Notes


The History of the Future

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Illusory Truth Effect [...]

From the Wikipedia article: "The illusory truth effect (also known as the truth effect or the illusion-of-truth effect) is the tendency to believe information to be correct after repeated exposure." This is one explanation of how Facebook's "fake news" functions to change people's minds, not simply confirm their pre-existing biases....

 

The Myth of Codependency [...]

From a Vice article: Indeed, there is no reliable research support for codependence and related concepts. Although there have been a few attempts to measure it, they fizzled out as it proved as slippery as a horoscope—and a search of PubMed reveals little further research interest in it since the turn of the century. "There is no disease of codependence," adds Wilke...

 

Not Even Wrong [...]

From the Wikipedia entry: The phrase is generally attributed to theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who was known for his colorful objections to incorrect or sloppy thinking. Rudolf Peierls documents an instance in which "a friend showed Pauli the paper of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but on which he wanted Pauli's views. Pauli remarke...

 

This is not the Crusades [...]

David Perry, a medievalist, writing on CNN: The idea that contemporary military and terrorist activities in the Middle East embody a new Crusade isn't exactly new. What's startling is that today both supporters of ISIS and radical Christian terrorists have adopted the same language. Both sides are using medieval history to justify their violent intentions. ...But one ...

 

The People Derek Black Knew [...]

Derek Black, rising white nationalist star, came around to realizing the error of his beliefs not through argumentation with the enemy, but through dinners with diverse friends. On the rare occasions when Derek directed conversation during those dinners, it was about the particulars of Arabic grammar, or marine aquatics, or the roots of Christianity in medieval times....

 

Robot Professionals [...]

We believe these are but a few early indicators of a fundamental shift in professional service. Within professional organizations (firms, schools, hospitals), we are seeing a move away from tailored, unique solutions for each client or patient towards the standardization of service. Increasingly, doctors are using checklists, lawyers rely on precedents, and consultant...

 

Techno-Pastoralism [...]

Brautigan's Machines of Loving Grace imagines a world made more pastoral, quiet, and contemplative by computers: The text was printed over an image of electric schematics and it set out a utopian vision of a techno-pastoralism, where new digital machines could return us to a prelapsarian state, at one with nature in an electric Eden. The poem, in part: ") I like to t...

 

Community Technology Centers’ Network [...]

From the Wikipedia entry for Antonia Stone: Antonia "Toni" Stone (1930-2002) created the United States' first community technology centers. In 1980, Toni Stone set up Playing to Win (PTW). Playing to Win, a nonprofit organization dedicated to countering inequities in computer access. PTW looked to serve inmates and ex-offenders by teaching them computer skills and off...

 

Prime Vietnam Directive [...]

The Prime Directive of Star Trek (or at least the embrace of it) may have evolved out of U.S. ambivalence about Vietnam. It was part of Rodenberry's vision of "progressive humanity". > The Prime Directive of "Star Trek: TOS" is primarily a way to process America's 1960s misadventure in Vietnam. Would that more generals and chickenhawks dreamed dreams that taught th...

 

Sci-fi For/Against Vietnam [...]

A breakdown of science fiction writers for and against the Vietnam War from June 1968 Galaxy Magazine: Commentary on the differences: > Looking backward at the rival camps, we may be puzzled by Pohl's inability to distinguish between either their ideologies or their conflicting roles in modern SF. For the pro-war list reads like a roll call of champions of super-s...