Teleportation: Express Lane Space Travel

Leonard David at

In his new book, Teleportation – The Impossible Leap, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., writer David Darling contends that “”One way or another, teleportation is going to play a major role in all our futures. It will be a fundamental process at the heart of quantum computers, which will themselves radically change the world.”

Darling suggests that some form of classical teleportation and replication for inanimate objects also seems inevitable. But whether humans can make the leap, well, that remains to be seen.

Teleporting a person would require a machine that isolates, appraises, and keeps track of over a trillion trillion atoms that constitute the human body, then sends that data to another locale for reassembly—and hopefully without mussing up your physical and mental makeup.

“One thing is certain: if that impossible leap turns out to be merely difficult—a question of simply overcoming technical challenges—it will someday be accomplished,” Darling predicts.

In this regard, Darling writes that the quantum computer “is the joker in the deck, the factor that changes the rules of what is and isn’t possible.”

More here.

Do leading conservative pundits and thinkers believe in evolution?

Ben Adler in The New Republic:

Pressure to temper the teaching of evolution in public schools has come overwhelmingly from conservatives; the Kansas board’s re-examination of its evolution standards resulted from Republican gains last November that put an anti-evolution conservative majority on the board. So we were curious: How do leading conservative thinkers and pundits feel about evolution and intelligent design? We asked them. Here’s what they said.

William Kristol, The Weekly Standard

Whether he personally believes in evolution: “I don’t discuss personal opinions. … I’m familiar with what’s obviously true about it as well as what’s problematic. … I’m not a scientist. … It’s like me asking you whether you believe in the Big Bang.”

How evolution should be taught in public schools: “I managed to have my children go through the Fairfax, Virginia schools without ever looking at one of their science textbooks.”

More here.

Pynchon Just for the Hell of It

Bookforum throws 19 or so authors into a discussion of Pynchon and his legacy for no particular reason at all. It’s nice, and not entirely un-Pynchonesque, when magazines do things like that.

From Gerald Howard:

In 1973, Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow landed on my brain and exploded there like,Thomas_pynchon_01 well, a V-2 rocket. It was precisely the book I needed at the time, which tells you something about my mental and spiritual condition. Hey, it was the ’70s. The country was low in the water and so was I. Tar-black humor, crushing difficulty, rampant paranoia, accelerating entropy, jaw-dropping perversity, apocalyptic terror, history as a conspiracy of the conjoined forces of technology, death, and sinister Control—it was all good. I preferred having my spirit crushed by a great American novel to the everyday humiliations of my first year of postcollegiate life and the cultural and political demoralizations of the era.

More Land Art

The revival of interest in Land Art, and the new projects that seem to have emerged from that tradition as it first manifested itself in the early 70s, is pretty interesting. Artforum’s summer issue devotes a fair amount of space to the greater Land art phenomenon.

Land art and subsequent site-specific work therefore share a deep structure. Belonging to a period of unprecedented media expansion (the television era), both sets of practices center on the mutual delimitation of virtuality and presence. In Land art presence is associated with remote territories, while virtuality inheres in mechanically reproduced documentation. In site-specific art, it is the artist as diagnostician or itinerant consultant who signifies presence in materializing a hitherto-virtual discursive site, as when Christian Philipp Müller actualizes an unmarked international border by crossing it on foot (Green Border, 1993) or Andrea Fraser ventriloquizes the entire dramatis personae of the art world while undressing (Official Welcome, 2001). In one set of practices it is the land, and in the other, the body, that serves as the material limit of representation.

The Driving Doctor: Diminishing returns

From Science Daily:

Sometime, when you are out on the road and looking for something to occupy you, try this little experiment: If traffic is heavy, pick out another vehicle. It can be anything, from a cute little Mini Cooper to a humongous Hummer, just as long as its driver is doing one thing: trying to get ahead of everyone else. After you have selected your subject, over the course of, say, the next 20 minutes, keep track of where that vehicle is in relation to your own. If the traffic is really solid, or if you are proceeding along a strip dotted by traffic lights, chances are that other vehicle will not move substantially ahead, and whatever energy that driver has been expending will be for naught.

Somewhere along the line, in the American driving culture, pushing to get ahead became the norm.

More here.

Ovulating women favour dominant men’s smell

From Nature:

Man Sniff test suggests when, and with whom, women are most likely to cheat. Women are most likely to cheat on their long-term partner when they are at their most fertile, and they tend to choose genetically superior men for their fling. That’s the claim of a study by Czech researchers, which found that the smell of a socially dominant male is most exciting to women in stable relationships, especially on days when they are ovulating.

More here. 

Gps monopoly in london

Hasbro’s Monopoly live takes place in london, where players can buy hotels and apartments and collect virtual rent, while prices are determined by real life traffic data, taken from 18 GPS equipped cabs that roam around london. Every million a player makes gets them one entry to a draw, that will get them a year’s worth of rent or mortgage:

Header_large “Gamer Matthew Knight, a British website developer, has been playing Monopoly Live since it launched last month, and hopes his knowledge of the city’s true traffic patterns can provide an edge over other players. For example, the world’s largest tennis tournament has compelled him to invest heavily in Wimbledon and surrounding properties last week.

“That someone had the idea to tag up London taxis with GPS and use them as pawns in a giant interactive board game: Geek++,” Knight said. “

More here

3X Abstraction


Reviewed by Doug Harvey at the LA Weekly.

In 1942, the financial adviser to the royal family of Lichtenstein asked the artist Emma Kunz if she would attempt to “repolarize” Adolf Hitler from a distance. Citing excessive negative energies, she at first declined. When she later relented, the 63-centimeter metal spring Kunz used as a “transmitter” flew up and began to slash at her body, before wresting itself from her grip and flying across the room. As is often the case, art had failed to make an impact on worldly events.

The strange case of Masud Raza Khan

This is from a few years ago, but worth posting again (I had posted it to the Aula POV back then) not only because this character is so bizarre, but because it illustrates the rot at the heart of psychoanalysis. (A conversation with Robin Varghese reminded me of Masud Raza Khan yesterday.)

Robert S. Boynton wrote in the Boston Review:

MasudIn February 2001 the psychoanalytic world was shaken by a London Review of Books article by Wynne Godley, visiting scholar at Bard College’s Levi Economics Institute, professor emeritus of applied economics at Cambridge University, and onetime member of H.M. Treasury Panel of Independent Forecasters (the so-called Six Wise Men). “Saving Masud Khan” tells the story of Godley’s lengthy psychoanalysis with Mohammed Masud Raza Khan, the charismatic Anglo-Pakistani who—it was recently revealed—slept with and abused many of his patients. In Godley’s telling, he was essentially tortured by Khan from beginning to end. It was a “long and fruitless battle culminating in a spiral of degradation.”

“Within minutes of our first meeting, the therapeutic relationship had been totally subverted,” he writes. In later sessions Khan violated every conceivable boundary between analyst and patient…

…The article was devastating because Khan had been one of psychoanalysis’s best and brightest—a senior training analyst, a director of the Sigmund Freud Copyrights, an Anna Freud protégé, and longtime collaborator with the most famous child analyst of the twentieth century, D. W. Winnicott (Khan edited and, some speculate, may have coauthored much of his mentor’s voluminous output of books and papers). With his impeccable pedigree he was the link between the legendary first generation and some of today’s most important analysts. Indeed, Anna Freud insisted that Khan understood her father’s work better than anyone (other than herself, of course), and she defended him whenever he aroused the Society’s ire…

…Khan’s manners were no better when he kept his appointments. The director Mike Nichols, a close friend in the 1960s, remembers a dinner party at which Khan spied a man flirting with a woman at the end of the table. “You are wasting your time, sir! You are barking up the wrong tree!” bellows Nichols, imitating Khan’s clipped Pakistani accent. “Can’t you see that she is a lesbian!” On another occasion, Nichols says, Khan sent a chocolate cake to an obese man at another table at the restaurant, calling across to him as it was delivered, “So that you might die sooner!” Some suspected Khan’s mischief was designed to show off his Svengali-like powers of persuasion. Once, while drinking champagne with the French analyst Andre Green, Khan deliberately nudged the bottle off the table, sending it crashing to the floor. He then turned to the man at the adjacent table and demanded an apology, creating such a scene that the innocent diner eventually bought them a new bottle.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Khan’s behavior was that it usually went unchallenged. One reason, suggests Kermode, was Khan’s intelligence. He recalls a standing-room-only lecture by Lacan at London’s Institute Français in the mid-1960s, when the French analyst was at the height of his fame. “It was boring and went on for three hours. Finally, Masud strode up to the stage and interrupted him saying, ‘No, you’re explaining this incorrectly.’” Khan then proceeded to offer his own version of Lacanian theory while Lacan beamed with admiration. “He was obviously quite fond of Masud,” Kermode tells me.

Much more here.

Why even great novels can have disappointing endings

James Wood in The Guardian:

What is the “natural” ending of a work of art? How to close something whose premise, whose founding conceit, is that, like life, it doesn’t end? The Russian formalist critic Viktor Schlovsky praised Chekhov for his “negative endings”, by which he meant, in part, the way his stories frustrate our sense of tidy form by refusing to end: “And then it began to rain.”

More here.

Does God Have Back Problems Too?

David P. Barash in the Los Angeles Times:

Current believers in creationism, masquerading in its barely disguised incarnation, “intelligent design,” argue similarly, claiming that only a designer could generate such complex, perfect wonders.

But, in fact, the living world is shot through with imperfection. Unless one wants to attribute either incompetence or sheer malevolence to such a designer, this imperfection — the manifold design flaws of life — points incontrovertibly to a natural, rather than a divine, process, one in which living things were not created de novo, but evolved. Consider the human body. Ask yourself, if you were designing the optimum exit for a fetus, would you engineer a route that passes through the narrow confines of the pelvic bones? Add to this the tragic reality that childbirth is not only painful in our species but downright dangerous and sometimes lethal, owing to a baby’s head being too large for the mother’s birth canal.

More here.

Man charged with stealing Wi-Fi signal

From CNN:

Police have arrested a man for using someone else’s wireless Internet network in one of the first criminal cases involving this fairly common practice.

Benjamin Smith III, 41, faces a pretrial hearing this month following his April arrest on charges of unauthorized access to a computer network, a third-degree felony.

Police say Smith admitted using the Wi-Fi signal from the home of Richard Dinon, who had noticed Smith sitting in an SUV outside Dinon’s house using a laptop computer.

More here.

Remembering the Unimaginable

A Metopolis article about a symposium that examines how architects understand memorials. The symposium was called “Remembering the Unimaginable: Berlin and New York”  and the participants were involved in planning and buildings the memorial for the murdered jews of Europe in Berlin, and the memorial to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack in NY

Reflectabmodel1 “He differentiated the two memorials by noting Eisenman’s is purely commemorative, while Arad’s is commemorative and regenerative. Eisenman’s task, Young explained, was not to respond to the arguably ineffable Holocaust, but rather articulate its horror. By identifying with that horror, the monument could memorialize its victims.

In contrast, Arad’s job, slightly easier in the realm of architectural representation, was to mark a very specific loss and suggest a type of renewal. While the young architect’s design approached the former issue well, said Young, the regenerative aspects were largely the responsibility of the memorial’s co-designer, landscape architect Peter Walker.”

Comet’s huge plume hides crater

From BBC News:Comet

Nasa’s Deep Impact spacecraft may have missed its chance to see the crater made in Comet Tempel 1 because of the large plume of material kicked out. Seeing the crater was a key objective of the mission – scientists hoped the impact depression would tell them more about the structure of the comet. But the team can use indirect methods to estimate the crater’s dimensions. A 370kg “impactor” released into Tempel 1’s path by the flyby spacecraft crashed into the comet on Monday.

More here.

Artists and scientists conspire at conference

Philip Ball in Nature:

“We must do this more often” was the constant refrain at a gathering of scientists, artists, film makers, designers, writers, editors and art historians at a meeting in Los Angeles. They were there to explore the use of images in science, for both understanding data and communicating it to others.

Image and Meaning 2, held from 23 to 25 June at the Getty art museum, was the successor to the first conference of this sort, staged in 2001 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.

The conference series is the brainchild of Felice Frankel, a science photographer working at MIT. Frankel helps scientists present their work using imagery that is both informative and striking. Her photographs have graced many covers of Nature and Science.

Frankel convened the meeting because, she says, “we have a serious problem. There is an assumption that in science our graphics communicate. But they often don’t.” Frankel argues that many scientists don’t see imagery as an integral part of the scientific process. This, she says, is doing the community a disservice.

More here.

Can Mukhtar Mai Obtain Justice?

Leena Khan in Ego Magazine:

Mukhtarmai_main2Women’s legal and social status in Pakistan have had a turbulent history. From honor killings to acid throwing to gang rapes, women in Pakistan have had to pay with their lives and bodies for alleged crimes violating their family or tribe’s so-called honor. To make matters worse, successive governments in Pakistan have consistently turned a blind eye to harrowing atrocities committed upon women.

Some of the most disastrous consequences for women’s rights began to unfold during the aftermath of the military dictatorship of General Zia ul-Haq. In 1977, General Zia led a military coup and overthrew the elected government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The years which followed witnessed a series of laws known as the Hudood Ordinances that gave legal sanction to women’s subordinate status. With the Hudood Ordinances, General Zia led a large-scale effort to Islamicize the country, promising to return Pakistan to the “moral purity of early Islam.” The appropriation of conservative Islamic laws and policies meant increased social control of women. The Hudood Ordinances introduced a number of discriminatory laws, and most significantly equated laws pertaining to rape and adultery. The law provided that in order for a woman to prove she was raped, she would have to produce four males of impeccable character who witnessed the act of penetration. The testimony of women and non-Muslims would be considered worthless. If she could not produce the requirement of four male witnesses, she would be guilty of having committed zina, or adultery, an act punishable by stoning.

More here.  [Thanks to Amera Raza.]

Iran election comments

John Ballard at HootsBuddy’s Place:

Last week’s election in Iran has put into prominence one Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (also transliterated Ahmadi Nezhad) with a large margin defeating ex-president Hashemi Rafsanjani. Already the eyes of American readers are glazing over and looking around the room. Time to change the subject. Too much to take in.

I apologize, reader. This is one of those tedious posts about yet another obscure subject that you may not care to know about. Not care, that is, until the penny drops and you realize that as we slept smart people in high places were spinning the news, reporting only what we needed to hear, and planning how best to fit Iran into a plan for that part of the world as counterproductive as our current adventures in Iraq.

More here.

Writing for Bollywood

Timeri N Murari in Nth Position:

The disadvantage of living away from India too long was that I’d not kept an eye on Indian television serials nor heard of Mr Sanjay Khan. So when his office called and announced that Mr Khan wished to speak to me, I was uncertain who he was. He came on the line, a friendly, forceful voice telling me he’d read my novel Taj – a story of mughal India, loved it and wanted to discuss a television serial. Could I come up to Bombay to meet him? As Taj had been published in the UK back in 1985, was a best seller and translated into 10 languages his call was a surprise. (Since then Penguin India reissued the novel in 2004 and it became a best seller again). Of course, I checked out who he was – the producer/actor of the Tippu tele serial, the fire that broke out in the Mysore studios and his near-death experience. In other words, he had a track record though I’d never seen his work. But friends spoke highly of his serials, all made for Doordhasan (DD), the government controlled television channel many years ago when DD was the only television channel on the subcontinent, and you had no alternative.

A Mercedes met me at Bombay airport and whisked me to his Juhu office, Silver Beach…

More here.

A connection between “TheFacebook ” and the CIA?

Josh Smith of The Color of Infinity says to me in an email:

I’m not sure how much something like this would interest you guys at 3quarks, but here it is anyway. It’s a sort of unintended expose that was a result of stumbling over some interesting things about, its venture capital, shady privacy policy, and its connections with DoD’s Total Information Awareness program. You can read it all here at my blog if you want. I know that everyone that I’m friends with is extremely concerned about this, and we all feel kind of like fish out of water in figuring out what to do with it. Hopefully you can give us a hand in figuring where to go from here.

On his own blog, Josh writes:, created in February of 2004 by 21 year old Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, is a student social network now active at more than 800 campuses, with more than 2.8 million registered users. [1] Among its features, TheFacebook allows a user to upload a picture of themselves and can include information about their favorite music, books, movies, their address, phone number, e-mail, clubs, jobs, educational history, and even political affiliations. Facebook is extremely popular, attracting on average 80 percent of a school’s undergraduate population. However, there are some questions raised regarding privacy concerns on the site, and when some digging is done to find out who is really behind the site’s management, there are more questions than answers.

The first venture capital money to come into TheFacebook, $500,000 worth, came from venture capitalist Peter Thiel, founder and former CEO of Paypal. [1] A Stanford graduate and former columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Thiel is author of the book “The Diversity Myth,” [2] which received praises from notable neo-conservatives such as William Kristol. [3] In fact, Thiel is on the board of the radical conservative group VanguardPAC. [4]

Further funding came in the form of $12.7 million from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Accel’s manager James Breyer was former chair of the National Venture Capital Association (NVAC). [1] Breyer served on NVAC’s board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, [5] a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. [6] This firm works in various aspects of information technology and intelligence, including most notably “nurturing data mining technologies.”

More here.  If you have more info, please leave a comment.