Inventing the Future

Inventing the Future: Prologue

I started a new job yesterday. My job is to help invent the future.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Homeland Security and the Rubik's Cube

While busier than I could have imagined, I just have to share this.

According to the Daily Oregonian, the Department of Homeland Security is now keeping us safe from Rubik’s Cube Knock-Offs. What next threat to our national security will they foil? Perhaps they will save us from those counterfeit “Garfield” dolls with suction cups? (Does anyone even _buy_ Rubik’s Cubes anymore?)

Stay tuned . . .

Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory | Tagged , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

General Exception

Better pets through Science!

Allergic to cats but still want one? You could medicate yourself constantly or, through the miracle of bioengineering, get in line to buy a hypo-allergenic cat. The marketers over at Allerca call it a “lifestyle pet.” Um… ok, I guess that’s a better term than Frankenpet…

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My Thoughts Exactly

Sinclair-Pappas-FCC-FEC- Paging Harold Feld!

I know Harold has just posted that he expect to be swamped until after election day, but I, for one, am very anxious to hear a Sausage Factory opinion on all the Sinclair Broadcasting fiasco, the Pappas

story, and other issues related to the public airwaves, media consolidation, and democracy.

We know you’re busy, Harold, and we’ll all wait if we have to. But this is just to let you know that there are at least a few of us out here who really do look to Sausage Factory to help us make sense of this confusing, and scary, nexus.

Posted in General, My Thoughts Exactly | Tagged , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Your vote and more Buffy

Sorry I’ve been absent so long, and unlikely to have time for any real lengthy stuff until after election day. But my friend Carol passed this on to me and I need to share.

Nothing new here for anyone who has read my previous stuff, but I’m pleased to see Joss Whedon selling it.

Stay tuned . . . .

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General Exception

Living rat brain in a jar controls flight simulator

Well, this one is just…. out there. Researchers at the Univeristy of Florida managed to grow neurons from a rat’s brain in a jar, and have it control a flight simulator.

It appears the primary goal of the research was to determine how the brain processes information. So, this really isn’t a mad scientist trying to create a race of rat-brained killer robots. At least, not yet.

(Link lifted from BoingBoing.)

Posted in General Exception, Wetware | Tagged | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Wetware and Hard Science

Creating reality

I’ve always been interested in the “fake it to make it” credo, which is pretending that you are something until you become that thing.

Fiction writers contiually create realities that exist on paper until someone later makes it real (like Heinlein’s waldos). When governments create realities, then what? Cyberpunk author William Gibson has begun to blog again. In a post Sun, Oct. 17, he quotes an article from the New York Times Magazine by Ron Suskind.

In the quoted section, Suskind recounts a conversation with an unnamed senior advisor to Bush.

‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.’

That level of arrogance, of certainty, scares the heck out of me.

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Posted in I Fear These Things, Wetware and Hard Science | Tagged , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Wetware and Hard Science

quantum theory and relativity finally wed

“Is causality an inherent and necessary characteristic of the Universe, or just an illusion produced by the way our brains interpret the world?”

That’s the opening line of an article in Nature news titled How to Build the Universe

After a long estrangment, quantum views of small-scale interactions and relativistic views of large-scale interaction have been married to reveal how quantum mechanics brings about the fuzzy, four-dimentional universe in which we live.

Posted in General, Wetware and Hard Science | Tagged | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

General Exception

FDA approves RFID chips for human implantation

Oh boy! The FDA has approved the same RFID technology that is used to identify pets for human implantation. This particular take on the technology over at Ars Technica is a bit off the mark, though… all an RFID does is broadcast an ID number. It’s up to whoever is doing the scanning to figure out what that ID number is for, and what database the ID number is a key to. It wouldn’t give someone a copy of your medical records unless they could look up any and all medical records in the first place. And if they can do that, they can probably look up your medical or financial records without the RFID ID number anyhow.

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Posted in General Exception, I Fear These Things | Tagged , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

More FCC/Broadband nonsense

I hope that Harold will be weighing in with a “Sausage Factory” opinion on this, but in the meantime, here’s a discussion at DKOS.

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Tagged | 2 Comments (Comments closed)
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