Earthly/Geo/Astro · Human-ities · Science

Is our universe fine-tuned for the existence of life – or does it just look that way from where we’re sitting?

It can be unsettling to contemplate the unlikely nature of your own existence, to work backward causally and discover the chain of blind luck that landed you in front of your computer screen, or your mobile, or wherever it is that you are reading these words. For you to exist at all, your parents had to meet, and that alone involved quite a lot of chance and coincidence. If your mother hadn’t decided to take that calculus class, or if her parents had decided to live in another town, then perhaps your parents never would have encountered one another. But that is only the tiniest tip of the iceberg. Even if your parents made a deliberate decision to have a child, the odds of your particular sperm finding your particular egg are one in several billion. The same goes for both your parents, who had to exist in order for you to exist, and so already, after just two generations, we are up to one chance in 1027. Carrying on in this way, your chance of existing, given the general state of the universe even a few centuries ago, was almost infinitesimally small. You and I and every other human being are the products of chance, and came into existence against very long odds.

Excerpt from an article writen by Tim Maudlin at Aeon. Continue THERE

Book-Text-Read-Zines · Earthly/Geo/Astro · Paint/Illust./Mix-Media

Explaining and Ordering the Heavens: A Visual History of Mapping the Universe


Explaining and Ordering the Heavens
is an online exhibition from The Library of Congress, examining evolving views of the universe over 8 centuries.

Motion Graphics · Science · Technology

Measuring the Universe: from the transit of Venus to the edge of the cosmos

Design and direction:
Richard Hogg

Animation:
Robert Milne
Ross Philips
Kwok Fung Lam

Music and sound effects:
George Demure

Narration and Astro-smarts:
Dr Olivia Johnson

Producer:
Henry Holland

Digital Media · Games/Play · Motion Graphics · Performativity · Philosophy · Science · Technology

Why Mass Effect is the Most Important Science Fiction Universe of Our Generation

Kyle Munkittrick: Mass Effect is epic. It’s the product of the best parts of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and more with a protagonist who could be the love-child of Picard, Skywalker, and Starbuck. It’s one of the most important pieces of science fiction narrative of our generation. Mass Effect goes so far beyond other fictional universes in ways that you may not have yet realized. It is cosmic in scope and scale.

Sci-fi nerds have long debated over which fictional universe is the best. The Star Trek vs Star Wars contest is infamous into banality, with lesser skirmishes among fans of shows and books like Battlestar Galactica, Enders Game, Xenogenesis, Farscape, Dune, Firefly, Stargate, and others fleshing out the field. Don’t mistake this piece as another pointless kerfuffle among obsessive basement dwellers. Mass Effect matters because of its ability to reflect on our society as a whole.

Science fiction is one of the best forms of social satire and critique. Want to sneak in some absolutely scandalous social more, like, say, oh, I don’t know, a black woman into a position of power in the ‘60s? Put her on a starship command deck.

Most science fiction, even the epic universes in Star Wars and Star Trek, pick only two or three issues to investigate in depth. Sure, an episode here or a character there might nod to other concepts worthy of investigation, but the scope of the series often prevents the narrative from mining the idea for what it’s worth.

Mass Effect can and does take ideas to a new plane of existence. Think of the Big Issues in your favorite series. Whether it is realistic science explaining humanoid life throughout the galaxy, or dealing with FTL travel, or the ethical ambiguity of progress, or even the very purpose of the human race in our universe, Mass Effect has got it. By virtue of three simple traits – its medium, its message, and its philosophy – Mass Effect eclipses and engulfs all of science fiction’s greatest universes. Let me show you how.

Read Full Article at PopBioethics

Design · Digital Media · Games/Play · Motion Graphics · Science

The Scale of the Universe

The Scale of the Universe is a visualization created by Cary Huang. This interactive scale of the universe shows the relative sizes of “everything” from the micro to the macro.

http://htwins.net/