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What is the next great age?

Machine-intelligenceOr, what is the next great age?

The great ages have moved from iron, bronze, steel, (skip a few), industrial, chemical, and silicon/internet. Certainly the internet isn’t done and it will impact every future age just like past ages are built-in to ours. But what’s next?

There’s no way to know and every guess will sound stupid in 100 years but why not take a shot.

What is the next great age?

Posted Monday, April 7, 2014

The Whipped Cream Accident

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Whipped cream in a can was discovered completely by accident. A university student named Goetz was working with a professor on preserving milk with the goal of eliminating bacterial contaminants.

Goetz trying to use carbon dioxide under pressure with whipped cream as a preservative but his experiments were not going well. Every time he went to test the cream it would spray out in a “whipped” state. Goetz was so frustrated he went and got his professor for help.

The professor saw the potential and the rest is history (more or less).

The Whipped Cream Accident

Posted Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fun with relativity

IDL TIFF file

There are tons of really fun thought experiments with relativity. Here are a few of my favorites. If you find any errors please mention it!

Fun with relativity

Posted Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Space Time Continuum of Time Travel Logic

Click for full size

Click image for full size

This ranking is not based on how good the movie is (though Looper would still be in the right spot).

Posted Friday, April 4, 2014

Craziness Crossing the Delaware

Hang this on your wall.

Hang this on your wall.

Everyone has grown up seeing pictures of George Washington on a boat. Yeah, he won a battle or something right? I thought I knew the story well enough but last year I read 1776 by David McCullough and I learned that I didn’t really know the story at all.

Craziness Crossing the Delaware

Posted Thursday, April 3, 2014

What are we really supposed to learn from fairy tales?

J_Worthington_Foulfellow_and_Gideon_in_Disney's_Pinocchio

Jack and the Beanstalk

It’s ok to make crazy stupid decisions as long as it ends with you breaking into a private home, stealing, and murdering the home owner.

Rapunzel

Beautiful hair is the only thing that can save you from a dreary life at home.

Red Riding Hood

I have no idea, don’t be unable to distinguish between wolves and your grandmother?

The Frog Prince

Kissing frogs leads to interesting visions.

The Gingerbread man

Parenthood leads to disillusionment and abandonment. You’ll be overly controlling leading your children to flee and everyone in the world will compete to devour them until a sly fox tricks your child and eats him.

The Pied Piper

Pay your exterminator or he’ll murder your children.

Pinocchio

Coming of age as represented by Pinocchio clearly parallels the same story arc as the loss of innocence in the allegorical elements of the garden of Eden. Pinocchio cannot gain knowledge of good and evil until he partakes of the fruit of knowledge. Leading him invariably to failure, sin, and learning. Without his journey Pinocchio could not prove himself and become a real boy, just as Adam and Eve could not fulfill their mission to replenish the earth until leaving the garden.

Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2014
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Gaining Perspective

Squaw Peak

I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Doing things just to do them

In high school I made a goal to read books everyday and so most nights right before I fell asleep I would lean over, pick up the book I was working on and read a sentence or two. I wouldn’t pay attention to what I was reading, just read it while thinking about how much I’d rather be in bed.

This is sort of like fake it to make it except you fake faking it to not make making it.

Useless.

Posted Monday, March 31, 2014

Uber as a service is awesome but their app is not

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I heard about Uber a few years ago and have been itching to try it ever since. Everytime I visited a town without a car I’d reinstall the app and check to see if Uber was there. Finally, this last week in San Diego I hit paydirt.

Uber as a service is awesome but their app is not

Posted Sunday, March 30, 2014
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Psychohistory

In the last week I’ve been talking about our failures to predict the future. In this post we’ll look at a few people who were very good at predicting the future.

I just finished reading Foundation by Isaac Asimov. The fictional study of psychohistory consists of using statistics and psychology to predict with extreme precision historical trends and events.

Psychohistory

Posted Saturday, March 29, 2014