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Blog Archive for the year 02011

Timothy Ferriss, “Accelerated Learning in Accelerated Times”

by Stewart Brand on September 16th, 02011

Learning to learn fast
A Summary by Stewart Brand
To acquire “the meta-skill of acquiring skills,” Ferriss recommends approaching any subject with some contrarian analysis: “What if I try the opposite of best practices?” Some conventional wisdom—“children learn languages faster than adults” (no they don’t)—can be discarded. Some conventional techniques can. . .   Read More

The Long Slow Make

by Austin Brown on September 16th, 02011

The World Maker Faire opens for the second time this weekend – the 17th and 18th – in Queens at the New York Hall of Science. Maker Faire is organized by O’Reilly Media as a celebration of the spirit that’s been kindled by their Make Magazine.

O’Reilly Co-founder Dale Dougherty sat down recently. . .   Read More

A Sort-of-Natural History Museum

by Alex Mensing on September 13th, 02011

Brought to our attention by BoingBoing, the Center for PostNatural History specializes in specimens that are unlikely to be on display at, say, the American Museum of Natural History. As its name implies, the Center features organisms that are ‘unnatural,’ in that they were produced or altered by human activity. If we are, as some. . .   Read More

The Archive Team

by Heather Ryan on September 8th, 02011

One of our favorite rogue digital archivists, Jason Scott, has just posted a video of his talk at DefCon 19 about The Archive Team exploits. This is perhaps the most eloquent (and freely peppered with profanity) explanations of the problems inherent with preserving our digital cultural heritage. He also describes in a fair amount of. . .   Read More

Timely Facts

by Austin Brown on September 1st, 02011

Time exists, but that’s only the first of ten things Cosmic Variance wants to be sure you know on the subject.

The most common noun in the English language describes a rather elusive concept and after the Setting Time Aright conference brought together “leading researchers across a wide range of fields within physics and. . .   Read More

Charles Stross: Network Security in the Medium Term, 2061-2561 AD

by Austin Brown on August 25th, 02011

Earlier this month author Charles Stross gave a lecture in San Francisco for the USENIX Security Symposium. He called his talk “Network Security in the Medium Term, 2061-2561 AD” and in it he took the concept far beyond keeping your email password private or your WiFi from being hacked. Network security, according to Stross, will […]

Long Now on Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman

by Austin Brown on August 19th, 02011

Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman is a show on Discovery’s Science Channel that features cosmological and metaphysical questions about science and the universe.

Mr. Freeman, as it turns out, is quite the geek.

An  episode from the show’s second season recently asked, “Can We Live Forever?” Well known scientists such as Michio. . .   Read More

Lessons From a Trip Back in Time

by Alex Mensing on August 17th, 02011

The rapid rate of technological change is a common topic of discussion these days, but only occasionally does someone actually take the time to examine – let alone utilize – the technologies that we so readily leave behind. A great example of just such an undertaking is a project called All On Paper recently carried […]

Cure for the Digital Dark Age?

by Heather Ryan on August 16th, 02011

Real Men Don't Use Menus

*An old VisiCalc ad from the early 80’s.

The Digital Dark Age beacon has been flashing lately with some renewed frequency. It seems that articles on the pitfalls and challenges of preserving our digital “stuff” are starting to find their way back into the mainstream media. . .   Read More

Urban Evolution

by Alex Mensing on August 12th, 02011

Cities are often hotbeds of creativity and innovation, where the pace of life is faster and the diversity of people is greater. But humans aren’t the only things living in our cities – recent research by evolutionary biologists indicates that the processes of evolution and ecological change can also speed up in urban environments. In. . .   Read More