Posts Tagged ‘evolution’

Atomkraft? GTFO!

(Bild-Quelle: Uni Frankfurt)

Fukushima ist alles andere als ein erledigtes Thema, auch wenn es in den Medien ein wenig untergeht. Es ist immernoch nicht klar, in welchem Umfang das Innere der Kraftwerke und insbesondere die Brennstaebe in den vier Abklingbecken zerstoert wurden. Unglaublich! Eine wahre Hilfslosigkeit macht sich breit: Derzeit ist das Japanische Militaer dazu gezwungen Schulhoefe umzugraben, damit der nukleare Dreck unter der obersten Erdschicht verschwindet. Erinnert ein wenig an “unter den Teppich kehren”. Was aber wenn eins der Kids anfaengt eine Burg zu bauen? Continue reading

Athene’s Theory of Everything

Are you in the mood to think about how we see ourselves, why we believe in the things we believe and how we act upon those believes? Then you should consider watching this clip of ‘Athene’s Theory of Everything’, which is trying to explain and to unify all of our current philosophical questions with up-to-date scientific facts.

Don’t watch it, if you are stressed or not open minded for philosophical thoughts! You will be advised in the beginning of the clip, that the matter is complicated and multiple viewings might be required. But it is worth your attention and turns out to be very interesting, even when watching it for the the first time and when you might not be able to follow many of the details. Just play it again another day.

Among physics and biology, it even mentions the Mirror Neurons – a topic of the talk i have been putting up here in my previous post. I can’t stress enough that you should be advised to take some time to let all the ideas sink in, since it is quite condensed – especially if you are new to thinking about the ideas on how the world and we as human beings operate. However, it is presented in a very clear and calm way. In my opinion it is definitely something to take into consideration when discussing how ‘everything’ works…

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The Empathic Civilization

Like I promised in my previous post, here comes another clip from RSA Animate, presenting a speed paint to a talk by Jeremy Rifkin called ‘The Empathic Civilization’. It is about the question of how we (and apparently also other mammals) feel empathy for something that can be observed happening to others. Like when we watch a movie, the same neurons fire in our brain processing what we see as if we would experience it ourselves. Scientists call this function in our brains the mirror neurons.

It is a remarkable discovery and he is talking about how it might have evolved from the bond that our ancestors in the cave had with their tribe (viewing other tribes as aliens), to religious groups believing to belong to each other up to the bond we feel towards the people of our same nation (and in many cases being hostile towards people of other countries). He then poses the very interesting question, if this evolution could extend over the whole planet to make us feel connected to one another as a whole ecosystem.

This is especially interesting to those who are working on ways how to convince people that we are not so different from one another. We should really stop treating people from other countries, religions and families as aliens. This is a very outdated concept in many parts of the world. The idea that, with our technology advances, it could be some day possible to overcome the differences between all of us and create what he calls the empathic civilization – where we act as a family of beings and not individuals. Think of the possibilities in sustainability and social equality that arise if we could just trigger these mirror neurons in each and every one of those who still live by the imaginary boundaries of nations, blood ties and religions.

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Smile or Die

If you are fed up with all the people who do not seem to realize, that some things are going wrong, maybe those might just not feel they would be allowed to say what they think. We live in a society where realism is not always appreciated. Even so far as to distort reality into a point of view where we are not making any changes, even when they might be absolutely necessary. The constant “everything is ok” and willful ignorance that is going on especially in the corporate world and politics does not contribute to our progress as a society at all. It is harmful in just the same way as the constant fear and depression that we perceive most of the time through the media. In fact, people might start to feel powerless with the constant good mood in the same way as they would with the constant negativity they are confronted with – especially if they don’t believe it. The solution? Just acknowledge the facts that you have at hand and act accordingly! Smile or complain whenever you think it’s appropriate but never stop acting upon what you think is right or wrong!

RSA Animate published a fantastic talk on this topic by Barbara Ehrenreich on positive thinking accompanied by a kind of speed paint to what the talker is saying. I really love all of their videos (and I will post some more here later). This clip unfortunately has some pretty bad audio, but the message is clear…

And while you are at it, you might also want to check out my previous post ‘Everything is OK‘.

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Everything is OK

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8m5d0

First of all: maybe I tricked you a bit with the title there to get your attention. Please accept my apology for that! But the following is really important to me. Since you are apparently still reading this, let me take the opportunity to clarify: I believe there are probably bazillions of things that are not OK at this very moment…

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Meditation on Things

“Man…. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” — Dalai Lama Continue reading

From Dust

It just so happens once in a while that i just accidentally come across a new game that is going to be released soon, of which i have never heart before but which seems to have a lot of potential to catch my attention in the long run. One of those games is “From Dust” which is the working title of a new Ubisoft game by Eric Chahi. It is a god game, where you (the god) are in control of some natural elements (in this case sand, lava, water and vegetation) to form the world for the human inhabitants by preventing disasters, creating living space or causing havoc (probably like many god games where Populous was the first i remember playing). Why am i mentioning this game after we have played so many other similar games already until exhaustion? Well, it is definitely the art style of this one that fascinated me. There is not much info on the gameplay as of now, but i can see a lot of potential there. Basically i just wanted to let you know that i will keep my eye on this game. Release date is somewhere around summer 2011. I just hope that it will not fail to fulfill my expectations as Black & White did some time ago. Even though i am not much into this kind of games anymore, i can imagine that it would be relaxing to play one of those endless single player modes all by myself for a change (there is no multiplayer announced). I am impatiently now waiting for more details on the gameplay itself and see what it turns into…

I found this video of an early game engine demo:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfKQCAxizrA

Another teaser with similar clips from the demo plus some pictures can be found on the official homepage.

There is also an interview with its creator Eric about the ideas behind the game on youtube:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV4xE4tFolo

Open = Evil?

Seriously. W.T.F.! Why are Apple Fanboys™ so afraid of open systems? Blogs and tweets are full of hate against open systems now. Did i miss on something that changed lately? Especially with the rise of Android (which just surpassed sales of the iPhone™ this year in Switzerland) the iPhone™ users seem to start to panic. Stop that! Why panic?! Just choose which phone works best for you! Is using the best phone on the market suddenly a sacrilege? Reminds me pretty much of some more radical religions… Why do you think people start switching to something like Android?  The iPhone™ is just perfect, right? No, it is not! And before you can even type a comment: no, the Android is not perfect either!

So what is it then? It’s not the slicker user interface! Not that the UI is that bad on Android, but to be honest the apps on iPhone™ just are a bit more sexy. No, I believe it is the fact that users realize that open stuff does give you some freedom and responsibilities – both of which getting taken away from people more and more in all aspects of life. Here is a list of things i believe are the most important reasons users start switching from iPhone™ Religion to Freedom, I mean… Android now:

  1. A lot of apps which are available on both phones are either cheaper or even free on Android
  2. You (as the user) are not forced to give your identity to anyone on Android
  3. You can choose the source of your apps on Android, on iPhone™ there is only the App Store™, which is heavily observed and controlled by Apple™
  4. You can choose the hardware that you like the most (for example do you prefer softkeys or keyboard, you want more battery life or 20cm HD display, you like to fold the phone somehow to cover the display? You want it to come slim or in cubes? Round or edgy? European or Asian?)

Please follow a clockwise path through the Temple™ while gently touching each of the relics on the tables in order to receive your personal blessing from Our Guru™.

Just recently the Apple Fanboys™ among my friends started complaining about the huge number of phones available with Android. I must admit that a lot of things to choose from might be overwhelming especially if you are not very informed in that particular area of expertise, but on the other hand it’s also not that difficult to browse some forums, go to a store and listen to the experts there and then just choose (!) a phone. In fact, you can choose depending on your taste or experience with other phones before – and it is not dictated to you what you should like from now on. By this process, some phones get more popular than others and those are the ones that evolve. Good concepts are taken over to the next generation of other phones as well, the rest dies out (i must admit, maybe too slowly but they die out).

It’s called diversity and it’s a good thing! Evolution has been succesfully doing that for millions of years! Adapting to requirements (in this case yours, the user) and getting better in each iteration.

But actually i am not in the mood to start a discussion on intelligent design (Steve Jobs™) vs evolution (Linux) – No question about it: I definitely want to take part in evolution (not get dictated a design) and nothing is going to change that right now. Stop complaining, switch phones or don’t, but go back to your Apple Store Temples™ and pray that after the evolution your species is not becoming the target of iXtinction™…

Genetic Algorithms for Starcraft 2

Some dude actually applied genetic algorithms (searching an optimal solution to a problem by evolution) to find the best build order to a Rush on Starcraft 2. And its amazing that the algorithm actually revealed such a tactic, that more astonishing “violates several well-known (and well-adhered-to) heuristics used by Starcraft players when creating builds” – which means it has not been that much investigated by players yet. Why is this amazing? Because in a quick video the tactics shows to be extremely effective – making the player win 17 out of 20 within the first few minutes…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH1ucvJomlY

[via lbrandy.com]

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