Will Facebook Face the Same Doomed Fate as Myspace?

myspace facebook popularity

Forget Facebook! Don’t you miss getting blasted with your friend’s music as you browse their site?
http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/three-reasons-why-myspace-is-doomed/

Have you ever considered what might be the next trend to die? Which aspect of your daily social life will just fade away? Just as disco, AIMplanking (which seems to have slowed down in popularity), and Myspace.com have all but dissipated, now Facebook is likely doomed to face a similar fate. As the new age of internet-goers show a disinterest in Facebook-ing, it is becoming apparent that other trends and newer social media tools will take its place in the near future. What am I even talking about you say?

Related: Facebook: Glorifying and Depressing

A recent report on Facebook popularity from Istrategylabs has yielded some interesting results. It is clear from the graph below that young people simply aren’t interested in Facebook staling anymore.

But what can we attribute to the decline in young Facebook users? Actually, a couple different events have occurred over the years that may lead us to an answer. In fact, as you scan over the chart to your left, you may realize what exactly has happened: Facebook has become completely accessible to everyone.

Originally, Facebook was meant to be a hub for college people to keep in touch, to find someone during or after college in hopes of changing their relationship status, to include yourself and others in events, to help keep up with best friends’ lives even after they left the safe confines of the dorm room. All this slowly morphed into much, much more: people now rely on Facebook for chatting, for daily inspiration, or for simply killing time. The age groups grew, the visitors and participants became younger/older, and everyone that knew how to use a computer slowly became a Facebook-er.

So what? Is everyone not entitled to freedom of speech and entertainment? That’s just it though. When you or someone you know joined Facebook they were probably still in college or had just finished college. Now they may be a parent of a child, and that child finds them (unfortunately) very uncool. They don’t get their parents’ lame humor and wish to be alone and unbothered when they are online. In comes the (still cool regardless what the child thinks) parent: ensuring their child is OK by befriending them on Facebook. They comment on life updates and statuses posted by their child, and restrict usage when their child gets out of line. And why not? That is what parents do. Their child is their responsibility and they will do anything to protect their child. As always though, children try to combat this by looking to other forms of entertainment, something the parents do not use, something that is only beginning to trend and takes time to adapt to. And so with younger generations Facebook is slowly becoming uncool because of its accessibility and ease of use.

Related: The Draw of Cell Phones

If you notice, even the media is to blame for Facebook’s decrease in popularity. You would be hard pressed not to find a twitter link nowadays that you can send your opinion to during news broadcasts. Not to mention the recent IPO (initial public offering) of Twitter, which was a huge success and to date has already surpassed the Facebook stock by 4 points. This shows that there is currently more of a vested interest in Twitter and its rising popularity, even in the stock market. With results like that, investors are all but begging for SnapChat to become a new stock on the stock market, which, like Twitter, is experiencing a rise in popularity and future potential among younger media users.

Did I mention Facebook owns Instagram? At least if Facebook dies, Instagram can be the next wave of income for Mark Zuckerberg. It’s almost as if he is trying to let us know what to trend next…

What should you take from all this? Will the king of social media be knocked off his horse? Or is this just another example of too many things at once distracting us from giving our full attention to any single entertainment vessel? If you consider all that the internet allows access to, all the different forms of entertainment that is readily available today: Wondergressive (of course), Twitter, Pintrest, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc.; Facebook simply gets lost in the long list of ways to occupy ourselves on the internet. So many, many, many distractions, and I will leave you with just one more! Below is a graph from investment banker Piper Jaffray depicting the popularity of social media sites among teens. Cheers!

facebook graph

Facebook down, Twitter down a little, Instagram up! Other… Wondergressive!
http://www.piperjaffray.com/2col.aspx?id=287&releaseid=1863548

 

 

Research:

Wikipedia: AOL Instant Messenger

The 65 Best Planking Pictures From Around The World

MYspace.com

Istrategylabs.com

CNN Money: Twitter IPO Soars!

Google Finance: Stock

Google Finance: Twitter Stock

The Next IPO after Twitter?

NY TIMES: Buys Instagram for $1 Billion

Piper Jaffray

IMDB: The Social Network

 

Wondergressive: Oculus Rift and Omni Treadmill, Gaming of the Future!

Wondergressive: The Draw of Cell Phones

Wondergressive: Social Media: Glorifying and Depressing

More Hazardous Weather Patterns for World

weather patterns ice cream truck

They say the erratic weather patterns got him. Poor truck never stood a chance in this heat. http://www.mobypicture.com/user/Joseeete/view/12792610

Pollution is affecting our climates, increasing the severity of storms, and causing shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. It has been said time and time again, and yet it continues to be said, with good reason might I add! A recent study published in the scientific journal Nature, conducted by a team headed by Camilo Mora, claims that global temperatures will be drastically climbing within a generation. In less than 50 years we can see historical increases in temperatures, beating all past recorded highs for global temperatures. Imagine unbearable summers, intense heat waves, and dry times causing droughts and famine. At the same time, imagine freezing winter storms, strange weather patterns and unpredictable seasons.  This is all in response to the amount of increase in greenhouse gas emissions and the effect they have on our temperature and weather patterns.

Related Article: Costly Climate Changes

Now you may be wondering what exactly it all means, what a good comparison would be. The world’s hottest day was on July 10, 1913, clocking in at 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley, California. With global temperatures on the rise, and with the study predicting a drastic increase of global highs within 50 years, we can expect to see that high of 134 degrees Fahrenheit once again being reached, maybe even surpassed, sometime in the near future. Yikes. It is not only the heat we have to worry abut, but the erratic weather patterns as well, causing melting ice caps, deadly storms, intense rain; just to name a few.

Related Article: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation 

After all, weather patterns are responsible for half of our daily waking lives:

  • It rains, we cancel our sporting activity (some hardcore players may disagree).
  • It snows, well SNOW DAY of course! (Sometimes).
  • Hurricane/Tornado/Typhoon, houses damaged.
  • Humid Hot Days, stay in and blast the A/C

Anyway, you get the point. Whether you agree that weather and weather patterns are intensifying and impacting the world is up to you, but what are our preventative measures against this? Some talk of greener technology, some speak of wind power and solar power, while some encourage changes in car performance and oil usage. Some ideas even recommend taking advantage of the increasingly severe weather patterns to embrace the positive changes and avoid or harness the bad.

None of these ideas are drastic enough to stop pollution all together, nothing drastic enough to clean up more pollution than we are generating. Maybe it is because we believe ourselves to be unbeatable and indestructible, that no matter what we do or destroy, human ingenuity will persevere.

Related Article: A Cheaper Alternative to Pollution

Actually, we humans have always adapted and something like changing weather patterns and rising temperatures would be nothing new for us. In fact, I believe it would call for new crop irrigation techniques, new ideas towards more efficient cooling systems, and maybe even force us to venture out into space to colonize planets for the sake of our survival. An extreme, yes, but with our rate of pollution, and with the way we like to live comfortably and excessively, I would not be surprised if the proposed colonization of Mars is actually a trial for the coming desperate times. Weather patterns may shift, but so will humanity.

Cheers to new methods of preventing pollution!

 

 

Research:

Study Abstract: The Projected Timing of Climate Departure From Recent Variability

Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science

Camilo Mora, Postdoctoral Employee

USA TODAY: World’s hottest day was 100 years ago in Death Valley

 

Wondergressive: I Believe in GMOs

Wondergressive: A Cheaper Alternative to Pollution

Wondergressive: The Ugly Face of Overpopulation

Wondergressive: Costly Climate Changes

Wondergressive: Sign Me up for Mars!

Oculus Rift and Omni Treadmill, Gaming of the Future!

Friends, Wondergressivers, Gamers. The future looks very bright for us all! 720p virtual reality bright. Oculus Rift and Omni Treadmill are paving the way for exciting future developments in games and virtual reality.

Both Oculus Rift and Omni Treadmill started on Kickstarter where the projects were eagerly accepted! The gaming community said YES and the projects exceeded the funding that the companies expected, allowing for the projects to fly into full development. I am getting ahead of myself though, let us explore each individual item before we begin to experience both together!

Related Article: 3D? Let’s Go One More! 4D!

Before we can begin to walk, let us open up our eyes and experience the world around us. Oculus Rift consists of virtual reality goggles that will bring high definition sight to your gamer eyes! Yes,they will open the door to that which we have dreamed of since we first played pong. It is finally coming, the gaming era we have all been waiting for. Although it is still in its beta (testing) stages, and mostly useful to developers, the Oculus Rift can be expected to fully open up the role playing world of Skyrim, enhance your first person shooter sensations when playing Call of Duty, and immerse you in your strategy as you micro manage your troops in Starcraft. Units misbehaving? Get up close and in their face as you dictate new commands. Characters need resurrecting? Finally a way to spot the corpse without trying to click on the pixel stuck between the mountain of characters destroyed in a raid. You know it well WoW players.

While still in development stages, it comes compatible with only a few games and is specifically dedicated to a computer. The price tag is set at $300 which isn’t too steep, but since it is still in developmental stages it may drop or rise depending on demand and how much more it is augmented.

Related Article: Substitutional Reality Helmet

Now that we are used to the light and we understand the world, let us begin crawling. Or rather, let’s skip the crawling and begin walking in virtual reality! Omni Treadmill helps take the virtual reality experience one step further by giving gamers the ability to not only percieve the virtual world, but also the ability to roam in it!

Let us suppose that you are playing a competitive first person shooter. Wouldn’t that shooter become more intense and more fun if you were able to walk and run in the game by the use of your feet rather than by the use of a gamepad? Of course it would! We gamers thrive off of the competitive edge, the rush of the kill streak, the rhythmic pulse of our heartbeats syncing up with the beat of the rat-tat-tat of our semi automatic as we spray and pray our bullets onto incoming bogies. A treadmill to release the intense rush and to fuel the competitive strategic play. Oh what fun!

What’s more, the developers behind this are very gaming community minded! I simply love developers like this. Their goals are to make the gaming world better, to create a new idea that will explode into a million other new ideas. Reference Omni’s motto:

The Omni is the first omni treadmill that is focused on the household consumer and achieves three objectives: being affordable to household consumers, fitting in a living room, and above all, enabling the user to walk freely and naturally, as he or she would in real life.

For $500 you can purchase the Omni Treadmill, packaged with the shoes, the belt, and hardware/software needed, all of which is set to be released March 2014.

For more on Omni, check out the video below! I am sure that this will one day be standing in my living room. I am willing to accumulate much debt for something like this!

 

Related Article: Augmented Reality Blows My Mind – Twice

What endless possibilities, what endless worlds to explore, what endless things to experience. And why not, there is a lot of good that can come from these developments as well! Terminal cancer patients can travel the world in their household, people in wheelchairs can walk again even if only virtually, and most importantly, those disabled may now have a chance to experience the world as others do! Apart from all the different benefits, it still is amazing and super exciting the direction the gaming world is heading in!

Cheers to the future!

Research:
Oculus Rift

Omni Treadmill

Kickstarter

Skyrim

Starcraft 2

Call of Duty

World of Warcraft

Wondergressive: Substitutional Reality Helmet

Wondergressive: 3D? Let’s Go One More! 4D!

Wondergressive: Augmented Reality Blows My Mind – Twice

Neocortex: How Human Memory Works and How We Learn

I have been reading a book on how the brain functions, particularly the neocortex which we know as the two pinkish greyish hemispheres. It is a seriously technical and boring read, but that is why I bring the main points into this first post on explaining how our memory works. If you start to feel that this is tedious, just glance over the bold parts.

How the Neocortex and Human Memory Works

Sequential Patterns

Our memory works sequentially and in a hierarchy. We remember linear sequential patterns. A sequence is the basic building block of our memory, how we learn, and how we function as humans. A popular sequence, for example, is the alphabet. We can recite the alphabet from A to Z with very little effort because we memorized the sequence from the beginning to the end.

Related Article: Become a God for 79 Cents

But what if you were asked to recite the alphabet from Z to A? Computers have no problem doing this as they can process the alphabet backwards in a thousandth of a second.  But we humans would struggle, computing it sequentially. First, we would start to recite the alphabet until we get to, say, the last two or three letters, X Y Z. We would then be able to recite those backwards. Then we start from the beginning again and get to the next two or three in the list, U V W, then recite those backwards. Each time we are going through the sequential pattern in order to recite the alphabet backwards.

Neocortex Sequential Patterns

Neocortex Sequential Patterns

Pattern Hierarchy in the Neocortex

As for the hierarchical nature of memory, there are lower level patterns and higher level patterns which our neurons process instantaneously, without us even noticing. Take a sentence for example. At the very high end of the pattern hierarchy you will be able to judge whether the writer intended the statement to portray sarcasm, to be a comical remark, or whether the statement was meant to be rhetorical. You will be able to attach your personal feelings to the sentence based on what is written.

You go down the hierarchical ladder and you see grammatical patterns. You understand the colloquial nature of the text and your brain processes this so quickly that you don’t even have to stop and think.

Related Article: Photographic Memory (Phase 2: Holy Shit)

We go even further down the hierarchical ladder and your neocortex is able to guess what word you are reading without even finishing it completely. You just glance over the text and recognize the pattern of the letters. The word “letter” starts with a tall character and has two more tall t’s. It is short enough for your brain to guess that the most plausible word fitting the character pattern is the word “letter”. Your brain also looks for patterns in the text itself, such as contextual patterns.

Way at the bottom of the hierarchy the neocortex recognizes the letters themselves. This is a very rudimentary level and therefore we can say that, with the preconception that you are an American and you know the English alphabet, your neo-cortex recognizes individual letters at the speed of light, metaphorically. If you pass through a letter that has two slants like / and \, /\, your neocortex will almost instantly recognize it as the letter A, since there are no other candidates and enough of a pattern is present for the brain to guess.

In the same way, when you see someone writing like a douche, using $ for “S” and ! for “I”, like $H!T!, we can immediately see that the person intended to use “SHIT!”. This is called auto association, the ability to associate a pattern with a part of itself. We can recognize a pattern even if the entire pattern is not present.

A hierarchical pattern is basically a sequence of sequences of sequences etc…

Hierarchical Patterns = Recursion & Iteration (Where are the programmer geeks?)

In a 2002 paper that Noam Chomsky coauthored called “The Faculty of Language: What Is It, Who Has It, and How Did It Evolve?” he cited the attribute of “recursion” as accounting for the unique language faculty of the human species. Recursion, according to Chomsky, is the ability to put together small parts into a larger chunk, and then to use that chunk as a part in yet another structure, and to continue this process interactively. In this way we are able to build the elaborate structures of sentences and paragraphs from a limited set of words. This essentially describes what the neocortex does.

Related Article: Memory, a Torch Pass

Two excerpts from “How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed” that have a lot to do with how we experience learning and memorizing follows below:

The neocortex is, therefore, predicting what it expects to encounter. Envisaging the future is one of the primary reasons we have a neocortex. At the highest conceptual level, we are continually making predictions – who is going to walk through the door next, what someone is likely to say next, what we expect to see when we turn the corner, the likely results of our own actions, and so on. These predictions are constantly occurring at every level of the neocortex hierarchy. We often misrecognize people and things and words because our threshold for confirming an expected pattern is too low. (p59)

I believe I could pick out a picture of the woman with the baby carriage whom I saw earlier today from among a group of pictures of other women, despite the fact that I am unable to actually visualize her and cannot describe her much specifically. In this case my memory of her is a list of certain high-level features. These features do not have language or image labels attached to them, and they are not pixel images, so while I am able to think about her, I am unable to describe her. However, if I am presented with a picture of her, I can process the image, which results in the recognition of the same high-level features that were recognized the first time I saw her. I would be able to thereby determine that the features match and thus confidently pick out her picture.  (p66)

Here are some key points to draw from the top two paragraphs. The first paragraph reiterates the fact that our neocortex constantly guesses at blazing speeds what we are looking at or processing by using all of our five senses. The second paragraph basically states, HUMANS DO NOT HAVE PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY. DIGITAL CAMERAS DO. The closest to photographic memory that only some rare few humans get to is called eidetic imagery. It also points out that there is a difference between recognizing and recalling something. When you can’t recall a woman’s face from memory by drawing it out, but you can recognize it among a few pictures, that is called autoassociation, or being able to pull out a memory via some visual cue.

Last Point I Swear! Redundancy

Redundancy is the key to enforcing our pattern building, recognition, and recall. Let me also point out that humans have five senses and that we gather “data” from all five of them which allow our neocortex to build numerous patterns that point to the same reference. Take for example french fries. Your brain gathers data from the visual aspect, the crunching, the texture from the touch, the smell, and the amazing taste. The experience itself also enforces your pattern building to keep the fries in your memory.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoassociative_memory

http://www.amazon.com/How-Create-Mind-Thought-Revealed/dp/0670025291

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/298/5598/1569.short

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200603/the-truth-about-photographic-memory

Wondergressive: Experiments in Photographic Memory

More Related Articles:

Wondergressive: Erase Memories Because… Why Not?

Wondergressive: Cannabis Cures Cancer and Everything Else: A History and Review of the Evidence

Wondergressive: Controlling Dreams and Implanting Memories

Wondergressive: Computers Improve and Sustain Mind and Memory of the Elderly

German Tech Company Seeks to Hire People With Autism

 

German Tech Company SAP AG has recently stated that it will be recruiting people with autism due to their incredible ability to process information at super human speeds and efficiency. SAP will be hiring people with autism to fill positions in programming, software testing, and quality assurance.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by

impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behavior.

Traditionally, to be diagnosed with autism, symptoms must become apparent before a child is 3 years old.  If symptoms appear after that age it was thought to likely be a different disorder. The number of people diagnosed with autism in the United States alone used to be near 1%, but in the last 5 years it has jumped to more than 2%, likely due to greater awareness and many diagnoses now occuring later in life. Nowadays, autism can be predicted as early as age 1.

While some people may be skeptical of SAP’s decision, the tech company is positive that autism can be an asset in numerous cases, espeically in the case of mild autism, where the person retains all the informational processing benefits with minimal social difficulties (Much in the same way Blade retained all the badassery of vampirism with none of the drawbacks (except for the thirst!)). SAP performed a pilot project in India with autistic workers and saw improvements in productivity. The pilot project is being expanded to the US, Canada, and Germany later this year. They are understandably very confident in their decision.

In searching for the causes of autism researchers have pointed fingers at

certain foods, infectious disease, heavy metals, solvents, diesel exhaust, PCBs, phthalates andphenols used in plastic products, pesticides, brominated flame retardants, alcohol, smoking, illicit drugs, vaccines, and prenatal stress.

Obviously no one is entirely sure what the cause of autism is, but due to its high prevalence a huge amount of studies have been, and continue to be conducted. While multiple studies have revealed genetic links, other studies have debunked these links and shown no genetic inheritance. Due to its elusive etiology autism has even been given the paradoxical catchphrase

Highly heritable but not inherited.

While autism remains largely a mystery, SAP has decided to brush the enigma aside and capitalize on the positive aspects of it. As they saying goes, there is a good side to everything.

 

I have personally seen the good and bad side of autism.  When I was in boyscouts, there were 3 kids in my troop that had autism.  Two of them were twins, and seemed to live in their own heads, barely aware of the world and people around them.  It was very hard for them to interact with others, and especially hard to mold themselves to society’s demands; particularly a job.

The other kid, who was older than me at the time, was highly social, active, happy, and succesful.  Although you could tell he was a bit different socially than other children around him, he was always happy to have a conversation and always tried to make others laugh.  He worked as a UPS driver and was able to swim 11 miles in one go.  He was something of a legend in my boyscout troop, and was an incredible rolemodel for so many children and adults alike.

If nobody had ever told me he had autism, I truly would have never known.  I would have gone on thinking he was just an incredible, albiet strange (in a wonderful way) guy.

Think twice before you judge others, they might be far, far better at processing information than you.  If there is a lesson in all this, I suppose that would be it.

 

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAP_AG

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/german-tech-company-recruits-people-autism-6C10020898

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurodevelopmental_disorder

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/hcp-dsm.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2013/03/20/autism-prevalence-is-now-at-1-in-50-children/

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr065.pdf

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/04/28/austism.predict.questionnaire/index.html

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/34047713/ns/health-mental_health/t/autism-seen-asset-not-liability-some-jobs/#.UaRxxaHN-WQ

http://idea.library.drexel.edu/bitstream/1860/2632/1/2006175339.pdf

http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v13/n5/full/nm0507-534.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1513312/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism#Causes

The Draw of Cell Phones

everydaymomideas.com

everydaymomideas.com

Bzzzt! Bzzt! Did I just receive a text? Am I getting a call? Email? Facebook notification? Oh wait, I guess it was just my imagination. Or was it…

The other day I left my cell phone at home and worked a 12 hour shift only to find myself completely bored out of my mind during the slow periods. Nobody to text, no news to read, no status updates to follow/comment/post on facebook, but worst of all no Wondergressive articles to browse through! Oh the humanity!

In this day and age a cell phone deprived person seems to be at a great disadvantage. A prime example of this happened last week. My girlfriend forgot her cell phone at home and her house keys in my car while she was out running some errands.That got me thinking. Without a cell phone she could easily have gotten hurt or lost or needed assistance and there would have been no way of me reaching her. Needless to say, she showed up where I was and got her keys, but I was still left with the thought of how important and intertwined our lives have become with cell phones.

inthebestofhealth.wordpress.com

inthebestofhealth.wordpress.com

For those of us suffering from nomophobia, and for those that are in denial, let me ask you: could you really part with your digital friend? Think of all of your daily routines, think of all of your leisure time and what you spend doing during that time, think about what you do while driving or while you are stuck in traffic, and finally, think of how you reach your friends/family/lovers/doctors/Wondergressive authors etc. If you can honestly avoid using your cell phone for any of these activities then congratulations! You may not be a zombie like the rest of us. Yet. A preliminary study on cell phone addiction by Baylor University yields that:

mobile phones are conspicuous artifacts of acquisition and sometimes are viewed as extensions of the self.

 

How deep is THAT?! Cell phones as a part of ourselves! Or is it the other way around… In the same way that some would argue that people suffer from hoarding items because they project emotions, experiences, and self onto the items they are keeping, cell phones are now becoming an integral part of our body and mind! In a way, my cell phone is my best friend: it always listens and does what I want it to do, well most of the time at least, so it is no wonder that I feel lost if I am without it. Not too long now, and the singularity will be nigh upon us, at which point I wonder if we will greet it with open arms?

The study goes on to say that

Much in the same way as consumers who use materialistic pursuits to cope with stress, anxiety, and feelings of low self-worth, cell phone and other technological addictions are likely similar attempts to cope with the exigencies of life and self esteem struggles.

A lot of people resort to cell phone sexting instead of real human interaction and that may be partially caused by stress and low self worth. Digitally displaying something is easier than having to deal with real life encounters and embarrassment.  I think, at least, that its easier to get rejected digitally than it is in person.

Lets re-rail this focus train and stop with all the sexting talk for a second. Speaking of re-railing thoughts, Multi tasking while using your cell phone has almost become impossible not to do. Just think of all those recipes you looked up on your smartphone while cooking or those soundtracks you listened to while working on something. One would think headlines like “Brain and Spinal tumors caused by cell phones” would put a stop to our obsessions but then again why do we continue to smoke, and not the good kind, when we know it is killing us?

I am as guilty as the rest of you, however this is my conscious effort at lessening my cell phone dependency. Here are a couple of tips to help with our digital addictions, but the most important thing to remember is to be as involved with other humans as we are with our electronic devices. Remember, when your battery dies, it is comforting to know that the person next to you will keep you not only interested, but also as warm as your cell phone does when it overheats in your hands from overuse. And for those of us that prefer to live in denial, check out this awesome tablet/phone concept designers are working on! Cheers!

 

Research:

Baylor University Preliminary Cell Phone Study

Nomophobia – Wikipedia

Tips to Overcoming Digital Addiction

Wondergressive – Cannabis Cures Cancer

Wondergressive – Singularity is Nigh Upon Us

Wondergressive – TVs, Brains, and Zombies

Wondergressive – Sexting

Wondergressive – From Multi to Mono

Wondergressive – Cellphones Cause Tumors

Wondergressive – Lumpy Tablets

Sign Me Up For Mars!

nyulocal.com

nyulocal.com

Greetings Wondergressivers! Are you tired of blue skies, green grass, and sunny days? Do you wish to explore the Final Frontier? Maybe red is a much more desired color for you? Or maybe you have simply conquered Mt. Everest and want to aspire to higher, more challenging heights; three times higher to be exact!  Well, for all you daredevils, adventure seekers, space cowboys, and solo yolo’s, you are now able to apply to colonize that big, red, desert brother of ours, Mars.

All it takes is an application and a short video sent to Mars One and you will become one of already 78,000 (and counting) applicants from which 4 will be chosen to pioneer the first colony on Mars! Oh, and of course a $38 fee which is charged to all American applicants; other countries are stuck more or less depending on their wealth. We may not even need that warp drive to be completely developed before we start colonizing other planets! Isn’t it all oh so exciting?

The voyage is set to take place in 2023 and will cost roughly 6 billion dollars. Anyone with zero technical skill that is over the age of 18, with no specific qualifications, can apply and be chosen for the voyage. But how will all of this be payed for? Well, it seems it will all be one big to do on television once a select group of “candidates” are chosen by 2015. These 20-40 people will then be trained for 7 years and whittled down to roughly 4 through a series of television events and audience votes.

As exciting as it all sounds, it is a little disappointing that we have to rely on a televised popularity contest as a selection process for our Mars colony. It is inspiring, however, to hear that there is such a widespread reception of the idea of colonizing Mars, and that we already have over 78,000 applicants to do so! More-so that the group of 78,000 applicants is a very diverse group from all around the world!

Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and chief executive officer of Mars One, says:

Mars One is a mission representing all humanity, and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented

The trip itself will take about seven months once the 4 are chosen but before that rovers will be sent to survey possible settlement areas and build the infrastructure of the colony for the candidates chosen. I just hope the Mars spiders don’t get these poor souls. For more on “the plan” click on over to this link to watch the Mars One video!

 

Research:

Mars One

Mars Facts

Space.com – Want to live on Mars?

Bas Lansdorp

Reality TV show to follow Settlers

Colonizing Mars Q and A

Wiki Olympus Mons

Wondergressive – Let’s Capture US an Asteroid

Wondergressive – Faster than light travel

Wondergressive – Mars Seasonal spiders

Wondergressive – TVs Brains and Zombies oh My!

Modern Languages May Share Common, Ancient Ancestor

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers claim to have found 23 words that they believe date back as far as 15,000 years. The words are still reflected in seven linguistic families that span from Europe to Asia, and may support the idea of a “proto-Eurasiatic” language from which almost all modern languages derive.

Several mainstays of language predictably make the list, however, there are a couple of surprises. The whole list:

thou, I, not, that, we, to give, who, this, what, man/male, ye, old, mother, to hear, hand, fire, to pull, black, to flow, bark, ashes, to spit, worm

The seven language families studied were: Indo-European (European languages, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi); Altaic (Turkish, Uzbek, Mongolian); Chukchi-Kamchatkan (northeast Siberia); Dravidian (south Indian languages); Inuit-Yupik (Arctic languages); Kartvelian (Georgian) and Uralic (Finnish, Hungarian). In the map below, the different colors show the distribution of these families. These families, however, do not account for every language in the world, notably Chinese and Japanese. Several African families and the aboriginal languages of Australia and the Americas are also not represented.

The research was headed by Mark Pagel of the University of Reading’s School of Biological Sciences. He and his fellow researchers sifted through the modern lexicon and came up with 200 words that they agreed were shared by European and Asian languages. They eventually narrowed this list down into 23 root words that they found were fairly universal in sound and in meaning across modern languages.

Linguists have calculated the rate at which words are replaced in a language, in essence, how long words tend to exist before becoming extinct. By seeing what words are shared between the modern languages families and knowing roughly when those languages split, Pagel and his team worked backwards and estimated how long these proto-Eurasiatic words have existed.

The Washington Post has a really nifty tool where you can access audio readings of some of the root words and see how they sound alike…or not. Some take quite a bit of imagination to hear the link between them. It took me several listens to connect the dots, and in some instances it was difficult to imagine that there could possibly be any dots to connect at all.

Not everyone is convinced with the new study. Languages evolve and experience “weathering,” a sort of lingual erosion that constantly chips away old words as new ones are added to the vocabulary. Most researchers think that words can’t survive more than 9,000 years because of the effects of weathering. William Croft, a linguistics professor at the University of New Mexico says that the scientific community is “pessimistic” that these words could be 150 centuries old. He adds that “they basically think there’s too little evidence to even propose a [language] family like Eurasiatic.”

I am enamored with the idea that this research posits, that we can accurately trace the roots of modern languages to back before the advent of agriculture during the last Ice Age. However, I sadly think that it’s nothing more than an appealing narrative, a romantic notion of language and how we originated. Without any hard evidence it’s impossible to verify this theory, and none can possibly exist because written language wasn’t invented until  some 10,000 years after the supposed genesis of these 23 words.

Like Pagel and his team, journalists have also become intoxicated with wishful thinking. Discovery News reports:

What this means is that if an Ice Age person from 15,000 years ago could hear you speak today, he or she could probably understand you, so long as you used these handful of words.

People in Britain are often incapable of understanding each other due to their different accents. And they speak the same language. On the same tiny island, in the same point in time. And yet a person from the Ice Age could probably understand me if I used only these mostly monosyllabic words? The conductor booms out “All aboard!” to the Bullshit Express.

I find this linguistic theory to be an interesting possibility, though one that is completely unfalsifiable and impossible to measure. Although I’m profoundly skeptical of its validity, I think Pagel’s conclusion makes for a supremely fun coffee table topic of conversation, but barring further breakthroughs I’m afraid that’s all this study can be.

 

Further Reading:

Ultraconserved words point to deep language ancestry across Eurasia

15,000-Year-Old Words?

Linguists identify 15,000-year-old ‘ultraconserved words’

Interactive Washington Post Feature

The Drones Are Coming!

drones

bbc.co.uk

Whether its government raids of domestic properties or the attentive nature of big brother while you surf the internet, the government is slowly gaining ground on its way to a 1984 scenario. As if worrying about someone monitoring our torrents wasn’t enough, we now have to worry about military grade drones being used by police officers in the US to keep us in line. It is true that new conveniences and technological upgrades always come with new battlegrounds and new frontiers, but I wonder if we may be crossing the line that affords us our freedoms.

With compelling arguments from Police such that drones would help reduce cost and help make fighting crime more efficient, drones sound like a good idea.

In this time of austerity, we are always looking for sensible and cost-effective methods to improve public safety,

said Capt. Tom Madigan of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department,

We are not looking at military-grade Predator drones. They are not armed.

YET.

These TOYS, as some law enforcers are calling them, are slowly being introduced into society with the idea that drones are the future and that people can make a successful career out of piloting a drone. Call me crazy but when was it ever OK for the government to invade the privacy of its people? Thankfully, we haven’t all stayed silent about this matter, and for the time being the drones are being put down and canceled, but for how long?

Doug Honig, spokesman for ACLU of Washington says:

Drones give law enforcement agencies unprecedented abilities to engage in surveillance and intrude on people’s privacy

Dave Norris, a city councilman in Charlottesville, Va. says:

I don’t mean to sound conspiratorial about it, but these drones are coming, and we need to put some safeguards in place so they are not abused

With the looming threat of overpopulation, is it a question of morality to set these drones afloat that is, for the time being, forcing them to stay grounded? Is this simply one more step towards total control that is part of a New World Order scheme? Or is this simply a cost effective way of handling crimes in a technologically advancing society? Like it or not, THE DRONES ARE COMING!

 

Research:

Wondergressive

NBC News

The New York Times

US News

American Civil Liberties Union

Ted Poe Congressman

Wikipedia

Ars Technica

Youtube

The Art of Cyber Warfare: United States vs. China

cyber warfare image

Cyber warfare may be how all battles of the future are fought. http://www.occupycorporatism.com/

Cyber warfare is becoming about as common as an oil lobbyist’s smug grin, and in cyber warfare, hacking is the weapon of choice. Hacking has become the norm as our world continues to move forward technologically. Now, in 2013, we are already seeing big names like AppleFacebook, and Sony admitting to being hacked. A recent survey conducted in 2011 on the security of companies shed lights on some shocking truths:

Ninety percent of organizations in our study have had at least one breach. When asked to consider cash outlays, internal labor, overhead, revenue losses and other expenses related to the security breach, 41 percent of respondents report that it was 500,000 or more.

If security breaches due to hacking is happening regularly to companies, what happens if the attacks are on a larger scale? We turn now to nations hacking other nations, and the waging of cyber warfare between super powers.

USA’s Bald Eagle and the Chinese Red Dragon find themselves pitted against each other. The brawl is not physical but rather fought along the porn riddled strands of the world wide web. China is and has been a superpower not only in sheer population numbers but also in political power, technological advancements, business ventures, and military standing. Billions of dollars could have potentially been stolen through this exchange of superpowers waging cyber warfare on each other.

cyber warfare chica usa

When it comes to cyber warfare only one things matters: which hacker has the highest GWAM?http://www.theguardian.com/

Apart from billions of dollars being at stake, different depictions in various texts about China’s influence paired with our growing debt to China all point toward a potential future where most of the world is speaking Mandarin Chinese. Maybe being under Chinese rule wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Or maybe this public knowledge of our nations engaged in cyber warfare will strengthen ties between the Bald Eagle and the Dragon and they will give birth to the first super powered scaly griffon. Maybe it is a good thing that the hacking is occurring. It may be helping to improve security and prepare for even more dangerous hack attempts. Unfortunately, all this talk of potential crippling cyber warfare is only maybes in the end.

On a brighter note we are moving closer to a cyber infused world where technology and nature are becoming entwined. Even with all these hack attempts the internet isn’t all that bad! It is almost an all-in-one source of the totality of human knowledge. It aids in the creation of useful and beneficial things for people. And soon, hopefully, it’ll be free for all! Until then, lets hope that this disturbing news of cyber warfare will evnetually lead to a world of free information rather than a nuclear outbreak!

 

Sources:

https://wondergressive.com/category/technology/

http://www.juniper.net/us/en/local/pdf/additional-resources/ponemon-perceptions-network-security.pdf

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/19/tech/web/apple-hacked/index.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57569713/facebook-says-it-was-hacked-last-month/

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57539756-1/sonys-playstation-3-experiences-its-biggest-hack-yet/

http://world.time.com/2013/02/19/china-calls-u-s-hacking-allegations-groundless/

http://nation.time.com/2013/02/19/u-s-ready-to-strike-back-against-china-cyberattacks/

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1576831-9,00.html

http://www.zdnet.com/china-hits-back-at-hacking-claims-us-is-our-top-cyber-attacker-7000011543/

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1893554082/qid=970215310/sr=2-1/104-0533761-1644734

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/moneymatters/ss/How-Much-US-Debt-Does-China-Own.htm

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1978756,00.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griffin

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/reassessing-the-hack

https://wondergressive.com/2013/02/11/the-singularity-is-nigh-upon-us-2/

https://wondergressive.com/2013/02/18/open-access-journals/

https://wondergressive.com/2012/09/01/15-year-old-invents-a-3-cent-cancer-test-using-google/

https://wondergressive.com/2013/02/04/free-internet-help-yourself/

http://world.time.com/2013/02/12/north-korea-confirms-successful-nuclear-test/