Author Archive

AI Singularity, SETI and Morality

Jul 25, 2013 Posted Under: evolution

As we get closer to creating a true thinking machine, with projects like OpenCog, it seems expedient to re-examine what protections, like Asimov’s Laws of Robotics, we ought to contemplate. What has gone somewhat unnoticed in previous considerations of superintelligences, including gods, is their entirely different motivational context.  Gods were imagined as interbreeding with us, […]

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Towards Data Security

Jul 04, 2013 Posted Under: computer programming

My son mentioned a talk he heard by Marcel Molina about applying Thomas Aquinas’ characterization of beauty (Clarity, Proportion and Integrity) to computer programming. Which got me thinking about code integrity, which according to Geodel’s Incompleteness Theorems, is not possible to prove. But, nature does it anyway, or something close, with DNA. Species too far […]

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Defining Success

May 22, 2013 Posted Under: philosophy

I sent my son an article recommending a good habit: starting your day half and hour earlier, on the theory that the extra time used well and regularly in the most effective and productive segment of the day would pay off like coumpounding dividends over the course of a lifetime. Actually, he had already adopted […]

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Constitutional Amendments Needed

Feb 26, 2013 Posted Under: philosophy

Corporations don’t have natural citizen rights, like free speech. Congress shall make no law excepting itself or its members. No member of congress shall serve more than 14 years. Change the electoral system to a more rational and fair voting system.

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A Definition of Life

Feb 20, 2013 Posted Under: cosmology, evolution

Could life be described as simply as: structures or patterns capable of diverting energy flows from their normal entropy destinations into replications of their patterns (including copying error mutations)? Under this definition we should expect to see life in many more circumstances than ones whose chemistry resembles our own, maybe even as cloud formations in […]

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Global Warming Science Fiction

Jan 31, 2013 Posted Under: terraforming

Reading about using rust as a solar energy collector started me thinking about some of the ways we have of transforming energy. It might be possible to transform radiation to the right frequency to match photon energy to electron energy as needed for any given solar energy conversion chemistry. Somewhere in here the image of […]

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Evolving from Competition to Collaboration

Nov 23, 2012 Posted Under: internet, philosophy

While pondering the failures and opportunities to reinvent our political systems, it occurred to me that we could make some substantive moves towards a more democratic and less representative society.  One of the main problems with representative government is that every time you hire someone to manage your money, a good bit of it usually […]

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Angular Momentum Question

Sep 28, 2012 Posted Under: physics

It seems to me all momentum is angular momentum.  An ice skater pulling in her arms will rotate faster, and conversely, extending her arms will slow her rotation.  If her arms are extended to the radius of the planet, her rate of spin will slow to unnoticeable (to us), seeming instead to go in a […]

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Grokking Gravity

Sep 17, 2012 Posted Under: cosmology, physics

After remembering my dreams in the bath the other morning, I puzzled some more about gravity, wondering “where is the equal and opposite reaction to the force of gravity?” Looking at gravity from Einstein’s point of view, that it is a curving of spacetime, allowed me to wonder if there shouldn’t be a corresponding negative […]

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Our mission: maximize total human choices made

Jul 30, 2012 Posted Under: economics, philosophy

In thinking about the political difficulties which inevitably arise every time we generate a too top-heavy oligarchic system, I started wondering how to frame such a challenge to our best thinkers — how would you change society’s rules to take advantage of the tremendous energy towards the accumulation of wealth and power such that those […]

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