Models of My Life

Author: Herbert A. Simon

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 026269185X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 415

View: 4644

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In this candid and witty autobiography, Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon looks at his distinguished and varied career, continually asking himself whether (and how) what he learned as a scientist helps to explain other aspects of his life.A brilliant polymath in an age of increasing specialization, Simon is one of those rare scholars whose work defines fields of inquiry. Crossing disciplinary lines in half a dozen fields, Simon's story encompasses an explosion in the information sciences, the transformation of psychology by the information-processing paradigm, and the use of computer simulation for modeling the behavior of highly complex systems.Simon's theory of bounded rationality led to a Nobel Prize in economics, and his work on building machines that think -- based on the notion that human intelligence is the rule-governed manipulation of symbols -- laid conceptual foundations for the new cognitive science. Subsequently, contrasting metaphors of the maze (Simon's view) and of the mind (neural nets) have dominated the artificial intelligence debate.There is also a warm account of his successful marriage and of an unconsummated love affair, letters to his children, columns, a short story, and political and personal intrigue in academe.
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The Sciences of the Artificial

Author: Herbert A. Simon

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262537532

Category: Computers

Page: 256

View: 9257

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Herbert Simon's classic work on artificial intelligence in the expanded and updated third edition from 1996, with a new introduction by John E. Laird. Herbert Simon's classic and influential The Sciences of the Artificial declares definitively that there can be a science not only of natural phenomena but also of what is artificial. Exploring the commonalities of artificial systems, including economic systems, the business firm, artificial intelligence, complex engineering projects, and social plans, Simon argues that designed systems are a valid field of study, and he proposes a science of design. For this third edition, originally published in 1996, Simon added new material that takes into account advances in cognitive psychology and the science of design while confirming and extending the book's basic thesis: that a physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means for intelligent action. Simon won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1978 for his research into the decision-making process within economic organizations and the Turing Award (considered by some the computer science equivalent to the Nobel) with Allen Newell in 1975 for contributions to artificial intelligence, the psychology of human cognition, and list processing. The Sciences of the Artificial distills the essence of Simon's thought accessibly and coherently. This reissue of the third edition makes a pioneering work available to a new audience.
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Models of a Man

Essays in Memory of Herbert A. Simon

Author: Herbert Alexander Simon

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262012089

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 553

View: 7278

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Herbert Simon (1916-2001), in the course of a long and distinguished career in thesocial and behavioral sciences, made lasting contributions to many disciplines, including economics,psychology, computer science, and artificial intelligence. In 1978 he was awarded the Nobel Prize ineconomics for his research into the decision-making process within economic organizations. Hiswell-known book The Sciences of the Artificial addresses the implications of the decision-making andproblem-solving processes for the social sciences.This book (the title is a variation on the titleof Simon's autobiography, Models of My Life) is a collection of short essays, all original, bycolleagues from many fields who felt Simon's influence and mourn his loss. Mixing reminiscence andanalysis, the book represents "a small acknowledgment of a large debt."Each of the more than fortycontributors was asked to write about the one work by Simon that he or she had found mostinfluential. The editors then grouped the essays into four sections: "Modeling Man," "Organizationsand Administration," "Modeling Systems," and "Minds and Machines." The contributors include suchprominent figures as Kenneth Arrow, William Baumol, William Cooper, Gerd Gigerenzer, DanielKahneman, David Klahr, Franco Modigliani, Paul Samuelson, and Vernon Smith. Although they considertopics as disparate as "Is Bounded Rationality Unboundedly Rational?" and "Personal Recollectionsfrom 15 Years of Monthly Meetings," each essay is a testament to the legacy of Herbert Simon -- tosee the unity rather than the divergences among disciplines.
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The Age of Spiritual Machines

When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence

Author: Ray Kurzweil

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101077887

Category: Computers

Page: 400

View: 3205

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Ray Kurzweil is the inventor of the most innovative and compelling technology of our era, an international authority on artificial intelligence, and one of our greatest living visionaries. Now he offers a framework for envisioning the twenty-first century--an age in which the marriage of human sensitivity and artificial intelligence fundamentally alters and improves the way we live. Kurzweil's prophetic blueprint for the future takes us through the advances that inexorably result in computers exceeding the memory capacity and computational ability of the human brain by the year 2020 (with human-level capabilities not far behind); in relationships with automated personalities who will be our teachers, companions, and lovers; and in information fed straight into our brains along direct neural pathways. Optimistic and challenging, thought-provoking and engaging, The Age of Spiritual Machines is the ultimate guide on our road into the next century. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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The Men in My Life

Author: Vivian Gornick,Deborah Chasman

Publisher: Mit Press

ISBN: 9780262073035

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 194

View: 7165

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Vivian Gornick, one of our finest critics, tackled the theme of love and marriage in her last collection of essays, The End of the Novel of Love, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. In this new collection, she turns her attention to another large theme in literature: the struggle for the semblance of inner freedom. Great literature, she believes, is not the record of the achievement, but of the effort. Gornick, who emerged as a major writer during the second-wave feminist movement, came to realize that "ideology alone could not purge one of the pathological self-doubt that seemed every woman's bitter birthright." Or, as Anton Chekhov put it so memorably: "Others made me a slave, but I must squeeze the slave out of myself, drop by drop." Perhaps surprisingly, Gornick found particular inspiration for this challenge in the work of male writers—talented, but locked in perpetual rage, self-doubt, or social exile. From these men—who had infinitely more permission to do and be than women had ever known—she learned what it really meant to wrestle with demons. In the essays collected here, she explores the work of V. S. Naipaul, James Baldwin, George Gissing, Randall Jarrell, H. G. Wells, Loren Eiseley, Allen Ginsberg, Hayden Carruth, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth. Throughout the book, Gornick is at her best: interpreting the intimate interrelationship of emotional damage, social history, and great literature. Praise for The End of the Novel of Love: "[Gornick] is fearless.... Reading her essays, one is reassured that the conversation between life and literature is mutually sustaining as well as mutually corrective." —Elizabeth Frank, New York Times Book Review "Reading [Gornick] is a thrilling, invigorating, challenging experience." —Barbara Fisher, Boston Sunday Globe "Vivian Gornick's prose is so penetrating that reading it can be almost painful.... [This book] stands out as a model of luminous clarity." —Susie Linfield, Los Angeles Times Praise for The Solitude of the Self: "I love writers who treat thinking as a dynamic process. Ms. Gornick does—here and in all her books. Imagine a photographer of the psyche. She studies her subject from all angles. Whether in close-up or on a landscape crowded with political and religious movements, she explores the public and private selves.... What a potent book this is!" —Margo Jefferson, New York Times A Boston Review Book
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Artificial Life

An Overview

Author: Christopher G. Langton

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262621120

Category: Computers

Page: 340

View: 4092

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This book brings together a series of overview articles that appeared in the first three issues of the groundbreaking journal Artificial Life.
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I Want to Change My Life

Can Reality TV Competition Shows Trigger Lasting Career Success?

Author: Barrie Gunter

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 1443864749

Category: Social Science

Page: 265

View: 6456

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Competition talent shows have been among the most popular on television in the 21st century. The producers of these shows claim to give ordinary people extraordinary opportunities to change their lives by showcasing a specific skill leading to a new career trajectory. Most participants will claim that they entered to get a big break and to develop a career they have always dreamed of. To what extent do these shows deliver on such promises? Following through what happens to leading contestants in singing, entertainment, modelling, cooking and business entrepreneur competitions, this book shows that few go on to achieve lasting success in their chosen career. Many return to obscurity or to their previous lives. Some enjoy a low level career in the new direction delivered by the competition they entered. Just a few become truly successful. The pop and entertainment themed contests have discovered just a handful of major pop stars and entertainers out of many hundreds who have taken part after the initial auditions. Turning to the cookery or business franchises, there are few who go on to achieve lasting success in their chosen career. In these it is equally likely that the winners go on to enjoy success with media careers rather than as chefs or entrepreneurs. The most successful franchise of all is the fashion model competition (Next Top Model), which has yielded a high hit rate in terms of career success. What the analysis here also reveals is that it isn’t only the winners who ultimately benefit the most from their appearances in these shows. Moreover, television picks its own stars by recruiting contestants because they are telegenic or have a good backstory as much as for their relevant talents. In this way, a talent hungry medium has co-opted these franchises to replenish its own needs.
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Carnap, Tarski, and Quine at Harvard

Conversations on Logic, Mathematics, and Science

Author: Greg Frost-Arnold

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698371

Category: Philosophy

Page: 270

View: 3686

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During the academic year 1940-1941, several giants of analytic philosophy congregated at Harvard: Bertrand Russell, Alfred Tarski, Rudlof Carnap, W. V. Quine, Carl Hempel, and Nelson Goodman were all in residence. This group held regular private meetings, with Carnap, Tarski, and Quine being the most frequent attendees. Carnap, Tarski, and Quine at Harvard allows the reader to act as a fly on the wall for their conversations. Carnap took detailed notes during his year at Harvard. This book includes both a German transcription of these shorthand notes and an English translation in the appendix section. Carnap’s notes cover a wide range of topics, but surprisingly, the most prominent question is: if the number of physical items in the universe is finite (or possibly finite), what form should scientific discourse, and logic and mathematics in particular, take? This question is closely connected to an abiding philosophical problem, one that is of central philosophical importance to the logical empiricists: what is the relationship between the logico-mathematical realm and the material realm studied by natural science? Carnap, Tarski, and Quine’s attempts to answer this question involve a number of issues that remain central to philosophy of logic, mathematics, and science today. This book focuses on three such issues: nominalism, the unity of science, and analyticity. In short, the book reconstructs the lines of argument represented in these Harvard discussions, discusses their historical significance (especially Quine’s break from Carnap), and relates them when possible to contemporary treatments of these issues. Nominalism. The founding document of twentieth-century Anglophone nominalism is Goodman and Quine’s 1947 “Steps Toward a Constructive Nominalism.” In it, the authors acknowledge that their project’s initial impetus was the conversations of 1940-1941 with Carnap and Tarski. Frost-Arnold's exposition focuses upon the rationales given for and against the nominalist program at its inception. Tarski and Quine’s primary motivation for nominalism is that mathematical sentences will be ‘unintelligible’ or meaningless, and thus perniciously metaphysical, if (contra nominalism) their component terms are taken to refer to abstract objects. Their solution is to re-interpret mathematical language so that its terms only refer to concrete entities—and if the number of concreta is finite, then portions of classical mathematics will be considered meaningless. Frost-Arnold then identifies and reconstructs Carnap’s two most forceful responses to Tarski and Quine’s view: (1) all of classical mathematics is meaningful, even if the number of concreta is finite, and (2) nominalist strictures lead to absurd consequences in mathematics and logic. The second is familiar from modern debates over nominalism, and its force is proportional to the strength of one’s commitment to preserving all of classical mathematics. The first, however, has no direct correlate in the modern debate, and turns upon the question of whether Carnap’s technique for partially interpreting a language can confer meaningfulness on the whole language. Finally, the author compares the arguments for and against nominalism found in the discussion notes to the leading arguments in the current nominalist debate: the indispensability argument and the argument from causal theories of reference and knowledge. Analyticity. Carnap, Tarski, and Quine’s conversations on finitism have a direct connection to the tenability of the analytic-synthetic distinction: under a finitist-nominalist regime, portions of arithmetic—a supposedly analytic enterprise—become empirical. Other portions of the 1940-41 notes address analyticity directly. Interestingly, Tarski’s criticisms are more sustained and pointed than Quine’s. For example, Tarski suggests that Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem furnishes evidence against Carnap’s conception of analyticity. After reconstructing this argument, Frost-Arnold concludes that it does not tell decisively against Carnap—provided that language is not treated fundamentally proof-theoretically. Quine’s points of disagreement with Carnap in the discussion notes are primarily denials of Carnap’s premises without argument. They do, however, allow us new and more precise characterizations of Carnap and Quine’s differences. Finally, the author forwards two historical conjectures concerning the radicalization of Quine’s critique of analyticity in the period between “Truth by Convention” and “Two Dogmas.” First, the finitist conversations could have shown Quine how the apparently analytic sentences of arithmetic could be plausibly construed as synthetic. Second, Carnap’s shift during his semantic period toward intensional analyses of linguistic concepts, including synonymy, perhaps made Quine, an avowed extensionalist, more skeptical of meaning and analyticity. Unity of Science. The unity of science movement originated in Vienna in the 1920s, and figured prominently in the transplantation of logical empiricism into North America in the 1940s. Carnap, Tarski, and Quine’s search for a total language of science that incorporates mathematical language into that of the natural and social sciences is a clear attempt to unify the language of science. But what motivates the drive for such a unified science? Frost-Arnold locates the answer in the logical empiricists’ antipathy towards speculative metaphysics, in contrast with meaningful scientific claims. I present evidence that, for logical empiricists over several decades, an apparently meaningful assertion or term is metaphysical if and only if that assertion or term cannot be incorporated into a language of unified science. Thus, constructing a single language of science that encompasses the mathematical and natural domains would ensure that mathematical entities are not on par with entelechies and Platonic Forms. The author explores various versions of this criterion for overcoming metaphysics, focusing on Carnap and Neurath. Finally, I consider an obstacle facing their strategy for overcoming metaphysics: there is no effective procedure to show that a given claim or term cannot be incorporated within a language.
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Reclaim My Life

Author: Cheryl Norman

Publisher: Medallion Media Group

ISBN: 1605423556

Category: Fiction

Page: 411

View: 7987

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Sofia Desalvo enters the witness protection program and transforms herself into English professor Elizabeth Stevens. When two women close to Elizabeth are brutally murdered, small-town sheriff Wilson Drake steps in to solve the mystery and instead falls head over heels for the professor.
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