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This post is proof positive that reading Engadget, contrary to popular belief, sometimes yields some real gems. As far as these ninjas at Festo are concerned, sure, robotic flying jellyfish and penguins are very cute… and much more advanced than those animatronic dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, but I think they’re kind of insulting to the overlords, in form.
Of course, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
.::Check out the specs and techs -> Festo
When a€oeRobbiea€A the robot was told to shoot a weapon at a man in the movie Forbidden Planet, his electronic brain sparked and short-circuited. His creator had programmed him to never harm a human and so the conflicting ideas paralyzed him.
Human beings often are presented with opposing thoughts also, but our brains have developed a way of resolving these conflicts through a process call cognitive dissonance.
We are taught, like a€oeRobbie,a€A that killing is prohibited a€" but what about war? And many anti-abortionists support the death penaltya€¦ conflicting behavior is all around us. So how exactly does that work?
Simply put, congitive dissonance theory states that when you have two opposing ideas (or ideologies) at the same time, you will act upon the one that causes the less distortion to your ego.
Take a one eyed film maker, an unemployed engineer, and a vision for something that’s never been done before and you have yourself the EyeBorg Project. Rob Spence, Kosta Grammatis and a team of others are trying to make history by embedding a video camera and a transmitter in a prosthetic eye. That eye is going in Robs eye socket, and will record the world from a perspective that’s never been seen before.
A new NASA-sponsored study suggests that small lawnmower-sized robots could be used to build a landing site for a moon outpost. In order to be efficient a landing pad would have to be close to any structures created, but without an atmosphere to slow down the lunar sand it would sandblast the outpost, creating the need for some sort of protection. By using small robots to either build protective berms or collect rocks to "pave" a landing pad, NASA hopes to provide protection against the sand-blasting effects of a landing on the moon.
Two years ago, Chinese President Hu Jintao called on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members to a€oeassert supremacy over online public opinion, raise the level and study the art of online guidance and actively use new technologies to increase the strength of positive propaganda.a€A
After Hu’s speech, Communist Party officials and the State Council issued an official call for a€oecomrades of good ideological and political character, high capability and familiarity with the Internet to form teams of Web commentators … who can employ methods and language Web users can accept to actively guide online public opinion.a€A
The CCP has hired thousands of freelance Internet propagandists whose job is to infiltrate chat rooms, message boards and comment areas on the Internet posing as ordinary users to voice support for the agenda and interest of the CCP. They praise Chinaa€™s one-party system and condemn anyone who criticizes Chinaa€™s policy on Tibet. They comment aggressively on news reports about Chinaa€™s food-safety problems, relations with Taiwan, suppression of bird-flu and AIDS information, Internet censorship, jailing of dissidents, support of Sudana€™s military in Darfur and other sensitive topics. Comments applaud the Chinese government and slam its critics, all using scripts and lines approved by the party.
The BBC calls these freelance propagandists China’s 50 Cent Party. The Guardian newspaper calls it the 50 Cent Army. (50 Cent isna€™t a rapper in this case, but a reference to the pay: 50 Chinese "cents" per post, which is equivalent to about 7 US cents). Other names include a€oered vestsa€A and the a€oered vanguard.a€A
Some estimates claim that the 50 Cent Army includes a whopping 300,000 people. If thata€™s accurate, China’s freelance propagandists exceed in number the total populations of 47 countries.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1079797626827646234 Ah, it must be Monday. This is a documentary about robots, AI, and what have you. Let us know if you enjoy.
A series of imminent and necessary breakdowns are inherent to the production of desire: first, because desires connect up to an outside, with something which is always unrecognized, which is totally foreign; next, because desire is brought to turn upon itself, it is seduced into betrayal (by resentment, fear, hate, etc.); finally, because desires are always collective, but the individual makes these collective desire their own, digests and reintegrates them. In each case, there is a kind of fundamental deadlock to any investigation of the unconscious which reflects the essential paradox of psychoanalysis.
We risk not only our feelings and thoughts but even ourselves as beings entirely: the risk of losing not just our habits, our beliefs and our identities, but the very significance, the subjectivity, of our reality. Everything becomes a trajectory, a cosmic machine, a universal process of production. A becoming-nothing which is the essence of consciousness: and in the end will we know which it is a€" a disease or an experiment? a€"But what do we matter? For alienation is becoming a stranger; not trading places with a double, nor a diagnosis, but rather this mis-recognition of an alien consciousness always already present within enjoyment, within our desire itself.
The Disaster, the Event, Difference a€" this is what is always recognized but never known; or rather, you dona€™t know, you will never know whether this alterity is truly radical or not. We must make a certain wager in order to discover the real, to know our desire, to learn anything at all about ourselves. It is not a question of imitation, but of pure intensities, of movements and singularities and flows. There is always a risk involved in a becoming, a risk which is always recognized and never known to us a€" a displacement of essence internal to becoming, an infinite capacity which transfigures reality.
Fantasy depends upon an element exterior to the situation itself radically exceeding the space which is gazed upon and yet intricately involved in every detail of its structure: it is not only because the gaze is the fantasya€™s only audience that this absolutely alien element is always already the hidden meaning of its excess. But what is ultimately so traumatic is the very fragility and inconsistency not of our fantasy but of reality itself, its ironic vulnerability to sudden and immediate disintegration, our apparent powerlessness in the face of disaster.