15 January 2010

This Is the Title of This Story, Which Is Also Found Several Times in the Story Itself

12 January 2010

A contribution of smut to the Internet

“I realized that there was no dodecahedron porn. Cube porn does exist, but as far as I could discern nobody had yet depicted the erotic potential of that lovely {5,3} polyhedron. This has now been corrected.”

4 January 2010

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

“By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The “thought-to-speech” process takes about 50 milliseconds – the same amount of time for a non-paralyzed, neurologically intact person to speak their thoughts. The study marks the first successful demonstration of a permanently installed, wireless implant for real-time control of an external device.”

6 November 2009

Ajatelkaa nyt niitä lapsia

“Ajatus siitä, että useimmat lapset ovat vaaravyöhykkeellä on absurdi, ja niin on myös se, että superkovat rangaistukset jotenkin suojelisivat lapsia. Ei meillä ole kansallisena ongelmana mitään pedofiiliarmeijaa, joka juoksee koko ajan vankilan ja lastentarhan väliä ja saa sellaisia tupakan mittaisia hengähdystaukotuomioita, joiden aikana voi valmistautua seuraavaan lapsenahdistelurupeamaan.”

20 October 2009

Rick Falkvinge: Open letter to the music industry

“This, of course, brings our agreement into question. If other providers are offering to perform the same service — creating music — without the cost that you have charged, in terms of a life-plus-70-years-monopoly, then we, as the legislators, are going to renegotiate the terms of that agreement.”

“We won’t be negotiating new terms with you, of course. No, we’ll be negotiating new terms with our new suppliers and just terminate the contract with you, as is the norm in any business.”

4 October 2009

Tänne valuvat Ylen rahat: Jättimäinen henkilöstö, outoja rahareikiä, ruotsinkielistä törsäystä…

“Yleisradion rahoituksesta on kiistelty tällä viikolla kiivaasti. Iltalehti selvitti mihin kaikkeen Ylen jättibudjetti oikein kuluu.”

30 September 2009

This is the Dream Time

“As we move into the far future, and our descendants spread out across space and redesign their minds and bodies to explode Cambrian-style into a vast space of possible creatures, they will remember the fleeting period we now live in as a dream time, one that will never return again.”

28 September 2009

Why women have sex

“Meston and Buss have interviewed 1,006 women from all over the world about their sexual motivation, and in doing so they have identified 237 different reasons why women have sex.”

26 September 2009

The best Amazon review ever

Straight Porn Makes You Gay

“Schwartz told the crowd about Jim Johnson, a friend of his who turned an old hotel into a hospice for gay men dying of AIDS. “One of the things he said to me,” said Schwartz, “that I think is an astonishingly insightful remark…he said ‘All pornography is homosexual pornography, because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards.””

25 September 2009

Dungeons & Dragons Limited Edition Spellcasting Soda

My favorite has to be the Illithid Brain Juice flavor.

24 September 2009

Why Parents May Cause Gender Differences in Kids

For her new book, Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps—And What We Can Do About It, Eliot immersed herself in hundreds of scientific papers (her bibliography runs 46 pages). Marching through the claims like Sherman through Georgia, she explains that assertions of innate sex differences in the brain are either “blatantly false,” “cherry-picked from single studies,” or “extrapolated from rodent research” without being confirmed in people. For instance, the idea that the band of fibers connecting the right and left brain is larger in women, supposedly supporting their more “holistic” thinking, is based on a single 1982 study of only 14 brains. Fifty other studies, taken together, found no such sex difference—not in adults, not in newborns. Other baseless claims: that women are hard-wired to read faces and tone of voice, to defuse conflict, and to form deep friendships; and that “girls’ brains are wired for communication and boys’ for aggression.” Eliot’s inescapable conclusion: there is “little solid evidence of sex differences in children’s brains.”

Yet there are differences in adults’ brains, and here Eliot is at her most original and persuasive: explaining how they arise from tiny sex differences in infancy. For instance, baby boys are more irritable than girls. That makes parents likely to interact less with their “nonsocial” sons, which could cause the sexes’ developmental pathways to diverge. By 4 months of age, boys and girls differ in how much eye contact they make, and differences in sociability, emotional expressivity, and verbal ability—all of which depend on interactions with parents—grow throughout childhood. The message that sons are wired to be nonverbal and emotionally distant thus becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The sexes “start out a little bit different” in fussiness, says Eliot, and parents “react differently to them,” producing the differences seen in adults.

20 September 2009

Reason as memetic immune disorder

“Religious communities actually protect their members from religion in one sense – they develop an unspoken consensus on which parts of their religion members can legitimately ignore. New converts sometimes try to actually do what their religion tells them to do.

[…]

The history of religions sometimes resembles the history of viruses. Judaism and Islam were both highly virulent when they first broke out, driving the first generations of their people to conquer (Islam) or just slaughter (Judaism) everyone around them for the sin of not being them. They both grew more sedate over time. (Christianity was pacifist at the start, as it arose in a conquered people. When the Romans adopted it, it didn’t make them any more militaristic than they already were.)

The mechanism isn’t the same as for diseases, which can’t be too virulent or they kill their hosts. Religions don’t generally kill their hosts. I suspect that, over time, individual selection favors those who are less zealous. The point is that a culture develops antibodies for the particular religions it co-exists with – attitudes and practices that make them less virulent.

I have a theory that “radical Islam” is not native Islam, but Westernized Islam. Over half of 75 Muslim terrorists studied by Bergen & Pandey 2005 in the New York Times had gone to a Western college. (Only 9% had attended madrassas.) A very small percentage of all Muslims have received a Western college education. When someone lives all their life in a Muslim country, they’re not likely to be hit with the urge to travel abroad and blow something up. But when someone from an Islamic nation goes to Europe for college, and comes back with Enlightenment ideas about reason and seeking logical closure over beliefs, and applies them to the Koran, then you have troubles. They have lost their cultural immunity.”

What’s Happening To Women’s Happiness?

“First, since 1972, women’s overall level of happiness has dropped, both relative to where they were forty years ago, and relative to men. You find this drop in happiness in women regardless of whether they have kids, how many kids they have, how much money they make, how healthy they are, what job they hold, whether they are married, single or divorced, how old they are, or what race they are. (The one and only exception: African-American women are now slightly happier than they were back in 1972, although they remain less happy than African American men.)”

19 September 2009

Shameless plug: tuore kirjani Kehittyvä ihmiskunta: uuden teknologian uhkaavat mahdollisuudet tuli tuoreeltaan painosta. Löytyy myös ilmaiseksi verkosta.

Kustantajan kuvaus: Persoonallisuuden muokkaaminen. Ikuinen fyysinen nuoruus. Ihmisten ja tietokoneiden sulautuminen yhteen. Älykkyysräjähdys. Kaikki nämä asiat voivat toteutua tämän kirjan lukijoiden elinaikana. Yhteiskuntaamme tulevat vaikuttamaan monet teknologiat, jotka eivät ole vielä yleisessä tiedossa. Kehittyvä ihmiskunta -teos esittelee näiden teknologioiden tuomia uhkia ja mahdollisuuksia.

Kehittyvä ihmiskunta -kirja pureutuu tulevaisuuteen tavalla, jota suomalaisessa yhteiskunnallisessa keskustelussa ei ole ennen nähty. Kirja on välttämätöntä luettavaa kaikille, jotka ovat kiinnostuneet ihmiskunnan tulevaisuudesta.

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