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NOTE: the "news" from June 4th is being posted on the page for June 11th. For you in the audience who are interested in the Space News of the previous broadcast, scroll down. This webpage ain't finished yet, and new content will be added through June 11th.
** FOODie - "Wormwood Conspiracy"
** Lee Howard's Musical Universe - "Arrival to Orgasma"
** Talib Kweli - "The Actual"
** Trevor Lyon - "Run Babylon"
** Trevor Lyon, Mendo Dope - "Gateway Love"
* "The Psychedelic Transhumanists" (2009-09-29, hplusmagazine.com) [archive.is/n3EqA] [begin excerpt]: Transhumanism in a fortune cookie: the familiar human world is just one point along a continuum of evolution, and we have an unprecedented capacity to participate in that process. And yet, the future being as slippery as it is, there are as many visions for how this might occur as there are visionaries to guess at it. Computer scientists tend to have one transhumanism; genetic engineers, another. However, coherent themes emerge for those who have taken it upon themselves to make a sweeping survey of human inquiry, integrating a keen reading of the vectors of our technology with postmodern insight into the nature of mind.
Some of these thinkers have been catalyzed by the psychedelic experience — in a way, the most informative window into a world beyond the human that we have yet discovered. They understand the message of psychedelics and the message of technology to converge on the horizon of a deeper reading of reality that recognizes mind and matter as dimensions of the same truth — a truth for which language has ill-prepared us.
Among the ranks of these “psychedelic transhumanists” are legendary rebels like Timothy Leary, wise fools like Terence McKenna, cultural commentators like Erik Davis and Mark Pesce and avantpsychopharmacologists like David Pearce. Hailing from disparate knowledge domains, they all share a hyperliterate intelligence that is, in its own way, rigorous. Their arguments are not necessarily subject to the conventional scientific method, but they are not so easily refuted.
Their common vision shares much with the rest of the transhuman community, including an embrace of technology and science as both potent and inevitable; an evolutionary model of the universe and humanity; a sense of the human organism as something that can be tinkered with and expanded; a recognition of drugs as a technology that can dramatically reinvent identity, and a playful challenging of fixed boundaries. In many ways they demonstrate the seed of transhumanism in this moment by exemplifying self-revision and the reevaluation of assumptions as an open ended and ongoing process. And along the way, they tatter the mechanistic control fantasies we have held onto in spite of our most sophisticated inquiries.
* "Transcendence: R.U. Sirius and Jay Cornell Talk Singularity, Psychedelics and Technoculture" (2015-03-23, realitysandwich.com) [archive.is/nQxzy] [begin excerpt]: Did you know that there’s such a thing as psychedelic transhumanism? Or that Timothy Leary’s SMI2LE (Space Migration, Increased Intelligence, Life Extension) is likely the second “explicitly, broadly transhumanist message to go into circulation?” Well, as you venture deeper into the terrain of transhumanism, this jumbled Rorschach of psychedelia, D.I.Y. culture, personal computers, Silicon Valley and A.I. actually starts to make sense. [end excerpt]
* "One Step Closer to a Single-Molecule Device" (2015-06-03, engineering.columbia.edu) [archive.is/Jvt2e] [begin excerpt]: Under the direction of Latha Venkataraman, associate professor of applied physics at Columbia Engineering, researchers have designed a new technique to create a single-molecule diode, and, in doing so, they have developed molecular diodes that perform 50 times better than all prior designs. Venkataraman’s group is the first to develop a single-molecule diode that may have real-world technological applications for nanoscale devices. Their paper, “Single-Molecule Diodes with High On-Off Ratios through Environmental Control,” was published May 25 in Nature Nanotechnology. [end excerpt]
* "DNA Double Helix Does Double Duty in Assembling Arrays of Nanoparticles; Synthetic pieces of biological molecule form framework and glue for making nanoparticle clusters and arrays" (2015-05-25, bnl.gov) [archive.is/eS3J3] [begin excerpt]: In a new twist on the use of DNA in nanoscale construction, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators put synthetic strands of the biological material to work in two ways: They used ropelike configurations of the DNA double helix to form a rigid geometrical framework, and added dangling pieces of single-stranded DNA to glue nanoparticles in place.
The method, described in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, produced predictable clusters and arrays of nanoparticles—an important step toward the design of materials with tailored structures and functions for applications in energy, optics, and medicine. [end excerpt]
[image caption] Scientists built octahedrons using ropelike structures made of bundles of DNA double-helix molecules to form the frames (a). Single strands of DNA attached at the vertices (numbered in red) can be used to attach nanoparticles coated with complementary strands. This approach can yield a variety of structures, including ones with the same type of particle at each vertex (b), arrangements with particles placed only on certain vertices (c), and structures with different particles placed strategically on different vertices (d).
* "Electric thruster propels China's interstellar ambitions" (2015-06-08, news.xinhuanet.com) [archive.is/9QAXa] [begin excerpt]:
An electric thruster, creating a thrust as gentle as a breath blowing out a candle, could send a spacecraft to Mars, so long as it keeps "blowing" and accelerating the craft over time. Electric propulsion is regarded as one of the top cutting-edge space technologies as it could make humans go into deep space at a lower cost than other forms of propulsion. The few countries mastering the technology have kept it confidential. Relying on its own efforts, China has developed the state-of-the-art technology, following the United States, Russia, Europe and Japan, and hopes to enter the international electric propulsion communication satellite market.China plans to send its first full electric propulsion satellite into orbit around 2020, providing broadband communication data transmission to China and neighboring regions, according to Wang Min, deputy chief designer of the communication satellite, at the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). China also plans to launch a hybrid propulsion communication satellite at the end of 2016. The electric propulsion system would be used in China's space station in the future, Wang says.
Electric propulsion systems are mainly of the ion thruster or Hall thruster types. They are essentially similar, using electricity to ionize the propellant, usually xenon, and accelerating the ions to produce thrust. The biggest advantage of electric propulsion is that it uses a tenth of the amount of propellant required by traditional chemical propulsion systems. A typical 5-tonne chemical propulsion communication satellite contains three tonnes of fuel. With an electric propulsion system, it would only need 300 kg of propellant, Wang says. [end excerpt]
* "Mystery methane on mars: the saga continues; A scientist has raised questions about the latest detection of methane on Mars, suggesting that NASA’s rover could be responsible for the mysterious burp. Highly unlikely, but not impossible, says the Curiosity team" (2015-05-14, astrobio.net) [archive.is/c1Tdg]
* "NASA Lets You Experience "Pluto Time" with New Custom Tool" (2015-06-05, solarsystem.nasa.gov) [archive.is/CBUoB] [begin excerpt]:
Just how dim is the sunlight on Pluto, some three billion miles away? While sunlight is much weaker than it is here on Earth, it isn't as dark as you might expect. In fact, for just a moment during dawn and dusk each day, the illumination on Earth matches that of high noon on Pluto.We call this "Pluto Time". If you go outside at this time on a clear day, the world around you will be as dim as the surface of Pluto.
It's always Pluto Time somewhere, and NASA wants to see your view, using a new interactive widget that provides the approximate time, based on your location. The tool also allows you to set reminders for upcoming Pluto Times.
Go out and see what Pluto Time looks like! Take a photo during your Pluto Time - preferably with a local landmark - and share it on social media with #PlutoTime. We'll highlight some of the most interesting shots from around the world and combine your photos into a mosaic image of Pluto and its moons to be unveiled in August.
Once you've experienced Pluto Time - yourself or with friends and family - join NASA in counting down the days to New Horizons' historic flyby of Pluto and its moons.
Following a more than nine-year journey, New Horizons will pass approximately 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) above Pluto's surface, reaching its closest approach at 7:49 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 14.
The New Horizons mission is the first in NASA's New Frontiers program and the first mission to the Kuiper Belt, a gigantic zone of icy bodies and small planets orbiting beyond Neptune. The lightweight New Horizons spacecraft will zip through the Pluto system at more than 30,000 mph (about 50,000 km/h) with the most powerful suite of science instruments ever sent on a first reconnaissance mission.
For more information, sample photos, and to experience Pluto Time for yourself, go to:
* "NASA's Hubble Finds Pluto's Moons Tumbling in Absolute Chaos" (2015-06-03, solarsystem.nasa.gov) [archive.is/jnmk3], image [archive.is/vT22J]
* "How spacetime is built by quantum entanglement: New insight into unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics" (2015-05-27, ipmu.jp) [archive.is/BDtOC]
A collaboration of physicists and a mathematician has made a significant step toward unifying general relativity and quantum mechanics by explaining how spacetime emerges from quantum entanglement in a more fundamental theory. The paper announcing the discovery by Hirosi Ooguri, a Principal Investigator at the University of Tokyo’s Kavli IPMU, with Caltech mathematician Matilde Marcolli and graduate students Jennifer Lin and Bogdan Stoica, will be published in Physical Review Letters as an Editors’ Suggestion “for the potential interest in the results presented and on the success of the paper in communicating its message, in particular to readers from other fields.”
Physicists and mathematicians have long sought a Theory of Everything (ToE) that unifies general relativity and quantum mechanics. General relativity explains gravity and large-scale phenomena such as the dynamics of stars and galaxies in the universe, while quantum mechanics explains microscopic phenomena from the subatomic to molecular scales.
The holographic principle is widely regarded as an essential feature of a successful Theory of Everything. The holographic principle states that gravity in a three-dimensional volume can be described by quantum mechanics on a two-dimensional surface surrounding the volume. In particular, the three dimensions of the volume should emerge from the two dimensions of the surface. However, understanding the precise mechanics for the emergence of the volume from the surface has been elusive.
(Image:) Holographic Mapping Discovered by Ooguri and Collaborators: The mathematical formula derived by Ooguri and his collaborators relates local data in the extra dimensions of the gravitational theory, depicted by the red point, are expressed in terms of quantum entanglements, depicted by the blue domes. (credit: Jennifer Lin et al.)
Now, Ooguri and his collaborators have found that quantum entanglement is the key to solving this question. Using a quantum theory (that does not include gravity), they showed how to compute energy density, which is a source of gravitational interactions in three dimensions, using quantum entanglement data on the surface. This is analogous to diagnosing conditions inside of your body by looking at X-ray images on two-dimensional sheets. This allowed them to interpret universal properties of quantum entanglement as conditions on the energy density that should be satisfied by any consistent quantum theory of gravity, without actually explicitly including gravity in the theory. The importance of quantum entanglement has been suggested before, but its precise role in emergence of spacetime was not clear until the new paper by Ooguri and collaborators.
Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon whereby quantum states such as spin or polarization of particles at different locations cannot be described independently. Measuring (and hence acting on) one particle must also act on the other, something that Einstein called “spooky action at distance.” The work of Ooguri and collaborators shows that this quantum entanglement generates the extra dimensions of the gravitational theory.
Comment from paper author Hirosi Ooguri:
"It was known that quantum entanglement is related to deep issues in the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics, such as the black hole information paradox and the firewall paradox. Our paper sheds new light on the relation between quantum entanglement and the microscopic structure of spacetime by explicit calculations. The interface between quantum gravity and information science is becoming increasingly important for both fields. I myself am collaborating with information scientists to pursue this line of research further." All figures are found at [web.ipmu.jp/press/20150527-PRJentanglement]