Dealing with Information Overload

Courtesy: basex On Monday, the Information Overload Research Group (IORG) hosted a virtual literary salon on the topic of Information Overload entitled “Five Authors, Five Books, A Dialogue on Information Overload.” The event featured authors who have written recent books related to the subject of Information Overload. They were asked to discuss why they wrote their books, and what issues they feel are most relevant today. Dave Crenshaw, author of The Myth of Multitasking, spoke about the problem of switch tasking, which describes what happens when people switch back and forth rapidly between tasks, lowering their productivity. Crenshaw suggested several … Continue reading Dealing with Information Overload

Epic Space-Time Experiment

Courtesy: NASA May 4, 2011: Einstein was right again. There is a space-time vortex around Earth, and its shape precisely matches the predictions of Einstein’s theory of gravity. Researchers confirmed these points at a press conference today at NASA headquarters where they announced the long-awaited results of Gravity Probe B (GP-B). “The space-time around Earth appears to be distorted just as general relativity predicts,” says Stanford University physicist Francis Everitt, principal investigator of the Gravity Probe B mission. An artist’s concept of GP-B measuring the curved spacetime around Earth. [more] “This is an epic result,” adds Clifford Will of Washington … Continue reading Epic Space-Time Experiment

The Myth of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an oxymoron. AI is nothing but a myth. Intelligence  in this post is being referred to in the context of the theory of multiple intelligence. AI is just a fancy term for sophisticated algorithms. It would do more justice to the term AI if we just replaced the letter I with algorithmic instead of intelligence. There’s this one story with a great violinist, and his friend remarked that the former has a good violin. So the violin player took down his instrument, and retorted that the violin was just that: a violin. It is no good … Continue reading The Myth of Artificial Intelligence

Digital Revolution

Courtesy: Wikipedia In his book The Third Wave Alvin Toffler describes three types of societies, based on the concept of ‘waves’ – each wave pushes the older societies and cultures aside. First Wave is the society after agrarian revolution and replaced the first hunter-gatherer cultures. Second Wave is the society during the Industrial Revolution (ca. late 17th century through the mid-20th century). The main components of the Second Wave society are nuclear family, factory-type education system and the corporation. Toffler writes: “The Second Wave Society is industrial and based on mass production, mass distribution, mass consumption, mass education, mass media, … Continue reading Digital Revolution

The Secret of the Web

Courtesy: Seth Godin Hint: It’s a virtue. Patience. Google was a very good search engine for two years before you started using it. The iPod was a dud. I wrote Unleashing the Ideavirus 8 years ago. A few authors tried similar ideas but it didn’t work right away. So they gave up. Boingboing is one of the most popular blogs in the world because they never gave up. The irony of the web is that the tactics work really quickly. You friend someone on Facebook and two minutes later, they friend you back. Bang. But the strategy still takes forever. … Continue reading The Secret of the Web

Isaac Asimov in World of Ideas

Courtesy: MOYERS: You’ve written three hundred and ninety-one books, you read about everything from supernovas to the invention of hay, you have no researchers or clerical help, you do your own filing, your own phoning. When I called to ask you about this interview, you answered the phone yourself. How do you organize it all? How do you keep up? ASIMOV: When I started out, I assumed that with luck, I’d sell a few dozen stories in my life, so I wouldn’t need a secretary or a very fancy filing system. I just made do with card files and … Continue reading Isaac Asimov in World of Ideas

Non-Euclidean Geometry

Courtesy: National Science Foundation Kuen’s Surface: A Meditation on Euclid, Lobachevsky and Quantum Fields Credit: Richard Palais and Luc Benard, University of California at Irvine Sketch a line and then draw a point off it. How many lines parallel to the first line can you draw through that point? The Greek mathematician Euclid said just one, but for more than 2,000 years after his death, mathematicians struggled to prove that he was right based on his other geometric rules. Then the 19th century Russian mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky showed that you couldn’t: In some circumstances, you can sketch an infinite number … Continue reading Non-Euclidean Geometry