A whole lot of items have accumulated on the side, so here goes...
Has anyone seen this?
I mean, they even call it claytronics! This is the fourth major fictional idea of mine that has been at least partly reified by researchers this year alone. And in not one case did anyone mention where they got the idea. sniff.
Somebody oughta tell em...
The replicator: create your own body double. (The New Scientist#2503)
"Need to be in two places at once? All you need to project yourself anywhere in the world is an internet connection and some intelligent nanodust
"TELEPORTATION might not yet be on the cards for us humans, but Seth Goldstein and Todd Mowry may have come up with the next best thing. This pair of computer scientists are trying to build an intelligent material that can replicate a physical three-dimensional facsimile of you from nothing more than a stream of video images. If it works, all you'll need to project yourself around the globe is an internet connection and a pile of their intelligent nanodust at the other end to assemble your replica.
"The project is still in its infancy, but the researchers hope the new material - made of self-organising nano-computers that can stick to each other and communicate with built-in wireless - will eventually be able to shape-shift in an instant, forming a replica of anything from a banana to a human. They call it "claytronics", and the individual particles are known as claytronic ..."
Back to one of my hot topics - one that gets zero attention from EITHER left or right - the catastrophic decline in US military readiness. This was in today's paper: Even after drastically reducing its recruitment goals, the US Army has fallen short this month by 25%. This after many months of similar news. Likewise in the other forces. Our readiness levels are low enough to invite charges of high treason.
How is it that no one mentions it? Are patriots on the right so blinded by "loyalty" to the jerks who are perpetrating this? Are pundits on the left too far gone to even notice that patriotism - real patriotism - is still something worth standing up for?
As George Orwell lamented in another context, "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool."
Well, the left may be mired in an insane hostility toward the Officer Corps that is now our only bulwark and protection. But not all democrats are lefties. See: http://www.trumanproject.org/ Many on the left would sneer at these folks as "GOP Light." That is entirely wrong. These people want to reclaim the long democratic tradition of assertive foreign policy that is both prudent and bold, both moral and unafraid. Cooperative and yet unabashed at willingness to lead. The kind of leadership and assertive/decent Pax Americana that stepped into the Balkans and left the European Continent at peace under law for the first time in 4,000 years.
Back when we still had allies who would trust us with more than a burnt match.
Here's an example of the kind of expansive thinking that can typify the modern worldview: http://www.nickbostrom.com/existential/risks.html
Next. I forget. Did I refer to an absolutely brilliant faux scientific talk about the process of resurrecting the lost subspecies of vampires? The callous, smug amorality is exactly how science can and often DOES go wrong. http://www.rifters.com/real/progress.htm (but of course, this kind of criticism illustrates my "social T Cell notion.) In any event, it's hilarious and frightening!
New from the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security - "Patriot Debates: Experts Debate the USA PATRIOT Act", Stewart A. Baker and John Kavanagh, editors Published by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security. You policy wonks really need to look at this. I have long believed that our "civil liberties protectors" e.g. the ACLU, are fighting the WRONG parts of the Patriot Act. Little nudges/changes in wiretap procedures will not bring us Big Brother and the American people know that. It is the portions of the Act that remove supervision and accountability while spreading a cancer of secrecy that should be fought most intensely... and aren't.
Back on the genral topic of modernism: futurists Margaret King and Jamie O'Boyle, who were recently interviewed in Fast Company magazine, expressed their concern about the decline of confidence this way: "We are going through an interesting social anomaly. Our culture is no longer dominated by positive visions of the future. In the past, business and technology helped generate such visions, whether through movies, theme parks, or journeys into space .We've lost our instinct to think positively."
Ah, but the dream is an 18th Century one... still fighting for sanity and progress against 19th Century romantic demons. In 1793, William Blake, th British poet and visionary wrote,"What is now proved was once, only imagin'd." A proud statement we should all be making.
When asked why he was now holding a different opinion than he had previously expressed, Lord Keynes is quoted as saying, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"
Enough to chew on. If you find an item useful, follow it up. Be a T Cell...