Who Gets to Keep Secrets ?

Special edition of The Edge. Question from Danny Hillis with responses from the great and the good at The Edge. “Perhaps better would be that we might need separation of ideas/memes/cultures long enough to test them — and then recombine the parts we like best.” George Church Reinforces the issue of the speed of communication …. no … Continue reading “Who Gets to Keep Secrets ?”

What to do next ?

Interesting NY-Times piece by William Gibson from back in August. (Thanks to Edward at Nixon McInnes) “I ACTUALLY think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions,” said the search giant’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, in a recent and controversial interview. “They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.” Do we … Continue reading “What to do next ?”

Before the Big Bang ?

When watching last week’s BBC Horizon, I was disappointed to see the singularity and inflation still at the root of big bang theories. That’s despite the fact that two key subjects were brought up very early – causation itself (which is actually not discussed further), and the logical problem with the idea of time itself … Continue reading “Before the Big Bang ?”

Neural Avalanches

A couple of years old, this New Scientist article on how brain activity is on “the edge of chaos”, in a state of “self-organized-criticality”. Neatly joins up two adages, of life being just complicated enough and the sweet spot being at the edge of chaos. Hat tip to Johnnie Moore for his link via this … Continue reading “Neural Avalanches”

Ribo, Ribit, Robot, Rabbit, Reboot

Another sequence from Doug Hofstadter responding with scepticism to Ray Kuzweil at the Stanford Singularity Summit (2007 or 2009 ?) – singularity as in machine intelligence or machine aided intelligence overtaking human intelligence. Sceptical in terms of short predicted timescales, immortality, time travel, hockey-sticks, etc … losing credibility … but concerned that mainstream science is … Continue reading “Ribo, Ribit, Robot, Rabbit, Reboot”

Too Much Integration

I’m reading Stephen Toulmin’s 2001 “Return To Reason” (I also have, but have not yet read his “Cosmopolis“). It is as good an expose so far on the enlightenment wrong turn as I have yet read. That reasonableness is more than rationality, that wisdom is more than knowledge. I hadn’t before quite appreciated how the 17th … Continue reading “Too Much Integration”

Ze Ayala

This is just an excuse to post a link to an old post on Evolutionary Intelligence by evolutionary biologist Ze Ayala in which he says … Scientific knowledge, like the description of size, materials, and geometry of Guernica, is satisfying and useful. But once science has had its say, there remains much about reality that … Continue reading “Ze Ayala”

Horoscopes in Space-Time

Prompted partly by “And Another Thing” the latest (No.6) in the HitchHiker’s Guide being published, and partly by wanting to remind myself what DNA would really think of Dawkins, I’ve been re-reading the first five parts of the trilogy. OK, so the film could not do justice to the the constant stream of verbal, philosophically … Continue reading “Horoscopes in Space-Time”