Sunday, October 9, 2011

Steve Jobs Planned to "Blow Our Minds" after Death

An interesting Techcrunch article reveals Steve Jobs planned to "blow our minds" with technology to be released after his death - essentially resurrecting from the grave to become even more deeply ingrained in our lives.

Here's an excerpt:

It’s the longer roadmap that should really be the grand finale in the Jobs’ fireworks show.

Talking to sources in recent months, there has been one common refrain: that the things Apple is working on right now are the best things the company has ever done. These are things that will “blow your mind”
Jobs has been compared to the Leonardo da Vinci or Nikola Tesla of our age. Having had several years to prepare for his untimely death, could it be that Job's genius was much bigger than we even realized?

Could it be that Steve Job's plan is to become a god?

Jobs has been quoted saying he wanted to "make a dent in the universe", a god-like power.

Perhaps Jobs has left the Apple Board detailed instructions going forward 10 years or more. As each stage of Job's plan becomes a huge hit, Apple leaders will slowly grow to view the instructions as commandments.

The Apple Board of Directors essentially become modern day prophets, spreading the "foresights" of Jobs via the company. Apple becomes the church, Steve Jobs the modern god.

Or it could be that Apple leaders screw it up and everything goes to hell.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Carl Sagan on Why Aliens Would Think We're a Planet of Idiots

Thanks to the efforts of Carl Sagan, the following photo was taken by the Voyager spacecraft in 1990. It shows what our planet looks like from 3.7 billion miles away. This is the farthest distance the earth has ever been photographed.

From this vantage point, there's no way to tell the planet in the picture harbors intelligent life. It's just another point of light, a pale blue dot. The picture shows just how small and insignificant we are in the cosmos.

Carl Sagan's wife, Ann Druyan, suggested a very interesting experiment based on the photo. It reveals how ridiculous our religious beliefs look to an alien civilization:

"Look back again at the pale blue dot. Take a good long look at it. Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust.

Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesn't strike you as unlikely, pick another dot. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?
Carl Sagan, in his book "Pale Blue Dot", goes on to say:

"You might imagine an uncharitable extraterrestrial observer looking down on our species... - with us excitedly chattering, "The Universe is created for us! We're at the center! Everything pays homage to us!" -and concluding that our pretensions are amusing, our aspirations pathetic, that this must be the planet of the idiots."

It's hard to disagree with him. All the heartache that's been caused over religion on this tiny little speck of dust has been so wasteful. If people could only open their eyes and see where we truly stand in the cosmos, the world would be a much better place.

Here's a great video narrated by Carl Sagan regarding the Pale Blue Dot:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bailing Out Chrysler More Important to US than Science

In the world of physics, the most important and useful experiments are conducted using a particle accelerator. You may have heard of CERN (currently the world's most powerful accelerator). This machine accelerates particles to near light speed and smashes them against each other, producing exotic new particles and insights into how our world works.

These machines are extremely complex and expensive. And in 1993, the United States did something utterly foolish. After already spending $2 Billion on what would become the world's most powerful particle acceleartor, the government canceled it due to high cost. The US had to spend roughly $6 billion more to see it completed.

Called the "Superconducting Supercollider", it would have been even more powerful than CERN and it would have gone live by the late 1990's. Right now we would have already discovered incredible new insights into physics and reality.

But Noooooo!!! The government couldn't spend $6 Billion on one of the most important scientific instruments in human history. And the population didn't really give a rat's ass about it.

Today, we find out taxpayers will probably lose $4 Billion in loans given to Chrysler. This is really small potatoes compared to the Trillions of tax dollars used to bail out the banks that got us into this mess in the first place.

But yet, the US government thought $6 billion was too much to help answer the most fundamental questions of the universe.

Frustrating indeed....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Carl Sagan on Why Sports Are So Popular

Most of us watch our favorite sports without really thinking about why we enjoy them so much. Seriously, think about it.

In Baseball, why do we care whether someone can successfully hit a ball with a stick and run around the bases? Why do we hold these athletes in such high regard?

Why are team sports such as Baseball, Football, and Soccer so popular world-wide, especially compared to things that really matter such as science?

Carl Sagan has an interesting theory in his book, "The Dragons of Eden". These sports "stress the remarkable abilities of human beings to throw projectiles accurately, to move gracefully .. and to outrun and immobilize game animals."

If Alex Rodriguez, or some other top athlete were alive during prehistoric times, they would almost certainly be incredible hunters. They would be seen as heros to the entire tribe, and especially the men, whose lives depend on their fellow hunters.

Back then, hunting was not a sport, it literally was a matter of life and death. Something like that reaches deep into the core of every human being. Our species has only recently domesticated animals and discovered agriculture. You cannot erase something so hard-wired into our brains over such a short time period.

The brain of a 40,000 year old human is practically the same as it is today. Everything that was hard-wired into their brain is also hard-wired into ours. 40,000 years ago, hunting was the main avenue of survival. Our hunting ancestry goes back several million years.

To people who hold science in high regard, it can sometimes be frustrating when the majority of the population cares more about sports than the wonders of science. But it is quite understandable. Without our skills for hunting, we would have no civilization, no culture, no language. Celebrating athletes and sports is akin to celebrating our species.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Carl Sagan's Hero: Robert H. Goddard

Any time Carl Sagan holds someone in high regard, you know this person must be exceptional. One such person is Robert H. Goddard.

Most people have never even heard of this man, but he can easily be compared to the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Nikola Tesla. In short, Goddard is singlehandedly responsible for the development of rocket science.

The sad thing is he was way ahead of his time and thus was ridiculed when he first presented his ideas. It was not until after his death that he was appreciated for what he had truly accomplished.

When he first proposed in 1919 that traveling to the moon in a rocket propelled vehicle was possible, almost all major newspapers and magazines criticized him for even thinking of such a preposterous idea. Everyone "knew" at the time it was impossible to travel through space, since there was no atmosphere to push against.

Goddard was not discouraged. Instead, he devoted himself to accomplishing his goal. For the next two decades, he worked tirelessly (and usually alone) to make space travel possible.

Carl Sagan wrote about Goddard in his book "The Dragons of Eden", page 88.

Read more about this fascinating individual at: Wikipedia