This is part one of a two-part series on the limits of human economic growth on planet Earth. Part one details some of the environmental and natural resource challenges we’re up against. Part two, on the ultimate size of the resource pool and solutions to our problems, will be published tomorrow and linked here. Both parts are based on Ramez Naam’s new book, The Infinite Resource: The Power… read more
As a biomedical research scientist I am concerned about President Obama’s broad new research initiative ”to map the human brain.”
The BRAIN ((Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative is a very ambitious, and perhaps even noble, effort, and I am most definitely not against imaging or nanotechnology as tools for research.
But, without specific goals, hypotheses or endpoints, the research effort becomes a fishing expedition. That is,… read more
October 2, 2002 by Diana Walczak
The anthropomorphization of computer graphics has been a classiccase of exponential growth powered by technology, art, commerceand culture. Funding for military and aerospace applications likenuclear weapons design, weather prediction and flight simulationpaid for much of the initial heavy lifting required to build thefoundation of the computer graphics industry during the 1960′s andearly 1970′s.
As the sophistication of graphics software marched forward andthe cost of computing slid downward, the annual… read more
May 10, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica
Are you ready for Eye-Bots — flying smarms of intelligent drones that zoom in and track everything going on?
Yo boy, this one’s gonna make them spyder bots in Minority Report and Big-Brother TV sets in 1984 look positively user-friendly.
A flock of flying robots rises slowly into the air with a loud buzzing noise. They perform an intricate dance in the sky above the seething… read more
“Surrogates” scenario: FBI agents (Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell) investigate the mysterious murder of a college student linked to the man who helped create a high-tech surrogate phenomenon that allows people to purchase unflawed robotic versions of themselves—fit, good looking remotely controlled machines that ultimately assume their life roles—enabling people to experience life vicariously from the comfort and safety of their own homes.… read more
Fats in foods like potato chips and french fries make them nearly irresistible because they trigger natural marijuana-like chemicals in the body called endocannabinoids, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have found.
The researchers discovered that when rats tasted something fatty, cells in their upper gut started producing endocannabinoids, while sugars and proteins did not have this effect.
How fats create,… read more
May 15, 2011
Video Source: Stephen Malinowski’s “Music Animation Machine”
June 27, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
“Earlier this year, molecular biologists announced that 20 per cent of nonhuman genome databases are contaminated with human DNA, probably from the researchers who sequenced the samples,” Technology Review‘s The Physics ArXiv blog said on Thursday.
“Now, the human genome itself has become contaminated. Bill Langdon at University College London and Matthew Arno at Kings College London say they’ve found sequences from mycoplasma bacteria… read more
October 18, 2012 by R.U. Sirius
I’ve been sort of playing around with the concept — “Steal This Singularity” — for several months now. Prior to attending Singularity Summit 2012, I was thinking about it in political terms.
Letting “Singularity” represent, essentially, a buzz word for a future radically transformed by technology, my “Steal This Singularity” notion was simply that the transhuman future should not be dominated by big capital and/or authoritarian government; and that —… read more