Tag: Designed-by-Evolution

Bruce Sterling
Augmented Bodies

Interview: Bruce Sterling on the Convergence of Humans and Machines

Bruce Sterling is a prominent science fiction writer and a pioneer of the cyberpunk genre. His cyberpunk novels Heavy Weather (1994), Islands in the Net (1988), Schismatrix (1985), The Artificial Kid (1980) earned him the nickname “Chairman Bruce”. Apart from his writings, Bruce Sterling is also a professor of internet studies and science fiction at the European Graduate School. He has contributed to several projects within the scheme of futurist theory, founded an environmental aesthetic movement, edited anthologies and he still continues to write for several magazines including Wired, Discover, Architectural Record and The Atlantic.

In the interview below, we had the honor of hosting Bruce Sterling in our Next Nature Network headquarters to talk to him about the concept of the convergence of humans and machines. Sterling weighs in on the issue with a rather challenging perspective.

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Anthropocene

What if Humans Disappeared?

Life would normally continue with humans and their evolving surroundings, but this movie envisions what could happen if we would just disappear.

Humanity made a strong impact on the planet, but we should not underestimate the incredible power of nature. With our disappearance, animals that depend on us will suffer drastic population declines. At the same time, without human presence on Earth, some animal species that are close to extinction would suddenly grow in population. Most of our remains will decompose because of nature power initiated by fire, weeds and termites. The only thing that would remain of us would be our trash of plastic, chemicals and radioactive material. But of course the question is, why would we all of a sudden disappear?

Source: Asap SCIENCE

glowingplanet
Wild Systems

Cities Evolve in Similar Ways as Galaxies

Satellite images of Earth at night evoke ambiguous feelings: While on a ground level our cities appear as purely cultural artifacts, a traveler from outer space might just as well marvel at them as beautifully glowing organic fungi-like structures that sprouted on our planet. Less than a millennium ago, the Earth at night was all dark. Today it is all glowing and blossoming.

Scientists think the laws governing the structure of galaxies in outer space are the same laws underlying the growth of cities. Henry Lin and Abraham Loeb at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics have used models for showing how galaxies evolve based on matter density to propose a unifying theory for scaling laws of human populations.

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B
Biomimicry

Bio Art & Design Awards 2015

So, you are well aware that biotech will drive our evolution, you took the crash course on synthetic genomics, you’ve got your map of the DNA world in your backpack and are now eager to redesign some microbes that turn waste into energy, eat plastic, detect flu, or build a better being altogether? You have a brilliant project plan already, but only need some – let say– euro 25.000 and a bit of help from a research group to turn your vision into reality? We have cake for you.

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DNA
Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Cells Built From Silicon

Researchers, at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, have engineered a silicon chip able to mimic some basic functions of life, such as producing proteins from DNA.

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cars
Designed-by-Evolution

Blaming Car Technology for Dumb Drivers

We increasingly depend on car technology designed to make driving easier and safer. Therefore, can be said that these improvements are creating less-skilled drivers?

“Technological crutches like GPS are making us not only worse drivers – they could also be making us stupid. Technology wasn’t supposed to work that way. Manufacturers have supported drivers with power steering, cruise control, antilock brakes and electronic stability controls. Then they gave us sophisticated on-board computers that power car entertainment systems and fine-tune our cars’ performance on the go. Today we drive sleek, aerodynamic vehicles with more computing power than early Space Shuttles.”

We’ve already seen GPS lead people into some ridiculous situations.
But can we blame the GPS for this, when we follow directions that are totally contrary to good sense?

Read more on BBC Future

biofabricate_
Designed-by-Evolution

Biofabricate – NN Lecture in New York

If you happen to be in New York City this week, you may want to join us for BIOFABRICATE, the world’s first summit dedicated to biofabrication for future industrial and consumer products.

The summit features visionary lectures from prominent thinkers and practitioners, including MOMA curator Paola Antonelli, Modern Meadow CEO Andras Forgacs, biocouture CEO Suzanne Lee and our own Koert van Mensvoort. Register here.

BIOFABRICATE
December 4th 2014
MICROSOFT Technology Centre
11 Times Square, between 41st & 42nd Streets on 8th Ave.
New York City

natures-technician
Anthropocene

Reinventing Nature with Synthetic Biology

Bioengineer Drew Endy shares his idea of biology as a precision manufacturer that could potentially transform civilization as we know it.

“There is this natural technology out there in the wild that is so capable of manufacturing stuff that it coats the surface of the Earth. It takes atoms from the atmosphere and light from the environment and self-assembles huge structures with atomic precision.”

According to Endy the only option we have is to embrace a synthetic biological future, to change the way we live, manufacture and consume. “We are destroying environments, we are critically ripping away biodiversity; it’s a disaster” he states. “We actually have a chance of reinventing civilization”.

Read more on Discover Magazione
Related post: The Prefuture of Synthetic Biology

Monkey
Designed-by-Evolution

Animals Love Technology

While evidence indicates that humans have been domesticated by technology, we’re not the only primates captivated by modernity. A Japanese macaque stole a tourist’s iPhone and fiddled around with it like a human would. Animals appreciate technological innovations as much as we do! Peculiar image of the week by dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten.