Consciousness is surely the greatest mystery of all. How can it be that a large collection of interlinked cells can contemplate themselves and the world around them? What exactly is it? Can it exist outside of the body or does our conscious mind die with our brain cells? One would think so.
What is the nature of consciousness in other creatures? Can inanimate super-computers ever be truly conscious, that is have a distinct ability to be self-aware and contemplate themselves and the world around them? How would we know? Is the conscious mind able to be understood and scientifically examined? Is the universe unique to each individual human being? Can we be sure that we are not ourselves just a computer program in a cosmic super-computer?
Not being a philosopher, I have no answers, just questions.
Monday, 22 April 2013
The ExtremeTech website has reported a possible major major (i.e. game changing) breakthrough in Li-Ion battery technology with the headlines: New lithium-ion battery design that’s 2,000 times more powerful, recharges 1,000 times faster
If this turns out to be technology that can indeed be commercialised,
then just imagine the possibilities: (1) electric cars with far lighter
batteries, or electric car batteries with much greater range, (2) mobile
phones with tiny batteries that can be charged in a minute or so, (3)
portable HF transceivers that last for days between charges.
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Such a leap in efficiency would totally transform solar energy use: roof panels on a house would be able to produce plenty of surplus energy in addition to that required by the home owner. It really could be a game changer.
You can imagine the large petrochemical lobby doing all in its power to discourage research and development into such technologies. Far too little is invested in such new technologies because of lobbies with money, power and influence buying political decisions.
I cannot help thinking how such ground breaking, game changing, technology could be developed to commercial scale with just a fraction of the US or UK defence budgets that has been (arguably) totally wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars have thrown away around $700-800 billion already: that would have paid for a HUGE amount of research and development and ultimately do far more for world peace and harmony.
Monday, 1 April 2013
My ham radio friend Julian Moss has a brain tumour which he has been successfully battling for over a year now. Recently he had a hospital appointment to review treatment but reading his blog I see yet again he has, like many I know, been given the "run around" by the totally inept NHS service here in the UK. This organisation needs radical surgery to get itself operating efficiently. Time and again it wastes money by messing up appointments, not having people where they should be, not having the data communicated between staff etc. It MADDENS me that sick people should be additionally stressed as a result of idiots who cannot run a business properly. They would save BILLIONS if patient records were shared electronically between doctors, nurses, hospital staff, consultants and ambulance crews. In the 21st century any organisation as bad as the National Health Service would be in administration by now and its bosses sacked.
NHS sort yourselves out!
NHS sort yourselves out!
Thursday, 28 March 2013
|Near Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire|
|Snow drifts on the Lincolnshire Wolds|
Today I read that the audited costs of the Iraq war for the USA are an estimated $767bn. With ongoing healthcare and support costs the final figure will be well over $1trillion. All nations make mistakes and enter wars they later deeply regret, including the UK. What saddens me is the total WASTE this represents: Saddam was no saint, neither are the Talibhan in Afghanistan, but there has to be a better way to change nations. The phrase "swords into ploughshares" comes to mind. Jaw jaw is better than war, war. Just think how $1 trillion could have been better used. See also William Rivers Pitt | The United States of Aftermath.