law and technology



By a series of discoveries and inventions just perfected, Nikola Tesla, the electrical scientist, has upset what has hitherto been regarded as one of the fixed laws of nature. “Every effect diminishes with distance,” is the way the textbooks have expressed it. Tesla now says that instead of decreasing like other forces, electricity may be made to increase in intensity with the distance traveled.

The full significance of this discovery may not be at once apparent. It is obvious, however, that it annihilates space. There can be no limit to the power of the electric wave which increases in intensity the further it travels.

For nearly 20 years Tesla has been working on his plan, he calls it his wireless “World System.” If it is put into successful execution it will convert the earth into a gigantic conduit, which will pass power for all earthly activities, and make possible communication with other planets.

From time to time Tesla has made partial announcements as his work progressed. This, however, is the first comprehensive account of his system as a whole that the inventor has consented to give to the world.

“Through ages past man has anyways attempted to project in some way or other energy into space. In all his attempts, no matter what agent he employed, he was hampered by the inexorable law of nature which says every effect diminishes with distance, generally as the square of the same, sometimes more rapidly.

“I saw at once that space was annihilated in all the three aspects; in the transport of our bodies and materials and in the earth, transmission of the energies necessary for our existence. You can imagine how profoundly I was affected by this revelation. Technically, it meant that the earth, as a whole, had certain periods of vibrations, and that by by impressing electrical vibrations of the same periods upon it, it could be thrown into oscillations of such nature that innumerable benefits could be derived.

“It is difficult to convey an idea of these inventions without resorting to technical terms. The first and best known of these is my transformer, which enables the production of electrical vibrations of transcending intensities. I have already attained activities of many millions of horse power; but this is nothing compared to those which I am expecting to get with my improved apparatus.

“The second is what I have termed my magnifying transmitter, which I look upon as my best electrical invention, and with which any distance can be bridged. I have already passed of this wonderful instrument and am confident that a message can be flashed to such a distance as the planet Mars.

“Some technical men would be disposed to look upon such statements as those of a dreamer, but it is only because they have not had opportunities to see experiments which I have actually performed. The third invention I have designated as the “Art of individualization,” which enables the transmission of an unlimited number of messages through a wire or wireless, without the slightest interference. Not before this improvement is universally adopted will the world fully realise the benefits of telegraphy and telephony. The fourth invention is my receiver, which concentrates the energy transmitted over a wide area into the operating device.”

What would the voltage in your transmitter be?

“In the transmission of telegraphic and telephonic messages I shall employ from five to ten million volts, but in transmitting power in great quantities, as much as one hundred million volts will be used.“

How will your “World System” compare with those now in use as regards to cost?

“We could easily afford to offer a transmission of telegraphic and telephonic messages to any terrestrial distance for five cents a word. In a short while no one will think it anything out of the way to dictate or to write a long letter across the Pacific.”

How long does it take for the transmission of a message, by your system, around the world?

“The exact time is, according to my measurements, 43-1000 of a second, which is a speed about 50 per cent greater than that of light.

“The impulse starts from my magnifying transmitter with infinite speed, slows first rapidly and then at a lesser rate until, when it has penetrated to a distance of 6000 miles from the transmitter, it proceeds with approximately the speed of light. From there on it accelerates, first slowly and then more rapidly, and reaches the opposite point of the globe again with infinite speed only to rebound and pass through the same phases on its way back to the transmitter.

“This movement of electricity through the Earth, which takes place strictly in accordance with a mathematical law, and enables a great number of accurate measurements and determinations to be made, which are of immense practical and scientific value.”

Is your universal marine service based upon this principle?

“Largely so. In setting up and maintaining stationary waves in the earth its entire surface is subdivided in perfectly definite zones of electric activity, so that any observer of all those data which are of importance to navigators as the latitude and longitude, the position with reference to a given point, the speed of travel, and the course followed. This method is quite exact and reliable, and once introduced will be instrumental in a great saving of time, life and property.”

When your system of time distribution is introduced what kind of devices will be used for indicating the hour?

“They will be ever so much simpler than the ordinary clocks or watches, being entirely devoid of wheel work. For personal use a small case will be provided resembling that of a watch which would indicate precisely the time and require no more attention than a compass for instance. The large clocks on towers and public edifices in general will be replaced by extremely simple devices operated on the same principle.

“All these will be ‘tuned’ to a wireless wave sent out at a certain time. This will automatically set the hands of every ‘tuned’ time piece.”

In operating stock tickers, will the present instruments have to be replaced by others?

“Not at all, they will remain intact. A great financier told me that this should be one of the most valuable and practical applications of my system, inasmuch as the instantaneous operation of such instruments all the world over will go far toward allaying panics and failures which are at present mostly due to the inadequacy and stagnation of channels of information.”

“A business man will be able to dictate in his office a letter which will appear in type at any other place he wishes without loss of time in the transmission. It will be exactly as though he had his stenographer close by. In the same manner it will be practicable to send a handwritten letter or even a check, and what is more important, it will not be possible to falsify the signature.”

Will the transmission of complex musical productions require complicated apparatuses?

Not at all. The apparatus at any of the master plants, transmitting a great number of musical compositions, will be of necessity complicated, but the subscriber will need only a telephone receiver, and, if he desires exclusiveness, and individualizing device in connection, which, however, will be rarely required. He will be none the less able to listen to the most complex opera played in some remote party of the world. What is more, he can carry the entire outfit with him on his walks and travels, and whenever he desires to listen to the music he can do so.

The wireless system which I have developed does not contemplate competition with established lighting systems in densely populated districts, but it offers an ideal solution for the illumination of isolated places. The light will be furnished by exhausted glass tubes, bent in all sorts of ornamental shapes, and is of surpassing beauty, resembling closely the daylight. The lamps will last forever. The entire apparatus for lighting the average country dwelling will contain no moving part whatever, and could be readily carried about in a small valise. It will be quite immaterial in which region of the earth the house to be lighted is located. Distance will not affect the charge.“

How far from the Earth’s surface can power be transmitted by this wireless system?

“To any distance; in fact, the greater the elevation above the ground that easier it is to supply the power to the vehicle, such as an airship crossing the ocean.”

What do you consider the most important application of your system?

The transmission of power, of course. The operation of aerial machines alone will be of a revolutionizing influence, in as much as it will afford a perfect solution of this important problem. Another great field will be the irrigation and fertilization of the soil by wireless power. The time is not distance when a farmer will have installed on his place an apparatus for continuously manufacturing, from the gases of the atmosphere, nitric compounds which will be used to fertilize, while a motor will pump the water and perform other duties; all the energy being supplied from a plant perhaps thousands of miles away. This system can be extended so as to make productive vast tracts of now barren lands located in various countries. I believe that the export of wireless power will be one of the chief resources of the United States and other fortunately situated countries in times to come.“

By Marcel Roland. New York American, September 3, 1911.


There’s No Such Thing As I Can’t

 If you are reading this you are alive in a day and age that has never been seen before. You are witnessing the dawning of the greatest technological age that the world has ever seen - and you have the audacity to say you can’t?

Twenty years ago there was no Instagram for you to post your latest selfie. Twenty years ago there was no blogging platform for you to reach out to like-minded individuals. Twenty years ago you had very limited choices.

Today, right now, you have the ability to click a few buttons and instantly communicate with people all over the world. This has never been the case until relatively recently - who knows how long it’s going to last?

With this in mind I want to encourage you to think about what is possible. What is it that truly matters to you? What is it that you could talk about for hours on end and never get bored.

Take that topic to the internet and Google it. Read every article, every blog, watch every YouTube video on it. Then think about what you could add to the reservoir of information on your topic - what’s your take on it and how does it differ to what’s already out there?

The way I see it - if people can get paid millions to play video games every day - I can sure as hell can make a living doing something I love. And I won’t stop until I find a way that works - because I’m alive in a day and age that allows me to do so.

If you feel like you weren’t “destined” to do what you truly love - take out your phone and look at it. This is your gateway into creating the life you’ve always wanted to live. 

The only time you can’t do something is when you’re dead.

Peace & positive vibes.

Arrested  While In Virtual Reality In A Public Space

Russian police detained a woman in Moscow wearing VR glasses.  Since June 12 she had been walking around Moscow wearing VR glasses, which showed Moscow’s daily life to patients at psychiatric clinics. Clinic patients determined her actions and itineraries. The activist-artist stood near the Kremlin walls as part of her performance, “Between here and there.”

Police arrested her, saying “This is reality.” Then they took the artist to a psychiatric clinic for a check-up. “In which reality are you? That one, or this one? How can you move about groping your way? You are harming people around you, do you understand?” she was asked during interrogation.

anonymous asked:

I think the higher incarceration rate may be because now we have more ways to track down criminals (cameras fingerprints) not because police are just throwing people into jail.

Noooope. But lets do some math to be sure. All the statistics I will be using are from here, here, and here.

We’ll look at race first. The united states has 693 people in prison per 100,000. However if we quickly glance at the Incarceration in the United States page, we can see the incarceration rate broken down by race. While white people are incarcerated at a rate of  450 per 100,000, Hispanic people are incarcerated at almost double the rate ( 831 per 100,000) and black people at an astoundingly high rate of  2,306 per 100,000. So lets consider a hypothetical prison system that doesn’t  discriminate by race, we assume that the default incarceration rate for everyone is an equal 450 per 100,000. By doing that alone the United States falls from first place to 11th.

We can also look at the breakdown by crime committed. Around 22% of prisoners are in state and federal prison for non-violent drug related crimes. 22% of 450 is 99. So if drug usage was legalized, this further reduces the rate of incarceration to 351. The united states would then be in 24th place.

Even with these reductions, the incarceration rate is more than triple that of other equally developed countries, like France, the Uk, and Germany. Its more than 5 times that of Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark. All of these countries have comparable law enforcement technology to the united states.

These are just some quick estimates that take into account some readily available and easy to work with information. We haven’t even considered things like private prison profit incentives, private prison quotas, and public policy. Quoting from wikipedia, “ Violent crime was not responsible for the quadrupling of the incarcerated population in the United States from 1980 to 2003. Violent crime rates had been relatively constant or declining over those decades. The prison population was increased primarily by public policy changes causing more prison sentences and lengthening time served, e.g. through mandatory minimum sentencing, “three strikes” laws, and reductions in the availability of parole or early release. 49 percent of sentenced state inmates were held for violent offenses. Perhaps the single greatest force behind the growth of the prison population has been the national “War on Drugs.” ”

So no, more technology being available hasn’t resulted in the United State’s insane incarceration rates. Institutional racism, a bullshit “war on drugs”, and vindictive laws that line the pockets of private prisons are. Don’t let ideology fool you, the United States is objectively one of the least free countries.

The most poetic introduction to computer science I’ve seen

Computational processes are abstract beings that inhabit computers. As they evolve, processes manipulate other abstract things called data. The evolution of a process is directed by a pattern of rules called a program. People create programs to direct processes. In effect, we conjure the spirits of the computer with our spells. 

A computational process is indeed much like a sorcerer’s idea of a spirit. It cannot be seen or touched. It is not composed of matter at all. However, it is very real. It can perform intellectual work. It can answer questions. It can affect the world by disbursing money at a bank or by controlling a robot arm in a factory. The programs we use to conjure processes are like a sorcerer’s spells. They are carefully composed from symbolic expressions in arcane and esoteric programming languages that prescribe the tasks we want our processes to perform.

- From Chapter 1 of The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, by Harold Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman with Julie Sussman (MIT Press 1996, 2nd edition).

[Refer to Clarke’s Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.]

Just starting to get the more technological side of my imagination out, the moral and aesthetic counterpart to biomorphic chaos. My mind is swollen with ideas right now, although I am a slow because of exams, I plan to get fully back in line in two weeks.

Hey guys, remember early this summer when all the kids were glued to their flip phones–

and then Candace broke hers and Phineas and Ferb pioneered smartphone tech to build her a replacement–

–and now it’s the beginning of the school year and everybody has one of these suckers?

Progress, people!


Beyond Moore’s Law
Nature Magazine, cover & online feature

I was asked to create an abstract landscape of microchips and circuits for the cover of Nature, and to give it some animated magic for the online component. The article, about Moore’s Law (the principle at technology will decrease in size and increase in efficiency at a steady rate) was very interesting, too. I never thought about how so much information can be packed into microscopic spaces, or how we could ever reach a point when chips don’t get smaller or cheaper. I really enjoyed working on this piece! It’s fun to just focus on the interplay of shapes in space, and animating little sparks is extremely satisfying. 

bleububbletea  asked:

So how does the schooling work in the Star Wars universe? I'm working on a three part fic, and I need this for my characters. Schooling as in elementary, uni, etc. Thank you, Jacen. :)

Not a whole lot is known about the specifics of the schooling systems in Star Wars, so some of this is going to be my inferences. Undoubtedly, schooling will change from planet to planet, and I can think of a few examples off the top of my head of unusual education systems, but I expect you would find the generic answer most useful.

Essentially, schooling on well-populated and advanced planets such as Coruscant, Mandalore and Alderaan follows the same basic structure as in the real world. Whether they use the same classifications (preschool, elementary, junior high/middle school, high school), I don’t know. I doubt it would be considered out of line to call them that. Either way, that kind of basic education generally includes relevant history, sciences, maths, and often arts. Private schools exist and some include subjects like etiquette and hospitality.

As for higher education, it also works much the same way as in the real world, the difference being that with a massive range of cultures, new technologies, and different job opportunities from our world comes many many more options for schooling. Universities as we know them exist, as well as institutions such as schools of law, technology and engineering, humanities, economics, trade, science and agriculture. Generally, these types of specialized schools are found on worlds that are known for that field (e.g., Garqi Agricultural University). Tuitions exist and can get quite expensive for the acclaimed universities, although presumably they don’t quite work the same because I’ve never heard of a character with massive debt from going to school.

In addition, plenty of people go to flight schools, medical schools, military schools, and other schools that are not universities. Going straight for these specialized academy-type schools is pretty common, as is going straight into the workforce (especially on industrially-focused worlds and for people who can’t afford higher education).

That’s more or less everything I could dig up. Like I said, there aren’t a lot of specifics available. I hope this helps!

~ Jacen

contrivedcoincidences6  asked:

In the next write in could you gather a list of people who are open to being betas?

Wonderful idea! 

I’d also love to compile a list of folks who are willing to offer insight or expertise on details we might touch on in fics - medicine, law enforcement, guns, technology, culture, legends, the 90s, etc. 

Feel free to reblog this post if you’re interested in beta reading for a fellow phile, and/or if you have experience or knowledge that might be relevant to writing x-files fic! 

You wouldn’t expect to pay a local tax when you stream a movie on Netflix, but Chicago has decided that such cloud-based services should be taxed just like tickets for live entertainment.

There was no debate or public hearing over the city’s “cloud tax” — a 9 percent tax on streaming entertainment like Netflix and Spotify.

The city says that’s because the tax isn’t new and is actually a clarification — not an expansion of two taxes that have long been in effect. One is called the Personal Property Lease Transaction Tax, and the other is the Amusement Tax, which has traditionally been tacked onto tickets for concerts and sporting events.

But now just about everybody who pays to stream a video or television show will have to pay more.

Chicago’s ‘Cloud Tax’ Raises The Cost Of Streaming Videos

Illustration: Tang Yau Hoong/Getty Images/Ikon Images

poppare  asked:

I'd like to hear your opinion on this: do you think in the future it is more likely for vocaloid to die out and become a thing of the past, or do you think it will become more popular with future generations more willing to be invested in a virtual singer?

Hm…that’s a really really good question! It depends on a LOT of different things:
How popular culture changes and develops, the advancement of technology, Vocaloid’s marketing campaigns, official collaborations, international affairs, the music industry, how Japan changes within the next few decades, how niche culture interacts with mainstream culture, the personal availability of advanced electronics, global economics, intellectual property law, response to technology that interacts with the reality-fiction/organic-digital world, supply and demand, fanbase trends and behavior, etc etc.

I could spend quite a lot of time discussing each one of these things, and produce several differing conclusions, but I think the best answer I can give is…I think it will change and develop in many different ways along with the advancement of technology and its availability to different people internationally, but I don’t predict that Vocaloid will begin to move into the realm of mainstream entertainment media. The “mainstream” is very much closed to radically new out-of-the-box production processes and ideas. It’s also home to huge companies that have enough influence and capital to pretty much…do whatever they want. These industry standards in a way really restrict what’s considered acceptable and don’t leave much room for creativity. Vocaloid is heavily participatory and anti-hierarchical, so I don’t think many Vocaloid users (and developers, even) would see enough potential to have much interest. Additionally, I think a lot of what makes Vocaloid hit so close to home for people is in part because it’s rather unprofessional and has that kind of “homemade” feel that gives people a much more personal look into its content. I think the idea of it becoming mainstream and professional (and thus, naturally, money would become a growing motivating factor in content creation rather than pure passion) makes people realize that doing so would threaten to undermine Vocaloid’s core fundamental idea of individual creative potential, and thus is a step not many are willing to take.

Technology takes some time to move into a place where it’s easily commercially available for individual ownership, in a similar way that computers began as massive room-filling machines full of lights, buttons, and tubes– and now we have compact, sleek laptops at our fingertips. Technological changes are made with every new release of the Vocaloid engine, steadily increasing its vocal capabilities and parameters, but it’s possible that people may not accept this change. We like to think about the day that a Vocaloid’s voice is indistinguishable from that of a living human being, which would be really cool, but there will still be many, many people who will reject it and continue to find more potential in an unrealistic sound. Video games with graphics nearly indistinguishable from real life– does that necessarily make the game better? It’s impressive as all hell, but it doesn’t make it better, per se. There are many, many, many games with very colorful, eye-catching, stylized, unrealistic graphics that people find infinitely more attractive than dirty, gritty “real life” graphics. I think something similar will happen with the Vocaloid synthetic voices. But what will this mean for the development of future Vocaloid software products? I don’t really know (not to mention there have been several unreleased, failed Vocaloid products) but I think perhaps they could branch out and develop some non-voice-synthesis-specific applications. Perhaps something for music video production (similar to MikuMikuDance?). Perhaps something that utilizes Virtual/Augmented Reality technology. Needless to say, I’m not a Vocaloid software designer, but I think we can anticipate the release of new creative tools for creating more Vocaloid content in the future, and with that, even more opportunities for creating.

You can combat corruption and welfare issues in animal agriculture without being vegan. You can buy locally, raise your own eggs, boycott corrupt companies, push for better welfare laws, advocate for better technology, etc. Veganism is not the only way to help animals.


“Beyond Inclusion is a short fictional film that takes place in the near future. The word “disability” has been replaced with “human diversity,” and innovations in technology make it possible for meaningful connections between all people. Even with these advances in laws and technology, it may not be enough. Will our culture change? Will certain groups of people still be “cured” or removed? Or are we strong enough to stand together, to fight for and preserve all kinds of human diversity?”


“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

-Arthur C. Clarke, Science Fiction Writer and Inventor of the Communication Satellite

More Audible Quotes Here