From tech to farming

Remember Stewart Lundy, my former student who helped me with the technical side of my blog?  He has now embraced farming.  But what a farm!  He is doing cutting-edge local, sustainable, organic farming.  He is raising heirloom vegetables, chickens, ducks, rabbits, bees, and “rare pigs.”  People are driving an hour and a half just to buy his eggs.  He is attending to the microbes in the soil, restoring minerals to the soil, and applying all kinds of other sophisticated techniques to make all of this work.

You have got to scroll through his site and see the pictures of what all he is doing:  Perennial Roots – Accomac, VA – Farm, Food & Grocery | Facebook.

Contact him from the site if you want to order a pig (either as food or as a pet) or get in on any of this other stuff.  [Read more…]

The view from Saturn

The Earth and the Moon from the Saturn probe Cassini, launched in 1997 and still sending back pictures, about a billion miles away:

Earth and Moon as Imaged by Cassini

[Read more…]

Dogs are not color-blind after all

It has long been said that dogs can only see in black and white.  But scientists have now proven that they do, in fact, perceive colors, though in a slightly different spectrum from humans, and that they derive information from the color of objects that they see. [Read more…]

Green lawmaking by executive order

President Obama, being unable to get his environmental and anti-global warming agenda through Congress, has announced that he will impose it by executive order.  After all, the bureaucracies and regulatory agencies of the Executive branch have become the nation’s de facto lawmakers anyway.  So why do we need Congress when the president can rule by fiat? [Read more…]

Why naked mole rats don’t get cancer

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post in praise of the naked mole rat, an exceedingly odd little creature with seemingly super powers when it comes to health and longevity.  Well, scientists have recently discovered why these things don’t get cancer, something that could lead to treatments in human beings. [Read more…]

Non-biological bodies & digital immortality

The director of engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil–who has written a couple of books on these subjects– told a conference that in about 30 years, we will be able to download our minds into the internet to achieve “digital immortality.”  We will also be able to dispense with our physical bodies in favor of “non-biological bodies.”

Think of these goals as the promises of a new religion for our day.  Note the gnosticism, that ancient but always recurring heresy that denigrates the body and the material creation.  No families would be needed, since there would be no need for reproduction.  This would seem to herald the end of sex, though perhaps it would simply be the next step in internet pornography replacing sex.  (Though what would be the locus of desire without bodies?)  Getting rid of biological bodies, of course, would mean killing them, so this opens the door to mass murders, but that would be all right since people’s “minds”–which is the only part that counts–would be downloaded into Google’s servers.  Not much privacy there, but we could access everyone else’s minds, which would be the new version of human relationships, replacing such retro concepts as love and community.

What else?  (After the jump, details from Kurzweil’s sermon to the futurist conference.) [Read more…]


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