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 The formula for telekinesis
picture From Ming the Mechanic: Via mysterious earth, this announcement from a physics researcher who says he's come up with the equation for demonstrating telekinesis:
TK = CFe + ZPE - SD - E+
It means that Telekinesis (TK) is the result of a sufficiently high amount of Iron in the brain (CFe), of a Zero Point Emotion (ZPE) state, not using energy on will power or imagination or anything, and it is reduced by any degree of Sleep Deprivation (SD), and reduced by any degree of excesss vitamin E (E+) as that reduces the iron.

Eh, hm, that's a bit silly, I think. Doesn't exactly translate into something I can easily use, although maybe he's right about those points. But I don't think we can consider that a scientific formula.

I'm all for telekinesis, and I've bent spoons, and done a couple of other "impossible" feats, like opening security locks with the wrong key. None of which I can easily repeat, but I do have a sense of the elements involved. Which is mostly a certain mental state which it isn't easy to create at will. Doing it with a group of people who create a common agreement that it is now possible - that helps. And some phenomenon of letting go and not investing any emotions or thoughts on the idea of failure.
[ | 13 Apr 2004 @ 04:37 | PermaLink ]

 World Symposium on Humanity
This week is the 25 year anniversary of the World Symposium on Humanity in April 1979 in London, Toronto and Pasadena. There's a weblog about the World Symposium then and now, with many other good resources.
[ | 12 Apr 2004 @ 19:31 | PermaLink ]

 We are the New Civilization
picture We are here.
We are waking up now, out of the past, to dream a bigger dream.
We are friends and equals, we are diverse and unique, and we're united for something bigger than our differences.
We believe in freedom and cooperation, abundance and harmony.
We are a culture emerging, a renaissance of the essence of humanity.
We find our own guidance, and we discern our own truth.
We go in many directions, and yet we refuse to disperse.
We have many names, we speak many languages.
We are local, we are global.
We are in all regions of the world, we're everywhere in the air.
We are universe being aware of itself, we are the wave of evolution.
We are in every child's eyes, we face the unknown with wonder and excitement.
We are messengers from the future, living in the present.
We come from silence, and we speak our truth.
We cannot be quieted, because our voice is within everyone.
We have no enemies, no boundaries can hold us.
We respect the cycles and expressions of nature, because we are nature.
We don't play to win, we play to live and learn.
We act out of inspiration, love and integrity.
We explore, we discover, we feel, and we laugh.
We are building a world that works for everyone.
We endeavor to live our lives to their fullest potential.
We are independent, self-sufficient and responsible.
We relate to each other in peace, with compassion and respect, we unite in community.
We celebrate the wholeness within and around us all.
We dance to the rhythm of creation.
We weave the threads of the new times.
We are the new civilization.

Text in other languages here
[ | 12 Apr 2004 @ 19:18 | PermaLink ]

 Blind See With Sound
From Sounding Circle: BLIND SEE WITH SOUND
By Lakshmi Sandhana
BBC News Tuesday,
Ocotber 7, 2003

Michelle Thomas is learning to "see", not with her eyes but her ears.

Now she can also use a mobile camera phone to do it.

Blind since birth, Ms Thomas is able to recognize the walls and doors of her house, discern whether the lights are on or off and even distinguish a CD from a floppy disk after only a week using a revolutionary new system.

She is "seeing with sound".

Developed by Dr Peter Meijer, a senior scientist at Philips Research Laboratories in the Netherlands, the system is called The vOICe (the three middle letters standing for "Oh I See").

It works by translating images from a camera on-the-fly into highly complex soundscapes, which are then transmitted to the user over headphones.

Watch the 'spikes'

A wearable setup consists of a head-mounted camera, stereo headphones and a notebook PC.

In total it costs about $2,500. The software is available as a free download.

Meijer is bargaining on the brain's adaptive capacity.

He hopes that blind users will ultimately learn to mentally reconstruct the visual content of the live camera views, as carried by the soundscapes, so that they experience something akin to meaningful vision.

"Our assumption here is that the brain is ultimately not interested in the information 'carrier' (here sound) but only in the information 'content'," says Meijer.

"After all, the signals in the optic nerve of a normally sighted person are also 'just' neural spiking patterns. What you think you 'see' is what your brain makes of all those firing patterns."

Easy 'tongue'

Enabling users to get an audio snapshot of what is visually in front of them, The vOICe is taking a very different route from "bionic eyes" -- retinal and brain implants.

It is non-invasive, offering a higher image resolution (up to several thousand pixels) and does not necessarily rely on the visual cortex.

"Everything has its own unique sound and once you learn the principles involved you can know what you're seeing," says Thomas.

Right now brighter areas sound louder, height is indicated by pitch and a built-in colour identifier speaks out colour names when activated.

While it can't track fast cars or read small print efficiently, it does allow blind users to trace out buildings, read a graph and even watch television.

Comparing it in terms of difficulty to learning a foreign language, Meijer hopes that in the long run, users will become more "fluent" in the mental translation so that it becomes more like natural perception, without conscious effort.

Mobile vision

Kevin O'Regan, of the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) in Paris, France, and an expert in the area of sensory consciousness, is currently evaluating The vOICe.

He believes that if perfected, the software could at least partially evoke vision-like sensations in even the congenitally blind.

"The problem is that vision is a very high bandwidth system, and it's not clear whether we can achieve sufficient bandwidth via other modalities," he stated.

To suit user preferences, Blue Edge Bulgaria has developed a simplified but highly portable mobile phone version of The vOICe for the Nokia 3650 camera phone.

It is available as a free download at The vOICe site
[ | 12 Apr 2004 @ 18:46 | PermaLink ]

 London ghost tube-stations
picture From Boing Boing:

This site is devoted to the 40-some abandoned and ghost tube stations on the London Underground, including accounts of guided tours.


(via Pirotcar)

[ | 12 Apr 2004 @ 18:35 | PermaLink ]

 Kurzweil on accelerating change
From Ming the Mechanic: Via FuturePositive, Ray Kurzweil being interviewed on the accelerating rate of change.
The Law of Accelerating Returns is the acceleration of technology, and the evolutionary growth of the products of an evolutionary process. And this really goes back to the roots of biological evolution.

Evolution works through indirection. You create something and then work through that to create the next stage. And for that reason, the next stage is more powerful, and happens more quickly. And that has been accelerating ever since the dawn of evolution on this planet.

The first stage of evolution took billions of years. DNA was being created and that was very significant because it was like a little computer, and an information processing method to store the results of experiments, and to build up a knowledge base from which it could then launch experiments and codify the results.

The subsequent stages of evolution happened much more quickly. The Cambrian Explosion only took a few tens of millions of years to establish the body plan to evolve animals. And we see that evolution, like certain technologies, has become mature and stopped evolving. Evolution has concentrated on other issues, specifically higher cortical functions. And that happened much more quickly than the Cambrian Explosion. Humanoids evolved over many millions of years, and Homo sapiens over only hundreds of thousands of years. And there again, evolution used the products of its evolutionary processes, which was Homo sapiens, to create the next stage, which was human-directed technology, which really is a continuation of the cutting-edge of the evolutionary process on earth, for creating more intelligent systems.

In the first stage of human-directed technology, it took tens of thousands of years, which is what you would expect for the next stage via the wheel, or stone tools, and that kept accelerating, because when we had stone tools, we could use them to build the next stage. So a thousand years ago a paradigm shift only took a century, like the printing press. And now a paradigm shift, like the World Wide Web, is measured in only a few years’ time. The first computers were built with screwdrivers and were designed with pencil and paper, and today we use computers to create computers. A CAD designer will sit down and specify a few high-level parameters, and 12 different layers of automated designs will be done automatically. The most significant acceleration is in the paradigm shift rate itself, which I think of as the rate of technical progress. And all of these are actually not exponential, but double exponentials because not only does the process accelerate because of our evolution’s ability to use each stage of evolution to build the next stage, but also, as the process, as an area gets higher price performance, more resources get drawn into that capability.[..]

The whole 20th century, because we’ve been speeding up to this point, is equivalent to 20 years of progress at today’s rate of progress, and we’ll make another 20 years of progress at today’s rate of progress equal to the whole 20th century in the next 14 years, and then we’ll do it again in seven years. And because of the explosive power of exponential growth, the 21st century will be equivalent to 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate of progress, which is a thousand times greater than the 20th century, which was no slouch to change.
Kurzweil is one of the proponents of The Singularity - the idea that a number of accelerating technological trends are going to converge in a way that will totally transform our existence. In our lifetimes. Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Genetic Engineering, and more. Personally, I agree that there's something like that going on, and that life as we know it will totally change, but I don't see it quite as materialistically. I think WE are evolving and transforming WITH and THROUGH technology. Which is a very risky thing to do so quickly. But I don't quite go along with the idea that one of our main concerns will be that robots will become smarter than us.
[ | 12 Apr 2004 @ 18:25 | PermaLink ]

 WorldTrans Weblog
This is the first posting in the World Transformation weblog.

The site has existed since 1994. Much of the content is a bit dated and hasn't been updated for years. However, the site still receives a considerable amount of traffic very day.

I decided that a good first step in an overhaul of the site would be to set up a weblog which pulls good and timely content from a number of sources, all related to the positive transformation of our world in one way or another.

- Flemming Funch
[ | 10 Apr 2004 @ 11:18 | PermaLink ]

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Here you will find a cornucopia of ideas, resources, connections, information, inspiration and surprises, all aimed at growing, creating or discovering a world that works better for all of us.

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  • Can Poor People in the Developed World Leapfrog?
  • The Self as Metaprogrammer
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