Category

Philosophy

On realizing we are not alone

Written by Sjoerd Bakker
July 23, 2021

The recent Pentagon report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena did not draw any clear conclusions regarding the presence of extraterrestrial objects on earth. It nevertheless opened (some of) our minds to the very idea that alien life forms may already be here. So far, such ideas have been confined to the realm of sci-fi and a small group of believers, but now the stigma may be lifted. What would it mean for humankind were we to realize that we are no longer “alone”? Above all, it would be another and possibly the final blow to our anthropocentric view. We have already come to accept that planet Earth is not the center of the universe, man is only an animal and our minds are far from rational. The next step would be to acknowledge that are there are other species like us, who, first and foremost, are far superior to us. While this would be a sobering realization and one that strikes fear into most of us, it could also offer hope. It would imply that civilizations actually have the potential to develop well beyond our current state, without destroying themselves or the planet they live on.

Burning questions:

  • The report has not immediately stirred debate on extraterrestrials, but could it indeed have a profound effect on our thinking in the long term?
  • Will there be major scientific efforts to study past observations and look out for new phenomena?
  • As we get closer to our first encounter with extraterrestrial intelligence, the question of communication becomes more prominent; what kind of language would we need?

Will a post-corona era arrive in the coming years?

Written by Jessica van der Schalk
March 9, 2021

The phases a society experiences in a crisis are predictable, according to disaster psychology. First, we enter the honeymoon phase: people don’t quite feel the scope of the crisis, nor of its implications and are willing to work together. Then, a period of distrust and depression dawns, in which the gap between community needs and available resources widens. It can get grim: the disillusionment phase follows. In the final phase of reintegration, we adapt to a new reality. We are presently in the phase of disillusionment. According to experts, the pandemic will eventually become endemic, circulating the global population for years to come. However, there are strong indicators (e.g. new variants outsmarting vaccines, the coronavirus being zoonotic) that several more years of social distancing measures will be required before we reach that stage. The call for politicians to stop referring to the current situation as temporary and instead consider it permanent is therefore growing louder. This would allow the phase of reintegration to begin, in which new light can be shed on the costs and benefits of mitigating the impact of the coronavirus.

Burning questions:

  • Will societies reach consensus on ethical issues such as the price each generation must pay for mitigating the impact of the virus or the consequences of refusing to be vaccinated?
  • Will financial aid for certain businesses like airlines, physical stores, etc. continue even if it takes years for their services to be enjoyed again as they could in the pre-coronavirus world?
  • Will people be able to adapt to the reduction of freedom and physical contact that comes with mitigation, or will this result in endless unrest?

The sound and cost of silence

Written by Pim Korsten
December 18, 2020

In his book Sound: A philosophy of musical experience (in Dutch), musical philosopher Tomas Serrien posits that we’re in an auditive crisis, meaning the visual is now more dominant than the auditive. We’re consuming more and more images, domains are increasingly structured according to the logic of the image (e.g. ocular democracy), while large companies are investing more in video streaming.

Yet our ears are increasingly stimulated as well: megacities are host to cacophonies, we can stream sound and music anytime, anywhere, and virtual voice assistants and speech recognition technology have us speaking and listening more, even in public spaces (e.g. in public transport, at work). But just as visual overload can cause “screen fatigue”, the ubiquity of sounds, microphones and headphones can lead to “listener fatigue”, a known cause of physical and mental problems. As a response, several (new) practices are on the rise, such as noise-cancelling headphones (originally invented for airplane pilots), silence wellness retreats, and practices that accentuate the spiritual value of silence (e.g. yoga and meditation). With sound in abundance, the sound of silence is becoming more valuable.

The politics of strategic technology

Short Insight written by Alexander van Wijnen
October 22, 2020

What do semiconductors and artificial intelligence have in common? Both have great impact on the economy as well as national security. Historically, such “strategic technologies” trigger a predictable pattern of politics, as shown by Jade Leung. The pattern pertains to the role of the state, firms and researchers, whose roles change in each phase of technological development. During the first phase of emergence, there is primarily synergy between them as the state supports its firms.

However, in the second phase of commercialization, fearful images arise as the impact on security gains more attention, and in the third phase of maturation, a big shift occurs as the state attempts to take back control to prevent foreign actors from gaining access to its strategic technology. We have seen this happening in the semiconductor industry and it is likely to happen in AI as well. Part of the pattern is that some firms will cooperate with the state (e.g. Palantir), whereas others publicly distance themselves from the state (e.g. Google). Overall, the politics of strategic technology will shape the future of semiconductors and AI.

The top 10 places to go hiking tomorrow

Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.

Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. l using her.Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia.

But nothing the copy said could convince her and so it didn’t take long until a few insidious Copy Writers ambushed her

Robert JohnsonThemeNectar

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane. Pityful a rethoric question ran over her cheek, then she continued her way. On her way she met a copy.

Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way.

l using her.Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia.

Deep down in the water

Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. l using her.Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia.

But nothing the copy said could convince her

and so it didn’t take long until a few insidious

Copy Writers ambushed her

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane. Pityful a rethoric question ran over her cheek, then she continued her way. On her way she met a copy.

Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. l using her.Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia.

We hired a new employee

M auris vel tortor accumsan, faucibus orci non, varius turpis. Aenean ac eros libero. Quisque quis sapien in ante scelerisque volutpat. Cras et libero iaculis, consequat nisi nec, tristique metus. Praesent eu odio in velit maximus accumsan vitae id lectus. Aenean ullamcorper vitae tortor vitae blandit. Nullam placerat eleifend metus, at tempus lacus suscipit non.

Praesent in nunc sit amet orci dignissim mollis. Pellentesque elementum lacinia urna, sit amet scelerisque libero blandit vel. Aliquam erat volutpat. Praesent vel nunc orci. Suspendisse quis mauris sed ipsum lobortis semper id nec diam. Donec a porta nibh. Vivamus nibh metus, facilisis ut maximus eget, lobortis at erat. Nulla luctus nec eros ac vehicula. Nullam scelerisque laoreet lorem a sodales.

Integer convallis, odio ut rutrum euismod, mi purus pulvinar justo, quis mollis metus metus vitae nibh. Proin eget tincidunt arcu. Donec ante mi, elementum non adipiscing vitae, pharetra quis mauris.

Quisque at dolor venenatis justo fringilla dignissim ut id eros. Quisque non elit id purus feugiat vestibulum. Phasellus eget sodales neque. Morbi eget odio nec justo consequat gravida. Phasellus dolor nisl, venenatis eget euismod et, dapibus et purus. Maecenas interdum nisi a dolor facilisis eu laoreet mi facilisis. Mauris pharetra interdum lorem eu venenatis. Praesent est diam, fringilla in hendrerit vel, ullamcorper et mauris.

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Integer convallis, odio ut rutrum euismod, mi purus pulvinar justo, quis mollis metus metus vitae nibh. Proin eget tincidunt arcu. Donec ante mi, elementum non adipiscing vitae, pharetra quis mauris. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Curabitur eget nibh non odio iaculis posuere. Sed ante tortor, pharetra vitae iaculis id, sodales ac tellus. Ut viverra, nulla et adipiscing condimentum, libero nisi condimentum tellus, vel pharetra neque ligula sit amet mi. Sed rutrum consectetur purus ac tincidunt.

The endless green layers

Mauris vel tortor accumsan, faucibus orci non, varius turpis. Aenean ac eros libero. Quisque quis sapien in ante scelerisque volutpat. Cras et libero iaculis, consequat nisi nec, tristique metus. Praesent eu odio in velit maximus accumsan vitae id lectus. Aenean ullamcorper vitae tortor vitae blandit. Nullam placerat eleifend metus, at tempus lacus suscipit non.

Praesent in nunc sit amet orci dignissim mollis. Pellentesque elementum lacinia urna, sit amet scelerisque libero blandit vel. Aliquam erat volutpat. Praesent vel nunc orci. Suspendisse quis mauris sed ipsum lobortis semper id nec diam. Donec a porta nibh. Vivamus nibh metus, facilisis ut maximus eget, lobortis at erat. Nulla luctus nec eros ac vehicula. Nullam scelerisque laoreet lorem a sodales.

Integer convallis, odio ut rutrum euismod, mi purus pulvinar justo, quis mollis metus metus vitae nibh. Proin eget tincidunt arcu. Donec ante mi, elementum non adipiscing vitae, pharetra quis mauris.

Quisque at dolor venenatis justo fringilla dignissim ut id eros. Quisque non elit id purus feugiat vestibulum. Phasellus eget sodales neque.Morbi eget odio nec justo consequat gravida. Phasellus dolor nisl, venenatis eget euismod et, dapibus et purus. Maecenas interdum nisi a dolor facilisis eu laoreet mi facilisis. Mauris pharetra interdum lorem eu venenatis. Praesent est diam, fringilla in hendrerit vel, ullamcorper et mauris.

Mauris vel tortor accumsan, faucibus orci non, varius turpis. Aenean ac eros libero. Quisque quis sapien in ante scelerisque volutpat. Cras et libero iaculis, consequat nisi nec, tristique metus. Praesent eu odio in velit maximus accumsan vitae id lectus. Aenean ullamcorper vitae tortor vitae blandit. Nullam placerat eleifend metus, at tempus lacus suscipit non. Praesent in nunc sit amet orci dignissim mollis. Pellentesque elementum lacinia urna, sit amet scelerisque libero blandit vel. Aliquam erat volutpat. Praesent vel nunc orci. Suspendisse quis mauris sed ipsum lobortis semper id nec diam. Donec a porta nibh. Vivamus nibh metus, facilisis ut maximus eget, lobortis at erat. Nulla luctus nec eros ac vehicula. Nullam scelerisque laoreet lorem a sodales.

Integer convallis, odio ut rutrum euismod, mi purus pulvinar justo, quis mollis metus metus vitae nibh. Proin eget tincidunt arcu. Donec ante mi, elementum non adipiscing vitae, pharetra quis mauris. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Curabitur eget nibh non odio iaculis posuere. Sed ante tortor, pharetra vitae iaculis id, sodales ac tellus. Ut viverra, nulla et adipiscing condimentum, libero nisi condimentum tellus, vel pharetra neque ligula sit amet mi. Sed rutrum consectetur purus ac tincidunt.

Velit Porttito

Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. l using her.Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.

Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia.

But nothing the copy said could convince her

and so it didn’t take long until a few insidious

Copy Writers ambushed her

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane. Pityful a rethoric question ran over her cheek, then she continued her way. On her way she met a copy.

Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. l using her.Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia.

Surprising fox attributes

M auris vel tortor accumsan, faucibus orci non, varius turpis. Aenean ac eros libero. Quisque quis sapien in ante scelerisque volutpat. Cras et libero iaculis, consequat nisi nec, tristique metus. Praesent eu odio in velit maximus accumsan vitae id lectus. Aenean ullamcorper vitae tortor vitae blandit. Nullam placerat eleifend metus, at tempus lacus suscipit non.

Praesent in nunc sit amet orci dignissim mollis. Pellentesque elementum lacinia urna, sit amet scelerisque libero blandit vel. Aliquam erat volutpat. Praesent vel nunc orci. Suspendisse quis mauris sed ipsum lobortis semper id nec diam. Donec a porta nibh. Vivamus nibh metus, facilisis ut maximus eget, lobortis at erat. Nulla luctus nec eros ac vehicula. Nullam scelerisque laoreet lorem a sodales.

Integer convallis, odio ut rutrum euismod, mi purus pulvinar justo, quis mollis metus metus vitae nibh. Proin eget tincidunt arcu. Donec ante mi, elementum non adipiscing vitae, pharetra quis mauris.

Quisque at dolor venenatis justo fringilla dignissim ut id eros. Quisque non elit id purus feugiat vestibulum. Phasellus eget sodales neque. Morbi eget odio nec justo consequat gravida. Phasellus dolor nisl, venenatis eget euismod et, dapibus et purus. Maecenas interdum nisi a dolor facilisis eu laoreet mi facilisis. Mauris pharetra interdum lorem eu venenatis. Praesent est diam, fringilla in hendrerit vel, ullamcorper et mauris.

Mauris vel tortor accumsan, faucibus orci non, varius turpis. Aenean ac eros libero. Quisque quis sapien in ante scelerisque volutpat. Cras et libero iaculis, consequat nisi nec, tristique metus. Praesent eu odio in velit maximus accumsan vitae id lectus. Aenean ullamcorper vitae tortor vitae blandit. Nullam placerat eleifend metus, at tempus lacus suscipit non. Praesent in nunc sit amet orci dignissim mollis. Pellentesque elementum lacinia urna, sit amet scelerisque libero blandit vel. Aliquam erat volutpat. Praesent vel nunc orci. Suspendisse quis mauris sed ipsum lobortis semper id nec diam. Donec a porta nibh. Vivamus nibh metus, facilisis ut maximus eget, lobortis at erat. Nulla luctus nec eros ac vehicula. Nullam scelerisque laoreet lorem a sodales.

Integer convallis, odio ut rutrum euismod, mi purus pulvinar justo, quis mollis metus metus vitae nibh. Proin eget tincidunt arcu. Donec ante mi, elementum non adipiscing vitae, pharetra quis mauris. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Curabitur eget nibh non odio iaculis posuere. Sed ante tortor, pharetra vitae iaculis id, sodales ac tellus. Ut viverra, nulla et adipiscing condimentum, libero nisi condimentum tellus, vel pharetra neque ligula sit amet mi. Sed rutrum consectetur purus ac tincidunt.