November 22nd, 2008

politics

Immune to Distance: Senator Ted Stevens (R - Alaska) on Net Neutrality




The orignal audio track comes from http://tubesdance.ytmnd.com.

The original monologue by Senator Ted Stevens (R - Alaska) during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is worth listening to and reading. You can download an MP3 audiorecording or a partial transcript.

Collapse )

--
Banazir
computer

Net Neutrality in Your Reality

When Vint Cerf came to give a talk on the K-State campus in October, 2006, I attended and asked a question about ubiquitous computing as is often heralded by visionary futurists such as Vint himself and Ray Kurzweil. He gave very good answers to the question and follow-up questions that I asked him at a later discussion with the CIS faculty.

One thing I've not really paid enough attention to is the logistic and economic challenge of making the Internet sustainable. Some founders of the Internet share a specific vision. One of Vint's pet topics is, of course, net neutrality. Now, I'm all for it, but I'd like to know: how feasible is net neutrality from where you sit?

--
Banazir
space

Sirius Business Redux: Telecommunications and IT in Space

The other pet topic that Vint Cerf talked about a bit in his 2006 talk is communications in space, specifically his pet project with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Interplanetary Internet.

Vint and Peter Norvig of Google have both done a lot to further the cause of space exploration, which I'm all for as well, but I really don't know enough about what exactly they are doing. Peter alluded briefly to Google's work with space data in his talk at UAI 2005, but aside from learning that Google has a deal with NASA Ames Research Center to provide "large-scale data management, massively distributed computing, bio-info-nano convergence and encouragement of the entrepreneurial space industry", I don't know much more.

Is anyone reading this working on either of the above projects? Familiar with them? Aware of them and interested? I'll report what I find out, if there is interest.

--
Banazir
fury

The Tyranny of the Default

Error updating journal: Incorrect time value: You have an entry which was posted at 2008-11-22 09:00, but you're trying to post an entry before this. Please check the date and time of both entries. If the other entry is set in the future on purpose, edit that entry to use the "Date Out of Order" option. Otherwise, use the "Date Out of Order" option for this entry instead.


What the crap is this? All those Time Drols in their t.a.r.d.i.Ses, you don't bother them about dropping in, but poor unsuspecting bloggers have to waste precious time with your foolish consistency?

What are you worried about? Will some horrible spamdalek inundate the friends' pages of unsuspecting LJ users with a pandemic of posts, all out of order? Anachronism is next to anarchy! Whatever will we do?

Seriously, I do despise conformity in defaults for its own sake. You're not going to prevent abuse of flexibility by taking it away as a default, so just give it to the user and we'll thank you for it!

A foolish consistency is the Uruk of tiny minds! Or something like that.

--
Banazir
martial

Kelley School: Teuncetrasking




This is what we call a teuncetrasking: *teunce* (06:43) *trask* (06:44) Flawless victory!

Meaning: Classical notions of combat made the shorter man the "underdog", but even so, it comes down to who is the more agile and skilled. Also, the game of glory often attributes the victory to a political leader, but lasting glory belongs properly to the individual to which history gives a name. (07:16 - 07:44) I think equally of Scott Adams's "Dilbert Principle" and 05:36 - 06:15 of this video when contemplating this principle.

This is part of the David E. Kelley School of Advising series.

--
Banazir
faith

Technosingularity: Immanentizing the Eschaton

Those of you who attend conferences in artificial intelligence and artificial neural networks may recall the perennial futurist talks by such notables as Karl Pribram (who's presented technical papers at IJCNN many times, including in 1996) and David Stork, well-known "optimistic" futurists such as Ray Kurzweil and Stephen Thaler - and also the famous kooks, who are too numerous to name.

So, how are we doing? What is the state of the technological singularity?

Collapse )
Collapse )
Collapse )
Collapse )
Collapse )

--
Banazir
computer

Technosingularity: Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

In my previous post on the technological singularity, I alluded to Ray Kurzweil's "argument from hardware".

The essence of the argument goes as follows: When Moore's Law gets us up to a number of switching elements that is comparable to the number of synapses in the human brain (about 1014 for between 1010 and 1011 neurons), a sea change in automated reasoning, learning, and representation capability will be enabled, because our brains "make do" with this amount of computing power.

Now, there are several criticisms of this argument, most notably:

  • 1. Moore's Law as demonstrated through current microprocessor fabrication may not last that long. Silicon semiconductor manufacturing will not. (Counterarguments include pointing out that parallel processing is starting to reach the consumer market and scale up on the desktop, optimistic hand-waving about optical computing, and speculative hand-waving about quantum computing.)

  • 2. What does "human-level" hardware buy us in terms of actually being able to develop the substrate for the Singularity, or, what about that software? (This is perhaps more cogently formulated as a question about knowledge representation, automated reasoning, and machine learning in intelligent systems.)

  • 3. If you build it, will they come? Saying that "it will just happen because machines will be able to design better versions of themselves by that point" without qualification or an evidential basis for the claim is tantamount to saying that 1014 switching elements, arrayed in tandem, will summon a living spirit from afar to come and animate the silicon with the Breath of Life. (I really have yet to see a compelling counterargument by way of a well-stated scientific hypothesis, as opposed to "ensemble thinking" about emergent properties.)


A note on the title: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's hit single "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" features the refrain Will the circle be unbroken / Bye and bye Lord bye and bye / There's a better home a waiting / In the sky Lord in the sky. Those lyrics remind me of the "inevitability" of the Singularity as envisioned by the optimists, and of the "pie in the sky" critique that has been leveled at them.

--
Banazir