Paul Zak on the Trust Molecule

An amazing talk hosted on TED (of course) – This video has (if only figuratively) blown my mind. I wish I could get my hands on some pharmaceutical-grade oxytocin and dose the world (Or at least the GOP – they seem to need it more than most). ^^

For those who can’t see the video above, here’s the link:


Juan Enriquez is my new science god

He’s funny, he’s intelligent, and he’s making a point to people smarter than you or I in a way that you and I can understand – while still making a point that the smart guys in that room hadn’t heard before. give it a listen… It’s inspiring and funny… which is awesome. This is the site these talks are hosted on.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Juan Enriquez Ted Talk“, posted with vodpod

More proof that the creationists are idiots

rational person: What’s it gonna take for you to believe the truth, that everything in this world developed from single-celled organisms over billions of years?

Creationist(flat tone): Flying monkeys, Pigs with wings, or a slug that eats algae and shits photosynthesis.

Well, I don’t think we’ve found any of the first two (yet) but… Meet the first slug to eat algae and shit photosynthesis!

It even looks like a leaf! Awesome!

Eat that, creationists.


Since we’ve gotten such an enthusiastic creationist response from what was intended to be a small, mocking post shoving evolution in the face of those ID bastards who are trying to make everyone christian, I’ve decided to add a few things here that everyone in this ‘debate’ should see.

and as to what I think of you personally, Joshua, well, Mr. Dawkins said it best.

Methuselah, here we come!

Ah, science fiction....
Ah, science fiction...

Like every kid who read science fiction, I’ve always wanted to survive long enough to get to the era of youthening rays and cyborgs – heck, who hasn’t?

Woot! I could look like a model!

Living forever- or at least much, much longer than your forebears- has always been a popular theme in the public’s fantasies and in science fiction. And just to make this clear, we are talking about healthy, enjoyable lengthening of life, not a withering husk who technically has more years but gets less enjoyment out of them.

Well, celebrate, all you youngsters, young- and middle-aged adults, because something’s being done about that dream, and in the most efficient way possible. It’s called the Methuselah Prize.

The Methuselah prize is structured similar to the X-prize, but instead of commercial space travel, it tackles longevity and quality of life, bringing together scientists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, all focused on the goal of extending and improving the quality of human  life.

Projections for the success of this project in actually improving the length and quality of real lives? they differ, but range somewhere between the next decade and the next twenty or thirty years. so all of you who are less than thirty, have hope – you might just live to see the day where you can go to a doctor for your youthening ray treatment – although most likely you’ll have to wait in line behind Zac Efron.

"I'm sorry, sir, What age were you going for again?" "Twenty-five." "...Oops."

Natal. A most peculiar thing.

I found out a bit more about Microsoft’s Project Natal, for the Xbox 360. It’s an amazing bit of technology, and I’ll show you some of it here by reposting one or two of the multiple demonstration videos available on youtube.

One of the things that Microsoft has said, many times over, is that they want to hear our opinions and suggestions about what kind of game we would create, what we would do with the technology. These are the ideas I came up with, based on watching all of the videos.

I’d very much like to see a mix between lionshead’s Milo idea and a next-generation version of the Sims. Imagine how awesome it would be to actually talk with your sims, and have them react holistically, understanding not just the surface order, but also the context. . . allowing the sims to be capable of independent decision making, remembering to do the basic tasks themselves, asking your opinion before deciding on a career, that sort of thing…

Or better yet, the ability to bring real-world board games (chess, checkers, chinese checkers, go, etc.) in and play with a computer opponent – your milo.

A more detailed and refined system for creating art (about this video )would be nice, something where you could create fine brushstrokes and not have to pose to draw an elephant. ^^

Perhaps therapy for people with social disorders, as has been attempted with SecondLife – A lot of people would actually rather not air their private laundry to a real person, but recognize the need for therapy…

These are all off the top of my head. What will be even more amazing is what can be done in terms of fantasy fulfillment (being a superhero, learning how to pilot a plane, exploring strange new worlds like star trek or star wars, etc.) …

The sky is really the limit. I think that the most important starter program for this technology at the moment, though, is Milo-based. Truly interactive AI avatars with personality and emotional recognition characteristics, the virtual confidant.

i think this is potentially the most ground-breaking new device since the NES. The only thing remaining is to see whether Microsoft and the third-party programmers use that potential, or squander it.

I’m on twitter!

I admit, most of the reason I signed up for twitter is because Stephen Fry is on, and I thought, what the hey. If I don’t like it, I can always remove myself from the august peerage of the Twitting hoi polloi.

Hmm. A thought just occurred to me – are people who use Twitter Twitterers, or would it be a better phrase, a mot juste, to simply call them Twits? Must think on it.

In my defense, I am as fascinated by new shiny toys as the rest… And I adore cats, as well. Like with cats, however, I prefer that my new shiny be as debugged as possible before it comes into my house.

For those of you on the frontiers of technology who have already passed the edges of light expanding past the universe, and who look back on late adopters like me with a sort of fond disdain, I say this: It is a far wiser man who lets evolution do its work before dipping his dainty toes into the genetic murk. And that stands true especially for technology.