Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries.
As one of the leading inventors of our time, Ray has worked in such areas as music synthesis, speech and character recognition, reading technology, virtual reality and cybernetic art. All of these pioneering technologies continue today as market leaders. Ray was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s web site Kurzweil AI.net has over one million readers.
Among Ray’s many honors, he is the recipient of the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world’s largest for innovation. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. And in 2002, he was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame , established by the US Patent Office .
He has received twelve honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.
Ray’s books include The Age of Intelligent Machines, The Age of Spiritual Machines, and Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. Three of Ray’s books have been national best sellers and The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best selling book on Amazon in science. Ray Kurzweil’s new book, published by Viking Press, is entitled The Singularity is Near, When Humans Transcend Biology.
Click here to read Ray Kurzweil’s full biography.
I guess if your looking to completely discredit Creation then this is your guy! Ray Kurzweil has no notion that a soul lives in a corporeal body and believes that we will all be able to download our consciousness into synthetic bodies once our natural form wears out. If this actually happens and the transference produces an exact duplicate complete with consciousness, then ALL christian bets are off the table! One of the biggest reasons that so many people are against human cloning is because the moment a clone wakes up and shows distinct personality then the notions put forth in the bible go completely down in flames!
Folks, it’s just a matter of time now and all religious notions of a god embuing man with a soul will be swept into the dust bin of history! The religious, of course, will rush to find an explanation that covers this thus changing what their bible says for the millionth time since it was written. All religions requiring the notion of a soul will lose countless followers, but a few million lemmings with pliable minds will remain. In the face of scientific discovery there are always people lined up in a trailer park somewhere yelling, ‘Fuck yer Gawddammed science, it don’t ixplane everthin.’ Then it’s off to church in the beat up minivan!
The only thing that I wish is that as Mr. Kurzweil comes closer to his Singularity, he will hire bodyguards to protect him from the religious idiots that will undoubtedly try to kill him. These insecure idiots KNOW that the download will be successful and that is what they fear most!
Am I the only one today who gets pissed off when the word ‘gentleman’ is used for anyone possessing a dick? When I was a kid, even in the 80s, the word gentleman was used to describe a genteel person who graced people with respect and manners. Now any heroin addict who stumbles into the ER and every criminal booked into jail gets this description! A gentleman is just that! He is respectful and kind, not abrasive and apeish! People need to get the net and learn that there will always be those types of people that deserve it when you walk across the street to avoid them!
When I think of religion I think of some kind of mass delusion that takes over the minds of random people and convinces them that the world is a candy apple given to them by God. Some followers eating of the bountiful imaginary harvest, loose teeth in the sweet caramel coating of the apple and are informed that it is ‘God’s’ will that they now are looked upon like Dukes of Hazzard stand-ins. Others bite down and are rewarded not by pain and blood, but with sweet sugary goodness! None of the above groups surmise that someone has gotten the shitty end of the stick, they just rationalize that nothing is up to them and that they are sooo lucky to be at the mercy of God’s cosmic will.
I, as a scientist, believe that some of us will not observe properly the fecal matter on said piece of lumber and after placing hands on it will gather the experience to avoid shitty hands in the future; thus the experience carries value as a learning tool. If said stick was handed to me on purpose, then I would, as good teachers do, shove the goddamned stick up the giver’s ass thus teaching him that that shit is definitely NOT funny! The pattern here, as demonstrated, keeps control of events in the individual’s hands and requires an element of personal responsibility.
The greatest flaw of the faithful, especially the educated ones, is that they follow blindly, which requires no individuality or use of experience or insight. They take the information given to them by followers and process this unbelievable crap into a salve to ease their pains of guilt and fear. When they find the unknown creeping up on them and they have no answers to explain it, they retreat into mythology and dance around the fire to ward off the evil spirits. All common sense is thrown to the wind and replaced with glassy-eyed subservience to an entity that will not and cannot ever answer any logical query.
Why do thinking people allow this ‘easy way out’ to take hold of their lives and responsibilities? Because it is easier than facing inevitability, that when it is all done, the individuality that we enjoy will cease to exist and life as we know it, won’t even exist as a memory. All scientists know the law of Conservation of Energy, energy can neither be created or destroyed, therefore we do not just blink out. There is an energy left over as is with ALL discharges of energy, i.e deaths. Will it be in any recognizable form? Will it have any sort of awareness? These are the great unknowns that if you pledge obedience to a deity, you can convince yourself that you can avoid them, that god will protect you because ‘He’ has a ‘Plan’ for you and all the rest of the lemmings, so have no fear!
The facts are that if religious people would do any kind of actual impartial research, they would find that the religion they are following today is unrecognizable from past to present. Any diligent person could extract mountains of evidence to the contrary of most organized religions. Many of the religions borrow from older religions and others, such as Islam, outright steal the majority of their content from established texts. Blind faith is just that, and when one blindly follows, one usually runs into a fucking wall! Religion teaches us to believe in the unbelievable and also lets us have some concrete information as well to convince us that it is actually OK to believe in science. This is the deception. Religious institutions teaching science after years of previously putting scientists to death! Now it’s OK to believe scientific data…as long as you never part with the belief in the myth! We still need crowd control people! We still need the faithful to believe in confiding in the church so that the church can use the knowledge to leverage control! Why confessional? Because as the Lords and ladies performed their Holy duties as was required, the clergy stood busy figuring how to use it against them! But for the right price they could have their confessions sealed away until the next time the church was in need. I would say, some pretty diabolical shit huh?. Sounds like Jimmy Swaggart, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Ted Haggard…things havn’t changed from then to now on the religious landscape. The problem is is that we have so much scientific evidence against mythology but seem to gain minimal ground!
I will be returning soon with more musings and ask that those of you out there who are struggling with doubt, please give in. Atheists who have identified yourselves, stay active and supportive to young atheists and remember that early indoctrination is child abuse. God threatens you with eternal damnation and suffering if you defy him and an abusive parent threatens to beat the shit out of you if you defy him. I see no difference.
‘Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris Islamophobic,’ says Salon Magazine?! These men are RELIGIOPHOBIC due to the infectious idiocy of blind faith! I, as an anti-theist, agree with them fully and DON”T CARE what the ‘New SS’ says about my opinions; the New SS being the complete Left Wing nut jobs that patrol the PC universe. Let me remind my readers that I am a completely independent thinking middle of the road politico. I subscribe to common sense and reason over knee-jerk Left or Right reactionary bullshit. I weigh the issues and think before I draw a conclusion. Example: Obama is same old politics as usual. George W. was an idiot legacy child of a political dynasty, there! Obama is just a crooked Chicago lawyer, is that too hard to fathom in politics?
Now back to the subject. Hitchens said in his book, ‘god id NOT great’ that religion poisons everything, and he was right. Dennett, Dawkins and Harris continue the ‘Four Horsemen’ fight against religious oppression by attacking the idiocy put forth by the religions in particular! They are simply pointing out what is obvious on today’s religious fronts. Right now Islam is responsible for many of the world’s ills. All religion poisons, it’s just that Islam is particularly poisonous right at this juncture. Thank the above-mentioned scholars for telling the truth about these awful blind-faith diseases and getting the sizable press coverage. Thank you to Salon for just playing into the game and further publicizing the atheist agenda.
Right now you have these PC idiots trying with all of their might to legislate EVERYTHING that a human being says so that they can control free speech. These are the very same people who drive the Suby to the Whole Foods to get the green smoothie for the acupuncture session and talk about ‘Moderate Muslims,’ oblivious to the European Imams publicized remarks about just ‘sitting back and breeding out; the Infidel.
Religion is bad no matter what! Why?! Because you DON”T see scientists ‘just blindly’ following facts! Facts are right in front of the face! It doesn’t take blind faith to look into a microscope or a telescope and identify what you are looking at, it takes intelligence! Religion promotes blindness and always will regardless of how many religious institutions teach science. They also try to screw up the works with unproven mythology and faulty religious doctrine. The only reason that these institutions have great science programs is because the churches are more loyal to the dollar than they are to GOD!
To my blogodytes,
My heart goes out to Rev. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life. May your faith help you and lift you up! I cannot possibly understand what you are going thru now, but I wish you the best. I am sorry and hope that you find peace.
Astronomers Anticipate 100 Billion Earth-Like Planets
Apr. 3, 2013 — Researchers at The University of Auckland have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets and they anticipate that the number will be in the order of 100 billion.
The strategy uses a technique called gravitational microlensing, currently used by a Japan-New Zealand collaboration called MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) at New Zealand’s Mt John Observatory. Their work will appear in the Oxford University Press journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Lead author Dr Phil Yock from the University of Auckland’s Department of Physics explains that the work will require a combination of data from microlensing and the NASA Kepler space telescope.
“Kepler finds Earth-sized planets that are quite close to parent stars, and it estimates that there are 17 billion such planets in the Milky Way. These planets are generally hotter than Earth, although some could be of a similar temperature (and therefore habitable) if they’re orbiting a cool star called a red dwarf.”
“Our proposal is to measure the number of Earth-mass planets orbiting stars at distances typically twice the Sun-Earth distance. Our planets will therefore be cooler than the Earth. By interpolating between the Kepler and MOA results, we should get a good estimate of the number of Earth-like, habitable planets in the Galaxy. We anticipate a number in the order of 100 billion.”
“Of course, it will be a long way from measuring this number to actually finding inhabited planets, but it will be a step along the way.”
The first planet orbiting a Sun-like star was not found until 1995, despite strenuous efforts by astronomers. Dr Yock explains that this reflects the difficulty of detecting from a distance a tiny non-luminous object like Earth orbiting a bright object like the Sun. The planet is lost in the glare of the star, so indirect methods of detection must be used.
Whereas Kepler measures the loss of light from a star when a planet orbits between us and the star, microlensing measures the deflection of light from a distant star that passes through a planetary system en route to Earth — an effect predicted by Einstein in 1936.
In recent years, microlensing has been used to detect several planets as large as Neptune and Jupiter. Dr Yock and colleagues have proposed a new microlensing strategy for detecting the tiny deflection caused by an Earth-sized planet. Simulations carried out by Dr Yock and his colleagues — students and former students from The University of Auckland and France — showed that Earth-sized planets could be detected more easily if a worldwide network of moderate-sized, robotic telescopes was available to monitor them.
Coincidentally, just such a network of 1m and 2m telescopes is now being deployed by Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) in collaboration with SUPA/St Andrews (Scottish Universities Physics Alliance), with three telescopes in Chile, three in South Africa, three in Australia, and one each in Hawaii and Texas. This network is used to study microlensing events in conjunction with the Liverpool Telescope in the Canary Islands which is owned and operated by Liverpool John Moores University.
It is expected that the data from this suite of telescopes will be supplemented by measurements using the existing 1.8m MOA telescope at Mt John, the 1.3m Polish telescope in Chile known as OGLE, and the recently opened 1.3m Harlingten telescope in Tasmania.
The article will be published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.