Goodbye to the Godfather of Psychedelics

sasha shulgin, psychedelics, obituary, chemists, alchemy

“Sasha’s work is by all objective criteria worthy of the very highest academic honors, Nobel Prize kind of stuff, but such honors are impossible as we struggle as a society to learn how to balance the complexities that are stirred up by the power of psychedelics,” said UC Berkeley neurobiology lecturer David Presti during the hour-long memorial service. “It was too big to be done in a multimillion dollar laboratory. It instead required an alchemist’s den, a courageous spirit, a careful focus of intention, and a goodly dose of mystical insight. Then the stuff of legend happened. Thank you, Sasha.”

http://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/just-in/2014–08–04/goodbye-godfather-psychedelics-sasha-shulgin-now-tripping

An expanded set of fundamental surface temperature records

science, climate, weather, data, temperature, ISTI, forecast, open, surface temperature, climate cha

Version 1.0.0 of the Global Land Surface Databank has been released and data are provided from a primary ftp site hosted by the Global Observing Systems Information Center (GOSIC) and World Data Center A at NOAA NCDC. The Stage Three dataset has multiple formats, including a format approved by ISTI, a format similar to GHCN-M, and netCDF files adhering to the Climate and Forecast (CF) convention. The data holding is version controlled and will be updated frequently in response to newly discovered data sources and user comments. All processing code is provided, for openness and transparency. Users are encouraged to experiment with the techniques used in these algorithms. The programs are designed to be modular, so that individuals have the option to develop and implement other methods that may be more robust than described here. We will remain open to releases of new versions should such techniques be constructed and verified.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/07/release-of-the-international-surface-temperature-initiatives-istis-global-land-surface-databank-an-expanded-set-of-fundamental-surface-temperature-records/,+science

So, what’s the trade-off here? In general, we are safer (automation makes airline flying safer, in general) except in the…

“So, what’s the trade-off here? In general, we are safer (automation makes airline flying safer, in general) except in the long-tail: pilots are losing both tacit knowledge of flying and some of its mechanics. But in general, we, as humans, have less and less understanding of our machines—we are compartmentalized, looking at a tiny corner of a very complex system beyond our individual comprehension. Increasing numbers of our systems—from finance to electricity to cybersecurity to medical systems, are going in this direction. We are losing control and understanding which seems fine—until it’s not. We will certainly, and unfortunately, find out what this really means because sooner or later, one of these systems will fail in a way we don’t understand.”

Failing the Third Machine Age: When Robots Come for Grandma — The Message — Medium (vianew-aesthetic)

We’ve seen some less-radical attempts to destroy technology in the real world in recent months, mainly in the form of attacks on…

“We’ve seen some less-radical attempts to destroy technology in the real world in recent months, mainly in the form of attacks on people wearing Glass or flying drones, or the drone on its own (by hockey fans who reportedly and incorrectly thought it belonged to the LAPD). As in the movie, the destroyers haven’t been identified or punished, with one exception: Andrea Mears, 23, was charged with third degree assault for attacking a teen boy, Austin Haughwout, 17, flying a drone on a Connecticut beach. She got probation this week, as noted by comprehensive drone chronicler Greg McNeal. It’s easy to call these people Luddites, after the British workers who set about destroying machines — and in some cases killing the people who owned them — in the late 1700s and early 1800s in a futile attempt to turn back the tide of mechanization. It led Britain to pass a law making machine-wrecking punishable by death. But the new machine destroyers’ motivations are different. The original Luddites were worried machines would take their jobs; the Neo-Luddites fear machines will steal their privacy.”

The Violent Opt-out: The Neo-Luddites Attacking Drones And Google Glass - Forbes (vianew-aesthetic)

Who would’ve ever thought Mars and Hawaii were related? NASA’s Curiosity rover revealed a Martian geology very similar to that…

IFTTT, Instagram

Who would’ve ever thought Mars and Hawaii were related? NASA’s Curiosity rover revealed a Martian geology very similar to that of Hawaiian volcanic soils. This makes Mauna Loa a perfect spot for simulated Mars missions. #hiseas #mars #marsanalog #marssimulation #hawaii #maunaloa #curiosity #rover #geology #nasa by angelovermeulen http://instagram.com/p/q1qJ3eD3Ba/

Escher: A black-and-white language for data and process representation

Escher, programming, MEMEX, programming language, PLT, back box, graphs, reflex, UX, metaphor

The basic unit of meaning in Escher is the reflex. A reflex is a named black-box computational device, which interfaces with other objects in the linguistic environment through a set of named valves. Metaphorically, the valves can be viewed as labeled communication pipes coming out of the black-box.

http://www.maymounkov.org/memex/abstract

Colombian Student Faces Prison Charges for Sharing an Academic Article Online

academia, copyright, access, research, EFF, open access, free trade, piracy, biodiversity

In many parts of the developing world, students face barriers to access academic materials. Libraries are often inadequate, and schools and universities are often unable to pay dues for expensive, specialized databases. For these students, the Internet is a vital tool and resource to access materials that are otherwise unavailable to them. Yet despite the opportunities enabled by the Internet, there are still major risks to accessing and sharing academic resources online. A current situation in Colombia exemplifies this problem: a graduate student is facing four to eight years in prison for sharing an academic article on the Internet. He wasn’t making a personal profit from sharing the article—he simply intended for other scientists like him to be able to access and cite this scientific research.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/07/colombian-student-faces-prison-charges-sharing-academic-article-online

Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion,…

“Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit - all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.”

Brian Eno,A Year With Swollen Appendices