Left field

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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:22 pm

"Finally, while the complexity of the biological computational circuitry in humans is essentially fixed, the density of machine circuitry will continue to grow exponentially. By 2030, a $1,000 computer system will have the power of 1,000 human brains; by 2050, 1 billion human brains."
"Next, we're going to be putting these machines into our bodies and into our brains."

I wonder how much different that would be than having them on your desk? ha

http://www.businessweek.com/1999/99_35/b3644022.htm
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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:49 pm

"Do you ever lie awake at night wondering why you happen to be alive just now? Why it should be that your own particular bit of self-consciousness popped into existence in the twentieth century and not, say, during the reign of the Antonines or 10 million years hence?"

http://flatrock.org.nz/topics/environment/doom_soon.htm
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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:29 pm

"Everything you want to know can now be found on the web. What differentiates sites are novel packaging or unique combinations of information."
http://flatrock.org.nz/index.html

PS Yawn.
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:31 am

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larry cottrill
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Re: Left field

Post by larry cottrill » Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:54 pm

Mark wrote:"Everything you want to know can now be found on the web. What differentiates sites are novel packaging or unique combinations of information."
. . .
PS Yawn.
Your yawn is misplaced. This is a crucial issue. The "novel packaging" and "unique combinations" have a huge impact on what is actually learned. There is also the matter of knowing whether what you've learned is true. The web does nothing to resolve which of two conflicting views (of a single event) is true.

Of course, the same could be said of books; confusion, obfuscation and propagandizing just happen at a slower rate. I think, though, that getting information via a highly developed visual medium is inherently riskier. A particular viewpoint feels more "real" when you see it presented in a documentary film than when you read it in a history textbook, more "real" on a full-color poster than when presented in a speech. People like Joseph Goebbels profoundly understood this.

A couple of years ago, I had a chance at jury duty, something I've always wanted to do (though it finally never did work out). But, what I was prepared to do in the voir dire phase of jury selection was ask if either side was planning to present a computer simulation of the contested events, a "legal technique" that is currently popular. If that was going to be done, I would ask to be excused on the basis of my prejudice AGAINST this form of presentation of "evidence". If you had worked in data processing for several decades, I'll bet you'd be against it, too -- it's much too easy for a skilled visual programmer to make supposed happenings look like "facts" when you present them visually. The more realistic you can make it look, the more "it must have really happened that way." What a stupid horror to promulgate this kind of manipulation in the name of "justice".

L Cottrill

Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:48 pm

Well Larry, yesterday I was going to edit/soften my yawn to a semi-yawn but a day had elapsed and the edit feature was no longer an option. Furthermore, the real reason I posted the comment was that I liked it very much, but it was the site itself that rated a semi-yawn, some of the articles were kind of so-so. For example there was a link in the animals section of a swan feeding the fish which was inaccurate to some extent, the swan merely softening his food and the opportunistic fish came to catch the crumbs and not a benevolent duck or swan finding joy in feeding carp. ha
Scroll down the page on the first link below to read/view the "unique combinations of information." Oh!

"A black swan in a Chinese zoo feeds its fish friends every day to the amazement of visitors. The swan picks up the feed and takes it to the mouths of the waiting fish, reports Southern City Papers. "They became close friends after 3 years of playing together," say staff at Safari Park in Shenzhen City. "Every time I come to feed the swan, all the fish follow him to the bank, with mouths open. And he takes the food and puts some into each of the hungry mouths," says the feeder. "When everyone has eaten enough, the swan goes back onto the water and plays with his fish friends again."
http://flatrock.org.nz/topics/animals/p ... otting.htm
http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=6471
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dtN71MKaB8

And not every article was wonderous. But again, the phrase I posted was a thought I thought well worthy.
"Everything you want to know can now be found on the web. What differentiates sites are novel packaging or unique combinations of information."
But to be honest, it's probable that not EVERYTHING you want to know is on the web. But that's a somewhat philosophical slant. ha

PS As an aside, I'm not above giving some of my own postings a cautionary yawn or "forgive me" alert, such as this one. I'm so tired after work today. Yawn.
Last edited by Mark on Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:12 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Jim Berquist
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Re: Left field

Post by Jim Berquist » Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:45 am

WHAT TO FRAP, IT WORKED![url=callto://james.a.berquist]Image[/url]


Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:45 pm

A somewhat funny book review.
"Just as it is impossible to encapsulate all of Burning Man, it is impossible in any text to frame the search for transcendence. This reviewer gives Pickover kudos for trying, but, given his intelligence and the obvious depth of his knowledge, this book probably would have been better if he’d picked one subject, or a few, and drilled down until he struck alchemical gold."
http://www.erowid.org/library/review/review.php?p=249
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:55 am

For me, if I stare at one nut, the others stop moving. I wonder if walnuts would work? ha
http://www.i-am-bored.com/almond_illusion.html
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:50 pm

A few of the bizarre art ideas were clever, but a bit taxing to look through them all.
http://www.zuzafun.com/
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:00 pm

In 1894 H. G. Wells wrote:
One is startled towards fantastic imaginings by such a suggestion: visions of silicon-aluminium organisms – why not silicon-aluminium men at once? – wandering through an atmosphere of gaseous sulphur, let us say, by the shores of a sea of liquid iron some thousand degrees or so above the temperature of a blast furnace.

"Silicon is also a major component in microchips, so one can make a case that an artificial intelligence would be a silicon-based lifeform. So, which is more likely - stumbling upon silicon-based biochemistry out there amongst the stars, or creating life that thinks with silicon-based microchips here on earth?"

"There's a major waste disposal issue as well - carbon dioxide is a gas, and silicon dioxide (sand) is a solid. When we metabolize oxygen, we produce carbon dioxide as a waste product, but it dissolves easily in our blood for rapid waste management. If, on the other hand, we produced sand internally with every breath, chaffing would be the least of our worries."
http://io9.com/5020921/where-is-my-silicon+based-life
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:20 pm

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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:37 pm

{Loren Eiseley}

"But surely we can counter that this old man was an ignorant remnant of the Ice Age, fearful of a nature he did not understand. Today we have science; we do not fear the Eskimo's malevolent ghosts. We do not wear amulets to ward off evil spirits. We have pierced to the far rim of the universe. We roam mentally through light-years of time.
Yes, this could be admitted, but we also fear. We fear more deeply than the old man in the snow. It comes to us, if we are honest, that perhaps nothing has changed the grip of winter in our hearts, that winter before which we cringed amidst the ice long ages ago.
For what is it that we do? We fear. We do not fear ghosts but we fear the ghost of ourselves. We have come now, in this time, to fear the water we drink, the air we breathe, the insecticides that are dusted over our giant fruits. Because of the substances we have poured into our contaminated rivers, we fear the food that comes to us from the sea. There are also those who tell us that by our own heedless acts the sea is dying.
We fear the awesome powers we have lifted out of nature and cannot return to her. We fear the weapons we have made, the hatreds we have engendered. We fear the crush of fanatic people to whom we readily sell these weapons. We fear for the value of the money in our pockets that stands symbolically for food and shelter. We fear the growing power of the state to take all these things from us. We fear to walk in our streets at evening. We have come to fear even our scientists and their gifts.
We fear, in short, as that self-sufficient Eskimo of the long night had never feared. Our minds, if not our clothes, are hung with invisible amulets: nostrums changed each year for our bodies whether it be chlorophyl toothpaste, the signs of astrology, or cold cures that do not cure: witchcraft nostrums for our society as it fractures into contending multitudes all crying for liberation without responsibility.
We fear, and never in this century will we cease to fear. We fear the end of man as that old shaman in the snow had never had cause to fear it. There is a winter still about us-the winter of man that has followed him relentlessly from the caverns and the ice. The old Eskimo spoke well. It is the winter of the heedless ones. We are in the winter. We have never left its breath."

"It was not a time for human dignity. It was a time only for the careful observance of amenities written behind the stars. Gravely I arranged my forepaws while the puppy whimpered with ill-concealed excitement. I drew the breath of a fox's den into my nostrils. On impulse, I picked up clumsily a whiter bone and shook it in my teeth that had not entirely forgotten their original purpose. Round and round we tumbled for one ecstatic moment . . . . For just a moment I had held the universe at bay by the simple expedient of sitting on my haunches before a fox den and tumbling about with a chicken bone. It is the gravest, most meaningful act I shall ever accomplish, but, as Thoreau once remarked of some peculiar errand of his own, there is no use reporting it to the Royal Society."
"There was meaning there and there was not a meaning, and therein lies the agony."
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:28 pm

The little things in life ... (page 94)
http://books.google.com/books?id=NfmoHi ... &ct=result
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