Soaked in Chemicals, Then Exposed

1 year ago


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I am fascinated by the mission of this new space in New York, YHouse.

“The nature and origin of awareness is one of the greatest questions about existence, alongside the question of the nature and origin of matter, and the nature and origin of life itself. YHouse is a non-profit research institute designed to foster the transdisciplinary study of awareness and consciousness—from biological origins to neuroscience, societies to computers. Science has made enormous strides in decoding the underlying principles of the physical universe—we now have confidence that matter originated in the Big Bang, together with space and time. And although life’s origins is still a frontier topic, we think that it is plausible that living systems arise as an emergent property of increasingly complex processes, eventually transitioning from geochemistry to biochemistry, to the first living cells.”


Microsoft’s got an AI research lab, too, now

“The goal, said Eric Horvitz, the director of Microsoft Research Labs, is to combine these disciplines to work toward more general artificial intelligence, meaning a single system that can tackle a wide-range of tasks and problems. Such a system, for instance, might be able to both plan the best route to drive through a city and also figure out how to minimize your income tax bill, while also understanding difficult human concepts like sarcasm or gestures.”


 The enchantments of technology.

“When we examine enchantments we go deeper still, into the unconscious depths that shape our motives, values, and decisions in the dark basement of the soul. Then we see that our machinery is not only a utilitarian necessity, or an autonomous realm of deterministic forces, but rather enchanted technologies designed to slake our endless thirst for speed, comfort, pleasure, power, and even transcendence.”


Stunning botanical cyanotypes from the first female photographer.

“For many visitors, the highlight of a new photography exhibit at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is a book of algae pictures. It sounds a little mundane, but it’s actually “The First Photographically Illustrated and Printed Book”—and it was taken by the first female photographer. Anna Atkins worked with a team of assistants from 1843 to 1853 to produce a beautiful monograph, Photographs of British Algae, using the cyanotype method invented by John Herschel in 1842. (You might know it as the technology that creates blueprints.) Atkins arranged pieces of seaweed on 10″-by-8″ paper that had been soaked in chemicals, then exposed them to light in order to create dark-blue images with white leaf-shaped reliefs.”


This is my 4,000 word epic on how checkers was solved

“Marion Tinsley—math professor, minister, and the best checkers player in the world—sat across a game board from a computer, dying. Tinsley had been the world’s best for 40 years, a time during which he'd lost a handful of games to humans, but never a match. It's possible no single person had ever dominated a competitive pursuit the way Tinsley dominated checkers. But this was a different sort of competition, the Man-Machine World Championship.”


1. yhousenyc.org 2. bloomberg.com 3. thefrailestthing.com 4. daily.jstor.org 5. theatlantic.com


~Soaked in Chemicals, Then Exposed~


5it by Alexis Madrigal
Fairview Park Oakland, CA 94618 USA
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