Lexicon

Immortality

“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying.” — Woody Allen I’m with Woody: I’d prefer not to die (if I get the choice), and would genuinely be quite happy to become an immortal. (And no, not in the “life after death/ascension to the great beyond” version promised by most religions — I want to see how this reality evolves, before even thinking about another one.) I’d prefer not to get old, in fact, if “old” means “infirm”, as it has for all of the 200,000 years since the emergence of “modern” humans. I’d like to keep my memories, maintain my mental faculties, stay limber and active, continue to be able to […]

Inner-west Sydney

When we arrived in Sydney, we had no idea where we wanted to live. We looked in Balmain (seemed nice), but eventually found a place in Annandale that ticked all the boxes: Yesterday I met Kate, one of the owners, and signed a 12-month lease on 301 Nelson Street, Annandale. It’s expensive, but not that much more than we’re currently paying in Belconnen, and we get all the benefits of living close to the city — it’s a 20-minute bike ride! — and a lovely little community. Wide, tree-lined streets; a park just behind us; a child-care and supermarket opening up just down the road; bike paths, off-leash parks, Rozelle Bay. Everyone I’ve spoken to has said how nice an […]

Intelligence Amplification

Intelligence amplification (IA) refers to the effective use of information technology in augmenting human intelligence. The idea was first proposed in the 1950s and 1960s by cybernetics and early computer pioneers. IA is a special category of human augmentation, with tools and techniques specifically designed for augmenting cognition: calculation, comprehension, recall (memory), decision-making and learning. An abacus or calculator, for example, allows a tool-wielding human to calculate faster and more accurately than an unaugmented colleague; similarly, an augmented human with access to Wikipedia can look up a huge level of detail on any contextual topic. The approaching ubiquity of smart-phones provides incredible IA potential, with apps for spoken language translation, contextual “head-up” overlays, reminders and much, much more. (This is […]

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is exactly how it sounds: periodically going without food for many hours (16-24 is typical) for health benefits. There are many different fasting schedules, with fancy names like “16+8” or “Leangains” (16 hour fast followed by an 8-hour eating period, daily), “Bulletproof” (drink butter coffee instead of  breakfast) and “alternate day fasting” (umm…). There are also a lot of different benefits ascribed to intermittent fasting: losing weight, increasing longevity (approaching LEV), stabilising blood-glucose levels and others. At it’s simplest, it seems like intermittent fasting could be a good way to limit consumed calories, and therefore lose weight (or, rather, body fat). That’s why I’m experimenting with it, anyway. (See: How to become a superman) Your body is in the fed […]