Monthly Archives: February 2013

Muscles without strength…

Muscles without strength, friendship without trust, opinion without risk, change without aesthetics, age without values, food without nourishment, power without fairness, facts without rigor, degrees without erudition, militarism without fortitude, progress without civilization, complication without depth, fluency without content; these are the sins to remember.

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Something poorly understood about skeptical philosophers…

Something poorly understood about skeptical philosophers (Hume, Sextus Empiricus, Huet, Montaigne, Pyrrho & the Pyrrhonian skeptics) is that their skepticism tends to be directed at contemporary experts, rather than traditions, which they tend to follow as a default strategy. And the crowds against which they stand up are the crowds of “experts”, or the masses infatuated with “expert” driven ideas.


[ Note 1- This is in response to a question by Adam Gurri who was wondering whether there was an inconsistency between being independent and skeptical, yet respecting the “inner” information in the time-tested thanks to the Lindy Effect.]

[Note 2- The “skeptics” of today do the exact opposite: an agglomeration of “light” intellectuals going against traditions but not against experts.]

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Antifragile Systems – IEEE Spectrum

For the first half of the last century, multipath phenomena were harmful. In radio frequency transmission they caused signal fading as different paths became variously additive or destructive. In wire-line transmission there were similar effects due to the nonuniform delay of signal frequency components, resulting in intersymbol interference and degraded speeds.
These multipath impairments were eventually alleviated through diversity and adaptive signal processing. Still, I think of these adaptive systems as robust, rather than truly antifragile. Perhaps, though, we crossed the line to antifragile with the advent of multiple-input/multiple-output MIMO systems, in which we deliberately send multiple copies of the signal from different antennas, hoping there will be multipath phenomena that with processing can be used to enhance system performance. MIMO [PDF] is now commonly used in IEEE 802.11n (Wi-Fi), and elsewhere.

via Antifragile Systems – IEEE Spectrum.