Links for 19th March 2010

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Future bio-nanotechnology will use computer chips inside living cells

    ""Today's micro- and nanoelectronic processes already would allow us to produce complex 3-dimensional microscale structures as sensors and actuators" José Antonio Plaza tells Nanowerk. "Complex structures, smaller than cells, can be mass produced with nanometer precision in shape and dimensions and at low cost already. Furthermore, many different materials (semiconductors, metals, and insulators) could be patterned on the silicon chip with accurate dimensions and geometries."<br />
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    Plaza […], together with a team of colleagues, has demonstrated that silicon chips smaller than cells can be produced, collected, and internalized inside living cells by different techniques (lipofection, phagocytosis or microinjection) and, most significantly, they can be used as intracellular sensors."

    Tagged with: nanotechnologytranshumanismMEMSbiotechnologycellsemiconductortechnologycyborgmedicinecyberpunk

  2. Warning: Your reality is out of date

    "These slow-changing facts are what I term “mesofacts.” Mesofacts are the facts that change neither too quickly nor too slowly, that lie in this difficult-to-comprehend middle, or meso-, scale. Often, we learn these in school when young and hold onto them, even after they change. For example, if, as a baby boomer, you learned high school chemistry in 1970, and then, as we all are apt to do, did not take care to brush up on your chemistry periodically, you would not realize that there are 12 new elements in the Periodic Table. Over a tenth of the elements have been discovered since you graduated high school! While this might not affect your daily life, it is astonishing and a bit humbling."

    Tagged with: perceptionphilosophyrealityknowledgechangetimemesofacts

  3. The unreal art of realistic dialogue

    "Writers of fiction are told to "listen" to how people speak in order to create realistic dialogue but, like all our perceptions, our hearing is unreliable. We unconsciously filter out the crap in people's speech to refine sense and meaning. What we're left with is a type of distilled speech far removed from the realism of what we hear and, crucially, we rarely notice this until we see it with our own eyes, while reading a transcript of what someone said.<br />
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    The rubric of realism has loomed over literary theory for almost two centuries now, and writers as varied as Irvine Welsh, David Foster Wallace, James Baldwin and Peter Carey have all experimented with realistic dialogue to great effect. But even so, you can hear the pure realism in narrative dialogue as easily as you can drive a horse and cart out of a Corot painting."

    Tagged with: writingfictiondialoguerealism

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