18 NOV 2021 by ideonexus

 How New Games/Releases Impact the Meta

A new series release means more than just updated graphics or different character costumes; sequels can have new rules, or introduce entirely new systems, so everyone was starting more-or-less fresh. Experience and knowledge of previous games in the series help to some extent, but you're still learning the new rules from scratch. Being strong in the previous game means less than learning the new one, so without putting in the required work last year's champion can become this year's scrub. Th...
Folksonomies: gaming
Folksonomies: gaming
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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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02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Star Wars as a Nonsensical Failed State

Most technologies in the Star Wars universe that don’t have some capability of being used in war… well, they kinda just suck. There are so many areas where it seems like average Star Wars tech should outdo itself given how advanced the military-grade technology is, but in practice it doesn’t appear to make much difference at all. Repair droids who aren’t astromechs—like the pit droid crews used in podracing—have nowhere near the sophistication of their battle-ready cousins. Commu...
Folksonomies: critical theory
Folksonomies: critical theory
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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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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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