Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Pretty cool dance moves

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Also by same guy, and also very cool:

Written by LeisureGuy

24 September 2016 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Video

This NASA Booster Test Is Soothing to Watch

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Here’s the test:

Here’s the explanation.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 September 2016 at 1:20 pm

Posted in Technology, Video

Susan Blackmore gives a TED talk on Memes and “Temes”

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TED’s blurb:

Susan Blackmore studies memes: ideas that replicate themselves from brain to brain like a virus. She makes a bold new argument: Humanity has spawned a new kind of meme, the teme, which spreads itself via technology — and invents ways to keep itself alive

There’s an interactive transcript for those who (like me) prefer to read rather than watch; that begins:

Cultural evolution is a dangerous child for any species to let loose on its planet. By the time you realize what’s happening, the child is a toddler, up and causing havoc, and it’s too late to put it back. We humans are Earth’s Pandoran species. We’re the ones who let the second replicator out of its box, and we can’t push it back in. We’re seeing the consequences all around us.

0:41 Now that, I suggest, is the view that comes out of taking memetics seriously. And it gives us a new way of thinking about not only what’s going on on our planet, but what might be going on elsewhere in the cosmos. So first of all, I’d like to say something about memetics and the theory of memes, and secondly, how this might answer questions about who’s out there, if indeed anyone is.

1:07 So, memetics: memetics is founded on the principle of Universal Darwinism. Darwin had this amazing idea. Indeed, some people say it’s the best idea anybody ever had. Isn’t that a wonderful thought, that there could be such a thing as a best idea anybody ever had? Do you think there could? Audience: No. (Laughter) Susan Blackmore: Someone says no, very loudly, from over there. Well, I say yes, and if there is, I give the prize to Darwin.

1:36 Why? Because the idea was so simple, and yet it explains all design in the universe. I would say not just biological design, but all of the design that we think of as human design. It’s all just the same thing happening. What did Darwin say? I know you know the idea, natural selection, but let me just paraphrase “The Origin of Species,” 1859, in a few sentences.

2:04 What Darwin said was something like this: if you have creatures that vary, and that can’t be doubted — I’ve been to the Galapagos, and I’ve measured the size of the beaks and the size of the turtle shells and so on, and so on. And 100 pages later. (Laughter) And if there is a struggle for life, such that nearly all of these creatures die — and this can’t be doubted, I’ve read Malthus and I’ve calculated how long it would take for elephants to cover the whole world if they bred unrestricted, and so on and so on. And another 100 pages later. And if the very few that survive pass onto their offspring whatever it was that helped them survive, then those offspring must be better adapted to the circumstances in which all this happened than their parents were.

2:54 You see the idea? If, if, if, then. He had no concept of the idea of an algorithm, but that’s what he described in that book, and this is what we now know as the evolutionary algorithm. The principle is you just need those three things — variation, selection and heredity. And as Dan Dennett puts it, if you have those, then you must get evolution. Or design out of chaos, without the aid of mind.

3:24 There’s one word I love on that slide. . . .

For those who prefer to watch and listen, here’s the talk:

One interesting consequence of memetic adherence to Darwin’s algorithm: sooner or later random variation will result in the emergence of a “survival instinct”: a pattern of behavior such that the entity, if threatened with death, will go to great lengths to defend its life and its progeny. Such a characteristic clearly has strong survival advantages vs. the “don’t care” strategy, and it quickly become established in all populations since entities that have the characteristic will quickly displace similar entities that lack it.

So in memes nowadays (after at least trillions of “generations” of meme evolution, memeplex entities have a highly developed immune system. It can be pretty drastic: cf. the French Revolution, North Korea, religious wars such as between Sunni and Shiite. All those are memeplexes whose immune systems strike pretty hard to eliminate competing memes, generally by killing the human hosts.

Susan Blackmore trigger the immune response of some memeplexes recently, which she describes in this post.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 September 2016 at 10:22 am

Posted in Books, Memes, Video

Extreme domino effect in action

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And this jaw-dropping video—my god, memes have evolved in some very strange directions of which I had absolutely no notion whatsoever:

Written by LeisureGuy

23 August 2016 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Video

Fascinating prototype of an augmented quadrocopter

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Augmented with an annular ring for more efficient forward flight:

More info in this Motherboard report by Madison Margolin.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 July 2016 at 3:02 pm

Posted in Techie toys, Video

Duplessy & the violins of the world “Crazy Horse”

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I think that odd instrument on the left is a nyckelharpa.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 July 2016 at 8:41 am

Posted in Music, Video

In memory of Charlie Christian (July 29, 1916 – March 2, 1942)

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A truly great musician. From an email:

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Charlie Christian, among the most important guitarists in the history of jazz. Although his only available recordings come from a brief period between 1939 and 1941, Christian was an influence on nearly every modern guitarist well into the 1960s, including Les Paul, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery, and George Benson. His pioneering efforts on electric guitar and extraordinary technique helped to bring the guitar to the forefront as a solo instrument.

Christian spent his formative years playing gigs around Oklahoma City. As his talents developed he began jamming with famous musicians traveling through town, including Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum, and Mary Lou Williams, who brought him to the attention of producer John Hammond in 1939. It was Hammond who secured an audition for the guitarist with the famous bandleader Benny Goodman. After a somewhat rocky initial meeting, Goodman recognized Christian’s talent, hiring him to be a part of his new sextet. It was the recordings Christian made with this group that would quickly bring him to the attention of the jazz world. Christian eventually traveled to New York with Goodman’s band, where he participated in several jam sessions at famous after hours clubs like Minton’s and Monroe’s in 1941, bringing him into contact with future legends of modern jazz such as Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Kenny Clarke. Sadly, though his influence on the guitar would be felt for decades, Christian passed away at the age of only 25 in 1942 after contracting tuberculosis.

Tune in to the Guitar Jazz Channel this month to celebrate the music and influence of Charlie Christian on!

Written by LeisureGuy

20 July 2016 at 5:17 pm

Posted in Jazz, Video

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