- The Economics of Uncertainty & Information
The Economics of Uncertainty and Information may be used in conjunction with Loffont's Fundamentals of Economics in an advanced course in microeconomics. Both texts provide a thorough account of modern thinking on the subject and a wealth of carefully chosen examples and problems. The first four chapters of The Economics of Uncertainty and Information summarize the essential tools of the analysis of uncertainty and information: the theory of individual behavior under uncertainty, the measures of risk aversion and the measures of risk, and the notions of certainty equivalence and information structure. Subsequent chapters introduce the theory of contingent markets, model systems of incomplete markets and define the concept of a perfect foresight equilibrium, cover two fundamental institutions for sharing risk - the stock market and insurance, show how the transmission of information by prices renders information structures endogenous, and study personalized exchange with asymmetric information. Each chapter concludes with a list of suggested readings and with auxiliary sections which go into more detail about certain aspects of the subject. The book concludes with review problems and exercises.
- I Am Error: The Nintendo Family Computer / Entertainment System Platform
The complex material histories of the Nintendo Entertainment System platform, from code to silicon, focusing on its technical constraints and its expressive affordances.
In the 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System videogame Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, a character famously declared: I AM ERROR. Puzzled players assumed that this cryptic mesage was a programming flaw, but it was actually a clumsy Japanese-English translation of "My Name is Error," a benign programmer's joke. In I AM ERROR Nathan Altice explores the complex material histories of the Nintendo Entertainment System (and its Japanese predecessor, the Family Computer), offering a detailed analysis of its programming and engineering, its expressive affordances, and its cultural significance.
Nintendo games were rife with mistranslated texts, but, as Altice explains, Nintendo's translation challenges were not just linguistic but also material, with consequences beyond simple misinterpretation. Emphasizing the technical and material evolution of Nintendo's first cartridge-based platform, Altice describes the development of the Family Computer (or Famicom) and its computational architecture; the "translation" problems faced while adapting the Famicom for the U.S. videogame market as the redesigned Entertainment System; Nintendo's breakthrough console title Super Mario Bros. and its remarkable software innovations; the introduction of Nintendo's short-lived proprietary disk format and the design repercussions on The Legend of Zelda; Nintendo's efforts to extend their console's lifespan through cartridge augmentations; the Famicom's Audio Processing Unit (APU) and its importance for the chiptunes genre; and the emergence of software emulators and the new kinds of play they enabled.
- Constraint-Based Local Search
Introducing a method for solving combinatorial optimization problems that combines the techniques of constraint programming and local search.
The ubiquity of combinatorial optimization problems in our society is illustrated by the novel application areas for optimization technology, which range from supply chain management to sports tournament scheduling. Over the last two decades, constraint programming has emerged as a fundamental methodology to solve a variety of combinatorial problems, and rich constraint programming languages have been developed for expressing and combining constraints and specifying search procedures at a high level of abstraction. Local search approaches to combinatorial optimization are able to isolate optimal or near-optimal solutions within reasonable time constraints.
This book introduces a method for solving combinatorial optimization problems that combines constraint programming and local search, using constraints to describe and control local search, and a programming language, COMET, that supports both modeling and search abstractions in the spirit of constraint programming.
After an overview of local search including neighborhoods, heuristics, and metaheuristics, the book presents the architecture and modeling and search components of constraint-based local search and describes how constraint-based local search is supported in COMET. The book describes a variety of applications, arranged by meta-heuristics. It presents scheduling applications, along with the background necessary to understand these challenging problems. The book also includes a number of satisfiability problems, illustrating the ability of constraint-based local search approaches to cope with both satisfiability and optimization problems in a uniform fashion.
- Architecture Depends
Polemics and reflections on how to bridge the gap between what architecture actually is and what architects want it to be.
Architecture depends--on what? On people, time, politics, ethics, mess: the real world. Architecture, Jeremy Till argues with conviction in this engaging, sometimes pugnacious book, cannot help itself; it is dependent for its very existence on things outside itself. Despite the claims of autonomy, purity, and control that architects like to make about their practice, architecture is buffeted by uncertainty and contingency. Circumstances invariably intervene to upset the architect's best-laid plans--at every stage in the process, from design through construction to occupancy. Architects, however, tend to deny this, fearing contingency and preferring to pursue perfection. With Architecture Depends, architect and critic Jeremy Till offers a proposal for rescuing architects from themselves: a way to bridge the gap between what architecture actually is and what architects want it to be. Mixing anecdote, design, social theory, and personal experience, Till's writing is always accessible, moving freely between high and low registers, much like his suggestions for architecture itself.
- Obfuscation: A User's Guide for Privacy and Protest
How we can evade, protest, and sabotage today's pervasive digital surveillance by deploying more data, not less--and why we should.
With Obfuscation, Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum mean to start a revolution. They are calling us not to the barricades but to our computers, offering us ways to fight today's pervasive digital surveillance--the collection of our data by governments, corporations, advertisers, and hackers. To the toolkit of privacy protecting techniques and projects, they propose adding obfuscation: the deliberate use of ambiguous, confusing, or misleading information to interfere with surveillance and data collection projects. Brunton and Nissenbaum provide tools and a rationale for evasion, noncompliance, refusal, even sabotage--especially for average users, those of us not in a position to opt out or exert control over data about ourselves. Obfuscation will teach users to push back, software developers to keep their user data safe, and policy makers to gather data without misusing it.
Brunton and Nissenbaum present a guide to the forms and formats that obfuscation has taken and explain how to craft its implementation to suit the goal and the adversary. They describe a series of historical and contemporary examples, including radar chaff deployed by World War II pilots, Twitter bots that hobbled the social media strategy of popular protest movements, and software that can camouflage users' search queries and stymie online advertising. They go on to consider obfuscation in more general terms, discussing why obfuscation is necessary, whether it is justified, how it works, and how it can be integrated with other privacy practices and technologies.