Artículos con la etiqueta ‘novedad’

Reconsidering written language

Por • 27 sep, 2013 • Category: sociologia

In a previous essay, I argued that European schools of thought on memory and memorization were critical in enabling widespread adoption of the scientific method. Here, as a way of understanding the peculiar relationship the memory arts had to 17th century philosophy and intellectual culture, I propose a historical thought experiment, and examine whether these developments might have occurred several thousand years earlier when the adoption of written language accelerated. I suggest that strong cultural norms discouraging the use of written language may have precipitated a scientific revolution at a much earlier stage in human history. I close by arguing for the value of counter-factual scientific histories in attempting to separate scientific principles from the particular historical circumstances in which they arose.



Why is combinatorial communication rare in the natural world, and why is language an exception to this trend?

Por • 14 sep, 2013 • Category: Leyes

In a combinatorial communication system, some signals consist of the combinations of other signals. Such systems are more efficient than equivalent, non-combinatorial systems, yet despite this they are rare in nature. Why? Previous explanations have focused on the adaptive limits of combinatorial communication, or on its purported cognitive difficulties, but neither of these explains the full distribution of combinatorial communication in the natural world. Here we present a nonlinear dynamical model of the emergence of combinatorial communication that, unlike previous models, considers how initially non-communicative behaviour evolves to take on a communicative function. We derive three basic principles about the emergence of combinatorial communication. We hence show that the interdependence of signals and responses places significant constraints on the historical pathways by which combinatorial signals might emerge, to the extent that anything other than the most simple form of combinatorial communication is extremely unlikely.



Temporal statistical analysis on human article creation patterns

Por • 7 ago, 2011 • Category: Ciencia y tecnología

Inspired by previous works on human dynamics, we collect the temporal statistics of the article creation by three Western scientists and an Eastern writer. We investigate the distributions of the time intervals between the creations of every two consecutive articles. All four time distributions are found to be deviate from the Poisson statistics, and show an approximate power-law distribution. The power-law exponents are different with respect to individual, indicating that there is no universally shared article creation pattern.



Stephen Jay Gould’s Critique of Progress

Por • 18 feb, 2011 • Category: sociologia

Given human arrogance and the prevalence of progressivist ideology, it is commonly presumed that the emergence of Homo sapiens is the inevitable apex of evolutionary processes. Counter to this view, Gould argued that, although natural selection led to some degree of “progress” on short timescales in the limited sense that it dialectically adapted creatures to their environments, over longer scales of time there was no deterministic direction to the history of life. The fundamental importance of contingency in history was perhaps the most centrally important feature of Gould’s thinking.



A Fight to Win the Future: Computers vs. Humans

Por • 16 feb, 2011 • Category: Ciencia y tecnología

For the past four decades that basic tension between artificial intelligence and intelligence augmentation — A.I. versus I.A. — has been at the heart of progress in computing science as the field has produced a series of ever more powerful technologies that are transforming the world.