Links for 9th February 2010

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Professor: We have a ‘moral obligation’ to seed universe with life

    "According to Michael Mautner, Research Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University, seeding the universe with life is not just an option, it’s our moral obligation. As members of this planet’s menagerie, and a consequence of nearly 4 billion years of evolution, humans have a purpose to propagate life. After all, whatever else life is, it necessarily possesses an incessant drive for self-perpetuation. And the idea isn’t just fantasy: Mautner says that “directed panspermia” missions can be accomplished with present technology.

    “We have a moral obligation to plan for the propagation of life, and even the transfer of human life to other solar systems which can be transformed via microbial activity, thereby preparing these worlds to develop and sustain complex life,” Mautner explained to “Securing that future for life can give our human existence a cosmic purpose.”" Worryingly colonial and evangelistic.

    Tagged with: cosmologymoralityseedinguniverselifehumanitypurposeevangelismcolonialismfuturism

  2. Books as licenses – print and ebooks both

    "It all comes down to concepts of intellectual property, which are frankly a bit abstruse for most people who don’t need to spend their time worrying about such things. Even if you buy a Braun coffee maker, you don’t buy the rights to recreate it in your workshop and sell copies of the coffee maker. Except the process of copying a coffee maker is so tedious, that unless you own a Third World knockoff factory, you’re not going to bother.

    Copying or scanning a print book is a possible behavior. Copying an ebook is a trivial behavior, at least technically.

    But you, the reader, never take full title to the story underneath. You have taken a license to that story, a contract ultimately between you and the author, embedded in the copyright statement in the front matter of the book. And that license has value, whether it’s delivered on cellulose and ink, or via an organized compilation of electrons." Jay Lake.

    Tagged with: Jay-LakepublishingebookslicensingDRMIPintellectual-propertybusiness-models

  3. Keynote: Bruce Sterling on Atemporality

    Keynote speech from Transmediale conference, Feb 2010.

    Tagged with: Bruce-Sterlingtechnologyculturehistoryphilosophycreativityatemporalityartmedia

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