Wednesday, April 25, 2012


About America and its unprepared defense against cyberattack:
“Are we as a nation living in denial about the danger we’re in?” I asked Clarke as we sat across a conference table in his office suite.

“I think we’re living in the world of non-response. Where you know that there’s a problem, but you don’t do anything about it. If that’s denial, then that’s denial.”

[sidenote to the reader: Stuxnet is a computer virus that physically destroys the physical machine it infects. It's like saying, shit, my computer crashed, versus, shit, one of our nuclear subterfuges is on fire.]

On suspicion of US executing Stuxnet:
“If we went in with a drone and knocked out a thousand centrifuges, that’s an act of war,” I said. “But if we go in with Stuxnet and knock out a thousand centrifuges, what’s that?”

“But in any event, you’re right, it got out. And it ran around the world and infected lots of things but didn’t do any damage, because every time it woke up in a computer it asked itself those four questions. Unless you were running uranium nuclear centrifuges, it wasn’t going to hurt you.”

“So it’s not a threat anymore?”

“But you now have it, and if you’re a computer whiz you can take it apart and you can say, ‘Oh, let’s change this over here, let’s change that over there.’ Now I’ve got a really sophisticated weapon. So thousands of people around the world have it and are playing with it. And if I’m right, the best cyberweapon the United States has ever developed, it then gave the world for free.”

"Every major company in the US has already been penetrated by China. ... My fear...[is] Where we lose our competitiveness by having all of our research and development stolen by the Chinese. And we never really see the single event that makes us do something about it. That it’s always just below our pain threshold. That company after company in the United States spends millions, hundreds of millions, in some cases billions of dollars on R&D and that information goes free to China....After a while you can’t compete.”

Richard Clarke on Who Was Behind the Stuxnet Attack:
America's longtime counterterrorism czar warns that the cyberwars have already begun—and that we might be losing
Ron Rosenbaum, Smithsonian magazine, April 2012

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It, 2010. with Robert K. Knake (ISBN 9780061962233)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Google Glass X Vernor Vinge

If you wanna know what the future of Google Glass is really like, read for yourself:

Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge, 2006

Augmented reality is projected onto your retina by a contact lens, and controlled by sensors in your clothes. Are you 'wearing'?


T-shirts developed that could charge mobile phones
10 July 2012 Last updated at 18:21

The researchers turned the t-shirt fabric into a 'supercapacitor'
Scientists at the University of South Carolina have found a way to use a cheap T-shirt to store electrical power.
It could pave the way for clothes that are able to charge phones and other devices.

Experts predict that new technologies including roll-up smartphones and laptops will be on the market soon.

Advanced Materials Journal
Towards Textile Energy Storage from Cotton T-Shirts
Lihong Bao, Xiaodong Li*
Article first published online: 16 MAY 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Natural Selection X Artificial Intelligence

Charles Darwin used the taxonomy of Language to explain his theory of evolution.

That means we assigned what we now know as the process of biological evolution to language before we understood it regarding living organisms.

That is crazy. How is this not the most mind-shattering part of “Charles Darwin” and his theory and the whole science of Evolutionary Biology?


“It may be worthwhile to illustrate this view of classification, by taking the case of languages. If we possessed a perfect pedigree of mankind, a genealogical arrangement of the races of man would afford the best classification of the various languages now spoken throughout the world... The various degrees of difference in the languages from the same stock, would have to be expressed by groups subordinate to groups; but the proper or even only possible arrangement would still be genealogical…”

-Darwin, C. R. 1859. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: John Murray. [1st edition]


Steven Pinker - The Genius of Charles Darwin: The Uncut Interviews

~BBC, 2008

"The English"

Primitive Dreams

Just some notes from Lucien Levy-Bruhl’s Primitive Mentality (1923)

1966 Beacon Press edition, eng. trans.

[For the Primitive Mind] “What is seen in dreams is, theoretically, true. To minds which have but slight perception of the law of contradiction, and which the presence of the same thing in various places at one and the same time does not perturb in the least, what reason is there for doubting these data more than any others. …Since nothing seems more natural to him than the communication between the seen and the unseen worlds, why should he mistrust what he sees in dreams any more than what he sees with his eyes wide open?” (And these things are even more valuable to him because of their mystic origin.) (p101)

It may happen that what the primitive sees in dreams are circumstances which are to occur later; these circumstances are both prospective, because he foresees their happening, and they are also retrospective, because he has seen them take place. Such a thing is an impossibility to minds governed, as ours are, by the law of contradiction, for they have a clear representation of time unfolding in a unilinear series of successive moments. How can the same event occupy two different places in this series, at a distance from each other, and thus belong to the past and the future? Such an impossibility, however, puts no strain upon the prelogical mentality…. …Their simultaneity of data, as well as their ‘multi-presence of a person’ cannot coexist in time and space with us… (p105)

Regarding a native’s dream about the theft of some of his pumpkins by a white man, and even though the white man had never even been to this native man’s property, the native says, “If you had been there, you would have taken them”. And so the character of the white man in the dream was actually the will of that person. It doesn’t matter what you do… (p106-107)

Also see “Consciousness and Dreams”, by Marcel Kuijsten in The Jaynesian: Newlsetter of the Julian Jaynes Society, 2010, volume 4, issue 1


Is suavere the opposite of severe?