Categories
Politics

Understanding Republican Science Denialism. Haidt is right. Mooney is wrong.

With the Presidential election cycle hitting it’s partisan peak, let’s talk about Republican science denialism since it’s a subtext of the election.

Categories
Technology

Sifting through bad password advice to find the good stuff

The always wonderful xkcd has a great comic 792 starting as above, talking about the dangers of password re-use. Along those lines, comic 936 has the caption “Through 20 years of effort, we’ve successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess.” The point here […]

Categories
AI and Neuroscience

The debate on Strong Artificial Intelligence and conscious computers

There is a longstanding debate on whether computers will ever achieve true consciousness, sometimes called “Strong Artificial Intelligence (AI)”. So you might think the most interesting AI question right now is how close are we to thinking computers. But I think something else big will happen before we get there, and this will end the debate […]

Categories
AI and Neuroscience

Consciousness and Free Will

As explained last post, in regards to consciousness I’ll assume a materialist biology theory of mind. And as such the science question is how a real human brain is conscious. This approach avoids any abstract philosophical arguments such as the mind-body problem. Furthermore I’ll immediately concede I’m in the tank for Daniel Dennett, pictured above. So to a certain extent […]

Categories
Science

The (very slow) Rise of Scientific Materialism

I was going to post about consciousness and free will, but while writing got caught up in digressions on scientific materialism. So rather than fight it, this week will be about scientific materialism.

Categories
Technology

The Apple maps kerfuffle means the opposite of what most of the press is saying

This is the third and last post in a series on touchscreen devices. Post 1 here. Post 2 here. The press has been enjoying the Apple maps kerfuffle since Apple replaced Google maps on iOS6 a few weeks ago on Sep 19. Especially with Tim Cook apologizing. But on this one I’m more in line with fanboys […]

Categories
Technology

Beyond the Touchscreen Interface, to Voice Interaction

This is the second post in a series on touchscreen devices. Post 1 here. Post 3 here. The previous post, The Rise of the Touchscreen Interface, covered how radically new the touchscreen slab interface is. Then it went into some detail on the business implications of this new era. For this post, let’s return to defining eras of computing […]

Categories
Technology

The Rise of the Touchscreen Interface

This is the first post in a series on touchscreen devices. Post 2 here. Post 3 here. A common view of computer progress might go something like mainframe, PC, workstation, desktop publishing, email/web/internet, smart phone. But if you slice computing eras purely along the lines of human-computer user interface, ignoring everything else, you get Computing Interface […]

Categories
Economics

On the total awesomeness of economist Scott Sumner

It is hard to overstate the influence of Bentley University’s Scott Sumner on monetary policy since he started blogging at The Money Illusion in Feb 2009. Sumner has pushed economists close to acknowledging that the Fed is to blame for one of the largest economic policy disasters since the Great Depression.

Categories
Politics

Partisan Incomprehension. “You didn’t build that” edition.

The theme for the first day of the Republican convention was “We Built It.” What struck me was not that the Republicans twisted an Obama quote to make a tag line. Rather it was how some people found the focus on that line simply incomprehensible. And yet that incomprehension has a story to tell. In […]