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Posts Tagged ‘Science’

As powerful as advanced AI might be someday, we need to understand it first and think carefully about how it should be applied.  The best thing we can do is make sure we have the best minds working on AI and support research that helps us develop it faster.  Again, it’s just math.  Not magic.
At a very basic level, I think AI is good and not something we should be afraid of.  We’re already seeing examples of how AI can unlock value and improve the world.  If we can choose hope over fear — and if we advance the fundamental science behind AI — then this is only the beginning.
    —  Mark Zuckerberg
Quoted by: Jason Tanz
In his article: “A To-Do List For The Tech Industry
Appearing in: Wired Magazine, dtd: November 2016
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On This Day In:
2016 Today’s Rule
2015 Remembering Oklahoma City
2014 Who Was That Masked Man?
2013 Enemy Mine
2012 Strengthen Me
2011 Service, Please
2010 The Church In Crisis…

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The history of science is full of revolutionary advances that required small insights that anyone might have had, but that, in fact, only one person did.
     —  Isaac Asimov
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On This Day In:
2016 Be Uncommon
2015 Ooops!
2014 What Price Freedom?
2013 Remembering Val
2012 Good-bye, Val
Survival Value
2011 Traitors In Our Midst
Life Ain’t Easy

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Sometimes the stupid gene expresses itself, Tommy.  Genes are always testing themselves to see if they bring reproductive value.
   —  Jerry Hayes
Quoted by Hannah Nordhaus
From her article: “The Honey Trap
Appearing in Wired Magazine, dtd: August 2016
Link to the article:  http://www.wired.com/2016/08/jerry-hayes-how-to-save-the-bees-monsanto/
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On This Day In:
2016 For Me It’s Been Faith
2015 Where Many Paths And Errands Meet
2014 Rimmed Out
2013 Likeness
2012 Sums It Up Quite Well, Actually
2011 Momentary Abandonment

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Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.
     —  Peter F. Drucker
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On This Day In:
2016 Just Like My Mother
2015 All Omissions Are Mine
2014 Precise Order
2013 Uh, No. Not Really…
Deep Regions
2012 A Pre-Valentine’s Day Message
2011 Easy Like Sunday Morning
May I Have A Little More, Please…
2010 Valleys and Peaks

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“The universe is hardwired to be an organic chemist,” says [Scott] Sandford.  “It’s not a very clean or tidy one, but it has  really big beakers and plenty of time.”
 …
Says NASA planetary scientist Chris McKay: “A hurricane is a self-organizing, self-propagating system with a life cycle.  It’s born, it grows, it eats, and then it dies.  Why isn’t it alive?”
The answer, in this view, is that it can’t remember what it’s doing or how it’s changed and pass those improvements on.
 …
Still, life as we know it —  warm, watery and carbon-based — might remain the best model.  Chemistry and evolution are both, in their own ways, lazy.  They take the simplest routes to elegant solutions.  Perhaps there are other ways to get the biological job done, but it’s hard to come up with a better alternative.
Ultimately, as many astrobiologists argue, the question of life in space might be as simple as a three-part formula: chemistry plus energy plus time.  McKay likes to cite what’s know as the zero-one-infinity rule, which applies in a lot of scientific theories but especially in the search for life.  We know that the number of planets in the universe with life is not zero.  We know so far that it’s at least one.  If we do find another, it makes no chemical or mathematical sense for the total potential figure not to be unlimited.
“So what we’re searching for,” says McKay, “is two.”  That search is as big as the universe — but so is the promise it holds.
  —  Jeffrey Kluger
From his article: “The Perfectly Sane Case For Life In Space
In Time Magazine, February 22-29, 2016
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On This Day In:
2015 Still Trying
2014 Destiny, n.
2013 No Apologies
2012 Utterly Convinced
2011 A Key To Effectiveness

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People are entirely too disbelieving of coincidence.  They are far too ready to dismiss it and to build arcane structures of extremely rickety substance in order to avoid it.  I, on the other hand, see coincidence everywhere as an inevitable consequence of the laws of probability, according to which having no unusual coincidence is far more unusual than any coincidence could possibly be.
     —  Isaac Asimov
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On This Day In:
2015 I Resemble That Remark… (5!)
2014 The Writer’s Dilemma
2013 Just Paying The Rent
2012 Remembering…
2011 A Little Farther

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A Beautiful Mind  (2001)  —  movie review
This movie asks the question: is it possible to separate genius from insanity?  The movie is an adaptation of the book (biography) of the same name written by Sylvia Nasar.  The movie relates the story of American mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr.  Nash won the Nobel Prize (shared actually) for Economics in 1994 for work he did back in 1950 on “Game Theory” – more specifically on non-cooperative games.  Russell Crowe, of “Gladiator” fame, stars as Nash and Jennifer Connelly stars as his long suffering wife, Alicia Nash.  Long suffering because she cared for him most of his adult life as Nash himself suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
I read the book (way back when) and I bought and watched the DVD, too, but really didn’t remember either in much detail.  About all I remembered was the bit about agreeing to work in your own self interest as long as it doesn’t detract from the total group interest of the group you belong to.  In other words, you can do anything you want to do as long what you do doesn’t hurt your team.  In a world which had long accepted “dog-eat-dog” / “me first” as the fundamental of economic theory, this was a shock.  Essentially, it means if we all benefit (more or less) from “the game”, no one should try to destroy the game to keep anyone else from winning or from benefitting a little more than everyone else.  At least, this is the rational course of action.
The movie is beautifully shot and Connelly is simultaneously drop-dead gorgeous and sympathetic in her role.  I must admit to not being a big Crowe fan.  I haven’t seen many of his films, so my opinion is somewhat biased here, but I think this was the first movie where I thought, “Wow!  This guy CAN act.”  What I really found interesting was that there is “chemistry” between the two leads, but it didn’t strike me as sexual chemistry – even when it was meant to by the scenes.  They “seemed” to me to be adult friends who genuinely cared about each other – loved rather than being in love.  Either way, I thought they were both excellent in their respective roles.
Maybe I understand the concept of the Nash Equilibrium better than before, even if I still have no clue about the math behind it.  Final recommendation: moderate to strong recommendation.  I don’t really feel like I understand schizophrenia any more than before watching this movie.  I’m not sure if we are meant to.  Nash himself said it was difficult to separate the delusions from the real because both the delusions and his mathematical genius both came from the same place: his mind.  Is it possible to separate genius from insanity?  The answer seems to be: only with love.
…My quest has taken me through the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional, and back.  And I’ve made the most important discovery of my life.  It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logical reasons can be found.
     —  John Nash
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On This Day In:
2015 He Says It’s Hard To Get There From Here
2014 Question From A Founding Father
2013 Make Heroes
2012 See And Hold
2011 Am Not, Are So

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