Beyond Computation

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Published on: June 30, 2005

“We have all become computation-centric over the last few years. We’ve tended to think that computation explains everything. When I was a kid, I had a book which described the brain as a telephone-switching network. Earlier books described it as a hydrodynamic system or a steam engine. Then in the ’60s it became a digital computer. In the ’80s it became a massively parallel digital computer. I bet there’s now a kid’s book out there somewhere which says that the brain is just like the World Wide Web because of all of its associations. We’re always taking the best technology that we have and using that as the metaphor for the most complex things—the brain and living systems. And we’ve done that with computation.” — Rodney Brooks (link from

Technology and courage

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Published on: June 24, 2005

“Exploring the horizons of technology requires courage because research carries risks, even if we cannot always articulate them in advance. Generally they are not physical risks, although physical risks exist in some fields of science. Often they are not immediate personal financial risks, because these may be borne by the university, an industrial employer, or the government sponsor of the work. Usually the risks are more subtle but no less strong: they are social and emotional risks, risks to reputation and to pride; they are risks that are felt but difficult to identify and describe….. ” — Ivan Sutherland (More of this)

More Choice, what does it mean?

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Published on: June 19, 2005

An excerpt from
Consumer Vertigo, by Virginia Postrel

“Liberty and responsibility really do go together; it’s not just a platitude. The
more freedom we have to control our lives, the more responsibility we have for how they turn out. In a world of constraints, learning to be happy with what you’re
given is a virtue. In a world of choices, virtue comes from learning to make
commitments without regrets. And commitment, in turn, requires self-confidence
and self-knowledge.
Scwartz (Author of: Paradox of Choice) says We are free to be the authors of
our lives, but we don’t know exactly what kind of lives we want to write.

But, maturity lies in deciding just that…”

Interesting video by Barry Scwartz at Google about paradox of choice: [The Link]

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