Think about it. Line drives hit right at fielders, mis-hit balls dying in the infield. Fly balls barely caught and barely missed. Balls called strikes and strikes called balls. Even the best batters make twice as many outs as hits. Even the best teams lose more than a third of their games. This season, the Houston Astros had the highest win percentage (66.0%) in baseball, yet they lost two out of six games to Baltimore, which only won a third of their games—not because Baltimore was the better team, but because Baltimore was the luckier team in those two games. The Astros are one of the 10 best teams this season (along with the Yankees, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Cleveland, Oakland, Read More ›
In addition to the many puzzles we face in understanding the relationship between the immaterial human mind and the material human brain, we are discovering some life forms that can manage “sensory integration, decision-making and now, learning” without a physical brain.
Many people assume that human consciousness arose accidentally many eons ago from animal consciousness and that therefore we can find glimmers of the same sort of consciousness in the minds of animals. But that approach isn’t producing the expected results.
Consciousness is a slippery concept but the two prominent theories make different predictions as to which part of the brain will become active when a person becomes aware of an image; thus they can be tested by neuroscientists.
Remembering the prophecies for the web in the halcyon days of ten or (better) fifteen years ago is strangely painful and disorienting, like a hangover, largely because we so silently abandoned its ideals.
The place to begin, however, is with a simple rule of thumb: if a system is convenient, you are probably trading your information for that convenience. If you want to reduce your “digital exhaust,” you will need to do things that are a little less convenient.
The slowing Funk refers to is in fundamental innovations like transistors and lasers. The apparent progress often turns out to be in patent applications for a bewildering array of comparatively insignificant mobile phone apps.
But there was a lingering problem. To power the world’s vacuums and rice cookers, the Craizins had to be at the source of the action: the home. But no one wanted somewhat smelly teenage gamers hulking around in their homes.
In a world where the divine touch of extraterrestrial intelligence doesn’t elevate human existence to any level of significance, we are left with Ad Astra: a slow, methodical decay of human significance.
The Turing test for design in computers relies on the same principles as the detection of design in nature. The materialist can have, in principle, no intelligence in either computers or nature or possible intelligence in both. But he can’t pick and choose.