A small bit of dialogue from the wonderfully satisfying movie ‘Arrival’ that i didn’t quite catch while watching, was about the Sanskrit word for “war” and its etymology.
One linguist thinks the word, gavisti, comes from “argument,” when the right answer is “a desire for more cows.”
Now as an Indian, this was a bit of an eye-rolling moment. I mean yes we revere the cow, traditionally to the point of the proverbial holy cow.
But would the culture that produced a war epic like the ‘Mahabharat’ really call it an argument for cows? The war was over land and kingship, rule of law and righteousness. It makes the whole thing sound a bit silly when described as ‘a desire for more cows’.
Then this LA Review of Books article mentions the little detail in passing, that “war” has a fundamentally pecuniary meaning.
And pecuniary meaning ‘relating to or concerning money’ comes from the Latin pecu, meaning — wait for it — cattle.
So yeah. Thats a little bit of anthropological history embedded in language like layers of sediment, or the rings of a tree.
Source: What We’ve Got Here: “Arrival” – Los Angeles Review of Books
How to derive every number upto infinity, using only four 4’s and math operators.
Firstly, how do people even begin to think about numbers this way?
That said, its fantastic to see people enjoying something so completely.
A six-year old speech that seems even more relevant given headlines about automation, economic stagnation and a resurgence of frightened right-wing beliefs.
This has to be the most clear and lucid argument that I’ve read against worrying about AI taking over the world.
Sharp, concise and funny.
Read: Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People
With the rise of bigoted right-wing mobs everywhere in the world, coinciding with 15 years of Online search engines, it’s worth asking these questions — how impartial should Google be to information?
For Google’s mechanical search algorithms, the answers to auto-suggested searches like ‘Are women evil’, ‘Are jews bad/are Muslims bad’ are all: *yes, and here are thousands of pages and videos that say so, some with ‘proof’ in the title*
If you ask ‘Was Hitler bad?’ you get on the top of the page, ’10 reasons why Hitler was one of the good guys’.
Digital tech massively empowers the ignorant as much as it spreads knowledge. Yet we know from TV and print about human nature, that sensationalized bad news attracts people more than informed good news.
Link: Google, democracy and the truth about internet search | Technology | The Guardian
Automation, advanced robotics and software-driven technologies are ushering in a new era that will leave fewer opportunities for the developing world.
Source: The Rise of Manufacturing Marks the Fall of Globalization | Stratfor
Political technology, Russian Theatre, shapeshifting narratives, politics as drama, and the social media echo chamber — this 15 minute excerpt from a Oct 2016 documentary is stunning.
I have only a laypersons understanding of Bitcoin etc, but it seems Apple has a list of 6 ‘approved’ Crypto Currencies that ios apps can connect to. Really mind-boggling how far we’ve come so fast. Wasnt Bitcoin invented a few years ago?
p.s. The cryptocurrency guys are complaining “only 6?”. I’m like: There are more? Theres like ‘Dogecoin’ in that list, and it started as a joke!
Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ethereum,
the DAO and Ripple
Source: These Are the Six Crypto-Currencies Approved by Apple – Rumor
An interview with Douglas Rushkoff, insightful as usual…
Has Technology Failed Us?
Also relevant…this Interview