Thursday, October 30, 2014

Three good pieces

1. Best review of Iain M. Banks's Culture sequence

Matt Hilliard, a smart and insightful reviewer at Strange Horizons wrote this piece on his blog: the best assessment of what on earth Banks was trying to do with his Culture novels. His take on Peter Watts' Echopraxia is equally superior.

2. Steve Hsu's popular and accessible article on genetic engineering for super-intelligence

Steve Hsu in action
"Super-Intelligent Humans Are Coming - genetic engineering will one day create the smartest humans who have ever lived".

'Stephen Hsu is Vice-President for Research and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Michigan State University. He is also a scientific advisor to BGI (formerly, Beijing Genomics Institute) and a founder of its Cognitive Genomics Lab.'

His blog is here.

3. What makes the quadcopter design so great for small drones?

Remember all those camera drones with four rotors arranged in a square? Amazon's PR stunt for drone delivery? Why do we still go for helicopters in the large then? Is the future the quadcopter?

Here's why not.

A helicopter drone

Thanks to Jess Riedel's blog for the last two links.
Oh, and here's a laugh-out-loud bonus from The War Nerd.

Take me to Istanbul ..