Interesting news item from IEEE Spectrum reports on the first prototype of a Tricorder medical scanning device. I was unaware that a Tricorder X Prize competition (in the same family as Space X for commercial space flights) was in progress.
I love this kind of news because I enjoy thinking about how science fiction, and particularly Star Trek, inspires real life technical advances.
I absolutely love this video of Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station, singing “Space Oddity” by David Bowie. If you haven’t seen it, or haven’t seen it in a long time, well, go for it:
I watched this for the first time at the end of 2013, actually (not 2014). That marked a period in my life where I was super stressed, super overworked (like 80 hours a week), so I had not been following the great work Command Hadfield had been doing on the ISS, tweeting with schoolkids and posting fun videos in Zero-G (This is how I brush my teeth in space, kids!).
So when I finally got around to taking the few minutes to watch this, I found it spellbinding. I even got a little verklempt.
It got me started devouring the rest of his videos on YouTube and I later read his book (not the best written biography in the world, but full of interesting details nonetheless). Inspiring guy, and he’s done a great thing for science education.
Here is a philosophical argument that just about blew my mind, maybe 30 minutes ago. I had loaded up this academic paper on my iPad because it was referenced somewhere else, and I just read it.
It asks “Are you living in a computer simulation?” and argues that the answer, “Yes”, is highly likely. It uses math and logical, philosophical proof, to arrive at that conclusion.
Have a read, and let me know what you think. There is already a slightly humorous, somewhat serious debate and public discourse about this idea. I haven’t gone into all of it, but if you go to the root website in the link above, you can follow along as well.
It brings to my mind the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, an obscure novel called “The Jesus Incident”, and of course, The Matrix.