To be a member of the US Special Forces you need to be a crack soldier
with superior physical and mental abilities. But that's today.
Tomorrow's soldier will have to be superhuman - to be able to jog along
effortlessly at 13 kilometres per hour carrying a 70-kilogram load for
12 hours at a stretch. For anyone wearing the right clothes, however,
this shouldn't prove too much of a problem. In just four years, and with
$50 million, the Pentagon plans to create a wearable, self-propelled
robotic suit that responds to - and amplifies - your every movement. By
simply strapping themselves into this "exoskeleton", troops will be able
to run faster, jump higher, leap further, and carry awesome amounts of
high-calibre weaponry. We take a look at the "garment" that as well as
turning your average GI into a heavyweight fighting machine, could also
revolutionise the lives of disabled people and those working as
firefighters or in construction, mining and heavy industries.
Read the full feature in New Scientist magazine
Some describe how a wave of sympathy washes over them whenever they see
a road sign referring to a "depressed bridge". Others confess that they
feel strangely moved by the mere mention of an "alarmed door" or
"nervous tissue". These people are suffering from semiopathy. This
week's Feedback column examines a debilitating condition which compels
its victims to over-empathise with objects...
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Useless hypotheses, etc.:
consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI
We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.
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