Looking back it's quite possible to see that everything said in 2018 about Facebook was pretty obvious more than a decade ago. There's a great deal of wishful thinking about social media and the Internet generally, especially regarding its supposed emancipatory potential. And the problem is deeper than one corporation, however dominant. It hinges on … Continue reading Facebook in 2008
Prof Alan Jacobs wants to know whether magic and technology can learn to get along with each other. He laments the dominant tone of fantasy literature that sees natural magic opposed to cultural machinery. http://theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/magic-and-technology-can-the-two-coexist/260412/ Jacobs hopes for: "A fictional world where magic rules but is not the only game in town". This sounds … Continue reading magic and technology
An Fourcultures investigation into the so-called Endian holy war in computer architecture.
More on the Google-China argument and the concept of national differences, engaging with Cross-Cultural Theory and with Grid-Group Cultural Theory as two alternative ways of understanding cultural disagreement.
Oliver Marc Hartwich of the Centre for Independent Studies wrote in the Australian about the academic journal industry. He was just as puzzled about it as Fourcultures has been. The case study he used to illustrate the point was the Australian Economic Review (but any journal from the Elsevier, Springer, Wiley-Blackwell, Taylor & Francis, and … Continue reading Puzzling over the economics of academic journals
Colin Allen spoke about Robot morality at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas. This relates to The Ethics of Autonomous Robots.
Further to a recent post about the ethics of autonomous robots, it seems military robots are not the only kind that can kill, allbeit by 'mistake'. In Japan there are already robots that feed the elderly and baby-sitting robots in shopping centres. So who exactly should be held responsible when they go wrong? It's an … Continue reading The Ethics of Autonomous robots
Dan Kahan of the Cultural Cognition Project has been thinking about the possible ways of reacting to robots that kill. It's a relatively new set of technologies, but what happens when AI merges with weaponry to produce robots that want to kill you? He thinks the arguments could go in several ways and I tend … Continue reading Beware – Dangerous Robots!
Just as I reach the end of reading Rebel Code by Glyn Moody , a riveting (to my mind) early history of GNU/Linux (subtitled Linux and the Open Source Revolution), Kevin Kelly’s article in Wired mag comes to my attention. Kelly claims the open source movement is ‘the new socialism’. No, it isn’t. For example, … Continue reading Characterising the Open Source Movement: It’s not the ‘new socialism’
Is energy efficiency a key factor in reducing greenhouse emissions? Matthew Taylor of the RSA thinks home energy efficiency should take priority, and Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute is also very keen on large scale efficiency gains. The Jevons Paradox is the idea formulated in 1865 that making coal-burning more efficient will lead … Continue reading Energy Efficiency: Running to stand still?