Plato and the Nerd: The Creative Partnership of Humans and Technology [EPUB]
23 October 2017, 08:22
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780262036481 | 11.68MB
How humans and technology evolve together in a creative partnership.
In this book, Edward Ashford Lee makes a bold claim: that the creators of digital technology have an unsurpassed medium for creativity. Technology has advanced to the point where progress seems limited not by physical constraints but the human imagination. Writing for both literate technologists and numerate humanists, Lee makes a case for engineering -- creating technology -- as a deeply intellectual and fundamentally creative process. Explaining why digital technology has been so transformative and so liberating, Lee argues that the real power of technology stems from its partnership with humans.
Lee explores the ways that engineers use models and abstraction to build inventive artificial worlds and to give us things that we never dreamed of -- for example, the ability to carry in our pockets everything humans have ever published. But he also attempts to counter the runaway enthusiasm of some technology boosters who claim everything in the physical world is a computation -- that even such complex phenomena as human cognition are software operating on digital data. Lee argues that the evidence for this is weak, and the likelihood that nature has limited itself to processes that conform to today's notion of digital computation is remote.
Lee goes on to argue that artificial intelligence's goal of reproducing human cognitive functions in computers vastly underestimates the potential of computers. In his view, technology is coevolving with humans. It augments our cognitive and physical capabilities while we nurture, develop, and propagate the technology itself. Complementarity is more likely than competition.
The Story of Colour: An Exploration of the Hidden Messages of the Spectrum [EPUB]
22 October 2017, 21:55
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781782436904 | 80.02MB
Why is green the colour of envy? Why is black 'evil'? Why is white pure? Why do we 'feel blue' or 'see red'? Why do colours have different meanings for different cultures?
When we look at or talk about a colour in a particular setting, we are as likely to see its cultural or symbolic meaning as the shade itself. Why?
Sometimes our grasp of a colour relates to the random way we define it. Light blue is called 'blue' but, over the last century or two, light red has become pink, whereas in Russia light blue and dark blue are separate colours. Does language play a part in our perception of colours?
In most cases, the origins of why we view a colour in a certain way goes back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Blue was not always a boy's colour; pink was not always a girl's. Indeed, less than one hundred years ago, in the West, it was the other way round.
This book offers a lively, anecdotal treatment of the cultural mysteries of colour, and focuses on the way we respond to colours, the significance we give them - and how these things change over time and from place to place. It tells the story of how we have come to view the world through lenses passed down to us by art, science, politics, fashion, sport and, not least, prejudice.
Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory: The Theoretical Minimum [EPUB]
22 October 2017, 21:42
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780465093342 | 12.24MB
Physicist Leonard Susskind and data engineer Art Friedman are back. This time, they introduce readers to Einstein's special relativity and Maxwell's classical field theory. Using their typical brand of real math, enlightening drawings, and humor, Susskind and Friedman walk us through the complexities of waves, forces, and particles by exploring special relativity and electromagnetism. It's a must-read for both devotees of the series and any armchair physicist who wants to improve their knowledge of physics' deepest truths.