This is the most wonderful thing.
I haven't enjoyed the Goldfinch but this 321 words made the other 3-400k worthwhile:
“.. depression wasn't the word. This was a plunge encompassing sorrow and revulsion far beyond the personal: a sick, drenching nausea at all humanity and human endeavour from the dawn of time. The writhing loathsomeness of the biological order. Old age, sickness, death. No escape for anyone. Even the beautiful ones were like soft fruit about to spoil. And yet somehow people still kept fucking and breeding and popping out new fodder for the grave, producing more and more new beings to suffer like this was some kind of redemptive, or good, or even somehow morally admirable thing: dragging more innocent creatures into the lose-lose game. Squirming babies and plodding, complacent, hormone-drugged moms. Oh, isn't he cute? Awww. Kids shouting and skidding in the playground with no idea what future Hells await them: boring jobs and ruinous mortgages and bad marriages and hair loss and hip replacements and lonely cups of coffee in an empty house and a colostomy bag at the hospital. Most people seemed satisfied with the thin decorative glaze and the artful stage lighting that sometimes, made the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament look somewhat more mysterious or less abhorrent. People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten from top to bottom.”
This report for the Council of Europe provides a new definitional framework for information disorder, overviews current responses and summarizes key academic studiesRead More
"As researchers and engineers, our goal is to make machine learning technology work for everyone."
OR. This is VERY TRICKY TO EXPLAIN... so.. it's like this...Read More
Perhaps predicting the rise of 360 technology, in 2014 Australian creative agency Grumpy Sailor worked with Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney on an experiment called Story Spheres, which stitches together photos and audio. It allows journalists, documentary makers and educators to tell powerful stories if they don’t have access to video.Read More
Elle O'Brien, computational scientist, software developer and science writer on her fascination with romance novels .. " — the kind they sell at the drugstore for a couple of dollars, usually with some attractive, soft-lit couples on the cover. So when I started futzing around with text-generating neural networks a few weeks ago, I developed an urgent curiosity to discover what artificial intelligence could contribute to the ever-popular genre. Maybe one day there will be entire books written by computers. For now, let’s start with titles.Read More
Humanity has already changed a lot over its lifetime as a species. While our biology is not drastically different than it was 70,000 years ago, the capabilities enabled by our scientific, technological, and sociocultural achievements have changed what it is to be human. Whether through the processes of agriculture, the invention of the steam engine, or the practices of storing and passing on knowledge and ideas, and working together effectively as large groups, we have dramatically augmented our biological abilities. We can lift heavier things than our biology allows, store and access more information than our brains can hold, and collectively solve problems that we could not individually.Read More
Why I don’t fear super intelligence.
It is wise to think through the implications of new technology. I understand the good intentions of Jaron Lanier and others who have raised an alarm about AI. But I think their method of considering the challenges of AI relies too much on fear, and is not based on the evidence we have so farRead More
G'day, mate! Learn these Australian slang words and phrases
and you'll feel at home on your first day Down Under
You get all kinds of happiness advice on the internet from people who don't know what they're talking about. Don't trust them.
Actually, don't trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.Read More
Can We Quantify Machine Consciousness?
Artificial intelligence might endow some computers with self-awareness. Here’s how we’d know
By CHRISTOF KOCH AND GIULIO TONONI Posted 25 May 2017 | 15:00 GMTRead More
Artificial Intelligence is colossally hyped these days, but the dirty little secret is that it still has a long, long way to go. Sure, A.I. systems have mastered an array of games, from chess and Go to “Jeopardy” and poker, but the technology continues to struggle in the real world. Robots fall over while opening doors, prototype driverless cars frequently need human intervention, and nobody has yet designed a machine that can read reliably at the level of a sixth grader, let alone a college student. Computers that can educate themselves — a mark of true intelligence — remain a dream.Read More
Once you have read James Baldwin’s “Giovanni’s Room” and Larry Kramer’s “Faggots,” both classic gay novels, here are 25 recent works that have shaped the L.G.B.T.Q. literary genre over the last two decades.Read More
If words can cause stress, and if prolonged stress can cause physical harm, then it seems that speech — at least certain types of speech — can be a form of violence. But which types?
This question has taken on some urgency in the past few years, as professed defenders of social justice have clashed with professed defenders of free speech on college campuses
The price of Bitcoin has hit record highs in recent months, more than doubling in price since the start of the year. Despite these gains, Bitcoin is on the verge of losing its position as the dominant virtual currency.
The value of Ether, the digital money that lives on an upstart network known as Ethereum, has risen an eye-popping 4,500 percent since the beginning of the year.Read More