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Andrew - A Missing Link in Cybernetics Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Andrew captures a life-long effort in all the grounds of AI. The title refers to the distance between the discrete views of most AI and the continuous nature of most controllers in nature and artificiality. It is this link between continuity and discretion what is necessary to work out so solve the riddle of real, conscious AI.


A Missing Link in Cybernetics

Logic and Continuity

Alex M. Andrew

352 pages
ISBN 978-0-387-75163-4


Value for time: 7

Main value: Get informed about the history of AI and cybernetics.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 14 January 2012 )
Goldacre - Bad Science Print E-mail
Monday, 10 September 2007
Goldacre is a doctor -a medic- worried about the bad practices used in the selling of products around the world of health.

To talk about the book let's use the words of The Independent:

'From an expert with a mail-order PhD to debunking the myths of homeopathy, Ben Goldacre talking the reader through some notable cases and shows how to you don't need a science degree to spot "bad science" yourself.'

This book was selected as Book of the Year by this newspaper.


Bad Science

Ben Goldacre

Fourth Estate Ltd
352 pages
ISBN 000728487X


A book written by a real doctor involved in the public health system offers a solid argumentarium in favor of an increase in scientific rigour in all aspects of health. From miracle cures, to nutrition supplements and vaccine scaring to the concerns about quality in the public communication of science by the media, Goldacre offers rock-solid data, being a champion of evidence-based practices.

For aditional information visit Goldacre web site on the topic: BadScience.net

Value for time: 9

Main value: Get informed about what's real bad

Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 November 2009 )
Searle - Mind Print E-mail
Monday, 10 September 2007
This is a simple well written introduction to the field of philosophy of mind. Searle addresses the major issues trying to avoid philosophic jargon as much as possible. I am grateful for that.



A Brief Introduction

John Searle

Oxford University Press
326 pages
ISBN 0-195-15733-8


Unless you are already an expert, read it. The grassroots approach used by Searle -state the facts, then philosophize- is very valuable. Obviously at some points he gets lost into the philosophical forest or becomes excessively self assertive. We can forgive that for the value of reading his very clear analisys and, more specifically, text.

Value for time: 9

Main value: Field roadmap

Last Updated ( Monday, 10 December 2007 )
Edelman - Second Nature Print E-mail
Monday, 10 September 2007
This is a quick and fast summary of Gerald Edelman's perspective on the nature of consciousness as understood from the perspective of his neural darwinism approach.


Second Nature

Brain Science and Human knowledge

Gerald Edelman

Yale University Press
203 pages
ISBN 0-300-12039-7


This is a small, very readable account of an approach to epistemology as grounded in the structure of neural tissue. Edelman calls it a brain-based epistemology.

Edelman argues for taking new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge based on the improved understanding of brain operation coming from recent neuroscience. At the end, the book focuses on the possibility of exploring the weird phenomenon of consciousness - the very second nature of humans.

He also addresses the issue raised by Snow and others of the divorce between science and the humanities and their respective views of the mental world. Edelman previews differences getting dissolved -much in the line of Wilson's consilience- by considering their grounding in brain operation.

He also summarily describes their research on brain-based devices that may -somehow- become conscious if properly based on the right, non-computational, organisation.

Value for time: 9

Main value: Personal point of view

Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 November 2007 )
Astrom - Control of Complex Systems Print E-mail
Sunday, 07 May 2006
This is the final report of the ESF funded european project COSY. A collection of tutorials and research articles from the heterogeneous field of control of complex systems. The book is organised in four tracks: learning control, fault-tolerant control, non-linear control and control system integration.


Control of Complex Systems

Karl Astrom, Pedro Albertos, Mogens Blanke, Alberto Isidori, Walter Schaufelberger and Ricardo Sanz

494 pages
ISBN 1852333243

Image The world of artificial systems is reaching hitherto undreamed-of levels of complexity. Surface traffic, electricity distribution, mobile communications, etc., demonstrate that problems are arising that are beyond classical scientific or engineering knowledge. In order that our ability to control such systems should not be hindered by lack of comprehension, there is an on-going effort to understand them.This book is an example of the types of approach that European researchers are using to tackle problems derived from systems' complexity. It has grown out of activities in the Control of Complex Systems (COSY) research program the goals of which are to promote multi-disciplinary activity leading to a deeper understanding and further development of control technologies for complex systems and if possible, to develop the theory underlying such systems. The material in this book represents a selection of the results of the COSY program and is organised as a collection of essays of varying nature: surveys of essential areas, discussion of specific problems, case studies, and benchmark problems.Topics covered include:Modelling complex physical systems;Passivity-based control of non-linea Complex systems appear in many different fields and for this reason this book should be of interest to scientists, researchers and industrial engineers with a broad spectrum of experience.

Value for time: 8

Main value: Perspective

Last Updated ( Monday, 26 June 2006 )
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