Greg Newby on Cognitive Space & Exosomatic Memory

Dr. Greg Newby

Dr. Greg Newby

Why I’m an information scientist

  • I believe that information is one of the most powerful phenomena. The ability to access and utilize information can help to overcome obstacles and solve problems. I want to make information more readily available to all people.There are many ways of providing access to information:
    • Through better information systems, including information retrieval systems. Thus, IR is one of my main research areas.
    • By providing the means of accessing information. Computer & information literacy training is therefore a big part of my curriculum interests at UNC. I also worked to bring about better information access via Prairienet (a community computing system) and iBiblio.
    • By actually creating information availability — authoring Web pages and articles and providing unrestricted access. I also work with Project Gutenberg to provide free electronic books (over 100 new [generally pre-1923] books per month).

Major themes in my research

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Apr 23

Jean Lievens: A Most Revolutionary World — With No Revolution — Extraordinary Photo Essay

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Around the World in 843 Protests: Living the Most Revolutionary Times in History

Bernardo Gutierrez

Occupy.com, 19 April 23014

We sail in an unstable political ocean, surfing bursts of protests and unexpected revolts emerging across the globe: 843 large protests in the last eight years.

If Karl Marx raised his head, he would be absolutely baffled: Revolts are shaking the world, bursting in the most unexpected places, but they rarely take power. The conditions for rebellion are as sharp today as in the nineteenth century, but few protests lead to the literal meaning of revolution, that “violent change in political, economic or social institutions of a nation.”

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Apr 20

SchwartzReport: Physics Revolution – Discovering Consciousness as Matter

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This report on the latest developments concerning consciousness research in physics is a wonderful illustration of a trend: the cutting edge of physicalist research is confronting consciousness. It is now one step away. Note two things: 1) the acknowledgement that the model is incomplete, missing a link, and a paradox: “why does the information content of our conscious experience appear to be vastly larger than 37 bi! ts of integrated information that can be stored in the human brain.”

Answering the paradox I predict will take physics into the nonlocal domain, and the matrix of information that is the all there is.

The German school of physics, referenced in is this report was made up of Planck, Pauli, Heisenberg, Einstein and others; the Olympiad of 20th century physics. All of them along with Jung, and Franz Boas, the founder of American anthropology, were strongly influenced by Adolf Bastian, a 19th century German polymath who posited the theory of Elementargedanke – literally ‘elementary thoughts of humankind.” It was an early attempt to recognize and try to study the nonlocal informational matrix, from which Jung developed the concept of the Collective Unconscious.

SOURCE: Consciousness as a State of Matter

Why Physicists Are Saying Consciousness Is A State Of Matter, Like a Solid, A Liquid Or A Gas
The Physics arXiv Blog

EXTRACT

Today, Max Tegmark, a theoretical physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, sets out the fundamental problems that this new way of thinking raises. He shows how these problems can be formulated in terms of quantum mechanics and information theory. And he explains how thinking about consciousness in this way leads to precise questions about the nature of reality that the scientific process of experiment might help to tease apart.

Tegmark’s approach is to think of consciousness as a state of matter, like a solid, a liquid or a gas. ‘I conjecture that consciousness can be understood as yet another state of matter. Just as there are many types of liquids, there are many types of consciousness,” he says.

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Apr 20

BREAKING: Hold on Keystone – Fracking Next?

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

2.5 million outraged public comments and one honest state (Nebraska) — the Administration is, for the very first time, feeling the weight of collective intelligence both individual and state. Is fracking next?

US Puts off Decision on Keystone XL Pipeline

The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely.

In a surprise announcement Friday as Washington was winding down for Easter, the State Department said federal agencies will have more time to weigh in on the politically fraught decision — but declined to say how much longer. Officials said the decision will have to wait for the dust to settle in Nebraska, where a judge in February overturned a state law that allowed the pipeline’s path through the state.

State Department Indefinitely Delays Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

“In addition, during this time we will review and appropriately consider the unprecedented number of new public comments, approximately 2.5 million, received during the public comment period that closed on March 7, 2014,” the State Department said.

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Apr 18

Jean Lievens: Clay Shirky on The Social Government – Enabling Open Source Participatory Model

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Apr 5

SchwartzReport: Toxins That Threaten Brains

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This is a very sobering essay. Read this carefully and it will give you information to make informed choices with how a number of chemicals enter your life, or are kept out. Click through to see the many useful graphics that accompany this report.

The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains
JAMES HAMBLIN – The Atlantic

Forty-one million IQ points. That’s what Dr. David Bellinger determined Americans have collectively forfeited as a result of exposure to lead, mercury, and organophosphate pesticides. In a 2012 paper published by the National Institutes of Health, Bellinger, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, compared intelligence quotients among children whose mothers had been exposed to these neurotoxins while pregnant to those who had not. Bellinger calculates a total loss of 16.9 million IQ points due to exposure to organophosphates, the most common pesticides used in agriculture.

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Mar 26

Rickard Falkvinge: My Addess to the European Pirates

Rickard Falkvinge

Rickard Falkvinge

My Address To The European Pirates

Pirate Parties:  This weekend, hundreds of pirates from all over Europe gathered in the European Parliament to formally found the European Pirate Party. It was an amazing gathering of determined activists, many of which were absolutely electrified at realizing the sheer scale of this movement, seeing 400 of Europe’s brightest activists gathering for the occasion. I had the honor of giving one of the opening keynotes (below).

The exact sequence of words has been slightly edited for readability.

Amelia Andersdotter: Tonight, we have the honor of welcoming a very special keynote speaker. He was the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party in 2006, a reaction to changes in the Swedish legislation brought about by the same directive that Julia Reda [the previous speaker] asks us to pay close attention to in the coming five years. Since 2006, he has succeeded not only in forming a political party in Sweden, but also to bring all of us together here. I would like to welcome up on the stage — Rick Falkvinge.

Rick Falkvinge: Thank you so much, Member of European Parliament Andersdotter, all staff, and all volunteers, for making this possible.

I would imagine a lot of us speak almost daily about tactical operational details about how we go about changing the world. It’s what we strive for, after all: we are here to change the entire world for the better. Nothing more, and nothing less.

So instead of talking about operational details, having so many prominent people here today, I take the opportunity to remind us all how large our goal and our opportunities are.

The title of this conference is Internet Governance. You see a lot of conferences called Internet Governance these days. The problem is, it’s a total contradiction in terms. This term, Internet Governance — this is not an Internet term. Nobody on the Internet would talk about Internet Governance. This is a governmental term, this is a corporate term. And there are reasons for that.

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Mar 25

Francis, Jesuit & Pope: Happy, Open, Thinking, Women on His Mind (Need for a Theology of Women)

Phi Beta Iota: It is increasingly clear that The Most Holy Father Francis, a Jesuit, is likely to be one of the most important voices of this century. This one interview appears to capture the essence of the man, a sinner blessed and chosen by God, to help us all discern and then carry out God’s will. We are taking the liberty of reprinting the entire interview to encourage a full reading, so many of our visitor’s being reluctant to click through to unknown sites.

A Big Heart Open to God

The exclusive interview with Pope Francis

Antonio Spadar, S. J.

America, 30 September 2013

Editor’s Note: This interview with Pope Francis took place over the course of three meetings during August 2013 in Rome. The interview was conducted in person by Antonio Spadaro, S.J., editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal. Father Spadaro conducted the interview on behalf of La Civiltà Cattolica, America and several other major Jesuit journals around the world. The editorial teams at each of the journals prepared questions and sent them to Father Spadaro, who then consolidated and organized them. The interview was conducted in Italian. After the Italian text was officially approved, America commissioned a team of five independent experts to translate it into English. America is solely responsible for the accuracy of this translation.

Father Spadaro met the pope at the Vatican in the pope’s apartments in the Casa Santa Marta, where he has chosen to live since his election. Father Spadaro begins his account of the interview with a description of the pope’s living quarters.

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Mar 23

Dave Warner: TED Prize of $1M to Anti-Corruption and Transparency Activist

Dr. Dr. Dave Warner

Dr. Dr. Dave Warner

TED Winner Launches Campaign to Unmask Shell Companies

Anti-corruption activist Charmian Gooch launched a new global campaign on Tuesday night to unmask shell corporations and lobby for legislation requiring more transparency, using a newly awarded $1 million TED Prize.

The Global Witness co-founder won the prestigious award to expand on her organization’s work to unmask shell companies used by dictators, criminals and terrorists for money laundering and to hide assets around the world.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

“My wish is for us to know who owns and controls companies, so that they can no longer be used anonymously against the public good,” Gooch said while accepting the award and unveiling her wish. “Together, let’s ignite world opinion, change the law, and together launch a new era of openness in business.”

“This isn’t just a dry policy issue,” Gooch added. “This is a human issue which affects us all. This is about being on the right side of history.”

Shell companies are widely used around the globe by people and entities that want to conceal financial transactions or the true ownership of corporations. Activists have argued that widespread use of shell corporations have made it easier for dictators and criminals to hide money, evade taxes, or illegally transfer assets.

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Mar 19

Jean Lievens: Jeremy Rifkin on Zero Marginal Cost as Anti-Capitalism

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

The Rise of Anti-Capitalism

Jeremy Rifkin

New York Times, 15 March 2014

We are beginning to witness a paradox at the heart of capitalism, one that has propelled it to greatness but is now threatening its future: The inherent dynamism of competitive markets is bringing costs so far down that many goods and services are becoming nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring those costs to near zero.

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Mar 16