Archive for Science

Exoplanet Mesh: Scratching The Surface

Launched just this past March, the Kepler Telescope is already producing useful results:

NASA scientists who put the telescope through a 10-day test after its March 6 launch said this week that Kepler is working well. Its ability to detect minute changes in light has enabled scientists to determine that a planet orbiting a distant star has an atmosphere, shows only one side to its sun and is so hot it glows.

Kepler’s ability to take measurements that precise at such a great distance “proves we can find Earth-size planets,” William Borucki, Kepler’s principal science investigator told reporters at a recent briefing.

The powerful scope is looking at thousands of stars in its vision field in the Milky Way on a 3½-year mission to find planets the size of Earth and to determine how common these planets are.

For folks interested the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, Kepler helps put some things into context – mainly that we’re just scratching the surface since the Kepler Mission is only looking at a 100,000 stars. Click the image below to see just how small a slice of the Milky Way(let alone the universe) this is)

LombergA1024

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Must See! 60 Minutes On Man-Machine Meshing

Tonite’s 60 Minutes has a segement called BrainPower which provides stunning examples of brain interfaces peopler are using today which enable them to control computers with thoughts. A preview video is available now – I suspect the entire segment will be there tomorrow. UPDATE: it’s here. The segment mentions something called BrainGate which the FDA has recently approved for clinical trials. Like iLimb that was noted here previously, this is yet another step in the process of people being able to mesh more deeply with machines. There are profound considerations involved in the choice to  not be strictly biological – considerations which are close at hand, not in the far distant future.

Flash forward one year to see how far the technology has evolved.

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More Quantum Mesh

Scientists have come to view entanglement as a tool for manipulating information. A web of entangled photons might enable investigators to run powerful quantum algorithms capable of breaking today’s most secure coded messages or simulating molecules for drug and materials design.The Gedanken Experimenter — [ QUANTUM WEIRDNESS ]: Scientific American

See also Quantum Mesh

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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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Duke’s Virtual Forest

This video is a great demonstration of how/why 3D visualization is a powerful vehicle for communicating and learning.


From the Duke Visualization Technology Group

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Ignorance Does Not Mesh

The Guardian has an excellent article that is very relevant to the Mesh Belief posts:

We take our young children to science museums, then as they get older we stop. In spite of threats like global warming and avian flu, most adults have very little understanding of how the world works. So, 50 years on from CP Snow’s famous ‘Two Cultures’ essay, is the old divide between arts and sciences deeper than ever?

“The new age of ignorance”

via reBang who fingers two key quotes

Ordinary people have to keep up. In the world we live in, the new economy, you have to become scientifically literate or you will fall quickly from view.

We no longer make and mend, so we no longer know how anything works.

I would note too that this isn’t just about money – science plays key roles in health, global warming and art too. We don’t have to have an age of ignorance but to stop this trend we need to focus more on people(yet another reason to use the term meshverse) and lots of good simulations and visualizations aimed at making complex phenomena more comprehensible to non-experts. The emphasis is because this cuts both ways – the scientifically literate need to be literate in the arts as well. A number of posts here in the MJ deal with education and there are many examples in Croquet.

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Mesh Belief Part II – Meshing With Scientism

Mesh Belief Part I – Sim 9/11 closed with the question:

Would you change your belief based on a simulation?

because Participating In The Big Simulation will inevitably challenge deeply held beliefs. Such beliefs, whether theologically rooted or not often make it difficult for people(strictly biological or not) to respectfully disagree. Thus, by challenging deeply held beliefs, simulations potentially exacerbate the problem. At the same time, simulations may hold the key to respectfully resolving conflicting beliefs(violence is disrespect in the extreme). However, given the scientific underpinnings of simulations, we’ll have to first find a way to get along respectfully with believers in Scientism – the biggest religion most people never heard of.

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