sunday mutants

Just making notes in the margin as the world changes beyond recognition….


At its core, RoboEarth is a World Wide Web for robots: a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other about their behavior and their environment. Bringing a new meaning to the phrase “experience is the best teacher”, the goal of RoboEarth is to allow robotic systems to benefit from the experience of other robots, paving the way for rapid advances in machine cognition and behaviour, and ultimately, for more subtle and sophisticated human-machine interaction.

Stewart Brand on “de-extinction”

Death is still forever, but extinction may not be. A dead body can’t be reanimated once it begins to rot, but the essence of a species — its genome — survives rot for centuries, even thousands of years. That DNA knows how to make living animals, once we figure out how to invite it to do so. At the leading edges of synthetic biology the invitation is now being crafted. For some extinct species, regenesis is becoming plausible.

The speed of censorship on China’s version of Twitter

Censorship on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, is near real-time and relies on a workforce of over 4,000 censors who stop work during the evening news, according the first detailed analysis of censorship patterns.

China’s obsession with the Soviet Union

Basically the CCP trying to avoid the mistakes that led to the fall.

The CIA and big data

On Wednesday, the CIA’s chief technology officer detailed the Agency’s vision for collecting and analysing all of the information people put on the Internet.

The wide-ranging presentation at GigaOM’s Structure:Data conference in New York City came two days after it was reported the spy agency is on the verge of signing a cloud computing contract with Amazon — worth up to $600 million over 10 years — that involves Amazon Web Services helping the CIA build a “private cloud” filled with technologies like big data.

After laying out what the CIA does — i.e. collect intelligence, conduct analysis, perform covert action — CIA CTO Ira “Gus” Hunt detailed just how the agency plans to acquire, store, and analyse digital data on a massive scale.

You’re already a walking sensor platform,” Hunt said, referring to all of the information captured by smartphones. ”You are aware of the fact that somebody can know where you are at all times, because you carry a mobile device, even if that mobile device is turned off. You know this, I hope? Yes? Well, you should.”

In fact Hunt noted that based on the sensors in a smartphone, someone can be identified (with 100 per cent accuracy) by the way they walk — implying that someone could be identified even when carrying someone else’s phone.

Why Americans are the Weirdest People in the World – or how cultural differences mean we really don’t know much about human psychology which is based primarily on Westerners/Americans. This article is really worth reading, and ties into Wade Davis etc stuff about culture and language.

sunday mutants

Or, my last hour on twitter, reading the last few days of my /mutants list. Really, if you aren’t using Twitter for awesome, you are failing at the interwebs.


Dude stops eating food for a month.

There are no meats, fruits, vegetables, or breads here. Besides olive oil for fatty acids and table salt for sodium and chloride nothing is recognizable as food. I researched every substance the body needs to survive, plus a few extras shown to be beneficial, and purchased all of them in nearly raw chemical form from a variety of sources.

Ratting. Dudes remotely hacking your webcams and messing with you. It’s a thiing.

Pornstars before and after makeup.

Microsoft getting closer to figuring out what makes shit go viral. [video]

Magic mushrooms and transhumanism

according to this peer-reviewed paper indexed by the National Institutes of Health, magic mushrooms could be the way to help posthumans retain or regain the morality needed to be good transpersonal godling/citizens.

Human brain cells make mice smart

A team of neuroscientists has grafted human brain cells into the brains of mice and found that the rodents’ rate of learning and memory far surpassed that of ordinary mice.  Remarkably, the cells transplanted were not neurons, but rather types of brain cells, called glia, that are incapable of electrical signaling.  The new findings suggest that information processing in the brain extends beyond the mechanism of electrical signaling between neurons.

A quote that turned up: “Lewis Mumford berated suburban life as “an asylum for the preservation of illusion.” ”