Future

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  • Reimagining Old Age: A Christmas Thought Experiment

    Extravolution
    nuncio
    17 Dec 2013 | 7:00 am
    Image ©Vince GarciaAt Christmas, differences between ourselves and our elderly relatives can be shoved into garish spotlight – our backgrounds; our upbringings; our educations; our politics and social outlooks; our attitudes towards religion, ‘authority’, life and death, money, health, gender issues, race, tradition, relationships; and so on. Note that one difference I have not mentioned in the list is age; I have not mentioned it, because it is not, per se, a relevant difference.Enlightened views clash with entrenched prejudices. Modern flexibility slumps uncomfortably in its…
  • Brain-Enhancing 'Smart Drugs' Are Going Commercial

    Singularitarian
    18 Jul 2014 | 7:30 am
    Brain-Enhancing 'Smart Drugs' Are Going Commercial : Over the past year, Facebook users may have done a double take on seeing ads for Alleradd, a cognitive enhancement pill that sounds a lot like the prescription drug Adderall.
  • Jem Finer’s Longplayer for Voices Launches a Kickstarter

    Blog of the Long Now
    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…
  • Study suggests probiotics could prevent obesity and insulin resistance

    KurzweilAI » News
    25 Jul 2014 | 11:10 am
    Obese vs. lean mouse (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered that engineered probiotic bacteria (“friendly” bacteria like those in yogurt) in the gut produce a therapeutic compound that inhibits weight gain, insulin resistance, and other adverse effects of a high-fat diet in mice. “Of course it’s hard to speculate from mouse to human,” said senior investigator Sean Davies, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pharmacology. “But essentially, we’ve prevented most of the negative consequences of obesity in mice, even though they’re eating a high-fat…
  • Climate Engineering in Berlin

    Open the Future
    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…
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    Blog of the Long Now

  • 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…
  • Alexander Rose speaks at Catalyst Week, Las Vegas on July 25th

    Andrew Warner
    19 Jul 2014 | 2:10 pm
    On Friday, July 25th 02014, Long Now Foundation’s Executive Director Alexander Rose will speak at Catalyst Week series in Las Vegas. This month’s speakers are this Thursday and Friday at the Learning Village in downtown Las Vegas. You can RSVP here to attend. Catalyst Week is a monthly event sponsored by the Downtown Project, Zappo’s founder Tony Hsieh’s effort revitalize urban Las Vegas. As he discussed in his Seminar About Long-term Thinking (SALT) for Long Now Hsieh hopes to make Last Vegas “the most community-focused large city in the world”. You…
  • The Future of Language at The Interval: Tuesday July 22

    Mikl Em
    18 Jul 2014 | 11:26 am
    Laura Welcher, David Evan Harris, and Mandana Seyfeddinipur speak on Tuesday, July 22 at The Interval This Tuesday at The Interval “The Future of Language” featuring Dr. Laura Welcher of Long Now’s Rosetta Project and Global Lives Project‘s David Evan Harris, and special guest Dr Mandana Seyfeddinipur of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme who is visiting from London. Tuesday July 22, 02014 at 7:30pm at The Interval (doors at 6:30) Advanced Tickets are strongly encouraged as space is limited Long Now’s Rosetta Project is dedicated to documenting…
  • World’s Oldest Comics: The Kanozero Petroglyphs

    Chia Evers
    14 Jul 2014 | 11:22 am
    In Understanding Comics, which Stewart Brand described as “a seminal work at the level of Edward Tufte’s Envisioning Information,” Scott McCloud defined comics as “Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.” Using this definition, McCloud proposed several examples of the earliest known comic: the 11th-century CE Bayeaux Tapestry, which tells the story of William I’s conquest of England; the Codex Zouche-Nuttall, an illustrated 14th-century CE Mixtec manuscript that narrates…
 
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    KurzweilAI » News

  • Study suggests probiotics could prevent obesity and insulin resistance

    25 Jul 2014 | 11:10 am
    Obese vs. lean mouse (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Vanderbilt University researchers have discovered that engineered probiotic bacteria (“friendly” bacteria like those in yogurt) in the gut produce a therapeutic compound that inhibits weight gain, insulin resistance, and other adverse effects of a high-fat diet in mice. “Of course it’s hard to speculate from mouse to human,” said senior investigator Sean Davies, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pharmacology. “But essentially, we’ve prevented most of the negative consequences of obesity in mice, even though they’re eating a high-fat…
  • New clues to how synapses in the brain are programmed

    25 Jul 2014 | 10:08 am
    Cerebellar granule cells, parallel fibers, and flattened dendritic trees of Purkinje cells (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Washington University School of Medicine researchers have identified a group of proteins that program synapses in the brain, controlling neural development and learning, with implications for conditions such as autism. In a study of the cerebellum (which plays a central role in controlling the coordination of movement and is essential for “procedural motor learning”) of mice, published in the journal Neuron, they found that a complex of proteins known as NuRD…
  • A fly-inspired miniature microphone

    25 Jul 2014 | 12:16 am
    This is a top-side view in a microscope photograph of the biologically inspired microphone. The tiny structure rotates and flaps about the pivots (labeled), producing a voltage across the electrodes (labeled). (Credit: N. Hall/UT Austin) University of Texas Austin researchers have developed a tiny prototype microphone device that mimics the Ormia ochraceafly’s hearing mechanism. The design may be useful for a new generation of hypersensitive, millimeter-sized, low-power hearing aids. The yellow-colored Ormia ochracea fly, the inspiration for the design, can pinpoint the location of a…
  • New Google X Project to look for disease and health patterns in collected data

    24 Jul 2014 | 11:39 pm
    Smart contact lens (credit: Google) Google X has launched a new Moonshot project called Baseline Study to “collect anonymous genetic and molecular information from 175 people—and later thousands more—to create what the company hopes will be the fullest picture of what a healthy human being should be,” says The Wall Street Journal. Specifically, Google will collect samples and look for disease and health biomarkers, or patterns. The project is run by Andrew Conrad, a molecular biologist who pioneered cheap, high-volume tests for HIV in blood-plasma donations. Wearable devices…
  • How to prevent diseases of aging

    24 Jul 2014 | 3:21 pm
    By 2050, the number of people aged over 60 years is projected to be five times that in 1950 (credit: Luigi Fontana, Brian K. Kennedy, and and Valter D. Longo/Nature) By 2050, the number of people over the age of 80 will triple globally, which could come at great cost to individuals and economies. Unfortunately, medicine focuses almost entirely on fighting chronic diseases in a piecemeal fashion as symptoms develop, researchers writing in the journal Nature say. Instead, more efforts should be directed to promoting interventions that have the potential to prevent multiple chronic diseases and…
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    Open the Future

  • 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…
  • Offshore Wind Turbines Can Tame Hurricanes. Yay, Right? Maybe.

    Jamais Cascio
    28 Feb 2014 | 10:28 am
    Stanford University Civil Engineering professor Mark Jacobson (and team) have published an article in Nature Climate Change showing that a large cluster of offshore wind turbines -- about 300+ GW worth -- could significantly reduce the wind speeds and storm surges from hurricanes. BBC article & video. PDF of NCC article. From the abstract: Benefits occur whether turbine arrays are placed immediately upstream of a city or along an expanse of coastline. The reduction in wind speed due to large arrays increases the probability of survival of even present turbine designs. The net cost of turbine…
 
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    Next Big Future

  • Cameco still on track for over 8000 tons of uranium production in 2018

    26 Jul 2014 | 2:27 am
    A temporary halt to jet boring at Cameco's Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan has forced the company to revise its ore production target date (from late 2014 into early 2015). Cameco's long-term annual production target of 18 million pounds (8,164 tonnes) U3O8 by 2018 will not be impacted.Read more »
  • Safety approval for first Japanese reactor restarts

    25 Jul 2014 | 2:29 pm
    Sendai nuclear power plant units 1 and 2 have draft approval to restart and generate electricity again. The final stages in Japan's new licensing regime could be completed in October.The draft approval means that the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) considers the two reactors, and the plant as a whole, to be safe for operation. This represents by far the major part of the licensing process which began on 8 July 2013 when NRA formally announced its new requirements.Applications for 15 other reactors remain at the review stage with Takahama 3 and 4 said by the NRA to be the next most…
  • Carnival of Space 363

    24 Jul 2014 | 8:03 pm
    The Carnival of Space 363 is up at Chandra X-ray Space telescope blogio9 Space - The current generation of telescopes have found hundreds of exoplanets. The next generation will find thousands. Depending on the tools we develop, we might be within decades of finding life on alien worlds.A new pair of telescopes are launching soon: the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) in 2017, and the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018. Kepler has found us hundreds of worlds; TESS is designed to track thousands of stars for that brief dimming that indicates the presence of a planet.The James Webb…
  • Wheat disease Powdery Mildew was stopped with gene editing

    24 Jul 2014 | 7:30 am
    Researchers have created wheat that is resistant to a common disease, using advanced gene editing methods.Advanced genome-editing techniques have been used to create a strain of wheat resistant to a destructive fungal pathogen—called powdery mildew—that is a major bane to the world’s top food source, according to scientists at one of China’s leading centers for agricultural research.To stop the mildew, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences deleted genes that encode proteins that repress defenses against the mildew. The work promises to someday make wheat more resistant to the…
  • Lasers make fiber optic tubes out of thin air and can be used for communication, sensing and weapon applications

    24 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Milchberg and his lab report using an “air waveguide” to enhance light signals collected from distant sources. These air waveguides could have many applications, including long-range laser communications, detecting pollution in the atmosphere, making high-resolution topographic maps and laser weapons.Because light loses intensity with distance, the range over which such tasks can be done is limited. Even lasers, which produce highly directed beams, lose focus due to their natural spreading, or worse, due to interactions with gases in the air. Fiber-optic cables can trap light beams and…
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    the Foresight Institute

  • 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…
  • Lipid coat protects DNA nanorobot from immune attack

    Jim Lewis
    5 Jul 2014 | 3:00 pm
    An enveloped virus (left) coats itself with lipid as part of its life cycle. New lipid-coated DNA nanodevices (right) closely resemble those viruses and evade the immune defenses of mice. Credit: Steven Perrault/Harvard's Wyss Institute In general one would not expect a close correlation between the nanoscience and nanomaterials R&D leading to near-term applications in medicine, energy, computation, and other fields, and the molecular nanotechnology that will eventually lead to productive nanosystems and atomically precise manufacturing. A counter example in which the correlation is…
 
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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

  • 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…
  • Automatically activated silicon origami water

    Gabriel
    18 Jul 2014 | 7:46 am
    Making changes and automatic way to complex objects on a microscopic scale activated silicon can be the basis for crucial medical advances in the selective application of drugs at very specific points of the body, in performing autonomous and programmable microsurgical operations, and many other branches technology. Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands seem to have taken a key step towards that kind of ability to control microscopic silicon structures. Using just a drop of water, the team has made Antoine Legrain microscopic silicon nitride films be dubbed to adopt forms…
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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

  • 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?
  • I Still Don’t Get Foom

    Robin Hanson
    24 Jul 2014 | 1:45 pm
    Back in 2008 my ex-co-blogger Eliezer Yudkowsky and I discussed his “AI foom” concept, a discussion that we recently spun off into a book. I’ve heard for a while that Nick Bostrom was working on a book elaborating related ideas, and this week his Superintelligence was finally available to me to read, via Kindle. I’ve read it now, along with a few dozen reviews I’ve found online. Alas, only the two reviews on GoodReads even mention the big problem I have with one of his main premises, the same problem I’ve had with Yudkowsky’s views. Bostrom hardly mentions the issue in his 300…
  • Tegmark’s Vast Math

    Robin Hanson
    21 Jul 2014 | 7:15 am
    I recently had a surprise chance to meet Max Tegmark, and so I first quickly read his enjoyable new book The Mathematical Universe. It covers many foundations of physics topics that he correctly says are unfairly neglected. Since I’ve collected many opinions on foundation of physics over decades, I can’t resist mentioning the many ways I agree and disagree with him. Let me start with what Tegmark presents as his main point, which is that the total universe is BIG, almost as big as it could possibly be. There’s a vast universe out there that we can’t see, and will never see.
  • SciCast Pays Big Again

    Robin Hanson
    20 Jul 2014 | 7:00 am
    Back in May I said that while SciCast hadn’t previously been allowed to pay participants, we were finally running a four week experiment to reward random activities. That experiment paid big and showed big effects; we saw far more activity on days when we paid cash. In the next four weeks we’ll run another experiment that pays even more: SciCast is running a new special! For four weeks, you can win prizes on some days of the week: On Tuesdays, win a $25 Amazon gift card with activity. On Wednesdays, win an activity badge for your profile. On Thursdays, win a $25 Amazon gift card with…
  • Bets As Loyalty Signals

    Robin Hanson
    19 Jul 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Why do men give women engagement rings? A standard story is that a ring shows commitment; by paying a cost that one would lose if the marriage fails, one shows that one places a high value on the marriage. However, as a signal the ring has two problems. On the one hand, if the ring is easy to sell for its purchase price, then it detracts from the woman’s signal of the value she places on the marriage. Accepting a ring makes her look mercenary. On the other hand, if the ring can’t be sold for near its purchase price, and if the woman values the ring itself at less than its price, then the…
 
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    The Fourth Revolution Blog

  • 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,…
  • How Nature Always Reminds Us That Rare, Short Catastrophic Events Shape the World

    Jeremie Averous
    19 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    In many natural science domains, we increasingly become conscious that in nature, 95%+ of the change we observe comes from short and intense phenomena such as storms, floods, earthquakes. For example in the study of erosion, rivers shapes and material that is then transported by rivers such as boulders, it is very clear that rare storms and floods are the main contributors to the shaping of the riverbed (and sometimes, to the destruction of some man-made structures that tempted to tame it). While most textbooks still present erosion as the continuous work of air and water over millenniums, in…
  • How Our Energy Goes Where Our Intention Goes

    Jeremie Averous
    17 Jul 2014 | 4:30 am
    I had lately a great Tai Chi introductory session, where I had a live experience that where our intention goes, so goes your energy. It was a simple experience of trying to resist a partner bending my arm. Without any particular instruction, that prove possible (with some exertion). With the instruction of focusing on trying at the same time to reach with one’s arm a distant point (intention), it proved impossible for the partner. In this simple experiment, nothing else had changed (in particular, not the strength of the partner). This simple experience shows the power of our intention…
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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

  • Tomorrow’s Fastest Cars Could Be Covered in Morphable Skins

    24 Jul 2014 | 3:35 pm
    Tomorrow’s Fastest Cars Could Be Covered in Morphable Skins: Wrinkles aren’t usually an aspect of the future that gets people excited. But fast cars are. And someday we might have cars that can accelerate more quickly, and efficiently, by morphing their surface texture through the mechanics of wrinkling.
  • Man-made cow’s milk may soon be a reality

    21 Jul 2014 | 9:18 am
    Man-made cow’s milk may soon be a reality : Biohackers Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi are working on crafting a plant-based concoction that’s nearly identical in makeup to what’s found in grocery milk.
  • Cancer treatment clears two Australian patients of HIV

    18 Jul 2014 | 12:02 pm
    Cancer treatment clears two Australian patients of HIV: The two patients, both Australian men, became apparently HIV-free after receiving stem cells to treat cancer. They are still on antiretroviral therapy (ART) “as a precaution”, but those drugs alone could not be responsible for bringing the virus to such low levels, says David Cooper, director of the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, who led the discovery. A year ago, a different group of researchers had reported cases with a similar outcome.
  • Brain-Enhancing 'Smart Drugs' Are Going Commercial

    18 Jul 2014 | 7:30 am
    Brain-Enhancing 'Smart Drugs' Are Going Commercial : Over the past year, Facebook users may have done a double take on seeing ads for Alleradd, a cognitive enhancement pill that sounds a lot like the prescription drug Adderall.
  • The World's First Family Robot Could Be Like HAL in Your Home

    16 Jul 2014 | 10:09 pm
    The World's First Family Robot Could Be Like HAL in Your Home: Meet Jibo. On track to exist next year, Jibo is being marketed as “the world’s first family robot.” The bulbous little guy can read to kids in the living room, recite recipes in the kitchen, take photos in the yard, and perform a handful of other simple tasks. Jibo is also a little bit creepy.
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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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    Extravolution

  • If I Only had an Emotion Chip

    nuncio
    2 Jul 2014 | 5:57 am
    Image ©Bulent Yusuf The non-biological entity lacking the ability to emote – it’s a familiar tale. He’s Data in Star Trek , he’s the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz , he/she/it is most of the sci-fi robots you’ve ever read about or seen in movies. The mythology of animate beings possessed of human form but not of human sentiments is ancient. In Jewish folklore, rabbis channelling the power of God raised magical ‘golems’ fashioned from mud. Though usually intended to protect their maker and his people, these beings sometimes ran amok, their self-control and moral judgement…
  • If I Only had a Brain

    nuncio
    31 Mar 2014 | 10:12 am
    If I only had a brain I would not be conversing or consulting with anything. The flowers would wait in vain for my dulcet repartee; the rain would be forced to seek managerial guidance elsewhere.It is opportunistic of me to seize upon the jumbled syntax of the title of the song from The Wizard of Oz, and I know it scans better that way, but I have reasons to do so. My rediscovery of the song coincided with a time when I was writing an essay on the subject of personal identity, specifically on its indeterminacy. And – in connection with that – I was delving again into Daniel Dennett’s…
  • Reimagining Old Age: A Christmas Thought Experiment

    nuncio
    17 Dec 2013 | 7:00 am
    Image ©Vince GarciaAt Christmas, differences between ourselves and our elderly relatives can be shoved into garish spotlight – our backgrounds; our upbringings; our educations; our politics and social outlooks; our attitudes towards religion, ‘authority’, life and death, money, health, gender issues, race, tradition, relationships; and so on. Note that one difference I have not mentioned in the list is age; I have not mentioned it, because it is not, per se, a relevant difference.Enlightened views clash with entrenched prejudices. Modern flexibility slumps uncomfortably in its…
  • Sex on the Brain: Are Male and Female Brains Fundamentally Different?

    nuncio
    3 Dec 2013 | 8:34 am
    Image ©yum9meYou have heard it in the shrill media. The science is in. It’s connectomically done and dusted: men’s brains are wired for spatial tasks like map-reading, women’s brains are wired for those ‘soft skills’ like empathising with jilted friends at the water-cooler.Recent headlines on this subject arose from a press release issued by Penn Medicine about a new study published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences[i] that shows, in the words of the press release, ‘striking differences in the neural wiring of men and women that’s lending credence to some…
  • Wirehead Bliss vs. Eudaemonic Happiness

    nuncio
    4 Nov 2013 | 8:37 am
    Image ©elycefelizAmong transhumanists, there are many proponents of hedonism. Pleasure is immersive. Captivated by the prospect of enhanced, futuristic forms of stimulation, some posit the push-button variety as the ultimate fix.Wireheading – direct electrical stimulation of the brain's reward centres via wires inserted through the skull – cuts out the dealer; this transaction requires no intermediary. With no diffuse, unpredictable drug reactions to muddy the euphoric flow, it's a clean, precise high. And why not? Let us not be prudish about the attractions of instant turn-on; humans…
 
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    Getting Through High School

  • 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…
  • Pass Your Ap's

    12 May 2014 | 12:41 pm
    Hi guys I know it's a little late, but a classmate of mine (I will not name them without their permission) posted the link to a great website that can seriously help you on your future AP exams. In under ten minutes, I was smarter in history than I've been the whole year. Check the site out, because best of all, it's free!getafive.com Do yourself a favor!
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