Hugh McGuire

publishing, technology, media, philosophy, a bit of politics.

Category: science

Good Links – Weekly (July 10)

The Great Montreal Link Exchange continues (sorry this is late): Every week Mitch (w / t) picks a link for me and a link for Alistair (w / t). Alistair and I do the same. Losing Our Cool”: The high price of staying cool. Alistair for Hugh: Since Montreal’s in the middle of a heat […]

Panel Today at the Canadian Centre for Architecture

I’ll be on a panel this afternoon about science, web, collaboration, and I’m not sure what else, organized by Steven Mansour: On Saturday, November 29th, please join us for an informal discussion panel bringing together Scientists, Technologists and Designers to weigh in about the current and future influence of each of these disciplines on one […]

The Cognitive Life of Bacteria

The most fascinating bit of audio I’ve heard in a long while, The secret life of bacteria – small, smart and thoughtful, from Australian Radio National: We can´t survive without them — and we´ve long underestimated their prowess. Controversially, bacteria could even have cognitive talents that rival our own. Predatory behaviour, cooperation, memory — Jules […]

wikipedia & feathered dinosaurs

In the fall of 2004, I quit my job consulting in the renewable energy industry in order to focus on writing. In addition to fiction-writing, I worked on a research/writing contract to develop an exhibit on dinosaurs (part of which is still online) for the Canadian Museum of Nature. I’d never used Wikipedia much before, […]

emotional attachment to machines

Since we were kids, most of us got emotionally attached to things that aren’t real: cartoons, teddy bears, and talking cars, for instance. Usually these attachments are built on the stories that surround, for instance, our teddy bears – stories we create. In the case of cartoons, it’s other people’s stories. But there’s something different, […]

scientists vs. publishers vs. wikipedia

From the New Scientist: Scientists who want to describe their work on Wikipedia should not be forced to give up the kudos of a respected journal. So says a group of physicists who are going head-to-head with a publisher because it will not allow them to post parts of their work to the online encyclopaedia, […]

a heart-warming bat story

From LibriVox friend annie. With photos:

nervous system & electronic media

Norman Doidge (channeling McLuhan): Electronic media are so effective at altering the nervous system because they both work in similar ways and are basically compatible and thus easily linked. Both involve instantaneous transmission of electronic signals to make linkages. Because our nervous system is plastic, it can take advantage of this compatibility and merge with […]

neuronal connections

Says Gerald Edelman: If we considered the number of possible neural circuits [in the human brain] we would be dealing with hyper-astronomical numbers: 10 followed by at least a million zeros. (There are 10 followed by 79 zeros, give or take a few, of particles in the known universe). So there are roughly 12,500[10 followed […]

space

I listen to lots of audio, my preference being radio documentaries while cooking. Yesterday I listened to the best thing I have heard in ages, a piece by WNYC’s RadioLab called Space: In the 60’s, space exploration was an American obsession. But the growing reality of space has turned the romance to cynicism. We chart […]