Wednesday, February 20, 2013

astro picture for the day/thought for the day: amazing A.I. robot

ESO Vista image

I've been shocked by A.I. before, only after some exposure and testing to see that all it really is reasoning ability abstracted and computerized.  A.I. like computers in general only do things when told; when the task is finished, the A.I. just sits there waiting for the next command from an actual human. 

As with the weapons debate, yes weapons kill but it's the people who pull the trigger; the people are the problem; this will apply to A.I. as well.

Besides the more serious abuse partly addressed above, accidents of A.I. going haywire are not likely - till A.I. becomes genuine consciouse feeling entities. I've yet to see any A.I. researcher come up with a good understanding of these things; they seem nowhere close to solving awareness.

I do believe that A.I. will lead us to solving awareness; but, it will come from our failure to make A.I. conscious.  For hundreds of years  after the translations of Arab translations of Greek texts, people had hit on the idea of perpectual motion machines; the failure to do so eventually led to the science of thermodynamics; i of course think a similar thing will happen here.  Godel's theorems will be key; why do humans and life in general overcome Godel's theorems while computers generally don't?  I think I've hinted at this before somewhere in this blog - that of dynamical systems and chaos theory.  The bifercation from one structure to a more complex organised structure is like the adding of a new axiom because the previous structures axiomatic description was not strong enough to deal with everything.  And of course, chaos theory points to life's amazing ability to be spontaeneous and creative in unpredictable ways.

I still can't see the physical basis for all the theoretical evidence I've pointed out in this blog for Jacob Bronowski's ideas.  Well, o.k.  I had posted in the previous incarnation of this blog about Jacob Bronowski's ideas and A.I.  I've suggested that in order for any lifeform to get around and eat properly, it has to do some kind of mathematics or science to say whether the food it thinks is food really is.  I've seen a few times now(including the youtube of the A.I. robot above), that this is the case; that language is a kind of decodes units(or as Jacob Bronowski would call them, "infered units") from a process of generalisation, idealisation and abstraction.

Monday, February 18, 2013

astro picture for the day

ESA/NASA Hubble space telescope image

A weird possible consequence of the Feynman/Drexlerian nanotech era. 

In the nanotech era, pretty much everyone will be free to run around and do everything they want.  For me, my first thought would be to visit the Egyptian Pyramids and other Egyptian sights. But a thought occured to me a few months ago.  If you have seven billion people running around and going out doing everything they want; then, the waiting line to visit just about anything(Venice, the great wall of China and so on and so forth) will be very long indeed! 

Maybe everyone will just stay in one place and make their own temple!

-----------------------------------about that nanotechnology

The Foresight Institute now holds "Foresight Conferences" every year; it used to be every other year.  One main nanotechnology developer, Zyvex, has generaly given their updates news at these Foresight Conferences.  But, this year, Zyvex and the Foresight Institute has decided to go quiet - to not say their major discoveries in public for a science organisation can only mean something farely big.  Apparently, the buzz from the Foresight Conference(2013) is that they all feel nanotechnology has gone past an "inflection point".   I'm going to have to say that I'll go ahead and not say what I think they've got or where they're at in the development of Feynman/Drexlerian nanotechnology.  I personaly consider that word phrase 'inflection point' as interesting.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

astro picture for the day

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Lake

I decided to post about the recent Russian asteroid strike(poor Russians; they always get the exciting(dangerous depending on how you want to look at it), because there seems to be confusion about whether the asteroid actually hit and left a crater.

Arthur C Clarke was one of the first and still the best presentation of the 1908 siberian comet strike.  Unfortunately, nobody has put the whole program in one youtube; i'll show part one, and I'm sure you can find the other two.

I actually first heard of the Tunguska event from a book about black holes that my father had on his book shelves; the author apparently decided to mention the Tunguska event because of speculation that it might have been a black hole; today, such speculation seems silly.

Carl Sagan and Arthur C. Clarke seem to me to have hoped that Humans find E.T's or at least bacterial life on Mars(or better yet, fish like life in the seas of Europa); they seemed to have the hope that this would lead to a Renaissance and a questioning of beliefs.  Of course this hasn't happened.  Another hope would be an asteroid strike that would get world politicians to make a united space colonization effort. Well, this latest Russian asteroid strike hasn't led to world leaders getting a hearton for space colonization; but, you can almost feel a Renaissance like awakening happening.  The asteroid strike has captured the imaginations of peoples around the world.

-------------------------------------crazy science/technology extra

Dna-nanotech has overcome lots of technical bottlenecks as I've reported even here on this blog.  But, apparently, one problem has been the cost for dna strands.  Well, someone has worked to drastically cut the costs(still a little bit expensive; but, I'd imagine they could find even better cost reductions as they perform this latest advance) of dna strands.  This was for synthetic biology; making artificial bacterial cells, or replacing the dna and taking over the ribosomes of Eukaryatic cells.  But, this dna strand cost reduction can be generalised to dna-nanomanufacturing as well.

Solve for X: Austen Heinz on democratizing creation

and for the recent excitement over synthetic biology

MIT-developed genetic circuits have logic and memory functions

With synthetic biology alone, we can solve two of the major problems that Eric Drexler for one notes that nanotechnology can solve - energy and medical.  It can't solve the manufacturing of arbitrary technologies like computers and spaceships and so on of course.  Dna-nanotech can't either; but, it could bootstrap to a more robust nanomanufacturing system.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

astro picture for the day/ Eratosthenes poem Hermes

ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope image

thought for the day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I read in Thomas Heath's "Hisory of Greek Mathematics" volume 2 that Eratosthenes(who first calculated the circumference of the Earth over two thousand years ago) wrote a poem about some Greek god Hermes.  The poem is about Hermes and some twelve constellations and Hermes apparently dies and goes to heaven.  Eratosthenes of course lived two hundred years before the supposed life of Jesus Christ.  But here, with Eratosthenes Hermes poem, we have something analogous to the Gospel story of Jesus Christ, and it's astrotheological. 

I can't find an english translation; it's all in German.  The following is the best I've been able to google.

book review; the Hermes poem is mentioned when talking about chapter five

here's a wiki of the extant Greek manuscript

There's also a Catasterismi, another Eratosthenes poem about the Heavens(a pre Jesus Christ Gospel?)

DNA-nanomanufacturing video for the day . . .  . . . .

Eric Winfree dna nanomanufacturing video

I just found this; it's dated to 2008.  He says he's gotten dna-nanomanufacturing to do just about everything; the only problem is speed of self-organising everything.  Of course, just over a month or two ago, two dna-nanotechnology breakthroughs have been reported that has sped up dna-nanomanufacturing from weeks and days to minutes; combine the two(one is to just use short dna pieces instead of one long Paul Rothemund origami style dna; the other basicaly showed that if you just keep the temperature constant, the dna folds up within minutes; combine these two, and we're talking about seconds or less I would think), and dna-nanotechnologists should be able to make a primitive(non-Drexlerian daimondoid nanomanufacturing system) nanomanufacturing system.  Combine this primitive nano-factory with graphene, buckyballs, proteins/peptoids, and one should see that dna-nanomanufacturing can bootstrap to Drexlerian/Feyman daimondoid(or better materials yet) nanosystems. 

There's been no news coming out of the dna guys since the last two major breakthroughs; i can only suspect that they are just having so much fun with it they are too busy to report anything.  It could be that the next dna-nanomanufacturing announcement will be that of a primitive nano-factory.