Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rössler to have company at Lifeboat Foundation

Slashdot reports that Stephen Wolfram, best known for the Mathematica symbolic computation program, Wolfram Alpha, and his book A New Kind of Science, will soon be joining Otto Rössler at The Life Boat Foundation. Here's what Slashdot says:

Stephen Wolfram Joins The Life Boat Foundation and Bets On Singularity
Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday November 30, @03:15PM
from the whimper-or-bang dept.
kodiaktau writes "This week The Lifeboat Foundation announced that Stephen Wolfram would be joining its organization. The purpose of the group is to think through scientific solutions to existential problems that might be used to save humanity from such risks as asteroids hitting the earth or some other diabolical disaster. Wolfram brings computational science to the table and has posited that the earth and universe can be understood as a computer program that can be significantly altered as we continue to advance in technology."

This seems like a bad move for Stephen.

Then again, maybe he'll fit right in. One Slashdot reader comments

His "new kind of science" is borderline kook, and sometimes just full-on kook. He is a very smart guy, but he spends way too much time in the company of people whose salary he pays. [] "A Rare Blend of Monster Raving Egomania and Utter Batshit Insanity"

I never paid much attention to A New Kind of Science, but I am a fan of Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica.

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  1. Rössler in action? ;)

  2. It appears unlikely that guy was "Rössler risen" - he seems has a sense of humor.

    The discovery of the Higgs boson led to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I'm here to stop it ever happening.

    Otto Rössler is not even smart enough to get behind the wit of that.

  3. > Rössler to have company at Lifeboat Foundation

    Along with 1598 others, since Wolfram is advertised as #1600 on advisory board. The board evidently includes a small number of serious people, a large number of people barely known (even to themselves), and an admixture of the usual suspect cranks and cracks (Rössler, Sarfatti, et al.). While it is certainly reflects poorly to have Rössler prominently blogging there, the organization goes back long before:
    Eric Klien's Lifeboat Foundation
    and has been covered in a various conventional places:
    nytimes bits blog

    Your friend Baez was invited to join, which elicited informative commentary:
    Azimuth: Lifeboat Foundation

    > I never paid much attention to "A New Kind of Science",

    It is said to be the only to permit a review in the form of a single punctuation mark: add a hyphen between the third and fourth words of the title.

    > but I am a fan of Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica.

    And recall that is the computational engine behind Siri on the iPhone 4S.

  4. A New Kind-of Science, hehe.

  5. From the fact that lifeboat foundation site is attractive some crackpots on can not conclude that the very concept of lifeboat foundation would be flawed.

    Look how many crackpots are "attracted" by SR, GR and QM - we would not want to bury those just because some crackpots misuse them, or do we?

    I also don't consider it a problem if talented people like Stephen Wolfram occasionally develop a certain idee fixe - they have the brains to get over this.


    The problem with Otto Rössler is that he does have no talent at all and is willing to sacrifice each and every ethical value in the line of copycatting what he vaguely identified as genius.

    But in reality there's no genius but just plain German Herrenmensch attitude combined with a total lack of talent.

  6. Black Holes are a kind of Solar Eclipse, like the Ancient Egyptians used to Believe. Rossler must not fear the coming black hole eclipse that will open a door to the Slipstream, where there are infinite multiple selves of all of us. The Slipstream is much like that portrayed in the epochal movie "Event Horizon," a world of infinite chaos and infinite happiness, where you will not need your eyes at all to see the face of the One Who Will Not Start Again Because He Is Already Done.

    Rossler will fight and fear the Black Hole Eclipse when it comes, and will end up in the Heck, The Realm of Insulfficient Light where he will face Phil the Cut Rate Pseudo-Devil-On-A-Budget.

    Yeah, Lifeboat is starting to attract comments like these...