Micro and nano photography

The FEI Company, a manufacturer of scanning electron microscopes and transmission electron microscopes capable of imaging objects on a nanoscale, organizes an annual international competition for pictures obtained by using FEI imaging equipment in co-operation with National Geographic.

This unusual and also eerily beautiful photography, both on a micro and a nano scale, may be viewed on FEI’s Flickr page:

The finalists of the most recent competition are featured by NBC News under the title “Wonders of unseen worlds”:


Artificial Intelligence or What does it mean to be human?

We live in an age where science has ceased to reside in a quaint ivory tower. Even analytic philosophy took a quantitative turn and became inextricably entwined with computer science, as Bertrand Russell diagnosed and predicted already in 1945:

"Modern analytical empiricism [...] differs from that of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume by its incorporation of mathematics and its development of a powerful logical technique. It is thus able, in regard to certain problems, to achieve definite answers, which have the quality of science rather than of philosophy. It has the advantage, in comparison with the philosophies of the system-builders, of being able to tackle its problems one at a time, instead of having to invent at one stroke a block theory of the whole universe. Its methods, in this respect, resemble those of science. I have no doubt that, in so far as philosophical knowledge is possible, it is by such methods that it must be sought; I have also no doubt that, by these methods, many ancient problems are completely soluble."[1]

While neuroscience has made some rather remarkable inroads into neurobiology and behavior [2], it is in many other ways still in its infancy – yet artificial intelligence (A.I.) purports to mimic and surpass the human brain on its way to a “singularity” that Ray Kurzweil, Google’s director of engineering, predicts to happen circa 2045. And Stephen Hawking cautions that creating artificial intelligence might be the biggest and yet last event in human history “unless we learn how to avoid the risks.”