The Hivemind Singularity - Alan Jacobs In a near-future science fiction novel, human intelligence evolves into a hivemind that makes people the violent cells of a collective being. Slime mold network formation (Science). New Model Army, a 2010 novel by the English writer Adam Roberts, concerns itself with many things: the intimacy shared by soldiers at war, the motivating powers of memory and love, the rival merits of hierarchical and anarchic social structures, the legitimacy of the polity known as Great Britain, the question of European identity. Also giants. Scan Reveals Brain’s Structure To Be Much Simpler Than We Thought Peering into the brain with a scanner of unprecedented resolution, scientists discovered that the basic structure of neuronal networks was a simple, three-dimensional grid. More than any other part of the brain, the cerebral cortex makes us human. Through the electrical activity of the neuronal networks packed into the brain’s undulating outer surface we sense our environment, use and understand language, and separate good and evil. So, then, the biologist’s mantra, “form follows function,” means that when we learn about brain structure, we learn about our very nature. Last March a team of scientists used a new and powerful scanner to peer into the cerebral cortex and other underlying structures with an unprecedented level of resolution. What they found surprised them: rather than an incomprehensible bundle of twists and turns, the basic structure of the brain is a simple, three-dimensional grid.
Probiotic Élie Metchnikoff first suggested the possibility of colonizing the gut with beneficial flora in the early 20th century. Probiotics are microorganisms that some have claimed provide health benefits when consumed. The term probiotic is currently used to name ingested microorganisms associated with beneficial effects to humans and animals. Introduction of the concept is generally attributed to Nobel Prize recipient Eli Metchnikoff, who in 1907 suggested that "the dependence of the intestinal microbes on the food makes it possible to adopt measures to modify the flora in our bodies and to replace the harmful microbes by useful microbes". A significant expansion of the potential market for probiotics has led to higher requirements for scientific substantiation of putative beneficial effects conferred by the microorganisms. Etymology Definition
How to Build a Global Brain Abstract This is a high level description of a software project currently underway. Do not confuse the casual hubris of this document with groundlessness. There is no profound new AI technology in this effort. No More Skipping Your Medicine – FDA Approves First Digital Pill Approved by the FDA, a sand-sized chip sends a signal via cell phone to doctors to let them know when and if medication was taken. The Food and Drug Administration has just approved a device that is integrated into pills and let’s doctors know when patients take their medicine – and when they don’t. Adherence to prescriptions is a serious problem, as about half of all patients don’t take medications the way they’re supposed to.
Getting in Touch with Your Gut Brain through Belly Breathing Dennis Lewis G. I. Gurdjieff maintained that we are three-brained beings: intellectual, emotional, and moving/instinctive and that we can learn how to observe these three brains in action. Thinkbase: Mapping the World's Brain If Freebase is an "open shared database of the world's knowledge," then Thinkbase (found via information aesthetics) is a mind map of the world's knowledge. The interesting and incredibly addictive Freebase visualization and search tool is the brainchild of master's degree student Christian Hirsch at the University of Auckland. Thinkbase is one of the cool proof of concept applications built on top of Freebase that we mentioned last week. As we've mentioned here on RWW, Freebase is best suited for complex inferencing queries -- the type that expose relationships between various entities to figure out an answer. Things like, "What's the name of the actor who was in both "The Lord of the Rings" and "From Hell?" (Answer: Ian Holm)
The Life Cycle of a Technology (by Donald Norman) Donald A. Norman © 1998 Donald A. Norman, All rights reserved. As I wrote " The Invisible Computer ," I was struck by a paradox. On the one hand, there is very substantial agreement that ease of use and understandability are important. Life Enhancing: mBraining - Digest this idea... Here's some interesting food for thought... A fascinating TED talk 'How do we consume data?' by technologist JP Rangaswami, who muses on our relationship to information and offers a surprising and sharp insight: we treat it like food. Knowing in your gut It is known from ancient Chinese historical records that the great sage Li Shizhen, a famous physician from the Ming Dynasty, was a skilled medical practitioner with a great love for medical books.
A Brain Cell is the Same as the Universe A Brain Cell is the Same as the Universe by Cliff Pickover, Reality Carnival Physicists discover that the structure of a brain cell is the same as the entire universe. Image Source Return to Reality Carnival. If you like stories like this, Reality Carnival has many more.