Science Computers and the Information Onslaught

Author: Donald M. Kerr
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 1483263053
Format: PDF
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Science, Computers, and the Information Onslaught: A Collection of Essays covers the proceedings of the 1981 meeting on “Science and the Information Onslaught , held at Los Alamos, New Mexico. This book is organized into five parts encompassing 19 chapters. The first part deals with the problems of measurement and the uses of information in decisions concerning national security. This part also emphasizes the dependence of survival on technological progress. The next part examines the foundations of information theory, the interaction between psychological concepts and the mathematical theories of automata, and the major problems in robotics. These topics are followed by discussions of the efforts to codify languages in formal grammatical systems and the past misuse of irrelevantly detailed information in decision making, specifically the use and misuse of information in government decisions about technological projects. The remaining parts consider the project of enhancing human abilities by the insertion of silicon chips in the body. These parts also assess the implications of a microelectronic technology capable of producing chips bearing millions of logically active circuit elements. Accounts of cryptanalytic successes in World War II are also included. This book will be of value to mathematicians, physicists, linguistics, and computer scientists.

Synthesizing Systems

Author: Anna Darden Copeland
Publisher: Universal-Publishers
ISBN: 1581123566
Format: PDF, ePub
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The purpose of this dissertation is to introduce a general reading audience to the major themes found in the fiction of Richard Powers with an emphasis on his use of science. For Powers, science is something more than the accumulation of technical data and the proliferation of theories developed to explain physical phenomena. It is an evolving body of knowledge which has important insights to contribute into the conditions which ground human experience The close and often detailed discussions of contemporary issues in science which Powers incorporates into his fiction indicate the extent to which he sees science as an inseparable component in any attempt to understand the complexities of human experience. The common ground Powers uses to link the interests of science and those of fiction into a balanced, if not always harmonious, pursuit of truth is wonder. The limitations placed on science during this century do not undermine the ability of science to influence what we can know. Nor do these limitations diminish the ability of science to inspire wonder. Quite the opposite. For Powers the true wonder of the human intellect rests in our remarkable ability to balance observation and interpretation. What he discovers again and again in his fiction is that science, like literature, is a product of the human imagination, a way to mediate between the world and our perceptions of it. The recognition that science is a cultural practice--a body of knowledge thoroughly imbued with the practices and prejudices of its historical surroundings--is a necessary first step in mending the rift separating science and literature, head and heart. The greatest insight of twentieth century science may just be the recognition that there are other ways to access the truth. Richard Powers skillful weaving of science and art is a testament that literature offers a unique vantage point from which we might learn something of value about ourselves and the world we inhabit.

Descartes Dream

Author: Philip J. Davis
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486442527
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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These provocative essays take a modern look at the 17th-century thinker's dream, examining the influences of mathematics on society, particularly in light of technological advances. They survey the conditions that elicit the application of mathematic principles; the applications' effectiveness; and how applied mathematics transform perceptions of reality. 1987 edition.

Essays on the Future

Author: Siegfried Hecker
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461207770
Format: PDF, ePub
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This collection represents a unique undertaking in scientific publishing to honor Nick Metropolis, the last survivor of the World War II Manhattan Project in Los Alamos. In this volume, some of the leading scientists and humanists of our time have contributed essays related to their respective disciplines, exploring various aspects of future developments in science and society, philosophy, national security, nuclear power, pure and applied mathematics, physics and biology, particle physics, computing, and information science.

The Shallows What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Author: Nicholas Carr
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393079364
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction: “Nicholas Carr has written a Silent Spring for the literary mind.”—Michael Agger, Slate “Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by “tools of the mind”—from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer—Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic—a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption—and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection. Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes—Friedrich Nietzsche wrestling with a typewriter, Sigmund Freud dissecting the brains of sea creatures, Nathaniel Hawthorne contemplating the thunderous approach of a steam locomotive—even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.

What Are We Doing Here

Author: Marilynne Robinson
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374717788
Format: PDF, Mobi
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New essays on theological, political, and contemporary themes, by the Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson has plumbed the human spirit in her renowned novels, including Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In this new essay collection she trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate and the mysteries of faith. Whether she is investigating how the work of great thinkers about America like Emerson and Tocqueville inform our political consciousness or discussing the way that beauty informs and disciplines daily life, Robinson’s peerless prose and boundless humanity are on full display. What Are We Doing Here? is a call for Americans to continue the tradition of those great thinkers and to remake American political and cultural life as “deeply impressed by obligation [and as] a great theater of heroic generosity, which, despite all, is sometimes palpable still.”

Essays of a Catholic

Author: Hilaire Belloc
Publisher: TAN Books
ISBN: 1618903772
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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AN EYE-OPENING BOOK FROM A BRILLIANT, BELOVED CATHOLIC WRITER! Essays of a Catholic is a book as provocative now as it was when it first appeared in 1931. Hilaire Belloc’s observations about our civilization’s demise are all the more urgent today, because they are proving to be prophetic. We are troubled witnesses to many of the evils he predicted as we watch the working out of the destructive trends and forces that he warned would lead to disaster. What key insight led to Belloc’s keen discernment of the times? He recognized that the Catholic Church has inspired and formed our great Western civilization. As the influence of that mighty institution wanes, then—as society slowly abandons what it has learned from her—the night¬ descends on our way of life as we have known it. In its stead emerges a new paganism, and with it, a new barbarism. In these essays, Belloc sharpens our awareness of the calamitous effects of this waning influence of the Catholic Church in society. There is hope for the future of our civilization—but only if we as a people embrace once more the liberating truth of the Catholic faith. The great Hilaire Belloc was one of the foremost Catholic historians of the past two centuries. His astute analysis of our cultural and social ills culminates in an urgent prophetic call for Western civilization to return to its Catholic roots.

Cybersecurity

Author: Peter W. Singer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199918112
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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An authoritative, single-volume introduction to cybersecurity addresses topics ranging from phishing and electrical-grid takedowns to cybercrime and online freedom, sharing illustrative anecdotes to explain how cyberspace security works and what everyday people can do to protect themselves. Simultaneous.

Information Society Studies

Author: Alistair S. Duff
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317797981
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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We are often told that we are "living in an information society" or that we are "information workers." But what exactly do these claims mean, and how might they be verified? In this important methodological study, Alistair S. Duff cuts through the rhetoric to get to the bottom of the "information society thesis." Wide-ranging in coverage, this study will be of interest to scholars in information science, communication and media studies and social theory. It is a key text for the newly-unified specialism of information society studies, and an indispensable guide to the future of this discipline.

Conjectures and Refutations

Author: Karl Popper
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135971374
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.