Sunday 28 May 2017

Singularity's Children, Sci-Fact Behind the Sci-Fiction, Part 9 — Asteroid Capture

With Singularity's Children, scientific accuracy and technical consistency are the ingredients I rely on most to bake a plausible SciFi world. To 'keep it real' and the story grounded in an authentic universe, the Science and Tech—at least in the first two books—is based on established fact, any developments are mostly incremental upgrades to our current capabilities.

Excerpt from Book Two:

"While the psychological barrier to mining asteroids is high, the actual financial and technological barriers are far lower."
Noah Poponak, Goldman Sachs.

"Caltech has suggested an asteroid-grabbing spacecraft could cost $2.6bn... 
... [this] is only about one-third the amount that has been invested in Uber."

NASA is taking the idea seriously, fast tracking their mission to a 10,000 Quadrillion USD lump of platinum and gold—perhaps they want to stake a claim before other prospectors turn up?



Monday 15 May 2017

Brain Scanning will deliver Thought Crime OR Mental Superpowers

"Amazingly, in just a single 13-minute session participants learned to easily [mentally] control the size of the flame and were able to reduce their pain by over 50%"

I am less optimistic than this article is. Not about the technology, which seems solid, but in Singularity's Children, Spex are ubiquitous and the scanning and insights they deliver are used by governments to sell ideology, rather than by the wearer to elevate consciousness. 


Friday 5 May 2017

MIT fires a rocket motor made using 3D-printed plastic

If you're going to 3D-print rocket parts , you'd want to make them out of metal to handle the stress, right? Not necessarily. MIT has successfully…

May 5, 2017 at 04:00PM



Tuesday 2 May 2017

The Unnecessariat: We aren’t precarious, we’re unnecessary.

A chilling read:

 As Cory Doctrow says, "Human beings are the gut flora of immortal, transhuman corporations". Life as gut flora is not very glamorous, but need not be too bad. We are beneficial, and that gives us some measure of security—our hosts like to keep us around to stave off IBS. But when we add nothing of value to their fitness, of our hosts, the corporations, are no-longer incentivized to support us. We become unnecessary and start dying in droves.

 "Here’s the thing: from where I live, the world has drifted away. We aren’t precarious, we’re unnecessary. The money has gone to the top. The wages have gone to the top. The recovery has gone to the top. And what’s worst of all, everybody who matters seems basically pretty okay with that. The new bright sparks, cheerfully referred to as “Young Gods” believe themselves to be the honest winners in a new invent-or-die economy, and are busily planning to escape into space or acquire superpowers, and instead of worrying about this, the talking heads on TV tell you its all a good thing- don’t worry, the recession’s over and everything’s better now, and technology is TOTES AMAZEBALLS!"

"If there’s no economic plan for the Unnecessariat, there’s certainly an abundance for plans to extract value from them. No-one has the option to just make their own way and be left alone at it. It used to be that people were uninsured and if they got seriously sick they’d declare bankruptcy and lose the farm, but now they have a (mandatory) $1k/month plan with a $5k deductible: they’ll still declare bankruptcy and lose the farm if they get sick, but in the meantime they pay a shit-ton to the shareholders of United Healthcare, or Aetna, or whoever." 

This is how it will end. #FermiParadox