The First American CRISPR Trial in Humans Will Target Cancer In June 2016, an advisory board of the National Institutes of…

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The First American CRISPR Trial in Humans Will Target Cancer

In June 2016, an advisory board of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) gave doctors from the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine), led by Edward Stadtmauer, the initial approval needed to begin human CRISPR trials. According to a post in a directory of ongoing clinical tests, the team is now almost ready to begin their trial.

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From our Spring 2018 Issue: “Wealth”: Paris Meetings, 1943 contains the transcripts of sixty-eight meetings held by Gurdjieff…


From our Spring 2018 Issue: “Wealth”:

Paris Meetings, 1943 contains the transcripts of sixty-eight meetings held by Gurdjieff with students from January 7 through December 20 of that year, dozens more than have previously been made public. Parabolais pleased to present the transcript of the meeting held on December 23, 1943.

Perhaps most striking in the transcript is the plain practicality of Gurdjieff’s teaching. He gives exercises and direction, always emphasizing the need to see deeper: “Make more observations. Collect more material.” Yet this prescribed activity must not happen willy-nilly. “One must never do an exercise without preparation,” he says. “All your functions are automatized. Before any exercise, you must sacrifice five, ten, fifteen minutes to relax and to calm your associations. Whether the exercise is big or little—all exercises.”

“You Must Have an Aim” by G.I. Gurdjieff

Photograph by Ihor Malytskyi

Why Our World is Brimming with Sentience

panpsychism, mind, animism, science, scientism, Whitehead, Patrizi, Bruno, Spinoza, Leibniz, Schopen

Strictly speaking, panpsychism is contrary to scientism rather than to science (if we take science to be a method rather than a dogma). Regardless, panpsychism, as well as transgressing the general scientific paradigm, transgresses the Christian one. Living under the shadow of both science and Christianity should make us wise to the legacy and interaction between the two, which is not always as antagonistic as is often believed. Descartes’ explicit aim in his Meditations on First Philosophy – wherein he divided nature into human souls and the mechanistic environment in which they found themselves – was to carry out the call of Pope Leo X to logically prove that the soul (which Descartes equated to mind) be distinct to the material body, so that life after death (in heaven or hell) be a logical view. Panpsychism per se does not need to make this afterlife claim: the death of the body implies the dissolution of the unifying sentience (the dominant monad, the holon) into its still unified smaller components – but the self as such dies. In panpsychism, mankind has no special status distinct to the other organisms, and as such is generally opposed to Christianity [64] and other Abrahamic religions. Moreover, panpsychism is more akin to the animistic, pagan religions that worshipped nature. Thus in Christendom, panpsychism has been contrary to both the religious and mechanistic ethos, resulting in its being shunned, disdained, and perhaps even purposefully suppressed: the Roman Inquisition burned the panpsychist Bruno on the stake in 1600.


Oh dear, Ursula is dead

Ursula K. Le Guin, RIP


*Well, it had to happen sometime.  All women are mortal, Ursula K. Le Guin is a woman, therefore Ursula is mortal.  So long Ursula, you weird, Taoist creature, you.

This Army of AI Robots Will Feed the World

Bloomberg, food, LettuceBot, automation, AI, robotics, Agriculture, 2018

Heraud researched the scourges of agriculture: hypoxic dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and Baltic Sea, the colony collapse of bees, soil degradation, and human health problems from allergies to cancers. “Everything tied back to the blind, rampant, broadcast spraying of chemicals,” Heraud says. He and Redden figured they could teach machines to differentiate between crops and weeds, then eliminate the weeds mechanically or with targeted doses of nontoxic substances. The two first considered hot foam, laser beams, electric currents, and boiling water. They’d market the robot to organic farmers, who spend heavily on chemical-free weeding methods including mechanical tillage, which can be both fuel-intensive and damaging to soil. After months of research, they faced a disappointing truth: There was no way around herbicides. “Turns out zapping weeds with electricity or hot liquid requires far more time and energy than chemicals—and it isn’t guaranteed to work,” Heraud says. Those methods might eliminate the visible part of a weed, but not the root. And pulling weeds with mechanical pincers is a far more time-intensive task for a robot than delivering microsquirts of poison. Their challenge became applying the chemicals with precision.


Amazon faces fines following the death of a second warehouse worker in as many months







Here are just a few more examples of Amazon warehouse worker deaths:

And here’s a close-call:

Fuck Amazon right to Hell. 

“Faces fines” = cost of doing business.

Fines = The American Government’s Cut

UPDATE:Timed toilet breaks, impossible targets and workers falling asleep on feet: Brutal life working in Amazon warehouse

Alan Selby went undercover at the firm’s Tilbury warehouse in Essex where ambulances are regularly called and where workers face the sack if they fail to pack at least two items per minute

kb 6 éve, rövid ideig kezdésként én is dolgoztam egy hasonló helyen (ocado) éjszakai műszakban, “emergency” túlórákkal 14 órát, időzített pisiszünet, hajcsárolás, lelkiterror, recsegő rádióból egész éjjel ugyanaz a top 10 szám üvölt és tilos a fülhallgató, csak megfagyás és megsülés részlegek vannak, agyhalál…  és tényleg kicsinált :) de nem is vártam tőle mást.

viszont ismerek olyat, aki azóta is ott van és elégedett ………………

Amazon faces fines following the death of a second warehouse worker in as many months

IAU Approves 86 New Star Names From Around the World

IAU, Astronomy, star-names, language, culture, 2017

The International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Star Names formally approved 86 new names for stars, which are now in the IAU stellar name catalogue. The catalogue now contains the approved names of 313 stars. Traditionally, most star names used by astronomers have come from Arabic, Greek, or Latin origins. Now, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Division C Working Group on Star Names (WGSN) has formally approved 86 new names for stars drawn from those used by other cultures, namely Australian Aboriginal, Chinese, Coptic, Hindu, Mayan, Polynesian, and South African.


Sentences on Code Art


While code studies is just burgeoning as a field, poets, digital artists, and hacker/hobbyists have long used the textual and performative qualities of code together as a means of expression. Here are some thoughts on code art and esolangs. For further discussion on what makes something a computer or a programming language, I wrote this piece.

0. Computers are logical systems that arise as often by accident as by design.

1. Their core materiality is logic, not pixels or circuits or bits or other features of their physical implementation. Other implementations are possible.

2. Our engagement with logic is irrational because we are irrational beings. We are incapable of fully asserting our agency through a system that forces us to translate our intentions into logical steps.

3. This central drama of human / computer interaction is experienced most directly at the code level.

4. Bugs are the primary progeny of programmers. We write broken software.

5. Although the machine presents a world of our own making, it rebukes us by not doing what we want, leading to a compulsive cycle of “fixing” and augmenting code (as says Joseph Weizenbaum). We are all “computer bums”.

6. For any definition of the term “programming language,” there is a language that sits on its border.

7. Programmability is not a requirement for programming languages. Theoretical programming languages existed before practical ones. We can create valid languages whose programs are physically unconstructable or whose executors are logically impossible.

8. The ambiguity of human language is present in code, which never fully escapes its status as human writing, even when machine-generated. We bring to code our excesses of language, and an ambiguity of semantics, as discerned by the human reader.

9. We don’t need an irrational idea to follow logically; our irrationality will pollute any attempt at rigor.

A. Banal ideas can be rescued by carrying them out with precision, or even through increased repetition, as it is hard for us to understand even relatively immediate repercussions of our actions in the logical space, bringing us again and again to unexpected places.

Like Bringing a Gantt Chart to a Casino

productivity, creativity, economics, ethics, reflection, clowncar, 2017

I imagine a spectrum where at one pole we have an assembly line worker, and on the other we have a mathematician trying to prove a famous conjecture. The productivity of the former is constrained only by physics, and may glean a few percent here and there with better tools, methods, and discipline. The latter, by contrast, may have the best tools, methods, and discipline, spend an entire career working diligently, and still not succeed. We live somewhere in between.

what does it mean to be productive if what you are producing is bad? Or even if it is good for you, it may be bad for others, who may endeavour in turn to make it bad for you.


UnSchooling The Pioneers of Change

Medium, Leyla Acaroglu, interview, design, complexity, unschooling, education, 2017

Leyla Acaroglu —  It’s an experimental knowledge lab that I set up three years ago to help overcome what I call the knowledge-action gap, the difference between people knowing that there are problems in the world, feeling that they want to address them, but not knowing how to take action. I really struggled a lot with the mainstream structural system of education, I did a lot of research in pedagogy and the way in which we teach and the way in which the brain works, how a lot of the experiences we have in life educate us, and how actually a lot of those experiences de-educate us.


‘History in the Making’: Tesla Switches on World’s Largest Battery



South Australia officially activated the world’s biggest battery on Friday. The feat was achieved much to the credit of Elon Musk, who made a daring bet to “get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free.“

Musk was responding to a challenge from Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes to help fix the Australian state’s electricity woes. Losing the bet would have cost the Tesla CEO ”probably $50 million or more.“

Not only did the Musk win the bet, his company built the football field-sized facility in Jamestown (about 125 miles north of Adelaide) about a month and a half ahead of schedule.

“The completion of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in record time shows that a sustainable, effective energy solution is possible,” Tesla said in a statement Friday at the battery’s launch.

The 100-megawatt Powerpack system is designed to power 30,000 houses for an hour during a blackout. The Australian state was hit by a string of power outages last year.

“South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy. This is history in the making,” South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said Friday of the Tesla battery.

‘History in the Making’: Tesla Switches on World’s Largest Battery

The Critical Zone. Earth’s permeable near-surface layer… from the tops of the trees to the bottom of the groundwater. It is a…

“The Critical Zone. Earth’s permeable near-surface layer… from the tops of the trees to the bottom of the groundwater. It is a living, breathing, constantly evolving boundary layer where rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms interact. These complex interactions regulate the natural habitat and determine the availability of life-sustaining resources, including our food production and water quality.”

Critical Zone Observatories, (viainthenoosphere)

Puerto Rico, abandoned by Trump and facing disaster capitalism looting by big business, turns to socialist and anarchist collectives to rebuild


Disaster capitalism depends on the idea that “There is No Alternative” and that the populace can only sit by passively while their infrastructure, government, homes and schools are hijacked and sold off to low-bidder corporations to financially engineer and then extract rent from.

That’s certainly the model that started to play out after Hurricane Maria, when Trumpist cronies were handed sweetheart deals and the people were left to die in droves while captains of industry carved up the loot.

But the populace need not be a flock of sheep waiting passively for the shear: instead, they can rise up and take care of themselves, through systems of solidarity and mutual aid, and that’s what’s happening in Puerto Rico, where Molly Crabapple reports on the smashing success of anarchists and socialists whose collectives are filling in the humanitarian relief that has been denied to them by Trump’s incompetent state and the shareholder firms who are more interested in their bottom lines than the human lives they are being paid to ease.

So you’ve got the radical black feminists of Taller Salud, rebuilding homes in Loíza; Colectiva Feminista en Construcción, handing out “food, supplies, and money for tarps”; there’s the punks of Santurce’s El Local, feeding 600 people a day from a community kitchen; and many others – often these groups date back to the incompetent bungling of the Hurricane Irma relief, and have gone from strength to strength, forging ties with the diaspora in Miami and New York, showing people that there is an alternative.

Salar de Atacama, Chile From the Salar de Atacama salt flat in the east to the Cordillera Domeyko mountains in the west, …


Salar de Atacama, Chile

From the Salar de Atacama salt flat in the east to the Cordillera Domeyko mountains in the west, Sentinel-2 takes us over part of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

The desert runs along part of South America’s central west coast. It is considered one of the driest places on Earth. Being a ‘coastal desert’, the cold, upwelling waters in the Pacific Ocean inhibit rain from reaching the land. Instead, the winds that blow from the ocean bring fog.

Because of the Atacama plateau’s high altitude, low cloud cover and lack of light pollution, it is one of the best places in the world to conduct astronomical observations and home to two major observatories.

Some areas of the desert have been compared to the planet Mars, and have been used as a location for filming scenes set on the red planet. ESA has even tested a self-steering rover in the Atacama, which was selected for its similarities to martian conditions.

In the lower right, the geometric shapes of large evaporation ponds dominate the Salar de Atacama – Chile’s largest salt flat. At about 3000 sq km, it is the world’s third largest salt flat as well as one of the largest active sources of lithium. From evaporation ponds like the ones pictured here, lithium bicarbonate is isolated from salt brine. Lithium is used in the manufacturing of batteries, and the increasing demand has significantly increased its value in recent years – especially for the production of electric-car batteries.

This image, also featured on the Earth from Space video programme, was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite on 29 April 2017.

Credits: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Are You a Jerk?

jerkitude, jerk, personality, dark-triad, psychology, nautilus, self-help

The scientifically recognized personality categories closest to “jerk” are the “dark triad” of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathic personality. Narcissists regard themselves as more important than the people around them, which jerks also implicitly or explicitly do. And yet narcissism is not quite jerkitude, since it also involves a desire to be the center of attention, a desire that jerks don’t always have. Machiavellian personalities tend to treat people as tools they can exploit for their own ends, which jerks also do. And yet this too is not quite jerkitude, since Machivellianism involves self-conscious cynicism, while jerks can often be ignorant of their self-serving tendencies. People with psychopathic personalities are selfish and callous, as is the jerk, but they also incline toward impulsive risk-taking, while jerks can be calculating and risk-averse.


In anticipation…

Medium, uncertainty, animism, anticipation, futures, futurism, change, 2017

Experience is interconnected and entangled. Unpredictable. It can never be fully explained. There is always something that slips beyond words. A description or a model of an interconnected world does not encompass all the complex processes of making connections.

While the sense of the moment may be one of accelerated change, there is simultaneously drag, weight and the inevitable delays of change that takes too long. Injustices perpetuated. We find ourselves in situations without an escape velocity.

Is the uncertainty we’re experiencing just a series of erratic oscillations or are we in the free fall toward something more massive? Things are collapsing, and sometimes the best thing to do is let them. Accept the gritty reality of it all.

This doesn’t mean giving up. Quite the opposite.


After nearly 2,000 years of using capes, oiled cloaks, and mantles for protection against the rain, this new-fangled contraption…

“After nearly 2,000 years of using capes, oiled cloaks, and mantles for protection against the rain, this new-fangled contraption was viewed with something approaching disbelief. Who did people think they were, to defy the very skies? To parade their frugality on the streets? Or, to take a slightly different view of it, to pretend to a luxury–sheltered transport–only available to the wealthy?”

Marion Rankin,How Bigotry, Urban Design, And Class Warfare Shaped The Umbrella (2017)

Scientists made robotic bees to one day study the ocean


“Researchers led by a team at Harvard University have developed a tiny, 175-milligram (about two feathers) device with insect-inspired wings that can both flap and rotate, allowing it to either fly above the ground or swim in shallow waters and easily transition between the two. Researchers think it will one day be used for environmental monitoring studies, according to Science magazine, which dubbed the device the “robo-bee.””

Scientists made robotic bees to one day study the ocean

How Deliveroo’s ‘dark kitchens’ are catering from car parks

Deliveroo, dark-kitchen, urbanism, JIT, shipping-container, on-demand, outsourcing, distribution, fo

A tatty car park under a railway line is squeezed between a busy road, an industrial site and a semi-derelict pub covered in graffiti. It’s one of the grittiest parts of east London and probably the last place you would imagine some of the trendiest eateries in the country to be preparing meals. But the grimy spot is just a short moped ride from the gleaming office towers of Canary Wharf and upmarket docklands apartments, and is therefore the perfect location for the latest idea from Deliveroo, the food courier service. It is setting up dozens of “dark kitchens” in prefabricated structures for restaurants that want to expand their businesses without opening expensive high street premises. Ten metal boxes of a similar size to a shipping container are on this site in Blackwall. They are fitted with industrial kitchen equipment, and two or three chefs and kitchen porters are at work in each, preparing food for restaurants including the Thai chain Busaba Eathai, the US-style MeatLiquor diners, the Franco Manca pizza parlours and Motu, an Indian food specialist set up by the family behind Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Gymkhana. The boxes have no windows and many of the chefs work with the doors open, through which they can be seen stirring huge pans or flipping burgers. Outside there are piles of spare equipment, mops in buckets, gas cylinders for the stoves and large cans of cooking oil.


Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens

social credit score, china, panopticon, nudge, cybersyn, jade mirror, 2017, 2020, Wired

The new system reflects a cunning paradigm shift. As we’ve noted, instead of trying to enforce stability or conformity with a big stick and a good dose of top-down fear, the government is attempting to make obedience feel like gaming. It is a method of social control dressed up in some points-reward system. It’s gamified obedience.