The Asymptotic Leap
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The Asymptotic Leap
Technology and the experience of what it means to be human are evolving at an exponential rate, entering the steep of an asymptotic curve. If we don't destroy ourselves first, it is likely in a few decades we may not even recognize ourselves as what we are today. Hang on, we're embarking on one helluva ride and the outcome is a real nail biter.
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Memetics, the Cultural Singularity is Now! - Transhumanity.net

Memetics, the Cultural Singularity is Now! - Transhumanity.net | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Are internet memes ushering us towards a cultural singularity, much like computers are ushering us towards a technological singularity?

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Retina implant allows patients to read ordinary text as braille

Retina implant allows patients to read ordinary text as braille | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Retina prostheses have been in development for quite some time, but users often still find street signs and other text difficult to read. Using the Argus II retinal prosthesis system — which...
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

Amazing to consider that within just a few years, blindness and deafness may become thing of the past...and we may see and hear better than we can imagine.

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OVERVIEW -- The video: 40th anniversary of the famous blue marble photo take of Earth from space.

A short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect. The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it.

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How Eye Tracking Could Revolutionize Interaction Design

How Eye Tracking Could Revolutionize Interaction Design | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
What if you could move a cursor on your TV with just your eyes? Or turn the page of an ebook without using your hands? These are the promises of PredictGaze, what’s basically (and somewhat allegedly) a series of ingenious algorithms by a team of garage engineers. PredictGaze can work with the lousy webcam in your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and even in low-light conditions, track your eyes and identify your face to enable all sorts of futuristic controls.

Via Ashish Umre
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An Infographic Shows How The World Might Actually End

An Infographic Shows How The World Might Actually End | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Mayan apocalypses aside, there are lots of ways we could screw this up and send humanity on a crash course to extinction. But don’t worry too much, we’re probably fine.

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

"We'll probably be fine." Hmmm, as long as human evolution wins the race up the asymptote, that is.

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Red Pill, Blue Pill: Is the Universe Just a Giant Computer Simulation? | TIME.com

Red Pill, Blue Pill: Is the Universe Just a Giant Computer Simulation? | TIME.com | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Are we just a bunch of simulacrums living in a massively computer-generated universe? If so, would there be a way to check? Does the possibility that the universe is structured like an extremely complex network — that our brains and the things we create with them, like the Internet, may resemble the universe’s underlying structure — also imply that we exist in an incomprehensibly sophisticated computer-like simulation?

Read more: http://techland.time.com/2012/12/13/red-pill-blue-pill-is-the-universe-just-a-giant-computer-simulation/#ixzz2FSJAz4py
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Dreaming Awake At The End Of Time

http://alchemicalarchives.blogspot.co.uk/ Dreaming Awake At The End Of Time San Francisco, December 13, 1998 Join Terence McKenna, author, explorer and philo...
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

Could it be that a comprehensive summation of the workings cosmology and consciousness could be elucidated in two hours? Just leave it to Terence. In addition, he speaks about 2012 and the dizzying asymptotic unfolding of evolution (starting at 1:34:12).

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The Global Brain and the Prescience of Terence McKenna - April 1983

"...there is a level of hierarchical control that is being exerted by the human species as a whole. That the destiny of man as a whole is not in the hands of governments and corporations...it is in the hands of a weirdly democratic, amoeboid-like, hyper intelligent super organism which is called everybody. And as we come to terms with this, as we take our place embedded in the body of everybody and information flows more freely, the reality of this informational creature is seen more clearly, it’s an organism, we are having a symbiotic relationship with an organism made of information."

 

(this section starts at 34:25)

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Leaping Into the Gesture Control Era

Leaping Into the Gesture Control Era | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Technology that accurately tracks finger motions could revolutionize desktop and mobile computing.

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The Six Epochs Of Technological Evolution - It's got "Asymptote" written all over it.

The Six Epochs Of Technological Evolution - It's got "Asymptote" written all over it. | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

For his latest video short, Jason Silva maps out Ray Kurzweil's Six Epochs of Evolution showing the exponential progression in the way the universe stores and processes information.

 

Tracking our progress in the technological evolutionary journey, in books such as The Singularity Is Near, Kurzweil has identifies six epochs, each of which is characterized by a major paradigm shift. For Kurzweil, the Singularity will begin with Epoch Five and will spread from Earth to the rest of the universe in Epoch Six, which he claims is our ultimate destiny.

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Samsara - The Film

Samsara - The Film | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Filmed over five years in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA is a new, non-verbal documentary from filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, the creators of BARAKA. Beautiful, haunting, and mystical.

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IBM simulates 530 billion neurons, 100 trillion synapses on supercomputer | KurzweilAI

IBM simulates 530 billion neurons, 100 trillion synapses on supercomputer | KurzweilAI | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Announced in 2008, DARPA’s SyNAPSE program calls for developing electronic neuromorphic (brain-simulation) machine technology that scales to biological levels, using a cognitive computing architecture with 1010 neurons (10 billion) and 1014 synapses (100 trillion, based on estimates of the number of synapses in the human brain) to develop electronic neuromorphic machine technology that scales to biological levels.

 

IBM says it has accomplished this milestone by simulating 10 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses on most powerful supercomputer

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Studies on Collective Intelligence - A Conversation with Thomas W. Malone

Studies on Collective Intelligence - A Conversation with Thomas W. Malone | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

(Excerpts from the video)

"A new kind of collective intelligence enabled by the Internet [is emerging]. Think of Google, for instance, where millions of people all over the world create web pages, and link those web pages to each other. Then all that knowledge is harvested by the Google technology so that when you type a question in the Google search bar the answers you get often seem amazingly intelligent, at least by some definition of the word "intelligence."

 

"Or think of Wikipedia, where thousands of people all over the world have collectively created a very large and amazingly high quality intellectual product with almost no centralized control. And by the way, without even being paid. I think these examples of things like Google and Wikipedia are not the end of the story. I think they're just barely the beginning of the story."

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Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

http://www.ted.com Mycologist Paul Stamets studies the mycelium -- and lists 6 ways that this astonishing fungus can help save the world. TEDTalks is a daily...
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

This guy just called mycillium the Earth's internet. I think it's about time we connected the human's internet to Earth's internet, don't you?

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New Rules for the New Economy -- from Kevin Kelly

1) Embrace the Swarm. As power flows away from the center, the competitive advantage belongs to those who learn how to embrace decentralized points of control.

2) Increasing Returns. As the number of connections between people and things add up, the consequences of those connections multiply out even faster, so that initial successes aren't self-limiting, but self-feeding.

3) Plentitude, Not Scarcity. As manufacturing techniques perfect the art of making copies plentiful, value is carried by abundance, rather than scarcity, inverting traditional business propositions.

4) Follow the Free. As resource scarcity gives way to abundance, generosity begets wealth. Following the free rehearses the inevitable fall of prices, and takes advantage of the only true scarcity: human attention.

5) Feed the Web First. As networks entangle all commerce, a firm's primary focus shifts from maximizing the firm's value to maximizing the network's value. Unless the net survives, the firm perishes.

6) Let Go at the Top. As innovation accelerates, abandoning the highly successful in order to escape from its eventual obsolescence becomes the most difficult and yet most essential task.

7) From Places to Spaces. As physical proximity (place) is replaced by multiple interactions with anything, anytime, anywhere (space), the opportunities for intermediaries, middlemen, and mid-size niches expand greatly.

8) No Harmony, All Flux. As turbulence and instability become the norm in business, the most effective survival stance is a constant but highly selective disruption that we call innovation.

9) Relationship Tech. As the soft trumps the hard, the most powerful technologies are those that enhance, amplify, extend, augment, distill, recall, expand, and develop soft relationships of all types.

10) Opportunities Before Efficiencies. As fortunes are made by training machines to be ever more efficient, there is yet far greater wealth to be had by unleashing the inefficient discovery and creation of new opportunities.

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

Written 10 years ago, perhaps more true today than even then.

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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, January 1, 2013 3:39 PM

Prescription for 2013...

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Open Garden: How this one app plans to liberalize Internet

Open Garden: How this one app plans to liberalize Internet | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Open Garden is a mobile and desktop app which allows users to seamlessly share their Internet connection. If this works out and the app gains mass acceptance, it promises to make our world more connected.

 

It works on a simple principle, at any given point in time — some people in a public place usually have access to the Internet and others do not — Open Garden allows users who are not connected to the Internet piggyback on the bandwidth shared by the ones who do. Of course, this spells bad news for operators because individual Internet plans form a big part of their revenue. But for consumers, it means convenience and better chances of being connected from anywhere.

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

Mesh networks have the potential to fully decentralize the Internet.

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Studying Brain-to-Computer Interfaces on Humans

Studying Brain-to-Computer Interfaces  on Humans | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Brain to computer interfaces that can actually tell you what people are thinking. The brain detail is said to be “amazing” today and is rapidly growing to understand how the brain functions. They can now tell from brain signals if one moves a hand to the left or to right, etc. The team says they have no clue how far this technology will go, only the future will tell.

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photo | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

13.7 billion years of evolution has resulted in life forms with the ability to ponder it all while it grows enough to send its tendrils into space and ultimately connect with and become it all. Truly astonishing, IMHO.

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A $5 Light For The Developing World With An Ingenious Fuel: Gravity

A $5 Light For The Developing World With An Ingenious Fuel: Gravity | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
The GravityLight gets power from the slow lowering of a weight. All it takes is enough elbow grease to hoist the bag, and you can light a room with nothing but a bag of sand.
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

Yet another technology that is expediting the distributed generation of low use power for charging phones, powering lights, etc.

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Design and destiny

Designer Phillipe Starck speaks in this TED video about design in cosmic terms. How life evolved from nothing to this which has the capacity to design and to look at the now and the future with intelligence.

 

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Mind-Controlled Artificial Limbs Fusing Man and Machine Coming Next Year | Wired Science | Wired.com

Mind-Controlled Artificial Limbs Fusing Man and Machine Coming Next Year | Wired Science | Wired.com | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

A postdoctoral student has developed a technique for implanting thought-controlled robotic arms and their electrodes directly to the bones and nerves of amputees, a move which he is calling "the future of artificial limbs."

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Envisioning the future of health technology

Envisioning the future of health technology | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

This visualization is an exercise in speculating about which individual technologies are likely to affect the scenario of health in the coming decades. Arranged in six broad areas, the forecast covers a multitude of research and developments that are likely to disrupt the future of healthcare: regeneration, biogerontology, treatments, telemedicine, augmentation, and diagnostics.

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An ultrathin electrode spun from a single carbon fiber can record neurons in living animals.

An ultrathin electrode spun from a single carbon fiber can record neurons in living animals. | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Researchers have come up with what they call a “stealthy neural interface” made from a single carbon fiber and coated with chemicals to make it resistant to proteins in the brain.

 

The new microthread electrode, designed to pick up signals from a single neuron as it fires, is only about 7 micrometers in diameter. That is the thinnest yet developed, and about 100 times as thin as the conventional metal electrodes widely used to study animal brains.

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Another Player in Augmented-Reality Glasses - Vuzix

Another Player in Augmented-Reality Glasses - Vuzix | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

Vuzix Corporation’s Vuzix Smart Glasses M100 contains a virtual display with integrated camera, running Android OS, and will wirelessly connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to your smartphone (iOS or Android) or other compatible device.

 

You’ll be able to connect to the Internet, answer the phone (with a visual address book), and read text messages and email. It will offer visual navigation and basic augmented reality (AR) apps and has an integrated head tracker and GPS for spacial and positional awareness in AR apps. An integrated 720p camera enables video recording and still image capture.


Via Wildcat2030
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Hayley Regalado's curator insight, March 20, 2013 7:36 AM

2012, ‘New augmented-reality glasses due out in 2013’, Kurzweil.

 

This article talks about the technology of ‘smart glasses’. We have smart phones and now there are hints that smart glasses will be the next big thing... The particular model discussed in the article is being dubbed as Google Glass’ competitor. Vuzix Corporation has designed ‘Vuxix Smart Glasses M100’ for on the go data access from the internet and from smartphones. The device includes a camera and display. In my opinion it may be the next big thing but I’m not sure how quickly this device will catch on and how comfortable people will be with an everyday device such as this one. There is the concern of privacy; if this device contains a camera and if the general public has access to these devices… Should we be concerned?  One of the capabilities of Google glass is to share locations with social networks. It is uncertain how the general public will feel about that. There is also the issue of the cost. According to the article Vuxix will be commercially available for $500. The rumoured starting price for Google Glass is $1500. This will be quite unconventional for the general public. However, it is arguable to say we spend thousands of dollars on phones and computers… Would this be any different? The area that I feel would affect the social acceptance the most for this product would be the aesthetics of this product. In my personal opinion I would feel slightly uncomfortable to see people wearing these technologies on their face. It is comparable to cyborg, android like beings. Overall, I believe this article is useful to my essay as it discusses what we can look forward to in the future – the start of wearable technologies.