Links for 31st July 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Interview with Adam Greenfield

    "All the available evidence, on the contrary, supports the idea that we will have to actively fight for moments of calm and reflection, as individuals and as collectivities. And not only that, as it happens, but for spaces in which we’re able to engage with the Other on neutral turf, as it were, since the logic of “social media” seems to be producing Big Sort-like effects and echo chambers. When given the tools that allow us to do so, we seem to surround ourselves with people who look and think and consume like we do, and the result is that the tools allowing us to become involved with anything but the self, or selves that strongly resemble it, are atrophying."

    Tagged with: ubicompeverywareenvironmentdesigncomputingurbanismoverloadtechnologysaturation

  2. Fake meat: burgers grown in beakers

    "This, he explains, is one of the scientific hurdles for in vitro meat that has not yet been fully addressed. "We can convert stem cells into skeletal muscle cells; however, turning them into trained skeletal muscle appears to be a little harder.""We're developing a very simplified version of what we know as meat," he explains. "The cells are grown in this dish within a growing medium and this unit is where they receive the electrical stimulation. These electrodes ensure there is an electrical current – about 1Hz – passing through the cells. To make these skeletal cells develop into muscle, they need to be constantly exercised, just like in the body." This, he explains, is one of the scientific hurdles for in vitro meat that has not yet been fully addressed. "We can convert stem cells into skeletal muscle cells; however, turning them into trained skeletal muscle appears to be a little harder.""

    Tagged with: sciencemeatdietvat-grownenvironmentfuturism

  3. Evolution’s third replicator: Genes, memes, and now what?

    "Memes work differently from genes, and digital information works differently from memes, but some general principles apply to them all. The accelerating expansion, the increasing complexity, and the improving interconnectivity of all three are signs that the same fundamental design process is driving them all. Road networks look like vascular systems, and both look like computer networks, because interconnected systems outcompete isolated systems. The internet connects billions of computers in trillions of ways, just as a human brain connects billions of neurons in trillions of ways. Their uncanny resemblance is because they are doing a similar job."

    Tagged with: scienceevolutionreplicatorsfuturismmemesgeneticsconsciousness

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