June 7, 2010

Upload Yourself—and Achieve Immortality!
Though there is little prospect of creating a genuinely conscious robo-clone in the foreseeable future, several companies are taking the first steps in that direction. Their initial goal is to enable you to create a lifelike digital representation, or avatar, that can continue long after your biological body has decomposed. (Linda Geddes, New Scientist)

Is Male Modesty Unattractive?
Research has revealed women don’t like modesty in a man. Instead, cocky types are more likely to win their hearts, with Simon Cowell’s arrogant attitude more appealing than Hugh Grant’s bumbling on-screen behavior. Other men also find male modesty an unattractive trait—perhaps because they believe that bashful boys are letting the side down. (Roger Dobson and Fiona Macrae, Mail Online)

Signs of Life on Saturn’s Moon Titan
Something is consuming hydrogen and organic molecules on Saturn’s moon Titan, and the recipe matches astrobiologists’ theories about possible methane-based life. Granted, there may be other chemical explanations—it’s just that no one knows what they are yet. (Rebecca Boyle, Popular Science)

Hindu Pilgrims Can Bring Their Cell Phones on the Amarnath Yatra
For some, the idea of being able to use a mobile on such a mission is sacrilegious, but for most it will likely prove a means of support during a very dangerous journey. The Yatra is a truly perilous trip to embark on. (Monty Munford, Telegraph Blogs)

Is the Internet Making Us Smarter?
Clay Shirky: Digital media link over a billion people into the same network. This linking together in turn lets us tap our cognitive surplus, the trillion hours a year of free time the educated population of the planet has to spend doing things they care about. (The Wall Street Journal)

Or Is the Internet Making Us Dumber?
Nicholas Carr: What we seem to be sacrificing in all our surfing and searching is our capacity to engage in the quieter, attentive modes of thought that underpin contemplation, reflection, and introspection. (The Wall Street Journal)

Category: Field Notes

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