Saturday, May 31, 2008

Quote: You do not exist!

A Quote from the God Delusion

Steve Grand points out that you and
I are more like waves than permanent 'things'. He invites his reader
to think . . .

. . . of an experience from your childhood. Something you
remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even
smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were
there at the time, weren't you? How else would you
remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren't there.
Not a single atom that is in your body today was there
when that event took place . . . Matter flows from place
to place and momentarily comes together to be you.
Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of
which you are made. If that doesn't make the hair stand
up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does,
because it is important.

I've read some SF where stuff like this has been mentioned a little in passing but never as clearly put! A really fun idea to consider that to a certain degree is correct. While some parts of the body are still there many are no longer and have been swapped out to the environment. This means that to a certain degree your simply a traveling informational lifeform that has conveniently managed to piggy back it's self on to a clump of matter that it then rearranges according to a set of rules. :-) Like software in a certain manner you do not physically exist!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mara Triangle Wildlife Park Africa Blog/Photos

Mara Triangle
A blog run by a Ranger in one of the African wildlife parks, some lovely photos and an interesting insight into the sorts of things that go own in the wildlife parks, and the animals that inhabit them.

The flickr photostream associated with the blog can be found here.
Kimojuno's Photostream A nice collection of animal photos.

An example of some of the photos!

Cheetah AND Hyaena face off
Originally uploaded by Kimojino

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cost of the Occupation of Iraq

Charlie's Diary: Alternative boondoggles
The direct cost to the US government of the war and occupation of Iraq — counting only funds appropriated by Congress — so far runs to roughly $523Bn.

A look at the money that's been spent on the occupation of Iraq and a look at alternative things that could have been done with such an insanely large amount of money!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


A brief look at the growing Neurotechnology industry, more focused on the economic side than the science but still of interest. Worth reading if your interesting in drugs targeting the brain as both cures and boosters.

Analysis of Neurotech Industry - National Business News -
The neurotech industry is engaged in a $2 trillion race to fix your brain. Many players will fail, but the payoff will be huge for those who succeed.

For those using Valerian...

This may be of interest it's the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) fact sheet for the herb. Probably well worth a look if you are or are considering using it.
Valerian Fact Sheet (NIH)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Snow Crash

If you've not read it you should, It's a cyberpunk novel by Neal Stephenson. It plays around with a lot of interesting ideas related to linguistics, informational and biological viruses, Sumerian mythology, the rise of civilization and Christianity or Religion. While it's a work of fiction the ideas utilised and the real world implications of some of the ideas are a fascinating alternate view of Civilisation and Religion.

Any way Snow Crash is well worth reading and I'd highly recommend it to those who find such ideas interesting!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To quote:

Metaplanetary by Tony Daniel:
I repeat for all prospective despots, kings, saviors, democratic freedom fighters, and the like: Frequent rummage sales . You never know but you might pick up the secret of universal domination at one, and at a sweet price.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

God Delusion Again

Yes yes, of course the troubles in Northern Ireland are political. There really has been economic and political oppression of one group by another, and it goes back centuries. There really are genuine grievances and injustices, and these seem to have little to do with religion; except that - and this is important and widely overlooked - without religion there would be no labels by which to decide whom to oppress and whom to avenge.

Does any one else think this is a load of bollocks? They simply would have come up with a new label of some form or another.

Any way apart from that I thought the sections on memes, the origins of religion, religion as a by product and cargo cults to be interesting and well written. Possibly because these sections had more of an academic or scientific focus rather than being directly part of the authors argument against religion, and as a result somewhat more factual rather than heavily opinionated unlike many of his other sections.

Aging: Lifestyle or Genes?

An interesting article looking at the recent aging research, well worth a read if your interesting in Science, Biology, Aging etc.

Lifestyle or Genes? The Health Secrets of a 114-Year Old Man

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Evolution Controversial?

Evolution: what's the real controversy?
An interesting article covering some of the topics that are supposed to be controversial in evolution. It's mainly focused on what the US Intelligent Design lobby has been trying to use in there effects to alter how biology is taught in US schools.

Worth a read if your interested in ID or Evolution. 3.0beta

First look: 3.0 beta a big step forward
Finally native OSX support for those of you utilizing that system, so no more need for X11.

Platypus Genome

Platypus genome as distinctive as its owner

An interesting animal with an interesting genome.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Iron Man

Any one interested in going to see the Iron Man movie sometime this week/weekend?