Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, talking about some of the things that fascinate me. (Lottie — this is especially for “John”. I think he might find it interesting 😉 )
I haven’t done a science related post in a while, if memory serves me well, so today I thought I’d share this great YouTube series on the history of the universe with you. There is much in it that many of you will already be familiar with, but it is nonetheless an excellent, simple explanation of many complex ideas. A valuable refresher and an excellent introduction for the beginner.
WE NEED YOU! — I am looking for people who can “seed” the Made Easy series, either hosting it on their websites, mailing DVDs to schools or to other ‘seeds’, or spreading through BitTorrents. If you can help spread a bit of science and counter the rolling tide of creationist ignorance, please get in touch. Message me with a description of what you can do. Thanks!
The ‘Made Easy’ series is designed to explain the evidence that shows how we got here, from the Big bang to human migration out of Africa. A better quality version will soon be available for free download from a website — details to be announced. I will be happy to send DVDs free of charge to schools after the series is finished.
The ‘Made Easy’ series of videos can be freely copied and distributed for educational purposes, but cannot be used for commercial gain in whole or in part. They cannot be altered, transformed or added to. If you use repost these videos you must attribute them to ‘Potholer54 on YouTube.”
I’ve been a journalist for 20 years, 14 years as a science correspondent. My degree is in geology, but while working for a science magazine and several science programs I had to tackle a number of different fields, from quantum physics to microbiology. My particular talent was my ignorance. By not understanding half of what I was assigned to cover, I had to reduce scientific discoveries from the complex to the simple. If I wrote it in a way that I could understand it, then my readers could understand it.
Carrying on from here, few more of my favourite blogs…
- Rambling On. Lottie and her very precise Virtual Bitchslaps (and more!).
- Hayley’s Online Soapbox. A very refreshingly sceptical and investigative approach to the “paranormal.
- Andrew’s Tech Blog. Newly discovered. A wealth of techie info from a very nice guy whose brains I want to pick 🙂
- Richard Dawkins’s “In the News” Section. News stories with on science, atheism and religion.
- Wired Science. Science blog network from Wired.
- On the Road Again. My stand-up mate, John.
[Please be aware that not being included in the list does not necessarily mean your blog falls into the “badly written blogs that claim to speak with authority on subjects they quite clearly know nothing about” category.]
I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but what with my “creative endeavours” and whatnot, I just haven’t got round to it.
The blogoshere is growing on a minute by minute basis. It’s estimated, in fact, to be growing so fast that by 2020 it will have broken free of its technological confines and turned the world and everything in it to a fish-paste-like mush… or was that nanobots? Either way, it’s a force to be reckoned with — and as our blogging skills increase I’m sure the trend for so-called “real journalists” to start sweating a bit and worrying about their job security will also continue to grow. Exponentially.
But, let’s face it, there’s a whole heap of dross out there. Silly, personal websites I have no objection to. They serve a purpose for the individual concerned and more power to them. What I don’t like, however, are the badly written blogs that claim to speak with authority on subjects they quite clearly know nothing about.
With this in mind, I thought I’d take a few moments to introduce you to some of my fellow bloggers who don’t fit into this category. These are the blogs I read on a daily basis. And they are a bit good.
See what you think.
- The Odd Blog. Mike’s mix of Internutter de-masking and commentary.
- PD Smith. Science writer par exellence.
- The Will Rhodes Portmanteau. Will’s political blog.
- Nectarville. Bekki’s blog. Slow down, girl!
- Pharyngula. “Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.”
- KurzweilAI.net. Science and futurism.
… that’s all for now, but more will follow soon.
[Edit: Please be aware that not being included in the list does not necessarily mean your blog falls into the “badly written blogs that claim to speak with authority on subjects they quite clearly know nothing about” category.]
I despair when I read stories like this on the state of funding for the sciences in the UK. It no longer seems the priority it once was — the ignorant simply “not bothered”, whilst the plain stupid probably believe that we’ll be safer, because the science boffins will have less money “to build, like, bigger bombs and stuff”.
The reality is, of course, a lot different. Many of us simply wouldn’t be here today were it not for science of one form or another. We certainly wouldn’t enjoy the lives of luxury we currently enjoy. That 42″ LCD TV you watch? Science. The pills that keep your hypertension in check or help you be a fine upstanding fellow in the bedroom? Science. The airbag that inflates in nanoseconds (hopefully) when you smash your car up the arse of another? Science. The double-glazed units that insulate our houses? Science.
Need I go on? It’s a cliché, but investing in science really is investing our future. Heaven knows, if we blow this planet up, I want to be on Mars when we do it. And how is that achieved?
Now you’re getting it.
[EDIT: This might be of further interest: Sir David said it was “a scandal” that there was “no place for continuing series of programmes about science or serious music or in-depth interviews”. ]
Whilst wandering around the BBC News site this morning, I stumbled upon this fascinating article on Ray Kurzweil and was immediately captivated by the scope of this gentleman’s ideas. I read it and read it again, wondering just how reputable Kurzweil really was and finally realising that I didn’t much care. His ideas are brave and spine-tinglingly insightful — and whether he turns out to be right or wrong on the whole subject of the Singularity etc., it’s entertaining, at the very least.
In the coming decades, a radical upgrading of our body’s physical and mental systems, already underway, will use nanobots to augment and ultimately replace our organs. We already know how to prevent most degenerative disease through nutrition and supplementation; this will be a bridge to the emerging biotechnology revolution, which in turn will be a bridge to the nanotechnology revolution. By 2030, reverse-engineering of the human brain will have been completed and nonbiological intelligence will merge with our biological brains.
Where do I sign up?