As this blog enters its sixth anniversary this month, I have never given much thought of it lasting this long. In fact, it almost ended last year when I took a long hiatus due to health issues; both for myself and my wife.
But as time went on and both my wife and I slowly recovered, I discovered I still had some things to say. And I realized the world never stopped turning in the meanwhile.
As I started to post again, the personal site Facebook became a semi-intelligent force unto itself. I say ‘semi-intelligent’ because it is spreading exponentially due to its posting of its games and constant proliferation of personal info unannounced and unapproved by individuals. And people, especially young folks don’t care this happens.
Distributed networks, mainly Facebook, Google and the World Wide Web in general are forms of distributed Artificial Intelligence. Does that mean we are in the early throes of the Technological Singularity?
I think we are IMO.
And if we are in the early upward curve of the Technological Singularity, how would that affect our theories of ancient intelligence in the Universe?
Well, I think we should seriously rethink our theories and consider how the Fermi Paradox might figure into this. Thinkers such as George Dyvorsky have written a few treatises on the subject and I believe they should be given due consideration by mainstream science. (The Fermi Paradox: Back With a Vengeance).
Speaking of mainstream science, it is slowly, but surely accepting the fact the Universe is filled with ancient stars and worlds. And if there’s a possibility the Universe has ancient worlds, there’s a chance there might be anicent Intelligences inhabiting these worlds:
The announcement of a pair of planets orbiting a 12.5 billion-year old star flies in the face of conventional wisdom that the earliest stars to be born in the Universe shouldn’t possess planets at all.
12.5 billion years ago, the primeval universe was just beginning to make heavier elements beyond hydrogen and helium, in the fusion furnace cores of the first stars. It follows that there was very little if any material for fabricating terrestrial worlds or the rocky seed cores of gas giant planets.
This argument has been used to automatically rule out the ancient and majestic globular star clusters that orbit our galaxy as intriguing homes for extraterrestrials.
The star that was announced to have two planets is not in a globular cluster (it lives inside the Milky Way, although it was most likely a part of a globular cluster that was cannibalized by our galaxy), but it is similarly anemic as the globular cluster stars because it is so old.
This discovery dovetails nicely with last year’s announcement of carbon found in a distant, ancient radio galaxy. These findings both suggest that there were enough heavy elements in the early universe to make planets around stars, and therefore life.
However, a Hubble Space Telescope search for planets in the globular star cluster 47 Tucanae in 1999 came up empty-handed. Hubble astronomers monitored 34,000 stars over a period of eight days. The prediction was that some fraction of these stars should have “hot Jupiters” that whirl around their star over a period of days (pictured here in an artist’s rendition). They would be detected if their orbits were tilted edge-on to Earth so the stars would briefly grow dimmer during each transit of a planet.
A similar survey of the galactic center by Hubble in 2006 came up with 16 hot Jupiter planet candidates. This discovery was proof of concept and helped pave the way for the Kepler space telescope planet-hunting mission.
Why no planets in a globular cluster? For a start, globular clusters are more crowded with stars than our Milky Way — as is evident in the observation of the dwarf galaxy M9 below. “It may be that the environment in a globular was too harsh for planets to form,” said Harvey Richer of the University of British Columbia. “Planetary disks are pretty fragile things and could be easily disrupted in such an environment with a high stellar density.”
However, in 2007 Hubble found a 2.7 Jupiter mass planet inside the globular cluster M4. The planet is in a very distant orbit around a pulsar and a white dwarf. This could really be a post-apocalypse planet that formed much later in a disk of debris that followed the collapse of the companion star into a white dwarf, or the supernova explosion itself.
Hubble is now being used to look for the infrared glow of protoplanetary disks in 47 Tucanae. The disks would be so faint that the infrared sensitivity of the planned James Webb Space Telescope would be needed to carry out a more robust survey.
If planets did form in the very early in the universe, life would have made use of carbon and other common elements as it did on Earth billions of years ago. Life around a solar-type star, or better yet a red dwarf, would have a huge jump-start on Earth’s biological evolution. The earliest life forms would have had the opportunity to evolve for billions of years longer than us.
This inevitably leads to speculation that there should be super-aliens who are vastly more evolved than us. So… where are they? My guess is that if they existed, they evolved to the point where they abandoned bodies of flesh and blood and transformed themselves into something else — be it a machine or something wildly unimaginable.
However, it’s clear that despite (or, because of) their super-intelligence, they have not done anything to draw attention to themselves. The absence of evidence may set an upper limit on just how far advanced a technological civilization may progress — even over billions of years.
Keep in mind that most of the universe would be hidden from beings living inside of a globular star cluster. The sky would be ablaze with so many stars that it would take a long time for alien astronomers to simply stumble across the universe of external galaxies — including our Milky Way.
There will be other searches for planets in globular clusters. But our present understanding makes the question of a Methuselah civilization even more perplexing. If the universe made carbon so early, then ancient minds should be out there, somewhere.
Methuselah civilizations eh?
Sure. If there are such civilizations out there, it is because they wish to remain in the physical realm and not cross over to the inner places of shear mental and god-like powers.
As with all things ‘Future’, the answer could come crashing down upon us faster than we are prepared for.
As usual, thanks to the Daily Grail.
When people discuss Carl Gustav Jung, it’s generally about his famous split with Freud in 1912, or his theory of cultural archetypes.
But as I’ve been reading about him lately through his 21st Century disciples (Christopher Knowles and Christopher O’Brien..hmm..”Christophers”…), the theory of archetypes and synchronicity (note the “Christ” figures as disciples) bringing “gnosis” (knowledge..heh..another one!) is hard to ‘ignore’ (hah, another one! Okay, stop now).
Well it seems that Jung in the last years of WWII was in the throes of depression and was suffering heart ailments as well. While in a coma after suffering a fall that broke his leg, he had an “out of body experience”:
On 11 February 1944, the 68-year-old Carl Gustav Jung – then the world’s most renowned living psychologist – slipped on some ice and broke his fibula. Ten days later, in hospital, he suffered a myocardial infarction caused by embolisms from his immobilised leg. Treated with oxygen and camphor, he lost consciousness and had what seems to have been a near-death and out-of-the-body experience – or, depending on your perspective, delirium. He found himself floating 1,000 miles above the Earth. Seas and continents shimmered in blue light and Jung could make out the Arabian desert and snow-tipped Himalayas. He felt he was about to leave orbit, but then, turning to the south, a huge black monolith came into view. It was a kind of temple, and at the entrance Jung saw a Hindu sitting in a lotus pos ition. Within, innumerable candles flickered, and he felt that the “whole phantasmagoria of earthly existence” was being stripped away. It wasn’t pleasant, and what remained was an “essential Jung”, the core of his experiences.
He knew that inside the temple the mystery of his existence, of his purpose in life, would be answered. He was about to cross the threshold when he saw, rising up from Europe far below, the image of his doctor in the archetypal form of the King of Kos, the island site of the temple of Asclepius, Greek god of medicine. He told Jung that his departure was premature; many were demanding his return and he, the King, was there to ferry him back. When Jung heard this, he was immensely disappointed, and almost immediately the vision ended. He experienced the reluctance to live that many who have been ‘brought back’ encounter, but what troubled him most was seeing his doctor in his archetypal form. He knew this meant that the physician had sacrificed his own life to save Jung’s. On 4 April 1944 – a date numerologists can delight in – Jung sat up in bed for the first time since his heart attack. On the same day, his doctor came down with septicæmia and took to his bed. He never left it, and died a few days later.
Jung was convinced that he hadn’t simply hallucinated, but that he had been granted a vision of reality. He had passed outside time, and the experience had had a palpable effect on him. For one thing, the depression and pessimism that overcame him during WWII vanished. But there was something more. For most of his long career, he had impressed upon his colleagues, friends, and reading public that he was, above all else, a scientist. He was not, he repeated almost like a mantra, a mystic, occultist, or visionary, terms of abuse his critics, who rejected his claims to science, had used against him. Now, having returned from the brink of death, he seemed content to let the scientist in him take a back seat for the remaining 17 years of his life.
Although Jung had always believed in the reality of the ‘other’ world, he had taken care not to speak too openly about this belief. Now, after his visions, he seemed less reticent. He’d had, it seems, a kind of conversion experience, and the interests the world-famous psychologist had hitherto kept to himself now became common knowledge. Flying saucers, astrology, parapsychology, alchemy, even predictions of a coming “new Age of Aquarius”: pronouncements on all of these dubious subjects – dubious at least from the viewpoint of modern science – flowed from his pen. If he had spent his career fending off charges of mysticism and occultism – initially triggered by his break with Freud in 1912 – by the late 1940s he seems to have decided to stop fighting. The “sage of Küsnacht” and “Hexenmeister of Zürich”, as Jung was known in the last decade of his life, had arrived.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Yet Jung’s involvement with the occult was with him from the start – literally, it was in his DNA. His maternal grandfather, Rev. Samuel Preiswerk, who learned Hebrew because he believed it was spoken in heaven, accepted the reality of spirits, and kept a chair in his study for the ghost of his deceased first wife, who often came to visit him. Jung’s mother Emilie was employed by Samuel to shoo away the dead who distracted him while he was working on his sermons.
She herself developed medium istic powers in her late teens. At the age of 20, she fell into a coma for 36 hours; when her forehead was touched with a red-hot poker she awoke, speaking in tongues and prophesying. Emilie continued to enter trance states throughout her life, in which she would communicate with the dead. She also seems to have been a ‘split personality’. Jung occasionally heard her speaking to herself in a voice he soon recognised was not her own, making profound remarks expressed with an uncharacteristic authority. This ‘other’ voice had inklings of a world far stranger than the one the young Carl knew.
This ‘split’ that Jung had seen in his mother would later appear in himself. At around the age of 12, he literally became two people. There was his ordinary boyhood self, and someone else. The ‘Other,’ as Carl called him, was a figure from the 18th century, a masterful character who wore a white wig and buckled shoes, drove an impressive carriage, and held the young boy in contempt. It’s difficult to escape the impression that in some ways Jung felt he had been this character in a past life. Seeing an ancient green carriage, Jung felt that it came from his time. his later notion of the collective unconscious, that psychic reservoir of symbols and images that he believed we inherit at birth, is in a sense a form of reincarnation, and Jung himself believed in some form of an afterlife. Soon after the death of his father, in 1896 when Jung was 21, he had two dreams in which his father appeared so vividly that he considered the possibility of life after death. In another, later dream, Jung’s father asked him for marital advice, as he wanted to prepare for his wife’s arrival. Jung took this as a premonition, and his mother died soon after. And years later, when his sister Gert rude died – a decade before his own near-death experience – Jung wrote that “What happens after death is so unspeakably glorious that our imagination and feelings do not suffice to form even an approximate conception of it.”
Hmm..apparently the whole family could communicate with “spirits”, what ever spirits are.
Are they just glimpses of other dimensions, or are they projected “archetypes?”
It’s hard to say from this article, but I would conjecture that given Jung’s, and others OBE’s that what ever our core beings (consciousness) are, they exist in another reality.
And the collective subconscious is capable of projecting “archetypes” that can become real and solid.
South America has its share of anomalous happenings and UFO sightings are at the top of the list.
Here is a photo of an helicopter being shadowed by an UFO.
A case study in primitive air travel?
From Prof. Ana Luisa Cid’s website: Photo of an Argentinean police chopper seemingly shadowed by an unidentified flying object. The image was captured by Santiago Molina on February 4, 2010 in the city of Cordoba.
(I saw a police helicopter last night flying over my house, but no UFO. Rats!)
Mr. Obama’s FY2011 Budget for NASA left a bad taste in the collective mouths of senators and congress-critters from the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Texas since it cancels the much underfunded and maligned Constellation Program (which has been touted as a welfare program for engineers in these states).
But one feature of this budget is the significant increase of the money going to unmanned science research, including programs like “Project M“:
NASA can put humanoids on the Moon in just 1000 days. They would be controlled by scientists on Earth using motion capture suits, giving them the feeling of being on the lunar surface. I’d pay to use one.
Geology TrainingBack in the Lunar exploration days, scientists had to tell astronauts what to do up there, and how to identify interesting things during the limited time they had. For Apollo 15, the first mission that carried the Lunar Rover, astronauts were trained in field work by Caltech geologist Leon Silver.
That helped them to move faster and look at the ground with a critical science eye, knowing what they were looking for. The result: Their findings and samples were a lot more valuable to scientist back on Earth, confirming theories that weren’t confirmed till then.
Now imagine these NASA C-3POs roaming our satellite, controlled by all kind of scientists using telepresence suits down here, all looking for interesting things using high definition visors, and able to move just like they would move on planet Earth. It won’t work for Mars, but with a communication delay of only three seconds, it will work beautifully on the Moon.
The 1000-day mark is quite plausible, since the mission would be a lot simpler than a human-based one. It will also be quite cheaper than the real thing. First, you don’t have to care about life support systems, which will make spacecraft manufacturing a lot less complex. The whole system would also weight a lot less, reducing the need for the development of a huge rocket, and again reducing the costs.
What about the human factor I’m always defending? Well, we know that, sadly, we’re not going to get astronauts anywhere any time soon, so this is definitely the best alternative. It won’t be as inspiring as humans going back to the Moon or establishing a semi-permanent colony, but it could have an extremely positive effect on science.
Whoever did this at NASA should put together an actual budget as soon as possible. And while you are at it, make it possible for regular people to use one, maybe at the Johnson Space Center or some selected museums through the world. That will definitely inspire people.
Also there is an agreement between NASA and GM to build humanoid robots for tele-operation missions such as Project M.
Hmm..a way around exploring the Moon with real people? Who knows…
As the world plunges further into economic chaos and war being brought about by the world’s elites (few of which actually realizing they shot themselves in the foot), scientific endeavors funded by tax dollars have either reached a rather dystopian turn, or have gone to research that encourage an inward turning of human interests.
But there are still people who dream of an interstellar future for mankind and Paul Gilster is one of them.
In yesterday’s post on his Centauri Dreams site, the dream of finding planets around our closest interstellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, still is on the front burner and not about to be snuffed out yet:
Finding Earth-like planets around any star would be a stunning feat, and either Kepler or CoRoT may deliver such news before too long. But how much more exciting still if we find a planet like this around a star as close as Centauri B? After all, the Centauri stars are our closest stellar neighbors, close enough (a mere 40 trillion kilometers!) to conjure up the possibility of a robotic mission there and, if we play our propulsion cards right in the future, perhaps a manned trip as well.
Gregory Laughlin (UC-Santa Cruz), on the other hand, armed with a planet hunter’s insights, a passion for the Centauri system, and a realization that patience could tease out faint signals like these, traded ideas with Debra Fischer (San Francisco State) on the possibility of devoting years to an Alpha Centauri search. Fischer is now hard at work, using a telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile. She works with a decommissioned spectrometer and other vintage equipment. Call it ‘Alpha Centauri on the cheap.’
On the cheap indeed, most money tied up in astronomical research is done either in NASA, DARPA, Pentagon with a little thrown toward Seth Shostak’s way.
It may take promising early data to get even this modest setup funded after National Science Foundation funds run out in November, but we’ll take the funding problem one step at a time. For now, the precision work continues, with software Fischer herself coded being used to filter out distortions of weather, instrumentation and stellar activity on the target stars to hunt for the minute shifts in wavelength that could signal the breakthrough discovery. If she pulls this off, Fischer’s patience may become legendary.
This is the only good thing about the advanced programming being developed by Microsoft and Google, the ability to clean out distortions made by the atmospheric glare, pollution, dust and lights from cities.
Actually, Microsoft and the Google-Plex are writing these programs to enhance their own new telescopes they are building for Google-Moon and Google-Mars in order to sell more realistic VR tourist jaunts to folks sitting in their Panopticon/Matrix prisons, er…living rooms.
Alright, maybe that’s a little paranoid. But with most of our tax money going to the Pentagon, DARPA and the growing domestic “spy on the public because there’s terrorists there” industry, I think we all should be a little paranoid.
It’s shaping up to be that if we’re going to the stars, it just might be folks like Branson and Musk pushing the envelope because there’s money to be made.
And if I remember right, most of Heinlein’s characters hated the government snooping in their privacy.
The blogger IIB has long posted about DARPA and its involvement with Google and its founders to bring about a self-sustained distributed artificial intelligence in order to trigger a Technological Singularity.
I used to be a supporter of a Singularity, until I realised that it could make the human species extinct, of which I’m no fan. And creating machines that are conscious like humans is a tall order, maybe impossible to build.
But that doesn’t mean the possibility of the event occurring is diminished, one has to take into account the power of intent.
And no one entity is more intent than the US Government’s DARPA:
The idea behind Darpa’s latest venture, called “Physical Intelligence” (PI) is to prove, mathematically, that the human mind is nothing more than parts and energy. In other words, all brain activities — reasoning, emoting, processing sights and smells — derive from physical mechanisms at work, acting according to the principles of “thermodynamics in open systems.” Thermodynamics is founded on the conversion of energy into work and heat within a system (which could be anything from a test-tube solution to a planet). The processes can be summed up in formalized equations and laws, which are then used to describe how systems react to changes in their surroundings.
Now, the military wants a new equation: one that explains the human mind as a thermodynamic system. Once that’s done, they’re asking for “abiotic, self-organizing electronic and chemical systems” that display the PI principles. More than just computers that think, Darpa wants to re-envision how thought works — and then design computers whose thought processes are governed by the same laws as our own.
Over the centuries up until the present times, mankind’s intelligence has been attributed to something “outside” of our physicality, the ‘soul’, cosmic awareness, doppelganger, astral body and ‘consciousness.’
Empirical science with it’s “if it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist” approach has worked fine in a lot of discoveries over the past 300 some-odd years since the “Enlightenment” era and I can’t bitch too hard about it.
Without it, I wouldn’t be here today to discuss this topic.
But I have also found during the past two years that reality has more subtlety than what is quantified by empiricism, or what limitations our instruments currently have in measuring ‘reality.’
And what accounts for mankind’s awareness has been a huge bug-a-boo for science to get a handle on, since so many people in this day and age take it on faith alone that we exist after physical death.
DARPA must have an abundance of transhumanists and singularitarians working for them because that is a basic tenet of their philosophy; human beings are ‘meat’ or wetware holding intelligence or ‘consciousness’ that can be measured and ‘downloaded’ into immortal hardware, or another computational medium.
Here we have an example of the attempt to build consciousness from scratch, either through some enhanced biological medium, or non-biological forms. Perhaps a bit of both.
I’m not sure it’s possible to do this, if it is just a matter of recreating the human brain, I think we would’ve done it already, if we’re just ‘meat.’
I’m reminded of my first psychology professor years ago who taught that “human beings are greater than the sum of their parts, a gestalt, if you will.”
Basic, but I still remember it to this day. Probably because there is a simple wisdom to it.
Perhaps some good will come from this research; the development of artificial brains would be beneficial to brain accident victims, Parkinson’s disease and even Alzheimer’s patients.
Unfortunately, DARPA is a military research organisation first and foremost. As the article indicates, the first recipients in these experiments are to be autonomons used as cannon fodder, or severely brain damaged soldiers augmented and sent back into the field. Again as cannon fodder.
What will happen if these beings do turn out to be “conscious?”
Will human-rights organisations speak up for these first true transhumans?
Better yet, will self proclaimed transhumanist organisations speak up for them?
Some technologies are so complex and have so many frequent breakthroughs that few people can keep up. Now comes a new nine-week summer program in Silicon Valley for super-smart people. Dubbed Singularity University, its founders hope it will help close the gap in understanding and applying fast-developing technologies to solve what they called “humanity’s grandest challenges.”The goal of the Singularity school, which will be located at an Ames facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., is to bring together the world’s top graduate and postgraduate students in 10 diverse disciplines, such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, medicine and law. They will spend nine weeks together learning about each others’ disciplines and then focus on …… finding ways to overcome pressing challenges such as poverty, hunger and pandemics. Technology heavyweights, including Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, are slated to give the lectures.Applications should be available at Singularity University’s website, which is supposed to go live tonight.
Peter Diamandis, the Santa Monica physician credited with fueling private space rocketry; S. Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center; and futurist Ray Kurzweil are behind the move to form the school. Internet giant Google is a sponsor.
I had started a humongous post about the GooglePlex and its link to the Singularity and above individuals noted, but I ran away with myself writing it and it ended up not making any sense.
But I will provide link(s) to a person who has studied the subject extensively, in fact, he’s going to release DVDs concerning it within weeks;
I used to think the Singularity could be a good thing, but I found it’s just another Apocalyptic Religion.
The bad thing here is, this Apocalypse has a good chance of happening!
Every baby born a decade from now will have its genetic code mapped at birth, the head of the world’s leading genome sequencing company has predicted.A complete DNA read-out for every newborn will be technically feasible and affordable in less than five years, promising a revolution in healthcare, says Jay Flatley, the chief executive of Illumina.Only social and legal issues are likely to delay the era of “genome sequences”, or genetic profiles, for all. By 2019 it will have become routine to map infants’ genes when they are born, Dr Flatley told The Times.This will open a new approach to medicine, by which conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can be predicted and prevented and drugs prescribed more safely and effectively.The development, however, will raise difficult questions about privacy and access to individuals’ genetic records. Many people may be reluctant to have their genome read, for fear that the results could be used against them by an employer or insurance company.
The prospect of genome screening for all has emerged because of the plummeting cost of the relevant technology.
The Human Genome Project, which published its first rough sequence of mankind’s genetic code in 2001, cost an estimated $4billion (£2.7billion). By the time the scientists James Watson and Craig Venter had their genomes mapped two years ago, the cost had fallen to about $1m (£700,000).
Hmmm…2019…the same year the Singularity University plan to have their worldwide AI working.
Notice the name of the company too! (Oh no, there’s no such thing as the Illuminati, is there?)
These guys are fooling themselves into believing that an artificially intelligent GooglePlex will let itself be controlled by genetically perfect “elites”. By its very nature the Singularity is unpredictable and beyond any human comprehension.
I asked IIB about this one time and he said the elites might not even care if they get wiped out along with the rest of us, if the GooglePlex decides to do just that. His impression is that as long as this “child” of humanity survives mankind’s death, so much the better for Mother Gaia.
I know a few people who would go along with that, but I’m not one of them!
Hat tip to Red Ice Creations today!
The following is a response to a question I asked Ignoranceisn’tbliss on his site concerning the elites’ quest for GooglePlex Cloud Artificial Intelligence and whether or not they believe they can control it:
With all they wish to gain from it I don’t think they care whether or not they can. They put forward silly ideas of creating “friendly AI”, but after years of thinking about this the only safe bet that I can see would be to connect majority of humanity into it neurologically, so that in effect it would be killing itself. Many of these mad scientists even admit that the only way humans would be able to dream of competing or staying even near par with the machines would be to enhance our own brains, but by the time you do that you’re pretty much connected to it just the same.
“Connect with it neurologically.”
What does that sound like to you?
If you said ‘The Matrix’, give yourself a treat.
I recommend you go to IIB’s site. He has done extensive research into DARPA, the MIC, Google and their links with the globalists.
You won’t be disappointed.
Speaking of Google:
Google has fixed an a potentially devastating bug in its newly released Android operating system.
Some users of T-Mobile’s G1 phone found that typing any word on the phone’s keyboard — in any application — sent whatever they typed to the phone’s command line shell.
Those commands were then executed with root user privileges, meaning there were no limitations on what the commands could do to the phone. For instance, texting the word ‘reboot’ would actually cause the phone to do so.
“We fixed the bug on Oct. 31 and are currently rolling out the fix to G1 devices,” a Google spokesperson told Wired.com. Not all G1 phones may have been fixed though as T-Mobile is rolling out the patch in stages and there could be some phones still to be updated.
The bug affected almost all G1 phones and not just phones that had been “jailbroken” (hacked to work with unauthorized applications).
“This bug does affect users of G1 running RC29 and earlier,” says the Google spokesperson. “RC30 fixes this issue and it is not present in the emulator.” RC29 and RC30 refer to updates to the Android firmware.
I don’t own a phone sophisticated enough to run the Android software, so I don’t worry about this little problem.
But the Android Software is instrumental for the upcoming GooglePlex computing Cloud and eventual AI generation.
Are you an Android?
And now, a Singularity warning from Scott Adams: http://www.dilbert.com/fast/2008-11-11/
Charlie Stross isn’t happy about that, Scott beat him to the punch about the story concept!
And from a vet to all other vets out there, Happy Veterans Day to all and thanks!
In an initiative energized by Google Vice-President and Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf, the International Space Station could be testing a brand new way of communicating with Earth. In 2009, it is hoped that the ISS will play host to an Interplanetary Internet prototype that could standardize communications between Earth and space, possibly replacing point-to-point single use radio systems customized for each individual space mission since the beginning of the Space Age.
This partnership opens up some exciting new possibilities for the future of communicating across vast distances of the Solar System. Manned and robotic space craft will be interconnected via a robust interplanetary network without the problems associated with incompatible communication systems…
“The project started 10 years ago as an attempt to figure out what kind of technical networking standards would be useful to support interplanetary communication,” Cerf said in a recent interview. “Bear in mind, we have been flying robotic equipment to the inner and outer planets, asteroids, comets, and such since the 1960’s. We have been able to communicate with those robotic devices and with manned missions using point-to-point radio communications. In fact, for many of these missions, we used a dedicated communications system called the Deep Space Network (DSN), built by JPL in 1964.”
Indeed, the DSN has been the backbone of interplanetary communications for decades, but an upgrade is now required as we have a growing armada of robotic missions exploring everything from the surface of Mars to the outermost regions of the Solar System. Wouldn’t it be nice if a communication network could be standardized before manned missions begin moving beyond terrestrial orbit?
On the observational mainstream surface, the concept makes good, logical sense.
I cannot make any additional, knowledgable comments because my expertise in InnerTube Networking is limited at best, even though I am an experienced ‘user’. I simply find the ‘architecture’ aspect overwhelming.
Okay, I’ll make a guess ( so I lied about not commenting ); From what I get from this is that each planet, moon, artificial satellite and probe will have its own individual ‘Internet.’ Each local network will then send time delayed TCP/IP ‘packets’ to each other, thus linking up to the major Earth Google-Plex.
The deal breaker is the light-speed delay, but this should be negated somewhat by a hardy ‘time delayed’ TCP/IP protocol.
It would seem to me that would require more memory packed into even smaller physical entities.
Quantum computing to the rescue?
Or perhaps the GooglePlex AI needs to happen first?
Uh oh, Mac Tonnies is at it again:
A god-like intelligence wanting to understand the workings of our civilization might not be content with occasional “reconnaissance missions” or eavesdropping on our broadcasts. Perhaps nothing less than a robust, interactive simulation — with the aliens playing the roles of indigenous inhabitants — would suffice. In this case, for the simulation to bear anthropological fruit, it would behoove the aliens to think they really were Earthlings, complete with artificial memories. Only upon exiting the simulation would they remember their actual nature.
So maybe Earth as we know it is actually an alien virtual reality constructed as a sort of “Jurassic Park” in which to observe human society from the inside out. Or maybe, less glamorously, we’re all amnesiac participants in a vast nonhuman chat-room or first-person video game.
I go for the Boltzmann brain hypothesis myself and is just as valid IMO.
If we are simulations in VR with false memories, we could be Boltzmann brains with false memories too.
Or as my Christian friends Highwayman and James Essig would say, “Go for the enchilada and say a supernatural God willed the Earth into existence 6,000 years ago and created Mankind to be the center of Creation in order to be worshipped by angels, sinless ETs and the rest of the Universe.”
That is the ultimate tin-foil belief as HW is wont to say. If one is going to have false memories, have the biggest one there is!
The only thing I can say to that is “been there, done that, didn’t get a tee-shirt.”
And I don’t want my next set of false memories to be as grandiose as HW’s or Jim’s.
I just want a beach-house stocked with an infinite supply of Coronas!
The works of science-fiction author Philip K. Dick are the most authentic articles of modern prophecy since Nostrodomus.
Many of his works have made it to the movie theaters over the past 26 years, ‘Blade Runner’ (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), ‘A Scanner Darkly’, ‘Paycheck’, ‘Total Recall’ and ‘Minority Report’ to name a few.
Like most geniuses however, PKD suffered from episodes of paranoia and delusions, possibly from premature birth and a death of a twin sister when they were five weeks old. Dick often refered to her as his ‘phantom twin’, which was a recurrent theme through-out his writing career.
But Dick would say his illnesses were from the ‘visions’ and ‘possessions’ he suffered during the 1970s. Oddly, some of his best writing was produced during this time.
Throughout February and March 1974, he received a series of visions, which he referred to as “two-three-seventy four” (2-3-74), shorthand for February-March 1974. He described the initial visions as laser beams and geometric patterns, and, occasionally, brief pictures of Jesus and of ancient Rome. As the visions increased in length and frequency, Dick claimed he began to live a double life, one as himself, “Philip K. Dick”, and one as “Thomas”, a Christian persecuted by Romans in the 1st century A.D. Despite his history of drug use and elevated stroke risk, Dick began seeking other rationalist and religious explanations for these experiences. He referred to the “transcendentally rational mind” as “Zebra”, “God” and, most often, “VALIS“. Dick wrote about the experiences in the semi-autobiographical novels VALIS and Radio Free Albemuth.
At one point Dick felt that he had been taken over by the spirit of the prophet Elijah. He believed that an episode in his novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said was a detailed retelling of a story from the Biblical Book of Acts, which he had never read.
In time, Dick became paranoid, imagining plots against him by the KGB and FBI. At one point, he alleged they were responsible for a burglary of his house, from which documents were stolen. He later came to suspect that he might have committed the burglary against himself, and then forgotten he had done so. Dick himself speculated as to whether he may have suffered from schizophrenia.
However paranoid Dick became, his powers of predictive deduction were not diminished. If anything, they increased with time.
One such item, although he initially wrote about it in 1965, is becoming reality now in this time period, courtesy of DARPA, the Pentagon’s best friend:
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVE: The Gandalf program is an advanced technology and development and demonstration program that is seeking solutions to the functions of radio frequency (RF) geolocation and emitter identification using specific emitter identification (SEI) for specific signals of interest. The ultimate goal of the Gandalf program is to enable a set of handheld devices to be utilized to perform RF geolocation and SEI on RF signals of interest to the Gandalf program. The specific goals and performance objectives associated with RF geolocation and SEI for the Gandalf system are classified.
The basic idea is that a group of agents or troops could carry a hand-held gadget that could pick out the phone of a specific person, and then target that person.
Philip K. Dick had a unique understanding of the military mind, and he called this one in his wonderful 1965 novel The Zap Gun. He called this process of targeting a single individual needle-eyeification:
“The final solution,” Febbs said, “in my opinion, in n-e weapons.” N-e: that signified the esoteric term, used in Wes-bloc’s weapons circles such as the Board which he now (God in his wisdom be praised!) belonged to, needle-eye. And needle-eyeification was the fundamental direction which weapons had been taking for a near half-century. It meant, simply, weapons with the most precise effect conceivable. In theory it was possible to imagine a weapon – as yet untranced of by Mr. Lars himself, still – that would slay one given individual at a given instant at a given intersection at one particular given city in Peep-East. Or in Wes-bloc, for that matter…
God, how clearly he could conceive it in his own mind!
Now my question is this, “Is this a case of art imitating life, or life imitating art?”
Is the US Government purposely using the genius of a dead science-fiction author to create the weapons of oppression to be used against its citizens?
Or was P.K. Dick a latter-day prophet, tortured by visions he could barely understand and was trying to warn a future world of dangers that only demons in hell could dream up?