10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 The Volumetric Approach to History

You will be thinking that we are coming to the end of this book: we’ve dealt with eight centuries, so there are only two to go. You may be surprised to learn, therefore, that in historical terms we are not even halfway. The reason for this discrepancy is that history is not time, and time is not history. History is not the study of the past per se; it is about people in the past. Time, separated from humanity, is purely a matter for scientists and star-gazers. If a previously unknown uninha...
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07 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Fall of Atlantis

"But the divine revenge overtook not long after those proud enterprises. For within less than the space of one hundred years, the great Atlantis was utterly lost and destroyed: not by a great earthquake, as your man saith; (for that whole tract is little subject to earthquakes;) but by a particular' deluge or inundation; those countries having, at this day, far greater rivers and far higher mountains to pour down waters, than any part of the old world. But it is true that the same inundation ...
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Memed for the speculation of flood in America.

21 APR 2017 by ideonexus

 How Our Grandparents Perceive the World as Unchanging

Men can know a thing and yet know it quite ineffectively if it contradicts the general traditions and habits in which they live. [...] ONE of the most striking differences between the outlook of our grandparents and that of a modern intelligence today is the modification of time values that has occurred. By the measure of our knowledge their time-scale was extremely shallow. They had scarcely any historical perspective at all. They looked back to a past of a few thousand years and at the v...
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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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21 MAY 2016 by ideonexus

 Essays Should Not Need to Argue a Point

The Age of the Essay September 2004 Remember the essays you had to write in high school? Topic sentence, introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs, conclusion. The conclusion being, say, that Ahab in Moby Dick was a Christ-like figure. Oy. So I'm going to try to give the other side of the story: what an essay really is, and how you write one. Or at least, how I write one. Mods The most obvious difference between real essays and the things one has to write in school is that real ess...
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Speciation of the Human Race

On a time-scale of a thousand years, neither politics nor technology is predictable. China and Japan are the only major political units that have lasted that long. A thousand years ago, Europe was an unimportant peninsula lying on the edge of the more advanced and civilized Arab world. The technologies of today would be unintelligible to our ancestors of a millennium ago. The only human institutions that retain their identities over a thousand years are languages, cultures, and religions. Per...
Folksonomies: futurism speciation
Folksonomies: futurism speciation
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24 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Collaborative Fractal Fictional History Building

In Microscope, you build an epic history as you play. Want to play a game that spans the entire Dune series, the Silmarillion, or the rise and fall of Rome in an afternoon? That’s Microscope. But you don’t play the history from start to finish, marching along in chronological order. Instead, you build your history from the outside in. You start off knowing the big picture, the grand scheme of what happens, then you dive in and explore what happened in between, the how and why that shaped...
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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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06 NOV 2014 by ideonexus

 Matrioshka Brains

Matrioshka Brains (MB)1 are megascale computers constructed out of microelectronic and/or nanoscale components.  MB may be constructed as shells around a star (internally powered Matrioshka Brains: IPMB) or may be constructed independently of a star if large amounts of power are harvested from stars in other locations and beamed to the MB (externally powered Matrioshka Brains: EPMB).  A third variant, (self-powered Matrioshka Brains: SPMB) which generates power via controlled n...
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