I have been thinking about the situation in the Middle East and also the rise of oil prices, peak oil, and the problem of a world economy based on energy scarcity rather than abundance. There is, I believe, a way to solve the problems in the Middle East, and the energy problems facing the world, at the same time.… Read More “Peace in the Middle East: Could Alternative Energy Be the Solution?”
I had an interesting thought today about the long-term preservation and transmission of human knowledge.
The Wikipedia may be on its way to becoming the one of the best places in which to preserve knowledge for future generations. But this is just the beginning.… Read More “The Wikipedia, Knowledge Preservation and DNA”
Check out this fascinating article about a new show on the BBC:
ne bright morning in St James’s Park and a stream of tourists
approaches Buckingham Palace, where trumpets will shortly herald the
Changing of the Guard. In the middle of the crowd walk five very short,
very odd-looking men.
… Read More “Reverse Anthropology: Native Tribe Visits UK to Study Brits”
Inventor, John Kanzius, has figured out a way to burn salt water. This could provide a clean, naturally available alternative fuel source. Salt water is one of the most abundant natural resources on our planet. Here’s a video.
A very cool experiment in virtual reality has shown it is possible to trick the mind into identifying with a virtual body:
Through these goggles, the volunteers could see a camera
view of their own back – a three-dimensional "virtual own body" that
appeared to be standing in front of them.
… Read More “Virtual Out of Body Experiences”
Whenever a scientist says something like, don’t worry our new experiment could never get out of the lab, or don’t worry the miniature black hole we are going to generate couldn’t possibly swallow up the entire planet, I tend to get a little worried.… Read More “Scientist Says "Never in Our Imagination Could This Happen." Famous Last Words?”
Steorn, the Irish company that claims to have invented a mechanical device that generates unlimited free energy with no fuel, is scheduled to demonstrate their device publicly for the first time in London tomorrow. A panel of 22 independent world experts has been recruited to study the device.… Read More “Steorn Set to Demo "Free Energy" Device Tomorrow”
My brother pointed me to this video of some incredible kinetic sculptures by a man who appears to be a modern-day Da Vinci. Watch the video to see what I mean.
Read this fun article that lists and defines some of the key concepts that every post-singularity transhumanist meta-intellectual should know! (via Kurzweil)
Ok, here’s a very unusual news item:
During his time as head of the Ministry of Defence UFO project, Nick
Pope was persuaded into believing that other lifeforms may visit Earth
and, more specifically, Britain.
His concern is that "highly credible" sightings are simply dismissed.
… Read More “British Ministry of Defense Chief Resigns; Cites Concerns About UFO's”
Below is the text of my bet on Long Bets. Go there to vote.
“By 2050 no synthetic computer nor machine intelligence will have become truly self-aware (ie. will become conscious).”
(This summary includes my argument, a method for judging the outcomeof this bet and some other thoughts on how to measure awareness…)
A.… Read More “Why Machines Will Never be Conscious”
So as a kid you watched Star Wars and since then you’ve wanted your very own Landspeeder. The problem is, how to make things hover without using fans, magnets, or special effects? Well, a maverick UK scientist may have invented a way to do it.… Read More “How to Build a Landspeeder”
Just read an interesting article on the possibility of "intraterrestrial" silicon-based life on Earth:
SETI spends enormous amounts of money
and resources looking for life outside of Earth’s realm, but life forms
so alien that scientists may simply not have recognized evidence of
their existence could inhabit the Earth, according to a leading
… Read More “Scientist Raises Possibility of Silicon-Based Life”
The New Scientist published a nice overview of the emerging theory of Loop Quantum Gravity. I’ve been following this for a number of years, ever since my friend Bram turned me onto it. It’s related in some ways to other models of discrete space-time, such as cellular automata and digital physics.… Read More “Good Article on Loop Quantum Gravity — New Approach to Physics”
As the distance a spaceship travels through space increases, so do the odds that it will collide with debris in its path – such as interstellar dust, micrometeorites, asteroids, dark matter, dark stars, etc.
If you are traveling at super high-speed, through uncharted territory, there is no way to know what is out there.… Read More “A Problem with Space Travel”
150 years ago, German physiologist Emil Du Bois-Reymond discovered that electric currents could speed up the healing of flesh wounds. But his research has been ignored ever since. Until now…
Now Josef Penninger of the Austrian Institute of Molecular
Biotechnology in Vienna and Min Zhao of the University of Aberdeen, UK,
have demonstrated that natural electric fields and currents in tissue
play a vital role in orchestrating the wound-healing process by
attracting repair cells to damaged areas.
… Read More “Electric Currents Heal Wounds”
OK this is a clip from Fox News, which is not normally a source that I consider to be factual or trustworthy — but it cerrtainly is an interesting story. The video clip profiles an inventor who has developed a novel method of converting water to useful fuel.… Read More “Water Powered Car — Too Good to Be True? Video.”
I’ve been interested in bacteriophages for a few years, ever since I first heard about them. This article goes into more detail about why they may present a new and better alternative to antibiotics in the treatment of resistant bacterial infections.… Read More “Fighting Infection with Phages”
This is pretty cool. It turns out you can freeze water at room temperature, creating so-called "hot ice." There are at least two known methods for doing this. Hot ice effectively transforms water into a solid that is like a form of glue.… Read More “Freezing Water at Room Temperature”
A major, virtually unfixable, security flaw in the design of nearly all cell phones and other mobile devices will be announced this week by researchers at the Foundation for Microwave Safety (FMS). According to sources, it turns out that due to a coincidence in engineering, ordinary household microwave ovens can actually be used to receive and eavesdrop on all cell phone calls made or received within a 1 mile radius.… Read More “All Cell Phone Calls Easily Eavesdropped … With Common Household Appliance”
The theory of quantum evolution is a radical new take on how mutations
in DNA occur. Basically the theory postulates that DNA molecules are in
fact macroscopic quantum objects that undergo quantum interference. It
is spearheaded by Johnjoe McFadden, a professor in the UK and makes for an interesting read.… Read More “Quantum Evolution — A Radical Theory”
A radical new form of propulsion is being researched that may enable travel from Earth to Mars in 3 hours, and travel to nearby stars in just 80 days. The system is based on a novel quantum theory termed Heim quantum
theory (HQT).… Read More “New Quantum Propulsion Being Researched By Air Force”
The Edge has published mini-essays by 119 "big thinkers" on their "most dangerous ideas" — fun reading.
The history of science is replete with discoveries
that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally
dangerous in their time; the Copernican and
Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious.
… Read More “Big Thinkers' Most Dangerous Ideas”
This is a cool idea — some researchers are considering whether the cosmic background radiation may contain an encoded "message from God." OK I doubt it. I think it is more likely to be somewhere in our DNA, or in the digits of Pi, or perhaps in the distribution of the prime numbers.… Read More “Does the Cosmic Background Radiation Contain Hidden Message?”