Identical twins they’re not. The two halves of Korea - a rabbit-shaped, mountainous peninsula jutting into the Yellow Sea - are wildly dissimilar. The North is an impoverished, tyrannized, height-and-economy stunted state, bizarrely cloistered with secret tunnels, rogue nuclear missiles and a recent “boy-king.” The South is a workaholic, studious, sleep-deprived builder of huge ships, skyscrapers, Samsung, Hyundai, globe-leading innovations, and direct democracy.
In this week’s episode George Dvorsky talks about the new mathematical study which reveals that our Galaxy should have been colonized by now, why Canadians are considering a ban on prenatal gender information, the growing gender imbalance, the latest on the lab-mutated avian flu, why whales are people, health tips to avoid cognitive decline, and why the sex-chip may not be such a good idea.
The Enlightenment stands for the intellectual trends in 18th Century Europe that espoused the use of reason and science as a universal method for obtaining knowledge and solving human problems. The Enlightenment writers argued that the light of reason and science could free humanity from the darkness of ignorance, the burden of false beliefs, and the destructive influence of prejudices and superstition.
It’s come to my attention that the Superbowl is around the corner. I understand that that’s one bunch of men playing a game with another bunch of men in order to see who wins. The bunch that wins gets a bowl. This is, to me, both intriguing and, paradoxically, boring.
Foresight is not about making predictions. Rather, it’s a tool for identifying dynamics of change, in part by exploring the implications of those changes. This is a point I’ve made often enough that even I’m sick of it—but it remains an idea that not enough people understand. It’s next to useless to say “X will happen;” it’s much more valuable to say “here’s why X could happen.”
Over at Cyborgology (a blog I am amazed I didn’t discover sooner, given its sister site is Sociological Images) Jenny Davis attempts to figure out if the assistive devices built by Ekso Bionics are “ableist” or if they represent genuine progress. She makes a pretty good case:
When you think of the ideal creative environment, what comes to mind? We may imagine a place where you have freedom of expression, a place that encourages breaking convention, somewhere that is abundant in resources that are readily accessible for innovative development of technology, and exposure to many different cultures for inspiration and collaboration. So as you imagine this ultimate creative playground, does Cuba come to mind?
Humans want to believe that they’re the smartest creatures on the planet. But the more we understand octopuses, the more it seems that we may not be alone in our ability to solve problems, make complex connections between ideas, and survive by wits alone. A growing body of evidence — a lot of it still anecdotal — suggests that octopuses show elements of human-like intelligence.
To many modern readers, the issue between the Koreas is distant and a bit unreal. We see the now-deceased comical madman leader and his hapless current heir. This author’s father, on the other hand, lost a favorite younger brother to a Korean landmine in the 1950’s, making the ongoing conflict tangible. While conventional weapons are in use between these two halves of a nation, still technically at war with itself, the cyber background is still full of landmines as is the very real DMZ on the 38th parallel.
“To want life-extension is not something lyrical, it is something which is happening and which people are working for. I don’t think it will be an exaggeration to think that our children and the children of our children will live hundreds of years. There is nothing illogical about it. ..”
The Pirate Party of Germany is opposed to traditional political designations such as liberal and conservative, left and right. At their recent party congress, the Pirates work hard to come up with a platform.
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