ME and Ophelia

Friday, May 07, 2004

- - -

We are building out telepathy -
and continuing our stretch towards omniscience

My computer acts like an extension to my brain. It stores and compartmentalizes my thoughts and data. And I can search on it all by pressing a few keys. Given a few more hundred years, I cannot see why such extensions of the human brain won't be used to develop some amazing things. And then I wonder, where it is leading mankind; for what purpose is all this progress; what exactly are we trying to do and why.

To my mind, Boris Anthony, in an insightful email to Jim Moore, puts it in a nutshell:

"We are building out telepathy...and continuing our stretch towards omniscience: Tower of Babel?"

Here is a copy of Boris' email:

Howdy Jim! Still in Tokyo, got till the 30th of April... even considering staying longer... maybe all of May as well. We see. Awesome place. :)

In your blog entry titled "Personal Television Networks", you wonder about a comparison. While I have none specific to Individual Audio/Video Broadcasting, I do think the bigger picture here can be described as "we are building out telepathy".

The Jobs observation that "computers are bicycles for the mind" is a very McLuhanish (and others surely) thing to say. Essentially, every thing man creates is an externalization/extension of some faculty he already possesses. The wheel extended our legs and feet (transportation), etc...

The computer itself is merely a memory bank and a processor. Pictures, sounds, text, video etc are stored (memory) and via increasingly better software, processed, or rather: "packaged for sharing" ... (sharing afterall IS communication, and vice versa...). So with the computer, we externalized memory storage of external things: addresses, memos, audio/video/photo (a/v/p) of our environment in raw format, etc, and formalized (and continue to formalize) ways of packaging that data into shareable media (be it RSS, HTML, MP3, MPEG4,etc etc etc etc). Internally we do this with stored experience, and package it up with languages, such as english, french, music, oil paints, granite, architecture, math, etc...

So, now we plug in a cable into this computah thingo. A network. We bang out basic communication protocols and spend 20 years moving files... until one day... poof... hmmm... all of a sudden all this moving of files... increases our awareness... I know a bit of what 30-40 people think of everyday (weblogging/syndication)... I know a bit about where 5-10 people are at and what they are doing at any given time(A/V/P mobile weblogging), I know a bit about who my friends know and how (Social networking software)...

This is all beginning, but moving ahead quite rapidly. We are building out telepathy, Jim. Telesthesia is perhaps as far as we'll get, for now, but still: we are using all our knowledge and experience to provide ourselves with one faculty we do not posses naturally. We are extending not only our minds, thoughts, experiences, but also applying our development of languages and codification techniques and formalization, in order to reach this goal.

Taken to extreme, we are continuing our stretch towards omniscience. Tower of Babel? :)

Hope you are well!! :) B.
- - -


The state of being omniscient; having infinite knowledge.
The concept that god is in possession of all knowledge.
An attribute of God alone. It is the quality of having all knowledge - past, present and future.
The state or quality of knowing everything. Omniscience is forever denied to human beings.
An attribute of God alone. It is the quality of having all knowledge (Is. 40:14). Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and Omniscience represent the nature of God concerning His relation to the creation.
The attribute by which God perfectly and eternally knows all things that can be known -- past, present, and future. God knows how best to attain his desired ends. God's omniscience is clearly taught in Scripture (Ps 147:5; Prov 15:11; Isa 46:10).

[via Google definitions of omniscience on the Web]
- - -


Always described as some kind of spiral mountain made of brick and mortar, the TOWER OF BABEL was the largest particle-beam tool of its kind in antediluvian times. Built by the Assyrian King NIMROD, this radio transmitting electromagnetic fountain design may have "backfired" and exploded when its "tower beam" reacted with the ozone layer of the upper atmosphere and blew the parabolic crater container out - thus creating the infamous Biblical "bottomless pit" story (Revelations 9:11). See PARABOLIC MIRRORS.

Further reading: Tower of Babel Gallery and Catholic Encyclopedia Tower of Babel

[via Google Search: what is tower of babel ]
- - -

The superjumbo goes into production

In 2006 a new chapter will begin in the history of air travel. Production has started of the world's biggest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380 (originally A3XX).

Its sales pitch has attracted orders from 11 international airlines. A380s will fly to around 60 big airports around the world, the hubs. The plane was conceived as a rival to Boeing's ageing 747 Jumbo, which, for 30 years, has dominated in the size stakes. It doesn't have an obvious competitor. The share price of EADS, the Airbus majority shareholder, has risen as a result.

Airbus has carefully marketed the A380 as a luxurious way to travel, its promo videos oozing spacious inflight shopping, showers, bars, and libraries. The full size mock-up of the plane in Toulouse, France, even has an onboard waterfall.

Sections of the plane are individually manufactured across Europe: wings in the UK; fuselage in France and Germany. And tail planes in Spain. By air, sea and road they will be transported to Toulouse, France, for final assembly. Airbus has 129 orders for the A380 "superjumbo" on its books. The first is due to go into service in March 2006

Meanwhile, America's Boeing is staking its future on the new, mid-size, 7E7, after scrapping plans to stretch the Jumbo.

See the A380 in pictures.
- - -

Great demand for transport, travel and water-related projects

If engineers get their way the coming decades will see the completion of tunnels linking continents, offshore airports and the longest bridges the world has ever seen. There is even talk of a space elevator - which will carry people from Earth to the stars without the need for cumbersome spaceships.

There is great demand for transport improvements and that is what a lot of the major civil engineering projects are about. Transport and travel are among the areas set to see the greatest innovation - with the demand for cheap, fast and convenient ways to get around likely to provide much of the momentum needed to get projects started.

The planned expansion of Heathrow and other airports is seen as essential to the UK's future economic prosperity - yet the plans are deeply unpopular with local residents and environmentalists. Engineers believe they may have the solution. "If we were to become incredibly novel we could build islands off-shore for airports," says Mr McKitterick. He suggests the terminals, which could be built by joining several oil rigs together and linked to the mainland by tunnels, would "reduce noise and avoid building in overcrowded areas".

Transport aside, many industry experts predict water-related projects may soon begin to dominate civil engineering. Desalination plants used in the Middle East to convert sea water into drinking water could have to be built in northern climes.

"There is nothing in this industry we cannot do, it is just a matter of cost," says Bob McKitterick of engineering consultancy Scott Wilson, and a former president of the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Current projects

Switzerland: Gotthard Base Tunnel, due to open in 2010 (35 miles).

Spain and Morocco have agreed a programme of engineering tests for a rail tunnel under the Strait of Gibraltar. A decision on whether to go ahead is expected in four years.

The one mile (1.6km) long Stonecutters Bridge, which is being built in Hong Kong over the next four years, is set to become the longest single-span, cable-stayed bridge.

Talks have been going on to link Sri Lanka and India across the Palk Strait by a bridge, replicating an ancient 19 mile (30km) land crossing which may or may not have been built by humans, but which is still visible from space.

Civil engineers are also keen to see the completion of a 16,000 mile (25,800km) pan-American super highway, linking Alaska to the tip of South America. Much of the road is already in place but gaps remain in areas in Colombia and through the Andes.

Nasa's plans for a space elevator

Other projects pale into insignificance when compared to the Nasa's plans for a space elevator.

A 25,000 mile (40,000km) cable would be tethered between a base station - probably in the ocean - and an orbiting satellite, which stays at the same point above the earth as it rotates on its axis. Satellites, payloads and people would be able to move up and down the cable cheaply and quickly. "It has the potential to provide mass transportation to space in the same way highways, railroads, power lines, and pipelines provide mass transportation across the Earth's surface," says Nasa.

It is spending several millions of dollars researching the idea and while it admits the idea is still far from being a reality, it believes the system could be in place in the second half of the 21st Century. Unfortunately the fastest lift currently available would take over four months to reach its destination.

Read these comments on what projects people would like to see.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 5/07/2004
Comments: Post a Comment
0 comments Newer›  ‹Older