For a year, one of my biggest, boldest and most popular essays about our future destiny "SINGULARITIES AND NIGHTMARES" has only been available at Amazon.com/shorts to those who were willing to pay me a quarter for my thoughts. Well all right, a year is long enough. Now, by popular request, I have posted it for free access at the Lifeboat Foundation site. This work explores a startling range of possibilities for humanity and the Earth, ranging from dangers that provoke some to call for "renunciation" of hazardous research... all the way to opportunities that inspire others to think that we may soon become apprentice gods.
The Public Readiness Quotient (PRI) is a first-of-its kind tool for individuals, families and communities to determine and evaluate their readiness. See how you stack up against the national average and learn specific steps you can take to better prepare yourself and your family, as well as things you can do to encourage your community, schools, and workplace to be better prepared. (Alas, it does not address the National Readiness Quotient which, if properly scored, would show us far less “ready” than we were before September 11, 2001.)
Along these lines, let us all give some thought to how we can add to the resilience and agility of a civilization that may be sorely tested in the years ahead. Especially with so much of our skilled and professional emergency cadre being sent away and wasted in foreign lands, we should train to stand up and care for our communities in times of crisis. Look into taking CERT training! (Or some local equivalent.)
---- Blog member Tyler August suggested I post this at the top level: “what if there were a zero emissions vehicle that topped 100MPH, went 0-60 in 10 seconds or less, had a range of 250 miles, charged in 10 minutes... and did this seating 5 with a piano in the back? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you bright shining hope. I give you the Phoenix Motorcars SUT.( http://www. phoenixmotorcars.com/ ) The price? Word on the street has it at 45,000USD a unit. At that price, I expect that they'll have a hard time keeping up with the demand...”
And let me add that you’ll want to keep your eyes on Elon Musk’s new Tesla Roadster.
In fact, the classic motor companies are probably in blind panic right now. They have been in denial for years. But suddenly progress in both batteries and electric motor technology have reached a point where news can no longer be suppressed. (They are still trying, though. With all this utter nonsense about “hydrogen fuel cell cars”... a blatant pipe dream that suggests they might keep control over the pipelines forever, despite the fact that “hydrogen pipelines” are a moronic impracticality in humanity’s short term future.)
----- New benchmark tests show how specialized graphics processing units, or GPUs, developed for the games industry over the past few years compare with all-purpose central processing units, or CPUs, that currently bear the brunt of most computing tasks. The lab tests come amid growing efforts to harness the GPU for general high-performance computing, and the UNC paper promises to be something of a showstopper at the weeklong gathering of the supercomputing elite: According to the Chapel Hill team, a low-cost parallel data processing GPU system can conservatively surpass the latest CPU-based systems by two to five times in a wide variety of tasks.
“V ideo gamers' cravings for ever-more-realistic play have spawned a technological arms race that could help cure cancer, predict the next big earthquake and crack many other mathematical puzzles currently beyond the reach of the world's most powerful computers...”
------- Interesting trade snippet from PPI:
Quantity of gold mined, 5000 B.-.1960 A.D.: c. 80,000 tons (estimate)
Quantity of gold mined, 1960 A.D.-2006 A.D.: c. 75,000 tons
Roughly half the gold mined in human history has been dug up since 1960. About half the total comes from five countries: South Africa leads with about 300 tons a year, followed by the United States, Australia, China, and Peru. (Nevada alone accounts for four-fifths of America's 260-330 tons of annual gold production.) (BTW, if you know someone interested... I have an old Caltech classmate who makes a good case that he knows EXACTLY where a “second Comstock” is in easy reach.) The big buyers are jewelers, who accounted for 2,700 of the 3,700 tons of gold "consumed" in 2005. The other major buyers include electronics manufacturers at 280 tons, dentists at 62 tons, other industries 85 tons, and collectors or hoarders of various sorts 600 tons. India is the world's largest buyer of gold; its 500 tons-per-year purchasing accounts for about one-seventh of the total. Other big importers include Hong Kong, Dubai and other Persian Gulf monarchies, and Japan.
------ New York University chemistry professor Nadrian C. Seeman and his graduate student Baoquan Ding have developed a DNA cassette through which a nanomechanical device can be inserted and function within a DNA array, allowing for the motion of a nanorobotic arm. The results, reported in the latest issue of the journal Science, mark the first time scientists have been able to employ a functional nanotechnology device within a DNA array.
-------- Andrew Love supplied these items:
Have you seen this? - universally available web-based tools allow hobbyists and professionals to uncover plagiarism, even if it occurred in the 1800s. More evidence of the age of amateurs and transparent society.
Also other good news: "Chronic disability among older Americans has dropped dramatically, and the rate of decline has accelerated during the past two decades, according to a new analysis of data from the National Long-Term Care Survey (NLTCS). The study, published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the prevalence of chronic disability among people 65 and older fell from 26.5 percent in 1982 to 19 percent in 2004/2005. The findings suggest that older Americans' health and function continue to improve at a critical time in the aging of the population. "
Over the past decade machine translation has improved dramatically, propelled by Moore's law, a spike in federal funding in the wake of 9/11, and a new method called statistical-based MT. Meaningful Machines, a New York firm with an ingenious algorithm and a really big dictionary, is finally cracking the code.
The 2007 Digital Future Project found that 43 percent of Internet users who are members of online communities say that they "feel as strongly" about their virtual community as they do about their real-world communities. The 2007 Digital Future Project found that Internet use is growing and evolving as an instrument for personal engagement
The discovery of 70,000-year-old artifacts and a python's head carved of stone pushed back significantly the date of the first known human rituals. Until this, scientists had thought human intelligence had not evolved the capacity to perform group rituals until perhaps 40,000 years ago.
10 Tech Concepts You Need to Know for 2007 From concrete that can flex to sensors that you swallow, here are the technologies you’ll be talking about. From Popular Mechanics...
Keep on thinking ahead.....