Brian’s Links 2 April 2012: Robots, Romney, and More Robots

These little robots are just waiting for Skynet to give them guidance. Someday I am going to have to write a more extensive post on the philosophy (and theology) behind these kinds of inventions, but for now I’ll just say that the militarized versions can’t be too far off. Hang a pistol and camera on them and you’ve got a fleet of unpleasant little drones. They remind me of the mechanical hounds in Fahrenheit 451, except that these fly.

Hey, turns out multicellular life is not so hard to get after all. Just repeatedly select for the yeast colonies that settle fastest and voila! Multicellular yeast. One blogger doesn’t like it though.  If multicellular life is so easy to get, he reasons, then what was once a serious obstacle to the evolution of spacefaring intelligence has been easily past. Which means there must be something else causing Fermi’s Paradox… such as intelligent species always destroying themselves.  I have previously discussed “The Great Filterhere, but I’m not as pessimistic as the fellow at Marginal Revolution. We still have a pretty good chance, I think. Though the robots above are not helping my case right now.

Antibiotic-free meat still has drug-resistant bacteria in it, including deadly MRSA. The bacteria don’t seem to follow our ideas about what they ought to be infecting. And you thought meat was supposed to be safe!

Fascinating article about UX, the “Urban eXperiment” in Paris. A literal underground movement – way ahead of the police, and luckily, also not too dangerous, doing such dastardly deeds as sneaking in and repairing the broken clock in the French Pantheon.

Vibrations on rockets make seeing difficult. An expensive problem and a $5 solution. Good thinking.

Another from Be Scofield at Tikkun: the new atheists and racism.

Old news, but in case you missed it: Romney is not concerned about the very poor. Dana Dillon at Catholic Moral Theology takes Romney down, at least from a Catholic perspective: “for Catholics, being unconcerned with the very poor is not an option.”

And (besides the above disturbing comment) why is Mitt Romney so unappealing? Well, it could be that he’s (like) a robot

Penultimately, an atheist in Texas thinks about suing to get a Nativity scene removed. But he discovers he’s going blind, cannot pay for treatment, and so has to give up pursuing the case. And then the town Christians come to his aid, donating to help him pay his rent and get the medical treatment he needs.

And lastly, the lil’ Skynet robots play the James Bond theme.  I bet if they got together with the Stayin’ Alive Petman they could really do something interesting.


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