Posts Tagged ‘extropy’
by adminadam in videos
New levels of intelligence to stay the tide of human negligence and stupidity.
We live in a complex and complicated world. Such safeguards against chaos and entropy are key to maintaining our forward momentum, of course, but the Taoist in me asks: For what such momentum? For what such speed? For what such complexity?
Obviously it is good to prevent needless tragedy and destruction, but are we really building to the stars — or have we stagnated as a species?
Post your thoughts in the comments.
by adminadam in articles
This from PhysOrg:
Reliable information on the depth and floor structure of the Southern Ocean has so far been available for only few coastal regions of the Antarctic. An international team of scientists under the leadership of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, has for the first time succeeded in creating a digital map of the entire Antarctic seafloor. The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) for the first time shows the detailed topography of the seafloor for the entire area south of 60°S. An article presented to the scientific world by IBCSO has now appeared online in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters.
The IBCSO data grid and the corresponding Antarctic chart will soon be freely available in the internet and are intended to help scientists amongst others to better understand and predict sea currents, geological processes or the behaviour of marine life.
The new bathymetric chart of the Southern Ocean is an excellent example of what scientists can achieve if researchers from around the world work across borders. “For our IBCSO data grid, scientists from 15 countries and over 30 research institutions brought together their bathymetric data from nautical expeditions. We were ultimately able to work with a data set comprising some 4.2 billion individual values”, explains IBCSO editor Jan Erik Arndt, bathymetric expert at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven.
by adminadam in videos
The gentleman in this here TED Talk leads with the astonishing and shocking statistic of the global dearth of adequate shelter: Over 1 Billion of us live in ramshackle, unsafe, and inadequate housing. Shelter is a fundamental need and construction is currently a costly, dirty, inefficient, and corruption-prone enterprise. Enter the new age of 3D-printed housing. Cheap, sturdy, adaptable, and fast!
by adminadam in articles
What would it mean for Computers to overtake Humans?
How do we define Humans?
And how do we define Computers as different from Humans?
And are Humans in fact Computers as well?
One might argue that humans, being biological, and computers, being mechanical and electrical, are different. Likewise, one might describe the human brain as a machine, in addition to calling computers ‘machines’.
The question, if each type of brain is trying to understand the other, is who is going to understand who first?
Will computers outsmart us? Will they outfeel us? Will they outdo us in every area of life? Can they be creative? Etc.
Or will humans understand and enhance their own minds through a process of self-learning boosted by machines? Will we end up optimizing our brains? Will we decide to (or act in ways that bring about) a Human Intelligence Explosion? This is the alternative to the idea that we will soon see a Computer Intelligence Explosion, and that by 2029 or so we’ll be in Artificial Brain territory, complete with feelings and creativity and ability and knowledge. Wow! And then others think that maybe the Singularity, the point of no return, will be a culmination of both human and machine intelligence, a merging of the two life forms, where now instead of animals and automatons we’ll have auto-animals and animatrons, humans on cruise control and robots high on weed. And maybe at that point we just won’t really care anymore what happens. It’s all good, man. Pass the spliff.
No, really. The idea is that technology is accelerating, and that that acceleration is accelerating, and that that acceleration is… Well you get the idea. We are innovating up to the point where the innovator will no longer be us — or so it’s thought — because all of our technology is converging on this point — and once that point is passed, the reins will no longer be in our hands; the living, breathing technology itself will be in control, and the computers will quickly orient themselves to do whatever they want.
It’s a scary and disturbing thought that we wouldn’t know (or even be able to know) what such a self-emergent superintelligence would want, what it would be motivated by, or what it would try to do, once it realized it was in control (or at least became aware of itself). And it’s also fascinating, the concept that we will reach a point where history itself will shoot light years out in front of us all of a sudden, where spacetime will be stretched and pulled away at nearly infinite speed. We will essentially be stuck in a black hole without any window into the future as it is being created by the machine. And could we predict what that machine would want? No. That is the terrifying and, for some people, exciting essence of the “A.I. Singularity”.
But what if it doesn’t happen that way?
One alternative, as I’ve mentioned, is that humans incorporate computers completely – will we just overtake ourselves is the question. Perhaps we will become seemlessly integrated with our technology. I could see this happening in a number of ways:
We have already figured out that we can perform basic chemical ‘calculations’ in our bodies, that we can set up chemical triggers. I wrote about this here. Basically we can become DNA-based bio-computer, human, but with added defenses and mechanisms, such as the ability to release aspirin into our own bloodstreams if we have a heart attack. We already have pacemakers that can perform such regulatory functions, and we are moving from mechanical/electrical, to chemical, and eventually to biological (read: stem cell) solutions to wear-and-tear and failure of various parts of ourselves. The next step is actually just a subtle shift toward having machines do more and more of our thinking for us. Where before we had physical encyclopedias now we have google and wikipedia; where now we have instant smartphone messaging, tomorrow we may have digital telepathy. Of course here it’s important to point out that this goes beyond offloading or accelerating current functions of our brains and bodies — it’s a phase change to a new level of human effectiveness, insight, and ability — we are now doing more and more that would have been impossible before. And to draw out this human intelligence trend, future versions of ourselves will do equally impossible things in our current conception! That’s the idea behind a fused Human/Computer Singularity.
I implore you to read Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants if this whets your appetite for the study of technology and where it’s going.
The video below, from 1981, shows newspapers embracing the early internet to share text-only papers with tech-savvy (at the time) readers on their home computers.
I love how the dial-up modem requires that the rotary phone handset be placed on top of it before connecting — and just the fact that the computer owner is introduced with “owns home computer”!
My first experience with the internet was at least 10 years after this, around 1992, on a Mac II (with AOL 2.0), which cost $5,500 in 1987 when it first came out! Here is a picture of one:
AND HERE’S WHAT COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET WERE LIKE IN 1981…
We sure have come a long ways in 30 years! I wonder what it will be like in another 32 years — 2045? They say the Singularity is supposed to hit us by then, so maybe we’ll store all our data in our DNA and share images telepathically and fly around with antigravity nanobots! I’ll bet few of us could have predicted back in the day that we’d all carry around these communicators which are constantly connected to the internet and act as video/audio/telegraph phones with 1 million personal secretary apps that track our every movement and remind us of what we need to do all the time! Yeah? I thought not!
by adminadam in videos
100 times stronger than steel and 1/6th the weight!
This fiber has high thermal conductivity and excellent electrical conductivity.
Possible uses are likely to be found in aerospace, medical, and automotive areas, and in the area of smart-clothing, as well.
Of note in the video is the high strength fiber supporting the weight of a 50-gram LED light-bulb while also powering the same light bulb (channeling electricity into it).
How about winding this fiber into a giant rope to ride up out of the atmosphere on a space elevator? (It could both support and power the lift!)
by adminadam in home
According to my Kopimist news source, MegaBox is going to be a “massive, socially-integrated creative content distribution site”, one which will cut out the middlemen and remove some of the hassle for artists trying to get their content out to their target audience, us, the content consumers. And do we not tire of exorbitant CD prices?
Oh, wait. When is the last time I even bought a CD? Hmmm… I’ll have to ponder that one. While I do that, go ahead and check out this video!
It has been said that MegaBox will cater to unsigned artists and allow anyone to sell their creations while allowing the artist to retain 90% of the earnings. And even if consumers choose not to contribute to a donation-based download, it seems MegaBox will still pay them, out of its own pockets, so to speak, under a program called “MegaKey”. Let’s hope this is the case when it is released!
From what I’ve read and heard, I believe this would make for a splendid cornerstone in the marriage of media/music-sharing and media/music-storage.
I look forward very much to trying it out.
by adminadam in home
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