Category Archives: Machines / gadgets / technology / games

Brainwashing, the Red Scare, and the Turing Test

I just came across this brilliant lecture, “Imitation Games: Conspiratorial Sciences and Intelligent Machines,” given recently by Simon Schaffer. I’ve noted Schaffer’s work before on early automata. Here he extends his interest in our fascination with automata to post-WWII paranoia. … Continue reading

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Star Wars awakens

(No spoilers) Star Wars came out in 1977, and I was 12 years old, which means it hit me the way a T-16 can bull’s-eye womp rats (at least with the right pilot). I remember Nixon resigning, and I remember … Continue reading

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The Cyborg of Practical Wisdom

The biggest struggle my fellow modern-day cyborgs and I face is to create a virtual reality that connects more wholesomely with the human part of our nature. The artificial reality we currently plug into is a Terry Gilliam nightmare. Too … Continue reading

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What they needed

Then – without warning, without prelude, without even a minute to try to wrap a terrestrial head around the idea – Earth found itself in the middle of a galactic war. It was like neanderthals finding themselves on the beach at Normandy. … Continue reading

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The Magical Dimensions of the Globe

There’s a particularly good episode of Doctor Who (“The Shakespeare Code”) wherein the Doctor and Martha visit Shakespeare and save the world from a conspiracy of witches. The witches’ plan is to take possession of Shakespeare and force him to write … Continue reading

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Multitasking and multipurposing

The other day was entirely typical, but I paused to consider the wonder of it all. I was trading moves back and forth with a friend playing Civilization. I was the American civilization under Roosevelt, and because of some luck … Continue reading

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Worlds of Terry Gilliam and M. C. Escher

I recently had the chance to watch Terry Gilliam’s film, The Zero Theorem. I gather that some have called it the final piece of the Brazil trilogy (following Twelve Monkeys), and that makes some sense: in all three films, we … Continue reading

Posted in Machines / gadgets / technology / games, Meanings of life / death / social & moral stuff | 2 Comments