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Interesting article on the historical debate between Aristotle and Lucretius on spherical Earth vs flat Earth. Even in ancient times, the flat Earthers weren't taken seriously.


Admittedly, Lucretius never explicitly states that ‘the Earth is flat’. You need to understand the context of his ideas to realise that he believes it. Since the foundation of Epicurean natural philosophy is that everything is made up of tiny particles falling within a limitless void, that means there is no beginning or end to space or time, nor anything beyond the material world. Towards the end of book one of On the Nature of Things, we find Lucretius defending his contention that the Universe is infinite. He presents the splendid argument that, if it had a boundary, then all the falling atoms would collect at the bottom. From this, it is clear that Lucretius respected the intuitive idea that there are absolute directions of up and down. By itself, this makes a globular Earth unfeasible because, unless perched right on the top, we’d slip off the sides.

Lucretius then explains that it’s an error to think that the Earth is at the centre of the Universe because, as the Universe is infinite, it can’t have a centre. He’s arguing against ideas found in Aristotle’s lectures On the Heavens, which contain the earliest detailed arguments for a spherical Earth. Writing in the mid-300s BCE, Aristotle said that the Earth sits at the centre of the Universe, to where all heavy matter naturally travels. So, for Aristotle, falling downwards means moving towards the centre of the Earth, while for Lucretius is means drifting in an arbitrary linear direction. It’s immediately clear why Aristotle thinks that the Earth is round, since heavy objects fall towards it in all directions. In contrast, Lucretius ridicules the idea that anything could be on the other side of the world because it would fall off into the vastness of space. He didn’t just reject a spherical Earth, he thought it was daft.

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Samsung Debuts Vertical TVs With Sero


Samsung has unveiled a 43-inch QLED TV titled ‘The Sero’ which can be flipped around 90 degrees.

The ability was designed specifically to allow users to watch Instagram, Snapchat and other smartphone videos in their native vertical configurations along with mirroring content from you phone paired over NFC.

In horizontal mode, it works as a regular TV with 4.1 channel, 60 watt sound, Bixby control and more. Samsung says the aim is to “diversify its lineup” and in this case appealing directly to the “mobile-loving millennials” market.

Samsung hasn’t said if The Sero would come to the US, but it’ll be available in Korea at the end of May for around USD $1,630.




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In Superintelligence, a state-of-the-art book on the dangers of machine intelligence, Nick Bostrom reminds us that horses “became obsolete” roughly one hundred years ago. Horses are, of course, not obsolete in natural or metaphysical terms. But what Bostrom means – and he is right in this – is that (literal) horsepower has no structural value in fossil-fuel economies.

Between 1920 and 1950, horses lost a status they had held in human societies since prehistoric times. Virtually overnight, they went from being a system-powering necessity to a class-signaling luxury. Cars displaced horses, which is to say, machines displaced living beings.

From Leningrad to Los Angeles, the shift was signaled by a catastrophic fall in horse populations. “In the United States,” Bostrom reports, “there were about 26 million horses in 1915. By the early 1950s, 2 million remained.”

The fate of horses in the twentieth century, warns Bostrom, might well prefigure the fate of humans in the twenty-first. It is entirely conceivable, he argues in Superintelligence, that “biological humans” (as he calls us) might soon be “outclassed” by machine intelligences, as horses were outpaced by cars.

Bostrom seems not to know it, but this is the exact intuition that inspired The Glass Bees, a 1957 novel by one of Germany’s most formidable right-wing intellectuals, Ernst Jünger. Throughout this futurist tour de force, Jünger’s narrator – a disgraced cavalry officer, and, by the novel’s end, a tech consultant – broods over the disappearance of horses.

For Jünger, the disappearance of horses in late-industrial society is emblematic of a new era (we could call it the “Machinocene”) when machine systems outmaneuver and displace natural beings. Jünger reasons that this machine-driven march of obsolescence will not halt at the horses. It will inevitably reach us.

If we can trust Jünger’s intuition, then the much-hyped Anthropocene is a misnomer. It cannot be right to use the Greek word for humankind (anthropos) to name an age in which machines seem poised to threaten humans “in the way of whales and horses” (as Jünger puts it).

The Glass Bees is a vivid conjuration of a near-future , a vaguely steam-punk Machinocene, in which Jünger anticipates several of Bostrom’s worries with uncanny precision. Take the insectoids that give Jünger’s novel its title, a swarm of “glass bees” that move (but do not live) in a garden behind the manor house (once a monastery) owned by a tech-industrialist named Giacomo Zapparoni.

Jünger’s narrator realizes that a single glass bee could extract more nectar in one day than a swarm of real bees could in one year. This is the “tangible utility” of glass bees. But their menace lies in their utility. For he then notices that Zapparoni’s bees, unlike those of natural hives, “ruthlessly sucked out the flowers and ravished them.”

For Jünger, the glass bees represent what Bostrom calls the optimization power of machines. Glass bees disrupt life in a garden precisely because they optimize bees’ nectar-sucking function. Wherever Zapparoni’s robots hive, “a failure of crops, and ultimately a desert,” Jünger predicts, are sure to follow.

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Just seen this on "Egyptian Unexplained Files" - Science Channel.

3,000-Year-Old Wooden Toe Prosthetic Discovered on Egyptian Mummy



Had volunteers to try it with the Egyptians scandals of the time period, were able to walk normally. Again we under estimate the ability of our ancestors.


Ancient Egyptians Used Prosthetic Toes That Are Comfortable to Wear Even Today




Nutjob Erich von Däniken will say aliens gave the tech to them. :wacko:

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