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ref: -2011 tags: ttianium micromachining chlorine argon plasma etch oxide nitride penetrating probes Kevin Otto date: 03-18-2019 22:57 gmt revision:1 [0] [head]

PMID-21360044 Robust penetrating microelectrodes for neural interfaces realized by titanium micromachining

  • Patrick T. McCarthyKevin J. OttoMasaru P. Rao
  • Used Cl / Ar plasma to deep etch titanium film, 0.001 / 25um thick. Fine Metals Corp Ashland VA.
  • Discuss various insulation (oxide /nitride) failure modes, lithography issues.

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ref: -0 tags: radiolab what does technology want Kevin Kelley teleology date: 12-19-2010 06:23 gmt revision:1 [0] [head]

What does technology want? An interview with Steven Johnson and Kevin Kelly at the New York Public Library, usefully condensed to a half-hour segment for the RadioLab podcast.

  • Many of the ideas are not new - its teleology: a means of understanding the world by interpreting everything in terms of 'wants' and 'desires'. As Douglas Hofstadter explains in his book, __I am a Strange Loop__, this is really just a cognitive shortcut - not much more, not much less - which allows us to interpret things which exhibit attractor-like dynamics. Hence, as the comments on the page note, the title is to some degree just a semantic trick.
  • That said, the idea behind the title is very interesting: technology, by virtue of being subject to recursive selection, iterative refinement, code reuse (aggressive copy-paste, idea promiscuity) just like biological organisms will open-system violate the second law of thermodynamics. (They don't actually say this, but that's my interpretation).
  • Here's my logic: Imagine a statistical distribution - a population of things, animals, ideas, products, whatever. Pass them through a statistical selection process, be it evolution, the marketplace, the predictive models of your mind & associated decision making processes, a political system (ok, maybe here), the immune system, the modern attention economy (maybe here, too). This gives you a new population of things, which the selective process has impinged a degree of information about itself (the real world, usually) upon. Duplicate, spawn some more, run it through the selective process recursively ad infinitum, and the (Shannon) information contained in the resulting populations will increase. Things do not tend toward disorder.
  • That carries some heavy caveats - the information content of the selection system (which may be interpreted as applying a 'fitness' or 'objective' function) must be, at every point, much higher than that of the population for the transfer to occur. In the real world, that's easy - the information content of even a minute of life is far greater than that of our DNA! Furthermore, due to {825 coevolution} -- other organisms are our world - the information content of the selective process continually increases.
    • This implies that in some stable evolutionary niches, e.g. algae, the Shannon information of the genome must be approximately the same as the expected (as in, integral) information content of the selectively-important events of it's life. (Yea, I don't know about that either..too wishy-washy and intuitive to be useful; also algorithmic complexity doesn't scale linearly).
  • Some selection systems don't seem to be evolving to increasing complexity, however.
    • The political system: lots of problems. (1) The population is small. (2) The population (candidates) has strong incentive to mislead the selective process (the voters) (3) The information passed from selective process to population is low (a few bits every 4 years, times however many senate seats there are, divided by partisanness/statistical dependence between the bits).
    • I am happy to say, the communication issue (3) seems to be getting better - we know more about what out leaders are doing, and they know more about us - but it is imperfect, filtered through a system (the media) who holds a different objective (garners interest) than the ultimate population (who wants, roughly, security and wealth).
    • The attention economy: very strong highpass characteristics (novelty rather than truthiness), strong limits on individual complexity in the population (the ideas must be conveyable). Yet! there is strong co-evolution. (Anyway, hell, it's supposed to keep us amused, doesn't it do that? It has never been proposed to be able to solve global problems..)
    • In both politics and media, our desire for novelty may be good - it directly forces the investigation of new ideas (new members of the population). New interpretations of events are continually sought; perhaps this is a worthy price to pay for losing a bit of objective reality?
      • This should be quantifiable using Bayes' rule, then tested in an experiment. That said, the loss-function for the reality weighting is dependent on estimates of environmental change.
  • Once again I have wandered away from the original subject. Oops. Yea, the other sections - about __Where Good Ideas Come From__ is basically common knowledge now / well covered by Thomas Kuhn. All good ideas are conceived by different people in different places at the same time; insight takes time and effort, and is seldom a eureka moment; often what is required is a perceptual shift, as per the discovery of air, again what Kuhn has covered.

This blog is probably failing in the attention economy. Again, oops ;-)