By Martha HarbisonPosted 08.10.2012 at 5:40 pm 4 Comments
Much of the oldest and best science fiction stories and novels are, sadly, long out of print. The only way to read them is to dig through second-hand bookshops, rummage sales, or dusty attics, or hope that the local library still keeps their old paperbacks around. A group in Brooklyn called Singularity&Co. wants to change that. The attack is two-fold: raise some of these long-lost stories from their graves and release them as e-books, and showcase some really killer hardcovers and paperbacks at an honest-to-god brick-and-mortar bookstore near the East River.
Aliens could conceivably live on planets illuminated by the swirling mass of photons orbiting the singularity of a special type of black hole, according to a new theory.
Certain black holes are charged and rotate, and they possess a region past the event horizon — the point of no return — in which the fabric of spacetime appears normal again. This is called the inner Cauchy horizon.
Scientists trying to explain the universe’s accelerating expansion usually point to dark energy, which seems to be pushing everything apart.
But an Indiana University professor has a new theory, reports New Scientist: We’re inside a black hole that exists in another universe. Specifically, a black hole that rebounded, somewhat like a spring.
According to Ray Kurzweil, the Singularity is a point at which man will become one with machine and then live eternally—which makes Singularity University, a nine-week academic retreat named for the concept, sound a little cultish. Our writer traveled west to investigate and found 40 stunningly sane brainiacs out to change the world.
By Josh DeanPosted 01.14.2010 at 12:02 pm 9 Comments
Class of 2009
The students and faculty of the inaugural Singularity University
summer graduate-studies program
"What happened to your finger?" Bruce Klein asked after noticing my bandaged digit. Cooking injury, I told him. "Maybe we can sprinkle some nanobots in there and fix it up," Klein replied, and chuckled, though he was only sort of kidding.
Prior to hanging his hat here in the administration office of Singularity University (S.U.), Klein produced the film Exploring Life Extension and co-edited the book Scientific Conquest of Death, both of which are pretty self-explanatory. He is reed thin, thanks to strict adherence to a health regimen designed to prolong life (minimal calories, healthy foods, no booze, many supplements) and possibly because of the stress of helping to create and open this, America's newest and most peculiar institution of higher learning.
Because so much of Ray Kurzweil's publicity these days revolves around the Singularity, it's easy to forget he's also a hell of an inventor. And his newest venture, an e-reader software suite dubbed Blio, highlights that talent by bringing Kurzweil's voice-recognition developments into the lucrative world of e-books.
While I undoubtedly learned a lot at the Singularity Summit, the conference's greatest benefit was the questions it didn't answer. Unresolved issues regarding the Singularity have provided a lot of philosophical grist for my admittedly limited intellectual mill, and working through those problems has been as exciting as any talk I saw at the Summit.
To wrap up our coverage of the Singularity Summit, I'm going to count down my ten most vexing unanswered questions about Kurzweil's theoretical baby, the eventual merge of human and artificial intellifnece, and I am interested to hear any opinions, questions or (hopefully) answers you all have about any or all of these still unexplained facets of our future.
The Singularity Summit drew a wide range of people from around the globe. There were technology companies hoping to spread brand recognition, quasi-spiritual sojourners looking for a new clue to the secret of immortality, and serious academics interested in cutting edge in artificial intelligence.
We asked them if they're looking forward to the Singularity's hypothesized robot takeover.
Welcome to the main event.
At the end of a day filled with many interesting, thought provoking talks (and a few that gave me some much needed sleep), the audience at the Singularity Summit 2009 sat content but exhausted. After all, contemplating the future of humanity really takes it out of you.
Then came Kurzweil. He's the man everyone came to see, and they greeted him appropriately. After the standing ovation died down, the auditorium reached its quietest point yet, as the collected skeptics, crazies and disciples waited to hear from the first prophet of Singularity.