- The Father of the Emoticon Chases His Great White Whale
A look at the computer science professor who is famous because he invited :-). However, what he truly wants is to be known for is solving general AI.
The fairy tale turns out to be an example of the role multiple viewpoints play in our understanding of reality — something that is extremely challenging for machines to grasp. To understand the story of the Three Little Pigs, one must comprehend what each of the characters knows. For a machine to replicate this understanding, it needs to recognize these individual sets of characters’ knowledge. It needs a single set to represent the pig’s knowledge of the world, another for the wolf’s, along with a representation of the mental state the wolf is trying to get the pig into — the deception. These contexts can be layered infinitely, and Fahlman is building a system that contains them.
- The Really Big One
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you might be thankful that you don’t live in SF and have to worry about the danger of a huge earthquake – actually, that’s not true because you’re sitting on an even larger fault! This article has colorful descriptive language of what might potentially happen should a potential 9.0 earthquake hit.
A grown man is knocked over by ankle-deep water moving at 6.7 miles an hour. The tsunami will be moving more than twice that fast when it arrives. Its height will vary with the contours of the coast, from twenty feet to more than a hundred feet. It will not look like a Hokusai-style wave, rising up from the surface of the sea and breaking from above. It will look like the whole ocean, elevated, overtaking land. Nor will it be made only of water—not once it reaches the shore. It will be a five-story deluge of pickup trucks and doorframes and cinder blocks and fishing boats and utility poles and everything else that once constituted the coastal towns of the Pacific Northwest.
- Up in the Air: Meet the Man Who Flies Around the World for Free
The story of a key member of FlyerTalk, how he got into the hobby of gaming frequent flyer programs, and a little bit about how he spends his life.
Schlappig is giving me this economics lesson while he waits in the spa of the first-class Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in JFK Airport in New York. He has been up all night, downing eight cups of coffee and typing blog posts the entire flight; he maintains a militant work regimen, blogging only on Eastern time, jet lag be damned. “I think he’s not a person who was meant to work from nine to five,” says his mother. “Now he probably works 18 hours a day.” Schlappig is chatting through a complimentary massage, enjoying the elbow in his back from a plump spa therapist and straining occasionally to sip his dry gin with crème de mûre. She chats him back, smiling, and asks how he’s been — Schlappig knows almost the entire staff here by name, and he schedules his globe-trots to make a pit stop here every few weeks.
- Jennifer Pan’s Revenge
I remember following this news story in detail because it was about an Asian family in Toronto. Now that the trial is over, there’s a lot more information about what happened – and this account is even written by someone who went to the same high school as Jennifer Pan and her boyfriend.
Jennifer’s parents assumed their daughter was an A student; in truth, she earned mostly Bs—respectable for most kids but unacceptable in her strict household. So Jennifer continued to doctor her report cards throughout high school. She received early acceptance to Ryerson, but then failed calculus in her final year and wasn’t able to graduate. The university withdrew its offer. Desperate to keep her parents from digging into her high school records, she lied and said she’d be starting at Ryerson in the fall. She said her plan was to do two years of science, then transfer over to U of T’s pharmacology program, which was her father’s hope. Hann was delighted and bought her a laptop. Jennifer collected used biology and physics textbooks and bought school supplies. In September, she pretended to attend frosh week. When it came to tuition, she doctored papers stating she was receiving an OSAP loan and convinced her dad she’d won a $3,000 scholarship.
- Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person
The most interesting thing about this article is how it breaks down the one word “Privilege” into different types of privilege. The generalization is overused, so it’s more interesting to think of how a person or a group is privileged compared to society – not all privilege is the same.
I, maybe more than most people, can completely understand why broke white folks get pissed when the word “privilege” is thrown around. As a child I was constantly discriminated against because of my poverty, and those wounds still run very deep. But luckily my college education introduced me to a more nuanced concept of privilege: the term “intersectionality.” The concept of intersectionality recognizes that people can be privileged in some ways and definitely not privileged in others. There are many different types of privilege, not just skin-color privilege, that impact the way people can move through the world or are discriminated against. These are all things you are born into, not things you earned, that afford you opportunities that others may not have.