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loose ends of from the close of a chapter in life September 20, 2015

Posted by newsthatstaysnews in Uncategorized.
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– why do leonardo and michelangelo get a chance to design fortifications?

  because gunpowder was new and charles viii had just shown up in italy to trash everything

– “A vast man, olive-colored like his coat on old, old roller skates, gently shifting his weight as he rolled down the hill”

– commemorative wedding frisbees

– because sometimes one needs a fantasy novel (as yet unread): http://www.amazon.com/The-Name-Wind-Kingkiller-Chronicle/dp/0756404746

– fast unfolding of communities in large networks: http://arxiv.org/abs/0803.0476

– gary klein, on when we’d trust AI:

Accuracy and reliability are important features of collaborators, but trust goes deeper. We trust people if we believe they are benevolent and want us to succeed. We trust them if we understand how they think so that we have common ground to resolve ambiguities. We trust them if they have the integrity to admit mistakes and accept blame. We trust them if we have shared values—not the sterile exercise of listing value priorities but dynamic testing of values to see if we make the same kinds of tradeoffs when different values conflict with each other. For AI to become a collaborator, it will have to consistently try to be seen as trustworthy. It will have to judge what kinds of actions will make it appear trustworthy in the eyes of a human partner.

– irene pepperberg on experiment design:

I am reminded of one of the earliest studies to train apes to use “language”—in this case, to manipulate plastic chips to answer a number of questions. The system was replicated with college students, who did exceptionally well—not surprisingly—but when asked about what they had been trained to do, claimed that they had solved some interesting puzzles, and that they had no idea that they were being taught a language. Much debate ensued, and much was learned—and put into practice—in subsequent studies so that several nonhuman subjects did eventually understand the referential meaning of the various symbols that they were taught to use, and we did learn a lot about ape intelligence from the original methodology. The point, however, is that what initially looked like a complicated linguistic system needed a lot more work before it became more than a series of (relatively) simple paired associations.

– peasants have historically always lost their uprisings, with brief exceptions in the last few centuries because guns were a great equalizer

– “if you have no more to tell us than that one barbarian succeeded another on the banks of the oxus or ixartes, what use are you to the public?” (voltaire)

Awaking in New York, by Maya Angelou

Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a
rumor of war,
lie stretching into dawn,
unasked and unheeded.

– the movie Zatoichi, the blind swordsman (as yet unwatched)

– the movie Robot & Frank

– the end of history illusion

Daniel Gilbert’s name for the fact that people always predict less personal change for the future than they either report for the past, or than they will report for the interval once it’s done

– the original steele & sussman lambda papers: http://library.readscheme.org/page1.html

Mary Catherine Bateson, on a future with AI:

Will we be better or worse off if wishful thinking is eliminated, and perhaps along with it hope?

– a poem by e.e. cummings

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan          whistles