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From cybernetics to brain theory, and more: A memoir

My chum, Péter Érdi, editor of Cognitive Systems Research, has alerted me to the open access memoir (63 pages) by neuroscience grandee Michael Arbib. Giving me the opportunity to talk to these visitors was one of the ways in which McCulloch contributed more to my graduate education than any other professor at MIT. When I thanked him, he…

Max Planck

Born on this date 160 years ago and almost 70 years ago a Nobel-Laureate. mathematicsmax planckPhilosophy of sciencePhysicsQuantum Theory

Norbert Wiener

Born on this day. Here’s an assessment of Wiener’s legacy from a few years back. Having read most of the notable work on “epistemic ignorance” (yes, there really is a specialized small literature) there is one prize that still alludes me and that is Wiener’s “The Theory of Ignorance” (1906), a philosophical demonstration of the…

Economics in the Era of Natural Computationalism and Big Data

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of John von Neumann’s the “Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata”. Here is the C+T panel and some background to Neumann: Unleashing the Power ‘Turing’s Cathedral. And Von Neumann gave me an interesting idea: that you don’t have to be responsible for the world that you’re in. So I have developed a very powerful sense of social irresponsibility as…

Is Technology Killing Capitalism?

Now isn’t this an interesting title? Well, as I discovered a few weeks back when Sam Harris chatted with Eric, EW comes to things with a very provocative, wise, technically sound and cultured background. The cross hair of software . . . pushes private goods into public goods Artificial intelligencecapitalismEconomicsEPISTEMEEric Weinsteinexpertiseinnovationmathematicssam harristechne

Flatland: A romance of many dimensions

Freely available from here, here, and other places besides. One of the better expositors can be found here: But finally, hearing some Flatlander spout nonsense about the two-dimensionality of the universe, A Square can contain himself no longer and proceeds to espouse the gospel of higher dimensions. For this he is imprisoned for life, because…