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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

I just finished watching this great documentary on a man named Jacque Fresco, who has been likened by many to a modern day Leonardo Da Vinci.

Future by Design shares the life and far-reaching vision of Jacque Fresco, considered by many to be a modern day Da Vinci.

Peer to Einstein and Buckminster Fuller, Jacque is a self-taught futurist who describes himself most often as a generalist or multi-disciplinarian – a student of many inter-related fields.

He is a prolific inventor, having spent his entire life (he is now 90 years old) conceiving of and devising inventions on various scales which entail the use of innovative technology.

As a futurist, Jacque is not only a conceptualist and a theoretician, but he is also an engineer and a designer.

It becomes apparent very quickly why this is proclaimed by fans of Jacque Fresco as he is an incredibly and broadly accomplished man who seems to have his finger in every creative pie going around. He’s definitely well ahead of his time with it comes to his designs and technological ideas, and I wish that he’d had the required funding to back a lot of his projects.

However, all of that said I didn’t agree a great deal with his political point of view. He seems to be somewhat of an anarcho-socialist. That is to say that he champions a futurist society where no government exists and people have access to everything they need equally. His justifies some of his arguments well, and his intentions are admirable, and I’m sure most of us would love to live in a world like that if it existed. However, I just don’t know how it would ever come about, and sustain itself indefinitely.

The Zeitgeist: Addendum and The Venus Project hoax documentary apparently rebuts the ideology behind Jacque’s future society (you can read much of their arguments in the overview of the doco if you follow the above link). However, I still recommend watching it just for the sake of encouraging your imagination. Most of Jacque’s concepts and designs are truly astonishing.

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Think Inc. went well today. I had a lovely time and it was great to meet a lot of people I hadn’t met in the flesh or had met at previous events but with whom I hadn’t spoken in depth.

The day started out with Tim Flannery, Cristina Rad and Ayaan Hirsi Ali  (via video feed) and Shane Koyczan. For me, climate scientist Tim Flannery was definitely the highlight of the group who spoke in depth about evolution, civilisation and climate change. I enjoyed Ayaan’s and Cristina’s presentations but felt that I got more after of their question time when they really got to flourish and express their views.

We broke for morning tea, and then returned swiftly to see the main speakers of the day, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Michael Shermer. Neil’s presentation was a hit, and seeing him for the first time was brilliant. He had quite an interesting stage presence to say the least. Michael Shermer was also great to see in the flesh for the first time. The only drawback of their presentations in my opinion would be that they seemed to have just brought their standard do-it-everywhere lectures with them and hadn’t really tailored anything for the Think Inc. event addressing the theme “In the next 10 years what does the world need to do in order to thrive and flourish“.

After we’d had lunch we went back in to see Christopher Hitchens speak via video feed, however he unfortunately hadn’t shown up to the venue from which he was to present. So we went straight on to the panel with Neil, Tim, Cristina, Catholic priest Father Bob, Michael and Shane. Father Bob was wild to say the least… He received a lot of laughter and confused looks from the crowd at a few of his wild comments that seemed to mostly be in jest. I was a little lost at times with regards to what he opinions, especially when he was talking about Christians being regarded as atheists when the religion first developed 2000 odd years ago. Poor Shane kept fairly quite during the panel discussion, while Michael and Bob hit it out, as did Neil and Tim. It was incredibly interactive too. Audience members effectively asked all the questions and thus directed the conversation. However, at times it seemed to be as much a negative as a positive when questions were ambiguous or confusing, etc.

The night ended with The Imaginary Friends Show podcast crew getting to hang in the VIP section with the speakers among other conference goers. Man the apples they served there were amazing… I had two! Besides the apples though it was great to actually meet Tim Flannery, Michael Shermer, Cristina Rad and Neil deGrasse Tyson in person. Neil was loving chatting and laughing with his fans, as were the others. We got some early evening astrophysics schooling from him before we left. I might also add that it was awesome to finally get to meet and hang out with Atheist Foundation of Australia’s Jason Ball.

So all in all it was a great night and we all definitely had a great time. Big thanks to the organisers for putting it together, especially Sean for all his help and work during the day. Cheers also to The Imaginary Friends Show boys Jake, Greg and Pete!

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Map of the internet

No one really knows, but according to founder of Wired magazine, Kevin Kelly, there are around a trillion Web pages that exist as he wrote in his 2010 book What Technology Wants. He stated:

The Web holds about a trillion pages. The human brain holds about 100 billion neurons.

Each biological neuron sprouts synaptic links to thousands of other neurons, while each Web page on average links to 60 other pages. That adds up to a trillion ‘synapses’ between the static pages on the Web. The human brain has about 100 times that number of links — but brains are not doubling in size every few years. The global machine is.

A pretty mind blowing thought… Soon though we will learn a great deal more about the exact number of Web pages out there. A group called the World Wide Web Foundation has received a $1 million grant from Google to investigate the question.

Read more here.

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A man named Rob Spence has designed a camera that he wears in a prosthetic eye. Although he cannot see through the eye it allows him to record his experiences subjectively and transmits them to a portable device he carries.

He lost sight in his eye after a shooting accident with friends. Soon after he started work on the what he’s called the ‘Eyeborg Project’. Since his ‘eye catching’ invention he has been commissioned by Square Enix to create a documentary examining people with prosthetics.

For the launch of the game “DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION,” Square Enix commissioned filmmaker Rob Spence to investigate prosthetics, cybernetics and human augmentation. Spence is a self-proclaimed cyborg who lost one eye, and replaced it with a wireless video camera. He is now known as “Eyeborg.”

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