Le Coeur Et L'Esprit

For the first time in history we are getting close to answering the question of whether the heart rules the head.

I've been thinking about this for quite some time (at least since last year)... Even though I'm a very logical person, sometimes emotions are too strong to be handled. I realised the other day that it may have to do with instincts vs logic. Instincts occur when the logic process is too slow to handle the flux of information to handle. And emotions probably deal with a lot of contradiction in our thinking process, especially non-logical ones (or at least ones that don't seem logical first).



As science progresses, it becomes possible to merge species or develop parts of one into the other. This is already in use in medical research. But then there are ethical (and religious) questions arising. What is a human ? What is right and wrong to do ?

Greely and his colleagues did not conclude that such experiments should never be done. Indeed, he and many other philosophers have been wrestling with the question of why so many people believe it is wrong to breach the species barrier.

I can see the religious background to such questions. But what about the need to ban such research ?! There is no real danger of creating such hybrid animals. Or maybe because we fear we could create a beast much more powerful than humans ? Because we have sacred the human to make sure nothing can get more powerful ? All these questions will be debated more and more. Probably until science finally wins. Unless science is completely stopped and forbidden... I hope we won't see the age of labs getting burned down and scientists being slaughtered because of their work...

The Writing Computer

(registration on New York Times is free and worth it)

This article deals with computers that can write novels (Kurzweil talked about it many times). It's interresting to see an author scared by human writers being made redundant, useless (like machines replaced humans in factories).

When I called Steven Pinker, the Harvard University psychologist whose research focuses on language and cognition, he pointed out that the human brain consists of 100 trillion synapses that are subjected to a lifetime of real-world experience. While it is conceivable that computers will eventually write novels, Dr. Pinker says, "I doubt they'd be very good novels by human standards."

But when the computer will have as much and then far more "synapses" than human, and the whole books ever written in "mind", I think they could fake the human standards well, if they needed to...


A school in Pennsylvania (USA) has decided to drop the Darwin theory and teach Creationism instead.

...the earth was made by God as described in the Book of Genesis.

A nice form of obscurantism. Don't talk about arguments that are against you, make sure only the ones in your favour are discussed.


Michael Moore's iTunes playlist

There is nothing wrong when a star publishes the music he/she likes on iTunes for anyone to know. I guess there are even some people interrested in that. So Michael Moore is almost no different. Except that music made public on iTunes is for selling purposes for Apple, and that the music is DRMed so that you can't use it the way you want...

Americans should be kept in their place and learn that sharing culture is not a right, it's a privilege the media moguls give to us.



Teleportation may seem like an impossible dream to many people. But it seems it may be possible one day, maybe not the way it's done in Star Trek...

This article talks about a report of the US Air Force checking all the possible teleportation alternatives. One of the possibilities reside in psychokinesis and telekinesis, called p-teleportation.

During a talk that he gave at the U.S. Capitol building, Uri caused a spoon to curve upward with no force applied, and then the spoon continued to bend after he put it back down and continued with his talk (Alexander, 1996).


Flat Fee Phone Bill

Today marks the beginning of end for phone services where people are billed based on how long they make a call for or even where in the World they call. In future, consumers and businesses will pay flat monthly fees for their phone services no matter where they are calling or for how long. Gossiptel already allows you to make unlimited calls to more than a third of the World's population for a flat monthly fee.

I wonder when the same will happen for music. But that's surely a good step in the right direction for "always-on" communications.


Stallman on Free Software

Richard Stallman (RMS) is well known is the open source/free software community. He has strong political on what freedom on software means. I mostly agree with him. Except that he's thinking about an utopia that can hardly fit the real world. That's just a good goal to target...

If the goal is to build a society of freedom, it's not sufficient to put freedom into people's hands. If they don't appreciate it, they will let it drop, lose it. If we want freedom to endure, we have to teach people to recognize its value so they will defend it.