Member 2009
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Polytopia
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extinction.
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    nom the puppet’s project
    Polytopia
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...
    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.
    In response to schmuck's post about the openness of SC, I thought I'd bring up another issue the community is facing—the problem of scale.

    Not the amount on members, no, but the size of the library, the amount of contributions from members without a simpler way to organize and find the information therein. Space Collective, if it were a hive mind (and some might argue it is), would be a scatterbrained one—shifting attention from one topic to another quickly, sometimes repeating information and sometimes burying novel ideas (i.e. forgetting).

    it's a stoner, basically.

    The synapse system is great to find new articles, but to create synapses requires you to go out and search for related articles, which can overwhelm the average user. There are multiple languages evolving on this network, people are creating terms that overlap with each other's and these new ideas are getting trickier to search for beyond the original creator's former posts (looking at you wildcat). I'm not proposing a dictionary (though that might be nice). I'm proposing a new way for space collective users to interact with it as if you really were travelling within a super brain's network, since we already seem to have reached a scale of information that goes far beyond what a single human is capable of reading in a reasonable amount of time (i.e. sleeping).

    My proposal is this: the synapse system be semi-automated. It's time for an update. There is software out there now that can analyze documents and generate word clouds that give some relatively accurate renderings of what words are important within the text. Using these, the Space Collective synapse system will automatically generate one for each post before publishing and use those clouds to map on to others that share the most similarity, and present them to the Space Collective user as possible synapses. The draft will be saved and the user can peruse the possible synapses she/he wishes to create by checking all that apply and hitting publish.

    I think this would do wonders for searching for info within the spacecollective infoverse or whatever. From there you can map the networks and let users navigate it through that style of interface by selecting hub node articles and then further researching the branches, similar to the way a brain is constructed, which i'm sure was along the lines of the original intention of organizing the site, but lacked a healthy level of synapses between posts. I believe this would be much more effective at providing information to those that seek it and actually getting an overall view of what spacecollective is doing spontaneously. AND with that knowledge, users can choose to focus on relatively neglected topics or avoid redundant information, instead of this sampling from the top of the ever-piling Mt. Space Collective. other features could map out what has been read and what hasn't, showing users how much of the network they've actually explored and what destinations they frequent most.


    ease of creation —> more synapses —> easier access —> more informed users —> more insightful contributions (not that they aren't already ;)

    Wed, Dec 15, 2010  Permanent link

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    In it he confronts the topic of nihilism, how technological evolution overtakes biological evolution, what forces in the past influenced this shift, and the eventual building of a god machine.

    http://www.suicidenote.info/


    Fri, Dec 10, 2010  Permanent link

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    R15K
    For 2-6 Players – AGES 10+
    R U L E S O F P L A Y
    —————-
    INTRODUCTION
    You are about to play a variation of the most unusual game that has appeared in many years. It is not difficult, but because it is so different you will find it worthwhile to read the rules completely through before starting play. No attempt has been made to teach strategy, as each player will develop his or her own as he becomes familiar with the game.

    This game is an update to the classic game of RISK to simulate the dynamics of cyber warfare of the modern age. In R15K, territory is down played in emphasis as the attacker can attack from anywhere on the globe and enemies can be found within one’s own territory. This is representative of the current situation. Bot-nets are networks of computers across the globe that can be synched unknowingly to carry out the bot-herder’s aims. Thus in the game R15K, units may be hijacked and one can be defeated from within one’s own territory. The cards also take on a whole new role as information does in this modern combat. They are valuable and like information can be lost, traded, and purchased in the game. The territory cards are akin to the keys to cipher encryption that most systems possess. If one has the key, one can gain control of the system. Also added is an element of anonymity in the exchange of information. When one is trading cards, unless there is only one other taker or everybody participates, one can be attacked without knowing from whom. Not surprisingly, the continents with the most advantageous bonuses in the original RISK game correspond with those in R15K. Those areas that are more developed than others have more infrastructures and are more robust in cyber warfare usually.



    OBJECT
    The object of the game is to eliminate or incapacitate all other players.

    EQUIPMENT
    A. Six sets of playing pieces, each set of a different color, consisting of a box of cubes and several oblong pieces in a separate box. Each cube represents one unit of infrastructure and the oblong pieces are equivalent to 10 units of infrastructure.
    B. A playing board showing a map of the six continents, each of which is subdivided into a number of territories.
    C. A deck of 44 cards.
    D. Six dice, 3 of which are red and 3 of which are ivory-colored.

    (basically a standard set of Risk game pieces and game board)


    PREPARATION

    The board is placed on a card table or some other flat surface. Each player selects a box of playing pieces of the color that he/she chooses, and all of the oblong pieces of that same color, to represent his/her infrastructures during the game. One player is selected to act as the dealer.


    THE CARDS

    Two of the cards in the pack are printed with three figures: a foot soldier, a horseman, and a cannon. These two cards are jokers. Each of the other 42 cards bears only one of the three figures along with a territory which approximates the shape of one of the territories on the board. There is one, and only one, card for each territory.

    THE SETUP

    The dealer removes the 2 jokers from the deck of cards. He/she shuffles the remaining cards thoroughly and deals them one at a time to each player, starting with the player to his/her left. All cards must be dealt. When four of five play, some players will have one more card than others, but this will not affect the play of the game.
    When all the cards have been dealt, each player turns his/her cards face-up in front of them and places one cube on each territory on the board for which he/she has the corresponding card. All players do this simultaneously. When each player has placed his/her units, there should be one and only one unit on each territory. Players now return all cards to the dealer, who puts the 2 jokers back in the deck. The dealer shuffles the deck again and redistributes the cards in the same fashion described above.


    THE PLAY

    a. ACCUMULATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE
    On each of his/her turns throughout the game a player is entitled to add to his/her infrastructure on the board. The number of additional units to which they are entitled is equal to a total arrived at by the methods described below.
    The player to the left of the dealer has the 1st turn. They are entitled to add one additional unit for each three territories that they occupy. Fractions do not count and are rounded down to the next factor of three. On each turn a player is entitled to a minimum of three units when he/she occupies fewer than nine territories.
    If at the start of their turn a player occupies all of the territories of a continent, he/she is entitled to extra units in accordance to the table on the playing board. He/she is entitled to theses bonuses every time they are in complete possession of one or more continents at the start of their turn.
    At the start of every turn a player first determines how many additional armies he/she is entitled to according to the above rules.

    b. PLACING OF INFRASTRUCTURE
    Once a player has determined the total number of units to which they are entitled, they must place them on the board on one or more of the territories that they already occupy in any way that they think is best. If there is an empty adjacent territory to a player’s occupied territory, a player may place units of infrastructure on it.

    c. HOW TO ATTACK
    The purpose of an attack is to eliminate opponents’ infrastructure. A player is never forced to attack and after collecting and placing the extra units may end his/her turn. The actual attack against an opponent’s territory is made by throwing dice and comparing them with dice thrown by the player whose being attacked. The attacker must state from what territory they are attacking and against what territory they are making their attack. An attacker must have at least one more unit than the number of dice that they throw. If he/she has two units on the territory, they may throw only one die. If they have three units, they may throw one or two dice. If they have four or more units, they may throw one, two, or three dice. Under no circumstance may they throw more than three dice.
    At the same time that the attacking player rolls his/her dice, the defending player also rolls. If the defender has two or more units in the territory, they may roll either one or two dice. If he/she has only one unit they may roll only a single die. Normally the attacker will roll more dice than the defender, but in some cases the defender may roll two dice against the one die of the attacker.
    Once the dice have been rolled, the attacker first compares his/her highest die with the highest die rolled by the defender. If the attacker’s die is higher, the defender removes from the board one of the units on the territory under attack and returns it to the box. If the defender’s die is equal to or higher than that of the attacker, the attacker must remove one of his/her units from the territory from which they are attacking. The defender always wins ties. When the attacker rolls two or three dice, and the defender rolls two dice, the attacker compares his/her second highest with the lower die of the defender. If it is higher, the defender must remove a unit; and if equal or lower, the attacker must remove a unit. At no time may a player lose more units than the number of dice that he/she rolls.
    The highest die of the attacker is always matched against the highest die of the defender when the attacker and the defender both throw more than one die, the second highest die of the attacker is always matched against the second highest die of the defender. Ties always go to the defender.

    d. WHERE TO ATTACK

    A player may attack any opponent in any territory from any territory, but must state which territories are attacking. Though attackers can attack from multiple territories, a defender can only defend from ones being attacked. If a territory is attacked that is occupied by more than one player, both players must defend according to the number of units they have in that territory.

    e. OPTION OF ATTACKER
    A player may continue to attack so long as they have at least two units on the board. The attacker has complete flexibility. They may attack one or more times from one territory then shift their attack to another area, and still return to attack again onto the original territory, if they wish. An attacker may also attack a single territory from multiple territories. They may continue to attack even when they lose on any roll or rolls of the dice. They may also discontinue their attacks, end their turn, and pass the turn to the player on their left whenever they feel it is their advantage to do so.

    f. CAPTURING ENEMY INFRASTRUCTURE
    If an attacker defeats an enemy territory and also possesses the card of that enemy’s territory, then the attacker gains control over the units it defeats rather than removing them from the board. If the attacker defeats an enemy unit in a territory it does not possess the card for, then the enemy unit is removed from the board. When a player loses all units from a territory, any player who occupies a territory adjacent to it may place a unit there on their turn.

    g. PLAY OF CARDS
    Cards have been somewhat discussed in the capturing of enemy infrastructure, but will be elaborated here.
    At the end of one’s turn, one may place a card face down offering a trade to other players who may pick it up upon the start of their turn, but must place a different card face down immediately to replace it until it comes back to the player who originally initiated the trade. Players may only trade one card per turn. However, all participants in the trade open themselves up to a special form of attack: Each participant rolls one die in secret, then a non-participant comes to each to check each roll and the roller must whisper the name of one other participant who they wish to attack or that they don’t wish to attack anyone and would like to only defend should they get attacked. Then, the non-participant tallies up the rolls; who is attacking/defending against whom, and announces the losses of each player. The losses are determined by the difference between the rolls of the attacker and the defender. The difference is only applied if the attacker rolls a higher number than the defender. If all players are participating in the trade, then this process is forgone and the turns continue uninterrupted.
    The symbols correlate to different abilities a player may use if they collect enough matching symbols. However, once the cards are played they are discarded to the side of the board and the ability to capture enemy infrastructure in the territory on the card is lost.
    If a player collects three soldiers, they may gain an additional 20 units that may be allocated at will among their territories.
    If a player collects three horsemen, they gain the ability of the Trojan Horse. If they are attacked by an enemy force, any units defeated by the defender become his/her in the attacking territory, similar to capturing the enemy’s infrastructure using the territory cards.
    If a player collects three cannons, they gain the ability of Traffic Jamming. When they attack, all their rolls are increased by 1. So, if they roll a five it becomes a six, however if they choose to play this card, they must lay it down prior to attacking and it is only applicable to attacking one territory.
    Discarded cards may be purchased from the pile for the removal of 8 units of a player’s infrastructure. Cards in a player’s hand may also be exchanged for an additional 5 units if they wish. They may do this anytime during their turn.



    ————————————————————-


    Sat, Mar 20, 2010  Permanent link

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    Mon, Oct 5, 2009  Permanent link

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    an 11 page wired article of one computer scientist's attempt at coming to terms with the looming dangers of advanced technology

    The Drives of Artificial Intelligence


    I am hopeful of the future. It seems to be the sanest way to continue living into the next day. But I still have my worries.

    Our leaders are pulling us into this insane death-spiral as they clamor for power, and health care reform here in the US serves as a perfect example of the bare-toothed inertia our political and economic systems face in efforts to reboot our society. Corporations, with a few notable exceptions, are accumulating vast wealth solely for the sake of accumulating wealth. What's the point? What's the endgame? It's miserly, not progress. Any humanitarian effort is done for PR so they can continue to accumulate wealth, otherwise we would see a substantial portion of their earnings going to charity. With our scientists advancing the technologies of the next century in virtual isolation from the public at large and especially frightening, from our policy makers, it's apparent that unless the state of technological progress is made widely aware to public that our species faces extinction in the next 100 years, we'll be unprepared by the time these technologies are used for such limited and destructive aims as military and economic conquest. And while spacecollective is an admirable group and I feel privileged to be among such wonderfully brilliant minds who dazzle me with each new project and post, I fear that our ideas are shared by too few. Scientists, artists, and activists are the rarest of the population. Civil rights, feeding the hungry, ending conflict, providing health care and education, these causes have existed since the 1800's and while we have come a long way, it seems as if there has never been a serious unified global effort that took precedence over a country's continual growth of economic prosperity. I know the will is there. I propose an advertising campaign for spacecollective and the future in general. I'm going to send letters to strangers, stick stickers on public things, pique their curiosity.

    I had to vent. sorry :)
    Sun, Oct 4, 2009  Permanent link

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    I found this and thought I'd share it.

    Leo Tolstoy “What Is Art?”
    The art of the future is not the possession of a select minority but a means towards perfection and unity.

    People talk of the art of the future, meaning by art of the future some especially refined new art which they imagine will be developed out of that exclusive art of one class which is now considered the highest art. But no such new art of the future can or will be found. Our exclusive art, that of the upper classes of Christendom, has found its way into a blind alley. The direction in which it has been going leads nowhere. Having once lost hold of that which is most essential to art (namely, the guidance given by religious perception), and more perverted, until finally it has come to nothing. The art of the future, that which is really coming, will not be a development of present-day art, but will arise on quite other and new foundations having nothing in common with those by which our present art of the upper classes is guided.
    Art of the future, that is to say, such part of art as will be chosen from among all the art diffused among mankind, will consist not in transmitting feelings accessible only to members of the rich classes, as is the case today, but in transmitting feelings embodying the highest religious perception of our times. Only those productions will be esteemed art which transmit feelings drawing men together in brotherly union, or such universal feelings as can unite all men. Only such art will be chosen, tolerated, approved, and diffused. But art transmitting feelings flowing from antiquated, outworn, religious teaching; ecclesiastical art, patriotic art, voluptuous art; transmitting feelings of superstitious fear, of pride, of vanity, of ecstatic admiration of national heroes; art exciting exclusive love of one’s own people, or sensuality, will be considered bad, harmful art, and will be censured and despised by public opinion. All the rest of art, transmitting feelings accessible only to a section of people, will be considered unimportant, and will be neither blamed nor praised. And the appraisement of art in general will devolve not as is now the case on a separate class of rich people, but on the whole people; so that for a work to be thought good and to be approved and diffused, it will have to satisfy the demands not of a few people living under similar and often unnatural conditions, but of all those great masses of people who undergo the natural conditions of laborious life.
    Nor will the artists producing the art be as now merely a few people selected from a small section of the nation, members of the upper classes or their hangers-on, but they will consist of all those gifted members of the whole people who prove capable of, and have an inclination towards, artistic activity.
    Artistic activity will then be accessible to all men. It will become accessible to the whole people because (in the first place) in the art of the future not only will that complex technique which deforms the production of the art of today, and requires so great an effort and expenditure of time, not be demanded, but on the contrary the demand will be for clearness, simplicity, and brevity—conditions brought about not by mechanical methods but through the education of taste. And secondly, artistic activity will become accessible to all men of the people because, instead of the present professional schools which only some can enter, all will learn music and graphic art (singing and drawing) equally with letters, in the elementary schools, in such a way that every man, having received the first principles of drawing and music and feeling a capacity for and a call to one or other of the arts, will be able to perfect himself in it.
    People think that if there are no special art-schools the technique of art will deteriorate. Undoubtedly it will deteriorate if by technique we understand those complexities of art which are now considered an excellence; but if by technique is understood clearness, beauty, simplicity, and compression, in works of art, then even if the elements of drawing and music were not to be taught in the national schools, not only will the technique not deteriorate but, as shown by all peasant art, it will be a hundred times better. It will be improved because all the artists of genius now hidden among the masses will become producers of art and supply models of excellence which (as has always been the case) will be the best schools of technique for their successors. For even now every true artist chiefly learns his technique not in the schools but in life, from the examples of the great masters, and then—when art is produced by the best artist of the whole nation and there are more such examples and they are more accessible—such part of school training as the future artist may lose will be a hundredfold compensated for by the training he will receive from the numerous examples of good art diffused in society.
    Such will be one difference between present and future art. Another difference will be that art will not be produced by professional artists receiving payment for their work and engaged on nothing else besides their art. The art of the future will be produced by all the members of the community who feel need of such activity, but they will occupy themselves with art only when they feel such need.
    In our society people think that an artist will work better and produce more if he has a secured maintenance; and this opinion once more would prove quite clearly, were such proof still needed, that what among us is considered to be art is not art but only a counterfeit. It is quite true that for the production of boots or loaves division of labor is very advantageous, and that the bootmaker or baker who need not prepare his own dinner or fetch his own fuel will make more boots or loaves than if he had to busy himself with those matters. But art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced. And sound feeling can only be engendered in a man when he is living a life in all respects natural and proper to man. Therefore security of maintenance is a condition most harmful to an artist’s true productiveness, since it removes him from the condition natural to all men—that of struggle with nature for the maintenance both of his own life and the lives of others—and thus deprives him of the opportunity and possibility of experiencing the most important and most natural feelings of man. There is no position more injurious to an artist’s productiveness than the position of complete security and luxury in which in our society artists usually live.
    The artist of the future will live the common life of man, earning his subsistence by some kind of labor. The fruits of the highest spiritual strength that passes through him he will try to share with the greatest possible number of people, for in such transmission to others of the feelings that have arisen in him he will find his happiness and reward. The artist of the future will be unable to understand how an artist, whose chief delight is in the wide diffusion of his works, could give them only in exchange for a certain payment.
    Until the dealers are driven out, the temple of art will not be a temple. But the art of the future will drive them out.
    Mon, Jun 1, 2009  Permanent link

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    I've been wondering about mind uploading. If our mind can be fully uploaded to a non-biological operating platform, and we do invent the necessary hardware requirements to house one, what will that machine have to do to convince a user to adopt it? If the subjective experience remains fundamentally private and unique, how could uploading be anything but a leap of faith?

    I read a short story about a man with a crystal in his head that learned to think like he did matching him thought for thought, then one day his arm choose a banana when he wanted an apple and he realized he was the crystal all along just now being severed from the host system. Essentially two people are being created when the mind adopts another house, or we are going to have to change what it means to be a person. That crystal realized that he wasn't the original, that his memories are implants, his thought patterns are implants, his personality is an implant. Needless to say an identity crisis would ensue, but a most interesting one. Would he care? Would he necessarily react as if the original person came to this conclusion? Would he be compelled to establish his own identity by rebelling against his own thoughts and acting contrary to his implanted self or accept the identity he's been given? In this context, what can we say constitutes a person? If memories and character traits and the inner life can be duplicated, the self becomes less solid and more malleable. Is the self just a collection of neural behaviors a mechanical system carries and nothing more? Self-Esteem then is the value the system places on having a certain behavior or collection of behaviors.

    The machine would understand this to a degree the original would not. The new person machine would begin sampling the gamut of personality, but what criteria could it go by in forming its new self if authenticity is meaningless. Would it have to choose its behaviors based on social function? Subjective inner pleasure? Or would we simply see the implanted personality begin to evolve at a greater speed?

    This is getting off topic, but what would this machine mean for ethics? Am I responsible for all the actions of my copied personalities? Or are only the individual mechanical systems that performed the action? What about interconnected bodies constantly updating and sharing my person, selectively adopting new test traits, separating and reforming whenever necessary or benificial? Aren't we already in this situation when we refer to being a part of society, adopting cultures, living and learning from the individual lives of each other? Or even within our own brain hemispheres continually feeding back into each other's processes?

    What do we gain from holding onto our individual identities as solid, immutable, and singular? What do we lose?

    Mon, Jun 1, 2009  Permanent link

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    "Not the animal world, not the plant world, not the miracle of the spheres, but man himself is now the crucial mystery. Man is that alien presence with whom the forces of egoism must come to terms, through whom the ego is to be crucified and resurrected, and in whose image society is to be reformed. Man, understood however not as 'I' but as 'Thou': for the ideals and temporal institutions of no tribe, race, continent, social class, or century can be the measure of the inexhaustible and multifariously wonderful divine existence that is the life in all of us. The modern hero, the modern individual who dares to heed the call and seek the mansion of that presence with whom it is our whole destiny to be atoned, cannot, indeed must not, wait for his community to cast off its slough of pride, fear, rationalized avarice, and sanctified misunderstanding. It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal—carries the cross of the redeemer—not in the bright moments of his tribe's great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair." -Joseph Campbell
    Wed, Mar 4, 2009  Permanent link

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    I'm surprised that it's not mentioned on this site.

    here
    Tue, Mar 3, 2009  Permanent link

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    In what sense can we distinguish reality from technology? How far can we go before our words become so inter-defined that there is almost nothing we can say without saying everything?
    Mon, Mar 2, 2009  Permanent link

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