ray-kurzweil
I can’t wait for this movie.  Check out the trailer for the new Ray Kurzwiel joint, Transcendent Man :

Only the Strong Survive

March 15, 2009

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If you take the conservatism to the extremes, only the strong ones survive.  At birth, every able human being has a comparable amount of potential. If you only look at the child, potential is going to be similar across the board.  That potential is either nurtured or stunted depending on the socio-economic position of the family the child is born into.  Either way, beneficial or detrimental, conditions exist that sway the outcome of that infant’s future.  Right out of the womb this individuals future success is biased.  What happens if the bias serves the less capable?

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People seem to forget that a civilization is in fact a technology.  It allows individuals to become tools for everyone else, instead of having to re-invent the wheel every generation.  Civilizations are good for everyone included.  In ours we state that everyone is equal and therefore on this equal battlefield, we all compete to obtain a high quality of life.  Out of that competition the the winners then provide the best amenities for the rest of us.  If I can build the best house, then I get all the business, while the people get better houses, it’s a good system.  

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However, what if there’s a builder that’s better then me, who just couldn’t afford to get their company started (for reasons that don’t include incompetence)?  What if there could yet a better product out there then the one that I’m providing?  The greater good would be served if that ‘maybe’ better product was out there somewhere. 

Our government is the central component to the function of this civilization-technology.  Like a piece of computer software, the government keeps things as efficient as possible by  creating if-then statements for our civilization to then operate from.   Because society keeps evolving, the best hard-and-fast rules in which to govern it doen’t yet exist.  Until the magical formula for fairness/prosparity is discovered, we have no choice but to tinker or socially engineer, mainly when times are bad.

…I think anyway.

Spore: The Best Game Ever

December 21, 2008

Ever since Ashley and I jumped the gun on Christmas, I have been compulsively playing Spore. Typicality, I don’t play many video game. When I do play, I rarely finish. Spore isn’t your typical role playing game, instead of leveling up your warrior with nerdy new features, in Spore, your creature evolves. You start by controlling a cell, evolving into a creature. That creature teams up with other creatures and makes a tribe. That tribe becomes powerful and turns into a civilization. Once your civilization is supreme, you move on to conquer outer space.

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The game is very fun. Entertainment value aside, the game does a great job providing an accessible vantage point at how life really works. It’s exaggerated of course, but it offers a fun explanation of the theory of evolution. Once in the civilization stage, religion does make an appearance, however it’s only portrayed as another form of technology, on par with military technology.

It’s an extremely ambitious undertaking, to offer an entertaining and playable version of evolution all the way from cell, to galactic adventurer. The game doesn’t take too long to beat. I’ve been playing for just a few days and I’m already at the space stage. A few days play might be too short for many people, but I don’t have time to dedicate to really long term games.

Anti-Spore is as you would expect, anti-it. This mom is afraid of the damage of allowing children play an evolution game. In one entry she talks about how the game actually proves creation in how the player “creates” their creature, but still, it’s too dangerous to dabble in.

Last night, Ashley and I took a trip tp the the Yaglenski Family Holiday Light Show. It’s a free Christmas light show that the family puts on every year. You pull up and every 20 minutes the computer controlled light display puts on a show to a privately controlled radio frequency. It’s cool.

The Singularity is Near Movie

November 19, 2008

The Sony PS3 processes at 205 gflops (205 billion calculations per second).

The new Jaguar supercomputer performs 1 pedaflop (1 quadrillion calculations per second).

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Scientists predict that humans operate at 100 pedaflops (100 quadrillion calculations per second). The singularity is on it’s way.

Speaking of which, Ray Kurzewil‘s favorite topic (the Singularity) is being made into a movie and is coming out next year The Singularity is Near movie.

I’ve been thinking back to my 18th birthday when I got my first cell phone. I had a local only plan that cost $19.99/month. At the time I lived at home, worked retail, had few friends, and of course no girlfriend, I didn’t need a phone. Cell phones were still regarded as items of status, I got mine just because it was the cool thing to do. With my chunky new silver cell phone in hand, I would spend way more time marveling at its coolness, then actually placing calls.

I learned all the silly gimmicks of text messaging, ringtones, and the advent of the color screen. Flash forward 8 years and the cell phone has worked its way comfortably into my life. It entertains me at work when I’m bored, it keeps me in touch with family and friends, and it wakes me up every morning (and everytime I take a nap). This once frivolous piece of technology has evolved into something far more important.

I strongly believe that constantly craving more/better then what we already have, is the foundation of human progress. As new technology becomes available I plan to embrace as much of it as possible. I refuse to become satisfied with what works, I want what works better. 

I’m just learning Web.20. I had my wife create a PowerPoint presentation to explain it to me (yeah we work like that). I fancy myself savy on most new tech gadgets, but Web 2.0 was foreign to me. I gave up on MySpace after I met my wife on the site, and I don’t have that strong a social life, so much of the Internet seemed useless to me. I’ve regarded much of the Internet’s improvements as silly games for high school and college kids who have too much disposable time. However, I am afraid that If I do not embrace the Internet, then as new forms of it become available, I won’t know how best to benifit from it.

My pre-New Years resolution is to embrace all viable new new technology ASAP.