The Null Device


AIs taking over: Forget about chess, researchers at IBM have created computer software for trading on the stock market, which has outperformed some of the sharpest human traders in tests. The machines were faster and made fewer errors than the human operators and, by the end of the day, made 7% more money.


A fine line between art and psychoceramics: An artist in the US wants to paint the moon red. James T. Downey, of Columbia, Missouri, wants to get millions of people to shine their laser pointers at the moon, all at the same time. It probably won't have any noticeable effect (the total light reflecting off the Earth would drown it out for one, even if millions of people all hit the same general area on the moon), but the point os probably more to get millions of people to go outside, point their laser pointers to the sky and hopefully not feel like complete idiots.


Australian euthanasia advocate Dr. Philip Nitschke (he of the Laptop of Death and the floating euthanasia clinic) has come under attack from religious-right group Right To Life for his eminently Darwinian idea of making suicide pills available to angst-ridden teenagers. (The Darwinian implications of allowing depression-prone people to easily kill themselves, though, bear some thinking about; imagine a planet of Shiny Happy People, the descendents of those genetically predisposed towards contented apathy.)

euthanasia genetics social darwinism suicide 0

I've been listening to Lush's Ciao! best-of CD a bit lately. Desire Lines has really grown on me; it's a great song, in a slightly ethereal, shoegazey sort of way.