Was reading some Mises and ran across this very neat aphorismReference
Sane sicut lux se ipsam et tenebras manifestat, sic veritas norma sui et falsi est, (Latin). A dictum of Spinoza (1632-1677). Translation: “Indeed, just as light defines itself and darkness, so truth sets the standard for itself and falsity.”
Spinoza is one of the most important philosophers—and certainly the most radical—of the early modern period. His thought combines a commitment to a number of Cartesian metaphysical and epistemological principles with elements from ancient Stoicism and medieval Jewish rationalism into a nonetheless highly original system. His extremely naturalistic views on God, the world, the human being and knowledge serve to ground a moral philosophy centered on the control of the passions leading to virtue and happiness. They also lay the foundations for a strongly democratic political thought and a deep critique of the pretensions of Scripture and sectarian religion. Of all the philosophers of the seventeenth-century, perhaps none have more relevance today than Spinoza.
Ludwig von MisesRead more at: http://mises.org/
The Ludwig von Mises Institute was founded in 1982 as the research and educational center of classical liberalism, libertarian political theory, and the Austrian School of economics. It serves as the world’s leading provider of educational materials, conferences, media, and literature in support of the tradition of thought represented by Ludwig von Mises and the school of thought he enlivened and carried forward during the 20th century, which has now blossomed into a massive international movement of students, professors, professionals, and people in all walks of life. It seeks a radical shift in the intellectual climate as the foundation for a renewal of the free and prosperous commonwealth.
as in many engineering projects the Navy’s UCAV X-47B flight testing and carrier qual seems to have suddenly jumped from baby steps to hyper speed.
Navy officers are very clear on a distinction between the Navy and the Air Force, which insists on talking about remotely piloted aircraft: Navy “unmanned air systems” have operators, not pilots. Of course, the Navy hasn’t been forced to divert a large number of qualified pilots into UAVs, as the USAF has been (Predators and Reapers are the USAF’s second-largest pilot force after the F-16), and will not have to do so for a long time. But the fact remains that flying a UAV with a stick and rudder or any semblance thereof is (to quote an Airbus guy’s comment on the Boeing 777′s back-driven yoke) like putting a steering wheel on a horse. “Pilot” is a bit of a misnomer.
Speaking of pilots, the Navy’s attitude towards adopting the X-47B’s automatic landing technology for manned operations is quite positive. The potential benefits — less wear and tear on airframes and less training time for the air group, along with improved safety — are substantial.
Read more at: http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs
Wired has a different set of thoughts and more questions here. Wired sometimes seems to confuse the world of war with the world of tech and the world in general with the blue coasts of the US but they do a good job of tracking the tech and monitoring for hubris.
Read more at: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/514661/synthetic-biology-could-speed-flu-vaccine-production/
….researchers are hoping to engineer entirely new circuits into cells to help diabetes patients. Martin Fussenegger, a bioengineer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, described a molecular system in which cells are modified with genes that can detect low pH levels in the blood, a sign of a diabetic state. In response, he says, the engineered cells will produce insulin to better regulate blood sugar levels and calm the diabetic state.
This kind of engineering typically depends on viruses to modify genes so that cells will perform useful tasks. But that method is risky: the introduced DNA could integrate into the genome at an unfortunate location that might lead to cancer. Harvey Lodish, a cell biologist at MIT, is working on a technology that could avoid that problem: lab-made red blood cells. After these cells are modified, they will kick out the virus in the course of their natural development process.
“The beauty of red blood cells is they are pretty much the only cell in body without a nucleus,” says Lodish. “By the time they get into circulation, they have lost their DNA and are stable for 120 days with no risk of tumors.”
In Lodish’s method, a retrovirus carries a new gene into the genome of progenitor cells that will eventually produce red blood cells. The cell uses that new gene to produce a modified version of proteins that sit on the surface of the mature red blood cell even after the cell has lost its DNA. The modified surface protein has been engineered so that other compounds can easily be attached to it—antibodies that could mop up toxic substances in the blood, or small-molecule drugs to attack cancers or other diseased cells. Lodish believes the technology is a safer approach to putting synthetic biology to use in the human body.
As Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit says, “faster please”
This image shows one of many fresh impact craters spotted by the UA-led HiRISE camera, orbiting the Red Planet on board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter since 2006. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/UA
Scientists using images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO, have estimated that the planet is bombarded by more than 200 small asteroids or bits of comets per year forming craters at least 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) across.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-05-hirise-mars-camera-reveals-hundreds.html#jCp
‘want some WD40 with that?’
We’re told it’s the wave of the future. Design, make, enjoy. Beyond home-based 3-D printers, there will be new machines and display screens and apps that will invite you to have day to day products just the way you want them. Digital buffets await and not surprisingly the time is now to contemplate robot bartender systems. Such a system is on display now, which can serve the cocktail of your latest twist of imagination. Makr Shakr is the name of the new system which goes on display at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, starting Wednesday. The drink-making robotic system made its debut during Milan Design Week 2013, and is making a debut in its final configuration at the Google event. The system can make the cocktail you want with its three robotic arms, which mimic the actions of a bartender. Shaking a Martini and slicing lemon garnishes are part of its repertoire. A smartphone app allows users create their cocktail concoctions from scratch.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-05-makr-shakr-arms-drink-recipe-collabs.html#jCp
To create the first global, topographic map of Saturn’s moon Titan, scientists analyzed data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and a mathematical process called splining. This method effectively uses smooth curved surfaces to “join” the areas between grids of existing topography profiles obtained by Cassini’s radar instrument. In the upper panel of this graphic, gold colors show where radar images have been obtained over almost half of Titan’s surface. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/JHUAPL/Cornell/Weizmann
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-05-cassini-global-topographic-titan.html#jCp
Planet hunting techniques expand:http://phys.org/news/2013-05-method-planets-scores-discovery.html
The new method looks for three small effects that occur simultaneously as a planet orbits the star. Einstein’s “beaming” effect causes the star to brighten as it moves toward us, tugged by the planet, and dim as it moves away. The brightening results from photons “piling up” in energy, as well as light getting focused in the direction of the star’s motion due to relativistic effects.
“This is the first time that this aspect of Einstein’s theory of relativity has been used to discover a planet,” said co-author Tsevi Mazeh of Tel Aviv University.
The team also looked for signs that the star was stretched into a football shape by gravitational tides from the orbiting planet. The star would appear brighter when we observe the “football” from the side, due to more visible surface area, and fainter when viewed end-on. The third small effect was due to starlight reflected by the planet itself.