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Archive for the ‘futurism’ category

Aug 28, 2016

The Cosmic Speed Limit

Posted by in category: futurism

Einstein’s theory of special relativity establishes the cosmic speed limit, which is the speed of light. However, some things in our universe don’t really follow this rule to the letter…

Aug 27, 2016

The coffee maker alarm clock will become a reality next fall

Posted by in category: futurism

This story originally appeared on realsimple.com.

Imagine waking up every morning with a cup of freshly brewed coffee on your nightstand. Well this new gadget will make your days much easier—especially if you’re not a morning person. The Barisieur, an alarm clock and coffee maker hybrid, is available for preorder through Indiegogo. Created and founded by London-based designer Josh Renouf, the clock was first conceptualized in 2014 and after research and prototyping, Renouf launched a Kickstarter this past May. Now that the team has met their initial fundraising goal, they moved it over to Indiegogo for more funding.

Continue reading “The coffee maker alarm clock will become a reality next fall” »

Aug 26, 2016

Alvin Toffler, the celebrated author of ‘Future Shock’, died on 27 June at age 87

Posted by in category: futurism

Aug 26, 2016

The Axolotl: A Cut Above the Rest

Posted by in category: futurism

The axolotl is a Mexican salamander with an incredible ability: Cut its leg off, and the limb will grow right back!

Aug 26, 2016

Nooscope mystery: The strange device of Putin’s new man Anton Vaino

Posted by in category: futurism

A strange theory about a tool to control society sets Russians guessing about President Putin’s new top aide Anton Vaino.

Aug 25, 2016

DREADDing the lateral habenula

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

Click on photo to start video.

Check out John Neumaier’s talk from NeuroFutures on using DREADDs to explore the brain.

Aug 25, 2016

Angela Merkel becomes Estonian e-resident

Posted by in category: futurism

It was a great honour to host German Chancellor Angela Merkel today at e-Estonia Showroom!

We welcome Angela Merkel as Estonian newest e-Resident — glad to have another virtual Estonian! #eEstonia #eResidency

Aug 25, 2016

How Do You Know Your Lab-Grown Burger Is Safe To Eat? — By Jamie Condliffe | MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: business, futurism, government, innovation

if-half-burger-half

“Startups are making realistic lab-grown foods, but government food regulators aren’t sure how to police them.”

Read more

Aug 24, 2016

IGEM RESEARCH ARTICLE: Development and Characterization of Fluorescent and Luminescent Biosensors for Estrogenic Activity

Posted by in category: futurism

A nice write up on the research development and characterization of Fluorescent and Luminescent Biosensors especially in the area of field testing of waterways & sources. Key challenge for most field engineers and scientists has been having no portable and reliable systems to test water for compounds with endocrine which impacts activities such as fish feminization out in the field. This type of testing has required more in depth analysis usually in a lab. With this research and development that can all change saving on time and expense.


This work has been submitted for open review as an iGEM Research Article

Reviewers, please consider the following questions when reviewing the article:

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Aug 24, 2016

Steve Fuller’s Review of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

Posted by in categories: big data, bioengineering, biological, bionic, cyborgs, disruptive technology, energy, evolution, existential risks, futurism, homo sapiens, innovation, moore's law, neuroscience, philosophy, policy, posthumanism, robotics/AI, science, singularity, theory, transhumanism

My sociology of knowledge students read Yuval Harari’s bestselling first book, Sapiens, to think about the right frame of reference for understanding the overall trajectory of the human condition. Homo Deus follows the example of Sapiens, using contemporary events to launch into what nowadays is called ‘big history’ but has been also called ‘deep history’ and ‘long history’. Whatever you call it, the orientation sees the human condition as subject to multiple overlapping rhythms of change which generate the sorts of ‘events’ that are the stuff of history lessons. But Harari’s history is nothing like the version you half remember from school.

In school historical events were explained in terms more or less recognizable to the agents involved. In contrast, Harari reaches for accounts that scientifically update the idea of ‘perennial philosophy’. Aldous Huxley popularized this phrase in his quest to seek common patterns of thought in the great world religions which could be leveraged as a global ethic in the aftermath of the Second World War. Harari similarly leverages bits of genetics, ecology, neuroscience and cognitive science to advance a broadly evolutionary narrative. But unlike Darwin’s version, Harari’s points towards the incipient apotheosis of our species; hence, the book’s title.

This invariably means that events are treated as symptoms if not omens of the shape of things to come. Harari’s central thesis is that whereas in the past we cowered in the face of impersonal natural forces beyond our control, nowadays our biggest enemy is the one that faces us in the mirror, which may or may not be able within our control. Thus, the sort of deity into which we are evolving is one whose superhuman powers may well result in self-destruction. Harari’s attitude towards this prospect is one of slightly awestruck bemusement.

Here Harari equivocates where his predecessors dared to distinguish. Writing with the bracing clarity afforded by the Existentialist horizons of the Cold War, cybernetics founder Norbert Wiener declared that humanity’s survival depends on knowing whether what we don’t know is actually trying to hurt us. If so, then any apparent advance in knowledge will always be illusory. As for Harari, he does not seem to see humanity in some never-ending diabolical chess match against an implacable foe, as in The Seventh Seal. Instead he takes refuge in the so-called law of unintended consequences. So while the shape of our ignorance does indeed shift as our knowledge advances, it does so in ways that keep Harari at a comfortable distance from passing judgement on our long term prognosis.

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