The technique of having a compiler compile itself is known as bootstrapping, & it’s been employed since the nineteen-sixties. Optimizing compilers have come a long way since then, so the differences between a CompilerZero & a CompilerTwo can be much bigger than they used to be, but all of that progress was achieved by human programmers rather than by compilers improving themselves. &, although compilers are very different from artificial-intelligence programs, they offer a useful precedent for thinking about the idea of an intelligence explosion, because they are computer programs that generate other computer programs, & because when they do so optimization is often a priority.
So now we’ve got a human-equivalent A.I. that is spending a hundred person-years on a single task. What kind of results can we expect it to achieve? Suppose this A.I. could write & debug a thousand lines of code per day, which is a prodigious level of productivity. At that rate, a century would be almost enough time for it to single-handedly write Windows XP, which supposedly consisted of forty-five million lines of code. That’s an impressive accomplishment, but a far cry from its being able to write an A.I. more intelligent than itself. Creating a smarter A.I. requires more than the ability to write good code; it would require a major breakthrough in A.I. research, & that’s not something an average computer programmer is guaranteed to achieve, no matter how much time you give them.
There is one context in which I think recursive self-improvement is a meaningful concept, & it’s when we consider the capabilities of human civilization as a whole. Note that this is different from individual intelligence. There’s no reason to believe that humans born ten thousand years ago were any less intelligent than humans born today; they had exactly the same ability to learn as we do. But, nowadays, we have ten thousand years of technological advances at our disposal, & those technologies aren’t just physical—they’re also cognitive.
Simple tools make it possible to create complex ones; this is just as true for cognitive tools as it is for physical ones. Humanity has developed thousands of such tools throughout history, ranging from double-entry bookkeeping to the Cartesian coördinate system. So, even though we aren’t more intelligent than we used to be, we have at our disposal a wider range of cognitive tools, which, in turn, enable us to invent even more powerful tools.
This is how recursive self-improvement takes place—not at the level of individuals but at the level of human civilization as a whole. I wouldn’t say that Isaac Newton made himself more intelligent when he invented calculus; he must have been mighty intelligent in order to invent it in the first place. Calculus enabled him to solve certain problems that he couldn’t solve before, but he was not the biggest beneficiary of his invention—the rest of humanity was. Those who came after Newton benefitted from calculus in two ways: in the short term, they could solve problems that they couldn’t solve before; in the long term, they could build on Newton’s work & devise other, even more powerful mathematical techniques.
Teaching others is a powerful way to embed information in your mind. Upon completing a book, grab the nearest (willing) person & tell them about what you have learned. You’ll have to remove or explain the jargon, describe why this information has meaning, & walk them through the author’s logic. It sounds simple. After you try it the first time, you’ll realize it’s not easy.
There are also long-term effects from reading books. Reading keeps your mind alert & delays cognitive decline in elders. Research even found that Alzheimer’s is 2.5 times less likely to appear in elderly people who read regularly, while TV was presented as a risk factor.
Six minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by 68 percent, according to researchers at the University of Sussex. Reading beat out other relaxing activities, including listening to music (61 percent), drinking tea or coffee (54 percent), & taking a walk (42 percent).
根据萨塞克斯大学的研究，6分钟的阅读可以减少68% 的压力水平。阅读打败了其他放松活动，包括听音乐(61%) ，喝茶或咖啡(54%) ，散步(42%)。
Here are a few reasons why paper books are better:
- Readers who use paper books have an 使用纸质书的读者 easier time remembering 更容易记起来 the content than tablet readers. Traditional books provide a sense of progress as readers flip through the pages, along with greater immersion (i.e. you can’t click away from your book), which is key to absorbing information. 比平板电脑读者的内容。传统书籍在读者快速浏览书页时提供了一种进步的感觉，同时也提供了更多的沉浸感(也就是说，你不能离开你的书) ，这是吸收信息的关键
- Light from e-readers interferes with sleeping patterns, while paper books actually help you sleep better. 电子阅读器的灯光会干扰睡眠模式，而纸质书籍实际上能帮助你睡得更好
- Using electronic devices such as e-readers is linked to higher stress & depression levels. Traditional books, on the other hand, help reduce stress. 使用诸如电子阅读器之类的电子设备会导致更高的压力和抑郁水平。另一方面，传统书籍有助于减轻压力
Edward Snowden 爱德华·斯诺登的Newsletter
持续观察。Observe, don’t interpret.
不要将现在的解决方案嫁接到未来的问题之上。Don’t graft today’s solutions onto tomorrow’s problems.
Epicurus, himself, believed that pleasure was defined as the satisfying of a desire, such as when we drink a glass of water when we’re really thirsty. But, he also argued that desires themselves were painful since they, by definition, meant longing & anguish. Thirst is a desire, & we don’t like being thirsty. True contentment, then, could not come from creating & indulging pointless wants but must instead come from minimizing desire altogether. What would be the point of setting ourselves new targets? These are just new desires that we must make efforts to satisfy. Thus, minimizing pain meant minimizing desires, & the bare minimum desires were those required to live.
Given that Epicureans were determined to maximize pleasure & minimize pain, they developed a series of rituals & routines designed to help. One of the best known (not least because we’ve lost so much written by the Epicureans) was the so-called “Four Part Remedy.” These were four principles they believed we ought to accept so that we might find solace & be rid of existential & spiritual pain:
1. Don’t fear God.
2. Don’t worry about death.
3. What is good is easy to get.
4. What is terrible is easy to endure.
Psychological shift is about recognizing that life doesn’t need to be as complicated as we make it. At the end of the day, we’re just animals with basic needs. We have the tools necessary to satisfy our desires, but when we don’t, we have huge reservoirs of strength & resilience capable of enduring it all. Failing that, we still have nothing to fear because there is nothing to fear about death. When we’re alive, death is nowhere near; when we’re dead, we won’t care.
Practical, modern, & straightforward, Epicurus offers a valuable insight to life. It’s existential comfort for the materialists & atheists. It’s happiness in four lines.
包豪斯的功能性，以解决问题为导向，简约的风格被称为“国际风格”它与 De Stijl 艺术家所追求的“普遍”概念有很多共同之处: 两者都试图从结构中去除所有无关的装饰，只留下基本元素。它们应当真正具有普遍性，以便它们的美丽能够克服国家一级的敌意或个人一级的差异，并触及每个民族的基本面。
A. Action Affordance 动作与功能可见性
B. Action Stimulation 动作的激发
C. Emotion Stimulation 情绪的激发
在发现问题的阶段，我们的着眼点大致可以如思考的角度分成 动作与功能可见性、动作的激发 和 情绪的激发，那么对应设计调研的角度，也应该对应成为三个角度进行，分别是：行为的观察（或 可观察到的行为），完成这一设计与其他动作相关或类似的动作 以及 人与物的情感关联。
由于设计调研的侧重产生差异，那么在设计概念生成阶段也会站在三个角度：行为、行动触发 以及 情感实现。这里说起来比较容易，但是对于设计师来说，需要有一定的对于设计的积累和思考，才能够有一些自己的理解，特别是情感线路的设计，由于情感最难把握所以这条路线最难做到。换句话说，情感线路的设计几乎与移情设计的大致思维类似了。
One amazing thing about language is the sheer fluidity with which it allows us to manage such everyday episodes of joining forces & parting ways. It is literally the most versatile brain-to-brain interface we have: a nimble, negotiable system that enables people with separate bodies to achieve joint agency without giving up behavioural flexibility & social accountability. So before we throw out language because of its supposedly low data rate, let’s look a bit more closely at the ways in which it helps us calibrate minds, coordinate bodies & distribute agency. There are two features of language that make it especially useful in human interaction: selection & negotiation.
The agency-distributing powers of interactive language are largely independent of its modality: they are certainly not limited to the spoken, face-to-face version of language that happens to be its most prevalent form today. Writing, for one, shows that at least some aspects of language can be reduced to a visual code, though it has long come with a loss of immediacy & interactivity that is only now being remedied. A better example is the veritable diversity of sign languages used by deaf communities across the globe: impressive proof that the full richness & complexity of interactive language can be realised without a single sound.
Adding a feedback opportunity like that seems a simple design choice, but it radically changes the nature of the system. By opening up the Receiver’s actions to semi-public scrutiny, it enables a rudimentary form of negotiation & so points towards exactly the kind of back-&-forth that makes natural languages so flexible & error-robust. As input-output systems become more versatile & allow higher data rates, we can expect similar advances on the selection front, allowing us to select a wider range of signals than just binary choices or cursor movements. Of course, this wider range of choices inevitably also implies more degrees of freedom in interpretation, more room for ambiguity, & a greater need for quick ways to calibrate understandings. Which brings us full circle to something like language: a sophisticated intermediary that combines the powers of selection & negotiation. Soon enough we would rediscover the uses of ambiguity, & the joy of finishing each others’ sentences.