science

Speed meets science, him and her

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The speed of decisions – science runs at the speed of ‘genetic expression’. Him speed: ‘will you?’ Her speed: ‘what’s taking him so long to ask?’

The speed of preparation – science runs at the speed of gestation period per species. Him speed: ‘Keys? Wallet? Let’s go.’ Her speed: ‘Let me run through my wardrobe options one more time…’

The speed of sound – science runs at the speed of 343.59 metres per second in dry air at 20 degrees Celsius. Him speed: ‘how much more flirting and banter do I need to provide?’ Her speed: ‘ My phone number is…’

The speed of energy transfer – science runs at the speed that the electrons in a substance get excited. Him speed: ‘I can feel a definite rush of blood to my central extremities’ Her speed: ‘those butterflies in my tummy are back and making my knees go weak.’

The speed of imaging – science runs at the speed of light. Him speed: ‘she looks utterly stunning.’ Her speed: ‘He needs to drink less and work out at the gym more!’

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Going off the reservation, taking the road less travelled, taking a walk on the wild side…

dont-give-up  Kids boredom

In my experience, it’s the small tributaries of the river, the overlooked pockets, and the unexpected that offer the most value. Whether you’re a traveller, a student, an explorer, a researcher, or an investigator, what is fresh, what’s genuine and what is original, is the stuff outside the mainstream and off the beaten track. Another aid is in joining up our unexpected insights from one ‘tributary’ with those of another. And by holding two opposing ideas or concepts in your head (as a traveller, reflecting on what you see through local values and through your own cultural values is an example of this). In some ways, stating all this is blindingly obvious, but in others, it’s revealing a pathway to the sublime & subtle.

We make progress as a species, as a culture and as individuals, by pushing our buttons. By pushing our boundaries, making improvements and gathering new insights. So far, we’ve done this faster than any other species, except perhaps viruses. And it’s been high-growth-off-a-high-base too.

Is human love more advanced than the love shown in other species? It’s hard for us to see, even when as researchers and nature filmers, we’re looking hard. The love an animal mother shows for its offspring, given its mental and sensory capabilities, is probably just as valid as human love for other people, given our own mental and sensory capabilities. And arguably, we’re more prone to cruelty and indifference than other species too. Especially since our awareness of the World (and the Universe) is so much greater.

Finally, is it wrong to let our children get bored? On the list of wrongness towards children, I doubt it figures in the top ten, although you may disagree. However, given the direction the World is going, we’re going to need to maximise human creativity like never before.

Like for many things, the earlier you start, the more proficient you can become. Perhaps already, we provide:

-too much of too few types of entertainment and

-entertainment without mental challenge,

to the younger generations (and ourselves). As an aside, we arguably produce too much content that simply feeds our basic emotions and prejudices too.

Technology that encourages people:

-to screen out the complexities of life that we should not ignore,

-to screen out the information we need, to make informed decisions with, as parents, as voters and as citizens,

isn’t something to be applauded and worshipped. Instead, we should be critical of it and demand better. All of us, including our kids need to become those critics.

Social Comment (again)

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Mirror – less about skin-deep feedback. More a way of looking into your conscience.

We get told technology will save us, but how come every time another teenager gets stabbed in the middle of the day in a crowded part of London, the CCTV is too blurry, the police alert so slow, the punishment so low tech and the education that might solve the problem at source, so low tech for the user? We have 3D printers that can print out all kinds of building materials yet we have a massive housing shortage. Why can’t these two things be joined up? We have electric and hybrid cars. We have pollution-absorbing man-made materials and air vents. But central London has streets with incredibly levels of air pollution. Why can’t technology be deployed on this yesterday?

Love in the age of science

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Our love of broad daylight doesn’t trump the romance, or the expanse of the night sky.

Just because romantic ideas travel by fibre-optic cable at the speed of light, doesn’t make them accepted any quicker.

Being in love with someone seems to involve two things at once – you have to love yourself AND you have to love someone else unconditionally.

Love is always excused. Hate is sometimes forgiven.

If we spend twice as longer thinking about personal text messages and half as long sending them, technology would help us, not overwhelm us.

The introduction of new technology just gives us something else to love. Instead of having more love for each other.

Although the internet connects up more of the World, sadly it doesn’t help us reach a common view.

Happiness is the anticipation of pleasure, gain or success. Sadness is the realisation of pain, loss or failure.

Science and AI

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Biology champions diversity, uniqueness and ever more complexity, with few equations of biological laws. Chemistry and Physics champion the balance of forces, the consistency of atomic behaviour and favour the trend towards disorder. With many equations to represent these things. How can the sciences be working against each other? Are they collaborating to grow our understanding, but then competing to share our understanding?

The age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – where the human desire for freedom and choice will come at the heaviest price – AI selling freedom and choice to us, on its own terms.

What is possible and what is safe? When it comes to AI planning, we should design what is safe and then design what is possible. When it comes to business strategy, taking the opposite approach is best.

Science

Science doesn’t unweave the rainbow.

It investigates the rainbow and then celebrates the beauty of it.