A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

We live in an era of scientific triumphalism, when leading researchers in any number of fields claim they are supremely qualified to explain not only how the universe works, but also what it means. Metaphysics, they tell us, can now be considered a subset of physics.
Thus it’s not surprising that distinguished hackles would be raised when a spirited counter-attack is launched by a well-known philosopher who contends that scientists
a) have conveniently ignored gaping holes in their understanding of how evolution has shaped the world and
b) might learn something from the evangelical Christians who promote Intelligent Design.
The philosopher in question is Thomas Nagel, who years ago attracted more than the usual attention accorded philosophy professors with his essay, “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”
Nagel’s new book, Mind and Cosmos, comes with a subtitle that succinctly describes the epistemological chip he’s placed on his shoulder, daring scientists to knock it off: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. (via Erewhon: The 1872 Fantasy Novel that Anticipated Thomas Nagel’s Problems with Darwinism Today - Doug Hill - The Atlantic)

We live in an era of scientific triumphalism, when leading researchers in any number of fields claim they are supremely qualified to explain not only how the universe works, but also what it means. Metaphysics, they tell us, can now be considered a subset of physics.

Thus it’s not surprising that distinguished hackles would be raised when a spirited counter-attack is launched by a well-known philosopher who contends that scientists

a) have conveniently ignored gaping holes in their understanding of how evolution has shaped the world and

b) might learn something from the evangelical Christians who promote Intelligent Design.

The philosopher in question is Thomas Nagel, who years ago attracted more than the usual attention accorded philosophy professors with his essay, “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”

Nagel’s new book, Mind and Cosmos, comes with a subtitle that succinctly describes the epistemological chip he’s placed on his shoulder, daring scientists to knock it off: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. (via Erewhon: The 1872 Fantasy Novel that Anticipated Thomas Nagel’s Problems with Darwinism Today - Doug Hill - The Atlantic)

Technology is foundational to a creator culture. The focus of the networked, knowledge-based workforce will be the invention and application of new technologies. The automation of most routine work tasks will provide the base of production that allows such a culture to flourish in the first place. But instead of allowing the wealth created by automation to accumulate in the hands of a few, it must be distributed to the many. We need the right technologies, implemented for the benefit of society; progress can’t be driven by purely commercial imperatives. And to turn the disruptive effects of technology into positive social change we need to think far beyond the currently limited scope of our education system.

Damien Walter – Sparks will fly
Imagine a future where concerns about sustainability and the environment have given way to worries about individual health and wellbeing.
Investors would shy away from “green” solution to instead focus on so-called “smart” products and technologies, such as digital assistants - ranging from portable screens to vehicles or robots - that help individuals in their everyday lives.
These “smart” technologies can help business too, of course, as they help cement a community of four or five billion people who will be connected to each other via the internet, each and every one of them a potential customer.
As such, a technological revolution is under way, where gadgets, large and small, are changing society. And this stuff is not make-believe any more. In a decade or so, much of this will have become reality.
But while some react, others are taking the lead. To name but a few:
Facebook has emerged to both shape and take advantage of online social networking trends
IBM has transformed its computer hardware business to become a solution provider
Amazon has carved out a dominant position in online retailing, then moved into hardware with its Kindle and into services with its cloud data-storage solutions
(via BBC News - Viewpoint: Megatrends that will change everyone’s lives)

Imagine a future where concerns about sustainability and the environment have given way to worries about individual health and wellbeing.

Investors would shy away from “green” solution to instead focus on so-called “smart” products and technologies, such as digital assistants - ranging from portable screens to vehicles or robots - that help individuals in their everyday lives.

These “smart” technologies can help business too, of course, as they help cement a community of four or five billion people who will be connected to each other via the internet, each and every one of them a potential customer.

As such, a technological revolution is under way, where gadgets, large and small, are changing society. And this stuff is not make-believe any more. In a decade or so, much of this will have become reality.

But while some react, others are taking the lead. To name but a few:

  • Facebook has emerged to both shape and take advantage of online social networking trends
  • IBM has transformed its computer hardware business to become a solution provider
  • Amazon has carved out a dominant position in online retailing, then moved into hardware with its Kindle and into services with its cloud data-storage solutions

(via BBC News - Viewpoint: Megatrends that will change everyone’s lives)

ralphewig:

Sun Angel - this solar blimp is a solar powered aircraft designed to carry medical supplies through the most remote areas to those who need them. Developed by Canadian company Solar Ship, the Caracal Caracal (named for the quick, fierce feline that ranges throughout Africa) is the aerial equivalent of the 4×4, and often the only way to get around in remote regions where roads are a rarity.



The Solar Ship is a hybrid aircraft, gaining lift from both buoyant gas and aerodynamics. Its wing-ship design allows for short take-off and landing (STOL), such as in a soccer field. This design also provides a large surface area for solar electric power, allowing long, self-sufficient range. The result is transportation without depending on things that often aren’t available in remote areas – fossil fuels, roads, or runways.

ralphewig:

Sun Angel - this solar blimp is a solar powered aircraft designed to carry medical supplies through the most remote areas to those who need them. Developed by Canadian company Solar Ship, the Caracal Caracal (named for the quick, fierce feline that ranges throughout Africa) is the aerial equivalent of the 4×4, and often the only way to get around in remote regions where roads are a rarity.

The Solar Ship is a hybrid aircraft, gaining lift from both buoyant gas and aerodynamics. Its wing-ship design allows for short take-off and landing (STOL), such as in a soccer field. This design also provides a large surface area for solar electric power, allowing long, self-sufficient range. The result is transportation without depending on things that often aren’t available in remote areas – fossil fuels, roads, or runways.

Reblogged from ralph.ewig

Go watch this: Plan B For Humanity - The Next 200 Years

A video timeline of the social and technological changes that could save civilization and secure the long term survival of humanity.

Special thanks go to the many Youtube users whose amazing creative work appears in this video.

COPYRIGHT ATTRIBUTION
Music Library http://www.youtube.com/themusicrack
Playlist: Silent Films
Title: CHEE ZEE CAVES — Movie Soundtracks | Creative Commons | Royalty-Free Music for YouTube Videos
Artist: Kevin MacLeod
Copyright: 2011 Kevin MacLeod. Licensed to the public under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b… verify at http://www.incompetech.com/m/c/royalt…

(by comradebubbles)

UK researchers develop washable wearable computers

According to researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the UK, wearable computers which can withstand washing are one step closer thanks to a technology which integrates electronic micro devices into yarns. The academics developed a prototype garment to demonstrate the technology, which they say could be used for medical and military purposes.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent’s Advanced Textiles Research Group have created the garment using light emitting diodes (LEDs) to showcase the application of the technology, which they say could transform the manufacturing of smart and interactive textiles.

The Nottingham academics say that current techniques involve the insertion of the electronic module after the clothing has been produced, which results in it being inflexible and requires it to be removed before washing.

The advanced manufacturing of Micro Electronic Textiles (MET) truly integrates the electronics into the fibre by embedding sensors, smaller than the size of a pinhead, into the heart of the yarn. This process produces a smart textile which retains the fabric’s basic characteristics of being tactile, flexible and machine washable. It can also be tumble dried.

The ‘Mystic Writing Pad’: What Would Freud Make of Today’s Tablets?
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No, of course Freud didn’t write anything about the iPad. But an obscure 1925 essay on the “Mystic Pad” gives us some clues as to what he would have made of modern computing technologies.
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In 1925, Sigmund Freud published an essay, “A Note upon the ‘Mystic Writing Pad.’ ” In it, he considered a recent market arrival, the Mystic Writing Pad (of course), as a sort of metaphor for the human mind. At base, the Mystic Pad was “a slab of dark brown resin or wax” on which sat a translucent sheet of wax paper covered by a transparent sheet of celluloid. When a person set a stylus to it, the dark resin would become visible through the wax paper at the points of contact, and thus one could write. When the record was no longer desired, erase it by simply lifting the wax paper off of the slab. (This contemporary kids’ toy is a rough equivalent.) The celluloid served merely to protect the wax paper from ripping as the stylus ran across it. This may not sound like much of a metaphor for the human mind, but one unintended consequence of this procedure struck Freud as quite significant: “The permanent trace of what was written is retained upon the wax slab itself and is legible in suitable lights.” The Mystic Pad had a particular kind of memory. “I do not think it is too far-fetched,” Freud wrote, “to compare the celluloid and waxed paper cover with the system of Pcpt.-Cs. [Perception -Consciousness] and its protective shield, the wax slab with the unconscious behind them, and the appearance and disappearance of the writing with the flickering-up and passing-away of consciousness in the process of perception.” For Freud, this was new, as far as technology metaphors go. The other two major technologies he examines in his essay — paper and slate — he scrutinizes not so much as a metaphor for the mind, but in their capacity as memory aids or, “mnemic apparatus,” as Freud calls them. (via The ‘Mystic Writing Pad’: What Would Freud Make of Today’s Tablets? - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic)

The ‘Mystic Writing Pad’: What Would Freud Make of Today’s Tablets?

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No, of course Freud didn’t write anything about the iPad. But an obscure 1925 essay on the “Mystic Pad” gives us some clues as to what he would have made of modern computing technologies.

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In 1925, Sigmund Freud published an essay, “A Note upon the ‘Mystic Writing Pad.’ ” In it, he considered a recent market arrival, the Mystic Writing Pad (of course), as a sort of metaphor for the human mind. At base, the Mystic Pad was “a slab of dark brown resin or wax” on which sat a translucent sheet of wax paper covered by a transparent sheet of celluloid. When a person set a stylus to it, the dark resin would become visible through the wax paper at the points of contact, and thus one could write. When the record was no longer desired, erase it by simply lifting the wax paper off of the slab. (This contemporary kids’ toy is a rough equivalent.) The celluloid served merely to protect the wax paper from ripping as the stylus ran across it. This may not sound like much of a metaphor for the human mind, but one unintended consequence of this procedure struck Freud as quite significant: “The permanent trace of what was written is retained upon the wax slab itself and is legible in suitable lights.” The Mystic Pad had a particular kind of memory. “I do not think it is too far-fetched,” Freud wrote, “to compare the celluloid and waxed paper cover with the system of Pcpt.-Cs. [Perception -Consciousness] and its protective shield, the wax slab with the unconscious behind them, and the appearance and disappearance of the writing with the flickering-up and passing-away of consciousness in the process of perception.” For Freud, this was new, as far as technology metaphors go. The other two major technologies he examines in his essay — paper and slate — he scrutinizes not so much as a metaphor for the mind, but in their capacity as memory aids or, “mnemic apparatus,” as Freud calls them. (via The ‘Mystic Writing Pad’: What Would Freud Make of Today’s Tablets? - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic)

Five hundred years ago, technologies were not doubling in power and halving in price every eighteen months. Waterwheels were not becoming cheaper every year. A hammer was not easier to use from one decade to the next. Iron was not increasing in strength. The yield of corn seed varied by the season’s climate, instead of improving each year. Every 12 months, you could not upgrade your oxen’s yoke to anything much better than what you already had.

Kevin Kelly (via inthenoosphere)