Monday, October 22, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Experience implies participation in an event, whereas awareness implies observation of an event. The two words can normally be substituted in an ordinary conversation without much damage, but they are differently inflected. One gives us the sense of being engaged, whereas the other gives us a sense of being cognizant of that engagement. One denotes reflection while the other denotes the thing being reflected. In fact, awareness can be thought of as a kind of experience of our own experience.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of 10,000 planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late 20th century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
©2011 Ernest Cline (P)2011 Random House Audio
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Leading environmental scientists predict that as many as 185 million Africans will die this century as the direct result of climate change. Many more will face untold suffering in other parts of the world. As I write, famine is increasing. Flooding is increasing, as are the disease and insecurity caused by water scarcity around the world. Climate change is real. It has begun. The countries that are the least responsible for causing climate change are paying the heaviest price. The average U.K. citizen pro- duces nearly fifty times as much carbon dioxide as any citizen in the developing world. And in the United States the production of carbon dioxide is significantly higher. This is a serious injustice. As an African, I urgently call on ordinary people in rich countries to act as global citizens, not as isolated consumers. We must listen to our consciences, not to governments who speak only about eco- nomic markets. These markets will cease to exist if climate change is allowed to develop to climate chaos.~Desmond Tutu
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Brian David Josephson, FRS (born 4 January 1940; Cardiff, Wales) is a Welsh physicist. He became a Nobel Prize laureate in 1973 for the prediction of the eponymous Josephson effect.[which is basically nonlocal communication-quantum tunneling]
As of late 2007, he was a retired professor at the University of Cambridge, where he is the head of the Mind–Matter Unification Project in the Theory of Condensed Matter (TCM) research group. He is also a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Josephson is one of the more well-known scientists who say that parapsychological phenomena may be real, and is also interested in the possibility that Eastern mysticism may have relevance to scientific understanding. He has said that one of his guiding principles has been nullius in verba (take nobody's word), saying that "if scientists as a whole denounce an idea, this should not necessarily be taken as proof that the said idea is absurd; rather, one should examine carefully the alleged grounds for such opinions and judge how well these stand up to detailed scrutiny."
In 2001 Josephson's views on the paranormal were under the spotlight when he wrote about them in a booklet to accompany six special stamps to honour the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prize. The Royal mail had sent Josephson a request to write a small article about their award and the implication of research in their field they could use in conjunction with the special Nobel Centenary stamp issue. He wrote the following:
"Physicists attempt to reduce the complexity of nature to a single unifying theory, of which the most successful and universal, the quantum theory, has been associated with several Nobel prizes, for example those to Dirac and Heisenberg. Max Planck's original attempts a hundred years ago to explain the precise amount of energy radiated by hot bodies began a process of capturing in mathematical form a mysterious, elusive world containing 'spooky interactions at a distance', real enough however to lead to inventions such as the laser and transistor. Quantum theory is now being fruitfully combined with theories of information and computation. These developments may lead to an explanation of processes still not understood within conventional science such as telepathy, an area where Britain is at the forefront of research."
He came under criticism from several fellow physicists including David Deutsch, a quantum physicist at Oxford University who stated: "It is utter rubbish. Telepathy simply does not exist. The Royal Mail has let itself be hoodwinked into supporting ideas that are complete nonsense".However, Josephson maintains "There is a lot of evidence to support the existence of telepathy, for example, but papers on the subject are being rejected - quite unfairly".
In 2005, Josephson said that "parapsychology should now have become a conventional field of research, and yet parapsychology's claims are still not generally accepted". He compared this situation to that of Alfred Wegener's hypothesis of continental drift, where there was initially great resistance to acceptance despite the strength of the evidence. Only after Wegener's death did further evidence lead to a gradual change of opinion and ultimate acceptance of his ideas. Josephson said that many scientists are not yet swayed by the evidence for parapsychology and the paranormal. Josephson contends that some scientists feel uncomfortable about ideas such as telepathy and that their emotions sometimes get in the way.~Wikipedia