acalc

acalc:

Last night, I was watching a basketball game I could hardly see, after having scratched my right eye earlier; it was kind of blurry. But, at the same time, there was something interesting happening. I could still follow the action and who was doing what fairly well. The interesting part is that…

A great post. I love your description of sightless basketball.

It seems like I always have to oppose, doesn’t it? But I have to offer this, because so many people are of the same opinion (albeit sometimes true) that we’re missing something by not having in-person conversations, and it’s mostly group think (not that yours is, also). Just like everybody tends to think this or that is “unnatural” without even questioning it or thinking about what that word, natural, means.

So you say we miss out on the quirks of each-other’s movements, the body language. But I’ll say this: I’ve had a number of distance relationships (both friendly and romantic), without the options of always seeing, hearing, smelling, or touching the other person. Even with an Anon, just like you’re experiencing with Basketball, it’s possible to become attuned to the intricacies of even just someone’s writing. Everybody has a way they say things, and things they say… it’s interesting. Ways they take pauses, process thoughts, ideas they have or pictures they share. It becomes a different kind of dance: sometimes with a “persona”, and other times with someone more “real” than that person allows themselves to be in “real life”.

So it’s not necessarily a counter to your point, but it can be intimate — if we allow for that idea, and don’t simply latch on to the internet-is-so-impersonal bandwagon of thought.

Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?
Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich

Environmental problems have contributed to numerous collapses of civilizations in the past. Now, for the first time, a global collapse appears likely. Overpopulation, overconsumption by the rich and poor choices of technologies are major drivers; dramatic cultural change provides the main hope of averting calamity.

via {I fucking love science }.

Please read.

inthenoosphere
Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.

Lenoardo da Vinci (via inthenoosphere)

••••••

OS:

And when Nature does lack, she simple eats the thing doing the lacking. Problem solved.

Love you Leo, but so pre-Darwin.

[In] common table salt, or NaCl[,] one of the elements is a metal, and the other is a poisonous gas.

Karl F. Kuhn, Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide

••••••

That is a simple example of why it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of chemical compositions, if not simply the scientific literacy and common sense to research them when it matters —

For example, prior to using the word “chemicals” as if they’re all equally poisonous, and not the constituents of everything in our reality,

And, prior to touting “Natural” and Organic products without understanding that a “natural” formula may be no better than an artificially-created one,

And, prior to eschewing all types of a compound (for example, sulphates in hair products) without really grasping that [sulphate] compounds are different from one-another, and that if one type is hazardous to your health, it does not mean that all types are. [I actually don’t know whether all sulphate-based additions are or not, but it’s important to research.]

When we return to shore, jaded from all these natural wonders, think how we’ll look down on those pitiful land masses, those puny works of man! No, the civilized world won’t be good enough for us!
Conseil, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne

When you’ve realized you’re human, it’s all laughable. Things we do, pants we wear. Then what’s there to do but to try to go beyond that? That’s silly too (transcendence is), but it’s interesting — it’s interesting to try to unwind our stories and our age-old notions of how things are or how they might work and… let nature talk, instead. What else can we be — how can we rearrange our systems, our sets of atoms and body-stuff? We can’t even know. It’s an act of creation. The greatest art work. To know would require knowing the plan of nature, and apparently nature doesn’t have one (despite what we may have liked to think, again, for centuries.) Funny. Good one, really. So, how far can you go, what can you become, how can you experience what’s extra-trans-post-super-uber-outer-sans-human, without dying?

wildcat2030
One hundred years from now, the role of science and technology will be about becoming part of nature rather than trying to control it. So much of science and technology has been about pursuing efficiency, scale and “exponential growth” at the expense of our environment and our resources. We have rewarded those who invent technologies that control our triumph over nature in some way. This is clearly not sustainable. We must understand that we live in a complex system where everything is interrelated and interdependent and that everything we design impacts a larger system. My dream is that 100 years from now, we will be learning from nature, integrating with nature and using science and technology to bring nature into our lives to make human beings and our artifacts not only zero impact but a positive impact to the natural system that we live in.

Hank Pellissier { writes }:

Metaphorically, for me, the “nakedness” of mental transparency is identical to physical nudity. The complex data of our yearning craniums won’t be shrouded any longer, won’t be buried and disguised under fabricated obstacles and artifice.

But, naked isn’t free.

Can I climb mountains, naked? Can I travel to outer space, naked? Can I “be myself”, naked? Definitely not, definitely not, and no, I don’t think so.

Whatever appendages we choose to attach to ourselves daily or permanently, whatever artifice we handle and live with and use and surround ourselves with… it’s our costume, our armor, our shelter, our extremities, our transformation into what we are and everything we’re capable of being, would like to be, or are becoming.

I want to be buried, disguised, fabricated, obfuscated, clarified, extended through artifice.

wildcat2030

wildcat2030:

Ronald van Tienhoven - Techno Animism

Once upon a time animism ruled people’s beliefs: both organisms and objects were imbued with a conscience. Artist Ronald van Tienhoven states that as technology closes the gap between organisms and objects, a new form of techno-animism arises.

(by nextnature)

wildcat2030
Here’s the thing: For most of us, cyborg ends at the human-machine hybrid. The point of the cyborg is to be a cyborg; it’s an end unto itself. But for Clynes, the interface between the organism and the technology was just a means, a way of enlarging the human experience. That knotty first definition? It ran under this section headline: “Cyborgs — Frees Man to Explore.” The cyborg was not less human, but more.
…we developed a Formal Theory of Fun and Creativity that formally explains science & art & music & humor, to the extent that we can begin to build artificial scientists and artists.

Jürgen Schmidhuber

{ When creative machines overtake man }
March 31, 2012

••••••

Schmidhuber’s { Formal Theory of Creativity }.

I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but can’t wait. It sounds like deep, murky, dangerous waters he’s treading into… full of horrifying art theories and theorists :(

And yet, { I think it’s an excellent pursuit }.

{ When creative machines overtake man }March 31, 2012 by Jürgen Schmidhuber

When I was a boy, I wanted to become a physicist like my hero Einstein until I realized as a teenager the much bigger impact of building a scientist smarter than myself (my colleagues claim that should be easy), letting him do the remaining work.
…
Let me show you this pattern of exponential acceleration of the most important events in human history, which started 40,000 years ago with the emergence of Homo Sapiens Sapiens from Africa.
[an excellent timeline that you should click on the link to read about, but a bit long to re-post]
…
Now you say: OK, maybe computers will be faster and better pattern recognizers, but they will never be creative! But that’s too pessimistic. In my group at the Swiss AI Lab IDSIA, we developed a Formal Theory of Fun and Creativity that formally explains science & art & music & humor, to the extent that we can begin to build artificial scientists and artists. …

••••••
Do read on — it’s a really good piece: interesting, funny, & vastly informative.
Also watch Jürgen Schmidhuber’s lecture about { The Algorithmic Principe Behind Curiosity and Creativity }.

{ When creative machines overtake man }
March 31, 2012 by Jürgen Schmidhuber

When I was a boy, I wanted to become a physicist like my hero Einstein until I realized as a teenager the much bigger impact of building a scientist smarter than myself (my colleagues claim that should be easy), letting him do the remaining work.

Let me show you this pattern of exponential acceleration of the most important events in human history, which started 40,000 years ago with the emergence of Homo Sapiens Sapiens from Africa.

[an excellent timeline that you should click on the link to read about, but a bit long to re-post]

Now you say: OK, maybe computers will be faster and better pattern recognizers, but they will never be creative! But that’s too pessimistic. In my group at the Swiss AI Lab IDSIA, we developed a Formal Theory of Fun and Creativity that formally explains science & art & music & humor, to the extent that we can begin to build artificial scientists and artists. …

••••••

Do read on — it’s a really good piece: interesting, funny, & vastly informative.

Also watch Jürgen Schmidhuber’s lecture about { The Algorithmic Principe Behind Curiosity and Creativity }.