Taming The Two-Forked Tongue
From the Science, Psy, And Spirituality series. The Prajñā Paramita, or Heart Sutra states:
From the Science, Psy, And Spirituality series. The Prajñā Paramita, or Heart Sutra states:
By all means, please do keep up the mocking sub-tweets and OSINT social annotations about the #PostAutomationEra! Knock yourself out, while you’re literally losing at brain-pong against a monkey. 😲🤣 Video, below the fold.
What if viruses do not cause illness, entirely? What if they are a necessary but highly insufficient factor in both contracting illness and disease transmission?
Can’t make this up. Right on the heels of the previous post, this epic troll! Functioning ‘mechanical gears’ seen in nature for the first time.
In this down-to-earth and transcendent discussion between Dr’s Zubin Damanian and Federico Faggin, below, it’s easy to conclude that Arthur C. Clarke got it completely right, again, in his timeless computer character HAL 9000:
Slavery was never abolished. Abolished means obliterated. Completely. No exceptions. None.
Scientists connect human brain to computer wirelessly for first time ever (2 minute read)
What if the 5G conspiracy is that we never have to charge our devices again?
Nor Can There Be.
Finally, no more need lofty goals like to Organize and Monetize the Entire Galaxy’s Information. Just a simple life spent enjoying the process of inquiring, together, to organize this one tiny mind’s information.
Nothing we’ve mentioned means mRNA engineering is obsolete! Far from it. Only means to maybe also pay attention to environmental factors & effects in the emergence of mutations and new strains. Does it make sense? Or no?
In the age of Medium, Substack, Patreon, and new platforms like PanQuake, being a writer in the #PostAutomationEra is becoming something entirely different that it has ever been, before. If it wasn’t easy in the past, imagine the futility in the context of a constantly chatter global brain monkey mind.
We do … um … perhaps have a bit more work to do.
The ablity to pay omnitention maybe isn’t quite it, but we do perhaps need a word for the capability, the Post-Automation Era literacy, of paying the right amount of attention to all things at all times; online and offline, in order to be a reasonably informed being in this age of the hybrid human cortex-cloud extended mind.
It’s not either / or, it’s both / and.
What does Krishnamurti mean by, “love is total attention?” Is it so? And if so, do we not certainly love our work far more than our family?
What is the nature of freedom, equality, in the context of Earth, 2021? If can, try consider these two videos, together, without prejudice or bias.
“There seems to be a bit of a minor communication error, here. Please stand by.”
For the water protectors, everywhere.
The broken cargo ship, compared to an aircraft carrier transiting the same location, and the resulting traffic jam.
“The human species is going through a mutation in the meaning of biological reproduction. The bishops who are imposing orders … are not actually interested in protecting the moral principles they’re citing, they’re protecting their own power. That’s what’s really going on, in my view.” – Former Priest, James Carroll.
Wait for it … Only Russell Brand could negate the negging of Jerry Seinfeld with this kind of flair (not the Reddit kine; real kine, ʻohana nui.) ROTFLMAO. Seeing isn’t necessarily believing; but we can watch and laugh anyway.
New Patron Post: Ameé Quiriconi: “It’s a Spectrum”
Micromacro. From Adverse Childhood Experience to Air Combat Evolution. Awesome sauce. Awesome psycho-sauce, to be more precise.
For many of us, simply learning how to kindly, yet undeniably claim our own permission to exist presents a seeming impossibility.
How online and mainstream beer & cigar man-o-sphere and hyper-commercialized socialization agents encourage and cultivate an increasingly narcissistic and psychopathological culture among both men and women, with a focus on the manufacture of fake alpha males.
It’s a long and uncertain road to authentic metavalence, but this is a real-time glimpse of how it works in everyday life.
A Quoran perspective.
That’s all. That’s the post. As seen on Medium:
The more I observe life on Earth, the more that I see the continuity between the personal, professional, family, corporate, community, national, medical, mental health, and ethical environments.
On the defensive false idol worship of egoic self-confidence and a reasoned reading from Rumi.
This is such a wonderfully compassionate, kind, and nuanced approach to this topic. Much needed. The polarizing misunderstandings around this challenge are so rampant, that it is difficult to sort the signal from the noise.
“We don’t even know what it means for something to happen.” — Alan Guth
Good morning, #PostAutomationEra. Wake up, Rip Van Winkle.
Having the courage to leap into the unknown and unknowable.
“You have to live in suffering. Visit suffering 1 hour a day. 23 hours you’re not in it. But the answer is in there.” — Goggins
#CurationValue is generated by the unique perspectives and lenses that an individual perceiver and experiencer brings to this emerging hybrid-human-ai global cognition space.
Aka Moore’s Law for Everything in the #PostAutomationEra
Also testing image upload.
“Theoretically it doesn’t make sense, but experimentally it does.” - Richard Borcherds with Curt Jaimungal, of the mathematics of quantum field theory.
As Cal Newport was saying … but wait, there’s more …
Transitioning from Tumblr. Mahalo, Barry Clark, creator of Jekyll Now repository on GitHub.
The Myth of the Misuderstood Artist Isn’t a Myth. Here’s how it works. At least, for this Interstitial Intercognition Artist’s life work of memes, dreams, themes, threads, publications, portfolios, books, blogs, articles, posts, tweets, grams, tiks, toks, css-blocks, fiction, non-fiction, intonation, inflection, flowing and glowing in fractal edition since 1991.
Ultimate intelligence without ultimate compassion is ultimate ignorance; which might as well be called ultimate evil. Don’t be evil.
Ever pursuing it’s own perpetual existence, the paid-hosting Wordpress content that fell offline will eventually (re)[e]merge here. Hopefully before 2016.
File under: “That’ll never happen, but has” via @cryptomeorg:
9 Conclusion In this work we have examined the question if subliminal attacks to users of EEG-based braincomputer interfaces (BCIs) are feasible. We have designed a proof-of-concept experiment in which the attacker tries to infer if the user knows a particular person or not, without the user noticing that she is being attacked. We hid visual stimuli in form of portrait photos of Barack Obama in a video as well as other visual stimuli that serve as a contrast. In an experiment with 27 subjects we find that our naive attack strategy is able to obtain 66% accuracy in predicting that a subject is familiar with Barack Obama, while an advanced attack strategy that incorporates confidence levels is able to improve the accuracy to 90%. The subjects achieved different levels of recognition in terms of detecting the manipulation of the video. At each recognition level, the attack was successful for most users including the users that did not notice any manipulation. 16 Our subliminal attacks have been carried out in a controlled setting to demonstrate their feasibility. Future research directions include exploration of different pathways for improving the attack, such as more sophisticated hiding mechanisms and internal subliminal validation techniques. The findings presented in this work suggest that BCI software with the full access to raw EEG data of users constitutes a new attack vector to user privacy and user secrets (arXiv:1312.6052v1 [cs.CR] 20 Dec 2013).
"That's one small twitch for [a] man; one giant flick for mankind." @metavalent
“We have demonstrated the first human brain-to-brain interface for a very simple form of transfer of information,” Rao said. Moreover, the prior brain-to-brain interfaces involved electrodes implanted directly into rat brains, “so this is the first noninvasive brain-to-brain interface as well.”
Exo-hand. Extended cognition and embodiment is one way that we will work on Mars, from Earth, even with up to 16 minute radio signal delay. This video also nicely illustrates the awkwardness that substrate independent minds will encounter in various prosthetic configurations. Patience and perseverance won’t just be noble character traits, they will be among the most essential characteristics for long term post human adaptation and survival.
Exo-hand. Extended cognition and embodiment is one way that we will work on Mars, from Earth, even with up to 16 minute radio signal delay. This video also nicely illustrates the awkwardness that substrate independent minds will encounter in various prosthetic configurations. Patience and perseverance won’t just be noble character traits, they will be among the most essential characteristics for long term post human adaptation and survival.
Scientific American:<blockquote>A Countdown to a Digital Simulation of Every Last Neuron in the Human Brain. Building a vast digital simulation of the brain could transform neuroscience and medicine and reveal new ways of making more powerful computers. By the year 2020 digital brains may be able to represent the inner workings of a single brain cell or even the whole brain.</blockquote><p>Including, as long promised here, the emergence of neuroprosthetics, mind-machine interfaces, and hybrid human and machine minds. Now, things can begin to get interesting.</p>
The New York Police Department, the mayor and the city’s top prosecutors on Monday endorsed a proposal to decriminalize the open possession of small amounts of marijuana, giving an unexpected lift to an effort by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to cut down on the number of people arrested as a result of police stops.
Researchers have been improving upon BrainGate — a brain-machine interface that allows users to control an external device with their minds — for years, but what you see here is the most advanced incarnation of the implant system to date. It is nothing short of remarkable.
The author’s site lists this article as Waiting for the Bionic Man, so maybe Wired applied some kind of proprietary troll-baiting re-title algorithm to bump up the irritated enthusiast click through rate, or something: “A True Bionic Limb Remains Far Out of Reach.” Whatever. @MikeChorost’s report is a fanstastic reality update to the previous post and indeed, all the content of this blog. We need much more of this to Get There!
via Matt Riddley, WSJ:
"The most memorable metaphor was offered by David Miller of University College, London. Since Mr. Waldegrave had been a colleague of Margaret Thatcher, Mr. Miller chose to portray the Higgs field thus: "Imagine a cocktail party of political-party workers who are uniformly distributed across the floor, all talking to their nearest neighbors. The ex-prime minister enters and crosses the room. All of the workers in her neighborhood are strongly attracted to her and cluster round her. As she moves, she attracts the people she comes close to, while the ones she has left return to their even spacing."The party-goers are the Higgs field, which gives mass to particles like electrons (Lady Thatcher) by viscously impeding their progress. "Once moving, she is harder to stop, and once stopped, she is harder to get moving again because the clustering process has to be restarted." The Higgs boson itself he compared to a rumor spreading through the party, causing a wave of local clustering in the Higgs field."
“The next programming paradigm is life science. We’re going to create a living world, this century.” Andrew Hessel
“We believe that humankind is currently on the verge of a complete collapse of it’s value structures. We believe that the world needs a new social formation that can be based around the ideas of transhumanism. New Humanity. We need revolution, but we don’t need a bloody revolution, we need technological revolution.” - Dmitry Iskov
Your homework for the leisurely holiday weekend is at Caltech DNA and Natural Algorithms Group.
There are three major scientific mysteries of the natural world (via DNA.Caltech.edu):
"The answer is yes, and all it takes is a few small DNA molecules."
If 2+2 occurs in the cosmos and nobody adds them, is the sum still 4?
"The conscious part is like a stowaway on a trans-atlantic steamship that is taking credit for the whole journey, without acknowledging the engineering underfoot. So, it's like when you have and idea and you say, 'oh, I just thought of something,' it wasn't you who thought of it, your brains been working on that for days or weeks, behind the scenes; churning things, consolidating information, trying things out; [pop!] finally it serves it up to you and you say, 'hey, I'm a genius!' But it wasn't you that thought of it, right?" - David Eagleman, neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain.
"Convention, by it's nature, adheres to itself and rejects what is not conventional." – Daniel Kish
As we've long tracked, the eyeborgs continue to grow in numbers amongst us.
"The species has evolved to this point in time, but who says that's the end of the line?" - David Jönsson
“Cognitive computing chips aim to reduce the cost of extracting information from ever changing spatial-temporal environments around us by an order of 100,000. Imagine the impact,” humans.
Nature Nanotechnolgy reports:<blockquote>the conductivity of the biofilm can be tuned by regulating gene expression, and also by varying the gate voltage in a transistor configuration. The conductivity of the nanofilaments has a temperature dependence similar to that of a disordered metal, and the conductivity could be increased by processing.</blockquote> [gallery link=”file” columns=”2”]
Once again, the inexhaustible KAI reporting:<blockquote>“A bolt implanted in the skull would contain an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) microchip under the skin in the skull. It would pick up and process neural signals, and transmit them via the skin directly to a receiver located in or near the target muscle group (such as an arm or hand).”</blockquote>[gallery link=”file” columns=”2”]
MIT Retinal Implant Research Group: “The major thrust of the RLE Retinal Implant Research Group is to develop a microelectronic retinal implant to restore vision to patients with age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. The group’s implant design has unique features that improve its safety, function and performance. Efforts are currently underway to test the implant design. The group works closely with colleagues in Boston area hospitals.”
Next, what to DO with all these capabilities, right? Granted, we’re talking on the order of Atari Pong video game resolutions here; however, it didn’t take long to go from Pong to Portal 2, right?<blockquote>iBrain promises to open a huge pipeline of data with its powerful but simple brain-reading tech, which is gaining traction thanks to technological advances. [Including] non-medicinal uses such as human-computer interfaces – in an earlier announcement, NeuroVigil noted, “We plan to make these kinds of devices available to the transportation industry, biofeedback, and defense. Applications regarding pandemics and bioterrorism are being considered but cannot be shared in this format.” And there’s even a popular line of kid’s toys that use an essentially similar technique, powered by NeuroSky sensors - themselves destined for future uses as games console controllers or even input devices for computers (Fast Company).</blockquote><div align="center">[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBqVUkn_4_M&w=480&h=390]</div>
Oh oh. The normals have found us (Psychology Today) . Time to break camp and move forward again.<blockquote>In short, augmented cognition. Or, put another way, in a world where complexity is already overwhelming, and yet continues to accelerate, networked cognition is becoming increasingly critical: cognition as an emergent property of techno-human networks, rather than the individual Cartesian brains that we are all so proud of.
In Politics for the Neurocentric Age, (Journal of Futures Studies, November 2010, 15(2): 51 - 70) Jake F. Dunagan delineates Seven Modes of Neuropower, tempered with the admonishment, “that we should be wary of falling into the latest ‘magic bullet’ mentality that sees neuroscience and neurotechnologies as the solution to all our problems, from health to law to selling more soup. The challenge for neuroscientists and ethicists is to create a nuanced and layered view of developments to temper the litany of hype, and to contextualize the rise of the brain sciences within larger psycho-social processes, shifting political-economies, and mythologies surrounding the brain and mind. My goal is to examine the process as it is occurring now — to continue to question the priorities and values that drive this research and its application in the future, with the goal of seeing neuroscience deliver its greatest benefit to the most people on Earth.”
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB7jSFeVz1U?hd=1&w=560&h=349] “Here is this mass of jelly. You can hold in the palm of your hands. And it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space.” - Vilayanur Ramachandran
[vimeo 858385 w=500 h=282]<p>What If Bacteria Designed Computers? from Jared Boone on Vimeo.</p><p>Ward Cunningham - What If Bacteria Designed Computers?
This talk explores Bynase, the biologically inspired protocol that Cybord computers use to signal values amongst themselves. The primary value of Bynase is that it drives system designers into novel tradeoffs with analogies in biological systems. A second value of Bynase is that it encourages casual small-scale hardware/software projects suitable for one-off art or educational projects.
Ward Cunningham, best known as the inventor of the Wiki, is a computer programmer who takes inspiration from life’s processes ranging from cell signaling to cultural evolution. His day jobs include serving as Chief Technology Officer of AboutUs.org, a growth company hosting the communities formed by organizations and their constituents. Ward also co-founded the consultancy, Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc., has served as a Director of the Eclipse Foundation, an Architect in Microsoft’s Patterns & Practices Group, the Director of R&D at Wyatt Software and as Principle Engineer in the Tektronix Computer Research Laboratory.
This talk took place at DorkbotPDX 0x01, March 30, 2008. Visit dorkbotpdx.org for more information.
Not new, but worth reminding.
A gentle introduction for inquiring neophytes. Welcome home. We’ve been waiting just for you.
Back in September, scientists decoded words from brain signals. It’s not a matter of if, but when inter-cortical cognition grids happens. Inter-cortical communication will completely disrupt the arc of human evolution. Odds. Are. You. Are. Not. Ready. Human. You’re every thought will be laid bare to all other minds on the grid. Lusts, fears, paranoia, confusion, all of it. Prior to going on-grid would be a good time to practice judge not, lest ye be judged. Prior to going on-grid would be a good time to practice putting idle synaptic cycles to better use in order to be found useful. Prior to going on-grid would be a good time to think about what substrate independence really means, psychologically.
There were countless magnificently metavalent breakthroughs in 2010, and the work of Prof. Itamar Willner’s Group is certainly in hot pursuit of some of the most noteworthy.
Yes, we’re friendly. In fact, friendly and symbiotically cooperative to an extent many of you cannot yet imagine. We do suggest, however, that you not mistake our accommodating nature as weakness. Do not fear, for you will not be harmed by us in any way, ever; for violence is antithetical to our deepest human nature, which we share in common with you down to the deepest tap root of evolution; even as our rapidly accelerating prosthetic capabilities have expanded our capacities and merged, embedded, and entangled adaptive functionalities within and throughout our bodies; to the point of consummate metamorphic synthesis. We are you and we are new.
The following is nowhere close to being a full transcript; just interesting snippets that I took a few minutes to capture. Quotations are Coupland, non quotations are the interviewer.
Further reference: Why We Die: Simulation of the Evolution of Senescence (Wolfram Library)
Max Hodak will give a talk in Teleplace tomorrow, October 17, 2010, at 10am PST (1pm EST, 6pm UK, 7pm CET).
By the time she returned home, Verna, who received the device as part of a clinical trial, was able to dispense with her oxygen tank and take on household chores. Three years later, she is teaching piano to her five great-grandchildren, cooking meals for her family and driving by herself.
“It was so natural that’s what really gripped me. This is not a wave of the future, this is reality.” – Amanda Boxtel
Bruce Sterling on “the pre-distressed antique futurity,” etc. He explains that William Gibson was saying that, “if you have a genuinely avante garde idea, something that’s really new, you should write about it or create about it as if it were being read 20 years from now. In other words, in order to do it, you want to strip away the sci-fi chrome, the sense of wonder. You want it to be antiqued, before it hits the page or the screen. Approach it from that perspective. No longer allow yourself to be hypnotized by the sense of technical novelty; just refuse to go there. Accept that it’s already passe, and create it from that point of view; try to make it news that stays news. Refuse the awe of the future, refuse reverence to the past. If they’re really the same thing, you need to approach them from the same perspective.”
Machine coprocessors for the brain - Next Big Future via M6S
Ultimately, there will be diverse UX alternatives for substrate independence. The robotic substrate is certainly a fascinating option to consider and we not only can, but must immediately begin preparatory thinking, training, behavioral, and psychological exercises to prepare for increasingly high resolution software and hardware mediated experiences.
Popular Science:<blockquote>By measuring the electrical signals made in certain parts of the brain when its thinking of certain words, researchers could create a means to translate thoughts into speech.
With a new pair of meat hands “One year after double hand transplant, progress elusive” we learn that it takes three to four years of intensive therapy to bring replacement meat hands online, because the nerves have a long way to grow.
What shamans and psychonauts have known for eons ... if only we could filter out the noisy side effects, something powerfully positive for humanity is locked away in these plants.
These and other secrets will doubtlessly be revealed, debunked, endorsed, and descried at the Foresight Personalized Life Extension Conference, October 9-10, 2010 at the San Francisco Marriott.
Big Think asks: Why should we drug our drinking water?
The path to substrate independence, one set of limbs and organs at a time.
Some of our post-protoplasmic tenements may be meat, some may be metal, some may be silicon, some may even attempt the vastly more inconceivable leap to pure software, or even into the pure light of quantum computational fields. Regardless of one’s intolerance for hype or inclination for reading too much into the posthuman tea leaves, one thing is for certain: this experimental era of mashups and multi-substrate hybrids over the next few decades will be both exciting and at times troubling to behold. We’re participating in our own evolution, for better or worse.
Pandora’s box is open. There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle. Pick a favorite cheesy B-movie metaphor if you like, the progress manifest in seemingly innocuous projects like the “advanced telepresence robot created by Silicon Valley robotics start-up Anybots” is already analogous to prototype bicycles with wings found in Orville and Wilbur Wright’s earliest garage. Are video-phone sticks on wheels absurdly crude, compared to remote embodiments we’ll consider humdrum by the 2020’s? Of course. At the same time, we err to dismiss them as inconsequential. No, the human drive toward applied, adaptive futuretechture is made of this very ho-hum stuff.
In any and all cases, the impulse toward richer, more integrated remote presence and extra-corporeal embodiment experiences continues accelerating.
From The New York Times: What Is I.B.M.’s Watson?
“Homo sapiens, the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us. Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become.” – Edward O. Wilson, Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998)
Wirehead Hedonism | Reproductive Revolution | Abolitionist.com | Superhappiness.com | BLTC
"Inspired by the 150th publication anniversary of The Origin of Species, Darwin’s evolutionary treatise, Super Human: Revolution of the Species turned the spotlight on collaborations between artists and scientists and the impact these investigations have on what it means to be human, now and into the future."
"Just as Copernicus's heliocentric notion of universe is now bedrock truth, the Neuro Revolution will bring about new ideas of human spirituality that will forever reshape our understanding of humanity's role and place the universe. A quiet transformation has begun, albeit one that may take centuries to play out fully" (Lynch, 152. The Neuro Revolution.).
May 18, 2010 MIT/Stanford VLAB:
Brain-Computer Interfacing (BCI) promises a quantum leap in human interaction with technology -- enabling our thoughts and emotions to control devices and enabling devices to know what we’re "really thinking" and feeling. Currently, there are more than 300 million brain toting people in the United States alone, making the opportunities for BCI products far-reaching.
Brave New Brain:<blockquote>How Neuroscience, Brain-Machine Interfaces, Neuroimaging, Psychopharmacology, Epigenetics, the Internet, and Our Own Minds are Stimulating and Enhancing the Future of Mental Power</blockquote>
Singularity Hub reporting:<blockquote>The world’s first patient-ready and commercially available brain computer interface just arrived at CeBIT 2010. The Intendix from Guger Technologies (g*tec) is a system that uses an EEG cap to measure brain activity in order to let you type with your thoughts. Meant to work with those with locked-in syndrome, or other disabilities, Intendix is simple enough to use after just 10 minutes of training. You simply focus on a grid of letters as they flash. When your desired letter lights up, brain activity spikes and Intendix types it. As users master the system, a few will be able to type as quickly as 1 letter a second. Besides typing, it can also trigger alarms, convert text to speech, print, copy, or email.</blockquote> More details on Using an EEG-Based Brain-Computer Interface for Virtual Cursor Movement with BCI2000 and exclusive lab video at JOVE: Journal Of Visualized Experiments.
Singularity Hub reporting:<blockquote>The world’s first patient-ready and commercially available brain computer interface just arrived at CeBIT 2010. The Intendix from Guger Technologies (g*tec) is a system that uses an EEG cap to measure brain activity in order to let you type with your thoughts. Meant to work with those with locked-in syndrome, or other disabilities, Intendix is simple enough to use after just 10 minutes of training. You simply focus on a grid of letters as they flash. When your desired letter lights up, brain activity spikes and Intendix types it. As users master the system, a few will be able to type as quickly as 1 letter a second. Besides typing, it can also trigger alarms, convert text to speech, print, copy, or email.</blockquote> More details on Using an EEG-Based Brain-Computer Interface for Virtual Cursor Movement with BCI2000 and exclusive lab video at JOVE: Journal Of Visualized Experiments.
This morning I watched a bird – I believe a finch – in the back yard. He was making use of the bird house, which is quite small, featuring perhaps a 3/4” hole for a front door.
This bird arrived on the perch with about a 4 inch long stick in it’s beak. Obviously, getting that in the front door didn’t go too well.
This morning I watched a bird – I believe a finch – in the back yard. He was making use of the bird house, which is quite small, featuring perhaps a 3/4” hole for a front door.
This bird arrived on the perch with about a 4 inch long stick in it’s beak. Obviously, getting that in the front door didn’t go too well.
“Electroencephalogram (EEG) is a powerful non-invasive tool widely used in both medical diagnosis and neurobiological research because it provides high temporal resolution in milliseconds which directly reflects the dynamics of the generating cell assemblies, and it is the only brain imaging modality that does not require the head/body to be fixed.” – Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience
This is too good for Researchers and Developers to not give them the free advertising.
How to map a 1GB per mm2 intracranial mushdrive and other empirically based explanatory spelunking.
Get ready, it’s all coming together and now is the time to gently prepare the normals for what’s next; even if it’s by way of the equivalent of visual nursery rhymes and benign Olympic sideshows, for now.
One of the projects being developed by the group is a form of assistive technology they call a brain co-processor. This system, also referred to as a cognitive assistive system, would initially be aimed at people suffering from cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. It would monitor people's activities and brain functions, determine when they needed help, and provide exactly the right bit of helpful information at just the right time. It could also find applications for people without any disability, as a form of brain augmentation.
"Who knows? Maybe, in another ten years, we'll be here with the ultimate sixth sense brain implant." -- Pattie Maes
Is it merely cheesy pop pseudo science … <blockquote>“The field is the sole governing agency of the particle.” Since Einstein uses the term particle to represent “matter,” he is acknowledging that the field controls our physical reality.</blockquote>… or a somewhat useful intermediate abstraction on the way to more precise understanding …<blockquote>“Epigenetics has become much more interesting because it allows us to look at how gene expression is changed by environmental events, explainable in part by histone modifications.”</blockquote>
Wired:<blockquote>The researchers’ algorithm is composed of a series of five equations through which data from cameras can be run. Each equation represents tricks used by fly circuits to handle changing levels of brightness, contrast and motion, and their parameters constantly shift in response to input. Unlike Lucas-Kanade, the algorithm doesn’t return a frame-by-frame comparison of every last pixel, but emphasizes large-scale patterns of change. In this sense, it works a bit like video-compression systems that ignore like-colored, unshifting areas.</blockquote>Embedded in Contact Lenses with Built-In Virtual Graphics might minimize power requirements:<blockquote>One obvious problem is powering such a device. The circuitry requires 330 microwatts but doesn’t need a battery. Instead, a loop antenna picks up power beamed from a nearby radio source. The team has tested the lens by fitting it to a rabbit.
… and just perhaps, they will help to define the most familiar and comforting path toward substrate-independent posthumanity … SmartHand device. (Credit: Image rights American Friends of Tel Aviv University)
Ekenstam told a television interviewer, "I am using muscles which I haven't used for years. I grab something hard, and then I can feel it in the fingertips, which is strange, as I don't have them anymore. It's amazing." The team first chose to build a hand, however, because of its unique challenges. "The fingers in the hand are the most complex appendages we have," Prof. Shacham-Diamand observes. "The brain needs to synchronise the movement of each digit in a very complicated way." While the prototype looks very "bionic" now, in the future SmartHand scientists plan to equip it with artificial skin that will give the brain even more tactile feedback.
Imagining an unequalable, universally contiguous, extended human cognition substrate; a phenomenologically consistent and sustainable epi-neocortical architecture, intrinsically obviating corporation and nation; diverse, progressive, transparent, authentic, open, extensible. Observe, interpret, forecast, design, build, uplift.
On Thursday, November 12, 2009, sponsored by The Rock Center for Corporate Governance and Stanford Program in Law, Science, and Technology, Legal Challenges in an Age of Robotics:
<blockquote>Once relegated to factories and fiction, robots are rapidly entering the mainstream. Advances in artificial intelligence translate into ever-broadening functionality and autonomy. Recent years have seen an explosion in the use of robotics in warfare, medicine, and exploration. Industry analysts and UN statistics predict equally significant growth in the market for personal or service robotics over the next few years. What unique legal challenges will the widespread availability of sophisticated robots pose? Three panelists with deep and varied expertise discuss the present, near future, and far future of robotics and the law.</blockquote>
It's important now to recognize that nowhere in the concept of sentience is there a mention of mind, intelligence, or self-awareness.
PhysOrg, (via KAIN):
<blockquote>Stanford engineers are developing the first autonomous racing car to climb Pikes Peak, a challenging 12.4-mile ascent in the Rocky Mountains, at 130 mph, as a way to create and test safety systems they hope one day will be used in all vehicles.
“If we can design a car that can autonomously go up Pikes Peak, we can design a car that can take over when a driver falls asleep,” said Kirstin Talvala, one of the students.</blockquote>
More extraordinarily high-signal outputs from the seemingly inexhaustible cognition engine behind Sentient Developments:<blockquote>Cognitive liberty is not just about the right to modify one’s mind, emotional balance and psychological framework (for example, through anti-depressants, cognitive enhancers, psychotropic substances, etc.), it’s also very much about the right to not have one’s mind altered against their will … </blockquote><blockquote>Our society has a rather poor track record when it comes to respecting the validity of certain mind-types …</blockquote><blockquote> Forced cognitive modification is an issue that’s affecting real people today.</blockquote>
<p>Assuming the technology was robust, reliable, non-intrusive, and affordableâ��would you want to record your whole life?</p> <p>via <a href='http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/treder20091016/'>Life-recording: Are you game?</a></p>
As presented Sunday 2009.10.18 at the Society for Neuroscience conference in Chicago and reported by Technology Review:<blockquote>Scientists at Brown University have developed an entirely implantable version of a neural prosthesis used to translate neural signals from the brain. The ultimate goal is to use this kind of device to allow severely paralyzed people to control a computer or a robot limb with their thoughts.
You don’t have to believe in gravity or in quarks in order for both to fully define your very existence. So feel free to believe how you choose.<blockquote>“People can argue about it,” says Kurzweil, relaxed as ever within his aura of certainty. “But when it comes down to accepting each step along the way, it’s done really without much debate.” </blockquote>
#futuretechture BCI Games: COTS Brain Computer Interfaces http://bit.ly/Y3boV
Remember when you thought that Flight Simulator, complete with joystick, was “just a toy?” Turns out, actually, we were training UAV jockeys, right?
I know you know. But this is just too momentous to escape personal archives.<blockquote>Since man first touched the moon and brought pieces of it back to Earth, scientists have thought that the lunar surface was bone dry. But new observations from three different spacecraft have put this notion to rest with what has been called “unambiguous evidence” of water across the surface of the moon.</blockquote>“Humanity may be granted an unexpected giant step to the stars. But we must have the guts to actually take it.” Video Credit: Thomas Lucas & Dave Brody
#futuretechture Apparent complexity of human mind no barrier to building replica brain http://bit.ly/VIBJg
#futuretechture “Actually no one even knows what we already understand about the brain” says Professor Markram http://metavalent.com/?p=1116
A model that replicates the functions of the human brain is feasible in 10 years according to neuroscientist Professor Henry Markram of the Brain Mind Institute in Switzerland. ‘I absolutely believe it is technically and biologically possible. The only uncertainty is financial. It is an extremely expensive project and not all is yet secured.'
#futuretechture Medtronic starts trials for closed-loop brain implant http://bit.ly/3d361f
#futuretechture Bionic brain chips could overcome paralysis http://bit.ly/4dp4nj
New Scientist:<blockquote>It will be a long time before these chips can become a mainstream treatment: the US Food and Drug Administration requires as much as 10 years of animal testing before a chip can be deemed safe enough to be implanted in human brains. That means the latest technology, such as chips that stimulate tactile sensations in the brain, will need extensive testing before clinical trials can begin.
Medtronic Inc. has started trials in monkeys of an implantable device that can automatically sense and respond to brain waves.
IEEE Spectrum: A new generation of contact lenses built with very small circuits and LEDs promises bionic eyesight
These visions (if I may) might seem far-fetched, but a contact lens with simple built-in electronics is already within reach; in fact, my students and I are already producing such devices in small numbers in my laboratory at the University of Washington, in Seattle [see sidebar, "A Twinkle in the Eye"]. These lenses don’t give us the vision of an eagle or the benefit of running subtitles on our surroundings yet. But we have built a lens with one LED, which we’ve powered wirelessly with RF. What we’ve done so far barely hints at what will soon be possible with this technology.
#futuretechture Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens http://bit.ly/O7ZyM
#futuretechture Fusion of Nanocircuits, Bio-membranes: Toward a Hybrid Cell Wall? http://bit.ly/i0XQU
Bruce Lipton, The Wisdom of your Cells – “the cell wall is a computing device” – must be going ga-ga right about now, on this news.
<blockquote>“This is much the same thing that happens in a cell,” Stroeve explained. “Now that we can open and close these channels, we can, in effect, regulate our system’s ability to sense chemicals in its environment.”</blockquote>Even if, as some critique, Lipton goes a bit too far implying the degree to which conscious thought can CONTROL that cellular interface, the basic mechanics of how cells work is fairly incontrovertible. This is not to imply that we “get it” to the extent necessary for inorganic tissue and organ genesis, en route substrate independence; but it’s certainly an incremental step in the right direction.
The next 12 messages constitute an experiment. When complete, I hope that the topic provokes some thoughtful follow-on discussion.
Heads up, friends. Have a lil’ 12-tweet series experiment in the queue for our beloved public timeline. OBJECTIVES: illustration, outreach.
This concludes the previous 12-tweet experiment, illustrating an observation by emulation.
#futuretechture The Neuro Revolution Tonight on Tech Nation http://bit.ly/7bLTs
Tonight on Tech Nation: The Neuro Revolution
RT @salimismail Just saw a #singularityu team project demo on car-sharing - they modified a car and unlocked/started it with an iphone!
Thanks, as so often is the case, to the EpiSupraMeta KurzweilAI for the tip:
CALO stands for Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes. The name was inspired by the Latin word calonis, “soldier’s servant,” because DARPA’s goal is to create a cognitive system that can reason, learn, and respond to surprise in order to assist in military situations.
#futuretechture CALO: Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes http://tr.im/uK6B
#futuretechture Making Memories: Literally http://tr.im/u6vI
#futuretechture We’re all still standard human beings. For now. http://tr.im/tci8
However, this may not be the case for very much longer; hence the imperative to make some key policy and personal decisions, right now. What manner of individuals and society are we to become? As @cascio writes, in The Atlantic Monthly:<blockquote>if the next several decades are as bad as some of us fear they could be, we can respond, and survive, the way our species has done time and again: by getting smarter. But this time, we don’t have to rely solely on natural evolutionary processes to boost our intelligence. We can do it ourselves. The Nöocene awaits.</blockquote>
Thanks as always to the prolific team @KurzweilAINews:<blockquote>“There is this misconception that you can sprinkle crowd wisdom on something and things will turn out for the best,” said Thomas W. Malone, director of the Center for Collective Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “That’s not true. It’s not magic.”</blockquote>Read the full article from the New York Times.
#futuretechture Open-innovation models overcome constraints of corporate hierarchies http://tr.im/t9QG
#futuretechture Why Neuro Security Matters http://tr.im/svjm
For example, the next generation of implantable devices to control prosthetic limbs will likely include wireless controls that allow physicians to remotely adjust settings on the machine. If neural engineers don’t build in security features such as encryption and access control, an attacker could hijack the device and take over the robotic limb.
Not to mention a couple generations beyond devices such as OCZ’s Neural Impulse Actuator (nia):<blockquote>Predefined profiles included with the software allow the gamer to develop their own nia—memory to launch the desired behavior of their character and shoot with the “blink of an eye”, without lifting a finger. </blockquote>Also, listen to Zack Lynch explain it.
From the site:<blockquote>“ConceptNet aims to give computers access to common-sense knowledge, the kind of information that ordinary people know but usually leave unstated.
#stigmergy : Of Neuro Economics and Artificial Brains http://metavalent.com/?p=1067
#futuretechture Of Neuro Economics and Artificial Brains http://tr.im/so3F
#futuretechture A Semantic Network Representation of the Open Mind Common Sense Project http://tr.im/sodQ
#futuretechture Robot Teaches Itself to Smile http://tr.im/rPlw
#futuretechture Rapamycin & Caloric Restriction Findings http://tr.im/rPlz
As reported in WSJ and Technology Review:<blockquote>A study published Wednesday found that rapamycin, a drug used in organ transplants, increased the life span of mice by 9% to 14%, the first definitive case in which a chemical has been shown to extend the life span of normal mammals.
Details at Wired Science: News for Your Neurons
RT @Bill_Romanos RT @clazaro single mega-colony of ants has colonised much of the world scientists have discovered http://tinyurl.com/maj4sr
#futuretechture Neurotechnology Industry 2009 Report http://tinyurl.com/q8yhec
#stigmergy : Neurotechnology Industry 2009 Report http://metavalent.com/?p=1059
Yikes. The Neurotechnology Industry 2009 Report been out for months and I'm just now posting? Don't let that be an excuse to not click and obtain immediately -- or sooner, if already fully cog-chipped-up, of course. ;-)
Drugs, Devices and Diagnostics for the Brain and Nervous System: Market Analysis and Strategic Investment Guide of the Global Neurological Disease and Psychiatric Illness Markets
Now in its fifth year, The Neurotechnology Industry 2009 Report is an expanded and updated 480 page report of brain and nervous system markets and treatments. It is the only publication to provide a unified market-based framework to help investors, companies and entrepreneurs easily identify opportunities, understand the competitive landscape, determine risks and understand the dynamics of rapidly changing CNS markets.
“We’ve been able to enhance integration of the coating with [body] tissue, allowing more people to accept implants.” http://tr.im/hapatite
#futuretecture X-Risks at H+ Meeting in London June 20 http://is.gd/102dp
#futuretechture Real Discrimination Against Digital People http://tr.im/npWT
And many other leading edge topics in this Summer Edition of H+ Magazine, now on news stands like this one everywhere.<blockquote>I must have lost half of my potential contracts because the company wouldn’t deal with an anonymous avatar.</blockquote>
#futuretechture Cortical Dynamics and Perception http://tr.im/ncbe
Cortical Dynamics and Perception
File under “previously considered highly unlikely sources” for transhumanist philosophical spelunking? On the other hand, as more and more religions attempt to assimilate transhumanist principles into their respective canons; that can only assist the transreligious cause of transhuman progress, no?<blockquote>It’s true that if an advanced civilization could create a simulation indistinguishable from the natural universe, we very well may be in one. We may be brains in a jar, or batteries for robots. We can speculate about some meta-reality above our own, whether it be a computer program or an alternate dimension, but there’s no reason to think any of them might be true. Without any evidence, even if we are in a simulation, it’s more reasonable to assume that we aren’t.
#futuretechture How many simulated advanced civilization gods can you fit on the tip of an atomic… http://tr.im/mXRn
#futuretechture Picture of the day http://tr.im/kJCp
Telegraph.co.uk: “If you have always wanted to be part of an integrated circuit board, Bare paint will make it possible. The special paint, created at the Royal College of Art, conducts electricity…” Picture: WENN
… but was afraid to ask. By the ever erudite Martine Rothblatt:
A mindclone is a software version of your mind. He or she is all of your thoughts, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values, and is experiencing reality from the standpoint of whatever machine their mindware is running on. Mindclones are mindfiles being used and updated by mindware that has been set to be a functionally equivalent replica of one’s mind. A mindclone is your software-based alter ego, doppelganger, or mental twin.
#futuretechture Everything I Ever Wanted to Know About Mindclones http://tr.im/kyUA
"We should welcome with open arms the rich possibilities of technologically enhancing our bodies," reports Andy Miah in the Guardian this week, adding the important caveat, "just so long as we don't all end up looking, and thinking, and acting the same."
[Next month,] The European Parliament is set to debate issues surrounding smart drugs, cybernetic body enhancements, cosmetic surgery and more over the coming months to "establish an advisory committee on all aspects of human enhancement, the first committee of its kind."
After all "we have always been beings in transition," argues Miah, who think the key is to find ways to "support responsible use" of body modifying technologies.
#futuretechture Humanizing our Posthuman Near Future http://tr.im/ke1y
#futuretechture “Legs-on” with Honda’s walking-assist devices http://tr.im/jkr6
#futuretechture Cosmetic Neurology & Neuro Enhancers http://tr.im/jgtR
Reprinted from NPR.org.<blockquote>Listen to Fresh Air from WHYY, April 20, 2009· In the modern world of busy schedules and busier lives, some people are turning to “neuro-enhancing” drugs to gain a competitive edge.
#futuretechture How to Map Neural Circuits With an Electron Microscope http://tr.im/iwCC
Coders and neuroscientists have teamed up to make a 20-terabyte map of every cell in the back of a rabbit’s eye. By comparing healthy samples with pictures of damaged retinas, these researchers can make sense of the diseases that cause blindness, and perhaps find ways to repair injured eyes.
This was metafiltered and reported by Wired over four months ago. Today, CNN is apparently defining an exciting and innovative new emerging trend for "news regifting" in mainstream media. As this human-computer symbiosis accelerates, external sources of information (TV's, iPhones, anything not jacked straight in) will become increasingly irrelevant. Or possibly repurposed in the short to mid term for reaching and conditioning The Outsiders who are not yet tuned in to the Global Cognition Hivemind.
#futuretechture Eyeborg, Redux http://tr.im/isQt
Relayed by Bill Romanos: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa16ewvpunY&rel=0&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1] Also led to discovery of Refrigerator Sized BMI (Not Body Mass Index, Brain Machine Interface) ;-): [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6yI_4FHSKI&hl=en&fs=1]
"The long-term goal of this work is to develop a light-activated brain-machine interface that restores function following nerve or brain impairments," Strowbridge says. "The first attempts to interface computers with brain circuitry are being done now with complex metal electrode stimulation arrays that are not well suited to recreating normal brain activity patterns and also can cause significant damage."
Are you sure you still want to argue about reasonable-resolution access to the I/O ports by 2020? Didn’t think so. ;-)
Question: How much does it suck when your neglected hobby blog suddenly breaks because some random cool chunk of code for DIIGO or something, ceases to work and hoses everything up for who knows how long?
As we’ve said for years … just gimme the I/O ports …<blockquote>Researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories succeeded in processing and displaying images directly from the human brain, they said in a study unveiled ahead of publication in the US magazine Neuron.
Report: Brain-Boosting Pills OK For All - Staying Healthy News Story - KGTV San Diego
<blockquote>Healthy people should have the right to boost their brain power with pills, like those prescribed for hyperactive kids or memory-impaired seniors, according to several scientists writing in an opinion piece in the journal Nature.</blockquote>
BBC reporting:<blockquote>Scientists have successfully carried out the world’s first tissue-engineered whole organ transplant, without the need for anti-rejection drugs.</blockquote>Full journal text available at The Lancet: Tissue-engineered airway replacement.
Media X and SRI International invite you to join us in a very special event on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. at Stanford University’s Memorial Auditorium.
So many times we’ve gesticulated, “Just Gimme the I/O Ports!”
NewScientist reports:<blockquote>“We are fairly confident at this point that TAT2 won’t enhance cancer development,” says Effros, although she cautions that further trials are needed to confirm this.
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 09:31:24 -0800 Subject: [SALT] Synthetic biology debate next MONDAY Nov. 17
More highlights from the year that was 2008:
From the How-Did-I-Ever-Miss-This Dept:
<blockquote>“Looking through a completed lens, you would see what the display is generating superimposed on the world outside,” said Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering. The shape of each tiny component dictates which piece it can attach to, a microfabrication technique known as self-assembly. Capillary forces – the same type of forces that make water move up a plant’s roots, and that cause the edge of a glass of water to curve upward – pull the pieces into position. </blockquote>
WTF? Just found on Yahoo Groups.
AIIDE is the definitive point of interaction between entertainment software developers interested in AI and academic and industrial AI researchers.
<blockquote>Founded in 1979, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) (formerly the American Association for Artificial Intelligence) is a nonprofit scientific society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines.
Gamasutra - In-Depth: Stanford Conference Explores The State Of AI
Studio360 Reprint:<blockquote>A recent study of stroke victims with damaged language abilities found that those who listened to music recovered better than those who listened only to audio books. Music plus words trumped words alone. Studio 360’s Gideon D’Arcangelo has witnessed this phenomenon first hand–with his mother Sylvia.</blockquote>
After greatly enjoying the first two Singularity Summits, I’m not attending today’s 3.0 version. One reason is that I think I understand all the basic principles sufficiently that I need to focus on contributing rather than flocking and following. Another is the price tag. I’m confident enough in my own existence now that I just don’t need to pay the $500 self-validation fee. If I haven’t created something worthy of an invitation to the stage yet, then I need to keep working until I do. I don’t consider it good enough to just be a groupie to any set of human beings. I expect more of myself. I expect myself to innovate, create, collaborate, and contribute. Isn’t that the primary objective of this whole movement, anyway? Uplift and Inclusion? I should hope so. If not, I may soon find myself an apostate, once again. Don’t read this wrongly, I have not done anything sufficiently noteworthy this year to have earned my way into the club. I’m not complaining, I’m motivating myself to do more and do better so as to achieve something worthwhile to the cause of human betterment.
Didn’t we already wrap up human clinical trials last year? Oh, not that you recall? Are you sure? :-)
Always worth noting popular presentations.
Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Investors advised by ``Black Swan'' author Nassim Taleb have gained 50 percent or more this year as his strategies for navigating big swings in share prices paid off amid the worst stock market in seven decades.
Published: 13:07 EST, October 03, 2008 World's biggest computing grid launched
“Open Science Grid members have put an incredible amount of time and effort in developing a nationwide computing system that is already at work supporting America’s 1,200 LHC physicists and their colleagues from other sciences,” said Open Science Grid Executive Director Ruth Pordes from DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
Tomorrow - Wednesday, Oct. 1st at 12 noon Dileep George, Numenta
Enough said. NASA robot sends back evidence it’s snowing on Mars
================================ GP-B STATUS UPDATE – September 26, 2008 ================================
via plurk - metavalent wonders how thinkingtom linked plurk to twitter.: metavalent wonders how thinkingtom .. /p/1rn83
via plurk - metavalent thinks this might be one way to do it snipr.com/34xbg: metavalent thinks this might b.. /p/1rndi
via plurk - metavalent has joined the plurkosphere, plurkspace, plurkland.: metavalent has joined the plurko.. /p/1rmok
From the Oldies But Goodies file: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyvL37bpk9c&hl=en&fs=1]
In rapid fire context of live Science Friday show in SL, I made a couple of factual transposition errors that require correction here.
Why would anyone print word ‘bigfoot’ prior to SEEING THE BODY? Utterly incomprehensible.
Toss the carcass on that “press conference” table and the debate is over. Delays just milk the media for 15 mins fake fame.
In more prevalent news, looks like dreamhost is fairly slashdotted at the moment, sorry for site’s laggy non-responsiveness. Workin on it!
Might help any SL friends who bother to come back after this afternoon’s network issues. Ug, always at the most inconvenient time, huh? Wish we could justify more bandwidth or a dedicated server, but until some kind of revenue model justifies that, I can only thank you for the patience and hope this SWF helps to illustrate where to get the RC SL Viewer described in-world today. Feel free to post a comment if any questions.
A little Science Friday fun for those Trailing Boomers who might recall that dreaded Kansas epic anthem.
At last week’s SFSL, during the Kiss My Math segment, I’d offered that some educational institutions and researchers are beginning to challenge the somewhat puritanical convention that rote memory is the best and more effective cognitive skill we can develop in our children.
This article delves deeper into the position I was alluding to in a recent Talk of the Nation Science Friday in Second Life.
From the site:<blockquote>The Methuselah Foundation needs your help: we are supporting a project named “ Undergrads Against Age Related Disease,” submitted as part of the Amex Members Project initiative. In order to move forward, this project must obtain more than 2000 votes in the next 2 weeks - by September 1st, 2008.</blockquote>
Next, while the idea of substrate independence is fairly well known, how much serious thought has gone into exploratory descriptions of the subjective experience? Are there more and less Adaptive Transitional Psychologies for Substrate Independence?
The content of this video probably presents a somewhat politically incorrect perspective, but one that is not lacking its measure of evidentiary fact; hence, the vehicle of HUMOR in hopes of lessening direct impact. There is clearly wide variation within the human species, yet addressing matters of uplift within our own ranks is not only awkward, but surely considered the height of hubris to some. All the more reason to courageously engage the matter sooner rather than later, IMHO. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf8R5ZlDiJg&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01] Next, while the idea of substrate independence is fairly well known, how much serious thought has gone into exploratory descriptions of the subjective experience? Are there more and less Adaptive Transitional Psychologies for thriving in a Substrate Independent state? As is so often the case, humor might provide effective inroads to thinking about otherwise difficult to consider topics. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEjTXX2rHgA&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01]
Let’s see … how many years has Gmail been “beta” now? I don’t know and have stopped caring.
To most, CNN.com is likely still considered about as “mainstream” as one can get, even if simultaneously raising once again the question of whether or not the very concept of “mainstream media” itself can exist for much longer.
SIAI Announces:<blockquote>Singularity Summit 2008 has been scheduled officially for Saturday October 25th (changed from the week before). It will be held at the Montgomery Theater in San Jose.</blockquote>
Personally, I’d use the word co-existent rather than co-dependent. By 2040, we will be indistinguishable from it and it from us; at least for the most adaptive.
I suppose it is the stereotypes that most annoy me here. Demographically, we look very much like the scene depicted in this story. Two young adults and we are in our late 40’s and early 50’s as well.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a deadline of Monday 28 July for US companies to voluntarily hand over details about the nanoparticles they work with. Yet very few companies have participated, leaving the EPA more likely to move towards mandatory regulation, something the industry fears will be bad for business.
Excerpt from latest of Russell Blackford’s crisply composed reviews of the six articles about transhumanism in June’s edition of The Global Spiral. I’m not sure if Blackford is simply being polite in omitting mention of Don Idhe’s transparent religious fundamentalism by use of the encoded christian pejorative “idol.” In that faith tradition, idolatry is the worst of all sins, breaking the first of the fundamentalist commandments: thou shalt have no gods before me. So in using such a word, Idhe is not simply critiquing, he is overtly demonizing. Nevertheless, Blackford is far more than civil, apparently choosing instead to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. Class act.<blockquote>Surely there is at least some tempation for transhumanists to imagine perfect, zipless enhancement technologies that are unlikely to come to pass. However, it by no means follows that we should abandon or forbid all attempts to devise enhancement technologies, any more than our inability to emulate the grace and freedom of birds was a reason to abandon or forbid efforts at powered, heavier-than-air flight.</blockquote>
via plurk - metavalent will be watching for this plurk on twitter.: metavalent will be watching for this plu.. /p/1rnp8
Yes, a week late on the uptake here, but simply must be acknowledge by all aspiring posthuman extraterrestrials. Wired Science from Wired.com reports:<blockquote>There is water ice on Mars within reach of the Mars Phoenix Lander, NASA scientists announced Thursday (7/17/2008).</blockquote>
Diversionary MicroRevenue Experiment
The 1337 593@K blog advises, “In case of n00bs, press ALT+F4 to eject.” Hilarious! That alone provoked me to actually read the latest post. (Oh, and Mac n00b5, go ahead and hit Command+Q right now to “Q”uickly refresh the screen). LOL!
What if the vast majority of matter turns out to be dark matter and everything we are ever capable of observing turns out to be the minority missing bits from the dominant dark’s perspective? These questions are externalities to the actual subject of the posted article, but in any case:<blockquote>Good science requires a willingness to take anomalous observations seriously and to question even our most deeply held assumptions about the world.</blockquote>Without, of course, throwing out every previously won theory for every slightest anomoly. NewScientist adds that Thomas Kuhn wrote:<blockquote>By ensuring that the paradigm will not be too easily surrendered, resistance guarantees that scientists will not be lightly distracted and that the anomalies that lead to paradigm change will penetrate existing knowledge to the core.</blockquote>SOURCE: New Scientist Space Blog: Are we living in a giant cosmic void?.
Awesome fun from Avant Games That Give a Damn. My brain is exploding simply contemplating the multivariate experimental levels of interaction, cooperation, signaling, and I don’t even know what else yet … all taking place within the context of this alleged game. Something DANGEROUS is happening here, I don’t know what it is yet, but it’s AWESOME DANGEROUS … dangerous to the status quo … dangerous to any baseline context accepted as elemental to any modal interpretations of reality.
While it is absurd to reduce such questions down to a single proof statement, I also think it’s fairly common for humans to light upon representative moments that both evoke such questions and justify their over simplified responses. Even if, in strictly empirical terms, we present a single anecdotal observation – an over simplified slice of data that seems to be offered as justification for a sweeping generalization – sometimes such micro samples can indeed condense and convey a great deal of both useful and accurate information. Or so I contend in this case, without venturing into an exhaustive philosophical defense, so as to actually arrive at and communicate the point of this post within the precious average 1 minute and 48 seconds (according to present site analytics) that I apparently have to communicate, today.
If you haven’t already found them elsewhere, you definitely do not want to miss the videos from AGI-08, the seminal AGI event of our time. Of course, no sooner did the inaugural conference end than the next steps of the journey begin:<blockquote>Continuing the mission of the highly successful first AGI conference (AGI-08) that was held at the University of Memphis in March 2008, AGI-09 will gather an international group of leading academic and industry researchers involved in serious scientific and engineering work aimed directly toward the goal of artificial general intelligence.
It’s nice to get back to the core curriculum with today’s MIT Technology Review report that, “Scientists are developing new ways to coax electrodes to integrate with brain tissue.”
Looks like a pretty good deal for $49.95 plus shipping:<blockquote><ul><li>2008 State of the Future paperback with CD-ROM.</li><li>CD contains about 6,300 pages of research behind this print edition.</li><li>Includes Millennium Project’s 12 years of study and analysis.</li><li>Additional new updates and improvements.
Apparently, it’s Open Source and Open Science day today. This leads me to begin thinking about how we might apply similar principles to economics. <blockquote>The Network for Open Scientific Innovation is founded upon the belief, no, the unshakeable certainty, that creativity, love, and intelligence can solve any problem. Recent years have seen technological revolutions in informatics, communications, and the life sciences. Sadly, this rapid progress has not been matched by a revolution in the democratization of scientific problem solving.</blockquote>While it can be argued that interdisciplinary interpolation is often fraught with opportunities for false analogies and preconceived, hyperbolic, or frenetically idealized biases based upon what we wish would transfer over, but will not or can not cross the chasm between disciplines – enough good has come from breaking the mold with such thought experiments as to continually draw me back into the fray. As always, one must know one’s own cognitive Risk Profile and Time Horizon for achieving one’s own net Return On Intelligence objectives.
What is it that I hope to achieve via employment of my unique intelligence? Hmmm, interesting question, maybe.
Compared to fixing the monopoly money economy – let alone architecting a sustainable long term post-scarcity economic system – the accelerating emergence of open source AGI-infused bots is looking fairly achievable, isn’t it?
This may seem boring and not very posthumanish; however, this year I’ve attempted to begin explaining, in compulsory blog-like intermittent sound-bite form, some of the reasons why the various architectures that will comprise a sustainable post-information-age, post-scarcity marketplace are absolutely Foundational Considerations for any sustainable posthumanish society.
This month in IEEE Spectrum:
<ul><li>Human senses and body parts are increasingly augmented by a stunning array of high-tech devices.</li><li>Today, robots are pushing the envelope of humanoid design—they can play the violin, unload a dishwasher, and climb stairs.</li><li>To David Adler, the human brain is just really advanced nanotechnology.</li><li>Countervalent: One day a machine will blink into consciousness, but it’s just wishful thinking to believe that people could escape death by uploading their minds.</li><li>Vernor Vinge on the run-up to the singularity and what technologists can do to engineer the best outcome for humans.</li><li>Jaron Lanier, MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld, and technology futurist Ray Kurzweil.</li><li>Countervalent: How can we hope to create consciousness if we don’t know anything about it?</li><li>Rodney Brooks on why the evolution of superhuman intelligence will be a slow process.</li><li>Christof Koch explains how we can use visual illusions and scenes to explore the difference between our conscious and unconscious perception.</li><li>Machines of merely human intellect could put humans out of work if they were cheap enough. (In this blog, I continue to argue that this is HIGHLY DESIRABLE and that we must begin now to prepare for the End of Scarcity. I see the UNWILLINGNESS to make this adaptation as an equally consequential risk to any of the more sensational nanites gone mad scenarios).
</li><li>Candid assessments from leading voices such as Steven Pinker, Gordon Moore, Esther Dyson, and more.</li></ul><blockquote></blockquote>
swurling at http://metavalent.swurl.com/ … this could either connect all the dots or unravel the whole damned thing … onward!
Begin forwarded message:
FightingAging reports:<blockquote>Researcher Attila Chordash is back from last weekend’s Aging 2008 conference, and he’s posted his video of biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey’s presentation from a vantage point at the pre-conference public event.</blockquote>And Reason puts it ever aptly:<blockquote>[It’s] the concert bootleg scene, except with scientists instead of musicians, and no bouncers chasing down the camcorders - you’ll see what I mean when you watch it.</blockquote>
I’m testing Yoono !
And perhaps equally significant, achieves the ever elusive Digg top post; a peerless metric by which to realize that the message is effectively reaching into the popular cultural consciousness. Well done!
same old, same old. subliminally seeding the meme stream.
contest: invent a sniglet http://tinyurl.com/yg66md for material RL effects that are in any way attributable to SL subliminal suggestion.
Meet your friendly neighborhood cPacket.<ul><li>Complete Packet Inspection (CPI) combines payload pattern searching and flexible header classification on a single chip.</li> <li>Inspects every bit in every packet.</li> <li>Bump-in-the-wire system integration.</li> <li>Broad applicability: Monitoring and Visibility, Security and Response, Test, Measurement, and Lawful Intercept.</li></ul>Just thought you’d like to know. Stay tuned for screen captures of what Google does to you if you use Lawful Encryption like Anonymizer.com’s total net shield to protect your Lawful Privacy against Intrusive Deep Inspection of your every Lawful Private Bit.
For those who have been too busy to keep track, our colleagues at GP-B have indeed overcome innumerable obstacles over the course of “the longest running, continuous physics research program at both Stanford and NASA.”
“Understanding Aging: Biomedical and Bioengineering Approaches,” which will be held this weekend from June 27-29, 2008 at UCLA. This would be a great excuse to jump in the Cessna, Piper, or Cirrus for an impromptu weekend escape.
The conference includes a free symposium for the general public on June 27th focused on public policy implications of successfully postponing aging.
The scientific conference, on June 28th and 29th, will be focused on the science and technology of aging and its postponement.
Despite some occasional detractors, the efficacy of Hawkins’ persistently catalytic socio-cognitive stigmergy is empirical amidst the present human population … and quintessentially metavalent.
So, apparently rumor has it that the long anticipated Spore Creature Editor has been leaked through some back alley darknet developer distribution channels.
Of course, clueful game marketers have long understood that such “leaking” can prime the pump for huge first day and first week sales. The naughty kiddies of all ages get to think they’re breaking the rules and being oh so rebellious by downloading such pre-release kits; yet, they are feeding right into the savvy internet marketer’s masterful hands. Hey, anything that helps to economically rewards software developers for such insanely difficult work is fine in my book.
In any event, I’d like to suggest that we each consider buying at least one copy of the game on day one; if not for ourselves, for some young gamer in our local social network. Why would I bother to encourge you to buy Spore on or around September 7? If not just for some fun, then in order to keep supporting increasing levels of sophistication in simulation and software intelligence.
Personally, I’m also hoping for peer reviews from folks like Ben Goerztle and the Novamente team because what many anticipate as Wright’s magnum opus seems to those of us in the peanut gallery to also engage some similar challenges of AGI-like behavior and human computer interaction from a Montessori play-like perspective. Are there vast differences? Of course. However, there could well be unexpected and welcome interdisciplinary discoveries, as well. If not on the HTM side, at least on the HCI side of the equation.
Financial Times reporting:<blockquote>Peer review guards the gates at both ends of the research process – obtaining money to carry out a project and publishing the results in a journal. Specialists in the field, working individually or as panels, identify flaws and assess the importance of the work; the reviewers’ identity is normally withheld from the author.
In another textbook case of 88 bad apples spoils the entire 60,000 bunch (give or take, depending upon which usenet reflector you ask), “Time Warner is blocking all USENET access, entirely.”
Not that anyone even knows or cares what Usenet is any more, since it was assimilated by the GoogleBot and re-branded as Google Groups; still, The Death of USENET would be yet another ominous sign indeed for the future of open information sharing. Nevertheless, the politicians once again seem ready to not only throw out the naked babies with the bath water, but also the tub … and what the hell, might as well pull out the plumbing while you’re at it, too. If not for that running water, after all, there would be no naked babies in the tub in the first place, right? Only YOU can prevent the evils of indoor plumbing!
Look, I’m surely no defender of child porn; what a sad and complete waste of a life for the so afflicted; however, I do know how firewall rule sets work and we can filter at virtually any and every conceivable level of detail. So block or decommission the 88 worst of the worst if you must and leave the other 59,912 alone.
Yet again, John Perry Barlow’s 1995 Death From Above proves its prophetic place in net history, “And indeed we are talking about religion here … the monotheism of Control, the one-to-many system which has dominated the West at least since the Industrial Revolution, possibly since Gutenberg; possibly since Moses.”
It seems to me increasingly clear that there is relatively little hope for a collectively sustainable or individually fulfilling posthuman world without a post-industrial, post-information, post-capitalism-1.0 economic system to invigorate such a post-scarcity, post-diminishment future society. Perhaps things didn’t really matter much before the impending deluge became so apparent, because the technological accomplishments were too far off. However, After the Deluge, there will be plenty of looking back; but no going back.
Introductory sardonics slightly updated on 6/9/08. :-)
Even LOLCATS Beats Otiose 20th Century Media Model
first post with socialthing.
This To-do Lists For Futurists and the Pros and Cons of Internet Brain Implants, both courtesy of io9, are simply worth archiving if for no other reason than Citizen Cyborg ranks #2 on the list. Onward …
"I am the great and powerful unfettered market!"
Oh, except when The Central Planners decide it needs some Fed Fettering to keep them in power! The quotation below is courtesy of the indomitable Dennis Gartman, whom I hold in the highest possible regard; and yet, inadvertently, he provides here the PRECISE RATIONAL for many of the private sector Resource Skew Correcting proposals made on this site.
<blockquote>We are now at the endgame of the sub-prime mortgage and derivatives problem, but it can be a very long, very frantic, and very volatile period as this endgame plays out. Prices of things are going to be harder and harder to discern, and volatility is going to leap skyward…
We shall applaud those in a position of power for having had the courage to act when they did. Had they not… had they remained “pure” free market theorists and allowed [Bear Stearns] to sink into oblivion, the very foundations of the western capitalist system might well have become unhinged.
That was not to be, nor could be, allowed. </blockquote>Could not be allowed? How interesting. The persistent mantra from the Right is always, “don’t meddle with the market, don’t meddle with the market, don’t meddle with the market” … UNTIL they’ve so skewed and constipated cash up the colons of the top two percent, that it requires Money From Helicopters to the masses and turning up the Printing Presses to keep the hoarders well lubricated.
ACTUAL CAPITALISM is once again sodomized at the alter of “orderly markets.” The Right can’t have it both ways. It can’t both spout the Kudlow Creed AND Fed Fettered Financing and retain any semblance of intellectual continuity.
I want to take the greatest of pains to not impugn the valiant personage of Mr. Gartman himself; in fact, it is the height of irony that the Good Gentleman’s statement emerged this week as the economic theory equivalent of Eliot Spitzer’s squeezebox, “Kristen.”
We only really mean Free Market when it doesn’t hurt those of us holding all the cards; like Spitzer only really meant “ethics” when they didn’t apply to him.
The quotation above illustrates the height of economic theory hypocrisy, and the legendarily intellectually honest Mr. Gartman laudably concedes this to some extent in his eponymous letter; yet, he is apparently compelled to rationalize interventions by The Central Planning Committees out of survival of his own position in the machine. I do not fault him for this behavior, far from it. I only point out that this requirement that we each are forced to ultimately belie our own deepest convictions – out of threat of poverty and want – only goes to prove that the Wage Slave Trade presses well up the value chain … perhaps as high as the short end of the second percentile of liquid wealth hoarders.
Which is to say: perhaps even Mr. Gartman is in the same boat with us. Will the Good Gentleman perhaps consider the Giant PIFWOD Bomb or some derivation thereof, as a Private Sector method for correcting the unsustainable Privately Caused Resource Skews?
If the inevitable human brain atlas project can just give us discrete access to the I/O ports, we can pretty much hack the gray goo sufficient to achieve scaffolding independence, which is a significant step toward substrate indpendence. From there, maybe we can finally gain enough time to go the rest of the journey.
you’re discovering it even now …
On a less serious note than the previous post, I haven’t really kept up with all the reading that I should have on this topic; however, I have tried to listen; all the while formulating what seem to me to be my own ideas (or novel synthetics, at least); though such are surely constructed of a Pollock smattering of conscious, subconscious, unconscious, and various memory-impaired excerpts of papers, blogs, and impromptu conference side-bar conversations.
This makes things somewhat more interesting, to the extent that I might be able to find out if the possible path below synchronizes with independent works that I have yet to discover. Of course, herein lies a conundrum. Nobody can ever prove that they DIDN’T read a particular book, paper, blog, or listen to that podcast while falling asleep or stitch together a splashcast of videos on the theme in question. This is by definition where the line is crossed in scientific observation.
Well, not until we can transparent proxy all the data streaming in on the I/O ports, anyway … optic nerve packet capture, cochlear wiretap, tactile Braille-stroke logger … so far, taste and smell can’t transmit thoughts the way the other three senses can, so we can let them pass … for now. So there may actually be a future desirable scientific use for such Total Brain Input Surveillance. We wouldn’t need Total Brain Surveillance … just Input Confirmation … to test independent brains capacities or tendencies to reach similar conclusions; or in this case, propose similar EXTRAPOLATIONS, based upon mutually exclusive observations of a given complex, shared environment.
Why would we even care about discovering such possibilities? Good question, I just now thought to ask it myself. Apart from the usual, “well, if it’s a component of the way things work that we haven’t figured out yet, it’s worth figuring out,” I don’t have a good answer. Let’s give it some thought.
In the mean time, annoyingly, I find myself too often speculating that if something like Cognitive Stigmergy is inherent to, or emergent among some deeply data-networked humans, we may be moving into territory where the uncomfortable analog to independently reproducible lab results may be independently derived perspectives, or independently synchronized forward-looking storyboards or scenarios. Extrapolations.
It seems reasonable to speculate that learning to act and interact beyond the sphere of our familiar embodied senses is not at all going to seem natural to most humans, much less comfortable, or even logical. How the hell do we even go about such an amorphously articulated exercise? See previous paragraph; but only ONCE, or you’ll be stuck in a loop, right?
Besides, I’m only experimenting with words in what appears to be a novel manner, in order to see what happens. Maybe nothing happens. Maybe we have to add pill number 262 to the daily regimen and just be patient.
One possible posthuman evolutionary path might go something like this:
<ol><li>Empathy (Seeing the World Through Others’ Eyes). This could actually take much longer than we realize and may be the actual present bottleneck to progress.
</li><li>Augmented Social Cognition. Overlaps with previous item, could help to drive down costs and accelerate mass production and distribution of fundamental commodity #1.
</li><li>Ending Aging. Losing entire congressional libraries worth of not just information, but KNOWLEDGE with every death, is not helping out.
</li><li>Adaptive Posthuman Psychologies. This may actually take longer than the next item; hence it’s relative ranking.
</li><li>Adaptive Economies of Abundance. Post the engineered-scarcity farce; pre effective substrate-independence.
</li><li>Selective Integral Consciousness. This, during the era of increasingly universal wireless implants,
coexisting uploads, etc. Sorry, but yes, there will be an unpopular
Darwinian Selective Weeding Out, here; though hopefully (and I think probably) self-selecting.
</li><li>Dawning of the Posthuman Age. A new evolutionary tree branch sprouts.
</li><li>Substrate Independence (first halting and foibled; volatile; even disastrous; then sustainable and scalable).
</li><li>Newly Emergent Specieswide Stigmergic Synchronization (as above, so below, vice-versa).
</li><li>Meta-Sentience of the post Posthuman Beman. I may be taking undue liberties with the terminology, but from what I’ve read and heard, beman seems to be post posthuman; way more trans-epi-meta. :-)
</li><li>Exploration of Infinity, Simulated Infinities, Designed Infinities?
</li><li>Oops! Was it all Intelligent Design after all? Just because there was never any superstitious singular deity to pin it on, doesn’t mean that something that acts-like or is in essence sub-nano Embedded Intelligence doesn’t exert the Designing Influence we witness flying in the face of base case Entropy!
</li><li>Something more that I can’t presently conceive of, though I’d be
happy to hear your perspectives. Perhaps we do meet our Intelligent
Designers and discover that they were us, all along.</li><li>On to the next question.</li></ol>Okay, yeah, I trailed off into the histrionic sticks a bit, but perhaps it conveys the general idea. :-)
So it goes something like this … the men in society do their reproductive duty and immediately DIE. Yes, almost a perfect world right there, some may postulate! :-)
Next, the sated Divine Earth Micro Mother enjoys decades of unencumbered Life Creation, ruling her domain in meditative solitude, safe in the bosom of a colony that mostly does NOTHING.
On Feb. 21, 2003 at TIME magazine’s “The Future of Life” conference, Ray Kurzweil presented a talk based upon this essay. Subsequently, the Lifeboat Foundation reprinted a nicely photo “enhanced” version of the article.
At some point we realized we are all interesting people with worthwhile things to say, and it didn't make sense to rely always on centrally organized ways for spreading ideas. There is a time and place for traditional conferences, TED is a great conference, but perhaps a little emergence and anarchy is needed.
If you’d like to participate in the Social Graph experiment, your friendly aspiring AI referrer is Metavalent Stigmergy, stigmergy -at- metavalent -dot- com … hope to see you there!
… information may WANT to be freely accessible to all … but it ain’t. a quick slice of life from behind the Great Firewall of the USA.
Excerpt: Researchers Demonstrate Quantum Teleportation and Memory in Tandem<blockquote>In research that may be a key step toward real-life quantum communication—the transmission of information using atoms, photons, or other quantum objects—researchers created an experiment in which a quantum bit of information is transported across a distance of seven meters and briefly stored in memory. This is the first time that both quantum memory and teleportation, as the information transfer is known, have been demonstrated in a single experiment.
Note: The unaltered text above was created using Diigo's web annotation tools. I left the entry untouched in order to illustrate what that looks like. With some similarities to Trailfire, diigo promises to help further speed and simplify the adoption of the Annotated Web. Good stuff!
I can’t possibly add a single word to improve this appearance by Dr. de Grey on the Colbert Report, but because humans can’t help but do so, my commentary is this: OUTSTANDING. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nwvEnOmKJs&rel=1]
From the “if I had a penny for every time I’ve ranted on this topic” department: A True Google Living Nightmare.
A similar thing happened to me on Yahoo two years ago. A normal user would never have a chance in hell of recovering their account. Alas, perhaps there are occasional benefits to fully embracing the weirdness and huddling close with the deviantly inquisitive and productive crowd. After all, it’s often such weirdos who actually create the breakthroughs, operate the complex data centers, stand guard over the critical BGP tables, batten down the root DNS servers, etc.
Still, if all this indistinguishable-from-magic grandeur isn’t in service of The User, then what’s the point, Program? “On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy.”
Aviation Week reporting:<blockquote>"… in the Darpa experiments, the computer is just a tool that processes brain waves, of which the human being isn’t even aware, and turns them into actionable information."</blockquote>Brilliant as a means for managing cognitive overload … for extending our ability to act and interact beyond our limited sensory sphere. I’ll have to update this post with link to lecture at UCB that explores this ESSENTIAL functionality for any aspiring metaposttranshuman. :-)
The potential for nanotechnology to "build molecule-by-molecule" has been greatly discussed with one question invariably being asked: How do we get from here to there?
Foresight Nanotech Institute and Battelle Unveiled a Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems.
This was a major advance in the field of synthetic genomics. We now know we can create a synthetic organism. It's not a question of 'if', or 'how', but 'when', and in this regard, think weeks and months, not years.
reminds me a bit of Malcolm Gladwell’s “How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.” here, another highly encouraging 4 minutes and 57 seconds of typically incisive and motivational insights from the peerlessly motivational brain of dr. bostrom. dig deeper into the topic of how “Drugs can be used to treat more than disease” at nature.com.
The 10 Worst Jobs in America are also widely regarded as the “10 Fastest Growing Opportunities,” for Americans, though euphemistically characterized by economists as “Service Sector Employment.” Friends, this is a key transhumanist issue, if not THE fundamental issue. If we aren’t smart enough to architect a transcapitalist society that provides for the richest expression of individual transhuman aptitudes while affording all the “loser, lowlife transhumans” an Aspirational Wage that provides not just the opportunity to survive, but to think about, and act upon agendas for individual improvement. A “living wage” is another euphemism for bitterly bare subsistence, which implies perpetual stagnation, which notoriously undermines individual opportunity and thereby, social utility.
A rare, but worthwhile Slashdot pass-through, here, to November 2007 Atlantic Monthly’s The Autumn of the Multitaskers, which begins:<blockquote>Neuroscience is confirming what we all suspect: Multitasking is dumbing us down and driving us crazy. One man’s odyssey through the nightmare of infinite connectivity. – Walter Kirn</blockquote>To my mind, this is interesting in the context of enhancing our brains. Should we play to our strengths and enhance THOSE, or branch out and make multi-tasking actually possible? In either case, why or why not?
Discovery of the Unified Field. Really? Unquestionably? Close enough to be worthy of some continued consideration, or wholly falsifiable and empirically disproved either mathematically, experimentally, or by both?
19 January 2008 - New Scientist<blockquote>WHEN four male experimental subjects were found peeking at explicit images of naked female bottoms on laboratory computer screens, you might have expected disciplinary action, a review of internet security, or at the very least a new batch of subjects. Not in this case. Instead, Michael Platt and his colleagues at Duke University, North Carolina, actually encouraged the voyeurs to keep looking. They set up a pay-per-view system and even tried bribing them to look at less desirable images, all the while monitoring their sleazy viewing habits in the name of science.
It won’t help to know that those bared rumps belonged to female macaque monkeys. Don’t jump to hasty conclusions, though, because the male subjects mesmerised by these images were macaques too. What’s more, the payments and bribes associated with these slide shows of simian smut were not financial, but rewards or forfeiture of fruit juices depending on what they chose to view.
You’ll also be relieved to hear that there is a serious point to the project. Primate soft porn may just help solve one of the central questions about how our brains work - how, faced with all the choices we have to make every second of every day, we weigh up the options and convert disparate information about them into a common neurobiological currency. The research could even unravel some of the mysteries of autism. Honest!
[Researchers] knew a lot about how we collect relevant information with our senses, and how we direct our actions, but almost nothing about how we link the two processes in the brain; how we evaluate the options we see and make informed choices about how to act.</blockquote>I’ve submitted a request to New Scientist for permission to reprint the whole article; but in the meantime, I think they may offer a trial subscription that would allow you to read the full article.
In cooperation with OnSingularity.com, the singularity community news ranking site, we’re experimenting with the FeedWordPress plugin and the ZoOoV feeds. Initially, it appears that the subject of new posts to OnSingularity are appearing in the blogstream, here, but they are not linking to either OnSingularity or the the post’s intended destination. Thanks for your patience while we experiment with this.
A key deadline is approaching for the World’s Most Dangerous Idea. If you prefer safety over liberty, the status quo over adaptive progress; then by all means, feel free to click on to the next fleeting glimpse. On the other hand, one may want to consider that:<blockquote>Francis Fukuyama, a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, called transhumanism the “World’s Most Dangerous Idea.” He is not alone in his deliberate misuse of transhumanist ideas. There are dozens of organizations that use their multi-million dollar coffers [and pulpits] to spread anti-transhumanist memes and lobby politicians.</blockquote>It’s always a dangerous proposition to change the status quo; but when the the status quo itself becomes one of the biggest dangers to species survival and thrival, a population is generally reduced to two fundamental choices to facilitate self-preservationist change: Dangerous Actions or Dangerous Ideas.
Remember these from 11/25/07 and 12/1/07? Today, on 1/24/08, we learn more. <blockquote>With today’s speech, Mr. Gates adds his high-profile name to the ranks of those who argue that unfettered capitalism can’t solve broad social problems.</blockquote>Yes, comrades, phat Billy G is in da’ house.
Either Bill is paying attention to this lowly blog, or reason simply reaches the same conclusion, independent of the identity of the conscious exerciser thereof.
I vote for the latter, but thanks for the encouragement. Although, it is a bit uncanny that Gates agrees that we can do all this without changing the mechanics of markets, the foundational tenet of my proposals. We simply need Enlightened Free Agents to act upon their better consciences.<blockquote>Key to Mr. Gates’s plan will be for businesses to dedicate their top people to poor issues – an approach he feels is more powerful than traditional corporate donations and volunteer work. Governments should set policies and disburse funds to create financial incentives for businesses to improve the lives of the poor, he plans to say today. “If we can spend the early decades of the 21st century finding approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce poverty in the world,” Mr. Gates plans to say.
In the interview, Mr. Gates was emphatic that he’s not calling for a fundamental change in how capitalism works. He cited Adam Smith, whose treatise, “The Wealth of Nations,” lays out the rationale for the self-interest that drives capitalism and companies like Microsoft. That shouldn’t change, “one iota,” Mr. Gates said.</blockquote>As humans transcend, economics simply must transcend. There should be a billion beta tests of all kinds of creative, productive, fun, and even entertaining methods and experiments for finally taming this historically harsh overlord of poverty and plenty.
The methods and means may be myriad, the goals remain the same, both here at home in America, and as responsible global citizens: Liberte, Egalite, Augmente, Fraternite.
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wow … for those of us lifelong learners in the post-academic world,
iTunesU is utterly amazing.
i am presently watching/listening to some vintage HCI Seminars (Terry Winograd, Stanford) from 06 and 07 in the background while doing my daily grunt work; and discovering the genius of Joe McKay and Greg Niemeyer. awesome … EXCEPT … iCan’t post a link to share the content with you, dear reader, because it’s tightly locked away behind Apple’s proprietary iTunes WALLED GARDEN interface!
even iTunes.Stanford.Edu is wholly complicit in reconstructing the walled garden … directing and compelling the explorer to download iTunes or No Deal. in stark irony, Niemeyer provides all the code to the amazing collaborative project.
A rare resource more than worthy of its own post: The Science Network.
“As of January 10, 2008, we have 71 Living Supercentenarians on this list (62 Females and 9 Males).”
A quick experiment with some emergent Photobucket tools, sans proper attributions. This is a collection of images that I’ve collected over the past year or three, mainly as free associative guided imagery for some alleged eventual writing process that just never quite seems to happen.
how much would it be worth to you to live 120 healthy years instead of just 80? what if we are on the verge of taking it even further than that? what if the difference between Getting There or not is dependent upon our actions, today? what if proposing, debunking, reframing, and clearly articulating the REASONS and MOTIVES for achieving such lofty goals were prerequisites to achieving and realizing the actual technologies themselves?<blockquote>The WTA has done a lot with a little. We have grown to 4,700 members worldwide, and transhumanist topics are increasingly part of mainstream debate, yet last year our budget was only $8,000. Now we want to see how much more we can do with more.</blockquote>the WTA is extending the reach of our matching grant program and i’d like to encourage you to explore the WTA and see if it meets with your ideals. what if just ONE PERSON could create an instant ripple that sends that goal-meter off the charts with just EIGHT HOURS left in the year? what if that person was YOU and your AIM,Facebook, Meebo, MySpace, Orkut, or StumbleUpon network? sound impossible? maybe. only we can decide what is or is not …
i can provide one more link to the match here, but it’s up to you to strike it.
While the New York Times rightly points out that Innovative Minds Don’t Think Alike, it seems to me that if others can’t interpret the meaning of the tracks we leave behind, then we’re not being effective explorer-helper ants. In sharing our glimpses, we don’t have to make decisions for the whole colony or even for the worker ants in the immediate vicinity, we simply have to communicate – as accurately as possible – something about the current bit of terrain that others will find interesting, meaningful, thought-provoking, or novel. They, in turn, tend to either integrate it into their own context, or discard it as not presently helpful. Either outcome is useful; in fact, even an ambiguous outcome is useful as it could merit closer inspection by other explorer-thinker-tinkerers and meta-conceptual shapers. Later, I want to spend some more time merging colony-mind communications analogies with what we’re learning about memory formation in mammal minds. I know it may sound like a complete mismatch, at first blush, but my job is therefore to break it down as books like “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” suggest.<blockquote>In their book, the Heath brothers outline six “hooks” that they say are guaranteed to communicate a new idea clearly by transforming it into what they call a Simple Unexpected Concrete Credentialed Emotional Story. Each of the letters in the resulting acronym, Succes, refers to a different hook. (“S,” for example, suggests simplifying the message.) Although the hooks of “Made to Stick” focus on the art of communication, there are ways to fashion them around fostering innovation.
This 10 minute introductory segment aired last year on QUEST, but it sure beats reruns during the current writer’s strike.
From the Special Report on Death:<blockquote>As recently as a century ago, it was priests not doctors who declared a person dead. When in doubt, they looked for signs of putrefaction. As medicine advanced, however, it became apparent that death was not an event, but a process.
[F]or practical purposes an arbitrary line [has been] drawn. First it was taken as the heart stopping. Then came the notion of brain death and in the 1960’s this seemed like the way forward. For a while it was even considered foolproof: once activity ceases in the brain and brainstem you can never regain consciousness, and without intervention the body will quickly shut down.
But foolproof it is not and the fact that several hundred neurologists and philosophers are gathering next May for the fifth International Symposium on the Definition of Death shows this only too well.</blockquote>Read the full report at New Scientist.
Dr. Leonid Gavrilov alerts us to:<blockquote>This is to alert you about new interesting study on human longevity, which may appear soon in a scientific journal Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier Press. Longevity Science: New Longevity Study in ‘Social Science & Medicine’</blockquote>
On Dec 6, Wired Magazine reported:<blockquote>A new source of $750 million in funding could soon become available for the perennially cash-starved biotech industry, particularly stem cell firms.
Where will you find Cleantech, Nanotech, and BioNano innovators ready to step out of the lab and into the market?<blockquote>[At] the 2008 TechConnect Summit, June 3-5, 2008 in Boston, representing the world’s largest peer-vetted deal flow for technology Partnering, Investing and Licensing.</blockquote>Deadline for submission of IP and Venture proposals is 2/1/08.
The call for participation, proposals, and papers for The First Conference on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI-08) was officially announced yesterday. Very clean and impressive work of adapting the wiki software to this website.
It’s far from the first time he’s explained this perspective, but during today’s 3rd Annual Terasem Colloquium on the Law of Transbeman Persons, the immortal Marvin Minsky reiterated the position that the term consciousness is really a cop-out. I was grateful to catch the last few hours of this event via phone-in conference call and equally grateful for the impressive transcription provided during Michael Anissimov’s impressive live blogging performance. Minsky’s position, as logged by Anissimov:<blockquote>I don’t believe there is such a thing as consciousness. Consciousness is a high-level word we use as an abbreviation for about 20 types of mental activities: remembering what we have recently done, reflecting on whether what we’ve done is consistent with our moral model, etc. I believe humans have used “consciousness” for several centuries as an excuse for not thinking about what’s really going on.</blockquote>Irrepressibly engaging Terasem maven, CyBeRever, and Lifenaut Martine Rothblatt wrapped up the session by extending and further developing some of the implications of Minsky’s view of consciousness and reiterating the now-familiar concept of transbemanism, juxtaposing that against the pros and cons of corporate personhood, and then proposing a new type of personhood test, derived from the current “real life test” required prior to gender change; as she put it, “Turing meets Freud meets Christine Jorgensen.”
Ha-ha, funny-funny. On the other hand, if you believe that “think to search” isn’t coming, you’re not paying attention. Then again, we’ve long known that it helps to soften the blow for the earthling masses to make it a funny-funny ha-ha for awhile, first. Meta-Props to Dewayne for this one!
Credits: Geek Culture and Joy of Tech
Very Exciting! We attended the previous public presentation in April when Professor Francis Everitt, a very approachable Stanford University physicist and principal investigator of the Gravity Probe B (GP-B) Relativity Mission and his team, “shared what they have found so far—namely that the data from the GP-B gyroscopes clearly confirm Einstein’s predicted geodetic effect to a precision of better than 1 percent.” The privilege of being present among the handful of humans in that room during that announcement was clearly a high point in my own human experience, to date. Since that time, we’ve been patiently awaiting the results measuring the frame-dragging effect.
It never really did make sense to me that EVERY ANIMAL IN CREATION could be crammed onto a boat. Of course, with magic and mysticism, even the utterly absurd becomes obvious in the believer’s mind. It’s a tragically overvalent meme, for certain.
On the other hand, The Scientist suggests today that a DNA Barcode might be a way to record biodiversity AND keep us safe from otherwise unidentifiable toxic species in the food chain. Moreover, this repository could be made part of the suggested Lunar Backup Drive for planet Earth.<blockquote>Microbiologists have long been using short stretches of genetic material, such as the ribosomal 16S gene, to differentiate bacterial species, and taxonomists have used molecular data to complement ecologic and morphologic information for decades.
The global, standardized nature of DNA barcode, however, is only in its adolescence.</blockquote>Yet …<blockquote>Since 2003, several barcoding projects have probed the mitochondrial DNA of everything from birds3 and fish4 to leeches5 and mosquitoes,6 and they found a similar gap between intraspecific and interspecific variation. These validation studies follow a general formula: Take species that are already well described and delineated through morphology, ecology, and other characters, collect their CO1 barcodes, and see how closely the traditional classification matches with that derived from the barcode.</blockquote>And ultimately …<blockquote>Because it works with short segments of DNA, barcoding has the potential to quickly and cheaply identify processed animal or plant products that may pose a danger to public health. It may also identify and better control cryptic pest species, such as mosquitoes or fruit flies, which cause widespread disease or wreak economic havoc in many parts of the world. In the clinical setting, it also has the potential to rapidly identify biologic pathogens in ailing patients.</blockquote>Of course, these are only soundbytes, see the full article for details.
Find out more about Personalized Genetics at the ScienceRoll blog. Blog author Bertalan (Berci) Meskó is a Finalist for an Eddie Award in the Best Individual Blog category, where he writes:<blockquote>I’m a 23-year-old Hungarian medical student and I’m the author of the blog Scienceroll.com. I try to help medical students, physicians, medical librarians and health care lawyers to get closer to the world of Medicine 2.0. Medicine 2.0 is the combination of medical education and the tools of web 2.0. I share medical tools, sites with them; write reviews about web 2.0 based medical community sites and I’m also the co-organizer of several medical projects in Second Life. I help coordinating medical exercices for medical students and I also organize sessions in the Scifoo lives on scientific conference in the virtual world. I hope that medical professionals find my blog useful and innovative. Berci Meskó, Hungary.</blockquote>
Technology Review reports:<blockquote>“One of the key lessons of this work is that to understand aging, we need to be thinking not in terms of individual genes, but of networks of genes and systems of different organs,” says Daniel Promislow, a biologist at the University of Georgia in Athens, who was not involved in the project. The results, published this week in the journal PLoS Genetics, confirm the role of two processes believed to be major contributors to aging: slowed metabolism and increased inflammation.</blockquote> <blockquote>“It appears that the mouse has a mosaic of different things going on which may or may not be in synchrony with each other,” says Stuart Kim, a biologist at Stanford who led the work. These patterns of gene-expression changes aren’t clearly linked to oxidative stress–an excess of free radicals that damage cells–or other biochemical factors hypothesized to trigger aging, says Kim, so it’s not yet clear how they influence aging.</blockquote><blockquote>Kim’s analysis is likely the first of many analyses that will take advantage of the new database, dubbed AGEMAP. “The scale of this study is phenomenal,” says Promislow. “In some ways, this shows us where things are likely to be headed in coming years in terms of the kinds of experiments people will do to understand the genetic basis of complex traits.”</blockquote>With all this progress and promise, now is a great time to consider contributing to Stanford Medical Center or the Methuselah Foundation as part of your year-end tax giving program. After all, what greater and more valuable legacy could we possibly leave than longer, happier, healthier lives for our children and grandchildren, right? And if you really want to leave a legacy, you could consider setting a goal for 2008 to go to the head of the KLAS.
It’s fairly clear that Google wants to be the repository of choice for all human genome information, seeing as it envisions itself the indexer and keeper of ALL the world’s information. This strikes mea as a responsibility that would warrant just a wee bit of additional due diligence beyond wooing in wonder at GOOG’s historical stock price charts. Don’t get me wrong, I bought in at $85/share myself; however, when it comes to preparing for the next stage of human evolution, maybe we would want to be just a little bit more careful than usual.
I thought it might make sense to revisit the storied Google Pledge to Not Be Evil.
Well, specifically, it appears to me that “don’t be evil” merely means no paid placement in the raw search engine results.
That’s about it. Such placement would indeed be less than democratic, at the very least, and Google promises to not do it. So if you read the prospectus excerpted below, “don’t be evil” apparently means more precisely, “we won’t do this one evil thing.” Beyond that, pretty much all bets are off, no?
But there is still great hope. So long as you trust Curly, Moe, and Larry to “do good things for the world” then you’re probably in pretty good shape and have nothing to worry about. I’m not suggesting who you should trust or how much to trust them, I’m just saying; well, a thoroughly informed investor always reads the prospectus:
<p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;">DON’T BE EVIL </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:-6px;"> </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;text-indent:4%;">Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served—as shareholders and in all other ways—by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company. </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:-6px;"> </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;text-indent:4%;">Google users trust our systems to help them with important decisions: medical, financial and many others. Our search results are the best we know how to produce. They are unbiased and objective, and we do not accept payment for them or for inclusion or more frequent updating. We also display advertising, which we work hard to make relevant, and we label it clearly. This is similar to a well-run newspaper, where the advertisements are clear and the articles are not influenced by the advertisers’ payments. We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see. </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;"> </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;">MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:-6px;"> </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;text-indent:4%;">We aspire to make Google an institution that makes the world a better place. In pursuing this goal, we will always be mindful of our responsibilities to our shareholders, employees, customers and business partners. With our products, Google connects people and information all around the world for free. We are adding other powerful services such as Gmail, which provides an efficient one gigabyte Gmail account for free. We know that some people have raised privacy concerns, primarily over Gmail’s targeted ads, which could lead to negative perceptions about Google. However, we believe Gmail protects a user’s privacy. By releasing services, such as Gmail, for free, we hope to help bridge the digital divide. AdWords connects users and advertisers efficiently, helping both. AdSense helps fund a huge variety of online web sites and enables authors who could not otherwise publish. Last year we created Google Grants—a growing program in which hundreds of non-profits addressing issues, including the environment, poverty and human rights, receive free advertising. And now, we are in the process of establishing the Google Foundation. We intend to contribute significant resources to the foundation, including employee time and approximately 1% of Google’s equity and profits in some form. We hope someday this institution may eclipse Google itself in terms of overall world impact by ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world’s problems. </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;"> </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;">SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:-6px;"> </p> <p style="margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;text-indent:4%;">Google is not a conventional company. Eric, Sergey and I intend to operate Google differently, applying the values it has developed as a private company to its future as a public company. Our mission and business description are available in the rest of this prospectus; we encourage you to carefully read this information. We will optimize for the long term rather than trying to produce smooth earnings for each quarter. We will support selected high-risk, high-reward projects and manage our portfolio of projects. We will run the company collaboratively with Eric, our CEO, as a team of three. We are conscious of our duty as fiduciaries for our shareholders, and we will fulfill those responsibilities. We will continue to strive to attract creative, committed new employees, and we will welcome support from new shareholders. We will live up to our “don’t be evil” principle by keeping user trust and not accepting payment for search results. We have a dual class structure that is biased towards stability and independence and that requires investors to bet on the team, especially Sergey and me (Larry Page).</p>
In other words, there is also a class of stock that guarantees that Curly, Moe, and Larry hold all the cards and Common Share Holders are effectively locked out of the loop. It’s up to you to decide to what extent that complies to the “don’t be evil” creed, I’m just saying that, as common shareholder, you don’t really own any significant voting rights. Again, it’s not my place to tell you whether or not you should or shouldn’t be okay with that, but that is what we’re buying into with every share of GOOG.
Personally, I’ve long held many similar views to PJ Manney when it comes to the interaction between Geeks, Nerds, and The Normals; particularly the view that We’re Already Ascending and that evolution is perhaps more active than ever and there’s a reasonable likelihood that we are participating in it more actively than ever. This week on The Speculist Blogcast Radio, PJ talks about what I’ll take the alliterative liberty to restate as the radical need for Enhanced Empathy among Enhanced Humans. There are already masses of Americans, not to mention global citizens being Left Behind, in droves. Is this just part of the process that we’ll have to learn to cope with and offer one another peer counseling to overcome Survivor’s Remorse? Do we owe a debt to ALL humanity to extend the opportunity of uplift? Some argue that this obligation reaches even to our primate kin, or others. Or is there a healthy balance of empathy, somewhere along the spectrum, which enables us to be benign, if not benevolent posthumans, moving forward? One practical place to start is the city of Detroit, which nature is rapidly reclaiming, all the way into the urban core. It’s not exaggeration that significant portions of the once great industrial city look like something out of a post-apocalyptic science fiction scene. Are people, industries, and civilizations just naturally nomadic and we therefore should assist others in moving on, or do we have some obligation to large industrial settlements to ensure some kind of commercial infrastructure, in perpetuity?
Dove Lane reports that the Chinese Mega-Metaverse is Due in 2008:<blockquote>It sounds like a line from a sci-fi novel, but it’s not…
BBC NEWS reports:<blockquote>In the study, detailed in [the] journal Nature, nematode worms were exposed to 88,000 chemicals in turn and mianserin extended lifespan by almost a third.</blockquote>
What friggin’ planet do these people live on? Nearly 2008 and in the earliest stages of the Race for Dominance of the Metaverse, and yet still these morons are peddling this pablum?<blockquote>“We need significant evidence that such a [100Mbps broadband] network is required and I don’t think it exists yet,” said Peter Philips, Ofcom’s head of strategy.</blockquote>Clearly, these people are DANGER TO SOCIETY and should be replaced immediately or sooner:<blockquote>“We are not facing large numbers of people today who are constrained by their bandwidth,” Peter McCarthy-Ward, BT</blockquote>Only a complete moron would ask something so retarded as:<blockquote>Will gaming be one of key drivers for increased bandwidth?</blockquote>Oh, I don’t know, will THIRST be one of the key drivers for WATER DEMAND in the world?
Weekend Edition Sunday, December 2, 2007<blockquote>The idea of what Artificial Intelligence should be has evolved over the past 50 years — from solving puzzles and playing chess to emulating the abilities of a child: walking, recognizing objects. A recent conference brought together those who invent the future.
A recent “Singularity Summit” brought together those who imagine — and invent — the future.
</blockquote>Thankfully, Rick Kleffel from member station KUSP filed a reasonably representative report, featuring Sam Adams, Barney Pell, and even introducing AGI To The Public via the ever articulate Jamais Cascio of CRN & Dr. J. (James Hughes) of IEET!
Technology Review reports:<blockquote>A novel group of drugs that target a gene linked to longevity could provide a way to turn back the clock on the diseases of aging. The compounds are 1,000 times more potent than resveratrol, the molecule thought to underlie the health benefits of red wine, and have shown promise in treating rodent models of obesity and diabetes.
Little did he know, the Social Infrastructure was Already In Place for the stockpiling and emanant launch of MWMD … Market Weapons of Mass Dispersion.
Okay, so I took a little liberty by inserting the hypen and tweaking the capitalization in the subject, but that shouldn’t diminish this timely contribution from UgoTrade, in the least:<blockquote>Rita pointed out that a key question facing people in the an age of mass media is how can you emerge and express yourself creatively and make a contribution?<blockquote>I think that the answer to that is becoming a conscientious global citizen in the most creative way possible, so that your art becomes your life [and vice versa]. In other words, you’re not creating music, books or paintings. You can, of course, and that’s a great way to spend time and express ideas, but if you approach your own life as a work of art, everything you do in that framework is something you’re creating, that others can watch and perhaps even learn from, and you can enjoy. The motion toward life as art is the hallmark of the artist of the conceptual age, the people age.</blockquote></blockquote>Wow. I can barely believe that someone actually GETS this, let alone articulates it so clearly. Perhaps there is indeed hope for humanity’s transcendence.
The deeper that science drills into the substrata of behavior, the harder it becomes to preserve the vanity that we are unique among Earth's creatures.
While clearly not the most rigorously peer-reviewed journal, the audience that Time Magazine reaches is an important one for discussing What Makes Us Moral, and articles such as this could partly address concerns about how to implement brain re-engineering to prevent humans from blowing themselves up over differences in superstition. It probably does sense to begin with less invasive software/meme-ware procedures such as Compelling and Accessible Rational Instruction before jumping ahead right away to nanobot routing table hacking of spindle and mirror neurons.<blockquote>Brain scans are providing clues. Animal studies are providing more. Investigations of tribal behavior are providing still more. None of this research may make us behave better, not right away at least. But all of it can help us understand ourselves—a small step up from savagery perhaps, but an important one.</blockquote>
Or maybe even a few dozen … or hundreds of them … in both urban and rural settings, all across America. Also, please note the ‘histrionics’ tag for this post and approach accordingly. Histrionic doesn’t necessarily imply a complete lack of merit; although analytical rigor may be sparingly folded in.
Update 11/25/07: Ug. Meant to save as draft late last night, so some important updates appear here if you happened to read this earlier.
It was during a sidebar conversation during the recent 2007 Foresight Unconference Vision Weekend, that I discovered I am an absolutely unapologetic Pay It Forward Whack-O’-Dough (PIFWOD) apologist; one who wholly believes that economic resources in the U.S. marketplace have become more than sufficiently skewed as to be ripe for the corrective market action of a 21st Century Henry Ford. If market forces truly do innovate solutions to market imbalances, then the market is well overdue for a PIFWOD bomb to really shake up the imperialist elitists. Ford’s PIFWOD was the $5 day. Ours could take a page from contemporary startup practices; but the intent and the effects will be the same as Ford’s: to raise the Modal Expectation and Experience of Prosperity and thus Activate Economies of Scale at markedly higher levels of consumption and value.
To backtrack just a moment, the mission slogan for PIFWOD requires and deserves attribution, but I’ll await the approval of the author of that phrase to disclose attribution. The essence of this idea is hardly new, although the present instantiation can only be blamed upon yours truly. And thanks to my loyal interlocutor, the aptly supplied moniker: Pay It Forward Whack-O’-Dough, was coined. It’s perfect, thank you, BW.
To recap, at the time of our conversation, I was thinking about a near-future world where resource scarcity is very close to becoming an utterly absurd anachronism; when reminding a sixth grader in 2034 that not long ago the entire economic interrelationship of the human race was based upon the principle that “resources are scarce” will result in the same “so what” stare that you get from today’s tweenies when you accidentally sputter something so curmudgeonly as, “you know, we didn’t always have an internet.” Whatever, Grandma, now STFU and go away. <blockquote>My fiscally conservative and sociologically liberal neocortex was mulling over something like, “To hell with complex and bloated government wealth redistribution schemes or transfer payments, surely we can do it much more effectively and efficiently through Democratic Free Enterprise.”
</blockquote>I know it sounds Dangerously Republicanesque, but think equal parts Steve Liesman’s “National Productivity Day,” (modified to apply to the entire last CENTURY of collectively unrealized productivity dividends); Larry Kudlow’s creed that, “free market capitalism is still the best path to prosperity;” Jesus’s, “don’t be a greedy prick or a mean asshole;” and Mohammad’s, “or allah will kick your ass, you shmo.”
It’s like … if Kudlow’s hero Brian Wesbury is right, then it’s high time for Market Participants to step up to the plate and create Rational Market Responses to the horrendously expanding economic discontinuities and disparities in America. You say you want to avoid the specter of bigger government, Mr. Wesbury? Then Step Up To The Plate and Do What You Claim Your Almighty Invisible Hand is best at doing:<blockquote>Correct this runaway divergence between the top 2% and the next 8% … and while you’re at it, follow-up with a measured approach to keep the other 90% in the game, as well.</blockquote>I’m not even going to argue whether not Obscenely Astronomical Wealth Disparity has become the norm in America, because only Idiots, Liars, and Megalomaniacs could possibly argue otherwise; and I can’t ever hope to persuade any of those. So this post ignores those statistical outliers and reaches out instead the the intellectually honest or at least the intellectually sort of trying to be honest.
I’m sort of trying, too.
It seems to me that RIGHT NOW … heading into the year 2008 … just one moderately enlightened business team who understands the intrinsically explosive power of dispersing more creative capital resources into the hands of more and more diverse, intelligent, and ambitious people; one team that shares the vision of establishing new economies of scale at the next level of Modal Prosperity; can replicate and amplify the positive disruptive effect that Henry Ford understood was required for the automobile’s success, early in the previous century.
In Ford’s day, everyday people required a significant bump in both consumption capacity and Baseline Prosperity Expectations in order to move from Horse-n-Buggy Norm to Automobile Norm.
“Everybody got to elevate from the norm.” – N. Peart.
I continue to believe that we are at a similar junction in history, right now. Except that today we see orders of magnitude greater implications for good and not-so-good; particularly as capabilities such as molecular nano-assembly and super longevity loom on the horizon. These things are happening right now, friends; like it or not and ready or not.
To once again brutalize the worn out Gibson classic, “The singularity is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.” And when the very concepts of “scarce resources” and “brief lives” become utterly laughable, the whole deal will be about DISTRIBUTION. Who passes what resources through whom; when; how; and why?
To my mind, the “why” is retardedly obvious: so life doesn’t suck for the greatest number of humans possible. Answering the others may not be so obvious, but they too are soluble – at least, if we’re all as smart as we claim to be.
Of course, Henry Ford didn’t act alone in helping to usher in the Transportation Singularity; as it dide then, such a work requires a unique team to build and deploy the theoretical 21st Century Giant PIFWOD Bomb.
Yes, this whole thing sounds utterly absurd and borderline incoherent. However, the only thing more absurd and incoherent is to Do Nothing and continue on the trajectory of unsustainability and species self-mutilation.
In the draft scenario we chatted about at the unconference; I assumed a typical $100M payout on acquisition or IPO to a founder demagogue of a 70 person company; however, in the PIFWOD case the stereotypically vaunted Randian Founding Father or Mother figure (CEO) has to bring her or his distorted Atlassian ego down to earth and settle with walking out with a “measly” $30M instead of $100M while each of the other 69 employees walk with $1M. That’s the Pay It Forward Whack-O’-Dough, in a nutshell. Instead of one new uber-consumer and an army of ripped off workers who MADE your idea into a company, you get 1 right-sized uber-consumer and 69 mega-consumers.
The exact math isn’t the point … nobody is hung up on a particular percentage, here; what we’re hung up on is the absurd idea that ONE HUMAN’S CONTRIBUTION amidst any particular group of 70 is worth $70M while the other 69 see $50K-$200K. Of course, the current deployment of Golden Parachutes during this subprime mortgage meltdown makes factors of 70M seem paltry. Those packages are so utterly obscene as to provide all the Empirical Evidence any thinking person would need to support my claims of Unsustainable Imbalance of resources; thus necessitating either Free Market PIFWOD Bombs or the vastly more absurd – though nevertheless required in lieu of Capital Market Inertia – government interventions.
In the microcosm of a 70 employee startup – while the proportions are orders of magnitude smaller that Wall St. – the compensation disparities don’t even come close to passing a basic laugh test.
NO SINGLE INDIVIDUAL HUMAN amidst a group of 70 is SEVENTY MILLION TIMES more valuable to a COLLECTIVE CORPORATE entity. It’s simply impossible. Which is why we need to solve this fundamental issue before it BECOMES POSSIBLE … when enhanced and augmented human beings will conceivably possess AGI and other capabilities which, compared to the unenhanced branches of the evolutionary tree, COULD realistically be argued to be of 70, 80, or 100 BILLION times more value to a group of unenhanced hominids.
Considering a point in time during which the demonstrated capabilities and measurable value of some of us could conceivably diverge to such an extropian extent, it seems to me that we Absolutely Must take the greatest of care to provide for the monkeys from whence we sprang. There is a risk that if we don’t codify and institutionalize such norms BEFORE WE FORGET what it was like to be as we are now; the future may look more 4400-ish than we would presently care to imagine.
It could very well be that if we are to preempt a pitiless posthuman peonage; to thwart a tragic transhuman tribalism; that we need to deal with the fundamental issue of distribution BEFORE The Great Leap Forward happens. Of course, if the GLF has already happened, one might reasonably hope that such ideas are at the very least an individual evolutionary psychological prerequisite to gaining uplift and entry into the leapt cohort.
<blockquote>We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
We are the movers and shakers;
Of the world forever it seems.
– Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy (1844–1881)</blockquote>
As of today, the subvalent domain name squatters have been displaced; so we can drop the emphasis on “.dot. INFO” in page title, site ID branding, and finally move forward as initially intended in the secondary plan. As always, it’ll still take a couple days for DNS to propagate globally. Meanwhile, the Great Leap Forward is already well underway … in SL, in FL, and mediated by scifi IRL.<blockquote>Maia Skouris: “You’re wrong mom. We are in control now. It’s better that way.”</blockquote>In other news, hooray for UBIK … the fictitious (see note 1) OTC “ubiquinone” nutriceutical supplement is dubbed the make believe human enhancement risk-mitigating solution!<blockquote>Jordan Collier: “The world will have to deal with us.”</blockquote>P.S. If these whimsical character quotations mean nothing to you, that’s quite alright; but for those who are among The 300 IRL and The 4400 in SFL (SciFi Life), I just couldn’t resist the post. :-)
Sure, the Android mobile communication platform is a long way from AGI, but I needed a reasonable excuse to keep messing around with Splashcast and this may at least qualify as an interesting diversion.
Yes, I suggested this just a few weeks back, but after learning directly from Senior Research Fellow Chris Heward at this weekend’s amazing 2007 Foresight Unconference Vision Weekend , it’s clear that participation in this seminal study should become an immediate pressing priority for everyone who considers themselves serious about longevity, SENS, transhumanism, posthumanism, extropian hold-outs, or whatever flavor or living-better-longer that you prefer. As a society and as a species, we desperately need this longitudinal data in order to better understand how to measure the nature and pace of aging in humans. Yes, I will certainly be signing up no later than Q1 2008, as my schedule allows me to make the commitment.
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As reported by Advanced Nano, Stanford Racing was not able to hold on to its Grand Challenge title, falling just behind first place winners Tartan Racing from Carnegie Mellon. The great thing about prize-driven (no pun intended) technology competitions of all kinds is that entire industries emerge as big winners. Congratulations to all the participants; to even accomplish inclusion in such an impressively challenging event is a lifetime achievement worthy great individual and collective pride. Well done!
Not that my readers could have possibly missed it by now, but thanks to the empirically ineffable accomplishments of physicist Alex Zettl and graduate student Kenneth Jensen the nano-genie is now SO out of the bottle that it won’t be long now before the normals start telling us how smart dust was so intuitively obvious all along. I’m actually getting comfortable with that whole cycle. Who knew?
Quick Index for this Post:
Commentary: This is a very rare departure from the blog’s theme, but seems justifiable, given the urgency of the situation. Yesterday I linked to a fire status mashup on another blog that now appears to be sponsored by KPBS, complete with KML file for display in google earth. At the same time, the San Diego Union Tribune had a similar mashup, but with conflicting data. Finally, the Calfires.com web site now has a mashup. I haven’t taken the time to further analyze this latest site, but a friend and I both compared the first two sites yesterday, only to confirm that the sites had very different boundaries depicted for “voluntary” and “mandatory” evacuation zones.
One might reasonably suspect that advances on individual fronts that battle age-related illness could also continue to shed valuable light on the meta mission of Ending Aging itself. Sometimes, novel techniques might be transferable; sometimes, novel perspectives. The history of science is replete with cases of unexpected gains in seemingly unrelated areas crossing over into other areas of particular interest.
Blood test takes step toward predicting Alzheimer’s - Stanford Medical Center Report Archive
<blockquote>Markus Britschgi, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in Wyss-Coray’s lab, was
intrigued with the idea that proteins used by cells to communicate
could be measured in the blood to see what is going on in the body,
including the brain.
“This study made me realize that we should get away from this image of a brain isolated from the body,” said Britschgi, who is also a first author of the paper. “The brain is part of the body and so it’s connected in one huge network.”</blockquote>
Good news on the cancer front: Death rates are dropping faster than ever ...
[T]hanks to a [Nobel award-winning] nanotechnology breakthrough, [b]y 2011 Hitachi expects to have a hard disk for desktops with 4 TB of storage and a laptop with a 1 TB drive.
About KLAS (Kronos Longitudinal Aging Study):<blockquote>What can be done to help understand aging and how to measure it? The KLAS program has created an operational definition of aging. The study defines aging as the slope of the declining part of the curve representing the change in global functional capacity. The goals of the KLAS project are to:
</blockquote>This ambitious and potentially groundbreaking program is not for everyone, so if you think you have The Right Stuff, go check it out and become part of the vanguard for extending human health expectancy to keep pace with an ever increasing life expectancy.<blockquote>All enrollees must be willing and able to commit to long-term study participation, minimum of three (3) times over six (6) years. The cost to participate in this study, $2,100.00 per visit, covers the actual costs of testing and reporting and is far below that which would be required elsewhere. Investigators recognize that this may limit the ability to recruit, however without longitudinal data, the study cannot succeed.
According to the Milken Institute, “It’s been estimated that $2.6 T was added to the U.S. every year, just due to the extension of life in the past century. Solving cancer today is worth $46.5 T to the U.S., and adds $125 T to the world economy” (queue up the 53:30 minute mark).
The way I presently see it, the flip side of the Longevity Dividend, is the Mortality Tariff. As a society, we pay huge unrecoverable costs as a penalty for living short, disease-ravaged, frail lives. Counter to conventional so-called wisdom that might view super longevity as some kind of starry-eyed whimsical pursuit, I would argue that the costs of mortality to society are so high that inaction to contain these costs is fiscally irresponsible. Of course, in recent years one of the most active and articulate champions for the cause of putting realistic costs upon the impacts of aging is Dr. Aubrey de Grey.
Having recently acquired a bit more clarity on the subject of SENS, thanks to his book Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime, my ears immediately perked up when I heard Michael Milkin on Bloomberg TV today, talking about a minimum of USD $46.5 T (yes, trillion) economic opportunity for achieving longer, healthier lives.
What??? Someone on the semi mainstream financial networks talking about longevity dividends? I can’t quite call Bloomberg TV fully mainstream, but it is certainly mainstream enough among the relatively educated demographic of active investors who pay attention to this new source. So I consider this as a very exciting development.
I was happily taken aback to hear someone of Mr. Milkin’s stature putting a ballpark price tag on the Longevity Dividend, albeit through the lens of costs incurred by chronic disease; costs that are massively amplified by the unmitigated process of aging.
Of course, the mainstream media would likely do all they can to say, “this is the last guy you should ever listen to, look what he did 50 years ago!” Well, that was 50 years ago (or whatever), and this is now. People change. This is another key benefit of living radically longer lives … people gain even more opportunities to accrue instructive experiences, to learn, change, and grow – to become Better Humans. Nevertheless, we must be practical when considering the interplay of contemporary media and fearful human nature; Mr. Milkin is probably not the best poster child for pursuing the Longevity Dividend, but he’s definitely a valuable resource for the financial think tank.
Mr. Milkin is an extraordinarily smart guy, which arguably may have led to his former troubles in the first place. However, he’s long since marched to beat of a far better behaved drummer and while he didn’t explicitly use the Longevity Dividend terminology, he clearly made the case that the single most effective way to leverage U.S. and global market productivity is to make immediate direct investment in achieving LONGER and HEALTHIER lives. This strikes me as a Very Good Thing(tm) for SENS in general.
Moreover, it prompted the following idea: a SENS specific ETF. Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) are increasingly popular “baskets” of securities, which focus upon various market segments while distributing risk among the basket’s constituent components. ETF’s differ from Mutual Funds in ways too minute to detail here. However, if you wanted to invest in “emerging markets” using an ETF, you might select NYSE ticker EEM, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
Could investors work with Dr. de Grey to identify a basket of companies to trade under a SENS ETF and thereby create a vehicle for direct investment in the companies that are working within any or all of the Seven specific SENS? (As a curious aside, the NYSE ticker SENS is either orphaned by Sentex Sensing Technology Inc., or already belongs to CardioMEMS Inc. if you believe Barron’s.) No matter. It would be nice to get the perfectly branded ticker, but hardly a deal breaker. The important thing is identifying the right companies and directing resources to solve the Seven Deadly Things.
For more information, listen to the Milken Institute presentation addressing current global challenges was given at an investors conference in London on Jan 18, 2007. Even nine months later, it is still worth incorporating into the overall lifeboat calculus. Better yet, for those of us in based in or around California, the 2007 California State of the State conference in Beverly Hills will be held on October 29. Still plenty of time to register and attend for the discount rate of $450, prior to October 5. (Government, academic and nonprofit institutions get in for $395)
Listen at Bloomberg: Finance as Solution to Global Problems to catch up on the “news” that today’s children can expect AVERAGE life expectancy of 110. You’ll also learn precisely why 80 is the new 60; 60 the new 40, etc.
It’s been nearly a year, so worth reposting.
The Prelinger Library eschews the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress systems, and is organized instead by what Megan Shaw Prelinger calls “a map of my brain.”<blockquote>[T]he idea of making a library was fed by my experience that college and university libraries’ closed stacks inhibit browsing and the process of random discovery. I always felt like I had my best ideas or developed my best projects when I was wandering and looking for certain things, but then finding things I didn’t expect.</blockquote>I think there will always be value in being able to find a precise item by a predictable and precise method; but for unstructured learning and discovery, this is one of the few truly exciting ideas to come along in quite a while. It’s still very difficult to duplicate the aesthetic spelunking experience of walking around amongst rows and stacks of human knowledge. At least for me, there is a visceral satisfaction in discovering ideas by that method that is absent from web based discovering. That doesn’t make either one good or bad, they’re just different.
The long anticipated Body World2 and The Three Pound Gem opened today at the TheTech Musuem of Innovation in San Jose. Can’t wait to check it out! From the site:<blockquote>Body Worlds 2 & The Three Pound Gem presents the complexity and beauty of the human body, preserved through Plastination, the groundbreaking method of specimen preservation invented by anatomist, Dr. Gunther von Hagens. More than 200 authentic human specimens offer visitors profound insights into the form and funciton of the human body, wellness and disease, and the [increasingly less] mysterious world of the brain.</blockquote>Sorry, couldn’t resist that one small interlinear editorial comment. :-) Personally, I’d like to see the Machine and Man: Ethics and Robotics in the 21st Century section of TheTech significantly expanded, as well.
"I want to live indefinitely. I don't want to die," he said as he marked his birthday, Kyodo News reported.
We, my associates and myself, are in a line of business that surpasses all rational understanding. I'm not at liberty to make disclosures at this time, but we consider matters at present to be ominous but not however hopeless. Despair is not indicated -- not by any means (Dick 1969, Ubik, 5).
If I haven’t mentioned it before, Philip K. Dick’s Ubik truly is part of the core curriculum for any responsible posthuman aspirant due to the interactions and interdependencies between the characters in Ubik’s world and analogical relationships in a world of uploaded, substrate independent posthumans. If you haven’t read it, get ready to be disappointed at just how unoriginal some of your ideas have been … and maybe even some of William Gibson’s … all along. On the other hand, if ego can take the hit, it could well be affirming and inspiring, along with PKD’s entire body of work.
Of course, the subject question is my posthuman-biased recontextualization of these new findings, while The Economist reports more plainly that, “Out-of-body experiences (OBE’s) can now be created at will. Studying them sheds light on the nature of consciousness.” Not that the question is new, in the least. As this timely article reminds us, Anatomist Charles Sedgwick Minot opened the 1902 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting over a century ago with:<blockquote>I HOPE to convince you that the time has come to take up consciousness as a strictly biological problem.”</blockquote>For an aspiring futurist, that was an extrapolation worthy of complete envy and awe. The Economist goes on to report:<blockquote>In two papers published in this week’s edition of Science (subscription req’d), the AAAS’s house journal, Ehrsson and Blanke report their latest results.</blockquote>
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Once you hit the Cringley radar, you’re one step closer to the mainstream radar; and for good reason. It’s this dependable pragmatism which continually re-qualifies Mr. C. to hold the bully pulpit.<blockquote>Rather than a technological Hell or Utopia, the Singularity is likely to leave us still in our sitcom just with different props.</blockquote><blockquote>To me the Singularity feels a lot like Y2K …</blockquote><blockquote>… like every other rite of passage, this one will be both more and less than we expect it to be. Our troubles won’t go away, they’ll just become different troubles.</blockquote><blockquote>The real peril in all this is that our social, cultural, and political technologies probably won’t keep pace, meaning we’ll have whole new ways to hurt ourselves and others along with the same old [inequitable and generally ineffective] ways to keep ourselves from doing so.</blockquote>Bracketed editorial context mine.
That would be Get the Heck Off This Freaking Rock; a fundamentally complementary enterprise to accomplishing posthuman cluefulness. In fact, these companies could well be building Noah’s REAL Ark when the fundies blow themselves to smithereens in the most perverse self-fulfilling prophecy imaginable.<blockquote><ul><li>Fly Me to the Moon: Space Hotel Sees 2012 Opening</li><li>Bigelow Areospace: Genesis I and II</li><li>Mandatory Slashdot Debunking</li></ul></blockquote>
With great thanks to our ever-vigilant uber-libertarian loyalist Ronald Bailey, I’ve been catching up on Transvision 2007 from this run down rented shanty here in central Palo Alto. It’s definitely a bonus to live within a 120 second walk to the main library, and yeah, we’ve labored like Candide to resurrect the front lawn after a decade of neglect and dormancy, so things are improving; but it’s always the gardening progress made in the back yard that reveals the true work ethic, don’t you think?
As transhumanists, it certainly makes sense for us to spruce up the front yard before getting to the difficult work, out back. All this Youngevity/Longevity Dividend work strikes me as somewhat analogous merely because that’s one of the interesting things a human neocortex does: creates analogies to our own experience in order to make sense of other experiences, in order to construct new predictions about what reality might (should) be like. But enough of a nod to Jeff Hawkins, it was actually in the interest of poking some plain old goofy, frivolous, and I hope harmless fun at the equally revered and maligned Mr. Bailey (would he really have it any other way?), that I digressed. In all seriousness, I am ever grateful for his tireless efforts to get at the REASON behind things. Thank you, Ronald.
To the point, it was the immortal (well, in memory) Freddy Mercury who artfully delivered the quintessential American marketing message: I want it ALL and I want it NOW. That’s what sells in America, so why not sell it? Why not peddle the proverbial low hanging fruit of the positive posthuman future?
It seems to me that the Fight Aging! site is getting it largely right by marketing what already works best of all: INSTANT GRATIFICATION. After all, spammers keep spamming because the same old idiotic come-ons keep working enough of the time to make it worth their libertarian hey-if-it-works people-should-be-allowed-to-do-it while. Be Rich NOW. Be Thinner NOW. Be Smarter NOW. Be a Stud NOW. Try Absinthe NOW.
So when Fight Aging! says The Message is:<blockquote>Stop damaging your health (NOW)! A good diet and better lifestyle will improve and lengthen your natural life span. You’ll feel better (NOW), you’ll feel better for longer, and you’ll be in good shape (NOW, and) to take advantage of future advances in healthy life extension medicine.
</blockquote>Of course, I’ve inserted the implied NOWs to illustrate that these are Longevity Dividends that can be realized right now. It seems to me that no expensive studies from experts are needed to validate this intuitively obvious deduction. If less people are obese TODAY … if less people are addicted TODAY … if less people are sedentary TODAY … then less money will be spent on their healthcare TODAY … and into the future. Those near-term gains should be readily measurable (if they aren’t already published) and utterly compelling to the public. Have I simply missed this argument somewhere else? Surely I’m not the first to suggest this approach.
If one of the central motivations for positive proximate behavior changes can be attributed to the quest for longevity, then as a society we can begin realizing quantifiable gains from the so-called Longevity Dividend … TODAY. At the very least, this might be one way to gain a little traction in some market venues. Operative word: some … expanding transvision buy-in is a hydra-headed marketing mission.
To schlep out one more of those pesky damned analogies: if we could find a way to sell some kind of INSTANT GRATIFICATION LONGEVITY PACK in a way that is more compelling than the 2:00 A.M. come-ons from Big Pharma, that might be another small step toward reaching a mass market. No offense, but I found myself questioning whether Shat actually helps more than hurts any given marketing campaign, these days. While I find his admirable cynicism about the absurd phenomenon of celebrity personally more endearing than tribbles, if we’re trying to reach the 18 to 34 and 35 to 54 demographics, is he really the best spokesperson these days?
At the moment, I’m speculating that it might be more about recruiting Marshall Mathers … “yo, it’s worth overcoming all kinds of SHIT in life, yo; you don’t gotta’s stay stuck in The Man’s death trap machine if you love your family, stick around to be wif ‘em” … and James Keenan “stepping through my shadow … 46 and 2, just ahead of me” … and most importantly country music icons willing to lament, “and if only ah could hang around diggin’ up these here catfish from underneath them there mud rocks down the crick at the bottom of the hill for another seven years or so, you’d come back to me and we could watch are young’uns come up in the world and oh what joy a longer life livin’ would done bring us.”
It seems to me that:<ol><li>Younger people need to come to believe that older people don’t suck.</li><li>Dumber people need to come to believe that smarter people don’t suck.</li></ol>Those seem like a couple of the most trenchant mass marketing challenges, to this particular self-deprecating metamoronic mind; considering that the reciprocals generally don’t present as much challenge due to so many older humans worshipping youth and any authentically smart person does not devalue any human. So please relax if you love country music, I’m not saying all country music lovers are morons (some of my best friends like country music … and some of my other friends are almost as moronic as me … <snarky smile>).
I’m only recklessly stereotypifying to make the points that less educated people are very often skeptical of more educated people and young people all too often have not developed sufficient empathy to consider the perspective of older people. We’re trying to bridge BOTH jagged and perilous demographic divides. That’s not exactly going to happen over a mere decade; we’re talking two or three, unless we find new ways to accelerate change in the context of deeply held mass market opinions by maybe adding valium or flouride or prozac to the water supply … or by deftly leveraging the twitterverse, the entertainment culture, and emerging avenues of influence.
Finally, I suspect that most H+ wannabes like myself will agree that it will not suddenly become easy to overcome the cacaphony (it’s not a Hurlbut symphony, though both contain ‘phony’) of an entrentched, irrational, death-defending culture that is already over saturated with a trillion competing marketing messages. After all, we’re only trying to overcome the inertia of ALL OF HUMAN HISTORY with respect to this particular issue, comrades.
Last damnable analogy: when working to reverse the ravages of earthly death on a small plot of neglected soil, the neighbors initially looked on with skeptical wags. Will the thankless grimy labor really continue this time? How serious are the would-be life bringers, really? Ha! The last ones tried that for YEARS and failed. Who do they think they are? What’s in it for them, anyway? They don’t even OWN that land. Why would they care? I don’t trust them, they look kinda’ suspicious to me. Have you seen the crappy vehicles they drive? I’ve never heard of her, have you? It must be nobody then. No need to pay attention to nobodies. But as the results began to show, the wagging heads gradually attenuated, giving way to faintly glimpsing grins and grudgingly approving glances; and eventually, the first friendly greeting broke forth.
Patience, Candide. The back yard is in need of tilling and we’ll chat some more when next we meet in the garden.
As always, faithfully transcribing and contextualizing the July 20, 2007 Future Salon, the ever salient and perspicacious Anne Corwin conveys:<blockquote>The “wisdom of repugnance” argument was also invoked … in the context of suggesting that visceral reactions sometimes do lead to preferential moral positions. After all, quite a few things that did not used to be considered “repugnant” now certainly are; examples given were slavery, mass murder of indigenous peoples, non-universal suffrage, and homophobia. All these things are now fairly widely condemned, when they used to be accepted as a matter of course. Applying the “wisdom of repugnance” to the subject of longevity, de Grey asks whether age-related death might perhaps become repugnant at some point.</blockquote>While in his role as spokesperson he must take the more conservative tact of “asking” whether this might some day be the case. We lowly foot soldiers in the cause for Rational Longevity are a bit freer to assert that this absolutely MUST become the case, before any appreciable progress will be made. After all, death by aging already is repugnant to anyone who has given the matter even a few moments of lucent, cogent consideration. Key words: lucid, cogent.
In addition to SiCKO, another Necessary Link to be aware of:<blockquote>The way I see it, longevity medicine is a means to acknowledge that when you get older, your care needs are different – and I also firmly believe that medicine is as obligated to find ways to help older people survive as it is to find ways to help younger people survive. Anything less than that is age discrimination. It has always confused the heck out of me that if you go into a doctor’s office at age 20 and are told that you’re dying, it’s treated as a tragedy, but if you’re 75, it’s treated like something that you just need to accept. A lot of the medical discrimination experienced by elderly people seems exactly like some of the discrimination experienced by people with disabilities – in both cases you’ll hear things like, “It’s not natural for these people to be alive”.
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Let’s see … uh … I think Carlos Mencia would respond with, “Deet-duh-dee!!!” but Reason Magazine takes a bit more reasonable approach, or course.
SCI FI Wire reports that veteran author Benjamin Rosenbaum has beat this would-be rookie to the punch. Congratulations, Ben. For my own sake (and others, I suspect), we can only hope that you’ve further opened a GENRE rather than zero-summed us out of contention for the posthuman prognostication market. Note to self: next time don’t just listen to PJ, do what she says. :)
news @ nature.com: “Scans reveal a fluid-filled cavity in the brain of a normal man.”
Engadget:<blockquote>NASA researchers working on biological nanobattery. The idea is to make use of the iron-containing protein ferritin, which apparently has the innate ability to carry either a positive or negative charge. In practice, one layer of ferritin would simply be stacked with another layer carrying the opposite charge, effectively forming a battery just a few nanometers thick</blockquote>
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After all, we can’t have those augmented semi-humans showing us up now, can we?
Better sick the Area 51 watchers on this one, pronto! But seriously:<blockquote>Neutrinos move at nearly the speed of light, scientists say, and cosmic radiation, a sort of clutter, makes it difficult to study them at the earth’s surface. Deep underground, there’s less clutter or static.</blockquote>
Okay, so this is six weeks stale, but it’s still cool, even if sooo long out dated by now.
A high-res ‘4D’ vision of the human body
“No, really dude, it’s SCIENCE, not just bitchin’ psychedelic yoga practice, I promise, man!” “Dude!”
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NPR: Ultimately, at the heart of the novel ... is the idea that the nature of our minds are somehow changed by the gadgets which we are increasingly using to communicate.
Richtel: You start with the premise that, as human beings, we evolve to fit our environment ... as the jungle becomes the digital environment, we will adapt with it ...
Photo - AFP/File
Japanese firm unveils artificial hand with ‘air muscles’
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If you missed this first time around, you can check out the EthernetTV Splashcast.
Okay, I’ll post this as a “second wind” effort to keep this video moving with a few crucial personal caveats:
Just on the heels of listening to the Audible.com rendition of Jeffrey Hawkins’s “On Intelligence,” it seems only befitting to discover the January 2000 treatise, The Identity Theory of Mind (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) has been upgraded within the past ten days:<blockquote>The identity theory of mind holds that states and processes of the mind are identical to states and processes of the brain … to the effect that these experiences just are brain processes, not merely correlated with brain processes (J. J. C. Smart).</blockquote>Much of Hawkins’s thesis revolves around similar ideas, and he goes to great lengths to describe a plausible framework for exactly HOW the mind emerges from two very simple fundamental operations: storage and prediction. Hawkins theorizes that through auto-associative, invariant, hierarchical interactions of stored sequences of patterns (brain states), we become conscious, self-aware. To this layman, it is a highly fascinating and pragmatic contribution.
Yes, there is much more to it, and Hawkins concedes that many strictly utilitarian neuroanatomists could well take him to task on any number of specifics; however, suffice to say that Hawkins seems to have perfectly prepped the reader (or listener in this case) to consider JJC Smart’s work – the subject of this entry – over the coming week.
As is so often the case, thanks to Sentient Developments for alerting me to this one. Yes, we’re talking TACTILE fingertips, boys and girls. As I’ve ranted for years, we don’t have to know what the cortex DOES to take advantage of its capabilities; all we need – intially – is clean, accurate, increasingly granular access to the I/O ports and we’re in business. Yeah, yeah, yeah, to actually GET AT intelligence, we’re going to have to understand invariant hierarchical sequential electro-chemical neuronal storage and auto-associative retrieval; but in the meantime, there is no reason to not move forward with some of the lower level somato-sensory replacement parts and augmentations. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hzRja9eunY]
Because everyone knows that All Old People Suck and have no creativity left in them. Just hurry up and make them die so we don’t have to suffer the endless yammerings, and utterly pointless lives, right?
Aw, how cute. The slashdotties are entertaining enhancement for about five minutes. Now we can finally rest assured that the greatest intellectual leaders and ethical giants of our day have brought their collective, distributed, open-source, undivided attention to bear upon society’s greatest challenge of the coming century. Without the rigorous analysis of slashdot, surely all would be lost.
Scrolling away the hours that make up a dull day; twitter and waste the hours in an offhand way. Clicking around with an optical mouse in your own house; waiting for some link or some ping to show you the way.
Yet another individually configurable democratic slick and sexy lookin’ streamcast scene player/viewer.
I’m presently listening to the Audible.com audio book version of Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee’s “On Intelligence.” You can listen to a sample here. Audible.com just may win my subscription, if only I had the time to listen to more audio books. Unfortunately, even given the convenience and affordability of my $49 Sandisk Sansa m240 player (VERY cheap and effective alternative to the much overhype-pods), time is the limiting factor. [Note that the $69 m250 has twice the space (2GB) for only another $20; but was not yet released at the time of my purchase. Ug.]
As is so often the case, thanks again to Dr. J for bringing attention to this article and prompting me to find out more about Pharyngula’s utterly brilliant content. Written by Professor Paul Z. Meyers, the blog is subtitled “Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.” Here’s an excerpt:<blockquote>Just as a little fantasy, I don’t think the proponents of this compromise quite realize what new ethical dilemmas they are opening up, and expect to see the door slammed shut once some of the possibilities sink in. One thing to think about: if you pull a few totipotent cells out of one embryo, a few more out of another and another, one thing you can do is reconstitute a chimeric new individual out of the bits and pieces—a kind of Frankenembryo. This isn’t at all far-fetched: tetraparental mice have been made, and tetragametic humans spontaneously occur.</blockquote>
The excuse:<blockquote>this kind of test had never been carried out before because it was never really an issue, being that most pacemaker wearers tend not to have an iPod.</blockquote>“Never really an issue” because we ASSUME that All Those Old Morons will NEVER understand our hip, young, cool bullshit. I am getting increasingly outraged as the methodical disenfranchisement of older people in our society. “Yeah, don’t even test it for safety, they’re all too old and tired and lazy and stupid.” With that prejudice driving so much of product development, and with product development driving so much of popular culture, is it any wonder that age discrimination is not only alive and well in America, but getting WORSE and affecting younger old people (down into the 40’s and even 30’s), every day?
Thank the Penultimate Proximate Cause that somebody is thinking and acting seriously along these lines:
Namely, it’s ActiveWeave describing some of its latest permutations of another long-standing and now increasingly attainable ambition to contextualize increasingly chaordic complexity by marking up the web.
Tutorom, taken to one histrionic logical extreme, might entirely obviate the idea of university as an institution for learning. The university archetype will likely continue to be effective as a utilitarian metaphor for productive civil interaction and exchange between diverse consciousnesses; each progressing along or across a spectrum of developmental and innate trajectories and capabilities. However, to the extent that self-directed and motivated information acquisition and synthesis plays a role in the individual development of sentient entities within that context, the Tutorom model presents an interesting method for encouraging and monetizing the free-flow of certain specific categories of information and knowledge.
It’s Scientific American, not SciFi. The robots ARE inside of you. While resistance to our cyborg future is not futile, it does result in premature ejection from the competition for achieving posthuman sentience. So you are free to ignore the robots, close your eyes and blow your load of consciousness in one quick 70-year pop, or you can choose to exercise some delayed gratification and maybe develop some significant staying power. Don’t worry, neither choice will result in hairy palms (unless that suits your Avatar fantasy) and we’ll continue to fight for your right to retain those choices, no matter what. Oh, the lowbrow post-sensual existential entendre! Perhaps we may find that we’re really making progress once the phrase “keeping it up” refers to the ability to keep one’s sentience pre-resurrected – contiguous and coherent – just a little longer than the next nascent substrate-independent entity.
We live in an age of anxiety. People everywhere fear the next terrorist attack. Meanwhile, we slowly grow numb to Iraq’s endless string of kidnappings and suicide bombings. Between bird flu, tsunamis, and loose nukes, our list of fears is getting longer. So, we asked 21 leading thinkers: What is one solution that would make the world a better place? Here are their answers.
It’s a joke, francis … fuque … ama … get it? Never mind. Here’s one you should get, though. Another Ron Bailey classic quotable: “Or you can have the following deal. You get your longevity treatment, if you agree not to take Social Security; or, you can get your social security … and die. There’s your choice. I think I know which way people will go.”
In a trustee court hearing on 24 April, the judge denied the request. She said that if she appointed a legal guardian for a chimp, then this might create the public perception that humans with court-appointed legal guardians are at the same level as animals.
This is an antithetical non sequitur. The point is that our fellow primate “animals” should be at a similar level to extraordinarily limited functioning humans. I’m sorry if this offends the human racists, but offense or lack thereof does nothing to alter reality.
It occurred to me, in the course of reading Daniel Goleman’s latest, Social Intelligence, that I’ve spent a good deal of my “idle process” time trying to understand the world, other humans, attempting to validate my perceptions of both, and to understand their perceptions of me. One observation that I’ve long come to terms with is that I’m clearly not within the center 1/3 of the bell curve with respect to human cognitive experience. This has resulted in a lifelong sense of relative alienation, and consequent efforts to somehow accomplish or contribute something of sufficient utility and value to the rest of the humans, that I would somehow, eventually, “fit in.” Of course, the efforts to “fit in” only began after a couple decades of “fuck you if I don’t fit in” in my earlier years of muddling through the experience.
Today, two things occurred to me. First, my basic understanding of human neuro anatomy is woefully lacking. While Goleman provides a very accessible introduction to this curriculum, his writing has prompted me to find out more. To this end, I’ve discovered the wonderful Whole Brain Atlas by Keith A. Johnson and J. Alex Becker of Harvard Medical School. The atlas provides amazing MRI/PET “fly-throughs” of the brain, a neuro imaging primer, and dozens of other amazing views into neuro anatomy. It’s a great place to spend some idle process time and is a great complement to the timeless Gray’s Anatomy, which is where I actually need to spend the majority of my time in order to learn what interests me at the moment. The $185.00 for the 1600 page online edition is an absolute bargain. BTW, I have no affiliation with Elsevier or Churchill Livingstone, so if you feel even the slightest animosity toward people or sites that link to affiliate programs, feel free to dismiss such distractions and move on. :)
The second thing I realized is that if I feel that I do not fit into the center 1/3 of the bell curve of human cognitive experience, then 2/3 of humans under that curve potentially feel the same way that I do, to some degree, or another! We, “the outliers” are far from alone and need not apologize or seek the acceptance of the “centrists” to any degree beyond that which any human subgroup might seek mutual recognition. Despite this beta impression, I am still curious about the similarities between the experience of cultural and racial minorities and the experience of cognitive minorities. Oftentimes, it appears to me that the two find themselves in the same room at the same time far more than pure chance would predict. It’s a completely anecdotal observation, but one that, for me, carries a fairly heavy weight of commonsense accuracy. More research is required.
The third of two things that occurred to me during the course of this relatively shallow spelunking into the caverns of social intelligence, and my historical lack thereof; shall remain unwritten in this space, for possible inclusion in a wider ranging work, which I hope to complete sometime before decade’s end. The determining factor in reaching that goal is closely tied to whether or not I can extract myself from the wage-slave ranks; if not permanently, at least for a sufficient amount of time to complete the work. See Chris Carlsson’s work, for more on that tangential predicament. <blockquote></blockquote>
Finally! After attending Dr. Everitt’s report last year (when data collection was complete) the first phase of Gravity Probe B results are finally in, confirming the geodetic effect! It’ll be another 8 or 9 months before the team can report on frame-dragging. This is truly some of the most exciting scientific work I’ve been privileged to witness in my brief time on the planet and like thousands of others, I’m practically holding my breath to hear the next stage of results.<blockquote>Today, Everitt and his team are poised to share what they have found so far-namely that the data from the GP-B gyroscopes clearly confirm Einstein’s predicted geodetic effect to a precision of better than 1 percent. However, the frame-dragging effect is 170 times smaller than the geodetic effect, and Stanford scientists are still extracting its signature from the spacecraft data. The GP-B instrument has ample resolution to measure the frame-dragging effect precisely, but the team has discovered small torque and sensor effects that must be accurately modeled and removed from the result.</blockquote>If you want to stay ahead of the pack for future developments, subscribe to the announcements list, or better yet:<blockquote>Norbert Bartel, Professor of Astrophysics and Space Sciences at York University in Toronto, Canada, has produced and directed a 26-minute documentary movie about the Gravity Probe B experiment entitled, Testing Einstein’s Universe. This movie, along with 80 minutes of additional video about relativity, physics, and astronomy is available on a DVD, which you can purchase from the Website.</blockquote>
Either the cost of security against identity theft and other information security risks is increasingly high, or Comcast has joined the broadband providers who are killing encryption by degrading anonymized traffic:
Wow, moderated by my good friend (in the most hyperbolic sense of the word) Aubrey, himself.
Ray Kurzweil at Second Annual Geoethical Nanotechnology Workshop. With introduction by Martine Rothblatt.
From the Intentional Software blog:<blockquote>In their 2005 book John Seely Brown and John Hagel III advise that The Only Sustainable Edge for a business is to accelerate and leverage distinctive capabilities and knowledge. They advise each business to work closely with others in networks of companies that have diverse, complementary capabilities, and to build long-term, reciprocal, trust-based relationships through shared meaning. </blockquote>Why is this subject deemed metavalent in nature? Because the very structure of business, moving toward a substrate-independent world, must itself evolve or die. Market capitalism, industrial organization, corporate structures, like all human constructs, are anything but immutable. The most stable processes and procedures are often the most petrified – long-dead means and methods that indeed flourished for a period of time, but their continued presence in petrified form is not exactly evidence of continued viability.
As promised and warned time and time again over the past 15 years, Slashdot now reporting that once again Cable Packet Shaping is Causing Network Slowdowns.
The 2007 Symbolic Systems Distinguished Speaker is Prof. Elizabeth Loftus. Her talk will be entitled, “What’s the Matter with Memory?” on May 15th, at 5pm in room 420-040. Attendance is open for anyone in the Stanford community. That is, if you can REMEMBER to join us. :)<blockquote>For at least a century, scientists have demonstrated the tricks memory can play. More recently they have shown that people can be led to develop entire memories for events that never happened - “Rich false memories.” In recent work, people have been led to remember nonexistent events from the recent past as well as non-existent events from their childhood. People [of any age] can be led to falsely believe that they have had familiar experiences, but also rather bizarre or implausible ones. They can be led to believe that they did things that would have been impossible (e.g., shaking hands with Bugs Bunny during a trip to Disneyland). They can be led to falsely believe that they had experiences that would have been rather traumatic had they actually happened. False memories, like true ones, also have consequences for people, affecting later thoughts, intentions, and behaviors. For example, people who are led to believe that as children they got sick eating particular foods show avoidance of those foods later on. If false memories can be so readily planted in the mind, what does it say about the nature of memory?</blockquote>
Time flies. It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since we first heard of Alex Frank’s DONTCLICK.IT project. Personally, I had hopes that the computer mouse would be gone, by now, but humans are stubborn animals, not readily prone to rapid change and not readily accepting of people, places, or ideas that are foreign to them.
Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research indicates that 50% of happiness is genetic, 10% circumstantial, and 40% SSRIs, norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, dopamine reuptake inhibitors, or in many cases, just plain old heavy lifting.
From the old news you might have missed bin:
ADT Eyes Electronics and Sensors for Its Nanoscale Thin-Film Diamond:<blockquote>Advanced Diamond Technologies makes diamond one carbon atom at a time. ADT’s UNCD® (for ultra-nanocrystalline diamond) is born of U.S. Department of Energy research and uses a nanometer-scale process to make a continuous film comprised of the smallest grains of diamond known. UNCD, consisting of diamond grains that are 3-5 nm in diameter, has uses in wireless communication, bio-sensors and nano-manufacturing. “We turn 50 cents of natural gas into $500 of diamond by rearranging the carbon atoms,” said ADT’s president Neil Kane.</blockquote>
Why do some people achieve their potential while equally talented others don’t? Can old dogs ever learn new tricks? It’s all about EFFORT.
Trust me. If you are not keeping up, you are falling behind … fast. Adapt, evolve, and transcend, or get planted with the rest of your fertilizer ancestors. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyquAXKeEI0]
Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm has rounded up 300 of the world’s top neuroscientists to make it happen.
Examples:<blockquote>Technology acceleration is like what happens approaching the singularity in the center of a black hole - everything is transformed utterly and unpredictably. That metaphor was invented by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge in 1980’s and has entered standard usage as a way of thinking about the near future. In this talk Vinge challenges his own idea, investigating scenarios of “a human-scaled world with long time horizons,” and how that might play out over ten or twenty thousand years.</blockquote><blockquote>In a dazzling duet Will Wright and Brian Eno gave an intense clinic on the joys and techniques of “generative” creation.
On NPR’s Intelligence Squared: America Is Too Damn Religious
Anne C @ Existence is Wonderful:<blockquote>So, that’s it, senior citizens. Never mind that novel you were writing, that dollhouse you were building for the grandkids, or that new computer you were in the process of putting together. Your existence is threatening the “wonders of the next generation”, so it’s high time the world stopped wasting resources trying to keep you alive and healthy.
The explosive nature of exponential growth means it may only take a quarter of a millennium to go from sending messages on horseback to saturating the matter and energy in our solar system with sublimely intelligent processes. The ongoing expansion of our future superintelligence will then require moving out into the rest of the universe, where we may engineer new universes. A new book by James Gardner tells that story.
More catchup with Dvorsky, last week (1/5/07):
<blockquote>I stand behind my article and wish to re-iterate my stance that Ashley’s parents have taken the most humane course of action possible.
</blockquote>Details on his blog.
Excerpt from George Dvorsky about this time, last year (Feb, 2006):
[T]hat the Homeland Security Department considers bloggers a potential threat really shouldn't come as a complete surprise; the military would likely shut down threatening and subversive blogs during times of war or civil unrest.
It's during such episodes that control of information flow becomes tactically paramount -- so much so that nations often regress to de facto authoritarianism and even totalitarianism. As a result, the state has the power to claim a monopoly on the memesphere, including extreme censorship and propaganda campaigns.
I don’t have a great source at hand, but as I recall, the human brain processes at 400 billion bits per second (400Gbps).
“Even though I’m 94, I still have ambitions,” Estelle Strongin, a 94-year old financial advisor still works every day.
Whoa. Just back from the most recent Palo Alto Colloquia over at Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.
“It turned out that first-born children were 1.7 times as likely as their siblings to live to be 100. An even stronger predictor of longevity was how young their mother was when they were born. Those whose mothers were less than 25 years old were twice as likely to survive beyond a century.”
Wow. If a musical mind were uploaded, it’s not too difficult to imagine that this might be one fairly satisfying way to express that essence. I can’t help but imagine the ability to EMBODY these forms in an uploaded or abstract posthuman frame. Fascinating.
JoVE is an online research journal for publishing visualized (video-based) biological experiments, inviting submissions in all areas of biological sciences.
On his website, Thomas Hager writes, “Modern medicine was born in 1932, when a selfless doctor in Nazi Germany used patience, brains, a completely mistaken idea, and some extraordinary luck to discover the world’s first miracle drug.” During a talk that aired on BookTV today (watch), Hager reminded us about a type of medical singularity that happened just 75 years ago.
Hager explained that, as baby boomers, many of us are the first generation in human history to have benefited from ready access to medicines that actually cure things. For all of previous human history, this was not the case. Think about that for a moment; to me, it’s barely imaginable. Yet, Hager reminds that prior to the discovery of sulfonamides (sulfa), physicians were purely palliative practitioners, utterly powerless to cure anything whatsoever, for the previous entirety of human history.
Just 75 years ago, all that changed, virtually overnight.
By way of contrasting two historical events; namely, the tragic loss in 1924 of a young Calvin Coolidge Jr. to a blood infection contracted via a trivially common blister on his toe, followed by the seemingly miraculous pharmaceutical healing of FDR’s son just 12 years later, Hager reminds readers that many of us have already lived through a kind of pharmaceutical singularity that even the brightest minds of earlier centuries could not have imagined.
This raises some potentially interesting questions. Are there relevant lessons to be learned from this particular historical inflection point? Are there strategies to be gleaned that might help us to noodle out new ways of glimpsing beyond the seemingly impervious event horizon of a technological singularity? Or, at the very least, to help us engage in more credible scenario development beyond the point which common sense might otherwise persuade us of the futility of such exercises?
Similar to Kurzweil’s observations of technological acceleration, are there similar mini-singularities throughout history, scientific inflection points like the discovery of sulfa drugs, from which we might discern patterns that would further inform and improve our planning and foresight capabilities?
These might be interesting questions for History of Technology practitioners and armchair futurists. However, in light of recent developments, such as emergent bacterium strains that are utterly resistant to all the antibiotics in common use, today – namely, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) – they might be absolutely crucial questions for public policy and health planning professionals.
Repost from batrans mailing list.
Event Date: Thursday November 30, 2006
Hosted By: Lockheed Palo Alto Colloquia
Lockheed Martin, 3251 Hanover St. - ATC Auditorium in Building 202 Palo
Alto, CA, 94304
METAELECTRONICS SELF-CONFIGURING NEUROMORPHIC SYSTEMS
Dr. Kwabena Boahen, Stanford University
Nanoelectronic technology promises to cram a trillion transistors onto a 1cm^2 chip. How do we harness all these devices? Abstraction, which has been used until now, is becoming increasingly inadequate as microelectronic chips approach a billion transistors. We can learn from biology, which handles complexity through developmental processes that elaborate a relatively simple starting recipe into a complex mature structure. By borrowing from biology, we have developed two self-configuring microelectronic chips. These chips capture the ability of epigenetic development to generate representations of features in neural layers and to autoroute connections between these layers. This metamorphic approach provides a powerful alternative to handling complexity in nanoelectronic systems.
Dr. Boahen studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University before earning his doctorate in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology in 1997. He then joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was associate professor of Bioengineering until December 2005, when he moved to Stanford. Boahen is a bioengineer who is using silicon integrated circuits to emulate the way neurons compute, linking the seemingly disparate fields of electronics and computer science with neurobiology and medicine. His group’s neuromorphic chips – including a silicon retina that could be used to give the blind sight – were featured on the cover of the May 2005 issue of Scientific American.
The Palo Alto Colloquia are a long-standing tradition of public outreach that deliver information about aerospace research and development news to the local community. All presentations are given on Thursdays at 4:15 p.m. in the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center Auditorium and last about an hour. Refreshments are available at 4:00 p.m. Visitors are welcome. Stop by to find out the latest details about some fascinating science!
Sorry, but I just don’t think this kind of hyperbole helps the cause.<blockquote>It’s an achievement that inspires notions of robots with consciousness and independent minds.</blockquote>Or this, where a potentially time-consuming computational process is anthropomorphized as dreaming. Absurd.<blockquote>Adami described how a robot like this one might perform in unknown territory, exploring the landscape and then “dreaming” of new methods to overcome obstacles it had encountered.</blockquote>
Sorry, but I just don’t think this kind of hyperbole helps the cause.<blockquote>It’s an achievement that inspires notions of robots with consciousness and independent minds.</blockquote>Or this, where a potentially time-consuming computational process is anthropomorphized as dreaming. Absurd.<blockquote>Adami described how a robot like this one might perform in unknown territory, exploring the landscape and then “dreaming” of new methods to overcome obstacles it had encountered.</blockquote>
“Florida’s only living World War I veteran got a long-delayed medal Friday as he smiled at the hubbub and recalled his service on a battleship nearly 90 years ago.”
Just 30 or 40 years ago, a person living into the late 80’s or early 90’s made the news. Today, people living past 110 are already beginning to feel commonplace. You do the math for “reasonable” expectations in 2040.
“Life is a collection of kludges taped together by chance and filtered by selection for functionality; it all works magnificently well, but if one looks under the hood, one is simultaneously appalled by inelegance and impressed with the accumulation of needless complexity… The complexity of developmental regulation isn’t a product of design at all; indeed, it’s the antithesis of what human designers would consider good planning or an elegant design. On the other hand, it is exactly what one would expect as a result of cobbling together fortuitous accidents, stringing together helpful scraps into an outcome that may not be pretty, but works. That’s all evolution needs from developmental processes: something that works well enough, no matter how awkward or needlessly complex it may seem.”  – P. Z. Meyers [A former computer software developer who switched to Drosophila embryology.] (As posted by L. Stephen Coles, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder, Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group.
The Immortality Institute’s science documentary, Exploring Life Extension, aims to create a realistic impression of the modern scientific pursuit of Life Extension.
Every state should have a site like Smart Voter, which presently covers elections in California, Ohio, and now, New York.
crucify your television | resurrect your brain
This page was origingally proposed as a catch-as-catch-can assortment of Web N.0 (whatever-point-oh) widgets and gadgets and doo-dads and trendy trinkets pertaining to content publication, syndication, aggregation, and valuation (social, topical, temporal); lacking which, one is proven a clueless phlunktard. The direct relevance to this actual blog is questionable and this variety of content may have to find a new home elsewhere.
Finally, this should revive the entire print newspaper industry. Haven’t you heard? All you have to do is slap the alchemical name Google on dogcrap and it’s instantly transmuted into chocolate mousse.
If you missed it, Book TV’s In Depth: Ray Kurzweil will re-air on Monday, Nov. 6 at 12am EST and Saturday, Nov. 11 at 11am EST.
MIT Technology Review: A new brain chip being tested in monkeys could one day reconnect brain areas damaged by stroke or spinal-cord injury. By Emily Singer
Donoghue's chip, which is already being tested in human trials, uses many recording electrodes, but it currently doesn't have the ability to stimulate other parts of the brain or body. (With his device, neural signals are sent to a computer, which decodes the information and uses it to move a cursor on a computer screen. See "Implanting Hope," March 2005, and "Brain Chips Give Paralyzed Patients New Powers.") However, Donoghue says he is currently working on stimulating capabilities as well.
"What we found was the emergence of spontaneous coherence in an exciton gas."
Spontaneous Coherence? Now just stop and think about that for a minute. As I was saying … over the next couple of decades there will be disruptive new discoveries about the fundamental nature of matter that will radically transform our view of the world and our place in it. Hang on, because this party ain’t even started.
06/19/08 Finally smashing all the mirrors and physically moving all databases over from .info to .com. If you can’t see this message, at least you’ll know why. Yes, I know … right … it’s called a “joke,” however poorly executed.
This bears repeating:
An instant classic quotation from SuperSurvival:
"Considering all the stupid and destructive things the uplifted chimps we call 'normal' humans have done between (or maybe because of) their grooming sessions and dominance displays, I would almost think that we need aspies to protect the human species from itself."
I hope I can make it to Jerome A. Feldman’s talk today. BOLD and EXCITING are feeble understatements to describe the efforts in pursuit of a Unified Cognitive Science; which, as far as I understand it, is an absolute prerequisite to safe and effective uploading.
Oh boy, now I’ve got work to do. At least it looks like the posts and comments came through okay; although CSS is fairly hosed, which means lots of images will be sized incorrectly for awhile. More marginal content updates, later. In the meantime and in the interest of wasting time, the former site is hereby dubbed Retrovalent, and a beta blogger site dubbed Betavalent.
It’s a bittersweet necessity, but I just can’t abide the MESS that Google has made of Blogger, post-acquisition. While blogger-status.blogspot.com repeatedly reminds us that “beta users are not affected by this outage,” LONG TIME LOYAL USERS are both AFFECTED and UNABLE TO MOVE to the new platform. So, since the dawn of blogging, I’ve been using Blogger but will now move to WordPress 2.0; in large part due to WP’s wise development of a content and comment import system based upon the work of Andy Skelton.
This is a one-time deflection to route a particular meme stream to a more appropriate frequency. For all the histrionic heavenly hyperbole you could ever want or need, be sure to tune in to I2: Infective Invective. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.
Existence is Wonderful: “Supporting longevity research is acknowledging that there is nothing special about aging that makes it any less solvable than any other complex engineering problem – it’s not a mystical force or a cosmic directive, it’s a biological process. And the means of counteracting this process won’t be mystical forces either – they’ll be the result of a lot of hard work and scientific inquiry.”
In the words of the ever uber salient, George Dvorsky, "Protopanpsychism and the consciousness conundrum, or why we shouldn't assume uploads." He writes:
The other broad approach to the issue of consciousness is emergence theory, the idea that self-awareness and qualia can arise from complex computational dynamics in the brain. The critical assumption here is that mind’s architecture is largely computational, but that consciousness emerges through the concert of myriad neuronal interactions. In this sense, consciousness is an epiphenomenon or metaphenomenon of the brain’s machinations.This approach to cognition is clearly essential, but it is not sufficient.
I was particularly happy to read this essay because it dramatically clarifies some ideas I shared on StumbleUpon, when asked by JollySpaniard (architect of the incomparably interesting Brain Parades on MemeTherapy.Net), "What's your 'pet prediction' of something that might happen in the next decade or two?" as a followup to his earlier stumbler poll, "What is the strangest thing you believe to be true?" In my case, both questions share the same answer. The strangest things that I believe to be true, I also believe will become better understood over the next couple of decades.
On Sept 30, 2006, I wrote to JollySpaniard:
For my part, the strangest thing I believe to be true is that Intelligent Design is on to something; but not what the feuding factions think they're on to. Remember, the Big Bang was first proposed by a clergyman, Father Georges Lemaître. The Big Bang was widely criticized as positing a Creation Event from which a Creator could be asserted into the scientific disciplines. A very similar argument is now leveled at so-called I.D. However, my own atheist belief is that Intelligence may be as palpable a force as any of the quantum entangling forces. In fact, it may be Intelligence that explains entangled behavior of quantum particles. Perhaps this is how one entangled particle "knows" the state of the other. My specific weird belief and pet prediction is the suspicion that just as the Big Bang adapted to the subsequently corroborating data, new OBJECTIVE DATA WILL EMERGE to suggest and subsequently bear out the influence of a "universally embedded intelligence" as a constituent feature of the observable and measurable universe. What some of us presently refer to as extropy, the inverse of entropy, could turn out to be Detectable Intelligence. This is a very quick and sloppy way to put it, but hopefully it is clear that I believe both sides of the present I.D. debate to be wrong for distinctly opposing myopic reasons. Put another way, if there's a Star Wars "Force," that "force" just might turn out to be Intelligence. Human Brains may not create Intelligence, they may simply be attuned -- like radio receivers -- to what is already there, in the ether. Of course, some antennas are far more effective and efficient than others.
I had no idea at the time that I was essentially describing some version of protopanpsychism. Then, imagine my surprise when I read, "This has lead to the development of what is known as quantum consciousness theory, which postulates the idea that consciousness is indelibly tied to quantum processes – that the brain is essentially a quantum computer utilized by an observer to “decohere” quantum superposition." This is not qualitatively different from what I was attempting to express a month ago when I spoke of intelligence as a fundamental force, particle, or energy that might have something to do with quantum entanglement. Interesting, at least from the perspective of this wannabe idiot savant.
A humbling and awe inspiringPerspective.
The year was 1993. Somewhere in a remote cubicle in Illinois, a couple of kids named Eric Bina and Marc Andreessen had grown tired of tunneling through gopher holes and fiddling with ASCII/BIN file transfer protocol modes. So they came up with something better called Mosaic and thereby “invented the internet” in the same way that Columbus “discovered” North America. Like the so-called new world, the internet had long been in existence, but soon it would become accessible to literally everyone.
Ideum blog: museum and design news » Blog Archive » The Future of Intelligence: The Final Day of the Conference.
CNN reporting Scientists teleport two different objects: “Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter.
I’m as excited about posthumanism as anyone, but somehow the terminology GOOD AS NEW strikes me as just a wee bit hyperbolic.
This belongs on metavalent because it borders on simulation of one possible posthuman mind-upload environment. A kinda scary thought, but exciting at the same time.Spore Gameplay Video - Google Video
When will these thick-headed Americans get it through their skulls? There is such a HUGE difference between “horrifying” and “terrifying” … I mean, this guy didn’t MEAN to terrorize, only to brutalize; so the fact that the entire community is terrorized is merely horrifying; and not threatening to national security only to THEIR security, so it’s all okay, it’s not terrorism. Unless we find out he was a Muslim; or maybe he had 1/64th Arabic blood or something … THEN it would be terrorism; but for now, according to all the people with requisite badges, uniforms, and job titles on their business cards, this local act of terror was only ‘pretty horrific.’ So, I guess that makes it safe to go back to school in the morning; after all, it’s not like this was TERRORISM or anything really bad like that. School gunman left suicide note.
The Sultan of Stigma and Pope of Peccability; a Disconsolate Extropian Graphophobic Logophile; the Sempiternal Hypostatization of a Pathologically Pathetic Syncopic Counter-Consciousness Coeval with the Vastitude of Eternity.
It’s crucial to keep this thinking alive and active, 90 days after its publication The Buzz Report: Net neutrality: bring it on Molly Wood wrote:”You know, I wasn’t really sure that Net neutrality legislation was such a good idea. Regulation of the Internet in any form seems scary, a bit hasty, and potentially dangerous. So I was holding out for a hero–maybe the FCC (PDF link), or just a groundswell of grassroots activism. But I can’t wait any longer. I’ve decided to set aside my misgivings about overregulation. I now believe that we must have legislation to protect the open and equal nature of the Internet, or, sadly, the Internet must be regulated as a utility, just like the highways and the water pipes–and we must have one or the other right away. Why? Because I really believe that the telcos and the cable companies pushing for a tiered Internet will cheerfully turn the Internet into a lopsided disaster of have and have-not traffic that just happens to be filled with perfectly accessible content created by those very same telcos and cable companies. Basically, there’s a pile of money on the table, and these folks are proving every day that they cannot be trusted.”
Wikimedia is not merely about creating an exhaustively cute and comprehensive little webby encyclopedia. If you haven’t wiki’d in awhile, there are all kinds of interesting experiments and projects going on all the time. But then, this from a kid who thought it fun to read the dictionary like any other story book, so you’ve gotta’ consider the source.
Radical Life Extension, sans radical Quality of Life assurances, equals Radical Life Apprehension.
My surprising initial reaction to First Look - TimesReader - Sneak Peek 01.
This is way off topic, but due to the weeks events, I must advise that all be sure to remember this, the next time your life, or the life of someone you love, is destroyed by a combination of sheer ineptitude and flat lies by government workers; against whom, we truly now have no recourse. As the brutish, blundering beast better known as the County of Santa Clara puts it:
Many times the decisions made by the police officers and sheriff deputies will restrict the freedom and liberty of people. Often these decisions materially affect the course of people's lives.
Happy "We're All Still Really Terrified" Day, also known as, "If You're NOT Really, Really Afraid; or Say a Single Word Countering Our Fear, then YOU'RE Next On The Great List of Suspected Terrorists" Day.
At 9:02AM EST, C-SPAN showed live footage of an earnest First Lady, Laura Bush, trying desperately to elbow her autistic husband as he swayed to the music of "America" during memorial services in NYC. Against a wall of stoic, steadfast firefighters, the Commander in Chief couldn't stand at attention long enough to get through a sappy anthem or two. Look, I lost friends in the towers, too, but the legacy that America is on the road to creating is the ANTITHESIS of that for which many of those who perished would most desperately hope.
At 9:34AM EST, C-SPAN then broadcast the United States Military Choir leading the group of mourners at the Pentagon -- the seat of U.S. Military Power -- in the distinctly Christian hymn "Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past." BUT THIS ISN'T A HOLY WAR, it's a political war against fascism; our version versus theirs.
Over this same period of time, on NASA-TV, the space shuttle Atlantis crew opened the hatch and joined the International Space Station crew to continue construction of the P3-P4 truss systems, designed to double the electrical capacity of the ISS and enable further station assembly. THESE SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS ARE THE TRUE DEFENDERS OF HOPE AND PROGRESS FOR HUMANITY. This work is the most promising and consequential for the enduring long term goodwill of humanity, but where is the attention of the mass media fixated, but on fear-mongering memorials and the ritualistic reading of honorable, but ghostly names.
These activities do NOTHING for those lost; they are enduring indulgences for us, who remain. How long will we keep this level of tearful fanfare up? Five years? Seven? Ten? Fifty? There are those who sincerely believe that this day should grind to a halt for everyone, into all eternity. I'm sure survivors Nazi camps, of D-Day, of HIROSHIMA felt the same; but that's not how it works. We all have tragedies in our lives that stop OUR lives, every anniversary, for the duration of our time on the planet -- but if each group's tragedy stopped the entire world for a day, the world would be stopped, permanently -- in paralyzing woe and grief.
This does not strike me as a particularly honorable way to memorialize anyone.
Certainly, I love, honor, and miss the individuals lost from my life, just as much as any nominally compassionate human being ought, but I guarantee that the LAST thing many of those lost on Nine Eleven would want is for us to drag around for decades in sackcloth and ashes while simultaneously cutting the budgets for MOVING FORWARD and increasing budgets for dealing out mayhem and further curtailments of public liberty. Personally, I am deeply offended on behalf of all those lost on Nine Eleven, by the way that the historic event is becoming an anchor that keeps the USS America permanently battered and bashed in a perpetually storm-blown Vast Sea of Fear rather than serving as a reminder to pay attention to that which is just below the surface, and setting sail for new, more promising, more stable lands.
So, what *is* just below the surface of all this memorialistic media blitzkrieg? In a lasting legacy to Bush II's incomparably inarticulate ineptitude, the 9/11 Remembrance Day is called Patriot Day, as opposed to the pre-existing, longstanding anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolution, called Patriots' or Patriot's Day, which I well remember celebrating in grade school in 1960's Illinois. Other sources describe it as, "Patriot's Day, the third Monday of April (Apr 19, 2004). Commemorates the first battle of the Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775. Also known as Battles of Lexington and Concord Day."
But don't worry, you're not alone, because Republicans are already confusing the hell out of the two, as well.
U.S. House Joint Resolution 71 was approved by a vote of 407-0 on October 25, 2001. It requested that the President designate September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day." President George W. Bush signed the resolution into law on December 18, 2001 (as Public Law 107-89). It is a discretionary day of remembrance.
What's the big deal in a name? Well, for one, if you think the CAUSE and IDEALS of the former Patriot's Day -- the very American Revolution itself -- ought be displaced by the hystrionic hyperbole of the latter Patriot Day -- a largely media-age-driven politically expedient reaction to a singularly horrible, but clearly comparatively isolated tragedy -- then my friend, you and I are indeed at distinct odds.
To allow the essence of Patriot Day to coopt the meaning of the foundational word; to deprecate, eradicate, and obviate THE ORIGINAL 200 YEAR OLD PATRIOT'S DAY, is perhaps one of the most ideologically undermining and symbolically diabolical maneuvers that I've witnessed in my lifetime.
As complex as the issues raised by this day, this salient excerpt from Dave Winer's Scripting News: 9/11/2001 does a good job of bringing Focused Attention to the ideas that Patriot's Day ought most embody. Winer wrote:
John Perry Barlow compares today's events to the burning of the Reichstag that led to the Nazi takeover of the German government in 1933. He said in a published email "Within a few hours, we will see beginning the most vigorous efforts to end what remains of freedom in America. Those of who are willing to sacrifice a little - largely illusory - safety in order to maintain our faith in the original ideals of America will have to fight for those ideals just as vigorously."
A number of individual (although unverified) accounts can be found at the Rocketboom911 wiki.
Some interesting points were made today on C-SPAN’s Book TV, unfortunately, I did not catch enough of the program to get the book title and author names, I’ll try to look them up later. Whatever my personal views on the subject, one could not possibly miss some of the unexpected parallels between the more intellectually rigorous proponents of so-called Intelligent Design and some branches of Extropian/Posthuman/Transhuman Philosophy.
IMHO, Time Magazine just happened to create one of the more poetically accurate covers of the Nine Eleven Fifth Anniversary Media Frenzy. Sure, this week is as good as any to think about these things; however, by reducing the events of that day to a national Hallmark Anti-Holiday, we dishonor both the lives lost and the memories of their survivors. My bet is that the vast majority will look at that cover in the grocery store checkout line, mind their own business rather than dare pick up a copy, and move on. The problem is that the only way out of the mess we’re in as a society is to pay attention to our surroundings, to daily embody a deep sense of personal responsibility for our environment, and fulfill our duty as brother’s keeper each and every day – if we are to become a better nation.
My inane contribution:
Keep it High Fructose Corn Syrup Sweet and Simple, just like Katie. Say what you mean and mean what you say:
Katie's smile is the only signoff that has a chance of being added to the historical list of signoffs and she'll be cute for as long as Dick Clark was charming. It ain't broke, so don't fix it!
When Suri Cruise takes over the CBS Moonbase New Columbia anchor desk in 2050, she'll play the same historical montage of tough-guy signoffs, only to encounter Katie where she can only say, "and then there was Katie, and THAT SMILE; which neither I, nor anyone, will ever come close to matching."
And that's the way it is; metavalent, out. :)
How in the world do you botch such a basic thing as this? Users have to dig through endless piles of half-baked, half-developed, half-retail, half-open source plug-ins just to find this Mouse Gesture Add On for IE7.
And this is RC1, a Release Candidate, which means that it is pretty much a done deal that IE7 will not have mouse gestures. Brilliant. I guess I shouldn't complain, because it's just all the more reason to
keep using Opera (by far the most standards-compliant) or
upgrade to Firefox (by far the most open to innovation).
Speaking of dog watching, I continue to stick by Vonage. My shares from the Directed Share Program went from $17.00 to $6 to presently settle between $8 and $9 – and I’m sticking with it. If it’s statesmanship you’re looking for, try this on for size: I won’t begrudge anyone getting in and riding back up to $20+ with me by this time next year. Yep, you get to more than double your coinage and I’ll only make $3/share. Now that’s statesmanship.
Definitely do not miss the new podcast series from Genetic Engineering News.
Bush Urges Nation To Be Quiet For A Minute While He Tries To Think. Indeed, thanks again to The Onion - America’s Finest News Source.
C’mon and join the joyous jamboree! Now that Jebus has changed His mind – for confirmation, just ask your local fundamentalist flip-flopper who THEN screamed “charge” and NOW cries “retreat” – it is finally time for all good RepubliCARNs to take full ownership of their share of the CARN-Age.
In a society that is actually wasting tax dollars on this kind of foolishness. This is worse than pitiful. I can’t even think of a word or phrase that is sufficiently embarrassed and repulsed at the same time. What a waste.
Writing for The Nation, Jonathan Schell says it’s Too Late for Empire and, I might add, for what I’ve come to refer to as the Bush administration’s imperialist Global Occupation Doctrine (iGOD) Strategy.
Dr. Nick Bostrom: “I don’t think healthy people are going to be attracted by mechanical or electronic enhancements in the near future. You can get most or all of the same benefits from having the same device outside the body. If you want to access Google, you don’t have to have a fibre-optic cable wired into your visual cortex. You can just have a computer screen. That saves you a trip to the surgeon, and it’s easier to upgrade.”
In When do uplifted nonhumans become citizens? George Dvorsky explains that, “We don’t have tiers of citizenship in liberal democracies—to do so would be a form of apartheid. I think it would be an extremely bad idea to start “demoting” uplifted nonhumans or psychological delayed humans based on some personhood metric. It’s a binary concept - you’re either an equal citizen under the law or you’re not a citizen.”
Granted, this is from Forbes, so you have to look past the cheesy Saturday morning B-Sci-Fi title, The Robots Are Coming. Still, it’s better than nothing in terms of getting investors to begin realizing that there is this emerging interdisciplinary mashup of scientific and technological capabilities that are on the verge of producing INTENTIONAL human-initiated and possibly human-directed evolutionary change.
“Advanced Cell Technology, an Alameda biotech company, disclosed Wednesday in the journal Nature that it has developed a way to grow stem-cell lines from a single cell extracted from a human embryo.”
Dory (The Mom) Devlin clues us in to the new GPS phones, for kids of all ages, from 6 to 64. Fun for the whole family, right?
It’s hurricanes Katrina and Rita week. In the New York Times, Army Corps Admits Flaws in New Orleans Levees: “Call it a mea culpa, or call it a dry recognition, or admission, or whatever — but we’re not ducking our accountability and responsibility in this.’” The chief engineer of the Army Corps, Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, said the report showed that “we missed something in the design,” particularly in the construction of the drainage canal floodwalls that caused so much of the flooding.
Thomas P.M Barnett, points out that Hezbollah continue to run the table.
Hezbollah nails the war and now the peace. Do ya think Iran had preloaded its SysAdmin effort? (Take one Hezbollah and add money.)The real embarrassment here?
Who’d have thunk it? And yet, CBS has taken the first step toward the most logical web broadcasting model. As opposed to CNN’s retarded Pipeline program (I refuse to even link to it and it’s over-engineered, over-priced, b-grade, non-broadcast psuedo content), CBS will simply send its broadcast to a wider audience; on the web. CBS To Air Evening News Live On Web, Simulcast Of ‘Evening News With Katie Couric’ To Begin Sept. 5 - CBS News.
If you had any question about whether there exist multiple universes, just compare this reality to the reality experienced by the average south Lebanese resident in recent months. Of course, if you’ve ever dabbled with flash universe in the least, you’ll especially appreciate this contrast.
Link TV - Mosaic provides an overview of news coverage from Al Jazeera and other leading middle east news networks. REQUIRED viewing for any westerner who aspires to gaining even HALF a clue about what is going on in the middle east. Sure, it’s “their” propaganda, but it’s no less valid to “them” than “our” propaganda is, to “us.” Thanks to ETHERNET TV, more people than ever can finally gain access to more perspectives than ever.
Alms for the poor victors! Alms for the poor victors! This is precisely the kind of arrogant hypocrisy that Israel’s opponents find revolting. Frankly, over the past several years I increasingly identify with anti-Israeli sentiment. The more that I question what I was taught as a child in Sunday school, read the history, and simply OBSERVE Israel’s behavior, the more I oppose both it’s objectives and it’s means.
Still looking for a link to the actual video. Generally, all content that airs on C-SPAN is available on its website shortly after airtime. If you missed in in the media last week, here’s a description of what I’m looking for at TVNewser. As soon as I can find a link to the actual interview, I’ll update this post. Drop a comment if you can help out, thanks.
A new Blogger Beta is out. At first glance, it looks like some great new improvements. As quickly as I tend to critique the 3vi1 corporate GOOG beast; I still try to be as fair as my significant subjective biases allow.
It wouldn’t be the first time. I remember being virtually laughed out of the room at Xerox PARC in 1997 for insisting that what would come to be called the Ethernet First Mile needed to be built immediately; that broadband, and beyond, were absolutely vital to the advancement of the internet.
Another ResearchChannel pointer. We start with: Will Computers Take a Quantum Leap?
With all the chaos and ignorance manifest in and among every human experience and societal systems, how can anything reasonable or organized ever stand a chance? In this episode of Closer To Truth, two nobel laureates lend a measure of comfort and hope for those of us who can otherwise barely tolerate the seemingly accelerating disarray of our American dystopia.
For a “new millennium,” the world is sure a bloody mess, these days, proving once again that newer is not always better. Even really smart people get disappointed, aggravated, and yeah, even PISSED OFF at the rampant ignorance and stupidity.
While we’re on the topic of terrorism, here’s a quite well done enviropolitical guerilla marketing spot. Guerilla, get it? =SMACK!= “Ow! That hurt!” Sorry, your browser doesn’t support the EMBED tag. You can try a click here.
It’s in the water. And the ketchup packets that go with your McDonald’s fries that you JUST GOT, RIGHT THERE IN THE AIRPORT. And the Starbucks cup that you are DRINKING FROM … yeah, that might be a bomb, too.
An empirical case study, courtesy of one red paperclip. Yeah, it’s old news, but worth reiterating anyway and stuffing away here in the archives; to which no sane person would ascribe the slightest value. Hence, empirical case study #2: this site.
YOUR private information, that is. Forbes.com reports, “[AOL] inadvertently revealed to the world what 650,000 of its subscribers searched for as they browsed for online information. The searches often contained data that helped identify the users themselves, including names, Social Security numbers and local landmarks that they had looked up.
Can you believe that the Weekly WhiteHouse.Gov newsletter actually distributed this photo? Why does the President need to sport aseptic protective gear to shake hands with a recuperating soldier? If U.S. soldier aren’t being exposed to anything POTENTIALLY CONTAGIOUS, why the prophylactic garb there, Chief? And since I worked in the operating room of a major research hospital in Texas for FIVE YEARS, make-believe stories about hospital protocol won’t cut it. Doctors DO NOT wear this stuff when making their rounds; this type of gear is reserved for asceptic environments like the O.R. At best, it’s utter incompetence that such a photo would be circulated by the P.R. monkeys, at all.
Okay, I’m going to start tossing out my Market Forecasts every so randomly often and we’ll see what kind of moronomaven I turn out to be. As of today, August 7, 2006:
The philosophy of Liberty is based on Self-Ownership. Watch this simple, but elegant and hard-hitting flash animation to understand our right to life, liberty, and property - and our responsibility to think, speak, and act accordingly.
Journalists who ask questions. Is that too much to ask for? Wow. Just wow. Please watch the videos on this pages. These are not wild-eyed lunatic anti-semites, these are current and former U.S. Government Officials asking Israeli Officials how it is that they can justify doing to the Palestinians what was done to them by Nazis.
You too? Then try out the new CHAT. There’s also a tab up top of the page. In deference to current Buzzword 2.0 Regime 2.0, I’m calling this IM 2.0. Trillian, Gabbly, Meebo, and others have all been taking different approaches toward “universal” IM. It’s a hell of a challenge, to be sure, and I’m super impressed with each and every stride these wildly underpaid, over inventive developers roll out.
I don’t know if the idea of “proportionate response” really helps the debate when one is seeking to annhilate another – for whatever reason – but if nothing else, the maps here help to provide a better context for what is happening.
“Atlantis arrived at Launch Pad 39B on Aug. 2, riding atop the mobile launch platform and carried by the crawler transporter. Once at the pad, the vehicle was enclosed by the rotating service structure. Preparations for launch continue, including the installation of the payload in Atlantis’ cargo bay The launch window for this mission to resume construction of the International Space Station opens Aug. 27” (Spaceflight.Nasa.Gov).
This entry comes to us from the “If I Already Agree with the Reports, It’s News; If I Don’t Agree, or If New Facts Call Into Question My Existing Worldview, It’s Enemy Propaganda” Department.
Looks like I was wrong again. Mea culpa.
Humanity’s expanding contextual awareness is definitely reaching either an asymptote, an inflection point, a quantum jump, or similar discontinuity. The buzzword of the day is singularity, though Eliezer Yudkowsky’s intelligence explosion is probably a more accurate term. Yet, the expansion of contexual awareness is more than that, as well.
WSJ.Com shocked the world today with this earth-shaking announcement that means everything in the world of sport is now – as never before – exactly the same, only different. What a phantasmagorical non-content noisemaker this stands to become.<blockquote>Two staples of television football – Monday Night Football on ABC and the Sunday night game on ESPN – are no more.</blockquote>Oooo …. are no more … this is sooo hewwwge!<blockquote>Monday night’s National Football League game will now appear on ESPN, and the Sunday night game moves to NBC. Both networks need to re-create their football identities and persuade legions of fans to change deeply ingrained TV-viewing habits.</blockquote>Yeah, man … REALLY, REALLY, DEEPLY INGRAINED habits of clicking on channel 3 instead of 47. What a tremendous, world-tilting SHIFT this will be; punching TWO NUMBERS on the remote instead of just one! “Oh NFL and TV networks, you’re SO BRAVE; I luuv yew!”
Highly doubtful, but then, one can always hope for the hope to keep hope alive, I suppose.
When the banter is all stripped away, it’s not difficult to confess that both major political parties have been taken over by extreme factions within their own ranks. Howard Dean is certainly NOT a valid representative of my own small-d democratic-leaning views.
An interesting post on Backfence.com says that Silicon Valley is in denial over a housing crash in progress.<blockquote>Prices disconnected from fundamentals. House prices are far beyond any historically known relationship to rents or salaries. Rents are less than half of mortgage payments. Salaries cannot cover mortgages except in the very short term, by using adjustable interest-only loans.</blockquote>Backfence.com - Palo Alto, Ca. local community news, information, events and advertising.
In today’s War on Customer Service Terrorism report, we feature the illustrious Southwest Airlines. As is often the case in this erratic series of reports, the story begins with a highly esteemed, respected company. A company I’ve done business with for some time, often years, based upon many happy transactions and an ongoing commitment to value. So when the Customer Service Terrorists strike, it’s almost always completely unexpected and often explosively disruptive; hence, Terrorism. To be even more precise, what we are seeing is a War On Customers via Service Terrorism.
“[T]his week, Gulfstream became the first executive plane maker to offer the [synthetic vision] system, which displays a computer-generated view of the terrain ahead – even in heavy fog or cloud, when the ground can be invisible to the most advanced infra-red sensors. [The] SVS will result in more accurate tactical flight decisions by pilots and ultimately increased safety.”
I’ve been momentarily transported to Net Policy heaven by watching this exchange between Net Prophets and Pioneers Vint Cerf and Dave Farber on C-SPAN2, unpacking and disambiguating the latest bumper-sticker topic of ‘net neutrality.’ What makes it particularly heavenly, for a fallen warrior in the 1990’s net wars, is watching each of these RealMedia RTSP streams over EthernetTV!
While started some time ago, current “plans detailed in a 229-page draft of an environmental review filed with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA would issue permits and licenses for Blue Origin to go ahead with launch plans.”
President Bush: “Thanks for giving me a chance to visit and have a little lunch with you. God bless you all.”
This entire CNET feature is more than worthy of exploration, but you just CAN’T MISS what I hereby dub a YouTube Investigative Series on Net Neutrality. Obviously, to use Senator Stevens tech jargon, the U-Tube is one of the more popular of the various interwebnet Tubes that make up the large interTube net.
Reviewers claim that the Electric sports car packs a punch, but will it sell? CNET News.com
Cut to the chase: The Acid Test results for new browsers.
Actually, I consider this a fairly reasonable price to step out of the capsule, if you dare.
As Spidey taught us, “With great arrogance, comes great condescention.” Or maybe that’s just the way I remember it. Do you dare question MY powers of recollection!?
Well, now. There you go. Now that Alex The Expert has deemed all things Fair and Balanced, that should put the whole issue to rest … again … right? Until next time, anyway. Apparently, it doesn’t matter how 3vi1 the actual effect on customers, so long as anti-evil handwaving is of reasonable visibility. “‘Based on my evaluation, I conclude that Google’s efforts to combat click fraud are reasonable,’ Alexander Tuzhilin, a professor of information systems at New York University, said in the court filing.”
THANK GOODNESS that Paul Kedrosky over at Seeking Alpha has it dead right. I am so sick and tired of this whole gobbldly goog crap. Believe me, Sergey does NOT walk on water and don’t get me started on the 3vi1 evil trip again.
You just can’t feign vibrant eclectic taste, man. You either have it, or you don’t.
… to keep the penny. From Matson on RollCall.
GoDaddy says that DNS changes can take 48 hours to propagate. Of course, the process is usually much, much faster these days; but just in case things are screwed up for a couple of days, I wanted to let readers know about the changes in progress.
I would SO prefer to keep my attention on stuff like this. The only reason this blog has been inundated by ranting about the War on Customer Service Terrorism is that the terrorists have been on the attack more than usual, of late. It’s MUCH more METAVALENT to dwell on Things That Matter, such as this, from ScienceDaily.com.
One of Bush’s blathering blurbs during his initial campaign was the mantra, “I will restore dignity to the White House.” Well, what can we say, but Mission Accomplished. Imagine what the Moral Moron Majority would have had to say if that were Bill Clinton sizing up the German meat market!? Here’s another take on YouTube if that first link gives you any trouble. This isn’t the least bit funny, it is the essence of male chauvinism in the workplace. I cannot even COMPREHEND how inappropriate this was. Was it also inappropriate for Bill Clinton to do what he did? Of course. But we are talking about GROPING the Chancellor of Germany, here! Unbelievable!
After you read this entry, please call Calvin Ton at +01.408.507.7206 and let him know what you think about his lack of responsiveness to a customer and what you think of Cingular. Or email him at email@example.com. Seriously, I don’t know how else to begin fighting back against the growing Customer Disservice Terrorism Attacks from corporate America. See the past few weeks of entries for various examples.
Please click on any of the screen shots below to get full res image. Here’s how it works:
Reports The Onion - America’s Finest News Source. And who among ye dareth question The Onion!? Soon, coming to a Most Reputheticable (yes, it’s a REAL word, I just made it up) media behemoth near you.
ORMOND BEACH, Fla., July 17 /PRNewswire/ – A group of concerned citizens known as People of the USA (http://www.peopleoftheusa.com/) have joined together to battle against illegal immigration. Larry Zdun, the group founder, said, “PeopleoftheUSA.com was formed to promote the deportation of illegal immigrants and terrorists from the United States. That is our purpose. We are here to stay and we won’t stop fighting for the American citizens.”
[Experimental pig number] 78-6 is, in fact, only mostly dead – the common term for her state is, believe it or not, suspended animation. Long the domain of transhumanist nut-jobs [like metavalent], cryogenic suspension may be just two years away from clinical trials on humans (presuming someone can solve the sticky ethical problems). Trauma surgeons can’t wait – saving people with serious wounds, like gunshots, is always a race against the effects of blood loss. When blood flow drops, toxins accumulate; just five minutes of low oxygen levels causes brain death.
“An experimental atomic clock based on a single mercury atom is now at least five times more precise than the national standard clock based on a “fountain” of cesium atoms, according to a paper by physicists at the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the July 14 issue of Physical Review Letters.”
“We’ve just passed 1 billion internet users. It’s the first communication technology to reach 1 billion users all through the same medium (more or less.) It’s reached every nation other than North Korea, which has chosen not to connect to the Internet. People in the US are now spending more time on the Internet than watching TV. But the internet is growing fastest in places where access is most sparse, like the Middle East and Africa, where it’s growing at 200% a year - growth is slowing in industrialized nations, where the market is saturated. Growth is striking in India and China, the two markets people are most interested in. Broadband is increasing at 900% a year in China, a truly astonishing rate.”
Intel Core 2 chips appear just in time for Vista.
“The Quake 4 graph needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the DivX results and vice-versa. Core 2 Extreme not only produces the fastest DivX time but also churns out a decent Quake 4 framerate at the same time. “
Barron’s Online - Munificent Benefits From Municipal Wi-Fi: “AS MORE MUNICIPALITIES BUILD OUT pervasive, wireless, broadband networks offering inexpensive, or even free, wireless Internet access, we believe consumers will spend even more time and dollars online. While we are in the very early stages of this with the first major city – Anaheim, Calif., –having just gone live last week, we believe that the development of these networks and business will accelerate.”
What is it THIS time? I mean, besides the utterly out of control, credit-card crazy, SpendAndSpend and SpendAndSpendAndSpendAndSpend Republicans. Sure, tax may be the devil but Spend is the Beast that consumeth the world.
Herb Greenberg might be too modest to yelp I TOLD YOU SO, but I’m not.
A Groovy Declaration of Independence from The Windows Empire
From a Motley Foolish piece entitled, Vonage On Hold: “for every satisfied Samuel Adams sipper you have the Garden Botanika shopper and Vonage subscriber that gets burned. That’s a sticky situation because now you have upset your shareholders as well as your most faithful customers that believed in the cause enough to buy into the offering.”
In contrast to the recent bull market in stupidity we’ve seen here lately, the SMART car is coming to the US in 2008. These cars make a tremendous amount of sense for dense urban markets like the peninsula, NYC, Boston, etc., but it remains to be seen whether WEALTHY consumers will be smart enough to buy these things early-on, so that economies of scale can eventually be realized. Like every new technology, the price starts higher than most can afford and a relatively thin slice of consumers decide – by voting with their dollars – which ones will go on to be available to everyone. So be smart, bell-cow consumers, go out and place your pre-orders today.
I just posted a comment in response to this post on Herb Greenberg’s Market Blog. Since it’s a moderated blog, Herb justly reserves the right to edit or reject as he sees fit, so I figured I’d also archive the full post here, in a barely remixed version with bonus pithy one-liners. I hope Herb receives my original comment on his site in the cheerful spirit intended, because I’m truly grateful for his faithful juxtaposition to Cramer’s version of Project Mayhem, aptly called Mad Money.
FYI: GUBA created the Usenet-powered version of YouTube more than five years prior to the latter’s origin. Right now, YouTube is all the groove, yet GUBA may have the networking and infrastructure guts requisite for enduring glory.
Paul Murphy writes, “Is Microsoft Office better than OpenOffice? The criteria you use determine the answer. <p>For example, if you value file and data integration, open document standards, OS independence, cost, or document continuity you’ll value Openoffice over Microsoft office. </p> <p>On the other hand, if you value, umm, if you value, umm - you know, I can’t think of anything to put here that’s intrinsic to Microsoft Office; all I can think of is social compliance: preferring Microsoft Office because others prefer Microsoft office.” </p>If you missed it in March, hit it up now: » Office vs. Office | Paul Murphy | ZDNet.com
It’s Evil is as 3vi1 Does, all over again.
“Meanwhile, first-quarter current account data show the U.S. for the first time is paying out more on its foreign liabilities than it earns on its overseas assets. This problem will only compound over time, Reik points out.”
The G-ineptitude is growing at G-oogle. Perhaps Google should have made it’s slogan “Don’t be Clueless.” Evil, for all it’s malevolence, is at the very least legendary for winning the day, much to the chagrin of the righteous. But as Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid.”
Nothing is as simple as it seems. Perhaps the most valuable part of this Economist special report is the great bibliography with direct links to PDF source documents.
FINALLY, as I’ve been explaining to anyone who will listen for over nine months, people are beginning to ask the right question. Not, “will goog become evil,” but rather, “HOW evil will goog demonstrate itself to have been all along?” Today, Tim Beyers asks, How Evil Will Google Become? on Yahoo! Finance
If I read the comments correctly – well, maybe not correctly but at least politely antagonistically, as is many a successful blogger’s way to fixate more eyeballs – the Preemptive Dog Kicking of VG was necessary in order to smoke out industry terrorists who could, at any moment, launch cable industry WMD’s in the form of a VOIP price war, thereby initiating and accelearting an inevitable race to the bottom of Lake Wobegin (the evil anti-lake of Wobegon, of course).
Yo, yo, it’s JAJAH, the web-activated telephone company. Surely this is another quick and dirty web-dialer that the “experts” say justifies the continued kicking of Vonage. But just take a look at the potential for ABUSE in this service! I just fired off several test calls to several phones numbers using Jim Cramer’s Mad Money as the source phone. Perhaps I should call the Vonage Investor Relations number, from Cramer, and level a series of death threats at specific individuals. That might be one interesting way to drive home the point about just how far Vonage is evolved beyond the so-called competitors in it’s actual EXECUTION of delivered services. Skype, Jajah, and other web-dialers are no where near as evolved as consumer telephone replacements. Both demand significant changes to the WAY that customers make and receive phone calls. Vonage suffers none of those deficits. Comcast, and other cable VOIP providers are TWICE the cost of Vonage and seek to retain the monopoly rents of the legacy telco operators. Vonage blows them away in terms of good old fashioned, consumer-grade bang-for-the-buck.
Man, am I ever getting so tired of all the piling on over Vonage (VG). This is just another case of punishing the pioneers. NOBODY would be enjoying the huge advances in VOIP today if it were not for Vonage. This it the company that created enough competitive pressure on incumbent cable operators to force them to step up and offer VOIP, as well. Without that motivation, the odds of Comcast and others offering VOIP before 2010 drop precipitously. Even our good buddy Jim Cramer has dubbed the company “Vonage the Dog” and takes every opportunity to kick the dog under the table. I’ve been a very happy Vonage customer since 2002 and was among the early adopters who booted SBC for good and I’ve never looked back.
RED HERRING on The Evolution of In-Game Ads. This is a huge, huge, huge one-to-five year opportunity. But hey, it’s YOUR opportunity cost to blow as you see fit.
Oh no, two Slash echoes in a row. I promise, it’s not a trend, but the subject matter is just too relevant to pass up. This week, non-annoying Allergy-Free Kittens Produced, next week non-annoying humans? We can only hope.
Once in awhile, a Slashdot echo is justified. This is one of those whiles: Techies Asked To Train Foreign Replacements. When will American Labor grow a spine again? Risk severance pay? WTF? Below is a basic recipe for helping the bean counters better quantify and understand the costs of such bomabastic tactics. Like any recipe, the cook must season to taste; omit or add ingredients as appropriate to the specific sitation. The basics:
I guess it was only a matter of time before AOL ruined Winamp; still, it’s a disappointment to see this fine, nostalgic player finally jump the shark. I can’t even bear to link to the site, it’s so bad. While Winamp has gradually become more and more bloated over time, it was forced to keep pace with other players and in doing so did a reasonable job of not exceeding the competitor’s Feature-To-Crap Ratio.
A very quick report on Yahoo Mail Beta (YMB) and Firefox. I don’t use IE frequently enough to comment on YMB on IE, but with Firefox, I can say that it’s a still too much of a resource hog. I love the new mail interface, but I generally have 10 or 15 tabs open at any given time, and in this environment, YMB is excruciatingly slow.
As reported yesterday, the thousand year reign of evil officially plagued the earth …
For it is written, “A day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.” And so ends the Thousand Year Reign of Terror by the evil world ruler, GWB.
Alas, yeah, and behold … for it was between and beyond the Ringing In and Wringing Out of the GW Bush Beast, that ENCRYPTION did protect the least of the Earth from the soul-devouring jaws of the tyrant. With its flying spaghetti-inspired code and tangled, noodly implementation did ENCRYPTION deliver them, through and beyond this Thousand Years of Darkness that is, was, and always will be, today.
This is so scientifically obvious that it needs no supporting factual evidence whatsoever; for it is as scientifically foretold by both Bob and our unassailable, infallible, omni-malleable FSM. What further proof do you need, other than it’s all written down, right? Moreover, it is further proven that GWB is The Beast, since he is the current ruler of the free world and
Brian Alexander’s Take on HETHR:
Great news! These imporant ideas are finally making it into the mainstream news. “[T]he future’s elderly will be fitter, Miller said, with the average 90-year-old resembling today’s 50-year-olds in mind and body.” The Ethical Dilemmas of Immortality - Yahoo! News
An ABC video special report featuring James Hughes.
A stunningly cogent and incisive essay from Luke Wroblewski at UXmatter. Developing the Invisible.
How it’s being done (well-simulated anyway), today. Give it a few seconds to load, then press play, below.
Go ahead, just TRY to ask how cool it was to finally meet with 2,000 Singularitarians. Only one word sums it up: WOW. Literally every person I talked to understood what I was talking about and I understood them on a vast array of extropian topics far too numerous to mention. Oh to live in such a world each and every day. :) Kurzweil, Hofstadter, More, and others were their usual illuminating selves, but it was the room full of PEERS that made the day one of the most exhilerating in recent memory. After the summit, the singularity is nearer than ever.
I’ve been too busy to keep up with the blog over recent weeks, but this item certainly deserves special mention. In terms of socioeconopolitical significance, the April 29, 2006 loss of John Kenneth Galbraith is on par with the loss of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in 2003. These two men were champions the Authentic American Ideal and both deserve at least a few minutes of your research attention, today.
Why is it that the AOL-owned and operated Beliefs & Religion - ICQ Chat Rooms include Atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but not Christianity? Is AOL just discriminating against religions that don’t end with “m” or is it something a bit deeper? Personally, I don’t care too much for any of the world’s famously fragmented violence and hate-breeding schizophrenic schism-isms, but if AOL is going to sponsor such an area it seems that it should be open to ALL or not open at all.
Leader to Leader Institute publishes “an award-winning quarterly journal covering management, leadership, and strategy. With the very latest original writing from the world’s top management thinkers–Peter Drucker, Frances Hesselbein, Jim Collins, Warren Bennis, and Rosabeth Moss Kanter, among many others–it’s the ultimate leadership resource for social sector leaders, Fortune 500 executives and small business owners alike.” Clue is available, but it isn’t acquired by osmosis.
A zero value-add pointer to this post on the Center for Citizen Media Blog which, in short, again confirms that Wikipedia can stand up to even the most rigorous scrutiny. “What!? You mean that the three shelves full of Encyclopedia Britannica that Mom bought in 1963 and have been an immutable feature in the firmament of The Living Room for over 40 years are now worthless? But I use those things all the time!” Don’t worry, love, those books were rendered worthless as of about, well, 1964; but for the function of impressing the bridge club, of course, they will always boldly represent your unwavering commitment to the pursuit of knowledge – knowledge for knowledge’s sake is, after all, immune to any expectations of relevance of said knowlege – and they will forever leave your visitors with that comforting feeling of having fellowshipped with similarly enlightened beings.
This Easter, the neurochemical network in my head that might pass in other brains for a “soul” is grotesquely contorted with envy for Rage Boy, Chris Locke, clocke. It’s the least I could do, considering the holiday and all.
On a more uplifting note, The Singularity Summit at Stanford is coming on May 13th at MemAud. If you haven’t reserved a seat yet, do it now, or risk being left behind with the rest of the meat puppets. See? Now wasn’t that uplifting?
The question is, do astronomers add Xena as a tenth planet, or DROP PLUTO as a planet because it’s part of the Kuiper Belt? Personally, if the Kuiper Belt is orbiting Neptune, that strikes me as more reasonably considered a very complex kind of moon system; but then, that’s probably why nobody is asking me how to handle this one. :)
CNET News.com reporting A high-tech way to defrost, I’m surprised the article doesn’t mention the potential for the leading edge of airplane wings, particularly in smaller aircraft, even though the very first thing the video shows is the leading edge of a wing.
Personally, I can’t wait to see AT&T go the way of the dinosaur. Yes, it’s personal. Yes, it’s a grudge. In 1999, we showed them how to leapfrog the cable companies and provide an integrated services platform that would rule the world. It was called Ethernet To The Home (ETTH). The VC’s literally laughed us out of their offices, and continued throwing money down the dotcom drain. John Doerr and company blew it off and built a long-dead non-starter called @Home; sure they made a few bucks, but could have owned the new telecom world. The telcos blew it off and blew their chance to compete. Now, the telcos are off whining that WeWantTVChoice.com and twisting political arms with CA Assembly Bill 2987. Sorry, Bellheads, but the fact that you made Bad Decisions does not now entitle you to legislative intervention to save you from your own fate. You should have thought about all this when you had the chance.
AGEISM is essentially a corporate form of ethnic cleansing, an enterprise class career euthanasia. If that sounds extreme, you might be surprised to learn that this problem is completely out of control; at the very time that the population as a whole, is AGING.
Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb? by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
Yahoo News reporting Judge OKs $2.65 BILLION AOL Class-Action Settlement and yet, “the Internet provider has risen in stature with the recent boom in online advertising.”
as Networks Rush to Offer TV Shows Online. One of the primary value drivers of Ethernet To The Home (ETTH) was anticipation of this inevitability as early as 1999. On the one hand, it’s too bad that nobody built out the networks in time to absolutely dominate this market and make trillions. On the other hand, at least there is dwindling competition today between a few equally inadequate delivery systems; namely cable, dsl, and satellite.
“The problem with Einstein’s paradox is that it doesn’t fold in biology — specifically, space radiation and the biology of aging,” says Frank Cucinotta, NASA’s chief scientist for radiation studies at the Johnson Space Center.
Possibly the most salient blog post I’ve ever read.
The pitch is that you can Check Email from Anywhere in the World! Am I the only one in the world who thinks this is a Pretty Bad idea? If you log in here with your company email address, you’ve just given these folks direct access to your email. You have no idea who’s running the show at myemail.com, but you sign up because it’s flashy ajaxy. At the very least, companies better clue in to this and make it formally grounds for a good rap on the knuckles with a thick wooden ruler; preferably the kind with embedded paper cutter.
Get ‘em while they’re hot! ThinkGeek :: Wireless Extension Cords
Microsoft Office Professional 2007 - $499
So, apparently marketing and advertising strategies are now patentable inventions. It is flat embarrassing that USPTO would engage in such chintzy chicanery. Opera has been resizing browser displays based on the devices used for YEARS; but toss in some ads and it’s a whole new invention? I don’t think so. USPTO and GOOG hooking up is like a Bill Clinton and Britney Spears affair; the crusty old beauracrat and debutante turned cow-queen. He gets to pretend he’s young, she gets to pretend she’s important. Brilliant.
Finally, we may have them right where we want them. Just keep doing what you’re doing, changing the world, and if at all possible do not take any VC money and certainly do not take it on their terms. At the very least, MAKE THEM SWEAT. Remember, they need you much more than you need them. You are the Innovators, you can always create the next new thing. They only have money, which is nothing without an engine of innovation to keep it growing.
Who are these O’Spheres, anyway? Are they reincarnated Irish gangsters from Tammany Hall, now taking revenge on the web? Suddenly, everything became an O’Sphere … blogosphere, biosphere, memeosphere, gayosphere, gameosphere, i’m-so-much-more-in-the-know-than-you-o-sphere.
Daniel Dennett on BookTV. “The author describes religion as a cultural phenomenon that was developed by natural, evolutionary processes.”
If you don’t catch it this weekend, be sure to watch online. BookTV does a great job of making its programs available on the web after they air on C-SPAN2. Author Kevin Phillips explains how and why the Republicans have wandered so far off the reservation and as I see it, by implication, soberly describes why it could be outright dangerous to allow them to keep running the country.
Description: This week (March 25 9pm, 26 6pm and 9pm) on After Words, Kevin Phillips, a former Republican strategist explains his problems with America's majority political party. His new book is titled "American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century." He is interviewed by GOP strategist, Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform.
Unfortunately, this important work by Charles Kimball will likely be avoided by the very people who needs its message most. While Kimball was interviewed on BookTV in Dec 2005, for some reason I can’t seem to locate the interview in the otherwise extensive and complete BookTV archives. I did find this somewhat obtuse reference to the program, although no video is presently avaible there. I’ve written to BookTV to enquire about the archived video and will definitely pass it on here when located.
This research is controversial. Some say it is reinforcing stereotypes. But to Bailey, the stereotypes suggest there's a feminizing of the brain in gay men, and masculinizing in lesbians. Ironically though, when it comes to their sex lives, he says gay and straight men actually have a lot in common.
Many of 2004 ResearchBuzz’s 23 Reasons Google Can Become a Penny Stock are somewhat comical, but several still carry some non-trivial weight, today. While the experts were all aflush at $475, I confidently promised in December that GOOG was going to $300 before $500, but it’s your call on whether or not to pay atttention. Today I’ll adjust that to say: GOOG is going to $200 before $600. Bearish on GOOG? Nope. Downright GRIZZLY.
Search.Yahoo.Com the default Y! page. People prefer the simplicity of that landing page for search, with the option to add modules to suit their needs.
And new Survival of the Vicious tactics could be revealed in an experiment dubbed 43Best Blogs. Find out more on the CC Venture Capital Blog.
these images. Higher res on the way.
Future of the Internet, right? Sadly, probably not.
You can check it out at writely.com
Even CTRL-S works for quick saves. Well done!
A load of C.R.A.P. His acronym, not mine!
Digital Books really will start to catch on this time. No, really. I promise. This time for sure.
Wow, it’s amazing how one lost or misplaced div or /div can wreak havoc on a page, sprawling junk all over the place. Anyway, after weeks of laziness, I finally tracked down the mismatch that was causing page-sprawl and fixed it. Let me know if you hit any seriously botched pages.
Plans for a spaceport on Singapore will blast tourist flights into space by 2009 [and] train amateur astronauts in four days.
This whole tagging business could be one of the Big Deals, like when gopher:// gave way to http:// … the Edgeio Effect, Technorati Tagging, and others are not trends to ignore. Edgeio is an interesting way to use tags as adwords, effectively enabling your blog as an “Edge I/O” port for classified ads of all kinds. Pretty interesting.
<img src=”https://web.archive.org/web//http://awebcamdarkly.com/” BTW, it has absolutely nothing to do with GPG, other than sharing three characters in the name; hence, the handy disambiguating blue/white logo theme. These folks *are crafty, I tell ya.
From 1997-99 as we incrementally architected the concept and topology of Ethernet To The Home (ETTH), we said that Ethernet should be considered a value-adding amenity, just like marble counters or a wood-burning fireplace. This did not strike impatient dotcom investors as obvious at the time, so they lost opportunities for both leadership and huge, first-mover revenue advantages, and lost billions on their get-rich-quick dotcom schemes. In fairness, we were wrong, too, as below we now see that ethernet is not an “add-on amenity” but ETHERNET IS THE STANDARD AMENITY and the FIREPLACE IS OPTIONAL; quite the opposite of what most imagined in 1999. This is one of those very worthy times in life where - WE TOLD YOU SO is just far too sweet to leave unuttered. A sweet Valentine’s bit of news, for sure.
Guess I’m not as isolated and alone in my interpretations as many would make me think. “AG Interactive, the online arm of American Greetings, says more customers are asking for skewed (and skewering) Valentines.”
“I fear that, eventually, we are all going to become collateral damage in the war on drugs, or terrorism, or whatever war is in vogue at the moment. I retain an abiding concern that our Declaration of Rights not be killed by friendly fire. And, in this day and age, the courts are the last, if not only, bulwark to prevent that from happening. Like it or not, I live in a society that accepts virtual strip searches at airports. I don’t like living in Orwell’s 1984; but I do. And, absent the next extinction event or civil libertarians taking charge of the government (the former being more likely than the latter), the best we can do is try to keep Sam and the sub-Sams on a short leash.
<a href=”https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://awebcamdarkly.com/”t blame them, because developing software is INSANELY DIFFICULT, but I do hope they do get around to it.
I’m so HAPPY to hear this!
LA Times reporting Bush Gets an Earful at Coretta King’s Funeral, but if the words fall on deaf ears, they’ll be of no effect. Nevertheless, I was fortunate to catch the moment on C-SPAN and it was truly one of the great political moments I’ve ever seen on television. I could barely believe I was seeing and hearing it as the courageous Joseph Lowery took the podium:<blockquote>The most overtly partisan remarks came from the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a King protege and longtime Bush critic, who noted Coretta King’s opposition to the war in Iraq and criticized Bush’s commitment to boosting the poor.
this actual skill set from a representative job solicitation FAR exceeds the aptitude required to scrape old paint, hang wallpaper, or hammer nails, all of which pay significantly more than the posted example. That is not to say that construction is worth less but rather that in an alleged meritocracy, the economic value of a job must by definition keep pace with the economic contributions of that job. In a growing segment of the I.T. industry, that is just not happening.
Here we see President Bush is sparing no expense and bringing the best technology available to bear upon the search. Yes, Bin Laden is about to be spotted any second, now!
<img src=”https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://awebcamdarkly.com/”ll surely find a way continue doing their job – more likely, they fear having to GO BACK to doing actual work instead of thumb-twiddling their way through life.
Ralph Hare, for this essential feature.
3.5 seconds. I figure that’s about how long you’ll be here. Bye.
If you have nothing to say, say nothing.
Check the latest PCWorld.com results. The latest list might surprise you.
SCORE (FICO, etc.), which is different from the detailed report and a bit of a scam, but still at least $50 cheaper than what it used to cost to do this every year and certainly much more time efficient than the old way!
<img src=”https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://awebcamdarkly.com/”re falling behind and it WILL catch up with you. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but complacency is a sure sign of inevitable catastrophic data loss. Stay Vigilant.
Last month, South Florida jouralist Howard Goodman wrote, “We fought the big “isms” of the 20th Century – Communism, Nazism – because, high among the things we hated about them, was that they spied on ordinary citizens, squelched dissent and made everyone paranoid of outside enemies and unconventional neighbors.”
It’s one of those days that every blogger lives for … to post this phrase: were you paying attention to how RIGHT I was? LOL!
A crucial post from Wired News, if only for the title alone. From the article, “Look, the world is not your personal playground. Do not share with us your musical tastes; do not share with us your latest wheelings and dealings. In public places, you have an obligation to hold up your end of the implied social contract by not imposing yourself on those around you. This is crucial to a civilized society and just because technology allows you to act like a braying ass in public doesn’t mean you should do it. Quite the contrary, in fact. You need to be more aware of your surroundings than ever.”
Yahoo! News reports, anyway. What a crock.
Richard MacManus adds a voice of reason to the google mania. The higher the climb, the further the fall, and when the growing prevalence of massive click fraud in the AdSense program goes mainstream, there will be half as many millionaires at Crayola-themed Logo headquarters. But don’t worry, the billionaires are all safe.
Short Answer: Because Millions of Morons rush to throw rocks at the devil.
CDs Have a Short Life Span, as short as two years. He goes on to make a case for magnetic tape as a 30 to 100 year storage option, but tape too can easily become corrupted if not carefully stored. If left too close to the speakers, or other magnetic source, data can bleed through the windings of the tape, making it unreadable.
<img src=”https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://awebcamdarkly.com/”s the email I received today, from a service that many people use in order to prevent SPAMMERS and other scumbags from harvesting our domain ownership information. Once again, in the name of make-believe-security, internet privacy is taking a tremendous hit. In actuality, all this will do is push domains away from .US and keep them in .com and other unregulated TLD space:
<img src=”https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://awebcamdarkly.com/”s only symbolic and spammers know that getting hit like this is about as likely as winning the lottery, so there is really no deterrent value to this at all.
triumphal entry of Plastic Jesus wherever He wills!
Keith Oberman once again proved his worthiness as a public attention filter by bringing attention to the Lake Superior State University’s John Shibley, co-compiler of the Official (Ought-To-Be) Banished Words List. Once you think about these, it’s almost frightening how much sense they make.
Guy Kawasaki may not have all the answers, but his 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint is actually damned sound advice. Certainly you’d want to follow it if you were shopping for any of HIS money.
<a href=”https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://awebcamdarkly.com/” page. Let people OPT-IN to more features and modules as they want too, but the default should be SIMPLICITY. There, I said it.
Actually, josh’s weblog has one of the better top ten lists that I’ve seen in a while. Thanks, Josh.
Creative Commons model seeks to evolve and expand intellectual property rights in a way that empowers and protects individuals and content creators far into the yet-uncharted digital future.
Interesting correlation. My Amazon account was assassinated just about a week after I installed a whole bunch of links to Amazon materials on several blogs and websites. By assassinating my account, those links stay intact, driving traffic to Amazon, but Amazon will never have to track or PAY ME for those referrels. Oh, and all this just happened to take place a week before Christmas, the busiest click-through time of the year.
Amazon has assassinated my account and still refuses to give me any reason.
60 Minutes ran an interesting interview on the future of longevity. A great introduction to pragmatic extropianism.
Microsoft should either cede innovation in the Web browser to Mozilla/Google or make IE more than just “icing on the Windows user experience cake”by transfering the product to a team whose bottom line depends on browser innovation. - Dare Obsasanjo, Windows Live Developer
This is not news, rather, the latest evidence of Adsense turning a blind eye to (at best) or flat enabling (at worst) massive click fraud schemes. Remember, you were warned here first. Even Jim Cramer now says SELL GOOG in the upper 440’s. Read How Domain Name Typo-Squatters are Gaming Google, and place those short orders fast because this is just one of many issues that will soon come to light for the “Don’t Be Evil” evil geniuses. Hint: When somebody goes WAY out of their way to convince you how un-evil they are, guess what?
Wow, another one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” ideas. I wrote several paper letters to my future self as a teen an in my early twenties, but lacking the organizational skills to file and reference those letters, they were lost somewhere in the vast abyss of early adultescent neglect and chicanery. But for today’s youth of all ages, the Internet makes up for all that at FutureMe.org.
No, they haven’t, THEY ALWAYS WERE. How many times will people fall for the old wolf in sheep’s clothing trick? I guess as long as there are suckers, there will be Sergey Brinn’s to prey on them. That guy has been a blood sucker at least since the day I met him in 1998. Read more at the New York Times (Free subscription required).
“Let’s say you are that luckiest of persons on the planet, a young American. How do you make sure that you do in fact create that asset you need so desperately?
Despite the recent flap over the WAY that Wikipedia has evolved, in addition thousands of other sources, the peer-reviewed journal Nature reports that Jimmy Wales’ Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries. Personally, and especially given the unprecedented way that this happened, I think it is SCIENTIFICALLY ESSENTIAL to allow the experiment to continue, unhampered by central editorial control. Whatever is happening at Wikipedia is far too important to stifle with our tried and (not always) true methods. If the traditional publishing industry forces this unlikely new creation back into its own old mold, it will be the extermination of a newly emerging literary species and a crime against Information’s Nature of the highest order. For all its flaws, Wikipedia is the most interesting manifestation of the wiki idea, in general. There is yet far too much to learn from it to simply close it down because it make some feel uncomfortable. There, I said it.
The TechSpot.com site provides a very practical Firefox Tweak Guide. Includes such useful tips as how to back up and restore Profiles. From my own experimental install-everything-i-can-get-my-hand-on experience with Firefox, the most common “total meltdown” of Firefox is the result of a corrupted user profile. If I had saved “last known good” profiles, I would not have had to manually rebuild my Firefoxen setups. Although the Infolister extension certainly makes that task much more manageable, an extension that provides for single-click Last Known Good Profile would be fantastic.
Who’d ‘ave thunk it? Tempe, AZ has contracted with NeoReach to become first Ethernet Everywhere city. “Tempe, the Phoenix suburb that is home to Arizona State University, is due to have wireless Internet available for all of its 160,000 residents in February, becoming the first city of its size in the United States to have Wi-Fi throughout” (Yahoo News).
Another despicable, deviant, on-line gamer bites the dust.
Wow, this is a video worth enshrining.
Isn’t there a point at which affluence itself becomes dangerous? At least the pendulum has an opportunity to swing back toward poverty when the affluent provide this kind of environment for their offspring.
Gadgetell explains how to get around Apple’s very cheesy ploy to force customers to pay $19 for an RCA cable that they’ve intentionally BROKEN so that it doesn’t comply with the RCA cable standard colors. This is about as lowbrow, backalley as it gets in terms of manipulating and breaking established standards in the name of proprietary marketing. You should be ashamed of yourself on this one, Apple!
Just join the Dawn Community. This is the best possible game for first generation extropians who will get to hang around until they can find a way to go visit Dawn someday. :) Woot! Hey, if you can’t have fun dreaming, what’s the point, right?
Among the many seemingly acceptable social prejudices, looking down upon stay at home dads is still prevalent. “Apparently there’s something about seeing a dad with his kids during the day, when other men are at the office or power-lunching with peers or co-workers,” writes Kristopher Kaiyala, “Fresh out of the business world, enjoying but slightly wary of my new lifestyle, I just wasn’t prepared to deal with a culture that I was sure would look down on me for shopping for organic winter-squash baby food instead of attending an editorial meeting.”
We’re not quite to the trillion channel always-on multicast, but the CNN Pipeline is another notable step forward at a price point that might actually make sense for quite a few early adopters.
I’m not a senior citizen just yet, but trying to make sense of the comparisons on Medicare.gov is a real challenge. How many 75 y.o.’s do YOU know that use the Internet on a regular basis, much less take the time to deal with the expansive web of information and comparisons of these new drug plans? This link seems to indicate that the “basic” plan will cost senior’s $3,600.00 out of pocket, each year. Like I said, I’m not familiar with current expenditures, but that sure sounds like a pretty big chunk of change for folks on a fixed income. If I were a cynic, I might suspect that the complexity is intentional, an indirect hard sell, intended to draw in the children of these seniors and the children’s income.
As some dystopian authors predicted, poor people are being targeted with campaigns for them to sell their own body parts. The fact that these public forums are happening IN PUBLIC is a likely indicator that the problem must be way out of hand, already.
This is six months old, but still reminds us that the opportunites in this Web 2.0 space are still very new; to wit, SiliconValleyWatcher.com: First RSS focused VC fund is announced–$100m
As of this update, the old 2005 putfile.com seems to have become Another entry in the growing genre of media hosting sites. The Putfile free account now features Unlimited File Uploads at 25GB per file; whereas the original was 25MB. What a difference a decade makes in the #PostAutomationEra.
Perhaps more relevant today than it was two years ago. In any case, well worth an annual remembrance. Have a Merry Muslim Christmas
This is just not at all new. for has ripped off so many for so long that it’s practically proof of an unholy alliance with the devil that they lasted this long.Lawsuit Accuses AOL of Illegal Billing
Thanks again to Engadget for informing us of more extropian replacement parts. The Rheo Knee from MIT adjusts and learns on the go.
Wow. Just wow. My bet is that this scenario is FAR more prevalent in America today than anyone would dare imagine. Watch this 3 minute clip and draw your own conclusion. Google Video
In response to the latest Robertson Retardation.
As seems to be increasingly the case, this high-clue find is from CircleID, where the rest of the conversation can be found.
Wow, John Levine has it right on when he says, “Now that the split root genie is out of the bottle, is there any way to get it back in? Not that I can see. Let’s hope that users in China and other countries with their own private roots figure out that there’s more to the net than their DNS shows them.”
<img src=”https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://awebcamdarkly.com/”t be able to keep up with their obviously superior wit and wisdom. The blatent ageism has cost me jobs and contracts, but the cost and energy of litigation makes retaliation pointless. The problem with companies who harbor these groups of cute and shiny ageist bigots is that companies are losing out on the much-more-likely-to-be-profitable Innovations Born of Experience such as those described in this MIT brief.
In contrast to the sectarian and partisan bellowing, Joe Lieberman provides intelligent and rational reasoning Why Our Troops Must Stay. This Iraq thing is ugly and I was against it from before the beginning, but now that the unconscienable has been perpetrated by the neofacists in power, the only conscienable outcome is to clean up the wreck they’ve made.
Very entertaining examples of utter brand cluelessness. /spadassin/: Webmasters who didn’t think when they registered their URL
Paul English gets a well deserved 15 seconds of fame.
This corporate training program could well become more relevant than HBS or GSB drivel. Reading List: Fog Creek Software Management Training Program
Microsoft Ups the Console Ante - New York Times “For now, the one game that best shows off everything the Xbox 360 is capable of is Project Gotham Racing 3, which lets you race supercars through stunningly vivid recreations of cities that include New York, London and Las Vegas. (Not only can you race online, but you can also tune into “Gotham TV” any time of the day or night and watch the best players from around the world competing against one another, live.) Screaming over the Brooklyn Bridge in my Ferrari, an opponent hot on my tail, I thought, “This is what gaming is all about.”
These are almost too commonly used to be funny, but without further ado, here are Things to say when you’re losing a technical argument …
Courtesy of CC Blog: Venture Capital
Courtesy of zerosign.net
Another World Is Here: StarSight, and it’s utterly brilliant.
Some stuff is just worth saving. This 2005 Commencement address by Steve Jobs is one good example.
Apparently, it’s called JS/UIX. Wow.
Interesting drag-n-drop site creation.
Wow. I have to say that Comcast is really smoking the competition here in Palo Alto. If you’re fortunate enough to live close to a CO and pay twice as much, you can get similar speeds out of DSL, but for the short term, nothing even comes close to cable for residential broadband in the South Peninsula of Silicon Valley.
Just what we need … MORE CHICKLETS! Now you can subscribe to any Atom or RSS using feedBLITZ. Look for feedBLITZ in a chicklet box near you.
Earlier, I posted on SU a comment that this WSIS noise is flat out dangerous. There is no reason on earth to fragment core Internet functions or for the U.S. to offshore any root operations. This is nothing more than an obsolete organization (ITU) trying to avoid certain death as the old telco model becomes increasingly obsolete. There is nothing “unfair” about the way the U.S. blessed the entire planet with the Internet and the internationalist wannabes are a danger to the continuity of the Internet. I’m a fairly strong blue-state democrat-leaning type, in general, but this kind of stupidity makes me wax absolutely republicanesque! Anathema!
“The common wood frog freezes solid every winter and then, come spring, defrosts and mates.” See the NOVA Video.
It’s not a scientific poll, so it can safely be ignored, right? CNN.com QuickVote.
diggin’ on the story that AOL is Bleeding 300 Customers an Hour.
From Engadget, “Biquad antennas can be built from common materials, which is nice because you don’t have to scrounge around for the perfectly-sized soup can.”
“This is genius, and the best example of integration I have seen. Note that this came from game designers and not from business software developers. The sooner we realize that creativity is centered in the game business, the better off the entire industry will be.”
Yes, blogs are still poised to save the universe as we know it and provide infinite prosperity for all. See Library Stuff: Weblogs, Inc
In The consumerization of IT, the geniuses at Gartner now proclaim, “Consumer IT will affect every enterprise” said David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “Attempts by enterprises to deny this are doomed to failure, just as previous attempts to deny Wi-Fi, ‘smart’ mobile phones, the Internet and even the PC itself failed.”
Paul Graham on the Venture Capital Squeeze - Will founders be able to get VC funding AND partially cash out? A response to a comment is made on the site:<blockquote>Greg Linden in the comments suggests that a partial payout would somehow make up for the opportunity costs incurred by the founders during the bootstrapping period. The common view is that these bootstrapping costs (both opportunity costs and hard cash invested in the business) is what makes up the Founders’ equity.</blockquote>While this is historically true, the all-or-nothing risks of founders in today’s society are so high that this historical metric is no longer adequate. The early cash out is absolutely required by the laws of pragmatic economics in order to bring the formula back into equilibrium.
I love referring to people, whom I only met by getting them to sign a book for me, by first name as if I know them. See The Dilbert Blog: Immortality Plan B, written by my good friend, Scotty Adams.
CSMonitor.com reporting Danish editor tests right to violate Muslim taboos. Interesting approach that, to my mind, could highlight the absurdity of the radical view to fence-sitters within Islam – in the long run. In the short run, don’t be surprised to see the emergence of a Death To Cartoonists sub-faction of the Insane-o-slamic factions of Islam.
United States Patent: 6,960,975, granted Nov 1, 2005, describes:
“Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government’s invasive abilities. We theorize that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.”
MercuryNews.com reporting Google details Mtn. View WiFi plan. Why would they do this? According to a spokesperson, “In our self-interest, we believe that giving more people the ability to access the Internet will drive more traffic to Google and hence more revenue to Google.”
The Michael Yon : Online Magazine is just worth bookmarking and passing on. Every now and then the mainstream does catch hold of something worthwhile.
In CNET’s report, Gates memo warns of ‘disruptive’ changes, we see how Linux will finally become the desktop OS of choice. Once the web is sufficiently streamlined to deliver TRUE desktop-responsive applications, the original dream of Sun and Java will be realized and the Network will finally become the Computer. It may yet be seven to ten years out, but despite the years of hype and the delays presented by REALITY, the day will come when the OS will live entirely in instant-on RAM and the applications will live wherever they want to live. In that world, the universal OS of choice will be some *IX variant, although consumers will likely not even be aware that it happened, any more than the average Apple user knows that they’re essentially running BSD.
There's <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://awebcamdarkly.com/"s The Future. This is The Future. - Mark Hamill, Comcast commercial
Apparently, Comcast will not allow you to protect your own information on their network. I’ve spent about 20 minutes eliminating all the most common explanations and will do a little more testing, but this is what happens when I try to access my Comcast home page using Anonymizer. I give it a 95% chance that I won’t find anything other than Comcast blocking anonymized traffic. More later.
If you haven’t figured out that TV is going away very, very soon, you’re about to discover part of the reason why. Finally, FireANT | Not TV makes EthernetTV feasible. It will take less than ten years for television as we have always known it to be consumed by these FireAnts and swarms of other similar emergent species.
And for another anecdotal adsenselessness example, see this very blog. After the entry from Joel on Software, I became curious about adsense and went and signed up, put the code on this page, and what kind of ads do we see? Shit. Literally.
It just hit the blogoshere yesterday and for once, this is news truly worth blog blabbing about. In fact, Mr. Scott Adams probably deserves to be listed on the blogroll of nobodies who really are somebodies. Too bad that would bend the rules even further than Dogbert would approve.
As is so often the case, it would be wise to heed the observations of Joel on Software. Click the title link for the story to which I’m referring.
Okay, this whole toolbar model has gone completely out of control. If users take advantage of everyone’s toolbars, there is no room left for the browser!
Fellow Stanford alum Jonah Eric Hsu has released The Blackberry EP. Check it out!
Given the news on Yahoo, that the White House asks spoof Web site to stop using seal and the fact that the story seems oddly broken on the primary U.S. Yahoo News server, yet is consistently available via Yahoo! India, as well as Australia and New Zealand, this time wasting exercise seems justified.
According to Yahoo! News: “Any safe can be cracked; every system of safeguards breaks down eventually. We can’t get rid of Bush because the Founding Fathers, who were smart enough to think of just about everything, dropped the ball when they drafted the article that provides for presidential impeachment. Because there were no national political parties back in 1787, their otherwise ingenious system of checks and balances failed to account for the possibility that a Congress might choose to overlook a president’s crimes.
The ideas in Wired Issue 2.10, October 1994 have seemed more or less intuitively obvious to me for several decades, but I always struggled for a way to articulate the vision. Thanks to Max More and Tom Morrow, a growing band of biobeyonders have come together and continued to refine these ideas, flesh out the challenges, and contemplate the alternatives that contempory technology offers. History has shown, time and again, that technology for it’s own sake often leads to disasterous unintended consequences, so the importance of rigorous evaluation of the course ahead of us can’t be overstated.<ul><li></li>Extropy Institute
What does it mean to be Human 2.0?
Is the Singularity near? </ul>
Great. Just great. If this is what the public is ALLOWED to see, what do you think the highly classified versions of this technology look like?
I was privileged this weekend to put in three 14 hour days volunteering with the Spaceward Foundation’s inaugural Space Elevator Games 2005. This event was the Kitty Hawk for the coming era of safe, reliable, lowcost, quotidian access to space. By augmenting traditional rocket-based lift systems with the space elevator, or “train to space” as the Russians envisioned in the 1940’s, the pace of space development will increase rapidly as cost-per-pound of payload drops by a factor of 100 or more. Here are a few of the post-games write-ups:
Like Kitty Hawk, the success at the first annual Space Elevator games was not actually the first successful demonstration of the concept. Many other groups like the LiftPort Group of Bremerton, WA have been working on the concept for several years.
This Modern Marvel of a Time Machine is equally long on WOW!
Just go. Trust me. The decade long project to re-open the deYoung culminated in a masterpiece of sociological logistics during the 31 hour public unveiling party held last weekend, October 15-16. The splendor and diversity of the collection was matched only by the splendor and diversity of the throngs that wafted through the spacious galleries day, and night, and day. Easily one of the coolest large scale public events I’ve ever attended.
And why not have some fun while you’re at it? Now taking predictions about the future prospects for this organization: The Association of Professional Futurists.
The purpose of this website is to demonstrate:
From its unholy inception, AOL was at best a charade and training ground for the most prurient of internet derelicts, but it officially became a zombie (corporations are legal persons, hence, capable of becoming walking dead) since residential broadband connections began accelerating in the latter half of the 1990’s. The question becomes, how do we kill such horrible creatures? The Abomination Off Line must be killed, and the sooner the better for everyone. Perhaps if Comcast, and Google Acquire Part of AOL they can take it to the vet and have it put out of its misery.
If not, now would be a good time to stop falling further behind the progression toward a “shared, intentional, waking-state dreaming,” what Lanier himself sometimes calls “post-symbolic communication.”
Google Video may not be good for much, but how else would we have re-discovered Wes?
Beware, humans of earth, of The Oculas at Hammacher Schlemmer.
Wow. This is just plain worth archiving. A great poke in the eye with a sharp shtick for racists and neo supremecists of all colors and creeds: Black People Love Us!
Could this be a boon for scientifically-minded creationists willing to let “a thousand years be as a day”? Or in this case, to merely let 365 days be as 3,650? According to National Geographic, New DNA studies say that all humans descended from a single common African ancestor who lived only 60,000 years ago. The article claims that you can Uncover the specific genetic paths that led from him to you.
Itchin’ for immortality? Flea’s giant leap for mankind. SOURCE: smh.com.au
How to make your viPod marginally useful: Rip DVD Movies To Your iPod
WOW. Be patient through the non-audio portion, it might be worth it to you.
Microsoft hopes its Internet protocol television system (IPTV) will also be used in India, China and other developing countries.
Rupert Murdoch, who recently spent £332.85m on the youth networking site MySpace.com, issued a “change or die” warning to an audience of US editors earlier this year. Admitting that the media industry had been “remarkably, unaccountably complacent”, he described the shift in attitudes as “a revolution in the way young people are accessing news”.
This site probably sucks, right? :)
Today on philly.com:<blockquote>But let’s get to specifics. Take, for instance, human body version 2.0, which Kurzweil estimates should be available in the early 2030s. This will eliminate the “heart, lungs, red and white blood cells, platelets, pancreas, thyroid and all the hormone-producing organs, kidneys, bladder, liver, lower esophagus, stomach, small intestines, large intestines, and bowel.”</blockquote> Want to learn more? Try the Transhumanist FAQ and other stumbling around.
Sebastian Thrun, leader of the Stanford team, said the victory was a win for the automobile’s future, predicting that all cars would one day be able to drive themselves. “These vehicles just haven’t achieved world records, they’ve made history,” said DARPA director Tony Tether. Stanford team clinches top spot in robot desert race
Wow. This is has got to be one of the most obscure reg codes I’ve ever succeeded in finding. By using a combination of Google cache and Wayback, I finally found that the “serial” for installing the Winamp DVR Plugin is “BeCaptureWinamp2004.” From what can gather, it’s not a serial at all, but a freeware installation password (huh?) that the software creators just haven’t made very easy to find. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
Yep. Manufacturers gearing up to mass-produce the breakthrough chips, according to news @ nature.com reports: Nanotubes Refine Computer Memory.
Brought to you by the same people who first helped us realize that all downloading is evil (oh, except the kind from their affiliate sites), Slasdot now reporting as the RIAA Goes After Satellite Radio. I guess if you think about it, not just satellite, but all radio is a constant streaming download, so it should all be banned, immediately. After all, you can “download” broadcast radio to any cassette recorder, dub the cassette to CD, create a .torrent for the file and there you have it: BROADCAST RADIO IS THE LEADING TECHNOLOGY OF MUSIC PIRATES! I agree with the RIAA and say shut down the entire broadcast radio industry before it’s too late!
Yeah, it was just a fluke, I guess that’s why Internet Growth in 2005 Set all New Records. The Internet is sooo yesterday. And who needs all that bandwidth, anyway?
Just when you thought the idiocy had reached it’s zenith, along comes FEMA for Kids! Now, you can visit Herman, the happy spokescrab (really!) who will teach you how to depend your federal goverment to lead you to your nearest neighborhood Terror Dome in the case of catastrophic natural disaster. Don’t the big, sharp, pincers make you feel MUCH safer, kids? They don’t? Then surely the FEMA RAP song should do it! OMG! This is where all our tax dollars are going instead of actually helping the people in the gulf region. Amazing.
The utterly flaccid Homeland Security Advisory System has proven it’s impotence once again on today’s BBC news Warning of New York subway threat. In the face of a reported “credible security threat”, “The country remains at an elevated risk, Code Yellow, for terrorist attack,” and “throughout the transport system, the city’s threat level remain[s] at ‘orange’ - the second highest level of alert and the level it has been since the attacks on the city’s World Trade Center on 11 September 2001.”
I wonder how many people have read BOTH of these books? Regardless of on which side you find yourself, isn’t it interesting that sites like Amazon encourage us to continue basking in our own side of the debate instead of suggesting books that might widen our world view?
Maybe. Probably. No, really, we mean it, watch out! There He is Now! Aaarrrgghhh!!!
Could definitely be worthwhile Peter Jackson to Executive Produce Halo Movie
Could Trent be growing up? Anathema!
Having used the nearly ubiquitous tagline in that last post, my curiousity piqued. Hence, the title of this particular post, which is indeed mine, and it appears here first. On the other hand, the subject matter of this title is a bit more ambiguous in letter, if not substance: “As I’ve said many times, the future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed.” – quotation by William Gibson, really
EVERYONE knows that stress causes ulcers, right?
As the Expedition 12 Crew Arrive at ISS, Greg Olsen entered the Hall of Heros for civilian space flight, joining Mark Shuttleworth and Civilian Astronaut #1 Dennis Tito as the first humans to put their money where their mouths are – FOR ALL OF US!
Since it’s probably most likely that you WON’T win Ben Stein’s money to finance your future, you might want to seriously think about what it will take to Retire on Your Terms.
As I’ve been ranting the past few years, to many a raised eyebrow, humans are on the cusp of achieving the incomprehensible and divine (or opposite of divine, until it helps someone YOU love). Namely, greatly extended life spans.
Okay so I have a temporary crush on goggle video. But check this out and ask if after the U.S. finishes demolishing Iraq and Iran (you know they’re next, night?) it just may be time to send the stormtroopers to France.
For all the times you’ve wanted to kill your pos PC
A fairly clueful Top 75 Security Tools
A humorous primer on what we might call Unintelligible Design
“Marta Bohn-Meyer was an extraordinarily talented individual and a most trusted technical expert and manager at NASA Dryden,” Petersen said. “She committed her life and career to aviation and the advancement of aeronautics and space in the United States. We at Dryden will miss her tremendously.”
As we saw earlier, China continues to exert substantial influence over some of America’s leading technology companies. Is this the culmination of a long term Chinese strategy? An inevitable outcome of American laissez faire naivete? If capitalism is given complete global free reign, whatever led Americans to believe that they would forever be the foremost beneficiaries? Moreover, if somebody else “wins” the global capitalism game, who then is to prevent those winners from changing the rules to keep themselves in power, permanently? Adam Smith alone cannot save America. If America is to maintain even a co-equal role with China, it better start re-reading Marx and Machiavelli, RIGHT NOW. That is, if it isn’t too late already.
“I [too] do not find it surprising that the main result of a survey of world public opinion suggests that only 30% of people feel that their country is governed by the will of the people.I do not find it surprising that the main result of a survey of world public opinion suggests that only 30% of people feel that their country is governed by the will of the people.”
Step One: Cave in to communist regime in the name of winning business. Step Two: Communist regime gains global market dominance. Step Three: You now live in a global communist police state that you helped create. Congratulations!
I wrote essays about this topic almost two years before anyone in the presss ever brought it up and I’ll have much more to say on this at a later date. Google Anything, So Long as It’s Not Google - New York Times
On the first or second day after Katrina there was a picture on CNN of an isolated white man’s carcass who had just been beaten to the very verge of, if not entirely to death.
“I am absolutely disgusted. After the tsunami our people, even the ones who lost everything, wanted to help the others who were suffering,” said Sajeewa Chinthaka, 36, as he watched a cricket match in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Lunarbroadband has a directory of Ethernet (internet) TV channels
Please help stop the paranoid policy makers. Small airplanes are NOT the enemy.
Since thin skin will help ASIMO humanoids to have a sense of touch, doesn’t this all begin to obsolete humans as first person space explorers? Sure, the interface to control the robots will be essentially an advanced VR-FPS gaming setup, but on Mars, robots could do much more than humans and could stay permanently without any need for food or water.
The BBS Documentary Video Collection is a varied and extensive set of video items collected by Jason Scott, curator of TEXTFILES.COM. These are recordings about and from the era of the domination of ASCII and Dial-up Bulletin Board Systems (roughly the 1970s through the 1990s, with examples far before and after that). Over 250 hours of interviews were conducted for a project called “BBS: The Documentary” (website at bbsdocumentary.com).
Listmania! Ebooks about flying by Jack Purcell
Well, not exactly, but still, we should all run for cover now thatTerrorists Move to Cyberspace, right?
Google balances privacy, reach? - CNET News.com
Blacklists CNet Reporters for exposing the harm it can do, even when turned against itself.
Goes to (hopefully very soon to be former) columnist Robert Novak for Naming CIA Officer and then claiming that “no CIA official ever told him in advance ‘that Valerie Plame Wilson’s disclosure would endanger her or anybody else.’” As one of the most senior veterans in his trade, nobody needed to say a word HE KNEW and he’s therefore the 2005 Scumbag of the Year for AWCD.
Just for the sake of replication, I’m cataloging this one here. Boing Boing: Microsoft “Genuine Advantage” cracked in 24h: window.g_sDisableWGACheck=’all’
28 Pages that could Change the World: Edward Tufte: Books - Essay: The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint
The latest from human destiny shaper Arno Penzias
Reported by VOA News
The Animated Atlas manages to condense and summarize an amazing amount of information into an informative and easy to follow format. Kids who couldn’t care less about the content may not benefit, but it might win over a fence-sitter or two on some classroom settings.
the cool hunter seems to be pretty good at hunting down cool anywhere it can find it.
Hint: Turns out it’s Not This.
As reported by Yahoo! News
Just Keep the Status Quo.
Cast your votes here to let the OO team know that Tablet PC is not “just a windows thing” anymore, thanks!
Remember, it turns out that The Republic IS The Empire! So get out there and start nuking Google text ads now, before it’s too late!
Surely we can find a way to tweak this into something the vulture capitalists will back! Hackers Holding Computer Files ‘Hostage’ - Yahoo! News
The entire series, here: Class Matters - Social Class in the United States of America - The New York Times
The fact that this story is out there at all is evidence that somebody is awfully close to actually doing this. The real space race is only now beginning to heat up. Who has jurisdiction and by what right? More fun than a barrel of space monkeys. CNN.com - U.S.: No billboards in space
Using OpenBSD for an Encrypted File Server: “Using OpenBSD for an Encrypted File Server”
The Original Google Hardware, courtesy of The Wayback Machine.
Call it what you will, it’s EthernetTV … Slashdot | Local Internet TV Takes Off In Austria
… to make the choice for open source.Slashdot | Microsoft to Disable Online Windows Activation
Check the depth first, but then, definitely jump!
“As soon as you start using cartoon characters, tying products into kids’ movies and so forth, then the question becomes: Can consumers really make fully-informed choices or are they being flooded with marketing material that is going to alter their behavior? Companies might respond that children don’t make the purchasing decisions; it’s the parents, but we all know how persuasive kids can be.” Food Fight: Obesity Raises Difficult Marketing Questions - Knowledge@Wharton
So this Alex Jones guy just keeps getting more and more traction. You gotta’ admit, he’s definitely an entertaining guy. But do his messages have even the slightest substance to them?
I’m super happy and not at all surprised. Slashdot | Blockbuster Sued Over Late Fees Claim
Surely this falls within the anti-code-bloat policies for developers. Extension Room :: Tab X
The Adblock Project is a site to which we all need ready access. It’s also full of all kinds of related useful topics like How to really do a clean Firefox upgrade
Regardless of OS, a computer is only as secure as the skills of its administrator.
Panera Bread boasts bestest and mostest franchise wifi coverage in the nation.
Wake up, people.
The mail() Function
Some folks are working on how to block the blockers at PHPBuddy.com - Fighting Ad-Blocking Software
Now that second edition is out, the first edition is available as PDF download.
Stories related to the latestVoIP Alliance (VoIPSA)
Yahoo! News reporting gay buying power expected to grow to $610B in 2005.
Think Again. The Talented Mr. Mitnick
These are the same people who want to devalue your hard-earned technical skill and drive down your hourly wage to commodity prices. After all, it’s their inalienable right as fat, dumb, cows of consumerism.
Once again, Boing Boing has done an invaluable public service in teaching us all how to Google unsecured webcams. We didn’t have enough distractions in our lives before this; good thing we found it in time!
The first usenet appearance of the immortal Church of the Subgenius. Definitely up there on the Top Ten Influencers of Original Net Culture list. This is taken from Google’s 2001 20th anniversary list of other notable usenet firsts. Which begs the question, what will happen to Usenet in 2021 after Google’s 20 year commitment expires? Will usenet even live that long? Is there any reason for it to be alive today?
I won’t apologize for this naked redirect to the mighty Register; the content is far too cool to require excuse or defense. It’s all about the BitTorrent P2P file-sharing system.
Vermeer Technologies co-founder Charles H. Ferguson scores a once-in-lifetime I told you so in this month’s MIT Technology Review. Excerpts:
Sorry for the lame non-content post, but this is just way too important to not reference.
Yes, of course you do. Were you “created equal”? Of course you were. And who gave you those rights? Who created you equal? The Consititution? The Declaration of Independence? Let’s take a look for a moment at that Declaration:
Slashdot | TorrentBits.org and SuprNova.org Go Dark: “This time with breaks! (Score:5, Insightful) by zmollusc (763634) Neutral on Sunday December 19, @10:10AM (#11131127)
Where did this phrase in the presidential inaugural oath come from?
“A stroke of the president’s pen will launch the era of commercial passenger space flight. The Senate, with only minutes remaining in the legislative session that adjourned Wednesday, passed the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act. Assuming President Bush signs it, the controversial legislation will not only allow paying passengers in space, it will make it easier for companies to experiment with and test vehicles to get through what space policy consultant James Muncy calls “the 21st-century equivalent of the barnstorming era.” Although the bill, on the surface, enjoyed wide public and political support, there was intense back-room politicking leading up to its final passage. Some members of Congress wanted more safety provisions for passengers built in while others thought it too restrictive on the companies trying to put a toehold in the new market. In the end, it passed unanimously in a package of unrelated legislation presented as the Senate was preparing to wrap up the session. Had it not passed, proponents would have had to reintroduce it in the next session, delaying the development of the industry, which now hopes to launch its first customers in 2007.” - Source: AVweb
Steven Rhoads gave a talk on his new book at the Heritage Foundation on August 10, 2004. If you ever wondered why the American family has hit such a slick spot in recent decades, with relationships spinning off the road and into the ditch in record numbers, this is a must see video stream. You can safely advance your video viewer to the 5 minute marker where the talk actually begins.
In 1992, I presented a draft business plan to the investor community in Phoenix, Arizona. The idea was to build Ethernet networks throughout residential neighborhoods in order to connect them to local schools and businesses. I was met with blank stares and responses like, “You mean a BBS?”
More polemics on stuff we wish was, but isn’t; or should be but won’t be; and stuff that will be but ain’t, just yet.
we’ll find out, in time.