While “the meaning of life” might be a tough personal or philosophical question, life itself also has a rather clear natural purpose. As humans, we are an extension of the biological life on this planet. In this article, I would like to elaborate what this purpose is, and what it means as a possible direction for our species. This is not necessarily related to the meaning of our personal lives, but if you, personally, are struggling with this question, this might also offer you a very general direction outside of religion or esoterics.

If you know how DNA works, and how life probably began, please feel free to skim through following paragraph and the entire “What happened” chapter. …

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Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Can we create a back-up civilization from the convenience of our earthly home?

The upcoming SpaceX Starship launch wakes hopes that the mankind will be able to start settling Mars and the solar system within the coming decade or two. Some argue, the launch costs will be so low we should just build stations and cities with materials from Earth. After all, industrial processes in space are untested, and the industrial equipment itself is heavy as well. Wouldn’t it be easier to just launch everything?

This is not an easy question: of course no delivery costs is always cheaper than delivery costs, no matter what those are, but with launch costs potentially as low as $20 per kilo to the Moon, or $10 to LEO, the costs are rapidly approaching the prices of the delivered goods themselves. …

If you wait long enough, everything seems to evolve into a crab. Biologists call this “carcinisation”. On the internet, sooner or later everything seems to evolve into a marketing platform. In this article, I will show you how that happens, what consequences it has, and what it might mean for you.

Let’s start with some examples.

Facebook is an obvious one — a platform started basically as a clone of Hot-Or-Not, a platform for rating the attractiveness of your school mates — evolving into an easy way to build a personal blog/website, struggling to find its business plan even as it had millions of users. …

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Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash

This time I’m going to start with a little story, and the conclusion of this part is probably not what you would have expected, either, but that’s what life is: a constant surprise package waiting to be opened.

I came to the demo party in Denmark, The Party 97, expecting to see cool things. One of the first cool things that we saw, after all of the two thousand PCs and other computers were turned on simultaneously, was a massive power outage, that took out the shiny Christmas decorations outside, the PCs inside, as well as the domestic power supply of half of Aars. …

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Photo by Hasmik Ghazaryan Olson on Unsplash

So in the previous episode of our Progress series we have seen that standards are good for you. In fact, without standards, you would not be able to read this article at all. You would probably not even own anything that is capable of displaying this article either: the only reason the chips in your electronic device could be build, and can talk to each other, are standards.

This is also how science works: using common standards (of measurement), one theory can be based on another. …

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Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

In the previous two articles on progress I might have made the impression that counter-intuitively, to achieve actual progress, older might be better. Is that so? Let’s look at an extreme example of this — a fairly well-known and often re-circulated story that “space shuttle booster’s width is two horse asses plus X”. (Or, here is a short version with pictures, in Tweet form, if you prefer Twitter.) …

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Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

In my previous article on progress we’ve seen that fashion and marketing are not a friend of progress, because they bind existing know-how into doing useless things. But why do companies see fit to create hype? Why on earth would two big corporations go to the length to create programming languages and to create a hype around them? And why would entrepreneurs generate buzzwords like WEB2.0 and sell their business plans based on those?

Let’s take those examples one by one.

The company’s (Sun Microsystems, if you still remember that name) explanation for the programming language hype was:
“because it is cross-platform” and “because it is simple and powerful”. …

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Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Most of us grew up with the notion that the world is constantly moving forward. Developing. Progressing. Out of the dark ages into the age of englightenment. Progress is good. New developments are good. Good for business, good for our living standard. Right?

Software, too, is progressing. Every few months there are new development models, new programming languages, new frameworks, new components. Software is built out of those. Other software is built out of that software. And then rebuilt, using newer components, because newer is better. And then rebuilt again, using still newer components. And then…

Oh wait. Are we still talking about progress? …

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Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash

The Matrix is real, but it is not what you think it is. This is not about AI, or politics, or simulation. It is about the way you live your life. This is not a conspiracy theory. This is not even a theory. If you are not into questioning your own thoughts, decisions and habits, you might want to turn back now, because otherwise you might have a hard time going back to sleep. …

When Socialism and Capitalism are both taken to their extremes, they come all the way around, and make all kinds of ugly children.

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Frankenalism, by J.Macodiseas

Once upon a time, I stayed in a little quaint hotel in Stresa, Italy. I knew the place through a friend of mine, but I couldn’t remember the exact name, and eventually looked it up and booked through Booking.com, out of convenience — for everybody. Or so I thought.

During check-in, the owner, a nice gentleman in his 70s, who saved his money for the little hotel by working in Germany as a Gastarbeiter after the war, asked me for all the information I had already provided during booking. “Doesn’t Booking.com already send you all of this?”, I asked. See, in real life I am, among other things, a data integration engineer. Making sure systems talk to each other is my job. …


J. Macodiseas

Science Fiction, Tech, sarcasm, and philosophical ramblings about the Universe.

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