I just finished a book by the renowned Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami called Novelist as a Vocation. Murakami is the author of 1Q84, Norwegian Wood, and Kafka on the Shore, among many others. As a young novelist myself, I wanted to learn a professional’s thoughts on the trade and also get a sense of his philosophy of writing, which in the age of AI, feels increasingly valuable. Most of the book was composed during or before 2015 but was just published last year, and is basically a compendium of essays on the novel-writing process, how Murakami got started, and the broader literary landscape. Connecting With Readers Murakami’s thoughts on his readership and audience particularly stood out to me. He confesses Read More ›
Educators have been shaken by fears that students will use ChatGTP and other large language models (LLMs) to answer questions and write essays. LLMs are indeed astonishing good at finding facts and generating coherent essays — although the alleged facts are sometimes false and the essays are sometimes tedious BS supported by fake references. I am more optimistic than most. I am hopeful that LLMs will be a catalyst for a widespread discussion of our educational goals. What might students learn in schools that will be useful long after they graduate? There are many worthy goals, but critical thinking and communication skills should be high on any list. I’ve written elsewhere about how critical thinking abilities are important for students Read More ›
At COSM 2019, Jay Richards interviewed Bruce Agnew, Director of the Seattle-based ACES Northwest Network on the collective’s work in bringing ACES (Automated, Connected, Electric, and Shared) vehicle technologies to the Puget Sound region. They discussed, among other things, the role that 5G will play in implementing autonomous vehicles. Since 1993, Bruce Agnew has been the Policy Director of Seattle-based Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Center. The Cascadia Center is a strategic alliance from Vancouver, BC, to Eugene, Oregon, promoting high speed passenger rail, Interstate-5 freight mobility, seamless border crossings, bi-national and bi-state tourism marketing, and sustainable community development. Two of his co-chairs, Tom Alberg and Bryan Mistele, were also interviewed in this series (at the links). From the interview: Agnew began Read More ›
William Dembski created quite a stir in the world of information theory with his book The Design Inference. For the first time, he outlined a rigorous method for identifying design, which he called the explanatory filter. Since then many critics have claimed that Dembski’s proposed filter is without merit due to the lack of application in the couple of decades since its invention. But, are the critics right, or are they wrong—wrong in the way that a fish doesn’t recognize water because water is the very atmosphere of the fish’s existence? Let us first remind ourselves of Dembski’s explanatory filter. His filter proceeds in three main steps. Eliminate events of large probability (necessity) Eliminate events of medium probability (chance) Specify Read More ›
None of the plants' extensive "social life" requires reason, emotion, value systems, mind, consciousness, or a sense of self. It requires only that the plant, like an animal, seek to continue its highly organized existence. But plants' ability to process information for that purpose gives pause for thought.