torstaina, lokakuuta 30, 2008

Since not very many non-Finnish speakers have demonstrated interest in this blog, I shall switch back to using Finnish. If there are any who'd like me to continue posting in English at least part of the time, now is the time to step up and ask me to do so, thank you.

Scientists develop artificial heart that beats like the real thing. Read the article. Really cool. Cyborgization marches on relentlessly. There probably will be a time in the future, maybe 40-50 years from now, when people who are in their mid thirties now will be able to have their tired old internal organs replaced with artificial ones and continue to live much longer. Of course, when it comes to life quality, the replacement of external organs such as the skin is important, too.

But I'm no so sure physical bodies of fixed shape and form are really so desireable in the long term. Programmable matter in the form of claytronics or nano robotics seem like a much better alternative.

maanantaina, lokakuuta 27, 2008

Local elections were held in Finland yesterday. The greatest winning party was the True Finns , achieving a gain of 4,6 percentage points from 0,9% to 5,4% since the previous local elections in 2004. The media have mostly attributed this to the charismatic leader of the party, Timo Soini. In reality, the victory owed to a greatly expanded local organisation. In Helsinki, Jussi Halla-aho, a sharp critic of multiculturalism and mass immigration envisioned by certain political leaders and top civil servants in Finland, gained 2916 votes, which made him the 18th most popular candidate in nationally and the 13th most popular in Helsinki. The National Coalition Party, the leading conservative party, became the largest party for the first time in history. Among the winners was also the Green League. The biggest losers were the Social democrats , the Left Alliance, and the Swedish People's Party.

An friend of mine is a teacher in Helsinki. A few years ago, very shortly after he graduated, he spoke very positively about immigrants. When I met this friend of mine yesterday, he lamented that his immigrant pupils were "making him a racist". He did not explain what precisely it was that was causing this. But I think this is what pretty much sums up what caused the landslide victory of the True Finns in the municipal elections.