Friday, June 06, 2003

OpenP2P.com: Swarm Intelligence: An Interview with Eric Bonabeau [Feb. 21, 2003]
Eric Bonabeau, Ph.D, a keynote speaker at the upcoming Emerging Technology conference, is a leader in the field of swarm intelligence and has focused on applying these concepts to real world problems such as factory scheduling and telecommunications routing. The concept itself is borrowed from nature; in this interview, that's where the conversation begins, with ants and other social insects. Dr. Bonabeau takes us from his childhood nightmares of carnivorous wasps to applying the theories of swarm intelligence to solving real problems in the business world.

Anarchismo: Learn From Ants

Proof that figuring out networks behave following precise mathematical rules is a major breakthrough. Ants are really computers...or maybe just simulations inside a giant computer, like Martin Rhees says is what the Universe may in fact be? The point is, "by discovering the shortest path to a food source, the ants collectively solve an optimization problem using emergent computation."

a colony of ants can collectively find out where the nearest and richest food source is located, without any individual ant knowing it. In experiments, a food source is separated from the nest by a bridge with two branches, one of which is longer. The shorter branch is most likely to be selected by the colony. This is because the ants lay and follow chemical trails: individual ants lay a chemical substance, a pheromone, which attracts other ants. The first ants returning to the nest from the food source are those that take the shorter path twice (from the nest to the source and back). Nest mates are recruited toward the shorter branch, which is the first to be marked with pheromone.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

The Ivan Illich Archive -- Consitution for Cultural Revolution
We need an alternative program, an alternative both to development and to merely political revolution. Let me call this alternative program either institutional or cultural revolution, because its aim is the transformation of both public and personal reality. The political revolutionary wants to improve existing institutions - their productivity and the quality and distribution of their products. His vision of what is desirable and possible is based on consumption habits developed during the last hundred years. The cultural revolutionary believes that these habits have radically distorted our view of what human beings can have and want. He questions the reality that others take for granted, a reality that, in his view, is the artificial by-product of contemporary institutions, created and reinforced by them in pursuit of their short-term ends. The political revolutionary concentrates on schooling and tooling for the environment that the rich countries, socialist or capitalist, have engineered. The cultural revolutionary risks the future on the educability of man.

Vale Ivan Illich -- who died last December, but I only heard about his death now. He was 76.
Guardian Unlimited | Life | A walk on the dorky side
Bill Bryson, author of a string of awesomely successful travelogues, has written a serious book about science. So what happened?

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | US 'has frontier mentality' on oceans
Every eight months, nearly 11 million gallons of oil run off our streets and driveways into our waters - the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez oil spill

New report from the Pew Oceans Commission slams U.S. marine policy.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

The Greens - Victoria : Media Releases : Smart Card – Stupid idea - (26 May 2003)
Victorian Greens Transport Spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale, called the state government’s plan to invest hundreds of millions of dollars on a Smart Card system for the Melbourne public transport system “just another waste of tax payer dollars.”

Dr Di Natale identifies two areas where the Smart Card money could be better spent with greater benefit to public transport users and the community.
“Vast improvements need to be made to staffing levels on train station platforms and trams, also service frequency across the system. These grassroots issues must be resolved before the introduction of glamorous and largely redundant technology,” said Richard Di Natale.

Parecon: Life After Capitalism -- by Michael Albert
How can we replace the economics of exploitation and greed with an economics of equitable cooperation and solidarity? How can we put people in charge of their own economic life, rather than being controlled by corporations and markets? How can we foster economic well-being that benefits the whole society, rather than engorgement of the few?
In this highly praised book, attracting worldwide attention and support, Michael Albert provides an answer: Participatory Economics, called parecon for short, is a new economy beyond capitalism. Parecon celebrates solidarity, equity, diversity, and people democratically controlling their own lives. To attain these values, it utilizes original institutions for production, consumption, and allocation, described throughout the book. .

NEWS.com.au | Iraq issue 'like children overboard' (June 4, 2003)
THE Federal Government's refusal to investigate its pre-war intelligence on Iraq smacked of the children overboard affair, Labor's foreign spokesman Kevin Rudd said today.

The United States and Britain had each launched two inquiries into intelligence that suggested Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but the Federal Government had so far refused calls to follow suit.

The Sacramento Bee -- sacbee.com -- Stacking the deck
For instance, the Ruckus Society, an Oakland activist organization, turned the card tables on the U.S. government, replacing "most wanted" Iraqis with a deck of "war profiteers." It points fingers at members of the Bush administration and corporate executives alike for making money off the conflict. President Bush is relegated to the joker card -- except it's called "the Jerk."

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

BBC - Radio 4 - Reith Lectures 2003 - The Emerging Mind
Scientists need no longer be afraid to ask the big questions about what it means to be human with empirical evidence now answering ancient philosophical questions about meaning and existence.

Professor Ramachandran shows how phenomena such as Capgras' delusion illuminate fundamental aspects of our minds such as body image, emotions and the evolution of humor.

The Tao of Democracy
How can we generate the collective wisdom to creatively address our 21st century problems, opportunities and dreams? The Tao of Democracy offers hundreds of ideas and tools to heal and transform the world.

The Memory Hole > Documents from the Phoenix Program
Documents from the Phoenix Program, supplied and introduced by Douglas Valentine, author of The Phoenix Program
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Transcripts raise alarm across Nato
The "Waldorf transcripts" document being distributed among Nato capitals raises new questions about Mr Straw's denials. It is being circulated amid a flurry of leaks in Washington about Mr Powell's concerns about how intelligence was being used to try to persuade reluctant Nato allies - notably France and Germany - to sanction an attack on Iraq.

Salam Pax Is Real - How do I know Baghdad's famous blogger exists? He worked for me. By Peter Maass
My inner journalist tells me to draw back at this moment and write about the larger significance of my encounter with Salam Pax. That working alongside—no, employing—a star of the World Wide Web and being blissfully unaware of it is a lesson about the murkiness of today's Iraq, a netherland of obscurity in which you cannot know who was a Baathist and who was not, or whether the man in the middle of the street with a gun is going to shoot you or not, or whether the country is spiraling out of control or just having teething problems before becoming a normal nation. My inner blogger, however, tells me to skip the What This Means stuff and write about my life with Salam Pax.

'Gecko tape' has researchers climbing the walls. 03/06/2003. ABC News Online
Move over Spider-Man, mere mortals may soon be coming to a ceiling near you thanks to researchers at the University of Manchester.
They say they have cracked the secret of one of the reptile world's greatest climbers, the gecko, and produced a sticky tape that can mimic the lizard's gravity-defying abilities.
Soon, people could walk on walls like comic-book superhero Spider-Man, the university said in a statement.

Monday, June 02, 2003

GM Nation?
This is the official website for the Genetic Modification (GM) public debate taking place in June 2003 in the U.K.. Use this site to find out more about the issues surrounding GM - and find out how you can join in the debate.

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