42 posts tagged with computation.
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The Uncanny Mind That Built Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin invented the world's hottest new cryptocurrency and inspired a movement — before he'd turned 20 - "I think a large part of the consequence is necessarily going to be disempowering some of these centralized players to some extent because ultimately power is a zero sum game. And if you talk about empowering the little guy, as much as you want to couch it in flowery terminology that makes it sound fluffy and good, you are necessarily disempowering the big guy. And personally I say screw the big guy. They have enough money already." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 16, 2016 - 62 comments

Sapiens 2.0: Homo Deus?

In his follow-up to Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari envisions what a 'useless class' of humans might look like as AI advances and spreads - "I'm aware that these kinds of forecasts have been around for at least 200 years, from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and they never came true so far. It's basically the boy who cried wolf, but in the original story of the boy who cried wolf, in the end, the wolf actually comes, and I think that is true this time." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 24, 2016 - 23 comments

Kate Compton introduces computational generative methods

This is a beginner-level advice essay for people just getting started with building generators. It’s also for practiced experts who want a way to organize their knowledge. The advice is meant for any kind of generators: humorous twitterbots, fanciful art-making bots, level generators, planet builders, makers of music, architecture, poetry, and cocktails. (edit: it turned out to be 4000 words long, so enjoy the ride!) [more inside]
posted by cgc373 on May 18, 2016 - 12 comments

WORLD OF TOMORROW

World After Capital by Albert Wenger [Work in Progress; GitHub; GitBook; PDF; FAQ] - "Technological progress has shifted scarcity for humanity. When we were foragers, food was scarce. During the agrarian age, it was land. Following the industrial revolution, capital became scarce. With digital technologies scarcity is shifting from capital to attention. World After Capital suggests ways to expand economic, informational and psychological freedom to go from an industrial to a knowledge society." (previously)
posted by kliuless on May 7, 2016 - 23 comments

Hilary Putnam (1926-2016)

Hilary Putnam, one of the most important analytic philosophers of the last hundred years, died today from mesothelioma. [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood on Mar 13, 2016 - 54 comments

Werner Herzog has made a documentary about AI and technology

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World - "With interviewees ranging from Elon Musk to a gaming addict, Werner Herzog presents the web in all its wildness and utopian potential in this dizzying documentary." (via)
posted by kliuless on Jan 26, 2016 - 25 comments

Desire Modification in the Attention Economy

The Future of (Post)Capitalism - "Paul Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy." (previously; via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 4, 2015 - 22 comments

Ethereum Launched

In case you missed it Ethereum announced its first developer release a week ago. What is Ethereum? According to the video it's a "planetary scale computer powered by blockchain technology." Given the breathlessness, some skepticism is in order, but what if it purports to do on the tin is true? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 7, 2015 - 57 comments

Famous Fluid Equations Are Incomplete

The Singular Mind of Terry Tao - "Imagine, he said, that someone awfully clever could construct a machine out of pure water. It would be built not of rods and gears but from a pattern of interacting currents." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 29, 2015 - 17 comments

After Capitalism, Humanism

Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 2, 2015 - 7 comments

HoTT Coq

Univalent Foundations Redefines Mathematics - "When a legendary mathematician found a mistake in his own work, he embarked on a computer-aided quest to eliminate human error. To succeed, he has to rewrite the century-old rules underlying all of mathematics." (previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 9, 2015 - 13 comments

On your mark, get set.... GO!

"Following 9 months of computation and 4 petabyte of disk IO on a Dell PowerEdge R820 server, generously provided by Piet Hut, and administered by Lee Colbert, at the IAS School of Natural Sciences in Princeton, we determined..." (the number of legal moves on an 18x18 Go board). [more inside]
posted by symbioid on Mar 22, 2015 - 35 comments

Embodied Cognition

The Deep Mind of Demis Hassabis - "The big thing is what we call transfer learning. You've mastered one domain of things, how do you abstract that into something that's almost like a library of knowledge that you can now usefully apply in a new domain? That's the key to general knowledge. At the moment, we are good at processing perceptual information and then picking an action based on that. But when it goes to the next level, the concept level, nobody has been able to do that." (previously: 1,2) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 19, 2015 - 9 comments

21st Century Wiener

Norbert Wiener: The Eccentric Genius Whose Time May Have Finally Come (Again) - "The most direct reason for Wiener's fall to relative obscurity was the breakthrough of a young mathematician and engineer named Claude Shannon." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 11, 2014 - 12 comments

Sphere Factory

Spherical Voronoi diagram of world airports [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on May 8, 2014 - 42 comments

A SAT Attack on the Erdos Discrepancy Conjecture

Computers are providing solutions to math problems that we can't check - "A computer has solved the longstanding Erdős discrepancy problem! Trouble is, we have no idea what it's talking about — because the solution, which is as long as all of Wikipedia's pages combined, is far too voluminous for us puny humans to confirm." (via; previously ;)
posted by kliuless on Apr 12, 2014 - 24 comments

there is no soundtrack

Finite time blowup for an averaged three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equation - "[Terence Tao] has shown that in an alternative abstract universe closely related to the one described by the Navier-Stokes equations, it is possible for a body of fluid to form a sort of computer, which can build a self-replicating fluid robot that, like the Cat in the Hat, keeps transferring its energy to smaller and smaller copies of itself until the fluid 'blows up.' " [1,2,3] (previously)
posted by kliuless on Mar 9, 2014 - 15 comments

John Baez on the maths of connecting everyone (and everything) on earth

Network Theory Overview - "The idea: nature and the world of human technology are full of networks! People like to draw diagrams of networks. Mathematical physicists know that in principle these diagrams can be understood using category theory. But why should physicists have all the fun? This is the century of understanding living systems and adapting to life on a finite planet. Math isn't the main thing we need, but it's got to be part of the solution... so one thing we should do is develop a unified and powerful theory of networks." (via ;)
posted by kliuless on Mar 2, 2014 - 17 comments

knowledge-based programming

Starting to Demo the Wolfram Language (via; previously ;) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 1, 2014 - 55 comments

‘Insanely more ambitious’ than Google knowledge graph

Not satisfied with Rule 110 - the first Turing Complete cellular automata (as proven by Matthew Cook), Wolfram Mathematics has announced a system that is “Making the world computable..." A combination of natural language recognition, data description and computational language, the goal is to allow a person to define what they want, not how to get it and manipulate it. Wolfram describes the process as follows: "A human defines what the goal should be, and a computer does its best to figure out what that means, and does its best to do it..." Of course, the rest is left as an exercise for the reader...
posted by BillW on Nov 30, 2013 - 37 comments

We're Going To Have To Find Out How To Deal With Lots Of Idle Hands

The Forces Of The Next 30 Years - SF author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross talks to students at Olin College about sci-fi, fiction, speculation, the limits of computation, thermodynamics, Moore's Law, the history of travel, employment, automation, free trade, demographics, the developing world, privacy, and climate change in trying to answer the question What Does The World Of 2043 Look Like? (Youtube 56:43)
posted by The Whelk on Mar 27, 2013 - 18 comments

Computerized Math, Formal Proofs and Alternative Logic

Using computer systems for doing mathematical proofs - "With the proliferation of computer-assisted proofs that are all but impossible to check by hand, Hales thinks computers must become the judge." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 16, 2013 - 25 comments

Loading Noise...

Textures Processing... Loading Perlin Noise... Loading Worley Noise... Loading Terrain... Adding Pretty Lights... Enjoy the Refreshing Taste.
posted by lemuring on Jan 27, 2013 - 8 comments

SPAUN of the living

The simulated brain - "First computer model to produce complex behaviour performs almost as well as humans at simple number tasks." [1,2,3,4,5,etc.]
posted by kliuless on Dec 8, 2012 - 22 comments

direct realism

The Nature of Computation - Intellects Vast and Warm and Sympathetic: "I hand you a network or graph, and ask whether there is a path through the network that crosses each edge exactly once, returning to its starting point. (That is, I ask whether there is a 'Eulerian' cycle.) Then I hand you another network, and ask whether there is a path which visits each node exactly once. (That is, I ask whether there is a 'Hamiltonian' cycle.) How hard is it to answer me?" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 1, 2012 - 19 comments

What's gonna happen outside the window next?

Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong
posted by cthuljew on Nov 18, 2012 - 55 comments

use value vs. exchange value

What Is Value? What Is Money? (via via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 1, 2012 - 15 comments

when woz cries

Apple's Crystal Prison and the Future of Open Platforms (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 29, 2012 - 121 comments

Morpion Solitaire

Morpion Solitaire is a very simple pencil-and-paper, line-drawing game for which the best possible score is not known! New records are still being set.
posted by Wolfdog on Jan 8, 2012 - 21 comments

"Because we don't know how to make a wheel that is still generally useful for legitimate wheel applications but useless to bad guys."

Cory Doctorow's 28C3 talk The Coming War on General Purpose Computation (abstract, transcript) warns that "the coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race." [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jan 4, 2012 - 138 comments

Open Compute Project

Facebook's Open Compute Project aims to share with the public the social network's efficiency design improvements to its compute nodes. [ via ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 7, 2011 - 11 comments

Pretty good for a bunch of plastic blocks

Lego Antikythera Mechanism [more inside]
posted by empath on Dec 9, 2010 - 28 comments

Escher Circuits - Software for your Wetware

Escher Circuits. What if you could compute the output of complex algorithms just by viewing an image?
Our everyday visual perceptions rely upon unfathomably complex computations carried out by tens of billions of neurons across over half our cortex. In spite of this, it does not “feel” like work to see. Our cognitive powers are, in stark contrast, “slow and painful,” and we have great trouble with embarrassingly simple logic tasks. Might it be possible to harness our visual computational powers for other tasks, perhaps for tasks cognition finds difficult? I have recently begun such a research program with the goal of devising ways of converting digital logic circuits into visual stimuli – “visual circuits” – which, when presented to the eye, “tricks” the visual system into carrying out the digital logic computation and generating a perception that amounts to the “output” of the computation. That is, the technique amounts to turning our visual system into a programmable computer.
posted by scalefree on Mar 29, 2010 - 57 comments

transcendental numbers rumble in the technium

Extropy
How did life arise? What is information? In his recent dispatches from The Technium, Kevin Kelly would say extropy (cf. negentropy & Prigogine). [previously 1|2]
posted by kliuless on Sep 20, 2009 - 70 comments

Computable data* (conceivably knowable) about people

Stephen Wolfram discusses Wolfram|Alpha: Computational Knowledge Engine - at the same time Google Adds Search to Public Data, viz: "Nobody really paid attention to the two hour snorecast" -- like a cross between designing for big data and a glossary of game theory terms -- on Wolfram|Alpha (previously), yet the veil is being lifted nonetheless: "[on] a platonic search engine, unearthing eternal truths that may never have been written down before," cf. hunch & cyc (and in other startup news...) [via] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 1, 2009 - 29 comments

"You named your collaboration QAP? Really?"

The DiVincenzo Code [youtube trailer, geekery]. Faced with a strict demand from a funding agency to allocate research funds towards the dissemination of research ideas to the public, an experimental physics group at the University of Oxford produced a feature-length (55 min) action thriller about murder, ancient prophecy, tea breaks, and quantum computation. [more inside]
posted by fatllama on Nov 5, 2008 - 6 comments

Teleportation Breakthrough

Teleportation Breakthrough. Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second. But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter. A more technical explanation.
posted by empath on Oct 5, 2006 - 67 comments

Turing: The Final Years

Among his collected works, in the few, short years before mathematician Alan Turing was driven to suicide, he published "The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis", theorizing how a standing wave-like distribution of "cannibal" and "missionary" chemicals might explain how plants and animals develop their shape and pigmentation. Blogger Jonathan Swinton focuses on this more obscure aspect of Turing's research, and reviews some of his posthumous and unpublished efforts — including one of the earliest known examples of digital computation applied to the field of biology.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 7, 2006 - 10 comments

Someone to watch over me

Once the stuff of academic and corporate experimentation, ubiquitous computation (or "ubicomp") is gearing up for its commercial debut in the very near future. Along the lines of ostensibly "nanotechnological" pants, the reality of ubicomp as made manifest in consumer products may fall somewhat short of the prognostications: buying a personal communicator designed to work seamlessly within a ubicomp context is not the same thing as living in and with a truly pervasive network.

But already there are signs that the ubiquitous visions beloved by the corporate players and enshrined in their hype are coming into being. So which do you think it'll be? Guardian angel or inescapable, panoptical prison? Neither? Maybe both? I have a sinking feeling we're going to find out, one way or another.
posted by adamgreenfield on Sep 24, 2004 - 8 comments

The World Is Numbers

Explorations of computation: the world is numbers, and the divine a mathematician. Maybe. [Flash, Javascript]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Jul 30, 2004 - 5 comments

The Secret life of Plants

Emergent computation: Plants seem to do it! Does that mean we do three? [more here :]
posted by kliuless on Jan 21, 2004 - 7 comments

The End of equations?

The End of equations? Paul Dirac and Albert Einstein thought equations were things of beauty, Stephen Wolfram, by contrast thinks they are antiquated.
posted by none on Jan 27, 2002 - 10 comments

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