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Space Elevators: To the Moon and Back-The space elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing,"

Space Elevators: To the Moon and Back-The space elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing," | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |

The space elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing," said science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, a long time ago.

[...] The idea of a space elevator dates back to the late 19th century, when Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky proposed a free-standing structure that would essentially act as a really long elevator, connecting Earth to a platform in geostationary orbit (some 35,000km) in space. [...]

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First Robocop to join Dubai Police ranks

First Robocop to join Dubai Police ranks | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
If any place in the world is moving towards a Bladerunner-esque, sci-fi future, it's Dubai. From a fleet of supercars that enlist the assistance of Crime Prediction software in preventing crime to their jet-pack riding firefighters, this is a city that isn't afraid to embrace 21st century technology. Now it is introducing robots into its police force with the first cop-bot starting work this week and plans for 25 percent of its force to be robotic by 2030.

The initial robocop introduction will come in the form of REEM, a humanoid robot from Spanish outfit PAL Robotics. REEM was first launched back in 2011 essentially as a customizable service robot on a wheeled base designed to act as a high-tech interactive info booth for airports, museums or hospitals.

Dubai Police worked with PAL Robotics to refine the REEM design for their purposes and unveiled an adapted version in late 2016. In a recent interview with CNN, Brigadier Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, head of the police robot project, revealed that the robocop will initially be rolled out in shopping centers and at tourist attractions before being moved into police stations to act as receptionists. Citizens will be able to pay fines, report crimes and generally conduct an assortment of initial, first-encounter police interactions.
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, Today, 7:53 PM

The age of "Robo Cop" and "Blade Runner" is here, courtesy of PAL Electronics and Dubai. Science fiction is now science fact.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Can this chatbot beat the bullies in online games?

Can this chatbot beat the bullies in online games? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
n any fictionalized universe, the distinction between playful antagonism and earnest harassment can be difficult to discern. Name-calling between friends playing a video game together is often a form of camaraderie. Between strangers, however, similar words assume a different, more troublesome quality. Being able to distinguish between the two is crucial for any video-game maker that wants to foster a welcoming community.

Spirit AI hopes to help developers support players and discourage bullying behavior with an abuse detection and intervention system called Ally. The software monitors interactions between players—what people are saying to each other and how they are behaving—through the available actions within a game or social platform. It’s able to detect verbal harassment and also nonverbal provocation—for example, one player stalking another’s avatar or abusing reporting tools.

“We’re looking at interaction patterns, combined with natural-language classifiers, rather than relying on a list of individual keywords,” explains Ruxandra Dariescu, one of Ally’s developers. “Harassment is a nuanced problem.”

When Ally identifies potentially abusive behavior, it checks to see if the potential abuser and the other player have had previous interactions. Where Ally differs from existing moderation software is that rather than simply send an alert to the game’s developers, it is able to send a computer-controlled virtual character to check in with the player—one that, through Spirit AI’s natural-language tools, is able to converse in the game’s tone and style (see “A Video-Game Algorithm to Solve Online Abuse”).
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Why augmented reality is triggering cultural conflict and religious controversy

Why augmented reality is triggering cultural conflict and religious controversy | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
A Russian man was recently given a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence for inciting religious hatred. His crime? Playing the popular augmented reality (AR) game Pokémon Go on his smartphone in a church.

Sacred spaces and games have long had an uneasy relationship. In 2002, a setting resembling Amritsar’s Golden Temple appeared in the violent video game Hitman 2. Controversy ensued. But more than digitally recreating sacred places, we now have games that physically encroach on those spaces, incorporating them into location-based AR systems. Inside Gujarati temples where eggs are forbidden, were found some of Pokémon Go’s “virtual eggs”. Controversy ensued, again.

AR is a simple idea with endlessly complicated implications – look around using special glasses or a smartphone camera, add software with location awareness, and the software can overlay information on a scene or even make things appear to be located “in” physical space. AR turns physical sites into raw materials for the creation of new media, producing hybrids that are simultaneously everyday places and digital wonderlands.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, May 22, 9:13 PM

Watch for the collision of Augmented Reality and games with protection of sacred places and historical monuments.  Games, such as Pokeman Go,  This issue has already arisen in Russia. Could your neighborhood be next?

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Antarctica Is Turning Green, as Climate Change Pushes It Back in Geologic Time

Antarctica Is Turning Green, as Climate Change Pushes It Back in Geologic Time | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
Researchers in Antarctica have discovered rapidly growing banks of mosses on the ice continent's northern peninsula, providing striking evidence of climate change in the coldest and most remote parts of the planet.

Amid the warming of the last 50 years, the scientists found two different species of mosses undergoing the equivalent of growth spurts, with mosses that once grew less than a millimetre per year now growing over 3 millimetres per year on average.

"People will think of Antarctica quite rightly as a very icy place, but our work shows that parts of it are green, and are likely to be getting greener," said Matthew Amesbury, a researcher with the University of Exeter in the UK, and lead author of the new study.

"Even these relatively remote ecosystems, that people might think are relatively untouched by human kind, are showing the effects of human induced climate change."

The study was published Thursday in Current Biology, by Amesbury and colleagues with the University of Cambridge, the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Durham.

Less than 1 percent of present-day Antarctica features plant life. But in parts of the peninsula, Antarctic mosses grow on frozen ground that partly thaws in the summer - when only about the first foot of soil ever thaws.

The surface mosses build up a thin layer in the summer, then freeze over in winter. As layer builds on top of layer, older mosses subside below the frozen ground, where they are remarkably well preserved due to the temperatures.

Amesbury said that made them "a record of changes over time".

Soil samples from a 400-mile (640-km) area along the northern part of the Antarctic peninsula found dramatic changes in growth patterns going back 150 years.

The Antarctic peninsula has been a site of rapid warming, with more days a year where temperatures rise above freezing. The consequence, the study found, was a four- to five-fold increase in the amount of moss growth in the most recent part of the record.
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, May 19, 2:43 AM

The climate of Antarctica is changing rapidly.  The icy continent is warming significantly with more green plants taking hold in formally frozen wastelands. Another observation that shows climate change is no myth.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Metrosexual, hipster, spornosexual: why do we keep redefining men?

Metrosexual, hipster, spornosexual: why do we keep redefining men? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
Ten years ago, men were metrosexual, but now I’ve lost track. Currently, the spornosexual, a more body conscious and sexually explicit version of the metrosexual, is vying with the check-shirted, bearded lumbersexual for top spot. Nattily dressed and neatly bearded, the “dandy wildman” and the hipster also abound, too.

These are men’s consumer lifestyles. If you want to be a spornosexual, you buy gym membership, protein and some expensive photography equipment to spruce up your Instagram feed. To be a hipster, go to vintage clothes shops, buy the most obscure craft ales, and some beard oil.

In the last 30 years, the number of men’s lifestyles on the market has grown exponentially. My ongoing PhD research explores this phenomenon, trying to understand and explain the appearance of new “marketed manhoods”. Having held focus groups with young men around the country, I have found new marketed versions of manhood have taken hold to vastly differing extents in different areas.
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, May 7, 1:07 AM

Intriguing article about the modern definition of "manhood." Perhaps, the definition of our social and sexual natures will divert us from the horrendously real problems of our world.  Perhaps fantasy and "keeping up with the times" are more important than facing the pressing problems of our world, such as wars, hunger, resource depletion, and human extinction.  

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

Sbobet Online's curator insight, May 7, 4:15 AM

Treasure Island - Hotel ini Sbobet Online telah mengalami sedikit transformasi dalam beberapa tahun terakhir yang berusaha menarik orang yang lebih muda.


Lewatlah pertunjukan bajak laut yang boros itu untuk digantikan oleh pertunjukan lain yang disebut "Sirens" yang menampilkan wanita muda berpakaian minim yang berperang melawan orang-orang di dua kapal raksasa. Semua ini terjadi di depan hotel.


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Sekarang saatnya untuk terlibat jika Anda belum melakukannya. Sebenarnya tidak ada satu alasan mengapa Agen Bola setidaknya tidak mengenalkan gagasan itu kepada anak Anda. Anda bahkan mungkin memiliki David Beckham berikutnya tanpa mengetahuinya!



Pastikan Anda menerapkan prinsip pengelolaan uang yang efektif saat Anda bertaruh pada olahraga. Jika Anda seperti kebanyakan orang yang mungkin ingin Anda BandarQ Online bangun kembali, tapi tidak punya "waktu" untuk melakukannya.

argonapproach's comment, May 8, 6:09 AM
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Physicists Are 'Breeding' SchröDinger's Cat, And It Could Reveal The Limits of The Quantum World

Physicists Are 'Breeding' SchröDinger's Cat, And It Could Reveal The Limits of The Quantum World | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
Physicists have figured out how to 'breed' Schrödinger's cat - an object in a quantum superposition of two states with opposite properties - to produce enlarged versions that could one day reveal the limits of the quantum world.

If they can continue to breed their 'cats' even bigger, the experiment could finally reveal the exact point at which objects switch between classical and quantum physics - the divide between the microscopic and macroscopic worlds that physicists have been chasing for decades.

"One of the fundamental questions of physics is the boundary between the quantum and classical worlds. Can quantum phenomena, provided ideal conditions, be observed in macroscopic objects?" says physicist Alexander Lvovsky, who led the team from the University of Calgary and the Russian Quantum Centre.

"Theory gives no answer to this question - maybe there is no such boundary. What we need is a tool that will probe it."

The original Schrödinger's cat thought experiment states that if you put a live cat in an explosion-proof box with a bomb, until you open the box, you'll have no idea if the bomb exploded and the cat died. Or maybe the bomb didn't explode and the cat is still alive.

From our perspective, as long as the box is shut, the cat is occupying two realities. It's both dead and alive, because we can't confirm which one, but we know it can't be neither.
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Earth Just Passed 410 Ppm CO2 Levels for the First Time in Human History

Earth Just Passed 410 Ppm CO2 Levels for the First Time in Human History | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
On April 18, Earth breached its latest climate change milestone. For the first time in human history, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were measured at 410 parts per million (ppm).

The Keeling Curve, a University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography program, recorded the milestone at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. This was a sobering moment for scientists, albeit hardly surprising.

Since last year, when our planet's dangerous new normal atmospheric CO2 levels were 400 ppm, scientists have warned the public that the next milestone of 410 ppm was coming.

"We're in a new era," Ralph Keeling, director of the Scripps Institution's CO2 Program told Yale Environment 360 at the time we passed this milestone.

"And it's going fast," Keeling added. "We're going to touch up against 410 pretty soon."

There is nothing uniquely significant about the numbers 400 or 410, but they offer points of comparison to scientists.

"These milestones are just numbers, but they give us an opportunity to pause and take stock and act as useful yard sticks for comparisons to the geological record," University of Southampton palaeoclimate researcher Gavin Foster explained to Climate Central in March.
Mick jones's comment, May 1, 6:51 AM
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, May 2, 11:24 AM

Much of the data in The Keeling Curve were obtained from the Solar Observatory on the summit of Mauna Loa on Hawaii Island (my home).  We have now entered an era of climate extremes, thanks to pollution and other human-related activities.  We must adjust and get accustomed to a new way of living.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Viewpoint: Is inequality about to get unimaginably worse? - BBC News

Viewpoint: Is inequality about to get unimaginably worse? - BBC News | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
Could advances in technology, genetics and artificial intelligence lead to a world in which economic inequality turns into biological inequality? asks the historian and writer Yuval Noah Harari.

Inequality goes back at least 30,000 years.

Hunter-gatherers were more equal than subsequent societies.

They had very little property, and property is a pre-requisite for long-term inequality.

But even they had hierarchies.

In the 19th and 20th Centuries, however, something changed.

Equality became a dominant value in human culture, almost all over the world. Why?

It was partly down to the rise of new ideologies such as humanism, liberalism and socialism.

But it was also about technological and economic change - which was connected to those new ideologies, of course.

Suddenly the elite needed large numbers of healthy, educated people to serve as soldiers in the army and as workers in the factories.

Governments didn't educate and vaccinate to be nice.

They needed the masses to be useful.

But now that's changing again.

The best armies today require a small number of highly professional soldiers using very high-tech kit.

Factories, too, are increasingly automated.
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, April 28, 1:48 AM

History is beginning to repeat itself.  One thing is constant:  You can change things if you have power and the force to back it up.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales creates news service Wikitribune - BBC News

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales creates news service Wikitribune - BBC News | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
Wikipedia's co-founder Jimmy Wales is planning a news service that combines the work of professional journalists and volunteers.

His goal is for Wikitribune to offer "factual and neutral" articles that help combat the problem of "fake news".

The service is intended to be both ad-free and free-to-read, so will rely on supporters making regular donations.

One expert said it had the potential to become a trusted site, but suggested its influence might be limited.

Wikitribune shares many of the features already found in Mr Wales's online encyclopaedia, including the need for writers to detail the source of each fact and a reliance on the public to edit articles to keep them accurate.

However, while anybody can make changes to a page, they will only go live if a staff member or trusted community volunteer approves them.

The other big difference is that the core team of writers will be paid, although there may also be instances in which a volunteer writes the initial draft and then a staff member edits it.
Regular donations

A demo version of the site, seen by the BBC, declared "the news is broken and we can fix it".

Mr Wales explained that he believed the advertising-based model used by most of the media had led it to "chase clicks", which affected standards.

"I think we're in a world right now where people are very concerned about making sure we have high quality fact-based information, so I think there will be demand for this," he told the BBC.

"We're getting people to sign up as monthly supporters and the more monthly supporters we have the more journalists we can hire.

"In terms of minimums, if we could only hire two journalists then it would be a blog and not really worth doing.

"But I would love to start with a lot more - 10 to 20."
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, April 26, 2:52 AM

This could be the answer to "fake news" and unsubstantiated stories that seem to fill the blogosphere.  It's hard to tell what is fact and fantasy these days.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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It’s Time These Ancient Women Scientists Get Their Due - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus

It’s Time These Ancient Women Scientists Get Their Due - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
Women are woven deeply into the history of science, stretching back to ancient Egypt, over 4,000 years ago. But because their contributions often go unacknowledged, they fade into obscurity—and the threads of their influence today aren’t as apparent as they ought to be.

As a Wikipedia editor, I have tried to make women’s contributions more apparent by writing entries on figures whose lives haven’t been completely lost, such as Agnodike and Aglaonike, two ancient Greek women, one a brave physician, the other a beguiling astronomer. And fortunately, information about other remarkable women of science has survived, too, thanks in part to pop culture.
Although it wasn’t a big hit, Agora, a 2009 film, spotlighted an important female astronomer and mathematician in late 4th century CE Roman Egypt: Hypatia (portrayed by Rachel Weisz). Hypatia’s written work was lost in the Library of Alexandria’s destruction, but “all our sources agree,” says Maria Dzielska, a scholar of the Roman Empire, “that she was a model of ethical courage, righteousness, veracity, civic devotion, and intellectual prowess.” Due to her brilliance, her father Theon raised Hypatia as Greeks would traditionally raise a son—he taught her his craft, mathematics, and eventually she became the head of a Neo-Platonist school in Alexandria, something only men had previously done. Before she was brutally murdered by a Christian brotherhood, she built medical and astronomical devices as well as an apparatus for distilling water. Though Hypatia was, in many ways, an exemplary female figure of science and philosophy, she wasn’t a singular figure. Women made strides in the major fields of ancient science.
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, April 25, 2:01 AM

The untold story of ancient women scientists, who were forced into obscurity by their male peers.  What a tragic waste of brain power. Ego, pride, and fear are powerful allies of ignorance and superstition.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

Cintia Maria Rodrigues Blanco's curator insight, April 29, 7:16 PM
Women in Science!
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Googling gives us answers—but deprives us of intelligence

Googling gives us answers—but deprives us of intelligence | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
Search engines play one of the most significant roles in our technologically enabled lives by shaping how we conceptualize and interact with information, knowledge, wisdom, and arguably reality itself. They are our externalized reasoning machines, both facilitating our access to knowledge and quickly becoming our knowledge. They are where we go to research, clarify, and definitively answer our queries, which go on to form the substance of our opinions, views, and beliefs.

From the explicit knowledge acquired from the lost art of slow, considered research to the implicit knowledge lost in imagining what we don’t yet know, search engines are surreptitiously eroding the richness and diversity of our knowledge and lives. We reveal our deepest inner thoughts, fears, and desires to search-engine technologies, replacing the intimate human services otherwise offered by teachers, doctors, librarians, friends, confidants, psychiatrists, religious representatives, and respected elders.

This problem is underscored by worrying reports that document UK students citing “fake news” as objective facts in schoolwork and classroom debates, US sixth graders being taught “news literacy” out of necessity, and the global epidemic of a “post-truth” era that still finds no clear solutions or remedies. As we watch the next-generation—who have never known life without the internet—set adrift in a new world of inherent ambiguity, we urgently need to evolve search engines in parallel with the rapid pace of social progress.
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, April 22, 10:25 PM

The real issue is how we separate "fake news" from "real, verifiable news."  How do we differentiate between rumor and fact based on our internet searches?  Better search engines will have to be developed to mitigate this issue.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Our Machines Now Have Knowledge We’ll Never Understand

Our Machines Now Have Knowledge We’ll Never Understand | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
So wrote Wired’s Chris Anderson in 2008. It kicked up a little storm at the time, as Anderson, the magazine’s editor, undoubtedly intended. For example, an article in a journal of molecular biology asked, “…if we stop looking for models and hypotheses, are we still really doing science?” The answer clearly was supposed to be: “No.”

But today — not even a decade since Anderson’s article — the controversy sounds quaint. Advances in computer software, enabled by our newly capacious, networked hardware, are enabling computers not only to start without models — rule sets that express how the elements of a system affect one another — but to generate their own, albeit ones that may not look much like what humans would create. It’s even becoming a standard method, as any self-respecting tech company has now adopted a “machine-learning first” ethic.

We are increasingly relying on machines that derive conclusions from models that they themselves have created, models that are often beyond human comprehension, models that “think” about the world differently than we do.

But this comes with a price. This infusion of alien intelligence is bringing into question the assumptions embedded in our long Western tradition. We thought knowledge was about finding the order hidden in the chaos. We thought it was about simplifying the world. It looks like we were wrong. Knowing the world may require giving up on understanding it.
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This New Browser Plug-in Lets You Access Millions of Scientific Papers for Free

This New Browser Plug-in Lets You Access Millions of Scientific Papers for Free | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
If you're of the mindset that knowledge should be freely accessible to as many humans as possible, paywalls for academic journals can be downright frustrating. Now a free browser extension is promising to bust through those paywalls wherever possible.

Unpaywall was launched earlier this month by the open source not-for-profit Impactstory – funded by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation – and it's already making a splash in the traditional publishing industry.

Install the plug-in on your Chrome or Firefox desktop browser, and it will start displaying a little lock symbol whenever you're on the landing page of an article in an academic journal.

If the plug-in can find a freely accessible full-text copy of the paper you're looking at, the lock symbol turns from grey to green, and you can simply click on it to get the PDF. If the lock is gold, the article you're reading already has an open access licence.
Sharaine Rogers's curator insight, April 25, 12:10 PM
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Scientists identify 40 genes that shed new light on biology of intelligence

Scientists identify 40 genes that shed new light on biology of intelligence | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
A major study into the genetics of human intelligence has given scientists their richest insight yet into the biology that underpins our cognitive skills.

The research on 60,000 adults and 20,000 children uncovered 40 new genes that play a role in intelligence, a haul that brings the number of genes known to have a bearing on IQ to 52.

Forming part of the blueprint for the brain, the genes provide instructions for the building of healthy neurons, the paths they take through the 3lb lump of tissue, and the construction of hundreds of trillions of synapses that connect them.

“We want to understand how the brain works and learn what are the biological underpinnings of intelligence,” said Professor Danielle Posthuma, a statistical geneticist at the Free University of Amsterdam, who led the study published in Nature Genetics.

Previous work with twins has shown that genes account for about half of the difference that is seen in IQ scores across the population, with the rest being shaped by factors such as conditions in the womb, nutrition, pollution and a person’s social environment. “Genes do not determine everything for intelligence,” said Posthuma. “There are so many other factors that affect how well someone does on an IQ test.”

It is thought that hundreds, if not thousands, of genes play a role in human intelligence, with most contributing only a minuscule amount to a person’s cognitive prowess. The vast majority have yet to be found, and those that have do not have a huge impact. Taken together, all of the genes identified in the latest study explain only about 5% of the variation in people’s IQs, the scientists found.
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Multiverse: have astronomers found evidence of parallel universes?

Multiverse: have astronomers found evidence of parallel universes? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
They call it the multiverse. It’s a cosmos in which there are multiple universes. And by multiple, I mean an infinite number. These uncountable realms sit side by side in higher dimensions that our senses are incapable of perceiving directly.

Yet increasingly astronomers and cosmologists seem to be invoking the multiverse to explain puzzling observations.

The stakes are high. Each alternate universe carries its own different version of reality. There will be one where you wrote this column and I read it; one where the Guardian is an alt-right propaganda rag; even a really weird one in which Donald Trump uses twitter to spread nothing but amusing cat videos.

It sounds bonkers but the latest piece of evidence that could favour a multiverse comes from the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society. They recently published a study on the so-called ‘cold spot’. This is a particularly cool patch of space seen in the radiation produced by the formation of the Universe more than 13 billion years ago.

The cold spot was first glimpsed by NASA’s WMAP satellite in 2004, and then confirmed by ESA’s Planck mission in 2013. It is supremely puzzling. Most astronomers and cosmologists believe that it is highly unlikely to have been produced by the birth of the universe as it is mathematically difficult for the leading theory – which is called inflation – to explain.

This latest study claims to rule out a last-ditch prosaic explanation: that the cold spot is an optical illusion produced by a lack of intervening galaxies.

One of the study’s authors, Professor Tom Shanks of Durham University, told the RAS, “We can’t entirely rule out that the Spot is caused by an unlikely fluctuation explained by the standard [theory of the Big Bang]. But if that isn’t the answer, then there are more exotic explanations. Perhaps the most exciting of these is that the Cold Spot was caused by a collision between our universe and another bubble universe. If further, more detailed, analysis … proves this to be the case then the Cold Spot might be taken as the first evidence for the multiverse.”
JohnButtler's curator insight, May 22, 3:54 AM
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, May 22, 9:19 PM

The concept of a multiverse, popularized in science fiction, movies, and popular television shows, may be the next breakthrough in science.  We could be living in a  parallel universe and never realize it.  Anyone for a space-time portal?  Fans of "Dr. Who" and the recent films from "Marvel Studios" are already acquainted with the concept.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Now Artificial Intelligence Is Inventing Sounds That Have Never Been Heard Before

Now Artificial Intelligence Is Inventing Sounds That Have Never Been Heard Before | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
As well as beating us at board games, driving cars, and spotting cancer, artificial intelligence is now generating brand new sounds that have never been heard before, thanks to some advanced maths combined with samples from real instruments.

Before long, you might hear some of these fresh sounds pumping out of your radio, as the researchers responsible say they're hoping to give musicians an almost limitless new range of computer-generated instruments to work with.

The new system is called NSynth, and it's been developed by an engineering team called Google Magenta, a small part of Google's larger push into artificial intelligence.

"Learning directly from data, NSynth provides artists with intuitive control over timbre and dynamics and the ability to explore new sounds that would be difficult or impossible to produce with a hand-tuned synthesizer," explains the team.

You can check out a couple of NSynth samples below, courtesy of Wired:
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, May 21, 11:25 AM

Thanks to artificial intelligence, artists and musicians will be able to create a new audio canvas for music lovers.  Some of these created sounds are intriguing.  Welcome to the new age of music.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

John Mark's comment, May 22, 11:22 AM
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Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe | KurzweilAI

Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe | KurzweilAI | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy possibly have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, theoretical physicists are immune to mere trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In fact, acclaimed physicist and bestselling author Roger Penrose argues that researchers working at the extreme frontiers of physics are just as susceptible to these forces as anyone else. In this provocative book, he argues that fashion, faith, and fantasy, while sometimes productive and even essential in physics, may be leading today’s researchers astray in three of the field’s most important areas–string theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology.

Arguing that string theory has veered away from physical reality by positing six extra hidden dimensions, Penrose cautions that the fashionable nature of a theory can cloud our judgment of its plausibility. In the case of quantum mechanics, its stunning success in explaining the atomic universe has led to an uncritical faith that it must also apply to reasonably massive objects, and Penrose responds by suggesting possible changes in quantum theory. Turning to cosmology, he argues that most of the current fantastical ideas about the origins of the universe cannot be true, but that an even wilder reality may lie behind them. Finally, Penrose describes how fashion, faith, and fantasy have ironically also shaped his own work, from twistor theory, a possible alternative to string theory that is beginning to acquire a fashionable status, to “conformal cyclic cosmology,” an idea so fantastic that it could be called “conformal crazy cosmology.”

The result is an important critique of some of the most significant developments in physics today from one of its most eminent figures.

shirtmanrope's comment, May 17, 2:27 AM
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Tensions Flare as Scientists Go Public With Plan to Build Synthetic Human DNA

Tensions Flare as Scientists Go Public With Plan to Build Synthetic Human DNA | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
One of the greatest ethical debates in science - manipulating the fundamental building blocks of life - is set to heat up once more.

According to scientists behind an ambitious and controversial plan to write the human genome from the ground up, synthesising DNA and incorporating it into mammalian and even human cells could be as little as four to five years away.

Nearly 200 leading researchers in genetics and bioengineering are expected to attend a meeting in New York City next week, to discuss the next stages of what is now called the Genome Project-write (GP-write) plan: a US$100 million venture to research, engineer, and test living systems of model organisms, including the human genome.

Framed as a follow-up to the pioneering Human Genome Project (HGP) – which culminated in 2003 after 13 years of research that mapped the human genetic code – this project is billed as the logical next step, where scientists will learn how to cost-effectively synthesise plant, animal, and eventually human DNA.

"HGP allowed us to read the genome, but we still don't completely understand it," GP-write coordinator Nancy J. Kelley told Alex Ossola at CNBC.

While those involved are eager to portray the project as an open, international collaboration designed to further our understandings of genome science, GP-write provoked considerable controversy after its first large meet-up a year ago was conducted virtually in secret, with a select group of invite-only experts holding talks behind closed doors.
Mick jones's comment, May 4, 9:56 AM
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, May 4, 4:47 PM

Fascinating and scary effort to manipulate the "fundamental building blocks of life."  There are many ethical, religious, social, and political issues that must be solved.  I'm reminded of Huxley's "Brave New World."

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

nukem777's curator insight, May 5, 6:33 AM

This is not your grandma's DNA

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Facebook Launches "Moon Shot" Effort to Decode Speech Direct from the Brain

Facebook Launches "Moon Shot" Effort to Decode Speech Direct from the Brain | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
As if Facebook wasn’t already pervasive enough in everyday life, the company’s newly formed Building 8 “moon shot” factory is working on a device they say would let people type out words via a brain–computer interface (BCI). If all goes according to plan—and that’s a big if—Building 8’s neural prosthetic would strap onto a person’s head, use an optical technique to decode intended speech and then type those thoughts on a computer or smartphone at up to 100 words per minute. This would be an order-of-magnitude faster than today’s state-of-the-art speech decoders.

The use of light waves to quickly and accurately read brain waves is a tall order, especially when today’s most sophisticated BCIs, which are surgically implanted in the brain, can translate neural impulses into binary actions—yes/no, click/don’t click—at only a fraction of that speed. Still, Facebook has positioned its Building 8 as an advanced research and development laboratory launched in the model of Google’s X, the lab behind the Waymo self-driving car and Glass augmented-reality headset. So it is no surprise Building 8’s first project out of the gate proposes a pretty far-fetched technology to tackle a problem that neuroscientists have been chipping away at for decades.

Here’s how the proposed device would work: the BCI will use optical fibers to direct photons from a laser source through a person’s skull into the cerebral cortex, specifically those areas involved in speech production. The BCI would “sample groups of neurons [in the brain’s speech center] and analyze the instantaneous changes in optical properties as they fire,” says Regina Dugan, head of Building 8 and a former executive at both Google and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Light scattering through the neurons would reveal changes in their shape and configuration as the brain cells and their components—mitochondria, ribosomes and cell nuclei, for example—move.
Martha Hame's curator insight, May 3, 7:17 AM

great movies

prgnewshawaii's curator insight, May 4, 2:37 AM

The implications for neurological and medical science are immense.  Hopefully, this ground breaking technology will be used to improve the lives of people.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Science has outgrown the human mind and its limited capacities – Ahmed Alkhateeb | Aeon Ideas

Science has outgrown the human mind and its limited capacities – Ahmed Alkhateeb | Aeon Ideas | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
Science is in the midst of a data crisis. Last year, there were more than 1.2 million new papers published in the biomedical sciences alone, bringing the total number of peer-reviewed biomedical papers to over 26 million. However, the average scientist reads only about 250 papers a year. Meanwhile, the quality of the scientific literature has been in decline. Some recent studies found that the majority of biomedical papers were irreproducible.

The twin challenges of too much quantity and too little quality are rooted in the finite neurological capacity of the human mind. Scientists are deriving hypotheses from a smaller and smaller fraction of our collective knowledge and consequently, more and more, asking the wrong questions, or asking ones that have already been answered. Also, human creativity seems to depend increasingly on the stochasticity of previous experiences – particular life events that allow a researcher to notice something others do not. Although chance has always been a factor in scientific discovery, it is currently playing a much larger role than it should.

One promising strategy to overcome the current crisis is to integrate machines and artificial intelligence in the scientific process. Machines have greater memory and higher computational capacity than the human brain. Automation of the scientific process could greatly increase the rate of discovery. It could even begin another scientific revolution. That huge possibility hinges on an equally huge question: can scientific discovery really be automated?
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, April 28, 2:00 AM

Apparently, our brains are reaching capacity and need augmented support from artificial and machine intelligence to "digest" the vast amounts of data bombarding us every day.  Singularity is coming. I don't know if we're prepared to integrate ourselves with machines.  This won't be your typical "Vulcan MInd Meld"--with all due apologies to Mr. Spock of "Star Trek" fame.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Scientists Create Artificial Womb That Could Help Prematurely Born Babies

Scientists Create Artificial Womb That Could Help Prematurely Born Babies | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
Scientists have created an "artificial womb" in the hopes of someday using the device to save babies born extremely prematurely.

So far the device has only been tested on fetal lambs. A study published Tuesday involving eight animals found the device appears effective at enabling very premature fetuses to develop normally for about a month.

"We've been extremely successful in replacing the conditions in the womb in our lamb model," says Alan Flake, a fetal surgeon at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who led the study published in the journal Nature Communications.

"They've had normal growth. They've had normal lung maturation. They've had normal brain maturation. They've had normal development in every way that we can measure it," Flake says.

Flake says the group hopes to test the device on very premature human babies within three to five years.

"What we tried to do is develop a system that mimics the environment of the womb as closely as possible," Flake says. "It's basically an artificial womb."
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, April 26, 2:42 AM

The artificial womb has arrived--a potentially life saving technology for premature babies.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

Mick jones's comment, April 27, 6:52 AM
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The Benefits of Solitude

The Benefits of Solitude | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
On April 14, 1934, Richard Byrd went out for his daily walk. The air was the usual temperature: minus 57 degrees Fahrenheit. He stepped steadily through the drifts of snow, making his rounds. And then he paused to listen. Nothing.

He attended, a little startled, to the cloud-high and over-powering silence he had stepped into. For miles around the only other life belonged to a few stubborn microbes that clung to sheltering shelves of ice. It was only 4 p.m., but the land quavered in a perpetual twilight. There was—was there?—some play on the chilled horizon, some crack in the bruised Antarctic sky. And then, unaccountably, Richard Byrd’s universe began to expand.

Later, back in his hut, huddled by a makeshift furnace, Byrd wrote in his diary:

Here were imponderable processes and forces of the cosmos, harmonious and soundless. Harmony, that was it! That was what came out of the silence—a gentle rhythm, the strain of a perfect chord, the music of the spheres, perhaps.

It was enough to catch that rhythm, momentarily to be myself a part of it. In that instant I could feel no doubt of man’s oneness with the universe.

Admiral Byrd had volunteered to staff a weather base near the South Pole for five winter months. But the reason he was there alone was far less concrete. Struggling to explain his reasons, Byrd admitted that he wanted “to know that kind of experience to the full . . . to taste peace and quiet and solitude long enough to find out how good they really are.” He was also after a kind of personal liberty, for he believed that “no man can hope to be completely free who lingers within reach of familiar habits.”
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, April 25, 1:57 AM

Intriguing story of Admiral Richard Byrd's solo stay in Antarctica back in 1934.  The experience nearly killed him when carbon monoxide from his stove flooded his shelter.  

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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‘Mind-blowing’ discovery could revolutionise our understanding of how brain works

‘Mind-blowing’ discovery could revolutionise our understanding of how brain works | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
A study of people born with one hand suggests neuroscientists may have fundamentally misunderstood the way the brain is organised, a scientist has claimed.

Dr Tamar Makin, of University College London, said the new theory – if proved correct – would have “massive implications”, adding it was “mind-blowing” to think that scientists could have been mistaken for so long.

An international team of researchers from the UK, Israel, Canada and Switzerland used an MRI scanner to monitor the brains of people who were born with one hand as they performed everyday tasks like handling money or wrapping a present.

They found the area of the brain associated with the missing hand was active when they used different body parts, such as the arm, foot and mouth.

Importantly this happened when these other body parts were used to perform the same function as the second hand in people with both, the researchers reported in the journal Current Biology.

This suggests that the brain is not organised so that each area is responsible for an individual body part, but that different areas are responsible for different functions.

Dr Makin said: “If true, this means we’ve been misinterpreting brain organisation based on body part, rather than based on function.

“It’s kind of mind blowing for me to think we could have been getting this wrong for so long.

“The implications, if this interpretation is correct, are massive.”
Cintia Maria Rodrigues Blanco's curator insight, April 22, 2:01 PM
Fabulous results from this collaborative scientific research!
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, April 22, 10:21 PM

A groundbreaking discovery that will change our concept of how the brain works. The current belief is that our brain is geared to function rather than to specific body parts.  This idea could change how we treat brain diseases, such as alzheimers and parkingsons.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

Miro Svetlik's curator insight, April 23, 4:50 AM
This is quite massive one indeed
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The urinal that changed how we think

The urinal that changed how we think | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
In April 1917, everything changed. At least, that is, in the world of art. It was then that the legendary avant-garde French artist and cultural prankster, Marcel Duchamp, conceived a work so controversial in its making and meaning that it would alter forever the way the game of art is played. The work in question was a porcelain urinal that Duchamp quizzically flipped onto its back, signed with a mysterious nom de plume, and called Fountain. Like a genius move by a stealthy chess master, the introduction of Fountain into the history of image-making had the effect of check-mating the art world’s sensibilities, marking the end of one kind of game and the start of another. The analogy to chess is more than merely fanciful. Insisting that it “has all the beauty of art and much more”, Duchamp was obsessed with the game. (So obsessed in fact he forfeited significant pieces of his personal and creative life to its pursuit. In November 1927, after having, years earlier, shifted his energies entirely from making art to playing chess, his new wife Lydie had had enough of his incessant strategizing of moves and countermoves. One night, while he was sleeping, she glued the pieces of his set to the board. They divorced a month later.) Duchamp’s mischievous creation of Fountain 100 years ago this month is deeply in accord with the artist’s lifelong inclination towards cerebral playfulness and demonstrates the same skilful sleights of hand that a grandmaster displays when wiping the board clean with his opponents.
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, April 22, 10:33 PM

Marcel Duchamp's supreme joke on all of us.  Duchamp lead the way for such artists as Andy Warhol and Pollock.  

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Are 'machine values' replacing our principles? - Futurity

Are 'machine values' replacing our principles? - Futurity | Knowmads, Infocology of the future |
We need to consider the possible consequences of our 24-7 reliance on digital technology, warns a new book.

Our dependence on our phones, tablets, and laptops has dramatically changed how we communicate and interact, and is slowly eroding some of our core principles, says Michael Bugeja, professor and director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University. Bugeja is not advocating against technology—in fact, he relies on it for his work and personal life.

But in his forthcoming book, Interpersonal Divide in the Age of the Machine (Oxford University Press, 2017), Bugeja explores what might happen if we allow machines to dictate our life. Those machines range from smartphones to robotics to virtual reality. Bugeja theorizes that because of our reliance on machines, we will start to develop the universal principles of technology, such as urgency, a need for constant updates, and a loss of privacy.

“We are losing empathy, compassion, truth-telling, fairness, and responsibility and replacing them with all these machine values,” Bugeja says. “If we embed ourselves in technology, what happens to those universal principles that have stopped wars and elevated human consciousness and conscience above more primitive times in history?”
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