The Asymptotic Leap
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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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NASA | Computer Model Shows a Disk Galaxy's Life History

We evolved from this so that we could be aware that we evolved from this. Astounding. What's next?

 

This cosmological simulation follows the development of a single disk galaxy over about 13.5 billion years, from shortly after the Big Bang to the present time. Colors indicate old stars (red), young stars (white and bright blue) and the distribution of gas density (pale blue); the view is 300,000 light-years across. The simulation ran on the Pleiades supercomputer at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and required about 1 million CPU hours. It assumes a universe dominated by dark energy and dark matter. .

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DVICE: Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction

DVICE: Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they'll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware. Whoa.


Here's how it went down, as related by OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte at MIT Technology Review's EmTech conference last week:


"We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He'd never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android."


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"Intelligence evolves its own evolvability."

 - Kevin Kelly

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Cyborg tissue is half living cells, half electronics

Cyborg tissue is half living cells, half electronics | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

They beat like real heart cells, but the rat cardiomyocytes in a dish at Harvard University are different in one crucial way. Snaking through them are wires and transistors that spy on each cell's electrical impulses. In future, the wires might control their behaviour too. And if signals can also be sent to the cells, cyborg tissue could be used in prosthetics or to create tiny robots.

 

Artificial tissue can already be grown on three-dimensional scaffolds made of biological materials that are not electrically active. And electrical components have been added to cultured tissue before, but not integrated into its structure, so they were only able to glean information from the surface.

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Extended Brain/Memory – A Camera for Lifelogging

Memoto is a small, clip-on device that takes pictures while you live your life. Like a lot of other lifelogging devices, Memoto doesn’t just take pictures but also registers your GPS position, so you know exactly where those pictures were taken. Two geo-tagged, 5-megapixel pictures are taken per minute and a special app also organizes your images into a timeline.

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Breakthrough May Open Door For Large Scale Quantum Computing

Breakthrough May Open Door For Large Scale Quantum Computing | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

In a key step toward creating a working quantum computer, Princeton researchers have developed a method that may allow the quick and reliable transfer of quantum information throughout a computing device.

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Rose's Law For Quantum Computers

Rose's Law For Quantum Computers | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

The potential for Rose's law is mind bending...the very near future should be the watershed moment, where quantum computers surpass conventional computers and never look back. Moore’s Law cannot catch up. A year later, it outperforms all computers on Earth combined. Double qubits again the following year, and it outperforms the universe. What the???? you may ask... Meaning, it could solve certain problems that could not be solved by any non-quantum computer, even if the entire mass and energy of the universe was at its disposal and molded into the best possible computer.

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Sepp Hasslberger's comment, October 17, 2012 9:55 AM
Yes, but the old GIGO principle (garbage in - garbage out) is still as valid as ever.

So are we going to have mega-galactic garbage as output?
The Asymptotic Leap's comment, October 17, 2012 2:12 PM
You are right. We either evolve to use this and other technologies to our benefit or we to become imprisoned or destroyed by them.
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Everything You Know Will Eventually Be Wrong

Everything You Know Will Eventually Be Wrong | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
It's an irony of modern life that the exponential spread of information has given rise to another exponential spread, of books about the exponential spread of information.
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Scientists develop world's first 'biological Internet' | NDTV Gadgets

Scientists develop world's first 'biological Internet' | NDTV Gadgets | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Scientists develop world's first 'biological Internet': Bio-engineers are harnessing the key attibutes of a virus, M13, such as its ability to package and broadcast arbitrary DNA strands, to create the first biological internet or 'Bi-Fi.' 

 

Biological internet could lead to biosynthetic factories in which huge masses of microbes collaborate to make more complicated fuels, pharmaceuticals and other useful chemicals, including the regeneration of tissue or organs in future, according to a Stanford statement.

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The PowerPot - Transforming distributed electricity generation

The PowerPot - Transforming distributed electricity generation | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

The PowerPot™ is a lightweight generator that converts heat into DC electrical power. Simply add water to the pot and place it on a heat source appropriate for boiling water. The PowerPot™ will immediately start powering mobile electronics. The PowerPot™ comes equipped with a standard USB (5V) port, making it compatible with devices you already have. The cable has three feet of heavy-duty, flame-resistant wire. The solid-state voltage regulator provides up to 5W of power to charge devices.

 

This is yet another technology that can help bring modest, distributed electricity generation to billions in the developing world. Many of these people have cell phones but often need to walk miles to get their devices charged. As cell phones become smart phones in these regions, and modes of distributed power generation proliferate, the global brain stands to take yet another leap forward.

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New Hitachi technology stores data 'for millions of years'

New Hitachi technology stores data 'for millions of years' | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

As Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones prove, good music lasts a long time; now Japanese hi-tech giant Hitachi says it can last even longer - a few hundred million years at least. The company unveiled a method of storing digital information on slivers of quartz glass that can endure extreme temperatures and hostile conditions without degrading, almost forever.

 

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The impact of the Internet on Human Rights | Visual.ly

The impact of the Internet on Human Rights | Visual.ly | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Infographic that emphasize the human rights that are enabled by the internet and those that are at risk of being violated even more with the internet.
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Richard Dawkins: Why the universe seems so strange

In a talk from 2005, biologist Richard Dawkins makes a case for "thinking the improbable" by looking at how the human frame of reference limits our understanding of the universe. His words then are as meaningful today as they were then. In sum: what we don't know is astounding.

 

 

 

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Jaan Tallinn: Why a Singularity Now? A Quest in Metaphysics

Jaan Tallinn, one of the programmers behind Kazaa and Skype, asks the metaphysical question, why now for Singularity? Along with that he looks at the very real possibility that we are part of a multiverse and that we are simply part of a massive computer simulation.

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Jason Silva | Techno-Optimism

A conversation with filmmaker, aesthetic philosopher and ecstatic futurist Jason Silva. Says Silva, "What I imagine is more (evolutionary) progress at a faster and faster rate until it literally becomes a dizzying, rousing symphonic climax; the spillover of intelligence transcending entropy to a crescendo of awe."

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Today, a Young Man on Acid Realized that all Matter is Merely Energy Condensed to a…

Today, a Young Man on Acid Realized that all Matter is Merely Energy Condensed to a… | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

This is a quote from comedian/philosopher Bill Hicks, sadly no longer with us. One imagines he would be pleased and completely unsurprised to learn that serious scientific minds are considering and actually finding support for the theory that our reality could be a kind of simulation. That means, for example, a string of daisy-chained IBM Super-Deep-Blue Gene Quantum Watson computers from 2042 could be running a History of the Universe program, and depending on your solipsistic preferences, either you are or we are the character(s).

 

It’s been in the news a lot of late, but — no way, right?

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Kurzweil: Brains will extend to the cloud

Human brains will someday extend into the cloud, futurist and computer pioneer Ray Kurzweil predicted at the DEMO conference here on Tuesday.

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Jason Silva MICROSOFT Tech-Ed Keynote in Australia

A terrific compilation of videos by Jason Silva...presented by Jason Silva. He's a great cheerleader for those of us who really GET how quickly the evolution is happening, and how amazing the transformation might be.

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Social Intrapreneurs Are Just As Important As Entrepreneurs

Social Intrapreneurs Are Just As Important As Entrepreneurs | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Working to create change inside a company--or being a "systempreneur" working to change an entire system--can be just as valuable to society and the economy as charting your own course.

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Deepak Chopra: Social Media is the Next Phase of Humanity [VIDEO]

Deepak Chopra: Social Media is the Next Phase of Humanity [VIDEO] | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

“Technology is our creation; we weren’t created by technology, so let’s use our creation to bring about a healing,” Chopra said. “At the most fundamental level, we are not just connected, we are inseparable.”

 

But harnessing the power of social media, to become something larger than just networking, Chopra said, is a choice for humanity to make — the world is still at a crossroads. Although he said technology itself is neutral, he espoused a message of hope, saying that if harnessed for good, technology could lead the world to a place of good and produce a united solution for the challenges of the world.

 

“What drones can’t do, what the armies can’t do, what the weapons can’t do, what the weapons of mass destruction can’t do, what biological warfare can’t do — we can do through technology to heal the world,” Chopra said.


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BioLite CampStove - Another technology for distributed power generation

BioLite CampStove - Another technology for distributed power generation | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

From the website: "The stove converts heat from a fire of sticks in its center into usable electricity that can recharge phones, lights and other gadgets while you cook dinner. Unlike solar, BioLite CampStove is a true on-demand source of electricity."

 

From The Asymptote: "Yet another technology for people in primitive cultures to self-generate modest amounts of electricity on their own, thus minimizing the need for centralized power production, while making it possible for any villager to charge his/her own smartphone or computer (connection to the Global Brain)."

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Upgrading the Human Body

Upgrading the Human Body | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Just last night I was talking about my plan to put a small neodymium magnet inside the tip of my finger....

 

You read that right. It’s the first wave of biohacking: upgrading the human body with surgically-implanted technology. View a mini-documentary and article about his immersion into the biohacker subculture.

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How the Internet will (one day) transform government -- Clay Shirky

The open-source world has learned to deal with a flood of new, oftentimes divergent, ideas using hosting services like GitHub -- so why can’t governments? In this rousing TED talk Clay Shirky shows how democracies can take a lesson from the Internet, to be not just transparent but also to draw on the knowledge of all their citizens.

Clay Shirky argues that the history of the modern world could be rendered as the history of ways of arguing, where changes in media change what sort of arguments are possible -- with deep social and political implications. 

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Rachel Botsman: The currency of the new economy is trust | Video on TED.com

There's been an explosion of collaborative consumption -- web-powered sharing of cars, apartments, skills. Rachel Botsman explores the currency that makes systems like Airbnb and Taskrabbit work: trust, influence, and what she calls "reputation capital."

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A degree by degree explanation of what will happen when the earth warms

A degree by degree explanation of what will happen when the earth warms | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Even if greenhouse emissions stopped overnight the concentrations already in the atmosphere would still mean a global rise of between 0.5 and 1C. A shift of a single degree is barely perceptible to human skin, but it’s not human skin we’re talking about. It’s the planet; and an average increase of one degree across its entire surface means huge changes in climatic extremes.


Via Bert Guevara, SustainOurEarth
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