Foivos Panagopoulos

Utrecht, Netherlands

About Foivos

Languages

English, Greek

Areas of Expertise

Computer Science

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Foivos Panagopoulos
Posted almost 3 years ago
We can learn by exchanging and discussing our own lists of "10 Things I Know to be True."
1. The universe is huge. 2. The universe is finite. 3. The universe is discrete. 4. Combinatorics show in a tangible way the beauty and complexity of the universe. 5. Combinatorics need computers, now more than ever. 6. There are universal truths. 7. Due to (1) and lack of computer memory and time, we can't find them yet. 8. Eventually however, we will find all universal truths. 9. Till then 'one does not need the stars to enjoy beauty'. 10. Remember, you must die.
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Foivos Panagopoulos
Posted about 3 years ago
LIVE TED Conversation: Join TED Speaker Alice Dreger
For me, the future is very bleak. I saw this http://t.co/tD7o7JF yesterday and I was stunned by the responses of those young girls. While I do hope, sincerely, for a dramatic change, I'm afraid it's going to take decades for people to understand and accept the reasons why we are different yet at the same time very much alike.
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Foivos Panagopoulos
Posted over 3 years ago
Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real math with computers
What people don't understand is that doing calculations by hand creates the very, very bad habit of not thinking algorithmically and not using a computer whenever possible for saving time. Most math problems in elementary schools, even some in college, are actually computationally trivial. Sure, kids should know their matrices and their calculus, but later on with their academic life, some problems cannot be tackled without computer aid - this goes especially for some theorems/conjectures which are very hard to prove and affect mathematics fundamentally (Goldbach, i+π irrationality, 3x+1, Reimann etc). Programming and studying finite set theory, mathematical data structures and combinatorics in general can be very rewarding, it's a kind of experimental math that is very down to earth and the theory is very, very tangible and easy to grasp (and later on, can be easily extended to transfinite sets to tackle more theoretical and profound concepts).
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Foivos Panagopoulos
Posted almost 4 years ago
Stefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence
It seems you have an entourage of supporters, thumbing up everything you say, no matter how logical it is or not, and thumbing down everyone who opposes to what you're saying. I've watched you go from 6900 to 7200 in less than an hour, so yeah, I'm calling you out for that too. Straw man arguments, classic deflections and name calling are your way of practicing debate. But to keep the audience entertained, let me call you out for demanding negative proof. If you want to claim that humans are the most intelligent form of life on planet Earth, the burden of proof befalls onto your shoulders. Pro-tip: define intelligence first and then we'll talk. I'm also putting a flag on your account because abusing TED's thumbing system to suppress other people's valid opinions is a clear malpractice.
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Foivos Panagopoulos
Posted almost 4 years ago
Stefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence
I didn't know playing martyr was about stating facts and calling people out for talking nonsense! Here's how the conversation flows up until now: -You claim that bacteria are not intelligent life. -I come and tell you that you're flat out WRONG. -You continue by calling me a child and that I need to grow up because I don't agree with you. -I ask you then questions you purposefully dodge. -You then tell me I'm out of topic. Seriously? Answer these if you want a civilized discussion with me: i)Is reasoning a human trait only? ii)Is intelligence a human trait only? iii)Do natural laws apply everywhere, and not just Earth? iv)Do you understand that aliens in the form of bacteria have already visited our planet? v)Do you understand that there are orders of magnitude to intelligence and reasoning? From microbial intelligence and reasoning up to primate intelligence and reasoning? vi)Do you understand why reasoning and intelligence are bounded and how they emerge in orders of magnitude?
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Foivos Panagopoulos
Posted almost 4 years ago
Stefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence
Well, I'm sorry for my transparent sarcasm. Let me put it more bluntly for you: you are trying to build an argument which vaguely addresses to outdated definitions of intelligence, self-awareness, consciousness and life while belittling me for lack of time and post count and consistently using ad hoc arguments against mine, not to mention your immediate knee-jerking commentary about my "audacity", my posts being "quite hilarious" or your suggestion to me to "grow up". You're also putting words into my mouth - I never said aliens would communicate with bacteria, nor did I presume it. It was you who hypothesized on who aliens would communicate with, without even considering the simple fact that space is huge and if anyone were to traverse it would imply an intelligence vastly more superior than ours. It was you who argued for human superiority without thinking that a bare-knuckle human is not just a predator but also a prey in any outdoor setting. You're just absurd, really.
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Foivos Panagopoulos
Posted almost 4 years ago
Stefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence
Look, I don't care you have almost 1100 posts in 3 months. In my eyes you just have a lot of free time. The point is this: you talk about "intelligent life" and you imply with latent conviction that intelligence is only a human trait. So on the same format: A)The talk is about plant intelligence. I'm sure you were awed by it, because you thought plants, even though they replicate, mutate and are subject to natural selection, have no sort of intelligence. I hinted to you in a previous post that intelligence has an ordinal value and comes in all sizes. B)That is a very unintelligent remark. In same respect, do you see humans having interest only in dolphins or primates rather than microbial and bacterial life? The former are more intelligent, the latter not so much yet we study microbial life, including archaea extensively. C)Shakespeare's Hamlet said "What a piece of work man is! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty!" and people like you didn't get THAT HE WAS BEING IRONIC.
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Foivos Panagopoulos
Posted almost 4 years ago
Stefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence
It's clear you're not used to healthy debate on TED. A)You said "nature". So you think all things natural on Earth, and not outside of it - that is clearly a wrong statement. Nature is universal. B)I am a Star Trek fan myself but claiming that super intelligent aliens would communicate with humans just because humans consider themselves intellectually superior is pure idiocy. C)Humans are not the only beings which construct. Birds build nests, primates also construct and use tools etc. But the point goes even further; You claim humans fly faster than any bird, traverse faster, dive deeper etc, so basically you imply the use of technology. So, is a chimpanzee driving a car as smart as you? So, in contrast, please, get your mindset straight. Humans are indeed the dominant species on the planet but that doesn't make us the pinnacle of evolution via natural selection. The universe is insanely huge and complex, and to claim humans are the ultimate creation is just nonsense.
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Foivos Panagopoulos
Posted almost 4 years ago
Stefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence
You are flat out wrong. You assume way too much. A)You explicitly describe humans as the pinnacle of evolution while we have observed only a tiny fraction of the universe B)you use a straw man for proving the superiority of human intellect - aliens who have the technology to travel the vastness of empty space probably would view humanity the same way humanity views ants C)you talk about reason and intelligence as if they're only human traits. Both are constructable, scalable, measurable, and have an ordinal value. Seriously, stop making human elitist remarks, view the world as it is and understand your place in the cosmos.
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Foivos Panagopoulos
Posted almost 4 years ago
Laurie Santos: A monkey economy as irrational as ours
Jason, the irrationality behind these decisions lies in the idea of the expected utility hypothesis which is based on some principles, or axioms - completeness, transitivity, continuity and independence. If one makes choices that are in accord with those axioms then we say that this individual behaves "rationally". Now, the choices the monkeys (and humans) make violate the independence axiom. That means monkeys (and humans) do not behave rationally - so this hypothesis doesn't have a predictive power, it only suggests how one *should* behave alas it's just a hypothesis. The independence axiom says that if you prefer outcome A over outcome B then mixing those outcomes with outcome C should keep the choice with outcome A in it more favorable. An extreme (and somewhat unrealistic) example: A: You live B: You die C: You lose a leg If you prefer A over B (which is widely considered rational) then, if you want to remain rational, you should prefer A along with C over B along with C.