Comment Below is probably the shortest story featured on IFSA thus far. But the story itself is anything but inadequate. It delves into a question that have puzzled computer scientists since the 1950s: how human can a computer be?
In Comment Below, the answer is 'yes', in more ways than one.
Metalworking and fire seems to go so naturally that we have taken the science behind it for granted. But there is so much more between the interactions of heat and metals than mere melting, casting and shaping. This relation goes deep into the molecular realm, of how the alignments of particles can make or break the structure.
And when the structure supports bridges, buildings, or vehicles, it's certainly worth it to know more.
You may have noticed that our front page now features the International Space Station. So what better subject for our first article in 2018 to be about the history of this engineering feat? But the ISS itself is not as remarkable as the 150-year journey for a permanent human settlement of space.
There are few materials in this world that resulted in civilisation-changing impacts. Bronze was discovered early in our history, but we didn't have the technology to apply it thoroughly. Iron started similarly, and it tool millennia to put them into construction and machine making. Aluminium (or "aluminum" in case you're an American) went through the process of discovery, novelty, application, and societal dependence in less than two centuries.
So you may have heard the news. A team of American geneticists have successfully edited the genes of a living human embryo. It's hard to believe that 15 or 20 years ago all of this is merely science fiction.
But as we take our baby steps towards transhumanism, we should, with all respect, give due credit to those who came before. As well as ask ourselves whether we want to know of what might come after....
The Institution for Science Advancement is a non-profit organisation that promotes inquiry-based science education in Malaysian schools based on the principles of truth, liberty and merit. The Institution for Science Advancement Ⓒ 2019