AI will increase the flow of that discovery, for sure.

But it will likely also help us to create context. To fit what is before us with a framework that links it to other knowledge.

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Yes, I think he was right on there in terms of the incentives for discovery over digesting that which others have already discovered.

And...that is without augmentation.

As science expands, the relative percentage of what is known that one scientist can retain in her or his head is diminishing. This is exacerbated by the growing specialization that our modern scientific establishment encourages.

In short, it is getting harder and harder for scientists to keep up with the rapidly expanding knowledge of the scientific community as a whole.

This begs the question, can artificial intelligence to assist with this process?


It sure would be a lot easier if, when you click on someone's profile and it pops up in the far-right panel, it pulled the same information you get from your profile page (rather than just those followers and follows that happen to be cached on your instance).

Not sure what the technical challenges are here, but it sure would make connecting with people much easier here.

Once again, a mastodon teaches us about humanity.

"An Ice Age site in San Diego, Calif., preserves 130,000-year-old bones and teeth of a mastodon that show evidence of modification by early humans. Analysis of these finds dramatically revises the timeline for when humans first reached North America, according to new research."


Kevin Kelly: the problem with "super intelligent AI” is that there isn't actually just one form of intelligence.

1) Intelligence is not a single dimension, so “smarter than humans” is a meaningless concept.

2) Humans do not have general purpose minds, and neither will AIs.

3) Emulation of human thinking in other media will be constrained by cost.

4) Dimensions of intelligence are not infinite.

5) Intelligences are only one factor in progress.


Tim Urban truly is one of those writers who is a joy to read. Here, he explains what Elon Musk is aiming to do with his brain-machine interface venture, Neuralink, and does so with some really deep background into the human brain.

This article will take a little while to get through (I mean, this is a small book), but it is completely worth it. I learned a ton about brains and the technology for conversing with them simply by reading this piece.

Just as many aspects of human behavior are impossible to explain in detail, perhaps it won’t be possible for AI to explain everything it does. “Even if somebody can give you a reasonable-sounding explanation, it probably is incomplete, and the same could very well be true for AI. It might just be part of the nature of intelligence that only part of it is exposed to rational explanation. Some of it is just instinctual, or subconscious, or inscrutable.”

"When two people are together and talking, they’re using 50,000-year-old technology."
- Tim Urban

If you could take the cortex off the brain, you’d end up with a 2mm-thick sheet with an area of 2,000-2,400cm2—about the size of a 48cm x 48cm (19in x 19in) square. A dinner napkin.

- Tim Urban

"Cool fact: smell is the function of the olfactory bulb and is the most ancient of the senses. Unlike the other senses, smell is located deep in the limbic system, where it works closely with the amygdala and hippocampus—which is why smell is so closely tied to memory and emotion."

I hope that Tim Urban won't mind me peppering you with excerpts from this awesome piece of his as I read it.

@gideonro The Scholastic Method of instruction was a four-part process imposed in part by the lack of availability of books. It consisted of four parts:

* lectio: reading of an authoritative text, and commentary
* meditatio: meditation or reflection
* quaestio: questions (usually submitted in advance)
* dsputationes: resolving controversial quaestiones

This seems a model of web discussions.

A guy recently hand-wrote the Bible and it took him 13 years. Imagine how expensive books would be if they took 13 years to make (and if there were no other way to get that information).

Playing the Game of Life

Here's Alan Watts, talking about the webbing of constraints we build around ourselves through society.

The child is on probation, not really a human being, but a candidate for humanity. That is the role of education in preparing us for the finite games of life, and it fades right into the rat race.

My wife is laughing out loud in the other room at all the clever signs created by scientist in support of the:

And tonight, just saw Ghost in the Shell.

I liked it a lot.

Last night I saw a play with the concept, lyrics and music all done by David Byrne (yes, Talking Heads, David Byrne).

It was about the Philipines and the Marcoses and it was awesome -- easily one of the most creative productions I've ever seen.

It's called Here Lies Love. If you ever get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it.

Listening to Sheryl Crow's new album "Be Myself", which came out yesterday.

She is so cool. Her lyrics are deep.

This morning, I was thinking about literalism relative to metaphorical and it struck me that literalism maps closely to the digital nature of language while metaphor, myth and story keep us grounded in the analog nature of language and the nature of the human experience.

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Mastodon for Tech Folks

This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!