Getting Ahead of Tomorrow's Mega Cities
A European institute in Singapore wants to help ease the world's transition toward massively populated urban centers. Of the 8.1 billion people on Earth by 2030, 5 billion will live in cities.
What's the Latest Development?
A European laboratory in Singapore may be the world's most advanced center for studying, as well as shaping, the future of cities. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology promotes technologies new and old, from bamboo, which can be weatherized to cope with growth in the world's most booming cities, to small flying robots that capture detailed maps of Singapore's streets. And of course, large-scale data analysis is looking to improve the efficiency of everything from controlling rainwater runoff to utilities to public transportation.
What's the Big Idea?
Gerhard Schmitt, director of the Swiss Institute, believes his primary purpose is to help ease the transition to a world dominated by massive urban centers. "According to the United Nations, the world's population will top 8.1 billion by 2030. More than half of those people—roughly 5 billion—will live in cities. 'I think the importance of these statistics are underestimated: we are talking about the biggest urban growth in history,' says Stephen Cairns, the Institute’s scientific coordinator." Mexico City, Shenzhen and Lagos are expected to become some of tomorrow's 'mega-regions'.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
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- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.
There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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