October 23, 2018, 04:30:52 AM

Author Topic: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)  (Read 20206 times)

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #240 on: June 22, 2018, 02:56:55 PM »
That's disturbing

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #241 on: July 18, 2018, 04:13:30 PM »
Interesting article today about a first tentative step toward approving genetic modification of babies.

https://gizmodo.com/uk-ethics-council-says-it-s-morally-permissible-to-cr-1827655873

Genetic engineering (in my case, way too much of it) plays a big role in my scifi thrillers, so it's interesting to see acceptance of such practices moving forward (even incrementally).

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #242 on: July 18, 2018, 05:43:38 PM »
The Biotics are taking over already!!!

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #243 on: July 26, 2018, 08:55:14 AM »
I really should be working rn but this article is great!!

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/23/tech-industry-wealth-futurism-transhumanism-singularity


Quote
So instead of considering the practical ethics of impoverishing and exploiting the many in the name of the few, most academics, journalists, and science fiction writers instead considered much more abstract and fanciful conundrums: is it fair for a stock trader to use smart drugs? Should children get implants for foreign languages? Do we want autonomous vehicles to prioritize the lives of pedestrians over those of its passengers? Should the first Mars colonies be run as democracies? Does changing my DNA undermine my identity? Should robots have rights?

Asking these sorts of questions, while philosophically entertaining, is a poor substitute for wrestling with the real moral quandaries associated with unbridled technological development in the name of corporate capitalism. Digital platforms have turned an already exploitative and extractive marketplace (think Walmart) into an even more dehumanizing successor (think Amazon). Most of us became aware of these downsides in the form of automated jobs, the gig economy, and the demise of local retail.

But the more devastating impacts of pedal-to-the-metal digital capitalism fall on the environment and global poor. The manufacture of some of our computers and smartphones still uses networks of slave labor. These practices are so deeply entrenched that a company called Fairphone, founded from the ground up to make and market ethical phones, learned it was impossible. (The company’s founder now sadly refers to their products as “fairer” phones.)

Meanwhile, the mining of rare earth metals and disposal of our highly digital technologies destroys human habitats, replacing them with toxic waste dumps, which are then picked over by peasant children and their families, who sell usable materials back to the manufacturers.

This “out of sight, out of mind” externalization of poverty and poison doesn’t go away just because we’ve covered our eyes with VR goggles and immersed ourselves in an alternate reality. If anything, the longer we ignore the social, economic, and environmental repercussions, the more of a problem they become. This, in turn, motivates even more withdrawal, more isolationism and apocalyptic fantasy – and more desperately concocted technologies and business plans. The cycle feeds itself.

For ages I had been wanting to write an article to pitch to WIRED called "Why Technology Won't Save Us." but it looks like this guy beat me to it, he's written a bunch of books on the future of technology.

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #244 on: August 16, 2018, 02:43:51 AM »
How about this genuinely amazing discovery in our natural world now?  Asking for stories with insectoid engineers and more. Love this so much, Mother Nature been there done that.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 03:13:19 AM by Lady Ty »
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
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Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #245 on: August 16, 2018, 04:30:10 PM »
How about this genuinely amazing gears on insects aks discovery in our natural world now?
There is also a small organism with a propeller, real circular drive. Looks a bit like a corkscrew.  The gears in link  only are to synchronise the legs when it's small. The adult doesn't have them.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #246 on: August 16, 2018, 06:10:10 PM »
These things are so incredible :D
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #247 on: August 17, 2018, 03:06:38 AM »
Was thinking about this and realised Mechanical Ball and Socket joints are hips and shoulders. Eyes and ears and other human  body parts have also contributed to many inventions so I shouldn't have been surprised. But it was still wonderful in that tiny insect.
@Ray McCarthy Please can you give a link to the propeller effect?  Would like to see that as well. :)
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
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Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #248 on: August 17, 2018, 08:15:36 AM »
Flagella propeller on some bacteria https://phys.org/news/2018-04-bacterial-propeller.html

Larvae of Dictyoceratida spp. are very efficient swimmers and use the posterior tuft of flagella as a propeller for forward and backward swimming, as well as for orientation with respect to light (Leys and Degnan, 2001; Uriz et al., 2002; Maldonado et al., 2003). Together with the other larvae of the orders Dictyoceratida and Dendroceratida, they appear to be the most ...
from https://academic.oup.com/plankt/article/27/3/249/1493442

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #249 on: August 17, 2018, 08:24:54 AM »
Thank you Ray, appreciate the link, that will keep me well occupied for a while.  :D
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
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Online The Gem Cutter

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #250 on: September 27, 2018, 02:59:15 PM »
Discovery of a new element: Administratium

The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by physicists.  The element, tentatively named Administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have 1 neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons, and 111 assistant vice neutrons. This gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together in a nucleus by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons.

Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it contacts. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of Administratium caused one reaction to take over four days to complete, when it would normally occur in less than one second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years, at which time it does not actually decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic weight actually increases after each reorganization.

Research at other laboratories indicates that Administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points, such as government agencies, large corporations and universities, and can actually be found in the newest, best maintained buildings.

Scientists point out that Administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reactions where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how Administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #251 on: September 27, 2018, 03:47:58 PM »
^ ;D ;D
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #252 on: September 28, 2018, 07:34:41 PM »
Now this is pretty cool! Check out an actual video from the surface of an actual asteroid!

I mean, it's a rock, but it's a rock HURTLING THROUGH SPACE, and not only did the Japanese land a rover on it, they're going to be landing another and plan to have those rovers come BACK in 2023.

Plus they got a movie of a rock in space. You can actually see the surface of a real asteroid. I'm geeking out a little, honestly.

https://gizmodo.com/the-hayabusa2-rovers-just-made-a-movie-on-the-surface-o-1829391481

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #253 on: October 18, 2018, 06:35:05 PM »
I usually post a lot more about VR than AR, but some recent developments at the Magic Leap conference (a company working on AR applications) really blew me away. They've actually managed to create a human looking augmented reality person who could one day act as a personal assistant or house AI, similar to Alexa or Siri - but in this case, Mica (their augmented reality human) is a person with realistic expressions you can actually SEE when wearing AR glasses.

For anyone who's tried AR (think Pokemon Go and similar apps) the fact that AR places realistic digital objects into the real world can do a great job of tricking the mind, and a realistic human generated in real time is a step beyond that. If you imagine an Alexa that can smile, frown, and yawn, you've basically got Mica.

Here's an article with some specifics. You can find a bunch more if you Google "magic leap" and "Mica". Fascinating stuff!

https://www.digitalbodies.net/mixed-reality/say-hello-to-mica-magic-leaps-mixed-reality-ai/

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #254 on: October 21, 2018, 11:17:01 AM »
You can find a bunch more if you Google "magic leap" and "Mica". Fascinating stuff!

Or search "Magic Leap" "Vapourware", far more honest.
Their hype exceeds reality. There is VR (poor, basically nausea inducting video games) and AR (poor too). ML has no actual real product and all demos I've seen are simulations. ML is the most hype and least functional of all systems other than a holder with lenses for a mobile phone.
The problem with the googles on all  systems are two fold: 1: The field of view is too small except for specialist applications, not immersive. 2: Decent tracking* needs about x10 the CPU power & GPU than normally available.
AR "only" needs glasses with a stereo projection system. VR really needs a  special suit and maybe a tank or chair/cradle.

*You need to track the head and eyes. Tracking what distance the user is looking at is hard, especially for the nearly 20% that have less than perfect binocular vision.

We have had various discussions and long sessions here of VR and AR over the last 30 years. Also critique of the many SF stories which vary in both realism and also inherent physical possibilities. Books are mostly better than highly visual cinema/TV to critique. Star Trek might rate high on "apparent" realism, but likely inherently impossible.  Stories involving implants are plausible, though as in many or the dystopian stories, might be one-way. Stories with googles, tanks, suits and drugs are believable reversible VR. Googles alone are best for AR and and can only give a limited VR experience working minimally with gloves or similar. The next level would be a body harness above a large motorized sensor ball that allows walking, jumping, running, kicking and sitting. Ideally each body joint would be monitored.  Head unit alone gives little more than a live theater type static viewer experience.