Four short links: 3 February 2011

Commandline for Story, Dystopic Predictions, Studying Failures, and Two Great Tastes

  1. Curveship — a new interactive fiction system that can tell the same story in many different ways. Check out the examples on the home page. Important because interactive fiction and the command-lines of our lives are inextricably intertwined.
  2. Egypt’s Revolution: Coming to an Economy Near You (Umair Haque) — more dystopic prediction, but this phrase rings true: The lesson: You can’t steal the future forever — and, in a hyperconnected world, you probably can’t steal as much of it for as long.
  3. Why Startups Fail — failure is a more instructive teacher than success, so simply studying successful startups isn’t enough. (via Hacker News)
  4. Computer Science and Philosophy — Oxford is offering a program studying CS and Philosophy together. the two disciplines share a broad focus on the representation of information and rational inference, embracing common interests in algorithms, cognition, intelligence, language, models, proof, and verification. Computer Scientists need to be able to reflect critically and philosophically about these, as they push forward into novel domains. Philosophers need to understand them within a world increasingly shaped by computer technology, in which a whole new range of enquiry has opened up, from the philosophy of AI, artificial life and computation, to the ethics of privacy and intellectual property, to the epistemology of computer models (e.g. of global warming). I wish every CS student had taken a course in ethics.
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  • Sam Penrose

    “I wish every CS student had taken a course in ethics.”

    My undergrad degree was in Philosophy, and the ethics I studied were useless for thinking about how to make moral choices. Your experience may have been different.