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Aug 12, 2013

Micro Black Holes in the Taillights — Another Glance Back

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics, physics

Recent discussions on the properties of micro-black-holes threw open sufficient question to reignite some interest in the subject (pardon to those exhausted of reading on the subject here at the Lifeboat Foundation). A claim made by physicists at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, that a new attractive force arises from black-body radiation [1] makes one speculate if a similar effect could result from hawking radiation theorized to be emitted from micro-black-holes. An unlikely scenario due to the very different nature supposed on hawking radiation and black-body radiation, but a curious thought none-the-less. If a light component of hawking radiation could replicate this net attractive force, accepted accretion and radiation rates could be revised to consider such new additional forces hypothesized.

Not so fast — Even if such a new force did take effect in these scenarios, one would expect such to have negligible impact on safety assurances. Official estimated accretion rates are many many orders of magnitude lower than estimated radiation rates — and are estimates which concur with observational evidence in the longevity of white-dwarf stars.

That is not to conclude such new forces are necessary to continue debate. Certain old disputed parameter ranges suggest different accretion rates relative to radiative rates which could bridge that vast breadth between such estimates, theorizing catastrophic outcomes [3] are not necessarily refuted by safety assurances — least on white-dwarf longevity.

Indeed a more pertinent point, that if equilibrium could manifest between radiation and accretion rates, micro-black-holes trapped in Earth’s gravitation could become persistent heat engines with considerable flux [2] to cause environmental concern in planetary heating.

Continue reading “Micro Black Holes in the Taillights — Another Glance Back” »

Aug 11, 2013

Paradise

Posted by in category: media & arts

Paradise comes from the Greek paradeisos, “surrounded by walls”. In Madonna Laboris Mary labors in seclusion at the borders of Paradise, providing her scarf for souls to ascend behind its walls. “All day long I watch the gates of Paradise; I do not let anyone in, yet in the morning there are newcomers in Paradise,” Saint Peter complains to the Lord. The Lord and Peter make night rounds and see Mary with her scarf and the Lord bids Peter to “let (Mary) be”.

Attribution: Bonhams Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich (Russian, 1874-1947)  Madonna Laboris signed with monogram and dated '1931' (lower left)  tempera on canvas 84 × 124cm (33 1/16 × 48 13/16in)

Attribution: Bonhams
Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich (Russian, 1874–1947)
Madonna Laboris
signed with monogram and dated ‘1931’ (lower left)
tempera on canvas
84 × 124cm (33 1/16 × 48 13/16in)

That paradise means surrounded by walls rather than walls being something that surround paradise is particular. Paradise as adjective instead of paradise as noun. You can go to a place that is paradise, but you cannot go to paradise.

Many things in today’s world are surrounded by walls and we would not call them paradise. But if we were good students of etymology we would.

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Aug 7, 2013

New Protocol Layer being built on Bitcoin

Posted by in category: bitcoin

I recently announced a new protocol layer being built on top of bitcoin. You can read the details here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=265488.0

I’m pleased that I have already raised over $200k worth of bitcoins from investors, including myself. Investments will continue to be accepted through the end of this month (August 2013).

Aug 5, 2013

Meat grown in labs is the next logical step for food production

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism, sustainability

By Avi Roy, University of Buckingham

In his essay “Fifty Years Hence”, Winston Churchill speculated, “We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.”

At an event in London today, the first hamburger made entirely from meat grown through cell culture will be cooked and consumed before a live audience. In June at the TED Global conference in Edinburgh, Andras Forgacs took a step even beyond Churchill’s hopes. He unveiled the world’s first leather made from cells grown in the lab.

These are historic events. Ones that will change the discussion about lab-grown meat from blue-skies science to a potential consumer product which may soon be found on supermarket shelves and retail stores. And while some may perceive this development as a drastic shake-up in the world of agriculture, it really is part of the trajectory that agricultural technology is already following.

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Aug 5, 2013

To Live Forever

Posted by in category: human trajectories

The history of humans, short when considered in the light of all times, if such a consideration can be made, is a web of intricacies and intentions, of acts and non-acts, of silence and sound (internally and externally), of growth and decay. Although we do have records of this history, in the land, air and water, in objects, in ourselves, in text, despite the proliferation of data and information, particularly post-printing press, we still do not know everything and what we do not know outmeasures what we do and will always. So while we have stories and myths, what we have mostly is uncertainty.

Something about the human animal who in the main is attached to petty things (reputation and praise, punishment and fear, egoic notions and material satisfactions) rejects uncertainty, rebels against a blank state. The process of logically manifesting an order in response to uncertainty is tabulated within the brain. But is the brain the seat of Man or is it because over several millennia humanity has organized phenomenal existence primarily through brain activity, that we now believe it to be the natural leadership in our lives? Is it possible that although it has lead, it is not the (natural) leader? Does Man, each a vortex of inter-dimensional energy, operate optimally through one lead, anyway?

Does intelligence permeate the entirety of Man’s being and the entirety of the known cosmic habitat? Is that intelligence being? Is that being existence? And is existence what is? And if this is true, and all that is, is, why this idea that the brain is the seat of intelligence? The brain is one known interpreter, receptacle for, perceiver of (and maybe also creator) of intelligence within the human biological cosmology. The brain is also a foe when not well aired, crafting for Man a separateness from phenomena, acting as the chief architect of his differentiation. The brain is more the functionary of the literal and the common, the go-to tool for navigating physical space and for generating concepts, including calculations. But is the brain the lord of Man, even with the pineal gland?

Man in wholeness and complexity should not be particularized piecemeal. One facet of human biology, like the brain, can only be understood through its relationship with the entire biological structure. Hierarchies of organs and functions within the human body can only lead to ultimate ignorance about not only the organ or function in question and the full ecosystem within which it resides, but also that ecosystem’s relationship with the outside, both the known and unknown, seen and unseen.

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Aug 2, 2013

The future in 100…1,000…10,000…etc. years

Posted by in categories: futurism, lifeboat

A full view of the future has to consider a huge range of time scales. Freeman Dyson pointed this out (as D. Hutchinson alerted me). I borrowed his idea in the following passage from my book, The Human Race to the Future, published by the Lifeboat Foundation.


Our journey into the future begins by asking what the next hundred years will be like. Call that century-long time frame the “first generation” of future history. After a baker’s dozen or so chapters we then move to the second generation — the next order of magnitude after a hundred — the next thousand years. The seventh generation then has a ten million year horizon, the very distant future. Beyond the seventh generation are time horizons above even ten million years. This “powers of ten” scaling of future history was used by well-known physicist Freeman Dyson in chapter 4 of his 1997 book, Imagined Worlds.

Technical update on the ebook edition: Many Kindle devices and reader software systems have a menu item for jumping to the table of contents, and another menu item for jumping to the “beginning” of a book, however that is defined. I found out how to build an ebook that defines these locations so that the menu items work. You can use basic html commands. To define the location of the table of contents, you can insert into the html code of the book, right where the table of contents begins, the following html command:

<a name="toc"></a>

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Jul 31, 2013

There Is No Need For An End

Posted by in categories: education, lifeboat

The imposition of compositional structure within the craft of writing was recently pointed out to me. As students we are told repeatedly to open, elaborate and conclude a writing work. This carries on into so-called professional life. Indeed the questions that arise during the course of any given writing work are outside the scope of the work itself, the material of the work deals with facts and recommendations, which are based on our conclusions. To end a piece of professional or student work without conclusions and with questions would be seen as a lack of seriousness. We believe time invested into investigation is only worthy if we emerge with answers. And the answers we are to have begin with our original questions and are influenced by the way we approach the questions. And yet we approach the questions knowing they will need to be answered and so our opening approach is very limited. We not only formulate opening questions we feel we will have a good chance of answering, but our entire attention during the duration of looking at the question is focused on finding an answer. So where is the originality then in our thought? And where is the opportunity to explore the limitations of thought itself as it is applied to the complexity and urgency of matters in the world? If my opening point of inquiry is designed to be something I know I can find an answer for, then certainly I have no opportunity to go beyond what I know to address it, not really, and so there is nothing new. And if I begin a problem knowing I will be judged on finding an answer for that problem then I will necessarily limit or eliminate any point of fact or inquiry that takes me from that task. The generally accepted process and presentation of writing today is linear and monolithic in an academic and professional context. We talk about complexity and interrelatedness but we judge, evaluate and reward a written approach to that complexity and interrelatedness according to how well it fits into what we already know and according to the standards we have already found to be acceptable. Because we are bound to our knowledge and our processes of merit through training, repetition, various forms of aggrandizement and institutional awareness, however subtle or overt, we disregard or penalize information and modalities that fall outside our realm of knowing. Therein, the places we go to fulfill our knowing may expand (geographically or otherwise) but the way we approach and arrive at knowing remains the same. Although some may develop original technical innovations, those technical innovations will be used as tools to serve the knowledge system that is already established within any given realm of inquiry.

Our assumptions and biases about knowledge creation are interwoven with our experiences, our interpretations of those experiences, and our identification with the experiences and interpretations. Patterns emerge and we craft a self through the mosaic and soon that mosaic can stand in for our self. When that mosaic of experience and interpretation is cultivated through authority and the authority of our own experience and sense of self, we will extend our sense of authority into the realm of that which we already know. In this we are setting up a subtle preoccupation with what we know and with the familiar way we arrive at knowledge while simultaneously we derive a prejudice against what we do not know and also any unknown means to cultivate the known.

For example, pretend I am a teacher with a PhD, many people have applauded my research and I publish books, give famous lectures and have tenure at a prestigious school. I feel confident in my work and consider myself to be an authority in my field. A student comes along who does not know me and takes my class for the first time. She questions my logic and says my class is a bore. She tells me my exams do not test her knowledge of the subject but instead test her ability to repeat my version of the subject. She writes a paper calling into doubt the major premises of my field, to which I have contributed the most popularly followed lines of inquiry and she proposes an entirely new approach to the field and ends her paper with grand questions about the nature of intellectual thought. How do I approach this? In a typical situation I would question the student’s credibility as a student. I would consider her farfetched and someone who is incapable of understanding the subject matter. I would have trouble finding a way to give her a passing course score. She would be a problem to fix or to solve or to ignore. Never would I consider that perhaps she had a point. Why? I assumed the ascendency of my own knowledge based on my own sense of authority. Because the student operated outside my realm of knowledge and outside my sense of appropriateness in the acquisition of knowledge, I decided she was wrong. Invisible to me are my own assumptions of authority, including my assumption that authority has validity. Even though I have a wide set of experiences related to a branch of knowledge I am unable to see that those experiences are necessarily limited because I have only had a certain set of them, no matter how vaunted, and that knowledge itself is limited because it is always about what is already known. So I approach my student as if she is a problem instead of approaching her as a person with insight that may also be valid and should be explored. If we use something that is already known to approach what is new, how can we really approach it? The new will consistently be framed according to its relationship or lack of relationship with what has been established. And as has already been stated, what has been established is where authority has been placed, including our reverence for all the things we have already authorized.

Many of us operate in this field of inquiry, discovery and selfhood and it is apparent when we review our written forays into the realms of global problem solving discourse. So often we conclude. So often we have answers and set approaches to solving problems. So often we solicit recommendations for action. But rarely do we ponder over, except that which we have relegated to philosophy. In the realms of activity (politics, business, economics, education, health, environment, etc.) we theorize action, take action or meet to form a new activity. We say events and circumstances are too urgent to stop for too much thought, but in our haste, our actions themselves lead to further reasons to have to meet again to reorient ourselves. Our writing becomes a part of this process. We write in order to validate our next action and we guide that writing according to what we think that action should be. We rarely write to discover the appropriate terms upon which our action should be based. We rarely question the terms upon which our previous action has been based. We rarely inquire into our standards, we just try to find novel ways to meet them.

Continue reading “There Is No Need For An End” »

Jul 15, 2013

Short Summary of a New Idea: Cryodynamics

Posted by in category: physics

Short Summary of a New Idea: Cryodynamics

Otto E. Rossler, Faculty of Science, University of Tubingen, Germany

Abstract

A brief history and description of cryodynamics is offered. While still in its infancy, it is already strong in basic findings and predictions. It is a classical science the quantum version of which still waits to be formulated. It is highly promising technologically. A new fundamental science is a rare event in history. The basic insight is to picture randomly moving hyperbolic tree trunks in Sinai’s “rolling tennis ball in an orchard game” (Harry Thomas’ term), but flipped upside down so that the trees are hollow funnels pointing downwards.

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Jul 10, 2013

Quantum Entanglement in Future Communication Technologies

Posted by in categories: engineering, futurism, information science, particle physics, space

The arXiv blog on MIT Technology Review recently reported a breakthrough ‘Physicists Discover the Secret of Quantum Remote Control’ [1] which led some to comment on whether this could be used as an FTL communication channel. In order to appreciate the significance of the paper on Quantum Teleportation of Dynamics [2], one should note that it has already been determined that transfer of information via a quantum tangled pair occurs *at least* 10,000 times faster than the speed of light [3]. The next big communications breakthrough?

Quantum Entanglement Visual

In what could turn out to be a major breakthrough for the advancement of long-distance communications in space exploration, several problems are resolved — where if a civilization is eventually established on a star system many light years away, for example, such as on one of the recently discovered Goldilocks Zone super-Earths in the Gliese 667C star system, then communications back to people on Earth may after all be… instantaneous.

However, implications do not just stop there either. As recently reported in The Register [5], researchers in Israel at the University of Jerusalem, have established that quantum tangling can be used to send data across both TIME AND SPACE [6]. Their recent paper entitled ‘Entanglement Between Photons that have Never Coexisted’ [7] describes how photon-to-photon entanglement can be used to connect with photons in their past/future, opening up an understanding into how one may be able to engineer technology to not just communicate instantaneously across space — but across space-time.

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Jul 8, 2013

The Post-Human World

Posted by in categories: biological, complex systems, evolution, futurism, robotics/AI, singularity

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Originally posted via The Advanced Apes

Through my writings I have tried to communicate ideas related to how unique our intelligence is and how it is continuing to evolve. Intelligence is the most bizarre of biological adaptations. It appears to be an adaptation of infinite reach. Whereas organisms can only be so fast and efficient when it comes to running, swimming, flying, or any other evolved skill; it appears as though the same finite limits are not applicable to intelligence.

What does this mean for our lives in the 21st century?

Continue reading “The Post-Human World” »