Archive for January, 2007
What if I were to tell you that there was a drug that millions of people were addicted too. With out it, addicts of this drug turn into zombies until they get their fix. Its comforting, safe, relaxing, even euphoric for about 15 minutes, then it steals 8 hours from your life. Such a drug would be considered a massive social problem. Politicians would talk about it, the press would write about it, businesses would spend money on it, and scientists would try to solve it.
Well, we are all afflicted by the symptoms of being addicted to such a drug. The affliction is called sleep. Its primitive, and it takes time and life away. People spend 1/3 of their lives sleeping and they spend some of their wakeful life fighting with their body that wants to sleep.
Sleepy drivers might be responsible for more deaths then alcohol related deaths. However its very hard to tell if the accident was caused by sleep, as opposed to alcohol or drugs which can be detected after an accident. Here are some stats.
In order to deal with this vestigial behavior, intelligent, productive people like Edison, Buckminster Fuller and P. Diddy usepolyphasic sleep to help fight back.
A relatively new drug called modafinil also has made in roads in the battle against sleep. This author from the Washington Post stayed up for 40 hours using it writting this article. I think thats pretty extreme. However I am attracted to the idea of being able to sleep less and feel more awake.
Living in the techno-lust capital of the world makes it hard to ignore apples new gadget porn. Everyones eyes are dilated over this thing, and it is a beautiful. I think this thing is going to be a huge success. Apple philosophy is that everyone wants a phone lets just make the absolute uncompromising best. Let me run through some of the draw backs, it will only take a second.
1.) holy cow, $599 is really expensive when you have to sign a 2 year contract with someone who isn’t your carrier.
The majority of people who want one of these phones won’t have the carrier that apple supports. This phone will retail for almost 800 dollars.
2.) It looks quite delicate.
Could you really put this thing in your pocket with out stressing about it? Touch screens are notoriously more delicate then regular protected lcds.
3.) Face grease
Sure the full screen is pretty, but its going to be a magnet for face grease.
Yet, the sum of these draw backs for the user will end up being a benefit for Apple. In June when Apple releases this thing hordes of those with the most face grease will plunk down and commit to two years of constant buffing and babying of their iphone, which is a great way to get some serious visibility.
I wonder why they don’t put the face contact side of phones on the oppostie
seti is a interesting group that is searching the universe by listening. They are looking for radio frequencies in the universe that statistically are unlikely to occur without being caused by intelligent life. It would be like digging in the dirt, looking for something organized or structured. If you dug in the dirt and found a watch you would assume that something intelligent created it.
The strength of the single caused by a radio wave never fully goes to zero. As far as I can tell it echoes through the entire universe. This makes it a good material to search through. Seti has been searching for some time now, and has found nothing. Here are three reasons why seti may have found nothing.
1.)intelligent life is very rare or non existant
2.)intelligent life that communicates or uses radio waves is very rare or non existant
3.)when intelligent life communicates it looks like white noise.
#3 is the most interesting to me. Humans have been using radio waves for a period of time that is measureable in 10s of years. Its an invisiably short amount of time in comparison to the life of earth, or the solar system, or the universe. In this tiny amount of time we have gone from radio technology that looks like morse code, to a spread spectrum, wide band, digital compressed, encrypted signal that looks more like white noise then ever.
The better our compression technology gets, the more our signals look like white noise. In fact I think there is actual theories to back this up. This is because as soon as an inteligent creature trying to communicates discovers a pattern in what they are communicating, they compress the pattern out. Rather then sending Qu all the time you can just send Q…and the pattern leaves the signal.
I think, in another 500 years, our civilizations communication waves will look entirely like random noise and fade into the natural background noise of outer space.
So, rather then futilely trying to listen for the random noise of an intelligent civilization it might be more affective to search for life with a transmission. This of course isn’t a new idea. The author of antinomian.com pointed me over too Karen Carpenter who was influenced by John Woloschuk of Klaatu.
Last night against my better judgement I watched the new Superman movie. It was quite bad. Superman had no character. No personality. The movie relied entirely on characters that were already created without developing them itself at all. For some strange reason Superman was really into Lois Lane but I could see no good reason for that at all.
There were five minutes left on the movie and I turned it off. I had no interest in how they decided to end that crap pile.