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Blog Archive for the year 02007

The Future Half-Life of Verbs

by Kevin Kelly on October 24th, 02007

Language evolves, The English we might speak in the future will be different. One long term trend in English moves towards uniform ways of making verbs past tense. Ordinarily we do it by adding “ed” to the end.

To get an idea of where English might evolve to in the coming centuries, several linguists published. . .   Read More

The Battle of Anghiari

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on October 23rd, 02007

Peter Paul Rubens’s copy of a copy of Da Vinci’s The Battle of Anghiari
I just received this update on the lost Davinci painting The Battle of Anghiari from Davide Bocelli, a Long Now member and long time friend of the Foundation in Italy… This is a good reminder how difficult it can. . .   Read More

On the 8th day, Venter creates life

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on October 19th, 02007

Genes of micro-organisms are being modified to create something new
 
The BBC reports on our upcoming seminar speaker Craig Venter’s recent advances in creating life. Attendees of Juan Enriquez’ illuminating talk “Mapping Life” also heard about this research and Venter’s success in “jump starting” life by injecting DNA from one cell. . .   Read More

ICANN and now you can too…in Yiddish!

by Laura Welcher on October 17th, 02007

This week, tech sites like DomainInformer reported that ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) was unveiling the internationalization of top-level domain names in “11 test languages — Arabic, Persian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Yiddish, Japanese, and Tamil.” Uh…wait a second…did they say Yiddish?!! A language with. . .   Read More

Juan Enriquez “Mapping Life”

by Stewart Brand on October 13th, 02007

Mapping Life

“All life is imperfectly transmitted code,” Enriquez began, “and it is promiscuous.” Thus discoveries like the one last month of an entire bacterial genome inside the DNA of a fruitfly is exploding the old tree-of-life models of evolution. The emerging map replaces gene lineages with gene webs.

“There is a whole. . .   Read More

Y10k Compliance

by Kevin Kelly on October 12th, 02007

Cool Tools Reader Michael Hohl figured out this wonderful way to make your computer Y10K compliant. That is, how to set your computer so that it displays the 5-digit date it will need when we reach the years after 9999: that is 10000 and beyond. In anticipation of that time, you can set this. . .   Read More

Avatar Afterlife

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on October 12th, 02007

 
(This post was submitted by Roderick Jones, photo from Flickr user Dukal)
One of the stranger aspects of the explosion in the use of virtual worlds is when the avatar outlives the physical life of the gamer controlling it. People inhabiting virtual communities die in real life leaving their avatar and its property behind. . .   Read More

100,000 Year Living Microbe

by Kevin Kelly on October 10th, 02007

(Frozen bacteria found by Richard Hoover in the ice of the Fox permafrost tunnel)

From New Scientist:

Microbes can survive trapped inside ice crystals, under 3 kilometres of snow, for more than 100,000 years, a new study suggests. The study bolsters the case that life may exist on distant, icy worlds in our own. . .   Read More

The shrinking literary future

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on October 2nd, 02007

I have been noticing a funny phenomenon recently in the work of my favorite science fiction authors. Their futures seem to be shrinking.

I thought it may have just been a coincidence that two of my all time favorites, William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, have both been writing less and less about the far future. . .   Read More

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on September 27th, 02007

 At the Singularity Summit earlier this month I came to see Paul Saffo’s talk.  Famed as a forecaster and future thinker, I was expecting to hear what lay ahead in the world as the steepness of the technology curve continues towards cliff like proportions.  Instead all were treated to a reminder that our new. . .   Read More

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