 Aug 2022

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For those who sought a moremathematical formulation of the basic processes, there was the newly developed mathematical theory of communication, which, it was widely believed inthe early 1950s, had provided a fundamental concept – the concept of “information” – that would unify the social and behavioral sciences and permit thedevelopment of a solid and satisfactory mathematical theory of human behavior on a probabilistic base.

 Jun 2022

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Marianne Freiberger, “Information is surprise,” Plus Magazine, March 24,2015, https://plus.maths.org/content/informationsurprise
What a godawful reference for Claude Shannon. Obviously he found it in his reading through serendipity and didn't bother chasing down the original quote for publication...

 May 2022

niklasluhmannarchiv.de niklasluhmannarchiv.de

ZK II: Zettel 9/8j 9/8j Im Zettelkasten ist ein Zettel, der dasArgument enthält, das die Behauptungenauf allen anderen Zetteln widerlegt. Aber dieser Zettel verschwindet, sobald manden Zettelkasten aufzieht. D.h. er nimmt eine andere Nummer an,verstellt sich und ist dann nicht zu finden. Ein Joker.
9/8j In the slip box is a slip containing the argument that refutes the claims on all the other slips.
But this slip disappears as soon as you open the slip box.
Ie he assumes a different number, disguises himself and then cannot be found.
A joker.
An example of a jokerzettel.
Link this to the Claude Shannon's useless machine (based on an idea of Marvin Minsky) of a useless machine whose only function is to switch itself off. see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useless_machine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNa9v8Z7Rac

 Apr 2022

pioneerworks.org pioneerworks.org

The book was reviewed in all major magazines and newspapers, sparking what historian Ronald Kline has termed a “cybernetics craze,” becoming “a staple of science fiction and a fad among artists, musicians, and intellectuals in the 1950s and 1960s.”
This same sort of craze also happened with Claude Shannon's The Mathematical Theory of Information which helped to bolster Weiner's take.

 Dec 2021

luhmann.surge.sh luhmann.surge.sh

One of the most basic presuppositions of communication is that the partners can mutually surprise each other.
A reasonably succinct summary of Claude Shannon's 1948 paper The Mathematical Theory of Communication. By 1981 it had firmly ensconced itself into the vernacular, and would have done so for Luhmann as much of systems theory grew out of the prior generation's communication theory.

 Jul 2021

localhost:8083 localhost:8083

The first sense is the one in which we speak of ourselves as reading newspapers, magazines, or anything else that, according to our skill and talents, is at once thoroughly intelligible to us. Such things may increase our store of information, but they cannot improve our understanding, for our understanding was equal to them before we started. Otherwise, we would have felt the shock of puzzlement and perplexity that comes from getting in over our depththat is, if we were both alert and honest.
Here they're comparing reading for information and reading for understanding.
How do these two modes relate to Claude Shannon's versions of information (surprise) and semantics (the communication) itself. Are there other pieces which exist which we're not tacitly including here? It feels like there's another piece we're overlooking.

 Jun 2021

www.theatlantic.com www.theatlantic.com

A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.
His definition of a Memex is simply a mechanized (or what we would now call digitized) commonplace book, which has a long history in the literature of knowledge management.
I'll note here that he's somehow still stuck on the mechanical engineering idea of mechanized. Despite the fact that he was the advisor to Claude Shannon, father of the digital revolution, he is still thinking in terms of mechanical pipes, levers, and fluids. He literally had Shannon building a computer out of pipes and fluid while he was a student at MIT.

 Apr 2021


A reproduction of Carroll’snotes on his number alphabet will be found in Warren Weaver’s article “Lewis Carroll: Mathematician,” inScientific Americanfor April1956.)
I need to track down this reference and would love to see what Weaver has to say about the matter.
Certainly Weaver would have spoken of this with Claude Shannon (or he'd have read it).
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 Feb 2021

www.youtube.com www.youtube.com

<small><cite class='hcite via'>ᔥ <span class='pauthor hcard'>Cory Doctorow</span> in Pluralistic: 16 Feb 2021 – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow (<time class='dtpublished'>02/25/2021 12:20:24</time>)</cite></small>

 Aug 2020


Without Shannon’s application of Dembski’s theorem, the internet and cable TV would not exist.
This is a bit disingenuous as Shannon's body of thought preceded that of Dembski by several decades.

 Mar 2019

nautil.us nautil.us

In June 1954, Fortune magazine ran an article featuring the 20 most talented scientists under 40; Pitts was featured, next to Claude Shannon and James Watson.

it had been Wiener who discovered a precise mathematical definition of information: The higher the probability, the higher the entropy and the lower the information content.
Oops, I think this article is confusing Wiener with Claude Shannon?

Which got McCulloch thinking about neurons. He knew that each of the brain’s nerve cells only fires after a minimum threshold has been reached: Enough of its neighboring nerve cells must send signals across the neuron’s synapses before it will fire off its own electrical spike. It occurred to McCulloch that this setup was binary—either the neuron fires or it doesn’t. A neuron’s signal, he realized, is a proposition, and neurons seemed to work like logic gates, taking in multiple inputs and producing a single output. By varying a neuron’s firing threshold, it could be made to perform “and,” “or,” and “not” functions.
I'm curious what year this was, particularly in relation to Claude Shannon's master's thesis in which he applied Boolean algebra to electronics.
Based on their meeting date, it would have to be after 1940. And they published in 1943: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02478259

 Jul 2017

forge.medium.com forge.medium.com

12) Don’t look for inspiration. Look for irritation.

11) Value freedom over status.

10) The less marketing you need, the better your idea or product probably is.

9) Fancy is easy. Simple is hard.

8) Put money in its place.

7) Consider the content of your friendships.

6) Time is the soil in which great ideas grow.

5) Chaos is okay.

4) You don’t have to ship everything you make.

3) Don’t just find a mentor. Allow yourself to be mentored.

2) Big picture first. Details later.

1) Cull your inputs.
