VII. Pedia Sapiens: A Genesis Future on Earth and in the Heavens
1. Mind Over Matter: A Quantum, Atomic, Chemical Materiality
Omidshafiei, Shayegan, et al. Alpha-Rank: Multi-Agent Evaluation by Evolution. Nature Scientific Reports. 9/9937, 2019. A ten person team from DeepMind Paris, London, and Edmonton, Singapore University and Columbia University achieve a frontier advance as our collective human acumen begins to intentionally take up life’s algorithome programs. While we would not consider cosmic genesis as a “game” as per the Abstract, what is being found is an open, natural procreativity whence an optimum or good enough result can be seen is reached by and accrues from a wide array of candidate options.
A ten person team from DeepMind Paris, London, and Edmonton, Singapore University and Columbia University achieve a frontier advance as our collective human acumen begins to intentionally take up life’s algorithome programs. While we would not consider cosmic genesis as a “game,” what is being found is an open, natural procreativity whence an optimum or good enough result can be seen is reached by and accrues from a wide array of candidate options.
Ornes, Stephen. Quantum Effects Enter the Macroworld. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116/22413, 2019. A science writer describes how the 2010s quantum revolution whence this arcane depth became treatable as a complex network system, in addition to its special characteristics, which has then opened a new frontier for all manner of devices and communications.
Entanglement is the counterintuitive idea that particles can have an intrinsic connection that endures no matter the distance between them. The phenomenon remains one of the most curious and least understood consequences of quantum mechanics. Measure the quantum properties of one of a pair of entangled particles, and the other changes instantaneously. But recently, physicists have taken entanglement and other quantum effects to new extremes by observing them in large systems such as clouds of atoms, quantum drums, wires, and etched silicon chips. Device by device, they are bringing the quantum world into a new territory — the macroscopic, classical world. (22413)
Parisi, Jason and Justin Ball. The Future of Fusion Energy. Singapore: World Scientific, 2019. Oxford University and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology physicists cover the range from basic principles to plasma confinement, construction, problems on to the ITER project below. The project is then set in a context of human beings gaining ever more access, control and usage of natural solar energies from combustions to this hypercomplex avail of atomic force. In an even wider vista, it could appear that our human phenomenon is meant to do this, which we to soon need realize, so as to migitate climate change in time.
In an engaging narrative, this popular science book explains the basic tools to understand how fusion works, its potential, and contemporary research issues. Written by young engineer researchers in the field, it shows how physical laws and the Earth's energy resources motivate the current fusion program — a broad endeavor that is approaching a critical point. The world's largest fusion reactor to date, a 35 nation joint effort dubbed ITER Tokamak (www.iter.org) is nearing completion. Its success could trigger a worldwide race to build a power plant, but failure could delay fusion by decades. To these ends, this book details how ITER's results could be used to design an economically competitive power plant as well as some of the many alternative fusion concepts. (Publisher edits)
Patterson, Eann, et al. An Integrated Digital Framework for the Design, Build and Operation of Fusion Power Plants. Royal Society Open Science. 6/10, 2019. As a next stage in this broad project to research and construct, a team of British nuclear scientists and engineers lay out programs going forward to achieve a practical, safe and effective fusion model, instead of and beyond problematic fission methods. Google these titles MIT launches multimillion-dollar collaboration to develop fusion energy and UK hatches plan to build world's first fusion power plant to reach news items in Nature.
Pelesko, John. Self Assembly: The Science of Things That Put Themselves Together. Boca Raton: Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2007. A University of Delaware mathematician and co-director of its Modeling, Experiment, and Computation laboratory contends that a natural guide exists for such nanotechnology since the whole universe can be seen as engaged in a process of emergent self-assembly. In this copious view, human persons lately take on a role as ‘selves’ who are to further organize and ‘assemble’ this dynamic developing earth and cosmos.
Points, Laurie, et al. Artificial Intelligence Exploration of Unstable Protocells Leads to Predictable Properties and Discovery of Collective Behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Online January, 2018. University of Glasgow chemists including Leroy Cronin (search) continue their clever modeling of early life phases by way of new AI computational techniques to better achieve retrospective insights. See also Lee Cronin’s lab web page for more articles and advances.
Protocell models are used to investigate how cells might have first assembled on Earth. Some can be simple in kind, while able to exhibit complex and unpredictable behaviors. How such rudimentary systems came together to yield complex, life-like behaviors remains a key question. Herein, we illustrate by way of oil-in-water droplets how automated experimentation, image processing, physicochemical analysis, and machine learning allows can reveal the driving forces behind their behaviors. Using this process, we were able to relate droplet formulation and swarming to collective behavior via predicted physical properties. Overall, this work shows that the combination of chemistry, robotics, and artificial intelligence enables discovery, prediction, and mechanistic understanding in ways that no one approach could achieve alone. (Abstract excerpt, edits)
Prescott, Tony, et al, eds. Living Machines: A Handbook of Research in Biomimetics and Biohybrid Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. With a Preface by Terence Sejnowski, the 600+ page volume achieves a conceptual and practical entry to this evolitionary transition (aka Genesis 2.0) via our palliative and beneficial furtherance of nature’s dynamic biologic creativity. A first section reviews how Life self-organizes, reproduces, metabolizes, uses energy, evolves and develops, by way of active organic materials. Attributes such as vision, touch, chemosensation, and strength, along with movement, learning, control, decision making, voice and pattern recognition and more are discussed throughout. Some entries are Self-Organization by Stuart Wilson, Growth by Barbara Mazzolini, A General Theory of Evolution by Terence Deacon, Capabilities by Paul Verschure, Consciousness by Anil Seth, and Ethics by Hannah Maslen and Julian Savulescu.
harness the principles discovered in nature and embody them in new artifacts, and biohybrid systems, which couple biological entities with synthetic ones. Living Machines surveys this flourishing area of research such as self-organization and co-operativity, biologically-inspired active materials, self-assembly and self-repair, learning, memory, control architectures and self-regulation, locomotion in air, on land or in water, perception, cognition, control, and communication. In all of these areas, the potential of biomimetics is shown through the construction of a wide range of devices and animal-like robots. Biohybrid systems is relatively new but is likely to shape the future of humanity.
Prokopenko, Mikhail, ed. Guided Self-Organization: Inception. Berlin: Springer, 2014. As realizations grow of a revolutionary genesis nature, whose active procreation is now passing to our human facilitation, a CSIRO, Australia, information physicist gathers an early collection to explore how we might respectfully go about this. Leading players as Daniel Polani, Nihat Ay, Carlos Gershenson, Claudius Gros, and Christof Koch, broach approaches such as Complexity, Emergence, Self-organization, Homeostasis, and Autopoiesis; Synergistic Mutual Information; Neural Topologies; and Self-organizing Swarms. Yes, 27 men and 1 woman, the whole vista should be more organic, but a vital turn, if respectfully understood, toward a better future.
Ratner, Mark and Daniel Ratner.
Nanotechnology: A Gentle Introduction to the Next Big Idea.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall,
A readable survey of advances in smart materials, biostructures, energy storage, optics, magnets, electronics, self-healing systems, catalysts, proteins, and so on by means of acting upon molecules and topologies in this one-billionth of a meter size. As a note, the prefix "nano" seems to have become a buzzword for any kind of novel technology.
Ricard, Timothy, et al. Adaptive, Geometric Networks for Efficient Coarse-Grained Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics with Post-Hartree–Fock Accuracy. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation. Online May, 2018. We cite this entry by Indiana University chemists and physicists in an American Chemical Society publication as an example of the intentional application of nature’s intrinsic dynamic topologies to newly co-create and carry forth an improved animate, beneficial materiality.
We introduce a new coarse-graining technique for ab initio molecular dynamics that is based on the adaptive generation of connected geometric networks or graphs specific to a given molecular geometry. The coarse-grained nodes depict a local chemical environment and are networked to create edges, triangles, tetrahedrons, and higher order simplexes based on (a) a Delaunay triangulation procedure and (b) a method that is based on molecular, bonded and nonbonded, local interactions. The geometric subentities thus created, that is nodes, edges, triangles, and tetrahedrons, each represent an energetic measure for a specific portion of the molecular system, capturing a specific set of interactions. (Abstract excerpt)
Rigden, John. Hydrogen: The Essential Element. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002. A report on a growing intentional effort to move beyond the old carbon-fossil fuel economy, as part of a long “decarbonization” process, in order to achieve clean, efficient, widely available energy sources.
Ritter, Alex. Smart Materials. Basel: Birkhauser, 2007. Across Europe the frontiers of design in interior and exterior architecture are employing a plethora of novel forms of matter. For example, thermochromic and electrochromic surfaces change color and texture due to heat or current in applications from clothing to wall geometries. One gets the sense from this illustrated volume, as a case in point, of human imagination beginning to take over and evoke the latent potentials of a genesis creation.