Monthly News Roundup: November ’22

LF, the ever liminal cowboy, courtesy of Scifi Imaginarium

Beginning this month, I’ll be publishing a news roundup of my favorite science, tech and culture news, along with my Meme of the Month. Despite the chaos of this election cycle, crypto and the economy, I decided to focus on what I think will matter most in the next five years, and that is the exponential progress being made in materials science and experimental physics that’s occurring. There are still many questions as to how we may govern these technologies, but the first step involves becoming aware of how they work in order to know the challenges and understand the implications more deeply. If you enjoyed this content, please consider Buying Me a Coffee and giving me a shoutout on social media!


Ms. Pudina

Read my most recent blog posts here.

“Doctors knew to look for Pompe in Ayla before she was born due to her family’s history, but most kids with Pompe are diagnosed after birth, notes STAT News. This treatment would only benefit patients whose disease was detected earlier. But for other families with a history of genetic diseases, Ayla’s case could provide some hope…”

“If you make a dismal prediction and it comes true, it means you’ve failed to have utility…I do believe that our survival depends on modifying the internet – to create a structure that is friendlier to human cognition and to the ways people really are.”

Meta Trained an AI on 48M Science Papers. It Was Shut Down After 2 Days. “Random Bullshit Generator” #Galactica was supposed to help “organize science.” Instead, it spewed misinformation:

Mathematical theorem used to crack US government encryption algorithm:

“Neither Diophantus nor Fermat dreamt of quantum computers, but Dr. Kani’s work on Diophantine questions resurfaced during the NIST round of tests. The successful hackers—Wouter Castryck and Thomas Decru, both researchers at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Belgium—based their work on the “glue and split” theorem developed by the Queen’s mathematician in 1997.”

“Category theory is a good match to linguistic analysis, producing maps of meaning that include information about the relationships between grammar and semiotics – the structure of how meaning is encoded. This is both intensely useful and, to AI researchers and philosophers of mind alike, a very tempting path for conceptual exploration. “

A light-powered catalyst could be key for hydrogen economy: “This is the first report in the scientific literature to show that photocatalysis with LEDs can produce gram-scale quantities of hydrogen gas from ammonia,” Halas said. “This opens the door to entirely replace precious metals in plasmonic photocatalysis.”

“Scientists from Osaka University’s Institute of Laser Engineering utilized ultrafast electro-optic measurements for the first time to visualize the contraction of the electric field surrounding an electron beam traveling at near the speed of light and demonstrate the generation process.”

“The strange, brain-like memory of vanadium dioxide glass: Vanadium dioxide is a strange material that “remembers” information and when it was stored. This is akin to biological memory.”

“The brain-signal patterns associated with human memories, like a fleeting image of a night sky, or musical bits as if broadcast from spinning a radio dial, or partial identities of friends that wander in and out of dreams, can potentially be augmented in the organoid, transmitted back to the patient through a Metaverse-like headset, and potentially restore a lost or forgotten image and the memories and emotions associated with them. This would represent a synthetic consciousness with far greater versatility than a hard-wired computer chip.”

“The next big challenge will be to integrate our artificial muscle with neural activity,” Kim added. “If individual actuator fiber is specifically controllable mimicking neutral control, natural animal-like sophisticated movements and locomotion should be possible while interfaced with human brain or AI…Our composite soft actuator would be a promising candidate to address the inherent limitations of traditional mechanical actuation systems, such as heavy weight and mechanical rigidity, and to attain truly natural animal-like soft robotics.”

“There is a new interactive map of the universe which depicts the actual position and real colors of 200,000 galaxies. Created by Johns Hopkins University astronomers with data mined over two decades by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the map allows the public to experience data previously only accessible to scientists. It is available online where it can also be downloaded for free.”

Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder: Quantum Winter Is Coming – Backreaction

“A lot of physicists, me included, have warned that quantum computing is being oversold. It’s not going to change the world, it’ll have some niche applications at best, and it’s going to take much longer than many start-ups want you to believe.”

“When music gives us that special feeling—the “oh yes, THAT’S what I’m talking about”—it can be difficult to describe exactly why it spurs that emotion. Sometimes, when music does its job perfectly, it transcends explanation entirely. Susan Rogers, acclaimed record producer and expert in music cognition, talks about her new book, This Is What It Sounds Like.”

“As celebrity intellectual gadflies with unique speaking styles go, Herzog and Žižek truly have no equal (Fran Lebowitz maybe comes close), so it seems obvious that someone would program an AI-generated conversation using deepfake speech technology to simulate the two of them nattering on, beyond the end of days. Right?”

Therefore What the Multiverse Has Joined Together, Let No One Separate, by DOMINICA PHETTEPLACE

Symphyotrichum firmum, she wrote, glossy-leaf aster. Purple. She was just guessing. It’s my favorite color too. In her day, some were opposed to decryption. They thought the encoded information might be weaponized somehow. Malware that would attack the optic nerves of those who looked upon the pixels or something, I don’t know. Again, it’s hard to explain something you don’t understand. And so, some people hated her. And hated me. And will hate you. Carry on.” #scifi

The portfolio of my friend Afef Beji, a talented professional architect, designer of space habitats, astronomy lover, and future-forward thinker:

The Institute of Love and Time: Inaugural Conference, “a rapid-fire deep dive into the psychology, neuroscience, and physics of unconditional love and mental time travel – how they can heal trauma and support thriving.” Free to register, donations strongly encouraged. There’s also a fundraiser auction to support the Institute. This Friday, December 2nd!

Love and Time Conference

Looking for some good news? Check out Future Crunch, because the world isn’t just made of bad things happening:

Read my most recent blog posts here.

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