 article: The ascent of the brute-force chess machines back in the late 1970s made one thing crystal clear: there is a strong causal relationship between the search speed of a chess machine and its playing strength. In fact, it appeared from machine self-test games that every time a machine searches one extra ply, its rating increases by about 200-250 rating points. Since each...
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10 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Being Against Technological Progress if Futile

Ron complaining that antibiotics put too many grave diggers out of work. The transfer of labor from humans to our inventions is nothing less than the history of civilization. It is inseparable from centuries of rising living standards and improvements in human rights. What a luxury to sit in a climate-controlled room with access to the sum of hu¬ man knowledge on a device in your pocket and lament how we don't work with our hands anymore! There are still plenty of places in the world where p...
Folksonomies: automation
Folksonomies: automation
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02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Cultural Change in Technology

As our modern dinosaurs crash down around us, I sometimes wonder what kind of humans will eventually walk out of this epic transformation. Trump and the populism that’s rampaging around the world today, marked by xenophobia, racism, sexism, and rising inequality, is greatly amplified by the forces the GDE has unleashed. For someone like me who saw the power of connection build a vibrant, technologically meshed ecosystem distinguished by peace, love, and understanding, the polarization and h...
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13 DEC 2018 by ideonexus

 A Minority of Users Account for Majority of Online Comments

In July, NPR.org recorded nearly 33 million unique users, and 491,000 comments. But those comments came from just 19,400 commenters, Montgomery said. That's 0.06 percent of users who are commenting, a number that has stayed steady through 2016. When NPR analyzed the number of people who left at least one comment in both June and July, the numbers showed an even more interesting pattern: Just 4,300 users posted about 145 comments apiece, or 67 percent of all NPR.org comments for the two month...
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04 NOV 2018 by ideonexus

 Defining Play and Transformative Play

Transformative play is a special case of play that occurs when the free movement of play alters the more rigid structure in which it takes shape. The play doesn't just occupy and oppose the interstices of the system, but actually transforms the space as a whole. A cyberfeminist game patch that creates transsexual versions of Lara Croft is an example of transformative play, as is the use of the Quake game engine as a movie-making tool. Although every instance of play involves free movement wi...
Folksonomies: play transformative play
Folksonomies: play transformative play
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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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20 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Today's Wants Become Tomorrow's Needs

"The pie keeps growing because things that look like wants today are needs tomorrow," argued Marc Andreessen, the Netscape cofounder, who lelped to ignite a whole new industry, e-commerce, that now employs mil)ns of specialists around the wodd, specialists whose jobs weren't even lagined when Bill Clinton became president. I like going to coflfee shops occasionally, but now that Starbucks is here, I need my coffee, and that new need has spawned a whole new industry. I always wanted to be able...
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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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