Cyborgs and Transhumanism

Cyborgs and Transhumanism

„The most human thing about us is our technology.“ McLuhan „I don’t feel that I’m using technology, I don’t feel that I’m wearing technology, I feel that I am technology.“ is how Neil Harbison relates himself to the technology, that he built to enhance his senses: Neil has overcome his color blindness with a special head mounted device that translates the color-composition of his field of vision into tunes. He tells, that the multi-frequency sound of certain sights can be so specific, that he could even recognize the faces of people he knew by their „harmonies“. „La Noosphère atteindra collectivement son point de convergence, — à la « Fin du Monde »“ Teilhard Technology is part of human nature. We have been cooking food for more than two million years, so our alimentary system is fully adjusted to our technological diet. We have been wearing clothes even longer, so they have replaced the pelt of our ancestors. Tools are extensions of our bodies, concluded McLuhan, elaborating on the thoughts of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Our cooking food is an extension of our metabolism, clothing extends our skin, the microscope is the extension of our eye, and – most important – […]

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Sympathy with Machines

Sympathy with Machines

„Of course, robots are a common sight these days.“ „She’s – she’w not like a machine. She’s like a person. A living person. But after all, she’s much more complex than any other kind. She has to be.“ Philip K. Dick, Nanny Our perception of the world is a tricky thing. We think of the sight that our brain derives from our eyes as connected to reality as such. But in fact, many of the shapes we believe to see, are formed in our mind, extrapolating the sensual stimuly into something, that has already been sitting there. When we see a gradient of darker space on the wall of our room, we built the image of a streight edge from it, a line – which obviously is a reduction of the complexity of the coloured pixels that originally arrived on our retina. Schemata – pre-set shapes that are partly inherrited genetically, partly acquired in our first days after birth – help us to reduce the deluge of visual information by several magnitudes. No scheme in our perception is stronger, than the face. We cannot help but seeing faces in any shape that would have two dots and a line beneath. […]

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„Mobile Data: Under the Hood“

„Mobile Data: Under the Hood“

The slides of our talk at Munich DataGeeks Meetup: „A smartphone is a mighty array of sensors. How to access the data, and get meaningful information from the various readings, like geo-location, gyroscope, accelerometer, or even the magnetic flux. We also discuss the ehtical implication of mobile tracking: informational self-determination, „other-tracking“ vs. self-tracking, and how to do spooky things with apparently innocent measurements.“ Mobile Data Analytics from Joerg Blumtritt

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Vitamin D – the happiness factor you are in control of

Vitamin D – the happiness factor you are in control of

Do you know your Vitamin D level? Did you know that your Vitamin D Level has a great influence on your wellbeing? Living in northern Europe or Canada, you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, but it also occurs in some foods, including fish, eggs and dairy products. As an adult, you should ingest at least 20 micrograms of vitamin D per day. To prevent diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or cancer, even significant higher doses are recommended. If you go for walks or exercise outdoor on a daily basis, you already do a lot for a healthy vitamin D level. If you are more the manager type, sitting indoor all day and use a car or other „indoor“ means of transportation instead of riding your bike, you probably should supply your body with an extra portion of vitamin D. Starting by the end of June, we will run a field study with our explore app and we would like to invite you to participate. Together with our partner biotrakr, a Berlin-based health startup, we will check your vitamin D level: you will get our blood test kit with which you can take a […]

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