Category: Resources

  • Cryonics resources (something in ASU's backyard)

    Cryonics does have a basis in science, and I’ve had my own arrangements for cryonic suspension with the Alcor Foundation since 1990, funded by life insurance. Cryonicists want to develop “medical time travel” or an ambulance ride across time to try to benefit from the better medical capabilities of future societies. Refer to: 1. General but **outdated** background information on the idea, mainly of historical interest now: <b>The Prospect of Immortality</b> (1964), by Robert Ettinger: <a href=""></a> 2. “Cryopreservation of rat hippocampal slices by vitrification” (a peer-reviewed scientific paper): <a href=""></a> “Microscopic examination showed severe damage in frozen–thawed slices, but generally good to excellent ultrastructural and histological preservation after vitrification. Our results provide the first demonstration that both the viability and the structure of mature organized, complex neural networks can be well preserved by vitrification. These results may assist neuropsychiatric drug evaluation and development and the transplantation of integrated brain regions to correct brain disease or injury.” 3. Mike Darwin’s Chronosphere blog: <a href=""></a> Mike goes back nearly to the beginnings of cryonics in the late 1960’s, and his blog offers a metaphorical gold mine of information, including references to a lot of scientific papers, about the field and its current but probably surmountable problems. 4. The X PRIZE Foundation has a concept under consideration for a Cryopreservation X PRIZE: <a href=""></a> “This competition offers two benefits to humanity. First, the ability to increase the number and availability of transplantable organs for patients with organ failure; and second, the ability to move forward the science of human cryopreservation which offers the ability to preserve patients with incurable diseases until a time when medical science has sufficiently progressed to be able to treat the disease.” 5. MIT neuroscientist Sebastian Seung defends cryonic suspension as a feasible scientific-medical experiment in his book //Connectome//, and he will speak at Alcor’s conference in Scottsdale, AZ, next month: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a>

  • Shine Anthology, positive SF since 2008

    The Shine anthology is a print anthology for Solaris Books: badass SF anthology for the good. Shine Anthology's website is intended to function as an open platform for optimistic SF. Hereby I invite everyone to post ideas, arguments, comments and links on this topic. Optimistic SF is like the future: a work in progress. <a href=""> Shine Anthology</a> also positive twitter SF <a href=""> @Outshine</a>

  • Inside Minority Report’s “Idea Summit,” Visionaries Saw the Future “Steven and I talked specifically about creating a new set of vernacular images of the future. Before then, the only images that anybody ever referred to were either Blade Runner or 2001. It was a very dark vision. Our goal was to get on screen a really amazing vision of the future that people…

  • Charlie Stross on Near-Future SF worlds and "Unknown Unknowns"

    <a href=" "> Charlie Stross, "World Building 404: The Unknown Unknowns"</a> Great blog post from science fiction author Charlie Stross about building near-future worlds in SF stories. Stross discusses how authors should balance elements that are continuous and familiar from contemporary society ("known knowns"), elements that are predictable advances on current technologies and social structures ("known unknowns"), and "unknown unknowns," disruptive events or innovations that are as yet unforeseen. This post could provide a starting point for thinking about guidelines or best practices for writing speculative near-term science fiction stories that are inspiring and radically innovative while still being relatable for their audiences. This would likely call for a balance of the familiar and the unfamiliar, as Stross argues. Stories based on a future that is completely alien probably will not have the effect of inspiring tangible research or enhancing public engagement with science.

  • Scientific research publishing is changing

    This brief article relates to my post from yesterday in The Moon Shot Ecosystem. While the examples I supplied may be outside your game, this might hit closer to home:

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson on Space as Culture

    <a href=" "> Neil deGrasse Tyson Discusses the Link Between Space and Culture,"</a> Robert T. Gonzales, I urge you to watch this video of Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking at the 28th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. In it, he discusses the concept of "space as culture," emphasizing how space exploration and other large-scale scientific endeavors encourage society to dream about tomorrow. deGrasse Tyson focuses especially on how icons of scientific progress (in our project's language, **Hieroglyphs**) become imprinted on the collective imagination. Examples include linking the birth of the ecology movement to the photo of the Earth "rising over" the moon taken by Apollo 8, and connecting the iconic V2 rocket and its fins to the design of cars like the 1957 Chevrolet. These icons reflect the public's fascination with large-scale scientific endeavors and also push culture forward, helping us imagine cultural and social futures in the wake of radical technological change.

  • Does “Star Trek” make it look too easy?

    Andre Bormanis, writing in The Space Review, asks, “Does “Star Trek” make it look too easy?” “In an interview with a reporter from the Associated Press, Scott Pace, the current director of the Space Policy Institute at The George Washington University and a former NASA associate administrator, was asked to comment on the April…

  • Farm Hack

    Though in some respects, this represents the opposite of the Hieroglyph approach, I want to mention Farm Hack and the associated young farmers movements as something exciting which is happening now. I am going to <a href="">Farm Hack Intervale/Essex</a> next weekend. I went to a related Greenhorns young farmer event last year and it was full of energetic, intelligent, inventive people. One guy I talked to there, Steve Blood, who has a company for making <a href="">human powered devices</a> also has significant venture capital for his <a href="">social media software project</a>. Finding the veins of inventive energy is as important as thinking big. UPDATE: My link formatting didn't work right. Here's another try: * Farm Hack: * Farm Hack Intervale/Essex: * Pedal Power Engineering: * Article about Kohort's VC: *

  • NASA Accepting Proposals for 2018 Mars Mission

    <a href=" "> "Budget Woes Force NASA to Redraw Plans to Mars,"</a> Alicia Chang, AP News In response to budget difficulties, NASA has issued an open call for proposals from professional scientists and the general public about how to execute a 2018 mission to Mars to return soil and rock samples. The <a href=" "> call for proposals</a> is an attempt to find cheap, innovative ideas for this mission that will also contribute to NASA's longer-term goal of sending humans to Mars by 2030. What do we think about this idea? Is it realistic? Is NASA being specific enough about what kinds of ideas they need? Is this effort to crowdsource space innovation a promising development?

  • Article on the "Space Craze" in 1920s Russia

    <a href=""> "The Space Craze That Gripped Russia Nearly 100 Years Ago,"</a> Adam Mann, Wired Really interesting article about the popular fascination in 1920s Russia with space travel and exploration, which was fueled by popular fiction and film, along with articles, public lectures, and museum-style exhibitions. This craze was integral to Russia's early domination of the space race, largely because it inspired young people growing up during the 1920s to pursue scientific careers and technological innovations. This is an excellent historical precedent to consider at Hieroglyph, as we ponder how to use fiction and narrative to spark innovation and moonshot thinking today.