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The Microsoft HoloLens: Where Does Virtual End & Reality Begin?

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When I first became interested in computer graphics Virtual Reality was in its infancy and it took a computer the size of a room to “render” a believable environment in which a user could navigate and interact.

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It was pretty clear where “you” ended and where reality began – since it required a clunky set of tools and massive processing.

Now, as with so many other areas of technology, that processing power is coming to the desktop as Microsoft, Google and others make incredible advances in this area.

But of course what seems to be happening is that the perceptions that have been attributed to our “normal” senses are intercepted on their way to the brain’s conceptual and analytical centers, so that we think that we are somewhere “else.”

The main two senses, sight and sound are now augmented by touch (and perhaps eventually smell and taste) simulated electronically to create a “virtual world” and are so “believable” that we experience this world as “real.”

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We can also augment our “real world”with new information overlaid visually with our smart phones or implements like Google Glass so that, for example, we can see details about a store when we point the phone or look at it – this area, akin to VR, is called “augmented reality.”

But within this VR world, “we” are still presumably the conscious entity interpreting the information. But are we a separate entity at all? Ever? And furthermore, what if other parts of this environment –those created through software – can also become conscious?

Could Machines Become A Legitimate Threat?

This gets us into the area of artificial intelligence and recently thought leaders like Bill Gates and Elon Musk have warned that machines could become so smart as to become a threat, a la Terminator or the Matrix.

This brings us into direct confrontation with the troublesome issue of Consciousness; at what point is there a sense of awareness in an electronic entity.

When Super Mario’s character in the video game “learns” things, what is it that is truly happening –is it simply accumulating a critical mass of information –like the IBM Watson supercomputer that won at Jeopardy by instantly searching through billions of Google-based records –or is there a level of “understanding” taking place, and what would that be?

Going back to VR, when we believe the visual and tactile world being experienced, it is presumably our brain that is making this judgment and interpretation. But what about in “reality?”

spectrumWe are still subject to the same sensual stimuli and we have no way of knowing how accurate they are. Clearly our 3D perception is subject to massive distortion as many visual tricks have demonstrated.

Additionally, as we’ve discussed before, thinkers like Dr. Jay Kumar have described how small a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum we “normally” perceive.

 

And of course we know that other creatures experience a completely different world of senses. Dogs hear sounds beyond our cognition; birds like eagles see dramatically more efficiently and insects have multiple eyes and God knows what other sensory capacity.

And of course our instruments and robots are beginning to surpass our own “native” senses in infinite ways.

Is There A Reality Beyond Our Perception?

So it is really important to begin to ask—is there a reality that can be known beyond our perception—particularly when quantum physics has already shown us that the very act of perception changes the result –we are active participants in this perceptional activity.

The question now becomes, “Is Reality just a Concept or is the ‘I Am’ Sense –knowing that I know which presumably is absent within a simulated Super Mario or IBM Watson –something ineffably organic and perhaps even palpably Sacred?”

Eckhart Tolle has shown us that knowing that we know through the voice in the head is NOT what is truly aware within us –that this entity or quality is beyond or above thought. And in non-dual thought the ONLY thing we can truly KNOW is that consciousness exists – we are aware or know that we know but we cannot pinpoint or define awareness.

But as we begin to navigate virtual worlds entirely of our own creation we begin to move to the “edge” of thought – to the intersection of thought and perception – because in the “human” experience we still have a bit of a gap – we know that we are being “fooled” – if not during the experience then certainly when we take off the helmet.

But where does the helmet really end?

Neuroscience has shown us more and more that even without the helmet, what we “are” is a network of complex perceptions being interpreted in the brain – even without the helmet.

We are – literally – our own world.

Perhaps it is the lesson of VR that will lead to the very end of our sense of separation because when you are “in” the virtual world, and “come back” – you recognize that in both instances – the virtual and the “real” you are still the focal point – your self is the world.  There is no real gap.

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Proposed ‘Smart’ Forest City In Mexico Would Be 100% Food & Energy Self-Sufficient

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Image credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Architecture firm Stefano Boeri Architetti has proposed a design for a 'Smart' Forst City in Cancun and is awaiting its approval.

  • Reflect On:

    Could this be a model for future cities?

Italian architect Stefano Boeri has unveiled impressive plans to create a forested smart forest city near Cancun, Mexico. It is said to be an example of the potential for cities in the future. If you’re like me, there are aspects of this that are quite impressive, but the word ‘smart city’ may sound some alarm bells. Let’s address this as we go.

There is a 557 hectare site near the Mexican city of Cancun where currently proposed is a huge shopping mall. Previously, this piece of land was partly occupied by a sand quarry, but if Boeri’s firm gets the nod, their design for a smart forest city will bring 7.5 million plants, including numerous species of trees, shrubs and bushes chosen by botanist and landscape architect Laura Gatti.

“Smart Forest City Cancun is a Botanical Garden, within a contemporary city, based on Mayan heritage and in its relationship with the natural and sacred world, […] An urban ecosystem where nature and city are intertwined and act as one organism.” said Stefano Boeri Architetti.

“Indeed the effort of the smart Forest City of Cancun could make our world a better place, reducing significantly the negative impacts on the environment, possibly being a pioneer for a new kind of human settlement, a man made city for nature and biodiversity,” said the firm.

The city would grow food, could be home to up to 130,000 people and would even collect and process its own water to irrigate the farmland. The city would also be energy sufficient through the use of solar technology.

“We have designed different types of housing that could include all the types of inhabitants,” […] “This will include affordable buildings for young students, researchers, and professors.” said the firm.

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Beyond city living, their design enables the city to become a centre for advanced research in the areas of bio-healthcare; astrophysics and planetary science; coral reef restoration; precision farming and regenerative technology; smart city; and mobility and robotics.

“The idea behind this project is to create a district dedicated to research and innovation (the fields will be: molecular biology, robotics, IT, etc) where academic institutions and research centres meet, along with big multinational corporations and the new generations of students and researchers, Mexican and from all over the world,” said the firm.

Boeri’s team presented the concept’s masterplan and project to the Cancun region and the Municipality in March of 2019. They are awaiting approval.

Image credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

Image credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

Image credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

Image credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

Image credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

Image credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

Image credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

‘Smart’ City?

Naturally, the discussion of utilizing technology to collect data that manages things in everyday life brings up some interesting questions. What technology is required to collect this data? Will it become an EMF hot zone? Are we talking 5G type infrastructures? Not only that, who will hold and govern this data? And what else will be done with it? These are all fair questions when you consider what has happened in recent years with data and when you consider the dangers of concentrated wireless networks as we currently build them today.

We get at least one answer from the firm:

Data in the smart city will be managed with “full respect of the privacy of the citizens […] Big data management is used to improve the Governance of the city, hence, the life of its citizens.

While we don’t necessarily get answers regarding the use of wireless technology, I do want to bring up a conversation that I feel is important to have. Centralization of things like data for the means of improving life within a city is an acceptable way of packaging an idea that in the ‘wrong’ hands can be used to limit the population of that city. I get that argument. But what I’d like to share is the important nuance that many of the companies who have controlled decisions, abused people’s data, and monopolized utilities due to centralization have done so from a state of being that all may not operate from when ideas are centralized in some way.

What I mean by this is, having a central system that collects data around energy usage, food consumption, water consumption and so forth are not necessarily bad things as they are necessary to operate the city. Technology can be a useful tool in solving many of the challenges we face in everyday life, and it is integral in creating a world where we wouldn’t even need to work to survive. But what does that technological future look like? That is what we must discuss as a whole. We need this not to be a black and white issue, but one that seeks to create a discussion around harmonious technology design and usage such that it does not cause harm to human and planetary health and yet can advance well into the future.

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Scientists Uncovered 143 More Huge Ancient Drawings In Nazca, Peru

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TWO NEWLY DISCOVERED GEOGLYPHS IN THE NAZCA REGION. IMAGE: YAMAGATA UNIVERSITY/IBM JAPAN

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A team of researchers from Yamagata University in Japan has just come across 143 More Huge Ancient Drawings In Nazca, Peru.

  • Reflect On:

    Hows were these done? Who were they done for? Did they draw them the way they did because they thought someone from the sky would be looking down upon them?

Nazca, Peru has become famous for those who like to peer into the world of unsolved mysteries. Take for example the Nazca Lines, a series of large ancient geoglyphs ranging in size, with the largest being 1200 feet long. The world is full of interesting unsolved mysteries that question what we think we know about human history and new discoveries are constantly being made, many of which receive very little attention. This really goes to show just how little we know of human history and how new discoveries show us that there are so many variables that we really need to take into consideration when contemplating it.

Nobody really knows their purpose, and the more one looks into it the more baffling they become.

Experts have pronounced upon the antiquity of Nazca, basing their opinions on fragments of pottery found embedded in the lines and on radiocarbon results form various organic remains unearthed here. The dates conjectured range between 350 BC and AD 600. Realistically, they tell us nothing about the age of the lines themselves, which are inherently as undatable as the stones cleared to make them. All we can say for sure is that the most recent are at least 1400 years old, but it is theoretically possible that they could be far more ancient than that – for the simple reason that the artefacts from which such dates are derived could have been brought to Nazca by later peoples. – Graham Hancock, Fingerprints of the Gods

The latest news is that scientists have recently uncovered 143 more giant ancient drawings in Peru. They did so with the help of artificial intelligence and satellites. Researchers spotted a number of ‘geoglyphs’ depicting animals, people and objects.  (source)

The discovery comes via a team of researchers from Yamagata University in Japan.

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These new geoglyphs were identified through fieldwork and analyzing high-resolution 3D data, among other activities conducted up to 2018. The biomorphic geoglyphs are thought to date back to at least 100 BC to AD 300. Additionally, in a feasibility study carried out from 2018 to 2019 together with IBM Japan, the university discovered one new geoglyph by developing an AI model on the AI server IBM Power System AC922 configured with the deep learning platform IBM Watson Machine Learning Community Edition (formerly known as IBM PowerAI) . This study explored the feasibility of AI’s potential to discover new lines, and introduced the capability to process large volumes of data with AI, including high-resolution aerial photos, at high speeds. This represented the first glyph at the site discovered by an AI. (Press release).

Image credits: Yamagata University

Image credits: Yamagata University

Image credits: Yamagata University

Image credits: Yamagata University

Image credits: Yamagata University

The Takeaway

It’s amazing to look back into ancient history and know that we still have so much to discover. These drawings are quite something, and especially hard to do given the size of them and how the makers, supposedly, and no way of having an Ariel view. It’s quite perplexing, and there are many theories. There are some truly remarkable findings all over Peru, even more mysterious than these lines, that still bare no explanation. Theories range from an airfield, all the way to some sort of astronomical significance.

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The Starchild Skull Artifact Encourages A Reassessment Of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Starchild skull artifact is one of many that has been ignored by the mainstream, and one of many that calls into question Darwin's theory of evolution.

  • Reflect On:

    Why have so many discoveries, like this one, been completely ignored by mainstream academia and mainstream media? What is going on here?

The skull was discovered in 1930 in a mine tunnel about 100 miles southwest of Chihuahua, Mexico, out in the middle of nowhere, by a teenage girl. She assumed the Starchild was simply a human with a deformed skull, most likely from the result of cradle boarding.

The young girl then brought the skull back home with her to Texas where she kept it for the rest of her life. It was not until 60 years later before her death in the 1990s when she passed it on to some friends, who in turn passed it on to Ray and Melanie Young of El Paso, Texas in 1998. Melanie Young, a neonatal nurse, was intrigued to learn what had caused the skulls unusual deformity.

Could it have been a deformed head from cradle boarding, a possible genetic mutation, or natural phenomena? She approached several of her colleagues at the hospital where she worked, and while all dismissed it as some sort of deformity, none could give her an explanation as to what condition could have caused it.

After speculating the possibilities that this skull could be a new species unknown to the scientific community, Melanie sought out the assistance of Lloyd Pye, an author and researcher in the field of alternative news who was well connected in the medical field.

One of the main issues was to determine whether or not this skull could have been deformed through the practice of cradle boarding or cranial deformation. Cradle Boarding is the practice of strapping infants into cradleboards, which causes the child’s soft occipital bone (at the rear of the skull) to flatten like the board it is pressed against. It’s important to note that cradle boarding will leave physical signs on the bones of the skull, and none of them can change the shape or position of the inion (the small bump at the rear of all human skulls). The Starchild not only has no inion but also the occipital bone shows no signs of impressions from cradle boarding either.

Credit the Field Reports

In 2004, a team of 11 specialists headed by Dr. Ted J. Robinson investigated the Starchild Skull in an attempt to identify a deformity, illness, or any other natural explanation for the skull. From a maxilla fragment of the skull, they took X-Rays, CT scans, performed a 3-dimensional scan, and discussed and researched the skull’s physical characteristics. You can view the study here.

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The study concluded that the Starchild Skull was unlike any specimen in recorded medical history, and notably that its unusual characteristics are not the result of artificial cranial deformation. The Starchild Skull is not the result of artificial shaping.

Here are some of the main points determined from the study:

  • Carbon 14 dating of the skull places its age at 900 years ago.
  • It is lighter and weighs about half of the weight of a human adult skull while the cranial capacity is about 1600 cc, which is 400 cc. larger than an average human adult.
  • It is composed of a bony material which is so hard that a standard Dremel blade had great difficulty cutting into it.

 Dr. Robinson’s team also concluded that “the extreme flattening of the skull was caused by its natural growth pattern.”

Another study revealed by researchers Chase Kloetzke and Kerry McClure found more fascinating data about the skull:

  • The Starchild Skull is 5 years old
  • The debunking theory: hydrocephalus explains the Skull’s shape. This theory cannot be ruled out nor ignored. However, a hydrocephalic anomaly should appear symmetrical, which affects the entire skull. The Starchild Skull does not display the symmetrical “ballooning effect” that would include the back of the skull.
  • Moreover, its genetic origin was said to come from the haplogroup Q which is a determinant of Native Americans from South America.

From the study reviewed by Kloetzke and McClure, the scientists’ concluding statement was, “the investigation and compiling the entirety of the scientific data from the many scientists involved, we can safely say that the Starchild Skull is not alien, nor a hybrid of a human and alien. He was 100% a human male child with profound deformities.” View the study here.

With the DNA results concluding it is indeed human, this may throw out the alien hypothesis. However, this skull brings up questions about our currently accepted view of human evolution. A human species whose skull (at the age of 5) is 400cc larger than an average human skull is fascinating. Not to mention we’re looking at a brain size that was a third larger than the human skull.

Another interesting report about the skull comes from archaeologist Aaron Judkins, PhD, Starchild Skull Final Report

The Takeaway

The implications of these findings are fascinating because it makes us rethink the human story. More importantly, why aren’t these archaeological findings being aired on CNN or BBC? Why isn’t this story being featured in the prestigious scientific journal Nature? This isn’t the first time that Darwin’s theory has been disproven and shut down by mainstream science. Look at this story published in 2018 discussing the cover-up of Giants in North America. These spectacular findings should be celebrated and accepted by archeologists because they slowly bind the earth’s real puzzle pieces together.

Related CE  Article:  Prominent Yale Professor Explains How Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Doesn’t Match The Science

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