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Business Tech

StartRocket wants to blast billboards in space 👾🚀

StartRocket wants to blast billboards in space 👾🚀

In an interview with Futurism, the Russian startup StartRocket wants to project advertisements into space. Said founder Vlad Sitnikov:

“We are ruled by brands and events. The Super Bowl, Coca Cola, Brexit, the Olympics, Mercedes, FIFA, Supreme and the Mexican wall. The economy is the blood system of society. Entertainment and advertising are at its heart. We will live in space, and humankind will start delivering its culture to space. The more professional and experienced pioneers will make it better for everyone.”

Vlad Sitnikov, StartRocket

Would you want to see an advertisement for Coca-Cola or Nike in the skies over New York? Seeing the Jordan Jumpman might be kind of cool. But already bombarded with ads as it is on TV, phones, and street billboards, it might be nice to keep the only place we know is 100% ad-free, the sky.

Categories
Science

The blurry black hole photo

In the New Republic, writer Matt Ford rightly argues why we should be in awe of the blurry photo of the black hole. It’s not about the picture as much as the effort in went in to capturing it. Context is king.

This level of cynicism is better understood as ignorance. The image itself might indeed seem unimpressive. But judging it as you would any other digital photograph, shorn of all context and understanding, would be shortsighted. One also has to consider the thought and labor behind its creation. The photograph might not depict the horror of galactic destruction as some expected, but it represents something even better.

In other words, the photo should not just be consumed and forgotten like every other piece of digital (re: social) media. The image of the black hole is an artifact.

Think about it: A group of mostly hairless primates, stranded on a rock circling a nuclear spark, used radio waves to photograph an invisible sun-eater so far away that a person would have to travel for 55 million years at the speed of light to reach it. It’s hard to not feel a frisson of awe at the scale of the feat. This context is vital to fully appreciating the image itself, in the same way that the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling is even more impressive when you know that Michelangelo spent three years of his adult life bent over backwards to paint it.

Read In Defense of the Blurry Black Hole Photo

Categories
History People

NASA’s “women computers” 🚀

Katherine Johnson helped launch America’s first orbit around Earth. She also “computed the path” that would eventually get Neil Armstrong to the moon. 

In 1962’s Mercury-Atlas launch, astronaut John Glenn personally requested that she hand-crunch the machine’s calculations around the planet.  She confirmed the math a day and a half later.

The 2016 film Hidden Figures pays tribute to Johnson’s seminal role in one of the most important NASA missions in America’s spaceflight history.

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Science Video

Are we living in a computer simulation?

Perhaps what we see isn’t what we get. Instead, life is just computer code and humans are information.

So does a simulated life mean that we can live forever? Says theoretical physicist James Gates: “If the simulation hypothesis is valid, then we open the door to eternal life and resurrection and things that formally have been discussed in the realm of religion. As long as I have a computer that’s not damaged, I can always re-run the program.”

We are conscious automata

If our lives are predetermined and robotic, surely there’s a way to confuse the puppeteer? MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark offers some sage advice:

“If you’re not sure at the end of the night whether you’re simulated or not, my advice to you is to go out there and live really interesting lives and do unexpected things, so the simulators don’t get bored and shut you down.”

To bear with uncertainty is to be certain that there remains chaos undulating in the computer code of cosmos.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

The annihilation of space by time

kelsey-johnsen-727.jpg

Tempus fugit. Time flies. But that’s because we allow technology to accelerate it.

When we speed through life as we scroll through our Instagram feeds, seeing everything as “pictures on a wall,” we don’t remember much. We get caught in looking at the rapidity of impressions rather than engaging in real wonders. We see the world like a rolling film, and any pause causes a fight with intolerable boredom.

The rush to speed through life and accomplish all our goals in quick succession is the fastest way to reach “the annihilation of space by time.” But if we walk and slow down, we can catch the everyday moments in between. Slowness is what stimulates.

Technology flattens time and our expectations along with it. We expect everything to be instantly digestible, a downloadable shortcut. The time we spend digging deeper — experiencing– is what puts the bones in the goose. Acknowledging that “it will never be finished,” opens up space and time to dream.

Read A Model Railway Journey

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Psychology

Make believe 

Photo by NASA

The story you tell yourself is just as important as the one you tell others. Ideally, both thoughts and actions align. But cognitive dissonance often pits your beliefs and actions against each other.

To achieve what you want, you need both desire and competence. The challenge for all beginners is a lack of practice and experience. If you can accept failure as part of the experiment while feeling the aura of success — even if it’s the smallest win — you’re more likely to keep doing it.

“The more we do, the more we can do.”— William Hazlitt

Your attitude is an essential part of your motivation. You don’t just fake it until you make it; you fail until you succeed. Failure is really progress in disguise. Your self-beliefs and perspective will predetermine how you’ll act and deal with any setbacks.

Stories encourage dreams until one day they become real.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” — William James