Five links on Creationism for October 27, 2011



Vinay Gupta Tools To Not Die With: An Interview with Vinay Gupta, creator of the Hexayurt from BoingBoing. An important excerpt to take away:

Let me break that down: you take the sustainable harvest of the earth, and you take the share of that we’re allocating to humans, and then you divide by nine billion. So much carbon, so much steel, so much bamboo. It’s not quite that simple: some places are cold, other places rain a lot, but the basic framework is that we have to share the inputs the world generates nine billion ways. Right now we’re sharing them so badly that a billion of us are regularly hungry to the point where they get hunger diseases. Really that’s not OK. I know we all have our struggles, but this is not OK. So we have to fix this: design a good lifestyle which uses that amount of resources, and then adopt it.



Are you a Statist?

A what?

A “satist.”

What’s a statist?

A statist is a person who has been conditioned to believe that an organization elected (or not) can best protect you from the problems of the world.

Read the rest at Ⓐk.

Applied Flashmobs

In the book “Distraction” by Bruce Sterling, characters discuss the event of a flash mob that appeared at a bank branch armed with tools that systematically destroyed the facility in minutes. This book was pretty much science-fiction when it was written, today, maybe perhaps there’s more truth to its environment:

It’s November 2044, an election year, and the state of the Union is a farce. The government is broke, the cities are privately owned, and the military is shaking down citizens in the streets. Washington has become a circus and no one knows that better than Oscar Valparaiso. A political spin doctor, Oscar has always made things look good. Now he wants to make a difference.

Is this happening already in America?     You bethca! Violent flash mobs have made their appearances in Philadelphia, Boston and Brooklyn this year with mobs of teenagers from poor neighborhoods busing themselves in and running loose upon the city downtown. 150 bored teenagers can do a lot of damage. Imagine what 1000 or even 10,000 people could do if they felt the need. This is why its important that the State not abuse its power with non-violent people. One Pulizer-scale photo like this:

Kent State massacre, 1970

can take your audience from their gentle and peaceful Kumbaya and tranced-drumming pace and radicalize a significant number to start a war with you.

Mobilizing Your Flashmob     Imagine you want to mobilize a whole lot of people from a public channel within a city. You have a goal, and you want it to happen at a time and place. So you start tweeting locations like:

  1. Washington Circle Park.
  2. Stanton Park.
  3. East Potomac Park.
  4. Brentwood Park.
  5. … and so on.
You number each location and you give this information out on your public channel about a week in advance.  You pre-announce which day the event will be launched. Sometime during that day, the “go” code letting you know which location will be the active one. Once the code goes, the location goes hot and everyone converges there within minutes.
Obviously, you can look at this like nuclear drills. Maybe you’re launching, maybe you’re not. And don’t think that you need social media to pull these kinds of stunts off, the trigger could be as simple as a number spray painted on the side of a widely visible building.
“One if by sea, two if by…”

Transhumanism and the singularity: A future crisis for all evolved life.

One of of the nice and cursed things about reality is there’s always more that you can learn. Always.  We invent new concepts constantly, some survive and some don’t.  
If you could become immortal (or transhuman), it still wouldn’t solve the problem of an infinite amount of knowledge to aquire.
Transhumanism as a concept is controversial for different motivations. Some people don’t believe its right that someone could become immortal because it would god-like. If you think this is far-fetched, consider what your cell-phone was like in the 1990’s and what it’s like today in 2011: these little shiny bricks can do a lot, and they’re always getting better at what they do. With the invention of Hierarchical Temporal Memory, it won’t be long before general purpose learning/prediction agents will be loosed upon the Earth.
I think transhumanism is wrong because there wouldn’t be any restrictions to what transhumans would do to natural resources that nature and subtranshumans would require to live. To become transhuman is to threaten the existence of pre-singularity life, as there isn’t really anything in any of the “hardware” we have to enforce morality, except pain. 
And when you can “clone” your mind, pain is nothing more than a new (or boring) experience. As anyone who knows anything about information in the wild, once released, it is impossible to eradicate all copies, just as it will be for bad transhumans when they come. Let’s hope the first successful transhumans are anarchists. <crossing my fingers>