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  • The Great Recession Probably Caused 7000 to 10000 excess suicides in the USA but saved lives by reducing car travel

    Next Big Future
    1 Aug 2014 | 12:55 pm
    In the United States, the suicide rate, which had slowly risen since 2000, jumped during and after the 2007-09 recession. A new book [The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills] estimates that 4,750 ‘excess’ suicides — that is, deaths above what pre-existing trends would predict — occurred from 2007 to 2010. Rates of such suicides were significantly greater in the states that experienced the greatest job losses. Deaths from suicide overtook deaths from car crashes in 2009.”From 2007 to 2014 there have likely been 7000 to 10000 excess suicides.In the latest year for which there are good…
  • Richard Kurin: American History in 101 Objects — A Seminar Flashback

    Blog of the Long Now
    Mikl Em
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:14 pm
    In July 02013 The Smithsonian’s Richard Kurin shared relics familiar and obscure which evoke some of America‘s most essential tales, from both before and after the states united. Twice a month we highlight a Seminar About Long-term Thinking (SALT) from our archives. Video of the 12 most recent Seminars is free for all to view. American History in 101 Objects is a recent SALT talk, free for public viewing until August 02014. SALT audio is free for everyone on our Seminar pages and via podcast. Long Now members can see all Seminar videos in HD. From Stewart Brand’s summary…
  • Ebola outbreak: two patients being flown to Atlanta hospital; 1323 cases, 720 deaths and rising

    KurzweilAI » News
    1 Aug 2014 | 4:21 pm
    (Credit: CDC) #EbolaOutbreak. Send newstips here. UPDATED:  August 2, 2014 at 01:12 EDT (new content on top; new videos at bottom) Why There May Never Be A Cure for Ebola — The Wire 8/1/2014 Why we don’t have an ebola vaccine yet: cases are so rare, drug makers haven’t been interested in investing. NIH’s Ebola vaccine has been studied in monkeys and is set to begin its first phase I clinical trial in humans in September. If successful, it will take until mid- to late-2015 before a limited number of vaccine doses would be ready to administer to health care workers. — ABC…
  • TEDx in Marin

    Open the Future
    Jamais Cascio
    1 Aug 2014 | 11:32 am
    So, the second announcement can now be revealed: I'm one of the speakers at the 2014 TEDx Marin event on September 18. I'll be talking about the Magna Cortica, and will be speaking alongside my IFTF colleague Miriam Lueck Avery (talking about the microbiome), CEO of the Center for Investigative Reporting Joaquin Alvorado (talking about reinventing journalism), UC Berkeley Professor Ananya Roy (talking about patriarchy and power), and Kenyatta Leal, former San Quentin inmate (talking about how education and entrepreneurship can transform prison). TEDx events can be a bit of a gamble; there…
  • Guardians of the Galaxy will have around a $100 million opening weekend and very good reviews

    Next Big Future
    2 Aug 2014 | 12:17 am
    Guardians of the Galaxy is soaring at the Friday box office for a possible $95 million-plus North American debut, far more than expected and marking another sizeable victory for Marvel Studios as it launches a new franchise outside of the Avengers series.Rotten Tomatoes has critics 92% positive and the audience is 96% positiveGuardian of the Galaxies 2 has already been greenlighted and is set for 2017.Read more »
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    Blog of the Long Now

  • Richard Kurin: American History in 101 Objects — A Seminar Flashback

    Mikl Em
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:14 pm
    In July 02013 The Smithsonian’s Richard Kurin shared relics familiar and obscure which evoke some of America‘s most essential tales, from both before and after the states united. Twice a month we highlight a Seminar About Long-term Thinking (SALT) from our archives. Video of the 12 most recent Seminars is free for all to view. American History in 101 Objects is a recent SALT talk, free for public viewing until August 02014. SALT audio is free for everyone on our Seminar pages and via podcast. Long Now members can see all Seminar videos in HD. From Stewart Brand’s summary…
  • Anne Neuberger Seminar Primer

    Austin Brown
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:40 pm
    Next Wednesday, August 6th, Anne Neuberger presents “Inside the NSA” in our monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking series. Each month our Seminar Primer gives you background about the upcoming speaker and links to explore even more. The NSA is in an unenviable position, tasked with identifying threats to American interests that could originate anywhere in the world. When they do their job well, we forget they exist; when they fail, it is catastrophic, controversial or both. Anne Neuberger is Special Assistant to the NSA’s Director Michael Rogers. She is also the Director of the…
  • How Hard Should the Turing Test Be?

    Austin Brown
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:26 am
    It seems clear that computers are becoming more intelligent, but in the face of this fact, our definition of intelligence itself seems increasingly blurry. The University of Reading recently made an announcement exemplifying this trend: The 65 year-old iconic Turing Test was passed for the very first time by computer program Eugene Goostman during Turing Test 2014 held at the renowned Royal Society in London. At its face, this is huge and historic news. Alan Turing’s proposal of the eponymous test threw down the field of Artificial Intelligence’s original gauntlet. For a computer…
  • Jem Finer’s Longplayer for Voices Launches a Kickstarter

    Chia Evers
    24 Jul 2014 | 10:38 am
    The Long Now Foundation’s relationship with the Longplayer Trust, which launched a Kickstarter campaign this week, is older than either organization. Nearly 20 years ago, in “The Big Here and the Long Now”, Brian Eno noted that: Since the beginning of the 20th century, artists have been moving away from an idea of art as something finished, perfect, definitive and unchanging towards a view of artworks as processes or the seeds for processes—things that exist and change in time, things that are never finished. Two of his examples were Jem Finer’s “LongPlayer”—a 1,000-year…
  • Adrian Hon Seminar Media

    Andrew Warner
    22 Jul 2014 | 1:09 pm
    This lecture was presented as part of The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking. A History of the Future in 100 Objects Wednesday July 16, 02014 – San Francisco Audio is up on the Hon Seminar page, or you can subscribe to our podcast. Future artifacts – a summary by Stewart Brand Speaking from 02082, Hon described 5 (of 100) objects and events from this century’s history he felt most strongly evoked the astonishing trends that have transformed humanity in the past 8 decades. Not all developments proved to be positive. One such was Locked…
 
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    KurzweilAI » News

  • Ebola outbreak: two patients being flown to Atlanta hospital; 1323 cases, 720 deaths and rising

    1 Aug 2014 | 4:21 pm
    (Credit: CDC) #EbolaOutbreak. Send newstips here. UPDATED:  August 2, 2014 at 01:12 EDT (new content on top; new videos at bottom) Why There May Never Be A Cure for Ebola — The Wire 8/1/2014 Why we don’t have an ebola vaccine yet: cases are so rare, drug makers haven’t been interested in investing. NIH’s Ebola vaccine has been studied in monkeys and is set to begin its first phase I clinical trial in humans in September. If successful, it will take until mid- to late-2015 before a limited number of vaccine doses would be ready to administer to health care workers. — ABC…
  • Engineered biomaterial may regenerate damaged skeletal muscle

    1 Aug 2014 | 2:30 am
    Jeffrey Wolchok, right, works with a biomaterial that can regenerate damaged skeletal muscle (credit: University of Arkansas) A biomaterial that can regenerate damaged skeletal muscle is being developed by University of Arkansas biomedical engineering researcher Jeffrey Wolchok, funded by a National Institutes of Health three-year, $437,248 grant. Living cells secrete fibrous proteins and polysaccharide gels called extracellular matrix, which support cell survival and tissue strength. Minor muscle injuries affect tissue cells but not the extracellular components. In severe injuries, however,…
  • Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol

    1 Aug 2014 | 1:31 am
    Scanning tunneling microscope image of a cerium-oxide and copper catalyst (CeOx-Cu) used in the transformation of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) gases to methanol (CH3OH) and water (H2O) (credit: BNL) Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered a new catalytic system for converting carbon dioxide (CO2) to methanol — a key commodity used to create a wide range of industrial chemicals and fuels. With significantly higher activity than other catalysts now in use, the new system could make it easier to get normally unreactive CO2 to participate in these reactions.
  • Google Glass app aims to improve surgeon training in Stanford University Medical School

    1 Aug 2014 | 1:10 am
    CrowdOptic app lets a user see what another user is seeing simply by looking at that person (credit: CrowdOptic) CrowdOptic is working with the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center to use CrowdOptic’s Google Glass software to help improve resident training in complex surgical procedures, the company has announced. CrowdOptic’s app gives a Google Glass wearer — such as a surgeon — access to what another user — such as a resident performing an operation — is seeing, simply by looking in the resident’s direction, in…
  • The social origins of intelligence in the brain

    1 Aug 2014 | 12:02 am
    “We are trying to understand the nature of general intelligence and to what extent our intellectual abilities are grounded in social cognitive abilities,” said Aron Barbey, PhD (credit: iStock) By studying the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds during the war, researchers have found that brain regions that contribute to optimal social functioning are also vital to general intelligence and emotional intelligence. This finding, reported in the journal Brain, bolsters the view that general intelligence emerges from the emotional and social…
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    Open the Future

  • TEDx in Marin

    Jamais Cascio
    1 Aug 2014 | 11:32 am
    So, the second announcement can now be revealed: I'm one of the speakers at the 2014 TEDx Marin event on September 18. I'll be talking about the Magna Cortica, and will be speaking alongside my IFTF colleague Miriam Lueck Avery (talking about the microbiome), CEO of the Center for Investigative Reporting Joaquin Alvorado (talking about reinventing journalism), UC Berkeley Professor Ananya Roy (talking about patriarchy and power), and Kenyatta Leal, former San Quentin inmate (talking about how education and entrepreneurship can transform prison). TEDx events can be a bit of a gamble; there…
  • Climate Engineering in Berlin

    Jamais Cascio
    30 Jun 2014 | 11:22 am
    Okay, first of a few announcements (posting as they become public): In August, I'll be speaking in Berlin, Germany at the Climate Engineering Conference 2014. A major multi-day event, CEC2014 covers the gamut of climate engineering/geoengineering issues, from science to policy to media. I'm on two panels, and then a special extra event. On Tuesday August 19, I'll be part of the panel entitled CLIMATE ENGINEERING & HUMAN ENGINEERING: SOCIAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGES IN THE ANTHROPOCENE, talking about "From the Anthropocene to the Noöcene": Natural climate change is a well-understood…
  • Magna Cortica

    Jamais Cascio
    13 May 2014 | 12:33 pm
    One of the projects I worked on for the Institute for the Future's 2014 Ten-Year Forecast was Magna Cortica, a proposal to create an overarching set of ethical guidelines and design principles to shape the ways in which we develop and deploy the technologies of brain enhancement over the coming years. The forecast seemed to strike a nerve for many people -- a combination of the topic and the surprisingly evocative name, I suspect. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic Monthly wrote a very good piece on the Ten-Year Forecast, focusing on Magna Cortica, and Popular Science subsequently picked up on…
  • Mirror, Mirror -- Science Fiction and Futurism

    Jamais Cascio
    20 Mar 2014 | 10:31 am
    Futurism -- scenario-based foresight, in particular -- has many parallels to science fiction literature, enough that the two can sometimes be conflated. It's no coincidence that there's quite a bit of overlap between the science fiction writer and futurist communities, and (as a science fiction reader since I was old enough to read) I could myself as extremely fortunate to be able to call many science fiction writers friends. But science fiction and futurism are not the same thing, and it's worth a moment's exploration to show why. The similarities between the two are obvious. Broadly…
  • Watching the World through a Broken Lens

    Jamais Cascio
    19 Mar 2014 | 3:23 pm
    It's often frustrating, as a foresight professional, to listen/read what passes for political discourse, especially during a big international crisis (such as the Russia-Ukraine-Crimea situation). Much of the ongoing discussion offers detailed predictions of what one state or another will do and clear assertions of inevitable outcomes, all with an overwhelming certainty of anticipatory analysis. Of course, these various prognostications will almost always be wrong; worse, they'll typically be wrong in a useless way, having obscured or confused our understanding of the world more than they've…
 
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    Next Big Future

  • Guardians of the Galaxy will have around a $100 million opening weekend and very good reviews

    2 Aug 2014 | 12:17 am
    Guardians of the Galaxy is soaring at the Friday box office for a possible $95 million-plus North American debut, far more than expected and marking another sizeable victory for Marvel Studios as it launches a new franchise outside of the Avengers series.Rotten Tomatoes has critics 92% positive and the audience is 96% positiveGuardian of the Galaxies 2 has already been greenlighted and is set for 2017.Read more »
  • The Great Recession Probably Caused 7000 to 10000 excess suicides in the USA but saved lives by reducing car travel

    1 Aug 2014 | 12:55 pm
    In the United States, the suicide rate, which had slowly risen since 2000, jumped during and after the 2007-09 recession. A new book [The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills] estimates that 4,750 ‘excess’ suicides — that is, deaths above what pre-existing trends would predict — occurred from 2007 to 2010. Rates of such suicides were significantly greater in the states that experienced the greatest job losses. Deaths from suicide overtook deaths from car crashes in 2009.”From 2007 to 2014 there have likely been 7000 to 10000 excess suicides.In the latest year for which there are good…
  • Japan makes superconducting tapes able to hold 100000 amps and UK researchers trap a 17.6 tesla field

    31 Jul 2014 | 11:55 pm
    1. The National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS), of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) in Japan, has achieved an electrical current of 100,000 amperes, which is by far the highest in the world, by using the new idea of assembling the state-of-the-art yttrium-based high-temperature superconducting tapes to fabricate a large-scale magnet conductor.Using the state-of-the-art yttrium-based high-temperature superconducting tapes which have been developed and produced in Japan through the new thinking that simply stacks the tapes, NIFS manufactured a conductor of exceptional…
  • Urban future - World 54% urban today, 66% urban in 2050 and 85% urban in 2100

    31 Jul 2014 | 11:09 pm
    The 2014 revision of the World Urbanization Prospects by UN DESA’s Population Division notes that the largest urban growth will take place in India, China and Nigeria. These three countries will account for 37 per cent of the projected growth of the world’s urban population between 2014 and 2050. By 2050, India is projected to add 404 million urban dwellers, China 292 million and Nigeria 212 million.Today, 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization combined with the…
  • Whole genome sequencing could save $30 billion by preventing one third of neonatal ICU visits

    31 Jul 2014 | 5:18 pm
    Nearly 13% of all babies in the U.S. are preemies, a 20% increase since 1990. A 2006 report by the National Academy of Sciences found that the 550,000 preemies born each year in the U.S. run up about $26 billion in annual costs, mostly related to care in NICUs. That represents about half of all the money hospitals spend on newborns. But the number, large as it is, may understate the bill. Norman J. Waitzman, a professor of economics at the University of Utah who worked on the National Academy report, says the study considered just the first five years of the preemies' lives. Factor in the…
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    the Foresight Institute

  • TED talk: A 30-Year History of the Future

    Stephanie C
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:15 pm
    credit: TED Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT media lab and the One Laptop Per Child program, gave a TED talk in March 2014 titled A 30-Year History of the Future. Click to access the talk or the TEDBlog article discussing the talk. Negroponte highlights some cutting-edge technological developments of the past that had been openly scorned by nay-sayers, including early touch screens and the prediction that books and newspapers would be widely accessed via the internet. Negroponte also describes some unexpected and inspiring results of giving tablets to children, with no training or…
  • Building biological molecular machines as an open source path to advanced nanotechnology

    Jim Lewis
    24 Jul 2014 | 2:27 pm
    A popular added event at the February 2014 Foresight Conference was the B.R.AI.N.S Immortalist Audit focusing on what self-described “Life-Extensionists” are doing to cure disease and extend healthy human life, and how attendees could help. Photos from the Conference present a who’s who of principal players in biotechnology-, and life extension-related startups and research organizations. An April 16 B.R.AI.N.S salon on Human Biology and Freedom capped a successful Crowdtilt community fundraising campaign to build a strategic alliance between B.R.AI.N.S., Berkeley BioLabs…
  • Discount to attend SENS Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference

    Jim Lewis
    11 Jul 2014 | 5:24 pm
    Aubrey de Grey, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, SENS Research Foundation Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference August 21-23, 2014 · Santa Clara, California Conference brochure (pdf) Registration details We are in the midst of a transformation in the way we search for cures to the diseases of aging. The prevalence of age-related diseases is spiraling and the socioeconomic impacts are a constant source of debate. Subsequently, interest in preventing such diseases through novel approaches to drug development is at an all-time high. The Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conference is the…
  • The NNI Debate of 2014

    Stephanie C
    11 Jul 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Credit: NNI at nano.gov Just when it seemed like debate over the National Nanotechnology Initiative was a thing of the past (see Foresight’s disappointment in 2008 here), disagreements regarding re-authorization and budget cuts are prompting politicians and researchers to take a detailed look at what the program supports and what it is achieving. Witnesses to the House Research Subcommittee hearing, held this past May, included Timothy Persons of US GAO, who spoke at Foresight’s 2014 Integration Conference (and whose work indicating shortfalls in US manufacturing and policy is highlighted…
  • The atomically precise manufacture of quantum dots

    Jim Lewis
    5 Jul 2014 | 8:14 pm
    This image shows a quantum dot molecule consisting of three 6-atom indium chains. (Image: Stefan Fölsch/PDI) One of the iconic milestones in the history of nanotechnology was the 1989 feat by Eigler and Schweizer at IBM (published the following April in Nature) of using an STM to arrange 35 xenon atoms on a nickel surface to spell IBM. The demonstration was done at 4 K and the atoms of the nickel crystal acted like an “egg carton” to hold the xenon atoms in place. For these and other reasons, although the symbolic impact of the accomplishment was enormous, it was not obvious…
 
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    Soft Machines

  • Rebuilding the UK’s innovation economy

    Richard Jones
    18 Jul 2014 | 12:22 am
    The UK’s innovation system is currently under-performing; the amount of resource devoted to private sector R&D has been too low compared to competitors for many years, and the situation shows no sign of improving. My last post discussed the changes in the UK economy that have led us to this situation, which contributes to the deep-seated problems of the UK economy of very poor productivity performance and persistent current account deficits. What can we do to improve things? Here I suggest three steps. 1. Stop making things worse. Firstly, we should recognise the damage that has been…
  • Business R&D is the weak link in the UK’s innovation system

    Richard Jones
    24 Jun 2014 | 5:23 am
    What’s wrong with the UK’s innovation system is not that we don’t have a strong science base, or even that there isn’t the will to connect the science base to the companies and entrepreneurs who might want to use its outputs. The problem is that our economy isn’t assigning enough resource to pulling through the fruits of the science base into technological innovations, the innovation that will create new products and services, bring economic growth, and help solve some of the biggest social problems we face. The primary symptom of the problem is the UK’s very poor…
  • Surely there’s more to science than money?

    Richard Jones
    15 Jun 2014 | 12:37 pm
    How can we justify spending taxpayers’ money on science when there is so much pressure to cut public spending, and so many other popular things to spend the money on, like the National Health Service? People close to the policy-making process tend to stress that if you want to persuade HM Treasury of the need to fund science, there’s only one argument they will listen to – that science spending will lead to more economic growth. Yet the economic instrumentalism of this argument grates for many people. Surely it must be possible to justify the elevated pursuit of knowledge in less…
  • Spin-outs and venture capital won’t fill the pharma R&D gap

    Richard Jones
    31 May 2014 | 6:53 am
    Now that Pfizer has, for the moment, been rebuffed in its attempt to take over AstraZeneca, it’s worth reflecting on the broader issues this story raised about the pharmaceutical industry in particular and technological innovation more generally. The political attention focused on the question of industrial R&D capacity was very welcome; this was the subject of my last post – Why R&D matters. Less has been said about the broader problems of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, which I discussed in an earlier post – Decelerating change in the pharmaceutical…
  • Why R&D matters

    Richard Jones
    9 May 2014 | 9:27 am
    The takeover bid for the UK/Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca by US giant Pfizer has given rare political prominence to the issue of UK-based research and development capacity. Underlying much opposition to the deal is the fear that the combined entity will seek to cut costs, and that R&D expenditure will be first in the firing line. This fear is entirely well-founded; since Pfizer took over Wyeth in 2009 it has reduced total R&D spend from $11bn to $6.7bn, and in the UK Pfizer’s cost-cutting reputation was sealed by the closure of its Sandwich R&D facility in…
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    Ultrafuture World

  • Power Supplies For Traveling Workers

    admin
    28 Jul 2014 | 11:33 am
    Traveling workers are met with power supply issues every day. They get on planes, trains and buses to do their work, but they have a hard time plugging in their computers and mobile devices. These workers cannot waste time while they are on the road, and a mobile power supply will change the way these people do their work. Packing The Power Supply A small power supply from a company like TNBPowerSolutions.com will help the worker charge their devices without the benefit of a wall outlet. These power supplies fit in a bag, and the worker can set it up easily. Most workers do not have much…
  • The world of AIDS research mourns occasions

    Gabriel
    22 Jul 2014 | 12:11 am
    In this blog we have talked on numerous occasions about the good news as encouraging progress being made in the field of AIDS, one of the most dramatic pandemics of the twentieth century and so far this century. A few months ago we spent an entry in our blog on how the current situation is against this disease, how we managed cronificar AIDS and how the virus is adapting to our body. While much remains to be done to find a cure coveted because it has failed to curb the transmission and control of disease in our body as long as possible. However, today we talk about bad news because, simply,…
  • Storable artificial blood for two years at room temperature

    Gabriel
    21 Jul 2014 | 2:15 am
    Every day, thousands of people in the world manage to save or improve their lives because someone has donated blood. But imagine how many more lives could be saved if it found a substitute for the blood that could be stored easily at room temperature for a long time, and that was suitable for all patients, regardless of their blood group. This is the challenge that a team of scientists from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom expected to overcome his Haem02 project to develop an artificial substitute for the blood of third generation that is suitable for all. Chris Cooper and his…
  • Find Success with Your Website

    admin
    20 Jul 2014 | 1:18 am
    Having a website in today’s business world is much like having business cards. Every company needs to have an online presence to communicate with customers, employees and to show the competition just what you are made of. There are a number of ways that you can help boost your company’s success with your website. Making sure you have these tools in your toolbox will help your company stay at the front of your customers’ minds. Buy a Top Level Domain Getting the right domain name is an important first step for any company website. You will want to get a domain that accurately…
  • Discover why marijuana can cause paranoia

    Gabriel
    20 Jul 2014 | 12:56 am
    A few months ago we talked about in our blog why marijuana can cause schizophrenia. Now, a major scientific study has found the causes of paranoia that this drug can have on our body. Marijuana, which can also be called cannabis is a drug obtained from plants Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica. The main active ingredient of this drug is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the most psychological effects of the drug, for example, hallucinations. A team of researchers from the University of Oxford in the UK, led by Professor Daniel Freeman, has questioned whether the THC…
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    The Technium

  • Platforms Trump Products

    Kevin Kelly
    16 Jul 2014 | 1:39 pm
    The general trend in the technium is a long-term migration away from selling products to selling services. Jeff Bezos has long said the Kindle is not a product, but a service selling access to reading material. That distinction will be made even more visible very shortly when Amazon introduces an “all you can read” subscription to their library of ebooks. Readers will no longer have to purchase individual books, but will have the option to subscribe to all books (600,000 to begin with), like you do to movies on Netflix. As a paying subscriber you get access to any book in print…
  • The Least Resistance to New Ideas

    Kevin Kelly
    15 Jul 2014 | 10:05 am
    Many years ago the San Francisco Chronicle published a short column in which the writer mentioned that he had been traveling in India, and when he told the clerk at his hotel in New Delhi that he was from the San Francisco Bay Area the clerk responded, “Oh that is the center of the universe” Um, mumbled the traveller, and why do you say that? “Because the center of the universe is wherever there is the least resistance to new ideas.” I have not been able to come up with a better description of San Francisco’s special relation to futurism. In my experience this is…
  • The Technium Test

    Kevin Kelly
    14 Jul 2014 | 5:12 pm
    Beyond our tiny blue planet, the universe is filled with 100 billion galaxies, each containing 100 billion suns, and each of those stars some vast but unknown billion of inhabitable planets. Let’s say we had some means to inspect at least one other planet in the universe that sprouted sentient creatures who also developed their own advance technology. If we could see a complicated artifact on that planet do we have any test to determine whether that thing was alive or created? Could we tell whether a particular example was an organism born, or a supremely advanced machine made by ones who…
  • Soured Quotes 18

    Kevin Kelly
    23 Feb 2014 | 10:54 pm
    In terms of GDP, user-generated content involves unmeasured labor creating an unmeasured asset that is consumed in unmeasured ways to create unmeasured consumer surplus. — Erik and Andrew, The Second Machine Age, 2014, p. 114. I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA. I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only ones who don’t realize it. — Edward Snowden, Edward Snowden Says His Mission’s Accomplished, Washington Post, December 24, 2013 Netflix has created a database of American cinematic predilections. The data can’t…
  • Rules for Cyberwar

    Kevin Kelly
    1 Jan 2014 | 11:28 pm
    Having rules for harming and killing people and destroying things seems weird, but not as weird as not having them. We do have some rules about harming and killing in the physical world, but we don’t have any for the intangible digital world. We need rules for cyberwar badly. These will require some uncomfortable acknowledgements, some unlikely agreement across cultures, and probably some disaster to happen first. Like all things digital, it’s a knotty, complex, tricky problem. Boundaries in cyberspace are inherently blurred to non-existence. Motives matter more and are harder to…
 
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    Broader Perspective

  • Enterprise Bitcoin and the Brain as a CryptoCurrency Network

    20 Jul 2014 | 11:58 pm
    If Dell, New Egg, and TigerDirect now accept Bitcoin, and Paypal's CEO contemplates the same, eBay and Amazon might also accept Bitcoin in the not too distant future, and this would start to really push cryptocurrency into the mainstream. Faster still if Google Wallet were to join. Bitcoin seems to be 'going enterprise' (= key step to mainstream) as fast as the Internet-of-things (Enterprise IOT: Microsoft, Ernst & Young, etc. offering connected POS (point of sale) networks and all 'devices' as an IOT service to businesses). However, even though Bitcoin in its entirety is a radically new…
  • Prediction Markets Round-Up

    14 Jul 2014 | 7:55 pm
    Prediction Markets are a tool for collecting group opinion using market principles. The price is usually based on a conversion of an opinion of the percent likely an event is to happen (i.e., the probability), for example there is a 40% change that Candidate X will win the election. The premise is that there is a lot of hidden information that can be sharable but there are not mechanisms to share it because information-holders either cannot or do not wish to share it (for example that a current work team project may not finish on time). Some research has found that prediction markets may beat…
  • Cognitive Enhancement Memory Management: Retrieval and Blocking

    6 Jul 2014 | 10:22 pm
    One familiar notion of cognitive enhancement is prescription drugs that boost focus and concentration: ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) medications like Modafinil, Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, and Methylin [1], and amphetamines like Adderall, Dexedrine, Benzedrine, Methedrine, Preludin, and Dexamyl [1-3]. These drugs are controversial as while there is some documented benefit, there is also a recovery period (implying that sustained use is not possible), and they are often obtained illegally or for nonmedical use. What is new in memory enhancement drug development is the…
  • Google I/O: Seamless Integration: Watch, Tablet, PC, Glass, Smart Home, Smart Car

    29 Jun 2014 | 11:20 pm
    Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference this week had many interesting announcements. The key point is the concept of the multi-device ecosystem, with the smart watch at the center for notifications, and seamless communication and content-sharing between all platforms: watch, PC, tablet, Glass, TV, smart home, and smart car (eCar). The statistics are impressive, and have long surpassed Apple: Google Android has 1 billion active monthly users. One company initiative is Android One, a sub-$100 platform for roll-out to the world’s 5 billion currently without smartphones. The…
  • Neural Data Privacy Rights

    22 Jun 2014 | 8:35 pm
    A worry that is not yet on the scientific or cultural agenda is neural data privacy rights. Not even biometric data privacy rights (beyond genomics) are in purview yet which is surprising given the personal data streams that are amassing from wearable computing, Internet-of-Things biosensors, and quantified self-tracking activities. Neural data privacy rights is the notion of considering the privacy and security issues regarding personalized data flows that arise from the brain. There are several reasons why neural data privacy rights could become an important concern. First, personalized…
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    Andart

  • Monoliths... Mmm... Monoliths

    Anders3
    22 Jul 2014 | 4:03 pm
    I gush about 2001: The Spark: 2001, artificial intelligence and the future of humanity The interview made me re-recognize how absolutely awesome the movie is. It is in many ways *the* movie to watch to understand what our institute tries...
  • Roadmap for physics greatness

    Anders3
    20 Jul 2014 | 2:55 pm
    Gerard 't Hooft has written an excellent set of pages on How to become a GOOD Theoretical Physicist - essentially his sketch of what a person ought to know before they can actually do any relevant work in theoretical physics....
  • Panel of the Clones

    Anders3
    10 Jul 2014 | 2:58 pm
    A while ago I participated in a discussion at the Hay-on-Wye philosophy festival about cloning. Now the footage is online: Planet of the Clones: The future of human cloning. Hilary Rose, Anders Sandberg, Ian Wilmut. Barnaby Martin hosts We had...
  • If nature doesn't do containment, why should I?

    Anders3
    2 Jul 2014 | 4:57 pm
    Earlier this week I attended an excellent talk by Simon Wain-Hobson from the Pasteur Institute about gain of function (GOF) experiments on flu viruses. They are controversial because they involve making viruses more pathogenic or more transmissible; I have blogged...
  • Ethics of brain emulations

    Anders3
    26 Jun 2014 | 3:19 am
    My paper about brain emulation ethics is now officially out, and open access: Ethics of brain emulations. Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence. Volume 26, Issue 3, 2014 Special Issue: Risks of General Artificial Intelligence In the light of...
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Open Thread

    Robin Hanson
    1 Aug 2014 | 5:25 am
    This is our monthly place to discuss relevant topics that have not appeared in recent posts.
  • Irreducible Detail

    Robin Hanson
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:10 am
    Our best theories vary in generality. Some theories are very general, but most are more context specific. Putting all of our best theories together usually doesn’t let us make exact predictions on most variables of interest. We often express this fact formally in our models via “noise,” which represents other factors that we can’t yet predict. For each of our theories there was a point in time when we didn’t have it yet. Thus we expect to continue to learn more theories, which will let us make more precise predictions. And so it might seem like we can’t constrain our…
  • Adam Ford & I on Great Filter

    Robin Hanson
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    Adam Ford interviewed me again, this time on the Great Filter: We have three main sources of info on existential risks (xrisks): Inside View Analysis – where we try to use our best theories to reason about particular causal processes. Earth Track Records – the empirical distribution of related events observed so far on Earth. The Great Filter – inferences from the fact that the universe looks dead everywhere but here. These sources are roughly equally informative. #2 suggests xrisks are low, even if high enough to deserve much effort to prevent them. I’d say that…
  • Lost For Words, On Purpose

    Robin Hanson
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:45 am
    When we use words to say how we feel, the more relevant concepts and distinctions that we know, the more precisely we can express our feelings. So you might think that the number of relevant distinctions we can express on a topic rises with a topic’s importance. That is, the more we care about something, the more distinctions we can make about it. But consider the two cases of food and love/sex (which I’m lumping together here). It seems to me that while these topics are of comparable importance, we have a lot more ways to clearly express distinctions on foods than on love/sex. So…
  • Conflicting Abstractions

    Robin Hanson
    25 Jul 2014 | 3:45 am
    My last post seems an example of an interesting general situation: when abstractions from different fields conflict on certain topics. In the case of my last post, the topic was the relative growth rate feasible for a small project hoping to create superintelligence, and the abstractions that seem to conflict are the ones I use, mostly from economics, and abstractions drawn from computer practice and elsewhere used by Bostrom, Yudkowsky, and many other futurists. What typically happens when it seems that abstractions from field A suggests X, while abstraction from field B suggests not X?
 
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    The Fourth Revolution Blog

  • Why You Should Ditch the 10,000 Hours Rule in Favor of the 1,000 or Even 100 Hour Rule

    Jeremie Averous
    31 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    The 10,000 hours rule, popularized by the author Malcolm Gladwell, states that you need 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of anything. Great. That’s an awful lot of time in particular for focused practice. James Altucher notes that “10,000 hours is a lot of time. It’s anywhere from 5-30 years of your life. And then you die. And what do you show for it? That you’re great at watercolor painting. Not everyone is going to be the Beatles. That involves some luck also.” He argues that in reality, 1,000 hours are often enough to reach a sufficient level to…
  • How Success Can’t Happen Without Both Will And Luck

    Jeremie Averous
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    As the saying says, success is due to talent in some part, and also to luck. And great success is just a bit more of talent, and a great chunk of additional luck. We need to recognize that luck is a key ingredient to what we become. It is tough to accept that our destiny is shaped in a large part by luck. We would like to think that it is just our talent and our efforts – our will. The role of luck stems directly from the complexity of the world around us – and its unpredictability. And indeed there is a large part of modern auto-determination thinking that suggests that you can…
  • My New Book is Out: Practical Cost Control Handbook for Project Managers

    Jeremie Averous
    26 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    I am very proud to announce that my new book, the Practical Cost Control Handbook for Project Managers, has just been published. It is not a all-publics book like the previous ones, still it results from significant effort and continuous improvements in the past 3 years. It is the public version of a book that has been already produced as an internal handbook for a few clients, selling more than 1,000 copies already of previous versions. It is available worldwide through all online bookshops, and is also available as a Kindle version! Here are the links to Amazon.com for the paperback…
  • How the Conventional Organization too Often Crushes True Prioritization

    Jeremie Averous
    24 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    Further to our post on “How to Truly Prioritize: a Vital Skill for Success“, I would like to mention how I observe that most organizations seem to be creating a Brownian movement that leads us in the opposite direction from correct prioritization (i.e., stop doing what is not a priority). Meetings – one of worst killers of quality time spent on real priorities Meetings too often suck out time from real productive work on priority issues and are often unproductive Other people constantly come with new issues and topics that add up on our list of to-do actions with no true…
  • How to Truly Prioritize: a Vital Skill for Success

    Jeremie Averous
    22 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    In my coaching, training and consulting activities, I encounter again and again the same phenomenon: people say they prioritize – but in effect they don’t. And those who really do are those that rise to be successful. stop doing what is not important (even if looks urgent!) What is true prioritization? To put it simply, it is not to do what is not deemed to be a priority. That sounds simple but that is where most of us fail. Everybody can run some kind of prioritization scheme and decide that some actions are indeed, priority actions. But when it comes to stopping to do the rest,…
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    XYZ University

  • Why you don’t understand those young’uns

    Amanda Kaiser
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:57 pm
    Copyright: andresr / 123RF Stock Photo “When I was your age I used to walk to school five miles through three feet of snow uphill both ways.” How many of you have a statement similar to this from someone of an older generation? We like to laugh about this statement but there’s a bit of truth to it. Every generation feels the next generation is softer and more pampered. We also misremember the past, framing the events in our minds as either much better than or much worse than they really were. For these reasons, drawing on your young member or young professional experiences won’t help…
  • What’s trending in talent development?

    Shannon Neeser
    16 Jul 2014 | 5:45 am
    We need talent to survive. We all know that. What you might not know is how to attract, develop and retain the top talent. That’s where XYZ University comes in. There’s a talent war currently happening and even if you can get the talent you need, keeping it looks different than it did even a few years ago. One of the best ways to ensure your company has the right talent and a solid foundation for retention, is to develop talent from within. You know what you need and many times you know which employees are best equipped to provide those needs to you. At the same time, your employees…
  • What members want: The new meaning of value

    Shannon Neeser
    10 Jul 2014 | 1:47 pm
      Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo The problem with your young association members is that they’re always changing. Each generation is a little bit different; they value experiences differently. How you attracted young members a decade ago probably isn’t working for you today; Gen X is not Gen Y is not Gen Z. And even if your association gets these generations in the door, keeping them there is just as challenging. If your association is going to be around to worry about the next generation of membership, you need to know what the next generation of member values now. Real…
  • Finding your niche

    Shannon Neeser
    3 Jul 2014 | 7:23 am
    Your association isn’t for everyone. You serve a specific industry and a specific type of professional within your industry. The better you understand your audience and your own purpose, the better you will be able to serve your members. Recognizing your own niche will also help you properly market your association. You’re unique; you are not actually competing with all the other associations in your industry out there. You’re best at being what you are, and that’s exactly what you need to focus on. Stand out Generation Y doesn’t want to blend in with the crowd, they want to…
  • Avoid pitfalls with Gen Y in the workplace

    Shannon Neeser
    25 Jun 2014 | 6:30 am
    Chances are, you’re working with some Millennials (born 1982-1995). Maybe it’s not always easy, but what is? Understanding who they are and what they expect will help you communicate better and be more productive on the job. You won’t be doing yourself, or your company, any favors if you’re making some common mistakes when it comes to your Gen Y co-workers. Gen Y is not your tech support Yes, Generation Y has grown up with technology and they’re generally tech-savvy. That doesn’t mean they want to be your tech support. Asking a Millennial co-worker to help you deal with your…
 
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    Singularitarian

  • NASA: New "impossible" engine works, could change space travel forever

    1 Aug 2014 | 3:04 pm
    NASA: New "impossible" engine works, could change space travel forever: Until yesterday, every physicist was laughing at this engine and its inventor, Roger Shawyer. It’s called the EmDrive and everyone said it was impossible because it goes against classical mechanics. But the fact is that the quantum vacuum plasma thruster works and scientists can’t explain why.
  • motherboardtv: Watch an Autonomous Robot Farmer Harvest Data...

    1 Aug 2014 | 2:50 pm
    motherboardtv: Watch an Autonomous Robot Farmer Harvest Data from the Field
  • Minnesota Man 3D Prints a Real Castle – On to Printing a Full Size House Next

    1 Aug 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Minnesota Man 3D Prints a Real Castle – On to Printing a Full Size House Next : Rudenko had a goal of 3D printing his full sized house sometime this summer, and although that still appears to be possible, he is a bit behind in the process. “Had to deal with a lot of different small problems,” Rudenko told us last month. “Now just started printing the small castle.”
  • Printing the Metals of the Future

    31 Jul 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Printing the Metals of the Future : 3-D printers can create all kinds of things, from eyeglasses to implantable medical devices, straight from a computer model and without the need for molds. But for making spacecraft, engineers sometimes need custom parts that traditional manufacturing techniques and standard 3-D printers can’t create, because they need to have the properties of multiple metals. Now, researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are implementing a printing process that transitions from one metal or alloy to another in a single object.
  • Google Translate's Lead Scientist Is Going to Help Conquer Death

    31 Jul 2014 | 7:46 am
    Google Translate's Lead Scientist Is Going to Help Conquer Death: Google, it turns out, doesn’t have a monopoly on the ambitious goal to conquer death. In fact, the tech giant just lost one of its top computer scientists to a genetics startup called Human Longevity, which is working to achieve exactly what the name implies.
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    Thought Infection

  • Lay-Offs Should be Good News

    @ThoughtInfected
    20 Jul 2014 | 10:19 am
    I would like to preface this post by pointing out that I very much sympathize with those who must endure the stress, uncertainty and general hardship that unemployment brings upon people and families that must live through it. The purpose of this post is not meant to suggest that the human costs of job loss are negligible or unimportant, but instead to encourage deeper thought on the too often forgotten pluses of job cuts. If we wish to live in an efficient and fair society then we must seek means to maximize the pros and diminish the cons of eliminating jobs. …
  • The Speech – Part 5 of Isaac’s Escape

    @ThoughtInfected
    8 Jun 2014 | 4:25 am
    This is a work in progress for the next part of Isaac’s Escape. Go here for the first, second, third, and fourth parts. ———————————- “We stand at a turning point in history.” The man (or at least the projection of a man) stood above the crowd gathered at the steps of the congress. He was sharply dressed, but not too sharply. He was wearing a loose fitting business which produced that newly fashionable wrinkled look. The suit gave the man a slight impression of innocence, like a boy arriving for his first…
  • It’s Time to Start Believing Again – Why Basic Income Could and Should be the Next Global Political Movement

    @ThoughtInfected
    1 Jun 2014 | 1:55 pm
    If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know that I am a big fan of basic income as the best solution to fix the current international ills of modernize capitalism. Whether it is in the form of a guaranteed minimum income (GMI), negative income tax (NIT), or Universal Basic Income (UBI), I believe that some form of non-means tested mechanism to distribute minimal income to everyone in society is going to become a must as we enter an increasingly automated world. In this post I will attempt to explore something that I have not yet seen addressed in discussions about basic…
  • We Are Running Out of Time To Build A Better World

    @ThoughtInfected
    25 May 2014 | 6:28 am
    Sometimes people ask me why I get so excited about the kind of stuff that I talk about here. It seems that most people simply accept the hardship, inequity, and unfairness of the world as if it were a law of nature. “Your life is pretty good, why do you get so worked up about this stuff?” A simple question, but one which probes surprisingly deep into my beliefs about the world and its future. Yes, I am lucky enough to have been born into a society which can deliver the opportunity for someone of a rather peculiar and bookish demeanor to embrace their academic proclivity and…
  • Apples to Apples

    damronluke
    18 May 2014 | 11:28 am
    We seem to have this need to constantly compare and judge everything, make everything into a competition. We compare ourselves to others — based on style, clothes, body, money, car — we compare the latest technologies and movies… everything. And in the 21st century there are many ways to judge and compare these things, most easily by using the internet: thumbs up/down, karma, likes, +1, stars, or the more qualitative (and more often than not, rude and/or irrelevant) comment. I’m not saying we shouldn’t compare things or dismiss healthy competition, it’s just…
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    Getting Through High School

  • FIVE WAYS A TO MAKE MONEY ON YOUR OWN TIME

    29 Jul 2014 | 11:00 am
    Hey guys! This is a pre-back-to-school post, for any of those who are interested. I know that school is coming up again, and we can't really keep a job and manage to keep an exceptional report card. So, I've decided to post a little something something that I discovered over the summer, and that something something is Five Ways You Can Make Money On Your Own Time!*Disclaimer* Make sure you ALWAYS use caution when earning money online. Never ever give out personal information such as a social security number (your identity can be stolen that way) and never join any program that requires you to…
  • NEW BLOG URL

    21 Jul 2014 | 9:10 am
    Hey everyone! Starting tomorrow, this blog will have a new url; it'll be easier to remember!The new url will be: http://thruhighschool.blogspot.comEventually I'll get my own domain name and we can lose that lame ".blogspot.com" stuff. See ya!
  • Have a Great Summer Guys!!

    21 May 2014 | 11:32 am
    Yes, it is true. Five school days until school is over. Technically one day and four half days... I guess that means three days... But still! This is a time to celebrate! No more waking up before the sun and no more long nights of homework and studying; just relaxation.This, unfortunately, will be my last post for this school year. I know, I know, heartbreaking. But do not fear! I'll be back next year! (Hey that rhymed).I do have one wish though-- have a great summer. Even if it rains, I want you to go out there and enjoy summer. Go make a montage or something, walking in the rain with either…
  • END OF THE YEAR!!!!

    19 May 2014 | 12:25 pm
    Hey guys! There's only ONE MORE WEEK of school left! Just 9 more days! Sounds crazy right?? I just wanted to remind you guys that it isn't over yet, we've still got those 9 weeks exams (but those should be a piece of cake, right?). Just make sure you study well and you'll be fine. After that, it's smooooth sailing!
  • A Quick Lifestyle Tip

    14 May 2014 | 11:25 am
    Hi all! This post will be quick, but stuffed with insight. If you haven't read The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes, then I suggest that you do. It can turn around your whole lifestyle. Anyway, here is an excerpt from her teachings. Keeping this in mind will make your life much less stressful and negatively affected. A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda ByrneCreator of The Secret From The Secret Daily TeachingsLook for the gifts in everything, especially when you are facing what appears to be a negative situation. Everything that we attract causes us to grow, which…
 
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