Rupert Sheldrake’s “The Science Delusion” is one of those TED talks that will not be truly appreciated for another 50 years or so. Here Sheldrake argues that modern science has become dogmatic akin to a kind of belief system and makes assumptions about the nature of reality that is not supported by scientific evidence. This talk is quite controversial and has spawned many debates online about the merits of Sheldrake’s arguments. It should be noted that many of the TED talks we today consider to be credible and acceptable would have been roundly rejected by mainstream scientists 50 years ago. The fact is, we know more now than we did then so perhaps realizing this we can approach Sheldrake’s work with an open mind. Sheldrake in his words seeks to “set science free” and dispel the dogmas that hold us back from opening up new frontiers.
Open for discussion: Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake from TEDxWhitechapel
In the western world we pride ourselves on the fact that we have achieved an unprecedented level of personal and civil freedoms. Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, but how free are we really if we are not free to explore our own consciousness? What about freedom of mind? Consciousness expanding substances like DMT, psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide remain illegal despite their valuable and promising therapeutic use. In this banned TED talk “The War on Consciousness” Graham Hancock explores the links between the evolution of human consciousness and psychoactive substances.
Open for discussion: Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake from TEDxWhitechapel
The War on Consciousness By Graham Hancock
Johns Hopkins study of ingredient in “magic mushrooms” found participants exhibited more “openness”
Fed-funded research: magic mushrooms create ‘openness’ September 30, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
An interview with researcher Peter Gasser, M.D.
Those that have followed the development of fusion power over the last fifty years have always said that; “fusion is the future and it always will be”, but what if that were no longer true? What if we could make clean, plentiful fusion power available in a 100 megawatt prototype reactor by 2017? At a recent Solve for X lecture, Charles Chase of Lockheed’s Skunkworks suggests this could be possible. If true according to his time line a 100 megawatt production system could be ready as soon as 2022.
Is there a universal mathematical structure that underpins all of nature? Professor Marcus du Sautoy in the BBC documentary “The Code” explores this question.
To see the entire series go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/code
Herbal and plant medicines have been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of conditions but some plants are considered to be too controversial for use to modern western medical science. Cannabis commonly known as Marijuana has been used by many to relive nausea, chronic pain and to reduce anxiety. The Montana PBS documentary “Clearing The Smoke” explores the complex world of researchers, doctors, patients and politics of Cannabis research.
If we tally up all the achievements and technological advancements over the last 50 or even the last 25 years it seems that mankind has come a long way from our hunting and gathering past. That is until you compare our achievements to the categorization method developed by Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. According to the Kardashev Scale civilizations can be divided in to five or more distinct types, each group is defined by the amount of power available to each civilization.
Type 1 civilization is characterized by its ability to utilize all the power emanating from its central star to drive its civilization forward. Fossil fuels are no longer needed and are in fact insufficient for such a civilization. They can control their planetary environment via geo engineering and have a high-tech fast moving planetary culture. Various forms of fusion power would drive such a civilization toward the next level. Space travel and early space colonies quickly emerge.
Type 2 civilization can take full advantage of all the energy of an entire solar system. Space travel and space colonies would be commonplace. Large scale stellar engineering would be possible such as the construction of artificial structures in space in excess of 1au. The ability to create an early form of Dyson Sphere or Ring World could be achieved by such a civilization.
Type 3 civilization is characterized by its ability to capture and use power on a galactic scale. FTL travel is possible as is the ability to both create and control black holes. The ability to travel instantly anywhere in the universe is possible. Dyson Spheres and other ultra massive stellar engineering abilities are almost passé.
Type 4 civilization leverages the enormous power of an entire universe to achieve its aims. Travel to other parallel universes would be possible as would a sophisticated understanding of controlled evolution, synthetic biology and the creation of artificial life. The ability to create micro universes, whole solar systems and new life forms from scratch would be among just a few of the staggering god like abilities of such a civilization.
Type 5 civilization is almost inconceivable, technology as a cultural artifact would be completely unrecognizable. Instead members of a type 5 level civilization and beyond would appear to have magical or god like abilities that we at our present level of cultural development have no context for nor language to describe. Mind over matter would take on an entirely different meaning. The ability to manipulate matter, energy, time, space and dimension at all scales would be possible. For people from a type 5 civilization, whatever could be imagined would become reality.
So what type of civilization do we have? Type Zero
Adolescence can be a challenging time for a young person, on the one hand you are no longer child but on the other you are not precisely an adult either, sadly you are stuck between worlds. For some this stage of life is fraught with struggle, angst and relentless biological temptations. For a few however adolescence can be a time of tremendous creativity, ingenuity and intellectual exploration. In this TED Talk Taylor Wilson describes why he thinks nuclear fusion could hold the key to our planets energy future and he should know, he built his first fusion reactor at the age of 14.
So What Were You Doing At 14?
Today doctors treat cancer using a combination of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery but soon we may be able to treat cancer using electric fields. In this TEDMed talk Bill Doyle presents a new approach to cancer therapy using Tumor Treating Fields, capable of destroying cancer cells while leaving normal healthy cells intact. Developed by Novocure the treatment allows patients the ability to receive treatment while maintaining an active lifestyle. Recently the FDA approved a Novocure device in the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme or (GBM) a common and highly aggressive form of brain cancer. According to the FDA overview the Novocure device; “is a portable battery or power-supply operated device which produces changing electrical fields, called tumor treatment fields (“TTFields”) within the human body. TTFields are applied to the head of the patient by electrically-insulated surface electrodes. TTFields stop the growth of tumor cells resulting in cell death of the rapidly dividing cancer cells. The geometrical shape and scattering of the electrical charges within the dividing tumor cells allows TTF electrical fields to physically break up the tumor cell membrane. The frequency of the TTFields used for a particular treatment is specific to the size of the cell type being treated. ” (FDA) The research although different is somewhat similar to the pioneering work of a little known American inventor from the 1930′s named Royal Raymond Rife. It will be interesting to watch this technology as it is further developed and possibly used to treat other aggressive forms of cancer.
Education for many serves as the primary pathway to a better more prosperous life, but what happens when emerging technology changes how we learn and acquire new skills? Imagine a world where you could learn how to play the piano, pitch the perfect fastball or operate a new piece of complex machinery by simply having the information uploaded to your brain. Researchers at Boston University and the Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto Japan, have demonstrated the ability for an individual to; “learn high-performance tasks with little or no conscious effort”. It’s called Decoded Neurofeedback or DecNef and according to its developers it could represent a paradigm shift education and training. By leveraging the power of fMRI researchers were able to; ” use decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging to induce brain activity patterns to match a previously known target state and thereby improve performance on visual tasks. Think of a person watching a computer screen and having his or her brain patterns modified to match those of a high-performing athlete or modified to recuperate from an accident or disease.” (Science Daily) This research many believe could lead to the development of automated learning techniques that could fundamentally change the nature of education and training.
Vision Scientists Demonstrate Innovative Learning Method
‘Matrix’-Style Effortless Learning? Vision Scientists Demonstrate Innovative Learning Method
Perceptual Learning Incepted by Decoded fMRI Neurofeedback Without Stimulus Presentation
Modern energy production methods generate energy in one area and transmit it to another. But what if we could generate all the energy we needed right where we are? What if we could reduce the cost of sea water desalination by leveraging the power of nano-science? In this talk Justin Hall-Tipping of Nanoholgings suggests that we could one day do just that. For the last six years he has traveled the globe to seek out top university researchers and their work which he believes hold the technological keys necessary to make cheap clean power that will transform how we generate, store and use energy. The technique involves the use of Versafilm a carbon nanotube film combined with a polymer to create a unique overlay material that can adhere to the surface of a window to harvest energy during the day and produce light at night. According to Tipping the next generation energy system will require no massive infrastructure, complex power grid or centralized control. It places the ability to generate power into your hands and best of all you decide what to do with it.
Our friend Tony Hannides over at LTG brought this one to our attention. Its an example of Quantum Levitation from researchers at Tel Aviv University using a Yttrium barium copper oxide coated crystal sapphire wafer. Once cooled to minus 301 degrees ferinheight the wafer becomes superconductive, allowing for zero electrical resistance. That means no energy is lost in the form of waste heat. This phenomena could be used to create a whole host of new technologies including high-speed frictionless superconductive maglev transportation systems, frictionless bearings and high efficiency long distance power transmission cables. Perhaps one day architects will use quantum trapping to create new support systems for buildings and other structures.
If you are anything like the Ebongeek staff you are probably a big fan of the Fox TV SciFi show Fringe. Well when our one of our editors brought up this story we couldn’t help but think is this a “Fringe Event“? In all seriousness, this is perhaps the most tragic and puzzling medical mystery we have seen this year. This is 23 year old Nguyen Thi Phuong, her rapid ageing was brought on after changing medication used to treat an allergic reaction to seafood. Medical experts suspect that she now suffers from a rare syndrome called Lipodystrophy. According to Wikipedia; “Lipodystrophy is a medical condition characterized by abnormal or degenerative conditions of the body’s adipose tissue.” I other words, once this syndrome takes hold in the body the victim takes on an appearance of a person far older than they actually are. We couldn’t help but think could this ever be engineered to work in reverse? Take a look…