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Do you ever feel as though the world is moving out of reach? I’ve just read this New Scientist article wherein some guy is planning to make a bot out of slime mould. Right. A bot. Out of slime mould. Well, okay, I thought, I can wrap my head around that, maybe, but then the article informed me airily that this same guy had previously used “the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction” to “build liquid logic gates for a synthetic brain” At which point I threw the magazine on the floor and folded my arms. If I wasn’t so tough I would have burst into tears and started sucking my thumb, but I’m from Yorkshire: a hard lass. My lip didn’t even tremble. Now, though, I have to go play with coloured blocks and maybe some crayons.
6 thoughts on “beaten by slime mould”
Sounds like The Blob. This isn't going to end well ;)
Yeah. I like the way they throw out such phrases – “build liquid logic gates for a synthetic brain” — as if they are part of the common knowledge. Then we go from Plasmobot to the next page where they tell us about a “plasmonic laser” that uses quasiparticles to focus a beam of light smaller than half it's wavelength.
Wow. Makes my world seem really tiny. (And not in a quasiparticle kind of way)
They've been talking about using biological organisms in computers for years to try to break out of the two state on-off binary state of electronics with gates like AND and NAND etc whereas living organisms can have many more states if manipulated thermanlly, chemically etc … adds a new dimension to the notion of the ghost in the machine and there's also talk of using bacteria in machines too – perhaps there'll be a whole sub culture of living organisms trapped and working in computers clamouring for their rights to be free living
I remember reading about slime molds in Mae-Won Ho's book The Rainbow and the Worm. Apparently, scientists discovered that slime mold could solve maze problems. I recommend The Rainbow and the Worm to anyone interested in the question “what is life?”
I wonder if I could've wrapped my head around this in my younger days…
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