Tag Archives | Philosophy

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company beats SpaceX to landing its first rocket

Eric Burger via Ars Technica:

Jeff Bezos finally one-upped Elon Musk in space. On Tuesday Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, announced its New Shepard space vehicle had ascended to 100.5km and returned successfully to the ground near its West Texas launch site.

“Now safely tucked away at our launch site in West Texas is the rarest of beasts—a used rocket,” said Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, in a statement. “Blue Origin’s reusable New Shepard space vehicle flew a flawless mission—soaring to 329,839 feet and then returning through 119mph high-altitude crosswinds to make a gentle, controlled landing just four-and-a-half feet from the center of the pad. Full reuse is a game changer, and we can’t wait to fuel up and fly again.”

Like Blue Origin, Musk’s SpaceX is attempting to build a reusable Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 booster, but so far the company’s efforts to land its rocket on a mobile, seaborne platform have not been successful.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Bloodiest Century on Earth and the Fifth Miracle

Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core.

Beyond M31 is another very similar galaxy – its spiral arms slowly turning once every quarter-billion years.  This is our own Milky Way, seen from the outside.  This is the home galaxy of the human species.  In the obscure backwaters of the Carina-Cygnus spiral arm, we humans have evolved to conscience and some measure of understanding.  Concentrated in its brilliant core and strewn along its spiral arms are four-hundred-billion suns.  It takes light a hundred-thousand years to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other.  Within this galaxy are stars and worlds and, it may be, an enormous diversity of living things and intelligent beings and space-faring civilizations… In the Milky Way galaxy, there may be many worlds on which matter has grown to consciousness.  I wonder: are they very different from us?  What do they look like?   What are their politics, technology, music, religion? 

Read the rest
Continue Reading

“I would love to believe that when I die, I will live again.”

Javier (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Javier (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I would love to believe that when I die, I will live again….  that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue.  But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.

The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence.  Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

— Carl Sagan

h/t Relatively Interesting.


Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Driving Range


I’m all Paris-ed and “let’s throw up barbed-wire fences to keep us free“-ed out. Feeling kind of dark. So, please indulge as I pitch this one ride out there, to cheer us up…



It’s been slow. It’s that palpable quiet period for cab driving as Thanksgiving looms.

At present I’m cruising the Lower Haight, with the back seat having been cold for the last forty-five minutes. (Sigh.) I guess it’ll be the left up Fillmore now, for the usual rounds; on through the Jazz District, up through well-off Pac Heights, and down into the yuppie ubiquitous Marina.

However, mid-turn, score!

It’s a late 20’s skinny white blonde dude with thick coke-bottle glasses, and sagging jeans, running into the street from the afar bus stop to flag. Dude is swaggering towards me in beat up skater shoes, with gold chain swaying, and one hand waving vehemently in the air as the other holds up his falling pants.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Why I Didn’t Take the Blue Pill

drunken taoistFighting always scared the hell out of me.

And that’s exactly why I have spent a good chunk of my life doing it.

Often, when people who know about my training and fighting in martial arts meet me, they look confused. I am nothing like what they expected. They had pictured encountering a killing machine with a mean streak and muscles growing evenout of his ears, and instead they get my mellow, nerdy, glasses-wearingself. Their surprise is the same even if they don’t meet me in person, and instead just talk to me on the phone. I don’t exactly have a small, whiny voice, but I still don’t exude that aggressive machismo—that gruff, grizzly-bear-who-just-woke-up-in-a-bad mood vibe they had imagined.

I am freakishly sensitive, very emotional, non-confrontational—a happy puppy who wants nothing but peace and love.I have spent thousands of hours with my head buried in books,and I hate conflict—physical or otherwise.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Politics of Hate – Deep Inside the Red Brain

brain_on_fire 3

The Politics of Hate – Deep Inside the Red Brain

Is there something politicians know that the vast majority of the US voters don’t? Some of them are proof that all they need to know is how their voters think. You don’t really believe many of them talk the way they do because they’re stupid, do you? It may at times appear that way, but they are speaking to voter profiles.

First they outline their demographic and then angle the pitch. There is plenty of published research on why and how certain types vote. And really it’s a predictable statistical function of the voter’s brain. But even given the current political atmosphere I couldn’t believe the venom certain candidates were spewing. With so much negativity – about “EVERYTHING” and then all the warmongering. I began to wonder if they might be fanning the flames of a growing national hate movement.

Then I read an article, “Red Brain, Blue Brain” about a joint study done by Dr.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Insurrection and Utopia, Part 2: “You say you want a Revolution?” “Not exactly…”


Unlike other radicals and Leftists, Dr. Bones actually has a plan.

Via Gods & Radicals:

“Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” Isn’t that what they say?

If the entire world, from human culture to technology, is the byproduct of the Ruling Ideology and is literally shaped and molded by it we must do nothing less then change everything; reform is not an option because the sheer act of of working “within the system” actually reinforces existing ideologies. That’s been the key to the whole thing: each generation fine tunes and updates the existing ideological experience, making it bearable and palatable to them and thus preserves it. It’s the reason identity politics and purely social revolutions are so eagerly supported. The people at the top don’t really care if the definition of marriage is broadened or restricted as long as we keep depending on them to do it, they don’t care if there’s a black or female president as long as we still keep electing presidents.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

A Foggy Mourning

foggy mourning

They’ve been warning of a big El Niño in California. Say it’s gonna cause great landslides in the wake of this historic drought. But of course, they qualify that it won’t do much for the drought. Hmph! Well, who are they, anyway!

No really, who are “they”??

When I was a kid lying flat on my belly on the living room carpet inches from the TV, with my head propped up by elbows planted firmly in the floor, and the TV would go all white-noise and fuzzy, my parents would just write it off all nonchalant with, “It’s just them.” Well, I wanna know who “them” is! Cause they keep fucking up the program. Maybe we can all hunt them down, together! Get rid of “them”… Who’s with me!!

But, I digress.

The big El Niño this week was all of a three-hour rain, one morning. No wet gold for the cabbie.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Why it matters that you realize you’re in a computer simulation


Eliott Edge Ethical Technology IEET:

What if our universe is something like a computer simulation, or a virtual reality, or a video game?  The proposition that the universe is actually a computer simulation was furthered in a big way during the 1970s, when John Conway famously proved that if you take a binary system, and subject that system to only a few rules (in the case of Conway’s experiment, four); then that system creates something rather peculiar.

What Conway’s rules produced were emergent complexities so sophisticated that they seemed to resemble the behaviors of life itself. He named his demonstration The Game of Life, and it helped lay the foundation for the Simulation Argument, its counterpart the Simulation Hypothesis, and Digital Mechanics.  These fields have gone on to create a massive multi-decade long discourse in science, philosophy, and popular culture around the idea that it actually makes logical, mathematical sense that our universe is indeed a computer simulation. 

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Truth is Out There… Maybe

New Blog Foto 11 2015

Amongst the hypnotized masses that mindlessly—yet often joyously—drift through life, you will come across those far outnumbered truth seekers. Which, if you are reading this, you most likely fall into that category: enlightened beings on a never-ending quest for the truth about life and the mysteries of the universe. The deep thinkers and philosophers of our times, many of whom might feel that they think too much for their own good. At least that’s how I feel when I spend countless hours contemplating if anything I do in my lifetime will actually matter. I inevitably arrive to the conclusion that on a cosmic scale, it just doesn’t… or wait, does it? I will say, it certainly takes some convincing myself with internal debates to write this, to work diligently on my creative projects, or to jump through the hoops of life when one thinks too much for their own good.

Between the ages of 20 to my current age of 27, I have sought ferociously after “the truth,” and proudly called myself a truth seeker, diligently studying the mysteries of the universe.… Read the rest

Continue Reading