Musk and Grimes

Elon Musk’s Girlfriend Prefers Technocracy Over Government

Where would Grime’s get such an idea? From Elon Musk, who is a dyed-in-the-wool Technocrat and whose grandfather that he grew up with, Dr. Joshua Haldeman, was the national leader of Technocracy, Inc. in Canada during the 1930s and 1940s. ⁃ TN Editor

We can never hold that much of a grudge against the pop savant who gifted our planet with “Oblivion” and Art Angelsbut Grimes’s relationship with billionaire industrialist–mad scientist Elon Musk has certainly alienated some of her fans. The very online singer-producer-dater-of-Musk knows this and addresses the political dissonance of her relationship in a recent interview with Rolling StoneShe supports Bernie Sanders for president and identifies herself as “hard, hard, hard left before,” but now believes more in Musk’s ability to combat climate change than the government’s, even though it means she focuses less on issues like income inequality than before:

“I just really, truly, utterly believe in sustainable energy and the electric future and making humanity a multi-planetary species,” she says. “There are a lot of problems in the world that we need to solve. The government does not truly have the capacity to solve them. My boyfriend is actually doing it, tangibly, visibly — like, you just can’t deny it.”

Grimes’s belief in technocracy over government certainly aligns her more with libertarians than the left, and many scientists assert that the lithium-ion battery waste and mining still make personal electric vehicles like Teslas much worse for the environment than properly government-funded public transit, but, hey, this interview also has Grimes describing the time her survivalist grandfather “locked me in a shipping container with a pistol” and saying “I like the idea of having numerous consciousnesses acting simultaneously in the future,” so maybe we shouldn’t be taking our policy cues from one-half of the celebrity couple henceforth known as Grusk (trademark Vulture 2020). The “multi-planetary species” thing sounds pretty sick though.

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The Borg

Scientists Achieve First Step In Creating Cyborgs

This tech breakthrough is revolutionary for Transhumanists who would like to build avatars, transfer their brains into them and live forever. If you have a hard time understanding this article, just think “The Borg” from the Star Trek series. ⁃ TN Editor

Scientists have linked up two silicon-based artificial neurons with a biological one across multiple countries into a fully-functional network. Using standard internet protocols, they established a chain of communication whereby an artificial neuron controls a living, biological one, and passes on the info to another artificial one.

Whoa.

We’ve talked plenty about brain-computer interfaces and novel computer chips that resemble the brain. We’ve covered how those “neuromorphic” chips could link up into tremendously powerful computing entities, using engineered communication nodes called artificial synapses.

As Moore’s law is dying, we even said that neuromorphic computing is one path towards the future of extremely powerful, low energy consumption artificial neural network-based computing—in hardware—that could in theory better link up with the brain. Because the chips “speak” the brain’s language, in theory they could become neuroprosthesis hubs far more advanced and “natural” than anything currently possible.

This month, an international team put all of those ingredients together, turning theory into reality.

The three labs, scattered across Padova, Italy, Zurich, Switzerland, and Southampton, England, collaborated to create a fully self-controlled, hybrid artificial-biological neural network that communicated using biological principles, but over the internet.

The three-neuron network, linked through artificial synapses that emulate the real thing, was able to reproduce a classic neuroscience experiment that’s considered the basis of learning and memory in the brain. In other words, artificial neuron and synapse “chips” have progressed to the point where they can actually use a biological neuron intermediary to form a circuit that, at least partially, behaves like the real thing.

That’s not to say cyborg brains are coming soon. The simulation only recreated a small network that supports excitatory transmission in the hippocampus—a critical region that supports memory—and most brain functions require enormous cross-talk between numerous neurons and circuits. Nevertheless, the study is a jaw-dropping demonstration of how far we’ve come in recreating biological neurons and synapses in artificial hardware.

And perhaps one day, the currently “experimental” neuromorphic hardware will be integrated into broken biological neural circuits as bridges to restore movement, memory, personality, and even a sense of self.

The Artificial Brain Boom

One important thing: this study relies heavily on a decade of research into neuromorphic computing, or the implementation of brain functions inside computer chips.

The best-known example is perhaps IBM’s TrueNorth, which leveraged the brain’s computational principles to build a completely different computer than what we have today. Today’s computers run on a von Neumann architecture, in which memory and processing modules are physically separate. In contrast, the brain’s computing and memory are simultaneously achieved at synapses, small “hubs” on individual neurons that talk to adjacent ones.

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Are Automakers Are Coming For Your AM/FM Radio?

With 250 million people tuning in daily to predominantly conservative AM/FM radio, the thought of removing the medium is inconceivable. To Technocrat social engineers, however, it is perfectly logical and efficient and is a direct way to silence conservative opinion. ⁃ TN Editor

A new car without a radio?

t sounds as unthinkable as a new car without floor mats or a heater. But there is a real danger that your next new car might come without an AM/FM receiver.

Or, might cost you extra.

Seriously.

As unthinkable as it sounds – and as undesirable as it would be (based on known consumer preferences; more on that in a minute) there is chatter in Detroit that the car industry is giving thought to retiring the AM/FM receiver in favor of music piped into the car via subscription-based satellite radio, iPods, smartphones and various mobile apps.

Rather than these technologies supplementing AM/FM radio – as they do right now – they would replace it.

Leaving you in the dark. Well, in the quiet.

Unless you opened up your wallet and paid for the satellite radio hook-up.

Think of it as in-car audio on the cable TV model. Which you’d have no choice but to pony up for if the manufacturers stopped including AM/FM receivers in their new cars. You can imagine the effect this would have on the monthly subscription cost of SiriusXM and so on, since they’d have everyone over the proverbial barrel.

Hold onto your wallet!

As things stand, SiriusXM has to compete with free radio, which keeps prices low – and also probably keeps programming more varied. If AM/FM went away, with it would go thousands of smaller channels, the source waters for many of the Big Names in major outlet media we’re all familiar with today… before they became Big Names. (This includes, by the way, this writer – who is a frequent guest on regional/local AM/FM radio stations across the country.)

And no matter how much you spent, you’d still be unable to listen to your local stations.

Satellite radio is great for national news – and a steady stream of ’70s hits, if that’s your thing. But if you want to hear local people discuss local issues… get local news, local sports, hear local broadcast personalities… well, there isn’t an app for that.

It’s not surprising, given all this, that most prospective car buyers are not interested in throwing AM/FM radio in the woods – so to speak – and being effectively forced to buy into fee-for-service audio, such as SiriusXM.

How many is “most”?

Well, consider that almost 250 million Americans tune into terrestrial radio each week, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau (see here) and a Feb. 15 IPSOS study (here) of people’s listening habits and preferences found that 84 percent still regularly listen to AM/FM. Only about a fourth (22 percent) of current car owners have Sirius/XM – and they use it in addition to their AM/FM receiver.

Fully 91 percent of those asked about it wanted the traditional radio with knobs and buttons; only 9 percent wanted that to go away in favor of an “app.”

People like satellite, HD, Pandora… but they don’t want to be restricted to those options – which typically require them to pay for a service or buy an electronic device (such as an iPad) they may not wish to carry around. They want more options, not fewer options. They want to be able to go from one source to another – not be pigeonholed into using one platform.

Another factor is that while satellite radio offers a wealth of programming, it is not the same programming as that offered – for free – by AM/FM. Sure, there are commercials on AM/FM radio – but notwithstanding what you may have heard, exactly the same thing is true of satellite radio. Most of the talk/news channels – such as the Howard Stern Show, CNN and Blue Collar Radio do in fact have commercials. Which you’re paying to hear.

There may be commercials on AM/FM, but they’re free.

No cost to you, at any rate. Advertisers hope you’ll listen to their pitches, but they can’t put their hands into your pockets.

Also, while FM/AM coverage may be regional, satellite reception is often spotty. If you live in the country or a mountainous area with lots of tree overhang, you may have noticed – if you have Sirius/XM – that the signal sometimes (and sometimes, often) cuts out for as long as 15-30 seconds at a time or even longer. You miss the programming – and the signal come back on just in time for the next 10 minute batch of commercials.      

So, it’s odd to hear these whispers (and more) within the car industry about “the end” of terrestrial radio.

It’s still hugely popular – for several very good reasons. This isn’t an 8-track tape kind of situation. Apps, ipods and satellite radio are valuable additions to our menu of audio options. But AM/FM provides its own unique content, and in a way that people still very much want.

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