Variations on a human theme


We’re all variations on a human theme, containing multitudes.

Some of the variations are more versatile than others. The brain’s wiring is more amenable to uncertainty than chasing exactitude.

The rare breeds prefer to keep the ball in the air, playing the piano with no end in sight. Time is constant, and so is their search of novelty.

But every person is their own ‘CEO of Me, Inc,’ for which the fractions of uniqueness are the great equalizer.

Difference is always celebrated. The theme, yet, remains immutable. That is until the cyborgs take their course.

Time keeps on slipping into the future

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Time is moving at warp speed.

But is it time or our habits that permit time to slip into the future?

Today’s perception is irreality. We spend more time looking into our devices than we do looking up at the world. What seems like 2 minutes pecking at the phone turns into 20 minutes of squandered time.

Meanwhile, the child just lives in the moment. They are driven by novelty instead of worrying about tomorrow.

Adults mull over the possibility of death and permit regret to poison their hopes. They also have the responsibility — for work, kids, their health etc. — that constricts their freedom of play in the present.

Time holds steady, adherent to each tick. It is humans who panic.

The Seiko TV Watch, 1982

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From AnalogHero:

Sold in 1982 this is one of the smallest TV ever made with a 1 1/4″ Screen.

From the manual:

Seiko TV Liquid Crystal Video Display (LVD) in which pictures appear in response to external light. This means that the brighter the light, the clearer the pictures will be.

The Seiko TV watch has been seen in several movies such as James Bond Octopussy(modified screen for movie magic) and Dragnet.

 

Meet the flying train, a hybrid train and plane

image of hybrid train planeWhile Elon Musk is helping to combine hyperloops and space travel, the Russian architecture firm Dahir Insaat wants to build a hybrid train and plane that transports 2,000 people at a time.

The flying trains reach speeds up to 300mph, not much faster than the speediest train in the world, the 267 mph Shanghai Maglev. Even if it looks like a giant lego piece, most people would still rather ride in it than sit in traffic.

Furthermore, I wonder how we’ll look at any concept of transportation once SpaceX’s vision to fly people across the globe in 30 minutes becomes a reality.

This miniature ring could be the future of wearable tech 💍

Xenxo S-Ring - The World's Smartest Smart Wearable

Smart devices are getting smaller and smaller. The Xenxo S-Ring (Kickstarter) could be the latest in wearable tech to turn your hand into a phone, operate as a flash drive, act as a credit-card for on the go payments, track your steps, and more.

It’s a Bluetooth enabled remote control for your smartphone that allows you to interact with the world without staring at the rectangular glow.

We are not too far from implanting these types of smart devices into our bodies.

‘Men have become the tools of their tools’

via giphy

Technology is not neutral. FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) not only want to make all decisions for us, they want us to dissolve into all-consuming bots while the machines do all the thinking and making.

Humans are meant to work, not to be hedonistic jobless throwaways. We seek meaning and identify ourselves through our labor. But our biggest misconception is presuming that the job we don’t like also defines us.

The only benefit to people becoming tools is that they open up the opportunity to do what they’re really meant to do.

‘Try not to get a job.’

The artist Brian Eno advises us to ‘Try not to get a job.’ By not working for cash, we can follow our deepest passions, thereby subverting the Sex and Cash theory that says that we must toil in our office cubicles so we can do what we’re meant to do on the side.

“Men have become the tools of their tools,” quipped Thoreau, who was able to leave his job for Walden’s pond because he enjoyed the relief of a big bank account. As Frank Chimeo tweeted, “Thoreau had enough money to go to Walden Pond because he revolutionized production methods at his father’s pencil factory.”

Undoubtedly, there will also be a concurrent emergence of cyborgs, man blended into machines. The amalgam makes not only a brain without a body, but a machine without a soul. What will doing anything mean a world of automatons, a premonition of programmatic and unthinking disaster?

Read more: Our struggle with Big Tech to protect trust and truth


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Tomorrow’s World: Children in 1966 predict what the world will be like in the year 2000

Well-spoken, cynical, and eerily accurate, in 1966 these kids predicted what life would be like in the year 2000.

Their predictions include:

  • The rise of robots and job loss due to automation
  • The threat of nuclear war
  • Globalization and the destruction of cultures (note: they couldn’t have foreseen the backlash)
  • Population and overcrowding
  • Genetically modified foods
  • Sea level rise. Warns one child: “The oceans will rise and cover England.”

Little did they know the internet would further complicate things.

It’s your turn. What will life be like in the year 2050?

Drone to the rescue

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via Little Ripper

Lifeguards deployed a drone to save two struggling teenage swimmers stranded in rough seas off the coast of Australia.

This is apparently the first time drone technology carrying a flotation device has rescued swimmers.

While drones are commonly known for selfies (i.e. dronies), Amazon deliveries, firing missiles, and spying but they can also do some good too. The company behind the technology, Little Ripper, developed the drones to monitor sharks for coastal safety.

The drone also recorded the entire event which you can see below.

 

Are we still alive?

Are we still alive? #dogs #water #ocean #science #pets #brains #philosophy

Somewhere upon the way of evolution, humans lucked out. We developed language. We had hands that allowed us to manipulate our environment.

A bigger brain doesn’t make you smarter or more conscious. Neanderthals had larger brains than humans, so too do dolphins and whales. But the former died off, and the latter remain confined to water.

Meanwhile, humans built intricate tools. Says American neuroscientist Christof Koch, “human civilization is all about tools, whether it’s a little stone, an arrow, a bomb, or a computer.”

Given the advancements in technology and artificial intelligence, we may be too smart for our own good. By developing tools to think and for us, we’re outsourcing our neurons and developing a kind of robotic consciousness.

Humans are turning into broken machines.

Our jobs make us feel important and shape our identity. What are people going to do when they no longer have to work and have bundles of free time? Most of us will procrastinate and lounge while others will want to play like children with crayons again.

My now is your now 

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Humans are entropic; we die the minute we’re born. Our lives are limited by time.

But life goes on. It keeps ticking away.

NASA discovered seven Earth-like planets that no one reading this will ever see.

Machines are starting to take over jobs,; the AI revolution will do everything from making music to curating it.

We discover and tee up the future even if we don’t breathe in it.

Our presence comes and goes in the blink of the eye. Time passing is time past. It’s always about more than us.

The stimulation of chaos

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Everything binds to each other. It all bleeds and blends. Like interconnected dots, blood coagulates to scab a wound. We stem the flow. Throw on a band-aid. Put a damn up. Anything to thwart the chaos of nature.

Within a controlled environment, we manufacture new freedoms. We the protect the fragility of intention the best we can. But algae grows, and it doesn’t want to move. We max out progress, assuming modernity is the acme of our potential. Indifference morphs into stagnancy and then a reignited desire for chaos.

Pushing onward is a mindset. When the thinking stops, and people resurrect the instincts of past, dipping their toes into the end of history. Time heals all wounds until the default setting becomes stale once again. “We are now condemned to live in exciting times,” writes author Shadi Hamid. How quickly we forget what was worth preserving.

Debating the nature of time 

The future already happened. We are just working backwards to fulfill an eventuality. But some physicists are leaning toward a philosophical route to explain the meaning of time. Instead of longing on the future, they focus on the present. 

“The future is not now real and there can be no definite facts of the matter about the future.” What is real is “the process by which future events are generated out of present events.” – Lee Smolin, Theoretical Physicist

Is the “NOW,” space, time all there is? As they say, let go and let God.

“Future events exist, she said, they just don’t exist now. “The block universe is not a changing picture. It’s a picture of change.” Things happen when they happen”  – Jenann Ismael, Philosopher University of Arizona

Forward Thinking

Guessing the future is easier than writing it. Steve Job did both. He knew what people wanted and built it for them.

Most people are either one of the other: analyst/forecaster or developer. The analysts’ information generally direct the developers what to do, mostly because the developers just want to do the work. They want to think in code. But you can’t waste a developer’s time building something outdated.

Research and development flock together, ideally as one, where forward thinking meets predictive doing.