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pierredv : interviews   79

[Technopoly] |
Brian Lamb: Neil Postman, author of "Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology", what's your book all about?

Neil Postman: The tendency in American culture to turn over to technology sovereignty, command, control over all of our social institutions. In other words, the book is about how American has developed a new religion, as it were, and the religion is its faith in that human progress and technological innovation are the same thing and that paradise can be achieved through greater and greater commitment to technology.
C-SPAN  video  interviews  Neil-Postman 
june 2019 by pierredv
A Talk With Marvin Minsky [2.26.98], introduction by John Brockman

Alerted to this by "An AI conference warns us why we need to mind our language" New Scientist Jan 2019, "In his 2007 book, The Emotion Machine, computer scientist Marvin Minsky deplored (although even he couldn’t altogether avoid) the use of “suitcase words”: his phrase for words conveying specialist technical detail through simple metaphors. Think what we are doing when we say metal alloys “remember” their shape, or that a search engine offers “intelligent” answers to a query."

I haven't thought about this enough, but it seems to me that every important word, sufficiently closely examined, is a suitcase...

Here are some quotes from the interview:

"Most words we use to describe our minds (like "consciousness," "learning," or "memory") are suitcase-like jumbles of different ideas. Those old ideas were formed long ago, before "computer science" appeared. It was not until the 1950s that we began to develop better ways to help think about complex processes."

"Let's get back to those suitcase words (like intuition or consciousness) that all of us use to encapsulate our jumbled ideas about our minds. We use those words as suitcases in which to contain all sorts of mysteries that we can't yet explain. This in turn leads us to regard these as though they were "things" with no structures to analyze. I think this is what leads so many of us to the dogma of dualism—the idea that "subjective" matters lie in a realm that experimental science can never reach. "

"Consciousness, instead, is an enormous suitcase that contains perhaps 40 or 50 different mechanisms that are involved in a huge network of intricate interactions. "

"We shouldn't be so involved with those old suitcase ideas like consciousness and subjective experience. It seems to me that our first priority should be to understand "what makes human thought so resourceful." That's what my new book, The Emotional Machine is about."

"But "consciousness" is only a name for a suitcase of methods that we use for thinking about our own minds. Inside that suitcase are assortments of things whose distinctions and differences are confused by our giving them all the same name."
neuroscience  mind  consciousness  language  words  interviews  Marvin-Minsky  meta 
may 2019 by pierredv
Karl Ove Knausgård on his book about Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. Studio360 May 2019
Knausgård commends Munch for continually ridding himself of his familiar habits as an artist. He tells Kurt Andersen that it’s a method that both painters and novelists benefit from.

“If you want to get rid of all the automatic ways in, then you have to do something from scratch so to speak and build something that you haven't done before,” Knausgård says. “It's like you do it for the first time. And I think that's that's the best place to be in writing…. And I think Munch somehow searched for those places in his painting throughout his life.”
audio  Studio360  interviews  books  novels  creativity  podcasts 
may 2019 by pierredv
The impact intrapraneurs: How Swiss Re and Oxfam joined forces to help African farmers | Ethical Corporation, Oct 2017
"In this guest blog, Karen Deignan of Net-Works interviews Christina Ulardic of Swiss Re and Marjorie Brans, formerly of Oxfam America, to find out how they worked together to create the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative to tackle climate risk in Africa"

"The R4 Rural Resilience Initiative is a comprehensive risk-management initiative that helps smallholder farmers in Africa cope with the impacts of climate change. ...
R4 currently reaches over 40,000 farmers (about 200,000 people) in Ethiopia, Senegal, Malawi and Zambia through a combination of four risk-management strategies: improved resource-management through asset creation (risk reduction), insurance (risk transfer), livelihoods diversification and microcredit (prudent risk taking) and savings (risk reserves)."

"Swiss Re provided the insurance component, but there were other components designed to ensure farmers could grow their crops successfully, get access to micro-credit to buy more seeds, and build up some savings."
Oxfam  SwissRe  climate  resilience  interviews  climate-change  insurance  risk 
february 2019 by pierredv
'The goal is to automate us': welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism | Technology | The Guardian, John Naughton, Jan 2019
"Shoshana Zuboff’s new book is a chilling exposé of the business model that underpins the digital world. Observer tech columnist John Naughton explains the importance of Zuboff’s work and asks the author 10 key questions"

"The headline story is that it’s not so much about the nature of digital technology as about a new mutant form of capitalism that has found a way to use tech for its purposes. The name Zuboff has given to the new variant is “surveillance capitalism”. It works by providing free services that billions of people cheerfully use, enabling the providers of those services to monitor the behaviour of those users in astonishing detail – often without their explicit consent."

Zuboff: “Surveillance capitalism unilaterally claims human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioural data. Although some of these data are applied to service improvement, the rest are declared as a proprietary behavioural surplus, fed into advanced manufacturing processes known as ‘machine intelligence’, and fabricated into prediction products that anticipate what you will do now, soon, and later. Finally, these prediction products are traded in a new kind of marketplace that I call behavioural futures markets. Surveillance capitalists have grown immensely wealthy from these trading operations, for many companies are willing to lay bets on our future behaviour.”

Change in scale drives change in kind: "Thus Google decided that it would digitise and store every book ever printed, regardless of copyright issues. Or that it would photograph every street and house on the planet without asking anyone’s permission."

"The combination of state surveillance and its capitalist counterpart means that digital technology is separating the citizens in all societies into two groups: the watchers (invisible, unknown and unaccountable) and the watched. "

"Nearly every product or service that begins with the word “smart” or “personalised”, every internet-enabled device, every “digital assistant”, is simply a supply-chain interface for the unobstructed flow of behavioural data on its way to predicting our futures in a surveillance economy."

"Once we searched Google, but now Google searches us. Once we thought of digital services as free, but now surveillance capitalists think of us as free."

"The tech leaders desperately want us to believe that technology is the inevitable force here, and their hands are tied. But there is a rich history of digital applications before surveillance capitalism that really were empowering and consistent with democratic values. Technology is the puppet, but surveillance capitalism is the puppet master."
TheGuardian  Shoshana-Zuboff  surveillance  capitalism  technology  interviews  quotations  books  behavioral-advertising 
january 2019 by pierredv
‘Why would anyone want to run this race?’ The question that prompted a story -, Jul 2018
Interview with Ryan Brown

"South Africa is a deeply divided country. By some measures, it’s the most economically unequal nation in the world, and still very segregated. Like in the United States, who you interact with on a day to day basis here is highly dictated by your race and class background. But for a single day each year, during the Comrades Marathon, 20,000 South Africans share a single common goal."
CSMonitor  journalism  South-Africa  running  interviews 
november 2018 by pierredv
One reporter's fascination with Siberia leaves readers asking for more -
Interview with Fred Weir

Q. What were the biggest surprises you discovered about this region when you started your reporting?
A. I keep being surprised. I suppose it is the vast, almost endless expanse of Siberia that always amazes me most. I took the trans-Siberian train, twice, when I was younger. That trip is eight days from Moscow to Vladivostok; it’s like crossing an ocean, and everything you see out of the window is Russia.
CSMonitor  stories  journalism  Russia  interviews 
november 2018 by pierredv
The battle for more satellite bandwidth - POLITICO
Tom Stroup pushes for satellite:

"... in some of the working groups there seems to be a disconnect between space policy and the role we play in 5G services and the spectrum that will be made available for 5G services and the need for harmonization throughout the world."
Politico  space  5G  satellite  SIA  interviews 
september 2018 by pierredv
The brain’s default mode network – what does it mean to us? Mar 2015
Marcus Raichle interviewed by Svend Davanger

"The default mode network is comprised of several areas of the cortex that are most active when no external tasks demand our attention"

"It was really surprising that, after the demanding tasks were completed, activity in these areas of the cortex increased again. The brain seemed to revert back to a default activity level, which is there in the absence of a specific, ongoing, external task"

"Many of the functions of the network are associated with our perception of our selves."

"It’s not only important to remember what’s important, but also to put a value on what’s important. The part of the default mode network up front, down almost between your eyes, just above your nose, has to do with deciding whether something is good, bad, or indifferent."

"Dreaming is mind-wandering disconnected. Why do we dream? Although there is no clear scientific answer, we cannot claim that dreams are just an inconvenience."

“To summarize the function of the three networks: the attention network makes it possible for us to relate directly to the world around us, i.e., here and now, and the default mode network makes it possible to relate to ourselves and our memories and previous experiences, i.e., the past and future. The salience network makes us switch between the two others according to our needs.”
neuroscience  default-mode-network  meditation  dreams  interviews 
september 2018 by pierredv
Eutelsat Exec Discusses Possibility of Full LEO Constellation - Via Satellite - Mar 2018
"Eutelsat’s LEO for Objects (ELO) spacecraft will be used to assess the potential of LEO satellites in providing narrowband connectivity for objects. Jean-Hubert Lenotte, Eutelsat’s chief strategy officer, spoke to Via Satellite about the plans for the satellite, scheduled to launch in 2019, and how this could lead to Eutelsat looking to have a full constellation in LEO at some point in the future."

"We are targeting one specific application which is the Internet of Things (IOT) and we have chosen to use a LEO satellite because we think LEO will be well suited for such applications. Indeed IOT requires low bit rate connectivity and does not require a high concentration of capacity, meaning small satellites can be used. Therefore, we think there might be a business case for LEO in IOT."

"The satellite will be launched in the first half of 2019."

"For video, we only really see GEO satellites serving this market. For broadband, we don’t see today the potential opportunity for LEO satellites."
ViaSatellite  Eutelsat  LEO  IoT  broadband  interviews 
march 2018 by pierredv
Isotropic’s Finney on Unlocking HTS’ Growth Potential - Via Satellite - Mar 2018
"In this Q&A, Isotropic Systems Founder John Finney lays out the path of evolution next-gen antennas must take, as well as their potential impact on satellite’s customer base."
ViaSatellite  satellite  antennas  interviews 
march 2018 by pierredv
Viasat CEO Talks New Satellite Internet Service and SpaceX | Fortune Feb 2018
Viasat CEO Mark Dankberg believes that it’s unlikely that the kinds of smaller satellites that companies like SpaceX or rival OneWeb are looking to deploy in low orbit will be able to offer Internet speeds that are as fast as the bigger satellites in higher orbit.
Fortune  Viasat  NGSO  Mark-Dankberg  interviews 
february 2018 by pierredv
Online Extra: How the Smuckers Stick Together - Bloomberg
"Q: So, whatever the particular denomination, there's a real feeling that religion is an important binding force?

"Exactly. It wasn't the same one though each generation. Each generation changed, but it was still the values that religion provides."

"our strategy is to own icon brands in North America, and there are some really neat brands that we currently own. Look at that cadre of brands -- Smucker's, Jif, Crisco, Hungry Jack, Pillsbury, Martha White -- I mean these are all great, well-known family brands. So we want to be known as a company that manages brands well."

"Richard: Some people believe that the constituent that they need to serve is the shareholder. And we believe that we actually have basically six constituents, five of which we serve very well, [and that will] take care of the shareholder. The first constituent is the consumer. We have to know what the consumer wants and take care of that need. We have to take care of our customers -- the retailers. The third constituent is our employees. The fourth constituent we believe is our suppliers: We have to have good, healthy suppliers. And the fifth constituent would be communities, where we have plants. Basically, if we take care of those five constituents, the sixth constituent, which is the shareholder, will automatically be taken care of.

Q: It's the backwards point of view from that of Wall Street."
Bloomberg  stories  profile  business  religion  strategy  interviews 
february 2018 by pierredv
Eutelsat's Belmer: Video Still Holds Key to Successful Future | Via Satellite - January / February 2018 -
VIA SATELLITE: What would you highlight is the single biggest competitive threat to Eutelsat’s business over the next few years?

Belmer: The biggest competitive threat to our business is the indirect pressure we are seeing from fiber deployment. In the past, we used to consider competition as something between rival satellite operators. But today, this is less and less the case as the strategies of major satellite operators are going in very different directions.
ViaSatellite  satellite  Eutelsat  fiber  broadband  interviews 
january 2018 by pierredv
Spengler Maps out 2018 for Intelsat After Eventful 2017 | Via Satellite Jan 2018
VIA SATELLITE: Will Telesat go ‘big’ into LEO?

Goldberg: I think this is where the future lies. If our assumptions are right about what we can achieve technically, the price points that we are seeking to achieve, and the response from the customer community, we will go very big into this. I can see this very much being the future of the company. It will play out over the course of this year.

VIA SATELLITE: SES made their big mPOWER announcement. Will Telesat’s ambitions have a similar scale?

Goldberg: For sure. It will be terabits of capacity. We have a very flexible, high throughput, low latency architecture. It is a broadband play. We will target many of the same verticals we are serving today on the enterprise side, including mobility, government and cellular and IP backhaul requirements. Initially we will focus less on direct-to-consumer services, as I believe there has to be further development of the user antenna to make that more cost competitive.
ViaSatellite  Telesat  satellite  LEO  NGSO  interviews 
january 2018 by pierredv
Sabbagh: SES is a “Lonely Voice” in the Industry | Via Satellite, Jan 2018
SES was the talk of World Satellite Business Week (WSBW) late last year when it announced a major new strategic initiative, mPower, through O3b. SES has contracted with Boeing Satellite Systems, to build seven super-powered Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. The constellation will have 30,000 fully-shapeable and steerable beams that can be shifted and switched in real time to align with customers’ quickly changing growth opportunities.

... You have to remember that O3b was initially designed to provide very high throughput to a small number of clients each with very high bandwidth requirements. The evolution we were looking for was one where we could further advance the throughput performance while achieving greater flexibility and scalability on the bandwidth in order to serve and empower a much larger market.

... The first seven satellites of the new system will bring multi-terabits of productivity. We can scale this up as we add new assets into the constellation.

VIA SATELLITE: Has the industry been slow to change?

Sabbagh: The answer is yes, and it is the predicament of every industry where there is a well-established playbook that yields rich economic returns.
ViaSatellite  SES  satellite  O3b  MEO  NGSO  interviews 
january 2018 by pierredv
Spengler Maps out 2018 for Intelsat After Eventful 2017 | Via Satellite Jan 2018
VIA SATELLITE: What technology innovation do you think could make the most difference to your business going forward?

Spengler: Antennas are key. One of the challenges we have had in satellite communications, with the exception of Direct-to-Home (DTH), has been that the antenna systems have been pretty simple as they are receive-only. But when it comes to two-way satellite communications, the positive is that they can be quickly deployed to build out infrastructure. The negative is that it is still too complex and too costly. Advancements in flat panel antennas and electronically steerable antennas is really critical to enable the ease of installation and operation.

.. You also need to enable interconnectivity and interoperability between networks. Satellite solutions need to become part of a much broader telecoms infrastructure.

VIA SATELLITE: Has the satellite industry reached a key inflection point in your mind? Will we see more change in the next 10 years than we saw in the previous 30?

Spengler: If you broaden that subject to society and technology in general, I think the answer is yes. I think the pace of change, not just in our industry, but overall is accelerating.
ViaSatellite  Intelsat  satellite  business  antennas  interviews 
january 2018 by pierredv
2018 Could Be a Revolutionary Year for Smallsats - Via Satellite -Via Satellite Jan 2018
"2017 was a banner year for the satellite industry in many respects. 2018 could prove to be even more momentous, as the smallsat megaconstellations that have been under development for years finally emerge — along with the dedicated smallsat launch vehicles that will serve them. In an interview with Via Satellite, Northern Sky Research (NSR) analyst Carolyn Belle laid out her expectations for the year ahead"

"Overall, 2017 was a “very good year” for smallsat launch rates, Belle said, with the industry orbiting 329 smallsats (between 1 and 500 kg) in total. This is the highest number launched in one year to date, easily outstripping the mere 130 orbited in 2016."

Demand for Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites have plummeted in recent years, culminating in just nine orders in 2017. “That was a more significant decline than anything we’ve seen before,” Belle said. “That was the lowest number in more than a decade. Global capacity pricing continues to sink like an anchor, making operators very cautious about their investments, Belle said.”
ViaSatellite  smallsats  cubesats  satellite  NorthSkyResearch  launch  NGSO  GEO  interviews 
january 2018 by pierredv
Effective Space Exec on the Company’s First Servicing Contract - Via Satellite -
"U.K.-based Effective Space announced it has secured the first contract for its in-orbit satellite servicing spacecraft, dubbed Space Drone. Under the contract, which is valued in excess of $100 million, Effective Space will launch two Space Drones to provide station-keeping and attitude control support for two communications satellites belonging to an undisclosed regional operator. The pair’s maiden voyage is scheduled for 2020."

“Operators are now waiting, in a sense, to see what will happen with the new trends of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations. Anything they can do to delay their replacement program could help,” Campbell said. “A solution that can extend existing assets in space is something that is getting a lot of attention in today’s market.”

"Space Drone weighs less than 400 kg, giving launch providers the option to orbit the spacecraft on a rideshare mission. Its relatively small mass also grants it the agility to traverse multiple orbits, opening the possibility for services such as active debris removal and deorbiting missions, Campbell said."

"Operators are also contending with the still-slumping price of bandwidth — meaning their number one concern now is ensuring their revenue streams remain intact as they decide where to sink their next dollar."

"the timing is apt for the emergence of in-orbit satellite vehicles such as Space Drone, Orbital ATK’s Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) and SSL/NASA’s Restore-L."
ViaSatellite  UK  Space  satellite  in-orbit-servicing  interviews 
january 2018 by pierredv
Kratos VP on the New Era of Ground Segment Technology - Via Satellite -
"The influx of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) is forcing ground segment companies to rethink how they architect their traditional systems. While these new high-powered assets on-orbit unlock a range of new capabilities, along with them comes an unfamiliar set of costs and challenges related to the infrastructure that supports them from the ground. In an interview with Via Satellite, Kratos Vice President of Advanced Technology Stuart Daughtridge detailed how infrastructure providers are adapting to support this new wave of HTS services."

“If you believe all the projections that they’re going to launch another 130 HTS over the next 10 years, and most of these satellites will have somewhere between 20 and 100 times frequency reuse, it’s easy to do the math and say there’s a whole lot of gateways and infrastructure that needs to be built,”

"For example, companies can ensure their gateway signal processing is as close as possible to end users so it’s easier to push traffic across their satellites. Or they can decouple antennas and processing facilities entirely, consolidating all relevant modems under one roof and feeding data to the geographically dispersed antennas via a LAN network."
ViaSatellite  Kratos  HTS  satellite  broadband  interviews 
november 2017 by pierredv
Lockheed Martin Exec on Staying Relevant in the NewSpace Era - Via Satellite -Via Satellite
"The space community has latched onto the idea of “NewSpace” much like any tech industry gravitates to a sexy new buzzword. In reality, though, the division between NewSpace companies and their established predecessors — or “Old Space” — is a false dichotomy, says Rick Ambrose, Lockheed Martin’s executive vice president of space systems."

"According to Ambrose, the satellite industry has grown accustomed to 15-year contracts with assets that can last on orbit almost twice that, which makes it hard to inject new technology and capabilities. Some NewSpace, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations boast very short lifespans for their satellites, allowing for faster refresh times and additional redundancy — and Ambrose believes this approach might cross over to GEO as well."

“Both the wideband communications and some of the Earth Observation (EO) marketplaces are getting pretty commoditized. I think we’ve counted 23 or 24 startup EO companies that want to take visible pictures of the Earth. Clearly there will be a market there but not for that many,” he said. “Likewise, I think there’s a hunger for communications, but I don’t think everyone is going to be successful in the long haul.”
SatelliteToday  satellite  LockheedMartin  NewSpace  3Dprinting  EO  remote-sensing  EarthObservation  interviews 
november 2017 by pierredv
EXCLUSIVE - Tom Choi: Life after ABS - Via Satellite -Oct 2017
VIA SATELLITE: Given the influx of new players in the satellite industry and the new Low and Medium Earth Orbit (LEO/MEO) players that you have been outspoken against, what does the future hold for a player like ABS?

Choi: As I said many times before … I doubt the majority will ever launch and even if they do most will fail. Why? Let me ask a few questions: Where do they have market access, ground facilities to install their gateways, and most importantly who are their customers? They say they will fill the niche of serving the unconnected but they won’t be competitive to 5G. These are basic questions investors ask. This is why most will not get financing because they cannot answer them. As an example, which Export Credit Agency (ECA) is backing these crazy projects with no customers? Not a single one thus far. Look at what happened when the last company got funded on “hot air:” NewSat collapsed much to the chagrin of EXIM bank. I seriously doubt they want to relive that kind of experience again, this time on a much larger scale. So, the answer to your question is no, ABS will not be materially impacted.
ViaSatellite  LEO  satellite  business  NGSO  critique  interviews 
november 2017 by pierredv
How to fix US politics? Maybe start by seeing it as an ‘industrial complex.’ -, Sep 2017
The political-industrial complex. Fascinating piece. Excerpts:

"The system is designed to deliver what it’s delivering. The challenge is that it’s not designed to deliver for citizens, for the public interest. Instead, our system has been designed and optimized over time to benefit the interests of our two political parties and all their associated industry allies."

"If you have two dominant competitors, the last thing they want to do is compete for the same customers. They’d rather divide up the customers, because then they can differentiate themselves. Their respective loyalists will then be very dedicated to support them and give money and vote."
CSMonitor  US  politics  interviews 
september 2017 by pierredv
Emotions are not universal – we build them for ourselves | New Scientist, Mar 2017
"The more emotion concepts you know – not just one anger but many angers, each one fitting a particular situation – then the better you will be at regulating your emotions. Concepts are tools for living."

"Research shows that teaching kids emotion words expands their vocabulary of concepts and improves academic performance. This may be in part because a larger vocabulary tunes emotions more finely to the situation – being “frustrated” or “irritated” instead of just “angry” – and that improves self-control."
NewScientist  emotion  vocabulary  language  education  self-control  interviews 
may 2017 by pierredv
Is Your Big Data Project a “Weapon of Math Destruction”? - IEEE Spectrum - Oct 2016
"But amid all the excitement, we’re beginning to see hints that our nice, tidy algorithms and predictive models might be prone to the same shortcomings that the humans who create them are. Take, for example, the revelation that Google disproportionately served ads for high-paying jobs to men rather than women. And there’s the troubling recent discovery that a criminal risk assessment score disproportionately flagged many African Americans as higher risk, sometimes resulting in longer prison sentences."

"One of the things that makes big data so attractive is the assumption that it’s eliminating human subjectivity and bias. After all, you’re basing everything on hard numbers from the real world, right? Wrong. Predictive models and algorithms, says author Cathy O’Neil, are really just “opinions embedded in math.” "
AI  algorithms  morality  ethics  values  books  interviews 
october 2016 by pierredv
The Information Theory Of Life | Quanta Magazine
"The polymath Christoph Adami is investigating life’s origins by reimagining living things as self-perpetuating information strings."
"In the following interview, Adami defines information as “the ability to make predictions with a likelihood better than chance,” and he says we should think of the human genome — or the genome of any organism — as a repository of information about the world gathered in small bits over time through the process of evolution."
A. "Think of evolution as a process where information is flowing from the environment into the genome. The genome learns more about the environment, and with this information, the genome can make predictions about the state of the environment."
QuantaMagazine  information-theory  evolution  interviews 
may 2016 by pierredv
A New Thermodynamics Theory Of The Origin Of Life | Quanta Magazine
Interview with Jeremy England
"From the standpoint of physics, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms: The former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life."
"Life does not violate the second law of thermodynamics, but until recently, physicists were unable to use thermodynamics to explain why it should arise in the first place. ... In the 1960s, the Belgian physicist Ilya Prigogine made progress on predicting the behavior of open systems weakly driven by external energy sources (for which he won the 1977 Nobel Prize in chemistry). But the behavior of systems that are far from equilibrium, which are connected to the outside environment and strongly driven by external sources of energy, could not be predicted.... Jarzynski and Crooks showed that the entropy produced by a thermodynamic process, such as the cooling of a cup of coffee, corresponds to a simple ratio: the probability that the atoms will undergo that process divided by their probability of undergoing the reverse process (that is, spontaneously interacting in such a way that the coffee warms up). As entropy production increases, so does this ratio: A system’s behavior becomes more and more “irreversible.”"
"Using Jarzynski and Crooks’ formulation, [England] derived a generalization of the second law of thermodynamics that holds for systems of particles with certain characteristics: The systems are strongly driven by an external energy source such as an electromagnetic wave, and they can dump heat into a surrounding bath. This class of systems includes all living things."
“It is very tempting to speculate about what phenomena in nature we can now fit under this big tent of dissipation-driven adaptive organization,” England said. “Many examples could just be right under our nose, but because we haven’t been looking for them we haven’t noticed them.”
<examples of self-replication in non-living systems: vortices in turbulent fluids; specially coated microspheres
physics  biology  life  evolution  information-theory  QuantaMagazine  interviews 
may 2016 by pierredv
Quantum Bayesianism Explained By Its Founder | Quanta Magazine
Interview with Christopher Fuchs
"Those interpretations [Copenhagen, many worlds, Bohmian] all have something in common: They treat the wave function as a description of an objective reality shared by multiple observers. QBism, on the other hand, treats the wave function as a description of a single observer’s subjective knowledge. It resolves all of the quantum paradoxes, but at the not insignificant cost of anything we might call “reality.” Then again, maybe that’s what quantum mechanics has been trying to tell us all along — that a single objective reality is an illusion."
Q. How does QBism get you around those limits?
A. "One way to look at it is that the laws of physics aren’t about the stuff “out there.” Rather, they are our best expressions, our most inclusive statements, of what our own limitations are. When we say the speed of light is the ultimate speed limit, we’re saying that we can’t go beyond the speed of light."
"I’ve become fascinated by these beautiful mathematical structures called SICs, symmetric informationally complete measurements — horrible name, almost as bad as bettabilitarianism. They can be used to rewrite the Born rule [the mathematical procedure that generates probabilities in quantum mechanics] in a different language, in which it appears that the Born rule is somehow deeply about analyzing the real in terms of hypotheticals."
QuantaMagazine  QBism  Bayesian  physics  quantum-mechanics  philosophy  interviews 
may 2016 by pierredv
Breyten Breytenbach se dubbele boekbekendstelling - YouTube May 2016
"Breyten Breytenbach gesels met Louise Viljoen oor sy versamelbundel die singende hand, sowel as sy jongste bundel na-dood. Stellenbosch Protea Boekwinkel, 04.05.2016"
Breyten-Breytenbach  Louise-Viljoen  youtube  Afrikaans  poetry  interviews 
may 2016 by pierredv
The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality | Quanta Magazine
via John Helm
"Donald D. Hoffman, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine. Hoffman has spent the past three decades studying perception, artificial intelligence, evolutionary game theory and the brain, and his conclusion is a dramatic one: The world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality. What’s more, he says, we have evolution itself to thank for this magnificent illusion, as it maximizes evolutionary fitness by driving truth to extinction."
Hoffman: "The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never."
"perceptions will be tuned to fitness, but not to truth"
Q. So everything we see is one big illusion?
A. "We’ve been shaped to have perceptions that keep us alive, so we have to take them seriously. If I see something that I think of as a snake, I don’t pick it up. If I see a train, I don’t step in front of it. I’ve evolved these symbols to keep me alive, so I have to take them seriously. But it’s a logical flaw to think that if we have to take it seriously, we also have to take it literally."
A mathematical model of consciousness
"I have a space X of experiences, a space G of actions, and an algorithm D that lets me choose a new action given my experiences. Then I posited a W for a world, which is also a probability space. Somehow the world affects my perceptions, so there’s a perception map P from the world to my experiences, and when I act, I change the world, so there’s a map A from the space of actions to the world."
QuantaMagazine  reality  evolution  cognition  interviews 
may 2016 by pierredv
David Bowie speaks to Jeremy Paxman on BBC Newsnight (1999) - YouTube
via Charles Eliot. Great stuff about the internet in the interview in the middle
David-Bowie  BBC  interviews 
january 2016 by pierredv
How to Read a Poem & Fall in Love with Poetry - YouTube
Washington Post Fiction Editor Ron Charles conducts an in-depth interview with poet Edward Hirsch.
LibraryOfCongress  poetry  video  YouTube  Edward-Hirsch  *  interviews 
april 2015 by pierredv
Instinct Can Beat Analytical Thinking - Justin Fox - Harvard Business Review
Via Tren Griffin "Psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer has spent his career focusing on the ways in which we get things right, or could at least learn to. In Gigerenzer’s view, using heuristics, rules of thumb, and other shortcuts often leads to better decisions than the models of “rational” decision-making developed by mathematicians and statisticians. At times this belief has led the managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin into pretty fierce debates with his intellectual opponents. It has also led to a growing body of fascinating research, and a growing library of books for lay readers, the latest of which, Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions, is just out."
Gerg  Gigerenzer  risk  instinct  heuristics  HBR  decisionmaking  books  interviews 
june 2014 by pierredv
Iranian mother who spared her son's killer: 'Vengeance has left my heart' | World news | The Guardian
"Samereh Alinejad tells the Guardian she had no intention of sparing her son's killer, Balal, until the moment she asked for the noose to be removed from his neck" See also
people  stories  Iran  murder  revenge  theguardian  interviews 
april 2014 by pierredv
Carl Jung: Face to Face [FULL INTERVIEW] - YouTube
John Freeman interviews Carl Gustav Jung, the most famous living psychologist, at his home in Zürich. We learn about Jung's early life, including the moment in his eleventh year when he realized he was an individual consciousness. Jung speaks about his friendship with Sigmund Freud, and explains why the friendship could not last. Jung is asked about his belief in God, and Jung can only respond that there is no belief: he knows. And, he says, he knows - knows, not believes - that death is not an end. Finally, Jung forecasts what he thinks will happen to mankind and describes what man needs to survive.
Jung  Freeman  psychotherapy  interviews 
january 2014 by pierredv
In Conversation With Antonin Scalia -- New York Magazine
"On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy (“I don’t”)."
politics  via  Kevin  Schofield  Scalia  people  SCOTUS  profile  interviews 
october 2013 by pierredv
The Dark Side of Meditation on Vimeo
Neuroscientist Willoughby Britton and Yoga / Buddhist Teacher Michael Stone discuss the dark side of meditation
ex  Vimeo  meditation  via  Maretha  Cronje  vipassana  video  interviews 
july 2013 by pierredv
Are TV white space rule-makers overlooking connected TVs? — PolicyTracker: June 2013
"Regulations for TV white spaces (TVWS) are starting to emerge in the US, Canada, the UK, Singapore and Kenya, but rule-makers are overlooking the impact of a rising penetration in connected TVs, according to Robert Horvitz, the director of the Open Spectrum Foundation." Horvitz: “Connected TVs could potentially report their location and channel tuning to a TVWS database, which means that in the near future it will be possible to guarantee protection for viewers watching specific channels.” Critique from Peter Banett, Mandercom; William Webb, Neul; Mark Waddell, BBC
Robert  Horvitz  William  Webb  Mark  Waddell  whitespace  PolicyTracker  TV  interviews 
june 2013 by pierredv
How Debt Ruins Systems -
Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb on fragility, centralization, and capitalism Nick Gillespie from the April 2013 issue
risk  Nassim  Nicholas  Taleb  complexity  video  interviews 
march 2013 by pierredv
Expecting the Unexpected: An Interview With Edmund Phelps - Bloomberg
via Theo Eicher, - "Phelps is the director of Columbia University's Center on Capitalism and Society. I talked with him over the phone on Jan. 25 and Feb. 4 about his views on rational expectations: the notion that people’s expectations of economic outcomes are generally right and policy makers can’t outsmart the public."
rational-expectations  Bloomberg  economics  interviews 
february 2013 by pierredv
Ubiquiti talks wireless backhaul products and trendsMobile Technology | Wireless Broadband | Wireless Carriers | RCR U.S. Wireless News
Focus on AirFiber: new millimeter wave wireless backhaul. "AirFiber is a revolutionary high-speed wireless backhaul product delivering real throughputs at levels dramatically higher than the competition regardless of price. In order to do this, the design team needed to invent a lot of new processes and algorithms that were not available off-the-shelf. AirFiber has been built by Ubiquiti from the ground up to be a very powerful and versatile software-defined platform." "Up until now it didn’t make economic sense to deploy a picocell capable of 100 or so [megabits per second] throughput when the cost of the backhaul is higher than the cell-site equipment. ... We currently enable WISP’s ... but at some point the larger carriers will need to take the plunge into cost-effective transport for high data rate traffic. We will work to blur the artificial boundaries between unlicensed and licensed spectrum so that to the operator, the experience is totally seamless"
interv  rcrwireless  backhaul  small-cells  wireless  interviews 
january 2013 by pierredv
Game developer: Beware algorithms running your life - tech - 22 August 2011 - New Scientist
"Our decisions, our culture, even our physical landscapes are being shaped by computer algorithms, says Kevin Slavin" in an interview with Alison George
"The pernicious thing about algorithms is that they have the mathematical quality of truth - you have the sense that they are neutral - and yet, of course, they have authorship. For example, Google's search engine is composed entirely of fancy mathematics, but its algorithms, like everybody's, are all based on an ideology - in this case that a page is more valuable if other pages think it's valuable. Each algorithm has a point of view, and yet we have no sense of what algorithms are, or even that they exist."
algorithms  computing  hardintangibles  quotations  interviews 
december 2011 by pierredv
George Dyson | Evolution and Innovation - Information Is Cheap, Meaning Is Expensive | The European Magazine
"We now live in a world where information is potentially unlimited. Information is cheap, but meaning is expensive. Where is the meaning? Only human beings can tell you where it is. We’re extracting meaning from our minds and our own lives."
trends  history  technology  futures  interviews 
october 2011 by pierredv
Owen Flanagan and Alex Rosenberg « Philosophy TV
"Naturalists believe that the world is scientifically intelligible (at least in principle). Thus, naturalists doubt the reality of anything that cannot fit into a scientific worldview. How discomforting are naturalists’ doubts? Can naturalists coherently regard life as meaningful? Rosenberg is happily pessimistic about the answers to such questions. In this conversation, Rosenberg defends his pessimism, and Flanagan resists it. They discuss whether Darwin banished purpose (17:27), why naturalists get up in the morning (34:30), and morality and politics from a naturalist perspective (49:45), among other topics."
philosophy  video  lectures  interviews 
october 2011 by pierredv
From the man who discovered Stuxnet, dire warnings one year later -
Ralph Langer, discoverer of Stuxnet: "That wakeup call lasted only about a week. Thereafter, everybody fell back into coma."
cyberwar  csmonitor  quotations  interviews 
september 2011 by pierredv
CGAP Interview: Tilman Ehrbeck
"In a new interview CGAP CEO Tilman Ehrbeck says that full financial inclusion can be achieved in our lifetime. He argues that there is a body of knowledge coming together around poor clients’ needs as well as how to seed and grow and regulate services that will meet those needs effectively. This could lead to significant progress toward financial inclusion within the next 20 years."
video  microfinance  poverty  x:cgap  interviews 
august 2011 by pierredv
Intel anthropologist: Fieldwork with the silicon tribe - Genevieve Bell
Quote: "Privacy was a big issue a decade ago. Today, people are more worried about reputation. We tested people with future scenarios, such as if your smart television could update your Facebook page about what you're watching. No one liked it. People said things like, "My girlfriend put the show on and left the room" or "I've only ever watched it once". We talk about the content we watch as part of who we are. One of the biggest anxieties we have about these technologies is that they reveal what we're really up to - what dreadful dorks we are."
intel  privacy  NewScientist  quotations  interviews 
june 2011 by pierredv
Sir John Beddington on food
The UK's chief scientific advisor on the dilemmas facing the world food system, incl. sustainability and why the era of cheap food is over
food  hunger  **  TheEconomist  video  interviews 
february 2011 by pierredv
Pi's nemesis: Mathematics is better with tau - physics-math - 12 January 2011 - New Scientist
"It's time to kill off pi, says physicist Michael Hartl, who believes that an alternative mathematical constant will do its job better"
NewScientist  humor  interviews  maths 
january 2011 by pierredv
Penn and Teller interview - Telegraph
Fascinating profile of two very differnt people. Some good quotes, too Teller: “Doing beautiful things is its own reward,” Penn Gillette: " “I have always hated magic,” he says. “I have always hated the basic undercurrent of magic which Jerry Seinfeld put best when he said: 'All magic is “Here’s a quarter, now it’s gone. You’re a jerk. Now it’s back. You’re an idiot. Show’s over”.’ I never wanted to grow up to be a magician. It was never my goal.” He would rather have been a rock star, he says, but the business seemed already saturated with extraordinarily talented people"
magic  people  profile  performingarts  via:ald  interviews 
july 2010 by pierredv
The Believer - Interview with David Simon by Nick Hornby, August 1st, 2007 | Issue forty-six
Compares the Greek gods with postmodern institutions.Quote:
"The Wire is a Greek tragedy in which the postmodern institutions are the Olympian forces. It’s the police department, or the drug economy, or the political structures, or the school administration, or the macroeconomic forces that are throwing the lightning bolts and hitting people in the ass for no decent reason."

Ref via Helen Morales in Omnibus No. 57, Jan 2009, "Classical mythology contorted". She introduces the Simon quote by saying, "Do we have an equivalent, then, to the gods in ancient myth?"
She comments after the quote, "A sobering thought, but perhaps a realistic one, that life is a rigged game and that we are controlled by institutions, much as the ancient Greeks imagined they were controlled by the gods..."
religion  television  greek  mythology  ***  culture  interviews  Greek-mythology 
april 2010 by pierredv

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