Tag Archives | Science

Survivors of the Apocalypse

MARTIN WITTFOOTH — BABEL.  Some of the most beautiful, moving and relevant paintings of our time.

BABEL by New York based artist Martin Wittfooth is the new book featuring 124 pages of  masterful works spanning over five years (2009-2014).

Martin’s work is a rich narrative tapestry that celebrates animals as victors after an apparent apocalyptic event. “Animal apparitions trapped within theatrical atriums caught acting out scenes of good and evil, life and death.”

“Instinctive and purposeful, New York-based oil painter Martin Wittfooth conveys mention of the Masters while sifting through personal revelations, environmental phenomena and socio-political disturbances.” (Nocturne II featured in BABEL).

BABEL is a museum-grade publication documenting seven prolific solo exhibitions featuring large-scale oil paintings: De Anima (2014), Empire (2012), The Passions (2011), Gardens (2010), Tempest (2010), Babylon (2009), Sandcastles in the Tide (2008) and Melting Season 2006).

BABEL features written contributions by Marshall Arisman, Kirsten Anderson, Martin Wittfooth and Mark Murphy.… Read the rest

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The Nature of Mind and the Holographic Brain

Ardonik (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ardonik (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Via War is a Crime

The purpose of this article is to provide evidence that strongly indicates that you are not your brain, or your body for that matter, and that the nature of mind, of memory, and of our brains may actually be vastly different than we have been lead to believe.

Since time immemorial, man has been fascinated by the mind, leading great thinkers from Hippocrates to Descartes to ponder the nature of mind with wonder. Fast forward to modern times and observe how the mind is still revered and is dominating our culture. We have a lot of firm beliefs about the nature of mind, and I believe the ego — our limited perception of ourselves — and thus human ignorance, is intricately tied in with these beliefs.

But the truth of the matter is that we only understand a fraction of the mind’s potential, i.e.

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After Evolution [Debate]

 

Everything from criminality to love of gossip is in our genes according to some biologists. Yet behaviour varies dramatically between cultures. Does this cultural variation mean that evolutionary psychology is flawed? Can it be rescued with a new theory or is culture beyond genetics?

The Panel — Julian Baggini explores the limits of evolution with philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards, anthropologist Daniel Everett and Oxford evolutionary psychologist Oliver Scott Curry.

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Top 10 Patents for 2014

Via IPWatchdog

Our Top 10 Patents of 2014

Closing out our year of reporting on innovations from all over the world, our Top 10 Patents of 2014 list picks up where we left off with our survey of the best patent applications published this past year. Today, we’re picking the best inventions for which corporations from the Companies We Follow series have actually earned patent rights from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Alternative energies, drones, robots, seawater desalination and the Internet of Things all make an appearance in today’s profile of the best inventions from the past year.

#10: Seawater Desalination System

U.S. Patent No. 8834712

Access to fresh water has been a major and growing concern in our world as the human population increases and freshwater resources dwindle. 2015 marks the end of the Water For Life campaign established by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

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Astronomers Simulate Universe and Galaxies on Cosmology Machine

Part of a simulated galaxy, with magnified views (credit: Joop Schaye et al.)

Part of a simulated galaxy, with magnified views (credit: Joop Schaye et al.)

Via Kurzweil AI:

An international team of astronomers has developed a simulation of the universe in which realistic galaxies are created — their mass, size, and age are similar to those of observed galaxies.

Previous computer simulations had limited success because their simulations were too old, too spherical, and either too massive or too small.

In the new study, by astronomers based at Durham University and Leiden University in the Netherlands, the galaxies formed in the EAGLE-simulation (Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments) are a much closer facsimile of real galaxies, thanks to modeling strong galactic winds.

Powered by stars, supernova explosions, and supermassive black holes, the winds blow away the gas supply needed for the formation of stars. As a result, EAGLE’s galaxies are also lighter and younger because fewer stars form and they form later.

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Sustainable Ways to Feed the World Are Subverted by Corporations

Rosewoman (CC BY 2.0)

Rosewoman (CC BY 2.0)

Via News Junkie Post:

Humans’ relationship to food is one of the most fundamentally shaping aspects of our societies. The sole fact that the majority of the world’s population now lives in urban centers is the direct result of a process that began approximately 10,000 years ago. This process was the switch from nomadic hunting-gathering societies to urban sedentary ones. In fact, formal agriculture is the only means whereby an urban society can sustain itself, its population can increase size and density, and complex societal interactions can develop from an urban context. It could be argued that behind the entire construct of capitalism, as becoming sheltered and sedentary allowed our societies to develop an affection for material objects, lies formal agriculture.

The industrial revolution, and in particular the “green revolution” of the 1960s and 70s, once again changed the way that our global society relates to food.

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Robber barons and silicon sultans

Photo: Michael from San Jose, California, USA (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Michael from San Jose, California, USA via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Via The Economist:

IN THE 50 years between the end of the American civil war in 1865 and the outbreak of the first world war in 1914, a group of entrepreneurs spearheaded America’s transformation from an agricultural into an industrial society, built gigantic business empires and amassed huge fortunes. In 1848 John J. Astor, a merchant trader, was America’s richest man with $20m (now $545m). By the time the United States entered the first world war, John D. Rockefeller had become its first billionaire.

In the 50 years since Data General introduced the first mini-computers in the late 1960s, a group of entrepreneurs have spearheaded the transformation of an industrial age into an information society, built gigantic business empires and acquired huge fortunes. When he died in 1992, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, was probably America’s richest man with $8 billion.

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Women Working on the Frontiers of Technology

Photograph of a chip constructed by D-Wave Systems Inc., designed to operate as a 128-qubit superconducting adiabatic quantum optimization processor, mounted in a sample holder.Photo: D-Wave Systems, Inc. via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

Photograph of a chip constructed by D-Wave Systems Inc., designed to operate as a 128-qubit superconducting adiabatic quantum optimization processor, mounted in a sample holder.
Photo: D-Wave Systems, Inc. via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

via Singularity Hub:

Are women starting companies in the most cutting edge fields and keeping pace with the future? Although many are now learning coding and engineering in school, working for global internet companies and building their own apps—these fields are already mainstream and have less and less room for leadership and influence.

Women need to form companies in the industries of tomorrow to ensure they are personally empowered and positioned to shape the most impactful future markets. But what are those markets? One of the smartest things a woman can do today is start a company in quantum computing, space exploration or life extension.

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Environmentalists Have an Irrational Hatred of Nuclear Power

The first American nuclear reactor of the 21st century, Watts-Barr will soon begin operating west of Knoxville in Tennessee.  This reactor will almost continuously generate 1,150 megawatts of electricity for the next 60 years at $0.06/kWhr, with near-zero carbon emissions (over the same period a coal plant would release 500 million tons of CO2, for reference the US releases 6,526 million metric tons CO2 annually).  With this happy marriage of steadily satisfying consumer demand yet generating very little CO2, one would imagine that greenies everywhere like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund and thousands of other environmental groups would be out in the streets rejoicing and calling for more nuclear plants!  However, it seems that environmental groups roundly and universally decry the vast potential of nuclear technology.  But why?
We in the pro-nuclear community have yet to collate and diagnose the almost-dogmatic hatred of nuclear power in the environmental movement, but it seems to stem from several uninformed but understandable complaints:

1) People seem to widely conflate ‘nuclear power’ with ‘nuclear weapons,’  however the danger of a nuclear explosion occurring at a power plant is the same danger as a 1988 Ford Pinto going 250 mph, that is, not any danger at all.… Read the rest

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Top 5 Moments In Decentralization History

Via COINTELEGRAPH

Decentralization is at the heart of Bitcoin’s core principals. I hesitate to use that term because I think overuse of it can lead to rigid thinking, but if there is even one core principal of Bitcoin, decentralization is it. But Bitcoin isn’t the only major instance of decentralization shaking up the course of history, neither is the internet; at least, if you are able to keep an open mind about what exactly decentralization means.

The Internet and in particular Bitcoin are the two best examples of something resembling true decentralization in history, where pretty much every participant got equal access at a relatively reasonable pace; even then, there are some centralization issues. The other examples that are listed here were hampered in reaching the masses either through intentional suppression by those who controlled it, or technological limitations or both. Nevertheless, they do represents mankind’s previous attempts at or accidental creations of situations that greatly, even if only briefly, broke down the pillars of centralization.

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