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Ken Lai
Attended Yale University
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Ken Lai

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Food for thought. Towards the end, it feels like she has to gloss over deeper topics, and it leaves me wanting to explore more.
 
"The very ingredients that nurture love — mutuality, reciprocity, protection, worry, responsibility for the other — are sometimes the very ingredients that stifle desire.”
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Thanks +David Brin for sharing this. I sense the speaker +Alex Wissner-Gross had to condense the ideas significantly and struggled with finding suitable analogies, so there were a few clumsy and awkward moments, but I still found it thought-provoking.

My main take-away is that "maximizing future options" enhances survival (or is a requisite for it) and is one way to consider intelligence.

As I thought about it, I came to some generalities, e.g.
In the path toward randomness and entropy, there is by definition a wide, wide array of ways to go about it, and the uninteresting ways will just fizzle out and run their courses quickly, so to speak, leaving the interesting ones that delay the progress of entropy (for us to observe and marvel).

The biological natural selection is an analogy: a mutation that is detrimental to an organism will cause its earlier demise, while a beneficial mutation allows the organism to thrive for longer, producing more offspring and "delay entropy" for longer.  Is this the "force" of intelligence at work?  Well, yes, if we go with equating "maximizing future options" with intelligence.

There's an idea that's starting to gel in my head that I'm not sure how to convey yet. Maybe a visualization will help.  Imagine a flow, a huge deluge, it's the path of everything towards entropy.  Now imagine a speck in that flow that is moving slower than the rest, and as it slows, it also slows the particles around it and starts growing, crystallizing, pulling in more of its neighbors.  Now imagine more of more of these specks and they all grow more and more, until it seems like the whole deluge is slowed, becoming viscous.  Such is how I'm imagining the multiverse, our universe, our world.  We are part of one of those specks, humanity is part of the slowed flow that is part of our biosphere, part of this Earth, solar system, galaxy, and so on.
I'm really beginning to feel what the speaker meant by a "force" -- it's almost like a friction in the fabric of our universe, slowing down the flow of entropy.

It would never halt or reverse the process, but it sure makes the journey much more interesting.
 


In a recent TED talk the computer scientist Alex Wissner-Gross made the argument (though I am not fully convinced) that intelligence can be understood as the maximization of future freedom of action. This leads him to conclude that collective nightmares such as  Karel Čapek classic R.U.R. have things backwards. It is not that machines after crossing some threshold of intelligence for that reason turn round and demand freedom and control, it is that the desire for freedom and control is the nature of intelligence itself.

http://www.ted.com/talks/alex_wissner_gross_a_new_equation_for_intelligence.html
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Building with LEGO has been a fun staple activity with my 3 yr old. OK, let's admit it, sometimes I want to build even more than he does, and now I don't have compete with him for his LEGO pieces.  :-)
 
Trillions of colored bricks. An entire world of LEGO® building plots. Where will you build? What will you build? 

Build with Chrome is a Chrome Experiment that brings the endless possibilities of LEGO bricks to the web: http://goo.gl/a4ucbz.

Can’t wait to see what creative things #Chromies will build! Tag your creations with #chromebuilt and we’ll feature some of them here over the next few weeks. 

#buildwithchrome www.buildwithchrome.com
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Find good books!  This is going to make my long reading list even more daunting.  :-P
 
If reading more in 2014 is a New Year's resolution, use Google to find good books. Say you loved "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury. Search for [fahrenheit 451] and you'll see information on the right about that particular title along with other books that people search for. Click on one to see a carousel showing many books from similar searches. You can click on each one to learn more and hopefully discover new reads. There are other ways to find new picks for your bookshelf: search for [ray bradbury] and click on Books to see a full carousel of his works, or if you know know that you're generally looking for good science fiction options, search for [best science fiction books].

#searchtips   #googlesearch  
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Have him in circles
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Ken Lai

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The optimist in me hopes that we can soon reach a future where more and more people may enjoy a more comfortable life with less unsatisfying work, through advancements in technology that allows machines to create a world of abundance for us. The pessimist in me imagines that such advancements would funnel all the more wealth to the world's oligarchic elite, and I could only hope they have enough humanity between them to lift the rest of the world up with them and to rule with benevolence.
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Love the ambiance this creates for this midnight hour.
 
Coldplay's surprise release of new song and music video today. The band tweeted that "something new" would happen at midnight in the time zone of Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.  Coincidentally I played this video at midnight.. It was a sign that I need to share this beautiful video.
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Interesting story about a "million-dollar product" that started from playing with LEGO as a prototype tool.  Its success likely has more to do with the publicity of being on a reality TV show and shopping network.  I'd be curious to find out how much profit is netted after subtracting all the business costs.
 
LEGO-obsessed son makes mum a millionaire

+Keith Kendrick 

A mother-of-three is set to become a millionaire – thanks to her LEGO-obsessed son.

Marcy McKenna, 44, from California, was fed up with beauty products cluttering her bathroom then she noticed her seven-year-old son, Jack, playing with his LEGO bricks.

The mum jokingly challenged him to build a box out of LEGO for her. Jack then worked with his mum and grandmother to figure out where each of her styling tools would go, and how the cords would be stored. 

http://aol.it/1bsDxV5
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This has happened to me (and everybody else?). After hours/days/weeks of troubleshooting I had to just attribute the problems to "old age" and upgrade instead.
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This is a thoughtful article about the movie "Her".  Warning: contains spoilers, so don't read it until you've seen the movie!
I found that this film really pushes one to look at relationships in novel perspectives, to consider how a relationship can seem one way to one party but a different way to the other, to look within and question our capacity to love and be loved, and to ponder over why some relationships work and some fall apart.
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Have him in circles
221 people
Vinay Siddavanahalli's profile photo
Xun Wilson Huang's profile photo
Kainan Lai's profile photo
Borja Cuan's profile photo
Mark Choey's profile photo
Mark Choey's profile photo
Will Stoica's profile photo
Erik Holguin's profile photo
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Software Engineer
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Male
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Minken
Story
Introduction
Conservation and environmentalism -- "It's not easy being green"
Outdoor adventures: scuba diving, backpacking, skiing.
Indoor adventures: ballroom and latin dancing, Argentine tango, swing.
Mental adventures: board games, brain teasers, role playing.
Education
  • Yale University
    Computer Science, 2000
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