Archives for Philosophy

Quantum Evolution — A Radical Theory

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”

Collective Intelligence 2.0


This article proposes the creation of a new open, nonprofit service on the Web that will provide something akin to “collective self-awareness” back to the Web. This service is like a “Google Zeitgeist” on steroids, but with a lot more real-time, interactive, participatory data, technology and features init.… Read More “Collective Intelligence 2.0”

Big Thinkers' Most Dangerous Ideas

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”

Turing's Cathedral

George Dyson wrote a nice piece on his impressions from a visit to Google, and some speculations about the future of AI on the Net.

20% of Your Genes Belong to Them

From Boing Boing today:

Xeni Jardin: A report in this week’s issue of Science
says 20 percent of human genes have been patented in the United States:

The study (…) is the first time that a detailed map has been
created to match patents to specific physical locations on the human genome.

Read More “20% of Your Genes Belong to Them”

A Possible Future of Physics

Today I read this nice article which provides a short consumer-friendly overview of the history of the Digital Physics paradigm. Digital Physics is not mainstream physics — but it is growing and someday could become huge. It brings together computer scientists and physicists in an interdisciplinary approach to physics.… Read More “A Possible Future of Physics”

Human-Brained Monkeys Pose Ethical Challenge

A cutting-edge research program is injecting human brain cells into monkey brains, to investigate whether this causes their brains to become more "human." This poses a potential ethical challenge: If the monkeys do become more human, would they be considered "human subjects" and be protected by ethical guidelines governing research onto humans?… Read More “Human-Brained Monkeys Pose Ethical Challenge”

African Gray Parrot Understands Concept of Zero

Alex is a very smart parrot indeed. To the surprise of researchers, he understands the concept of zero, something which human children don’t grasp until they are 2 or 3 years old. Read more about Alex here.

Researchers Discover Sense of Fair Play and Morality Among Animals

Although it has always seemed obvious to me that animals have emotions and complex personalities, it’s taken the scientific community a long time to reach that conclusion. This article describes new findings in the field of animal behavior which indicate that not only do animals have emotions, but they also have a level of ethics, fair-play and morality that was previously thought to be impossible.

Simulated Universes and the Nature of Consciousness

Researchers in Europe have completed the first phase of what may be the largest computational physics experiment in history: They built and ran a simulated universe through 14 billion years of development. The experiment used up 25 million megabytes of memory, and the biggest supercomputer in Europe for a month.… Read More “Simulated Universes and the Nature of Consciousness”

Time Traveler Convention and Further Thoughts

There’s a very interesting event taking place at MIT tonight — the first (and only?) Time Traveler Convention. The organizers are inviting anyone in the future who is capable of time travel to travel back to the geo coordinates of this event (to be held at MIT) and attend it, along with proof that they are from the future.… Read More “Time Traveler Convention and Further Thoughts”

How to Talk to Aliens

Here is an interesting article, written by a chess grandmaster, on how to trade information with alien civilizations, assuming they are ever contacted. The article proposes that at interstellar distances, the only realistic form of trade would be a trade in information — such as technology and scientific knowledge.… Read More “How to Talk to Aliens”

Creator of Sim City Previews Amazing New Game

Many years ago I spoke with Will Wright — one of the most interesting visionaries I’ve met (and who happens to be the creator of Sim City) about his dream of a universe game — one in which the player could evolve life from the simple cellular level all the way up through galactic scale civilizations.… Read More “Creator of Sim City Previews Amazing New Game”

Confabulation: New Theory of Cognition Announced

After 30 years of research, a very interesting new theory of cognition has been announced. The theory posits that all human cognition and behavior is based on just one simple, non-algorithmic procedure that has been named confabulation. If the theory is correct it could offer a radical new approach to artificial intelligence, knowledge discovery, and knowledge management.

Past Life Memories of Children

Dr. Ian Stevenson has amassed 3000 documented cases of children remembering events from past lives.

In each case of children’s past life memory, Dr. Stevenson methodically documents the child’s statements.  Then he identifies the deceased person the child remembers being, and verifies the facts of the deceased person’s life that match the child’s memory.

Read More “Past Life Memories of Children”

An Incredible Flash Production — Must See!

I was fortunate enough to wander across this amazing online Flash presentation that reveals the hidden meaning of the film, "2001." It’s a thoroughly engaging, brilliantly produced, fascinating production — one of the best uses of Flash animation that I’ve ever seen.… Read More “An Incredible Flash Production — Must See!”

Scientists Discuss their Beliefs in the Unknown

The New York Times has published a wonderful and fascinating set of mini-essays by leading scientists about their beliefs in the unknkown and unexplained — from consciousness, to God, to life on other worlds, and the existence of true love.  There are some terrific thoughts in it — one of thoses rare articles that breaks through stereotypes and opens the door to new paradigms.… Read More “Scientists Discuss their Beliefs in the Unknown”

Is it Time to Update the Drake Equation?

Frank Drake, the originator of the present-day radio-telescope-driven search for extraterrestrial intelligence — has written an editorial suggesting that his famous Drake Equation may need an update. In short, he believes his equation should be changed because there may be a lot more intelligent life out there than has been previously suggested.

If the Universe is a Simulation, then What?

Here’s an interesting speculation. Assume for the moment that our universe is in fact a simulation running on a vast computing system created a race of beings that is far more advanced than we can presently imagine. The next logical question would be, “Why would an advanced civilization want or need to undertake such a project?”… Read More “If the Universe is a Simulation, then What?”

Use of Role Classes to Define Predicate Semantics: Proposal for Semantic Web Best-Practice

This article proposes a design pattern for ontologies and the Semantic Web based on the concept of formally defined Roles as a means to richly express the semantics of relationships among entities in ontologies. Roles are special types of n-ary relations, and thus the use of Roles is a subset of the Semantic Web best-practices recommendation for N-Ary Relations.Read More “Use of Role Classes to Define Predicate Semantics: Proposal for Semantic Web Best-Practice”

My "A Physics of Ideas" Manifesto has been Published!

Change This, a project that helps to promote interesting new ideas so that they get noticed above the noise level of our culture has published my article on “A Physics of Ideas” as one of their featured Manifestos. They use an innovative PDF layout for easier reading, and they also provide a means for readers to provide feedback and even measure the popularity of various Manifestos.… Read More “My "A Physics of Ideas" Manifesto has been Published!”

Great Article on Psychohistory and Sociophysics — Can We Predict Behavior?

Great find from Rob Usey at Psydex Corporation: This article is a survey of the emerging field of “sociophysics” which attempts to apply statistical mechanics to predict human social behavior. It’s very cool stuff if you’re interested in social networks, memes, sociology and prediction science.… Read More “Great Article on Psychohistory and Sociophysics — Can We Predict Behavior?”

Just saw Primer

Ok, just got back from seeing Primer — a very cool new indie sci-fi flick that you probably haven’t heard about yet, but will. If you liked the film, Pi, or you like your sci-fi with a double shot of science, then you are going to LOVE Primer.… Read More “Just saw Primer”

Proposal For A New Constitutional Amendment: A Separation of Corporation and State

by Nova Spivack
Originally published on July 28, 2004; Updated on October 10, 2011

Should there be a Constitutional Separation of Corporation and State?

Today our American democracy faces a new threat to its integrity, a threat even greater than terrorism in the long-term.… Read More “Proposal For A New Constitutional Amendment: A Separation of Corporation and State”

Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind

Draft 1.1 for Review (integrates some fixes from readers)
Nova Spivack (


This article presents some thoughts about the future of intelligence on Earth. In particular, I discuss the similarities between the Internet and the brain, and how I believe the emerging Semantic Web will make this similarity even greater.… Read More “Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind”

I'm Learning Tibetan

Well, I’m finally doing it — I’ve started studying Classical Tibetan. After many years of procrastinating I’ve taken the leap. You may wonder why anyone would need to know Classical Tibetan — the answer is that it is the language used in all the classical Tibetan Buddhist texts.… Read More “I'm Learning Tibetan”

Was our Universe Created in a Lab???

Here’s an interesting article on another theory that suggests our universe is just an experiment in someone’s lab.

How to Build a Network Automaton

Here is a cool new kind of complex system I am thinking about a lot that we might call a “network-automaton” or a “graph automaton” — a system that evolves networks (graphs) over time. This rule is similar to cellular automata rules such as the famous “Life” rule discovered by John Conway, however instead of computing the states of cells on a grid, it computes the shape of a network.
Read More “How to Build a Network Automaton”

The Physics of the Web

This is a very good article on the physics of scale-free networks such as the Web.

Lately I have been getting increasingly interested in graph theory and also in knot theory. There is a similarity between networks and knots and it should be possible to do a mapping such that the theorems and algorithms of knot theory could be translated to apply to network topologies.… Read More “The Physics of the Web”

New Version of My "Metaweb" Graph — The Future of the Net



Many people have requested this graph and so I am posting my latest version of it. The Metaweb is the coming “intelligent Web” that is evolving from the convergence of the Web, Social Software and the Semantic Web. The Metaweb is starting to emerge as we shift from a Web focused on information to a Web focused on relationships between things — what I call “The Relationship Web” or the “Relationship Revolution.”… Read More “New Version of My "Metaweb" Graph — The Future of the Net”