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Jul 1, 2014

E.Q.-Focused Nations (suboptimal) Versus I.Q.-Centric Countries (optimal)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, economics, education, ethics, existential risks, science, scientific freedom, security

E.Q.-Focused Nations (suboptimal) Versus I.Q.-Centric Countries (optimal)

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1.- E.Q.-Focused Nations argue that the millenarian applied terms such as: Prudence, Tact, Sincerity, Kindness and Unambiguous Language DO NOT SUFFICE and hence they need to invent a marketeer’s stunt: Emotional Intelligence. I.Q.-Centric Countries argue that the millenarian applied terms are beyond utility and desirability and that stunts are to social-engineer and brain-wash the weak: Ergo, all of these are optimal: Prudence, Tact, Sincerity, Kindness and Unambiguous Language, as well as plain-vanilla Psychology 101.

2.- E.Q.-Focused Nations are mired with universal corruption, both in private and public office. I.Q.-Centric Countries are mired with transparency, accountability and reliability, as well as collective integrity and ethics.

Continue reading “E.Q.-Focused Nations (suboptimal) Versus I.Q.-Centric Countries (optimal)” »


Jul 1, 2014

Brain Drain Is Threatening the Future of U.S. Robotics

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Jul 1, 2014

The Immortalists: New doc explores the radical life extension movement

Posted by in categories: aging, life extension

By — Geek

immortalists head

What if you knew of the greatest tragedy in human history, one that’s been ongoing since the dawn of life itself, and what if nobody would even believe that it was happening? That seems to be the situation for people like Bill Andrews and Aubrey de Gray, biologists and life extension theorists who believe (loudly) that human beings have the capacity to end the process of aging. Under this way of thinking, the people alive today are racing against a clock they cannot see; if mankind advances far enough, quick enough, you might just live forever.

A new documentary called The Immortalists is making its way from festivals to wider distribution, picking up cred as it goes. The two aforementioned scientists are the topic of this focused argumentative piece, which sets out to show you the life extension movement and two of its most successful exponents. They take you through the science and philosophy of death, and you may be surprised at just how close we really are to radically extending the human lifespan — if you can pay for a full court press of treatments and procedures. There’s a definite Occupy vibe to much of the life extension crowd, which follows rather logically from the idea that more and more people are going to be around and consuming resources for longer and longer periods of time.

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Jul 1, 2014

Newegg is the latest online retailer to accept Bitcoin

Posted by in category: bitcoin

Tom Cheredar — Venture Beat

Newegg is the latest online retailer to accept Bitcoin

Even though Bitcoin has suffered some security setbacks over the last few months, many retailers still seem happy to let customer pay with the controversial crypto–currency.

The latest of these retailers is online tech store Newegg, which today announced plans to begin accepting Bitcoin for purchases on the site. To make this happen, Newegg is teaming up with virtual currency processor Bitpay.

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Jul 1, 2014

The future of journalism

Posted by in categories: information science, internet, journalism

Berthold Stevens — Deutsche Welle

Jeff Jarvis and Mathias Döpfner, speaking at the Global Media Forum

In the age of big data, Google critics say online services come at the price of freedom. Opponents say old business models for journalism are being redefined by the Internet and the people who use it.

Mathias Döpfner, CEO of media publishing house Axel Springer SE and U.S. Internet expert Jeff Jarvis locked horns in the first main debate at the DW Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany. Döpfner says that people pay for seemingly free online services with their freedom, while Jarvis says he’s glad “that Google knows where I live.”

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Jul 1, 2014

Science Events: Heroic Apes and Abandoned Railways

Posted by in category: entertainment

By JASCHA HOFFMANJUNE — NY Times

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Directed by Matt Reeves. Opens July 11.

In this second big-budget prequel to the 1968 technicolor classic, intelligent apes are thriving in the forest while human cities crumble. If that sounds depressing, think again: In this version of “Planet of the Apes,” the chimps are the heroes. Rather than shooting in a studio, as is the custom for motion capture, much of the film was shot in the forest, where actors playing apes, their bodies covered with infrared dots tracked by hidden cameras, controlled the skeletons of their primate avatars. How does one walk like an ape? The motion is “heavy, weighted and circular,” said Terry Notary, a former gymnast who served as movement coach for the film, although “the pace, energy and feel” differs for gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees. To capture emotion, a small camera mounted on the actors’ heads harvested facial data to drive the apes’ expressions. “This high-tech rig is so powerful and transparent that it allows actors to abandon control,” Mr. Notary said. The results are apes so magnetic, it’s hard not to empathize with them, even as they take up arms against their human rivals. “We’re making a film where apes are causing our downfall,” said Joe Letteri, the senior visual effects supervisor, “but they’re the ones you want to root for.”

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Jul 1, 2014

Founders Fund Backs a Robotic Lab that Puts Science in the Cloud

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, robotics/AI

By James Temple — Re/Co[de
emerald-33-1
Emerald Therapeutics is developing potential treatments for viral infections like HIV and HPV. But they’re not ready to talk about that yet.

What the stealth startup is ready to discuss is a tool they built in an effort to accelerate that work: A completely robotic lab that the company believes could aid other researchers as well, effectively serving as a kind of Amazon Web Services for science.

The nearly 20-person company has packed a 5,000-square-foot facility in a little office park in Silicon Valley with more than $2 million worth of mass spectrometers, automated pipettes and microscopes, capable of carrying out remote life sciences experiments under controlled conditions.

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Jul 1, 2014

Data Science: What the Facebook Controversy is Really About

Posted by in category: ethics

— The Atlantic

Facebook has always “manipulated” the results shown in its users’ News Feeds by filtering and personalizing for relevance. But this weekend, the social giant seemed to cross a line, when it announced that it engineered emotional responses two years ago in an “emotional contagion” experiment, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Since then, critics have examined many facets of the experiment, including its design, methodology, approval process, and ethics. Each of these tacks tacitly accepts something important, though: the validity of Facebook’s science and scholarship. There is a more fundamental question in all this: What does it mean when we call proprietary data research data science?

As a society, we haven’t fully established how we ought to think about data science in practice. It’s time to start hashing that out.

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Jun 30, 2014

Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time?

Posted by in category: quantum physics

By Natalie Wolchover, Quanta Magazine

A droplet bouncing on the surface of a liquid has been found to exhibit many quantum-like properties, including double-slit interference, tunneling and energy quantization.

For nearly a century, “reality” has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once. Only when a particle is measured does it suddenly materialize, appearing to pick its position as if by a roll of the dice.

This idea that nature is inherently probabilistic — that particles have no hard properties, only likelihoods, until they are observed — is directly implied by the standard equations of quantum mechanics. But now a set of surprising experiments with fluids has revived old skepticism about that worldview. The bizarre results are fueling interest in an almost forgotten version of quantum mechanics, one that never gave up the idea of a single, concrete reality.

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Jun 30, 2014

This is the amazing design for NASA’s Star Trek-style space ship, the IXS Enterprise

Posted by in category: space travel

By Abby Phillip — The Washington Post
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/06/11/article-2655105-1EAA831200000578-206_1024x615_large.jpg
NASA engineer and physicist Harold White announced a few years ago that he was working on a potentially groundbreaking idea that could allow space travel faster than the speed of light. Yes, like in “Star Trek.”

And now, to boldly go where no designer has gone before, Mark Rademaker — who is collaborating with White — has created a CGI design concept for the “warp ship.” They’re calling it the IXS Enterprise.

“We wanted to have a decent image of a theory conforming Warp ship to motivate young people to pursue a STEM career,” Rademaker said in an e-mail interview. “It does have some Sci-Fi features that might never transfer to a possible final design, unless we really want to.”

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