On Mar 6, 7:07 am, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:
> Craig,
> The danger to society comes not from mathematicians, rather it could
> come from technologists.

Yes. I don't think the problem is with mathematicians, it's with
hospital administrators, insurance companies, investment banks,
attorneys, judges, governments, etc who feel compelled to apply
mathematical-seeming solutions to all human problems.

> Recently I have read
> Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto

I saw that too. It's good to see him back around.

> and the author shows that the society should pay more attention to what
> Silicon Valley geeks are silently doing. Just one quote
> "Ideals are important in the world of technology, but the mechanism by
> which ideals influence events is different than in other spheres of
> life. Technologists don't use persuasion to influence you - or, at
> least, we don't do it very well. There are a few master communicators
> among us (like Steve Jobs), but for the most part we aren't particularly
> seductive."
> "We make up extensions to your being, like remote eyes and ears
> (web-cams and mobile phones) and expanded memory (the world of details
> you can search for online). These become the structures by which you
> connect to the world and other people. These structures in turn can
> change how you conceive of yourself and the world. We tinker with your
> philosophy by direct manipulation of your cognitive experience, not
> indirectly, through argument. It takes only a tiny group of engineers to
> create technology that can shape the entire future of human experience
> with incredible speed. Therefore, crucial arguments about the human
> relationship with technology should take place between developers and
> users before such direct manipulations are designed. This book is about
> those arguments."
> As for sensations, I do not know. Yesterday after I have read your
> email, I went to an Italian restaurant. A small dinner, actually I
> wanted just a glass of good red Italian wine, but then I took also a
> small plate of cheese assorti with a couple of salad leaves, pepperoni
> and bread. I have enjoyed my dinner. Whether wine, bread, cheese, salad
> and pepperoni have enjoyed it too, I do not know. I would not mind, if
> they did.

Hehe. It is hard to imagine that there are experiences going on in the
wine and cheese, but really, not much more than it is hard to imagine
billions of organisms and molecules being there instead of what we
think we see and taste. Not sure whether the bread knows the
difference between being on a plate or in a stomach, but I have less
of a problem imagining that the cells of our tongue and stomach are
sharing a bit of celebratory feelings with our brain at having eaten


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