On the Web, reputation is a critical currency. But reputation is tricky. The way it's measured changes from platform to platform, network to network. And the way we evaluate the reputation of people, products, companies, information, and even the reputation systems, is affected by our own biases. Big time. Gloria Origgi literally wrote the book on reputation, titled La Reputation. A researcher at the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, Origgi is a philosopher, cognitive scientist, novelist, and journalist. Over at my friend John Brockman's essential site EDGE, Origgi tackles the big question of "What is reputation?"
WALLACH: It reminds me of—we talked about this when we went to a concert a few months ago—this guy John Brockman, who's the agent to all the top scientists in the world. One of the things he said was when he was in the '60s hanging out with Andy Warhol, and all of these top physicists, and people who now seem amazing in retrospect, he made a decision that he was going to treat those people like they were important. He and his friends were somehow "required" to become the people from their moment. He thought, "I'm going to start thinking of my friend who's a writer as Hemingway."
Wednesday, Oct. 21: The Loyolan is hosting its second annual "60 Second Lectures" event, co-sponsored by the University Honors Program. Professors from various schools at LMU will deliver lectures on ideas in their field that "must die" in the span of one minute, focusing on the central theme of "This Idea Must Die." "60 Second Lectures" will start at 7:15 p.m. in UHALL 1000.
When Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage invented the world’s first computer, their “Analytical Engine” became the evolutionary progenitor of a new class of human extensions — machines that think. A generation later, Alan Turing picked up where they left off and, in laying the foundations of artificial intelligence with his Turing Test, famously posed the techno-philosophical questionof whether a computer could ever enjoy strawberries and cream or compel you to fall in love with it.
From its very outset, this new branch of human-machine evolution made it clear that any answer to these questions would invariably alter how we answer the most fundamental questions of what it means to be human.
That’s what Edge founder John Brockman explores in the 2015 edition of his annual question, inviting 192 of today’s most prominent thinkers to tussle with these core questions of artificial intelligence and its undergirding human dilemmas. ...
What to Think About Machines That Think is an immeasurably stimulating read in its entirety, exploring the intersection of science, philosophy, technology, ethics, and psychology to unravel some of the most important questions worth asking. ...
In Richard Dawkins’s first memoir, An Appetite for Wonder (2013), he described losing his virginity, at the somewhat advanced age of 22, to a cellist in London.
His writing about this episode was typical of him. First he called upon science. “It isn’t difficult for a biologist to explain why nervous systems evolved in such a way as to make sexual congress one of the consistently greatest experiences life has to offer,” he said. “But explaining it doesn’t make it any less wonderful.”
Then he summoned literature and morality, and wrote: “I’ll say no more on the subject, and will betray no confidences. It isn’t that kind of autobiography.”
Mr. Dawkins’s sequel to his memoir has arrived, and it isn’t that kind of autobiography either. Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science presents a public life more than a private one.
This is autobiography as intellectual victory lap. What it lacks in intimacy it mostly makes up for with wit and bounce and a sense that this deeply learned man is running for mayor of our brains. ...
...Two threads stand out from the many. The first is his longing to bridge the divide between science and literary culture. The second is the author’s emergence, with his best-selling book The God Delusion (2006), as the most famous atheist on Earth.
Mr. Dawkins laments that scientists in fiction, “from Dr. Frankenstein to Dr. Strangelove,” are generally portrayed as “heartless eccentrics, gradgrinds, psychopaths or worse.”
His favorite evenings are those he calls “third culture,” that is, scientists sharing a bottle or two with word people. Living novelists who write well about science, he suggests, include Mr. McEwan, A. S. Byatt, Philip Pullman, Barbara Kingsolver, Martin Amis and William Boyd. …
BergamoScienza is an event much loved and shared, with lectures, workshops and a large involvement of the community, schools and young people. ...
...It is therefore essential that the candidates for the leadership of the twenty-first century possess a vision of things to retrieve the value of critical thinking, the entrepreneurial approach, the gift of creativity and at the same time understanding the tools that scientific progress has made available.
In this regard, John Brockman, a unified vision of knowledge, introduced the idea of Third Culture as the set of scientists and thinkers who through their work and their writings know say new and interesting things about the world and ourselves. And they do it by telling and disseminating their ideas directly to a wide audience, spreading it beyond the narrow confines of the academy or endorsements extreme.
100 Global Minds: The Most Daring Cross-disciplinary Thinkers in the World by Gianluigi Ricuperati (Forthcoming, Roads Publishing, Dublin)
A new book celebrates 100 of the academics, artists and activists who have been boldest in crossing disciplinary boundaries.
So who made the final cut? ...Nigerian novelist and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali and singer Laurie Anderson; film directors Paul Thomas Anderson and Wes Anderson; critic and novelist John Berger, computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, literary agent and science publicist John Brockman...
We all have worries. But as trained observers, scientists learn things that can affect us all. So what troubles them should also trouble us. From viral pandemics to the limits of empirical knowledge, find out what science scenarios give researchers insomnia.
(Inspiration for this episode comes from the book, What Should We Be Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night edited by John Brockman.)
The weekend of July 30, a group of intellectual heavyweights met at a beautiful vineyard in California's Napa Valley. Their agenda was modest: learn how to predict the future. ...The "class," organized by Edge, was led by Philip Tetlock, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist who has made the study of prediction his life's work. For the past several years, Tetlock and his colleagues have been running a project supported by the US intelligence community. Their goal is to find ways to accurately predict major events in world affairs, such as whether Vladimir Putin will lose power in Russia.
Now they're sharing what they've found with the world.The results are astonishing: Tetlock's team found out that some people were "superforecasters" who, when placed in teams, can produce a surprisingly good track record at predicting the future of world affairs. And Tetlock thinks he might know why. ...
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