Future

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  • The Knowledge

    Blog of the Long Now
    Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
    19 Apr 2014 | 3:38 am
    One of the early inspirations for creating the Manual for Civilization was an email I received from Lewis Dartnell in London asking me for information on a book he was writing inspired by James Lovelock’s “Book for all Seasons”.  The idea was a kind of reboot manual for humanity, and it coincided well with some other conversations we had been having at Long Now about making a collection of books that could do something similar. Fast forward to 02014 and Lewis has finished his book “The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch” which comes out today, and…
  • Thinnest-possible nanomembrane produced

    KurzweilAI » News
    18 Apr 2014 | 3:05 am
    Part of a graphene membrane with a multiplicity of pores (black) of precisely defined size (credit: Celebi K. et al. /Science) ETH Zurich, Empa, LG Electronics researchers  have created the thinnest-possible nanomembrane. Made out of graphene, it is extremely light and breathable, and could lead to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing and ultra-rapid filtration. The stable porous membrane consists of two layers of  graphene, a two-dimensional film made of carbon atoms, on which the researchers etched tiny pores of a precisely defined size to allow for selective filtration by…
  • Project Orion would gather Two thirds of propellant as it went so that All major moons of Saturn or Jupiter could be visited with a mass ratio less than 2.

    Next Big Future
    19 Apr 2014 | 12:58 am
    Centauri Dreams has a look back at the Orion Project plans to fly to Enceladus. Project Orion was the rocket that was use about 800 small nuclear bombs for propulsion. It would drop each one through a hold in a massive metal donut/pusher plate. Project Orion was intended to loft 1600 tons to low-Earth orbit, or in its advanced version, 1300 tons to a landing on one of Saturn’s moons. The moon that most drew Freeman Dyson’s eye in 1958 was tiny Enceladus.Each Bomb was only one third of the weight of each propulsion unitPart of the Orion strategy is to gather propellant for the return trip…
  • US government report highlights flaws in US nanotechnology effort

    the Foresight Institute
    Jim Lewis
    1 Apr 2014 | 5:43 pm
    Credit: GAO adapted from Executive Office of the President Here at Nanodot we often report on basic research that may lie on the path to atomically precise manufacturing, and we also frequently report on nanoscale science and technology research that promises near-term revolutionary developments in medicine, computation, energy and other application areas, but we seldom have anything to say about the transition from research to commercial production. The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) is worried about this same lack, and has identified an important nanotechnology policy…
  • What’s the best way of harvesting the energy of the sun?

    Soft Machines
    Richard Jones
    6 Apr 2014 | 11:09 pm
    This is another post inspired by my current first year physics course, The Physics of Sustainable Energy (PHY123). Calculations are all rough, order of magnitude estimates – if you don’t believe them, try doing them for yourself. We could get all the energy we need from the sun, in principle. Even from our cloudy UK skies an average of 100 W arrives at the surface per square meter. Each person in the UK uses energy at an average rate of 3.4 kW, so if we each could harvest the sun from a mere 34 square meters with 100% efficiency, that would do the job. For all 63 million of us,…
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    Blog of the Long Now

  • The Knowledge

    Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
    19 Apr 2014 | 3:38 am
    One of the early inspirations for creating the Manual for Civilization was an email I received from Lewis Dartnell in London asking me for information on a book he was writing inspired by James Lovelock’s “Book for all Seasons”.  The idea was a kind of reboot manual for humanity, and it coincided well with some other conversations we had been having at Long Now about making a collection of books that could do something similar. Fast forward to 02014 and Lewis has finished his book “The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch” which comes out today, and…
  • Neal Stephenson’s Selected Books for the Manual for Civilization

    Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:25 am
    Best-selling author Neal Stephenson has added a couple dozen books to the Manual for Civilization. Long Now is assembling a corpus of 3,500 volumes that would help sustain or rebuild civilization. This collection will be featured at The Interval, our new public space, as a floor-to-ceiling library available to our visitors. The collection will comprise books suggested by Long Now members and charter donors to the Interval project. We’ve also invited a select group of eminent friends of Long Now, including archivists, artists, authors, educators, scientists and more, to submit lists…
  • Mariana Mazzucato Seminar Media

    Andrew Warner
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:22 pm
    This lecture was presented as part of The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking. The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Private vs. Public Sector Myths Monday March 24, 02014 – San Francisco Video is up on the Mazzucato Seminar page for Members. Audio is up on the Mazzucato Seminar page, or you can subscribe to our podcast. Government as radical, patient VC – a summary by Stewart Brand The iPhone, Mazzucato pointed out, is held up as a classic example of world-changing innovation coming from business. Yet every feature of the iPhone was created,…
  • Explore Urban Infrastructure at the MacroCity Conference, May 30-31

    Charlotte Hajer
    15 Apr 2014 | 9:02 am
    We rarely see in full the cities that we live in. Focused on our daily lives, urban dwellers are often only dimly aware of the numerous, enmeshed layers of critical infrastructure that quietly hum in the background to make modern life possible. Come and explore the amazing stories and surprising histories to be found lurking just below the surface of our cities at MacroCity, a two-day, whirlwind tour of this bigger picture of urban life. The event brings together a diverse set of panelists, speakers, and participants to explore the vast, often overlooked networks of infrastructure that…
  • Watermark: New Film by Edward Burtynsky

    Charlotte Hajer
    14 Apr 2014 | 11:15 am
    Every living thing requires water. We humans interact with it in a myriad of ways, numerous times a day. But how often do we consider the complexity of that interaction? Renowned photographer and former SALT speaker Edward Burtynsky explores these questions in a new film. Co-directed by Burtynsky and filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal, Watermark is a feature documentary film that brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use. … Shot in stunning 5K ultra…
 
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    KurzweilAI » News

  • Thinnest-possible nanomembrane produced

    18 Apr 2014 | 3:05 am
    Part of a graphene membrane with a multiplicity of pores (black) of precisely defined size (credit: Celebi K. et al. /Science) ETH Zurich, Empa, LG Electronics researchers  have created the thinnest-possible nanomembrane. Made out of graphene, it is extremely light and breathable, and could lead to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing and ultra-rapid filtration. The stable porous membrane consists of two layers of  graphene, a two-dimensional film made of carbon atoms, on which the researchers etched tiny pores of a precisely defined size to allow for selective filtration by…
  • 3D microvascular network allows for repeated self-healing in composite materials

    18 Apr 2014 | 12:01 am
    3D microvascular networks for self-healing composites: researchers were able to achieve more effective self-healing by using the herringbone vascular network (top) instead of a parallel design (bottom), as evidenced (top) by the increased mixing (orange-yellow) of individual healing agents (red and green) across a fracture surface (credit: Beckman Institute) Researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a 3D vascular system that allows high-performance composite materials such as fiberglass to heal…
  • CNN’s Spurlock Inside Man explores extreme life extension

    17 Apr 2014 | 10:12 pm
    (Credit: CNN) In “Futurism,” an episode in CNN’s original series Morgan Spurlock Inside Man on Sunday April 20, Spurlock enters the “brave new world of extreme life extension, embarking on a life-prolonging regimen and trying everything from genome hacking to creating an avatar and uploading his consciousness in preparation for the ‘Technological Singularity.’ “Spurlock’s quest to live forever includes visits with radical futurist Ray Kurzweil, Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Cambrian Genomics in San Francisco,…
  • First Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’ discovered

    17 Apr 2014 | 9:22 pm
    An artistic concept of Kepler-186f based on a collaboration of scientists and artists (credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech) Astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the “habitable zone” — the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun. Planets have previously been found in the habitable zone, but they are all at least 40 percent larger in size than Earth,…
  • Brain abnormalities linked to casual marijuana use

    17 Apr 2014 | 8:51 am
    Cannabis leaf (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Young adults who used marijuana only recreationally showed significant abnormalities in two key brain regions that are important in emotion and motivation, scientists report. The study was a collaboration between Northwestern Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. This is the first study to show casual use of marijuana is related to major brain changes. It showed the degree of brain abnormalities in these regions is directly related to the number of joints a person smoked per week. The more joints a person smoked, the more…
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    Next Big Future

  • Project Orion would gather Two thirds of propellant as it went so that All major moons of Saturn or Jupiter could be visited with a mass ratio less than 2.

    19 Apr 2014 | 12:58 am
    Centauri Dreams has a look back at the Orion Project plans to fly to Enceladus. Project Orion was the rocket that was use about 800 small nuclear bombs for propulsion. It would drop each one through a hold in a massive metal donut/pusher plate. Project Orion was intended to loft 1600 tons to low-Earth orbit, or in its advanced version, 1300 tons to a landing on one of Saturn’s moons. The moon that most drew Freeman Dyson’s eye in 1958 was tiny Enceladus.Each Bomb was only one third of the weight of each propulsion unitPart of the Orion strategy is to gather propellant for the return trip…
  • Finding life in the outer solar system by pitlamping

    19 Apr 2014 | 12:58 am
    Physicist Freeman Dyson suggests that we start looking for life on the moons of Jupiter and out past Neptune, in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. He talks about what such life would be like -- and how we might find it.On the topic of Europa, Freeman believes we could find life there except for the expenses. It would be to hard to burrow through the ice and find out if there are things swimming around down there. He believes that if there is life down there that it would eventually move to the surface. The surface is a vacuum. There is no atmosphere, but being aquatic on that moon this…
  • Hubble Telescope can use spatial scanning to measure 5 billionth of a degree for accurate distance measurement to 10000 light years

    18 Apr 2014 | 11:18 pm
    By applying a technique called spatial scanning to an age-old method for gauging distances called astronomical parallax, scientists now can use NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to make precision distance measurements 10 times farther into our galaxy than previously possible.Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers now can precisely measure the distance of stars up to 10,000 light-years away -- 10 times farther than previously possible.Astronomers have developed yet another novel way to use the 24-year-old space telescope by employing a technique called spatial scanning, which…
  • Spacex water landing looks good. First stage stabilized and rocket transmitted for 8 seconds after reaching the water

    18 Apr 2014 | 11:10 pm
    Elon Musk tweeted more good news about the water landing of the first stage.Data upload from tracking plane shows landing in Atlantic was good! Several boats enroute through heavy seas.Flight computers continued transmitting for 8 seconds after reaching the water. Stopped when booster went horizontal.tThe first stage executed a good re-entry burn and was able to stabilize itself on the way down. Recovering and reusing rockets are key parts of Musk's strategy for reducing the cost of spaceflight and eventually sending colonists to Mars.Elon Musk indicates that if the reusable tests work…
  • Academics confirm that data shows majority does not rule in the US it is the rich and special interests

    18 Apr 2014 | 3:28 pm
    The US government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country's citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful. Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics – which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic Elite Domination, and two types of interest group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism – offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based…
 
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    the Foresight Institute

  • US government report highlights flaws in US nanotechnology effort

    Jim Lewis
    1 Apr 2014 | 5:43 pm
    Credit: GAO adapted from Executive Office of the President Here at Nanodot we often report on basic research that may lie on the path to atomically precise manufacturing, and we also frequently report on nanoscale science and technology research that promises near-term revolutionary developments in medicine, computation, energy and other application areas, but we seldom have anything to say about the transition from research to commercial production. The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) is worried about this same lack, and has identified an important nanotechnology policy…
  • Programmable nanoprocessors integrated into a nanowire nanocomputer

    Jim Lewis
    30 Mar 2014 | 8:31 pm
    Credit: Yao et al. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA Three years ago we noted “the world’s first programmable nanoprocessor” achieved by a collaboration between Harvard and MITRE [also, see further details here]. This year the same interdisciplinary team has taken further key steps toward a functioning nanoelectronic computer based on integrating several of the tiles that they first reported three years ago. A hat tip to KurzweilAI for reprinting this news release from MITRE “MITRE-Harvard Team’s Ultra-tiny Nanocomputer May Point the Way to Further Miniaturization in…
  • Bigger, stiffer, roomier molecular cages from structural DNA nanotechnology

    Jim Lewis
    29 Mar 2014 | 8:07 pm
    The five cage-shaped DNA polyhedra here have struts stabilizing their legs, and this innovation allowed a Wyss Institute team to build by far the largest and sturdiest DNA cages yet. The largest, a hexagonal prism (right), is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium. Credit: Yonggang Ke/Harvard's Wyss Institute The use of structural DNA nanotechnology to build atomically precise scaffolds for positioning systems of molecular machines and other nanoscale functional elements [see, for example "Advancing nanotechnology by organizing functional components on addressable DNA scaffolds"] took a…
  • Chemists provide new tool for nanotechnology-modifying the right carbon atom

    Jim Lewis
    27 Mar 2014 | 6:05 pm
    Credit: The Yu Lab, The Scripps Research Institute Advancements targeted to improving medical care continue to provide tools that could advance development of high throughput atomically precise manufacturing. In the latest example, chemists have developed a method to add a functional group to a specific carbon atom several atoms away from a given atom. A hat tip to ScienceDaily for reprinting this news release from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) “Building New Drugs Just Got Easier“: Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a method for modifying…
  • Notes on 2014 Foresight nanotechnology conference

    Jim Lewis
    7 Mar 2014 | 3:17 pm
    17th Foresight Conference: “The Integration Conference“ February 7-9, 2014 Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto Silicon Valley, California, USA Conference Co-Chairs: Rob Meagley, Founder, ONE Nanotechnologies William A. Goddard, Director, Materials and Process Simulation Center, Caltech Roadmap Keynote: The Roadmap to Success Paolo Gargini, ITRS Chairman, Former Intel Fellow and Director of Technology Strategy Entrepreneurship Keynote: Disruptive Innovation and Accelerating Change Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director of Draper, Fisher, Jurvetson Integration Keynote: Nanotechnology:…
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    Soft Machines

  • What’s the best way of harvesting the energy of the sun?

    Richard Jones
    6 Apr 2014 | 11:09 pm
    This is another post inspired by my current first year physics course, The Physics of Sustainable Energy (PHY123). Calculations are all rough, order of magnitude estimates – if you don’t believe them, try doing them for yourself. We could get all the energy we need from the sun, in principle. Even from our cloudy UK skies an average of 100 W arrives at the surface per square meter. Each person in the UK uses energy at an average rate of 3.4 kW, so if we each could harvest the sun from a mere 34 square meters with 100% efficiency, that would do the job. For all 63 million of us,…
  • On universities and economic growth

    Richard Jones
    21 Mar 2014 | 6:37 am
    I wrote this short piece for the online magazine The Conversation as a comment on the government’s response to the Witty Review on universities and economic growth. It was published there as Budget 2014: cash for research set against an overall story of long-term decline; as the new title suggests it was edited to give more prominence to the new science-related announcements in the Budget. Here’s the original version. Current UK innovation policy has taken on a medieval cast; no sooner do we have “Catapult Centres” for translational research established, than there is…
  • What should we do about climate change? Two opposing views, and they’re both wrong

    Richard Jones
    6 Mar 2014 | 5:53 am
    In the last 250 years, humanity has become completely dependent on fossil fuel energy. This dependence on fossil fuels has materially changed our climate; these changes will continue and intensify in the future. While uncertainty remains about the future extent and consequences of climate change, there is no uncertainty about the causal link between burning fossil fuel, increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, and a warming world. This summarises my previous two long posts, about the history of our fossil fuel dependence, and the underlying physics of climate change. What…
  • Climate change: what do we know for sure, and what is less certain?

    Richard Jones
    2 Mar 2014 | 12:19 pm
    In another post inspired by my current first year physics course, The Physics of Sustainable Energy (PHY123), I suggest how a physicist might think about climate change. The question of climate change is going up the political agenda again; in the UK recent floods have once again raised the question of whether recent extreme weather can be directly attributed to human-created climate change, or whether such events are likely to be more frequent in the future as a result of continuing human induced global warming. One UK Energy Minister – Michael Fallon – described the climate…
  • How did we come to depend so much on fossil fuels?

    Richard Jones
    23 Feb 2014 | 3:48 am
    This is another post inspired by my current first year physics course, The Physics of Sustainable Energy (PHY123). Each inhabitant of the UK is responsible for consuming, on average, the energy equivalent of 3.36 tonnes of oil every year. 88% of this energy is in the form of fossil fuels (about 35% each for gas and oil, and the rest in coal). This dependence on fossil fuels is something new; premodern economies were powered entirely by the sun. Heat came from firewood, which stores the solar energy collected by photosynthesis for at most a few seasons. Work was done by humans themselves,…
 
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    Ultrafuture World

  • How astrocytes spying conversations between neurons

    Gabriel
    19 Apr 2014 | 12:11 am
    Everything we do, including any movement, thought and feeling, is the result of neurons “talking about” each other. Recent studies have suggested that some of these conversations may not be entirely private. Brain cells known as astrocytes may be listening to and even participate in some of these discussions. A new study with mice further clarifies the phenomenon and suggests that astrocytes may be only paying attention some of the time, in particular when neurons are much excited about something. Functions which is now recognized to astrocytes include provide nutrients and…
  • Information about Development of Clinical Research

    admin
    16 Apr 2014 | 11:35 pm
    The boom inside the clinical research sector has stirred waves among science graduates therefore it has turn into 1 in the top-notch occupation selections. In one in the studies carried out by the Confederation of Indian Business, clinical trial in India is expected to make revenue really worth between $500 million to $1 billion by the end of 2010. Needless to say, these figures inform by itself about the rising demand for experienced and well-trained clinical executives in India and elsewhere. Consequently, clinical sector is growing day by day and its long term is beaming with job…
  • Heat accumulator rechargeable battery solar heat

    Gabriel
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:59 am
    The big problem that has traditionally been dragging the solar energy is that not always the sun light reaching solar panels. Store in a manner as effective and cheap as possible surplus solar energy day to use it at night is the main goal of many research and development work, and even the target, more ambitious, to store the summer solar heat for use as a heat source in winter. Now, scientists from the Institute of Massachusetts (MIT) and the University of Harvard, both institutions in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, have demonstrated an ingenious and efficient strategy: a material…
  • Possible path to new and powerful drugs against osteoporosis

    Gabriel
    14 Apr 2014 | 11:43 pm
    It has discovered what appears to be a potent stimulator of the growth of new bone tissue. The finding could lead to new treatments for osteoporosis and other diseases that occur when the body does not manufacture enough bone tissue. Many people in the world suffer from osteoporosis, a disease that causes bone fractures million each year and that has a higher incidence from fifty years of age. In a study on mice, the team of Fanxin Long, of the school of medicine at the University of Washington in San Luis de Misuri, United States, focused on the WNT proteins, which carry messages inside…
  • Computers of the future will not need electricity constantly to be activated

    Gabriel
    10 Apr 2014 | 2:53 am
    The mere fact of having a text visible on the screen of a computer, though we’re not typing anything, or even to change page or to drag the cursor, demands consume electricity, as it is required even when the computer is in hibernation. This has always been the main limitation of the RAM, a very fluid and very useful type of memory but whose content, at normal temperatures, ceases to exist as soon as it interrupts the flow of electricity. This situation could change drastically in the not-too-distant future thanks to advances in new technology for the emerging field of spintronics. That…
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    Broader Perspective

  • Big Data: Reconfiguring and Empowering the Human-Data Relation

    13 Apr 2014 | 1:04 pm
    A strong new presence in contemporary life is big data (the collection and use of personal data by large institutions). As individuals, we can feel powerless in our relation with data.At present, the human-data relation is one of fear, distance, powerlessness, lack of recourse, and diminished agency. There is an asymmetry of touch in the human-data relation where data can see and touch us without our noticing or being able to touch back. What is missing from the human-data relation is the capacity for humans to touch data in a meaningful way. The asymmetry of touch leads to an incomplete…
  • New Fields of Research Defined by Open Science Visionaries

    6 Apr 2014 | 3:17 pm
    The purpose of an open-science non-profit research startup like DIYgenomics is research innovation.The value is in being able to propose a unique and visionary research agenda of questions that are forward-looking and not the focus or interest of the institutional research industry.Research innovation falls into two tiers: First is preventive medicine questions, ‘medicine that matters to me’ (e.g.; small groups or individuals), and non-pathologies.More importantly, the second tier is defining completely new fields of research such as athletic performance genomics, social intelligence…
  • Personhood Beyond the Human: the Subjectivation Scale of Future Persons

    30 Mar 2014 | 2:21 pm
    Philosophical concepts are useful for considering a potentially diverse landscape of future persons.One important question is subjectivation – how individuals form and what constitutes an individual. The less helpful approach is focusing on classification and definition which is discriminatory and doomed to death by detail. A more fruitful approach is Simondon’s theory of individuation.For Simondon, the current and future world is an environment of dynamic processes like individuation. Individuals participate in but do not cause individuation. Most importantly, individuals exist on a…
  • Big Data becomes Personal: Knowledge into Meaning

    23 Mar 2014 | 11:03 am
    One of the most significant shifts in the contemporary world is the trend towards obtaining and analyzing ‘big data’ in nearly every venue of life.However, one of the biggest outstanding challenges is turning these large volumes of impersonal quantitative data into qualitative information that can impact the quality of life of the individual in a multiplicity of areas such as happiness, well-being, goal achievement, stress reduction, and overall life satisfaction.For this reason, I have helped to organize the AAAI Spring Symposium this week (Big data becomes personal: knowledge into…
  • The Post-Human Biocitizen

    16 Mar 2014 | 12:20 pm
    We find ourselves in a world with a frenetic pace of life sciences bio-innovation emanating from institutional science, startups, and community biolabs. New possibilities abound in a wide range of areas including  personal genomics, regenerative medicine, cellular therapies, anti-aging, microfluidic chips, quantified self tracking devices and apps, Google Glass, Google diabetes monitoring contacts, brain training and cognitive enhancement techniques. At a higher level, two main themes emerging in bio-innovation are: 1) what is happening with ourselves as human subjects2) what is…
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    Andart

  • Tables of Soyga: the first cellular automaton?

    Anders3
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:06 am
    Was the first cellular automaton intended to do encryption and/or summon angels? Normally the history of cellular automata begins with von Neumann’s classical study of self-replicating systems in the 1950s. While clearly influenced by Turing’s discrete automata, this was...
  • Forcing people to be nice is bad

    Anders3
    2 Apr 2014 | 3:44 am
    The automated boycott - Practical Ethics post where I find myself defending Brendan Eich and quoting Maggie Gallagher in regards to whether to boycott Mozilla for his support prop 8. The short of it: boycotts should be used to pressure...
  • Plastic trash

    Anders3
    27 Mar 2014 | 5:31 pm
    It is rare that architecture manages to make me angry, but here is a design that succeeds: Sung Jin Cho's Seawer: The Garbage-Seascraper. This won a honourable mention in Evolo's 2014 Skyscraper Competition. I assume it won it for...
  • Rebecca's Evil Twin

    Anders3
    20 Mar 2014 | 11:02 am
    It is interesting to see how journalists copying each other produce misinformation. A while ago Rebecca Roache (and me, but she is the star and lead author on our paper) was interviewed in Aeon about enhancement and punishment. She got...
  • Simulating the arrival of emulations

    Anders3
    13 Mar 2014 | 9:04 am
    A small working paper about when to expect brain emulations: Monte Carlo model of brain emulation development The model is simple, but produces a some useful predictions. The main one is not where the peak is - sure, everybody will...
 
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    Overcoming Bias

  • The Up Side Of Down

    Robin Hanson
    19 Apr 2014 | 6:50 am
    In her new book, The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success, Megan McArdle takes some time to discuss forager vs. farmer attitudes toward risk. Forager food sources tended to be more risky and variable, while farmer food sources are more reliable. So foragers emphasized food sharing more, and a tolerate attitude toward failure to find food. In contrast, farmers shared food less and held individuals responsible more for getting their food. Today some people and places tend more toward farmer values of strict personal responsibility, while other people and places tend more…
  • The Future Of Intellectuals

    Robin Hanson
    14 Apr 2014 | 11:15 am
    Back in 1991, … [a reporter] described Andrew Ross, a doyen of American studies, strolling through the Modern Language Association conference … as admiring graduate students gawked and murmured, “That’s him!” That was academic stardom then. Today, we are more likely to bestow the aura and perks of stardom on speakers at “ideas” conferences like TED. … Plenty of observers have argued that some of the new channels for distributing information simplify and flatten the world of ideas, that they valorize in particular a quick-hit, name-branded,…
  • Multiplier Isn’t Reason Not To Wait

    Robin Hanson
    13 Apr 2014 | 1:20 pm
    On the issue of whether to help now vs. later, many reasonable arguments have been collected on both sides. For example, positive interest rates argue for helping later, while declining need due to rising wealth argues for helping now. But I keep hearing one kind of argument I think is unreasonable, that doing stuff has good side effects: Donating to organizations (especially those that focus on influencing people) can help them reach more people and raise even more money. (more) Giving can send a social signal, which is useful for encouraging more giving, building communities, demonstrating…
  • Rah Manic Monopolists?

    Robin Hanson
    9 Apr 2014 | 3:50 pm
    The vast majority of economic growth is caused by innovation. So when it comes to long term policy, innovation is almost the entire game – whatever policy causes substantially more innovation is probably better, even if has many other big downsides. One simple robust solution to the innovation problem would seem to be manic monopolists: one aggressively-profit-maximizing firm per industry. Such a firm would internalize the entire innovation problem within that industry, all the way from designers to suppliers to producers to customers – it would have full incentives to encourage…
  • Review of LockStep

    Robin Hanson
    8 Apr 2014 | 5:15 am
    Since the tech of science fiction tends to be more realistic than its social science, I am especially interested in science fiction praised for its social realism. Alas I usually find even those wanting. The latest such book is Lockstep. Cory Doctorow: As I’ve written before, Karl Schroeder is one of the sharpest, canniest thinkers about technology and science fiction I know. … Now he’s written his first young adult novel, Lockstep, and it is a triumph. Lockstep’s central premise is a fiendishly clever answer to the problem of creating galactic-scale civilizations in a…
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    Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories

  • Free the seed: OSSI nurtures growing plants without patent barriers

    19 Apr 2014 | 3:30 am
    (Phys.org) —Members of the Open Source Seed Initiative this week held a rally and seed giveaway event. The group is concerned over restricting access to seeds through patents. They are stirring up public awareness over their mission to model a new crop system of seed-sharing in the spirit of open source software. On Thursday the OSSI group gathered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to give away a set of seeds that can be used by anyone. The seeds are unrestricted by patents or intellectual property barriers. They released 29 new varieties of crops under an "open source pledge" for…
  • Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

    19 Apr 2014 | 3:10 am
    People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed computer virus.
  • Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

    19 Apr 2014 | 2:53 am
    Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.
  • Four questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

    19 Apr 2014 | 2:52 am
    Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers.
  • Going nuts? Turkey looks to pistachios to heat new eco-city

    18 Apr 2014 | 4:57 pm
    Pistachios are already a key ingredient in Turkish baklava, but the country may now have found a new way to exploit the nuts known as "green gold"—by using their shells to heat a new eco-city.
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    The Fourth Revolution Blog

  • What is Perfectionism and How to Overcome It

    Jeremie Averous
    19 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    Some would say I am a recovering perfectionist (while I do not really feel that way). I can certainly be very detailed-oriented but can now also let go and ship to the world even if I know it is not perfect. What maybe I did not understand well was the mechanism of perfectionism. I found a great summary of this issue in an excellent book I read recently. “Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, live perfectly, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and…
  • What is True Mastery?

    Jeremie Averous
    17 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    “True mastery comes from discovering the ‘simplicity’ on the other side of complexity” – Dan Ward. Dan Ward is an interesting phenomenon – senior purchaser with the US Air Force he is also a prolific writer on the topic of complexity. The Simplicity Cycle is a great piece of thought – here is the link to the Simplicity Cycle Paper or alternatively, the Simplicity Cycle slideshow. He has an interesting take on the fact that development of a great item needs to initially start with increasing complexity – but that after some stage it needs to…
  • Why Quantity is not Quality for Reports and Presentations

    Jeremie Averous
    15 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    I often experience that a thick-looking report, or presentation, benefits from a positive first impression, in particular in traditional corporate settings – notwithstanding the quality of its contents. This is wrong! Pamela Slim in her latest book ‘Body of Work‘ mentions that “There is a conspiracy cooked up by marketing wonks, consultants, and executives to pay for words by the pound, and to question the intelligence of a corporate “professional” who does not create complex and obtuse presentations. They are wrong. Your instinct to keep things clean and simple is…
  • Why You Should Become Better at Change… by Practicing Change

    Jeremie Averous
    12 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    “Getting good at change (big, small, tiny – every day) means getting good at life” writes James Altucher in this excellent post. We certainly all need to become better at taking change as an opportunity rather than a threat. Change is actually always quite good in terms of excitement and learning. “When you change you go from a flattening learning curve (your old situation) to a steep learning curve (the new situation). Steep learning curves feel good. Like the feeling of new love.” Of course, changes are not always ignited by us; they can be the result of external…
  • How Emotional Experience is Key for Overcoming Fear and Creating Change

    Jeremie Averous
    10 Apr 2014 | 4:30 am
    Change creates fear. Titus said “We fear things in proportion of our ignorance of them“. Hence one of the easiest ways to help people and organization change would be to educate them. While it does work now and again, however, it has been constantly proven that this is a very ineffective strategy. Education does play a role, but it is personal experience at the emotional level that is important to effectively create change. Fear. Just Fear. Fear is deeply emotional. The rational mind can tame some of it, but it is a long and difficult process. Educating people as a way to support…
 
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    XYZ University

  • How to network with Generation Y

    Anna Pitts
    14 Apr 2014 | 8:44 am
    Networking with Generation Y is a whole new ball game. Unlike Baby Boomers or even Generation X, Gen Y has grown up in a technological, competitive and egocentric world.  Whether you are reaching out to Gen Y as a way to recruit new leaders or to build young members into your organization, be aware of the differences in communication. During my time at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau, I’ve come to experience some great ways to successfully engage a Gen Y audience. Here are three tips that you can utilize along the way: Show what’s in it for them Gen Y tend to be more narcissistic and…
  • How to develop a succession plan in 6 steps

    Shannon Neeser
    10 Apr 2014 | 6:45 am
    If you want to protect your organization’s future, you need to develop a succession plan. With the flood of Baby Boomers retiring, succession planning now is critical to future success. When you have a viable succession plan in place, it indicates to your employees that they too can have a future with you. It shows your clients that you aren’t going anywhere and they can trust you with their business. Succession planning also puts focus on developing talent within an organization, which will help you gain loyalty with Generation Y and shows employees that you value their career growth.
  • Millennials and brand loyalty

    XYZ University
    7 Apr 2014 | 6:12 am
    Adroit Digital recently published a report detailing how Millennials view and adopt brand loyalty. They surveyed 2,000 U.S. Millennials (in this particular survey classified as between the ages of 18 and 33 years old) who own both a smartphone and a personal computer.  What they found can help you better your strategy for connecting with Millennials. To help you out, we’ve created the following infographic from some of the survey results: What surprises you about the survey’s findings? Did you come to some of the same conclusions as you think about Millennials and their loyalty…
  • To engage the next generation, you have to beat Netflix

    Jim Delaney
    2 Apr 2014 | 6:24 am
    The owner of a booming Crossfit gym in Minneapolis pinpointed the key to success in the modern world as he was signing me up for membership. He said, “We’re not teaching a workout class so you can be healthier, that’s just the outcome. We create dynamic experiences that stack up against anything.” He knew that he was not just competing with other gyms or clubs for my health dollars; he knew that he was competing for my after-work time against other gyms and, more so, against Netflix and happy hour and errands, and time with family or friends. He knew that if he couldn’t deliver more…
  • We can’t all blame ourselves: Why Millennials need to pull their own weight

    Melissa Harrison
    25 Mar 2014 | 12:21 pm
    I was part of a recent conversation at a book club where we debated whether or not society gives too many “passes” to Millennials (those born between 1982 and 1995). You know, customizing everything for their needs rather than having them work for it “like we had to do” and changing the whole structure of workplaces based on their needs (yes, very “back-in-my-day” type of a conversation, I know) And I feel this way sometimes, even though some would consider me on the cusp of Gen Y and Gen X as I was born in 1979 (although ask any Buzzfeed quiz and I’m…
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    Singularitarian

  • The High-Tech Soldiers of the Future Are Here

    18 Apr 2014 | 10:45 am
    The High-Tech Soldiers of the Future Are Here: Those troops you saw in science fiction movies as a child are now real. A few years ago, many countries recognized a need to upgrade the individual infantryman and thus started their own “future soldier” programs. Most of them completed more or less the main priority objectives, applying them to some of their elite troops and special forces, bringing together commercial, off-the-shelf technology and state of the art military gear and equipment.
  • New Method Points to Cheaper, More Flexible Wearable Computers

    18 Apr 2014 | 8:27 am
    New Method Points to Cheaper, More Flexible Wearable Computers: It could be easy to conclude, eyeing the number of Fitbits, Fuel bands and competitors in a roomful of people in London, New York or San Francisco, that wearable computing has already arrived. But wearables are at the stage personal computers were back in the days of floppy disks. To take but one problem: The wristbands that aim to monitor body processes don’t have a stable connection to the body.
  • Scientists in Japan Clone 98% Pure Saber-Tooth Tiger (HOAX!)

    17 Apr 2014 | 3:29 pm
    Scientists in Japan Clone 98% Pure Saber-Tooth Tiger (HOAX!): Japanese scientists have successfully cloned a 98 percent pure Saber-Tooth Tiger at the Japanese government-funded laboratory, Riken Center for Development Biology. UPDATE: This is a hoax! Please be advised. Leaving up to help discredit claim! You also find no mention on the Riken Center site. I apologize for any confusion and always fact check stories I post. Was just a little too quick on the trigger this time.  Unaltered image:
  • New photos of 10 'green' 3D-printed houses in Shanghai, built in 24 hours

    14 Apr 2014 | 4:43 pm
    New photos of 10 'green' 3D-printed houses in Shanghai, built in 24 hours: In a first, a Chinese company has advanced the science of 3D printing by printing 10 houses entirely out of recycled materials, in just under a day.
  • British Scientists Say They've Created Artificial Blood for Humans

    14 Apr 2014 | 11:48 am
    British Scientists Say They've Created Artificial Blood for Humans: Somebody ring the bell at the blood factory, because it’s almost time to get those assembly lines running. Almost. A team of British scientists say they’ve created red blood cells suitable for transfusion into humans, a breakthrough that could change the lives of millions—if it works.
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    Thought Infection

  • Capitalism is a Paperclip Maximizer

    @ThoughtInfected
    19 Apr 2014 | 3:53 am
    There is a classic thought experiment in the field of artificial intelligence which is often used to explain how an AI might inadvertently cause the destruction of humanity as a by-product of trying maximize its goals. There is a great wiki on the subject here, but the basic idea of the paperclip maximizer posits the emergence of an artificial general intelligence which is capable of performing not only complex functions, but also is able to innovate means to improve its own function. Presumably at the hand of an enterprising paperclip manufacturer, this artificial intelligence is set to…
  • Is Sleep a Biological Compression Algorithm?

    @ThoughtInfected
    12 Apr 2014 | 12:13 pm
    Every human spends about a third of their time asleep. It is a testament to our biological imperfection that every day we must enter a prolonged state wherein we are completely cut off from the world. Considering the harsh environment in which we evolved, it is miraculous that we would ourselves so defenseless for such a long period, and this speaks to the deep biological necessity of sleep. Still our understanding of the process of sleep is still limited. Questions about sleep are probably as old as questions themselves (the Harvard Sleep Medicine website has a great interactive timeline…
  • Why the Hell is Crowdfunded Equity Taking So Long?

    @ThoughtInfected
    29 Mar 2014 | 2:48 am
    On April 5, 2012 Barack Obama signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. This piece of legislation was supposed to relax the regulation around equity offerrings for small and medium sized enterprises and usher in a new age of easy crowdfunded investment. It is now nearly 2 years later and crowdfunding has become an institution in the startup world, Kickstarter has surpassed $1-billion in funds raised, crowdfunded enterprises are being bought for billions, and still crowdfunded equity is nowhere to be seen. What happened? Back in 2012, there was a real buzz in the air…
  • Funding Universal Basic Income by Creating Money, Not Taxes

    @ThoughtInfected
    23 Mar 2014 | 4:24 am
    There are plenty of reasons to think that the institution of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a good idea. Personally, I came to accept the inevitability of a basic income following a realization that an increase in job automation over the coming years stands to put most of us out of work. You can add to this a host of other reasons to support basic income, ranging from increased personal liberty to ending poverty. For whatever reason you like best, the idea of giving people a basic amount of money to live seems to be increasingly accepted as a good one, but the concept seems to hit a…
  • Can we Avoid an an Automated Arms Race?

    @ThoughtInfected
    16 Mar 2014 | 1:57 am
    It is a profound irony that so much military innovation has been directed towards reprogramming young men to ignore their humanity when charging into battle, yet as we stand within reach of realizing the perfect warrior in the form of fully-automated killer drones we find ourselves scrambling to keep a last shred of humanity behind the trigger. The war-chant, the war-drum, cultures of courage, symbols, flags, military regimentation, propaganda, and even sports can all be seen as a line of innovation specifically aimed at enhancing the ability of young men to act against their immediate…
 
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    Extravolution

  • If I Only had a Brain

    nuncio
    31 Mar 2014 | 10:12 am
    If I only had a brain I would not be conversing or consulting with anything. The flowers would wait in vain for my dulcet repartee; the rain would be forced to seek managerial guidance elsewhere.It is opportunistic of me to seize upon the jumbled syntax of the title of the song from The Wizard of Oz, and I know it scans better that way, but I have reasons to do so. My rediscovery of the song coincided with a time when I was writing an essay on the subject of personal identity, specifically on its indeterminacy. And – in connection with that – I was delving again into Daniel Dennett’s…
  • Reimagining Old Age: A Christmas Thought Experiment

    nuncio
    17 Dec 2013 | 7:00 am
    Image ©Vince GarciaAt Christmas, differences between ourselves and our elderly relatives can be shoved into garish spotlight – our backgrounds; our upbringings; our educations; our politics and social outlooks; our attitudes towards religion, ‘authority’, life and death, money, health, gender issues, race, tradition, relationships; and so on. Note that one difference I have not mentioned in the list is age; I have not mentioned it, because it is not, per se, a relevant difference.Enlightened views clash with entrenched prejudices. Modern flexibility slumps uncomfortably in its…
  • Sex on the Brain: Are Male and Female Brains Fundamentally Different?

    nuncio
    3 Dec 2013 | 8:34 am
    Image ©yum9meYou have heard it in the shrill media. The science is in. It’s connectomically done and dusted: men’s brains are wired for spatial tasks like map-reading, women’s brains are wired for those ‘soft skills’ like empathising with jilted friends at the water-cooler.Recent headlines on this subject arose from a press release issued by Penn Medicine about a new study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences[i] that shows, in the words of the press release, ‘striking differences in the neural wiring of men and women that’s lending credence to some…
  • Wirehead Bliss vs. Eudaemonic Happiness

    nuncio
    4 Nov 2013 | 8:37 am
    Image ©elycefelizAmong transhumanists, there are many proponents of hedonism. Pleasure is immersive. Captivated by the prospect of enhanced, futuristic forms of stimulation, some posit the push-button variety as the ultimate fix.Wireheading – direct electrical stimulation of the brain's reward centres via wires inserted through the skull – cuts out the dealer; this transaction requires no intermediary. With no diffuse, unpredictable drug reactions to muddy the euphoric flow, it's a clean, precise high. And why not? Let us not be prudish about the attractions of instant turn-on; humans…
  • The Squirrels and the Rats of AI

    nuncio
    25 Oct 2013 | 4:45 am
    Image ©Mark TomlinsonConcerned about viruses, porn, and spam choking up the internet? Just wait until the AI rats get to work.As bioethicist James Hughes has pointed out, we should not assume that malign forms of artificial intelligence that may emerge would be of the UFAI (unfriendly artificial intelligence) variety. ‘Unfriendliness’ implies ill will, which in turn implies human-level or greater intelligence. In contrast, AI rats would be neither friendly nor unfriendly, but they could do a great deal of damage with their relentless digital scavenging.Don’t such rats already plague…
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