alexandertolley

alexandertolley

  • Commented on Generation Z
    I do have some faint hope. The higher education system will largely be solved with accredited online courses. At this point, accreditation is in the hands of universities as gatekeepers, but I see that changing soon. This will get rid...
  • Commented on "Write me something fresh and new, but make it just like the last one"
    And we also complain about Hollywood doing sequels and remakes, despite the rich vein of original stories that could be made into movies. I was really hoping that you would write the "Palimpsest" novelization. After all, the novella has been...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    Reflexes - faster than thought. E.g. pain reflex. Trained responses, emotional responses. - faster than thinking. "Fast thinking" c.f. Kahneman. This is probably what Birk was alluding to with his martial arts example. It is also the almost reflexive response...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    ...optogenetics...hook the person up to an optical computer that transmits light via very tiny fibers on the other side. 100bn fiber optic cables, one for each neuron, is going to take up a lot of space in the cranium. Even...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    It's certainly true that we're cyborgs already, and we already use cognitive prostheses. That doesn't mean even better ones aren't coming. There will be better cognitive prostheses, but I suspect there will be a limit due to the processing speed...
  • Commented on Why AIs Won't Ascend in the Blink of an Eye - Some Math
    Humans have managed to achieve a lot, not by becoming smarter (c.f. the post on "peak intelligence" based on relative brain size), but by specialization and cooperation. We already see many machine examples of specialization that far exceed any human...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    Arguments about replicating wetware brains often seem to go in the direction of "but the complexity increases if we take into account these processes....". The assumption is that the model has to be faithful down to a very low level....
  • Commented on "The next big thing"
    I think that the Merchant Princes series was also a niche that hadn't been exploited when you first published. IIRC, Iain Banks' Transitions had a similar-ish concept of multiverses and special people who had the power to slip between them....
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    Even the bankers issuing subprime loans and bundling them as CDOs and similar instruments tried to kid themselves they were helping people buy their homes. Hahahaha! I just snorted my(dumb brewed)tea. You haven't worked on/dealt with Wall Street, have you?...
  • Commented on Trust Me (I'm a kettle)
    But it doesn't need that brain testing kit, any more than you do. All it needs is: 1. Some information on the tea to brew (human input or scan UPC barcode) 2. Water temp (and possibly hardness). 3. brew time...
  • Commented on Trust Me (I'm a kettle)
    Conversely, I don't think a teapot will ever be smart, even if the damn thing is connected to the internet. "Smart" is relative. Just like a social insect is fairly dimwitted on its own, a colony can be quite intelligent...
  • Commented on Trust Me (I'm a kettle)
    As a NEST owner, I am ambivalent about it. On the plus side, it clearly does save money by being smarter that a schedulable thermostat. It also looks cool too. But, it can be annoying as it learns your schedule....
  • Commented on Trust Me (I'm a kettle)
    Or some malware that looks for Nest units on the local LAN and exploits a hole in their network interface. Nest is really neat. I've installed one. But I keep wondering what their process is for security updates. While the...
  • Commented on Trust Me (I'm a kettle)
    All it takes is one underemployed geek with an internet connection, a phone, and an axe to grind. The less life you have the less you have to lose in one of these contests. A new use for Mechanical...
  • Commented on Trust Me (I'm a kettle)
    On the plus side of the balance sheet, crimes will be easier to solve. No more police procedurals with interviewing unreliable witnesses and plodding door to door. Just call up the data on all these devices, have your crime solver(TM)...
  • Commented on Trust Me (I'm a kettle)
    A little further down the technology track, when electronic neuro-enhancement moves towards thought interpretation, a wearable neuro-interface could report your thoughts to 3rd parties. How could you turn off your thoughts when you are dependent on the devices? Once I...
  • Commented on The revolution will not be hand-stitched
    China looks like which of the 4 paths?...
  • Commented on The revolution will not be hand-stitched
    Snopes has a piece on Kennedy and hat sales http://www.snopes.com/history/american/jfkhat.asp. Hats also declined in other countries too, so the Kennedy influence seems suspect in regards this fashion trend....
  • Commented on The revolution will not be hand-stitched
    His girlfriend can choose his patterns for him if it makes her happy (And he does have one because he's the only one left with a job in the neighborhood...) That's a remarkably sexist remark. Maybe it is the...
  • Commented on The revolution will not be hand-stitched
    "What am I missing?" 1. The time between ordering and delivery may be an issue for clothes. High end clothes (remember bespoke suits and dresses?) were expected to take time for manufacture. Cheap clothes, off-the-shelf, not so much. If you...
  • Commented on Why Microsoft Word must Die
    If OGH is correct that current editions of Word cannot read the oldest versions (I cannot test this), then this nicely circles back to the idea of proprietary formats resulting in a "dark age". What is the consensus about what...
  • Commented on Why Microsoft Word must Die
    @globetrotter. Was there any thought during your period at MS that file formats would be changed so that early adopters would drive sales by forcing late adopters to upgrade? I recall that it was particularly aggravating by the late 1990's,...
  • Commented on Polemic: how readers will discover books in future
    What a great polemic! It is Fahrenheit 451 turned 180 degrees. You've convinced me to stick with dead tree books (even if they have ads inserted). What I'm not clear about is how these ebooks will be different from webpages....
  • Commented on Another deceptively simple question
    the bookstore as we know it will likely be on its way out. Already happened. Barnes and Noble, and later Borders pushed out almost all the independent booksellers. Then Borders dies, leaving B&N. Then B&N mostly died, leaving many areas...
  • Commented on Another deceptively simple question
    I would still expect the novel form, published in physical form to still be dominant. I don't see this form seriously changing in favor of "experimental" forms, as such approaches have failed before, as have they in movies. A linear...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearance: Frankfurt Book Fair
    I hope this is an opportunity to steer the future in a good way, rather than a forum for self interested parties to expo8und on what they want to maximize their wealth. I still think traditional books have particular advantages....
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    Existing driverless cars require the passenger to be behind the wheel for emergencies. Not quite the ideal of relaxing, working or even sleeping on a journey. But how long before we can hire people to take on that role remotely...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    A friend on mine has made the suggestion that we replace the grid with batteries. Going well beyond the "use the battery for local power", he envisaged a network of self delivered batteries moving power from where it is generated...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    Since driverless cars allow movement of physical objects without a person attached to those goods this means that their use for criminal activity is attractive. Geopolitically I translate this as requiring much more rigorous border control for unoccupied vehicles. (It...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearance: FutureFest in London
    The future based on "Wisdom of the Crowds" using data from a sub population that has a very poor track record of getting any future predictions right. Awesome! Imagine if you actually gave them real power? A variant on Alan...
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