August 13, 2005

Open Darwin thread

My copy of Pinker (The Blank Slate) is in another continent at the moment, and there's nothing particular I want to say about W's seeming flirtation with 'Intelligent Design' in US education except that it's utterly intellectually corrupt (and an abuse of Federal power).

Only preliminary point to be made here is that the polarity between 'human nature conservatives' and 'blank slate radicals' leaves out the 'biolibertarian' alternative of deep (genomic) body modification and species mutation. The road to a new culture runs through the body - call it Shoggothic Materialism (or Oankali intervention).

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at August 13, 2005 11:44 AM | TrackBack




I'll call it whatever you want if that's what it takes to make you make my (and others') meals any better (I am leaving out none of the 7 geopol. die ruksjans nor any of the whatshowmaycallit with other benomered and befaultabled fractions; to play on Hamaker's words (are the marines helping yet): have you got any chinamen at least thinking about making me a mobile musical and powderspreading power sporting rock grinder yet?

Posted by: piet l*ink*s at August 13, 2005 01:12 PM




Posted by: Nick at August 13, 2005 02:46 PM



>>Oankali intervention
please define "Oankali intervention". (and, if you're not nick who are you?)

Posted by: northanger at August 14, 2005 03:29 AM



northanger - Nick has hijacked Ccru-Shanghai identity after losing his access codes, so it's me ...

'Oankali' come from Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis Trilogy (now renamed 'Lilith's Brood' i believe). They are an extraterrestrial species of deep-bionic gene-traders who arrive on Earth after a nuclear war to transmute its life forms through DNA-traffick and ultimately consume the whole planet into cosmic nomadism material ... personally, think X. among the very greatest works of the 20th century and Butler's vision is worthy of religious devotion ... her other stuff is good too ...

Posted by: Nick at August 14, 2005 05:29 AM



hey nick. think X? is that like think pink? which reminds me, colors done! &, think fifth teletubby's aeriel may be microgravity symbol (µg).

never heard of Pinker, but found helpful links—

Pinker states, "the human mind is shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations". attacks three modern myths: blank slate (why we go to school), noble savage (uncivilized nobility) & ghost in the machine (immortal, immaterial mind/soul). Pinker thinks (a) blank slates don't do anything — humans do things; (b) noble savages just as destructive & warlike; (c) intelligence isn't a miracle — it's just another type of computation process.

>>'biolibertarian' alternative of deep (genomic) body modification and species mutation. The road to a new culture runs through the body - call it Shoggothic Materialism (or Oankali intervention).

wondering, in practical terms, how a new culture road runs through a body. (distinction between body (virus, eugenics) vs. mind (meme)?). take it 'biolibertarian' involves "waking something up"? are you saying the Oankali — capable of transmuting life(BIO-) forms "through DNA-traffick" — are the biolibertarian alternative? if yes, gee, where are they?

Posted by: northanger at August 14, 2005 08:12 AM



HRI Warwick ? the following snippet of revery was inspired in part by leafing through a heap of their fancy year report (I tear off the covers and use them to keep my loose sheet prfr together).

voices that speak of giving the ohnehin natural segregation a hand in light of the facts of life: insurmountably fundamental cultural difference that lasted long enough to be internalized - a challenge to those many of us who believe in the basic operability of problems - in the fancier year reports of the bio-industrious blessed with lots of acreage to release their evil deeds upon reports about what we know exactly including the use of dna guns are schizophrenically enough interspersed with ones wherein they feel secure enough to admit they haven't a clue yet don't feel obliged to recognize these situation are prone and bound to mutate and hybridize seeing they are in such unspecifiably reconstellating proximity. After all, explorers love to travel; feeding the birds is for the birds, birdfeed.

Posted by: mishfan at August 14, 2005 10:02 AM



lines that come before . .. ..voices . ..etcetera:

Anybody see 'the sorceress'? I reckon the distance between those days (middle ages), now and as many on again will get us only halfway back to soothingly, enlivening and nurturing unmolested envionments .. . if we're extremely lucky .... cause instead of an antidote to christianity which turned mentioned situations from a to b we get spin off number 2 (islam) with all the more potency, virulence and deadliness for constantly bouncing between the root of all evil (mono-whatever) that spawned it and spin-off number 1.

Now, the french have this euphemism for orgasm called 'the little death' - since clearing space in a busy womb with some healthy and vigorous pumping action is out of the question (inside is out untill .. ) outer space needs clearing with a few healthy blasts (it's the equivalent of the post-marriage revel red stained lover's bedsheet but the left is stubborn in its determination to cost us a few more rivers of blood and so they tune out and obstruct

Posted by: mishfan at August 14, 2005 10:05 AM



northanger - your stubborn detective work never fails to impress ;)

on bioliberation (there's an interesting looking new book with that title, but i haven't had a chance to take a look at it yet) just saying: there is a largely unexplored diagonal between the fork of 'blank slate radicals' (e.g. Mao Zedong 'the most beautiful poems are written on empty pages') who aim to build a future in the desert of infinite human plasticity, and naturalist conservatives, who expect society and culture to reflect the ineradicable warpage of human nature (for instance, as i think sd was hinting on the Capital thread, that no innate or solidly constructible loyalties exist for large groups, making massive soc*alist projects unworkable and sustainble even in the short term only by familialist metaphors and other ad hoc manipulative devices). If culture cannot stray too far from the constraining biological legacy of homo sapiens, it is unnecessary to dumb down ambitions (right) or deny reality (left) - instead, Change the Body, best done in a non-planned distributed drift guided multiplicitously by adventurous consumers IMHO, but whatever, key is that 'social constructionism' is simply a delusion if not pushed deeper - into biomutation. Or we could remain 'puny humans' are bore ourselves into extinction ...
(Been re-reading Robin's superb translation of Houllebecq's Lovecraft book - much on the tedium of human species perpetuation in Part 1).

Posted by: Nick at August 14, 2005 10:08 AM



Liltihs' Brood is a vision-thought experiment which answers (in advance) the question posed by Pinker in 'How the Mind Works' (1997):

"Why do we come in two sexes? Why do we make one big egg and lots of little sperm, instead of two little blobs that coalesce like mercury?"

The answer is warfare:

"It is because the cell that is to become the baby cannot be just a bag of genes; it needs the metabolic machinery of the rest of a cell. Some of that machinery, the mitochondria, has its own genes, the famous mitochondrial DNA which is so useful in dating evolutionary splits. Like all genes, the ones in mitochondria are selected to replicate ruthlessly. And that is why a cell formed by fusing two equal cells faces trouble. The mitochondria of one parent and the mitochondria of the other parent wage a ferocious war for survival inside it. Mitochondria from each parent will murder their counterparts from the other, leaving the fused cell dangerously underpowered. The genes for the rest of the cell (the ones in the nucleus) suffer from the crippling of the cell, so they evolve a way of heading off the internecine warfare. In each pair of parents, one "agrees" to unilateral disarmament. It contributes to a cell that provides no metabolic machinery with a small cell that contains a half-set of genes plus all the necessary machinery with a small cell that contains a half-set of genes and nothing else. The big cell is called an egg and the small cell is called a sperm."

This in leads to a conflict of interests and unfair trade between the male and female, most clearly manifested in the tendency of the male mammal to impregnate and leave.

Octavia E. Butler's envisions a mating of two species (Oankali and human) and three sexes (male, female and ooloi). Their offspring are called constructs. The ooloi's sex is defined by its capacity to engineer genes. An ooloi explains it best:

"Because I was Human-born, my internal arrangement was basically Human. Ooloi are careful not to construct children who create uncontrollable immune reactions in their birth mothers. Even two hearts seem radical to some Humans... Two hearts are just double the Human allotment. But the organ growing between my heart was not Human at all.

Every construct had some version of it. Males and females used it to store and keep viable the cells of unfamiliar living things that they sought out and brought home to their ooloi mate or parent. In ooloi, the organ was larger and more complex. Within it, ooloi manipulated molecules of DNA more deftly than Human women manipulated the bits of thread they used to sew their cloth. I had been constructed inside such an organ, assembled from the genetic contributions of my two mothers and my two fathers. The construction itself and a single Oankali organelle was the only ooloi contribution to my existence. The organelle had divided within each of my cells as the cells divided. It had become an essential part of my body. We were what we were because of that organelle. Ooloi said we were that organelle. That the original Oankali had evolved through that organelle's invasion, acquisition, duplication and symbiosis. Sometimes on worlds that had no intelligent, carbon-based life to trade with, Oankali deliberately left behind large numbers of organelle. Abandoned, it would seek a home in the most unlikely indigenous life-forms and trigger changes - evolution in spurts. Hundreds of millions of years later, perhaps some Oankali people would wander by and find interesting trade partners waiting for them. The organelle made or found compatibility with life-forms so completely dissimilar that they were unable even to perceive one another as alive."

The ooloi eliminate 'unfair' trade by making all its mates biologically addicted to itself.

The Oankali are utterly alien to humans because of their inquisitive attitude to cellular life: they seek out, absorb, record and genetically combine with other life. Humans, fundamentally flawed by their contradiction of hierarchy and intelligence, resist genetic trade, condemning themselves to a genetic dead-end, even when they have been healed, regenerated and improved.

Nice as it would be, Oankali intervention is, however, ahem, highly unlikely.

The question is: stem cells?

Posted by: sd at August 14, 2005 10:50 AM



sd - stem cells developments indeed extremely interesting - fast track to replasticization of the body

"Oankali intervention is, however, ahem, highly unlikely" - but if this schema is taken more generally, as incursion from an alternative evolutionary lineage, it becomes more difficult to consign to the realm of the attractive but pragmatically irrevelant

Posted by: Nick at August 14, 2005 01:41 PM



"If culture cannot stray too far from the constraining biological legacy of homo sapiens, it is unnecessary to dumb down ambitions (right) or deny reality (left) - instead, Change the Body, best done in a non-planned distributed drift guided multiplicitously by adventurous consumers IMHO..."

"Change the Body", let it happen multiplicitously, etc etc. at the same time it's unnecessary for the right to dumb-it-down or the left to deny reality. what are the left & right to do, then? drift?

Posted by: northanger at August 15, 2005 01:56 AM



"what are the left & right to do, then? drift?" - get out of the way?

Posted by: nick at August 15, 2005 02:07 AM



"get out of the way?" - rotflmao

Posted by: northanger at August 15, 2005 02:39 AM



mishfan, what's "ohnehin"? found link for Warwick Horticulture Research International (HRI) - and ... why is "lcearing space in a busy womb with some healthy and vigorous pumping action is out of the question"?

Posted by: northanger at August 15, 2005 03:14 AM



alternative evolutionary lineage. the prevailing narrative .... reminds me of hall & oates & that frayed lonely toothbrush. not all of us could appreciate that narrative apparently. how wrong they were.

sd, thanks for the Oankali overview — did a little research. - (great review by C. Douglas Baker) (interview with Butler)
geo (photos)

black science-fiction writers. hmm. what a narrative. hate to think we have to resort to bioengineering better humans. i'm for better narratives (really like that idea). how do you suggest obtaining the "pragmatically revelant" from the Oankali, Nick?

Posted by: northanger at August 15, 2005 05:29 AM



ohnehin = any, either every way, a given (a word placed where it was to emphasize the next: natural in turn positioned to adverbalize segregation)

...out of the question applies to the possesive patriarchal conditions that jealously turn women down and out on the scale from respect paid (as in obeyed) to tradable cattle to hasten 'growth' of deserts. The (death ((for others as pleasure for me))) drive will not be denied however and so proof of manhood is placed(hidden) and drawn from (sought for) in explosives.

be sure to read the sequence right (proper at url) ... ' tune out and obstruct' .. . . . . previous comment .. . . 'voices'. . .etcetera

Posted by: mishfan at August 15, 2005 01:33 PM



northanger, the aim of the Oankali is not to biologically engineer better humans - that is something they cannot help doing - but to combine Oankali DNA with that of other species. This is how the Oankali are defined as a species, whereas humans, terrified by difference, jealously guard their DNA. [Anyway, this all spoils the book - you need to erase sections of this post from your memory and enjoy the ride.]

One of the other interesting things about the Oankali is that they refuse humans access to any of their memes apart from spoken language. They impose meme amnesia and enhance bio-memory. The Oankali actually had to reactivate spoken langauge in order to communicate with humans - left to themsleves, they prefer to communicate through chemistry and language that seems to closely approximate to mentalese. [erase - awful spoiler]

Posted by: sd at August 15, 2005 02:21 PM



sd - as long as you don't tell me how the latest harry potter ends we'll be fine ;).

"aim of the Oankali is not to biologically engineer better humans - that is something they cannot help doing - but to combine Oankali DNA with that of other species."

thanks for clarification. however, since Oankali intervention unlikely i was trying to determine "alternative evolutionary lineage" as Nick suggests. Oankali intervention provides an alternative evolutionary lineage by bioengineering DNA. so we engineer better humans (using "we" very lightly).

attempting to converge Oankali mentalese with mishfan's "tune out and obstruct voices".

are you familiar with Anne McCaffrey's Pern series? bonding between dragons & humans? dragons "impressed" at birth during a Hatching. impression creates telepathic link between dragon & human. flying dragon + human combo fight parasitical incursion called Thread. dragon + human symbiosis less intrusive than Oankali engineering & beneficial for both.

Posted by: northanger at August 15, 2005 09:29 PM



northanger - my ref. to "alternative evolutionary lineages" was aimed at certain technical and economic systems - trending strongly to 'artificial intelligence' - with the rappidly condensing potential to cut into (bio)genetic lineages from the outside

Posted by: Nick at August 16, 2005 12:37 AM



(so far extremely) germinal 'alternative evolutionary lineages' already exist among cultured (and incised) organisms in biotechnology labs

sd's example of stem cells also highly pertinent

DNA computing technology promises to make a further contribution, in part by assembling exact information processing interfaces - unprecedented communications links - with (bio)replicator chemistry

Posted by: Nick at August 16, 2005 12:48 AM




Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 12:48 AM



sorry! oops was for the first thingy.

{manly voice: time slippage}

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 12:50 AM
Astrochicken, Dyson explained, is a one-kilogram spacecraft that is unlike any other. Astrochicken would be a creation of the intersection of biology, artificial intelligence and modern microelectronics—a symbiosis of plant and animal and electronic components. Astrochicken will be launched by a conventional spacecraft into space at which point it is akin to the egg being laid into space. Astrochicken would then hatch and start growing a solar energy collector. The solar collector would feed an ion drive engine that will power the craft. Once the Astrochicken enters a planet's vicinity, say Uranus, it will feed on the moons and rings of the planet taking in necessary nutrients. It can land and take off using an auxiliary chemical rocket similar to that used by bombardier beetles. Now and then when it is in radio contact with Earth the chicken can call home and transmit details of its journey.

The term "astrochicken" does not occur in Dyson's earliest essays regarding Neumann-inspired automata. When Dyson was giving a lecture in Adelaide, Australia on the subject of space exploration with biotechnology, an audience member called out "Oh you mean this is an astro-chicken." The whimsical name caught on, and Dyson began to use it himself in subsequent essays he wrote on his theoretical biotechnology spacecraft.

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 03:18 AM




Posted by: nick at August 16, 2005 04:00 AM



"DNA computing technology promises to make a further contribution, in part by assembling exact information processing interfaces - unprecedented communications links - with (bio)replicator chemistry"

are you referring to nanotechnology & self-replicating systems? (i'm new to this & need help locating your headspace). didn't know this: bacteria considered "nanotechnological self-replicating assemblers" & can be reprogrammed by genetic engineering. rapid prototyping also considered a replicator (manufacturing its own component parts) reminds me (since i worked on a RAD team) of rapid application development, which also uses prototyping & iterations (timeboxes). another form of agile software development: extreme programming (XP) — you may be interested in the Agile Manifesto: "We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value ...&etc".

on another thread sd says: "A Thousand Plateaus very rarely draws attention to what it is doing. It does what it describes." Dread has problems with this. moral objections to capitalism (sd), changing focus of attention from capitalism to moralism (nick) & "enlivening and nurturing unmolested envionments" (mishfan). risking scrunching things a bit here, thought this post on Belief as Basic interesting concerning formalized systems.

+Don't you think the whole idea of formalizing a theory of knowledge and belief in God as part of that formal system is necessarily an exercise in reductionism?

+The proposition of a basic in epistemology is similar to the proposition of a tautology in logic. In such formal systems (or systems that strive for formalization), we understand that making assumptions is a two edge sword. Assumptions both endow and delimit the explanatory power of any formal system. Simply speaking, the fewer the assumptions, the better, and assumptions should never be made unless out of sheer necessity. For instance, in logic, we are helpless to articulate WHY the proposition, "-(A & -A)" is true. We can't conceive of the alternative.

+A naturalist worldview doesn't reject God-belief as basic out of hand. It's not a presupposition of naturalism that there is no God or that God-belief is not basic, if it were, then natural philosophy could not be used to argue against the existence of God. Simply put, I think the link between atheism and naturalism is more along the lines that the proposition of God, or in this case, God-belief is an unnecessary complication that doesn't clearify unknowns.

+When we formalize, we question absolutely everything at the bottom relentlessly. The question is not one of how we justify turning away from the wisdom of the day, but how we justify each and every hypothetical basic as necessary in talking about things that we claim to know.

+Before we posit the divine sense, wouldn't it be better to try and work within the other basics already established first to come up with an answer? ... The divine sense merely becomes a black box; another way of saying, we have hit rock bottom, that's how it is, and there is no further explanation ... And the real problem I have with the belief that morality is a function of this divine sense, is that as a black box explanation which simply says, "that's the way it is", we cease to investigate the matter further.

i myself like the idea of a one-gecko-toe approach to things.

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 04:29 AM



link for quotes above from "Belief as Basic"

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 04:33 AM



thought this highly referenced von Neumann quote worth posting here:

"By axiomatizing automata in this manner one has thrown half the problem out the window, and it may be the more important half. One has resigned oneself not to explain how these parts are made up of real things, specifically, how these parts are made up of actual elementary particles, or even of higher chemical molecules. One does not ask the most intriguing, exciting, and important question of why the molecules or aggregates which in nature really occur in these parts are the sort of things they are, why they are essentially very large molecules in some cases but large aggregates in other cases, why they always lie in a range beginning at a few microns and ending at a few decimeter. This is a very peculiar range for an elementary object, since it is, even on a linear scale, at least five powers of ten away from the sizes of really elementary entities." ("Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata", J. von Neumann, 1966, p. 77)

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 05:04 AM



quotes i posted part of discussion concerning Plantinga's argument that belief in God is rational & the 'basicality of theistic belief'. while exploring his thought a little i came across the term 'warrant' (theory of justification) & what he thought of as "the real intellectual danger in Darwin's dangerous idea." in "Darwin, Mind and Meaning" Plantinga argues against Daniel Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" contrasting Dennett & Richard Dawkins' contention that rejecting evolution is "inexcusably ignorant" (Dawkins' = choice between ignorance, stupidity or insanity; Dennett = no options, evolutionary skeptics are all three).
theory of justification studies the epistemic features of belief. "we are within our rights" in holding justified beliefs. justified beliefs are not political or moral but intellectual. we are responsible (& obligated) for what we believe & we do not believe just anything. (see interesting IFF "if and only if" discussion & Plantinga's Axiom S5). if a belief is justified there is something that justifies it (called a justifier). a justifier can be another belief that must also be justified. if not, the justifying belief is totally unjustified.

think this has bearings ("loose marbles in the hand" sense) on the following considerations: moralism, meme production, critique, etc.

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 07:18 AM



ps. theory of justification, imho, extremely useful hyperstitional engineering feature. (hope that makes sense)

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 07:36 AM



"superb" - had a hard time understanding your last few comments so i threw astrochicken up in the air to see what you'd say ;). thanks for confirmation. no longer confused. btw, asteroid #32770 Starchick probably not named after astrochicken, but it'll do.

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 07:40 AM



"a one-gecko-toe approach to things" ???

Posted by: nick at August 16, 2005 07:40 AM



re: stem cells

Current stem cell application restores abilities and repairs damage:


they also feedback on neuroscience (please not the involvement of chickens northanger):

"In January 2005, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison differentiated human blastocyst stem cells into neural stem cells, then into the beginnings of motor neurons, and finally into spinal motor neuron cells, the cell type that, in the human body, transmits messages from the brain to the spinal cord. The newly generated motor neurons exhibited electrical activity, the signature action of neurons. Lead researcher Su-Chun Zhang described the process as "you need to teach the blastocyst stem cells to change step by step, where each step has different conditions and a strict window of time."

Transforming blastocyst stem cells into motor neurons had eluded researchers for decades. The next step will be to test if the newly generated neurons can communicate with other cells when transplanted into a living animal; the first test will be in chicken embryos. Su-Chun said their trial-and-error study helped them learn how motor neuron cells, which are key to the nervous system, develop in the first place."

Stem cells are full of a pure, primordial potential that our nervous system seems to prevent us from accessing. One obvious application is that they will be used in attempts to combat the ageing program which is written into our genes.

BBC Horizon programme from 1999 'Life & Death in the 21st Century':
// (summary and transcript)

"Scientists in one lab have stumbled upon a remarkable discovery that suggests we may have hidden deep in our bodies a primordial and bizarre power of self-regeneration. It was unearthed during an experiment using mice specially bred without part of their immune system. As part of normal lab procedure the mice had holes punched in their ears to identify them.

DR ELLEN HEBER-KATZ (Wistar Institute, Philadelphia): We were doing an experiment and my laboratory assistant went upstairs to ear punch the mice and 3 weeks later I went to see how the experiment was doing and when I looked in the cage I was horrified to see that the mice were there, but the ear, the ear holes were not.

NARRATOR: When Dr. Heber-Katz examined the mice she found that the holes had not just closed up, the ears had rebuilt themselves. Instead of normal scar tissue, the mice’s cells had magically recreated cartilage, skin and blood vessels, something no mammal can normally do. These mice must have had some mysterious power of regeneration.

ELLEN HEBER-KATZ: Here it is. You can see that there’s no scarring whatsoever, you see blood vessels running through and it looks absolutely normal. It, it just has, the hole has absolutely disappeared. We were shocked that this was occurring and it was something that we had never seen before and we thought that this animal must have some incredible ability to heal wounds.

NARRATOR: There are creatures on this planet with this bizarre ability. When amphibians like salamanders and newts are damaged they can regenerate, grow back tails or arms or legs. Their cells are programmed to re-grow their body parts. It is a primitive, evolutionary ability that has been lost in mammals. Astonishingly, these unique mice seemed to have rediscovered this power of regeneration. They could re-grow new tissue too."
Repair is fine, but the real question will be whether stem cells are a gateway to biolibertarian mutation.

The Bush Administration's limitation of federal stem cell funding to existing stem cell lines has meant that the US is now far behind research in China, Singapore, Korea and the UK. This is an example of a faith meme infecting secular policy making with its fuzzy, reactive thinking.

There was an excellent article on this in last month's National Geographic. Unfortunately this - - is just a teaser introduction.

"According to recent polls, 76 percent of Americans believe in the biblical account of creation, 79 percent believe that the miracles in the Bible actually took place, 76 percent believe in angels and other immaterial souls, 67 percent believe they will exist in some form after their death, and only 15 percent believe that Darwin's theory of evolution is the best explanation for the origin of human life on Earth." (preface to The Blank Slate)

And what is Islam's line on stem cells?

Belief does interfere with the naturalist approach. Brains are still stuffed with patent absurdities.

Posted by: sd at August 16, 2005 08:00 AM



oops. "please note", rather than please not...

Posted by: sd at August 16, 2005 08:01 AM



excellently helpful bioliberation post, sd. political icons in near bioliberation future may include self-regenerating mice & motoring chickens.

"Belief does interfere with the naturalist approach" - why i think "theory of justification" important when engineering memes, hyperstition & such like. maybe possible way of circumventing this? i dunno.

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 08:44 AM



one-gecko-toe approach — imagine standing gecko with twirling basketball on finger.

but seriously. gecko toe pads have hairy bristles called setae (important feature in asteraceae (star-shaped) or sunflower family of flowers, earthworms & krill) allowing vertical gecko cling. related to nanotechnology & Van der Waals force: nanoscience studies nanoscale phenomena — "surface effects such as Van der Waals force attraction, hydrogen bonding, electronic charge, ionic bonding, covalent bonding, hydrophobicity, hydrophilicity, and quantum mechanical tunneling, to the virtual exclusion of macro-scale effects such as turbulence and inertia". Van der Waals force related to intermolecular forces due to polarization (see dipoles; van der Waals London force). VDW = dispersion force, "unlike charges attract and the induced dipoles are held together by dispersion force (or Van der Waals force)". VDW force explains how gecko's climb & ability to cling to glass by the setae of one toe (& why Jupiter's Red Spot doesn't dissipate, think i read that someplace). working on applications (see new scientist) with possible use on space stations.

one-gecko-toe approach means all other toes free to grab something new.

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 09:21 AM



patent absurdities are wonderful things that give you a, um, toehold on something.

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 09:24 AM



been meaning to do post on black box/white box testing. have a look, nick:

btw, RAD timeboxes delimits idea thread exploration. programming objective hits milestone, oh, like every hour. ie, five seconds to explore idea A ... &etc. explore many ideas & build prototype. what works, doesn't work. keep/discard. do it again.

no need to restructure NASA management style to build & launch astrochicken.

maybe helpful exploring hyperstitional distinction between philosophy minds & engineering minds.

Posted by: northanger at August 16, 2005 09:35 AM



I define biomutation not, unlike Nick, as subcutaneocultivation (great to put effort into prettying up all sorts of life but I question whether the most useful utensil for that is the knife (and/or DNA gun). Sure, civilization is shaped at knife- and gunpoint, I am not going to deny the role of penetration but most punctures (other than those one uses the old teeth for 'help' leach and leak away vitality in service to socioparasitism), ultimately (re)arrange conditions for cuteness maintenance so they subside below par (in the weakly virulent long run of wave after wave of demografixfucks who think themselves well foxy, iow, semitico-influence, we (chainofbe-ers) sink and drown untold living deaths and morph unrecognizably if we survive the onslaught of monomani(a((r))chaism at all), add to that the concomitant, no less deadly, disfiguring and dumbing effects of the simple trowel (toted in tandem with the other metals, all able to simulate desert conditions and raise social stratification standards skyhigh) and I can only conclude the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of condemning the operational procedural and whateverelseyamacall biomutationality plain to see and hard to escape already. How much longer do we need o throw up walls of defense to protect offensive storages; amass, concentrate and escalate alphadom, reek and urbanity????

Pleachy permaculture is the way to go.

Posted by: piet at August 16, 2005 11:13 AM



funny funny hyperstitches ha .. .. today page 4 free dutch paper shows an owl with a big red L around his neck about ready to land right in front of the camera with the nether parts of warwick castle ruins in the background below; unsaid implications: we safely save threatened / injured parts of nature and rehabilitate, not us, nature itself is learning to be itself (again/some more from us so let us mess with it some more already).

Posted by: piet at August 16, 2005 01:41 PM



pdf of whole edition

Posted by: pdf via piet at August 16, 2005 01:53 PM



stars invent genepools cause they need them .. . .with that line the video footage breaks off; it's been awhile, Dan hasn't changed

Posted by: sepstrummer at August 16, 2005 10:58 PM



piet - why are we looking at a Dutch train? (ever so slightly off-topic, perhaps?)

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 03:31 AM



what slightly off topic dutch train?

Posted by: northanger at August 18, 2005 03:58 AM



must be the floating one that's floating around; probably in Metro .. .. .dunno what the story is exactly

Posted by: piet at August 18, 2005 04:18 AM



so. .. it was the derailment at central station amsterdam (talk about in your face construction work) on the front page but in the last few days there was a train on a small barge/float of the type they fill with 'bagger' (derogatory word for one of the once very finest substances in the whole wide world (slib, slop, river bottom; muck don't fare any better); it will pendel between central station and one of the 'islands' they have started to (re)colonize, it's called Java island. .. .trivial bla but as long as we have northanger on board I am not shy. .. .. .

in a library I saw a children's poster of the solar system and they had damn well 'peopled' it with all sorts of cartoon characters; space explorers are having entirely too much fun, just like erstwhile colonizers (partly degenerated to colontourist); don't let the worst of dutch venturesumness lead you astray yet again. Don't matter either way as long as America has us in inescapable tow.

My company Punchline Pioneering has taken out a very special patent on the large lump of . .. no not labor (that's a phallusee according to the sandwichman), on the levitatious lightfood (feed the light) languishing in most spaceless of spaces; pulling some space down to earth is the way to keep up with any goddamn demographic speed you care to choose and choose to care for (as long as it gets us to swell with willful pride to powder .. .Ho, I have said.

Posted by: piet at August 18, 2005 05:40 PM



oops, not quite .. . .

.. . . pulling some space down to earth is the way to keep up with any goddamn demographic speed you care to choose and choose to care for.

If these counter currents (when choices aren't real((ly .. . .)) choice) can be caused to cascade rather than clash and crash (permapleachalbe rock sprout sport anybody?) we'll soon swell with willful spillfoolproof pride to powder .. .Ho, I have said.

Posted by: piet at August 18, 2005 05:55 PM



... now all it comes out!!! (no wonder you were hiding this terrible secret so carefully)

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 05:55 PM



'bagger' - and you expect us to believe that?

Posted by: Nick at August 18, 2005 05:57 PM



Parasitic invasion credited with evolution of sex

Posted by: sd at August 20, 2005 12:44 AM



US robot builds copies of itself

Posted by: sd at August 20, 2005 01:27 AM



wow, measurable recursion then, in your face, your fizz phazszes out fast; game over for us; maybe we can make Dan commander over a fleet of them and send him to fight the ones that are already on the dark side of the moon with them.

Oh my Darwin, this item is going quite radical don't yall agree?

Posted by: pietje sputter at August 21, 2005 12:16 PM



Hate the NYT obviously - but this is OT:

Intelligent Design / Discovery Institute - DI / ID = 31 - creepily excellent qabbalistics

Posted by: Nick at August 21, 2005 12:41 PM



From above, how's this for a conception from hell:
"the institutional love child of Ayn Rand and Jerry Falwell"
What the %$#@ does that mean?

Posted by: Nick at August 21, 2005 12:53 PM



>>creepily excellent qabbalistics

Posted by: northanger at August 22, 2005 03:13 AM



nick. didn't have time to run this one down. ever heard of 144 = WISTAR = GOG-MAGOG? bumped into this the other day:

Posted by: northanger at August 22, 2005 03:28 AM



Splifford FAQ

Posted by: northanger at August 22, 2005 03:57 AM



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