Time-off notice: no new posts for the time being

A.I. weakness: relevance

As a friend told me and we are getting used to, an AI algorithm can match the average American on real SAT questions, and more of it is bound to come.  Should we worry?  If I had to guess I would say sometime in the future we will see SAT as a short-lived bad way to assess anything really relevant about humans.

What about human dominance on creativity?  taking Brazilian composer Chico Science “Computers make art, artists make money” insight: SATs are an easy field to yield to computers – not sure if left to opt between money and creativity which would artists yield…

If we have an option at all.  Algo trading is making money already – and Margaret A. Boden makes the point on MIT review that computers aren’t close to being ready to supplant human artists:Continue reading

“Telling Is Listening” review at brainpickings

Maria Popova on “Telling is Listening”, part of Ursula K. Le Guin’s collection of nonfiction writings published at “The wave in the mind : talks and essays on the writer, the reader, and the imagination

“Every act of communication is an act of tremendous courage in which we give ourselves over to two parallel possibilities: the possibility of planting into another mind a seed sprouted in ours and watching it blossom into a breathtaking flower of mutual understanding; and the possibility of being wholly misunderstood, reduced to a withering weed. Candor and clarity go a long way in fertilizing the soil, but in the end there is always a degree of unpredictability in the climate of communication — even the warmest intention can be met with frost. Yet something impels us to hold these possibilities in both hands and go on surrendering to the beauty and terror of conversation, that ancient and abiding human gift. And the most magical thing, the most sacred thing, is that whichever the outcome, we end up having transformed one another in this vulnerable-making process of speaking and listening.Continue reading

“The Art of Not-Having-to-Ask” review by Maria Popova

Originally published as a postscript of Amanda Palmer’a The “Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

Below an excerpt – read full post at brain pickings.

“We are embodied spirits who need raw material, both physical and spiritual, to create. But we forget that we are also social beasts who need not slash through the bramble of those needs alone.

In Buddhism and other ancient Eastern traditions, there is a beautiful concept connoted by the Pali word dana (pronounced DAH-nah), often translated as the virtue of generosity. But at its heart is something far more expansive — a certain quality of open-handedness in dynamic dialogue with need and organically responsive to it. The practice ofdana has sustained the Buddhist tradition for two and a half millennia — monks give their teachings freely, and the lay people who benefit from them give back to the monks by making sure their sustenance needs are met.Continue reading

“Future reading” by Craig Mod

Craig Mod’s tale of rise and fall of his enchantment over digital books.  A critical view on how current closed ebooks platforms controlled by Amazon and Apple contributes to stagnating digital books development.  Article from aeon magazine.

“From 2009 to 2013, every book I read, I read on a screen. And then I stopped. (…)

By 2009, it was impossible to ignore the Kindle. (…)

The Kindle was all of that and more. Neatly bundled up. I was in love.

(…) Granite, wood, wax, silk, paper, metal type, the Gutenberg press, Manutius’s octavo editions, Penguin paperbacks, desktop publishing software, digital type, on‑demand printing, .epub: the evolutionary path of ‘books’ has been punctuated by technological changes large and small. And so, too, with the Kindle.

(…) Containers matter. They shape stories and the experience of stories. Choose the right binding, cloth, trim size, texture of paper, margins and ink, and you will strengthen the bond between reader and text. Choose badly and the object becomes a wedge between reader and text.

(…) I was critical of Kindle typography and layouts from day one, but I assumed that these errors would be remedied quickly. My book notes felt locked away in Amazon’s ecosystem, but I assumed they would eventually produce better interfaces or export options for more rigorous readers.

(…)  But in the past two years, something unexpected happened: I lost the faith. Continue reading

“How We Shape What We Call Reality” by Maria Popova

Posted on brain pickings:

“David Bohm: Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends on what we look for. What we look for depends on what we think. What we think depends on what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.

Matthieu Ricard: No matter how complex our instruments may be, no matter how sophisticated and subtle our theories and calculations, it’s still our consciousness that finally interprets our observations. And it does so according to its knowledge and conception of the event under consideration. It’s impossible to separate the way consciousness works from the conclusions it makes about an observation. The various aspects that we make out in a phenomenon are determined not only by how we observe, but also by the concepts that we project onto the phenomenon in question.”

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It’s Singapore’s National Sex Holiday

(the song not really arousing and rather sexist)

Do it for Denmark

First Person View Drone Racing