Thursday, March 20, 2008

Broader Perspectives

Been enjoying the pugnacious and perspicacious writings of Melanie Swan over at Broader Perspectives. Is she humanoform or is she a digital descendant? How far has her avatar evolved? Only time and reflection will tell.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Probabilistic CMOS

MIT's Technology Review has a fascinating article about Krishna Palem's development of probabilistic electronics. This looks especially interesting for artificial intelligence software.

I wrote my first ELIZA program and cellular automata when I was in high school and later moved on to fuzzy sets and neural nets so I can tell you for sure that a probabilistic design scheme like the one described in this article holds out great promise in all these AI arenas.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Friends of Earth=Chicken Little

The sky is falling again. I always have to laugh at articles like this. It's pretty much just a list of unsupported accusations. Lots of mights and maybes made to sound like "absolutely and for sure" but then never a single specific to detail any true threat. Where is the list of exact agents and products?

Look for the individual agenda of one group or another trying to position itself to increase its political power and social persuasion when facts aren't readily available.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Doesn't bode well but might be great

Fred Friendly has made some really thought provoking programs over the years which I have almost always enjoyed. And this one looks pretty good too, called "Power of Small" it presents many of the current discussion points surrounding nanotechnology. I will keep an open mind until the full series begins in April but I must say I am concerned by hearing many of the misleading and alarmist statements that are facetiously batted around the web in shallow science and tech news articles. Check it out for yourself ( a short preview is available at the link)


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Nano-Lies at the LA Times

One of the most egregious examples of nano-paranoia I've ever read, the LA Times article "An unprecedented ability to harm" by George Kimbrell is composed of unsupported statements and sourceless references. All the usual lies, distortions and misunderstandings. He even stole my line "The new asbestos" from a year ago. According to Mr. Kimbrell, all that is unknown will most certainly kill us all with even the slightest brush. And of course industry can never be trusted to act responsibly and only the government can save us from the evil nanotech overlords.

A tour-de-farce of propaganda and fear mongering, when will the old media outlets quit poisoning the data stream with their agenda driven spin-doctoring?

Aatish Salvi does a passable job of countering these claims in his answering article "Fake fears shouldn't stop progress" but I sense in this an attempt by the LA Times to engineer plausible deniability. Aatish could do a better job of pointing out that many of the issues George raises are either out-right lies or are based on poorly designed experiments.