“E V O is a visually daring documentary look at evolutionary theory that comes off like a university course in paleobiology as taught by Marshall McLuhan.” Monday Magazine
E V O is a feature digital essay on questions of Evolution and Consciousness and features eminent Evolutionist/Oxford Professor/Author Dr. Richard Dawkins.
The brainchild of Oliver Hockenhull (Aldous Huxley: The Gravity of Light), the eerie and often beautiful EVO builds from footage of renowned scholars discussing Darwin’s theories and the famed Burgess Shale… If this seems a tad dry, its treatment verges on the wild: much of the material gets an impressionistic visual treatment as it segues into provocative speculations involving politics, genetics and wormholes.”
On December 1, 2012, the American Psychiatric Association officially approved the final diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). The new ‘psychiatric bible’ features a number of important changes to the existing canon, including the elimination and alteration of many familiar disorders. Here’s what you need to know about the new guidebook.
“The Mashable Media Summit 2012 explored the impact that technology has on media, and how digital media affects our lives and changes the world. This one-day conference brought together the brightest minds in media, including content creators, technology leaders, entrepreneurs, social media executives and journalists.”
First some nostalgia for the future! Need that gift for your nerdy sci fi friend? Underbrain offers T-shirts, mugs and caps with all sorts of logos from David Brin’s Uplift Universe - symbols of the Five Galaxies, dolphins & chimps posing for the Uplift Center, and the Terragens Marines patch! And the Eye-Q symbol for the Quantum Eye oracle computer in Existence. Got civilization? This will ensure that you do!
“Open this week’s Entertainment Weekly ( Published on Oct 2, 2012) and you’ll find a live-tweeting ad from CW. But what’s under the hood? Mashable’s tear down found some VERY surprising gear between the pages.”
“Dr. Kaku addresses the question of the possibility of utopia, the perfect society that people have tried to create throughout history. These dreams have not been realized because we have scarcity. However, now we have nanotechnology, and with nanotechnology, perhaps, says Dr. Michio Kaku, maybe in 100 years, we’ll have something called the replicator, which will create enormous abundance.” - bigh think
One of the most challenging tasks for the modern day creationist to is reconcile the belief in a 6,000 year old Earth with the ever-growing mountain of scientific evidence pointing to a vastly different conclusion — namely a universe that’s 13.5 billion years old and an Earth that formed 4.5 billion years ago. So, given these astoundingly dramatic discrepancies, biblical literalists and ‘young Earth creationists’ have had no choice but to get pretty darned imaginative when brushing science aside. Here are 10 arguments creationists have made to counter scientific theories.
The impact of technological progress on jobs has been the topic of countless books: most of them are forgotten because they were so wrong about it. Predicting the future has always been a lucrative business (Delphi’s Oracle, Nostradamus, George Orwell), but rarely a science. If all of them had been right, today we would all be unemployed and, in fact, extinct. Instead, guess what: humans are wealthier than ever in history, the world has never been so peaceful and we all buy machines by the millions. Pistono’s book is the refreshing exception: no, we are not doomed. That, per se, is a good reason to read it.
Last weekend, at the humanity+ conference in San Francisco, Ben Goertzel, live from Hong Kong, via Skype, graced us with his predictions on the future of communication. According to Ben, in the future we will be able to transmit semantic graphs, or chunks of mind, completely bypassing linguistic utterance, that is your tongue, your jaw, vocal cords, throat, breathing apparatus and everything that goes with articulating speech. The first thought that occurred to me was “OMG. I won’t have to do the Theophilus Thistle drill ever again”. Great. But then I thought, “Wait a second. Is content really separate from form?”
“Fon Davis has been working for over two decades in tv and film, creating amazing miniatures, models, production design, drafting, fabrication, and more recently writing and directing. Fon is the creator and a co-writer on MORAV and Lee’s Chinese Robot Shop.
Fon’s first feature film work was Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Since then, he has worked on over 30 feature films including blockbusters like Starship Troopers, Pearl Harbor, and the Star Wars and Matrix series.” - Make Mag
“Chris Normile explains how easy it is to take genetic material from plants and reproduce specimens in jars at home. With many examples on hand at Maker Faire Bay Area 2011, onlookers can learn how to become more empowered as gardeners by having more control of the types of plants they choose to cultivate.”
“On 16 November CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX, Elon Musk was the guest of honour at the Royal Aeronautical Society to present a lecture entitled ‘SpaceX and the future of space exploration’.
The packed lecture was aslo notable in that the audience saw Elon Musk presented with the Royal Aeronautical’s Society’s highest award - a Gold Medal. This award has been presented since 1909 when the first Gold Medal was given to the Wright Brothers. It is the most prestigious award in global aerospace honouring expectional contributions and acheivements.”
This is a continuation of my previous post on quantum consciousness (or not), also inspired by Ben Goertzel’s “AGI, Consciousness, Life, the Universe and Everything” on H+ Magazine. In a comment, I wrote: “I am often thinking of a meta-[Theory of Everything]ToE (actually an anti-ToE) that we may call “The [BIG] Infinite Fractal Onion Universe” or something like that.” Here are some thoughts on something like that.
When Steve Jobs passed away in October last year, many worldwide mourned the loss of an extraordinary innovator. In Ningbo, a port city on the eastern Chinese coast, the reaction was similar: there was media attention dedicated to the former CEO’s accomplishments and life history, along with admiration for his talents and vision for Apple. Then there was the heralding of a local initiative by the press: a program to cultivate “an army of Steve Jobs-style leaders.
“Nature’s beauty can be easily missed—but not through Louie Schwartzberg’s lens. His stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day.” (Filmed at TEDxSF.) - TED
Presently, important concerns on the future of product’s design, building architecture, and city planning have become part of the daily basis discussion. Ecology, energy efficiency, pollution and sustainability have leaded important forum’s topics for the last years. However, the current approach to those issues is insufficient in order to generate the desired environmental outcomes for the future.
Touch screens, voice recognition, and systems that track eye and muscle movements all offer efficient ways of communicating, but transmitting thoughts directly to machines, without any implant in the brain could affect our lives more than any other technology under development today.
James Hughes @ Borderlands Cafe 11/30/2012 in San Francisco.
Politics and economics have yet to face the fact that an increasingly automated economy will mean the decline of human employment, and the establishment of a basic income guarantee. Instead we have hand-wringing about reining in “entitlements” and calls for austerity to facilitate private sector job growth. Expansions of longevity are greeted with calls for pushing up the retirement age, ignoring the shrinking availability of jobs. In order to avoid a neo-feudal future with a mass of unemployed poor dominated by a super-wealthy elite we partisans are a radically better future need to join the fight against austerity economics, and put forward a path to a world in which all share in the growth of wealth from technological innovation.
Our brains are slopping over full at this point at the end of the Humanity+ San Francisco 2012. Congratulations to Natasha and her team for putting on a great conference. Hopefully next time we’ll have control of the weather.
Its apoco-raining this weekend in San Francisco, proving that the transhumanists neither see the future clear enough to choose a nice weekend nor have magical evil powers over the natural world. But they do put on incredibly fascinating parties at wild warehouse-cum-commune spaces full of smart technophiles. We had to drag ourselves back in to the conference this morning so we wouldn’t miss Andrea Kuscewski, David Pearce, Ben Goertzel, Jamais Cascio, Ramez Naam and the others folks speaking today.
IEET’s Jamais Cascio’s chat with “Socrates” (Nikola Danaylov) covered a wide variety of topics such as: his personal story of becoming “an easily distracted generalist;” his undergraduate and graduate training in history, anthropology and political science; his views on the singularity community in general and the technological singularity and Singularity University in particular; his criticism that creators of new technology rarely consider the ethical and political implications of their inventions; what he means by saying “if I can’t dance, I don’t want to be a part of the singularity;” the benefits of irrationality and biology; mind uploading versus human augmentation; the lack of agency and assumed machine perfection as some of the most upsetting aspects of the singularity.
“His most recent book is The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present.
By probing the synaptic connections between nerve cells in the humble sea slug, Eric Kandel has uncovered some of the basic molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory in animals ranging from snails to flies to mice and even in humans. His groundbreaking studies have demonstrated the fundamental ways that nerve cells alter their response to chemical signals to produce coordinated changes in behavior. This work is central to understanding not only normal memory but also dementia and other mental illnesses that affect memory.
Kandel’s research has shown that learning produces changes in behavior by modifying the strength of connections between nerve cells, rather than by altering the brain’s basic circuitry. He went on to determine the biochemical changes that accompany memory formation, showing that short-term memory involves a functional modulation of the synapses while long-term memory requires the activation of genes and the synthesis of proteins to grow new synaptic connections. For this work, the Austrian-born Kandel was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.” - BigThink