Invisible table…

Photo by Elizaveta Dushechkina from Pexels

Making objects invisible is no longer the stuff of fantasy but a fast-evolving science. ‘Invisibility cloaks’ using metamaterials now exist, and are beginning to be used to improve the performance of satellite antennas and sensors. Many of the proposed metamaterials, however, only work at limited wavelength ranges such as microwave frequencies.

Now, scientists report a way of making a cylinder invisible without a cloak for monochromatic illumination at optical frequency.

Scientists determined that invisibility would occur when the refractive index of the cylinder ranges from 2.7 to 3.8. Some useful natural materials fall within this range, such as silicon (Si), aluminum arsenide (AlAs) and germanium arsenide (GaAs), which are commonly used in semiconductor technology. By taking a close look at the magnetic field profiles, they inferred that “the invisibility stems from the cancellation of the dipoles generated in the cylinder.”

Although rigorous calculations of the scattering efficiency have so far only been possible for cylinders and spheres, Kajikawa notes there are plans to test other structures, but these would require much more computing power. (1)

A world full of things we see.

A world full of invisible things.

Right next to you, a table.

It is clearly there. Is it?

Deep inside yourself, you.

You do clearly exist, don’t you?

Extend your hand.

Funny.

When I touch this table,

it feels like it is touching me…

Robots. Seeing. Humans. Laughing.

Photo by Mari Pankova from Pexels

Humans have long been masters of dexterity, a skill that can largely be credited to the help of our eyes. Robots, meanwhile, are still catching up. Certainly there’s been some progress: for decades robots in controlled environments like assembly lines have been able to pick up the same object over and over again.

More recently, breakthroughs in computer vision have enabled robots to make basic distinctions between objects, but even then, they don’t truly understand objects’ shapes, so there’s little they can do after a quick pick-up.

In a new paper, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), say that they’ve made a key development in this area of work: a system that lets robots inspect random objects, and visually understand them enough to accomplish specific tasks without ever having seen them before. (1)

Touch that object in front of you.

It is not in front of you.

Is is not an «αντι-κείμενο» [En. “lying against you”] (Heidegger). It is part of you. You can never see or touch things which you don’t know. Feel it with your hand. This is not a table. This is your life. A glass of water. A cup of coffee. So tired. Children laughing. Calling you.

You are getting up now.

Going inside to play.

Leaving the table.

Now you don’t see it.

It never existed.

A children’s smile. Your smile. Everything gone…

Technology, manipulation, things, easy life…

Facebook is facing criticism after it emerged it had conducted a psychology experiment on nearly 700,000 users without their knowledge. The test saw Facebook “manipulate” news feeds to control which emotional expressions the users were exposed to. The research was done in collaboration with two US universities to gauge if “exposure to emotions led people to change their own posting behaviours”. (1)

We are everyday manipulated by things we believe are here to make our life easier.
We are every day used by the Internet instead of using it. The slave has become the master.

But technology is here just to facilitate.
We are the tool handlers.
Not the tools.
We are the subjects.
Not the objects.

Your power is only a click away.
(Don’t) Use it wisely…

Stop using things, if you do not want to be used…
Stop needing things, if you do not want to turn into one…

Hoopa, lost artifacts, modern nihilism…

As High Country News describes it, the Hoopa Tribal Museum is more like a borrowing library than a display museum. If you’re a member of the northern California tribe, you can check out the museum’s artifacts to use in ceremonies. Pretty cool.

There’s one strange catch, however. Some of the artifacts are poisoned, literally. Museum staff keep them quarantined in a special room because they’re not safe for would-be borrowers to handle, wear, or keep in their homes. But at least one lab is now developing a cost-effective method for cleaning the artifacts—something tribes could afford and do themselves, High Country News reports.

The poisons, including mercury, arsenic and DDT, are a legacy from European American anthropologists who took the artifacts from tribes during the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Anthropologists dipped their stolen clothes, headbands, and prayer sticks in toxic solutions to keep insects from damaging them. Then the scientists put the artifacts into glass-covered museum displays, no touching allowed. This happened not only to objects belonging to the Hoopa, but to tribes all over the U.S. (1)

However the real poison in this case is not the poison it self.
The real poison is the attitude we have towards things.
We have destroyed the meaning of living.
We have turned things into objects. (αντι-κείμενα)
We have lost the sacred nature of everyday being.
And we try to find consolation in our idolization of everyday objects.
We admired those things.
Things the tribes used just for… everyday chores!
And now we want to give them back.
As if these tribes did not know how to blend with nature, how to be one with the cosmos even if someone stole their… basket…
Who’s the real primitive?

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