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A book review and an admirable outlook all in one post.
Brian Greene’s popular work on string theory, The Elegant Universe, lays out the potential “theory of everything” in understandable prose, and describes the evolution of physics that led up to its formulation.
When I call the prose understandable, I mean that in a relative sense. It’s not a Hunger Games-type read, but if you’re not frightened away by the idea of curved space-time, supersymmetry, and 6 (or 7) tightly wrapped invisible dimensions, you’ll be fine. I majored in physics in college, so I approached The Elegant Universe with a decent base level of understanding, but I’d certainly never delved into string theory before. I had always just kind of imagined it as it sounds: a universe composed of very small vibrating strings. And it turns out, that’s pretty much what it is. With lots of nuances and implications and difficult math. Greene does a terrific job of bringing…
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I have long wished for a device I could plug into my head that could adapt my thoughts and play them like music. I have also often been glad that no one can hear my thoughts. This article presents something close: to reconstruct images from the brain. The science isn’t perfect yet, the researchers admit that they can only project things that the mind has already seen, so we’re years away from inventing crazy contraptions or monsters to have them displayed on a screen. In fact, most moving things seem to show up as an ominous, tangly black mass. But still, this video is amazing:
And I for one am excited. They cite access to coma patient’s brains as a use. I can think of a few more, not just including lie detectors and a completely new way to communicate without the pesky inaccuracies of language. Right now, it could be used as a new form of charades in which the participants must guess what the person is trying to imagine for them.
I have recently started watching TED talks, and I’d like to share the ones that stick with me as extremely exciting. A lot of them are interesting, some of them do not intrigue me in the least, and some of them make me want to jump up and down for the amazing things that our scientists are developing for our future.
This is a link to a talk by Kary Mullis. He seems a little uncomfortable on stage, but his presentation is fantastic. Advancements in medicine are something everyone can be happy about. Enjoy!
I know so very little, and that is depressing. My hope is that this blog will serve to track what I learn and discover, and most of all, that any readers will share the things that they find interesting as well. Anything goes, since my interests (off the top of my head) are: science, language, music, and philosophy. I will be grateful for any contribution, since I am a beginner within each of these fields. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have something to share with me.