August 23, 2021

Meanwhile: At the Skynet Symposium

Elon Musk, who has for years warned about the trancendental threat that is A.I., has decided to stop worrying and love the anthropomorphic killbots.


To be clear the new TESLABOT is not technically a killbot in that it is not equipped with a keyboard command for terminating peons who offend the users of TESLABOT, but a workaround for that oversight is likely simple. If it comes equipped as advertised with such features as opposable thumbs, it will certainly be equip-able with phased plasma rifles in the 40 watt range or other items with similar functionality.


OK in all seriousness, this diagram notes what the "killbots" will kill...

...or in the polite language of the promo, "eliminate". 

Those 'dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks' are what most of us call "jobs".

That is the prey of this killbot.

Of course for 200 years, jobs have been eliminated by advancing technology only to unleash by their increase in productivity a need for more jobs. This, new development, if it comes to pass may be more of the same, but there is concern that it might be different as it is not "the machinery" but is designed to move amongst and service "the machinery" and do the scutt work that the machinery couldn't. 

Technology is generally double edged, everyone needs to stay on their toes.

Theres a lot to be skeptical about in this announcement and it is does look like, as one commentator pointed out, "Musk as his absolute Muskiest". But as Brian Wang points out, Must does have experience and some infrastructure for producing high tech, semi-autonomous products on a massive scale, so while skepticism is certainly warranted, don't dismiss it out of hand. 

Exit quote: "In the long term I do think there needs to be universal basic income,” Musk said. "But not right now because the robot doesn’t work.”

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August 13, 2021

That Moment When

...one realizes that the website one is perusing is a bastion of bullshit can be jarring, but it's always best to find out early.


One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us just such a moment from Physics-Astronomy.org

"So much von-Däniken. So very derp."
Nijisani's Rosemi Lovelock is by Loop.


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August 01, 2021

Meanwhile: On Europa

One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us a bit of unexpected news about Jupiter's icy moon Europa.



Science Babe is actually Selen Tatsuki by Loopin

It seems that NASA has been doing studies of the information gleaned from the various probes that have visited Jupiter and in the process of simulating the environment of Jupiter's moon Europa they have concluded that this is what it looks like on its night side. 

The NASA/JPL article linked note that this phenomena has a lot of potential for analyzing the composition of Europa's ice and its subsurface ocean, via spectroscopy. However, there would seem to be other potential implications of this discovery. 

Given that: 

Currently, any life on Europa is assumed to be based on relatively inefficient chemosynthesis and to be dependent on discharges from equally hypothetical volcanic vents. 

Cherenkov radiation is blue light, meaning it's pretty high energy visible light. 

Water is an excellent ionizing radiation shield. 
 
NASA says the sea ice is literally glowing blue, and seems to imply that this light is visible to the naked eye.. 

So, if the sea-ice over the ocean is, in fact, glowing in blue light, then this light could represent another potential source of energy beyond the hypothesized volcanic vents. As happens on Earth, this would only be complimented by any black smokers spewing nutrients. 

Using the vast depth and breadth of biological and radiological knowledge that comes with a History degree, I find myself asking, "Can you grow plants with Cherenkov radiation?"  It seems likely, given that blue light is pretty high in energy, and that they make blue grow lights

The ice and water should protect against the hard radiation that ultimately causing the light, so in theory there might well be a very habitable region in Europa's ocean, one where actual photosynthesis, could potentially take place. Photosynthesis is vastly more efficient than the chemosynthesis that has been postulated as making life on Europa plausible, and (rather more so than chemosynthesis) might even support multicellular life. 

Additionally, life or no life, Europa's oceans might be well lit...in an eerie blue glow (dependent, of course upon the thickness of the ice and brightness of the glow).

There are a whole bunch of variables that need to be looked at regarding this, and I'm sure SOMEBODY knows if Cherenkov radiation is devoid of anything that plants need, but I'll be damned if I can find any info in the matter at the moment. 

Photosynthesis aside, there is a model put forth by a Richard Greenberg (presumably, his degrees are not in history) that Europa's ocean may be as oxygenated as earth's if not more so, due to the creation of Oxygen and Peroxides created by the radiation bombardment of the icy surface. 

Europa's just looking better and better for life.


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