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Laura Walton Allen
Worked at McLennan Community College
Attended University of North Texas
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Laura Walton Allen

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How will we approach the ethical implications of the VR worlds we create? One of the more interesting questions circulating this decade....

"Good or bad, the market—not policy—will dictate how and where virtual reality spreads. We can’t possibly know how to respond to things we haven’t yet observed. But media experts and academics say that we can start tackling the stereotype issue by employing more women and minorities at companies making the content—and by sharing the experiences with diverse audiences who can influence what gets made."
As everybody moves in to virtual reality, who's making the rules?
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Laura Walton Allen

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Lol! This made my morning!
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This should get interesting....

"This is by far the most exciting thing that has happened in particle physics over the last three decades. If this hint of new physics is confirmed—something that could happen within just a few weeks, or possibly even within days—it is difficult to state the importance of such a discovery. It would be bigger than the detection of the Higgs boson, which was just confirmation of what was already known. "
Hints of an unexpected new particle could be confirmed within days—and if it is, the Standard Model could be going down
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Delightful.
 
> Benjamin is an LSTM recurrent neural network, a type of AI that is often used for text recognition. To train Benjamin, Goodwin fed the AI with a corpus of dozens of sci-fi screenplays he found online—mostly movies from the 1980s and 90s. Benjamin dissected them down to the letter, learning to predict which letters tended to follow each other and from there which words and phrases tended to occur together. The advantage of an LSTM algorithm over a Markov chain is that it can sample much longer strings of letters, so it's better at predicting whole paragraphs rather than just a few words. It's also good at generating original sentences rather than cutting and pasting sentences together from its corpus. Over time, Benjamin learned to imitate the structure of a screenplay, producing stage directions and well-formatted character lines. The only thing the AI couldn't learn were proper names, because they aren't used like other words and are very unpredictable. So Goodwin changed all character names in Benjamin's screenplay corpus to single letters. That's why the characters in Sunspring are named H, H2, and C. In fact, the original screenplay had two separate characters named H, which confused the humans so much that Sharp dubbed one of them H2 just for clarity.

More: http://arstechnica.com/the-multiverse/2016/06/an-ai-wrote-this-movie-and-its-strangely-moving/
via +Peter Asaro

// I love this so much. 
For Sunspring</i>'s exclusive debut on Ars, we talked to the filmmakers about collaborating with an AI.
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"Here’s the problem: the judges are human, and they’re humans who have enjoyed enough good fortune to become judges. The quality of their mercy is strained through their life experiences, which don’t resemble the life experiences of most of the defendants before them....

This means that the system is generally friendly to defendants who look like Brock Allen Turner and generally indifferent or cruel to people who don’t look like him. No high school dropout who rapes an unconscious girl behind a dumpster is getting six months in jail and a solicitous speech from the likes of Judge Persky. Judges take their youth as a sign that they are “superpredators,” not as grounds for leniency. If you tell a judge that they aren’t a danger to others, the judge will peer over his or her glasses and remark that people who rape unconscious girls in the dirt are self-evidently dangerous, and don’t be ridiculous. "
June 8, 2016 (Mimesis Law) -- Ten years ago my firm represented a kid on a minor drug charge. This kid played an instrument – for the sake of this story, let’s call it a xylophone. He approached t...
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Switzerland is holding a landmark vote on whether to give each citizen a guaranteed basic income, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes reports.
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Laura Walton Allen

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On the three types of incurable trollery, and the one type of curable....

"Of these which cannot be cured, [the first] is one whose question or objection arises from envy and hate, [and envy cannot be cured for it is a chronic weakness] and every time you answer him with the best or clearest or plainest answer, that only increases his rage and envy."
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Well, yeah. Because when you're attempting to impose a predictive framework on an organism/collection of organisms that have what we, with some contention, call "free will" all you can do is make metaphor, and metaphor is rarely scientific, even if it works.

Mythologists, astrologers, novelists, self-help gurus, philosophers of applied living, and any number of other folk who come up with ways to represent a system of human behavior do exactly the same thing as psychologists: it's all just getting down the large patterns, turning those into a few methodologies for attaining the current ideal of "the good life," and hoping for the best.

It's all palliative. It's neither exact nor scientific. Some systems are more sophisticated than others, some are better than others at actually /working/, but all are equally unscientific in the end, because human behavior is unscientific in the end, despite all efforts to find evidence to the contrary.
As more studies are called into question and researchers bicker over methodology, the field is showing a healthy willingness to face its problems
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Happy Friday!
This three minute dance performance was created by Method Studios for this year's AICP Awards as a way to promote different sponsors. Each sponsor is imagined briefly as a dancing avatar rendered with the help of motion capture, procedural animation and dynamic simulations. The wild costume
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"I wish all this telling women alcohol is dangerous was a manifestation of a country that loves babies so much it’s all over lead contamination from New Orleans to Baltimore to Flint and the lousy nitrate-contaminated water of Iowa and carcinogenic pesticides and the links between sugary junk food and a host of health conditions and the need for universal access to healthcare and daycare and good and adequate food. You know it’s not. It’s just about hating on women. Hating on women requires narratives that make men vanish and make women magicians producing babies out of thin air and dissolute habits. This is an interesting narrative for the power it affords women, but I would rather have an accurate one."
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We're really not going to allow this to happen, are we? A full-frontal attack on freedom of the press, one of the most vital tenets of free society?
 
Thin-skinned

By now you've probably heard: Trump said he'd given $1 million of his own money to veterans groups, but he actually hadn't.   His campaign manager, too, falsely claimed he had given this money. 

4 months later, the Washington Post and other papers started investigating.  They contacted Trump and asked what was up.  On May 24th, feeling the heat, he broke down and handed over the million bucks.

Other donors had also given money to the Donald J. Trump Foundation on the promise that Trump would then give it to veterans.  And he did - after  he was caught.  The Associated Press found that many of his checks were dated May 24, after  the Washington Post story came out.

That's bad enough, but the really interesting part is the temper tantrum that Trump threw at a press conference where he publicly announced that he'd finally given the promised money.

He blasted the media for making him “look bad” by insisting that he account for $6 million.  He called them "dishonest" and "not good people", without giving any example of dishonesty.  And he personally attacked ABC reporter Tom Llamas.

“I’m not looking for credit,” Trump insisted, contrary to all appearances. “But what I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars have people say — like this sleazy guy over here from ABC. He’s a sleaze in my book.”

"Why am I a sleaze?" Llamas shot back.

“You’re a sleaze!” Trump shouted. “Because you know the facts and you know the facts well.”   Llamas, you see, had just asked a question about this issue.  He also had a history of asking Trump tough questions about his anti-immigrant rhetoric. 

It's shocking for a US presidential candidate to act this way.  This is what a Chicago gangster or tinpot dictator would do.

“Is this what it’s going to be like covering you if you’re president?” one reporter asked.

Trump’s reply: “Yeah, it is. I’m going to continue to attack the press.”

And indeed, Trump has said that if he becomes president, he will "open up" the libel laws to make it easier to sue people who say things he doesn't like.  This is exactly  what dictators do.

In 2005, Timothy O'Brien wrote a book TrumpNation: The Art Of Being The Donald.   He raised questions about Trump's claims of vast wealth.  Trump promptly sued O'Brien for $5 billion.  It was the largest libel lawsuit in U.S. history.  Maybe Trump was trying to gain the wealth he didn't actually have.   But the lawsuit was dismissed, because of course it's not libel to report that someone is not as rich as they claim.

It's tough to take public criticism.  Hillary Clinton knows this well.   But Clinton is not thin-skinned like Trump.   I don't want a president who throws hissy fits at press conferences, yells at reporters, and threatens writers with lawsuits.

The Washington Post article about Trump on May 24:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/05/24/four-months-later-donald-trump-says-he-gave-1-million-to-veterans-group/

A video of Trump's press conference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ5kNEL0KzI

On Trump wanting to "open up" libel laws, and suing O'Brien:

http://www.npr.org/2016/03/24/471762310/donald-trump-wants-to-open-up-libel-laws-so-he-can-sue-news-outlets
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Laura Walton Allen

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This is the coolest thing I've seen in a while. I love materials science! and I can imagine about twenty installation projects I could make happen with this interface, if only I had yet another parallel lifetime to make it happen....
Materiable can be programmed to mimic any substance's viscosity, elasticity, and firmness
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In her circles
1,973 people
Have her in circles
2,047 people
Haider Ali's profile photo
Jeffrey Hamlin's profile photo
Guy Garnier's profile photo
Collins William's profile photo
Steve F's profile photo
Dave Tozier's profile photo
Schedd Ahmmed's profile photo
Steven Anderson's profile photo
Srinivasa Kumar Gullapalli (Vasu)'s profile photo
Work
Occupation
Visual artist, poet/writer, designer, instructor
Employment
  • McLennan Community College
    Adjunct Instructor, Creative Writing
  • Writer's Garret of Dallas
    Instructor; Writer's CAMP Coordinator
  • Waco Civic Theatre
    Set Designer; Technical Director; Scenic Painter
  • Self-Employed
    Freelance Writer and Editor; Astrology Columnist
  • The City Review (Waco)
    Editor-In-Chief
  • Self-Employed
    Visual Artist; Arts Coordinator
Basic Information
Gender
Female
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Tagline
artist, writer, tinkerer, college instructor & student, scifi addict, futurist, all-around fascinated person
Collections Laura is following
Education
  • University of North Texas
    Studio Art/New Media Art, 2013
  • Lake Sumter Community College
    AA
  • Stetson University
    English/Lit Theory