Morality: Don’t be afraid – science can make us better – via NewScientist.com – While I don’t agree with the insinuation made by the author that “economic prosperity” is a suitable moral guide, I do enjoy a good debate on the subject. “Economic prosperity”, or as it’s better known, “Making a shit-ton of money” is one of the primary causes (if not the main cause) that people abandon morals that would otherwise preclude them from doing something. I’d like to see more research on the “morality as an evolutionary response” theme mentioned in this article. Better living through technology, I say!
Popular Facebook apps found to be collecting, selling user info – via ArsTechnica.com – Surprise, surprise! Most of those “FREE!” apps and games you’ve been using on Facebook have been mining and selling off your personal data. Unfortunately most people would sell their soul for a free cheeseburger, so I don’t expect many people to care.
Surviving the Apocalypse Hollywood Style – via Wired.com – Everything I know about surviving the end of the world I learned from movies. This one breaks it down by sub-genre: Virus/Nuclear, Natural Disaster, Alien Invasion, Authoritarian Distopia. For anyone concerned, the Zombie Apocalypse falls under the Virus/Nuclear category.
New technologies confuse reality and fiction: Pope – via MontrealGazette.com – I’ll admit at first I jumped to the conclusion that this was going to be the Pope railing against science. I figured what it would boil down to was “reality is whatever the church tells you”. To my surprise this was not the case at all. In his statement, he cautions that technology can lead to “the risk of indifference towards real life.” It’s hard to disagree with that statement. While we’re still many years from virtual reality technology that’s passable as actual reality, the concept is sound. I see it as a form of escapism. Even today there are people who spend more time playing video games than doing any of their other daily activities. Other people get lost for hours on end living vicariously through celebrities and their friends in social media circles. However, I don’t think any of these people are “confused” on the line between real and virtual. These technologies offer an escape from the monochromatic boredom of everyday life. Where things will get interesting is when technology is actually able to simulate reality in a convincing way. Then you’ll see people giving up on the real world to retreat into whatever virtual world they like. What is the Matrix, indeed.
Robots Guarding US Nuclear Stockpile – via SingularityHub.com – Our robot overlords are almost upon us. This is some pretty cool tech. Between this and the cool shit Google has been driving around lately, pretty soon I shouldn’t have to deal with all you assholes cutting me off.
Ars Technica: Banned in Iran! – via (shocker!) ArsTechnica.com – It looks like Iran’s government maybe didn’t like the reports Ars Technica was publishing on the Stuxnet infection wreaking havoc on Iranian computer networks. It’s scary how a government with the proper infrastructure in place can effectively cut off whatever website or content they want without any notice.
Superhero or supervillain: Which lurks inside you? – via MNN.com – Results from a study asking people if they would do good or evil if they were to one day find themselves with superpowers. I like to think I would be a benevolent dictator.