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The great enhancement debate
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Vancouver, US
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    What will happen when for the first time in ages different human species will inhabit the earth at the same time? The day may be upon us when people...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    I threw together an astronomy-based photo montage for a facebook page that I administer. It's a collection of all the pictures I've uploaded via that facebook page backed by some peaceful music. Hope you enjoy it!



    The purpose of my facebook page (which was actually inspired upon me joining SC) is to expose followers to all things astronomy-based. Members enjoy a news feed full of cosmic pictures and articles pertaining to astronomy and cosmology. Anyone is invited to join!
    Wed, Dec 29, 2010  Permanent link

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    Chaos. Flashing lights. Sweat and fragrance.

    Anxious to indulge, he steps out onto the floor. He takes things slow at first, moving halfheartedly to the beat of the music. As he finds his comfort zone, he begins his long awaited escape; today's featured band providing him with the perfect medium to do so. A steady, consistent beat, yet loud and all-encompassing. Once attuned to the rhythm the passing of time becomes an evanescent concept to his mind. He closes his eyes. The sway of his body in respect to the beat gives him a familiar sense of serenity. Minutes pass, the song ends, he opens his eyes...

    Released from her melodically induced trance, she opens her eyes. Reality re-coalesces quickly. She sees chaos, flashing lights. Smells sweat and fragrance. Her empty gaze sets upon him, gazing upon her.

    Suddenly engaged, the strangers are simultaneously aware of each others' condition. An observation derived from their similar facial expressions. A mutual understanding common between musical escape artists. Frequencies have been matched; set upon the same wavelength, they are entangled. One momentarily bound to the other...

    He approaches her. A new song begins. Simple at first, consisting of only a bass. Enter drums, enter guitar, add another. Then, enter vocals. Lucid, serene, feminine, a blend he prefers. Speakers emitting wave after wave, each vibration shaking reality into dissipation, they slip into a void. A synergistic soundscape replaces the darkness. Two perceptual bubbles placed within a shared visual panorama. One that only they can see. All senses igniting, she pulls him in. Minds meld, bare skin touches. Contact only they can feel. Passion reacts with physical attraction; a synthesis catalyzed by cologne, perfume, and perspiration. An aroma only they can smell. The music becomes the anthem of the now, a representation of every second that passes by, overwhelming and commanding each move they're about to make. A sound only they can hear. All senses cut off from the real world, they are suddenly alone and take part in a dance, both mental and physical in its synchronicity, like two planets dancing to the music of gravity.

    Seconds pass and he feels his senses elevating further. Gradual bliss. He feels himself under her influence; clearly she's in control now. A succubus, methodical about her work. She's a drug, guiding the dopamine through his brain, like a child navigating a maze with her finger. Everything is electrical now, charged to its fullest capacity. And just when he thinks there's no plausible way this moment could get any better, she leans forward. Eyes closed and clear about her intentions, her lips travel across the mini universe that separates him from her to meet at their destination. Time slows to a near stand-still. One final breath, and then contact.

     photo download_zpsh1tllhsl.jpg


    Ecstasy. Oneness. Euphoria on a level never acquired before. Tasteless chapstick. Cinnamon breath, she had just recently chewed on a mint. Paralysis is the wrong word. Still able to move, but no longer in control of his dance. Like a puppet-master, she pulls on the strings of his every emotion, coaxing him into complete bliss. This, he thinks to himself, is transcendence.

    The song ends, the kiss ends, he opens his eyes. As if released from a spell he looks around the room, realizing once again that there are others. Suddenly alive and filled with an ambitious fire coursing through his veins. She takes a step back, and then another, until she fades completely into the chaotic crowd of dancers behind her. An entire minute passes and he finally decides to pursues her, but cannot find her; a true escape artist. The concert is nearing its end. It's time to go home.

    While getting ready for bed he reminisces on the dance. Unable to fully comprehend what had happened, and unable to accept that he'd lost her. Nothing less than a goddess, she had willing induced in him a psychedelic experience, she made him feel for the first time in what seemed like forever. After awhile he becomes complacent, accepting the experience as a gift, one that he was granted by some otherworldly entity attempting to fix him. It had been successful.

    With a smile of satisfaction he's about to switch into something more comfortable. Emptying out his pockets he pulls out his concert ticket, his cell phone, a few coins, a piece of paper; symbols scribbled hastily upon it. A name. A number...
    Fri, Nov 26, 2010  Permanent link

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    There are so many ways of metaphorically modeling and understanding the true nature of reality, and I wish more people were aware of the human ability to conceive of such unique models.

    I want to present a fairly brief example of a mind model that I use personally to understand the state of the universe...

    I wrote a post not too long ago about an algorithmic model of reality that I vaguely and randomly pieced together one day which, despite my feeling of triumph in having arrived at such a conclusion so abruptly, found that a lot of like-minded people have drawn similar parallels in one way or another. I was told in a comment that the reason why the universe is so identifiable to computer programming is mostly due to our current understanding in computer simulations and quasi-virtual realities (I think the real VR's are yet to come), or virtual 3D environments that a lot of people immerse themselves into while gaming and whatnot. That's the reason why our universe is so easily analogous to a programming context. In case you haven't read that post of mine I'll reiterate a bit.
    Nature is comprised of algorithms, or patterns that are incorporated into all evolutionary processes whether it be galactic evolution, stellar evolution, or biological evolution. In the end they're all constituents of a grand scheme which is termed as cosmological evolution. Whether implemented by an intelligent, causal agent or not, or whether the universe spawned out of a black hole within a grander universe, it had to have all began with a simple "source code." A simple "something" for more complex "somethings" to arise out of. A code that spontaneously generates increased complexity in every material substance that it interacts with. In the current state of our universe, I'd consider the universal foundations (syntax?), to nature's algorithms to be the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak forces. These fundamental parameters interact with their respective scales of matter to instigate evolutionary processes.
    Since Craig Venter's breakthrough in synthetic life, it became evermore apparent to me that even we humans are simply preprogrammed molecular machines routinely hacking our way through the universe. And by hacking I literally mean finding loopholes and exploiting the basic framework of the universe. Any organism alive today for that matter has successfully found a way to hack the universe and thrive by whatever means possible, and believe me, there are quite a bit of possible ways to live. The molecular compound Deoxyribonucleic acid, in this context, is the source code for the organic life found on Earth. It's also apparent that the universal forces of nature have formed intricate parameters and protocols for the universe's constituents to abide by.
    I've created a synapse to my old post on this matter. It needs refinement however (which will probably never happen) because i'm aware that I've accumulated more knowledge and gained more of an understanding of the concepts pertaining to the post itself since making it publicly viewable

    Now that you've seen but a snippet of the mind model I use to understand things, allow me to continue discussing the relevancies of this specific post...

    I wish that people were more willing to transcend their little subjective experiences and view human civilization and all of our accomplishments at a more omnipotent level of observation. An open-minded approach to life so that they're constantly confronted with contradictions to their natural way of thinking. The benefits of reading absurdist literature like Alice In Wonderland, I guess. I gave a presentation in class today. My topic was on enhancing humans for therapeutic or medicinal purposes. You know, transhumanist stuff. Well, I ended the presentation with some food-for-thought which was meant to really stimulate the minds of my peers, take em' to a higher frequency for just a moment. I wanted to confront their complacent minds with a completely counterintuitive truth. I tried explaining to them that the way most people perceive our place in reality is analogous to the way someone not knowing any better would naturally imagine Earth to reside within the observable, local perimeter of space. I told them about how, when we aim our gaze towards a clear night sky, we see that familiar strip of interstellar gas and clumps of stars known as the Milky Way. A surprisingly large amount of people don't realize that what they're actually looking at is an edge-on view of the center of a spiral galaxy that we are actually deeply embedded within. We're merely gazing upon the center of a grand structure that we actually inhabit. It's not just some far off celestial gas formation that we decided to call the Milky Way for whatever aesthetic reasons. I told my peers that, in truth, we're actually a minuscule constituent of an unimaginably large galaxy. Our parent star is almost perfectly orbiting across the galactic plane, and our planet is practically microscopic in regards to the galaxy as a whole, so it would appear as though we were nestled within no such structure at all. It seems as though we're just floating in a mostly empty, structureless vastness. I then proceeded to tell them that this entire notion is applicable to an individual's experience as a member of the human species. Most people are so deeply indulged in their everyday, human-scale affairs that they fail to see human civilization out of context of their own existence within it. This is understandable. We're embedded so intricately in our scale of existence that we fail to imagine the actual grand structure of the human civilization. The same way that it's counterintuitive, based on visual perception, to understand that our planet is a part of something much larger, much more awe-inspiring than the earth alone: an entire spiral galaxy, thousands of light years across.
    Unfortunately by the end of my presentation I saw that I didn't elicit my intended reaction from the audience. They just looked at me like I was crazy. My friend came up to me after class,

    "Dude, that was deep."
    "Uh, thanks." I replied.

    Even more unfortunate, I ran out of time and didn't even get to connect my analogy with my research topic on human enhancement via technology in general. Prior to my failed conclusion, I had discussed how nanotech, biotech, robotic tech, and genetic manipulation will be a huge part of our lives in the not-so-distant future, profoundly changing what it means to be human. My teacher effectively conveyed her disgust in such a future prospect saying something along the lines of,
    "Ew, I'd never want those things in or on my body" (referring to the applications of nanotech and robotics on human biology)

    "It seems so unnatural!"

    I had anticipated the "yuck factor" before giving my speech, which is why I preemptively devised my conclusion in the first place. It's typical for people to fear technology. Most think of it as something completely separate of a human being. What I was attempting to convey to my peers was that if one were to transcend their own preconceptions of the human race and imaginatively observe the progression of human civilization over the course of our entire existence, one could effectively imagine, in a sort of super sped up time-lapse, as technology, humans, and social infrastructure scale perfectly with each other in their apparent trajectory of increased complexity; their simultaneous evolution. And humans are central to this progressive synergy. As the human cerebral cortex evolved, as did technology and society. Carl Sagan puts it this way:

    "It is the distinction of our species, the seat of our humanity. Civilization is the product of the cerebral cortex."


    If a rock is natural; if water is natural; if a plant is natural; if DNA is a natural compound; if a cell is a product of DNA; if a human is a manifestation of a trillion-cell system; if humans naturally grew a brain and acquired intelligence; if we use our intelligence to create technology; if technology is used to shape human civilization; and if "civilization is the product of the cerebral cortex;" then by all means, technology is a natural occurrence! If it weren't natural, I'd reckon it wouldn't be able to sustain existence in the universe. Somehow, the laws of nature permit the existence of technology; the universe accepts it wholeheartedly. It's gradually augmenting the universe, manipulating it at the atomic scale and human-scale. Eventually it will effect the macrocosmic levels of the cosmos. Technology is a projection of human intelligence, but it also gives back to us in so many ways. We have a symbiotic relationship with technology. Coincidently, everything I've just mentioned pertaining to the natural properties of technology just reminded me of this video by Kevin Kelly:



    That video really had nothing to do with the main point I'm trying to get across. I'll admit I might have gone on a bit of a tangent at some point.... but I'll digress

    The purpose of this post is not to express my desire to superimpose my own mind's model of reality onto everyone else's subjective experience. Nor is my desire to force people to accept emerging technologies as an inevitability. I only wish that more people would take the time to devote some brain power into constructing their own models of reality that will conform nicely to some aspect of their personality, allowing them to explore the elegant truths of reality in a way they are most comfortable and familiar with. Perhaps by simply dropping the barriers of the mind and exposing it to abstract thoughts and contradictions, imagination will reveal to someone new ways of perceiving reality. I suppose that when your mind is free to create abstractions of its own, you'll eventually be able to construct mind models attuned to your subconscious preferences. I believe it's imperative for people to hone the skill of constructing mind models in order to relate abstract concepts to something intimately recognizable to the individual. The default model of reality that modern society shoves at us has majority of all humans conforming to its own idealistic reality, and maybe that's because it's the easiest model for the masses to understand. Rather than empowering the individual, this model is based on producing, regulating, and providing people with flawed institutions , consequently becoming stronger and stronger as more and more people assimilate and become codependent upon it. The corporate, mainstream model is definitely appealing. But Its effects are similar to those of a bright light with a zapping mechanism meant to keep mosquitoes in check. Deceptive indeed.

    I think that today's frustration (and my reasoning for ultimately writing this) is fully attributed to my realization that hardly anyone cares to embrace their humanity these days; no one sees the value in fully utilizing the highly evolved mental capacities that set us apart from any other animal on Earth. I fear that either our indifference or our ignorance regarding the full potential of human imagination and curiosity will be causal factors in the stagnation, or downfall of human civilization.










    Wed, Jun 9, 2010  Permanent link

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    In this day and age, our use of numbers tend to reach certain quantitative values that the human mind can no longer make any sense of. I'd say it's because most of us can't conceive of a model to put exceptionally large numbers into context with. We simply cannot fathom the profound meanings of astronomically large numbers.

    For example, numbers like 1; 2; 14; 20; 50, are all quantities that we encounter quite frequently and therefore we're able to rationalize them with a representative mind model. I've seen 2 dogs side by side, I've seen 20 people in a classroom at once, I've seen 50 jellybeans sitting in a bowl.

    But then we get to numbers like 1,000; 10,000; 20,000. These numbers become increasingly difficult to conceptualize, but we can still grasp the general meaning of such numbers using visual models of large scale things we encounter often in our little realities. I probably couldn't create a clear visual in my head of 10,000 people dispersed across a wide area, some people transcending my subjective field of vision. I can, however, take a well known model, maybe a picture of an aerial view of a sports stadium filled with 10,000 fans, and use that to grasp the meaning of the number 10,000.

    But how about we up the ante a bit. What happens when we try to conceptualize quantities like 1,000,000 or 6,000,000,000? Well, we know that there are 6 billion people on this planet, so you might think that actually, yes, it is possible to conceive of such large numerical values using the human population as your foundational model. But it's not quite that simple. Yes, we have a notion of what 6 billion means based off our knowledge of the human population, but in its true nature the number is so immense that we can't actually grasp the true quantitative significance of that number. Why? Because we haven't a model of 6 billion that's been compressed into something recognizable to the human mind. We can't actually rationalize the immensity of such a number. And that's an immense number indeed!

    Yet, as large as that number seems to be, it's actually relatively small at the cosmic scale. Take for instance the estimation that there are somewhere within the margin of 400 billion stars in our galaxy alone. There are about 100 billion galaxies in the known universe; each comprised of anywhere between hundreds of millions to hundreds of billions of stars. Lastly, take into mind the estimated 70 sextillion stars in the known universe altogether. The human brain is suddenly powerless in generating comprehensible models at such numerical values. While we can hold in our minds the simple notion of 70 sextillion stars, we cannot actually understand what meaning that number holds. Scientific notation also does nothing to broaden this cognitive limit.

    In case you're not familiar with where sextillion lies on the orders of magnitude of numbers, let me show you the suffixes:

    Million: 1,000,000 (10^6)
    Billion: 1,000,000,000 (10^9)
    Trillion: 1,000,000,000,000 (10^12)
    Quadrillion: 1,000,000,000,000,000 (10^15)
    Quintillion: 1.000,000,000,000,000,000 (10^18)
    Sextillion: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10^21)

    70 sextillion stars is undoubtedly an incomprehensibly large number.

    Even seeing the raw value of each number set, I still feel a lack of comprehension. Numbers of high orders are literally unfathomable to the human mind until we're able to compress them into something we can visually hold in our minds!

    And this is only the beginning. What about a googolplex? What can we possibly conceive in regards to that? Does this mean that our minds will forever be confined to only understanding numerical values close to our approximate scale of existence within the universe? My own hypothesis concerning this matter suggests the contrary. It's my belief that humans create bigger numbers as a result of our understanding of the state of the universe. Take into consideration the Hunter-Gatherer epoch, where humans only really had to take quantitative note of how many people were in a tribe, or how many animals occupied a hunting area. The scale of numbers needed to survive in an environment was relatively small in those days, compared to today's standards. It seems as though the more secrets humanity unlocks about reality, or the farther we extend our awareness of the universe, the bigger numbers become. I think that the increasing immensity of numbers is reflective of how our brains evolve to comprehend more of the universe. I also think that we have much longer to go in our evolution of intelligence, whether it's via human enhancement or not. Finally, I think that the numbers we perceive as unimaginably large today will be easily conceptualized by future humans who have a deeper understanding of values at astronomical proportions.

    See Large Numbers for further reading.

    EAVB_LFVNKWARXV
    Sat, May 29, 2010  Permanent link

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    Mon, Mar 29, 2010  Permanent link

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    Our reality is a program simulation. Or, more accurately, computer programs mimic our reality. Consequently, all technological models seem to mimic nature in one way or another. I took a somewhat elementary programming college class this quarter and I believe I can attribute much of my current understanding of reality to various programming theorems in general. I can look at nature's occurrences algorithmically now, and although I'm admittedly far from being mathematically inclined, from studying programming alone I've retained a good sense of pattern recognition.

    Our reality operates using patterns, or algorithms; and this, most of us probably already know, but the true purpose of this post is more or less for my own personal evaluation in regards to how I've even arrived at such a conclusion in the first place. I've posted this publicly in hopes that some may either question or add to my reasoning.

    Programming has inevitably intertwined with my current understandings in other scientific fields that include Biology, Cosmology, Neuroscience/Psychology and Sociology. I'll begin materializing my thoughts using bottom-up design, meaning that I'll explain the overall construct of this program we call reality starting with the smallest sub-parts and gradually working my way up (just visualize an upside-down triangle).


    Within the confines of Biology, I believe that the most obvious evidence of reality's algorithmic nature lies in Chaos Theory and Evolution, which in a broad sense can be correlated. The main principles behind Chaos Theory are that complexity arises from simplicity; order arises from chaos. With this in mind I began looking into the overall process of biological evolution. We currently understand that the root of the entire phenomenon exists in the microscopic world of DNA. DNA, in this case, is the algorithm which drives the simulation program that we call life on Earth. DNA is the source code that initiated the entire evolutionary process, and this single code continues to execute itself to this day. In this sense, evolution is a recursive program. It continually self-replicates through organic reproduction, in which the code is then recycled in the sense that the offspring reacquire the source code from the initial code executer (parents) and in return become the progam executors themselves. Chaos Theory becomes an evident factor here as we begin to witness variety and complexity which in turn generates the "illusion" of individualism. Couldn't variety such that we see in the world today be a result of an extremely long thread of genetic adaptations, or, the convergence of certain lines of code that interact and create genotypes and phenotypes of their own? Perhaps adaptation is the product of a conditional structure known in programming terminology as an "If/Else statement." An If/Else statement tells the program that IF this condition is true (meaning, if it complies with the current laws of the program), then execute the code like so. But if the conditions are false, do this instead, hence the "else" of the conditional structure. How does this fit into reality? Well, think of an organism's outside environment as a program that is shaped by conditions that are present at that exact moment. Also, DNA must in itself possess an If/Else statement. So, if the organism is faced with normal conditions, then carry on the organism's life as usual, but if conditions change, then the organism's code execution must change. Thus, the organism adapts to new conditions. This may seem oversimplified, but it makes sense to me, and that's all that really matters, right?

    Photobucket


    And what about awareness and intelligence, how do we go about explaining why we can effectively observe and understand the state of the universe in the first place? Here's where the algorithmic model can be applied to Neuroscience and Psychology. Biological evolution is evidently the program parameter that made us the way we are today. Can intelligence then be seen as a manifestation of various convergences in the code of our DNA? As I ask this question, I imagine consciousness as a sphere. Every possible point on the inside surface of the sphere can create a diagonal line, and the point where all diagonals meet represent my visualization of consciousness. In my algorithmic model, the diagonals of my consciousness sphere become representations of the lines of code of a program parameter, a parameter that in itself is a result of our senses. Likewise, our senses can be seen as a result of a variety of separate convergences that created the sense organ associated with a specific sense. All of these, in turn, are products of the initial DNA source code (the source of the evolutionary process) with its embedded If/Else statements.

    Photobucket


    There is also the presence of algorithms in the macrocosm, that is, on the scale of the very large. The macrocosm is analogous to the program as a whole. The same programming rules apply to Cosmology as they do with Biology, in my opinion. The principles behind Chaos Theory still seem to fit, as well as the conditional rules of If/Else statements that I've previously explained. Biological evolution and its byproduct known as humanity are extremely tiny parameters nested within a much larger parameter known as Cosmological Evolution. Of course, Cosmological Evolution can be further broken down into even smaller process known as Galactic Evolution and Stellar Evolution, which are a result of EVEN smaller processes existing in the quantum universe. I suppose it would've been practical to begin my explanation of the algorithmic model with quantum physics, because the quantum universe is comprised of the fundamental building blocks of our reality. Unfortunately, the nature of subatomic particles is bizarre, and our overall understanding of particles is relatively obscured, and therefore my own personal understanding of particle physics is even more vague. To save myself from humiliation, I've chosen to temporarily omit quantum physics from my algorithmic understanding of reality :)

    I also understand that I'm most definitely not the first to conceive such a conceptual model of reality. The Wachowski Brothers, creators of The Matrix Trilogy movies, have already externalized their ideas concerning the algorithmic nature of our universe. In their rendition, they've very eloquently acknowledged Plato's Allegory of the Cave suggesting that reality is not what it seems on the surface. In The Matrix Trilogy we are told that reality is nothing more than a program simulation (called the Matrix) of a previous reality that humanity once inhabited before they were enslaved by machines. The algorithmic model is quite literally "written" all over the main storyline of the movies. For instance, in the movie humans, animals and the forces of nature are all really program parameters existing in a universe sized simulation. Also, the main character, Neo, acquires the ability to see reality in its "code form," which is represented by the familiar green symbols usually portrayed falling downwards. There are also trained specifics that can read the code of the matrix using computers existing "outside" of the matrix. Additionally, The Matrix Trilogy also features a key entity to the matrix program known as The Architect. This entity's name alone should supply a good hint as to his role in the storyline. In the movie, The Architect is recognized as the causal agent to the creation of the Matrix simulation.

    As we all know, in our world, there exists tremendous tension between Creationism, The Big Bang theory, and everything in between. The algorithmic model of the universe that I'm currently entertaining in my mind does, in no way at all, help to explain such mysteries. When I put in reverse the execution of code in a program, it's easy to see that there was obviously some sort of beginning, or origin to my program. The same can be said with our reality, after all, that's what scientists in almost all fields seek to do, trace back to origins. The biggest issue that I'm seeing in my algorithmic understanding of the universe is the same problem that is causing global disagreements and turmoil in the world today. The problem comes from the source code, and the creator of the source code, and the causal agent that would be needed to implement the source code. I personally maintain strong resolve towards agnosticism, so with my lack of knowledge, I refuse an attempt to address such an issue in any model.

    Seeing as I'm lazy, slightly A.D.D., and moderately hungry, I've lost interest in extending this post.

    Disclaimer time: What is the point to all of these ponderings? Well, there really isn't a point. Writing is my way of organizing my thoughts, and in this case I decided to extrapolate my thoughts in the context of computer programming. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I've decided to submit this specific piece publicly in order to obtain feedback for testing the validity, value, and overall sanity of my ideas. Thank you for reading, that is all :)




    Further References:

    I'm reading a book right now by Richard Dawkins called, "The Greatest Show On Earth" where, in one of the earlier chapters, he makes reference to a few programs he designed that effectively simulate how evolution can give rise to diverse organisms. It's an overall great read too. Also, Abhominal posted a great BBC episode elaborating on Chaos Theory. I suggest at least watching The Matrix, if for some reason you haven't already. Embedded in that movie is a great portrayal of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. The Wachowski Brothers also borrowed ideas from Neuromancer by William Gibson, one of the first to conceive a matrix-like reality. Lastly, The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot is a treat for the mind.

    Mon, Mar 15, 2010  Permanent link

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    It gets rather interesting as he begins talking about genetic engineering, about a quarter of the way through. A must watch for the Transhumanists on here.



    Wed, Feb 24, 2010  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The great enhancement debate
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    I've stumbled upon something revolutionary recently. An internet genius (or possibly a group of people) that goes by the name of Melodysheep on Youtube has composed an educational science masterpiece. It's known as the Symphony of Science Project. Visit the website here for details.

    The videos are essentially compilations of quotes derived from the lectures of some of the world's greatest scientisits; ranging from Carl Sagan :-) and Stephen Hawkings to Richard Dawkins and Michio Kaku. The quotes are cut-up, synthesized and reorganized to sync with custom made beats to generate the illusion of an actual song. For the science-minded like myself, this is probably the greatest combination in musical history. Not only can I easily memorize awesome quotes from awesome scientists, but I can jam out to science as well...as nerdy as that sounds.

    Here are two of my favorites. You can watch the rest on Youtube or on their website by visiting those links above. They also have downloadables in MP3 format. I HIGHLY recommend watching all of these...





    Fri, Feb 5, 2010  Permanent link

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    Artwork by Alex Grey

    I find myself here, situated in front of my computer at 1am (on a school night, no doubt), completely and utterly confused; wondering where to begin. This elaborately structured, seemingly uniform reality that we humans call existence is really starting to play games with my head. At first glance the universe, in all of its glory, is like clockwork perfection, but study it a bit deeper and you find that It's not what it appears to be... it's all so chaotic. It's all so unpredictable despite the absoluteness that mathematics is supposed to ensure us. So many things occurring simultaneously, too many equal and opposite reactions, I find it extremely difficult to keep track of it all. Can anyone though? Most of the time I just wish I can filter out all the obscurities of reality and comprehend nothing but truth: the fundamental variable in the master equation. My profound curiosity and fascination for the world around me sometimes seems to betray my personal well-being. When finally I feel that I've fully grasped an abstract concept, it transcends into a whole other dimension of complexity. I find myself once again staring at the long road ahead of me. Whenever I think I'm 99.9% sure about something, I'm suddenly presented with an elaborate alternative that I'm sometimes reluctantly obligated to take into consideration. I can only imagine how modern-day scientists must feel. The possibilities of the universe seem infinite, and perhaps I'm too open-minded, because I find that the amount of theoretical speculation I'm exposed to in a day is enough to drive me insane. And well... who's to say curiosity isn't actually a misinterpreted product of insanity? A dangerous flook in our brain patterns. That notion alone causes a massive upwelling of uncertainty in me almost every time I think it. I often imagine that there exists a world full of these delusional, misinformed crazies that I myself (and the whole of SpaceCollectives.org for that matter) am apart of.

    But now I find myself here again. My automatism continues to lead me astray, but this time things are different. This time I'm presented with a reality in which I can see a 19-year-old man sitting in front of his computer at 1:30am (on a school night, no doubt). I observe the natural, methodical process of his fingers gliding across the keyboard. A process that very accurately converts his intangible, innate thoughts into comprehensible sentences. Beginning as nothing more than electrochemical impulses within the brain, his stream of thoughts have now been externalized into our physical reality; accessible to virtually anyone in the world. Even more bizarre, the words that this man types at this very moment seem to suggest that he is capable of simultaneously viewing himself in an entirely omnipotent perspective at any given point in time. He is a human, nothing more than a manifestation of naturally occurring chemicals. A byproduct of nature; consciously aware of himself, unconsciously aware of the cosmos that created him. A counterpart to the mechanical universe.

    We are thinking, profoundly intelligent human beings capable of generating the most elaborate abstractions of reality; sometimes not even fully aware that we’re doing it! How many atomic manifestations in the entire universe get the privilege of saying that? Too few apparently. We are the universe’s ultimate tool of awareness. From our little spec of a home planet, sitting next to one star in which there are countless others, nestled within a seemingly forgotten and insignificant galaxy in which there are billions of others, we’re able to extend our minds to the farthest reaches of our reality. Humans are the most fascinating and complex astronomical phenomena that I can think of. Why then, would I even dare claim the first paragraph of this post to be written by me? The answer is simple: I, as well as many others, take this gift of life and intelligence for granted. The beauty of humanity is obscured by our own self-indulgence, arrogance, and ignorance. But I digress, because from here on out, I shall view us the same way in which we view the gods that we ourselves created.
    Fri, Feb 5, 2010  Permanent link

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    Image courtesy of www.gigaom.com


    The image above is pretty self-explanatory. The transition from human to cyborg-human is already underway. I suspect that within the next decade or so we'll be seeing some very interesting developments, and possibly full implementation of brain chips. The human brain seems to be nothing more than a 3-dimensional motherboard, just waiting to have some hardware embedded into it...
    Thu, Dec 24, 2009  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The great enhancement debate
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