Links for 6th August 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. The "End of Politics" Delusion

    "This is why I was so frustrated at the deprecation of politics in the Singularity University curriculum — there's a profound ignorance across the tech advocacy community of the importance of politics to human society. Politics means conflict, debate, and frustration. It also means choice. A world without politics is a world where disagreement is illegitimate. It's a world where your ability to choose your future — to make your future — has been taken away, whether you like it or not."

    Tagged with: Casciotechnologyfuturismpoliticslibertarianismpowerdebatechoice

  2. Why World of Warcraft may be the future of the nation-state

    "Now, I don't imagine that any of my mates would be willing to pledge allegiance to Azeroth, the fictional setting for their escapades and dance parties, but without question they experience a sense of togetherness celebrated by academics and philosophers for its emergent governance. Warcraft, Second Life, EverQuest, even the text-based LambdaMOO – all have unregulated telecoms services and thriving and exchangeable unregulated currencies. They also have hierarchies and power structures, justice systems and benevolent dictators.

    These spaces threaten world order. Traditional governments have spent the past four years back-pedalling, trying to regulate these spaces, in the name of national security. In fact, they're just trying to make sure that they don't lose control of the people who have gathered together in these consensual hallucinations. And their money, of course."

    Tagged with: mmovirtual-worldsmetaverseculturesocietynation-statesgovernmentpolitics

  3. Wealthy nations see unexpected baby boom

    "The myriad problems stemming from sagging birthrates – increased health costs for the elderly supported by a shrinking workforce – had seemed to be the inevitable price to pay for higher incomes and longer lifespans.

    Most well-off nations have long since slipped below the fertility rate needed simply to maintain a stable population, an average of 2.1 children per woman.

    If unchanged, the 2005 birthrates of countries such as South Korea, Japan, Italy and Spain – 1.08, 1.26, 1.32 and 1.33, respectively – will, in the absence of immigration, halve each nation's population in 40 to 45 years."

    Tagged with: populationbirth-ratedeveloped-nationseconomics

  4. ‘Guerrilla’ stem cell clinic raided by police – science-in-society – 03 August 2009 – New Scientist

    "Many of us have been deeply concerned about some of the clinics that are offering untested, and often illogical 'stem cell' treatments," he says. "They take advantage of desperate individuals or their family members, charging them large sums of money for procedures that are unlikely to work, may in fact be dangerous, and may use cells of dubious origin."

    Lovell-Badge advises people to seek help from doctors, patient groups, disease societies, and charities, and to "thoroughly check the clinic and the procedures on offer before gambling away your money and hope."

    Like that's gonna work.

    Tagged with: medicineundergroundblack-clinicstem-celltherapytourism

  5. Tangible hologram projector

    "By controlling the movement of these focused ultrasonic waves — which can produce up to 1.6 grams-force of pressure within a 20-millimeter-wide focal point — the projector can recreate virtual objects that seem to have physical mass."

    Tagged with: interactivetactilehologramsonicprojector

  6. Dancing About Architecture

    "That variability of meaning is an essential point. A perfectly shared vocabulary between writer and reader does not exist, which is one of the great wonders of reading: a book leads a thousand different lives in the heads of a thousand different readers. I write carrot; one reader smells their beloved mother’s cooking; the next reader gags. Musical references are even trickier, because even two different readers who love the same music will likely have different responses to the same reference. And it is worth pointing out that to some people—some very intelligent people, like Vladimir Nabokov—music is all unintelligible noise."

    Tagged with: writingmusicliteraturebookslanguagevocabularyculturepostmodernism

  7. "The future isn’t big anymore. The future is small"

    "Dubai continues to fling huge and strange structures into the sky, but there’s no future there. Megastructures have become medieval. Which seems obvious, but there’s still this apparently inescapable urge to look at things like the great clunking space shuttle – which its drivers call the Flying Brick, and whose emergency escape procedure is actually just "sit there and die" – and call it The Future, and mourn its passing as a mark of how our path to the future seems to be getting blocked by landfill and rotting piles of the Daily Telegraph." Uncle Ellis in fine form.

    Tagged with: warren-ellisfuturismgonzoscalesmall

  8. Fake Rocks, Salami Commanders, and Just Enough to Start

    "Your Lizard Brain is absolutely right when it tells you that most people won’t notice if you don’t make something, and that a lot of people won’t particularly care if you do. But, how you choose to respond to that existential kōan will say a lot about your potential as both an artist and as an engaged human.

    Because, if you’re relieved that universal apathy provides legitimate cover for eight blissful hours of “managing email,” then you’re in luck. Every day for the rest of your life. Punch out.

    But, if you’re like me, you may find you’re invigorated—even challenged—by all that bigger ambiguity. By knowing that, at any time, you might be seconds away from starting something amazing that seemed impossible a minute ago. Even oddly prepared to drop the lizard crap whenever the need arises."

    Tagged with: writingproductivitycreativitymotivationprocrastinationlifestyle

Leave a Reply