Category Archives: Contemplation

Butanol

Butanol is quite similar to gasoline and can be produced from biological waste. As such it might become an essential part in the future of the global energy mix.

Immortality: Tipler vs Staume

In this final installment of our series on immortality, we will compare the theories of Tipler and Staume. Though both seek to develop a concept of life after death not based on belief or wishfulthinking but grounded in science and physiscs in particular, their respective theories are, however, as complete opposites as is logically possible. As far as I could see, there is no way to merge these two into a single theory of immortality. Continue reading →

The Detective’s Dilemma

I have recently read the Cormoran Strike novels by “Robert Galbraith” (who is actually J. K. Rowling) and I will discuss those books in more detail soon. However, in this writing I want to discuss what I would call the detective’s dilemma, something which came up when reading The Cuckoo’s Calling. Continue reading →

Immortality: Staume’s version

For part one, see here

In this second installment of my series on immortality, I will discuss David Staume’s book The Atheist Afterlife. Like Frank Tipler Staume seeks to develop a concept of the afterlife that is consistent with modern physics and both authors deliberate avoid a particular religious start point of their analysis. Nevertheless Staume’s theory on immortality is quite different Tipler’s. Continue reading →

The Bones of Mengele

Apparently the bones of one of the most notorious Nazi criminals, Josef Mengele, are kept at the São Paulo Legal Medical Institute and are now used to teach students of the University of São Paulo’s medical school. Unlike Mengele, those Nazis executed after the Neurenberg trial were cremated and their ashes were dispersed in a local river. Hence Mengele’s DNA is, theoretically, available. Continue reading →

Seasteading and refugees

My favorite science fiction author as a child is Tais Teng. In one of his books he wrote about the “Atlantic Empire”, a floating nation of (former) refugees. At the time I found it an exiting idea, a sea-based society, but I did not believe that it would become reality. Continue reading →

Sky city 1000

World population is estimated to grow to about 11 to 12 billion by 2100. And without massive space colonization, projects such as this one will become inevitable. High rise is necessary to save both agricultural land and natural areas such as the rain forest.

 

Milk kinship

An article on stem cells in breast milk in the New Scientist made me to reconsider to concept of milk kinship. Milk kinship is the idea that if two person have been breast-fed by the same woman, usually a wet-nurse, those two person are like family to each other. This concept of kinship can be found in different societies around the world and both in Christianity and Islam we can even find prohibition against marriage between milk siblings. Continue reading →

Chalmers on panpsychism

Recently regular reader John Zande brought up the issue of panpsychism. Basically panpsychism is the position that conciousness is an inherent part of the universe. A modern advocate of panpsychism is Australian philosopher David J. Chalmer. In particular he has developed a theory of panprotopsychism. He explains his theory in the following article:

Panpsychism and Panprotopsychism by David J. Chalmers.

1620-2012

At Science Daily:

Greenland sharks live at least as long as 400 years, and they reach sexual maturity at the age of about 150, a new study reports. The results place Greenland sharks as the longest-lived vertebrates on Earth.

And:

The two largest sharks in this study, at 493 cm and 502 cm in length, were estimated to be roughly 335 and 392 years old, respectively.

So these sharks lived through the English civil war, the Glorious revolution, the American revolution, the French revolution, the Napoleonic wars, the Franco-Prussian war, World War 1, World War 2 and the Cold War. They have seen it all.