Dependence On Computers Quotes

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How does it feel to be seven thousand years old?" "That depends." "On what?" "On how I want to feel.
Greg Egan (Permutation City)
I had been hobbled, perhaps even crippled by a pervasive internet society I had come to depend on and take for granted... hit enter and let Google, that twenty-first century Big Brother, take care of the rest. In the Derry of 1958, the most up-to-date computers were the size of small housing developments, and the local paper was no help. What did that leave? I remembered a sociology prof I’d had in college - a sarcastic old bastard - who used to say, When all else fails, give up and go to the library.
Stephen King (11/22/63)
The beauty of quantum machine learning is that we do not need to depend on an algorithm like gradient descent or convex objective function. The objective function can be nonconvex or something else.
Amit Ray (Quantum Computing Algorithms for Artificial Intelligence)
Public education does not serve a public. It creates a public. And in creating the right kind of public, the schools contribute toward strengthening the spiritual basis of the American Creed. That is how Jefferson understood it, how Horace Mann understood it, how John Dewey understood it, and in fact, there is no other way to understand it. The question is not, Does or doesn't public schooling create a public? The question is, What kind of public does it create? A conglomerate of self-indulgent consumers? Angry, soulless, directionless masses? Indifferent, confused citizens? Or a public imbued with confidence, a sense of purpose, a respect for learning, and tolerance? The answer to this question has nothing whatever to do with computers, with testing, with teacher accountability, with class size, and with the other details of managing schools. The right answer depends on two things, and two things alone: the existence of shared narratives and the capacity of such narratives to provide an inspired reason for schooling.
Neil Postman (The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School)
Your brain is involved in everything you do. Your brain controls everything you do, feel, and think. When you look in the mirror, you can thank your brain for what you see. Ultimately, it is your brain that determines whether your belly bulges over your belt buckle or your waistline is trim and toned. Your brain plays the central role in whether your skin looks fresh and dewy or is etched with wrinkles. Whether you wake up feeling energetic or groggy depends on your brain. When you head to the kitchen to make breakfast, it is your brain that determines whether you go for the leftover pizza or the low-fat yogurt and fruit. Your brain controls whether you hit the gym or sit at the computer to check your Facebook page. If you feel the need to light up a cigarette or drink a couple cups of java, that's also your brain's doing.ACTION STEP Remember that your brain is involved in everything you do, every decision you make, every bite of food you take, every cigarette you smoke, every worrisome thought you have, every workout you skip, every alcoholic beverage you drink, and more.
Daniel G. Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted)
The business we're in is more sociological than technological, more dependent on workers' abilities to communicate with each other than their abilities to communicate with machines.
Tom DeMarco (Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams)
They told us to depend on memory, because nothing written down could be relied on. The Spirit travels from mouth to mouth, not from thing to thing: books could be burnt, paper crumbles away, computers could be destroyed. Only the spirit lives forever, and the Spirit isn't a thing.
Margaret Atwood (The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2))
You don't even need a computer plugged into the back of your head to be hopelessly dependent on the system.
Russell Eric Dobda
When you depend on the computer to remember your past, you focused on whatever past is kept on the computer.
Sherry Turkle (Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other)
This was governed entirely by Newtonian mechanics. Each piece of the moon attracted every other piece more or less strongly depending on its mass and its distance. It could be simulated on a computer quite easily. The whole rubble cloud was gravitationally bound. Any shrapnel fast enough to escape had done so already. The rest was drifting around in a loose huddle of rocks. Sometimes they banged into one another. Eventually they would stick together and the moon would begin to re-form.
Neal Stephenson (Seveneves)
The significance of a bit depends not just on its value but on how that value affects other bits over time, as part of the continued information processing that makes up the dynamical evolution of the universe.
Seth Lloyd (Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos)
Geeks = Know more about computers than their computer teacher, so everyone comes to them for computer problems. Nerds = Have no life and only worries about school, no one talks to them. Jocks = Know a lot about sports but not much else. Geek's Wife: Completely depend on the geek for tech support. Tend to be pretty good looking. Nerd's Wife: nonexistent Jock's Wife: only there for money, most likely having an affair with another jock See Geeks are the best!
Hamza Charlemagne
The question is not, Does or doesn't public schooling create a public? The question is, What kind of public does it create? A conglomerate of self-indulgent consumers? Angry, soulless, directionless masses? Indifferent, confused citizens? Or a public imbued with confidence, a sense of purpose, a respect for learning, and tolerance? The answer to this question has nothing whatever to do with computers, with testing, with teacher accountability, with class size, and with the other details of managing schools. The right answer depends on two things and two things alone: the existence of shared narratives and the capacity of such narratives to provide an inspired reason for schooling.
Neil Postman (The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School)
The virus is causing something akin to panic throughout corporate America, which has become used to the typos, misspellings, missing words and mangled syntax so acceptable in cyberspace. The CEO of, an Internet startup, said the virus had rendered him helpless. “Each time I tried to send one particular e-mail this morning, I got back this error message: ‘Your dependent clause preceding your independent clause must be set off by commas, but one must not precede the conjunction.’ I threw my laptop across the room.”  . . . If Strunkenwhite makes e-mailing impossible, it could mean the end to a communication revolution once hailed as a significant timesaver. A study of 1,254 office workers in Leonia, N.J., found that e-mail increased employees’ productivity by 1.8 hours a day because they took less time to formulate their thoughts. (The same study also found that they lost 2.2 hours of productivity because they were e-mailing so many jokes to their spouses, parents and stockbrokers.)  . . . “This is one of the most complex and invasive examples of computer code we have ever encountered. We just can’t imagine what kind of devious mind would want to tamper with e-mails to create this burden on communications,” said an FBI agent who insisted on speaking via the telephone out of concern that trying to e-mail his comments could leave him tied up for hours.
Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation)
Women, on the other hand, had to wield their intellects like a scythe, hacking away against the stubborn underbrush of low expectations. A woman who worked in the central computing pools was one step removed from the research, and the engineers’ assignments sometimes lacked the context to give the computer much knowledge about the afterlife of the numbers that bedeviled her days. She might spend weeks calculating a pressure distribution without knowing what kind of plane was being tested or whether the analysis that depended on her math had resulted in significant conclusions. The work of most of the women, like that of the Friden, Marchant, or Monroe computing machines they used, was anonymous. Even a woman who had worked closely with an engineer on the content of a research report was rarely rewarded by seeing her name alongside his on the final publication. Why would the computers have the same desire for recognition that they did? many engineers figured. They were women, after all. As
Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race)
Good modeling requires that we have just enough of the “right” transparencies in the map. Of course, the right transparencies depend on the needs of a particular user.
John H. Miller (Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life (Princeton Studies in Complexity Book 14))
you can set up communications among computers in several ways; the one you choose depends on your budget and bandwidth needs... okay, most of it depends on your budget!!
Ed Tittel (Windows Server 2008 For Dummies)
The human body, like computers, works on GIGO principle - garbage in, garbage out. The health of your body and mind depends on what you eat, drink and think.
Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma (You By You)
You can buy a clock, but you cannot buy time. You can buy a bed, but you cannot buy sleep. You can buy excitement, but you cannot buy bliss. You can buy luxuries, but you cannot buy satisfaction. You can buy pleasure, but you cannot buy peace. You can buy possessions, but you cannot buy contentment. You can buy entertainment, but you cannot buy fulfillment. You can buy amusement, but you cannot buy happiness. You can buy books, but you cannot buy intelligence. You can buy degrees, but you cannot buy wisdom. You can buy fame, but you cannot buy honor. You can buy a reputation, but you cannot buy character. You can buy a priest, but you cannot buy a miracle. You can buy a doctor, but you cannot buy health. You can buy a scientist, but you cannot buy discoveries. You can buy a leader, but you cannot buy power. You can buy acceptance, but you cannot buy friendship. You can buy companions, but you cannot buy loyalty. You can buy allies, but you cannot buy dependability. You can buy partners, but you cannot buy fidelity. You can buy clothes, but you cannot buy class. You can buy toys, but you cannot buy youth. You can buy women, but you cannot buy love. You can buy houses, but you cannot buy homes. You can buy a computer, but you cannot buy intellect. You can buy makeup, but you cannot buy beauty. You can buy a pen, but you cannot buy imagination. You can buy a paintbrush, but you cannot buy inspiration. You can buy opinions, but you cannot buy truth. You can buy assumptions, but you cannot buy facts. You can buy evidence, but you cannot buy faith. You can buy fantasies, but you cannot buy reality.
Matshona Dhliwayo
The possibility of incorrect results in the presence of unlucky timing is so important in concurrent programming that it has a name: a race condition. A race condition occurs when the correctness of a computation depends on the relative timing or interleaving of multiple threads by the runtime; in other words, when getting the right answer relies on lucky timing.
Brian Goetz (Java Concurrency in Practice)
GOOD DESIGN IS SIMPLE. You hear this from math to painting. In math it means that a shorter proof tends to be a better one. Where axioms are concerned, especially, less is more. It means much the same thing in programming. For architects and designers, it means that beauty should depend on a few carefully chosen structural elements rather than a profusion of superficial ornament.
Paul Graham (Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age)
Beware of words. Be careful what you write. Leave no trails. This is what the Gardeners taught us, when I was a child among them. They told us to depend on memory, because nothing written down could be relied on. The Spirit travels from mouth to mouth, not from thing to thing: books could be burnt, paper crumble away, computers could be destroyed. Only the Spirit lives forever, and the Spirit isn’t a thing. As for writing, it was dangerous, said the Adams and the Eves, because your enemies could trace you through it, and hunt you down, and use your words to condemn you.
Margaret Atwood (The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2))
He does not depend on insider tips, crooked referees, or other sorts of hustles to make his bets. Nor does he have a “system” of any kind. He uses computer simulations, but does not rely upon them exclusively.
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't)
You'll stay," he said firmly. "But-" He crossed his arms. "Do I look like a man in the mood to be argued with?" She stared at him mutinously. "If you run," he warned, "I will catch you." Sophie eyed the distance between them, then tried to judge the distance back to My Cottage.If he stopped to pull on his clothing she might have a chance of escaping, but if he didn't... "Sophie," he said, "I can practically see the steam coming out of your ears. Stop taxing your brain with useless mathematical computations and do as I asked." One of her feet twitched. Whether it was itching to run home or merely turn around, she'd never know. "Now," he ordered. With a loud sigh and grumble, Sophie crossed her arms and turned around to stare at a knothole in the tree trunk in front of her as if her very life depended on it The inferal man wasn't being particularly quiet as he went about his business, and she couldn't seem to keep herself from listening to and trying to identify every sound that rustled and splashed behind her.Now he was emerging from the water, now he was reaching for his breeches, now he was... It was no use.She had a dreadfully wicked imagination, and there was no getting around it. He should have just let her return to the house. Instead she was forced to wait, utterly mortified, while he dressed. Her skin felt like it was on fire, and she was certain her cheeks must be eight different shades of red. A gentleman would have let her weasle out of her embarrassment and hole up in her room back at the house for at least three days in hopes that he'd just forget about the entire affair.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
Let us fool ourselves no longer. At the very moment Western nations, threw off the ancient regime of absolute government, operating under a once-divine king, they were restoring this same system in a far more effective form in their technology, reintroducing coercions of a military character no less strict in the organization of a factory than in that of the new drilled, uniformed, and regimented army. During the transitional stages of the last two centuries, the ultimate tendency of this system might b e in doubt, for in many areas there were strong democratic reactions; but with the knitting together of a scientific ideology, itself liberated from theological restrictions or humanistic purposes, authoritarian technics found an instrument at hand that h as now given it absolute command of physical energies of cosmic dimensions. The inventors of nuclear bombs, space rockets, and computers are the pyramid builders of our own age: psychologically inflated by a similar myth of unqualified power, boasting through their science of their increasing omnipotence, if not omniscience, moved by obsessions and compulsions no less irrational than those of earlier absolute systems: particularly the notion that the system itself must be expanded, at whatever eventual co st to life. Through mechanization, automation, cybernetic direction, this authoritarian technics has at last successfully overcome its most serious weakness: its original dependence upon resistant, sometimes actively disobedient servomechanisms, still human enough to harbor purposes that do not always coincide with those of the system. Like the earliest form of authoritarian technics, this new technology is marvellously dynamic and productive: its power in every form tends to increase without limits, in quantities that defy assimilation and defeat control, whether we are thinking of the output of scientific knowledge or of industrial assembly lines. To maximize energy, speed, or automation, without reference to the complex conditions that sustain organic life, have become ends in themselves. As with the earliest forms of authoritarian technics, the weight of effort, if one is to judge by national budgets, is toward absolute instruments of destruction, designed for absolutely irrational purposes whose chief by-product would be the mutilation or extermination of the human race. Even Ashurbanipal and Genghis Khan performed their gory operations under normal human limits. The center of authority in this new system is no longer a visible personality, an all-powerful king: even in totalitarian dictatorships the center now lies in the system itself, invisible but omnipresent: all its human components, even the technical and managerial elite, even the sacred priesthood of science, who alone have access to the secret knowledge by means of which total control is now swiftly being effected, are themselves trapped by the very perfection of the organization they have invented. Like the Pharoahs of the Pyramid Age, these servants of the system identify its goods with their own kind of well-being: as with the divine king, their praise of the system is an act of self-worship; and again like the king, they are in the grip of an irrational compulsion to extend their means of control and expand the scope of their authority. In this new systems-centered collective, this Pentagon of power, there is no visible presence who issues commands: unlike job's God, the new deities cannot be confronted, still less defied. Under the pretext of saving labor, the ultimate end of this technics is to displace life, or rather, to transfer the attributes of life to the machine and the mechanical collective, allowing only so much of the organism to remain as may be controlled and manipulated.
Lewis Mumford
The influx of competing messages that we receive whenever we go online not only overloads our working memory; it makes it much harder for our frontal lobes to concentrate our attention on any one thing. The process of memory consolidation can’t even get started. And, thanks once again to the plasticity of our neuronal pathways, the more we use the Web, the more we train our brain to be distracted—to process information very quickly and very efficiently but without sustained attention. That helps explain why many of us find it hard to concentrate even when we’re away from our computers. Our brains become adept at forgetting, inept at remembering. Our growing dependence on the Web’s information stores may in fact be the product of a self-perpetuating, self-amplifying loop. As our use of the Web makes it harder for us to lock information into our biological memory, we’re forced to rely more and more on the Net’s capacious and easily searchable artificial memory, even if it makes us shallower thinkers.
Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)
no human mind has created those equations directly. We have merely spent decades programming more powerful computers and they have devised and stored the equations, but, of course, we don’t know if they are valid and have meaning. It depends entirely on how valid and meaningful the programming is in the first place.
Isaac Asimov (Forward the Foundation (Foundation, #7))
Instead of admitting that happiness is an art of the indirect that is achieved or not through secondary goals, it is presented as if it were an immediately accessible objective, and recipes are provided. Whatever the method chosen, psychic, somatic, chemical, spiritual, or computer-based, the presupposition is everywhere the same: contentment is within your reach, all you have to do is undergo a "positive conditioning," an "ethical discipline" that will lead you to it. This amounts to an astonishing inversion of the will, which seeks to establish its protectorate over psychic states and feelings that are traditionally outside its jurisdiction. It wears itself our trying to change what does not depend on it (at the risk of not dealing with what can be changed).
Pascal Bruckner (Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy)
The fact that we are still sitting on and depending on technical protocols nearly a half century old is a testament to the genius of those who invented everything from such inventions, protocols and standards like Ethernet to personal computers that were more than just circuit boards for geeks, but actually had small GUI interfaces, as well as connected devices such as a mouse and keyboard.
Scott C. Holstad
Beware of words. Be careful what you write. Leave no trails. This is what the Gardener’s taught us, when I was a child among them. They told us to depend on memory, because nothing written down could be relied on. The Spirit travels from mouth to mouth, not from thing to thing: books could be burnt, paper crumble away, computers could be destroyed. Only the Spirit lives forever, and the Spirit isn’t a thing.
Margaret Atwood (홍수의 해)
Retroviruses are simply viruses that can insert DNA into a host’s genome, changing the host at a genetic level. They’re a sort of “computer software update.” When a person contracts a retrovirus, they are essentially receiving a DNA injection that changes the genome in some of their cells. Depending on the nature of the DNA inserted, getting a virus could be good, bad, or benign, and since every person’s genome is different, the result is almost always uncertain. Retroviruses exist for one purpose: to produce more of their own DNA. And they are good at it. In fact, viruses make up the majority of all the genetic material on the planet. If one added together all the DNA from humans, all other animals, and every single plant—every non-viral life form on the planet—that sum total of DNA would still be less than all the viral DNA on Earth.
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Plague (The Origin Mystery, #2))
Because English has so many words of foreign origin, and words that look the same but mean something different depending on their context, and words that are in flux, opening and closing like flowers in time-lapse photography, the human element is especially important if we are to stay on top of the computers, which, in their determination to do our job for us, make decisions so subversive that even professional wordsmiths are taken by surprise.
Mary Norris (Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen)
Today’s computer technology exists in some measure because millions of middle-class taxpayers supported federal funding for basic research in the decades following World War II. We can be reasonably certain that those taxpayers offered their support in the expectation that the fruits of that research would create a more prosperous future for their children and grandchildren. Yet, the trends we looked at in the last chapter suggest we are headed toward a very different outcome. BEYOND THE BASIC MORAL QUESTION of whether a tiny elite should be able to, in effect, capture ownership of society’s accumulated technological capital, there are also practical issues regarding the overall health of an economy in which income inequality becomes too extreme. Continued progress depends on a vibrant market for future innovations—and that, in turn, requires a reasonable distribution of purchasing power.
Martin Ford (Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future)
Pham Nuwen spent years learning to program/explore. Programming went back to the beginning of time. It was a little like the midden out back of his father’s castle. Where the creek had worn that away, ten meters down, there were the crumpled hulks of machines—flying machines, the peasants said—from the great days of Canberra’s original colonial era. But the castle midden was clean and fresh compared to what lay within the Reprise’s local net. There were programs here that had been written five thousand years ago, before Humankind ever left Earth. The wonder of it—the horror of it, Sura said—was that unlike the useless wrecks of Canberra’s past, these programs still worked! And via a million million circuitous threads of inheritance, many of the oldest programs still ran in the bowels of the Qeng Ho system. Take the Traders’ method of timekeeping. The frame corrections were incredibly complex—and down at the very bottom of it was a little program that ran a counter. Second by second, the Qeng Ho counted from the instant that a human had first set foot on Old Earth’s moon. But if you looked at it still more closely. . .the starting instant was actually some hundred million seconds later, the 0-second of one of Humankind’s first computer operating systems. So behind all the top-level interfaces was layer under layer of support. Some of that software had been designed for wildly different situations. Every so often, the inconsistencies caused fatal accidents. Despite the romance of spaceflight, the most common accidents were simply caused by ancient, misused programs finally getting their revenge. “We should rewrite it all,” said Pham. “It’s been done,” said Sura, not looking up. She was preparing to go off-Watch, and had spent the last four days trying to root a problem out of the coldsleep automation. “It’s been tried,” corrected Bret, just back from the freezers. “But even the top levels of fleet system code are enormous. You and a thousand of your friends would have to work for a century or so to reproduce it.” Trinli grinned evilly. “And guess what—even if you did, by the time you finished, you’d have your own set of inconsistencies. And you still wouldn’t be consistent with all the applications that might be needed now and then.” Sura gave up on her debugging for the moment. “The word for all this is ‘mature programming environment.’ Basically, when hardware performance has been pushed to its final limit, and programmers have had several centuries to code, you reach a point where there is far more signicant code than can be rationalized. The best you can do is understand the overall layering, and know how to search for the oddball tool that may come in handy—take the situation I have here.” She waved at the dependency chart she had been working on. “We are low on working fluid for the coffins. Like a million other things, there was none for sale on dear old Canberra. Well, the obvious thing is to move the coffins near the aft hull, and cool by direct radiation. We don’t have the proper equipment to support this—so lately, I’ve been doing my share of archeology. It seems that five hundred years ago, a similar thing happened after an in-system war at Torma. They hacked together a temperature maintenance package that is precisely what we need.” “Almost precisely.
Vernor Vinge (A Deepness in the Sky)
In the medium term, AI may automate our jobs, to bring both great prosperity and equality. Looking further ahead, there are no fundamental limits to what can be achieved. There is no physical law precluding particles from being organised in ways that perform even more advanced computations than the arrangements of particles in human brains. An explosive transition is possible, although it may play out differently than in the movies. As mathematician Irving Good realised in 1965, machines with superhuman intelligence could repeatedly improve their design even further, in what science-fiction writer Vernor Vinge called a technological singularity. One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders and potentially subduing us with weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.
Stephen Hawking
To the newborn, love is action; it is the attentive, responsive, nurturing care that adults provide. A parent may truly love his child, but if he is sitting at a computer posting on social media about how much he loves his child while the infant is in another room, awake, hungry, and crying, the infant experiences no love. To the infant, skin-to-skin warmth, the smell of the parent, the sights and sounds of her caregivers, the attentive and responsive caregiver’s actions-that becomes love. The thousands of these loving, responsive interactions shape the developing brain of the infant. These loving moments literally build the foundation of the organizing brain….the infant begins to associate these responsive people with pleasure, sustenance, warmth; her view of the world is being shaped…it is through these interactions that the child’s worldview is built, and depending upon the quality and pattern of the caregiver’s responses, will build resilience or contribute to a sensitized, vulnerable child.
Bruce D. Perry (What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
Like a biological virus, it is a rather degenerate form, because it contains only instructions or genes, and doesn’t have any metabolism of its own. Instead, it reprograms the metabolism of the host computer, or cell. Some people have questioned whether viruses should count as life, because they are parasites, and cannot exist independently of their hosts. But then most forms of life, ourselves included, are parasites, in that they feed off and depend for their survival on other forms of life. I think computer viruses should count as life.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
And here, the children who had learned that the experimenter was unreliable were more likely to eat the marshmallow before she came back, losing the opportunity to earn a second treat. Failing the marshmallow test—and being less successful in later life—may not be about lacking willpower. It could be a result of believing that adults are not dependable: that they can’t be trusted to keep their word, that they disappear for intervals of arbitrary length. Learning self-control is important, but it’s equally important to grow up in an environment where adults are consistently present and trustworthy.
Brian Christian (Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions)
A lot of the credit, too, should go to Turing, for developing the concept of a universal computer and then being part of a hands-on team at Bletchley Park. How you rank the historic contributions of the others depends partly on the criteria you value. If you are enticed by the romance of lone inventors and care less about who most influenced the progress of the field, you might put Atanasoff and Zuse high. But the main lesson to draw from the birth of computers is that innovation is usually a group effort, involving collaboration between visionaries and engineers, and that creativity comes from drawing on many sources.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
D.A. Henderson, and the people at the CDC, along with pretty much everyone else in the public-health sector, thought that the models had nothing to offer; but they were missing the point. They, too, used models. They, too, depended on abstractions to inform their judgments. Those abstractions just happened to be inside their heads. Experts took the models in their minds as the essence of reality, but the biggest difference between their models and the ones inside the computer was that their models were less explicit and harder to check. Experts made all sorts of assumptions about the world, just as computer models did, but those assumptions were invisible.
Michael Lewis (The Premonition: A Pandemic Story)
But the period I studied -- the rollicking eighteenth century engraved by Hogarth -- was the one that saw the birth of America, of women's rights, and of the novel. The novel started as a low-class form, fit only to be read by serving maids, and it is the only literary form where women have distinguished themselves so early and with such excellence that even the rampant misogyny of literary history cannot erase them. Ever wonder about women and the novel? Women, like any underclass, depend for their survival on self-definition. The novel permitted this -- and pages could still be hidden under the embroidery hoop. From the writer's mind to the reader's there was only the intervention of printing presses. You could stay at home, yet send your book abroad to London -- the perfect situation for women. In a world where women are still the second sex, many still dream of becoming writers so they can work at home, make their own hours, nurse the baby. Writing still seems to fit into the interstices of a woman's life. Through the medium of words, we have hopes of changing our class. Perhaps the pen will not always be equated with the penis. In a world of computers, our swift fingers may yet win us the world. One of these days we'll have class. And so we write as feverishly as only the dispossessed can. We write to come into our own, to build our houses and plant our gardens, to give ourselves names and histories, inventing ourselves as we go along.
Erica Jong (Fear of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir)
And, thanks once again to the plasticity of our neuronal pathways, the more we use the Web, the more we train our brain to be distracted—to process information very quickly and very efficiently but without sustained attention. That helps explain why many of us find it hard to concentrate even when we’re away from our computers. Our brains become adept at forgetting, inept at remembering. Our growing dependence on the Web’s information stores may in fact be the product of a self-perpetuating, self-amplifying loop. As our use of the Web makes it harder for us to lock information into our biological memory, we’re forced to rely more and more on the Net’s capacious and easily searchable artificial memory, even if it makes us shallower thinkers.
Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)
In theory, if some holy book misrepresented reality, its disciples would sooner or later discover this, and the text’s authority would be undermined. Abraham Lincoln said you cannot deceive everybody all the time. Well, that’s wishful thinking. In practice, the power of human cooperation networks depends on a delicate balance between truth and fiction. If you distort reality too much, it will weaken you, and you will not be able to compete against more clear-sighted rivals. On the other hand, you cannot organise masses of people effectively without relying on some fictional myths. So if you stick to unalloyed reality, without mixing any fiction with it, few people will follow you. If you used a time machine to send a modern scientist to ancient Egypt, she would not be able to seize power by exposing the fictions of the local priests and lecturing the peasants on evolution, relativity and quantum physics. Of course, if our scientist could use her knowledge in order to produce a few rifles and artillery pieces, she could gain a huge advantage over pharaoh and the crocodile god Sobek. Yet in order to mine iron ore, build blast furnaces and manufacture gunpowder the scientist would need a lot of hard-working peasants. Do you really think she could inspire them by explaining that energy divided by mass equals the speed of light squared? If you happen to think so, you are welcome to travel to present-day Afghanistan or Syria and try your luck. Really powerful human organisations – such as pharaonic Egypt, the European empires and the modern school system – are not necessarily clear-sighted. Much of their power rests on their ability to force their fictional beliefs on a submissive reality. That’s the whole idea of money, for example. The government makes worthless pieces of paper, declares them to be valuable and then uses them to compute the value of everything else. The government has the power to force citizens to pay taxes using these pieces of paper, so the citizens have no choice but to get their hands on at least some of them. Consequently, these bills really do become valuable, the government officials are vindicated in their beliefs, and since the government controls the issuing of paper money, its power grows. If somebody protests that ‘These are just worthless pieces of paper!’ and behaves as if they are only pieces of paper, he won’t get very far in life.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
But the conclusion of the HOS theory critically depends on the assumption that productive resources can move freely across economic activities. This assumption means that capital and labour released from any one activity can immediately and without cost be asbsorbed by other activities. With this assumption-known as the assumption of 'perfect factor mobility' among economists-adjustments to changing trade patterns pose no problem. If a steel mill shuts down due to an increase in imports because, say the government reduces tariffs, the resources employed in the industry (the workers, the buildings, the blast furnaces) will be employed (at the same or higher levels of productivity and thus higher returns) by another industry that has become relatively more profitable, say, the computer industry. No one loses from the process.
Ha-Joon Chang (Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism)
Who cheats? Well, just about anyone, if the stakes are right. You might say to yourself, I don’t cheat, regardless of the stakes. And then you might remember the time you cheated on, say, a board game. Last week. Or the golf ball you nudged out of its bad lie. Or the time you really wanted a bagel in the office break room but couldn’t come up with the dollar you were supposed to drop in the coffee can. And then took the bagel anyway. And told yourself you’d pay double the next time. And didn’t. For every clever person who goes to the trouble of creating an incentive scheme, there is an army of people, clever and otherwise, who will inevitably spend even more time trying to beat it. Cheating may or may not be human nature, but it is certainly a prominent feature in just about every human endeavor. Cheating is a primordial economic act: getting more for less. So it isn’t just the boldface names — inside-trading CEOs and pill-popping ballplayers and perkabusing politicians — who cheat. It is the waitress who pockets her tips instead of pooling them. It is the Wal-Mart payroll manager who goes into the computer and shaves his employees’ hours to make his own performance look better. It is the third grader who, worried about not making it to the fourth grade, copies test answers from the kid sitting next to him. Some cheating leaves barely a shadow of evidence. In other cases, the evidence is massive. Consider what happened one spring evening at midnight in 1987: seven million American children suddenly disappeared. The worst kidnapping wave in history? Hardly. It was the night of April 15, and the Internal Revenue Service had just changed a rule. Instead of merely listing the name of each dependent child, tax filers were now required to provide a Social Security number. Suddenly, seven million children — children who had existed only as phantom exemptions on the previous year’s 1040 forms — vanished, representing about one in ten of all dependent children in the United States.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
Altogether, these observations suggest that several processes contribute to psychotic experience: the loss of familiarity with the world, hypothetically associated with noisy information processing; increased novelty detection mediated by the hippocampus; associated alterations of prefrontal cortical processing, which have reliably been associated with impairments in working memory and other executive functions; increased top-down effects of prior beliefs mediated by the frontal cortex that may reflect compensatory efforts to cope with an increasingly complex and unfamiliar world; and finally disinhibition of subcortical dopaminergic neurotransmission, which increases salience attribution to otherwise irrelevant stimuli. Furthermore, increased noise of chaotic or stress-dependent dopamine firing can reduce the encoding of errors of reward prediction elicited by primary and secondary reinforcers, thus contributing to a subjective focusing of attention on apparently novel and mysterious environmental cues while reducing attention and motivation elicited by common and natural and social stimuli.
Andreas Heinz
If, as I believe, the Godel argument is consequently forcing us into an acceptance of some form of viewpoint C, the we shall also have to come to terms with some of its other implications. We shall find ourselves driven towards a Platonic viewpoint of things. According to Plato, mathematical concepts and mathematical truths inhabit an actual world of their own that is timeless and without physical location. Plato's world is an ideal world of perfect forms, distinct from the physical world, but in terms of which the physical world must be understood. It also lies beyond our imperfect mental constructions; yet, our minds do have some direct access to this Platonic realm through an 'awareness' of mathematical forms, and our ability to reason about them. We shall find that whilst our Platonic perceptions can be aided on occasion by computation, they are not limited by computation. It is this potential for the 'awareness' of mathematical concepts involved in this Platonic access that gives the mind a power beyond what can ever be achieved by a device dependent solely upon computation for its action.
Roger Penrose (Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness)
He pokes his katana through the side of the cube and follows it through the wall and out the other side. This is a hack. It is really based on a very old hack, a loophole that he found years ago when he was trying to graft the sword-fighting rules onto the existing Metaverse software. His blade doesn't have the power to cut a hole in the wall -- this would mean permanently changing the shape of someone else's building -- but it does have the power to penetrate things. Avatars do not have that power. That is the whole purpose of a wall in the Metaverse; it is a structure that does not allow avatars to penetrate it. But like anything else in the Metaverse, this rule is nothing but a protocol, a convention that different computers agree to follow. In theory, it cannot be ignored. But in practice, it depends upon the ability of different computers to swap information very precisely, at high speed, and at just the right times. And when you are connected to the system over a satellite uplink, as Hiro is, out here on the Raft, there is a delay as the signals bounce up to the satellite and back down. That delay can be taken advantage of, if you move quickly and don't look back. Hiro passes right through the wall on the tail end of his all-penetrating katana.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
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 bio-logical 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 definition of a living system that I have given. Like a biological virus, it is a rather degenerate form, because it contains only instructions or genes, and doesn’t have any metabolism of its own. Instead, it reprograms the metabolism of the host computer, or cell. Some people have questioned whether viruses should count as life, because they are parasites, and cannot exist independently of their hosts. But then most forms of life, ourselves included, are parasites, in that they feed off and depend for their survival on other forms of life. I think computer viruses should count as life. Maybe it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. Talk about creating life in our own image. I shall return to electronic forms of life later on.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
Many aspects of the modern financial system are designed to give an impression of overwhelming urgency: the endless ‘news’ feeds, the constantly changing screens of traders, the office lights blazing late into the night, the young analysts who find themselves required to work thirty hours at a stretch. But very little that happens in the finance sector has genuine need for this constant appearance of excitement and activity. Only its most boring part—the payments system—is an essential utility on whose continuous functioning the modern economy depends. No terrible consequence would follow if the stock market closed for a week (as it did in the wake of 9/11)—or longer, or if a merger were delayed or large investment project postponed for a few weeks, or if an initial public offering happened next month rather than this. The millisecond improvement in data transmission between New York and Chicago has no significance whatever outside the absurd world of computers trading with each other. The tight coupling is simply unnecessary: the perpetual flow of ‘information’ part of a game that traders play which has no wider relevance, the excessive hours worked by many employees a tournament in which individuals compete to display their alpha qualities in return for large prizes. The traditional bank manager’s culture of long lunches and afternoons on the golf course may have yielded more useful information about business than the Bloomberg terminal. Lehman
John Kay (Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance)
Fast-forward nearly a hundred years, and Prufrock’s protest is enshrined in high school syllabi, where it’s dutifully memorized, then quickly forgotten, by teens increasingly skilled at shaping their own online and offline personae. These students inhabit a world in which status, income, and self-esteem depend more than ever on the ability to meet the demands of the Culture of Personality. The pressure to entertain, to sell ourselves, and never to be visibly anxious keeps ratcheting up. The number of Americans who considered themselves shy increased from 40 percent in the 1970s to 50 percent in the 1990s, probably because we measured ourselves against ever higher standards of fearless self-presentation. “Social anxiety disorder”—which essentially means pathological shyness—is now thought to afflict nearly one in five of us. The most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), the psychiatrist’s bible of mental disorders, considers the fear of public speaking to be a pathology—not an annoyance, not a disadvantage, but a disease—if it interferes with the sufferer’s job performance. “It’s not enough,” one senior manager at Eastman Kodak told the author Daniel Goleman, “to be able to sit at your computer excited about a fantastic regression analysis if you’re squeamish about presenting those results to an executive group.” (Apparently it’s OK to be squeamish about doing a regression analysis if you’re excited about giving speeches.)
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Bush’s description of how basic research provides the seed corn for practical inventions became known as the “linear model of innovation.” Although subsequent waves of science historians sought to debunk the linear model for ignoring the complex interplay between theoretical research and practical applications, it had a popular appeal as well as an underlying truth. The war, Bush wrote, had made it “clear beyond all doubt” that basic science—discovering the fundamentals of nuclear physics, lasers, computer science, radar—“is absolutely essential to national security.” It was also, he added, crucial for America’s economic security. “New products and new processes do not appear full-grown. They are founded on new principles and new conceptions, which in turn are painstakingly developed by research in the purest realms of science. A nation which depends upon others for its new basic scientific knowledge will be slow in its industrial progress and weak in its competitive position in world trade.” By the end of his report, Bush had reached poetic heights in extolling the practical payoffs of basic scientific research: “Advances in science when put to practical use mean more jobs, higher wages, shorter hours, more abundant crops, more leisure for recreation, for study, for learning how to live without the deadening drudgery which has been the burden of the common man for past ages.”9 Based on this report, Congress established the National Science Foundation.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
More than anything, we have lost the cultural customs and traditions that bring extended families together, linking adults and children in caring relationships, that give the adult friends of parents a place in their children's lives. It is the role of culture to cultivate connections between the dependent and the dependable and to prevent attachment voids from occurring. Among the many reasons that culture is failing us, two bear mentioning. The first is the jarringly rapid rate of change in twentieth-century industrial societies. It requires time to develop customs and traditions that serve attachment needs, hundreds of years to create a working culture that serves a particular social and geographical environment. Our society has been changing much too rapidly for culture to evolve accordingly. There is now more change in a decade than previously in a century. When circumstances change more quickly than our culture can adapt to, customs and traditions disintegrate. It is not surprising that today's culture is failing its traditional function of supporting adult-child attachments. Part of the rapid change has been the electronic transmission of culture, allowing commercially blended and packaged culture to be broadcast into our homes and into the very minds of our children. Instant culture has replaced what used to be passed down through custom and tradition and from one generation to another. “Almost every day I find myself fighting the bubble-gum culture my children are exposed to,” said a frustrated father interviewed for this book. Not only is the content often alien to the culture of the parents but the process of transmission has taken grandparents out of the loop and made them seem sadly out of touch. Games, too, have become electronic. They have always been an instrument of culture to connect people to people, especially children to adults. Now games have become a solitary activity, watched in parallel on television sports-casts or engaged in in isolation on the computer. The most significant change in recent times has been the technology of communication — first the phone and then the Internet through e-mail and instant messaging. We are enamored of communication technology without being aware that one of its primary functions is to facilitate attachments. We have unwittingly put it into the hands of children who, of course, are using it to connect with their peers. Because of their strong attachment needs, the contact is highly addictive, often becoming a major preoccupation. Our culture has not been able to evolve the customs and traditions to contain this development, and so again we are all left to our own devices. This wonderful new technology would be a powerfully positive instrument if used to facilitate child-adult connections — as it does, for example, when it enables easy communication between students living away from home, and their parents. Left unchecked, it promotes peer orientation.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
What about the computer? Does it think, and if so does that make it conscious? For the present at least, the answer is that it does not think in the sense that human beings and other mammals think and so is not conscious in the same sense. Furthermore, the mammalian brain is enormously more complex than any present computer, not only in the number of functional elements but also in its connections, the individual neuron frequently having synaptic connection with upwards of a thousand others. What I propose is that we have here a parallel with the physicist’s concept of a critical mass. Consciousness, that is, depends on a critical degree of complexity of neural action. Probably also it requires the kind or pattern of complexity characteristic of the structure of mammalian cortex. The individual neuron then is not conscious, nor any small group of interacting neurons. Consciousness appeared in evolution when thought became possible, and there is no evidence of thought in lower animals, even those with quite extensive nervous systems. It probably exists in birds such as the crow, but it has not actually been demonstrated except in mammals. In them the cortex is well developed, but vestigial or absent in other animal forms. The argument then is that a computer built on the plan of the mammalian brain, and of a complexity at least equal to that of the brain of the laboratory rat, might be conscious—given the same capacity to learn and a suitable early experience. This is unlikely, but conceivable.
Donald O. Hebb (Essay on Mind)
The men in grey were powerless to meet this challenge head-on. Unable to detach the children from Momo by bringing them under their direct control, they had to find some roundabout means of achieving the same end, and for this they enlisted the children's elders. Not all grown-ups made suitable accomplices, of course, but plenty did. [....] 'Something must be done,' they said. 'More and more kids are being left on their own and neglected. You can't blame us - parents just don't have the time these days - so it's up to the authorities.' Others joined in the chorus. 'We can't have all these youngsters loafing around, ' declared some. 'They obstruct the traffic. Road accidents caused by children are on the increase, and road accidents cost money that could be put to better use.' 'Unsupervised children run wild, declared others.'They become morally depraved and take to crime. The authorities must take steps to round them up. They must build centers where the youngsters can be molded into useful and efficient members of society.' 'Children,' declared still others, 'are the raw material for the future. A world dependent on computers and nuclear energy will need an army of experts and technicians to run it. Far from preparing children from tomorrow's world, we still allow too many of them to squander years of their precious time on childish tomfoolery. It's a blot on our civilization and a crime against future generations.' The timesavers were all in favor of such a policy, naturally, and there were so many of them in the city by this time that they soon convinced the authorities of the need to take prompt action. Before long, big buildings known as 'child depots' sprang up in every neighborhood. Children whose parents were too busy to look after them had to be deposited there and could be collected when convenient. They were strictly forbidden to play in the streets or parks or anywhere else. Any child caught doing so was immediately carted off to the nearest depot, and its parents were heavily fined. None of Momo's friends escaped the new regulation. They were split up according to districts they came from and consigned to various child depots. Once there, they were naturally forbidden to play games of their own devising. All games were selected for them by supervisors and had to have some useful, educational purpose. The children learned these new games but unlearned something else in the process: they forgot how to be happy, how to take pleasure in the little things, and last but not least, how to dream. Weeks passed, and the children began to look like timesavers in miniature. Sullen, bored and resentful, they did as they were told. Even when left to their own devices, they no longer knew what to do with themselves. All they could still do was make a noise, but it was an angry, ill-tempered noise, not the happy hullabaloo of former times. The men in grey made no direct approach to them - there was no need. The net they had woven over the city was so close-meshed as to seem inpenetrable. Not even the brightest and most ingenious children managed to slip through its toils. The amphitheater remained silent and deserted.
Michael Ende, Momo
My dear reader, have you seen the bizarre contraption that the inhabitants of this futuristic age carry in their pockets? It is a miniature computer, a gateway to knowledge itself, and yet so much more. This strange device seems to do everything for its owner, from telling the time to cooking meals. It maps their journeys, provides entertainment, and even claims to be able to predict the future! It holds the world's information in its palm, yet some use it merely to gaze at the visages of strangers. Such is the confusion of progress, that it gives with one hand and takes away with the other. For all its wonders, this pocket computer seems to me a dubious invention. It renders men dependent rather than self-reliant, and alters solitude into a deficit rather than a richness. Do none gather 'round the midnight fire anymore to share tales of mystery and imagination? Have stories been supplanted by streams and alerts? And must every waking hour be filled with stimulation and information? Some may call me a curmudgeon, fretting over innovations I do not comprehend. But I believe there is virtue to be found in simple pleasures and uninterrupted contemplation. Not everything that glitters is gold, and there is beauty to be discovered away from screens and lights. So observe this curious device if you like, but do not forget to look up from its glow. Seek out the darkness and the quiet, explore without maps or GPS. For there you may find truths more valuable than all the knowledge in the world. In suspense, Your friend, Edgar Allan Poe (Poe talking about the smartphone.)
Edgar Allan Poe
My greatest desire is to be human. In Islam, it is taught we are born man but we must evolve to be Human. To be human is to know compassion for others. to understand Ethics and morality, all of which we are born with but still must learn in practice.Our intellect does not make us human. Intelligence as shown that we separate ourselves more from humanity through our evolution of inventiveness than we have ever before. We depend on our gadgets to tell us to think and what to think. We have become servants of I-Phones and pads and computers and slaves to clocks that have now become our task master. We answer to alarms and "Tweets" and " FB Notifications like pavlovian dogs wagging our tails at each blip of a cybernetic announcement. We are further losing ourselves to technology that we thought would make our lives easier but has simply made it more complicated and filled it with less time for interaction with our fellow man because we have lost sight of verbal communication. Of being in eye contact with each other because our heads are leaning down into video screens and our ears are covered with sound buds.. We have become an extension of our devises when we should be an extension of each other in a real physical world and not the matrix of AI and computer stimuli we have become sadly slaves to. I want to be human and see the true smile of my friends and hear the real voice of their ideas and not typed words of color on a screen. I want to experience the knowledge of seeing my fellow men and woman talking verbally to each other and espousing real IDEAS and not merely replaying sound bytes hey have heard from the latest PROGRAMMING. I want to be HUMAN and know the Humanity of my brotherhood of HUMANS!
Levon Peter Poe
Man without God is nothing, God without Man is still God" Flip it: "God without Man is nothing, Man without God is still Man" Then please read... Humans had lived for so many years before they developed language and with the language conceptualized the concept of GOD. God here is just a concept. That's why God means different things to different people. Depending on where you are born, you will know a God and strongly believe it is the only true God. It is just a belief, and you are human first before any beliefs. Even though most of us have identified so much with our beliefs that we think we are the same with our beliefs. Because of this, when your beliefs are rejected or attacked you believe your person is being rejected and attacked too and you start to fight and defend. No, you are totally different from your beliefs. Your beliefs can change, but your humanity cannot change. Your beliefs are like software programs, and like every software program, they need a host. They can be changed, replaced, repaired, formatted, or removed completely while the system still remains intact. No computer will change to a "Home theater" because of a software, but a computer can be made to behave like a "home theater" because of a software. We have allowed belief systems to control us so much that we now think it is the beliefs that make us worthy. That we are nothing without those beliefs. I am here to tell you today that it is the other way around, THE BELIEFS ARE NOTHING WITHOUT US. A software program is nothing without a computer system. Just like a virus, the beliefs have taken over the whole system, if we do not format now, we might lose everything. From now, start separating yourself from your beliefs so that a format will not destroy you, because it is coming.
Chidi Ejeagba
the absence of an ‘international standard burglar’, the nearest I know to a working classification is one developed by a U.S. Army expert [118]. Derek is a 19-year old addict. He's looking for a low-risk opportunity to steal something he can sell for his next fix. Charlie is a 40-year old inadequate with seven convictions for burglary. He's spent seventeen of the last twenty-five years in prison. Although not very intelligent he is cunning and experienced; he has picked up a lot of ‘lore’ during his spells inside. He steals from small shops and suburban houses, taking whatever he thinks he can sell to local fences. Bruno is a ‘gentleman criminal’. His business is mostly stealing art. As a cover, he runs a small art gallery. He has a (forged) university degree in art history on the wall, and one conviction for robbery eighteen years ago. After two years in jail, he changed his name and moved to a different part of the country. He has done occasional ‘black bag’ jobs for intelligence agencies who know his past. He'd like to get into computer crime, but the most he's done so far is stripping $100,000 worth of memory chips from a university's PCs back in the mid-1990s when there was a memory famine. Abdurrahman heads a cell of a dozen militants, most with military training. They have infantry weapons and explosives, with PhD-grade technical support provided by a disreputable country. Abdurrahman himself came third out of a class of 280 at the military academy of that country but was not promoted because he's from the wrong ethnic group. He thinks of himself as a good man rather than a bad man. His mission is to steal plutonium. So Derek is unskilled, Charlie is skilled, Bruno is highly skilled and may have the help of an unskilled insider such as a cleaner, while Abdurrahman is not only highly skilled but has substantial resources.
Ross J. Anderson (Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems)
How is money created? An example: You buy a house or take out a mortgage on the excess value of your property. You want 200,000 Dollars. The following happens. The bank’s computer adds these virtual numbers - because that is what they are - to your bank account, and then you have to bleed for the next 30 years, WITH INTEREST. The bank attached a fictional number to your name and for 30 years you need to work to pay the money back. The bank didn’t build your house, nor did it pay for the materials. That was done by people like you and me. They too have to pay, because they also have a mortgage. And when you die, your kids will have to pay taxes on your estate. Often, they have to take out a mortgage of their own to do so[74]. Another example of how banks create money out of nothing: You go to the bank to lend 1,000 Dollars. One year later, you have to pay 1,100 Dollars back, including interest. The additional 100 Dollars come from fellow citizens, for instance in the form of wages or profit sharing. In other words, the extra 100 Dollars come from society. This can only happen when the total amount of money in circulation increases. That increase – inflation – is created when the bank creates more money. In other words: “Interest payments are a direct way to create money.” All the money that exists comes from the bank. This remarkable phenomenon has been described as follows by Mr. Robert Hemphill, Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta: “If all the bank loans were paid, there would not be a dollar in circulation. This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash, or credit. If the banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless situation is almost incredible - but there it is.”[75]
Robin de Ruiter (Worldwide Evil and Misery - The Legacy of the 13 Satanic Bloodlines)
Millions of us daily take advantage of [Skype], delighted to carry the severed heads of family members under our arms as we move from the deck to the cool of inside, or steering them around our new homes, bobbing them like babies on a seasickening tour. Skype can be a wonderful consolation prize in the ongoing tournament of globalization, though typically the first place it transforms us is to ourselves. How often are the initial seconds of a video's call takeoff occupied by two wary, diagonal glances, with a quick muss or flick of the hair, or a more generous tilt of the screen in respect to the chin? Please attend to your own mask first. Yet, despite the obvious cheer of seeing a faraway face, lonesomeness surely persists in the impossibility of eye contact. You can offer up your eyes to the other person, but your own view will be of the webcam's unwarm aperture. ... The problem lies in the fact that we can't bring our silence with us through walls. In phone conversations, while silence can be both awkward and intimate, there is no doubt that each of you inhabits the same darkness, breathing the same dead air. Perversely, a phone silence is a thick rope tying two speakers together in the private void of their suspended conversation. This binding may be unpleasant and to be avoided, but it isn't as estranging as its visual counterpart. When talk runs to ground on Skype, and if the purpose of the call is to chat, I can quickly sense that my silence isn't their silence. For some reason silence can't cross the membrane of the computer screen as it can uncoil down phone lines. While we may be lulled into thinking that a Skype call, being visual, is more akin to a hang-out than a phone conversation, it is in many ways more demanding than its aural predecessor. Not until Skype has it become clear how much companionable quiet has depended on co-inhabiting an atmosphere, with a simple act of sharing the particulars of a place -- the objects in the room, the light through the window -- offering a lovely alternative to talk.
Laurence Scott (The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World)
Bored with Pisit today, I switch to our public radio channel, where the renowned and deeply reverend Phra Titapika is lecturing on Dependent Origination. Not everyone’s cup of chocolate, I agree (this is not the most popular show in Thailand), but the doctrine is at the heart of Buddhism. You see, dear reader (speaking frankly, without any intention to offend), you are a ramshackle collection of coincidences held together by a desperate and irrational clinging, there is no center at all, everything depends on everything else, your body depends on the environment, your thoughts depend on whatever junk floats in from the media, your emotions are largely from the reptilian end of your DNA, your intellect is a chemical computer that can’t add up a zillionth as fast as a pocket calculator, and even your best side is a superficial piece of social programming that will fall apart just as soon as your spouse leaves with the kids and the money in the joint account, or the economy starts to fail and you get the sack, or you get conscripted into some idiot’s war, or they give you the news about your brain tumor. To name this amorphous morass of self-pity, vanity, and despair self is not only the height of hubris, it is also proof (if any were needed) that we are above all a delusional species. (We are in a trance from birth to death.) Prick the balloon, and what do you get? Emptiness. It’s not only us-this radical doctrine applies to the whole of the sentient world. In a bumper sticker: The fear of letting go prevents you from letting go of the fear of letting go. Here’s the good Phra in fine fettle today: “Take a snail, for example. Consider what brooding overweening self-centered passion got it into that state. Can you see the rage of a snail? The frustration of a cockroach? The ego of an ant? If you can, then you are close to enlightenment.” Like I say, not everyone’s cup of miso. Come to think of it, I do believe I prefer Pisit, but the Phra does have a point: take two steps in the divine art of Buddhist meditation, and you will find yourself on a planet you no longer recognize. Those needs and fears you thought were the very bones of your being turn out to be no more than bugs in your software. (Even the certainty of death gets nuanced.) You’ll find no meaning there. So where?
John Burdett (Bangkok Tattoo (Sonchai Jitpleecheep, #2))
At this point, the cautious reader might wish to read over the whole argument again, as presented above, just to make sure that I have not indulged in any 'sleight of hand'! Admittedly there is an air of the conjuring trick about the argument, but it is perfectly legitimate, and it only gains in strength the more minutely it is examined. We have found a computation Ck(k) that we know does not stop; yet the given computational procedure A is not powerful enough to ascertain that facet. This is the Godel(-Turing) theorem in the form that I require. It applies to any computational procedure A whatever for ascertaining that computations do not stop, so long as we know it to be sound. We deduce that no knowably sound set of computational rules (such as A) can ever suffice for ascertaining that computations do not stop, since there are some non-stopping computations (such as Ck(k)) that must elude these rules. Moreover, since from the knowledge of A and of its soundness, we can actually construct a computation Ck(k) that we can see does not ever stop, we deduce that A cannot be a formalization of the procedures available to mathematicians for ascertaining that computations do not stop, no matter what A is. Hence: (G) Human mathematicians are not using a knowably sound algorithm in order to ascertain mathematical truth. It seems to me that this conclusion is inescapable. However, many people have tried to argue against it-bringing in objections like those summarized in the queries Q1-Q20 of 2.6 and 2.10 below-and certainly many would argue against the stronger deduction that there must be something fundamentally non-computational in our thought processes. The reader may indeed wonder what on earth mathematical reasoning like this, concerning the abstract nature of computations, can have to say about the workings of the human mind. What, after all, does any of this have to do with the issue of conscious awareness? The answer is that the argument indeed says something very significant about the mental quality of understanding-in relation to the general issue of computation-and, as was argued in 1.12, the quality of understanding is something dependent upon conscious awareness. It is true that, for the most part, the foregoing reasoning has been presented as just a piece of mathematics, but there is the essential point that the algorithm A enters the argument at two quite different levels. At the one level, it is being treated as just some algorithm that has certain properties, but at the other, we attempt to regard A as being actually 'the algorithm that we ourselves use' in coming to believe that a computation will not stop. The argument is not simply about computations. It is also about how we use our conscious understanding in order to infer the validity of some mathematical claim-here the non-stopping character of Ck(k). It is the interplay between the two different levels at which the algorithm A is being considered-as a putative instance of conscious activity and as a computation itself-that allows us to arrive at a conclusion expressing a fundamental conflict between such conscious activity and mere computation.
Roger Penrose (Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness)
Know Yourself: Are You a Freezer, Flyer, or Fighter? How avoidance coping manifests for you will depend on what your dominant response type is when you’re facing something you’d rather avoid. There are three possible responses: freezing, fleeing, or fighting. We’ve evolved these reactions because they’re useful for encounters with predators. Like other animals, when we encounter a predator, we’re wired to freeze to avoid provoking attention, run away, or fight. Most people are prone to one of the three responses more so than the other two. Therefore, you can think of yourself as having a “type,” like a personality type. Identify your type using the descriptions in the paragraphs that follow. Bear in mind that your type is just your most dominant pattern. Sometimes you’ll respond in one of the other two ways. Freezers virtually freeze when they don’t want to do something. They don’t move forward or backward; they just stop in their tracks. If a coworker or loved one nags a freezer to do something the freezer doesn’t want to do, the freezer will tend not to answer. Freezers may be prone to stonewalling in relationships, which is a term used to describe when people flat-out refuse to discuss certain topics that their partner wants to talk about, such as a decision to have another baby or move to a new home. Flyers are people who are prone to fleeing when they don’t want to do something. They might physically leave the house if a relationship argument gets too tense and they’d rather not continue the discussion. Flyers can be prone to serial relationships because they’d rather escape than work through tricky issues. When flyers want to avoid doing something, they tend to busy themselves with too much activity as a way to justify their avoidance. For example, instead of dealing with their own issues, flyers may overfill their children’s schedules so that they’re always on the run, taking their kids from activity to activity. Fighters tend to respond to anxiety by working harder. Fighters are the anxiety type that is least prone to avoidance coping: however, they still do it in their own way. When fighters have something that they’d rather not deal with, they will often work themselves into the ground but avoid dealing with the crux of the problem. When a strategy isn’t working, fighters don’t like to admit it and will keep hammering away. They tend to avoid getting the outside input they need to move forward. They may avoid acting on others’ advice if doing so is anxiety provoking, even when deep down they know that taking the advice is necessary. Instead, they will keep trying things their own way. A person’s dominant anxiety type—freezer, flyer, or fighter—will often be consistent for both work and personal relationships, but not always. Experiment: Once you’ve identified your type, think about a situation you’re facing currently in which you’re acting to type. What’s an alternative coping strategy you could try? For example, your spouse is nagging you to do a task involving the computer. You feel anxious about it due to your general lack of confidence with all things computer related. If you’re a freezer, you’d normally just avoid answering when asked when you’re going to do the task. How could you change your reaction?
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
In order for A to apply to computations generally, we shall need a way of coding all the different computations C(n) so that A can use this coding for its action. All the possible different computations C can in fact be listed, say as C0, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5,..., and we can refer to Cq as the qth computation. When such a computation is applied to a particular number n, we shall write C0(n), C1(n), C2(n), C3(n), C4(n), C5(n),.... We can take this ordering as being given, say, as some kind of numerical ordering of computer programs. (To be explicit, we could, if desired, take this ordering as being provided by the Turing-machine numbering given in ENM, so that then the computation Cq(n) is the action of the qth Turing machine Tq acting on n.) One technical thing that is important here is that this listing is computable, i.e. there is a single computation Cx that gives us Cq when it is presented with q, or, more precisely, the computation Cx acts on the pair of numbers q, n (i.e. q followed by n) to give Cq(n). The procedure A can now be thought of as a particular computation that, when presented with the pair of numbers q,n, tries to ascertain that the computation Cq(n) will never ultimately halt. Thus, when the computation A terminates, we shall have a demonstration that Cq(n) does not halt. Although, as stated earlier, we are shortly going to try to imagine that A might be a formalization of all the procedures that are available to human mathematicians for validly deciding that computations never will halt, it is not at all necessary for us to think of A in this way just now. A is just any sound set of computational rules for ascertaining that some computations Cq(n) do not ever halt. Being dependent upon the two numbers q and n, the computation that A performs can be written A(q,n), and we have: (H) If A(q,n) stops, then Cq(n) does not stop. Now let us consider the particular statements (H) for which q is put equal to n. This may seem an odd thing to do, but it is perfectly legitimate. (This is the first step in the powerful 'diagonal slash', a procedure discovered by the highly original and influential nineteenth-century Danish/Russian/German mathematician Georg Cantor, central to the arguments of both Godel and Turing.) With q equal to n, we now have: (I) If A(n,n) stops, then Cn(n) does not stop. We now notice that A(n,n) depends upon just one number n, not two, so it must be one of the computations C0,C1,C2,C3,...(as applied to n), since this was supposed to be a listing of all the computations that can be performed on a single natural number n. Let us suppose that it is in fact Ck, so we have: (J) A(n,n) = Ck(n) Now examine the particular value n=k. (This is the second part of Cantor's diagonal slash!) We have, from (J), (K) A(k,k) = Ck(k) and, from (I), with n=k: (L) If A(k,k) stops, then Ck(k) does not stop. Substituting (K) in (L), we find: (M) If Ck(k) stops, then Ck(k) does not stop. From this, we must deduce that the computation Ck(k) does not in fact stop. (For if it did then it does not, according to (M)! But A(k,k) cannot stop either, since by (K), it is the same as Ck(k). Thus, our procedure A is incapable of ascertaining that this particular computation Ck(k) does not stop even though it does not. Moreover, if we know that A is sound, then we know that Ck(k) does not stop. Thus, we know something that A is unable to ascertain. It follows that A cannot encapsulate our understanding.
Roger Penrose (Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness)
In physical terms, we know that every human action can be reduced to a series of impersonal events: Genes are transcribed, neurotransmitters bind to their receptors, muscle fibers contract, and John Doe pulls the trigger on his gun. But for our commonsense notions of human agency and morality to hold, it seems that our actions cannot be merely lawful products of our biology, our conditioning, or anything else that might lead others to predict them. Consequently, some scientists and philosophers hope that chance or quantum uncertainty can make room for free will. For instance, the biologist Martin Heisenberg has observed that certain processes in the brain, such as the opening and closing of ion channels and the release of synaptic vesicles, occur at random, and cannot therefore be determined by environmental stimuli. Thus, much of our behavior can be considered truly “self-generated”—and therein, he imagines, lies a basis for human freedom. But how do events of this kind justify the feeling of free will? “Self-generated” in this sense means only that certain events originate in the brain. If my decision to have a second cup of coffee this morning was due to a random release of neurotransmitters, how could the indeterminacy of the initiating event count as the free exercise of my will? Chance occurrences are by definition ones for which I can claim no responsibility. And if certain of my behaviors are truly the result of chance, they should be surprising even to me. How would neurological ambushes of this kind make me free? Imagine what your life would be like if all your actions, intentions, beliefs, and desires were randomly “self-generated” in this way. You would scarcely seem to have a mind at all. You would live as one blown about by an internal wind. Actions, intentions, beliefs, and desires can exist only in a system that is significantly constrained by patterns of behavior and the laws of stimulus-response. The possibility of reasoning with other human beings—or, indeed, of finding their behaviors and utterances comprehensible at all—depends on the assumption that their thoughts and actions will obediently ride the rails of a shared reality. This is true as well when attempting to understand one’s own behavior. In the limit, Heisenberg’s “self-generated” mental events would preclude the existence of any mind at all. The indeterminacy specific to quantum mechanics offers no foothold: If my brain is a quantum computer, the brain of a fly is likely to be a quantum computer, too. Do flies enjoy free will? Quantum effects are unlikely to be biologically salient in any case. They play a role in evolution because cosmic rays and other high-energy particles cause point mutations in DNA (and the behavior of such particles passing through the nucleus of a cell is governed by the laws of quantum mechanics). Evolution, therefore, seems unpredictable in principle.13 But few neuroscientists view the brain as a quantum computer. And even if it were, quantum indeterminacy does nothing to make the concept of free will scientifically intelligible. In the face of any real independence from prior events, every thought and action would seem to merit the statement “I don’t know what came over me.” If determinism is true, the future is set—and this includes all our future states of mind and our subsequent behavior. And to the extent that the law of cause and effect is subject to indeterminism—quantum or otherwise—we can take no credit for what happens. There is no combination of these truths that seems compatible with the popular notion of free will.
Sam Harris (Free Will)
The initial promise of computer technology was to remove the intermediary from the financial market, or at least reduce the amount he could scalp from that market. The reality turned out to be a windfall for financial intermediaries—of somewhere between $10 billion and $22 billion a year, depending on whose estimates you wanted to believe.
Michael Lewis (Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt)
the best data scientists tend to be “hard scientists,” particularly physicists, rather than computer science majors. Physicists have a strong mathematical background, computing skills, and come from a discipline in which survival depends on getting the most from the data. They have to think about the big picture, the big problem.
O'Reilly Radar Team (Big Data Now: Current Perspectives from O'Reilly Radar)
The five letters of the SOLID acronym stand for: Single Responsibility Principle: a class should have one and only one responsibility; that is, only one reason to change. The Lack of Cohesion Of Methods metric indicates the antipattern of too large a class. Open/Closed Principle: a class should be open for extension, but closed against modification. The Case Statement design smell suggests a violation. Liskov Substitution Principle: a method designed to work on an object of type T should also work on an object of any subtype of T. That is, all of T’s subtypes should preserve T’s “contract.” The refused bequest design smell often indicates a violation. Dependency Injection Principle: if two classes depend on each other but their implementations may change, it would be better for them to both depend on a separate abstract interface which is “injected” between them. Demeter Principle: a method can call other methods in its own class, and methods on the classes of its own instance variables; everything else is taboo. A design smell that indicates a violation is inappropriate intimacy.
Armando Fox (Engineering Software as a Service: An Agile Approach Using Cloud Computing + $10 AWS Credit)
For example, there’s an uncharacteristic explosion of creativity among accountants. Yes, accountants: Groups like the Thriveal C.P.A. Network and the VeraSage Institute are leading that profession from its roots in near-total risk aversion to something approaching the opposite. Computing may have commoditized much of the industry’s everyday work, but some enterprising accountants are learning how to use some of their biggest assets — the trust of their clients and access to financial data — to provide deep insights into a company’s business. They’re identifying which activities are most profitable, which ones are wasteful and when the former become the latter. Accounting once was entirely backward-looking and, because no one would pay for an audit for fun, dependent on government regulation. It was a cost. Now real-time networked software can make it forward-looking and a source of profit. It’s worth remembering, though, that this process never ends: As soon as accountants discover a new sort of service to provide their customers, some software innovator will be seeking ways to automate it, which means those accountants will work to constantly come up with even newer ideas. The failure loop will
Social capital is a capability that arises from the prevalence of trust in a society or in certain parts of it. It can be embodied in the smallest and most basic social group, the family, as well as the largest of all groups, the nation, and in all the other groups in between. Social capital differs from other forms of human capital insofar as it is usually created and transmitted through cultural mechanisms like religion, tradition, or historical habit. Economists typically argue that the formation of social groups can be explained as the result of voluntary contract between individuals who have made the rational calculation that cooperation is in their long-term self-interest. By this account, trust is not necessary for cooperation: enlightened self-interest, together with legal mechanisms like contracts, can compensate for an absence of trust and allow strangers jointly to create an organization that will work for a common purpose. Groups can be formed at any time based on self-interest, and group formation is not culture-dependent. But while contract and self-interest are important sources of association, the most effective organizations are based on communities of shared ethical values. These communities do not require extensive contract and legal regulation of their relations because prior moral consensus gives members of the group a basis for mutual trust. The social capital needed to create this kind of moral community cannot be acquired, as in the case of other forms of human capital, through a rational investment decision. That is, an individual can decide to “invest” in conventional human capital like a college education, or training to become a machinist or computer programmer, simply by going to the appropriate school. Acquisition of social capital, by contrast, requires habituation to the moral norms of a community and, in its context, the acquisition of virtues like loyalty, honesty, and dependability. The group, moreover, has to adopt common norms as a whole before trust can become generalized among its members. In other words, social capital cannot be acquired simply by individuals acting on their own. It is based on the prevalence of social, rather than individual virtues. The proclivity for sociability is much harder to acquire than other forms of human capital, but because it is based on ethical habit, it is also harder to modify or destroy. Another term that I will use widely throughout this book is spontaneous sociability, which constitutes a subset of social capital. In any modern society, organizations are being constantly created, destroyed, and modified. The most useful kind of social capital is often not the ability to work under the authority of a traditional community or group, but the capacity to form new associations and to cooperate within the terms of reference they establish. This type of group, spawned by industrial society’s complex division of labor and yet based on shared values rather than contract, falls under the general rubric of what Durkheim labeled “organic solidarity.”7 Spontaneous sociability, moreover, refers to that wide range of intermediate communities distinct from the family or those deliberately established by governments. Governments often have to step in to promote community when there is a deficit of spontaneous sociability. But state intervention poses distinct risks, since it can all too easily undermine the spontaneous communities established in civil society.
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity)
The Markovian Property states that the conditional distribution of any future state Xn+1, given past states X0, X1, . . . , Xn–1, and given the present state Xn, is independent of past states and depends only on the present state Xn.
Mor Harchol-Balter (Performance Modeling and Design of Computer Systems: Queueing Theory in Action)
battery and transferring files. To charge your Kindle from a power outlet, you will need a compatible AC adapter (sold separately) for the USB cable. When your Kindle is charging, a lightning bolt appears on the battery icon at the top of the Home screen. The indicator light on the bottom edge will turn amber while the battery is charging and green when it is fully charged. Charging should take less than four hours using a Kindle AC adapter. Charging using 3rd party adapters or via USB should take less than four hours, but may take longer depending on the capability of the hardware. You can still use your Kindle while it is connected to your computer and charging via USB. To do so, unmount or eject it so that your Kindle exits USB drive mode. Windows: Right-click on the "Safely remove hardware" icon in the lower right-hand corner of the task bar and follow the onscreen instructions
Amazon (Kindle Paperwhite User's Guide 2nd Edition)
As our economy shifts more and more onto an information basis, we are inadvertently creating a divided society. The upper class is composed of those who have mastered the nuances of differentiating between "RAM" and "hard disk." The lower class consists of those who treat the difference as inconsequential. The irony is that the difference really is inconsequential to anyone except a few hard-core engineers. Yet virtually all contemporary software forces its users to confront a file system, where your success is fully dependent on knowing the difference between RAM and disk. Thus the term "computer literacy" becomes a euphemism for social and economic apartheid. Computer literacy is a key phrase that brutally bifurcates our society.
Alan Cooper (The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity)
modeling a realistic human face was beyond his ability. This is because when a light beam hits the human face, it scatters in all directions, depending on its texture. Each particle of light has to be tracked by computer. Hence, each point of skin on a person’s face has to be described by a complex mathematical function, which is a real headache for a
We depend on computers when we ourselves haven't mastered the principles behind what we are asking computers to design. Glenn Murcutt - A Singular Architectural Practice page 16
Glenn Murcutt (Glenn Murcutt: A Singular Architectural Practice : 2002 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize)
The test statistics of a t-test can be positive or negative, although this depends merely on which group has the larger mean; the sign of the test statistic has no substantive interpretation. Critical values (see Chapter 10) of the t-test are shown in Appendix C as (Student’s) t-distribution.4 For this test, the degrees of freedom are defined as n – 1, where n is the total number of observations for both groups. The table is easy to use. As mentioned below, most tests are two-tailed tests, and analysts find critical values in the columns for the .05 (5 percent) and .01 (1 percent) levels of significance. For example, the critical value at the 1 percent level of significance for a test based on 25 observations (df = 25 – 1 = 24) is 2.797 (and 1.11 at the 5 percent level of significance). Though the table also shows critical values at other levels of significance, these are seldom if ever used. The table shows that the critical value decreases as the number of observations increases, making it easier to reject the null hypothesis. The t-distribution shows one- and two-tailed tests. Two-tailed t-tests should be used when analysts do not have prior knowledge about which group has a larger mean; one-tailed t-tests are used when analysts do have such prior knowledge. This choice is dictated by the research situation, not by any statistical criterion. In practice, two-tailed tests are used most often, unless compelling a priori knowledge exists or it is known that one group cannot have a larger mean than the other. Two-tailed testing is more conservative than one-tailed testing because the critical values of two-tailed tests are larger, thus requiring larger t-test test statistics in order to reject the null hypothesis.5 Many statistical software packages provide only two-tailed testing. The above null hypothesis (men and women do not have different mean incomes in the population) requires a two-tailed test because we do not know, a priori, which gender has the larger income.6 Finally, note that the t-test distribution approximates the normal distribution for large samples: the critical values of 1.96 (5 percent significance) and 2.58 (1 percent significance), for large degrees of freedom (∞), are identical to those of the normal distribution. Getting Started Find examples of t-tests in the research literature. T-Test Assumptions Like other tests, the t-test has test assumptions that must be met to ensure test validity. Statistical testing always begins by determining whether test assumptions are met before examining the main research hypotheses. Although t-test assumptions are a bit involved, the popularity of the t-test rests partly on the robustness of t-test conclusions in the face of modest violations. This section provides an in-depth treatment of t-test assumptions, methods for testing the assumptions, and ways to address assumption violations. Of course, t-test statistics are calculated by the computer; thus, we focus on interpreting concepts (rather than their calculation). Key Point The t-test is fairly robust against assumption violations. Four t-test test assumptions must be met to ensure test validity: One variable is continuous, and the other variable is dichotomous. The two distributions have equal variances. The observations are independent. The two distributions are normally distributed. The first assumption, that one variable is continuous and the other dichotomous,
Evan M. Berman (Essential Statistics for Public Managers and Policy Analysts)
So what should you do, right now then? Well you should start by listening to George Bernard Shaw who said that, “all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Graduation gives you the courage to be unreasonable. Don’t bother to have a plan. Instead let’s have some luck. Success is really about being ready for the good opportunities that come before you. It’s not to have a detailed plan about everything you’re going to do, you can’t plan innovation or inspiration, but you can be ready for it. And when you see it, you can jump on it and you can make a difference, as many of the people here have already done. Leadership and personality matters a lot. Intelligence, education, and analytical reasoning matter. Trust matters. In the network world, trust is the most important currency. Which brings me to my final question. What is, in fact, the meaning of life? And in a world where everything is remembered and everything is kept forever–the world you are in–you need to live for the future and the things you really care about. And what are those things? Well in order to know that, I hate to say it, but you’re going to have to turn off your computer. You’re actually going to have to turn off your phone and discover all that is human around us. You’ll find that people really are the same all around the world. They really do care about the same things. You’ll find that the resilience of a human being and the human spirit is amazing. You’ll find today that the best chance you will ever have is right now, to start being unreasonable. You’ll find that a mind set in its way is a life wasted–don’t do it.
Eric Schmidt
If we treated all things we use in our daily life, whether it is our computer, our handbag, or our pens and pencils, with the same care that athletes give to their equipment, we could greatly increase the number of dependable "supporters" in our lives.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing)
A genuine model of evolution cannot compress the number of generations or the richness of the world. Evolution depends for its very operation on extremely large numbers of generations and all the richness of the world that is actually in place during every moment of its unfolding. Similarly, we think blending depends for its very operation on extremely large numbers of mappings and all the richness of the physical and conceptual worlds in place during blending. If evolution and blending cannot be modeled computationally, are they therefore not amenable to scientific study?
Gilles Fauconnier (The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and The Mind's Hidden Complexities)
In humanity's relentless drive for convenience and economic growth, we have developed a dangerous level of dependency on networked systems in a very short space of time: in less than two decades, huge parts of the so-called 'critical national infrastructure' (CNI in geekish) in most countries have come under the control of ever more complex computer systems.
Misha Glenny (DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You)
Digital computers have either two states, on or off, and so respond only to binary messages, which consist of ones (on) and zeros (off). Every term in a program ultimately must be expressed through these two numbers, ensuring that ordinary mathematical statements quickly grow dizzyingly complex. In the late 1940s, programming a computer was, as one observer put it, “maddeningly difficult.” Before long programmers found ways to produce binary strings more easily. They first devised special typewriters that automatically spit out the desired binary code. Then they shifted to more expansive “assembly” languages, in which letters and symbols stood for ones and zeros. Writing in assembly was an advance, but it still required fidelity to a computer’s rigid instruction set. The programmer had to know the instruction set cold in order to write assembly code effectively. Moreover, the instruction set differed from computer model to computer model, depending on its microprocessor design. This meant that a programmer’s knowledge of an assembly language, so painfully acquired, could be rendered worthless whenever a certain computer fell out of use. By
G. Pascal Zachary (Showstopper!: The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft)
Decision trees instead ensure a priori that each instance will be matched by exactly one rule. This will be the case if each pair of rules differs in at least one attribute test, and such a rule set can be organized into a decision tree. For example, consider these rules: If you’re for cutting taxes and pro-life, you’re a Republican. If you’re against cutting taxes, you’re a Democrat. If you’re for cutting taxes, pro-choice, and against gun control, you’re an independent. If you’re for cutting taxes, pro-choice, and pro-gun control, you’re a Democrat. These can be organized into the following decision tree: A decision tree is like playing a game of twenty questions with an instance. Starting at the root, each node asks about the value of one attribute, and depending on the answer, we follow one or another branch. When we arrive at a leaf, we read off the predicted concept. Each path from the root to a leaf corresponds to a rule. If this reminds you of those annoying phone menus you have to get through when you call customer service, it’s not an accident: a phone menu is a decision tree. The computer on the other end of the line is playing a game of twenty questions with you to figure out what you want, and each menu is a question. According to the decision tree above, you’re either a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent; you can’t be more than one, or none of the above. Sets of concepts with this property are called sets of classes, and the algorithm that predicts them is a classifier. A single concept implicitly defines two classes: the concept itself and its negation. (For example, spam and nonspam.) Classifiers are the most widespread form of machine learning. We can learn decision trees using a variant of the “divide and conquer” algorithm. First we pick an attribute to test at the root. Then we focus on the examples that went down each branch and pick the next test for those. (For example, we check whether tax-cutters are pro-life or pro-choice.) We repeat this for each new node we induce until all the examples in a branch have the same class, at which point we label that branch with the class.
Pedro Domingos (The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World)
The S curve is not just important as a model in its own right; it’s also the jack-of-all-trades of mathematics. If you zoom in on its midsection, it approximates a straight line. Many phenomena we think of as linear are in fact S curves, because nothing can grow without limit. Because of relativity, and contra Newton, acceleration does not increase linearly with force, but follows an S curve centered at zero. So does electric current as a function of voltage in the resistors found in electronic circuits, or in a light bulb (until the filament melts, which is itself another phase transition). If you zoom out from an S curve, it approximates a step function, with the output suddenly changing from zero to one at the threshold. So depending on the input voltages, the same curve represents the workings of a transistor in both digital computers and analog devices like amplifiers and radio tuners. The early part of an S curve is effectively an exponential, and near the saturation point it approximates exponential decay. When someone talks about exponential growth, ask yourself: How soon will it turn into an S curve? When will the population bomb peter out, Moore’s law lose steam, or the singularity fail to happen? Differentiate an S curve and you get a bell curve: slow, fast, slow becomes low, high, low. Add a succession of staggered upward and downward S curves, and you get something close to a sine wave. In fact, every function can be closely approximated by a sum of S curves: when the function goes up, you add an S curve; when it goes down, you subtract one. Children’s learning is not a steady improvement but an accumulation of S curves. So is technological change. Squint at the New York City skyline and you can see a sum of S curves unfolding across the horizon, each as sharp as a skyscraper’s corner. Most importantly for us, S curves lead to a new solution to the credit-assignment problem. If the universe is a symphony of phase transitions, let’s model it with one. That’s what the brain does: it tunes the system of phase transitions inside to the one outside. So let’s replace the perceptron’s step function with an S curve and see what happens.
Pedro Domingos (The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World)
In 1913, on the eve of World War I, the Russian mathematician Andrei Markov published a paper applying probability to, of all things, poetry. In it, he modeled a classic of Russian literature, Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, using what we now call a Markov chain. Rather than assume that each letter was generated at random independently of the rest, he introduced a bare minimum of sequential structure: he let the probability of each letter depend on the letter immediately preceding it. He showed that, for example, vowels and consonants tend to alternate, so if you see a consonant, the next letter (ignoring punctuation and white space) is much more likely to be a vowel than it would be if letters were independent. This may not seem like much, but in the days before computers, it required spending hours manually counting characters, and Markov’s idea was quite new. If Voweli is a Boolean variable that’s true if the ith letter of Eugene Onegin is a vowel and false if it’s a consonant, we can represent Markov’s model with a chain-like graph like this, with an arrow between two nodes indicating a direct dependency between the corresponding variables: Markov assumed (wrongly but usefully) that the probabilities are the same at every position in the text. Thus we need to estimate only three probabilities: P(Vowel1 = True), P(Voweli+1 = True | Voweli = True), and P(Voweli+1 = True | Voweli = False). (Since probabilities sum to one, from these we can immediately obtain P(Vowel1 = False), etc.) As with Naïve Bayes, we can have as many variables as we want without the number of probabilities we need to estimate going through the roof, but now the variables actually depend on each other.
Pedro Domingos (The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World)
The breakthrough came in the early 1980s, when Judea Pearl, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles, invented a new representation: Bayesian networks. Pearl is one of the most distinguished computer scientists in the world, his methods having swept through machine learning, AI, and many other fields. He won the Turing Award, the Nobel Prize of computer science, in 2012. Pearl realized that it’s OK to have a complex network of dependencies among random variables, provided each variable depends directly on only a few others. We can represent these dependencies with a graph like the ones we saw for Markov chains and HMMs, except now the graph can have any structure (as long as the arrows don’t form closed loops). One of Pearl’s favorite examples is burglar alarms. The alarm at your house should go off if a burglar attempts to break in, but it could also be triggered by an earthquake. (In Los Angeles, where Pearl lives, earthquakes are almost as frequent as burglaries.) If you’re working late one night and your neighbor Bob calls to say he just heard your alarm go off, but your neighbor Claire doesn’t, should you call the police? Here’s the graph of dependencies: If there’s an arrow from one node to another in the graph, we say that the first node is a parent of the second. So Alarm’s parents are Burglary and Earthquake, and Alarm is the sole parent of Bob calls and Claire calls. A Bayesian network is a graph of dependencies like this, together with a table for each variable, giving its probability for each combination of values of its parents. For Burglary and Earthquake we only need one probability each, since they have no parents. For Alarm we need four: the probability that it goes off even if there’s no burglary or earthquake, the probability that it goes off if there’s a burglary and no earthquake, and so on. For Bob calls we need two probabilities (given alarm and given no alarm), and similarly for Claire. Here’s the crucial point: Bob calling depends on Burglary and Earthquake, but only through Alarm. Bob’s call is conditionally independent of Burglary and Earthquake given Alarm, and so is Claire’s. If the alarm doesn’t go off, your neighbors sleep soundly, and the burglar proceeds undisturbed. Also, Bob and Claire are independent given Alarm. Without this independence structure, you’d need to learn 25 = 32 probabilities, one for each possible state of the five variables. (Or 31, if you’re a stickler for details, since the last one can be left implicit.) With the conditional independencies, all you need is 1 + 1 + 4 + 2 + 2 = 10, a savings of 68 percent. And that’s just in this tiny example; with hundreds or thousands of variables, the savings would be very close to 100 percent.
Pedro Domingos (The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World)
As was mentioned before, this does feel like it's “just philosophy.” You can set things up, though, so that real decisions depend on it. Maybe you've heard of the surefire way of winning the lottery: buy a lottery ticket and if it doesn't win, then you kill yourself. Then, you clearly have to condition on being alive to ask the question of whether you are alive or not, and so because you're asking the question, you must be alive, and thus must have won the lottery. What can you say about this? You can say that in actual practice, most of us don't accept as a decision-theoretic axiom that you're allowed to condition on remaining alive. You could jump off a building and condition on there happening to be a trampoline or something that will rescue you. You have to take into account the possibility that your choices are going to kill you. On the other hand, tragically, some people do kill themselves. Was this in fact what they were doing? Were they eliminating the worlds where things didn't turn out how they wanted?
Scott Aaronson (Quantum Computing Since Democritus)
Marc Goodman is a cyber crime specialist with an impressive résumé. He has worked with the Los Angeles Police Department, Interpol, NATO, and the State Department. He is the chief cyber criminologist at the Cybercrime Research Institute, founder of the Future Crime Institute, and now head of the policy, law, and ethics track at SU. When breaking down this threat, Goodman sees four main categories of concern. The first issue is personal. “In many nations,” he says, “humanity is fully dependent on the Internet. Attacks against banks could destroy all records. Someone’s life savings could vanish in an instant. Hacking into hospitals could cost hundreds of lives if blood types were changed. And there are already 60,000 implantable medical devices connected to the Internet. As the integration of biology and information technology proceeds, pacemakers, cochlear implants, diabetic pumps, and so on, will all become the target of cyber attacks.” Equally alarming are threats against physical infrastructures that are now hooked up to the net and vulnerable to hackers (as was recently demonstrated with Iran’s Stuxnet incident), among them bridges, tunnels, air traffic control, and energy pipelines. We are heavily dependent on these systems, but Goodman feels that the technology being employed to manage them is no longer up to date, and the entire network is riddled with security threats. Robots are the next issue. In the not-too-distant future, these machines will be both commonplace and connected to the Internet. They will have superior strength and speed and may even be armed (as is the case with today’s military robots). But their Internet connection makes them vulnerable to attack, and very few security procedures have been implemented to prevent such incidents. Goodman’s last area of concern is that technology is constantly coming between us and reality. “We believe what the computer tells us,” says Goodman. “We read our email through computer screens; we speak to friends and family on Facebook; doctors administer medicines based upon what a computer tells them the medical lab results are; traffic tickets are issued based upon what cameras tell us a license plate says; we pay for items at stores based upon a total provided by a computer; we elect governments as a result of electronic voting systems. But the problem with all this intermediated life is that it can be spoofed. It’s really easy to falsify what is seen on our computer screens. The more we disconnect from the physical and drive toward the digital, the more we lose the ability to tell the real from the fake. Ultimately, bad actors (whether criminals, terrorists, or rogue governments) will have the ability to exploit this trust.
Peter H. Diamandis (Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think)
If everyone were free to migrate from one country to another, wages in rich countries would fall and wages in poor countries would rise, and the world would be a much more equal place. Of course, opposition to lower wages in rich countries is precisely why people are not permitted to migrate at will, and it is why meals and haircuts are so cheap in poor countries. The price of land, like the price of labor, cannot be arbitraged between rich countries and poor countries. Cheap housing in India or Africa cannot be brought up to American prices by simply moving the land across the ocean. The presence of cheap land and cheap labor in poor countries explains why price levels in poor countries are so much lower than in rich countries. The market sets the exchange rate to equalize the prices of steel, gasoline, automobiles, and computers—everything that can be and is part of international trade—but the price level depends on goods and services that cannot be traded. Because those are cheaper in poor places, the poorer the country, the lower are the average prices.
Angus Deaton (The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality)
A race condition occurs when the correctness of a computation depends on the relative timing or interleaving of multiple threads by the runtime; in other words, when getting the right answer relies on lucky timing.
Brian Goetz (Java Concurrency in Practice)
All work is knowledge work. The carpenter’s mind is no less animated and engaged than the actuary’s. The architect’s accomplishments depend as much on the body and its senses as the hunter’s do.
Nicholas Carr (The Glass Cage: Automation and Us: How Our Computers Are Changing Us)
So, for example, Bell is mesmerized by a screen saver that draws on his personal archive to display random snapshots. Pictures of long-ago birthdays and family trips trigger waves of nostalgia. But during my visit, Bell tries to use search tools to find a particular photograph that is not coming up on the screen. He pursues one strategy, then another. Nothing works; he loses interest. One senses a new dynamic: when you depend on the computer to remember the past, you focus on whatever past is kept on the computer. And you learn to favor whatever past is easiest to find. My screen saver, my life.
Alone Together Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
Shervin Pishevar’s other star investment, Uber, was embroiled in its own case about whether it was as humble and powerless as it claimed. A group of drivers had sued Uber, as well as its rival Lyft, in federal court, seeking to be treated as employees under California’s labor laws. Their case was weakened by the fact that they had signed agreements to be contractors not subject to those laws. They had accepted the terms and conditions that cast each driver as an entrepreneur—a free agent choosing her hours, needing none of the regulatory infrastructure that others depended on. They had bought into one of the reigning fantasies of MarketWorld: that people were their own miniature corporations. Then some of the drivers realized that in fact they were simply working people who wanted the same protections that so many others did from power, exploitation, and the vicissitudes of circumstance. Because the drivers had signed that agreement, they had blocked the easy path to being employees. But under the law, if they could prove that a company had pervasive, ongoing power over them as they did their work, they could still qualify as employees. To be a contractor is to give up certain protections and benefits in exchange for independence, and thus that independence must be genuine. The case inspired the judges in the two cases, Edward Chen and Vince Chhabria, to grapple thoughtfully with the question of where power lurks in a new networked age. It was no surprise that Uber and Lyft took the rebel position. Like Airbnb, Uber and Lyft claimed not to be powerful. Uber argued that it was just a technology firm facilitating links between passengers and drivers, not a car service. The drivers who had signed contracts were robust agents of their own destiny. Judge Chen derided this argument. “Uber is no more a ‘technology company,’ ” he wrote, “than Yellow Cab is a ‘technology company’ because it uses CB radios to dispatch taxi cabs, John Deere is a ‘technology company’ because it uses computers and robots to manufacture lawn mowers, or Domino Sugar is a ‘technology company’ because it uses modern irrigation techniques to grow its sugar cane.” Judge Chhabria similarly cited and tore down Lyft’s claim to be “an uninterested bystander of sorts, merely furnishing a platform that allows drivers and riders to connect.” He wrote: Lyft concerns itself with far more than simply connecting random users of its platform. It markets itself to customers as an on-demand ride service, and it actively seeks out those customers. It gives drivers detailed instructions about how to conduct themselves. Notably, Lyft’s own drivers’ guide and FAQs state that drivers are “driving for Lyft.” Therefore, the argument that Lyft is merely a platform, and that drivers perform no service for Lyft, is not a serious one.
Anand Giridharadas (Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World)
Number of users may not be the perfect test, but it will be very close. It’s what acquirers care about. It’s what revenues depend on. It’s what makes competitors unhappy. It’s what impresses reporters, and potential new users.
Paul Graham (Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age)
Cash money will be abolished soon to make way for our total dependence on the global computer system. You can ”only” access that system by using a chip in a plastic card (or in your body). This chip is the ID that will give you access to all you need, such as food, transport, education, and healthcare. The time of individual self-determinations has come to an end.
Robin de Ruiter (The 13 Satanic Bloodlines Paving the Road to Hell)
Humans hadn't even fully acknowledged the equal rights of each other, let alone those of animals or the planet. Animal slavery was as common as housecats and feedlots. Subjugation of ecosystems for natural resources ran as rampant as the rape and abuse of women. The same mentality that sought to possess and extract from the land also sought absolute dominance over the Internet and computers. And now this current corporate-political regime strove to shove humanity back into the dark ages just when our survival depended on recognizing the equal rights of all creation.
Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection - love and revolution - (Dandelion Trilogy - The people will rise. Book 1))
Chapter 2 – Why do Hackers Hack? If you have read about various hacking incidents that come up in the newspapers or on the Internet, you will realize that all those incidents are somewhat unrelated and generally carried out by varying intentions. Therefore, the reason as to why do hackers hack depends upon the particular hacker and what is he looking for. As you might already know, the major reason for hacking is generally money. However, there are other reasons present which can be quite important as well. In general, the major reasons for which hacker’s hack include the following: Profit: This is one of the most prominent reasons as to why hackers’ hack.  The hacking might profit them in one way or another. Some of the hackers who work for their profit might not fall in the illegal zone. For example, a hacker might be on the payroll of an IT company to exploit the weaknesses in their OWN systems. Hackers get paid very well through opportunities like these. However, it doesn’t mean that the hacker would be doing anything unethical. However, there are many hackers who focus on personal profits so much that they do not mind resorting to illegal methods for that; for example, hacking someone without authorization to retrieve personal information about the user, which can help the hacker in stealing the funds of the user. This is quite unethical and frowned upon. Needless to say, something like this can get the hacker behind bars. Accessing data:
Cooper Alvin (Hacking for Beginners: Learn Practical Hacking Skills! All About Computer Hacking, Ethical Hacking, Black Hat, Penetration Testing, And Much More! (Hacking, ... Hacking, Tor Browser, Penetration Testing))
Sorry I kept calling you Sandra; she was the last girl. What’s your real name?” “Robin.” “Robin,” he repeated. “That’ll be easy to remember.” He had some notion of making a jocular allusion to Batman and his dependable sidekick, but the feeble jest died on his lips as her face turned brilliantly pink. Too late, he realized that the most unfortunate construction could be put on his innocent words. Robin swung the swivel chair back towards the computer monitor, so that all Strike could see was an edge of a flaming cheek.
Robert Galbraith (The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1))
Rather than imposing a functional form, particularly when that form is unknown ex ante, they would allow algorithms to figure out variable dependencies from the data. And rather than making strong assumptions on the data, the algorithms would conduct experiments that evaluate the mathematical properties of out-of-sample predictions. This relaxation in terms of functional form and data assumptions, combined with the use of powerful computers, opened the door to analyzing complex data sets, including highly nonlinear, hierarchical, and noncontinuous interaction effects.
Marcos López de Prado (Machine Learning for Asset Managers (Elements in Quantitative Finance))
What does True Wireless Earbuds Mean Where are my earphones? Ahh!! There they are….and they are tangled (with irksome scream inside your head). There is nothing more frustrating than going on a search operation for your headphones and finally finding them entangled. Well thanks to the advance technology these days one of your daily struggles is gone with the arrival of wireless earphones in the market. No wire means no entanglement. ‘Kill the problem before it kills you’, you know the saying. Right! So what actually truly wireless earbuds are? Why should you replace your old headphones and invest in wireless ones? Without any further delay let’s dig deep into it. image WHAT ARE TRUE WIRELESS EARBUDS? A lot of people misunderstand true wireless earbuds and wireless earphones as the same thing. When it’s not. A true wireless earbuds which solely connects through Bluetooth and not through any wire or cord or through any other source. While wireless earphones are the ones which are connected through Bluetooth to audio source but the connection between the two ear plugs is established through a cable between them. Why true wireless earbuds? Usability: Who doesn’t like freedom! With no wire restrictions, it’s easier to workout without sacrificing your music motivation. From those super stretch yoga asanas to marathon running, from weight training to cycling - you actually can do all those without worrying about your phone safety or the dilemma of where to put them. With no wire and smooth distance connection interface, you have the full freedom of your body movement. They also comes with a charging case so you don’t have to worry about it’s battery. Good audio quality and background noise cancellation: With features like active noise cancellation, which declutter the unwanted background voice giving you the ultimate audio quality. These earbuds has just leveled up the experience of music and prevents you from getting distracted. Comfort and design: These small ear buddies are friendly which snuggles into your ear canal and don’t put too much pressure on your delicate ears as they are light weight. They are style statement maker and are comfortable to use even when you are on move, they stick to your ear and don’t fall off easily. Apart from all that you can easily answer your call on go, pause your music or whatever you are listening, switch to next by just touching your earplugs. image Convenience: You don’t necessarily have to have your phone on you like the wired ones. The farthest distance you could go was the length of the cable. But with wireless ones this is not the case, they could transmit sound waves from 8 meter upto 30 meters varying from model to model. Which allows you multi-task and make your household chores interesting. You can enjoy your podcasts or music or follow the recipe while cooking in your kitchen when your phone is lying in your living room. Voice assistance: How fascinating was it to watch all those detective/ secret agent thriller movies while they are on run and getting directions from their computer savvy buddies. Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible….. Remember! Many wireless earphones comes with voice assistance feature which makes it easy to go around the places you are new to. You don’t have to stop and look to your phone screen for directions which makes it easier to move either on foot or while driving. Few things for you to keep in mind and compare before investing in a true wireless earphones :- Sound Quality Battery Life Wireless Range Comfort and design Warranty Price Gone are those days when true wireless earbuds were expensive possession. They are quite economical now and are available with various features depending upon different brands in your price range.