God Is the Machine

Vancouver Film School (cc by 2.0)

Vancouver Film School (cc by 2.0)

via Wired (from 2002):

“A Mind Bending Meditation on the Transcendent Power of Digital Computation.” By Kevin Kelly

At today’s rates of compression, you could download the entire 3 billion digits of your DNA onto about four CDs. That 3-gigabyte genome sequence represents the prime coding information of a human body — your life as numbers. Biology, that pulsating mass of plant and animal flesh, is conceived by science today as an information process. As computers keep shrinking, we can imagine our complex bodies being numerically condensed to the size of two tiny cells. These micro-memory devices are called the egg and sperm. They are packed with information.

That life might be information, as biologists propose, is far more intuitive than the corresponding idea that hard matter is information as well. When we bang a knee against a table leg, it sure doesn’t feel like we knocked into information.

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New World Disorder: Challenges for the UN in the 21st Century with Kofi Annan

[Editor's note: The video below is not the full speech. The above video also has part of the Q&A, which Luke is a part of.]

This is a speech that Kofi Annan gave in NYC at Baruch college that was titled “New World Disorder.” We couldn’t believe it ourselves so we wanted to post the full video of the former general secretary of the U.N talking openly about the plan for a New World Order.

Via We Are Change

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Terrestrial Energy Co.: Vanquish the Arrested Future of Nuclear Energy

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.42.00 PM

In a Sept 2014 talk at the Economic Club of Canada, Hugh MacDiarmid coolly lays out the groundwork of a new energy future, without the pie-in-the-sky wishes of fusion, the intermittent inadequacy of solar and wind, or the non-renewable carbon emissions of coal, oil, and gas.

Canadian company Terrestrial Energy is on track to make the first commercially viable molten salt nuclear reactor by early next decade, at first supplementing coal but ultimately supplanting it for electricity production. The molten salt reactor (MSR) is a type of Generation 4 reactor with roots in the 1950s at Oak Ridge National Lab and has manifold advantages over existing reactors. The MSR uses a liquid salt loop to contain its fissile material such as uranium, thorium, or plutonium oxides. Since the reaction occurs in liquid fuel, it is literally impossible to melt down, and since it reacts at atmospheric pressure there is no need for a massive reinforced containment vessel.… Read the rest

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Why Republicans Keep Telling Everyone They’re Not Scientists

Florida Governor Rick Scott 1

Gov. Rick Scott

Hint: “I’m not a scientist” = “I don’t want to talk about that.” Coral Davenport investigates the new Republican mantra for the New York Times:

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, a Republican who is fighting a Democratic challenge from former Gov. Charlie Crist, was asked by The Miami Herald if he believes climate change is significantly affecting the weather. “Well, I’m not a scientist,” he said.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is locked in a tight re-election race, was asked this month by The Cincinnati Enquirer if he believes that climate change is a problem. “I’m not a scientist,” he said.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, when asked by reporters if climate change will play a role in the Republican agenda, came up with a now-familiar formulation. “I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change,” he said.

“I’m not a scientist,” or a close variation, has become the go-to talking point for Republicans questioned about climate change in the 2014 campaigns.

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Unsettling Post-Mortem Photographs from the Victorian Era

via Viral Nova [Please follow the link to see all of the photos]:

The Victorian Era was a pretty morbid time in human history. One of the most unsettling traditions of the era was the practice of post-mortem photography (that is, photographing the dead). By today’s standards, this is would be pretty taboo, but at the time it was seen as quite normal.

That doesn’t mean that seeing those pictures now makes them any less creepy, in fact it probably makes them even more creepy. Here are 21 of the most unsettling examples of Victorian post-mortem photography we could find. Warning. #13 might really freak you out.

9.) Notice the odd position of the curtain behind the boy? It’s likely there was someone behind it holding the boy’s head up.

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Read More: http://www.viralnova.com/post-mortem-victorian-photographs/

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So, You Want To Be A Porn Star?

81FRYScBcYL._SL1500_There is something unique about porn stars. It isn’t just the fact that they fuck a lot of people on camera, although that is surely attention getting. It goes deeper than that.

Society is obsessed and captivated with the sex industry. The men and women who work in the industry are often either adored or derided. But with every fantasy comes reality. So what is the reality for the stars in this business?

Some believe that porn stars must be different than the rest of us, and maybe even deficient in some way. They have to be right? Not just in what they do for a living but deep inside. How could someone spend their days having sex for money, and on camera no less? What is wrong with them? How could they do it? Aren’t they ashamed?

Others go the other route, they are starstruck by porn stars. They are in awe of the lifestyle, or what they consider it to be.… Read the rest

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Ouija Boards Are Even Creepier When You Know How They Work

By Jenna (cc by 2.0).

By Jenna (cc by 2.0).

via The Nerdist:

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to pull your Ouija board off that seldom dusted shelf and channel a spirit or two for answers to your most sleepover-enhancing questions. It’ll will be even creepier when you realize that the answers are coming from inside the house, inside you.

The Ouija board first appeared in stores in the 1890s, a mark of 19th century America’s obsession with spiritualism. It was a flat board with the letters of the alphabet written in two arced rows over a straight line of numbers, 0 through 9. The words “YES” and “NO” appear in the uppermost corners and “GOODBYE” is written at the bottom. The board comes with a planchette, a tear-drop shaped device on little feet with a hole in its body through which you can read the number or letter underneath it.

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Politics can interact with evolution to shape human destiny

Image from page 47 of "The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex" (1871)

Image from page 47 of “The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex” (1871)

Press Release via Eureka Alert:

Politics can have unintentional evolutionary consequences that may cause hastily issued policies to cascade into global, multigenerational problems, according to political scientists.

“Most western democracies look at policies as if they are bandages, we fix what we can and then move on,” said Pete Hatemi, associate professor of political science, Penn State. “But we need to consider generational policies so that we can fix what we can now, but also be prepared for what comes next.”

The researchers said that there is an interaction between political and cultural forces and evolutionary results. Genes can shape culture and political institutions, which in turn can shape biology and physiology, passing on certain traits to future generations. The environment’s influence on adaptation and how it changes biology is better known and often easier to observe, said Hatemi, but the way culture can affect gene expressions in future generations is often harder to show and may take longer to reveal itself.

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