GEB

December 30, 2005

I’ve begun reading Godel, Escher, Bach an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter a Pulitzer Prize-Winning book originally published in 1979.

What is GEB really all about?  Some think the title tells it all: a book about a mathematician, an artist, and a musician.  There’s no way the book is about these three people!  Well, then, what about a book that sohws how math, art, and music are really the same thing at their core?  Again, this is a million miles off.  In a word, GEB is a very personal attempt to say how it is that animate beings can come from inanimate matter.  What is a self, and how can a self come out of stuff that is as as selfless as a stone or a puddle?  What is an “I”, and why are such things found only mounted atop mobile pedestals that roam the world on pairs of slightly fuzzy, jointed stilts?

Site –  http://en.wikipedia.org

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Scholars Debate Whether To Limit Scientific Research

December 30, 2005

A conference titled “Forbidding Science? Balancing Freedom, Security, Innovation and Precaution” will explore whether scientific research should be restricted – and, if so, how far “too far” might be. It will include research controversies in the areas of pathogens and toxins, nanotechnology and cognitive enhancement and will be held Jan. 12 – 13 at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Site – http://www.asu.edu


Oh, Has Uncle Sam Got Mail

December 30, 2005

The rapid adoption of electronic communications technology in the last decade has created a major crisis for the National Archives. The amount of data to be preserved has exploded in recent years, thanks to the proliferation of high-tech tools such as personal computers and wireless email devices such as BlackBerries. When President Bush leaves office after eight years, the White House is expected to turn over more than 100 million emails to the National Archives. At the same time, technology is becoming obsolete so fast that electronic documents created today may not be legible on tomorrow’s devices, the equivalent of trying to play an eight-track tape on an iPod.

Site – http://online.wsj.com


Commentary: Living Forever

December 30, 2005

Ray Kurzweil “takes human evolution far beyond today’s most optimistic forecasts in … arguably the most blogged-about book of 2005, a 640-page blockbuster: ‘The Singularity Is Near.'” “These hold that anyone born today will live to be 130 and productive to 110, and those born in the 22nd century will live to 250. The glass-half-full-and-filling geomancers of the human genome research world can perceive ‘immortality’ in the 23rd century. Kurzweil’s sees the same evolution achieving a similar breakthrough for the children and grandchildren of the post-World War II baby boomers.”

Site – http://www.upi.com


Quantum Trickery: Testing Einstein’s Strangest Theory

December 30, 2005

Experiments in quantum entanglement are increasing challenging Einstein’s critique of “spooky action at a distance.” The world is “not as real as we think,” says Anton Zeilinger of the University of Vienna. It’s “even weirder than what quantum physics tells us.”

Site – http://www.nytimes.com


MIT Working On ‘Stackable’ Cars Of The Future

December 30, 2005

A team headed by William Mitchell, former head of the school of architecture at MIT, has been working for four years on stackable, sharable efficient CARS OF THE FUTURE. The cars will generate zero pollution and will be customizable. Each wheel will essentially be a robot with its own electric motor and suspension. The team plans to present the final design in a few months to General Motors, which will build a prototype.

Site – http://www.therawfeed.com


Pathway To Diamond-Based Molecular Manufacturing

December 30, 2005

The main impediment to molecular manufacturing today is the lack of an experimental procedure for routinely and precisely building objects, atom by atom, at the molecular scale. The key to this is molecular positional assembly, or mechanosynthesis — the formation of covalent chemical bonds using precisely applied mechanical forces. After a brief description of the various diamond surfaces, I will describe a specific dimer placement tool that has been extensively investigated for diamond mechanosynthesis using various computational methods. This tool appears to be stable in isolation, and should be able to deposit carbon dimers on a diamond C(110) surface as required, during room temperature operation. Next, I present a preliminary proposal for a four-step experimental process by which this dimer placement tool, along with its associated macroscale handle structure, could be fabricated using presently-available bulk-chemistry techniques. My new tool fabrication process is the subject of the first (provisional) patent ever written on diamond mechanosynthesis, filed in February 2004. If a practical dimer placement tool can be built in this manner, it will allow the fabrication of improved dimer placement tools, thus opening up the entire field of molecularly-precise diamond fabrication — and, indeed, molecular machine manufacturing — to practical laboratory experimentation.

Site – http://www.molecularassembler.com