Tag Archives: culture

Black Cat Appreciation Day; Happy Friday the 13th!

I Love My Black Cat! Don’t fall prey to superstitions! General Gau asks that you remember that black cats need your help, because they are the least adopted from animal shelters, and when they do get adopted on dates like … Continue reading

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The Catalyst of the Story (or, The Alchemy of Breaking Bad)

I haven’t yet watched the first episode of the final season of Breaking Bad, but I’m eager to see how it all ends. I feel a slight trepidation that it’ll end poorly, but surely not as badly as LOST or … Continue reading

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THINK: What The Singularity Really Means

It’s now roughly two months since the latest Singularity Summit conference, held here in the Upper East Side of New York City.  I came away from the conference not feeling quite as elated as I did in 2009, I think … Continue reading

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THINK: The Rise Of Autoculture

From time to time I’ll be writing posts that fall into a broader category of general musing about the future and technology in abstract terms, outside of the context of today’s startup-focused world. Those posts will be headed with the title “THINK:” so readers can identify them more easily. This first post in this series will be discussing the role of technology in culture, how we use it now, and how it may be used in the future. To start things off, I’m going to briefly define the concepts of “autoculture” and “metaculture”, examine the big idea of autonomous agents becoming fundamental definers of your identity, and end up at the current trends in examining and analyzing culture with technology.

(In general these types of posts will fall into the realm of TL;DR, so be forewarned, this is a long one…)

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The Drake Equation and Extraterrestrial Life

The Drake Equation is a thought experiment meant to provoke thoughtful consideration about extraterrestrial life. It’s an equation of factors that you multiply together to produce the “number of civilizations” in the galaxy we could communicate with.

When you make astronomical or universal calculations, you really have to think in orders of magnitude, or “powers of ten”. You may recall that short film of the same name that goes up and down in scale multiplying by 10 or -10, and seeing how quickly things jump when you keep adding zeroes to the beginning or end of a number. Interestingly, this is also very true of the Drake Equation, and really gets one thinking about the scale of things above and beyond our single, lonely planet. The factors that make the biggest impact on the equation are the number or stars, and the fraction of stars with planets around them.

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