Tech/Science

Human extinction? It’s not just science fiction

At a recent science fiction conference (thematically called “East/West SF”), arranged under the auspices of the “Brain Korea” project by Professor Ilgu Kim of Hannam University, Daejeon, Korea (about an hour by high-speed train from Seoul), a number of excellent papers were presented, none more so than the one by American Peter Paik, titled: “Science…

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New ‘RoboCop’ reboots the roboethics dilemma

The one good thing about being unable to sleep in an aircraft, sitting in a cramped-up position for longer than eight hours at a time in the case of two successive flights, is that you can catch up on all the recent movies you’ve not had the time to view. On our recent trip to…

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Exploring space…

Space – a word with so many meanings, literal and figurative. I need my space. Is there space in the lounge for the new table? Headspace is essential for psychic growth. Deep space. Newtonian space, Einsteinian space. Space-time. Cyberspace. Virtual space. Space of flows. Space – the final frontier (any Trekkie would recognise this one)….

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Psychonauts: Blasting off into mindspace

“I didn’t know if it was my birth I was re-experiencing; or my death, which was yet to come. This is the actual core of where all of reality is emanating from. This is where meaning comes from. Symbols were pouring out, they were intertwined, every symbol and letter in every language was pouring out…

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Welcome to the new Middle Ages

In the 1970s the famous semiotician and novelist Umberto Eco published a collection of essays titled Travels in Hyperreality, in which he elaborated on a variety of interrelated topics, such as wax museums, holographic representation and our evident fascination with the Middle Ages. In fact, he argued, although we think of ourselves as modern (or…

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Quantum computing and the real: Ontological implications

In an engrossing (pun intended) article in the most recent TIME magazine (February 17), Lev Grossman wrote about the “Infinity Machine – Quantum Leap” (pp. 28-35). A revolutionary new kind of computer is introduced to those who are willing to expand their minds in an effort to understand it. Admittedly, this is a mainstream magazine,…

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Information overload and OCD

I guess I’m VERY lucky, having been earning a living for over 40 years doing one of the things I love: philosophy. Actually, it is not “one” thing in the sense of focusing on one “field” to the exclusion of others; rather, it is “one” thing because the activity of doing philosophy involves something distinctive,…

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How money is more important than lives in healthcare technology

I saw via Twitter an interesting link on Reuters here about how students have developed a smartphone application with a microscope attachment to diagnose malaria. The article shows a picture of a child at risk somewhere in Africa. Great idea, and one that can go a long way to help people who really need it….

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The French philosopher and the American whistle-blower

Unless one acknowledges the complex nature and often unexpected connections among things, events and people, one might find it a smidgen astonishing that what the French poststructuralist philosopher, Jean-Francois Lyotard, wrote in his “report” on the state of knowledge in “advanced” societies, better known as The Postmodern Condition (1979; English translation: Manchester University Press, 1984),…

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Forget cyberbullying, I suffer from hit remorse

I can’t believe I’ve done it again. I’ve gone ahead with the not-so-good old hand slam. Flipped the bird to every fibre of my not-so-absolute sense of morality and reared the ugly head of the secret monster. Immediately post-contact, post-hit, post-click, click, click boom I find my heart starts to beat a bit faster. It…

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