12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Summary of Human Evolution

ABOUT 13.5 BILLION YEARS AGO, MATTER, energy, time and space came into being in what is known as the Big Bang. The story of these fundamental features of our universe is called physics. About 300,000 years after their appearance, matter and energy started to coalesce into complex structures, called atoms, which then combined into molecules. The story of atoms, molecules and their interactions is called chemistry. About 3.8 billion years ago, on a planet called Earth, certain molecules combi...
Folksonomies: epic history
Folksonomies: epic history
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22 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Removing Prepositions in Defining Thought

Having turned my back on propositions, I thought, what am I going to do about this? The area where it really comes up is when you start looking at the contents of consciousness, which is my number one topic. I like to quote Maynard Keynes on this. He was once asked, “Do you think in words or pictures?” to which he responded, “I think in thoughts.” It was a wonderful answer, but also wonderfully uninformative. What the hell’s a thought then? How does it carry information? Is it like ...
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27 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Math Problem: How Long Until the Earth Falls Into the Sun?

Our earth has orbital motion, revolving once around the sun in about 365 days. Suppose that this orbital motion suddenly stopped completely, but everything else remained the same. How long would it take for the earth to plunge along a straight line into the sun? [...] Kepler's law applies to planetary orbits, whether they be of circular, or elliptical shape. It says that T22/T12 = R23/R13, where T is the period of an orbit and R is its semi-major axis. The semi-major axis is the average...
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15 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 The Market Forces Driving AI

Pretty soon, it will be possible to buy artificially brained robots that perform useful tasks around the house. If the price of such robots can be made affordable, then the demand for them will be huge. I believe in time that the world economy will be based upon brain-based computers. Such devices will be so useful and so popular that everyone on the planet will want to own them. As the technologies and the economics improve, the global market for such devices will only increase to the point ...
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30 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 It is No Accident that We Inhabit a Veritable Paradise

Imagine a spaceship full of sleeping explorers, deep-frozen would-be colonists of some distant world. Perhaps the ship is on a forlorn mission to save the species before an unstoppable comet, like the one that killed the dinosaurs, hits the home planet. The voyagers go into the deep-freeze soberly reckoning the odds against their spaceship's ever chancing upon a planet friendly to life. If one in a million planets is suitable at best, and it takes centuries to travel from each star to the nex...
Folksonomies: evolution chance existence
Folksonomies: evolution chance existence
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Dilemma of Human Diversity Across the Cosmos

When life spreads out and diversifies in the universe, adapting itself to a spectrum of environments far wider than any one planet can encompass, the human species will one day find itself faced with the most momentous choice that we have had to make since the days when our ancestors came down from the trees in Africa and left their cousins the chimpanzees behind. We will have to choose, either to remain one species united by a common bodily shape as well as by a common history, or to let our...
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Astronomers Inventing Planets Based on Circumstantial Evi...

It happened three times in the past that theoretical astronomers invented a new planet on the basis of indirect and circumstantial evidence. The first time was in 1845 when Adams and Leverrier independently deduced the existence of the planet Neptune from the perturbations which it had produced in the motion of Uranus. One year later, Neptune was duly discovered in the predicted region of the sky. The successful prediction of the presence of an unseen planet was one {31} of the great events...
Folksonomies: astronomy discover
Folksonomies: astronomy discover
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22 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 Nature Doesn't Need Our Help to Destroy the Earth

For me, the most paralyzing news was that Nature was no conservationist. It needed no help from us in taking the planet apart and putting it back together some different way, not necessarily improving it from the viewpoint of living things. It set fire to forests with lightning bolts. It paved vast tracts of arable land with lava, which could no more support life than big-city parking lots. It had in the past sent glaciers down from the North Pole to grind up major portions of Asia, Europe, a...
Folksonomies: nature environmentalism
Folksonomies: nature environmentalism
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Observation by Kurt Vonnegut that nature does a fine job of making the Earth uninhabitable regularly on its own.

28 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 Geological and Social Impact of the Himalayas

When you look at the planet from low orbit, the impact of the Himalayas on Earth’s climate seems obvious. It creates the rain shadow to beat all rain shadows, standing athwart the latitude of the trade winds and squeezing all the rain out of them before they head southwest, thus supplying eight of the Earth’s mightiest rivers, but also parching not only the Gobi to the immediate north, but also everything to the southwest, including Pakistan and Iran, Mesopotamia, Saudi Arabia, even North...
Folksonomies: society geology
Folksonomies: society geology
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They scorch the Earth and scorch the societies that live there. (Note: I disagree, this is overgeneralizing and ignores social ills of societies in more temperate climates)

28 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 Terraforming Venus

...build a round sunshield of lunatic aluminum, very thin material, only 50 grams per square meter and yet still totaling 3 x 1013 kilograms, the largest thing ever built by humans. Concentric strips give the sunshield flexibility and allow it to tack up into the solar wind to hold its position at the L1 point, where it will shadow Venus entirely. Deprived of insolation, the planet will cool at a rate of five K a year. After 140 years, the CO2 atmosphere will have rained and snowed to the su...
Folksonomies: teraforming
Folksonomies: teraforming
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A fictional account of incredible engineering.