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Strategic Insights in Accelerating Technological Change

00 Month, 2006
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Skeptics Society
The skeptics, led by the insightful Michael Shermer, who I recently met for the first time, and their colleagues, the Center for Inquiry, are commendable promoters of scientific literacy. Groups like the Skeptics and CFI are critical voices in the modern media-saturated Experience Economy (Pine and Gilmore, 1999), a world full of many unfullfilling dreams and diversions as well as wonderful new opportunities. I hope you'll join one or both of them and do your small part to turn the tide against scientific ignorance, magical thinking, and superstition. CFI membership starts at $60 ($20 for students).A three year Skeptics Society membership, including their quarterly Skeptic magazine, is only $70 and is the best value. For more on the problems of improving scientific literacy, see my brief essay, the Challenge of Science Education in an Accelerating World.

 

 

Both groups are very good at helping the public understand what I call the "left hand" of the scientific paradigm: contingent and unpredictable evolutionary processes. Their ongoing challenge, and the challenge for science education as a whole, is to better understand convergent and predictable developmental processes in coming years.

The main problem with science education, and with much of science today is that it still doesn't speak significantly to purpose, or values. At the same time it is patently obvious to humans, 80-90% of whom ascribe to some type of religion, that we live in a universe infused with purpose. I contend that the reason we ascribe to religion in such large numbers, the reason all cultures find it a pragmatic set of ideas, is because religion embodies a core truth that science presently lacks, a truth that will keep science alien to the general populace until it is recognized and brought into general adoption.

That truth is what we may call the Biofelicity of nature. Harvard entomologist Edward O. Wilson proposed the Biophilia Hypothesis, the idea that humans have a deep affinity with the living world that has become engrained in our genotype and our mental models. Physicist Paul Davies a great explicator of anthropic physics, an unpopular topic in the traditional scientific community, has proposed a Biofelicity Hypothesis, the idea that the universe as a whole is friendly to life forms and the emergence of intelligence within it, and that understanding and internalizing this expectation of friendliness is a fundamentally valuable adaptive strategy for interacting with the society and the natural world.

It is my contention that religion has long allowed humans to adopt a biofelicity paradigm by way of a relatively simple set of ritual beliefs and actions. The specifics of the belief set are less important than the requirement that they be ble to be interpreted broadly and differently by subgroups, and that they are can be periodically edited ("redacted" is the official term) to remove the more offensive sets of beliefs and practices, as has occurred multiple times in every major faith.

As historian J.D. Bury observed in the Idea of Progress, 1920, the Western monotheistic religions that emerged roughly 3000 to 1500 years ago, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, allowed faith in both the material improvability of the human condition in the afterlife, and in the moral improvability of the human soul in the present life, at a time long before the average human could credibly hold any faith in the idea of progress in social, economic, or technological terms, in either their own or their children's lifetime.

On other words, the fundamental brilliance of religion is that it is a set of memes was that has allowed societies to build a collective intelligence vastly greater than the sum of its parts because it conditioned individual humans to look fearlessly and selflessly into the future, and to expect that the universe would permit a better future for them as individual beings. Any culture that didn't have this biofelicity meme was memetically bereft by comparision. Consider China as an example of a culture that did not have the biofelicity meme. A compelling case can be made that one of the major blocks in China's development, and a reason it did not advance as fast as the West after early production of advanced technology, was that it did not have this religious influence. China did strive to develop a monoculture of belief, but this monoculture emerged around zero sum secular rather than biofelicitous, nonzero sum religious lines. Its major spiritual beliefs, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism, are, as Jack Wheeler notes, "rationalistic quasi-religions lacking any personal relationship with a transcendent deity or deities." Read Wheeler's interesting observations about the way Christianity is advancing in China today, even leading to the improbable development of Chinese Christian missionary work in Muslim countries.

Consider again the fundamental value of a belief that the universe ("God," in our primitive conception) is good to humanity, if only the individual human will follow a relatively easy set of practices and beliefs. Far from being a mental "parasite" like the common cold, as some philosophers have argued, religion seems to be a fundamentally valuable meme set. Science will only be able to supplant religion as a dominant way of thinking about the world for the average person when it grows up to include the key meme of biofelicity, the meme science discovered many years before there was a servicable science.

Unfortunately we are very likely still decades away from having a science of development, and a science of values related to healthy developmental emergence. Many leading 20th century scientists (Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins) and philosophers (Daniel Dennett) have publicly and persistently sought to refute the idea that human progress is anything other than evolutionary accident. This closed-mindedness greatly restricts the influence of the scientific perspective within larger human culture. Even a child knows that our universe is heading somewhere, that their lives have some larger meaning. When science rejects this it shows its inability to capture the mindset of the masses in its present state of development. As a result scientists are called upon to study natural processes or create technologies, but not to run countries, or to speak with weight on moral issues.

There is a way out of this, and I believe recognition, theorizing, and testing of the biofelicity hypothesis is one of the critical steps that will be necessary for the maturing of science during the 21st century. I would argue strongly that almost every athiest, naturalist, or deist who has grown out of organized religion has only done so by accepting, consciously or unconsciously, the biofelicity hypothesis. They believe in their core, that our universe is friendly to the application of intelligence (this idea is in fact implicit in the application of the scientific method), friendly to the flourishing of life, and friendly to the growth of human civilization as a whole, if not in particular instances. Implicit in this assumption of friendliness is a trajectory of developmental purpose.

At the same time, scientific pioneers can see developmental purpose on every scale they choose to look. Acceleration is one obvious purpose, which we see in Carl Sagan's Cosmic Calendar, in the increasingly rapid evolutionary development of the most complex forms of local life at any point in time, and in the acceleration of all human cultural and now technological history. Increasing computational capacity of the most complex physical systems is another obvious purpose. Increasing interdependence is a less obvious, yet easily measurable purpose. Increasing immunity and resilience of the most complex surviving forms is perhaps even less obvious, but again something that can be measured and charted with time.

When science gains the ability to speak about developmental trajectories, it can speak about purpose, and finally have an equal say to religion in areas of human values, even as it uses an entirely different set of methodologies from religion in order to construct those values.

I am confident that a purpose-informed developmentalist science will emerge in coming decades as those investigators who see self-organized purpose in macroscopic change, like Robert Wright (Nonzero, 2000), learn how to make better defined and more easily testable claims. Aiding this process will be the incredibly rich online datasets that we are now constructing, which will allow us to see and chart developmental trends as never before.

Wouldn't it be nice, for example, to see research charting the developmentally inevitable (in a statistical, network sense) emergence and diffusion of the wheel in Old World civilization, as a function of a few key enabling factors, like population density and diversity? Soon any graduate student with a developmental bent will be able to get access to data that would help her make a provisional theory in this regard.

In their membership literature, the Skeptics Society notes that a 1991 Gallup Poll showed that 67% of American adults express personal experience with psychic power, 59% believe in clairvoyance, 52% in astrology, and 46% in ESP. And with regard to science history, 41% of American adults believed that dinosaurs and humans once lived on the earth simultaneously. Hopefully the last 15 years have improved these figures, but perhaps not by much. Long range studies like TIMMS have shown that America's elementary school understanding of science and mathematics has been on a slow 40 year slide downward in real abilitities, a trend documented in other developed countries as well. The only countries presently bucking this trend, like China, Taiwan, and Japan, have monocultures that are an anachonism in our increasingly global society.

Why is it that most developed countries are either stalled or sliding slowly backward in their general science abilities? In a nutshell, I suspect it is driven by to two main factors: 1) tremendous technological acceleration, and the luxury this provides to developed nations, and 2) the slow loss of understanding, as we develop liesure societies, of our greater purpose as human beings: to make the world a better place than we left it. The former seems an inevitable developmental trend, but the latter entirely within our free choice.

It seems a bare fact that the more intelligent and automated our environments become, the less need there is for broad industriousness in the general populace beyond a small subset of scientifically-aware humans at the helm of the great machine. As a result, creating broadly intelligent, self-empowered children, children with a better ability to understand the world's problems and to create positive change than their parents, has increasingly become a social choice rather than a survival imperative. The new automated environment creates a filter for those who are so self-directed they are willing to do the hard work of continuing to improving themselves and the world in spite of technological plenty.

It's hard for a nation to rise to the challenge in that pleasant environment, and easy to fall prey to addictions, to turn inward and ignore global disparities, to overregulate those creating change, to lower educational standards to less challenging levels, to offer disempowering forms of social welfare, and do a range of other comfort-enabling changes that each act to reduce a citizen's desire to aim high, do hard work, and improve the world.

Given this climate we may have a long way to go before Americans get the kind of education that would make them immune to pseudoscientific beliefs, while still keeping them curious and open minded to the science, technology, business, and social processes that make the world a better place from year to year.

 

Bet on Iraq
"After years of trade sanctions, and rampant counterfeiting, the Iraqi Dinar has plummeted from its pre-Gulf War value of over USD$3, to mere fractions of one US cent. Let's say you decide to err on the side of Iraqi prosperity. You take advantage of the 100 year low value and buy 2 million Iraqi dinars. A few years from now... You discover that things are going well enough in Iraq to have raised the value of the the dinar to one US cent. Your $2100 purchase would now be valued at $20,000."

You might want to buy $45 worth (25,000 dinars), the minimum order at their site. It is most likely that this money will be worthless in five years, in which case, you've done your little part betting on Iraq's development. Then again, there is a low probability it will be worth more than $45, and you will have helped out the Iraqi economy as well as yourself. This is a lottery worth playing, in my estimation.

 

HealthGrades.com: The Start of Online Physician Rating Systems
Please support this by using it the next time you have to pick a physician. If you have a PPO you can pick any physician you want in your area. By going to HealthGrades.com you can search for General Practitioners within 5 miles of your house, and automatically eliminate any that have disciplinary actions on file with the medical boards. I recommend searching for Internal Medicine general practioners, they are the best trained, significantly more than Family Medicine. I also recommend filtering for doctors who are 10 years out of medical school. 5 years isn't enough experience and 20 or 30 is too long to be up to date. You can take the list that you generate and check their proximity to great outpatient care centers, as well as the local hospitals according to HealthGrades. The better general practitioners will usually be near the best hospitals. Their office will confirm that they regularly go to see inpatients at the local hospital, and they may have other hospital privileges as well.

 

Fun

Brokeback to the Future Mashup

 

Internet Predictions Database!
See the 13 minute video of AC2005 attendees.

Check out the podcasts! I did a 21 minute interview on Accelerating Change and the role of the ASF. George Gilder, Alex Lightman, Bruno Haid, Stephen Aguilar Millan, _______.

Resources

Furniture
Adaptive Furniture: IKEA's Galant Adjustable Height Sit/Stand Table and ___________ Drafting Chair.

Galant Designer: Olle Lundberg.

For those of us who spend many hours a day at our computers!

Allows you to break up the day between shorter periods of standing and longer periods of sitting.

Also allows you to use a drafting chair that can go high or low depending on the table height.

When I've been sitting too long, I take a break, come back and raise the table to standing position. When I get tired of standing after an hour or so, I'll sit on the drafting chair, with the table still raised. One advantage of being high like that is that it's a lot easier to do other things around the room. You are already at standing height, so no effort is involved in sitting down or getting up. But being human, even this position gets tiring after a while, and you will want to bring the table and chair back down to earth. Adaptive furniture feels to me like a future we want: increasing our "comfort, competence, and consciousness" in the work environment. [I've borrowed this phrase from Dominguez and Robin's excellent book, Your Money Or Your Life, to be reviewed in the next ATimes]

In addition of course, it helps to take our computers with us to work in interesting "third spaces" (not home, not work) on a regular basis. There's nothing like novelty and a new environment to keep us working without stress, and the breaks are always interesting too. If you use your laptop as your primary computer, as I do, and keep your backpack close at hand, you can go anywhere on a moment's notice. I use and recommend the Sony VAIO TX series laptop with the new white OLED screen, twice as bright and twice the battery life, and a true 3G EV-DO cellular modem, like Verizon's National Access/Broadband Access ($80/month) which will give you cable-speed internet and email everywhere you can get a cell signal (don't use the Cingular modem, it's much slower than your home setup). I also recommend a dependable wired optical notebook mouse like Microsoft's. I've used wireless optical and laser mice and they just stop working sometimes, which is unacceptable. Sometimes the simpler technology is the best way to go, until they work the bugs out.

 

 

 

O'Reilly's Emerging Technology 2006, San Diego, CA

(Do a blurb).

ASF at ETech and GDC for MVR Project.

(blurb)

Save the Dates! Accelerating Change 2006, Sept 8-10 at SRI International
Theme: Cultures of Innovation, Communities of Foresight
Ask Marlon for a Logo!

Books

Biomimetics: Biologically Inspired Technologies, Ed., Yoseph Bar-Cohen, 2006
"In this book nature is viewed as the biggest laboratory that ever existed and ever will and in its evolution it tested every field of science and engineering leading to inventions that work well and last. This enormously large pool of inventions has always been a great model for imitation and inspiration to human innovation." Understanding and using the innovations of biological evolutionary development in the technology space should be a top priority for any designer. Dr. Bar-Cohen, who we are very fortunate to have as an ASF Advisor, is a leading thinker in this space. Designers, engineers, and systems analysts might benefit greatly from this book.

Dr. Bar-Cohen is a leader in electro-active polymer (EAP) research, and his group sponsors an annual arm wrestling contest between human and biomimetic EAP arms. In the first 2005 competition the human arm (Panna Felsen's, right) won hands down, but that could change in coming years. This year's contest takes place at SPIE 2006 in San Diego this Feb 27th. If you want your stereotypes busted read the bio of Felsen, the high school senior (now Caltech freshman) who beat the three EAP arms entered in 2005. Note that her progress in academics began in middle school, when she was exposed to Botball robotics. I'm hopeful that a lot more such academic/engineering opportunities (field trips, competitions, workshops, research projects, student leadership) will come available in coming years. Exposing our children to academic and engineering as well as athletic and artistic growth and recognition opportunities in middle school and earlier can have profound effects on their development. In addition to academic excellence let's get Make magazine and fun Make Salons into the high schools! Youth are the natural leaders of maker culture.

 

ASF's Foresight Development Course at UAT: Importing the Tamkang Model
A good futures course will be tailored to the students career interests, and cover the practical foresight tools that professionals use when they make strategic decisions. It will help students learn to do excellent environmental scanning, to extrapolate current trends, to consider scenarios for possible shifts in the technology landscape, and to develop good intuition for the most likely near and longer term future. As many companies with formal and informal futuring groups in the U.S. have discovered (Shell, Dow, Intel, Electronic Arts, American Cancer Society, etc.), such intuition can greatly improve the return on the bets they make in their companies, projects, skillsets, and personal careers. In addition to a few required general courses, Tamkang ensures that foresight methods and concepts are embedded in all classes in the university curriculum. It may be this commitment to building strategic foresight in its students that has kept Tamkang ranked #1 in private universities by Taiwan's employers for eight consecutive years, by two surveys. They began their futures requirements ten years ago, in 1995.

If you know of any universities besides UAT that would be interested in having ASF help in developing general or integrated futures curricula for their students, please let us know at mail@accelerating.org. I am confident that every university that follows Tamkang's example would be highly regarded by both students and employers, and gain a competitive benefit distinguishing their institution

Talk about Sara Robinson and my efforts. Give link to public wiki. Ask for reviewer-developers!


Quotography

“In times to come... when people know more, the word 'destiny' will probably have acquired a statistical meaning.” — Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities, 1922-42

"It is hard to avoid the conclusion that life on Earth, arising as early as it did [3.85 billion years ago, after Earth's crust solidified 3.9 billion years ago] was chemically destined to be." — Stephen Jay Gould

“Abortion rates are down a third, divorce rates are down, crime rates are down some 70%, school violence is down, suicide rates, drug addiction—all of the social indicators that were going in the wrong way in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s turned around in the early ‘90’s or so and are still going in the right direction.” – David Brooks, “The Road Ahead,” Time, 24 Oct 2005; Author, Bobos in Paradise, 2001

“Inspiring quotation.” — Firstname Lastname (Title, Source, Person, 00 Mon 06)

“Inspiring quotation.” — Firstname Lastname (Title, Source, Person, 00 Mon 06)


Resources

Title, Source, Person, 00 Mon 06
[AA] Words.

David Allen's Getting Things Done Outlook Add-In, $69.95
Implementing David Allen's Workflow Processing Using Microsoft Outlook, $10
If you've read Allen's very helpful 2003 book on stress-free productivity, you know how important it is to have and use a system for delegating, deferring, creating, and managing tasks, one that has a place for everything, including tasks waiting for responses from others. Allen's "Mind like Water" metaphor (the ripples respond not too much, not too little, but just enough to each new impact, then quickly get back to equilibrium) has been very helpful for me.

If you're ready to bring his system to Outlook, here's the best way to start. At Allen's personal productivity website you'll find a 37 page e-book ($10) a "step-by-step manual for optimizing Outlook as a personal productivity tool" using his system. If you've ever tried to use Outlook's Tasks before (less than 1% of use them) and found them too cumbersome (as I have), this e-book will give you new confidence to integrate them into your life, and improve your use of the Calendar, Notes, Contacts, and other features you may use only rarely at present. Also see Jeff Sandquist's one year old blog article on using GTD, it links to lots of good implementation references.You can use the eBook to manually configure Outlook for Allen's system, but if you want a shortcut (which may not be advisable for those of us who need to really think about systems in order to implement them) you can buy a $70 plug in allows you bring Allen's workflow system to Outlook. The site has good web demos and a reasonably satisfied user forum. Unfortunately, the software still looks a bit buggy at Version 2.1, some folks have experienced problems with the task management tools and cryptic errors. Uninstalling the plug-in is easy enough, but you can't revert all the changes you've done once you've begun using it. So if you want to be safe, I would recommend making a copy of the download before you install it and then trying it on your second computer, with a backup Outlook pst file, using a back up online email address. If it behaves reasonably well for a month you can then install it on your primary computer. Otherwise, just do it all manually with the $10 ebook.

Cloudmark's Desktop/SpamNet
The tipping point has been reached in community based filtering. Desktop is even better than Mail Frontier, our previously most recommended filter, according to PC World's latest reviews.With 1.5 million users/spam raters, Desktop (formerly called SpamNet) has reached an eBay/Amazon/delicious level of leverage. $40/year covers up to two computers at a time. Outlook and OE users only. Has separate spam and fraud identification buttons. If you only get your email a few times a day (vs. constantly) you'll find less than 2% of your emails will be spam, even if you have a public email address, as I do. This elegant system ensures no false positives (legitimate emails in your spam folder) as someone else had to mark a message spam in order for it to go into your spam folder. With this many users, spam exists for as little as 20 seconds before it is tagged and the system starts filtering it out. If you mark something as safe when others mark it as spam your reputation and ability to influence the system rapidly goes to zero, so spammers, who are always in the minority, can't trash the system. Immune systems always win! Harnessing the power of the community!

Guns, Germs & Steel
($49 DVD).
Watered down and slow paced, but good for newbies to Diamond's ideas. Is it just me or has all our science video become progressively dumbed down since the 1970's?

800 Free 411
Use it! 30% of the time you'll get a 12 second ad. Can't wait for the first cell phone companies to recognize the social value of this kind of service, the way Washington Mutual has become known for customer service with their free ATMs and other features. 411 use, like ATM use, has a number of positive sum benefits to the society and economy.

Awesomely Cool Satellite Screen Saver
Get the link from Greg Mogel or Google it.


Outer Space

Title, Source, Person, 00 Mon 06
[AA] Words.

"How [Accelerating] Science Will Change Careers," Jim Carroll, Futurist, Trendwatcher, and Innovation Expert. (Ontario, Canada) Website.

Fantastic observations on "career extinction" as a result of accelerating science and technology developments. If anyone thinks thing are slowing down, read this article. As Jason Schissel notes, this suggests that tremendous new opportuninties for searching and metatagging data are going to open up in coming years. Professionals whose job it is to assist electronic systems in sorting knowledge. There are going to be huge strategic advantages to this in coming years. Those who have the best databases, in many ways, can be the first movers in an increasingly rapidly innovative world.

 


Human Space

Title, Source, Person, 00 Mon 06
[AA] Words.

The Germany Precedent. Who's Winning in Iraq, National Geographic, Jan 2006
Dividing up Iraq into Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd. Splitting Tikrit and Baghdad.

They might reunify later (e.g., East and West Germany, North and South Korea, China and Taiwan, etc. Kosovo: ______) but only if both sides want it. There must be consequences for continued civil unrest. The world owes it to the civilians in these countries. Democracy is hard enough without trying to create a government of strangers.

The SAS Difference: The Long Term Future of the Workplace
Discuss their culture. How they had to have a top down benevolent autocracy to do it. Flat hierarchy, but one key is they use their own IT systems to make sure people stay accountable.

Amazing that no one has done a book on them yet (list the two ebooks). This is where first world nations workplaces will go over the 21st century. An obvious developmental attractor. You can get there now if you're willing to move to _____.


Inner Space

Title, Source, Person, 00 Mon 06
[AA] Words.

Nuclear Power Advance
Excellent article on a new nuclear power technology in the December issue of Scientific American:

http://www.sciamdigital.com/browse.cfm?ITEMIDCHAR=5D1D3DF7-2B35-221B-65ECD6262B4898E7&methodnameCHAR=&interfacenameCHAR=browse.cfm&ISSUEID_CHAR=5CE65F08-2B35-221B-6CA922740414072A&ArticleTypeSubInclude_BIT=0&sequencenameCHAR=itemP

which you can read if you have the digital subscription (or pay per article). If not, you can search on the authors: William H. Hannum, Gerald E. Marsh and George S. Stanford, and find some (slightly less readable) papers online with similar info.

The highlights: New reactor technology employs a method of generating nuclear power that can take advantage of fast neutrons (as opposed to slow neutrons, which current tech uses) to get FAR more energy from nuclear materials. Current methods use only about 5-6% of the available energy and leave behind a good deal of radioactive waste. These new methods (referred to as "pyro" as opposed to "PUREX") can extract up to 99% of the available energy, and consequently leave behind waste that is both less dangerous and much smaller in quantity. Thanks to Jason Schissel for the link.


Cyber Space

Title, Source, Person, 00 Mon 06
[AA] Words.


Hyper Space

Metahumanity or Homo technians: Metaman, Greg Stock, 1993
I am rereading Stock's excellent 1993 book, subtitled The Merging of Machines into a Global Superorganism, a concise and well-referenced update of William Wheeler's (1928) superorganism hypothesis, the idea that animals and their technology (termites, in Wheeler's observation) form a single living system. Stock calls the human-technology superorganism 'Metaman', I would call it 'Metahumanity', and

valuable term as Meta- stands for above, and has the excellent connotation of metamorphosis, which

More precisely, we are talking about, Homo technians, a new species of human being that is fundamentally dependent on its technology for survival. The species label makes sense here because for all practical purposes technology-dependent humans don't "interbreed"

with non-tool using human beings, because of the huge time separation between these two cultures.

and that the human-technology symbiosis must be considered as a total system when we make technological, economic, policy, and social choices. To make decisions by considering any part in isolation will often miss the developmental trajectory of the system as a whole, and lead to poor results.

Write about Metaman! The piece Greg Stock missed.

Reference Kevin Kelly's Technium.

Sing is Near Review (by John Smart)
Publish to web. Link to it here.
Finally finished it. I agree with his tech capacity curves (Accel and Dev Studies).
I think he is mistaken on his biospace predictions.
I think he is missing some of the fundamental limitations of the biotech substrate.

Read new TF&SC Article on Kurzweil. Reference William Sims Bainbridge on Cyberimmortality (latest Futurist).

How the World Became Complex, Milestones, Feb 2006
Philip Clayton and Simon Conway Morris on universal purpose and rising complexity. They don't yet get that there's an acceleration metric here that they could be measuring. But someone will propose that kind of research soon. The biogenesis research seems particularly promising. Carl Sagan, for all his brilliance, often remarked that he imagined there were millions of ways of making the building blocks of cells, and thus likely to be millions of different types of life forms. I think in this point he was wrong, and I expect we'll get increasing clues that the laws of physics and chemistry are such that there really only are a few special optima. We may increasingly find evidence for this way of thinking long before we have solved the protein folding problem in our simulations, which may be several decades hence.


Fun

Game
Sid Meier's Civilization IV.
Addictive! (Wikipedia entry, official site)
Apolyton (Civ IV university)

Book
How to Survive a Robot Uprising, Daniel Wilson.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1582345929/

NanoShite http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/nanoshite/
Hilarious collection of nanohype. Skewers some of the worst futurist hype in this field. At the same time, it misses that something very different is going on in the nanospace than anywhere else. Particularly, the stunning new efficiencies that are always being discovered. But of course most of the nano hucksters miss this too, in the promotion of their often highly implausible scenarios, so the site has a valid axe to grind. You will laugh long and hard at some of the entries and their accompanying Nano Mystery Science Theatre-style commentary... or you should! :)

Google Videos
Zero G Dogs, Crazy Cats.
Quick download if you have broadband. http://www.unoriginal.co.uk/footage4_4.html Thanks to Mattea Manning

Mammatus Clouds
http://www.hprcc.unl.edu/nebraska/june2004/hastings-mammatus.html
These rare beauties are formed when air is saturated with rain droplets and begins to sink. The worst of a storm is usually over when this type of cloud is seen. Thanks to Ken Williams, Jr.

ASF

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Quotography

Resources

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Gold Sponsor

Thanks to DFJ for early sponsorship of AC2005!


COMING EVENTS


AAAI Spring Symposium
March 21-23
Palo Alto, CA

APF Spring Meeting: Futures Insurrection
March 31 - April 2
Miami, FL


JPL Astrobiology Lecture Series: The Galaxy Evolution Explorer
April 20 and 21
Pasadena , CA


TAICON2005: Tools for the Development of Humanity
April 25-26
Washington, DC