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The Big Picture

The 4 billion year old story of evolution on this planet - from the slow emergence of the first organisms out of the primordial soup to the present rapid evolution of technology and beyond. 

 

From the author: 

"I cannot believe that we are at the end of this story - we are not evolution's ultimate product. There's something coming after us, and I imagine it is something wonderful. But we may never be able to comprehend it, any more than a caterpillar can comprehend turning into a butterfly."

 
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

Written in 1998 and just as true today. Perhaps even more so.

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The Asymptotic Leap
Technology and human evolution are developing exponentially, entering the steep of an asymptotic curve. Unfortunately, so is the possibility of setting back human evolution hundreds if not millions of years. Which will prevail? It's a nail biter!
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The Dawn of Killer Robots

"In the video, INHUMAN KIND, Motherboard gains exclusive access to a small fleet of US Army bomb disposal robots—the same platforms the military has weaponized—and to a pair of DARPA’s six-foot-tall bipedal humanoid robots. We also meet Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, renowned physicist Max Tegmark, and others who grapple with the specter of artificial intelligence, killer robots, and a technological precedent forged in the atomic age. It’s a story about the evolving relationship between humans and robots, and what AI in machines bodes for the future of war and the human race."

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

"There are basically two things which grow in parallel as society evolves: there is the power of our technology and there is the wisdom of us humans for how to manage the technology"

 - Max Tegmark, physicist

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IBM Just Cracked One Of The Biggest Problems Facing Quantum Computing

IBM Just Cracked One Of The Biggest Problems Facing Quantum Computing | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Quantum computing could make complex calculations trivial — but it’s currently fraught with problems. Now, though, IBM has solved one of the biggest, allowing it to detect the internal errors that could otherwise render quantum calculation useless.
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

From everything I've seen, should quantum computing become viable and mainstream, it will make current computing look like like what a slide rule is to a modern laptop.

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Jason Silva: Portable Virtual Reality Will Allow You to Climb Into Someone's Mind

How do you typically let other people into your minds? You smile. You laugh. You use language to communicate thoughts and feelings. Jason Silva explains why that's all going to change once virtual reality reaches its full potential.

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Robot endowed with consciousness software is close to becoming ‘self-aware’

Robot endowed with consciousness software is close to becoming ‘self-aware’ | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
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The AI Revolution: Road to Superintelligence

The AI Revolution: Road to Superintelligence | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. — Vernor Vinge

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Book review: Virtually Human by Martine Rothblatt

Book review: Virtually Human by Martine Rothblatt | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
"Virtually Human explores what the not-too-distant future will look like when cyberconsciousness—simulation of the human brain via software and computer technology—becomes part of our daily lives." by Martine Rothblatt Ph.D., MBA, J.D.
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Woman Flies an F-35 Simulator with Her Mind

Woman Flies an F-35 Simulator with Her Mind | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
"In doing this work, we've also opened this door," she said. "We can now see a future where we can free the brain from the limitations of the human body and I think we can all imagine amazing good things and amazing potential bad things that are on the other side of that door."
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Peter Diamandis: Exponential Technology Advances and Abundance

http://www.ted.com  Inventor, entrepreneur and X-Prize founder, Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism -- that with the exponential rise of many arenas of technology we're rapidly inventing, innovating and creating ways to solve the massive challenges that loom over us.

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

From 2012 but the message is as relevant now as it was then. 

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Scientists Create Virtual 3D Shapes That Can Be Seen and Felt

Scientists Create Virtual 3D Shapes That Can Be Seen and Felt | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Scientists at the University of Bristol have developed a haptic system, with the help of which it is possible to see and touch virtual 3D models.

Haptic technology simulates the sense of touch in virtual reality (creating so-called touch feedback) and is widely used in mobile phones and gaming. It has also found a number of applications in medical training and surgical simulation, and now it has been used by British scientists to create haptic holograms which can be seen and felt.
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

We have officially entered the age where we will have less certainty about what is real and what is not.

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Li-Fi-like System Would Bring 100-Gbps Speeds Straight to Your Computer

Li-Fi-like System Would Bring 100-Gbps Speeds Straight to Your Computer | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
System sends light signals from the optical fiber fiber through the air to your computer
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'Mind Clones' Let Us Live Forever in Robot Avatars

'Mind Clones' Let Us Live Forever in Robot Avatars | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Martine Rothblatt, America's highest-paid female CEO, wants to upload our minds into these machines.
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"Things are getting better and better, worse and worse, faster and faster." - Tom Atlee

As quoted by Michael Dowd in an interview with Ken Wilber during The World Is Calling Us to Greatness Symposium: https://www.entheos.com/The-Future-is-Calling-Us-to-Greatness

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Harvard cracks DNA storage, crams 700 terabytes of data into a single gram | ExtremeTech

Harvard cracks DNA storage, crams 700 terabytes of data into a single gram | ExtremeTech | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
A bioengineer and geneticist at Harvard's Wyss Institute have successfully stored 5.5 petabits of data -- around 700 terabytes -- in a single gram of DNA, smashing the previous DNA data density record by a thousand times.
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What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?

What happens when our computers get smarter than we are? | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Artificial intelligence is getting smarter by leaps and bounds -- within this century, research suggests, a computer AI could be as "smart" as a human being. And then, says Nick Bostrom, it will overtake us: "Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make." A philosopher and technologist, Bostrom asks us to think hard about the world we're building right now, driven by thinking machines. Will our smart machines help to preserve humanity and our values -- or will
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DARPA Cortical Modem connects brain directly to computer for 'electronic telepathy and telekinesis'

DARPA Cortical Modem connects brain directly to computer for 'electronic telepathy and telekinesis' | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"DARPA's cortical modem implant could restore sight loss and provide eyes with a heads-up display.

 

The "cortical modem" also holds the potential to cure sight loss and enable "electronic telepathy and telekinesis" according to noted futurist Peter Rothman, writing for H+ Magazine.

 

While still a long way from production, the direct neural interface (DNI) chip would be shaped like a coin, around 1cm wide, and could conceivably cost as little as $10."

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Futurist and Filmmaker Jason Silva on How Watching Movies is a Kind of Ecstasy

Futurist and Filmmaker Jason Silva on How Watching Movies is a Kind of Ecstasy | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
"Watching a movie is a technologically-mediated lucid dream. It's like smoking cannabis." - Jason Silva
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

We are nearing a time when we can create any kind of reality we want...and immerse ourselves in it. All forms of media have been an approach to that. Media theorist Marshall McLuhan was right: "The medium IS the message."

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Tiny camera can power itself...potentially forever

Tiny camera can power itself...potentially forever | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"an entirely new generation of cameras that can function for a very long duration—ideally, forever—without being externally powered.


"The camera uses photodiodes for each pixel, creating electric current when exposed to ambient light. Each time the camera takes a picture, the pixels switch between two modes: recording and reading an image, then harvesting energy and charging a power supply."

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Post-Capitalism: Rise of the Collaborative Commons — the revolution will not be centralized.

Post-Capitalism: Rise of the Collaborative Commons — the revolution will not be centralized. | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

As the disruptive capacities of technological innovations continue to advance at an exponential rate, it is increasingly clear that the capitalist economic model is unable to effectively manage resources and distribute wealth under the conditions of sustainable abundance now being brought forth. Vast increases in productivity and efficiency will be realized in the years ahead through an integrated network of smart-products (termed theInternet of Things, or IoT), accessible renewable energy harvesting technologies, energy sharing across a distributed smart-grid, the decentralization of manufacturing through 3D printing, open online education, the decentralization of finance, legal contracts and governance through Blockchain applications, and the progressive automation of the workforce.

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LifeNaut "Mindfile" a First Step to Digital Consciousness?

LifeNaut "Mindfile" a First Step to Digital Consciousness? | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"A Mindfile is a web-based storage space for organizing and preserving critical information (digital reflections) about one’s unique and essential characteristics for the future, and to share with friends and relatives in the present...The long-term goal is to test whether given a comprehensive database, saturated with the most relevant aspects of an individual’s personality, future intelligent software will be able to replicate an individual’s consciousness."

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How Transparency Will Change The World

How Transparency Will Change The World | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Daniel Dennett and Deb Roy explain why digital technology will drive organizations into an evolutionary arms race
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

The video by Daniel Dennett is particularly fascinating.

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First human head transplant could happen in two years

First human head transplant could happen in two years | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
A radical plan for transplanting a head onto someone else's body is set to be announced. But is such ethically sensitive surgery even feasible?
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Terence McKenna's Memes: Computers are Drugs and Drugs are Computers

Terence McKenna's Memes: Computers are Drugs and Drugs are Computers | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
The two concepts, drugs and computers, are migrating toward each other [The Archaic Revival].

McKenna explained in 1999:
Both computers and drugs are what I would call “function-specific arrangements of matter,” and as we develop nanotechnological abilities as we move into the next century, it will be more and more clear that the difference between drugs and machines is simply that one is too large to swallow. And our best people are working on that ["Psychedelics in the Age of Intelligent Machines]".
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

"Launch your meme boldly and see if it will replicate" - Terence

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World's Data Could Fit on a Teaspoon-Sized DNA Hard Drive and Survive Thousands of Years

World's Data Could Fit on a Teaspoon-Sized DNA Hard Drive and Survive Thousands of Years | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
The blueprint of every living thing on the planet is encoded in DNA. We know the stuff can hold a lot of information. But how much is a lot? We
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The Acceleration of Acceleration: How The Future Is Arriving Far Faster Than Expected

The Acceleration of Acceleration: How The Future Is Arriving Far Faster Than Expected | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
One of the things that happens when you write books about the future is you get to watch your predictions fail. This is nothing new, of course, but what’s different this time around is the direction of those failures.
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

Did someone say, "asymptotic curve"?

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Flexctrl brain - Control anything with a single idea

Flexctrl brain - Control anything with a single idea | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
What is Flexctrl brain?

Flexctrl brain is a 32-channel brain-machine interface wearable on the head, providing a new generation contact between man and machine. It is capable of observing brain activities in real time, enabled by the use of Electroencephalography (EEG) measurement. This way the device provides the possibility of a better understanding of what is going on in our brains and of using it in several fields of life. Due to its design, it can be used safely regardless of age: by children, adults, elderly or even ill people.

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