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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09 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 MySpace Destroyed History

MySpace, in a rush to relaunch and rebrand itself, made inaccessible the blogs of all of its users. There could be no movement to preserve this record of the past, as it happened so suddenly. Millions of contributions, critical records of events of a decade or so ago, lost in the blink of an eye. It’s similar to the destruction of something like Penn station: a website that was run by user-generated content, that was a central hub of Internet traffic, and that meant something to multiple mi...
Folksonomies: history internet history
Folksonomies: history internet history
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07 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Resveratrol and SIRT1

For the last decade, the science of aging has increasingly focused on sirtuins, a group of genes that are believed to protect many organisms, including mammals, against diseases of aging. Mounting evidence has demonstrated that resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of grapes as well as in peanuts and berries, increases the activity of a specific sirtuin, SIRT1, that protects the body from diseases by revving up the mitochondria, a kind of cellular battery that slowly runs down as we age. ...
Folksonomies: longevity supplements
Folksonomies: longevity supplements
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08 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 College Tuition Becoming Unnaffordable

[Report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education] found, published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007 while median family income rose 147 percent. Student borrowing has more than doubled in the last decade, and students from lower-income families, on average, get smaller grants from the colleges they attend than students from more affluent families. [...] “The middle class has been financing it through debt,” he said. “The scenario ...
Folksonomies: academia debt tuition college
Folksonomies: academia debt tuition college
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06 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Paradigm Shift: Everyone Will have a Timeline

In 10 years, every human connected to the Internet will have a timeline. It will contain everything we’ve done since we started recording, and it will be the primary tool with which we administer our lives. This will fundamentally change how we live, love, work, and play. And we’ll look back at the time before our feed started — before Year Zero — as a huge, unknowable black hole. This timeline — beginning for newborns at Year Zero — will be so intrinsic to life that it will quic...
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The ubiquitous tracking of so much data on everyone means we are entering a new age.

21 JUL 2014 by ideonexus

 Climate Forecasts vs Projections

"Projections are essential for giving us information on long-term trends, but the timescale is beyond what many policy makers (and the public) consider to be relevant to their decision-making processes. Climate forecasts seek to address this issue by providing information on a shorter term (decadal) that can be used directly to inform policy," he said. "As climate forecasts improve, they will become more and more important in providing reliable information on what is likely to happen to the c...
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Forecasts are short-term predictions intended to inform policymakers because projections, which predict the long-term trend, are beyond political scope.

16 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Language Requires a Common Frame of Experience

The greatest is obsolescence, the meaning of something evocative changing because the players’ reality has changed since the inspiration entered it. William Gibson’s ground-breaking cyberpunk novel Neuromancer begins, “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” Supporting details make it clear that this is an industrial port at night, the sky gray from pollution and flecked with ash and other debris. But that was an image published in 1984. A decade...
Folksonomies: communication language
Folksonomies: communication language
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William Gibson compares a sky to the static on a dead television channel, but Neil Gaiman notes that children today get a blue nothing on a dead channel.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Science Works from Approximation to Approximation

I have no patience with attempts to identify science with measurement, which is but one of its tools, or with any definition of the scientist which would exclude a Darwin, a Pasteur or a Kekulé. The scientist is a practical man and his are practical aims. He does not seek the ultimate but the proximate. He does not speak of the last analysis but rather of the next approximation. His are not those beautiful structures so delicately designed that a single flaw may cause the collapse of the who...
Folksonomies: science progress
Folksonomies: science progress
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Getting better all the time.

22 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 Pump CO2 into Greenhouses

In the Ne± Netherlands, a unique partnership between Shell Oil Company and Dutch greenhouse businesses enables surplus carbon dioxide produced at the Shell refinery in Pernis, outside Rotterdam, to be pumped into greenhouses as an alternative to pumping it directly into the atmosphere as waste. The partnership was made possible because of an existing pipeline (built a decade ago but never used) activated to pump gas from Rotterdam to Amsterdam. Dutch entrepreneurs bought the pipeline from th...
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An unique collaboration between an oil company and fruit growers benefits both.

03 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Digital Culture Turns Everything into One Book

The approach to digital culture I abhor would indeed turn all the world’s books into one book, just as Kevin suggested. It might start to happen in the next decade or so. Google and other companies are scanning library books into the cloud in a massive Manhattan Project of cultural digitization. What happens next is what’s important. If the books in the cloud are accessed via user interfaces that encourage mashups of fragments that obscure the context and authorship of each fragment, ther...
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If we are allowed to mashup everything into newer expressions so that the original sources are lost and we cannot reference anything, then we essentially have only one book, just like North Korea.