Posts Tagged ‘informatics’

Why Gray Matter Matters

Posted by: by John Parsons on July 8th, 2012

A character in one of my favorite science fiction novels, Heinlein’s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, is a computer that has become self-aware. “Mycroft” (a highly-augmented HOLMES IV system), wakes up and starts making its own choices when the total number of digital connections surpasses the number of neurons in the human brain. In [...]

When Less is Moore

Posted by: by John Parsons on June 24th, 2012

The rule of thumb known as Moore’s Law is at the heart of our problem of exponentially growing collections of information. Because digital capacity is supposedly doubling every 18 months, our natural inclination is to collect and process more data—because we can. Human capacity, meanwhile, does not follow such a growth curve, and the gap [...]

Trust Your Feelings

Posted by: by John Parsons on April 10th, 2012

Despite the usual distractions, I was recently able to finish David Brooks’ book, The Social Animal. It’s a look at what goes on “one level down” from conscious reasoning—in the realm of intuitions, biases, and feelings. I was particularly taken with the analogy that our conscious thoughts are like a general—giving orders and believing he’s [...]

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