See on Scoop.it - Knowmads, Infocology of the future
A new study out of Pew Research Center shows how Americans view the future of tech and what they’re not quite ready for.
Americans are hopeful about the future of technology. But don’t release the drones just yet. And forget meat grown in a petri dish.Pushing new tech on a public that isn’t ready can have real bottom-line consequences.
That’s the takeaway from a new study released by the Pew Research Center looking at how U.S. residents felt about possible high-tech advances looming in the not-too-distant future. Overall, a decisive majority of those surveyed believed new tech would make the future better. At the same time, the public doesn’t seem quite ready for many of the advances companies like Google and Amazon are pushing hard to make real.
If the stigma surrounding Google Glass (or, perhaps more specifically, “Glassholes”) has taught us anything, it’s that no matter how revolutionary technology may be, ultimately its success or failure ride on public perception. Many promising technological developments have died because they were ahead of their times. During a cultural moment when the alleged arrogance of some tech companies is creating a serious image problem, the risk of pushing new tech on a public that isn’t ready could have real bottom-line consequences.
See on wired.com
These Are Some of the Oldest Living Things on Earth
See on Scoop.it - Philosophy everywhere everywhen
Animals sometimes sleep inside the hollows of giant 2,000-year old baobab trees inside Kruger Game Preserve in South Africa. Humans too, sometimes use the trees, for more dubious purposes — a jail, a toilet, a pop-up bar — as photographer Rachel Sussman discovered when she toured the park to photograph the trees for her new book, The Oldest Living Things in the World. The very oldest living things on the planet, scientists believe, are Actinobacteria that have inhabited underground permafrost in Siberia for up to 600,000 years. But ancient life survives on every continent, from 5,500-year-old Antarctic mosses, to a 100,000-year-old Mediterranean sea grass meadow, to 12,000-year-old creosote bushes in the Mojave desert, to the Tanzanian lomatia, a 43,600-year-old tree so endangered that only a single individual exists. (via These Are Some of the Oldest Living Things on Earth | Science | WIRED)
“What Philosophy Does to the Mind”
Tuesday, April 22, 7–9pm
By approaching the game of truths—that is, making sense of what is true and making it true—as a rule-based game of navigation, philosophy opens up a new evolutionary vista for the mind’s development. Within this evolutionary landscape, the mind is understood as a set of activities or practices required to navigate a terrain which lacks a given map and a given compass—a desert bereft of natural landmarks, with a perpetually shifting scenery and furnished with transitory mirages. The mind is forced to adapt to an environment where generic trajectories replace specific trajectories, and where the consequences of making one single move unfold as future ramifying paths that not only uproot the current position in the landscape but also fundamentally change the travel history and the address of the past itinerary. It is within this environment that philosophy instigates an epochal development of yet unexplored possibilities. By simulating the truth of the mind and forcing it to interact with its own navigational horizon, philosophy sets out the conditions for the emancipation of the mind from its contingently posited settings and limits of constructability. In liberating itself from its illusions of uniqueness and ineffability, and by conceiving itself as an upgradable armamentarium of practices or abilities, the mind self-realizes itself as an expanding, constructible edifice that effectuates a mind-only system. But this is a system that is no longer comprehensible within the traditional ambit of idealism, for it involves “mind” not as a theoretical object but rather as a practical project of socio-historical wisdom.
Throughout this presentation, we will lay out the minimal characteristics and procedures of the game of navigation by drawing on the works of Gilles Châtelet (the construction of a horizon), Guerino Mazzola (a dynamic theory of addresses), and Robert Brandom (the procedural system of commitments). We will subsequently unpack the consequences of playing this game in terms of the transition from self-conception to self-transformation of the mind, as outlined by the New Confucian philosophers Xiong Shili and Mou Zongsan.
See on e-flux.com
See on Scoop.it - Knowmads, Infocology of the future
Reconstructed epigenetics maps of Neanderthals and Denisovans reveal why their appearance and disease risk differ from ours.
Scientists have increasingly realized that DNA is only part of what makes us us — perhaps equally important is how our genes’ activity is modified by a process called epigenetics. Recently this cutting-edge field has turned its attention to some very old DNA: Researchers today announced they have reconstructed methylation maps for our extinct relatives. The findings might explain certain differences in appearances between Neanderthals, Denisovans, and us, as well as the prevalence of disease.
Epigenetics is a branch of science that explores how the expression of our DNA can be influenced by external factors without the DNA itself changing. Research in the field has focused on DNA methylation. This is when a chemical compound called a methyl group attaches to DNA. This can regulate an individual’s genetic expression and even be passed down through generations. DNA methylation has been linked to disease and also to an individual’s appearance and behavior. This is the first time, however, that an archaic pattern of methylation has been reconstructed for early humans.
See on blogs.discovermagazine.com
How Do Sperm Recognize Eggs? Mechanism Finally Found
It’s the stuff of 3rd-grade sex ed: sperm meets egg to make baby. But, surprisingly, scientists have actually been in the dark about one crucial step: how the two sex cells recognize each other amidst the fluid frenzy in the Fallopian tubes. Now researchers have announced that they’ve found the missing piece of this fertilization puzzle, and that the discovery could lead to individualized fertility treatments and hormone-free birth control. Back in 2005, researchers found the first half of the the puzzle: a binding protein on the surface of sperm they called Izumol (after a Japanese marriage shrine). In the decade since then, scientists have been searching for Izumol’s counterpart on egg cells. Essentially, they’d found the plug but couldn’t locate the outlet. Today researchers at Cambridge announced they’ve found that outlet: a receptor protein on the surface of the egg cell. They’ve found it on the eggs of pigs, opossums, mice and even humans. (via How Do Sperm Recognize Eggs? Mechanism Finally Found - D-brief | DiscoverMagazine.com)
Want a dog but don’t want to deal with dog poop or allergies or fleas? The Omnibot Hello! Zoomer Dog Robot is the robotic pet you’re looking for.
This man-made version of a dalmatian recognizes over 45 words (English and Japanese), has voice recognition, and can be trained to perform a variety of tricks, including shake, roll over, and play dead. Of course, unlike a dog, Zoomer also comes with a USB cord and needs to be charged for an hour to get twenty minutes of use. Just think of it as a nap… that includes electricit (via Omnibot Hello! Zoomer Dog Robot | GeekAlerts)