January 23, 2010
Source: xkcd webcomics
I’ve been to two of the amazing biennial Toward a Science of Consciousness events and enjoyed them immensely, but I think this one April 21–26 next year in Tuscon will be the best yet.
A recent paper by Milton Wainwright et al.  claimed that sampling of the stratosphere revealed a diatom frustule captured from a height of >25km.
The paper, published in Journal of Cosmology, also argues that the object came from space, with a probable origin in the watery environment of a comet.
There are a number of problems that I would have flagged had I been a… read more
In “Against Naive Uploadism: Memory, Consciousness and Synaptic Homeostasis,” neuroscientist Seth Weisberg challenges the comparison of a neuron to a digital computer and the idea that an action potential (spike) fired by one neuron equals one calculation at each synapse. He also challenges the assumption that we are approaching computing power comparable to the human brain.
Overall, Seth Weisberg’s article is refreshing and clearly spoken, in that… read more
NASA has launched the first interplanetary war by attacking Mars with a high-power laser beam for “target practice.” Some are blaming the “mohawk guy” at JPL, shown in disguise in this NASA photo. No word if Mars plans to return fire….
According to Reuters: “From sci-fi cult film, to Twitter phenomenon to Detroit landmark-in-the-making. Plans for a statue honoring RoboCop, the half-man, half-machine crimefighter of the 1987 movie, are moving ahead after a group of artists and entrepreneurs in Detroit, Michigan raised more than $60,000 via Facebook and an online fund-raising site.”