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Apr 19, 2024

Neom — The Line — The Rise and Fall of Saudi Arabia’s Linear City

Posted by in category: government

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Saudi Arabia’s plan to build a 170km long, 500m tall, mirrored city in the desert, filled with 9 million people has been curtailed to 2.4km long.

Continue reading “Neom — The Line — The Rise and Fall of Saudi Arabia’s Linear City” »

Apr 19, 2024

HELIOS advanced solar sail concept

Posted by in categories: innovation, space

HELIOS is an advanced solar sail concept being evaluated by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).

NASA’s STMD rapidly develops, demonstrates, and infuses revolutionary, high-payoff technologies through transparent, collaborative partnerships, expanding the boundaries of the aerospace enterprise.

Continue reading “HELIOS advanced solar sail concept” »

Apr 19, 2024

Prometheism, by Jason Jorjani (updated review)

Posted by in category: transhumanism

Who could tolerate “being the plaything of fifth-dimensional gods?” Jorjani answers: “No one other than the Prometheist who joins their ranks himself…”

“It is possible that this means something like hacking through the coding matrix of a simulation and becoming one of its programmers… to access and recode this matrix… to embark on a cosmic conquest to recode the matrix of what has been mistaken for ‘reality.’”

And this is visionary transhumanism at its best, on steroids. This is my philosophy. I’ll forgive Jorjani for mixing it with conspiracy theories and some proposals that I dislike.

Apr 19, 2024

Unexpectedly uneven distribution of functional trade-offs explains cranial morphological diversity in carnivores

Posted by in category: futurism

Functional trade-offs can affect phenotypic variation. Here, the authors examine trade-offs between bite force and speed in 132 carnivore species, finding that optimising for velocity can be obtained in more ways than optimising for force, and this may impact morphological variability.

Apr 19, 2024

The big idea of Grand Unified Theories of physics

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

I found this on NewsBreak: The big idea of Grand Unified Theories of physics.

Apr 19, 2024

Joscha Bach Λ Karl Friston: AI, Death, Self, God, Consciousness

Posted by in categories: physics, robotics/AI

Karl Friston, Joscha Bach, and Curt Jaimungal delve into death, neuroscientific models of Ai, God, and consciousness. SPONSOR: HelloFresh: Go to https://HelloFresh.com/theoriesofever… and use code theoriesofeverythingfree for FREE breakfast for life!

TIMESTAMPS:
- 00:00:00 Introduction.
- 00:01:47 Karl and Joscha’s new paper.
- 00:09:13 Sentience vs. consciousness vs. The Self.
- 00:21:00 Self-organization, thingness, and self-evidencing.
- 00:29:02 Overlapping realities and physics as art.
- 00:41:05 Mortal computation and substrate-agnostic AI
- 00:56:38 Beyond Von Neumann architectures.
- 01:00:23 AI surpassing human researchers.
- 01:20:34 Exploring vs. Exploiting (the risk of curiosity in academia)
- 01:27:02 Incompleteness and interdependence.
- 01:32:25 Defining consciousness.
- 01:53:36 Multiple overlapping consciousnesses.
- 02:03:03 Unified experience and schizophrenia \.

Apr 19, 2024

A Framework for Intelligence and Cortical Function Based on Grid Cells in the Neocortex

Posted by in category: neuroscience

How the neocortex works is a mystery. In this paper we propose a novel framework for understanding its function. Grid cells are neurons in the entorhinal cortex that represent the location of an animal in its environment. Recent evidence suggests that grid cell-like neurons may also be present in the neocortex. We propose that grid cells exist throughout the neocortex, in every region and in every cortical column. They define a location-based framework for how the neocortex functions. Whereas grid cells in the entorhinal cortex represent the location of one thing, the body relative to its environment, we propose that cortical grid cells simultaneously represent the location of many things. Cortical columns in somatosensory cortex track the location of tactile features relative to the object being touched and cortical columns in visual cortex track the location of visual features relative to the object being viewed. We propose that mechanisms in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus that evolved for learning the structure of environments are now used by the neocortex to learn the structure of objects. Having a representation of location in each cortical column suggests mechanisms for how the neocortex represents object compositionality and object behaviors. It leads to the hypothesis that every part of the neocortex learns complete models of objects and that there are many models of each object distributed throughout the neocortex. The similarity of circuitry observed in all cortical regions is strong evidence that even high-level cognitive tasks are learned and represented in a location-based framework.

The human neocortex learns an incredibly complex and detailed model of the world. Each of us can recognize 1000s of objects. We know how these objects appear through vision, touch, and audition, we know how these objects behave and change when we interact with them, and we know their location in the world. The human neocortex also learns models of abstract objects, structures that don’t physically exist or that we cannot directly sense. The circuitry of the neocortex is also complex. Understanding how the complex circuitry of the neocortex learns complex models of the world is one of the primary goals of neuroscience.

Vernon Mountcastle was the first to propose that all regions of the neocortex are fundamentally the same. What distinguishes one region from another, he argued, is mostly determined by the inputs to a region and not by differences in intrinsic circuitry and function. He further proposed that a small volume of cortex, a cortical column, is the unit of replication (Mountcastle, 1978). These are compelling ideas, but it has been difficult to identify what a column could do that is sufficient to explain all cognitive abilities. Today, the most common view is that the neocortex processes sensory input in a series of hierarchical steps, extracting more and more complex features until objects are recognized (Fukushima, 1980; Riesenhuber and Poggio, 1999).

Apr 19, 2024

Giant nanomechanical energy storage capacity in twisted single-walled carbon nanotube ropes

Posted by in categories: energy, nanotechnology

A single-walled carbon nanotube spring stores three times more mechanical energy than a lithium-ion battery, while offering wide temperature stability and posing no explosion risk.

Apr 19, 2024

Large genomic study finds tri-ancestral origins for Japanese population

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

A multi-institutional team of geneticists and genomic and genotyping specialists in Japan has sequenced the genomes of thousands of Japanese people from across the country, looking to settle the debate surrounding the ancestry of the Japanese people.

Apr 19, 2024

A New Study Says We May Be Living in a Variable Universe

Posted by in category: cosmology

Dark energy’s grip on the cosmos could be more fickle than scientists once believed.

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