from Project Cybersyn 03 Aug 2021 09:09
Project Cybersyn was an ambitious effort to leverage the computer technology of the early 1970s to build management tools for the national economy of Chile. Designed and built by the Socialist government led by Salvador Allende, it was ultimately brought down not by any technical or conceptual failings but by the military coup of 1973.
a network of telex machines (Cybernet) in state-run enterprises that would transmit and receive information with the government in Santiago.
from The Ministry for the Future 03 Aug 2021 09:07
A near-future tale of climate change. Seems very similar in tone and style to his earlier trilogy (Forty Days of Rain etc). The conceit here is a bit different – that the world manages to actually set up an institution to represent the interest of future generations. It asks the question, what if humanity actually took its collective responsibility seriously? What would that look like?
I guess my problem with this book comes down to its serious, almost ponderous tone. There's nothing wrong with seriously considering climate change, but doing it via a novel doesn't quite work for me.
I'm comparing it (somewhat unfairly) to another work of near-future SF I read recently, Distraction by Bruce Sterling, where climate change was present but was just one factor in a general sense of low-key societal collapse, and the characters work through the political process of trying to get things done and rebuild more workable institutions. The Sterling book was more fun and a lot more character-centric, and their struggles were imagined from within the situation, whereas something about The Ministry for the Future seems written from an abstract, outside-the-system perspective, and so somewhat lifeless.
from Thoughts Without a Thinker 01 Aug 2021 12:14
But in fact both are dealing with the fundamentals of mind and have both points of similarity and also complement each other in interesting ways.
from Computer Power and Human Reason 31 Jul 2021 10:29
This book was everywhere when I was at MIT in the late 1970s, but I don't know if I ever actually read it. I seem to be recapitulating some of its thinking, although I'm never going to join the resistance like Weizenbaum did.
from Minsky on Philosophers 31 Jul 2021 10:17
From AI: The Tumultuous History Of The Search For Artificial Intelligence, Daniel Crevier
from Cybernetic Revolutionaries 28 Jul 2021 02:42
Beer challenged the common definition of control as domination, which he viewed as authoritarian and oppressive and therefore undesirable. It was also “naïve, primitive and ridden with an almost retributive idea of causality.” What people viewed as control, Beer continued, was nothing more than “a crude process of coercion,” an observation that emphasized the individual agency of the entity being controlled.
from logseq 28 Jul 2021 09:41
It uses datascript https://github.com/logseq/datascript Wonder if Roam does? Ah yes. But where is the persistence?
Hm, they are very coy, but looks like it is a Browser structure called IndexedDB https://developer.chrome.com/docs/devtools/storage/indexeddb/?utm_source=devtools
from IAnnotate Conference 28 Jul 2021 09:26
Junyu Zhan (logseq, the most promising of the Roam clones I've checked out)
from anarchism 28 Jul 2021 09:06
Nobel Prize in Anarchy (on Elinor Ostrom)
I guess I should be speaking of "mtBuddhism" or something to mean, not actual Buddhism as understood by a practitioner, but the mishmash of vaguely Buddhism-ish ideas I've accumulated.
from cybernetics 28 Jul 2021 08:25
Even cybernetics, the interdisciplinary study of communication and control, is the subject of conflicting interpretations. It is well documented that some of the top scientific minds of the postwar era were drawn to the field and its promise of universality, and that cybernetic ideas on feedback, control, systems analysis, and information transmission shaped work in a number of fields. For example, cybernetic thinking influenced the trajectory of operations research, computer engineering, control engineering, complex systems, psychology, and neuroscience. Yet few scientists today identify themselves as cyberneticians first and foremost. ...Popular misunderstandings of cybenetics have led members of the scientific community to view the term with disdain, and cybernetics is not part of the lexicon used by government funding agencies. Even in the 1950s, arguably the heyday of the field, members of the scientific community viewed it as shallow because of its interdisciplinary reach, criticized it for lacking quantitative rigor, and claimed its methodology consisted of little more than making analogies. It did not help that in the popular imagination cybernetics was often linked to science fiction or fads such as Dianetics, the theory on the relationship of mind and body developed by L. Ron Hubbard in 1950.
from Platform for Change, Stafford Beer 27 Jul 2021 11:14
from Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation for Design 27 Jul 2021 06:13
This book was very much read and praised in its day, but I'm not sure how much effect it's actually had on technical practice.
from Red Plenty 27 Jul 2021 05:22
from Edith Ackermann 26 Jul 2021 09:10
Ackermann, E. "Enactive representations in learning: pretense, models, and machines." Learning Sites: Social and technological contexts for learning, Elsevier (1999): 144-154
Programming is many things to many people, and not everyone agrees on its potential for human learning. This is especially true at a time when ever younger children are increasingly “expert” gamers, tweeters, information-seekers, and digital “bricoleurs”. ... This paper looks at programming “obliquely,” as an opportunity to explore issues of agency, control, and interaction styles, as played out in the creative and critical uses of “smart” tools by curious minds.
In this paper, I discuss how children come to disentangle purpose and causation—or psychological and physical descriptions—when explaining the behaviors of “simple-minded intelligent artifacts," as well as the behaviors of people and of things. I argue that very early on, children attempt to build a synthesis between these two kinds of expla> In this paper, I discuss how children come to disentangle purpose and causation—or psychological and physical descriptions—when explaining the behaviors of “simple-minded intelligent artifacts," as well as the behaviors of people and of things. I argue that very early on, children attempt to build a synthesis between these two kinds of explanations, and that they do so in a similar way when explaining the functioning of people, of objects, and of living and artificial creatures.