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Knowmads, Infocology of the future
Exploring the possible , the probable, the plausible
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Taking the Earth's pulse: UBC scientists unveil a new economic and environmental index

A growing world population, mixed with the threat of climate change and mounting financial problems, has prompted University of British Columbia researchers to measure the overall "health" of 152 countries around the world.
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Will bubble-powered microrockets zoom through the human stomach? (2/10/2012)

Will bubble-powered microrockets zoom through the human stomach? (2/10/2012) | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

Scientists have developed a new kind of tiny motor - which they term a "microrocket" - that can propel itself through acidic environments, such as the human stomach, without any external energy source, opening the way to a variety of medical and industrial applications. Their report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society describes the microrockets traveling at virtual warp speed for such devices. A human moving at the same speed would have to run at a clip of 400 miles per hour.

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App helps blind people send texts-New technology to help blind people text using touchscreen mobile devices has been developed.

App helps blind people send texts-New technology to help blind people text using touchscreen mobile devices has been developed. | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
An app designed to help blind people send text messages could have many uses for fully-sighted people too, researchers say.
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Investing in the Fountain of Youth

Investing in the Fountain of Youth | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
What if "getting old" wasn't really "getting old?" What if aging—at least the physical deteriorations that accompany it—was something that could be prevented?
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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 | Scoop.it

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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10 Amazing Scientific Advances That Came From Copying Nature | Business Pundit

10 Amazing Scientific Advances That Came From Copying Nature | Business Pundit | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
After 3.8 billion years and a lot of trial and error, animals have become astoundingly good at a variety of tasks.

Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Scientists revive sacred sounds-"Nobody has been paying attention to the sounds," he said. "We've been destroying the sounds."

Scientists revive sacred sounds-"Nobody has been paying attention to the sounds," he said. "We've been destroying the sounds." | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Ancient peoples around the world seem to have designed their sacred spaces not only for ceremonial sights, but for ceremonial sounds as well, archaeologists say.
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Nevada Becomes First State To Regulate Self-Driving Cars  

Nevada Becomes First State To Regulate Self-Driving Cars   | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Yesterday, Nevada became the first state to approve regulations that permit self-driving cars. Since the legislation process began last June, Nevada officials worked with insurance companies, car manufacturers, law enforcement and testing professionals to develop rules mainly aimed at safety, according to PC magazine.
The regulations spell out procedures for testing the vehicles now and requirements for use by residents in the future. The robocars in the testing phase will have red license plates. Cars that have been approved for use by Nevada residents will sport green plates. The person in the car is considered the operator (and two people will be in testing-phase cars at all times). TechCrunch notes that as of right now, while people cannot operate the car drunk, they are allowed to text and make phone calls.
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Any Sufficiently Advanced Civilization is Indistinguishable from Nature « NextNature.net

Any Sufficiently Advanced Civilization is Indistinguishable from Nature « NextNature.net | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

In Western cultures, nature is a cosmological, primal ordering force and a terrestrial condition that exists in the absence of human beings. Both meanings are freely implied in everyday conversation. We distinguish ourselves from the natural world by manipulating our environment through technology. In What Technology Wants, Kevin Kelly proposes that technology behaves as a form of meta-nature, which has greater potential for cultural change than the evolutionary powers of the organic world alone.

With the advent of ‘living technologies’ [2], which possess some of the properties of living systems but are not ‘truly’ alive, a new understanding of our relationship to the natural and designed world is imminent. This change in perspective is encapsulated in Koert Van Mensvoort’s term ‘next nature’, which implies thinking ‘ecologically’, rather than ‘mechanically’. The implications of next nature are profound, and will shape our appreciation of humanity and influence the world around us.

 

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Computer programs that think like humans

Computer programs that think like humans | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Intelligence -- what does it really mean? In the 1800s, it meant that you were good at memorizing things, and today intelligence is measured through IQ tests where the average score for humans is 100.
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The Future of Reading, From Avant-Garde Poetry to Sportscenter

The Future of Reading, From Avant-Garde Poetry to Sportscenter | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

The title of the talk was “Changing Times, Changing Readers: Let’s Start With Experience.” In it, I try to draw on my own experience writing about a huge range of media, from literature to television, to offer some context for new experiments in reading.After all, we’re reading everywhere, not just in books or magazines or newspapers, or on e-readers and tablets or even smartphones, but walking down city streets, searching for movies on Netflix, and on our television screens. We’re living in an age not just of hypertext but hyperliteracy. We have to try to understand both how to keep the promises of everything we’ve achieved in the past and enlarge the possibilities what we can do in the future.

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The Shadow Web/“The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”

The Shadow Web/“The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Governments and corporations have more control over the Internet than ever. Now digital activists want to build an alternative network that can never be blocked, filtered or shut down

Via Paulo Furtado
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Mobile Internet devices will outnumber humans this year, Cisco predicts

Mobile Internet devices will outnumber humans this year, Cisco predicts | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Internet-connected mobile devices will outnumber humans by the end of this year, but the statistics include a lot more than just phones and tablets, Cisco says.
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Metal, code, flesh: Why we need a 'Rights of the Internet' declaration

Metal, code, flesh: Why we need a 'Rights of the Internet' declaration | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
"The internet, as a living being which is part human, should have rights of its own."...

 

From understanding the internet as a life form that is in part human, it follows that the internet itself has rights. These rights must be created from scratch, thinking simultaneously in terms of the rights of metal, code, and flesh. With this framework we can start building an enduring barrier to permanently deter surreptitious attacks on the life in the network, such as those used by the SOPA mob.

 

What would this barrier look like? Perhaps as a multinational treaty, a multi-stakeholder organism, and a declaration of the "Rights of the Internet", following the example of Bolivia's 2011 breakthrough declaration of rights of the environment.

 

Through this framework, for example, we can understand the DMCA, which mandates the atrophy of media players, as legislation that violates the rights of hardware. SOPA and PIPA, which attempted to kidnap for ransom the already imperfect DNS (Domain Name Service) protocol, as being in violation of the rights of code. ACTA, detached from democratic process under the veil of "trade agreement" negotiations, and created by powerful nations to lock in their domination over the rest of the world, is in this sense in dual violation of the rights of flesh (ie humanity).


Via P2P Foundation, Sepp Hasslberger
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Francisco George's comment, February 20, 2012 10:08 AM
Rights Of the Internet already exists...http://www.osce.org/fom/78309 [PDF]
P2P Foundation's comment, February 20, 2012 8:40 PM
thanks Francisco!
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Single-atom transistor is ‘end of Moore’s Law’ and ‘beginning of quantum computing’ | KurzweilAI

Single-atom transistor is ‘end of Moore’s Law’ and ‘beginning of quantum computing’ | KurzweilAI | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

The smallest transistor ever built has been created using a single phosphorous atom by an international team of researchers at the University of New South Wales, Purdue University and the University of Melbourne.The latest Intel chip, the “Sandy Bridge,” uses a manufacturing process to place 2.3 billion transistors 32 nanometers apart.

A single phosphorus atom, by comparison, is just 0.1 nanometers across, which would significantly reduce the size of processors made using this technique, although it may be many years before single-atom processors are manufactured.

“To me, this is the physical limit of Moore’s Law,” Gerhard Klimeck, who directed the Purdue group that ran the simulations, claims. “We can’t make it smaller than this.”

According to University of New South Wales Prof. Michelle Simmons, “We made a single-atom transistor roughly 8 to 10 years ahead of where the industry’s going to be,” consistent with Moore’s law, in 2020.

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Unifying silicon- and DNA-based computing | KurzweilAI

Unifying silicon- and DNA-based computing | KurzweilAI | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
A North Carolina State University chemist has found a way to give DNA-based computing better control over logic operations.
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Patricia Churchland: Neuromorality

Why are humans moral? Patricia Churchland, author of "Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality," is here to explain how humans evolved to be moral beings. How did we go from the attachment and bonding between parent and child to the sophisticated moral landscape we have today? Churchland believes a big part of the answer is in the evolution of the mammalian brain.


Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Why Robopocalypse, Skynet Or A Distributed Cyber-Mind Will Not Emerge From The Internet

Why Robopocalypse, Skynet Or A Distributed Cyber-Mind Will Not Emerge From The Internet | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
There has been discussion lately that the computers that make up the internet could spontaneously become intelligent and conscious with predictably dark consequences.There is a sense of foreboding, but little attempt at more detailed analysis as to whether it could actually happen. Simple calculations relying on existing knowledge show that it is far more likely that the first example of a non-neuronal intelligence will happen in a specifically built supercomputer rather than just happen by chance from the internet. As a consequence, the behaviour of such an intelligence if it did arise would initially be observed in a much more controlled environment.

Here are the reasons why the current internet is not capable of coming alive in this way, and why it will happen in a custom built environment first:

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Can the brain control itself?

Can the brain control itself? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

The patient’s task was to control the activity of single neurons. There are several 100 billion neurons in the human brain. How can the patient begin to know which neuron needs to increase in activity to complete the task? The researchers left this part up to the patients, letting them explore strategies until amazingly, they succeeded.


Via Sakis Koukouvis
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More Than Human? The Ethics of Biologically Enhancing Soldiers

More Than Human? The Ethics of Biologically Enhancing Soldiers | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Our ability to "upgrade" the bodies of soldiers through drugs, implants, and exoskeletons may be upending the ethical norms of war as we've understood them.

 

If we can engineer a soldier who can resist torture, would it still be wrong to torture this person with the usual methods? Starvation and sleep deprivation won't affect a super-soldier who doesn't need to sleep or eat. Beatings and electric shocks won't break someone who can't feel pain or fear like we do. This isn't a comic-book story, but plausible scenarios based on actual military projects today.

In the next generation, our warfighters may be able to eat grass,communicate telepathically,resist stress, climb walls like a lizard, and much more. Impossible? We only need to look at nature for proofs of concept. For instance, dolphins don't sleep (or they'd drown); Alaskan sled-dogs can run for days without rest or food; bats navigate with echolocation; and goats will eat pretty much anything. Find out how they work, and maybe we can replicate that in humans.

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Why Mass Effect is the Most Important Science Fiction Universe of Our Generation

Why Mass Effect is the Most Important Science Fiction Universe of Our Generation | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Mass Effect is epic. It's the product of the best parts of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and more with a protagonist who could be the love-child of Picard, Skywalker, and Starbuck. It's one of the most important pieces of science fiction narrative of our generation. Mass Effect goes so far beyond other fictional universes in ways that you may not have yet realized. It is cosmic in scope and scale.
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'Pharmacy on a chip' gets closer-microchips being implanted under a patient's skin to control the release of drugs

'Pharmacy on a chip' gets closer-microchips being implanted under a patient's skin to control the release of drugs | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
US scientists say they have taken a step towards microchips being implanted under a patient's skin to control the release of drugs.

The futuristic idea that microchips could be implanted under a patient's skin to control the release of drugs has taken another step forward.

US scientists have been testing just such a device on women with the bone-wasting disease osteoporosis.

The chip was inserted in their waist and activated by remote control.

A clinical trial, reported in Science Translational Medicine, showed the chip could administer the correct doses and that there were no side effects.

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Why I'm donating my brain to science (and why you should too) (Wired UK)

Why I'm donating my brain to science (and why you should too) (Wired UK) | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Researchers trying to develop treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's need to test on human brain tissue.
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All together now: Montaigne and the art of co-operation

All together now: Montaigne and the art of co-operation | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Economic insecurity has rendered our social life brutally simple: 'us-against-them' coupled with 'you-are-on-your-own'. But the French essayist can inspire radical new forms of co-operation

Via Paulo Furtado
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Social Media for Epidemiology? Epidemiologists consider how social media could be harnessed to predict disease outbreaks.| The Scientist

Social Media for Epidemiology? Epidemiologists consider how social media could be harnessed to predict disease outbreaks.| The Scientist | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

Epidemiologists are converging this Thursday (February 16) at the 2012 International Conference on Digital Disease Detection at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. On the agenda is informal media—like Twitter, blog posts, and web searches—and how these could be applied to identify, track, and predict disease outbreaks. The meeting is sponsored by the CDC and HealthMap, and run by a team of researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston, which mines online data to identify and track disease outbreaks.

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