Scary predictions are a thriving business but that does not make them a road map to the future.
Current indications are that Moore’s law’s speed has already slowed or even ceased to be a true description of the information technology (IT) industry today…
Steve Meyer, author of Darwin’s Doubt, offers a handy illustration of the sort of specified complexity that life forms show, which indicates design, in an April 2018 essay: Cryptographers distinguish between random signals and those carrying encoded messages, the latter indicating an intelligent source. Recognizing the activity of intelligent agents constitutes a common and fully […]
Jonathan Bartlett explains the relationship between information and prosperity as set out in Eric Holloway’s new paper: our ability to “read from Plato’s Library” of new ideas provides us with an ever-growing supply of
side information that powers the economy.
Neither randomness nor order alone create meaning. So how can we identify communications in a scientifically meaningful way? Dropping a handful of toothpicks on the table seems to produce a different sort of pattern than spelling out a word with toothpicks. Surprisingly, this intuitive distinction is harder to make in math and the sciences. Algorithmic […]
Quantum theory specifies that information is never lost but what happens to the information when a black hole vanishes? In the latest paper, Hawking (1942-2018) and his colleagues show how some information at least may be preserved. Toss an object into a black hole and the black hole’s temperature ought to change. So too will a […]
That’s tech philosopher George Gilder’s view: Last month, World News Daily did a three-part interview with George Gilder on the publication of Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy, which unpacks some of the book’s main ideas: Part One: “Reagan guru, predictor of iPhone foresees new web revolution” […]
Holloway distinguishes between meaningful information and artificial intelligence: What is meaningful information, and how does it relate to the artificial intelligence question? First, let’s start with Claude Shannon’s definition of information. Shannon (1916–2001), a mathematician and computer scientist, stated that an event’s information content is the negative logarithm* of its probability. So, if I flip […]
We’ve been talking about intelligence in termite mounds. Not “of” termite mounds but “in” them. From a review of The Revolutionary Genius of Plants: A New Understanding of Plant Intelligence and Behavior, by plant biologist Stefan Mancuso, To overcome the human bias toward brain-centered intelligence, Mancuso writes, one must consider that, unlike animals, plants can’t move. […]
Programmer Winston Ewert has developed a dependency graph, as an alternative to the Darwinian “tree of life,” to understand relationships among life forms. Here he discusses it with Jonathan McLatchie: Dr. Winston Ewert … proposes an alternative model to common descent to explain the hierarchical classification of life. Based on his paper published in Bio-Complexity, […]
At Mind Matters Today: “Machine learning” is a hot field, and tremendous strides are being made in programming machines to improve as they work. Such machines work toward a goal, in a way that appears autonomous and seems eerily like human learning. But can machines really learn? What happens during machine learning, and is it […]
The old Gaia asserts that living organisms and their inorganic surroundings have evolved together as a single living system that greatly affects the chemistry and conditions of Earth’s surface. Some scientists believe that this “Gaian system” self-regulates global temperature, atmospheric content, ocean salinity, and other factors in an “automatic” manner. Earth’s living system appears to […]
From ScienceDaily: A University of Montana researcher has discovered that mountain pine beetles may avoid certain trees within a population they normally would kill due to genetics in the trees. UM Professor Diana Six made the discovery after studying mature whitebark and lodgepole trees that were the age and size that mountain pine beetle prefer, […]
The king was pleased with Schmedrik’s proposal. But just as he was about to hand over the requested amount, his wise advisor Previsio pulled him aside and whispered, “Dear king, before we pay Schmedrik his fee, do you not think it prudent to first determine if the Innovator works?”
From msmash at Slashdot: Wikipedia, the vast online crowdsourced encyclopedia, has a high court. It is a panel called the Arbitration Committee, largely unknown to anyone other than Wiki aficionados, which hears disputes that arise after all other means of conflict resolution have failed. The 15 elected jurists on the English-language Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee — […]