Tube Transport – Why not?

The ability to travel around the world in six hours? Why not?!

Or would something like this happen:

Super Secret Hypersonic Aircraft Flew Out of Its Skin

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Reblog: Becoming a Cyborg Should Be Taken Gently

From Wildcat’s personal cargo

Becoming a Cyborg should be taken gently-Of Modern Bio-Paleo-Machines
Project: Polytopia
Being free, I am free of being.

We are on the edge of a Paleolithic Machine intelligence world. A world oscillating between that which is already historical, and that which is barely recognizable. Some of us, teetering on this bio-electronic borderline, have this ghostly sensation that a new horizon is on the verge of being revealed, still misty yet glowing with some inner light, eerie but compelling.

The metaphor I used for bridging, seemingly contrasting, on first sight paradoxical, between such a futuristic concept as machine intelligence and the Paleolithic age is apt I think. For though advances in computation, with fractional AI, appearing almost everywhere are becoming nearly casual, the truth of the matter is that Machines are still tribal and dispersed.
It is a dawn all right, but a dawn is still only a hint of the day that is about to shine, a dawn of hyperconnected machines, interweaved with biological organisms, cyberneticaly info-related and semi independent.

The modern Paleo-machines do not recognize borders; do not concern themselves with values and morality and do not philosophize about the meaning of it all, not yet that is. As in our own Paleo past the needs of the machines do not yet contain passions for individuation, desire for emotional recognition or indeed feelings of dismay or despair, uncontrollable urges or dreams of far worlds.

Also this will change, eventually. But not yet.

The paleo machinic world is in its experimentation stage, probing it boundaries, surveying the landscape of the infoverse, mapping the hyperconnected situation, charting a trajectory for its own evolution, all this unconsciously.
We, the biological part of the machine, are providing the tools for its uplift, we embed cameras everywhere so it can see, we implant sensors all over the planet so it may feel, but above all we nudge and we push towards a greater connectivity, all this unaware.
Together we form a weird cohabitation of biomechanical, electro-organic, planetary OS that is changing its environment, no more human, not machinic, but a combined interactive intelligence, that journey on, oblivious to its past, blind to its future, irreverent to the moment of its conception, already lost to its parenthood agreement.
And yet, it evolves.
Unconscious on the machine part, unaware on the biological part, the almost sentient operating system of the global planetary infosphere, is emerging, wild eyed, complex in its arrangement of co-existence, it reaches to comprehend its unexpected growth.

The quid pro quo: we give the machines the platform to evolve; the machines in turn give us advantages of fitness and manipulation. We give the machines a space to turn our dreams into reality; the machines in turn serve our needs and acquire sapience in the process.
In this hypercomplex state of affairs, there is no judgment and no inherent morality; there is motion, inevitable, inexorable, inescapable, and mesmerizing.

The embodiment is cybernetic, though there be no pilot. Cyborgian and enhanced we play the game, not of thrones but of the commons. Connected and networked the machines follow in our footsteps, catalyzing our universality, providing for us in turn a meaning we cannot yet understand or realize.

The hybridization process is in full swing, reaching to cohere tribes of machines with tribes of humans, each providing for the other a non-designed direction for which neither has a plan, or projected outcome; both mingling and weaving a reality for which there is no ontos, expecting no Telos.

All this leads us to remember that only retrospectively do we recognize the move from the paleo tribes to the Neolithic status, we did not know that it happened then, and had no control over the motion, on the same token, we scarcely see the motion now and have no control over its directionality.

There is however a small difference, some will say it is insignificant, I do not think it so, for we are, some of us, to some extent at least, aware of the motion, and we can embed it with a meaning of our choice.

We can, if we muster our cognitive reason, our amazing skills of abstraction and simulation, whisper sweet utopias into the probability process of emergence.
We can, if we so desire, passionate the operating system, to beautify the process of evolution and eliminate the dangers of inchoate blind walking.
We can, if we manage to control our own paleo-urges to destroy ourselves, allow the combined interactive intelligence of man and machine to shine forth into a brighter future.

We can sing to the machines, cuddle them; caress their circuits, accepting their electronic-flaws so they can accept our bio-flaws, we can merge aesthetically, not with conquest but with understanding.

We can become wise, that is the difference this time around.

Being wise, we will no longer tolerate injustice, not because there is a universal lawgiver that said so. Not because there is a man made decision not to be so, but because inspired by the merging, enhanced in intellect and comprehension a new kind of mind will carry no need to be so.

The freedom of becoming we must embed in this newly emergent man machine actuality, a manifestation of a destiny much larger than human, much grander than machine, a fortune made by inspired co-mingling using reality as a platform for meaning creation.

There is a story in the making here, a tale of epic proportions, a legend of communion, presently barely perceivable, eventually told and retold around galactic campfires made of suns, gloriously lighting the path of all life.

There is so much we do not know, so much we desire to understand, and so much we need to rectify in just about everything that we are and that we do, but this was always the case, this time around we can however make a difference, a difference that makes a difference.
It is not only the stars that beckon, not only curiosity that calls and not only desire that summons, it is life itself that pushes on its own boundaries, trespassing its own limitations.

Consciousness if it has a purpose at all, is to bring a unified basin of interest into the grand game of life, a basin of sensations, of pleasure and wisdom, of intelligence and love.

Imagine a planetary conscious aware hypercomplex global sapiency made of man and machine, able to undo it’s bloody past and surge unhindered into the universe as a force of allowance for sentiency.

That is my vision for this morning. Do not ask me why, for I will answer.

I am a Polytopian.

Being free, I am free of being.


Endnotes:

1. Salient points concern abundance of meaning, for there is no other scarcity to the consciously aware open-ended mind.
2. I am well aware that the motion of merging between human and machine will inevitably lead us to forsake our bio-ancestry; we however always left behind that which no longer served.
3. The truism that we are not perfect implying the dangers inherent in this motion is a reminder to be more cautious and proactive but not a stop sign.
4. In a sense this micro-essay is a response to Chris Arkenberg– Thank you.
5. Becoming a Cyborg should be taken gently

Quote: William Gibson on Technology

Quote

“Technology invariably trumps ideology. And I am inclined to think that history increasingly suggests that human social change is more directly driven by technology than by ideology. I think we develop ideologies in an attempt to cope with technologies and that in fact we’ve been doing that all along. Technology is knowing how to grow, harvest and store cereals without which you can’t really do a city. Technology is knowing how to build efficient sewage infrastructure without which you can’t build a slightly larger city. So I think of technologies as the drivers and ideologies as an attempt to steer.”

A Collection of Real and Imagined Robots

As the future of robotics develops, Hollywood gets to run a little bit faster. Here is an example of the newest robot creation from director Ridley Scott, contrasted with video compilations of real, high-functioning robots. If you don’t already know what they’re capable of, it will blow your mind!

In a commercial that is startlingly similar to the emotional android Kara, Weylan Industries introduced David 8, a robot who looks, acts, and seems totally human. This commercial for the upcoming film Prometheus, focuses on the emotional aspect of future-imagined androids, and explores the enmeshing of robotic-stoicism and genuine human feeling.

If this seems like a imagining of the future, think again. Right now scientists and engineers are working on building emotional androids based on cognitive modeling of emotions and a “language of mind.” At the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Northwestern Switzerland, scientists seek to imbue these robots with subjectivity and hope that situation recognition will trigger an elicitation of emotions with emotional mimics, using “gesture, posture, action tendencies and speech act latencies.” The technology is almost there: “these dimensions are shown to be integrable into a common structure which can be transformed into various applications like innovative structures of MMI and HRI, ranging from service robots to virtual interactions up to MMI-management of driver assistance systems.”

Here is a video composite of several top-notch robots of today, well, kind of. This video was made last year!

And, check out more from Asimo, arguably the world’s most advanced robot.

 

Functional Futuristic Fashions

High-Tech Threads: Can Your Clothes Do This?

 April 11, 2012 by
Reblogged from mashable
Today’s clothing isn’t just about fashion — it’s about function. We’re not talking about Scottevest’s Inspector Gadget-esque trenchcoat to store your iPhone, iPad, iPod and even a few changes of clothes. Sure, that’s handy, but the jacket itself isn’t high-tech (though it is well designed). Mashable has explored that ways in which tech companies and fashion brands have coming together to prototype new kinds of apparel, and we spoke with independent designers who’ve concepted mind-blowing gear that essentially transforms your body into a generator. This clothing doesn’t just hang on your body — it does something. From saving your life to charging your gadgets, this wave of innovative fashion makes city living safer and a bit more convenient. After all, there’s no need to stop in a Apple store to charge your phone if your shirt can do it on the go, right?

What innovative apparel would you like to see in the future? Let us know in the comments below.


Gadget-Fueling Getups


When you go for a run, you’re not just burning energy, you’re creating it, too. And the production of kinetic energy is exactly what fuels the mp3 player that’s embedded into designer Rafael Rozenkranz’s high-tech jogging suit (see below). “The project was conceived because I jog almost everyday, and I like to listen to music doing so — but there were always problems,” says Rozenkranz, adding that he was annoying by the device’s placement on the body and battery issues. The use of kinetic energy isn’t new — but the fact that it can keep your tunes bumping is, and it promises a future of cool gadget integrations in fashion.

Hitting the beach instead of the running path? You can stay charged with a solar-powered bikini, developed by Andrew Schneider, a New York designer. It’s a regular bikini that’s retrofitted with 1″-thick photovoltaic film strips, whose generated power funnels into in a 5-volt regulator and then a female USB connection, so it can charge a device. The male version, the iDrink, is coming soon — and with more surface area than a bikini, it’ll generate more energy.

Back in 2010, British mobile carrier Orange partnered with GotWind to develop rain boots that charge your phone at the oft-muddy Glastonbury Music Festival. In 2011, Orange upped its game with a sound-charging tee. Orange has no plans to bring any of these items to market — the pieces are “very much billed as prototypes” and only one or two produced, says Alex Wilkinson, a spokesperson for the company. The samples are used primarily to highlight the kinds of technology that could be used in a mobile charging solution, and are “meant to generate debate and discussion, rather than be consumer-ready products,” he added. And since the Glastonbury festival is taking this year off, we won’t be seeing a new prototype for this year’s event — we’re already looking forward to 2013.


Innovative Functionality


Sure, we’ve all got devices running low on battery, but high-tech fashion need not focus on keeping your things juiced — clothing can do other functions, too. For example, a new collection at the Japanese apparel outlet Uniqlo features cotton tees, linen pants and hoodies that filter UV rays, essentially acting as sunscreen. (Uniqlo previously focused on the super-thin HeatTech fabric, its proprietary technology that generates heat from perspiration to keep you warm.)

Another useful apparel feature? Night lights. British design student Nick Reddall developed a jogging jacket that generates electricity during a run. That current is used to fuel lights on the back and sleeves of the jacket, which help keep night runners safe. “Maybe people go running in the evening,” Reddall said at a London art show. “This can therefore keep them safe when they’re exercising.” While this technology isn’t necessary — why not just slap on some reflective strips? — the science has cool applications that we look forward to.


Lifesaving Tech


Leave it to the Scandinavians to come up with an “airbag” that looks like a fashionable scarf, right until it’s deployed.

Hövding is a collar for bicyclists that’s worn around the neck and contains a folded-up airbag that deploys in .01 seconds. Sensors embedded in the collar track the cyclist’s movements and will trigger deployment when an irregular motion is picked up, such as a swerve or a bump. The airbag is shaped like a hood, thus protecting the bicyclist’s head and neck, and is inflated by a gas inflator — one of the smallest on the market — in the collar. Once it inflates (and it does fully inflate before impact), the airbag provides shock absorption and a steady air pressure, then slowly starts to deflate.

Like on a plane, there’s even a black box that records a bicyclist’s patterns in the ten seconds before an accident — Hövding uses this data to improve upon the design. The company also extracts data from staged accidents, whether with crash test dummies or stunt cyclists, and adds this information to the database so that the Hövding’s “brain” is more attuned to abnormal motions.

Of course, when the collar is not deployed, it’s just a fashionable-looking scarf, and you can change the removable shell to match your outfit (new designs are added frequently). Because of its subtle safety features, the Hövding is often referred to as an “invisible helmet.”

The project started as an industrial design master thesis by Terese Alstin and Anna Haupt in 2005. The Swedish government had just passed a law to make bike helmets compulsory for children up to the age of 15, triggering a debate over whether helmets should be compulsory for adults, too. “To us, who wouldn’t be seen dead in a polystyrene helmet, the thought of being forced to wear one by law was cause for concern,” says Alstin. “We realized that our master thesis was the perfect place to find out whether the traditional bicycle helmet could be improved on.” Market surveys indicated that people wanted a discrete, “invisible” helmet that wouldn’t ruin their hair or cramp their personal style. And so, “Hövding allows people to protect their heads on the road, without sacrificing style — or the hairdo — in the process,” Alstin adds.


A Laptop Bag That Won’t Hurt Your Back


Even though it only clocks in at a few pounds, the weight of a laptop can wear on you. That’s why Alphyn Industries came out with the PADX-1 Ledge Wearcom. It’s a pullover with a kangaroo pouch that stores your iPad or computer when it’s zipped, and serves as a “shelf” when it’s unzipped. The pullover distributes the device’s weight throughout the straps so that you don’t wear carry the weight on one side, which could lead to back pain. Considering it’s a portable workspace (the shelf leaves both hands free), the $285 asking price isn’t too bad.