Humans coexisted with three-tonne marsupials and lizards as long as cars in ancient Australia

When people first arrived in what is now Queensland, they would have found the land inhabited by massive animals including goannas six metres long and kangaroos twice as tall as a human. — Read on theconversation.com/humans-coexisted-with-three-tonne-marsupials-and-lizards-as-long-as-cars-in-ancient-australia-138534

Pandemic Recovery Requires Post-Normal Science | Issues in Science and Technology

In world-historical terms we also see periodic collapse and regeneration. A half-millennium of European economic and cultural expansion came to its end with the Great War. Its American extension has been brief, and the twin crises of the Great Recession of 2007–2008 and the coronavirus have now left the US heartland financially debilitated. The initial [...]

Asian century began in May 2020 – Asia Times

Asian economic recovery is consistent with success in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore have Covid-19 death rates a tenth of Germany’s and a hundredth of the rate in the US, UK, France or Spain. Asia’s short-term surge followed its success in disease prevention. But the long-term driver [...]

Inside Deep Undersea Rocks, Life Thrives Without the Sun | Quanta Magazine

... it’s possible that life might have gotten its start on the surface of the Earth, where it found creative ways to survive and spread, including to deeper environments. But it’s also possible that life began underground, at some fortuitous juncture between rock and water — eventually also making its way to the surface and [...]

Fast Science and the Philosophy of Science (guest post by Jacob Stegenga) – Daily Nous

“So much science having so much impact, yet philosophers of science have been relatively quiet…” The following is a guest post* by Jacob Stegenga, reader in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, sharing his and other philosophers’ thoughts on “the role philosophy of science should play during the sort [...]

Will brains or algorithms rule the kingdom of science? | Aeon Essays

A schism is emerging in the scientific enterprise. On the one side is the human mind, the source of every story, theory and explanation that our species holds dear. On the other stand the machines, whose algorithms possess astonishing predictive power but whose inner workings remain radically opaque to human observers. As we humans strive [...]

Quantum Steampunk: 19th-Century Science Meets Technology of Today – Scientific American

The field of thermodynamics—which deals with the physics of heat and efficiency—arose during the Industrial Revolution. Scientists today are working to update these laws to address modern technology, particularly quantum computers, quantum communication and quantum information. This melding of 19th-century science and futuristic technology resembles the combination of Victorian style and sci-fi invention in the [...]

The Man Who Saw the Pandemic Coming – Issue 83: Intelligence – Nautilus

Dennis Carroll doesn’t mean to sound callous when he says the coronavirus outbreak was predictable. And he doesn’t. He sounds sympathetic to people frightened by the outbreak. He has been an eyewitness to people around the world suffering from similar viruses. Most of all, Carroll sounds authoritative. For decades, Carroll has been a leading voice [...]

Why we like a good robot story | OUPblog

We have been telling stories about machines with minds for almost three thousand years. In the Iliad, written around 800 BCE, Homer describes the oldest known AI: “golden handmaidens” created by Hephaestus, the disabled god of metalworking. They “seemed like living maidens” with “intelligence… voice and vigour”, and “bustled about supporting their master.” In the Odyssey, Homer [...]