October 31, 2005

Homo Sapiens Ludditus, Homo Cyberneticus, Homo Hybridus, and Homo Machinus

This article written ten years ago by Pearson, Winter and Cochrane at BT Labs should fit nicely into recent discussions of the Singularity.

"Many people will dissociate themselves from genetic manipulation or cybernetic technology. These people will remain as conventional Homo Sapiens (we will rename them Homo ludditus for obvious reasons). They would at best have to co-exist with these other human offshoots, who would dwarf them mentally and physically ...

As computers become more powerful they will take over, first driving their own technological developments through automated design and self-evolving programs, and then in other fields. Once free of carbon, or aided directly by silicon, the whole pace and nature of evolution will change ...

... The question is; can we overcome our mental stasis through a symbiosis with machines, or will we go down fighting and be wiped out?"

October 30, 2005

Charismatic Megakillers

The last line of this travel report from North Korea is quite literally the killer.
Is this the face of 'intuitive politics' (modernized hardwired monkey nightmare), or something else?

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at 09:56 AM | On-topic (4) | TrackBack

October 29, 2005

Trolls Will Die

With Reza away and his liberal influence suspended a new shoot-to-kill troll policy is coming in.
Anyone posting comments without positive content (that's to say, depositing vacuous snark of the "it's called critique variety") under false names will just be eliminated. It would be nice to be Buddhistic enough not to be irritated by trolling, but I'm afraid that's not the case.
If this blog and its productive contributors annoy you, moan about it somewhere else.
Anyone with a positive point or argument to make - however controversial or provocative - is of course welcome here and always will be.

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at 11:15 AM | On-topic (20) | TrackBack

October 27, 2005

That Apocalyptic Feeling

It's all getting a bit too much for Peggy Noonan.

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at 11:44 AM | On-topic (4) | TrackBack

Molecular Migration

Ronald Bailey catches a glimpse beyond the carbon barrier.

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at 02:58 AM | On-topic (4) | TrackBack

October 18, 2005

Singularity Monitoring

Still hooked on TCS, where Arnold Kling in a typically insightful piece suggests tracking the Singularity curve through ascending productivity figures in relevant economies (principally the USA). This makes a lot of sense and makes the whole topic dramatically empirical. If it cashes out as a forecast, the next few years should be extremely spectacular.

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at 11:59 AM | On-topic (58) | TrackBack

October 11, 2005

It just keeps coming

Spectacular pack-kill at Techcentralstation where Douglas Kern's spirited (but deeply confused) case for ID gets sliced, diced, and shredded by Sallie Baliunas, Robert McHenry, and Max Borders.

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at 11:42 PM | On-topic (71) | TrackBack

October 09, 2005

The Next Big Thing?

Hyperstitional fanatics might argue that taking the spread of H5N1 strain avian influenza as a topic was irresponsible in the extreme, but it seems to cross various lines of interest and it's beginning to blot out chunks of the future.

Bird Flu arrives in Europe.

CDC Bird Flu page.

Nature's Bird Flu archive.

(Should be enough here to give us something to panic about until reaching agreement on the next discussion topic)

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at 08:20 AM | On-topic (52) | TrackBack

October 01, 2005

Signing Up

A famous hypothesis, outlined by Benjamin Whorf (1956), asserts that the categories and relations that we use to understand the world come from our particular language, so that speakers of different languages conceptualize the world in different ways. Language acquisition, then, would be learning to think, not just learning to talk.

This is an intriguing hypothesis, but virtually all modern cognitive scientists believe it is false ...

- Steven Pinker, Language Acquisition

Lesson 1: Never trust a pomonaut
Lesson 2: ... ?

[Consider this a warm up for the HLC]

Posted by CCRU-Shanghai at 01:51 PM | On-topic (125) | TrackBack