MachineMachine /stream - tagged with society https://machinemachine.net/stream/feed en-us http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss LifePress therourke@gmail.com <![CDATA[BBC - Future - How Western civilisation could collapse]]> http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170418-how-western-civilisation-could-collapse

The political economist Benjamin Friedman once compared modern Western society to a stable bicycle whose wheels are kept spinning by economic growth.

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Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:01:34 -0700 http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170418-how-western-civilisation-could-collapse
<![CDATA[The Collective Intelligence of Women Could Save the World - Future of Life Institute]]> http://futureoflife.org/2016/06/13/collective-intelligence-of-women-save-world/

Neil deGrasse Tyson was once asked about his thoughts on the cosmos. In a slow, gloomy voice, he intoned, “The universe is a deadly place. At every opportunity, it’s trying to kill us. And so is Earth. From sinkholes to tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, tsunamis.

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Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:21:26 -0800 http://futureoflife.org/2016/06/13/collective-intelligence-of-women-save-world/
<![CDATA[Does climate change make it immoral to have kids? | Dave Bry | Opinion | The Guardian]]> http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/02/does-climate-change-make-it-immoral-to-have-kids

Bringing children into a disintegrating environment used to be a theoretical fear. Now it’s a very real one The decision whether or not to have a child is one of the bigger ones a person will make in life – often the biggest.

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Sun, 17 Apr 2016 06:02:54 -0700 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/02/does-climate-change-make-it-immoral-to-have-kids
<![CDATA[How to Make a Bot That Isn't Racist | Motherboard]]> http://motherboard.vice.com/read/how-to-make-a-not-racist-bot

Really, really racist. The thing is, this was all very much preventable. I talked to some creators of Twitter bots about @TayandYou, and the consensus was that Microsoft had fallen far below the baseline of ethical botmaking.

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Thu, 31 Mar 2016 02:36:50 -0700 http://motherboard.vice.com/read/how-to-make-a-not-racist-bot
<![CDATA[The end of progress | New Philosopher]]> http://www.newphilosopher.com/articles/the-end-of-progress/

David C. Wood is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy and Professor of European Studies at Vanderbilt University. Interview by Zan Boag, editor of New Philosopher. Zan Boag: Contemporary society places great weight on the importance of progress and growth.

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Tue, 26 May 2015 05:08:23 -0700 http://www.newphilosopher.com/articles/the-end-of-progress/
<![CDATA[Turing Test success marks milestone in computing history]]> http://www.reading.ac.uk/news-and-events/releases/PR583836.aspx

An historic milestone in artificial intelligence set by Alan Turing - the father of modern computer science - has been achieved at an event organised by the University of Reading.

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Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:19:44 -0700 http://www.reading.ac.uk/news-and-events/releases/PR583836.aspx
<![CDATA[12 Futuristic Forms of Government That Could One Day Rule the World]]> http://io9.com/12-futuristic-forms-of-government-that-could-one-day-ru-1589833046

As history has repeatedly shown, political systems come and go. Given our rapid technological and social advances, it's a trend we can expect to continue. Here are 12 extraordinary — and even frightening — ways our governments could be run in the future.

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Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:55:59 -0800 http://io9.com/12-futuristic-forms-of-government-that-could-one-day-ru-1589833046
<![CDATA[Use of The City as a metaphor for the Internet/Web]]> http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/239039

I am looking for examinations of the Internet and World Wide Web that use the structure and/or history of the city as a metaphor. I'm afraid I have no original example of this phenomenon to kick things off. I have this image in my head of 'the city' that always goes back to Plato and his Republic. Plato's city was a physical, social construction, as well as a philosophical metaphor, at one and the same time. It feels that many have talked about the Internet in similar, overlapping, terms.

(It need not be 'the city as metaphor', rather any social, physical space that humans build and live in will suffice. Also, metonymy rather than metaphor would be great.)

Writings that explore the political history of the city, it's technological expansion, that consider the city as a nexus for theories of human civilisation, of emergence perhaps, of structure, social and political control and, perhaps most importantly, of space vs place - all as a way to think about similar phenomena taking place online. The Internet as emerging network with similarities to the city; the World Wide Web considered as spatio-social metaphor?

etc. etc.

Any ideas?

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Fri, 12 Apr 2013 10:19:31 -0700 http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/239039
<![CDATA['Bigfoot DNA' Study Seeks Yeti Rights : Discovery News]]> http://news.discovery.com/adventure/bigfoot-dna-study-goal-govt-protection-for-creatures-130214.htm

A team of researchers led by Melba Ketchum, a Texas veterinarian, claims to have not only conclusively proven the existence of Bigfoot through genetic testing, but also that the mysterious monster is a half-human hybrid, the result of mating with modern human females about 15,000 years ago.

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Fri, 08 Mar 2013 03:54:35 -0800 http://news.discovery.com/adventure/bigfoot-dna-study-goal-govt-protection-for-creatures-130214.htm
<![CDATA[Interview with a writer: John Gray » Spectator Blogs]]> http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/books/2013/02/interview-with-a-writer-john-gray/#.US9gfk34_QE.twitter

In his new book The Silence of Animals, the philosopher John Gray explores why human beings continue to use myth to give purpose to their lives. Drawing from the material of writers such as J.G.

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Fri, 08 Mar 2013 03:54:02 -0800 http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/books/2013/02/interview-with-a-writer-john-gray/#.US9gfk34_QE.twitter
<![CDATA[Foucault - Remarks on Marx]]> http://www.scribd.com/doc/57549736/Foucault-Remarks-on-Marx

Interview with Michel Foucault originally published in Italian, then in French in 1994

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Sat, 25 Aug 2012 02:43:00 -0700 http://www.scribd.com/doc/57549736/Foucault-Remarks-on-Marx
<![CDATA[‘Time-wars’ by Mark Fisher]]> http://www.gonzocircus.com/xtrpgs/incubate-special-exclusive-essay-time-wars-by-mark-fisher/

Time rather than money is the currency in the recent science fiction film In Time. At the age of 25, the citizens in the future world the film depicts are given only a year more to live. To survive any longer, they must earn extra time. The decadent rich have centuries of empty time available to frit

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Tue, 14 Aug 2012 03:41:00 -0700 http://www.gonzocircus.com/xtrpgs/incubate-special-exclusive-essay-time-wars-by-mark-fisher/
<![CDATA[DISSIMULATIONS by Andy Cameron]]> http://www.imaginaryfutures.net/2007/04/16/dissimulations-by-andy-cameron/

The form of the story permeates every aspect of our cultural life. History, politics, memories, even subjectivity, our sense of identity, are all representations in narrative form, signifiers chained together in temporal, spatial, and causal sequence. Narrative is a component of those deep structures with which we construct ourselves and our universe; true stories through which, in the manner of certain Aboriginal legends, the world is dreamed into existence. Narrative appears to be as universal and as old as language itself, and enjoys with language the status of a defining characteristic of humanity and its culture. A people without stories seems as absurd an idea as a people without language, (a people with language but no stories even stranger, for what is language for if not to tell stories?)

Over the past few years there has been a tremendous investment in the idea of digital media, the use of computers as the site of culture rather than just tools for business or science. This

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Sat, 02 Jun 2012 09:51:42 -0700 http://www.imaginaryfutures.net/2007/04/16/dissimulations-by-andy-cameron/
<![CDATA[Face-reading software to judge the mood of the masses]]> http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21428665.400-facereading-software-to-judge-the-mood-of-the-masses.html

Systems that can identify emotions in images of faces might soon collate millions of peoples' reactions to events and could even replace opinion polls

IF THE computers we stare at all day could read our faces, they would probably know us better than anyone.

That vision may not be so far off. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab are developing software that can read the feelings behind facial expressions. In some cases, the computers outperform people. The software could lead to empathetic devices and is being used to evaluate and develop better adverts.

But the commercial uses are just "the low-hanging fruit", says Rana el Kaliouby, a member of the Media Lab's Affective Computing group. The software is getting so good and so easy to use that it could collate millions of peoples' reactions to an event as they sit watching it at home, potentially replacing opinion polls, influencing elections and perhaps fuelling revolutions.

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Wed, 30 May 2012 01:55:58 -0700 http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21428665.400-facereading-software-to-judge-the-mood-of-the-masses.html
<![CDATA[The idea of following in the age of Twitter]]> http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/05/2012519123159732261.html

With regard to the relativity of value, Karl Marx expressed this function of ideology in the clearest terms in Volume I of Capital: "... one man is king only because other men stand in the relation of subjects to him. They, on the contrary, imagine that they are subjects because he is king" (Karl Marx, Capital, vol. I. London: Penguin, 1974, p. 63).

It is up to us to translate Marx's dialectical insight into a couple of simple formulas, according to which

the balance of your influence is positive if you have more followers than the number of people you, yourself, follow this influence resides not in the one followed but in the recognition of her followers Now, to "unfollow" or to "unfriend" someone is a huge insult, a gesture that breaks the distorted looking glass of ideology and demonstrates the power of the follower over the one followed. No wonder, then, that the media treat celebrities unsubscribing from the feeds of other celebrities as newsworthy events!

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Mon, 21 May 2012 10:39:58 -0700 http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/05/2012519123159732261.html
<![CDATA[People see sexy pictures of women as objects, not people]]> http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-05-people-sexy-pictures-women.html

Sexual objectification has been well studied, but most of the research is about looking at the effects of this objectification. "What's unclear is, we don't actually know whether people at a basic level recognize sexualized females or sexualized males as objects," says Philippe Bernard of Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. Bernard cowrote the new paper with Sarah Gervais, Jill Allen, Sophie Campomizzi, and Olivier Klein. Psychological research has worked out that our brains see people and objects in different ways. For example, while we're good at recognizing a whole face, just part of a face is a bit baffling. On the other hand, recognizing part of a chair is just as easy as recognizing a whole chair.

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Thu, 17 May 2012 03:28:58 -0700 http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-05-people-sexy-pictures-women.html
<![CDATA[Inheriting The Hoard]]> http://inheritingthehoard.wordpress.com/

“I knew as a kid I’d have to take care of it. I had prepared myself for it – for this moment,” Greg M., 41, says rather stoically of the overwhelming hoard that he inherited four months ago. Even so, “this is beyond what I thought it would be.”

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Fri, 04 May 2012 04:36:06 -0700 http://inheritingthehoard.wordpress.com/
<![CDATA[The social cell]]> http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2012/04/social-cell

A single cell, such as a bacterium, is the simplest thing that can be alive. In addition to the materials from which it is constructed, it needs three features: a way of capturing energy (a metabolism), a way of reproducing (genes or something like genes) and a membrane that lets in what needs to come in and keeps out the rest.

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Mon, 30 Apr 2012 10:46:07 -0700 http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2012/04/social-cell
<![CDATA[Harvard sociobiologist E.O. Wilson on the origins of the arts]]> http://harvardmagazine.com/2012/05/on-the-origins-of-the-arts

RICH AND SEEMINGLY BOUNDLESS as the creative arts seem to be, each is filtered through the narrow biological channels of human cognition. Our sensory world, what we can learn unaided about reality external to our bodies, is pitifully small. Our vision is limited to a tiny segment of the electromagnetic spectrum, where wave frequencies in their fullness range from gamma radiation at the upper end, downward to the ultralow frequency used in some specialized forms of communication. We see only a tiny bit in the middle of the whole, which we refer to as the “visual spectrum.” Our optical apparatus divides this accessible piece into the fuzzy divisions we call colors. Just beyond blue in frequency is ultraviolet, which insects can see but we cannot. Of the sound frequencies all around us we hear only a few. Bats orient with the echoes of ultrasound, at a frequency too high for our ears, and elephants communicate with grumbling at frequencies too low.

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Sat, 21 Apr 2012 05:37:47 -0700 http://harvardmagazine.com/2012/05/on-the-origins-of-the-arts
<![CDATA[Daphne Koller: when machines are almost human]]> http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2010-11-16-building-smarter-machines-that-serve-humanity

The world is entering an age of superabundant data. We’re spewing out masses of information: from credit card charges to consumer shopping patterns and life-saving blood work results, to more mundane data like Facebook updates and blogs. The amount of information generated globally is increasing exponentially and, as it does, mankind will become ever more reliant on machines to make sense of it all.

More so, smart machines created by even smarter scientists will help humans solve problems that could save lives. One of the world’s top thinkers on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is Daphne Koller, who’s helping machines “think” with her probability models for complex and uncertain domains. These models enable computer systems to solve real-world problems like changing the way search engines read images or predicting whether premature babies will have life-threatening complications.

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Wed, 04 Apr 2012 01:42:57 -0700 http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2010-11-16-building-smarter-machines-that-serve-humanity