March 23, 2008
Cartoon: Pup Thinks Too Much?
This is great -- Pup Ponders the Heat Death of the Universe -- is a side-scrolling cartoon, illustratiing a view of the 'verse kind of like the Powers of Ten, but teh funny. Well, it's funny in a way that I like, with a carpe diem message and all that. Pup is a philosophical dog, the creation of Drew Weing, a talented artist from Georgia. Great stuff this. I wish there was more like this.
March 19, 2008
How Did We Get Here?
Remember the lyric of that great Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime, which asks, "How did I get here?" That's a great question for this blog; it's been asked down the centuries, of course. Now modern astronomers have begun to answer in greater and greater detail. The History Channel delivers a superb video about the formation of the universe.
So much time has passed since last I wrote here. I intend to restart Taking the Long View, with new content, some new design, and new perspective on what this blog can do. I'm also going to start a couple other blogs related to this topic and to other writing. I hope that my new found enthusiasm can sustain itself. Perhaps it can. But I'm all for taking the long view of things; in that view of things, my years-long hiatus is hardly a blip, on a cosmic scale.
I try to keep that in mind every day.
So now on to new entries, new categories, and new dialogue, for I'm interested in getting comments. If you are reading this site for the first time, drop me a note, if something I write or link to is of interest.
Now may this blog flourish and grow.
September 21, 2006
Life goes on
Over a year? I have neglected the blog for over a year?
And now so much has happened in the last few weeks, that I feel compelled to write again.
Life has been "interesting" I suppose. In August, just as we were planning to head out on vacation, Katie went to the doctor. She hadn't felt right for a couple of weeks, and when they discovered a growth, the doctor wanted a CAT scan. This was Thursday, August 17th. We canceled our week at the cabin, saw the surgeon on Monday, and scheduled surgery on that Thursday. They were able to get out most of the growth, on her ovary, and much else; and she is now recovering at home.
Katie's doctors diagnosed her as having an adenocarcinoma of the appendix. This is fairly rare, fairly mild as cancer's go, though by no means something she could live with inside her. Her cancer was discovered at stage one, and becasue it started in her appendix, they are calling it low-grade.
Unfortunately, they only got between 95-99% of the cells in the first operation. I suppose it is good that they got so much of it, but the remaining cells can still regrow and spread.
So now we are looking at another operation, on October 2nd, during which they will both remove any remaining visible growths, and apply heated chemotherapy directly to her abdominal cavity and organs. It is supposed to be a very effective method of chemo, though not without side affects.
I'll keep writing this later.
June 2, 2005
Too many things
I've just been very busy. Thanks for the comments, those of you who have been sending them. If you have other sites you think would be useful here, please send me them via comments.
I hope to have more time soon to enter some more things, and get back into the habit of posting.
March 14, 2005
More Than Human Blog
More Than Human by Ramez Naam
Naam's recently published book More Than Human is a chronicle and prediction of current research and production of biotech and nantech investigations and treatments. His thesis is that not only are these inevitable developments, but they are necessary to human survival.
I haven't read his work yet, but would add that my own ideas see transhumanism as inevitable and already in motion. Not only that, I'm certain that we will look back on this time as the dawn of a golden age, in which individual humans take over their own random genetic development and apply thought and consideration to fate's previously haphazard process.
I've got to get this book -- it sounds wonderful.
March 7, 2005
John Dobson at MAS
On Thursday, March 3rd, I had the chance to hear a lecture by John Dobson, founder of the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers Association, and all around cantankerous cosmologist, sponsored by the Minnesota Astronomical Society. His lecture was quite a trip, and well worth driving around the MN State High School Hockey Championship crowds filling the streets of downtown St. Paul.
Dobson is 89 years old yet quite spry, and has spent most of his life helping people discover the wonders of astronomy and the night sky.
He is also a former Vedanta monk who was asked to leave his order for doing astronomy rather than the sanctioned holy work.
His "Bang Free Cosmology" refers to his contention that Big Bang theory is a complete waste of effort, while his own "theory" seems rather short of proof and long on the supernatural explanation. He's cadgy about mentioning "god" or "gods" and instead refers to the Sanskrit physicists from 4,000 years ago as being on the right track.
I wasn't convinced of much, primarily becasue his major rhetorical device was to SHOUT VERY LOUDLY when he was trying to help us break through to his version of numerous theoretical positions. Usually he just played very fast and loose with his numbers and his formulas. I'd have preferred if he had talked more about telescope building. Oh well.
Most of the Minnesota Astronomical Society membership is a bit more sophisiticated than what he seemed to imply, so I'm not sure that his theory convinced anyone.
But I wouldn't have missed seeing the telescope maker whose name graces one of the most popular telescope designs of the last 30 years. It was fun.
March 3, 2005
Hey! I'm entering this via the Clie and NetFront -- and now to see if it works.
March 2, 2005
Ray Kurzweil's KurzweilAI
KurzweilAI.net "...features the big thoughts of today's big thinkers examining the confluence of accelerating revolutions that are shaping our future world, and the inside story on new technological and social realities from the pioneers actively working in these arenas.... Although the "AI" in the title of this site suggests Ray Kurzweil's work in "artificial intelligence," it's intended here to refer to the far broader world of "accelerating intelligence" in all of its diverse forms. The quickening pace of our knowledge and intelligence will ultimately alter the nature of what it means to be human.
KurzweilAI.Net focuses on the exponential growth of intelligence, both biological and machine, and the merger of the two in a post-humanist future."
Unbounding the Future
Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution by Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson
"Nanotechnology. The science is good, the engineering is feasible, the paths of approach are many, the consequences are revolutionary-times-revolutionary, and the schedule is: in our lifetimes. But what? No one knows but what. That's why a book like this is crucial before molecular engineering and the routine transformation of matter arrives. The technology will arrive piecemeal and prominently but the consequences will arrive at a larger scale and often invisibly.
Perspective from within a bursting revolution is always a problem because the long view is obscured by compelling immediacies and the sudden traffic of people new to the subject, some seizing opportunity, some viewing with alarm. Both optimists and pessimists about new technologies are notorious for their tunnel vision."