April 16, 2010 at 1:05am
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Catastrophic cascade of failures in interdependent networks →

A fundamental property of interdependent networks is that failure of nodes in one network may lead to failure of dependent nodes in other networks. This may happen recursively and can lead to a cascade of failures.

March 20, 2010 at 2:00pm
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Online games, superempowerment, and a better world →

For active online gamers real life is broken. It doesn’t make any sense. Effort isn’t connected to reward. The path forward is confused, convoluted, and contradictory. Worse, there’s a growing sense that the entire game is being corrupted to ensure failure. So, why play it?

March 6, 2010 at 4:52pm
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We live in public

February 27, 2010 at 3:05am
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The Mismeasure of Man →

The Mismeasure of Man is a 1981 book written by the Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002). The book is a history and critique of the methods and motivations underlying biological determinism, the belief that “the social and economic differences between human groups — primarily races, classes, and sexes — arise from inherited, inborn distinctions and that society, in this sense, is an accurate reflection of biology.”

February 26, 2010 at 8:46pm
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Triumph of the Golden Rule →

We live in a world with other people. Almost every decision we make involves someone else in one way or another, and we face a constant choice regarding just how much we’re going to trust the person on the other side of this decision. Should we take advantage of them, go for the quick score and hope we never see them again – or should we settle for a more reasonable reward, co-operating in the hope that this peaceful relationship will continue long into the future?

February 24, 2010 at 11:13pm
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David Cope’s software creates beautiful, original music.  →

Emmy was once the world’s most advanced artificially intelligent composer. She produced thousands of scores in the style of classical heavyweights, scores so impressive that classical music scholars failed to identify them as computer-created. Cope attracted praise from musicians and computer scientists, but his creation raised troubling questions: If a machine could write a Mozart sonata every bit as good as the originals, then what was so special about Mozart? And was there really any soul behind the great works, or were Beethoven and his ilk just clever mathematical manipulators of notes?

February 13, 2010 at 2:14am
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How to cut off Google Buzz completely

Turning Buzz off

If you don’t want to use Buzz, you can disable it. To completely remove all of your participation in Buzz, follow all of these steps in order:

  1. Delete your Google profile. Here’s how.
  2. Block all of the people following you. Here’s how.
  3. Turn off Buzz at the bottom of Gmail. Here’s how.

February 12, 2010 at 1:13am
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New Russian botnet tries to kill rival →

The feature, called “Kill Zeus,” apparently removes the Zeus software from the victim’s PC, giving Spy Eye exclusive access to usernames and passwords.

February 9, 2010 at 12:05am
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How FarmVille Scales to Harvest 75 Million Players a Month →

How did FarmVille scale a web application to handle 75 million players a month? Fortunately FarmVille’s Luke Rajlich has agreed to let us in on a few their challenges and secrets. Here’s what Luke has to say…

February 1, 2010 at 6:16pm
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A model of the history of human misery →

For most of the human history we’ve been hunter-gatherers. But over the past 10,000 years there was a switch in lifestyle, farming has emerged independently in several locations, and filled in all the territory in between. One truism of modern cultural anthropology is that this was a big mistake, that hunter-gatherer lifestyles were superior to those of peasant farmers, less miserable with much more free time. I think this is somewhat unsubtle, which is ironic since cultural anthropologists really love to deconstruct the errors of others which they themselves are guilty of (i.e., in this case, the normative aspect immediately jumps out in the scholarship. There’s little doubt as to who they’re “rooting” for).

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andrei gheorghe

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