Odasvud pomalo...

Odasvud pomalo...

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Lidija

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Lidija

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Re: Odasvud pomalo...
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2016, 09:12:08 AM »


As Silicon Valley lays plans to colonize Mars, researchers offer a blueprint for governing it




NASA has been tasked with landing humans on Mars by the 2030s. The nonprofit Mars One foundation claims it’s preparing to blast off hardware for human habitation of the Red Planet by 2024. And Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, has made it his mission to turn Mars into humanity’s second home to save our species from possible extinction.

No political system exists to manage these new arrivals—and if humans indeed colonize Mars in the 21st century, we’re going to need one soon. But it’s hard to find good precedents for governing in a place where air may need to be a basic right of citizenry and an entire planet is up for grabs.

Musk’s vision for governance on Mars is steeped in the libertarian-leaning ideals of Silicon Valley. At a recent Recode event, he described a system of “direct democracy,” rather than a reliance on elected officials to represent the masses. Musk would let people vote directly on most (if not all) issues before the government. Laws would be subject to expiration dates and popular recall by 40% of the population, ensuring it’s “easier to remove a law than to create one.” Musk believes the colonization of another planet will give humanity an opportunity to reboot its mode of governance, much as the US Constitution did in 1788, making a sharp break with outdated institutions and ideas born in an earlier era.

Humans have learned a lot in the intervening centuries about how to manage competing polities. And researchers publishing in the journal Space Policy (paywall) on May 30 say we should use them. Three treaties in particular—agreements governing the high seas, Antarctica, and outer space— point the way to “successful sharing of international resources,” say the authors.

The researchers, from the nonprofit Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle, came to rather different conclusions than Musk about how to encourage harmony between rival states, sustain Martian exploration, and avoid follies ranging from physical violence to rampant environmental degradation.

Their full proposal (pdf) borrows from the Antarctic Treaty System and the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas, as well as the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (pdf) that decrees “the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind.” It hands local power to Martian inhabitants, coordinated by a weak central authority called the Mars Secretariat. No country can make a sovereign claim, but property rights to extract minerals and resources are permitted. Colonizing parties can occupy limited plots of Martian land, and claim exclusive economic rights within a 100 kilometer radius, but not prevent others from inhabiting or traversing the territory. Colonists remain under the legal jurisdiction of their host nation. Conflicts are resolved either by temporary Martian tribunals of representatives from other Mars colonies or diplomacy back on Earth.


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Lidija

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Re: Odasvud pomalo...
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2016, 07:54:17 AM »

Pluto Stamp Aboard NASA's New Horizons Probe Sets Guinness World Record


When NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by the dwarf planet Pluto one year ago this month, the mission set a number of records. The probe was the first to encounter the small world at the edge of our classical solar system, sending back images that revealed Pluto's surface for the first time.

But beyond its own mission of exploration, New Horizons also served as the delivery vehicle for a 1.5-inch by 1-inch (3.8 by 2.5 cm) relic that set a record of its own.

"The official record for the farthest distance traveled by a postage stamp is 3.26 billion miles [5.25 billion km]," said Jimmy Coggins, an official adjudicator for Guinness World Records, at a ceremony held Tuesday morning (July 19) at the United States Postal Service's (USPS) headquarters in Washington, D.C.


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Lidija

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Tesla's entire future depends on the Gigafactory
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2016, 11:24:51 AM »

Tesla's entire future depends on the Gigafactory


When you find yourself in the middle of the Nevada desert, on a 100-degree day, you wonder: who in the world would build something here?

Elon Musk, of course.

And so I’m here in the city of Sparks, outside of Reno, because of Musk’s dream — his "Master Plan" for Tesla, to be specific. He’s staked his entire company (and much of his net worth) on a single, enormous building here: the Gigafactory.

Tesla's Gigafactory is perhaps the best example of the literal scale of Elon Musk's ambitions. When the factory is complete, it will be the largest building in the world by footprint and, if all goes according to plan, will eventually churn out enough batteries to supply 150 gigawatt hours of batteries per year. That's enough for 1.5 million Model 3s. Tesla hopes to build 35GWh of batteries per year by 2018, equivalent to 500,000 Model 3s.

Pull up "large" in your thesaurus and you can easily apply any synonym to the plant: great, huge, sizable, substantial, immense, enormous, colossal, massive, mammoth, vast, prodigious, tremendous, ginormous — all of them apply. And maybe that doesn't even capture it.

The building, which Musk finds "quite romantic," is aligned north to south. It will be large enough to cover 107 NFL football fields with two to four floors of factory floor and workspace layered on top. There are 10,000 wild horses in the area, with some taking advantage of Tesla's construction efforts to drink from the water storage pools used during the building process.

"It's great," said Musk in a press conference with reporters at the Gigafactory yesterday. "It's like the Wild West."

"IT'S GREAT. IT'S LIKE THE WILD WEST."
But, according to Tesla, it's so much more than a battery factory. Forget the Model 3: the success of the Gigafactory is the most critical part of Tesla's future and the execution of Musk's overriding quest to save the world from the effects of climate change. Without the Gigafactory, there is no Model 3 because there will be no batteries.

"We consider [the factory] to be a product. The factory itself is the machine that builds the machine," said Musk. "It actually deserves more attention from creative problem solving engineers than the product that it makes."

Musk argues that applying engineering effort to refining the production process is a better use of man-hours than trying to wring the last little bits of efficiency out of his cars. An engineer working on improving the factory line is five to 10 times more productive than that same effort put on the product that's actually being built.

"It takes a massive amount of effort to improve the inverter efficiency by a few tenths of a percentage point," said Musk. "You have to really wrack your brain and try super hard and take a lot of risks to improve efficiency by a few tenths of a percentage point." But apply that same engineering effort to the process of building the inverter and it can deliver 10 times the efficiency improvement. Musk cited one example where his engineers were able to reduce a production station's time from 200 seconds to a single second.

I'll admit that I thought the idea of the Gigafactory was absurd when it was first proposed three years ago. I wasn't the only one. Panasonic is investing huge sums of money to build battery production lines right inside the Gigafactory — it's a sort of tenant / landlord situation where Panasonic owns its production lines and delivers battery cells right to the front end of Tesla's production line.


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Lidija

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Lidija

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Re: Odasvud pomalo...
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2016, 08:18:49 AM »

Moon Express Approved for Private Lunar Landing in 2017, a Space First




For the first time ever, a private company has permission to land on the moon.

The U.S. government has officially approved the planned 2017 robotic lunar landing of Florida-based Moon Express, which aims to fly commercial missions to Earth's nearest neighbor and help exploit its resources, company representatives announced today (Aug. 3).

"This is not only a milestone, but really a threshold for the entire commercial space industry," Moon Express co-founder and CEO Bob Richards told Space.com.

Previously, companies had been able to operate only on or around Earth. The new approval, while exclusive to Moon Express, could therefore serve as an important regulatory guide for deep-space commercial activity in general, Richards said.

"Nobody's had a deep-sea voyage yet. We're still charting those waters," he said. "Somebody had to be first."

Moon Express submitted an application to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on April 8. The document then made its way through the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Federal Communications Commission, Richards said.

The interagency approval process "took some time, not because anybody was against or averse to this," he said. "It's just that we asked questions that had never been asked before, and that had to be addressed and worked out."

Moon Express can now focus exclusively on the financial and technical challenges of the 2017 moon mission, which will begin with the launch of the company's MX-1 lander atop a Rocket Lab Electron booster. (Moon Express signed a multilaunch deal with Rocket Lab last year.)

The main goal of the maiden launch is to test out the MX-1's performance and capability on the lunar surface. Moon Express representatives also hope to win the Google Lunar X-Prize, a $30 million competition to land a privately funded robotic vehicle on the moon by the end of 2017.

The first team to pull off this landing — and get the vehicle to move at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) on the lunar surface, and beam high-definition video and photos back to Earth — will win the $20 million grand prize. (The second team to achieve all of this gets $5 million, and another $5 million is available for meeting other milestones. At the moment, 16 teams remain in the running.)

"We're still shooting for the end of 2017," Richards said of the maiden MX-1 moon mission. "A lot has to go right, but at least we have a shot at our moon shot, given this regulatory approval."

If all goes according to plan, future Moon Express missions will help assess, extract and exploit lunar resources such as water ice, helping to launch a new era in space exploration, company representatives have said.

"Space travel is our only path forward to ensure our survival and create a limitless future for our children," Moon Express co-founder and Chairman Naveen Jain said in a statement today. "In the immediate future, we envision bringing precious resources, metals and moon rocks back to Earth. In 15 years, the moon will be an important part of Earth’s economy, and potentially our second home."

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Lidija

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Re: Odasvud pomalo...
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2016, 09:08:38 AM »
 :o



Facebook gives its Oculus employees a dystopian sci-fi book to get them excited about building the future



Anyone who starts a job at Facebook-owned virtual-reality company Oculus is given a copy of Ernest Cline's dystopian science-fiction bestseller, "Ready Player One."

The book, published in 2011, takes place in 2044, when the world is a dismal place and people spend most of their social time inside a virtual world called Oasis.

People who've read it see it as simultaneously scary and exciting that Facebook's vision of VR is molded by the book.

Facebook execs have described a future where VR will let friends sit together courtside at an NBA game from their living room couch or be an escape for dying people in the hospital.

Like Cline's Oasis, they want the virtual world to be just as real as real life. Hopefully, though, the real world won't be as worth escaping as his.

"It's incredibly flattering and humbling to know that the folks at Oculus cite my novel as a big influence," Cline told Business Insider. "Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, has invited me to their offices several times to sign books and demo their hardware."

Although Cline hasn't met Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, he has heard that the CEO has read both his books too.

In an in-depth profile of Facebook's VR ambitions, Luckey told Bloomberg that he's not scared of getting beat by other VR companies because he "knows too much," citing sci-fi books like "Ready Player One" and Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash."

"Some companies are figuring out their long-term vision as they go in terms of where is this technology going to be in 10, 20, 30 years. But for a lot of the people here, we've all read science fiction," he told Bloomberg's Bryant Urstadt and Sarah Frier. "We all know what virtual reality is in sci-fi. Even though the product we have today is not the one that we want to have 10 or 20 years from now, everyone wants to get there. The goal is clear: It's to make VR technology that's as real as real life with none of the limitations."

Here's a video Oculus made the first time Cline visited its office:


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Lidija

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Re: Odasvud pomalo...
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2016, 07:38:11 AM »
Gunn Honored


James Gunn has received a lifetime teaching award from the Writing the Rockies writers conference at Western Colorado State University. Gunn, who has published numerous novels, stories, and academic books, created the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, is a SFWA Grand Master, a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and a Hugo Award recipient.

http://news.ku.edu/2016/08/09/sci-fi-writer-honored-teaching

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Lidija

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Re: Odasvud pomalo...
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 07:58:02 AM »
Tužna vest:


Actor Gene Wilder (b.Jerome Silberman, 1933) died on August 29. Wilder portrayed Dr. Frankenstein in Mel Brooks’s comedy Young Frankenstein as well as the fox in The Little Prince and the title role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Non-genre roles included the Mel Brooks comedies The Producers and Blazing Saddles as well as the title role in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother. He was nominated for the Academy Award for his role in The Producers and his screenplay for Young Frankenstein. Wilder shared a Hugo and Nebula Award with Mel Brooks for Young Frankenstein as well.

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Lidija

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Lidija

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Re: Odasvud pomalo...
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2016, 08:38:44 AM »
Nasa ends year-long Mars simulation on Hawaii

A team of six people have completed a Mars simulation in Hawaii, where they lived in near isolation for a year.

Since 29 August 2015, the group lived in close quarters in a dome, without fresh air, fresh food or privacy.

Experts estimate that a human mission to the Red Planet could take between one and three years.

The Nasa-funded study run by the University of Hawaii is the longest of its kind since a Russian mission that lasted 520 days.

Having survived their year in isolation, the crew members said they were confident a mission to Mars could succeed.

"I can give you my personal impression which is that a mission to Mars in the close future is realistic," Cyprien Verseux, a crew member from France, told journalists. "I think the technological and psychological obstacles can be overcome."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37211051

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Lidija

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Re: Odasvud pomalo...
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2016, 07:58:28 AM »
James Wallace Harris čeprka po staroj dilemi...


Why Science Fiction and Fantasy Are Fundamentally Different



I’m endlessly annoyed that science fiction and fantasy are linked together in the public’s mind. Philosophically, they are polar opposites, Science fiction is the enemy of magic, and magic is the foundation of fantasy. These two forms of literature parallel two opposing philosophies of reality: science and religion. We all exist in one reality, but we have chosen to explain reality in two contradictory ways: evolution and magic. Religious fundamentalists understand this distinction, which is why they are so fervently opposed to evolution and science. If you understand evolution there is no need for God. If you understand the Christian theology, there is no need for evolution.

Most people try to incorporate both belief systems into their world view, but that only shows they don’t understand the profound and complete differences between the two. You can’t have God and Evolution as the primary creator of life on Earth. You can’t have Science and Magic. Earth Abides by George R. Stewart is an excellent example of science fiction. Because Randall Flagg is a driving force in The Stand by Stephen King, it makes that book a fantasy novel, even though it follows in Earth Abides footsteps. Once you add the supernatural (magic) to a story it can’t be science fiction, even if it’s using a standard science fiction concept and setting. I bring up these two books because they are both nominated in polls for the best science fiction books of all time. (And yes, I know many writers want to create hybrids, like All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders.)

Even though I don’t like that science fiction and fantasy are always lumped together, I can understand why. Most people want to believe in magic, but they accept science. That’s why they pray when they fly in an airplane. Most people are clueless to how their smartphone works, but they accept technology as magical. When folks go in for surgery they ask their friends to talk to God for them, even though the outcome depends on the surgeons’ scientific knowledge and evolutionary biology of the patient.

Magic is based on the power of the word. Magicians work by incantation. They learn their spells through study of arcane knowledge. God said, “Let there be light” and there was light. God creates with the power of words.  The person who wrote The Gospel of John understood that when he said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  When primitive people tried to understand how reality worked they came up with the logic of magic, and the power of words. That’s why magical spells are so important to magicians, they are imitating the power of God. It’s also why most religions disavow magic.

Science, which came very late in human development, assumes there is no magic, and words don’t create but describe. Science assumes everything can be explained through observing reality. Technology is applied science. Science assumes there are no magical beings, no magical forces, and no magic itself. For any story to be truly science fiction it must assume magic does not exist. For any story to be fantasy, magic is an integral part of its reality. That’s why Star Wars is fantasy, and not science fiction.

Science fiction is far from perfect, and far from scientific. Probably one reason the public lumps science fiction and fantasy together, is all to often science fiction claims magical concepts can be scientific. A great example is Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. There were many science fiction writers in the 1950s that desperately wanted to believe in extrasensory powers. Writers and editors like John W. Campbell, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, or Theodore Sturgeon, believed humans could evolve to have god-like powers, or possessed untapped psychic potential that could be developed. Heinlein proposed that Valentine Michael Smith was raised by ancient beings on Martians that taught him to use such powers. But is that science fiction or fantasy?  Mike essentially works miracles. Stranger in a Strange Land is an anti-science fiction novel. Heinlein even melds religion and God into his story. Some have claimed Heinlein was being satirical, but Heinlein also wrote essays about his beliefs in ESP, and even predicted science would prove the existence of the afterlife one day.

(ostatak na blogu...)

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Irena Adler

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Re: Odasvud pomalo...
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2016, 09:29:57 AM »
Hvala za ovo, vrlo je zanimljivo (mada se prilično temeljno ne slažem, al' to je za neku drugu temu).

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Lidija

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Re: Odasvud pomalo...
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2016, 09:56:36 AM »
Istini za volju, ni ja ne pronalazim bog zna šta u ovako postavljenoj argumentaciji, no, srećom, bilo je i ozbiljnijih bavljenja ovom temom, pa sama postavka itekako ima merita… SF se slabo zapati u sredinama koje se snažno oslanjaju na... pa, nazovimo ga tradicionalističkim mentalitetom, u nedostatku bolje reči. Odnosno, zapate se lakše oni niži oblici SFa, kojima je granica sa fentezijem labavije definisana negoli kod hard-SFa, recimo.