Cross-posted from Al Fin’s blog.
The abstract concept of a Technological
Singularity (TS) was made most famous in the recent past by
Kurzweil. The concept has several overlapping meanings, but I
like George Dvorsky’s definition best:
The Singularity is a blindspot in our predictive thinking.
Humans are only evolved primates-monkeys and apes-with a limited
conceptual vocabulary. We are easily impressed by our technological
accomplishments. In networked opportunity societies, creative and
inventive persons are able to feed off each others’ ideas so that
during periods of economic surplus, the pace of innovation will
take off. In dark ages, totalitarian societies where information is
compartmentalized and otherwise restricted, innovation slows.
The Singularity is most often seen as a threshold into
ever-accelerating change precipitated by the development
of a machine intelligence with the ability to design its own
cognitive enhancement -something of a runaway positive feedback
cognitive entity. This development is often referred to as the
“tipping point,” the point of no return.
sanguine examiners of the tech singularity concept are less
likely to see The Singularity as inevitable. Many developments
within society and government could short-circuit The Singularity,
sending into terminal mode. Imagine a world government ruled by a
Vladimir Putin, Josef Stalin, or Mao. Imagine world science,
academia, media, and governance being taken over by dysfunctional
post-modernist irrationality. Imagine the default human
society-stratification by wealth, knowledge, power, and a profound
inertial resistance to change. (cont.)
April 05 2008 / by AlFin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Space Year: 2020 Rating: 10 Hot
Earth is not alone in its perpetual voyage around the
sun. Besides the moon and the planets, our planet is closely
accompanied by large numbers of smaller fellow space-dancers,
called asteroids. Some asteroids actually cross Earth’s orbit,
occasionally passing quite close to Earth itself. That can be both
bad and good. Bad, if the asteroid actually strikes the Earth. But
good, if we can get to it first, and mine it for its mineral value.
How much is an asteroid worth? Some are worth trillions of dollars.
Some even more. In fact, all the asteroids in the main asteroid
belt contain enough wealth to provide every Earthling with $100
Billion-more wealth than is possessed by the current richest person
We are involved in-an Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) gold
rush-although not many people are aware of it yet. We do
occasionally hear that we are in “The Next Space Race”, being
driven by hungry young billionaires and entrepreneurs. But few
people really understand what is involved.
Aging brains lose much of the ability to make new nerves and
learn new information, since they lose most of the ability to
maintain their stem cell supply, with aging. It may be possible to
reverse that decline, and rejuvenate an aging brain’s flagging
ability to repair itself and learn new things, by introducing cells
from cord blood into the person’s peripheral veins.
US researchers in Florida have demonstrated, using aged mice,
that a single injection of human umbilical cord blood mononuclear
cells (HUCBMCs) can rejuvenate a mouse’s hippocampus and supply of
neural stem cell progenitors. The aged mouse brains also began
producing new nerves.
By Al Fin
Garbage and hazardous waste are becoming valuable energy
feedstocks, thanks to researchers from Ukraine, Russia, and Israel.
Even low level radioactive wastes, medical wastes, and toxic wastes
can be converted to useful products and energy, using a new high
temperature plasma reactor.
There is no need for the world to drown in a sea of garbage and
toxic waste. We do not need to pollute the oceans, groundwater, or
air. Being smart about toxic waste is just another way of using our
most valuable resource-our brains!
Resources Ltd. (EER) of Israel, is working with researchers in
Russia, the Ukraine, the US, and other nations, to make sure that
the future environment of Earth will be as pristine as the
The new reactor uses a process called “Plasma Gasification
Melting Technology” (PGM) which was developed by scientists at two
Russian research institutes (Kurchatov and Radon Institutes) and at
Israel’s Technion Institute.
PGM Technology is suitable
for the treatment of a variety of waste types:
March 06 2008 / by AlFin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other Year: 2008 Rating: 11
Cognitive Science has embarked upon the epic quest to understand
– and recreate – a functioning “human-equivalent” brain. With such
a daunting task of unprecedented magnitude, different teams of
scientists are approaching the problem from different directions.
A UC Berkeley team used an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scanner to
learn how the visual cortex (occipital lobe) of the brain decodes
in the journal Nature, the scientists, led by Dr Jack Gallant
from the University of California at Berkeley, said: “Our results
suggest that it may soon be possible to reconstruct a picture of a
person’s visual experience from measurements of brain activity
alone. Imagine a general brain-reading device that could
reconstruct a picture of a person’s visual experience at any moment