Thursday, March 13, 2014

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Anil Seth's latest entry in his new blog NeuroBanter (convering all things on neuroscience and consciousness) referred me to the 2011 BBC documentary "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace". This "tour de force" of a documentary, portrays the development of men's faith in machines, its entanglement with historico-political events over the past 100 years, and the recurring disappointment of this faith.

Part 1 deals with the financial sector, touching on the New Economy, Alan Greenspan, and Ayn Rand, among others.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace 1.

Part 2 presents the idea of nature as an ecological system that balances itself, the idea's effects on the world, and its rebuttal.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace 2.

Part 3 then explores the origins of the view that humans are machines controlled by genes.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace 3.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Yasiin Gaye - Amerigo Gazaway Mashup (via tsw)

Just in time, that is, shortly before the 30th anniversary of Marvin Gaye's untimely death, a guy called Amerigo Gazaway released the superb mash-up album Yasiin Gaye: The Departure (Side One), in which the genius of Marvin Gaye gets fused with the one of Mos Def a/k/a Yasiin Bey. It can not only be streamed but also downloaded!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Space and time lapse movies, 1977 and 2013

What "The Powers of Ten" were for space, this recent video by Philipp Dettmer is for time: a helpful visualization of how nothing is absolute and everything can only be grasped (if at all) in relation to something else. Isn't that the appropriate level of resolution for the upcoming end-of-year review?

For completeness and because of dead links, here's the original "Powers of Ten" (TM) from 1977:

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Metaverse - tranquil immersion using Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift is the most advanced virtual-reality headset available. It offers stereoscopic (3D) viewing while tracking your head movements, thus facilitating immersion into the presented virtual realities. For that effect, people overcome their physical realities and "dive into" apparent or virtual ones.

There are plenty of videos where people (and their vestibular systems) are shocked by the realism of the presented content - most often a roller coaster ride.

However, there are less action-packed videos, impressively demonstrating the fusion of physical and virtual reality. For example by this guy, presenting and commenting his immersion into a 1984 Tetris block production office.

He also modeled his bedroom and demonstrates the switch between virtual and physical reality.

What's more, a company called eye mirror, produces devices that let you capture your videos in 360 degrees - using standard cameras. For presentation, you can either use their viewer (well worth checking out on their website) or present them on the Oculus Rift afterwards (via engadget and Felix).

The Metaverse is getting closer!

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Addendum 8.12.2013: Here's the link to the eye mirror kickstarter page.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Documentary: What is Cognitive Science?

Great and entertaining 80-minute documentary by students of the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabrück, neatly summarizing the historical and conceptual foundations of Cognitive Science.

Featuring Achim Stephan (Philosophy of Mind and Cognition), Peter König (Neurobiopsychology), Peter Bosch (Linguistics), Oliver Vornberger (Computer Science), Sven Walter (Philosophy), Kai-Uwe Kühnberger (Artificial Intelligence), Thomas Gruber (Psychology), Joachim Hertzberg (Knowledge-based Systems), Gordon Pipa (Neuroinformatics), Nikola Kompa (Philosophy of Language), Gunther Heidemann (Computer Vision), Claus Rollinger (Artificial Intelligence)

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Creature Comforts - Brazilian Lion/Puma

(Channel 4, 1989, by Nick Park; via ChrisK)