Science & Knowledge
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Science & Knowledge
A systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning (found, for example, in Aristotle), "science" refers to the body of reliable knowledge itself, of the type that can be logically and rationally explained.
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What comes first, physics or information? by Vlatko Vedral | University of Oxford (2012)

Abstract: "In this paper I discuss the question: what comes first, physics or information? The two have had a long-standing, symbiotic relationship for almost a hundred years out of which we have learnt a great deal. Information theory has enriched our interpretations of quantum physics, and, at the same time, offered us deep insights into general relativity through the study of black hole thermodynamics. Whatever the outcome of this debate, I argue that physicists will be able to benefit from continuing to explore connections between the two."

 

See also: Vlatko Vedral: Decoding Reality: the universe as quantum information http://aminotes.tumblr.com/post/6223874154/vlatko-vedral-decoding-reality-the-universe-as

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E.O. Wilson: Advice to young scientists | TED.com

“The world needs you, badly,” begins celebrated biologist E.O. Wilson in his letter to a young scientist. Previewing his upcoming book, he gives advice collected from a lifetime of experience -- reminding us that wonder and creativity are the center of the scientific life. (Filmed at TEDMED.)

 

Biologist E.O. Wilson explores the world of ants and other tiny creatures, and writes movingly about the way all creatures great and small are interdependent.

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Richard Dawkins Explains Why There Was Never a First Human Being

"Last year, right before publishing his illustrated children’s book The Magic of Reality, Richard Dawkins appeared at The New Yorker Festival and walked the crowd through a short thought experiment. Imagine pulling out your family genealogy. Now snap a photo of each ancestor going back 185 million generations. What would it show? First off, your very distant grandfather was a fish. Secondly, you can never put your finger on the very first human being, a proverbial Adam and Eve. 185,000,000 snapshots can never capture that one moment." http://www.openculture.com/2012/06/richard_dawkins_explains_why_there_was_never_a_first_human_being.html

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Researchers map the math in music. 'The music of the spheres isn't really a metaphor -- some musical spaces really are spheres'

Researchers map the math in music. 'The music of the spheres isn't really a metaphor -- some musical spaces really are spheres' | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

"Humans seem to have an instinct for music. Certain songs have a quality that makes us want to tap our toes and sing along. We can’t quite say what makes good music, but we know it when we hear it. Sheet music, which tells musicians very precisely which notes to play and when, provides little clue to that mystical ingredient, but Dmitri Tymoczko [a composer in residence at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study] has devised a new way to map music that aims to do just that. (...)

 

Using non-Euclidean geometry and a complex figure, borrowed from string theory, called an orbifold (which can have from two to an infinite number of dimensions, depending on the number of notes being played at once), Tymoczko’s system shows how chords that are generally pleasing to the ear appear in locations close to one another, clustered close to the orbifold’s center. Sounds that the ear identifies as dissonant appear as outliers, closer to the edges. The system “allows you to translate these half-formed intuitive understandings into very precise, clear language.”

 

***

 

"The whole point of making these geometric spaces is that, at the end of the day, it helps you understand music better. Having a powerful set of tools for conceptualizing music allows you to do all sorts of things you hadn't done before." (...) "You could create new kinds of musical instruments or new kinds of toys," (...)

 

"But to me," Tymoczko added, "the most satisfying aspect of this research is that we can now see that there is a logical structure linking many, many different musical concepts. To some extent, we can represent the history of music as a long process of exploring different symmetries and different geometries." Understanding music, the authors write, is a process of discarding information." http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S20/83/65A48/index.xml?section=topstories

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Researchers develop method that shows diverse complex networks have similar skeletons

Researchers develop method that shows diverse complex networks have similar skeletons | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

"Northwestern University researchers are the first to discover that very different complex networks -- ranging from global air traffic to neural networks -- share very similar backbones. By stripping each network down to its essential nodes and links, they found each network possesses a skeleton and these skeletons share common features, much like vertebrates do.

 

Mammals have evolved to look very different despite a common underlying structure (think of a human being and a bat), and now it appears real-world complex networks evolve in a similar way.

 

The researchers studied a variety of biological, technological and social networks and found that all these networks have evolved according to basic growth mechanisms. The findings could be particularly useful in understanding how something -- a disease, a rumor or information -- spreads across a network. (...)

 

"Infectious diseases such as H1N1 and SARS spread in a similar way, and it turns out the network's skeleton played an important role in shaping the global spread,"(...) "Now, with this new understanding and by looking at the skeleton, we should be able to use this knowledge in the future to predict how a new outbreak might spread." (...)

 

Complex systems -- such as the Internet, Facebook, the power grid, human consciousness, even a termite colony -- generate complex behavior. A system's structure emerges locally; it is not designed or planned. Components of a network work together, interacting and influencing each other, driving the network's evolution. (...)

 

By computing this consensus -- the overall strength, or importance, of each link in the network -- the researchers were able to produce a skeleton for each network consisting of all those links that every node considers important. And these skeletons are similar across networks."

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Science Is Not About Certainty. Science is about overcoming our own ideas and a continuous challenge of common sense

Science Is Not About Certainty. Science is about overcoming our own ideas and a continuous challenge of common sense | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

"Science is about constructing visions of the world, about rearranging our conceptual structure, about creating new concepts which were not there before, and even more, about changing, challenging the a-priori that we have. So it’s nothing to do about the assembly of data and the way of organizing the assembly of data. It has everything to do about the way we think, and about our mental vision of the world. Science is a process in which we keep exploring ways of thinking, and changing our image of the world, our vision of the world, to find new ones that work a little bit better. (...)

 

Science is not about the data. (...) But these are the tools that we use. What interests us is the content of the theory. What interests us is what the theory says about the world. (...)

 

The deepest misunderstanding about science, which is the idea that science is about certainty. Science is not about certainty. Science is about finding the most reliable way of thinking, at the present level of knowledge. Science is extremely reliable; it’s not certain. In fact, not only it’s not certain, but it’s the lack of certainty that grounds it. Scientific ideas are credible not because they are sure, but because they are the ones that have survived all the possible past critiques, and they are the most credible because they were put on the table for everybody’s criticism.

 

The very expression ‘scientifically proven’ is a contradiction in terms. There is nothing that is scientifically proven. The core of science is the deep awareness that we have wrong ideas, we have prejudices. We have ingrained prejudices. In our conceptual structure for grasping reality there might be something not appropriate, something we may have to revise to understand better. So at any moment, we have a vision of reality that is effective, it’s good, it’s the best we have found so far. It’s the most credible we have found so far, its mostly correct. (...)

 

It’s about overcoming our own ideas, and about going beyond common sense continuously. Science is a continuous challenge of common sense, and the core of science is not certainty, it’s continuous uncertainty. I would even say the joy of taking what we think, being aware that in everything we think, there are probably still an enormous amount of prejudices and mistakes, and try to learn to look a little bit larger, knowing that there is always a larger point of view that we’ll expect in the future."

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The Concept of Laws. The special status of the laws of mathematics and physics

The Concept of Laws. The special status of  the laws of mathematics and physics | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

„The fact that the physical world conforms to mathematical laws led Galileo to make a famous remark. “The great book of nature – he wrote – can be read only by those who know the language in which it was written. And this language is mathematics.” (…)

It is the mathematical aspect that makes possible what physicists mean by the much-musunderstood word theory. Theoretical physics entails writing down equations that capture (or model, as scientists say) the real world of experience in a mathematical world of numbers and algebraic formulas. Then, by manipulating the mathematical symbols, one can work out what will happen in the real world, without actually carrying out the observation. (…)

For example, by using Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation, engineers can figure out when a spacecraft launched from Earth will reach Mars. They can also calculate the required mass of fuel, the most favorable orbit, and a host of other factors in advance of the mission. And it works! The mathematical model faithfully describes what actually happens in the real world. (…) How can you possibly know what a ball will do by writing things on a sheet of paper? (…) Why is nature shadowed by a mathematical reality? Why does theoretical physics work?”

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The Difference Between Online Knowledge and Truly Open Knowledge. In the era of the Internet facts are not bricks but networks

The Difference Between Online Knowledge and Truly Open Knowledge. In the era of the Internet facts are not bricks but networks | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

"Knowledge qua knowledge, Weinberger claims, is increasingly enmeshed in webs of discourse: culture-dependent and theory-free. (...) The existence of hyperlinks is enough to convince even the most stubborn positivist that there is always another side to the story. And on the web, fringe believers can always find each other and marinate in their own illusions. The “web world” is too big to ever know. There is always another link. In the era of the Internet, Weinberger argues, facts are not bricks. They are networks. (…)

 

Human beings (or rather “Dasein,” “being-in-the-world”) are always thrown into a particular context, existing within already existing language structures and pre-determined meanings. In other words, the world is like the web, and we, Dasein, live inside the links. (…)

 

If knowledge has always been networked knowledge, than facts have never had stable containers. Most of the time, though, we more or less act as if they do. (...) Black boxes emerge out of actually-existing knowledge networks, stabilize for a time, and unravel, and our goal as thinkers and scholars ought to be understanding how these nodes emerge and disappear. (...)

 

Done well, digital realism can sensitize us to the fact that all networked knowledge systems eventually become brick walls, that these brick walls are maintained through technological, political, cultural, economic, and organizational forms of power. (...) Our job is to understand how the wall gets built, and how we might try to build it differently."

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Anthropocene: “the recent age of man”. Mapping Human Influence on Planet Earth

Anthropocene: “the recent age of man”. Mapping Human Influence on Planet Earth | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

"Humans have a tendency to fall prey to the illusion that their economy is at the very center of the universe, forgetting that the biosphere is what ultimately sustains all systems, both man-made and natural. In this sense, ‘environmental issues’ are not about saving the planet—it will always survive and evolve with new combinations of atom—but about the prosperous development of our own species.” — Carl Folke

 

“This is the age of humans. At least, that’s the argument a number of scientists and scholars are making. They say that the impact of humans on the earth since the early 19th century has been so great, and so irreversible, that it has created a new era similar to the Pleistocene or Holocene. (...)

 

We have been, for the last thousand of years or so, the main geomorphic agent on Earth. It might be hard to believe but, nowadays, human activities shift about ten times as much material on continents’ surface as all geological processes combined. Though our technologies and extensive land-use, we have become a land-shaping force of nature, similar to rivers, rain, wind and glaciers. (...)

 

Mapping the extent of our infrastructures and the energy flows of our activities is, I believe, a good starting point to increase awareness of the peculiarities of the present era. (...)"

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Edward O. Wilson “The Social Conquest of Earth”| FORA

"Edward O. Wilson has revolutionized science and inspired the public more often than any other living biologist. Now he is blending his pioneer work on ants with a new perspective on human development to propose a radical reframing of how evolution works.First the social insects ruled, from 60 million years ago. Then a species of social mammals took over, from 10 thousand years ago. Both sets of “eusocial” animals mastered the supremely delicate art of encouraging altruism, so that individuals in the groups would act as if they value the goal of the group over their own goals. They would specialize for the group and die for the group. In recent decades the idea of “kin selection” seemed to explain how such an astonishing phenomenon could evolve.

 

Wilson replaces kin selection with “multi-level selection,” which incorporates both individual selection (long well understood) and group selection (long considered taboo). Every human and every human society has to learn how to manage adroitly the perpetual ambiguity and conflict between individual needs and group needs. What I need is never the same as what we need.E. O. Wilson’s current book is The Social Conquest of Earth. His previous works include The Superorganism; The Future of Life; Consilience; Biophilia; Sociobiology; and The Insect Societies."

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Brian Greene: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life? | TED

"At the heart of modern cosmology is a mystery: Why does our universe appear so exquisitely tuned to create the conditions necessary for life? In this tour de force tour of some of science's biggest new discoveries, Brian Greene shows how the mind-boggling idea of a multiverse may hold the answer to the riddle.

 

Brian Greene is perhaps the best-known proponent of superstring theory, the idea that minuscule strands of energy vibrating in a higher dimensional space-time create every particle and force in the universe."

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Did the universe have a beginning? by A. Mithani, A. Vilenkin | Institute of Cosmology, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Tufts University, MA (pdf) (2012)

"Three candidate scenarios allow the possibility that the universe could have existed forever with no initial singularity: eternal inflation, cyclic evolution, and the emergent universe. The first two of these scenarios are geodesically incomplete to the past, and thus cannot describe a universe without a beginning. The third, although it is stable with respect to classical perturbations, can collapse quantum mechanically, and therefore cannot have an eternal past."

 

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Lapidarium notes

Lapidarium notes | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

Amira's items on science, philosophy, consciousness, human paradoxes, art, culture, society, sociology, politics, history, media, collective intelligence, etc...

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The Earth as You've Never Seen it Before: Atmosphere, Airglow and Aurora | NASA

"The incredible night photos and time-lapse movies NASA has been sharing with us provoke questions about our planet. That thin-yellow atmospheric line separating earth from space, for example, that we see in all of the night shots provokes two questions: (1) how thick is this line? and (2) why is this line colored the way it is?

 

The visible yellow and green/blue capped line represents atmosphere reaching ~100km above the surface of the earth. The colors are not reflected light, and not pollution, but rather are light generated from the components in the atmosphere itself. Yes, the atmosphere gives off its own light, in a chemiluminescent process called "airglow" or "night glow.""

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Simple mathematical pattern describes shape of neuron ‘jungle’

Simple mathematical pattern describes shape of neuron ‘jungle’ | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

"Neurons come in an astounding assortment of shapes and sizes, forming a thick inter-connected jungle of cells. Now, UCL neuroscientists have found that there is a simple pattern that describes the tree-like shape of all neurons.

Neurons look remarkably like trees, and connect to other cells with many branches that effectively act like wires in an electrical circuit, carrying impulses that represent sensation, emotion, thought and action.

 

Over 100 years ago, Santiago Ramon y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience, sought to systematically describe the shapes of neurons, and was convinced that there must be a unifying principle underlying their diversity.

Cajal proposed that neurons spread out their branches so as to use as little wiring as possible to reach other cells in the network. Reducing the amount of wiring between cells provides additional space to pack more neurons into the brain, and therefore increases its processing power.

 

New work by UCL neuroscientists, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has revisited this century-old hypothesis using modern computational methods. They show that a simple computer program which connects points with as little wiring as possible can produce tree-like shapes which are indistinguishable from real neurons – and also happen to be very beautiful.

 

They also show that the shape of neurons follows a simple mathematical relationship called a power law.

Power laws have been shown to be common across the natural world, and often point to simple rules underlying complex structures. Dr Herman Cuntz (UCL Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research) and colleagues find that the power law holds true for many types of neurons gathered from across the animal kingdom, providing strong evidence for Ramon y Cajal’s general principle."

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Albert Einstein - How I See the World

Albert Einstein is considered one of the greatest scientific thinkers of all time. His theories on the nature of time and space profoundly affected the human conception of the physical world and set the foundations for many of the scientific advances of the twentieth century. As a thinker on the human condition, politics, and all issues of the day, he was as well-respected as anyone in his time.

 

Born in Ulm, Germany in 1879, Einstein was brought up in Munich. His parents were of Jewish German ancestry, and his father ran an electrical equipment plant. He did not speak fluently until after he was nine and was considered slow. Though his grades were fair in high school, he was eventually expelled for his rebellious nature. Always an individual, he traveled around before re-enrolling and completing school in his new home in Zurich, Switzerland.


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Evidence of a Past Universe? Circular Patterns in the Cosmic Microwave Background

Evidence of a Past Universe? Circular Patterns in the Cosmic Microwave Background | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

"Stephen Hawking has said: "We should look for evidence of a collision with another universe in our distant Past." Some experts believe that what we call the universe may only be one of many. Is there any conceivable way that we could ever detect and study other universes if they exist? Is it even falsifiable?


This was a key question Hawking was was asked in an interview with the BBC. "Our best bet for a theory of everything is M-theory --an extension of string theory," Hawking continued. "One prediction of M-theory is that there are many different universes, with different values for the physical constants. This might explain why the physical constants we measure seem fine-tuned to the values required for life to exist." It is no surprise that we observe the physical constants to be finely-tuned. If they weren't, we wouldn't be here to observe them. One way of testing the theory that we may be one of many universes would be to look for features in the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) which would indicate the collision of another universe with ours in the distant past.

 

The circular patterns within the cosmic microwave background shown above suggest that space and time did not come into being at the Big Bang but that our universe in fact continually cycles through a series of "aeons," according to University of Oxford theoretical physicist Roger Penrose, who says that data collected by NASA's WMAP satellite supports his idea of "conformal cyclic cosmology". (...)

 

He does not believe that space and time came into existence at the moment of the Big Bang but that the Big Bang was in fact just one in a series of many, with each big bang marking the start of a new "aeon" in the history of the universe." The core concept in Penrose's theory is the idea that in the very distant future the universe will in one sense become very similar to how it was at the Big Bang. Penrose says that "at these points the shape, or geometry, of the universe was and will be very smooth, in contrast to its current very jagged form. This continuity of shape, he maintains, will allow a transition from the end of the current aeon, when the universe will have expanded to become infinitely large, to the start of the next, when it once again becomes infinitesimally small and explodes outwards from the next big bang.

 

Crucially, he says, the entropy at this transition stage will be extremely low, because black holes, which destroy all information that they suck in, evaporate as the universe expands and in so doing remove entropy from the universe."

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It Took Earth Ten Million Years to Recover from Greatest Mass Extinction of all time

It Took Earth Ten Million Years to Recover from Greatest Mass Extinction of all time | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

"Life was nearly wiped out 250 million years ago, with only 10 per cent of plants and animals surviving. It is currently much debated how life recovered from this cataclysm, whether quickly or slowly.
Recent evidence for a rapid bounce-back is evaluated in a new review article (...) They find that recovery from the crisis lasted some 10 million years (...).

 

The end-Permian crisis, by far the most dramatic biological crisis to affect life on Earth, was triggered by a number of physical environmental shocks -- global warming, acid rain, ocean acidification and ocean anoxia. These were enough to kill off 90 per cent of living things on land and in the sea.

Dr Chen said: "It is hard to imagine how so much of life could have been killed, but there is no doubt from some of the fantastic rock sections in China and elsewhere round the world that this was the biggest crisis ever faced by life." (...)

 

Some groups of animals on the sea and land did recover quickly and began to rebuild their ecosystems, but they suffered further setbacks. Life had not really recovered in these early phases because permanent ecosystems were not established.

 

Professor Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Bristol, said: "Life seemed to be getting back to normal when another crisis hit and set it back again. The carbon crises were repeated many times, and then finally conditions became normal again after five million years or so."

 

Finally, after the environmental crises ceased to be so severe, more complex ecosystems emerged. In the sea, new groups, such as ancestral crabs and lobsters, as well as the first marine reptiles, came on the scene, and they formed the basis of future modern-style ecosystems."

See also: Anthropocene: “the recent age of man”. Mapping Human Influence on Planet Earth http://aminotes.tumblr.com/post/5960523915/anthropocene-the-recent-age-of-man-mapping

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Nathan Wolfe: What's left to explore? | TED

"We've been to the moon, we've mapped the continents, we've even been to the deepest point in the ocean -- twice. What's left for the next generation to explore? Biologist and explorer Nathan Wolfe suggests this answer: Almost everything. And we can start, he says, with the world of the unseeably small."

 

"Don't assume that what we currently think is out there is the full story. Go after the dark matter, in whatever field you choose to explore.”

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Manuel Lima: The Power of Networks. Mapping an increasingly complex world | TED, RSA

Manuel Lima is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, nominated by Creativity magazine as “one of the 50 most creative and influential minds of 2009”, Manuel Lima is a Senior UX Design Lead at Microsoft Bing and founder of VisualComplexity.com - A visual exploration on mapping complex networks.

 

See also: The Story of Networks, Lapidarium notes http://bit.ly/uN3czL

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ChronoZoom ☞ The history of life, the universe and everything - visualised

ChronoZoom ☞ The history of life, the universe and everything - visualised | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

“Imagine a timeline of the universe, complete with high-resolution videos and images, in which you could zoom from a chronology of Egypt’s dynasties and pyramids to the tale of a Japanese-American couple interned in a World War II relocation camp to a discussion of a mass extinction that occurred on Earth 200 million years ago – all in seconds. (…)

 

A University of California, Berkeley, geologist and his students have teamed up with Microsoft Research Connections engineers to make this web-based software possible. (…)

 

The idea arose in a UC Berkeley course about Big History taught by Walter Alvarez, the campus geologist who first proposed that a comet or asteroid smashed into the Earth 65 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs. Big History is a unified, interdisciplinary way of looking at and teaching the history of the cosmos, Earth, life and humanity: the history of everything.

 

One of the difficulties of teaching history –- and teaching Big History, in particular –- is conveying a sense of the time scale, which ranges from the 50,000-year time span of modern humans to the 13.7 billion-year history of the universe, Alvarez said. Human history compared to cosmic history is like “a postage stamp relative to the whole size of the United States.”

 

“With ChronoZoom, you are browsing history, not digging it out piece by piece,” said Alvarez, a Professor of the Graduate School in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science. (…)

 

ChronoZoom is a visualization tool allowing for the first time people to mash up data from all sorts of different places in different formats enabling new insights that would never have been possible before.”

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Earth displayed in glorious 121-megapixel photo

"The Earth is depicted as big, blue, and beautiful in NASA photos taken from space, but here’s one you might not have seen. NASA’s photos are said to be composites of multiple images, but a Russian satellite has captured one single 121-megapixel photo that simply looks stunning. We’re most used to seeing an expanse of white and blue, but here you can see some earth tones (no pun intended) in the mix too.

 

The Elektro-L weather satellite captured the image from 22,369 miles away, although it has been tweaked slightly. The images that NASA usually throw up are apparently “boring”, so near-infrared imagery has been overlaid on this photo to provide a swath of browns and oranges. The below video is comprised of around 350 shots, with one taken every 30 minutes, and 0.62 miles fitting into each pixel."

http://www.slashgear.com/earth-displayed-in-glorious-121-megapixel-photo-14228075/

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How to Measure “How Much Information”? Theoretical, Methodological, and Statistical Challenges for the Social Sciences by M. Hilbert | University of Southern California (pdf)

"The question of “how much information” there is in the world goes back at least to the time when Aristotle’s student Demetrius (367 BC–ca. 283 BC) was asked to organize the Library of Alexandria in order to quantify “how many thousand books are there” (Aristeas, ca. 200 BC, in Charles, 1913, Section 9). In 1949, one year after his seminal (1948) publication that both created and solved most fundamental problems of information theory, the intellectual father of what is known today as the “information age,” Claude Shannon took a pencil and a piece of notebook paper and estimated the order of magnitude of the largest information stockpile he could think of. He used his newly proposed measure of information (which was at that time, quite unknown) called “the bit,” and estimated the Library of Congress to contain some 10^14 bits (Gleick, 2011, p. 232).

 

Pressed by the exploding number of information and communication technologies (ICTs) that fallowed the theories of Shannon and his colleagues during the decades to come, several research projects have taken up this question more systematically since the 1960s. In the eight articles of this Special Section, authors of some of the most extensive of those inventories discuss findings, research priorities, advantages, and limitations, as well as methodological and measurement differences in their approaches. The goal is to provide an open and transparent academic dialogue that deepens the understanding of the nature, assumptions and limitations of these kinds of inventories and to create a solid fundament for potential future exercises of a similar kind."

 

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Waking Life ☞ animated film focuses on the nature of dreams, consciousness, and existentialism

Waking Life ☞ animated film focuses on the nature of dreams, consciousness, and existentialism | Science & Knowledge | Scoop.it

‎"The film focuses on the nature of dreams, consciousness, and existentialism. The title is a reference to philosopher George Santayana’s maxim: “Sanity is a madness put to good uses; waking life is a dream controlled.”

 

Waking Life is about an unnamed young man in a persistent dream-like state that eventually progresses to lucidity. He initially observes and later participates in philosophical discussions of issues such as reality, free will, the relationship of the subject with others, and the meaning of life. Along the way the film touches on other topics including existentialism, situationist politics, posthumanity, the film theory of André Bazin, and lucid dreaming itself. By the end, the protagonist feels trapped by his perpetual dream, broken up only by unending false awakenings. His final conversation with a dream character reveals that reality may be only a single instant which the individual consciousness interprets falsely as time (and, thus, life) until a level of understanding is achieved that may allow the individual to break free from the illusion."

 

"The new evolution stems from information, and it stems from two types of information: digital and analog. The digital is artificial intelligence. The analog results from molecular biology, the cloning of the organism. And you knit the two together with neurobiology. Before on the old evolutionary paradigm, one would die and the other would grow and dominate. But under the new paradigm, they would exist as a mutually supportive, noncompetitive grouping. (...)

 

Evolution now becomes an individually centered process, emanating from the needs and desires of the individual, and not an external process, a passive process where the individual is just at the whim of the collective. (...) The input is now this new intelligence. As intelligence piles on intelligence, as ability piles on ability, the speed changes. (...)

It could be the amplification of the individual, the multiplication of individual existences. Parallel existences now with the individual no longer restricted by time and space."

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Albert Einstein: How I See the World | PBS documentary

"It was like someone who looked for many, many, many dimensions, whether they be proven or not, and could see the whole.” - Hanna Loewy, family friend

 

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