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Oct 22 141 tweets 137 min read
🚀 We are live! Here is the correct streaming link for all of today's discussions and performances, starting with a panel on complex time with David Krakauer, James Gleick, Ted Chiang, and David Wolpert in a few moments (measured linearly...):

"One of the ideas we had with #InterPlanetary was, 'What would it take to make science hedonistic? And instead of telling people to do it, you'd have to tell people to STOP doing it?"

- SFI President David Krakauer sets the tone for this weekend's celebrations
#IPFest Image
David Krakauer: "Do you have a favorite model or metaphor for #time?"

@JamesGleick: "You've already mentioned a river; that's everybody's favorite. Borges said time is a tiger. People talk about it as a thread. We ONLY talk about time in metaphors." Image
Ted Chiang: "In the West, we think that the #future lies in front of us and the past lies behind us. But the Aymara, it's the other way. And that makes sense: we [in the West] can't see the future. But we think 'movement through #time' is analogous to physical movement." Image
David Wolpert: "What is the hidden seed underneath from which all of these [#metaphors about #time] sprout? I would start by disentangling two of the metaphors Ted mentioned: that you know the #past but not the #future; and that you're moving across time. Time *does not* move..." Image
"We know the past and not the #future. We have memories. [But] you're making a statistical #inference about the past based upon what you're seeing right now. The reason we are forced to resort to metaphors has to do with why retrodiction is so much more accurate."
- David Wolpert Image
Referencing the argument on #time between Henri Bergson & Albert Einstein in 1922:

"It was a moment where, looking back, we can say that the physicists were taking charge and burying the philosophers and psychologists."
- @JamesGleick

@JamesGleick "Bergson was trying to defend time from what he thought was a narrow, reductionist point of view from the physicists. The present moment means NOTHING in physics...[time is] merely another dimension, and the whole universe exists 'now,' a word that has no meaning."
- @JamesGleick Image
"Maybe I could tell a story about this #physics idea and tie it to this emotional #story about 'knowing how the story ends.' So that eventually become 'The Story of Your Life.' And in the course of #writing it, I learned more about #linguistics..."
- Ted Chiang Image
"Why is it that we FEEL that we know the past and not the #future? #Memory in the sense of RAM in your phone can provide you just as accurate #information about the #future as it does about the #past. But if you look at a footprint on the beach, it won't."
- David Wolpert Image
"#ScienceFiction has talked about time in the last century and a quarter in a much freer, crazier, freakish way than #LiteraryFiction has. But EVERYBODY around the turn of the previous century was thinking about time in more complex, richer ways."
- @JamesGleick

#Proust #HGWells Image
"What Ted [Chiang]'s story takes seriously is, 'What if Einstein was right, and the world is totally determined, and you could have memories of the future that are just as real as memories of the past? Do you [Ted] actually believe the world could be like that??"
- @JamesGleick Image
"I do believe in a block universe. But I think the implications to our daily life are probably not significant."
- Ted Chiang Image
"Gödel's solution to Einstein's equations was an infinite universe that has a universe density of gas everywhere. To prevent that universe from collapsing under gravitational attraction, it's rotating. These solutions have the property of a closed timelike curve."
- David Wolpert Image
"Gödel had some weird ideas of what #time is and it's hard to really make sense of them, but from a certain perspective the consensus in physics now is that the possibility of closed timelike curves...what that amounts to is that #FreeWill is just a delusion."
- David Wolpert Image
"We can call it 'the Einstein-Minkowski #BlockUniverse' but it's really H.G. Wells'."
- @JamesGleick on the evolution of thinking about time as a space-like dimension

"We can take it further and say it's Boltzmann's."
- David Wolpert Image
"We can take this back to Charles Dickens' The Christmas Carol...[Scrooge] is asking, 'Do I have #FreeWill?' I believe this is the first example in literature of someone having a prophecy and changing the future. [And] that's the bulk of modern #TimeTravel stories."
- Ted Chiang Image
"If you've watched the @netflix series @RussianDoll, [it] is a #TimeTravel story in which you can't change things. This kind of time travel story carries the same message as a lot of therapy does: you can't change what happened to you, but you can change the effect."
- Ted Chiang Image
@netflix @RussianDoll "There are some 'memories' we have of the future that are actually quite accurate — things like eclipses and sunrises and so forth. But they have a different nature. What is the difference between those and the other kinds of memories — retrodictions?"
- David Wolpert Image
"#NicolasGisin hypothesizes in some of his recent work that perhaps each new digit [in the real number series] is not preordained and you're just learning it but you're just stochastically constructing it on the fly."
- David Wolpert, Re: @NaturePhysics:…
(We reference Nicolas Gisin's resurrection of "intuitionist" models of #time and his efforts to restore the present moment and the passage of time to #physics in the following episodes of #ComplexityPodcast: Image
"SFI does not refute the foundations of #physics. The fact that time SEEMS to you to be going forward [is] a residue of the #BigBang 13Bn years ago and there's residual #entropy. How you derive the 2nd law from a block universe is in some sense THE SFI question."

- David Wolpert Image
"I'm going to ask a series of kind of absurd 'sci fi' questions... I hope that by the end, at the very least, maybe that absurd question sounds less 'out there' than it did at the beginning. The first: why don't we find ancient #holograms?"
- Tristan Duke

"The only real difference between a #hologram and a #photograph is the way the image is structured on the film. We don't usually think about the way the image is structured because most of the images we make are made by spraying pigments on a surface."
- Tristan Duke ImageImage
"The more I understood about #holography, the more perplexed I became... What would it be like to have a #holographic perspective? How can we TRACE a #hologram, or, '#Photography is to drawing what holography is to WHAT?"
- Tristan Duke

Custom hand-drawn #holograms engraved with diamond tools on a metal disk.

"Perhaps now it doesn't sound so absurd to imagine ancient holograms. All that's needed to make one is a tool to polish metal & some klutz to do it with a dirty rag. Would we recognize it?"
- Tristan Duke ImageImage
"Every camera, from the earliest camera obscura to your iPhone camera shares the same structure. But what does the dark box in the camera body actually do? It blocks light. What if we could make a surface, a filter or a screen, that could block the light in the same way?" ImageImage
A camera without a dark chamber between the lens and the film: Tristan Duke uses a sieve of precisely calibrated pinholes made in foamcore board to produce a "cameraless #camera."

"To remove the lens, we need only to make the precision of the array finer." ImageImage
"Under the right conditions, glacial ice is the most clear substance known to science, clearer even than diamond. I first started experimenting with ice with the scientists at the I learned more, I became fascinated with the temporal dimension."
- Tristan Duke ImageImageImageImage
"Attaching this slippery, wet, melting lens to a camera presented a unique challenge. I used elastic bands so as the lens shrinks, the elastic keeps the lens in place. It's interesting to note that the curvature stays the same as the lens melts..."
- Tristan Duke ImageImageImageImage
"Some of the harshest conditions, every day I was hauling over 150 lbs. of equipment over the ice to capture the shots."

"This is an eight-foot-wide print, shot and focused through a chunk of ice found in the Arctic."
- Tristan Duke

#glaciers #ice #photography ImageImage
Using a glacier as "an optical element to form a picture of the cosmos" — Tristan Duke references the @uw_icecube #neutrino observatory:

"We set out to reimagine photography as a land-based practice..."

"LA Still gets close to 40% of its drinking water from the Owens Valley and as a result the once-massive Owens Lake has become a dry bed. This desiccation has created an environmental disaster."

- Tristan Duke ImageImage
"Basically, film is a distribution of crystals made from silver and a halogen suspended in an animal gelatin."

"We rehabilitated the historic lift to the Cerro Gordo silver mine..."

- Tristan Duke on making photos "from scratch", sourcing all ingredients locally: salt, bones... ImageImageImageImage
"A naturally occurring photochemical brine pool teeming with extremophile bacteria. It's hypersaline, highly caustic, & — we discovered — highly effective at processing film."
- Tristan Duke on "a photography TRULY of the landscape," burying prints in the brine on moonless nights ImageImage
"Is life a prerequisite for photography? It just so happens that exoplanetary biologists are studying the same brine pools that we are using to develop photographs..."

"Our current working theory is that the bacteria living in these pools are metabolizing sulfur."
- Tristan Duke ImageImageImageImage
"Our photographic process actually functions like the detection of indicators of life...we have hit upon a tantalizing speculation: that the primordial soup may actually be teeming with photochemical potential: a living, breathing, metabolizing developer."
- Tristan Duke Image
Next up, "#Life and its Objects" — @ChrisKempes introduces a panel on agnostic #astrobiology featuring Dario Robleto, @caleb_scharf, @Sara_Imari, and @SantaFeMcShea (4/5 of which have appeared on #ComplexityPodcast, for more after the panel is finished):

"All of #astrobiology assumes we know the difference between objects made by life & those that aren't."
- @SantaFeMcShea

"The #dataome is the sum total of all of our externalized information. We carry around all this information that isn't encoded in our genome."
- @caleb_scharf Image
"When you begin to examine the #dataome, it begins to look like an ultimate living system here on Earth. It has emerged OUT of us, but that's okay: other living systems have emerged in this way. It is entirely dependent on us, but WE are entirely dependent on IT."
- @caleb_scharf Image
Responding to artist Dario Robleto's question about the intentional creation of meaning:

"I'm not saying that that chair is not living in the sense that we are, but that chair is part of something much bigger that IS living."
- @caleb_scharf Image
"We think [life vs. non-life] is a binary distinction, but it's not."

"History and time are actually physical attributes of objects. Objects can only co-exist with things that share information with them."

- @Sara_Imari Image
"One of the criteria I always like to focus in on with imagining some sort of [potentially artifactual] object floating through the cosmos is that the conversation around them is almost like art critique."
- Dario Robleto commenting on #Oumuamua and the question of intentionality Image
"What if that chair is the last thing remaining from our #civilization and is floating out in #space? It's intriguing to think about what you can reconstruct about [us] just from that object. Is there #poetry in that chair? There IS artistry..."
- @caleb_scharf Image
"Why is it that there is this compulsion to externalizing information?"
- @SantaFeMcShea

"I think it's because we think an object is 'external'. We have a tendency to think in terms of isolated individuals...but everything we call life is the same structure."
- @Sara_Imari Image
"The Golden Record is the greatest work of art that art history has never accounted for. Only FIVE human-made objects have broken free of the gravity of the Sun, have escaped the fate of their home system. ALL FIVE have works of art bolted to the side of them."

- Dario Robleto Image
"Art is a human-defined category. Science is a human-defined category. What we are doing as minds navigating the world is something else. We grow up learning to categorize ourselves & our work. When you are trying to do something new, those categories don't apply."
- @Sara_Imari Image
"We are CONSTANTLY transmitting artifacts out into space. They're not *material*; they're electromagnetic radiation."
- @caleb_scharf

"People think information and other things can be immaterial. They can't."
- @Sara_Imari Image
"Ann [Druyan] recorded her thoughts [for the @NASAVoyager Golden Record] on an EEG & EKG...they were then encoded on a grooved sheet of gold. She thought about #love, about the commitment to truth in the face of eternity [&] a little bit of gold got shaved off."
- Dario Robleto Image
"There is no such thing in the physical world as a perfect #circle. We can talk about it, but..."
- @Sara_Imari

"The first symbol encoded in the Golden Record was a circle. I wonder if just signaling 'We are trying to make a circle' is a symbol of #intelligence."
- Dario Robleto Image
"It seems to me that these objects [like the imagined perfect circle] demand an occasion for their existence...I think objects are a consequence of #matter but maybe they're #time-first."

- @SantaFeMcShea asks about the relationship between #imagination & #causality in artifice Image
"I think you could consider the [@NASA interstellar] probes, and the works of art on them, a kind of #mourning #art. It is remarkable to see across time and cultures specific similar #aesthetic decisions made by people in a state of #loss."
- Dario Robleto Image
"One of the central challenges of #science is to try and cut away some of your instinctual #preconceptions about the thing that is in front of you...we don't always do a very good job of self-#analysis. The trouble is, the '#UnknownUnknowns'."
- @caleb_scharf

#knowledge #wonder Image
"I think the most interesting #intellectual exercises are to take the things that people understand to be #facts and rearrange find consistent ways of describing the same things, but are not the current #narrative."
- @Sara_Imari

#hypothesis #induction #discovery Image
"This is really the crux of #astrobiology: ARE there #universal laws of ##life that apply everywhere in the universe? And I'm going to argue in today's talk: yes."
- SFI Professor @ChrisKempes

"What if there WEREN'T universal laws of #physics? What if the laws CHANGED everywhere? This is actually how we used to think about it. This is a shift in #perspective from particularist stories..."
- @ChrisKempes Image
"In a way, we are overwhelmed by the diversity of #life. It's so #diverse, it's so #complex, it's so rich that we're not willing to make statements about life on some island where we've never been before...even though it shares all the same fundamental components."
- @ChrisKempes Image
Assuming limits to the scope of biological #variation, "Thereafter you have kind of a bowling alley within which #evolution can take kind of a random walk & still stay within the constraints."

"Trees are trying to optimize hydraulics, stability, & space-filling."
- @ChrisKempes ImageImage
"One can, for example, predict the total population abundances of various kinds of trees within a forest...and even get rough senses of what their spatial arrangement would be in an ideal forest...and even predict what would happen ACROSS forests."
- @ChrisKempes on #biophysics Image
"There's a constant ratio of #nitrogen to #phosphorus everywhere in the global #ocean. This has become a target for astrobiologists, to look at other planets...but first we have to predict how different it might be."
- @ChrisKempes ImageImage
"What if life had different molecules? As long as you have physical #scaling, you should have similar properties across similar scales. Scaling theories DO predict universal properties."
- @ChrisKempes regarding this paper he co-authored:…
#stoichiometry ImageImageImage
"Different instances of the origin of life still project into similar spaces of physical constraints."

"Ultimately what we need to do as a field is lift these physical constraints into a higher space of optimization..."

- @ChrisKempes on THIS paper:…
#bio Image
"There's a separation of detailed #physiology that is connected to particular evolutionary histories, and #macroscale ecological features that might be easier to predict. We can do a pretty good job of predicting how leaf shape might respond to [desertification]."
- @ChrisKempes ImageImageImage
@ChrisKempes "#Cloning a horse was totally unanticipated by very smart people, #sciencefiction authors and professional #futurologists all over the world. My claim is that it's a mistake to go to #scifi to find out about the #future."
- @PeterSwirski Image
"As for cultural politics, anything [H.G. Wells] predicted about the 40s, 50s, 60s was totally wrong. Any prediction BEFORE @thebeatles that did not predict them is simply bunk. Culturally, we've been looking up to #scifi for guidance...are we right to do that?"
- @PeterSwirski Image
"People will tell you it was #StanislawLem who predicted #cloning in his books. It is true that he did mention it in his books...but not so: as of 1935 there was already enough knowledge of cloning to be awarded a #NobelPrize. His stories from the 60s are WRONG."
- @PeterSwirski Image
"All of you know how to do #futurology right, but let me tell you: all you need to do is to stake a claim to being a #futurologist, do two things and two things only. Formulate a series of concrete, detailed #predictions, and provide a reasonable #timeline."
- @PeterSwirski Image
🎸 After tonight's #scifi film screening, our live stream will resume with a concert by the high-energy New Mexico-based indie rock sisters due #LindyVision!

Preview them here:

...then tune in at 8:30 pm Mountain Time on YouTube:… Image
🚀 And we're back! Follow this thread for highlights from day 2 of #IPFest 2022:

"BY FAR the most family-friendly event that SFI puts on"

- SFI VP Will Tracey reminds parents we have a whole suite of interactive kids events here at @SITESantaFe

@SITESantaFe "As an anthropologist, I've always been interested in the ways that systems shape culture...we're living through a massive deterritorialization."
- SFI's Emergent Political Economies Program Manager Travis Holmes introduces our #SpacePolicy panel w/ a nod to SFI friend @Timiebi89 Image
What assumptions do we bring with us to "the final frontier"?

Today at #IPFest Travis Holmes moderates a panel on #SpacePolicy with SFI Fellow @DheinKelle author @ITregillis & historian @Oklahomaharper

Here's Ann Pendleton-Jullian on the topic in 2019:
Holmes: "Economists [often] think about the world in terms of scarcity. What are your assumptions about the economy?"

@DheinKelle: "I think of the economy as people wanting things. What people want depends on the environment. As we go into space, that might radically change." Image
"@cstross is someone who thinks a lot about economics in his me it's a kind of trap, and as a writer I [too] keep laying down these traps to eventually step in."
- @ITregillis re: the co-author (w/ former #IPfest panelist @doctorow) of… Image
Re: @FCC #SpaceJunk policy

"We're *already* thinking about this in terms of nations. [Is] there a better way?"
- Travis Holmes

"As an historian, that sounds a lot to me like the Pope telling Europeans to be nice as they expand into the world in the 17th C."
- @Oklahomaharper Image
"This recognition that low-Earth orbit all the way out to geostationary orbit IS a FINITE resource. What I hear in that [@FCC] edict is a lone voice in the wilderness saying, 'We really need to think about space.' But it's coming too late and it's too quiet."
- @ITregillis Image
On the Arctic as a training for space:

"In the 70s on an ice floe there was a fight, someone was shot & died, and it became this huge jurisdictional headache where it wasn't even clear whether the accused would even be tried."
- @ITregillis

More @Slate:…
@ITregillis @Slate "The rationale behind building an institution like a #biobank is that #data is valuable but we don't know HOW valuable. As theory & practice evolve over time we find ways to use things we didn't know before. The content changes [with] our abilities."
- @DheinKelle

(cc @longnow) Image
"There are some things about #COVID19 that I still struggle to wrap my head is the INCREDIBLE #fragility of global supply chains. We've built a world that depends on the flow of good information to coordinate consumption & production."
- @Oklahomaharper Image
"In these situations [of systemic societal shocks], the hardest thing to understand and hardest thing to predict is what humans will do to each other. Climate and disease didn't cause the fall of Rome; people did."
- @Oklahomaharper Image
"I don't think anyone has ever accused me of building a wildly realistic world...but envision[ing] an #interplanetary society, it's hard for me to imagine interplanetary EMPIRE. Survival is so overwhelming there isn't a lot of free energy left."
- @ITregillis Image
"We see space as scarce, but also as a source of potentially fantastic wealth. Can we come up with equitable economics in space?"
- Travis Holmes

"What are the parallels between [The East India Company] and these new corporations leading the way into space?"
- @Oklahomaharper Image
"One of the most recurrent themes in science fiction is there are always mining colonies with their oppressed workers. One of the things that @Timiebi89 does so well is to make us think about consider what institutions on Earth we DON'T want."
- Travis Holmes Image
"If you're going up to find a mining colony, you find an iron-rich asteroid in the belt...what, are you going to send it all down a gravity well back to Earth? You're going to need a lot more orbital infrastructure..."
- @ITregillis Image
"The Romans didn't have coffee. They didn't have sugar. HOW did they get through the day? The abundance of psychotropic commodities changes the world. If we screw up this planet, things we take for granted will suddenly look very different in terms of value."
- @Oklahomaharper Image
"Even if we have this fabulous #innovation that gives us access to free energy far greater than ever before, we will likely find new ways to WORK..."
- @Oklahomaharper, referencing #JohnMaynardKeynes' "Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren" (1930):… Image
"Let's go to the main issue, here: images of [#SpaceCities] are of huge artificial structures that solve amazing challenges of engineering...they focus on infrastructure but not the culture that goes inside."

- #Architect Jorge Almazán:
"I tell my students that images are not innocent. You see this kind of ideal green landscape garden city with...English barns? And then in the background you have a central business district? Maybe cities built in space could become something more like THIS..."
- Jorge Almazán ImageImage
"I would like to explain today how [#Tokyo,] this monster of houses and huge #density — when you go to the eye level where cities have to be understood — can accommodate a very #HumanScale flexibility and spontaneity and communal and INTIMATE life."
- Jorge Almazán
"#Tokyo is a combination of very light top-down #planning mixed with emergent regulation and bottom-up #organization without any strong master planning or brain that controls everything."
- Jorge Almazán on #EmergentUrbanism Image
"Maybe the purest example of #EmergentUrbanism: #Yokocho alleyways, or districts of lively microscale bars and restaurants centered along tiny alleyways. This area is half the size of a soccer field, with more than 250 bars."
- Jorge Almazán Image
"In 1949 the American occupation told the Japanese they didn't want so many black markets, so what they did is give as much land as possible to as many people as possible in an equal size. This is why there are so many tiny bars. This was NOT emergent, but came from an order." Image
"Each bar [in a #Yokocho alleyway] is highly idiosyncratic and creative. They're encouraged to show their own personality, their own music and's a landscape of tiny businesses, each one very unique. It's almost like entering someone's personal world."
- Jorge Almazán ImageImageImage
"Most of my colleagues don't consider these streets worth studying because [they think they're] unsightly...but I find them very interesting. You can find #Zakkyo buildings in almost ALL commercial districts [in #Tokyo]. Each floor is an independent business or franchise..." ImageImageImage
"The city evolves over time. You get taller #buildings but they maintain tiny a very central location so that people can [participate] with very low rent."
- Jorge Almazán on the reconciliation of #urban #density with self-organizing human-scale life in #Tokyo Image
"How come film-makers, when they want to show #Tokyo, don't show Tokyo Tower? Why do they show #Zakkyo buildings? A Zakkyo building is a monument...but an EMERGENT monument."
- Jorge Almazán Image
On making the most of all available urban space with undertrack infills:

"Everyone has a chance to make a small business in a good location. Small shops have colonized every corner. The boundary between the street and the shop is very blurred, porous, permeable."
- Jorge Almazán ImageImageImage
"Maybe we don't need to fight against commercialization. Maybe it should be, as in the case of Japan, a matter of governmental policy. In either case there is a need for large infrastructure. SOME things need to be top-down. But how about if we let the other parts EMERGE?" Image
"We need to design for emergence to be successful: a multiplicity of agents with no big business that dominates the whole. Scale is very important; there is an over-focus on bigness and maybe we should think about smallness. Permeability [&] a network configuration is important." Image
"The reason people like to go to @CityofSantaFe's plaza is because it's human-scale."

- Jorge Almazán, author of Emergent Tokyo: Designing The Spontaneous City (@oroeditions)…
#SantaFeNM Image
"Public spaces in Japan are very controlled. The behavior of people is very limited compared to Spain or the US. What we have here with #Ankyo streets is that in Japanese legislation, streets are police jurisdiction — but covered rivers are PARKS. So people started to innovate." ImageImage
"#Tokyo is a city made of wood, unlike in Europe where we live in buildings made 2000 yrs ago. So the Japanese think of the city as a temporal thing & have no problem with renovation. This is the link I see between disaster [eg, earthquakes] & emergent #urbanism."
- Jorge Almazán Image
"Percival Lowell could see that the surface of #Mars was changing...when we finally had an opportunity to GO to Mars, people were very excited. Unfortunately, when we finally WENT, people were BUMMED. We didn't go back for twenty years."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) Image
"Why do we care about whether there are, or even just WERE #Martians? We want to know if we're alone. We want to know about our origins. Maybe Earth is NOT that great for life and other environments are better. We can use #Mars to test hypotheses."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) ImageImage
"If you look over here [to the right of this timeline]: 'Dinosaurs, etc.' 'Etc.': that's us. We're very young. We have tantalizing clues of life on Earth in ancient rocks but the rocks on #Mars are much, much older. That lets us peek back in time."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) Image
"How can we identify ancient life in rocks? We can look for organic molecules, specific minerals, different structures at different scales...just one of these alone is not enough. We need multiple lines of evidence. But this is really hard with our [#Mars] rovers."
- @marsninja ImageImage
"@MarsCuriosity is like sending a mini-laboratory to the surface of #Mars. It's been going TEN YEARS now; it was only expected to last two years. So we're doing great but we don't want to rest on our laurels, so we sent its twin, the @NASAPersevere rover..."
- @marsninja ImageImageImage
"When I tell people we have this rock-vaporizing #laser on #Mars, they're like 'WHOA, AWESOME!' But it's pretty small..."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) Image
"In ten years, we have almost gotten A MILLION spectra and six THOUSAND images."

"This is a map of #Mars, false-colored; cooler colors are lower elevation and warmer colors are higher elevation. SOMETHING had to resurface the Northern hemisphere."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) Image
"We know now that a lake, or maybe a series of lakes, once filled Gale crater [on #Mars]. We don't know if life existed there because we don't have the instruments, but we DO know that the building blocks of life WERE there."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) Image
"It turns out that we may be very lucky: life can harness the power of redox reactions to make multicellular life. It's been argued that multicellular life would not exist WITHOUT oxygen. Early Earth, we know was a reducing place with no free oxygen. But with photosynthesis..." Image
"Before the Great Oxygenation Event, there were 1500 [naturally-occurring] mineral species known on Earth. Today, we have over 4300."

"Manganese minerals are both directly and indirectly related to life. We've seen them in several places on Mars, including in Gale crater..." Image
"Ancient #Mars should be like the pre-Great Oxygenation Event #Earth. It should NOT be like present-day Earth. So how is it that we have so many of these #Manganese minerals [showing up on rover payload instruments]?"
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) Image
"We're still preparing for a future human mission, so with @NASAPersevere we're doing a few tech demos, including the ability to produce oxygen..."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) Image
"Here's Jezero Crater. What makes this [kind of structure] on Earth is a river, depositing sediments in a fan. This is diagnostic: even though there's no #water here, we know there was in the past."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab)

(see also #OctaviaEButler) ImageImage
"Why would you put a microphone [on a #Mars rover]? It's not JUST to hear what the #Martians have been saying about us. The Martian atmosphere has a very different composition than Earth's. This is going to affect sound..."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) on @NASAPersevere ImageImageImage
"We can refine our models of how #sound behaves by listening to sounds on #Mars. We have IDEAS [based on measurements on Earth], but..."

"The LIBS #laser makes a noise every time you fire it. It's not 'pew pew,' which is really disappointing."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) ImageImageImage
"If you're a little microbe, you want to be connected to the environment, but you also want to be protected. So rock coatings are a great place to live. And we see rock coatings at Jezero! How these formed is still to-be-determined, so stay tuned."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab) ImageImage
"It's easy to ASK questions about #LifeOnMars. It's hard to ANSWER them."
- @marsninja (@LosAlamosNatLab)

#PlanetScience #MarsGeology #Planetary #Mars Image
This afternoon at #IPFest: #theremin virtuoso @rschwim takes us on a tour of #scifi and #classical music with live painting by @michaelgarfield
Will #Space Limit Human #Performance?

@C4COMPUTATION moderates a panel with @big_data_kane, @blamlab, and Jorge Almazán, streaming now:
Our keynote is from @carolynporco, whom Dario Robleto calls in his introduction "a thinker that transcends disciplinary boundaries...who helped create 2 images we should rightly call 'art'": Earth "selfies" from the @NASAVoyager & @CassiniSaturn missions:

@carolynporco @NASAVoyager @CassiniSaturn "Who takes the time to wonder at what precise moment the Earth will be visible through the rings of #Saturn and makes sure the cameras will be ready when it does? An ARTIST. I see the hidden labor: the sleepless nights and the sacrifices..."
- Dario Robleto on @carolynporco
"During the 1960s ALL of our robotic space missions were focused on the inner solar system. The outer system, I remind you, is VERY FAR AWAY. Communication times make such expeditions VERY risky. The Pioneers proved a ship could make it through the asteroid belt without harm..." ImageImageImageImage
"In my mind, @NASAVoyager is the #Apollo11 of the robotic space program, and I am VERY honored to have been a part of it. It was daring & it was risky. Nothing like that had ever been done before. And it was semi-autonomous, which was critical for its survival."
- @carolynporco Image
"In 2012, Voyager 1 entered interstellar space...I regard that moment as the time that humankind became an interstellar species."
- @carolynporco
Upon reaching Saturn, @CassiniSaturn's path "unfolded" into an intricate pattern of flybys.

"We wanted to know the life cycle of storms. It just so happened that in late 2010, we witnessed a major geological event, which was the birth and development of a huge lightning storm." ImageImageImage
"People really freaked out when we posted pictures of [the #Saturn hexagon]. But it's a jet stream...with no ground, as soon as currents get going there's nothing to disturb them, it just keeps going. It's two Earths across."
- @carolynporco Image
"The rings of #Saturn are very thin: about one to two stories tall if they were buildings. Seen from the edge, they disappear. They trace out the gravitational equilibrium all around the planet, and that's why they're so thin."
- @carolynporco Image
@carolynporco "The most dramatic features are those made by the moons embedded WITHIN the rings..."

- @carolynporco on @CassiniSaturn, the Encke gap, and #Saturn's moon #Pan:

"This is a moon with a skirt. You don't see this kind of thing every day..." ImageImageImage
"The waves made by #Daphnis are towering, two and a half miles above the plane of its orbit."
- @carolynporco on one of EIGHTY moons of Saturn that "spangle" the planet ImageImage
"I want you to think of Lake Michigan brimming with nail polish remover."
- @carolynporco on @CassiniSaturn and #Titan — which is, strangely, NOT heavily cratered (due to fluid flow, as determined by the Huygens probe): ImageImageImage
"Some of these lakes actually have shorelines, which as you can see, look very much like the coast of Greece. In this solar system, the geographical complexity of #Titan is rivaled only by the Earth itself."
- @carolynporco Image
"#Enceladus' surface looks nothing like that of the other Saturnian moons. Its surface is youthful, crisscrossed by a network of fractures. On its south pole a prodigious amount of heat comes from these fractures and nowhere else."
- @carolynporco on its water ocean & geysers (!) ImageImage
"It doesn't get any more exciting than this. The big question now is, did a second genesis of life take place on this little moon?"

- @carolynporco on #Enceladus as the most promising target for #astrobiologists to find *extant* life elsewhere in our solar system Image
"Without such bold scientific exploration, we would be nothing more than a lost species that doesn't know what or where they are."
- @carolynporco Image
"At the end of 65 years of space activities, there were a total of 1700 satellites around the Earth. In 2019, @SpaceX began its buildup of @SpaceXStarlink by launching what will eventually be 42K satellites in low-Earth orbit."
- @carolynporco Image
"A total of 430K satellites are either in orbit or proposed. It is no longer 'We came in peace for all mankind.' Where this is headed is painfully clear: we will trash orbit the way we have trashed our beaches, perhaps even impairing our own access to deep space."
- @carolynporco Image
"The lesson from over 60 years of space exploration is that there is #NoPlanetB. It is IRRESPONSIBLE to present before us the story that we can leave the Earth...I propose that we should re-terraform the planet instead."
- @carolynporco Image
"That startling, uncorrupted, unpoliticized revelation of where we are... This is where Charles Darwin and Galileo come face to face. I look at this image and I see our distant ancestors coming down from the trees and walking into the African savannas and pausing to look back..." Image
#IPFest 2022 closes out now with a tech demo and performance by @chagallmusic, streaming now but will not be recorded! Tune in while you can:
"After working with @mimu_gloves I decided to hack this @Xsens suit and control music with my full body. Here I am playing chords with my static postures..."

"It's important to understand I'm not dancing TO the music, the music is happening because I'm dancing."

@chagallmusic ImageImageImageImage

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More from @sfiscience

Oct 26
"#Emergence, #SelfOrganization, & #Complexity"

🧵 In today's SFI Seminar, Visiting Scholar @cgershen presents the second in his series of talks on core concepts in #ComplexSystems science, streaming now:

"In high school #physics class you are taught that with the initial conditions of a system, you can predict its future states. In #complexity, this is not means #reductionism is not appropriate, #Platonism is not appropriate..."
- @cgershen ImageImage
"You can see a layer of circuits computing something. What is it computing? Itself. In a 248x248 array, you can program the #GameOfLife inside the game of life. Computers allow us to explore #Complexity, and it's no surprise complexity became a science in the 1980s."
- @cgershen ImageImageImageImage
Read 7 tweets
Oct 25
Cormac McCarthy spent the last quarter century writing his novels at SFI. In this documentary from December 2017, Cormac in conversation with SFI President David Krakauer, reflects on isolation, mathematics, character, and the nature of the unconscious:
In anticipation of Cormac McCarthy’s newest books, “The Passenger” and “Stella Maris” (@AAKnopf, 2022), former SFI Miller Scholar @deepsurvivalsm0 recollects McCarthy’s long and ongoing friendship with SFI:… Image
"Until recently the writer could be heard at SFI, clattering away on his portable typewriter from behind his office door. An affable member of this community, he would regularly emerge for afternoon tea or attend talks by SFI scholars."

More at @guardian:…
Read 4 tweets
Oct 19
"Harnessing #SocialCapital to Enhance Collective Welfare" — our final Community Lecture of the season, starting in a few moments (7:30 pm Mountain).

Follow this 🧵 for highlights from the panel, and tune in to the YouTube stream:

#Economics #Inequality
In 2009 @TIME named @NAChristakis of @Yale, one of our panelists tonight, one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. His clever experiments examine the spread of altruism, emotions, & health behaviors in both virtual & real-world settings.…
Our next panelist, SFI Ext Prof @JacksonmMatt of @Stanford, is a highly-awarded economist & the author of The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, & Behaviors:…

His episode of #ComplexityPodcast:
Read 46 tweets
Oct 6
"Knowledge Representation in Judgment and Decision Making"

Today's SFI Seminar by @sdpbht (@Penn)

Follow this 🧵 for highlights!

Streaming now:

#knowledge #cognition #behavior Image
@sdpbht @Penn How do people evaluate potential decisions — the tradeoffs, the risks?

"How do people make assessments, and how can we *improve* those assessments?"
- @sdpbht

AND: What role does #memory (episodic and semantic) play in all of this?

#psychology #taxonomy ImageImage
Categorical thinking empowers inductive #reasoning.

(Here: How does what people know about #dolphins inform the likelihoods they assign to other agents, such as #ET?)

#Cognitive #Psychology Image
Read 7 tweets
Oct 5
🧵 "Designing #ActiveMatter in Space-time"

Today's SFI Seminar by @SurajShankar92 (@Harvard), streaming now:
"I consider the Organism, or natural Machine, a machine in which each part is a machine."
- #Leibniz

🦠 Energy → Work

"Active matter *employs* control, either internally [e.g., embryogenesis] or externally [e.g., with sheepdogs]."
- @SurajShankar92
@SurajShankar92 A potent control mechanism for active matter: using #optogenetics to paint portraits and drive micro-robotic ensembles made of modified #bacteria.

"What are the rules you need to follow and the policies you need to enact?"
- @SurajShankar92 contemplates design principles:
Read 11 tweets
Sep 12
"#Imitation vs #Innovation: Large #Language and Image Models as Cultural #Technologies"

Today's Seminar by SFI External Prof @AlisonGopnik (@UCBerkeley)

Streaming now:

Follow our 🧵 for live coverage.
"Today you hear people talking about 'AN #AI' or 'THE AI.' Even 15 years ago we would not have heard this; we just heard 'AI.'"
@AlisonGopnik on the history of thought on the #intelligence (or lack thereof) of #simulacra, linked to the convincing foolery of "double-talk artists":
"We should think about these large #AI models as cultural technologies: tools that allow one generation of humans to learn from another & do this repeatedly over a long period of time. What are some examples?"

@AlisonGopnik suggests a continuity between #GPT3 & language itself:
Read 14 tweets

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