Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wealth-Neutrality and Education

“Those holding wealth-neutral schemes for evaluating themselves and others feel less driven to succeed financially…People who measure their merit in terms of knowledge often make excellent students, but the best students less often become the wealthiest adults – despite education’s image as a route to economic success.”

Thought Contagion: How belief spreads through society (the new science of memes)
Aaron Lynch, 1996

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dawkins quoting Darwin on his Theory of Natural Selection

“I doubt whether the use of any term would have made the subject intelligible to some minds.”

[In predicting whether the idea, or rather the term, “Natural Selection”, would survive, Darwin reveals his own latent understanding of memetics…]

“Whether it will be rejected must now depend on “The survival of the fit…”

p180, Darwin’s 1866 Alfred Russel Wallace Letters and Reminiscences
in p87 of Dawkins’ Extended Phenotype

Justifiable by Socialization

“The church relieved the individual believer of the need to justify himself”

The Inward Turn of the Narrative
Erich Kahler
1970 (German), 1973 (English trans: Richard and Clara Winston, Princeton U. Press)

Thought Experiments

“Thought experiments are not supposed to be realistic. They are supposed to clarify our thinking about reality.”

The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene
Richard Dawkins, 1982
1999 edition w afterword by Daniel Dennett

New and Improved

“It’s not reality, but it works better…”,
Iain McGilchrist, The Divided Mind, RSA, TED, 2011

And so we must ask, in essence, are not things seen in terms of their usefulness as opposed to whether they are true or false?

The Mutant

Madness is only a memetic-mutation

Saturday, February 25, 2012


The Mass Transference Device has been Activated..

Monday, February 20, 2012

Evolution: Intelligence as Prerequisite for Existence

Genetic evolution ends with consciousness. Genes function within a greater sphere, that which can be called cosmological evolution. Life, living matter, is but a sub-sphere in this system, and extends its existence via the transmission of genetic information. This particular type of information and its reading-and-writing apparatus is intelligent in regards to the physical world. Living matter is exposed to the physical world. It reacts to this stimulus, records the transaction, and transmits the information inter-generationally (via the gene). With communication, language, and writing, intelligence begins to interact with a non-physical world. The record of this interaction is transmitted inter-generationally, and after consciousness, intra-generationally, no loner using the gene, but the meme.

The gene works in the physical realm of the fundamental forces of nature, those being the gravitational, the electro-magnetic, and the nuclear forces. The gene can thus only evolve a physical body. With the advent of the mindspace, it becomes apparent that since evolution continues, despite fundamentally genetic change, as evidenced by the ‘growing’ of civilization, for example, a new information-transmitter must be at work.

This, the meme, interfaces the virtual world, the world of ideas, not of physical things, but ways-of-organizing physical things. The artificial arena of the anthropocene is responded to by the mind, not the body – as even living matter can not interact directly with the non-matter of ideas – and so its intelligence works in an even further sphere, one beyond that of biological evolution.

It is important, then, to distinguish between different kinds of intelligences. Intelligence is only the evidence of evolution. We, as humans, are quite mistaken in assuming that we are intelligent. It is not us, but the thing that is in us, running through us. Life, that proceeding humans, is still intelligent in that it ‘seems to’ predict an outcome and react accordingly, for the benefit of its continued existence. Non-living matter does the same thing, it must; after all, it still exists.

The Illusion of Control

...That is all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Big Data

Orwell's neologism was almost on point...

A report last year by the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of the consulting firm, projected that the United States needs 140,000 to 190,000 more workers with “deep analytical” expertise and 1.5 million more data-literate managers, whether retrained or hired.

A student majoring in math and political science may conduct research involving the computer-automated analysis of blog postings, Congressional speeches and press releases, and news articles, looking for insights into how political ideas spread.

Gary King, director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science calls it "the march of quantification".

At the World Economic Forum last month in Davos, Switzerland, Big Data was a marquee topic. A report by the forum, “Big Data, Big Impact,” declared data a new class of economic asset, like currency or gold.

Big Data - a new approach to understanding the world and making decisions

It’s not just more streams of data, but entirely new ones. For example, there are now countless digital sensors worldwide in industrial equipment, automobiles, electrical meters and shipping crates. They can measure and communicate location, movement, vibration, temperature, humidity, even chemical changes in the air.

The Internet of Things or the Industrial Internet

Data in the Wild — unruly stuff like words, images and video on the Web and those streams of sensor data is called unstructured data and is not typically grist for traditional databases.

AI programs understand wild data

Data measurement, MIT Professor Brynjolfsson explains, is the modern equivalent of the microscope. Google searches, Facebook posts and Twitter messages, for example, make it possible to measure behavior and sentiment in fine detail and as it happens.

“Data-Driven Decision Making”

this post is taken from:
The Age of Big Data
Steve Lohr, New York Times
February 11, 2012

for entertainment purposes only:
[I Always Feel Like] Somebody's Wacthing Me

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I See What You Did There

“I am a great believer of saying familiar, well-known things backwards and inside out, hoping that from some new vantage point the old facts will take on a deeper significance. It is like holding an abstract painting upside down; I do not mean to say that the meaning of the picture will suddenly become clear, but some of the structure of the composition that was hidden may show itself.”

Bonner, J.T. (1958). The Evolution of Development
Found on pages 6-7 of The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene. Richard Dawkins, 1982
1999 edition w afterword by Daniel Dennett

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Science Does Not Want Right Answers

On the Higgs Boson Subatomic Particle:
What if we don't find it?

Most professional physicists would say that finding the Higgs in precisely the form that theory predicts would actually be a disappointment. Large-scale projects such as the LHC are built with the aim of expanding knowledge, and confirming the existence of the Higgs right where we expect it - while it would be a triumph for our understanding of physics - would be far less exciting than not finding it. If future studies definitively confirm that the Higgs does not exist, much if not all of the Standard Model would have to be rewritten. That in turn would launch new lines of enquiry that would almost certainly revolutionise our understanding of the Universe, in much the same way as something missing in physics a century ago led to the development of the revolutionary ideas of quantum mechanics.

Q&A: The Higgs Boson, BBC with Scientists at LHC, December 13, 2011

Neural Interface Systems

(NIS) — a person controlling a computer with their mind