Tag Archives | knowledge

The Forgotten Mystic Secrets Of Athanasius Kircher

Writers No One Reads on the incredible genius of Athanasius Kircher, a sort of bizarro-da-Vinci who created jaw-dropping inventions and surreal, lavishly illustrated science books covering topics such as the people who live inside the earth:

Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) [was] a Jesuit priest and polymath who wrote more than thirty big books on everything from optics, acoustics, linguistics, and mathematics to cryptology, Egyptology, numerology, and Sinology.

Kircher wasn’t just a writer. He was an inventor of speaking statues, eavesdropping devices, and musical machines. (He is alleged to have invented an instrument called the cat piano.) He was the curator of an early modern museum — a cabinet of curiosities featuring the tailbones of a mermaid and a brick from the Tower of Babel — at the Jesuit college in Rome. He pursued his interest in geological matters by climbing down inside the smoking crater of Mount Vesuvius. And he was perhaps the first to use a microscope to examine human blood.

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Are Genius Scientists A Relic Of The Past?

No more Einsteins? Phys.org writes:

Dean Keith Simonton, professor at the University of California, in the journal Nature argues that it’s unlikely mankind will ever produce another Einstein, Newton, Darwin, etc. because, he says, we’ve already discovered all the most basic ideas that describe how the natural world works. New work will involve little more than adding to our knowledge base.

Sadly, the past several decades only offer proof of his assessment. Since the time of Einstein, he says, no one has really come up with anything that would mark them as a giant in the field.

The way modern science is conducted [may be] adding to the problem. Rather than fostering lone wolves, the new paradigm has researchers working together as teams, efficiently marching towards incremental increases in knowledge. That doesn’t leave much room for true insight, a necessary ingredient for genius level discoveries.

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Method Unveiled To Store Data Forever In Quartz Glass

If we hope to preserve the knowledge and art produced by human civilization long after we are gone, or send a message to beings far from us in space of billions of years ahead in the future, it can be done using quartz. Phys.org reports:

Japanese hi-tech giant Hitachi on Monday unveiled a method of storing digital information on slivers of quartz glass that can endure extreme temperatures and hostile conditions without degrading, almost forever (a few hundred million years at least).

Hitachi’s new technology stores data in binary form by creating dots inside a thin sheet of quartz glass, which can be read with an ordinary optical microscope. Provided a computer with the know-how to understand that binary is available—simple enough to programme, no matter how advanced computers become—the data will always be readable, Torii said.

Hitachi have not decided when to put the chip to practical use but researchers said they could start with storage services for government agencies, museums and religious organisations.

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Dotsies: Language Of The Future?

Dotsies is a minimal, dot-based alternate version of the Latin alphabet. Why have we not evolved past using a 3,000-year-old character system?

Since latin letters (a, b, c, etc.) are optimized to be written by hand, they take up a lot of unnecessary space. Your eyes have to move at a frantic pace from left to right to read. Get more screen space! Save paper!

It’s easier than you think. There are only 26 letters. It takes only about 20 minutes at memorize.com/dotsies to get them into your short term memory. Each letter has five dots that are on or off (black or white). You’ll be very slow at first, but will noticeably speed up over time. As you progress, words start to look like shapes.

DOTSIES

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