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robertogreco : freemandyson   16

Q&A;: Hacker Historian George Dyson Sits Down With Wired's Kevin Kelly | Wired Magazine | Wired.com
"In some creation myths, life arises out of the earth; in others, life falls out of the sky. The creation myth of the digital universe entails both metaphors. The hardware came out of the mud of World War II, and the code fell out of abstract mathematical concepts. Computation needs both physical stuff and a logical soul to bring it to life…"

"…When I first visited Google…I thought, my God, this is not Turing’s mansion—this is Turing’s cathedral. Cathedrals were built over hundreds of years by thousands of nameless people, each one carving a little corner somewhere or adding one little stone. That’s how I feel about the whole computational universe. Everybody is putting these small stones in place, incrementally creating this cathedral that no one could even imagine doing on their own."
artificialintelligence  ai  software  nuclearbombs  stanulam  hackers  hacking  alanturing  coding  klarivanneumann  nilsbarricelli  MANIAC  digitaluniverse  biology  digitalorganisms  computers  computing  freemandyson  johnvanneumann  interviews  creation  kevinkelly  turing'smansion  turing'scathedral  turing  wired  history  georgedyson 
february 2012 by robertogreco
How to Dispel Your Illusions by Freeman Dyson | The New York Review of Books
"The violent and passionate manifestations of human nature, concerned with matters of life and death and love and hate and pain and sex, cannot be experimentally controlled and are beyond Kahneman’s reach. Violence and passion are the territory of Freud. Freud can penetrate deeper than Kahneman because literature digs deeper than science into human nature and human destiny."
psychology  books  freemandyson  danielkahneman  williamjames  literature  science  cognition  decisionmaking  humans  emotions  measurement  experiments  illusions  illusionofvalidity  cognitiveillusions 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Bless the toolmakers « Snarkmarket
So much here in Robin's post and the comments that I'm not going to quote anything. Lots to think about.
tools  apple  pixar  arts  art  robinsloan  snarkmarket  creativity  creation  media  freemandyson  roolmaking  liberalarts  lasting  building  software  design  writing  timcarmody 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Caterina.net» Blog Archive » Make things
John Holt: "Leaders are not what many people think–people with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see whether anyone is following them. “Leadership qualities” are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. The include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, determination, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head even when things are going badly. This is the opposite of the “charisma” that we hear so much about."

…People ask me who inspires me…often stumps me because I have been inspired in my work by stuff that people make… [bunch of examples]…the people who make these things are my leaders. Most of the time I don’t know their names. Sometimes I’m lucky & do.

So, to hell with all that noise. It’s just a big mass of envy, chatter & FOMO. Let’s get excited & make things."
leadership  caterinafake  johnholt  making  doing  entrepreneurship  inspiration  noise  talk  technology  techindustry  whatmatters  cv  freemandyson 
september 2011 by robertogreco
The ‘Dramatic Picture’ of Richard Feynman by Freeman Dyson | The New York Review of Books
"a scientist who was unusually unselfish…hated all hierarchies…wanted no badge of superior academic status to come btwn him & his younger friends…considered science to be a collective enterprise in which educating the young was as important as making personal discoveries…put as much effort into teaching as…thinking.

…never showed the slightest resentment when I published some of his ideas before he did…told me he avoided disputes about priority in science by following a simple rule: “Always give the bastards more credit than they deserve.” I have followed this rule myself. I find it remarkably effective for avoiding quarrels & making friends. A generous sharing of credit is the quickest way to build a healthy scientific community. In the end, Feynman’s greatest contribution to science was not any particular discovery. His contribution was the creation of a new way of thinking that enabled a great multitude of students & colleagues, including me, to make their own discoveries."
richardfeynman  freemandyson  books  humanity  humanism  unselfishness  hierarchy  leadership  teaching  learning  science  philosophy  physics  collectivism  discovery  collaboration  2011 
july 2011 by robertogreco
What is social information? « Snarkmarket
"Wallace has already signaled that this is going to be a paragraph about repetition to exhaustion or even injury before he even does it. You could say he needs to keep clarifying & repeating these things because his sentences are so convoluted that otherwise you couldn’t follow them, but 1) his syntax is pretty clear 2) it’s not like he’s a freak about specifying everything… But it’s also just Wallace — who understands all of this, by the way, better than we do: communication, information, redundancy, efficiency, purity, the dangers of too much information, and especially the fear of being alone and the need to find connection with other human beings — creating a structure that allows him to ping his reader, saying “I am here”… and waiting for his reader to respond in kind, “I’m alive right now; I’m a person; look at me.” 
timcarmody  snarkmarket  davidfosterwallace  infinitejest  language  solitude  loneliness  human  need  information  redundancy  efficiency  purity  clarity  communication  infooverload  connectedness  connection  freemandyson  malcolmgladwell  devinfriedman  ycombinator  dailybooth  expression  jamesgleick  congo  kele  languages  words  pinging  drums  2011  northafrica  revolution  revolutions  media  raymondcarver  history  cannon  signaling 
february 2011 by robertogreco
How We Know by Freeman Dyson | The New York Review of Books
"The public has a distorted view of science, because children are taught in school that science is a collection of firmly established truths. In fact, science is not a collection of truths. It is a continuing exploration of mysteries. Wherever we go exploring in the world around us, we find mysteries. Our planet is covered by continents and oceans whose origin we cannot explain. Our atmosphere is constantly stirred by poorly understood disturbances that we call weather and climate. The visible matter in the universe is outweighed by a much larger quantity of dark invisible matter that we do not understand at all. The origin of life is a total mystery, and so is the existence of human consciousness. We have no clear idea how the electrical discharges occurring in nerve cells in our brains are connected with our feelings and desires and actions."

"The immense size of modern databases gives us a feeling of meaninglessness. Information in such quantities reminds us of Borges’s library extending infinitely in all directions. It is our task as humans to bring meaning back into this wasteland. As finite creatures who think and feel, we can create islands of meaning in the sea of information. Gleick ends his book with Borges’s image of the human condition: "We walk the corridors, searching the shelves and rearranging them, looking for lines of meaning amid leagues of cacophony and incoherence, reading the history of the past and of the future, collecting our thoughts and collecting the thoughts of others, and every so often glimpsing mirrors, in which we may recognize creatures of the information.""
freemandyson  books  language  meaning  science  information  history  theory  jamesgleick  wikipedia  borges  libraryofbabel  jimmywales  mooreslaw  claudeshannon  infinitelibrary  relationships  pupose  infooverload  thelibraryofbabel 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Danger of Cosmic Genius - Magazine - The Atlantic
"Einstein could not make change…bus drivers of Princeton had to pick out his nickels & quarters for him. We dimmer bulbs love to seize on tales like this…comforted by the notion of the educated fool. It seems only right that some leveling principle should deprive the geniuses among us of common sense, street smarts, mother wit…

Having myself grown up in Berkeley, where Nobel laureates are a dime a dozen, I certainly know the syndrome: mismatched socks, spectacles repaired with duct tape, forgotten anniversaries & missed appointments, valise left absentmindedly on park bench. Yet hometown experience did not prepare me completely for Dyson. In my interviews…he would sometimes depart the conversation mid-sentence, his face vacant for a minute or two while he followed some intricate thought or polished an equation, & then he would return to complete the sentence as if he had never been away. I have observed similar departures in other deep thinkers, but never for nearly so long."

[via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/1554470717/having-myself-grown-up-in-berkeley-where-nobel ]
climatechange  environment  physics  science  freemandyson  georgedyson  2010  genius  childhood  alberteinstein  concentration  thinking  parenting  biography  religion  faith  belief  sustainability 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Institute for Advanced Study - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Richard Feynman on the place: "When I was at Princeton in the 1940s I could see what happened to those great minds at the Institute for Advanced Study, who had been specially selected for their tremendous brains and were now given this opportunity to sit in this lovely house by the woods there, with no classes to teach, with no obligations whatsoever. These poor bastards could now sit and think clearly all by themselves, OK? So they don't get any ideas for a while: They have every opportunity to do something, and they're not getting any ideas. I believe that in a situation like this a kind of guilt or depression worms inside of you, and you begin to worry about not getting any ideas. And nothing happens. Still no ideas come.

Nothing happens because there's not enough real activity and challenge: You're not in contact with the experimental guys. You don't have to think how to answer questions from the students. Nothing!"
education  princeton  science  thinking  ideas  richardfeynman  teaching  explaining  constraints  freedom  challenge  motivation  instituteforadvancedstudy  freemandyson  alberteinstein  paulerdos 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Contributor - Four Sides to Every Story - NYTimes.com
"The calamatists and denialists are primarily political figures, with firm ideological loyalties, whereas the warners and skeptics are primarily scientists, guided by ever-changing evidence. That distinction between ideology and science not only helps clarify the strengths and weaknesses of the four stances, it can also be used to predict how they might respond to future climate developments."
stewartbrand  climatechange  freemandyson  science  politics 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Freeman Dyson, global warming, biotechnology, evolution, science and religion | Salon Books
"For me, religion is much more about a community of people than about belief. It's fine literature and music. As far as I can tell, people who belong to my church don't necessarily believe anything. Certainly we don't talk about that much. I suppose I'm a better Jew than I am a Christian. Jewish religion is much more a matter of community than it is of belief, and I think that's true of us Christians to a great extent, too."
freemandyson  religion  christianity  atheism  richarddawkins  evolution  technology  climatechange  science  belief  community  biotech  physics  ecology  environment  climate  life  philosophy  future  faith 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The Civil Heretic - Freeman Dyson - Profile - NYTimes.com
"All 6 Dysons describe eventful child­hoods w/ people like Feynman coming by...father...always preaching virtues of boredom: “Being bored is the only time you are creative”...Around the Institute for Advanced Study, that intellectual Arcadia where the blackboards have signs on them that say Do Not Erase, Dyson is quietly admired for candidly expressing his doubts about string theory’s aspiration to represent all forces and matter in one coherent system. “I think Freeman wishes the string theorists well,” Avishai Margalit, the philosopher, says. “I don’t think he wishes them luck. He’s interested in diversity, and that’s his worldview. To me he is a towering figure although he is tiny — almost a saintly model of how to get old. The main thing he retains is playfulness. Einstein had it. Playfulness & curiosity. He also stands for this unique trait, which is wisdom. Brightness here is common. He is wise. He integrated, not in a theory, but in his life, all his dreams of things.”"
freemandyson  skepticism  science  play  curiosity  diversity  tcsnmy  physics  futurism  future  climate  globalwarming  time  weather  boredom  creativity  sandiego  geneticengineering  tinkering  learning  habitsofmind  howwework  richardfeynman  generalists  attention  nuclearweapons  algore  optimism  intellect  genius  interdisciplinary  problemsolving  ingenuity  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  orthodoxy  heretics  belief  debate 
march 2009 by robertogreco
George Dyson (science historian) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"When he was sixteen he went to live in British Columbia in Canada to pursue his interest in canoeing and escape his father's shadow. While there he lived in a treehouse at a height of 30 metres."
georgedyson  freemandyson  learning  education  freedom  autodidacts  passion  immersion  alternative  autonomy  unschooling  deschooling 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Freeman Dyson says: let's look for life in the outer solar system | Video on TED.com
"suggests that we start looking for life on the moons of Jupiter and out past Neptune, in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. He talks about what such life would be like -- and how we might find it."
freemandyson  astrobiology  biology  biotechnology  exploration  future  space  life  technology  play  gamechanging  change  diy  make  making 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly -- The Technium - Where the Linear Crosses the Exponential
"individual lives proceed in linear fashion...Generations...advance steadily...pushed by compounding cycles of exponential change...Balancing that point where the linear crosses the exponential is what long-term thinking should be about."
kevinkelly  economics  future  culture  science  environment  religion  freemandyson  sustainability  environmentalism 
july 2008 by robertogreco
The Question of Global Warming - The New York Review of Books
"Unfortunately, some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the be-lief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become
environment  globalwarming  science  climatechange  politics  climate  economics  carbon  environmentalism  skeptics  socialism  sustainability  freemandyson  earth  religion  belief 
june 2008 by robertogreco

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