Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagRobert J. Marks

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Handsome man playing in casino

The Struggle Between Casinos and Advantage Players

The scene is enlivened by assorted other characters who use romance to help in the struggle for a big win. Sal Cordova explains

In a recent podcast, “When the house can’t win the game, it will change the rules” (June 9, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks continued his discussion with mathematician, computer scientist, and engineer Salvador Cordova on the mathematics of gambling — why the odds are stacked against the gambler — or, depending on a gambler’s skill and knowledge of the circumstances, maybe they aren’t… https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/06/Mind-Matters-News-Episode-190-Sal-Cordova-Episode-2-rev1.mp3 This portion begins at approximately 00:31 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow below. Marks and Cordova ended Episode 1 by discussing the famous advantage player Don Johnson who cleaned out Atlantic City for tens of millions of dollars in 2011. What was his secret? Sal Cordova: He…

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online poker player

Can A Good Hustler Count Cards Like A Computer?

Do you have to be a genius to count cards? What are the skills needed to learn this algorithmic art? And what happens if you get caught? Robert J. Marks and Sal Cordova discuss the ins and outs of card counting. Show Notes 00:06 | Introducing Sal Cordova 00:36 | What Does It Take to be a Good Hustler? 01:45…

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Office syndrome, Backache and Lower Back Pain Concept. a man touching his lower back at pain point

The Challenges of Medical Care When Insurance Algorithms Rule

Pain management physician Richard Hurley is a veteran of many successful appeals to insurance companies that have refused to pay for treatments

In the first portion of Episode 187, “Good and bad algorithms in the practice of medicine” (May 19, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks and anesthetist Dr. Richard Hurley discussed where algorithms help in medicine… and where they don’t. In this portion, they turn to how to get good medical care when you are dealing with an insurance company as well as medical staff and institutions. The two types of institution are, as we will see, very different. Before we get started: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new book, coming out Non-Computable You (June, 2022), on the need for realism in another area as well —…

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Croupier hands dealing cards on t blackjack poker table, gambling table with cards and chips

When The House Can’t Win The Game, It Will Change The Rules

Intelligent gamblers can try and beat the house, but the house will fight back. Casinos protect their investment in a variety of ways including surveillance, banning players, and even changing the game rules. Robert J. Marks and Sal Cordova discuss gambling, casino oversight, and “advantage players.” Show Notes 00:31 | Recapping How Don Johnson Cleaned Out Atlantic City 02:48 |…

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Health insurance, tax concept on blue background

Algorithms in Medicine: Where They Help … and Where They Don’t

Removing creativity, nuance, and insight from medicine may result in cheaper care but not better care

Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks continued his podcast discussion with anesthesiologist Richard Hurley in “Good and bad algorithms in the practice of medicine” (May 19, 2022). An algorithm is “a procedure for solving a mathematical problem (as of finding the greatest common divisor) in a finite number of steps that frequently involves repetition of an operation.” (Merriam–Webster) We most commonly think of algorithms in connection with computers because that is how programmers instruct them. Algorithms, Dr. Marks points out, can either sharpen or derail services, depending on their content. Before we get started: Note: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new book, coming out Non-Computable You (June,…

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Casino BlackJack

Casinos: How Nerds Gamble and Win, Using the Law of Large Numbers

The American Physical Society created Las Vegas’s worst week in history and Don Johnson cleaned out Atlantic City. How?

In last week’s podcast, “The house always wins in the long run” (June 2, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed mathematician, computer scientist, and engineer Salvador Cordova on the world of gamblers and how they try to improve their odds by physically manipulating dice (dice sliding ) and cards (false shuffling). Meanwhile, the house is relying on the Law of Large Numbers, which — being a mathematical law — wins out in the end. Sure, the Law may always win — but perhaps anyone can play it. Where we left the matter last time, in the first portion of this episode, Cordova talked about how “advantage players” try to make it work. In this second segment of…

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Multi Casino Games Concept

Gambling: WHY the House Always Wins in the Long Run…

The casinos are not cheating. They rely on the Law of Large Numbers, part of the mathematical structure underlying our universe

In this week’s podcast, “The house always wins in the long run” (June 2, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviews mathematician, computer scientist, and engineer Salvador Cordova on a subject on which he has strong views: gambling. Marks tells us, “I teach a graduate course on probability and stochastic processes. There I teach the stupidity of casino gambling. In statistics, there’s a theorem called the Law of Large Numbers. It teaches that you can’t win in the long run at casino games. Period. The law of large numbers is a mathematical truth. It’s a law as serious as the law of gravity. It’s why casinos always get rich and the gambler always gets poor. There is a…

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The House Always Wins In The Long Run

In statistics, there’s a theorem called the law of large numbers. It teaches you can’t win in the long run at casino games. It’s why casinos always get rich, and the gambler always gets poor. Robert J. Marks and Sal Cordova discuss gambling, statistics, and mathematics. Show Notes 01:06 | Introducing Sal Cordova 03:11 | The Famous Team: Claude Shannon…

Green wavy parrot is sitting on a white cage. The parrot looks out of the cage.

How “Stretch” Finally Kicked the Medical Opioid Habit

It wasn’t easy but it was the high cost of staying alive while managing his chronic medical disorder

In a recent podcast, “A first-hand account of kicking Fentanyl addiction: reversing Hebb’s law” (May 12, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed a man who got addicted to Fentanyl as a medical drug. Some opioid addictions begin in the hospital. In the previous portion of this episode, “Stretch” told Robert J. Marks how he became addicted while seeking relief from pain stemming from operations — because “neurons that fire together wire together ( Hebb’s Law )”. Then, when he sensed that drugs were ruling his life without really dealing with the pain, he set out on the road to recovery — and was surprised to find anesthetists and nurses in the recovery group with him. Now, in…

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Man having a migraine headache.

Medical Opioids: The War Between Chronic Pain and Addiction

“Stretch” tells Robert J. Marks, the surgeries did not really work and he became addicted to the painkillers while trying to live a normal, working life

In a recent podcast, “A first-hand account of kicking Fentanyl addiction: reversing Hebb’s law” (May 12, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed a man who got addicted to Fentanyl as a medical drug. Some opioid addictions begin in the hospital. In the previous portion of this episode, “Stretch” told Robert J. Marks how he became addicted to medical doses of opioids while seeking relief from pain stemming from operations — because “neurons that fire together wire together (Hebb’s Law )”. Now he talks about the experiences that set his mind on the road to recovery. Before we get started: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new…

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Opioid Drug Prescription

Some Opioid Addictions Begin in the Hospital

In a recent podcast, “A first-hand account of kicking Fentanyl addiction: reversing Hebb’s law” (May 12, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviews a man who got addicted to Fentanyl as a medical drug. “Stretch” tells us how he got hooked and how he finally beat the narcotic, without once going to the street for help, though his experience was challenging, to say the least. Readers may also wish to read or hear anesthesiologist Richard Hurley’s perspective here and here. Before we get started: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new book, coming out Non-Computable You (June, 2022), on the need for realism in another area as…

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Teenagers laughing during a group counseling session for youth

What Anti-Opioid Strategies Could Really Lower the Death Toll?

Anesthetist Dr. Richard Hurley discussed with Robert J. Marks the value of cognitive behavior therapy — reframing the problem

In a recent podcast, “Exercising Free Won’t in Fentanyl Addiction: Unless You Die First” (May 4, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed anesthesiologist and pain management expert Dr. Richard Hurley on the scourge of opioids and what information strategies might help combat it.Yesterday, they looked at highly addictive opioids like Oxycontin, Percodan and Fentanyl and the many needless deaths that result from their misuse. Today, the focus is on strategies for prevention. Note: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new book, coming out, Non-Computable You (June, 2022), on the need for realism in another area as well — the capabilities of artificial intelligence. Stay tuned. https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/05/Mind-Matters-News-Episode-185-Richard-Hurley-Episode-1-rev1.mp3…

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Space background with spiral galaxy and stars

It’s a Wonderful, Complex, and Finely-Tuned Universe

What does it mean for something to be finely-tuned? Does fine-tuning extend beyond our own man-made systems and into biology and the universe itself? If so, what or who has done the fine-tuning? Robert J. Marks, Ola Hössjer, and Daniel Diaz discuss the concept of fine-tuning. Show Notes 00:02:17 | Introducing Ola Hössjer and Daniel Diaz 00:04:39 | No Free…

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Young woman poses as drug addict.

Opioids: The High Is Brief, the Death Toll Is Ghastly

Fentanyl has medical uses in, say, open heart operations where the patient is on life support; otherwise, it is often a one-way ticket off the planet

In a recent podcast, “Exercising Free Won’t in Fentanyl Addiction: Unless You Die First” (May 4, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed anaesthesiologist and pain management expert Dr. Richard Hurley on how highly addictive opiods like Oxycontin, Percodan, and Fentanyl act on the brain. Between April 2020 and April 2021, misused opioids killed over 100,000 Americans. Opioids like Fentanyl have a use in medicine but they are easy to get and subject to abuse. Note: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new book, coming out, Non-Computable You (June, 2022), on the need for realism in another area as well — the capabilities of artificial intelligence. Stay…

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Programming code script abstract screen of software developer.

Why You Are Not — and Cannot Be — Computable

A computer science prof explains in a new book that computer intelligence does not hold a candle to human intelligence.

An excerpt from Chapter 1 of Non-Computable You (2022) by Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks (Discovery Institute Press, June 2022) The Non-Computable Human If you memorized all of Wikipedia, would you be more intelligent? It depends on how you define intelligence. Consider John Jay Osborn Jr.’s 1971 novel The Paper Chase. In this semi-autobiographical story about Harvard Law School, students are deathly afraid of Professor Kingsfield’s course on contract law. Kingfield’s classroom presence elicits both awe and fear. He is the all-knowing professor with the power to make or break every student. He is demanding, uncompromising, and scary smart. In the iconic film adaptation, Kingsfield walks into the room on the first day of class, puts his notes…

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Good and Bad Algorithms in the Practice of Medicine

Computers and artificial intelligence are restricted to being algorithmic. If something is non-algorithmic, it is not computable. Creativity, nuance, and insight are human characteristics that are non-algorithmic. What happens if you remove those human characteristics from the practice of medicine? Robert J. Marks and Dr. Richard Hurley discuss how algorithms can help and harm the practice of medicine. Show Notes…

Independent Thinking

A British Philosopher Looks For a Way to Redefine Free Will

Julian Baggini’s proposed new approach assumes the existence of the very qualities that only a traditional view of the mind offers

British philosopher Julian Baggini, author of The Great Guide: What David Hume Can Teach Us about Being Human and Living Well (2021) argues against the idea of free will, as commonly understood (voluntarist free will). Citing the fact that the world is controlled by physics, he writes, No matter how free we feel, our understanding of nature tells us that no choice originates in us but traces its history throughout our histories and our environments. Even leaving aside physics, it seems obvious that, at the moment of any choice, the conditions for that choice have already been set, and to be able to escape them would be no more than the ability to generate random actions. And if all that…

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A First-Hand Account of Kicking Fentanyl Addiction: Reversing Hebb’s Law

Donald Hebb, the father of neuropsychology, is known for Hebb’s Law which states “neurons that fire together wire together.” This means that as you repeatedly perform an action which gives you pleasure or relief, the neurons between the action and the pleasure simultaneously fire. Dr. Robert J. Marks interviews an anonymous man called Stretch who describes his experience with fentanyl…

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A prescription pill bottle spilling out an assortment of pills

Exercising Free Won’t in Fentanyl Addiction: Unless You Die First

In the 1960s, neurosurgeon Benjamin Libet noticed there was a signal in the brainthat occurred before you knew you were going to do something. On the surface, it looks like you don’t have free will. But Libet noticed that humans do have the ability to say no to these brain signals. He called this free won’t. Dr. Robert J. Marks…

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Swarm of drones surveying, flying over city

EMPS, Swarms and Other Types of Terrifying Technology

Can you survive without your devices? Dr. Robert Marks and Sarah Seguin talk about the dangers to our electrical infrastructure stemming from modern technology. They also discuss various ways people can protect themselves during an EMP attack or another similar event. Show Notes 00:55 | Introduction 01:57 | Electromagnetic Capability 04:28 | Defining EMPs 05:35 | The Physics behind EMPs 08:00…