Samir’s Selection 01/24/2013 (p.m.)

  • tags: brain computing metaphor DanielCDennett NicholasCarr

  • “We don’t just search for car keys or missing socks. We search for truth and meaning, for love, for transcendence, for peace, for ourselves. To be human is to be a searcher… 
    In its highest form, a search has no well-defined object. It’s open-ended, an act of exploration that takes us out into the world, beyond the self, in order to know the world, and the self, more fully… 

    In its new design, Google’s search engine doesn’t push us outward; it turns us inward. It gives us information that fits the behavior and needs and biases we have displayed in the past, as meticulously interpreted by Google’s algorithms. Because it reinforces the existing state of the self rather than challenging it, it subverts the act of searching. We find out little about anything, least of all ourselves, through self-absorption.

    tags: search exploration NicholasCarr technology Google Kurzweil GoogleNow RobertFrost voice echo silence poem personalisation

  • “The Carr principle (which I came up with this morning while eating breakfast) states: the act of searching alters the reality being searched… 
    Here’s the difference between Google and Facebook: Larry Page recognized that commercial corruption was a threat to his ideal. For Mark Zuckerberg, commercial corruption is the ideal.”

    tags: NicholasCarr technology intelligence personalisation search SEO Facebook Google graphsearch

  • “Another of the researchers, Nicholas Christenfeld, also of UC-SD, draws a larger conclusion. Pointing out that our minds did not ”evolve to process carefully edited and polished text” (cavemen’s tastes ran more to The Daily Grunt than The New Yorker), he says, “One could view the past five thousand years of painstaking, careful writing as the anomaly. Modern technologies allow written language to return more closely to the casual, personal style of pre-literate communication. And this is the style that resonates, and is remembered.”

    Now, one might see in all of this a very good reason to celebrate the development of “painstaking, careful writing.” After all, it allowed us to escape our minds’ evolutionary bias for the simple social grunt and helped us to expand our capacity for expressing and comprehending more subtle, more eloquent, more complicated thoughts. Did we have to work harder, cognitively speaking, to understand and remember those more complex thoughts? Of course we did. I mean: duh.”

    tags: progress thought mind intelligence NicholasCarr

  • tags: language AI IBM NicholasCarr

  • preemptive nostalgia … 

    “Given society’s current bias toward efficiency and safety and the meticulous measurement of outcomes, I predict that, going forward, the computer reality setup will have an advantage over the human reality setup. Slowly but surely, we’ll defer to the computer reality setup, and eventually the computer reality setup will shoulder aside all other reality setups and become the uniform reality setup. The mixed reality setup that has always characterized human society will go the way of the Dodo and the PalmPilot. Plenty of people will celebrate this eventuality, particularly as they zip effortlessly through complex, accident-free highway systems while playing Words With Friends or writing odd, rambling blog posts. But there’s something to be said for the mixed reality setup. Sure, it leads to inefficiencies and annoyances, but it’s also life’s Sriracha sauce. The conflicts that emerge from the mixed reality setup are the stuff of art, for one thing. And, certainly, you can’t have comedy without a mixed reality setup. Steve Martin? Gone. Tragedy becomes unthinkable, too. The unexpected pleasures of serendipity and ambiguity? Gone, and gone. This may just be a case of preemptive nostalgia, but I already find myself clinging to my mixed reality setup, refusing to let go of the wheel. I’m finding it hard to see a big difference between a uniform reality setup and absolute heat death. We’re going to miss those traffic lights when they’re gone.”

    tags: NicholasCarr driving Google reality nostalgia machineintelligence automation

  • tags: RAND bias corruption NicholasCarr healthcare technology

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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