Keep Laptops Out of the Classroom

We are living in the Age of Digital Distraction. Whether we’re in line at the supermarket, waiting to get off an elevator, walking out of the gym, or sitting on the couch watching television, many of us find it impossible to avoid scanning our phones. It’s not that we always have someone to call or … Continued

Culture

Beautiful Politician Explains Quantum Computing; Internet Goes Wild

Here in the United States, Americans are slogging through what feels like an endless presidential election season, listening to candidates insult each other’s wives and rail against capitalism. Surreal is the new normal. But not all political cultures resemble reality television shows. Consider this guy:   That’s Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a press … Continued

Culture

AlphaGo and Our Future Computer Overlords

“We’re doomed.” These were the first words from a friend of mine upon hearing that a computer had beaten (arguably) the best living player of the board game “Go” in a five-round series of matches. “Computers” he said, “are going to take over the world.” Go is the world’s most complex board game, with more … Continued

Tech

Fear, Loathing, and Artificial Intelligence

Recently in the Washington Post, Joel Achenbach wrote a long and very smart piece of reporting on the state of Artificial Intelligence doom mongering. The short version goes something like this: Science fiction writers have been worrying about the possibility that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could bring about a cataclysm since the 1950s, when computers barely … Continued

Culture, Tech

Wasting Time 101: Coming to an Ivy League School Near You

Do you wish you could surf the Internet mindlessly all day? Lucky for you, there’s a class for that. Kenneth Goldsmith, a poetry professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is going to teach a new class in the coming spring semester—a class completely devoted to wasting time online: Although we’ll all be in the same … Continued

Culture