The Political Economy of Free Information →
whenyrlivinginafascistdream: Choice quote: “people above the age of 54 tend to be over-represented, while dangers younger than 45 are under-represented in comparison to the Internet population. In terms of demographics there is a strong male bias and a strong overrepresentation of people with a university degree that also translates into strong participation from high income groups… One in...
"everything is connected to everything else"
This is the first time I’ve actually read something by Herbert Simon. If you don’t recognize the name, brief summary: He has the equivalent of a Nobel in computer science, and a Nobel in economics. He has been credited with the invention of the linked list data structure. Did you know that they used to be called NSS (Newell-Shaw-Simon) lists? The paper I read is titled “The...
Reblogging as a revolutionary praxis: erchamion:... →
jethroq: the laws of physics explain the mechanics of the universse to a satisfying length. Earth stays on orbit around the sun without divine intervention I want to mention that Newton actually thought that divine intervention would be necessary to correct for the planets’ gravitational influence on one another. In fact, the intractability of the n-body problem along with relativistic...
Red Plenty →
This book looks pretty interesting. […]it’s about the moment in the mid-20th century when people believed that the state-owned Soviet economy might genuinely outdo the market, and produce a world of rich communists and envious capitalists. Specifically, it’s about the last and cleverest version of the idea - central planning via cybernetics - and about how and why, in the 1960s, it failed....
Neat essay on Lovecraft →
I had had no idea he became a socialist, among other things. I might need to see if I can find some of his collected letters. Joshi, the author of this, happens to be the editor of the first Lovecraft book I bought. Pretty cool.
My family was talking about sexism in the sciences (by which I mean, I was rambling about Noether) when I made the mistake of mentioning that Irène Curie, daughter of Marie Curie, won a Nobel, independently of her parent(s). Immediately, my parents start gushing about how amazing this is and how I should marry into this family, drop everything and move to France and romance some member. They...
Body Ritual among the Nacirema →
Posting this just in case anyone who happens to follow me is unfortunate enough as to have not read it before.
I lost respect when I learned of Gandhi’s body hatred and even more that he...– On Pacifism -Derrick Jenson Try some other nationalist of the area - I kind of like Tagore myself, though I haven’t looked into him as much as I could. (And his Wikipedia article is really sychophantic for some reason?). To the end Tagore scrutinised orthodoxy—and in 1934, he struck. That...
I am now officially done with Morphic Resonance: The Nature of Formative Causation! And by “done”, I mean that his insistence that amoebae can’t be explained by present physics just after calling their behavior “quasi-mechanistic” and “machine-like” finally got to me. No more of this shit. Got as far as “Movements and Behavioral Fields”. I...
MIT creates glucose fuel cell to power implanted... →
m3rlo: mnxmnkmnd: m3rlo: humaxion: Alright, so powering devices with blood glucose is an interesting concept. I’d be willing to bet it could cause some extreme dietary complications however. With the right kind of feedback loop, you could probably lose weight by plugging yourself into a wall jack. Would you have to rig a person’s insulin levels in order to maintain a constant power supply?...
MIT creates glucose fuel cell to power implanted... →
m3rlo: humaxion: Alright, so powering devices with blood glucose is an interesting concept. I’d be willing to bet it could cause some extreme dietary complications however. With the right kind of feedback loop, you could probably lose weight by plugging yourself into a wall jack. Would you have to rig a person’s insulin levels in order to maintain a constant power supply? Are we going to have...
A Glucose Fuel Cell for Implantable Brain–Machine... →
We have developed an implantable fuel cell that generates power through glucose oxidation, producing 3.4 µW cm-2 steady-state power and up to 180 µW cm-2 peak power. The fuel cell is manufactured using a novel approach, employing semiconductor fabrication techniques, and is therefore well suited for manufacture together with integrated circuits on a single silicon wafer. Thus, it can...
Embodied cognitive science →
When I was a bit younger I read a lot of transhumanist science fiction. Transhumanism, if you don’t know, is the idea that we should augment humans with machines (think “cyborg”, not “phone”) and such to make our lives better. A particular thing common to a lot of transhumanism is mind uploading: the idea that it hypothetically possible to make a digital copy of...
Two striking, experimentally-generated phenomena that indicate surprising...– “Embodied Cognition” on the SEP - bet you weren’t expecting that last bit
SEP's "Feminist Philosophy of Biology" article →
Great article on the importance of feminism in biology. If you want to see the academic backlash to just-so stories in evopsych, this is it, and has lots of pointers. It goes even farther as well, showing where sexism has actively harmed scientific inquiry, and makes a case for the importance of keeping feminist and other political ideologies in mind in scientific research.
Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah ibn Baaz
Remember how there was a thing a while back about Saudi Arabian women and driving cars? Well, apparently they couldn’t drive because of a fatwa issued by this guy, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia from 1993 to 1999. The Grand Mufti is the highest religious authority in the country. Wikipedia also says this about him: In 1966, when Ibn Baz was vice-president of the Islamic University of...
Just wanted to share this example of unintuitive... →
Blocking the output of the AFP [anterior forebrain pathway] while training Bengalese finches to modify their songs prevented the gradual improvement that normally occurs in this complex skill during training. However, unblocking the output of the AFP after training caused an immediate transition from naive performance to excellent performance, indicating that the AFP covertly gained the ability...
I’ve been debating doing this for far too long than is reasonable, so I’ll get it over with. Favorite movie: I said no Last movie watched: maybe Nausicaä? I\227^W^U\222ë®è\213úlå¤ò¥: -^B¢Æñ^F5\225´¥<S^^^\232^_røt\207¨ Ä´Y^Q¨4jnÖ^BÔ: A ...
The Strangest Man
Just finished The Strangest Man, a biography of Paul Dirac by Graham Farmelo. Dirac, if you don’t know, was a quantum physicist, most known for the “Dirac equation” describing the behavior of particles like electrons, which also predicted antimatter years before it was observed. But, not being too interested in physics, that’s not why I got it - I only knew of him from...
Reblogging as a revolutionary praxis: Inability to... →
jethroq: Legitimate learning disability, or just a personal quirk? So I was thinking, while writing my last post, that I, and seemingly many others have problem reading really long texts online. “tl;dr” isn’t a meme for nothing, and people will share the HELL out of a good infographic, chart, informative… Not being able to read long texts on computer is pretty alien to me, but I hear...
Also known as m3rlo: mnxmnkmnd: Dirac: My work has... →
meursault-must-die: mnxmnkmnd: mnxmnkmnd: Dirac: My work has no practical significance. Journalist: But might it have? Dirac: That I do not know. I don’t think so. In any case, I have been working on my theory for eight years and now I have started developing a theory that deals with the positive electrons. I am… Not sure what you mean? I meant that I don’t want to think I’m doing...
Also known as m3rlo: mnxmnkmnd: Dirac: My work has... →
mnxmnkmnd: Dirac: My work has no practical significance. Journalist: But might it have? Dirac: That I do not know. I don’t think so. In any case, I have been working on my theory for eight years and now I have started developing a theory that deals with the positive electrons. I am… Not sure what you mean? I meant that I don’t want to think I’m doing something without...
Dirac: My work has no practical significance. Journalist: But might it have? Dirac: That I do not know. I don’t think so. In any case, I have been working on my theory for eight years and now I have started developing a theory that deals with the positive electrons. I am not interested in literature, I do not go to the theatre, and I do not listen to music. I am occupied only with...
Diderot seems like a dude I should look into. →
DIDEROT: It’s possible I have prompted this objection. But perhaps you’d not have made it if you’d considered the difference between the philosophical instrument and the instrumental keyboard. The philosophical instrument is sentient—it is at the same time the musician and the instrument. As something sentient it has the momentary consciousness of the sound it is making; as an...
Andrew Huxley died.
I’d heard about Bradbury but not Huxley - he died on 30 May. If you don’t know who he is, here’s his Nobel biography, but to sum up, his most well-known achievement is the Hodgkin-Huxley model (with Hodgkin, obviously) of how neurons fire. Using 1950s electrical equipment, they managed to describe working, detailed equations for neurons’ voltage during firings at a time...
We shall, sooner or later, arrive at a mechanical equivalent of consciousness.– Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) The Huxley family is so damn cool.
Most physicists found it implausible that nature could be so perverse as to...– The Strangest Man, a biography of Dirac. Things sure have changed.
Euclid is gone, dethroned, By dominies disowned, And modern physicists,...– Poem about relativity in Punch, 20 Jan. 1920
Neural and Brain Modeling
When I bought this book I didn’t really pay enough attention to the description - only the second half is programs (in Fortran -_-) for simulating neurons. The first half is, seemingly, a review of everything written on neurophysiology from 1950 to 1988. Each chapter is a rapid run-through of dozens of different theories and views, and has hundreds of references at the end. It’s...
"One of the drawbacks of viruses is, ironically,... →
Having grown up with sci-fi about nanomachines mapping people’s minds, it’s weird to see something that’s actually not far from that. But using viruses instead of nanomachines, of course. Linked from here.
Tracing the Dynabook: A Study of Technocultural... →
As long as I’m linking technology writing stuff, I liked this book about the history involved with the Dynabook, an early (1968) concept for a laptop by Alan Kay, known for inventing Smalltalk, and by extension, everything Iverum hates. It’s not just about the computer, of course - it was written for a pedagogy doctorate, and reflects Kay’s and the author’s wide-ranging...
Am I the only one who...
meursault-must-die: craftygrammarian: … when coding, closes all of their parentheses, quotes, brackets, tags, etc. before putting anything in them? because a lot of people seem to have problems counting parens and such, but I really never do. The Eclipse IDE does it for you :D but seriously, why don’t people do this There’s an Emacs extension called Paredit that actually rebinds...
what a weird place to see sexists →
Lambda the Ultimate is a community blog thing about programming language design. Most of the people posting are academics talking about quantum hylomorphisms on SECD machines and such, but sometimes you get an outsider and then this happens.
Old OS X Lion review I liked →
The “only allow filesystem access through explicit user interaction” thing seems like a great security measure. But I’m mostly linking this because of the linked list of ways looking at media files could buffer overflow you into oblivion. Very sci-fi. Very bad, though I don’t think any of these were really exploited.
aych-bee asked: You're right about those sketches being for the game. The one on the center left was (one of) the game's menus.