Thursday, July 31, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
"Robocars are essentially a computer project. There's lots of cool automotive engineering to be done, but the real wizardry will come from hardware and even moreso from software.
The hardware needed includes cheap, powerful sensors, faster processors and specialized hardware for machine vision and pattern recognition. The software needs to drive all that, and combine machine vision, awareness and navigation with many other factors to produce the solution.
It's an Artificial Intelligence (AI) problem, but it's what is sometimes called a "weak AI" problem. It doesn't need a self-aware human equivalent being. It needs the more basic tools we're already getting good at. It's the sort of problem skilled computer wizards were born to solve."
Link to full article: Click here.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Richard Dawkins talks about evolution, spirituality, Darwin's theory, answered a few skeptics' questions regarding "point of origin", Adam and monkey, relation (or no relation) between Darwinism and 2nd world war. He tackled questions like "Can evolution and religion coexist?" Richard Dawkins repudiates creationism and Intelligent Design, a "total non starter as explanation". How will we end up millions years down the road? Asked the interviewer. Dawkins answered, "whole lot different species, which will be doing pretty much the same thing as present species are, but all will be different,............a different settings, what you can't predict, similar range of species, doing similar range of things, you can't predict in detail what one species will be doing............."
Richard Dawkin's interview is interesting and stimulating.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
|The Chosen One|
| by Tom Sleigh |
The embarrassment of wanting to pray to God,
had made him pretty nutty by the end; a lifelong Marxist,
(and he had tons, all those years in the bank
vied for subway reading time) on learning Gurdjieff
of sweating, chanting, his happiness making him
wince that he loved you for your holiness, regardless
at death, most pissed at us, his useless fucking friends,
then withdrawing to email, messages left on his machine.
named Constanza, escaped his vitriol, his mortified, lacerating,
God’s malice, God’s need to get his hooks in you
And while he was saying this, his hand would drift down
licking his fingers, looking up with complete canine
by the smell beginning to come off him. It was as if God
Job’s comforters, in an accursed experiment to show
a dumb creature could be avid in its love, rising up
coming out of her dogginess to meet him coming out
and slurped his pungently acrid,
that gave to him such flavor—he, her chosen one,
stinks and savors, as if only now was he the chrism, the oil
Monday, July 21, 2008
Here is an interesting excerpt: "Subseafloor microbes are genetically distinct from life on Earth's surface and oceans. The Archaea the Penn State researchers found might look like bacteria, but they don't eat or work like them. While E. coli might double its numbers in 30 minutes, Archaea could take hundreds or even thousands of years to accomplish the same amount of growth."
Article Link: Barely Alive, Seafloor Microbes Might Resemble Exo-Organisms
Here is the link to New Yorker where this recently translated poem was published: Link
Summer Evening by the Window with Psalms
By Yehuda Amichai
Close scrutiny of the past.
How my soul yearns within me like those souls
in the nineteenth century before the great wars,
like curtains that want to pull free
of the open window and fly.
We console ourselves with short breaths,
as, after running, we always recover.
We want to reach death hale and hearty,
like a murderer sentenced to death,
wounded when he was caught,
whose judges want him to heal before
he’s brought to the gallows.
I think, how many still waters
can yield a single night of stillness
and how many green pastures, wide as deserts,
can yield the quiet of a single hour
and how many valleys of the shadow of death do we need
to be a compassionate shade in the unrelenting sun.
I look out the window: a hundred and fifty
psalms pass through the twilight,
a hundred and fifty psalms, great and small.
What a grand and glorious and transient fleet!
I say: the window is God
And the door is his prophet.
Article Link: A Dash of Lime
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Link to article: Democracy: The lessons of history
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
Link to the article:
Preparing the Battlefield
Hundreds of tons of waste still languish inside a tin-roofed warehouse in a corner of the old grounds of the Union Carbide pesticide factory here, nearly a quarter-century after a poison gas leak killed thousands and turned this ancient city into a notorious symbol of industrial disaster.
The toxic remains have yet to be carted away. No one has examined to what extent, over more than two decades, they have seeped into the soil and water, except in desultory checks by a state environmental agency, which turned up pesticide residues in the neighborhood wells far exceeding permissible levels.
Nor has anyone bothered to address the concerns of those who have drunk that water and tended kitchen gardens on this soil and who now present a wide range of ailments, including cleft palates and mental retardation, among their children as evidence of a second generation of Bhopal victims, though it is impossible to say with any certainty what is the source of the afflictions.
Why it has taken so long to deal with the disaster is an epic tale of the ineffectiveness and seeming apathy of India’s bureaucracy and of the government’s failure to make the factory owners do anything about the mess they left. But the question of who will pay for the cleanup of the 11-acre site has assumed new urgency in a country that today is increasingly keen to attract foreign investment.
Read the full article from following The New York Times link: Decades Later, Toxic Sludge Torments Bhopal
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Gandhi Audio Link
An accompanied article in The Washington Post with this audio link analyzes Gandhi's belief and philosophy:
Gandhi's self-denial and tour of rural poverty was rooted in political philosophy. The central reason people turn to violence, Gandhi believed, was that they were afraid. Fear of others, fear of the unknown, fear of losing one's possessions and fortunes, fear of loss, fear of death -- these were the things that prompted people, groups and nations to seek physical protection, to seek arms and armies. Fear was the root cause of corruption and greed.
The way to destroy fear, Gandhi argued, was to give up the things that people held precious in the first place. When you have no possessions, you fear no thieves. So Gandhi gave up most of his possessions. He gave up emotional ties to family and friends. Sacrificing food, sleep and sex were only a way to show that the needs of his physical body -- and life itself -- could be held lightly.
In his everyday actions, it was clear he really did value his principles above his own life.
It is Gandhi's sincerity that gives his words in the April 1947 speech their power. Many leaders have been far more articulate. If Gandhi is compelling, it is because we know he is that rare person who actually means what he says.
"What I want you to understand -- if you can -- that the message of the East, the message of Asia, is not to be learned through European spectacles, through Western spectacles, not by imitating the tension of the West, the gunpowder of the West, the atom bomb of the West," Gandhi told his listeners.
"If you want to give a message again to the West, it must be a message of love; it must be a message of truth; there must be a conquest -- " Gandhi's words are cut off at this point by a rousing cheer.
Characteristically, Gandhi stops the applause: "Please, please, please," he says. "That will interfere with my speech and that will interfere with your understanding also. I want to capture your hearts, and don't want to receive your claps. Let your hearts clap in unison with what I am saying, and I think I shall have finished my work."
Saving his Peace