Tag: Benjamin Wachs

Performance Evaluations That Can’t Deal with Ambiguity, Can’t Deal with Reality

Don’t think you can’t be fired for doing the right thing.  This week, San Francisco Weekly reported on the case of Frank Lee, a San Francisco cop who may lose his job because he didn’t execute a search warrant fast enough.  The catch?  The search warrant turned out to be illegal and Lee, a homicide… Read more »

A Sustainable Earth Needs Lobbyists More Than It Needs Visionaries

In a recent column, Thomas Friedman proclaimed that “the Earth is full.” We’ve reached the point where we have too many people using too few resources, and trying to keep on keeping on this way will only lead to more trouble. The good news, he suggests, is that this makes fundamental transformation inevitable.  Friedman quotes… Read more »

Artificial Intelligence’s biggest success isn’t making computers smarter — it’s making people dumber


Back in 1997, when IBM’s computer “Deep Blue” beat the world’s (human) champion at chess, the news world erupted:  were human beings on the way out? Well, were they?  Today it doesn’t seem like it.  I doubt you can come up with a single substantive way that a computer being better at chess than Gary… Read more »

First chess, now music: just how creative can computers get?


“Nobody’s original,” says composer David Cope. Here’s what he means: there’s no such thing as “creativity,” only endless copying, theme, and variation. “Everybody copies from everybody. The skill is in how large a fragment you choose to copy and how elegantly you can put them together.” Cope is making more than just an argument with… Read more »

Hate is Supported by Many Systems

Are you a hateful person? The answer may depend on where you live. Culturally, we think of emotions as individual things: If you “love,” it is “you” loving. Jealousy, anger, and fear are also all matters of the individual psyche. But believing that emotions are this particular is only a partial truth. There is increasing… Read more »