Thursday, January 26, 2006

Is 'cyberspace' dead?

In a recent Wired article called "Cyberspace" Is Dead a few leading thinkers were asked about what they would term as the new 'word' for our new cyber-society:

"Twenty years after William Gibson coined the term cyberspace in his novel Neuromancer, we live in a world of smart objects, always-on devices, and perpetually open information channels. The Internet feels less like an alternate world that we "go to" and more like just another layer of life. Besides, doesn't cyberspace sound kind of played out? Clearly, we need a better word. The Institute for the Future asked a virtual roundtable of leading thinkers to coin a term for our new new reality. Here's what they came up with."

I like both 'Augmented reality', and 'Infosphere'.....perhaps one day it will just be, as Neil Gershenfeld says - 'the world'

Our world.....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Merged Evolution

A well-researched book that deals with the issues covered by this site is:

'Merged Evolution: Long-term Implications of Biotechnology and Information Technology' by Susantha Goonatilake - published by the World Futures General Evolution Studies (editor in chief is actually Ervin Laszlo)

The world today is in a constant state of change. Information technology and biotechnology together seek to rewrite the cultural and biological history of the Earth. "Merged evolution" charts the implications of these two major forces of change combined with a third force, that of artifactual information, which is handed down dichronically from computing device to computing device. Through developments anticipated in the near future, Dr. Goonatilake describes the merging of these three systems, a convergence which will profoundly affect the biological social, and technical fields much more than previous studies have implied. Together these changes yield an entirely different history - and a different future of the world for life, nature and civilization. This text addresses the broader issue arising from these important developments using the unifying perspectives of general evolutionary theory to yield a fresh and profound insight.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Audio collection from some gurus

Future Hi has a good audio download page of mp3s from Robert Anton Wilson, Terence McKenna, Albert Hoffman, Marilyn Ferguson.

Worth a listen! Try this link

Hoffman's 100 Years: Report

Albert Hofmann, the scientist that turned the world's attention to LSD turned 100 years old on January 11, 2006 and after a more intimate party on his birthday the conference “LSD: Problem child and wonder drug” was held on January 13-15 in Basel.

Read here a personal report of someone's reflections on the event.

The Earth is about to catch a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years

James Lovelock, author of the Gaia Hypothesis, has written an interesting article on the state of the Earth and what this implies. I quote:

"This article is the most difficult I have written and for the same reasons. My Gaia theory sees the Earth behaving as if it were alive, and clearly anything alive can enjoy good health, or suffer disease. Gaia has made me a planetary physician and I take my profession seriously, and now I, too, have to bring bad news.

The climate centres around the world, which are the equivalent of the pathology lab of a hospital, have reported the Earth's physical condition, and the climate specialists see it as seriously ill, and soon to pass into a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years. I have to tell you, as members of the Earth's family and an intimate part of it, that you and especially civilisation are in grave danger."

Read the rest of the article here

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hyperspace travel

This sounds like science fiction.....yet it's another indication of the advancement both our technology and our imagination and desire is taking us:

'According to the Heim quantum theory (HQT) developed in the 1950s, it should be possible to build an 'hyperspace' engine allowing a spacecraft to reach Mars in 3 hours. It would also allow us to travel to stars more that 10 light years away in 80 days by slipping into a different dimension. But is interstellar space travel a dream or a future reality? It all depends if this controversial theory about the fabric of our universe is correct or not. So far, it seems that a majority of physicists thinks that this theory is either incomplete or almost understandable. Nevertheless, some scientists working for the U.S. Department of Energy think that such an 'hyperspace' engine could be tested within five years.

An extraordinary "hyperspace" engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States government.

The hypothetical device, which has been outlined in principle but is based on a controversial theory about the fabric of the universe, could potentially allow a spacecraft to travel to Mars in three hours and journey to a star 11 light years away in just 80 days, according to a report in today's New Scientist magazine.

Continue reading 'Hyperspace Ship' at Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends

Monday, January 16, 2006

15 Tech Concepts You'll Need To Know In 2006

This is a valuable piece to learn about some of the emerging tech fields that will be affecting our social/global world in the upcoming years - available here.

Some of the concepts discussed are Body Area Network; Metadata; and Electronic Medical Records.

Across the Megaverse

In Leonard Susskind's new book, "The Cosmic Landscape," he says the latest version of string theory (now rechristened M-theory) yields a gargantuan number of models: about 10 to the 500th power -- the "megaverse."

These details are explored in an interesting NY Times article titled 'The Cosmic Landscape'.

E-Weapons: Directed Energy Warfare In The 21st Century

A new breed of weaponry, "directed-energy weapons," may well signal a revolution in military hardware -- perhaps more so than the atomic bomb.

Directed-energy weapons take the form of lasers, high-powered microwaves, and particle beams, according to J. Douglas Beason, author of the recently published book: The E-Bomb: How America's New Directed Energy Weapons Will Change the Way Wars Will Be Fought in the Future (Da Capo Press, October 2005).Beason previously served on the White House staff working for the President’s Science Advisor (Office of Science and Technology Policy) under both the Bush and Clinton Administrations.

Read the full article on

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Six ways to increase intelligence

Following on from the previous post about Leary's 3-ways: here is an extension provided by

* Increase the diversity of input (varieties of sensory perceptions)
* Increase the diversity of transformations (multiple meanings / interpreations /
* Increase the diversity of output (expression / application)
* Improve the conditions of the physical support systems (body, environment)
* Remove or reduce the environmental factors which inhibit intelligence (labels,
bureaucracies, etc.)
* Increase the environmental factors which support intelligence (trust,
communities, unpredictability, communication technologies, etc.)

Also, its worth checking out some of the words/ideas of another Techno-Shaman - Antero Ali:

He has a good interpretation of Leary's 8 -fold path of consciousness in a short essay titled:'The NEUROPHARMACY of an EIGHT-CIRCUIT BRAIN
"On the Induction of Eight Different Types of Trance"

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Three ways to increase your intelligence

As ever, there is more depth to Timothy Leary's writings than some have given him credit for.... so I quote his lines on 3 ways to increase one's intelligence:

1. Continually expand the scope, source, intensity of the information you receive.

2. Constantly revise your reality maps, and seek new metaphors about the future to understand what's happening now.

3. Develop external networks for increasing intelligence. In particular, spend all your time with people as smart or smarter than you.

- Timothy Leary, The Intelligence Agents

Hypertime, Hyperself, and Googling The Akashic

A site called 'Future Hi' has an extensive and fascinating archive of articles on topics varying from 'Exotic Civilizations: Beyond Kardachev'; 'Reality and Consciousness: Turning the Superparadigm Inside Out', to 'Eco-Transhumanism' and more.

I especially liked the post on 'Hypertime, Hyperself, and Googling The Akashic': here is an extract -

"Imagine a point in which your intelligence, a vast network and continuum of information, knowledge and wisdom, begins mapping this holographic universe using hyper-intelligent "semantic", hyper-synaesthetic meta-data, to use contemporary metaphors. Is higher intelligence already doing this with our most intimate moments now? Is this higher intelligence ourselves in "the future" living vicariously through our "past selves", having not reflected yet that is in fact a hyper-intelligence capable of transcending all of it? Better still, are such distinctions between our so-called "lowly" selves and this higher self a false dichotomy? Perhaps that is what all the great sages have been trying to tell us - we are already gods, are already this higher intelligence!"

And some great audio posts from such people as Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson.

The Seven Ages of Computer Connectivity

John F. Barber has written an interesting essay on advancing stages of human-computer connectivity, including the seven stages of Computer Age;Information Age; Shocked; Telespheral Age; Aquarian Age; Transhuman Age; Digital Age - the essay has a short conclusion which can be found here.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Brain-to-Brain Communication

One of the research goals currently underway in government funded DARPA projects is for humans to be able to send sounds, images, and other bits of information to other humans in direct thought transference. Successful work has been done between the transfer of thought between human-computer interface: this, however, is not the goal. This is telepathy made possible through technological means, rather than through the tried and tested ancient route of physical and spiritual self-development.

This exists on the understanding of feedback loops. Current trends in neuroscience has identified means to form spatial relations through wireless connectivity with machines - yet machines are still lacking in context understanding - thus, human-to-human is the goal.

Imagine the scenerio whereby one person can pass their imagination, ideas, and aspirations to another in mental images...and what about emotional transference, and the redundancy of language? If this was achieved through a brain implant then all those people who either refused or who were not able to have such an operation, they would be ostracised from a growing community of privileged people who communicated 'in silence'.

As one researcher admitted: "With neural prosthetics, information from the emotional centres of someone else - say, a loved one - could be piped straight to your empathy centre."

It's bad enough trying to understand one another with verbal communication!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tech-savvy people have RFID implants

A recent article from - 'Computer chips get under skin of enthusiasts' - writes of a group of tech-savvy young people who are implanting chips under their skin in order to have remote control over such devices as their computer and other household appliances:

"With a wave of his hand, Amal Graafstra, a 29-year-old entrepreneur based in Vancouver, Canada, opens his front door. With another, he logs onto his computer.

Tiny radio frequency identification (RFID) computer chips inserted into Graafstra's hands make it all possible."

RFID tagging and implants have been under discussion for some time, and the implications are becoming more widespread:

"In the future, technological advances will allow people to store, transmit and access encrypted personal information in an increasing number of wireless ways"

The globe is becoming increasingly unwired - yet mapping technologies and strategies are also becoming increasingly more ubiquitous...

The future may be a struggle between being unwired and being unwatched...

What Is Your Dangerous Idea?

The "third culture thinkers" in the Edge community of scientists and science-minded thinkers have written 117 original essays in response to the 2006 Edge Question: "What is your dangerous idea?".

The answers include "The self is a conceptual chimera" (John Allen Paulos),"We are all virtual" (Clifford Pickover), and "The near-term inevitability of radical life extension and expansion" (Ray Kurzweil).

So long as the imagination is out there, so are the possibilities: if matter is programmable, how strong thus is the power of thought...

Hacking Matter

"The Flick of a switch: A wall becomes a window becomes a hologram generator. Any chair becomes a hypercomputer, any rooftop a power or waste treatment plant..."

A multimedia editon of Wil McCarthy's HACKING MATTER: Levitating Chairs, Quantum Mirages, and the Infinite Weirdness of Programmable Atoms book has been released as a free pdf. It deals with "programmable matter" (currently: colloidal films, bulk crystals, and quantum dots) that can mimic the properties of any natural atom. (See McCarthy's FAQ: Quantum Dots and Programmable Matter.)

Source: BoingBoing

2005: The year in technology

New Scientist has just released a decent, albeit brief, summary of some of the interesting emergent innovations in technology over the last 12 months: see their article '2005: The year in technology'

One of the points worth a mention is that a patent filed by Sony, revealed in April, 'provided a disturbing glimpse of the possible future for virtual entertainment. Describing a device that would transmit sensory data directly into the brain, the invention hints at a Matrix-like experience for gamers in decades to come.'

Another - of the devices developed by US military. These included an 'electromagnetic pulse gun, a microwave weapon, and a rifle capable of firing electric bullets at aggressors. Details of a laser rifle and a helicopter laser weapon, designed to dazzle targets without permanently blinding them, were also uncovered'

I'm sure there is much, much more to come...and some of it in 2006

Monday, January 09, 2006


Now that the wandering period is over, I'm back on dry land - on the lookout for interesting developments, ideas, innovations, and evolutions!

I wanted to pass on this quote, which combines complexity, connectivity, and cosmic unity in a simple paragraph:

"Whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond; and whenever you're sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it's much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer."

- Norton Juster, "The Phantom Tollbooth"

Let us all try in 2006 to learn something new in order for the whole world to become that much richer...