Nerf John Wick

John Wick with Nerf guns

#Video

Thu, Mar 23rd, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Corridor Digital has this action-packed video featuring a John Wick-like character, shooting it out with... Nerf guns. Really well done.

When the price on an assassin's head goes up each time he kills, it's Nerf or nothing.

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"This very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age."

The first collapse of globalised civilisation

#History

Wed, Mar 22nd, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this video, Dr. Eric H. Cline of The George Washington University examines the rise and fall of the Bronze Age — an era defined as a "complex cosmopolitan and globalized world-system" — and compares that to our current time in history. The lecture is explained in laymen terms, allowing those not in the know to follow along.

From about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex cosmopolitan and globalized world-system. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, the civilized and international world of the Mediterranean regions came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. Large empires and small kingdoms collapsed rapidly. With…

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"Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40."

Drugs and virtual reality

#Future

Tue, Mar 21st, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With robots coming and government being warned about the rise in unemployment resulting from it, Yuval Noah Harari of TED wonders what to do with the unworking class, workers made redundant by the AI revolution.

Since we do not know how the job market would look in 2030 or 2040, today we have no idea what to teach our kids. Most of what they currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40. Traditionally, life has been divided into two main parts: a period of learning, followed by a period of working. Very soon this traditional model will become utterly obsolete, and the only way for humans to stay in the game will be to keep learning throughout their lives and to reinvent themselves repeatedly. Many, if not most, humans may be unable to do so.

The coming technological bonanza will…

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“There was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control [...] was absent too.”

World not ready for mass unemployed caused by automation

#Workplace

Mon, Mar 20th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Guardian's Greg Jericho asks what will happen when automation raises mass unemployment to 20%. Albeit he presents various options as to what could be done to deal with it, he notes that by not tackling this issue we can expect to see "massive gaps in inequality and a pretty horrific change in the look of our society." In comparison, the 2008 market crash reached a plateau of 10% unemployment.

While watching the latest X-Men movie, Logan, one scene that particularly stood out for me was when the characters drove along a highway featuring driverless trucks. The trucks have no cabins and are essentially just containers on wheels. It was a particularly soulless vision of the future, in which there was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control of say steering wheels or windscreen wipers, was absent too.

The path of automation is…

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Loneliness is Not an Old Friend

To precious Isabella.

#Depression

Sun, Mar 19th, 2017 11:00 by Curtis M. Carlson ARTICLE

Loneliness is not an old friend like depression.

Depression is the old friend who you know will never forget to stop in and visit.

Loneliness is the piece of gravel that the truck kicks up and bounces off the windshield of the car you drive. Maybe a chip maybe a crack hardly worth getting fixed.

At the time it was a shot in the dark, moving too quickly and only in immediate retrospect do you realize it's insignificance.

At the time it made your heart stop it made you swerve wildly or slam down the break pedal; as if one could avoid what has already passed.

It embarrasses you in front of yourself. Mocking you, taunting you to act or feel differently than you did the moment it happened. Tempting you to believe that you could have done otherwise.…

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“You can make spaceships much bigger than anything we’ve seen so far in history.”

Mission to Psyche has been cancelled

#Space

Sat, Mar 18th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With the proposed 2018 U.S. budget cancelling the Asteroid Redirect Mission, NASA will no longer be going to Psyche, an asteroid believed to be the core of a planet, worth $10 quintillions in metal. It takes 1 million trillions to make one quintillion, sporting 18 zeros.

While there were those in the scientific community who potentially wanted to put it into orbit around the Earth or the Moon, many others were worried about the absolute collapse in commodity prices that would have occurred if it were suddenly easy to get all the iron and nickel we’d need for centuries. That would have been at least a few decades away, but it appears as though it just got a couple of extra decades added on to that timeline.

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“It's unbelievable how much energy is released.”

Physicist converting old nuclear test explosion films to digital before they decompose

#Data

Fri, Mar 17th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory brings to attention the work being done by weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and his team, who are uploading films of nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962 on YouTube. Because the film is made of organic material, the researchers hope to find all the films and convert them before they decompose.

"You can smell vinegar when you open the cans, which is one of the byproducts of the decomposition process of these films," Spriggs said. "We know that these films are on the brink of decomposing to the point where they'll become useless. The data that we're collecting now must be preserved in a digital form because no matter how well you treat the films, no matter how well you preserve or store them, they will decompose. They're made out of organic material, and organic material…

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“One of the major concerns with asteroid mining is, of course, getting to the asteroids.”

We could be mining asteroids within the next decade

#Space

Thu, Mar 16th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Noting that the future of humanity — and colonising the solar system — will depend on mining asteroids, this article on Futurism explains what governments and private companies are doing in order to make this a reality. Above, a video by Isaac Arthur explaining space elevators.

As Planetary Resources CEO Chris Lewicki asserts, “Whether it’s the air we breathe, the water we drink, the materials that we build things with, or ultimately, of course, the food that we eat…all of these things are available to us on this planet, but when we head into space, we have to bring all of it with us. That of course, isn’t very scalable.” And to that end, NASA states that, in the 21st century, space exploration will be reliant upon what we can mine in the cosmos: “The metals and minerals found on…

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“That glazed-over look a grandma has at a Vegas slot machine is the same look Facebook chases in its users scrolling the feed.”

Facebook a threat to free society

#Privacy

Wed, Mar 15th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

By examining how Facebook manipulates its users for financial gain, TruthHawk argues how the social media giant is "a structural threat to free society". Because Facebook is a "centralization of private data, power, and influence," even if Mark Zuckerberg proves to be a saint, it could become "the most powerful tool for political power and manipulation in history" for whoever gains control of it.

Take a hypothetical Facebook user, Jimmy. Jimmy tends to scroll Facebook on his phone for 5 minutes, then close the app. Facebook knows that Jimmy likes posts from his friend Steve, because he tends to leave positive comments on them. Next time Jimmy reaches the 5-minute mark, Facebook shows him a post from Steve. Jimmy leaves a comment, scrolls for a bit longer, then quits the app at the 8-minute mark. Facebook also knows that Jimmy is crushing on Jenny – he tends…

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“The use of AI assistants may dramatically accelerate and broaden what might be looked back on as a global period of cognitive decline.”

AI will first make us dumb, then easy to manipulate

#Future

Tue, Mar 14th, 2017 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Noting how, since the advent of the smartphone, we have already lost the ability to remember phone numbers or navigate without GPS, ForwardLook worries that AI assistants will turn us into imbeciles, incapable of making our own choices without first asking for their advice. Worse, citing profits as the only decision maker behind the companies making these algorithms, they will make us easy to manipulate once we can't function without them.

While the issue of the arrival of such transformative technology is a sensitive one, it is likely that profit will be the only determinant in deciding which approach dominates. This was true for social networks, internet aggregators, digital maps and instant messenger services.

With that in mind, it might be that AI assistants that deliberately engineer the dependence and short-term gratification of their users will be the version that we ultimately live with.

In this way humans…

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Feb 12"Robots with legs can go a lot of places that wheels cannot.” #Robots
Feb 14"Renewable are no longer ‘alternative.’ Rather, fossil fuels are increasingly ‘legacy.’" #Future
Feb 17Leningrad's “Kolschik” #Music
Feb 13"It could help usher in a new cycle-centric transport paradigm across the country.” #Travel
Feb 18"It's the equivalent of being able to see a grapefruit on the surface of the Moon." #Space
Feb 20“Mark Zuckerberg's manifesto [...] is a scary, dystopian document.” #Internet
Feb 24"Would we be forced, one day, to give machines rights?" #Robots
Feb 15“A new material that is capable of turning different types of energy into electricity.” #Technology
Feb 22“It will be very disruptive and very quick.” #Robots
Mar 01“Think 'Terminator riding on a hoverboard' and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the impression Handle gives off.” #Robots
Feb 23Documentary on Toronto's Subway at the End of the Service Day #Travel
Feb 21“The cost of carbon fibre could drop, dramatically and be seen in far more applications.” #Technology
Mar 21"Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40."
Mar 22"This very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age."
Mar 23Nerf John Wick
Mar 20“There was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control [...] was absent too.”
Apr 01Top 10 Reasons Men Are Scum
Mar 14“The use of AI assistants may dramatically accelerate and broaden what might be looked back on as a global period of cognitive decline.”
Mar 15“That glazed-over look a grandma has at a Vegas slot machine is the same look Facebook chases in its users scrolling the feed.”
Mar 19Loneliness is Not an Old Friend
Mar 18“You can make spaceships much bigger than anything we’ve seen so far in history.”
Mar 16“One of the major concerns with asteroid mining is, of course, getting to the asteroids.”
Mar 13“It was weeks later that she was at a party and realized she'd been texting with her dead friend's bot for 30 minutes.”
Mar 17“It's unbelievable how much energy is released.”