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Author Topic: World Question Center 2008: "WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT?"  (Read 2761 times)

mouser

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They post a fairly interesting question every once in a while and ask famous people to provide an extended answer.  This years new year question was: "WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT?"

There are some really interesting answers..  Post if you find any you particularly agree or disagree with or write your own answer.

Here's one answer that i fear is correct:

Quote
NICHOLAS CARR:

In January of 2007, China's president, Hu Jintao, gave a speech before a group of Communist Party officials. His subject was the Internet. "Strengthening network culture construction and management," he assured the assembled bureaucrats, "will help extend the battlefront of propaganda and ideological work. It is good for increasing the radiant power and infectiousness of socialist spiritual growth."

If I had read those words a few years earlier, they would have struck me as ludicrous. It seemed so obvious that the Internet stood in opposition to the kind of centralized power symbolized by China's regime. A vast array of autonomous nodes, not just decentralized but centerless, the Net was a technology of personal liberation, a force for freedom.

I now see that I was naive. Like many others, I mistakenly interpreted a technical structure as a metaphor for human liberty. In recent years, we have seen clear signs that while the Net may be a decentralized communications system, its technical and commercial workings actually promote the centralization of power and control. Look, for instance, at the growing concentration of web traffic. During the five years from 2002 through 2006, the number of Internet sites nearly doubled, yet the concentration of traffic at the ten most popular sites nonetheless grew substantially, from 31% to 40% of all page views, according to the research firm Compete...



from http://www.dashes.com/anil/

Renegade

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Re: World Question Center 2008: "WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT?"
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2008, 03:51:00 AM »
Agreed here (for the most part): Email is Hell

On science and testability: One - Two -- Was Popper wrong? A very interesting question indeed.

I like this one: There are no moral facts. Moral sentences have no truth-values.

On Artificial Intelligence: Nope. For those with an interest, Roger Penrose wrote "The Emperor's New Mind" in 1988 arguing against AI. BRILLIANT book and a wonderful read. Highly recommended for anyone that wants to read something with few punches pulled.

There's a lot of interesting reading there from people that have put some real thought into these things. Thanks for the link!
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Deozaan

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Re: World Question Center 2008: "WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT?"
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2008, 05:46:26 PM »
This one is pretty good, from the last couple paragraphs of David Brin's entry.

Quote
I certainly expected that, by now, online tools for conversation, work, collaboration and discourse would have become far more useful, sophisticated and effective than they currently are. I know I'm pretty well alone here, but all the glossy avatars and video and social network sites conceal a trivialization of interaction, dragging it down to the level of single-sentence grunts, flirtation and ROTFL [rolling on the floor laughing], at a time when we need discussion and argument to be more effective than ever.

Indeed, most adults won't have anything to do with all the wondrous gloss that fills the synchronous online world, preferring by far the older, asynchronous modes, like web sites, email, downloads etc.

This isn't grouchy old-fart testiness toward the new. In fact, there are dozens of discourse-elevating tools just waiting out there to be born. Everybody is still banging rocks together, while bragging about the colors. Meanwhile, half of the tricks that human beings normally use, in real world conversation, have never even been tried online.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 05:52:35 PM by Deozaan »

icekin

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Re: World Question Center 2008: "WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT?"
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008, 05:26:50 AM »
I've changed my mind about kittens (and cats in general). They're not all cute, furry animals. Some are viscous creatures that will eat your food, then scratch and bite your hands.

Deozaan

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Re: World Question Center 2008: "WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT?"
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2008, 07:31:26 PM »
I've changed my mind about kittens (and cats in general). They're not all cute, furry animals. Some are viscous creatures that will eat your food, then scratch and bite your hands.

Actually, they're ALL vicious creatures that will eat your food and then scratch and bite your hands and other body parts. The good thing is that most kittens eventually grow (mostly) out of the scratching and biting. But they never stop eating your food.

My mother got a kitten a few weeks ago from the pet store and it gave her ringworm. The doctor misdiagnosed it as something that wasn't contagious and so when the whole family was together for Christmas she spread it like the plague! Actually only 4 other people got it that I'm aware of, and her dog.

Interesting fact: Monistat 7 (vaginal cream) is an effective treatment for ringworm.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 07:33:09 PM by Deozaan »

icekin

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Re: World Question Center 2008: "WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT?"
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2008, 04:39:03 AM »
Well clearly, despite my overall liking for animals, I am not an experienced pet owner. This is the first time I've owned a cat (actually its been here for over a year now) and I'm still learning to get acquainted.