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    • CommentAuthorRictus
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2009
     (5768.61)
    @ lingered shade

    'it might be necessary for us to experience a theological/philosophical game changer before a(nother) technological one'

    Necessary... That observation has potential.

    Perhaps motivation must reach a higher scale through new theologies/philosophies before technology can provide game changers.
    • CommentAuthorpoor_boy
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2009
     (5768.62)
    <blockquote>Perhaps motivation must reach a higher scale through new theologies/philosophies before technology can provide game changers. </blockquote>I hope so.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
     (5768.63)
    To lower the tone: the plug computer.

    Marvell Technology Group is counting on an army of computer engineers and hackers to answer that question. It has created a “plug computer.” It’s a tiny plastic box that you plug into an electric outlet. There’s no display. But there is an Ethernet jack to connect to a home network and a U.S.B. socket for attaching a hard drive, camera or other device. Inside is a 1.2 gigahertz Marvell chip, called an application processor, running a version of the Linux operating system.

    All this can be yours for $99 today and probably for under $40 in two years.

    “There’s not much in there,” said Sehat Sutardja, Marvell’s chief executive and co-founder, just a few chips and the sort of power supply used to charge a cellphone battery. Because this computer uses chips designed for cellphones, it uses far less power than chips designed for regular computers.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
     (5768.64)
    @Lingeredshade

    Speaking as a Buddhist (one of those Tibetan blokes Jon mentioned), we are taught to obvserve science more than anything else. The Buddha was one of the world's first proponents of empiricism and the (very) early form of the scientific method. Many scientists, including Stephen Hawking, have said time and again that Buddhism is perhaps the religion best attuned to science at its core. There are literally hundreds of pages of canon (mostly involving astronomy and physics) that have been purged because science has since proved them wrong.


    As far as Buddhist game changers? In Myanmar the main opposition to a brutal government dictatorship is being led by monks, evidenced by the world wide media attention they got their situation last years. Thích Qu?ng ??c's self immolation in 1963 in protest to goings-on in Vietnam is considered by many historians to be the initial spark behind the world peace movement and what would eventually become the Hippies during the Vietnam war. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has raised billions for research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, a Buddhist, was the architect of the Constitution of India in the 1950s. Many of the world's leading historians and linguists (some of which I've had the honor to study under and work with) are Buddhists. Not all of us are cloistered monks more content to study mysticism content to study in solitude.
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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
     (5768.65)
    Buddhism is perhaps the religion best attuned to science at its core. There are literally hundreds of pages of canon (mostly involving astronomy and physics) that have been purged because science has since proved them wrong.
    Compared to other religions, this is so radical that I find it difficult to applaud enough.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
     (5768.66)
    There are certainly other religions like this. I'm just speaking from my own experiences, in a general sense, i.e., just about every school of Buddhism follows this. It ties into one of the main precepts of the clergy (they have more than the 5 most lay practitioners follow) that states that they must constantly study subjects outside of Buddhism, and if they find something that undeniably makes more sense than our canon, the canon should be replaced. Don't get me wrong; I know of Islamic, Christian, and Jewish sects like this, but as a whole none of them have a similar rule (that is followed, to my knowledge).

    Siddhartha Gautama, most revered Buddha, said this:

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. "

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama makes a strong effort to keep a dialogue up with the scientific community. In his words "If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview."

    I'm not saying other religions aren't like this; quite the contrary. I'm trying to prove that not all religions are anti-science.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
     (5768.67)
    "I'm not saying other religions aren't like this; quite the contrary. I'm trying to prove that not all religions are anti-science."

    Mohammed explicitly said he wasn't a miracle-worker, pity his followers didn't listen.

    Ba'hai teaches that when God created the world it was perfect and therefore there was no need for him to intervene in the working of its physical laws to produce his desired outcomes.
    • CommentAuthorpoor_boy
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009 edited
     (5768.68)
    @ looneynerd - I really didn't mean to disrespect your beliefs. I just don't think that a peaceful approach will work on the religious conservatives who are blocking scientific progress in America, and by extension, the world.

    I believe Anton Lavey had the right idea. Atheism should be proactive. We have religious "authorities" in America who retard the process of human evolution and they need to be dealt with. They don't care about advancements in psychology or neurosciences and they'd be overjoyed to see "unbelievers" like us burn ourselves in the street.

    I feel a little bad for derailing a tech discussion into a discussion of what we need to do to give that tech a chance to happen. But that's what I did. Please forgive me for taking liberties with our Internet. :)

    If any of you are interested in Lavey, <a href="http://www.churchofsatan.com/home.html">this link</a> might help. I'm not an "official" member of the current version of the Church of Satan, but I hold with Lavey's writings. More as a personal thing than a global outlook. I suspect looneynerd's way might work better as a global perspective, actually...
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
     (5768.69)
    There are a number of Islamic sects in Turkey that I've worked with. Because of the country's firm focus on secularism, they strive to relate religion to science in a way similar to how we do things within Buddhism. I live in the same county as the now-famous creationism Museum in Kentucky. A number of churches in the area have tried to distance themselves from such beliefs. The problem is that media attention is given more to the crazies, because, well, frankly they're more interesting to the wider public. It's unfortunate, because religion is a positive influence on a lot of people, but it's been made to look bad and universally anti-science in a lot of ways.
    • CommentAuthorpoor_boy
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009 edited
     (5768.70)
    Actually, religion is anti-science at its core. It encourages people to look for answers outside themselves, as opposed to finding out <em>for </em>themselves.

    Um...tech that might change the world? Someday someone will lower Twitter's 140 character cap to 3. At which point we'll all be forced to embrace telepathy. ;)
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
     (5768.71)
    Disagreed, as several of my points above prove.

    According to Buddhism, one's own actions are the creator, ultimately. Some people say that, from a certain angle, Buddhism is not a religion but rather a science of mind. Religion has much involvement with faith. Sometimes it seems that there is quite a distance between a way of thinking based on faith and one entirely based on experiment, remaining skeptical. Unless you find something through investigation, you do not want to accept it as fact. From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind and not a religion. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides.
    -His Holiness The XIV Dalai Lama

    Jains, Hindus, Many sects of non-Wahabist Islam, and reform Christian movements are the same way.


    Back to the tech though, I just read about the Espresso printing machine in London. I think wide-useage of 3d home printers and fabricators will result in a radical shift in the way we purchase things.
    • CommentAuthorpoor_boy
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
     (5768.72)
    Really, I think the greatest technological advancement we can make as a species is how we communicate.

    Simply put, we should learn how to stop talking past each other. We need to use the tools we have to find common ground.
  1.  (5768.73)
    I believe Anton Lavey had the right idea. Atheism should be proactive. We have religious "authorities" in America who retard the process of human evolution and they need to be dealt with.

    The problem is that there’s no way to deal with them. There are already plenty of books that shred idiots like that and all their idiocy and bigotry, but we can’t make their followers read them. And in every other medium they churn out and endless stream of lies and bullshit that nobody has enough time to counter (nor does anyone have time to read the counter-arguments). Making things even harder is that anyone who does point out that these guys are assholes and full of shit is attacked as intolerant, unenlightened, pitiable, and soulless shell of a man. There’s really no good way to counter religious fundamentalists without getting down in the muck with them, at which point the opposition seems to lose all credibility.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
     (5768.74)
    Making things even harder is that anyone who does point out that these guys are assholes and full of shit is attacked as intolerant, unenlightened, pitiable, and soulless shell of a man

    I think a lot of this issue comes from how vehement SOME (please note this word, I'm not saying all, not by a long shot) Atheists and non-religious types are. I've been attacked from the non-religious just as strongly as I have been by Christian fundamentalists. A lighter, even tone that a big group of the skeptical community is now following, free of the snark, sarcasm, and condescending attitudes that many have taken in recent years will help things a lot, I think.
    • CommentAuthorpoor_boy
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
     (5768.75)
    @ looneynerd - Heh. It's pretty easy to be put on the defensive, isn't it? Especially when you feel like you're outnumbered...

    I'm not as vehemently anti-religious as I used to be, and to be honest, I've never been against eastern philosophy at all. It's just...I see how the conservatives in my part of the world slow us all down, and it makes me wonder how far we'll have to go to make the world work.

    But just to put it frankly, it's not your way that I'm against. I might be too cynical and jaded to see how your way could work, but I'm not against you.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDr. Slek
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2009
     (5768.76)
    I expect to see advances in the fields of fusion power and nano-technology.
    I read an article once which pointed out that much of the materials we use to make stuff is cut from bigger objects. The leftover wood or particle board can sometimes be recycled, and sometimes it can't. Usually when something reaches the end of it's usefulness it's thrown away if it can't be recycled.
    If you've ever played the game Warren wrote for, Hostile Waters. Something similar to those creation engines are what I expect to see in my lifetime. Nanomachines that break down objects given to it, and build new objects from them.
    I hope to live to 100, so scientists have another 76 years to get their arses in gear and invent some of this stuff. Otherwise I'll be writing them a very stern letter from beyond the grave.
  2.  (5768.77)
    I'm thinking, pretty much hands down, graphene chips and applications. More functionality in smaller devices; I'm especially interested in the ultraconductor and biomed applications.

    I'm interested in the idea of a philosophical/theological advancement being necessary before a technological one. I'm not sure I've seen precedence in history for that; typically, technological advancements come from the fringes, not the mainstream (and I assume we're talking about a mainstream philo/theolo advancement). I see more of a precedent for technological advancement influencing philosophical/theological advancement, though I admit you can have the latter without the former.

    @looneynerd: tashi delek, my friend. Was a practicing Buddhist for years (primarily Theravadan, but I also included some Tibetan and Zen influences) and still meditate on a pretty regular basis. Just not as into the philosophy and theology of it anymore; pretty impassive about religion in general, these days. I'm not sure it's Buddhism that would bring about a great global consciousness change, though; people have been talking about that in the west for fifty years or more with little to show for it. I guess what I'm saying is that I'd rather focus on education than meditation, even being intimately familiar with the benefits of the latter.