#16: But What About A Shield?

Welcome back to our regularly scheduled programming! Did you enjoy our first Special Edition? How's your summer going? Did you vacay? We did! Though vacationing with toddlers is...questionable. Regardless, gotta get that break time. Relax, refresh. WE WANTS IT, WE NEEDS IT. MUST HAVE THE PRECIOUS.

This week we're looking out to the horizon, maybe a little further, to items of interest that aren't yet killing us nor immediately getting us off this god-forsaken rock. Because sometimes it's nice/terrifying to think "What if" instead of just "Oh fuck", amiright?

On to the news!


1. In an admittedly small study, because, you know, we stopped sending humans beyond the magnetosphere, it looks like deep-space exposure might mean bad news for your heart.  - WSJ

"The researchers posit that radiation exposure, coupled with weightlessness, changes the structure of blood vessels in ways known to lead to heart disease. To test this theory, the authors looked particularly at Apollo astronauts."

+ MY NOTES: #1: We need a radiation shield if we're gonna get anywhere. #2: Why, again, did we stop sending people to space?


2. U.S. partners up with other folks terrified of superbugs, because why-are-we-injecting-all-of-our-food-with-drugs-what-have-we-wrought??? - WSJ (kind of killing it this week)

"Drug-resistant microbes have cropped up around the world, including occasionally at U.S. hospitals. Such outbreaks in the U.S. have led to an estimated two million illnesses annually, including about 23,000 deaths. As fewer large pharmaceutical companies have chosen to invest in antibiotics—in large part because such drugs are often given for short periods and are less lucrative than many other drugs—governments are trying to fill that gap."

+ MY NOTES: Remember when Gwyneth was patient zero? Those were the good old days.


3. Google theoretically plans to hand over artificial intelligence to U.N. or somebody else like it, once we build it, you know, before it has a chance to strike and murder us all.  - Bloomberg

"Our stated mission is to solve intelligence."

+ MY NOTES: Talk to me once you've solved vegan cheese, homie. 


4. Here's a less-than-exhaustive list of ways we might reach another star without a warp drive, which, to be clear, shouldn't ever be taken out of the running, because...warp drives. - Discover

"Known as Project Orion, the work was classified because the principle was that your engine shoots a series of “nuclear pulse units”—atomic bombs of roughly Hiroshima/Nagasaki power—out the back. Each unit explodes and the shockwave delivers concussive force to an immense, steel pusher plate, which is connected to the most immense shock absorber system that you could imagine...amazingly, the plan was to use the nuclear pulse engine even for launching the vessel, in one massive piece, from the surface of Earth."

+ MY NOTES: what


5. You call them sex dolls, I call them semi-conscious neural networks. - SingularityHub

"how will we know if an AI has the true inner experience of consciousness or if it has simply been programmed to create the illusion of consciousness? But again, how can we know if any other human being is truly experiencing consciousness just as we are? Known as the hard problem of consciousness, this remains one of the biggest mysteries in neuroscience as scientists attempt to explain how we have phenomenal subjective experiences — also known as “qualia.”

Princeton neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga says, "I don't know if you're conscious. You don't know if I'm conscious. But we have a gut kind of certainty about it. That is because an assumption of consciousness is an attribution, a social attribution.”"

+ MY NOTES: Love the one you're with!