Re: Foresight Recon?

From: a1c1d14 ISKANDAR (
Date: Tue May 20 2003 - 15:52:31 MDT

heh, in regards to the conundrum about why the birds went hay-wire in
Hitchcock's film, a great demonstration, as well as a nice scientific
explanation, was given in the movie The Core; Something to the effect of
having to do with navigation using the earth's magnetic field. Of course,
not everything in the movie was very scientifically accurate, as far as the
core of the earth abruptly stopping its orbit, but its a sci-fi movie...ah,
the possibilities :-)


>From: spike66 <>
>To:, "" <>
>Subject: Re: Foresight Recon?
>Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 22:10:53 -0700
>Durant Schoon wrote:
>>>Eliezer, anyone? Anything particularly notable or exciting emerge from
>>>Foresight Conference?...
>>As for this legendary after-party, I was sadly unable to attend. --
>>Durant Schoon
>Since there were several extropians that attended
>the Foresight gathering and the gathering after
>that, I will take the liberty to cross-post these
>Several questions came up at the post nanoschmooze
>gathering gathering. At this gathering^2, we had a
>number of people who could name all six flavors of
>quarks, could write out Bayes law, could program in
>everything from Fortran to Java, and yet there are
>some basic questions that eluded us all. Many of these
>were on the same lines as the post extro-5 gathering,
>when we pondered such things as: if one were in a
>tank filled with xenon at 215 atmospheres, would one
>float? What if one injects a sedative into one
>carotid artery, and one hemisphere of ones brain
>is asleep, and one had half an erotic dream, what
>would happen?
>This is a partial list of this year's imponderables,
>plus a few that I simply made up, or that someone
>would have asked, had we been inhabiting one of
>the other many worlds:
>If the market and google form two members of the
>holy trinity, what is the third?
>Why is it that about half the spam today is some prole
>who stole a bunch of money in Nigeria and they want
>to give it to me? Has anyone ever actually fallen for
>that silly gag? Since the Nigerian got my name as someone
>who is trustworthy, who is it that gave it to them?
>I want to know who considers *me* trustworthy.
>What is the opposite of surreal? Is it surphony?
>Perhaps surfake? Surimaginary? Or just plain real?
>Surreal is kind of unreal, in a way, so the prefix
>sur must mean negative or not or un. So when someone
>makes a joke that offends or falls flat, could we
>say that person is surfunny?
>How did Palm Pilots get their name? What has a
>hand held computing device to do with guiding an
>aircraft or ship?
>The old movie The Birds caused us no end to
>curiosity. Many of us have not seen the movie
>for many years, so our memories are dim, but perhaps
>someone here can enlighten us. Clearly Hitchcock
>demonstrated sheer genius in making something truly
>frightening out of something as sur-scary as a flock
>of birds with their beaks out of joint. But what
>exactly was making these birds so crazy? Perhaps
>they explained it in the movie and we just forgot.
>What made them chill out in that last scene when
>the three (?) people get in a car and drive away?
>In that scene where they find the guy dead in the
>house, what exactly was the actual cause of death?
>Did a bunch of birds actually peck him to death? In
>that scene I do not recall seeing any bird corpses
>in the room. Was it not a quite poor showing, downright
>embarrassing, on the part of the hominid, considering
>he outweighed each of his opponents by a factor of at
>least 20 to 1, not to mention the opposable thumbs?
>Is there anyone here who does not think they could take
>on a flock of birds in hand to feather combat, assuming
>the battle takes place indoors? (Come on Beak-boy, you
>wanna piece of me?) Could not one surely slay at least
>a few? Why was no one in that town armed? (Hey, Mr.
>Feathers, meet Mr. Twelve Gage.) Could not the NRA use
>that as a good reason for every man, woman and child to
>pack heat, as a precaution against crazed flocks of birds?
>One can never be too careful you know.
>Why is it that when extropian/SL4/singularitarian/
>transhumanist types gather, people bring *SO MUCH BEER*
>and then devour so very little of it?
>What the helllll did people do before there were
>computers? Sears and Roebuck catalogs?
>What did we do before there was an internet?
>What did extropians do before there was google? Did
>we just go around, like, not knowing stuff?
>When we get wearable internet connections with
>voice interface and fast google connections 24-7,
>how are we going to explain to young people how we
>ever got along without that?
>Do they have crossword puzzles in French? Do they
>have a bunch of American words in them? Still?
>Why is it, exactly, that sushi is soooo good? Its
>nothing but a wad of rice and a slice of bait, yet we
>cheerfully drive way across town to get some. Why?
>How many jokes are there that start with some
>variation of: An engineer, a mathematician and
>a physicist go to a {fill in the blank}... We
>heard about 800 hundred of them, and we weren't
>even slowing down when the party spontaneously
>gave out. Why is it that the mathematician always
>says something silly and disconnected from reality
>as we know it? Are there any of those jokes where
>the mathematician is the smart guy? I like
>Was I imagining it, or was there a spontaneous
>outbreak of niceness on the extropians list? I thought
>I detected it three weeks ago last Tuesday, for several
>Are there any foods that Homer Simpson does not like?
>What would he say as a prefix to that food? Sur-mmmm?
>What happens if an autistic prisoner is sentenced to
>solitary confinement? Would she know?
>How much power could be saved if the light inside
>the refrigerator were not left on all the time?
>Why is it that there are so many extropians with
>such enormous IQ numbers who cannot deal with
>any mechanical device more complicated than a
>cerial box?
>Was Monte Hall intentionally screwing with people's
>minds all those years?
>If Ameridebt got some loser's monthly payment cut
>in half, why didn't he just call them again and get
>it cut in forth, then an eighth and so on until he
>was debt free?
>Does *anyone* who hangs out on extropians or SL4
>ever read actual *fiction*, without the prefix
>science? Sears and Roebuck catalogs?
>How did future fiction ever get the prefix sci to
>start with? Havent we always had science? Did the
>inventors of the genre assume we would have more
>science in the future?
>What do we call those oddball subcategories of
>speculative sci-fi like that show from the 60s
>called Wild Wild West, where they had some weird
>futuristic technologies but was actually set in
>the past? Is it still science fiction? For that
>matter, Star Wars is another good example.
>How did the diet thread get so huge?
>If we somehow accidentally discovered a seventh
>quark flavor, wont the physicists be majorly screwed
>up? Would they attempt a cover-up? Would we call
>it still-more-strange?
>Cannot book publishers invent a kind of paper that
>does not get that old book smell when one's text
>books get old? Would not it be a terrific business
>opportunity, to make replicas of old college textbooks
>with new paper, so that one is not constantly reminded
>that one is way into one's geezerhood?
>If Marilyn vos Savant were to get on drugs and lose
>her mental focus, would we have to rename her Marilyn
>vos Stupid? Or would she become merely vos Normal?
>SurSavant? Would anyone have guessed that a person
>could make a career out of simply understanding the
>Bayesian Theorem?
>Assuming the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum
>mechanics, how can we be *absolutely sure* that this
>is one of them?
>This is all the unanswered questions I can recall from
>that gathering^2. If anyone who was there can recall
>others, do post them. If you have the actual answers
>to any of these, or even funny suranswers, do post.

MSN 8 helps eliminate e-mail viruses. Get 2 months FREE*.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:42 MDT