Archive for the ‘Issac Asimov’ Category

Quadcopters Play Catch Better Than Most Humans!

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Quadcopters are the new must-have toys of the tech-headed kids. They’re showing up everywhere and there are thousands of them out ‘in the wild’.

For those frightened that these things will eventually be controlled by SkyNet, this latest advancement in their abilities is only going to reinforce that paranoia.

For the rest of us who believe our robot friends would never hurt us based on a set of laws thrust into existence by an author of science fiction novels? This is pretty awesome to watch.

For a more detailed description of how exactly this whole process works, you can check out RoboHub for a more educational explanation than anything you’re ever going to find here.

Those that just want to be amazed at a serious demonstration of how organized, responsive, agile….

Know what? Forget we ever called those people paranoid.


We Grow Closer to Establishing Asimov’s Foundation

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
asimove seldon.jpg

The Foundation is a sprawling series of novels by Issac Asimov revolving around one core conceit. In the future, a brilliant man cracks the source code of the universe. He boils down the seemingly random emotions and decisions of billions into mathematical certainty.

He understands that civilizations will rise and fall and rise again only to again break down and rebuild.

So, he makes a choice for the betterment of humanity. He creates a society, far away from the hub of humanity, where a core group will curate the whole of human knowledge. The idea being, if he cannot stop the universe from descending into chaos he can certainly help it rebuild faster.

Today, we live in a world where that source code gets clearer every day. In a report published this week, we’ve begun to find mathematical patterns in seemingly random group decision making.

In the Jan. 29 Nature, for example, a team led by Scheffer reported success using one mathematical test of an approaching tipping point. Theory says that when a shift is coming, a system exhibits what scientists call a critical slowing down. Normally, a really stable system quickly recovers after being perturbed. But when everything is about to come unglued, the recovery time from even a small perturbation becomes slower and slower.

But the question remains, as we get better at this, how do we handle the knowledge? If we know outcomes won’t we become determined to change them? Doesn’t this effect the calculus? It is ironic that Asimov saw all this coming? Or was he truly the Seldon of our age?

[Science News]