Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Investment calculator

Most compounding interest calculators on the web only calculate a fixed amount of principal money that grows at a fixed interest rate over a certain time.

Well I found a calculator that also includes the effect of annual contributions.

However, that is still far from accurate from real investing. Because contributions may not be the same amount every time, interest rates change, the way they calculate interest can be different, prices for items go up and down, government money is always subject to huge inflation (are we talking real interest rates here or nominal interest rates?....).

Compounding interest is probably the worst way to make money but if you have no money to begin with it's probably your only choice.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Personal genome project

The aim of this is to gather the information about the complete genomes plus medical data of as many people as possible, to determine exactly which genes give certain traits via using statistical correlation.

This information will be useful for research into personalised medicine.

As of 2008, they are trying to get 100,000 volunteers. The previous project only used 10 volunteers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The evolution of depression

There is a great essay on it here but this is my summary:

Humans need the group to survive, because we are born dependant. Every group organises itself into heirarchies according to certain traits they have. An individual may struggle to move up the heirarchy (or even seperate from and/or create a new heirarchy) due to current circumstances that makes it impossible. Then depression kicks in.

Depression is a feeling of 'hopelessness' that is supposed to make you more dependant on others so that you fall back into your place in the social heirarchy so that you can survive.

I do not get depression, however, as I have learned how to defeat it so that it only rarely occurs. The only way for me to do it is to be completely purpose-driven, find every way to circumvent any psychological trap and to know what my goals are at any given time. That way, I'm continually building upon my personal enterprise (the name I give to my operations).

In regards to ways of circumventing certain psychological traps - this is actually a very complex series of steps that I cannot yet expand on until I find an appropriate outlet for it.

The closest example I can give is based on reverse thinking (ie. turning something bad into something good) is a book called Reject Me I love it! by John Fuhlman. There is much more to it than that, but this just gives the idea.

Also see this article.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Recent documentaries shown on BBC4

There are three installments of this series shown sometime in 2008 - The Intelligence Revolution, The Biotech Revolution and The Quantum Revolution - hosted by Michio Kaku.

There is also another three part series they made with Kaku called 2057, another documentary about the future of what kind of changes will happen in the next 50 years, that can also be found on youtube.

The Intelligence Revolution (Part 1)

The Biotech Revolution (Part 1)

The Quantum Revolution (Part 1)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Vitrification agents in cryonics

This article goes into some detail about the vitrification processes that have been developed.

Vitrification is a technique that is used to minimise ice damage when freezing. This is what companies like Alcor use to cryonically preserve human organs.

I am still not a big fan of cryonics, as there is not even a facility near where I live, there is no guarantee the company can stay afloat, there is not even a guarantee that it would be successful. It is the last option but a pretty poor option at that.

I suppose I would do it if I was able to, but it's not something that is practical for me right now.