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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The Apocolyptic Planet - by Craig Childs

The Apocolyptic Planet - by Craig Childs | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

In this riveting narrative, Childs makes clear that ours is not a stable planet, that it is prone to sudden, violent natural disasters and extremes of climate. Alternate futures, many not so pretty, are constantly waiting in the wings. Childs refutes the idea of an apocalyptic end to the earth and finds clues to its more inevitable end in some of the most physically challenging places on the globe. 

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A groundbreaking project called Aireal lets you actually feel virtual objects

A groundbreaking project called Aireal lets you feel virtual objects. Aireal is the result of research by University of Illinois PhD student Rajinder Sodhi and Disney Reseach’s Ivan Poupyrev. When set by your television or connected to an iPad, this diminutive machine will puff air rings that allow you to actually feel objects and textures in midair — no special controllers or gloves required.

 

The machine itself is essentially a set of five speakers in a box — subwoofers that track your body through IR, then fire low frequencies through a nozzle to form donut-like vortices.

 

In practice, Aireal can do anything from creating a button for you to touch in midair to crafting whole textures by pulsing its bubbles to mimic water, stone, and sand. … A single Aireal could conceivably support multiple people, and a grid of Aireals could create extremely immersive rooms, creating sensations like a flock of birds flying by.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Amy Cross
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Marie Rippen's curator insight, July 24, 2013 2:15 PM

Besides entertainment, this could have applications in physical therapy, education, advertising--anything you can think of where communicating the sensation of touch is important. Although, the first thing that popped into my head was Star Trek... holodeck anyone?

 

 
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NASA Nuclear Physicists Postulates - We Live in a Virtual Reality (Video)

NASA Nuclear Physicists Postulates - We Live in a Virtual Reality (Video) | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Where physics, spirituality and metaphysics meet – there you find one of the foremost scientists in the world – Thomas Campbell.  Working as a nuclear physicist for NASA, Campbell postulates that we do indeed live in a virtual reality, saying: “The only thing that is fundamental (real) is consciousness itself; all else is virtual- i.e., a result of an exchange of information within consciousness.”  What is the basis for this theory and where are these views to take both science, reality and what we say ‘matters?’

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

Crikey!

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World's cheapest computer gets millions tinkering

World's cheapest computer gets millions tinkering | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"It's a single circuit board the size of a credit card with no screen or keyboard, a far cry from the smooth tablets that dominate the technology market.

 

But the world's cheapest computer, costing just $25 (£17, 19.50 euros), has astonished its British creators by selling almost 1.5 million units in 18 months.

 

The Raspberry Pi is now powering robots in Japan and warehouse doors in Malawi, photographing astral bodies from the United States and helping to dodge censorship in China."

 

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Why the Global Brain needs a Therapist

Why the Global Brain needs a Therapist | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
The idea that the world itself could be considered an overarching form of mind can trace its roots deep into the religious longings of pantheism- the idea that the universe itself is God, or the cl...
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World's first telescopic contact lens developed

World's first telescopic contact lens developed | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
A team of researchers have created the world's first telescopic contact lens. The "bionic" eye lens gives users "superman" powers to zoom vision 2.8x on points of special interest in their field of vision, like birds of prey, such as the eagle.
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The Real You - Alan Watts

Who are you really? An amazing excerpt from a lecture given by Alan Watts a British philosopher, writer, and speaker. 

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'Terminator' arm is world's most advanced prosthetic limb

'Terminator' arm is world's most advanced prosthetic limb | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
More info about this amazing prosthetic can be found here http://bebionic.com A father who lost his arm in an accident six years ago has been given a new lea...
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

Watch this video and be amazed.

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The biological microprocessor, or how to build a computer with biological parts

The biological microprocessor, or how to build a computer with biological parts | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Via Socrates Logos
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

This is a rather technical paper, but one can get the gist of man-made computing components can be fully replaced with bio-based components to create a fully operable computing system. But then again, perhaps you and I were always a bio-based computing system.

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Socrates Logos's curator insight, June 28, 2013 8:37 PM

by
Gerd Moe-Behrens

"Systemics, a revolutionary paradigm shift in scientific thinking, with applications in systems biology, and synthetic biology, have led to the idea of using silicon computers and their engineering principles as a blueprint for the engineering of a similar machine made from biological parts. Here we describe these building blocks and how they can be assembled to a general purpose computer system, a biological microprocessor.  Such a system consists of biological parts building an input / output device, an arithmetic logic unit, a control unit, memory, and wires (busses) to interconnect these components. A biocomputer can be used to monitor and control a biological system."

http://bit.ly/1cwM43X

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Tiny Injectable LEDs Manipulate the Brain With Light

Tiny Injectable LEDs Manipulate the Brain With Light | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Tiny, glowing probes packed with LEDs and sensors are scientists' newest tool for measuring and manipulating the brain and other living tissues.
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5 incredible things you can do with graphene

5 incredible things you can do with graphene | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
It could make your computer faster, power your cell phone longer,
filter the salt out of sea water and help confirm some of the most
difficult questions in atomic physics.
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New tasks become as simple as waving a hand with brain-computer interfaces | KurzweilAI

New tasks become as simple as waving a hand with brain-computer interfaces | KurzweilAI | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
This image shows the changes that took place in the brain for all patients participating in the study using a brain-computer interface. Changes in activity

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Small brain-computer interface (BCI) electrodes placed on or inside the brain allow patients to interact with computers or control robotic limbs simply by thinking about how to execute those actions.

This technology could improve communication and daily life for a person who is paralyzed or has lost the ability to speak from a stroke or neurodegenerative disease.

Now, University of Washington researchers have demonstrated that when humans use BCI technology, the brain behaves much like it does when completing simple motor skills such as kicking a ball, typing or waving a hand. So learning to control a robotic arm or a prosthetic limb could become second nature for people who are paralyzed.

“What we’re seeing is that practice makes perfect with these tasks,” said Rajesh Rao, a UW professor of computer science and engineering and a senior researcher involved in the study. “There’s a lot of engagement of the brain’s cognitive resources at the very beginning, but as you get better at the task, those resources aren’t needed anymore and the brain is freed up.”


Via Wildcat2030
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Your Smartphone in 2018: 15 Futuristic Features

Your Smartphone in 2018: 15 Futuristic Features | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
From bendable screens to eye scanners, here are 15 smartphone features to expect in the next five years.
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Arctic methane 'economic time bomb'

Arctic methane 'economic time bomb' | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Scientists are warning that rising emissions of methane in the Arctic waters could cost the world trillions of dollars.
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Why we need eccentricity

Why we need eccentricity | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Martin Howard: It's not just the preserve of Albert Einstein and Prince – eccentric behaviour benefits society and helps us live longer

 

"Eccentricity. We all know it when we see it. Chances are high some of you reading this are eccentric, and we British are quietly proud to lead the world in producing Grade-A loons. National icon Oscar Wilde, for example, used to take a lobster on a lead for walks."


Via Douglas Eby, Lynnette Van Dyke
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

A critical ingredient of human evolution?

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Douglas Eby's curator insight, July 23, 2013 2:22 PM

“I hope I’m becoming more eccentric. More room in the brain.” Musician Tom Waits / Being eccentric can help our creative thinking and courage. As psychologist Robert Ornstein has noted, “If you spend too much time being like everybody else, you decrease your chances of coming up with something different.” - From post: Being eccentric and creative http://developingmultipletalents.com/101/being-eccentric-and-creative/

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Scientists Reconstruct What a Brain Sees Into Digital Video

Scientists Reconstruct What a Brain Sees Into Digital Video | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
UC Berkeley scientists have developed a system to capture visual activity in human brains and reconstruct it as digital video clips. Eventually, this process will allow you to record and reconstruct your own dreams on a computer screen.
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Watch Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic at TEDxKids

Kevin Breel is a 19 year old writer, comedian, and mental health activist. As a rising young stand up comedian in Canada, Kevin is also extremely involved in advocating for mental health...

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

And now for something completely different...

 

Still, one of the most inspiring talks I've ever heard about depresssion and its stigma. Although the audio quality is not great, the message comes through loud and clear.

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Superman memory crystal: 5D nano-glass to preserve data for million years

Superman memory crystal: 5D nano-glass to preserve data for million years | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
A research group in Britain has recorded data into a crystal of nanostructured glass.
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Joe Rogan and others - novelty theory

Joe Rogan and others - novelty theory | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Joe Rogan on Breuer Unleashed talks the speed of novelty, psychedelically induced inspiration, and the nature of ego.

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Storing data in individual molecules

Storing data in individual molecules | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

An experimental technology called molecular memory, which would store data in individual molecules, promises another 1,000-fold increase in storage density. But previous schemes for molecular memory have relied on physical systems cooled to near absolute zero. In the Jan. 23 online edition of Nature, an international team of researchers led by Jagadeesh Moodera, a senior research scientist in the MIT Department of Physics and at MIT’s Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory, describes a new molecular-memory scheme that works at around the freezing point of water — which in physics parlance counts as “room temperature.”

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Would it be evil to build a functional brain inside a computer?

Would it be evil to build a functional brain inside a computer? | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
There’s been a lot of talk recently about using supercomputers to simulate the human brain. But as scientists get progressively closer to achieving this goal, they’re going to have to consider the ethics involved.
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The Noosphere and the Nature of Human Evolution | Lawrence Bloom

The Noosphere and the Nature of Human Evolution | Lawrence Bloom | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"The prizes for (evolutionary) success are beyond our most visionary dreams, and the penalties for failure, beyond our worst nightmares."

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

A fantastic piece about the nature of human evolution, and how "networked mind" -- and our ability to positively use it and engage it -- will determine how (or if!) we make the asymptotic leap.

 

 

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Global Brain Update: Google Plans to Use High Pressure Balloons to Deliver Internet to the Hinterlands

Global Brain Update: Google Plans to Use High Pressure Balloons to Deliver Internet to the Hinterlands | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

The idea does sound crazy, even for Google—so much so that the company has dubbed it Project Loon. But if all works according to the company’s grand vision, hundreds, even thousands, of high-pressure balloons circling the earth could provide Internet to a significant chunk of the world’s 5 billion unconnected souls, enriching their lives with vital news, precious educational materials, lifesaving health information, and images of grumpy cats.

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Scottish scientists to trial synthetic human blood

Scottish scientists to trial synthetic human blood | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH scientists have been given the go-ahead for the world’s first trials in humans of synthetic blood, The Scotsman can reveal.
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Sensor bracelet lets you literally touch your friends from anywhere in the world

Sensor bracelet lets you literally touch your friends from anywhere in the world | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Wearable is bringing us all closer together, and an experimental device embraces this notion by allowing you to touch a friend remotely.

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One of the new metrics of dating compatibility unique to our age is how frequently you do (or do not) text your partner during the day. This virtual form of contact has replaced what was once a phone call, and before that a physical meeting. But now that technology has moved into the wearable phase, a new idea has emerged that takes the notion of virtual contact quite literally. 

Created by Poland-based design studio Pangenerator, the Tactilu is a wrist device that allows wearers to communicate remotely through the sense of touch. Powered by an Arduino Pro mini microcontroller and a custom pcb with a Bluetooth module, the experimental device allows to wearers to virtually touch each other through haptic feedback via an Internet connection or Bluetooth no matter where they are in the world. 

Although the current design is already pretty futuristic, the next generation of the haptic feedback device will be much slimmer, thus making it a bit more palatable for potential mainstream consumers. You can see the Tactilu in action in the video below.


Via Wildcat2030
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