Tagged with “history” (288)

  1. The Box That AI Lives In

    How could an 18th-century robot win at chess? By using a trick that big tech firms still pull on us today.

    In the new podcast The Secret History of the Future, from Slate and the Economist: Examine the history of tech to uncover stories that help us illuminate the present and predict the future. From the world’s first cyberattack in 1834 to 19th-century virtual reality, the Economist’s Tom Standage and Slate’s Seth Stevenson find the ancient ingenuity that our modern digital technology can learn from and expose age-old weaknesses we are already on a course to repeat.

    In the first episode: An 18th-century device called the Mechanical Turk convinced Europeans that a robot could play winning chess. But there was a trick. It’s a trick that companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook still pull on us today. Guests include futurist Jaron Lanier and Luis von Ahn, founder of CAPTCHA and Duolingo.


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  2. The D-Day Crosswords (Entry 318.PR2019)

    In which a British newspaper mysteriously spends June 1944 printing top-secret World War II spoilers, and Ken fails to amuse John with a lengthy anagram about a sex scandal.


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  3. Ea-Nasir (Entry 390.LV1913)

    In which Sumeria’s shiftiest businessman keeps all his hate mail around for four thousand years, and Ken gets accused of counterfeiting by a local bookstore.


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  4. The Saint Helena Submarine Plot (Entry 1096.PS7719)

    In which Napoleon Bonaparte is disrespected by John’s mom, but almost rescued by an English smuggler in a steampunk submarine.


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  5. The Fourth Crusade (Entry 495.2T0203)

    In which a medieval crusade to Jerusalem goes off the rails and ends up sacking the world’s greatest Christian city instead.


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  6. Revisionist History Podcast: Analysis, Parapraxis, Elvis

    "The one song The King couldn’t sing."

    Elvis Presley returned from his years in the army to record one of his biggest hits, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” But he could never quite get the lyrics right. Why? Revisionist History puts the King of Rock and Roll on the couch.


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  7. Revisionist History Podcast: Strong Verbs, Short Sentences

    "She was Joan of Arc, Madame Curie, and Florence Nightingale—all wrapped up in one."

    One long, hot afternoon on Capitol Hill, in the summer of 1991, the most powerful man in Congress took on the most powerful person in American science. Science won. What does it take to end a reign of terror? The science fraud panic of the 1990s, part two of two.


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  8. Revisionist History Podcast: The Imaginary Crimes of Margit Hamosh

    "Epidemics of fear repeat themselves. The first time as tragedy. The second time as farce. Margit Hamosh? Definitely farce."

    What was it that Margit Hamosh did? What was her alleged fraud? I have been going on and on about this case for a good 20 minutes now, and I haven’t told you. Do you know why? Because we didn’t know.


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  9. Revisionist History Podcast: Free Brian Williams

    "Sorry Dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft.’"

    NBC news anchor Brian Williams told a war story on national television. It wasn’t true. But does that make him a liar? Part two of Revisionist History’s memory series asks why we insist that lapses of memory must also be lapses of character.


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  10. Revisionist History Podcast: A Polite Word for Liar (Memory Part 1)

    "An early morning raid, a house-full of Nazis, the world’s greatest harmonica player, and a dashingly handsome undercover spy. What could possibly go wrong?’"

    One early morning in July of 1945, a group of Allied soldiers raided a rooming house full of Nazis in Munich. It ended in a ferocious gun battle. Or maybe this happened April of 1946. And maybe there weren’t Nazis in the house: maybe there were just some old women, knitting. And was there actually a gun battle? For the rest of their lives, two of the men who were there — a dashingly handsome undercover spy, and the world’s most famous harmonica player — argued about what really happened that night. This is part one of two episodes about memory, in which we try to get to the bottom of the mystery.


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