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Topics - P3nT4gR4m

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Techmology and Scientism / Optimal Fuel Mix for Biological Vehicles
« on: April 06, 2014, 07:52:22 am »
I treat my body like a machine. Not like a "temple" as I've heard some people say. It's not something I revere and/or worship. It's a tool. It gets me from A-B and allows me to X, Y and Z when I get there. Some time ago, perhaps unconsciously, I decided I needed mine to be a touch more high-performance than the mean average. Compared to an Olympic athlete, my body is a heap of shit but, compared to the average joe, the difference is probably about the same.

Inhabiting a machine that's that's tuned to this level of performance has it's advantages. If you have a fast car, you get from A-B faster. For a given subset of human activity, a given X, Y and Z, being significantly stronger, more agile and with a greater stamina, the activity becomes easier, quicker, more efficient or even more enjoyable. One other area that requires very little attention to maintain machine performance is fuel. I'll stuff it full of carbs and proteins and fat for whatever the fuck it is that it does with that shit. Keep the water topped up. Essentially diet is not something I have to think about. One of the benefits of a performance metabolism is that, within reason, you can chuck most anything at it and it'll burn up what it needs and shit the rest.

So why am I thinking about this shit now? Quite simply my machine is out of warranty. Another couple of decades and most folks get rid of theirs by then, they just break down. They're programmed to break down. We (by this I mean people other than me) Haven't quite been able to either halt or reverse this process as of yet but we are able to slow it down and/or mitigate it's effects. We replace dying organs, we inject potions and elixirs and we zap shit with magical beams of energy. One thing that we (by this I mean me included) can do to help is to optimise fuel intake.

So here's my plan.

I've never given much of a fuck about variety (I can take it or leave it) I have actually lived whole years of my life on staple diets of convenience that never varied much. I'd eat the same shit for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day. Never bothered me. I want to replicate the same scenario, as far as possible, reducing my day to day fuel consumption to one highly optimised training day diet and one highly optimised rest day intake.

I want to try and lob some science at this bitch, stay away from calories for the time being and concentrate on proportions and the best possible ingredients to give all the best kinds of nutrients. One diet to rule them all. Ideally it should consist of easy to procure ingredients which I can buy in bulk. I'll favour cheaper stuff but not to the detriment of health benefits. If a couple of spoons of lentils gave the same nutrients as caviar, I'll go lentils is what I mean.

Prep is another thing I'd like to simplify. I know it's not healthy to whizz everything up in a blender and skull the lot. I'm sure I've heard tell of reasons you ought to chew and fibres being destroyed or turned into sugar or some shit but, maybe some of it could be whizzed up and other stuff lobbed in a bowl and guzzled down? My fuel will be yanked from the fridge and stuffed in with the minimum time and effort applied.

Problem - I'm Scottish - I know fuck all about food. So, Peedee, I challenge you to help me invent the perfect formula top-fuel for running this machine on.

*edit* - Link dump

Site has my new age bullshit sense tingling but the bullet points are solid if I can back them up or replace them with research

Techmology and Scientism / Check out Mousebrain!
« on: April 04, 2014, 12:24:24 pm »
Pretty trick. There's an app you can download to zoom in, in 3d and check out all the little wiring-bits


Techmology and Scientism / Why do human females menstruate
« on: April 04, 2014, 10:10:41 am »
Came across this article which seems to have just the balance between science and butthurt  :lulz:

Far from offering a nurturing embrace, the endometrium is a lethal testing-ground which only the toughest embryos survive. The longer the female can delay that placenta reaching her bloodstream, the longer she has to decide if she wants to dispose of this embryo without significant cost. The embryo, in contrast, wants to implant its placenta as quickly as possible, both to obtain access to its mother's rich blood, and to increase her stake in its survival. For this reason, the endometrium got thicker and tougher and the fetal placenta got correspondingly more aggressive.

Techmology and Scientism / Fuck the System
« on: March 22, 2014, 12:47:59 pm »
If I was stuck in one of those hypothetical universes where I am compelled to answer the question "What's my thing?", with a single word, I can't think of one that would apply to me more appropriately than "Systems"

Whatever I look at, whatever I think about, what ever movies or a conversations my imagination plays in my head, a significant portion of my consciousness is picking apart the system or systems at work.

Nowhere is this focus of attention more pronounced than when I'm in my favourite environment, fucking around with one of my favourite stacks of parallel and emergent systems - namely the ocean.

Of all the systems in the universe, none communicate the science of systems to me, more eloquently than the ocean. The ocean is a lense, exposing pressure and weather and planetary gravitational systems to the naked eye. The ocean sings to me of, biology, whispers chaos in my ear, caresses me with particle and wave.

Everything I examine reveals a system or a stack or a chain or, as often as not, an onion structure of emergent layers of systems. Think high level interfaces, built on machine code, running on silicon. Dig a bit deeper, peel back another layer and there's systems of electrons and magnetism and other subatomic fuckery. Peel back another layer and it's something we explain using weird mathematical formulae that I won't pretend or attempt to understand. There's too many systems to learn when you only have one brain.

So I have to pick and choose. One system I chose to learn was computer systems. I learned the machine code and later on the high level languages that emerged from that. I explored the algorithms and structures that exploded, in the digital equivalent of the Cambrian Explosion. The information revolution. It's all systems. Systems built on foundation systems, manipulation by correlation. Manipulation by abstraction.

Abstraction is a really cool meta-system that us computer systems guys have created, to leverage the power of the complexity that our modern machines are capable of driving in a way that wraps up complex lower level interactions into discrete, higher-level, implementations of their collective form and function.

Anyone who's familiar with programming languages in any manner will almost certainly have used the equivalent of the keyword "ECHO" AKA "PRINT" or "PRINTF". They will know that typing this, with the correct syntax and parameters will make your choice of information appear on the screen in the form of text.

What might not be immediately apparent is that the whole concept of the keyword "echo" and the brackets and either the text in the inverted commas or the pointer to a memory area is itself a series of programmatic instructions called a function that presses the right buttons and flicks the right levers to send the right voltages along the right wires to light up specific pixels on the the screen.

The echo command is part of the abstraction "layer" between us and the electronics that allows us to execute a complex series of instructions to tiny little microscopic machines to do something abstract "HELLO WORLD!" Abstraction then wraps up anything from tens to hundreds to thousands of sentences of these instruction keywords into increasingly abstracted code "Layers", until we arrive at the interface. An internet browser or media player or calender or database app. Angry Birds. These are our digital organisms brought to life on a platform of silicon substrate.

I'm reliably informed that we now have the opportunity to apply our systems expertise to a platform that has been with us since before there was even an us but one which we were hitherto unable to harness. I'm talking about biology. Genetic engineering. The first layer of abstraction is well on the way to being solved. I'm here to tell you that this is only the beginning.

Once we have learned the first layer, we apply the next layer of abstraction. We leverage the next order of magnitude in terms of power and control. Then we repeat. And repeat and repeat. Until we're describing, in the queens english, the organic output or the effect that we wish to create or manipulate.

My high school biology is rusty as shit but I seem to remember that biologists have been working for centuries on producing structured programming hierarchy diagrams and models which we can use as a template to develop the final applications framework. They call this system "Classification" Kindom, Phylum, Class, Order... Our module heirarchy.

Think of it as the contents page of the biohacking reference manual.

Techmology and Scientism / The Great Debate
« on: March 22, 2014, 01:57:02 am »
The Origins Project at ASU presents the final night in the Origins Stories weekend, focusing on the science of storytelling and the storytelling of science. The Storytelling of Science features a panel of esteemed scientists, public intellectuals, and award-winning writers including well-known science educator Bill Nye, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, theoretical physicist Brian Greene, Science Friday's Ira Flatow, popular science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, executive director of the World Science Festival Tracy Day, and Origins Project director Lawrence Krauss as they discuss the stories behind cutting edge science from the origin of the universe to a discussion of exciting technologies that will change our future. They demonstrate how to convey the excitement of science and the importance helping promote a public understanding of science.

Part 1

Part 2

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Colour me hoodwinked
« on: March 18, 2014, 06:51:51 pm »
The "bad blood on the rise" meme has been stuck in my head for years. I see it on the teevee, read it in the news, know it's exaggerated but filtering it all the same. Processing. Absorbing. Took a bit of shrapnel.

Always Knew a lot less people killed in modern warfare, compared to 1st and 2nd and previous big rammies but that was filed away in a separate compartment, under "statistical trivia". Link was never bridged.

This resulted in a fatalistic/nihilistic tinge to my long term/big picture mental musings. Shit was getting worse. More importantly, shit was getting - seemingly beyond anyone's ability to do much to prevent - worse.

I wasn't satisfied with this. Wanted to snap out of the whole retarded reality-tunnel, so I've spent the last while reorganising my filters and biases about humanity in general and whether it's headed for hell or handbasket, specifically. Finally got done. Feels much better. Had a sniff about for a link that would drive the point home.

Can't remember if this showed up on FB or Youtube but it pretty much covers it

Techmology and Scientism / Mind fucking blown
« on: March 13, 2014, 11:00:09 pm »
I've read about this shit for years but wait for the video sequences around 12:30. Actually seeing a visualisation of what's going on during replication and factory biological production is fucking stunning. RNA is no longer a squiggly diagram in a book!

High Weirdness / P3nT's deranged visions of the future
« on: March 12, 2014, 09:46:13 pm »
Pt1 - Designer Pets

So I figure basic biological technology has been handed over to the engineers, now, albeit with much of the documentation still under research. Science has birthed a new technology. Now it's just a matter of time until we're constructing living tissue from the ground up, to spec. Something I thought of when I first heard about the genome project back in the 90's or whenever it was, was the idea of designer pets.

Now there's a bit of chit chat back and forward on t'interwebs but it's mainly, choose new eye colours for your dog and give it a smarter brain kind of shit and that's all cool and probably going to happen if people are talking about it but what I have in mind is more than tweaking existing lifeforms. It's to do with what happens when the modelling software is able to specify, with minute granularity, a complete organism. With completely bespoke, highly optimised systems onboard. The best digestive system we can program, scaled and plumbed in to a skeleton, modelled in autocad. New organs that render whole internal subsystems, obsolete.

One specific example that popped into my head and stuck there ever since - HR Geiger's alien - chitin exoskeleton, anatomically perfect, in miniature, maybe 6-8 inches tall. Acid blood optional.

I've seen the first dev tools running in a couple of youtube videos now and I have a fuzzyish picture in my head of how part of this might pan out. First there's a lot of curing things to be taken care of. It's already started. One by one, a bunch of ailments are being annihilated, almost on a week by week basis now. History suggests that the speed of technological development from this point on will be rapid and exponential. We're facing an avalanche of cures. The fast half of the revolution. I've just lived through the fast half of the information revolution. When computers went from a building full of lightbulbs to a pair of glasses that make you functionally telepathic. I jumped onboard for the 70's, just as development hit the knee of the curve. What a fucking ride it was.

The information revolution is effectively over now, the tech will always keep developing but, by my reckoning, we're already well into, the slow ploddy, gathering-momentum first half of the next emergent technology revolution. If I'm right, there are currently a number of new technologies, around this phase in their lifecycle with the potential to change the world in a massive way. Nanotechnology, 3d printing, Biotechnology, Robotics... And I'm sure there's more waiting in the wings, so the question in my mind is not "Is there an impending technological revolution?" but rather "What is going to be the defining technology?" What will the next age be called?

Maybe immortality, if and when it arrives, will make such a big social impact that they'll call it the Immortality Age or something. For my money, living as long as you fucking well please will be a cool start but cool enough to earn the honour of defining the next couple of decades? I hope not. I'm personally rooting for "The Age of the Geiger Pets"

Literate Chaotic / Conception
« on: March 07, 2014, 03:35:06 pm »
I'm ready to leave the world behind. Right about now. Not in a morbid, suicidal way, more in a - it's going to happen eventually and I'm pretty comfortable with that - sense. This is convenient really, given that I'm going to be dead in less than thirty seconds time. I don't know that I'm about to leave but I've just realised I'm ready. Funny how that works out. Some might claim design. There is design, of course, intelligent design, behind the framework, driving the sims but as for my fate, within the parameters of the god-machine, it's just my luck. A very real phenomenon, no less so for it's absolute subjectivity.

I know none of this. I'm hanging upside down in a kayak, turbulent water bombarding my senses. I'm enjoying the thrill, pitting myself against the ocean. The ocean just handed my ass to me, like it has a thousand times before. My head smashes against the underwater rock, with the force of a couple of thousand tons of water behind it. The inquest will blame my lack of helmet. A cautionary tale. The helmet wouldn't have saved me - there was enough force applied to tear my head clean off my shoulders had I been wearing one. Without the helmet, the right side of my skull cleaves off pretty clean, freeing the rest of my head from the hole in the reef and, in doing so, literally saving my neck. But only the neck. Most of the brain is obliterated, as it sloshes out the hole and gets caught up in the current and beaten on the reef.

And then that's it. I'm dead. I'm somewhere white. I'm struck by how corny that is, just as I realise I'm being integrated with something else. I'm losing my self in ... that's weird ... I'm losing myself in myself.

... I blink. And a lifetime appends itself to my memory timeline. Forty-odd years subjective, inserted in a momentary bat of simulated eyelids. Welcome to the future. When? What does "when" even mean any more? Sometimes I go in blind, fullspeed, like just then. So my root indentity freezes for a split second, meanwhile I'm born again. An implanted zygote, carrying my full genotype plus a phenotype scaffold -  just enough so it feels like me when it comes back. Any number of years passes where baby me grows up and eventually bites the bullet then... Blink. Was that forty years or didn't that time count?

Funny thing Is, I'm late. Not because of the forty years thing, that was practically instantaneous in root time, I'm late on purpose. Being late psyches out the opponent. Gives me an edge. If I'm going to win this thing, I'll need all the edge I can get. I've just tagged on four point two million lives, running in parallel chunks of two thousand forty eight. Millennia in subjective time, couple of dozen cycles machine time, less than a second root time, outside time? There is no outside time - nothing out there to keep it. Four point two million unique timelines lived. Experiences, insights, memories. All these are mine now. I'm armed.

I blink. A large steel door appears in front of me. Alternatively, I appear in front of the door. Meta-causality in effect. It's impossible to say. I push open the door and step into the courtroom. The defendant, a weakly godlike planetoid simulation node, who calls itself Isaac, is charged with deleting more than seven billion human consciousnesses. I'm here to plead the case of the defence. Only one problem. I've just lived four point two million lives in Isaac's simspace. I'm not only ninety nine percent certain the AI did it, I'm also  convinced Isaac did the right thing.

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