Life on the Billionth Rock From the Sun | Seth Shostak

Seth Shostak has an article at HuffPost on asteroids.  Not the usual we-need-to-prepare-for-incoming, but discussing something I've noted before that the space age needs: an economic incentive.  As some of us have discussed, mining asteroids looks like it might be an excellent candidate. These rocks are a resource. The fact that they're in small chunks makes … Continue reading Life on the Billionth Rock From the Sun | Seth Shostak

American positions on moral issues and tensions between the moral foundations

Gallup did a poll on American positions on various moral issues, finding that Americans are now more accepting than ever on a range of issues. Most of these I don't find particularly surprising.  Of course, it turns out that Democrats and Republicans have differences of opinion on many of them.  HuffPost, in their write up of … Continue reading American positions on moral issues and tensions between the moral foundations

The difference between life and machine

Addy Pross has an interesting post up at HuffPost looking at what actually makes life...life. Most of us recognize that there is a fundamental difference between mechanical objects designed and created by man, no matter how sophisticated, and the naturally derived complexity of living things. In fact, my granddaughter, when she was just 2, already … Continue reading The difference between life and machine

The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing The World Of Business

Dr. Damon Horowitz quit his technology job and got a Ph.D. in philosophy -- and he thinks you should too. "If you are at all disposed to question what's around you, you'll start to see that there appear to be cracks in the bubble," Horowitz said in a 2011 talk at Stanford. "So about a … Continue reading The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing The World Of Business

Why a Larger Multiverse Shouldn’t Make You Feel Small | Max Tegmark

The Higgs Boson was predicted with the same tool as the planet Neptune and the radio wave: with mathematics. Why does our universe seem so mathematical, and what does it mean? In my new book, Our Mathematical Universe, which comes out today, I argue that it means that our universe isn't just described by math, … Continue reading Why a Larger Multiverse Shouldn’t Make You Feel Small | Max Tegmark

Singularity assumptions that should be questioned

The upcoming movie, Transcendence, looks like it will be interesting, but the trailer includes common assumptions about the singularity that I'm not sure are justified. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY-cc1MLAI4 To be sure, the assumptions are held by a lot of singularity believers.  Below I offer some reasons why these assumptions shouldn't be taken as self evident. Assumption 1: … Continue reading Singularity assumptions that should be questioned

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. This seemed tangentially related to my post about HuffPost's new commenting policy and subsequent discussion. If you're not already reading Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, you're missing out on a lot of awesome philosophical insight with an often hilarious bent. Click through to read the rest. Related articles Zach Weiner makes his … Continue reading Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Huffington Post commenting policy

So, just before making the last post, I discovered that HuffPost had changed their commenting policy, now requiring that people reveal and verify their real names.  HuffPost had previously promised that they would grandfather older accounts out of this policy, but have apparently rescinded that promise.  I understand why HuffPost is doing this, but I … Continue reading Huffington Post commenting policy

When Will We Build the Starship Enterprise? | Seth Shostak

What if we could send humans anywhere at the speed of light, and at a rock-bottom price? That's eminently feasible if we send the information and not the protoplasm. No crew, just code. Consider: The human genome consists of about 3.3 billion base pairs. Since there are only four types of pair, that amounts to … Continue reading When Will We Build the Starship Enterprise? | Seth Shostak

6 Reasons Why People — Not Things — Will Make You Happier

The holiday season is the time to focus on what's truly important: Spending quality time with friends and family, being thankful for all the blessings in your life, and showing how much you care by giving of yourself. But after being bombarded with commercials and marketing messages galore, it can be easy to forget what … Continue reading 6 Reasons Why People — Not Things — Will Make You Happier