Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Inventions and Ideas from Science Fiction Books and Movies at

Inventions and Ideas from Science Fiction Books and Movies at

Explore the inventions, technology and ideas of science fiction writers at Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) - over 2,200 are available. Use the Timeline of Science Fiction Invention or the alphabeticGlossary of Science Fiction Technology to see them all, look for the category that interests you, or browse by favorite author / book. Browse more than 3,700 Science Fiction in the News articles.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Economics of Science Fiction

Robin Hanson's Economics of Science Fiction:
"This is economic analysis of the sorts of assumptions typically explored in science fiction. It is distinguished from the typical hard science fiction analysis by using the tools of professional economics, rather than the intuitive social science of the typical engineer. And it is distinguished from most economics by taking seriously the idea that we can now envision the outlines of new technologies which may have dramatic impacts on our society."
ht: Thanks, Tim Czech, for bringing this to my attention.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Understand - a novelette by Ted Chiang

This is one of my all-time favorite short stories: Understand - a novelette by Ted Chiang

Ted Chiang writes...
The initial impulse to write "Understand" arose from an offhand remark made by my roommate in college; he was reading Sartre's Nausea at the time, whose protagonist finds only meaninglessness in everything he sees. But what would it be like, my roommate wondered, to find meaning and order in everything you saw? To me that suggested a kind of heightened perception, which in turn suggested superintelligence. I started thinking about the point at which quantitative improvements -- better memory, faster pattern recognition -- turn into a qualitative difference, a fundamentally different mode of cognition.
Something else I wondered about was the possibility of truly understanding how our minds works. Some people are certain that it's impossible for us to understand our minds, offering analogies like "you can't see your face with your own eyes." I never found that persuasive. It may turn out that we can't, in fact, understand our minds (for certain values of "understand" and "mind"), but it'll take an argument much more persuasive than that to convince me.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jay Mark Johnson’s unusual camera emphasizes time over space

Jay Mark Johnson’s very unusual camera emphasizes time over space.:

The abstract-seeming images here are not the result of some wacky Photoshopping. Jay Mark Johnson’s photos are actually incredibly precise. The reason they look like this is because he uses a slit camera that emphasizes time over space. Whatever remains still is smeared into stripes, while the motion of crashing waves, cars and a Tai Chi master’s hands are registered moment by moment, as they pass his camera by. Like an EKG showing successive heartbeats, the width of an object corresponds not to distance or size, but the rate of movement. Viewing the left side of the picture is not looking leftward in space but backward in time.

I think I speak for everyone


Monday, October 15, 2012

Is it real? Physicists propose method to determine if the universe is a simulation

I'm not sure how they're gonna rule out the simulators just stepping in and inserting whatever confirming/disconfirming "evidence" they want, whenever they want. But I'm just a philosopher. Anyway, here's: Is it real? Physicists propose method to determine if the universe is a simulation


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