Thursday, September 25, 2014

thought for the day/ Technology is a double edged sword


Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, ISS, JPL, ESA, NASA

This is the best Saturn image I've ever seen!


The video above is my favorite Atomic bomb video.  I found it on the UCSD channel and thought I was the only one who's seen it or watches it. One of the stars of the show I'd like to point out is Hans Bethe.  The show doesn't mention that Hans Bethe is the main discoverer of the nuclear fusion power of the stars. Stars had mystified humanity for thousands of years of course, and just a generation ago, Hans Bethe(through suggestion by Eddington) answered what the nature of stars are and how they work(nuclear energy holding up all the gravitational mass from collapsing in on itself).


In discovering the atom, mankind discovered a means of reaching the stars; but, before then, they used nuclear energy for weapons - right or wrong.  The U.S. raced to do so because of Hitler and the Nazies and to end a war with Japanese who were locked into their ways. Technology is a double edged sword.  As usual, the problem is people who will abuse it.  When Eric Drexler hit on nanomanufacturing, he pondered the positive and negatives of it, and noted that abuse, not accidents were the problem. But, when I pointed out how irrationality works in mankind, refusal to question assumptions and making over-generalisations, he reacted violently, saying 'stop bothering me' and such. This lesson of technology being a double edged sword, and people are the problem - abuse of technology is clearly one the human mind recoils from contemplating!

I'd like to solve another little problem that the above insights show.  The Nazies abused the idea of natural selection.  Since then, science and scientists have been called Nazi and so is natural selection(which is an observational fact). The problem is of course that technology(artificial selection in many forms) is a double edged sword, and its the people that is the problem. The Nazies abuse of natural selection was also off the mark.  In natural selection, you're suppose to compete and see who wins out.  What the Nazies were really doing was refusing to compete.  They didn't want to compete with the Jews, so they were commiting genocide to keep from competing with them.

Also in relation of the Nazies to some of the mythology and science I've posted about here on this blog, why are the Jews called 'Christ killers'? Isn't this a bit odd? Jesus Christ was a Jew; why would the Jews be considered Christ killers?  Because there was no Jesus Christ, and those pagans who were so desperate for the power that taking control of the sungod mythologies would give them by making up their religion weren't going to take "there is no jesus christ' for an answer. The Germans of course were thousands of years removed from all these events. When asked why they hate the new intellectual jews that were willing to be part of the German culture at the time, they just muttered, 'I don't know why; I grew up with these beliefs . . . these beliefs that the Jews were bad somehow.'  They didn't even know why they hated them!  Just like religious people today grow up believing in their respective religions . . . if you're born in a country that is predominately christain, most people will incrowd and believe in Christianity; if you're born in a country that is predominantly muslim, most people in there will not question beliefs, but incrowd and believe what they're told and believe in Allah and all; same thing for oriental religions . . . the Germans grew up believing jews were bad because that's the culture that was handed down to them since events that happened two thousand years ago, when Christianity was being forged and people for vying for the socio-political power and money that the new religions would give them.

- Science/Technology extra,

The Russian Spectre R 'space orbiting radio interfermometric' radio telescope(hence with a radio telescope with a diameter that sometimes gets to the Earth-Moon distance!) has gone through two series of science projects. They get together and determine which science projects are worth doing(of course a little bit of human judgement!); some results have come in.  One has been about Quasars, and this one was also kind of fun, about cosmic scintillation(a kind of cosmic prism that splits light into the spectrum),

RADIOASTRON STUDIES OF THE NEARBY, TURBULENT INTERSTELLAR PLASMA WITH THE LONGEST SPACE-GROUND INTERFEROMETER BASELINE




Monday, September 22, 2014

astro picture for the day


ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope image

Carl Sagan - A Way of Thinking

The link above is a vimeo video of some of the thought of Carl Sagan.  They also have some about Jacob Bronowski. I actually like the Carl Sagan video better than the Jacob Bronowski tribute video here; but, they probably don't appreciate Jacob Bronowski!

Alright, I'll link the vimeo tribute video to Jacob Bronowski as well,

Jacob Bronowski - The Ascent of Man

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

astro picture for the day/ John Romer's 'Testament' is currently up on youtube!


Image credit: IPHAS, Royal Astronomical Society

- Science/Technology for the day,

Physicists design zero-friction quantum engine

-17Sep2014 edit,

John Romer's 'Testament' is currently up on youtube!


You should be able to find the rest . . .

I don't think there's much more to say about John Romer's 'Testament' than I've said about religion/mythology throughout this blog. I can't help noting that John starts the video series in a cemetery.  You would never start a mathematics or physics documentary in a cemetery!  Only in a religion documentary would that make sense at all!

Well, John Romer mixes religious apologetics and scientific archaeology of the bible in a rather eclectic way. Like how the god concept is a vague concept that can sweep away all problems/questions without actually explaining anything(god did it; and if its a bad thing, they say 'god works in mysterious ways'), and Paul's apologetics of "i'll be whatever I need to be, whether jew, heathen, to convert everybody to his religion", John Romer mixes these excuses for everything with scientific archaeology.  It's almost as if he wants to slip in the archaeological revelations without people knowing.

-18Sep2014 edit,

Carl Sagan Cosmos

Somebody has found a way to getting Carl Sagan's Cosmos up on the web again; so, I link to episode one just above.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

astro picture for the day


Image Credit & Copyright: Terry Hancock (Down Under Observatory)


- Nanotechnology extra,

PaperClip: rapid multi-part DNA assembly from existing libraries

DNA-nanotech was a hoped for enabling technology for nano-manufacturing; it's either been too soft(overcome in many ways), or too slow(progress has gone from years/months to weeks, then days, and now hours and minutes as of last year), or too expensive to make the dna itself.  There's been advances in reducing the cost of dna supplies; but, obviously not enough.  Even Paul Rothemund who invented dna-origami has recently turned to rna-origami.  I reported this not to long ago here on this blog. Well, now they've finally reduced the cost and awkwardness of dna supplies.

Although the article says dna manufacture is easy, it still takes someone with the knowledge to handle proteins and so on; but, it's comparatively easy and less expensive to use dna now.  So, all the great developments over the last decade should be more readily available.

What could possibly hold dna-nanotechnology back now! lol!

- 11Sep2014 update,

Within a week or two since the announcement of a soft-biotech nano-assembly line, another group has announced a nano-assembly line,

Chemists create 'assembly-line' for organic molecules

Monday, September 1, 2014

astro picture for the day


ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope image

 
Recently, nanotech researchers from Europe have reported a primitive working nanomanufacturing system.  It uses proteins walking along nanotubes like this. Eukaryotic cells(as opposed to bacterial cells) have these microtubules coming out of their inner cell membrane that houses the dna.  The microtubules also gives the cell a certain amount of rigidity.
 
I had posted "Lives of a Cell" pretty early on in this blog; that particular youtube has been taken down. I'm sure one can find another youtube of the lives of a cell.  The youtube above is similar.