Eric Schmidt’s Nightmare

The night of the happy day when Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google had declared to the world that privacy was not that important and that if you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place, he had a dream that he had died and had ascended to heaven. At heaven’s door, he clicked on the button marked “Enter”. Continue reading Eric Schmidt’s Nightmare

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Fiction as Simulation

Studies by neuroscientists have shown that while reading fiction, our brains simulate the action narrated in the text. The information from the text is taken, integrated with the reader’s personal experience, and often those areas of the brain are activated which would also be involved if the reader was actually performing or observing comparable real life situations and activities.

And this is where we can see two benefits of reading (or writing) fiction. Continue reading Fiction as Simulation

Alan Turing in a society of machines

I am usually not at a loss for words (at least while writing). But what can one possibly write about that bird, that song; that tragedy, that ecstasy; that lamb, that lion; that beautiful genius called Alan Turing—that hasn’t already been written?

What can I add? Don’t forget what Iqbal said: ‘A particle in its place can be as powerful as the sun!’ So yes, perhaps I can! I remember a reverend saying that, “There is nothing in any tragedy, ancient or modern, nothing in poetry or history (with one exception), like the last hours of Socrates in Plato.” The pity is that unlike for Socrates and Christ, we have no account of Turing’s last moments before his murder. Perhaps, I can try and give my guess, my model of what might have happened… Continue reading Alan Turing in a society of machines

Herbert Simon: Sciences of the Artificial

Herbert Simon: Sciences of the Artificial.

This is a review of Herbert Simon’s “Sciences of the Artificial” that I just finished reading. Let me first say a few words about the writing style. Simon’s writing style is quite lackluster. He isn’t a great writer like say Bertrand Russell, or George Orwell for that matter. But for the purposes of this book, his style suffices and is perhaps spot-on.  Continue reading Herbert Simon: Sciences of the Artificial