25 APR 2017 by ideonexus

 Bit chin Society Emissary

And it clicked for me. He was a missionary—one of those fringe-dwellers who act as emissary from the Bitchun Society to the benighted corners of the world where, for whatever reasons, they want to die, starve, and choke on petrochem waste. It's amazing that these communities survive more than a generation; in the Bitchun Society proper, we usually outlive our detractors. The missionaries don't have such a high success rate—you have to be awfully convincing to get through to a culture that...
Folksonomies: technology progress ludism
Folksonomies: technology progress ludism
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04 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Foundation and Empire

"Well," Bayta's eyes misted with thought as she curled her bare toes into the white softness of the rug and nestled her little chin in one plump hand, "it seems to me that the whole essence of Seldon's plan was to create a world better than the ancient one of the Galactic Empire. It was failing apart, that world, three centuries ago, when Seldon first established the Foundation – and if history speaks truly, it was falling apart of the triple disease of inertia, despotism, and maldistributi...
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12 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Futility of Linguistic Prescription

When we see men grow old and die at a certain time one after another, from century to century, we laugh at the elixir that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal justice may the lexicographer be derided, who being able to produce no example of a nation that has preserved their words and phrases from mutability, shall imagine that his dictionary can embalm his language, and secure it from corruption and decay, that it is in his power to change sublunary nature, and clear ...
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07 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 The Century of Biology

The century of biology upon which we are now well embarked is no matter of trivialities. It is a movement of really heroic dimensions, one of the great episodes in man's intellectual history. The scientists who are carrying the movement forward talk in terms of nucleo-proteins, of ultracentrifuges, of biochemical genetics, of electrophoresis, of the electron microscope, of molecular morphology, of radioactive isotopes. But do not be fooled into thinking this is mere gadgetry. This is the depe...
Folksonomies: biology vision
Folksonomies: biology vision
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A visionary statement.

04 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Exodus to the Virtual World

Anyone who sees a hurricane coming should warn others. I see a hurricane coming. Over the next generation or two, ever larger numbers of people, hundreds of millions, will become immersed in virtual worlds and online games. While we are playing, things we used to do on the outside, in “reality,” won’t be happening anymore, or won’t be happening in the same way. You can’t pull millions of person-hours out of a society without creating an atmospheric-level event. If it happens in a ...
Folksonomies: virtual reality gaming
Folksonomies: virtual reality gaming
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People are leaving the real world for the virtual. This will impact society in unanticipated ways.

09 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 War is an Alien Threat

More than a century ago a young Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited America. After that visit he predicted that the two great powers of the future world would be, on one hand, the United States, which would be built, as he said, ``by the plowshare,'' and, on the other, Russia, which would go forward, again, as he said, ``by the sword.'' Yet need it be so? Cannot swords be turned to plowshares? Can we and all nations not live in peace? In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we ...
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Ronald Reagan suggests we would put aside our differences if threatened by extraterrestrials, but then notes that war is an alien threat--alien to how we desire to live.

12 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Each Scientists Adds Their Own to What Came Before

The advancement of science is slow; it is effected only by virtue of hard work and perseverance. And when a result is attained, should we not in recognition connect it with the efforts of those who have preceded us, who have struggled and suffered in advance? Is it not truly a duty to recall the difficulties which they vanquished, the thoughts which guided them; and how men of different nations, ideas, positions, and characters, moved solely by the love of science, have bequeathed to us the u...
Folksonomies: shoulders of giants
Folksonomies: shoulders of giants
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A search for truth continuing from century to century.

08 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Exponential Complexity of Man

We can see that there is only one substance in the universe and that man is the most perfect one. He is to the ape and the cleverest animals what Huygens's planetary clock is to one of Julien Leroy's watches. If it took more instruments, more cogs, more springs to show or tell the time, if it took Vaucanson more artistry to make his flautist than his duck, he would have needed even more to make a speaking machine, which can no longer be considered impossible, particularly at the hands of a ne...
Folksonomies: machine mechanics
Folksonomies: machine mechanics
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Using automatons made to resemble ducks and the task of building one to resemble man.

05 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Our Purpose is to Expand the Realm of the Known

The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions. And even a cursory glance at the history of the biological sciences during the last quarter of a century is sufficient to justify the assertion, that the most potent instrument for the extension of the realm of natural knowled...
Folksonomies: discovery purpose
Folksonomies: discovery purpose
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Just a little bit in each generation.

28 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Teachers Outnumber Ministry

Within 100 years the profession of teaching has grown from about one-twentieth to one-fourth of the [college] graduates… Since 1880 the line for teaching has crossed that of the ministry, and since 1890 that of law. Thus at the close of the century it is the dominant profession.
Folksonomies: science religion education
Folksonomies: science religion education
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From "Professional Distribution of College and University Graduates" (1912) by Bailey B(arton) Burritt.