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  • 15 hours ago
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In Kubrick’s own words:

[Extraterrestrials] may have progressed from biological species, which are fragile shells for the mind at best, into immortal machine entities and then, over innumerable eons, they could emerge from the chrysalis of matter transformed into beings of pure energy and spirit. Their potentialities would be limitless and their intelligence ungraspable by humans. These beings would be gods to the billions of less advanced races in the universe, just as man would appear a god to an ant.

They would be incomprehensible to us except as gods; and if the tendrils of their consciousness ever brushed men’s minds, it is only the hand of god we could grasp as an explanation. Mere speculation on the possibility of their existence is sufficiently overwhelming, without trying to decipher their motives. The important point is that all the standard attributes assigned to god in our history could equally well be the characteristics of biological entities who, billions of years ago, were at a stage of development similar to man’s own and evolved into something as remote from man as man is remote from the primordial ooze from which he first emerged.

The Secret Sun: AstroGnostic: Stanley Kubrick and the Reality Stargate (via m1k3y)
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  • 16 hours ago
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Günter Kunert

t-fidibus:

"Ein Staat, schreibt Kunert, könne in den Träumen seiner Untertanen zwar viel finden, habe dort aber nichts zu suchen."

aus ‘Stasi-Kinder’ von Ruth Hoffmann

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  • 21 hours ago
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Before he goes into the water, a diver cannot know what he will bring back.

Max Ernst (via magictransistor)
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  • 23 hours ago
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There are other cargo drone believers, even outside Silicon Valley. In Europe, there is an entire organization—the Platform Unmanned Cargo Aircraft (PUCA)—devoted to bringing people together around the idea. Their vision of the future would see large cargo planes carrying between 2 and 20 tons of cargo flying relatively slowly and cheaply from places underserved by the existing infrastructure. One controller on the ground could handle 10 to 30 cargo planes flying at less than 300 miles per hour to save fuel. They could travel at all times of night and day, creating a more flexible in-filling logistics service to the current cargo system. In this scenario, cargo drones are like flying buses, not the speedy vanguard of two-minute delivery.

Founded by Dutch business school professor, Hans Heerkens, PUCA hosted a conference earlier this year that saw presentations from Airbus Defense & Space, the Dutch Air Force, and—most intriguingly—the journalist and novelist, Jonathan Ledgard, who is heading up a project with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology around cargo drones for Africa.

Ledgard, who wrote one of the best novels published this decade in Submergence, shared a draft of their vision with me—and it is fascinating in its mix of high and low technology, pessimism and optimism. He calls the robots in his plan “donkeys.”

“The qualities of a donkey are similar to what is required for a cargo drone: surefooted, dependable, intelligent, able to deal with dust and heat, cheap, uncomplaining,” Ledgard wrote. “The choice of the name ‘donkey’ for cargo drones is deliberate. A donkey is not a Pegasus, associated with speed. It does not bomb, does not monitor. It flies stuff between here and there, that is all.”

He imagines that specific cargo routes will develop in Africa at around Eiffel Tower height in what he calls “the lower sky.” Unlike Google, he does not imagine that they will fly all around; it will not be Uber for stuff one can buy at CVS. “The routes will be geofenced: donkeys will only be able to fly in an air corridor about 200 metres wide and 150 metres high,” Ledgard wrote. “Busier routes will resemble a high-speed ski gondola, without cables or supporting structures.”

At the stops on the route, “every small town will have its own clean energy donkey station” that will “mix 3D printing and other advanced technology with low tech, presaging a Tatooine future where neural circuitry and simple materials will be matter-of-factly combined.”

Ledgard believes “there isn’t going to be enough cash for Africa to build out its roads.” Yet, in previous generations, good roads were an enabling condition for industrialization and realizing jumps in the standard-of-living. How might African nations and citizens experience greater prosperity? The only way, Ledgard has concluded, is through the air.

A decade traveling the continent for The Economist, reporting on everything from jihadis to the spread of cheap Nokia cell phones has convinced him that a technological paradox will permeate poor countries in the 21st century..

“A community will have access to a flying robot even though it will not have access to clean water, or security, or be able to keep its girls in school.”

This may sound absurd, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be the future we live.

http://m.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/08/inside-googles-secret-drone-delivery-program/379306/ (via grinderbot)
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  • 23 hours ago
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A group of scientists, including UC Santa Barbara’s James Kennett, professor emeritus in the Department of Earth Science, posited that a comet collision with Earth played a major role in the extinction. Their hypothesis suggests that a cosmic-impact event precipitated the Younger Dryas period of global cooling close to 12,800 years ago. This cosmic impact caused abrupt environmental stress and degradation that contributed to the extinction of most large animal species then inhabiting the Americas. According to Kennett, the catastrophic impact and the subsequent climate change also led to the disappearance of the prehistoric Clovis culture, known for its big game hunting, and to human population decline.

"We conclusively have identified a thin layer over three continents, particularly in North America and Western Europe, that contain a rich assemblage of nanodiamonds, the production of which can be explained only by cosmic impact," Kennett said. "We have also found YDB glassy and metallic materials formed at temperatures in excess of 2200 degrees Celsius, which could not have resulted from wildfires, volcanism or meteoritic flux, but only from cosmic impact."

To date, scientists know of only two layers in which more than one identification of nanodiamonds has been found: the YDB 12,800 years ago and the well-known Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary 65 million years ago, which is marked by the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, ammonites and many other groups.

"The evidence we present settles the debate about the existence of abundant YDB nanodiamonds," Kennett said. "Our hypothesis challenges some existing paradigms within several disciplines, including impact dynamics, archaeology, paleontology and paleoceanography/paleoclimatology, all affected by this relatively recent cosmic impact."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827163443.htm (via m1k3y)
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  • 23 hours ago
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We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.

Jean-Paul Sartre (via maxkirin)
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