Archive for Mind Amplification

Way Beyond The Web: ha-da-da-dee-da da-da hava da da

Exhorting the world to “start taking the internet seriously“, David Gelernter says:

No moment in technology history has ever been more exciting or dangerous than now. The Internet is like a new computer running a flashy, exciting demo. We have been entranced by this demo for fifteen years. But now it is time to get to work, and make the Internet do what we want it to.

Pushing the multi-mega-ton jumbo jet of human thought-style backwards a few inches, back in the direction of dream logic, might be the Internet’s greatest accomplishment. The best is yet to be.

Changing thought patterns can be hard but fortunately there’s help. One source is the solution to the riddle of experience vs memory as shown by David Kahneman and the Short Course In Thinking About Thinking looks very worthwhile as well. Alternatively, one can go into Second Life and as Dusan Writer describes very well

Consider a few of Gelernter’s calls to action and ideas, and then go read it yourself, and extrapolate your view of the Web’s future with what you’ve learned in a virtual world:

The Web, Drifting Into View

George Clinton would say “think, it ain’t illegal yet!” but George was about more than talking:

“Flash Light” is one of the all-time great dance songs, but that only begins to describe its brilliance. It starts with the solid but unobtrusive drumming of Bootsy, allowing the other instruments to stand out. It’s anchored by the shining guitar riff of Catfish Collins, one of the greatest examples of rhythm guitar ever. And it stars Bernie Worrell, who propels the song with an addictive bass-keyboard line while keeping us engaged on the high end with tasty synth explorations. The song on the surface sounds like a simple chant song, but one can hear the battle being raged between life and death here…can Starchild make Sir Nose dance? As depicted on the album cover, he shoots the Bop Gun at him, and Sir Nose must yield. `There’s nothing that the proper attitude won’t render funkable`, and so it happens. Openness overcomes fear, as `everyone’s got a little light under the sun.` And the `ha-da-da-dee-da da-da hava da da`, (based on a Jewish Bar Mitvah chant) is one of their most engaging chants.

This album seriously challenges Mothership Connection as P.Funk’s best overall album, taking previously established ideas to new and exciting levels. It proves that it is possible to create something popular that is still challenging, exciting and revelatory, both on the lyrical and musical levels. Try and find it on vinyl, because it included a comic book detailing Starchild’s battle with Sir Nose done by Overton Lloyd, as well as a huge poster.

http://www.duke.edu/~tmc/motherpage/albums_parliament/alb-funken.html

With a new web-enabled Second Life viewer, Avatar, Alice In Wonderland and the continuing wave of 3D movies, perhaps 2010 will be the year we make contact with our virtual selves.

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A Sound-based Joystick

The Vocal Joystick doesn’t rely primarily on speech recognition i.e. “move left” but rather continuous sounds to interact with computerized systems

The goal of this project is to develop a novel system that we call the Vocal Joystick (VJ). This device will enable individuals with motor impairments to use vocal parameters to control objects on a computer screen (buttons, sliders, etc.) and ultimately electro-mechanical instruments (e.g., robotic arms, wireless home automation devices).

The Vocal Joystick Homepage

There are some compelling videos on the site. I found it via a 60 Second Science podcast series produced by Scientific American. This series is an excellent and efficient way to expand one’s awareness of science regardless of your background – highly recommended.

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Location Oriented Software Development

Another emerging practical use of the meshverse:

World View provides a location-oriented view of a software development project. It is built on Google Maps, and allows project managers and developers to see the inter-team relationships in a global project. A particular focus, again, is on visualizing conflicts, though future work includes other kinds of dependencies.

Side-by-Side Project Awareness – Exploring Multi-Monitor Environments

More comments @ Rhythmeering

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Out of Body Through VR

In a fascinating video, researchers

use virtual reality to give volunteers an out of body experience.

Video – Breaking News Videos from CNN.com

However, I think there’s much more to this than discussed. One research describes an out of body experience she’d had where she was flying over the city. It’s one thing for the brain to do the geometric translation needed to create scene of a room from another perspective/camera, quite another to accurately render an aerial view of a city.

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Ancestor Mesh

Although not a new topic(more below), it’s timely given the emergence of the meshverse, that people are exploring scientific basis for our living inside a computer simulation. Via Futurismic, I came across a NY Times report that Dr. Bostrom, the director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford

assumes that technological advances could produce a computer with more processing power than all the brains in the world, and that advanced humans, or “posthumans,” could run “ancestor simulations” of their evolutionary history by creating virtual worlds inhabited by virtual people with fully developed virtual nervous systems. …

There would be no way for any of these ancestors to know for sure whether they were virtual or real, because the sights and feelings they’d experience would be indistinguishable. But since there would be so many more virtual ancestors, any individual could figure that the odds made it nearly certain that he or she was living in a virtual world.

NY Times: Our Lives, Controlled From Some Guy’s Couch

Also: How To Simulate The Universe

If we are living in a simulation, the ancient Egyptian text Coming Forth By Day sure reads like a how-to-exit manual written by someone who created ancestor simulations. There are two non-technical books by noted physicists that cover this topic of simulating the universe – The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead and The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implications. The latter I highly recommend.

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The Bionic Man Reloaded – It’s happening faster than you think …

… take a look at the last ten years of cell phone evolution and then consider the current pace of evolution in bionics:

Kuniholm and his fellow engineers at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, or APL, are at work on the most ambitious prosthetics project in history. They seek the field’s holy grail — to build an artificial human arm that acts, looks and feels to its user like his native arm, and to do it with astonishing speed by the end of 2009.Wired: The World’s Most Advanced Bionic Arm

Now imagine where this will be in a decade

See also iLimb and Viral vs Exponential Growth and the Meshverse paradigm

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Smart is cool

Great message!

“But I want to show them that being smart is cool,” she said. “Being good at math is cool. And not only that, it can help them get what they want out of life.”‘Wonder Years’ actress: ‘Smart is cool’ – CNN.com

See also Ignorance Does Not Mesh

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