Magnetospheric Reflections

March 13, 2015 / 0 comments

After they were launched into space tonight, four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft are in Earth’s orbit preparing to study how the protective magnetic fields around the Earth sometimes disconnect and then reconnect. When this “magnetic reconnection” happens, the reconfiguration is explosive and releases as much energy as billions of megatons of TNT. These bursts of…

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Image of a beach covered in people with a whale floating above

Neal Stephenson signs on as Magic Leap’s Chief Futurist

January 22, 2015 / 0 comments

Neal Stephenson has signed on as Magic Leap’s Chief Futurist. He describes why in a post on their blog. In this excerpt he describes the technology in a way that sounds like there is no device worn by the user suggesting it may be something quite different from the HoloLens: “In a teeming, overcrowded hardware…

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The words "Open MIND"

Open MIND: 39 papers on mind, consciousness, and cognition

January 22, 2015 / 0 comments

I came across this collection of papers and responses on the mind, edited by Thomas Metzinger and Jennifer M. Windt, via a twitter post by Andreas Roepstorff, Professor at Aarhus University. From the introduction: “This is an edited collection of 39 original papers and as many commentaries and replies. The target papers and replies were…

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Challenging the Idea that Space and Time are Fundamental Constituents of Nature

September 21, 2013 / 0 comments

A recent article in Quanta Magazine, which has been circulating around the internet through social media, reviews recent challenges to the idea that space and time are “fundamental components of reality.” A few sections of the article stand out to me as especially interesting when considered in light of spiritual and religious traditions across human…

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“The loneliness of the long-distance exoplanetary anthropologist…”

December 10, 2010 / 0 comments

There are two kinds of offworld anthropology: Near Distance and Long Distance. With typical Earth-centrism, the “distance” is measured in light years from the Blue Marble. Try explaining to a Gorgolian that he’s “Long Distance” when you’re on his doorstep. At least Gorgolians won’t spit in your face when you try to interview them about…

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Google’s Autocomplete Algorithm

October 21, 2010 / 0 comments

A friend shared this series of Google autocomplete search results on a social network, it contains screen captures of Google’s autocomplete feature along with a venn diagram produced from the resulting terms: I was curious if I would get the same terms, so I tried it. As soon as I found that my results for…

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Exoanthropology

October 13, 2010 / 0 comments

The recent discovery of a possibly Earth-like planet, Gliese 581g, had me thinking about exo-/xeno-/astro-anthropology again and about the possibility of studying cultures on other planets.  Since the early 90s when I started my undergraduate education in biology and philosophy, I’ve been interested in the relatively easy acceptance of the “hard sciences” approach to studying theoretical…

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Quantum Activism

November 11, 2009 / 0 comments

Dr. Amit Goswami, professor emeritus of physics at University of Oregon, has a media rich web site where he discusses a “science of consciousness.” He calls himself a “quantum activist.” Just as modernist empirical science constructed a vision of reality as material, could the quantumn revolution construct reality as spiritual/religious?

Stellar Religions

July 28, 2009 / 0 comments

The University of Wales, Lampter is now home to the Sophia Center for the Study of Cosmology in Culture. Formerly housed at Bath Spa, the center offers an MA program in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. See the fascinating courses here.

History of Science

February 11, 2009 / 0 comments

This slide was presented in an Astronomy course today. There is so much wrong with this slide. Anyone?