No. Algorithms—including the ones used by Netflix—can’t be creative.
Several years ago, we held a conference on the interaction between engineering, science, philosophy, and theology. The result of this was a book titled “Engineering and the Ultimate: An Interdisciplinary Investigation of Order and Design in Nature and Craft”. It is now available for half price at Amazon if anyone wants to pick up […]
This is old news, but I only just learned about it, and I don’t think it was talked about when it happened. In 2006, the Ouachita Parish (i.e., county) School Board decided to allow a “teach the controversy” approach to science education. After the policy was enacted, the science teachers wrote a letter thanking the […]
You know, that non-PC nerd who was warned that it wasn’t safe for him to go back to teach and eventually settled for $500k. From Eric Owens at Daily Caller: School officials at the 4,000-student school received approximately 120 incident reports involving 180 students during the days-long series of protests, reports The Olympian, the main […]
The term “machine learning” has started to be thrown around everywhere. However, I just don’t get excited about it, myself.
Here: Notice how the shriveling of free expression smoothly proceeds to the next diminished staging post: Once upon a time, Berkeley professed to believe in free speech. Then it believed in free speech except for “hate speech”. Now it supports “serious” free speech, but not “hurtful” speech. Well, we live in a world of hurt. […]
No, not Atlantis, which has contributed so much to world fantasy literature. There is, in fact, a sort of lost continent, Zealandia. From Tia Ghose at LiveScience: The lost continent, which is mostly submerged, with all of New Zealand and a few islands peeking out from the water, is about half the size of Australia. […]
From Charles Q. Choi at Inside Science: However, much remains unknown about when and how cyanobacteria evolved oxygenic photosynthesis. “The whole question of the origin of cyanobacteria has long been a mystery because they kind of just appeared out of the tree of life with this very advanced capability to do oxygenic photosynthesis without any […]
From Ross Pomeroy at Space.com: 10. Nobody is transmitting. Instead, everybody may be listening. That’s basically how it is here on Earth. Apart from a few paltry efforts to broadcast strong signals over a narrow frequency band towards the stars above, we’ve barely made our presence known in the universe. In fact, if aliens have […]
“Conceptual penis” as a social construct at Skeptic Reading Room: The publication of our hoax reveals two problems. One relates to the business model of pay-to-publish, open-access journals. The other lies at the heart of academic fields like gender studies. … Our hoax was similar, of course, but it aimed to expose a more troubling […]
From Diana Yates at U Illinois: New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago – ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct – is more closely related to today’s African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant. […]
From Charles Q. Choi at LiveScience: We know little about Earth’s surface temperatures for the first 4 billion years or so of its history. This presents a limitation into research of life’s origins on Earth and how it might arise on distant worlds. Now researchers suggest that by resurrecting ancient enzymes they could estimate the […]
From ScienceDaily: University of Queensland scientists discovered a new type of lymphatic brain “scavenger” cell by studying tropical freshwater zebrafish — which share many of the same cell types and organs as humans. Lead researcher Associate Professor Ben Hogan from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience said the fundamental discovery would help scientists understand how the […]
A friend draws attention to an interesting 2013 article by Boaz Miller in Synthese: Scientific consensus is widely deferred to in public debates as a social indicator of the existence of knowledge. However, it is far from clear that such deference to consensus is always justified. The existence of agreement in a community of researchers […]
Gotten mixed reviews. See what you think. From Pillbug Zone: In a universe driven by targets, a faceless corporation employs you to create an evolving ecosystem you can never hope to control…