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Sideways Dictionary
Analogies rather than definitions. It's like thousands of smiles, but where a smile is a simile.
dictionary  thought  analogy  simile  definitions  words 
6 days ago by earth2marsh
Agile Software Development - Sideways Dictionary
Sideways dictionary — it's like a dictionary, but using analogies instead of definitions. Use it as a tool for finding and sharing helpful analogies to explain technological ideas. Because if everyone understands technology better, we can make technology work better for everyone.
dictionary  analogy 
6 days ago by blurback
Peter Norvig, the meaning of polynomials, debugging as psychotherapy | Quomodocumque
He briefly showed a demo where, given values of a polynomial, a machine can put together a few lines of code that successfully computes the polynomial. But the code looks weird to a human eye. To compute some quadratic, it nests for-loops and adds things up in a funny way that ends up giving the right output. So has it really ”learned” the polynomial? I think in computer science, you typically feel you’ve learned a function if you can accurately predict its value on a given input. For an algebraist like me, a function determines but isn’t determined by the values it takes; to me, there’s something about that quadratic polynomial the machine has failed to grasp. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here, just a cultural difference to be aware of. Relevant: Norvig’s description of “the two cultures” at the end of this long post on natural language processing (which is interesting all the way through!)
mathtariat  org:bleg  nibble  tech  ai  talks  summary  philosophy  lens  comparison  math  cs  tcs  polynomials  nlp  debugging  psychology  cog-psych  complex-systems  deep-learning  analogy  legibility  interpretability 
19 days ago by nhaliday
Cognitive science: Mind as mirror : Nature : Nature Research
Review of
Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking
Douglas Hofstadter & Emmanuel Sander

"In fact, this intriguing, frustrating book seems to exist almost in an intellectual vacuum. Unless one combs through the bibliography, one could mistakenly imagine that it is the first attempt to explore the idea of analogy and metaphor in linguistics, overlooking the work of Raymond Gibbs, Andrew Ortony, Esa Itkonen and many others."
Nature  metaphor  analogy  cognition  books  reviews 
23 days ago by pierredv
Overcoming Bias : Cycles of War & Empire
In biology, over multiple generations organisms slowly accumulate genetic mutations, which reduce their fitness. But this degradation is countered by the fact that nature and mates select for better organisms, which have fewer mutations. Similarly, it seems to me that the most straightforward account of the secular cycle is to say since empire founders are selected out of a strong competition for high cohesion, we should expect cohesion to “regress to the mean” as an empire evolves.
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5 weeks ago by nhaliday

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