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Jun 20, 2012

A Future of Fewer Words

Posted by in categories: futurism, human trajectories

A Future of Fewer Words? Five Trends Shaping the Future of Language
By Lawrence Baines
Published in 2012 in THE FUTURIST 46(2), 42–47.

Summary: Natural selection is as much a phenomenon in human language as it is in natural ecosystems. An ongoing “survival of the fittest” may lead to continuing expansion of image-based communications and the extinction of more than half the world’s languages by this century’s end.

Just after I moved to Oklahoma three years ago, I was invited to a meeting of the state’s Department of Education to discuss Native American languages. I learned that, of the 37 or so Native American languages represented in the state, 22 are already extinct. The last speakers of the Delaware and Mesquakie tongues had recently died; several other languages had only one or two speakers left.

Vanishing languages are not unique to Oklahoma. K. David Harrison, author of When Languages Die (Oxford University Press, 2008), estimates that, of the 6,900 or so languages spoken on the planet, more than half are likely to become extinct over the next century. Today, 95% of people speak one of just 400 languages. The other 6,509 languages are unevenly distributed among the remaining 5%. Hundreds of languages, most with only a few speakers still living, are teetering on oblivion at this very moment.

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Jun 15, 2012

Play me the Song of Death

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

No scientist on the planet claims to be able to prove my “Telemach theorem” wrong (you find it by adding the second keyword “African”). Only anonymous bloggers express malice against it. The anonymous writers’ attitude is a logical consequence of the fact that CERN and Europe openly continue in defiance of my (and not only mine) results. This allegiance shown is no wonder: most everyone is ready to defend their own trusted government. And is it not unlikely indeed that a revered multinational organization like CERN should make a terminal blunder of this magnitude?

In the remaining half year of operation of CERN’s nuclear collider, before the planned 75-percent up-scaling scheduled to take two years’ time, the cumulative yield of artificial BLACK HOLES will grow by a factor of about 4 if everything works out optimal. So the cumulative risk to the planet will be quintupled during the next 6 months. This is all uncontested.

Of course, most everyone is sure that I have to be wrong with my published proof of danger: That black holes, (i) arise more readily than originally hoped-for by CERN, (ii) are undetectable to CERN’s detectors and (iii) will, with the slowest specimen generated, eat the earth inside out after a refractory period of a few years. “This is bound to be ridiculous!” is a natural response.

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Jun 10, 2012

Is the world really becoming smaller?

Posted by in category: philosophy

It is a platitude that the world is growing smaller. Whether reading through Frances Cairncross’s ”The Death of Distance” or Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat” one gets the impression that the growth of new technologies which link us together reduces distance between us and makes the world smaller, more connected. Although it is hard to imagine how seven billion people could ever be a single group, a global village, there will be few objections if I say that “technology is making the world smaller” at a cocktail party.

But that assumption is not necessarily true. Let me make two different, related points.

First, although you can easily travel from Delhi to Seoul, from Johannesburg to Berlin, physical movement is not the equivalent of communication and deep exchange. Increasingly individuals travel around the world with great ease, but stay at remarkably uniform hotels and eat in quite similar restaurants where ever their travels take them. When it comes to deep conversations and close personal relations, although the amount may be increasing, it is not obvious that greater global travel makes for close personal ties. There is a global class who move everywhere, but they are increasingly more related to each other than to the countries in which they live. As I wrote in “The Frankenstein Alliance,” Washington D.C. and Beijing have more in common with each other than with rural regions of their own respective countries.

In fact I would argue, as I have previously, that one of the great challenges we face is the growing gap between the rate at which the world is integrated in terms of logistics and trade, the exchange of natural resources, or the circulation of money and the rate at which individuals in the various nations of the world establish relations, or build global institutions, to parallel those physical steps towards integration.

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Jun 9, 2012

The Crisis in Education in Korea and the World

Posted by in categories: education, philosophy, supercomputing, sustainability

Emanuel Pastreich

Professor

Kyung Hee University

June 9, 2012

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Jun 4, 2012

Einstein-Rossler Theorem: Black Holes are uncharged and therefore maximally Dangerous

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

http://www.change.org/petitions/every-government-on-the-plan…en-refuted

Mr. Ben Rattray has enabled the planet to learn about the huge danger incurred by the currently running – and till the end of 2012 three times more black holes-spouting – LHC experiment. This despite the fact that CERN’s detectors cannot detect their most anticipated products and the fact that they grow exponentially inside earth once one of them gets stuck inside. In that case, only a few years separate us from earth being a 2-cm black hole.

Please, ask around whether anyone can name a physicist who contradicts the published proof (Telemach theorem: http://www.scribd.com/doc/82752272/Rossler-s-Telemach-paper ). This physicist is automatically the most important living physicist today. Finding him and learning about the strength of his argument is the only aim of the present appeal to every citizen of the world. To help in dismantling the danger before it has risen by a factor of three.

Thank you. He or she who can contradict me most is my best friend. And yours. Let us search for this human being.

Jun 3, 2012

Mini-Paper

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

“A Constantly Receding Mass at Constant Distance Has a Lower Rest-mass and Charge”

Otto E. Rossler, University of Tubingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 14, 72076 Tubingen, Germany

This “extended gravitational redshift theorem” (EGRT) is unfortunately new even though it is true as far as anyone can tell up until now. The physics community is currently betting the planet on claiming that this result were not true. It would be gracious if a single physicist stood up saying why he thinks the theorem is not true. (For J.O.R.)

Jun 1, 2012

Response to the Global Futures 2045 Video

Posted by in categories: futurism, human trajectories, nanotechnology, robotics/AI, scientific freedom, singularity, space

I have just watched this video by Global Futures 2045.

This is my list of things I disagree with:

It starts with scary words about how every crisis comes faster and faster. However this is untrue. Many countries have been running deficits for decades. The financial crisis is no surprise. The reason the US has such high energy costs goes back to government decisions made in the 1970s. And many things that used to be crises no longer happen, like the Black Plague. We have big problems, but we’ve also got many resources we’ve built up over the centuries to help. Much of the challenges we face are political and social, not technical.

We will never fall into a new Dark Ages. The biggest problem is that we aren’t advancing as fast as we could and many are still starving, sick, etc. However, it has always been this way. The 20th century was very brutal! But we are advancing and it is mostly known threats like WMDs which could cause a disaster. In the main, the world is getting safer every day as we better understand it.

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May 31, 2012

Médecins Sans Frontières Scientific Day 2012

Posted by in categories: complex systems, geopolitics, policy, sustainability

Every year Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hold a conference to present scientific research carried out by their teams from different parts of the world. This year’s conference highlighted some of the strategic challenges facing MSF, and challenged some of our conceptions of medical humanitarian aid, and international development in light of groundbreaking digital technologies. We are as Paul Conneally passionately articulated in his keynote speech – Digital Humanitarian – ‘on the cusp of a global health revolution’.

Some of the groundbreaking technologies touched upon included crisis mapping, a technology that is still in its infancy, and the era of big data. The possibilities of how healthcare and humanitarian aid will be transformed by the convergence of ideas and technologies were evident in the poster session; humanitarian technology applications showed refugee camps in Kenya being monitored using satellite imagery and a humanitarian field software kit called joekit. Of the talks demonstrating real world examples, a talk by Isabella Panunzi on teleradiology proved to be immensely inspiring.

Isabella’s talk on her experience of applying teleradiology to improve diagnosis of tuberculosis in Thyolo District Hospital, Malawi showcased humanitarian innovation at its best. X-rays are taken at the Malawi hospital and the images are then sent to radiologists in the USA to interpret the images. As a result teleradiology has reduced critical delays and missed diagnosis of TB. This example of digital humanitarianism symbolises a small fraction of what can be potentially achieved in transforming our world. It opens up new possibilities in the transfer of technology and knowledge to the developing world. It also highlights the need for a different approach to modelling the strategic challenges of medical humanitarian aid and international development, and this is where complexity thinking and science can bring together different parts of problems and solutions to construct true holistic solutions.

A talk by Jonathan Smith, lecturer in Global Health and Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale University, brought together the disciplines of the arts and sciences as he gave an inventive take on using research in the digital age. Visually documenting disease and connecting the ‘emotional component to epidemiological data’ is extremely powerful to create change in global health observed Jonathon, as he showed part of a documentary film he is directing, ‘They Go to Die’, a film about,

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May 29, 2012

Spiralling Debt & The Road to Breaking Point

Posted by in categories: business, economics, ethics, finance, sustainability

The biggest challenge to the ‘ecosystem’ of world economics that keeps society ticking over is how to overcome our inability to regulate a sustainable economic model. In Europe at present we are undergoing the difficult measures in setting about rules of austerity to ensure that government borrowing never gets as out of hand as it has done on our watch. I post on this topic now as it is topical to me — back home here in my native Ireland we are voting on a referendum this week to ensure we no longer borrow from our children to fuel indulgences today — a referendum on rationality and responsibility.

The topical of austerity reminds me of an opinion I blogged on a crisis in the Obama administration last August on national debt in the light of striking comments from foreign figureheads amid the storm from the ‘Tea Party Taliban’. I share with you for to see if anyone cares to comment on an operandi of living like parasites off the global economy:

Living Like Parasites Off The Global Economy, originally written 3 Aug 2011:

With the US in turmoil over its national debt, and held to ransom by a ‘Tea Party Taliban’, last week China publicly mocked American democracy. Yesterday, the world witnessed the humbling of America after a trillion-dollar deal marked the end of an era for the US. The US now faces a shift in its relations with creditor nations, and it was not all too surprising to hear Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, yesterday accusing Americans of living “like parasites off the global economy”. If America had defaulted on its international debt obligations, that is exactly what it would be. While America continues to service it’s debt, it is quite the opposite — for now at least- as is perpetually paying interest to its creditors.

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May 29, 2012

“Flame” Inflames Computers — The Slow Bomb Produced at CERN Inflames the World

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

Hawking could save us all if he spoke up.

A pope knealt before Hawking to make him re-confirm the big bang. I kneel before Hawking to make him re-confirm Hawking radiation.

Then we are all safe.