TED 2006 Coverage

TED 2006 just wrapped up this weekend, bringing together over 800 leaders in technology, entertainment, design, etc. for a little mutual appreciation, and undoubtedly, a whirlpool of creative synergy.

There’s some good coverage of the event at TEDBlog, as well as the blogs of Ethan Zuckerman (of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and WorldChanging.com) and Bruno Fiussani.

TED 2006 Coverage

TED 2006 just wrapped up this weekend, bringing together over 800 leaders in technology, entertainment, design, etc. for a little mutual appreciation, and undoubtedly, a whirlpool of creative synergy.

There’s some good coverage of the event at TEDBlog, as well as the blogs of Ethan Zuckerman (of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and WorldChanging.com) and Bruno Fiussani.

Feb 2006 // This Month In Finity

This Month In Finity is a regular installment of artifacts and developments in humanity’s never-ending quest for truth and meaning. In Finity recognizes the importance that science, philosophy, religion, etc. play in establishing our identities and satisfying our eternal curiosity, not to mention in finding peace and balance. Be it quantum physics, zen meditation, tribal dance and music, Epictetus’ Discourses, or The Sermon on the Mount — all will find common ground here, and hopefully, a common voice with which to share their insight.

This month: The Star Larvae Hypothesis, Constructal Theory, Cliff Pickover, The Science Of Anticipation, and The Power Of Observation.

Press play to start this issue’s music inside your browser (requires Flash), or use the title link to do with it as you will.

The Star Larvae Hypothesis

Forget Darwinian Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design. Biological life on earth is only a larval form of a much greater organism. Or so says the Heresiarch who over the past few years has evolved the Star Larvae Hypothesis.

Hypothesis:

  • Stars constitute a genus of organism.
  • The stellar life cycle includes a larval phase.
  • Biological life constitutes the larval phase of the stellar life cycle.

Elaboration: The hypothesis proposes a teleological model of nature, in which …

  • Stellar nebulae manufacture viruses and bacteria in their interiors while they cool to form solar systems
  • Biological life evolves according to a plan, which in its entirety, on- and off-planet, constitutes a generational life cycle of the stellar organism.
  • Technology plays a necessary role in evolution. It enables biological life to emigrate from incubator planets to weightless space.
  • Postplanetary life, symbiotic with technology, manufactures the protons needed for, then metamorphoses into, new stars.
  • A prescient complex of religious motifs, including ascendance, illumination, and transcendence, expresses humankind’s stellar calling and longing—its imago.
  • Nature is a metabolism that encompasses the organic and the inorganic in a continuum of matter and energy exchanges.

This is along a similar vein as the Omega Point Theory. More reading:

Constructal Theory

Constructal theory says that a system not in equilibrium will, over time, generate paths that allow currents to flow with easiest access and least resistance. Essentially, systems evolve so they experience the least friction and maximize efficiency. In terms of locomotion, this means animals move in a way that minimizes energy spent. (…)

“What I’m telling you is totally, let’s say, the upside-down of what the proponents of chance and non-determinism have been promoting for more than a hundred years.” Bejan said. “This is—how should I say—the end of the story. The end of the argument. A law of physics that says it all, and it takes less space in a future physics book than all this debate that currently has led to things such as chaos and chance and fluctuations and turbulence and other buzz words that mean ‘I don’t know.’”

Cliff Pickover

Clifford A. Pickover received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is the author of over thirty highly-acclaimed books on such topics as computers and creativity, art, mathematics, black holes, human behavior and intelligence, time travel, alien life, and science fiction. Pickover is a prolific inventor with dozens of patents, the associate editor for several journals, author of colorful puzzle calendars, and contributor to magazines geared to children and adults.

The Los Angeles Times recently wrote, “Pickover has published nearly a book a year in which he stretches the limits of computers, art and thought.” Wired magazine wrote, “Bucky Fuller thought big, Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both.”

I’m a regular visitor to a number of his websites, namely, The Galactic Question Center, Godlorica, and RealityCarnival.

The Science Of Anticipation

His group observed that when subjects were given a cue that suggested the taste they were about to experience would be less bitter, the taste was perceived as such, and the regions of the brain that code tastes were activated less.

“When the subject sees the warning signal, portions of the brain activated by the misleading cue predict the decreased brain response to the awful taste,” Nitschke says. What’s more, “the (brain’s) response to the misleading cue will predict the subject’s perception of what the taste is going to be. The subject anticipates that the taste won’t be that bad, and indeed that’s what they report.”

In short, the new study shows how expectancy affects how humans perceive sensory input, and how events in the brain are directly related to those perceptions.

The Power Of Observation

An interesting clip from the upcoming extended version of the What The Bleep movie, demonstrating the mystery behind the famous double-slit experiment and wave-particle duality: how the act of observing an event effects its outcome.

Quantum mechanics holds that every particle in nature, be it a photon, electron or atom, is described by a solution to a differential equation, most typically, the Schroedinger equation. The solutions to this equation are known as wave functions, as they are inherently wave-like in their form. They can diffract and interfere, leading to the wave-like phenomena that are observed. Yet also, the wave functions are interpreted as describing the probability of finding a particle at a given point in space.

Thus, if one is looking for a particle, one will find one, with a probability given by the (square of the) wave function.“

Feb 2006 // This Month In Finity

This Month In Finity is a regular installment of artifacts and developments in humanity’s never-ending quest for truth and meaning. In Finity recognizes the importance that science, philosophy, religion, etc. play in establishing our identities and satisfying our eternal curiosity, not to mention in finding peace and balance. Be it quantum physics, zen meditation, tribal dance and music, Epictetus’ Discourses, or The Sermon on the Mount — all will find common ground here, and hopefully, a common voice with which to share their insight.

This month: The Star Larvae Hypothesis, Constructal Theory, Cliff Pickover, The Science Of Anticipation, and The Power Of Observation.

Continue reading “Feb 2006 // This Month In Finity”

Feist Redux

image credit: Annette Aurrel

I’ve written about Feist before, but just heard the Postal Service remix of “Mushaboom” via Waxy and wanted to share. If you’ve not seen her live acoustic session on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic yet, it’s definitely worth a go as well – 40 minutes of musical serenity.

By the way, this and most everything else music related I post here ends up on the podcast. You can subscribe in iTunes with one click using the link on the sidebar, or by clicking here.

Feist Redux

image credit: Annette Aurrel

I’ve written about Feist before, but just heard the Postal Service remix of “Mushaboom” via Waxy and wanted to share. If you’ve not seen her live acoustic session on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic yet, it’s definitely worth a go as well — 40 minutes of musical serenity.

By the way, this and most everything else music related I post here ends up on the podcast. You can subscribe in iTunes with one click using the link on the sidebar, or by clicking here.

Baumraum: Modern Treehouses



Modern treehouses for use as recreational lofts, romantic pads, guest houses – whatever you can imagine. The website has lots of photos, but they’re a bit hard to get to, so I’ve compiled the best ones into a flickr set.

Baumraum: Modern Treehouses



Modern treehouses for use as recreational lofts, romantic pads, guest houses — whatever you can imagine. The website has lots of photos, but they’re a bit hard to get to, so I’ve compiled the best ones into a flickr set.