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The Golem

Author: Harry M. Collins
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107604656
Size: 22.60 MB
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Second edition of a very well received title which demystifies science and is highly readable on complex subjects.

The Golem At Large

Author: Harry Collins
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139917404
Size: 74.91 MB
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In the very successful and widely discussed first volume in the Golem series, The Golem: What You Should Know about Science, Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch likened science to the Golem, a creature from Jewish mythology, a powerful creature which, while not evil, can be dangerous because it is clumsy. In this second volume, the authors now consider the Golem of technology. In a series of case studies they demonstrate that the imperfections in technology are related to the uncertainties in science described in the first volume. The case studies cover the role of the Patriot anti-missile missile in the Gulf War, the Challenger space shuttle explosion, tests of nuclear fuel flasks and of anti-misting kerosene as a fuel for airplanes, economic modeling, the question of the origins of oil, analysis of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the contribution of lay expertise to the analysis of treatments for AIDS.

Portraits Of Wittgenstein

Author: F.A. Flowers III
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1350046604
Size: 69.19 MB
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Portraits of Wittgenstein is a major collection of memoirs and reflections on one of the most influential and yet elusive personalities in the history of modern philosophy, Ludwig Wittgenstein. Featuring a wealth of illuminating and profound insights into Wittgenstein's extraordinary life, this unique collection reveals Wittgenstein's character and power of personality more vividly and comprehensively than ever before. With portraits from more than 50 figures, Portraits of Wittgenstein brings together the personal recollections of philosophers, students, friends and acquaintances, including Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, F. R. Leavis, A. J. Ayer, Karl Popper, Friedrich von Hayek, G. H. von Wright, Freeman Dyson, Iris Murdoch, Mary Midgley and Mary Warnock. These authors testify to the life-long influence Wittgenstein had on the lives of those he met. Their fascinating memoirs, reflections and commentaries, often at odds with each other, reveal Wittgenstein's kindness, and how much genuine friendship meant to him, as well as his suffering and despair. They show too how the philosopher's ruthless honesty and uncompromising integrity often resulted in stern advice and harsh rebukes to friends and foes alike. Now abridged and available in paperback, this collection of valuable and hard-to-find material is an indispensable resource for scholars and students of the life and work of Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Artifictional Intelligence

Author: Harry Collins
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 150950415X
Size: 74.44 MB
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Recent startling successes in machine intelligence using a technique called ‘deep learning’ seem to blur the line between human and machine as never before. Are computers on the cusp of becoming so intelligent that they will render humans obsolete? Harry Collins argues we are getting ahead of ourselves, caught up in images of a fantastical future dreamt up in fictional portrayals. The greater present danger is that we lose sight of the very real limitations of artificial intelligence and readily enslave ourselves to stupid computers: the ‘Surrender’. By dissecting the intricacies of language use and meaning, Collins shows how far we have to go before we cannot distinguish between the social understanding of humans and computers. When the stakes are so high, we need to set the bar higher: to rethink ‘intelligence’ and recognize its inherent social basis. Only if machine learning succeeds on this count can we congratulate ourselves on having produced artificial intelligence.

Gravity S Kiss

Author: Harry Collins
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262036185
Size: 36.57 MB
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A fascinating account, written in real time, of the unfolding of a scientific discovery: the first detection of gravitational waves.