philosophy - Dave's Blog


Philosophy on Flickr: "Nothing Really Matress" - Photo Sharing!

2009 Nov 12, 3:24That is one deep mattress.
PermalinkCommentshumor photo flickr mattress philosophy

Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures

2009 May 3, 10:03"Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures - DISSERTATION submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in Information and Computer Science by Roy Thomas Fielding 2000"PermalinkCommentshttp rest paper web architecture development api webservices roy-fielding

Platonic Ideals in Anathem and The Atrocity Archives

2009 Apr 7, 11:58
The Atrocity ArchivesThe Jennifer MorgueAnathem

This past week I finished Anathem and despite the intimidating physical size of the book (difficult to take and read on the bus) I became very engrossed and was able to finish it in several orders of magnitude less time than what I spent on the Baroque Cycle. Whereas reading the Baroque Cycle you can imagine Neal Stephenson sifting through giant economic tomes (or at least that's where my mind went whenever the characters began to explain macro-economics to one another), in Anathem you can see Neal Stephenson staying up late pouring over philosophy of mathematics. When not exploring philosophy, Anathem has an appropriate amount of humor, love interests, nuclear bombs, etc. as you might hope from reading Snow Crash or Diamond Age. I thoroughly enjoyed Anathem.

On the topic of made up words: I get made up words for made up things, but there's already a name for cell-phone in English: its "cell-phone". The narrator notes that the book has been translated into English so I guess I'll blame the fictional translator. Anyway, I wasn't bothered by the made up words nearly as much as some folk. Its a good thing I'm long out of college because I can easily imagine confusing the names of actual concepts and people with those from the book, like Hemn space for Hamming distance. Towards the beginning, the description of slines and the post-post-apocalyptic setting reminded me briefly of Idiocracy.

Recently, I've been reading everything of Charles Stross that I can, including about a month ago, The Jennifer Morgue from the surprisingly awesome amalgamation genre of spy thriller and Lovecraft horror. Its the second in a series set in a universe in which magic exists as a form of mathematics and follows Bob Howard programmer/hacker, cube dweller, and begrudging spy who works for a government agency tasked to suppress this knowledge and protect the world from its use. For a taste, try a short story from the series that's freely available on Tor's website, Down on the Farm.

Coincidentally, both Anathem and the Bob Howard series take an interest in the world of Platonic ideals. In the case of Anathem (without spoiling anything) the universe of Platonic ideals, under a different name of course, is debated by the characters to be either just a concept or an actual separate universe and later becomes the underpinning of major events in the book. In the Bob Howard series, magic is applied mathematics that through particular proofs or computations awakens/disturbs/provokes unnamed horrors in the universe of Platonic ideals to produce some desired effect in Bob's universe.

PermalinkCommentsatrocity archives neal stephenson jennifer morgue plato bob howard anathem

Even if Life Is a Computer Simulation . . . - TierneyLab - Science - New York Times Blog

2007 Aug 15, 2:33Accelerando had interesting stuff on this. I'm also reminded of the argument against time travel: If time is infinite and time travel is possible then we should be overrun with time travelers.PermalinkCommentsphilosophy science simulate scifi article

The Coming Technological Singularity

2007 Jun 17, 10:40FTA: "Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could dePermalinkCommentsai article human intelligence internet philosophy evolution essay scifi technology science future singularity

Debate on "We'd be better off without Religion"

2007 Apr 13, 1:56"We'd be better off without Religion" with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and AC Grayling. In London's Westminster Central Hall on March 27, some 2,000 people turned out to hear Hitchens, Dawkins and philosopher A.C. Grayling debate a trio of relPermalinkCommentsaudio mp3 politics religion debate philosophy richard-dawkins
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