28 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 The Staggering Amount of Progress Made in Recent History

BOOKS BOOK REVIEWS 'Millennium' is full of gratitude for the staggering advances of 1,000 years csmonitor icon Latest News Save for later Subscribe One of the most bracing aspects of 'Millennium' is the breadth of factors it covers, from food production to sanitation conditions to the Christian Church Militant to the development of firearms to radical changes in transportation of both people and products. By Steve Donoghue NOVEMBER 24, 2016 Save for later View CaptionAbout video adsView Cap...
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30 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Rebuking the "Good Old Days"

When you hear someone longing for the "good old days," take it with a grain of salt. (Laughter and applause.) Take it with a grain of salt. We live in a great nation and we are rightly proud of our history. We are beneficiaries of the labor and the grit and the courage of generations who came before. But I guess it's part of human nature, especially in times of change and uncertainty, to want to look backwards and long for some imaginary past when everything worked, and the economy humme...
Folksonomies: politics progress
Folksonomies: politics progress
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09 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 The Russian Religion of Spaceflight

The space programme was presented as the result of the great work of the proletariat. The Moon, a 1965 film by Pavel Pavel Klushantsev, presents a future in which Soviet people live a life of peace and progress on the colonised moon, thanks to the technological advances capable under communism. We had made it to the stars and, as the saying went, “there was no bearded old God there”. Only science. Only the Soviet system. Space themes were woven into everyday life, into endless festivals ...
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Conceptual and Technological Revolutions

There are two kind s of scientific revolutions, those d riven by new tools and those d riven by new concepts. Thomas K uhn in his famous book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, talked almost exclusively about concepts and hard ly at all about tools. His id ea of a scientific revolution is based on a single example, the revolution in theoretical physics that occurred in the 1920s with the advent of quantum mechanics. This was a prime example of a concept-d riven revolution. K uhn's book...
Folksonomies: progress revolution
Folksonomies: progress revolution
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25 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Paul Saffo: The Illusion of Scientific Progress

The breathtaking advance of scientific discovery has the unknown on the run. Not so long ago, the Creation was 8,000 years old and Heaven hovered a few thousand miles above our heads. Now Earth is 4.5 billion years old and the observable Universe spans 92 billion light years. Pick any scientific field and the story is the same, with new discoveries—and new life-touching wonders—arriving almost daily. Like Pope, we marvel at how hidden Nature is revealed in scientific light. Our growing c...
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25 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Enlightenment as the Birth of Progress

Only in the 18th century Enlightenment did the concept of progress become widespread. Earlier, most people thought of history in terms of a fall from a past Golden Age, or perhaps repeating cycles. (If they thought of such things at all. Mostly they just worried about their next meals.) With the Industrial Revolution, progress became almost synonymous with science and technology. By the late 19th and early 20th century, we see the beginnings of modern science fiction (Verne, Wells), and prot...
Folksonomies: enlightenment progress
Folksonomies: enlightenment progress
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16 OCT 2014 by ideonexus

 Making Smart Matter Should be the Priority

Mars is just dumb mass at the bottom of a gravity well; there isn't even a biosphere there. They should be working on uploading and solving the nanoassembly conformational problem instead. Then we could turn all the available dumb matter into computronium and use it for processing our thoughts. Long-term, it's the only way to go. The solar system is a dead loss right now – dumb all over! Just measure the MIPS per milligram. If it isn't thinking, it isn't working. We need to start with the l...
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 What We Don't Get About Science

The whole point of science is that most of it is uncertain. That's why science is exciting--because we don't know. Science is all about things we don't understand. The public, of course, imagines science is just a set of facts. But it's not. Science is a process of exploring, which is always partial. We explore, and we find out things that we understand. We find out things we thought we understood were wrong. That's how it makes progress.
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21 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Knowledge Grows Faster Than Compound Interest

Remember that accumulated knowledge, like accumulated capital, increases at compound interest: but it differs from the accumulation of capital in this; that the increase of knowledge produces a more rapid rate of progress, whilst the accumulation of capital leads to a lower rate of interest. Capital thus checks its own accumulation: knowledge thus accelerates its own advance. Each generation, therefore, to deserve comparison with its predecessor, is bound to add much more largely to the commo...
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It accelerates beyond the comparatively stunted growth of wealth.

03 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 A Positive Spin on Automation

Our labor world and all salaried workers, including school teachers and college professors, are now, at least subconsciously if not consciously, afraid that automation will take away their jobs. They are afraid they won't be able to do what is called "earning a living," which is short for earning the right to live. This term implies that normally we are supposed to die prematurely and that it is abnormal to be able to earn a living. It is paradoxical that only the abnormal or exceptional are ...
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Buckminster believes in automation because it will create more freetime and allow more adaptive behaviors in human beings, but he fails to take into account capitalist society where livings must be earned.