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  • Edge Question 02015

    Blog of the Long Now
    Charlotte Hajer
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:28 pm
    It’s been an annual tradition since 01998: with a new year comes a new Edge question. Every January, John Brockman presents the members of his online salon with a question that elicits discussion about some of the biggest intellectual and scientific issues of our time. Previous iterations have included prompts such as “What should we be worried about?” or “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?“ The essay responses – in excess of a hundred each year – offer a wealth of insight into the direction of today’s cultural forces,…
  • Stomach-acid-powered micromotors tested in living animal

    KurzweilAI » News
    28 Jan 2015 | 8:23 pm
    SEM image of Zinc micromotors (credit: UCSD) Imagine a micromotor fueled by stomach acid that can take a bubble-powered ride inside a mouse — and that could one day be a safer, more efficient way to deliver drugs or diagnose tumors for humans. That’s the goal of a team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego. The experiment is the first to show that these micromotors can operate safely in a living animal, said Professors Joseph Wang and Liangfang Zhang of the NanoEngineering Department at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Wang, Zhang and others have…
  • Singularity University Announces Google Support for Increased Global Access and Diversity in Tech

    Singularity University
    Megan North
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Google becomes a title sponsor of Singularity University (SU) to support SU Graduate Studies Program (GSP) New agreement ensures a diverse selection of qualified applicants are guaranteed a place in the GSP program, regardless of their ability to pay First in a series of SU announcements to eliminate economic, ethnic, gender, and multi-generational barriers that persist in the technology sector MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA (January 28, 2015). Singularity University (SU), the technology-focused education institute and global business accelerator has announced a new multi-million dollar agreement with…
  • USA SM-3 and Russia S500 Deployment of Continental Range Anti-ICBM systems

    Next Big Future
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:50 pm
    The RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) is a ship-based missile system used by the US Navy to intercept short-to intermediate-range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. Although primarily designed as an anti-ballistic missile, the SM-3 has also been employed in an anti-satellite capacity against a satellite at the lower end of low Earth orbit. The SM-3 is primarily used and tested by the United States Navy and also operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.On 13 June 2002, the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and…
  • Structural DNA nanotechnology with programmed motions

    the Foresight Institute
    Jim Lewis
    28 Jan 2015 | 12:44 pm
    A machine made with DNA origami. Credit: The Ohio State University. Progress in structural DNA nanotechnology seems to be accelerating. For example, a few weeks ago we cited work in which swarms of DNA nanorobots executed complex tasks in living animals. For the most part, this progress has centered on static structures, or on structures embodying small movements along loosely constrained paths. Now a team of researchers is beginning to use DNA nanotechnology to fabricate parts for machine designs based on the way macroscopic machines work by implementing well-defined motions. A hat tip to…
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    Blog of the Long Now

  • Edge Question 02015

    Charlotte Hajer
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:28 pm
    It’s been an annual tradition since 01998: with a new year comes a new Edge question. Every January, John Brockman presents the members of his online salon with a question that elicits discussion about some of the biggest intellectual and scientific issues of our time. Previous iterations have included prompts such as “What should we be worried about?” or “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?“ The essay responses – in excess of a hundred each year – offer a wealth of insight into the direction of today’s cultural forces,…
  • Pace Layers Thinking: Paul Saffo and Stewart Brand @ The Interval — January 27, 02015

    Mikl Em
    27 Jan 2015 | 8:45 am
    “Pace Layers” diagram from Stewart Brand’s book “The Clock of the Long Now” January 27, 02015: Paul Saffo and Stewart Brand (Long Now Board members) Pace Layer Thinking at The Interval This talk is sold out. Long Now members can tune in for a live audio simulcast at 7:15 PT on January 27 In “Pace Layer Thinking” Stewart Brand and Paul Saffo will discuss Stewart’s six-layer framework for how a healthy society functions. It is an idea which, 15 years after he first suggested it, continues to be influential and inspiring. Because interest in this event has…
  • Jesse Ausubel Seminar Media

    Andrew Warner
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:09 pm
    This lecture was presented as part of The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking. Nature is Rebounding: Land- and Ocean-sparing through Concentrating Human Activities Tuesday January 13, 02015 – San Francisco Audio is up on the Ausubel Seminar page, or you can subscribe to our podcast. Why nature is rebounding – a summary by Stewart Brand Over the last 40 years, in nearly every field, human productivity has decoupled from resource use, Ausubel began. Even though our prosperity and population continue to increase, the trends show decreasing use of…
  • David Keith Seminar Tickets

    Andrew Warner
    20 Jan 2015 | 2:52 pm
      The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking David Keith on “Patient Geoengineering” TICKETS Tuesday February 17, 02015 at 7:30pm SFJAZZ Center Long Now Members can reserve 2 seats, join today! General Tickets $15   About this Seminar: The main arguments against geo-engineering (direct climate intervention) to stop global warming are: 1) It would be a massive, irreversible, risky bet; 2) everyone has to agree to it, which they won’t; 3) the unexpected side effects might be horrific; 4) once committed to, it could never be stopped. What if…
  • Mathieu Victor at The Interval: January 20: Artists with Lasers

    Mikl Em
    13 Jan 2015 | 5:12 pm
    January 20, 02015: Mathieu Victor (artist, technologist) Artists with Lasers: Art, Tech, & Craft in the 21st Century Co-produced with Zero1 Tickets are still available: space is limited and these talks tend to sell out. Technology enables art, and artists push technologies to their limits. That’s just part of the long-running story that Mathieu Victor will tell in his salon talk on January 20 at The Interval at Long Now in San Francisco. It’s a story that features Bell Labs and Marcel Duchamp, Computer Numerical Control (better known as “CNC“) and, yes, lasers,…
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    KurzweilAI » News

  • Stomach-acid-powered micromotors tested in living animal

    28 Jan 2015 | 8:23 pm
    SEM image of Zinc micromotors (credit: UCSD) Imagine a micromotor fueled by stomach acid that can take a bubble-powered ride inside a mouse — and that could one day be a safer, more efficient way to deliver drugs or diagnose tumors for humans. That’s the goal of a team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego. The experiment is the first to show that these micromotors can operate safely in a living animal, said Professors Joseph Wang and Liangfang Zhang of the NanoEngineering Department at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Wang, Zhang and others have…
  • Scientists use stem cells to grow new human hair in the lab

    28 Jan 2015 | 4:51 pm
    Sanford-Burnham scientists grew human dermal papillae cells from stem cells (credit: Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute) A method for initiating human hair growth — using human pluripotent stem cells to create new cells — has been developed by Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) researchers. Their idea is to coax human pluripotent stem cells to become dermal papilla cells — a unique population of cells that regulate hair-follicle formation and growth cycle. (Human dermal papilla cells on their own are not suitable for hair transplants because…
  • Higher dementia risk linked to more use of common drugs

    27 Jan 2015 | 8:55 pm
    (Credit: iStock) A large study links a significantly increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, to taking commonly used medications with anticholinergic effects at higher doses or for a longer time. Many older people take these medications, which include nonprescription diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and related drugs. JAMA Internal Medicine published the report, called “Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergic Medications and Incident Dementia.” It’s been known for some time that memory or concentration problems in the elderly might be caused by common…
  • Mastering math through movement using Kinect for Windows

    27 Jan 2015 | 8:44 pm
    Carmen Petrick Smith, assistant professor of mathematics education (second from left), works with undergraduate education majors on movements that are used to help elementary school children learn geometry (credit: Andy Duback) University of Vermont assistant professor of mathematics education Carmen Petrick Smith has found in a study that elementary school students who interacted with a Kinect for Windows mathematics program while learning geometry showed significant gains in the understanding of angles and angle measurements. The Kinect is a motion sensor input device that allows people to…
  • Giant space telescope could image objects at far higher resolution than Hubble

    27 Jan 2015 | 6:46 pm
    A new orbiting telescope concept called “Aragoscope” developed at CU-Boulder could allow scientists to image objects in space or on Earth at hundreds of times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope (credit: NASA) University of Colorado Boulder researchers plan to update NASA officials this week on a revolutionary space telescope concept selected by the agency for study last June that could provide images up to 1,000 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope. CU-Boulder Professor Webster Cash said the instrument package would consist of an orbiting space telescope with an…
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    Next Big Future

  • USA SM-3 and Russia S500 Deployment of Continental Range Anti-ICBM systems

    28 Jan 2015 | 2:50 pm
    The RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) is a ship-based missile system used by the US Navy to intercept short-to intermediate-range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. Although primarily designed as an anti-ballistic missile, the SM-3 has also been employed in an anti-satellite capacity against a satellite at the lower end of low Earth orbit. The SM-3 is primarily used and tested by the United States Navy and also operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.On 13 June 2002, the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and…
  • China will pass Europe in nominal GDP this year

    28 Jan 2015 | 1:53 pm
    The likely near term situation for when China will pass the exchange rate adjusted GDP for the USA and the collective GDP of Europe is becoming clearer based upon statistical method changes and more clearly apparent currency and GDP projections for the five years. Last month Nextbigfuture had forecast that China would pass Europe on nominal GDP in 2016 but now the accelerated decline the Euro seems to indicate a 2015 date for the pass.December 16, 2014, China was expected to adjust its GDP based upon accounting changes and a new business census. This should boost China's (including Hong…
  • US hit another post-1973 oil production record and oil storage space is shrinking worldwide

    28 Jan 2015 | 1:47 pm
    US crude oil production hit another post-1973 record with 9.213 million barrels per day.Oil storage space is shrinking in the US and Europe as USA and Saudi Arabia and OPEC are not cutting back on production.Oil tankers are once again being heavily used to store crude oil by oil traders who are counting on a bounce in oil prices.Read more »
  • Ukraine upgrading and replacing T64 IFV tank variant and heavy lift cargo plane

    28 Jan 2015 | 12:03 pm
    Ukraine is usually the 4th largest arms exporter in the world and is currently in a war with Russia. Russia is the second largest arms exporter in the world.Ukraine has renewed development of heavy infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) based on the T-64 main battle tank (MBT), Ukroboronprom has announced.The Kharkov Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau had previously created prototypes of a new IFV based on the T-64 but work is understood to have ceased some years ago.Now the firm has resumed development of the heavy IFV in order to ready the designs for serial production. According to…
  • Basic Science Shows Graphene has long term potential to triple the efficiency for solar power

    28 Jan 2015 | 12:18 am
    Studies have hinted that graphene can also be used as a photovoltaic material, turning light into electricity. Using a cutting-edge spectroscopic method, scientists at EPFL and collaborators have demonstrated that by absorbing a single photon, graphene can generate multiple electrons that have enough energy to drive an electrical current. Until now, graphene’s potential for efficient light-to-electricity conversion was not well understood. This is a challenging task as this conversion takes place on a femto-second scale (10^-15 sec; a quadrillionth of a second), too fast for conventional…
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    the Foresight Institute

  • Structural DNA nanotechnology with programmed motions

    Jim Lewis
    28 Jan 2015 | 12:44 pm
    A machine made with DNA origami. Credit: The Ohio State University. Progress in structural DNA nanotechnology seems to be accelerating. For example, a few weeks ago we cited work in which swarms of DNA nanorobots executed complex tasks in living animals. For the most part, this progress has centered on static structures, or on structures embodying small movements along loosely constrained paths. Now a team of researchers is beginning to use DNA nanotechnology to fabricate parts for machine designs based on the way macroscopic machines work by implementing well-defined motions. A hat tip to…
  • What sort of abundance will nanotechnology bring?

    Jim Lewis
    11 Jan 2015 | 5:23 pm
    In connection with Foresight’s mission of promoting transformative technologies, it is of interest to occasionally take note of how various commentators in other areas view the advancement of nanotechnology toward atomically precise manufacturing. Do they take this prospect seriously? Do they understand the implications? Do they view such a future fearfully or hopefully? Foresight President Paul Melnyk forwards this link to an article written by George Smith on a site devoted to gold prices, stocks, and related news. After citing Ray Kurzweil’s views on exponentially advancing…
  • Piezoelectric monolayer joins toolkit for nanomanipulation

    Jim Lewis
    8 Jan 2015 | 7:13 pm
    To measure in-plane piezoelectric stress, an MoS2 film was suspended on HSQ posts and clamped by two Au electrodes. When the film was indented with a scanning AFM probe, the induced stress changed the load on the cantilever, which was observed by the deflection of a laser beam. Credit: Berkeley Lab Scanning probe microscopes provide powerful tools to image and to directly manipulate atoms and molecules on surfaces. Because piezoelectricity in bulk crystals makes scanning probe microscopes possible, the discovery of piezoelectricity in a single molecular layer of the semiconductor molybdenum…
  • Swarms of DNA nanorobots execute complex tasks in living animal

    Jim Lewis
    6 Jan 2015 | 3:41 pm
    Screenshot of DNA nanorobot designed using cadnano. Credit: Nature Nanotechnology. Arguably the most exciting area of application for nanotechnology is medicine, especially sophisticated methods of drug delivery to increase potency and decrease adverse side effects. These span the range from current laboratory and clinical studies of incremental nanotechnology to visionary studies of complex nanomedical robots that will be feasible after the development of productive nanosystems and molecular manufacturing/high throughput atomically precise manufacturing. We frequently report here examples of…
  • New software reveals more molecular machine structures

    Jim Lewis
    31 Dec 2014 | 8:42 pm
    A picture of a membrane protein called cysZ determined with Phenix software using data that could not previously be analyzed. Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory With the development of artificial molecular machines still at an early stage, natural biological molecular machines, mostly protein molecules, still provide most information about how molecular machines work. Crucial to extracting this information is knowledge of the 3D structures of these molecules, usually obtained by arduous analysis of X-ray diffraction of protein crystals. Scientists in the US and UK have now reported…
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    Soft Machines

  • Growth, technological innovation, and the British productivity crisis

    Richard Jones
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:38 pm
    The biggest current issue in the UK’s economic situation is the continuing slump in productivity. It’s this poor productivity performance that underlies slow or no real wage growth, and that also contributes to disappointing government revenues and consequent slow progress reducing the government deficit. Yet the causes of this poor productivity performance are barely discussed, let alone understood. In the long-term, productivity growth is associated with innovation and technological progress – have we stopped being able to innovate? The ONS has recently released a set of…
  • Science, Politics, and the Haldane Principle

    Richard Jones
    5 Jan 2015 | 1:09 pm
    The UK government published a new Science and Innovation Strategy just before Christmas, in circumstances that have led to a certain amount of comment (see, for example, here and here). There’s a lot to be said about this strategy, but here I want to discuss just one aspect – the document’s extended references to the Haldane Principle. This principle is widely believed to define, in UK science policy, a certain separation between politics and science, taking detailed decisions about what science to fund out of the hands of politicians and entrusting them to experts in the Research…
  • Responsible innovation and irresponsible stagnation

    Richard Jones
    16 Nov 2014 | 12:05 pm
    This long blogpost is based on a lecture I gave at UCL a couple of weeks ago, for which you can download the overheads here. It’s a bit of a rough cut but I wanted to write it down while it was fresh in my mind. People talk about innovation now in two, contradictory, ways. The prevailing view is that innovation is accelerating. In everyday life, the speed with which our electronic gadgets become outdated seems to provide supporting evidence for this view, which, taken to the extreme, leads to the view of Kurzweil and his followers that we are approaching a technological singularity.
  • What the UK government should do about science and innovation

    Richard Jones
    12 Nov 2014 | 3:59 am
    I have a new post up at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute’s blog – Rebuilding the UK’s innovation economy. It’s a more tightly edited version of my earlier post on Soft Machines with the same title.
  • Lecture on responsible innovation and the irresponsibility of not innovating

    Richard Jones
    4 Nov 2014 | 6:55 am
    Last night I gave a lecture at UCL to launch their new centre for Responsible Research and Innovation. My title was “Can innovation ever be responsible? Is it ever irresponsible not to innovate?”, and in it I attempted to put the current vogue within science policy for the idea of Responsible Research and Innovation within a broader context. If I get a moment I’ll write up the lecture as a (long) blogpost but in the meantime, here is a PDF of my slides.
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    Ultrafuture World

  • Four Ways Inventors Make Money Off of Their Ideas

    13 Jan 2015 | 6:45 pm
    As is true with most inventors, making money is the primary reason for the work done to create something new and exciting in the marketplace. It is seldom the only motivation, especially with the most successful inventors, but without a doubt, it is one of the main reasons. This leaves the question of how best to monetize your invention. The following are four ways to take your invention and turn it into cash. Simply sell the invention This becomes easier to do if you have already got a patent on the invention. Once a patent has been issued, the invention has already been deemed both useful…
  • What is the purpose of a CA certificate?

    9 Dec 2014 | 2:29 am
    In relation to online security, CA stands for certified authority and comes in the form of a signature. When a website obtains a safety certificate such as an SSL, it can be authenticated by a CA. This provides the website with a trusted certificate that is both valid and legitimate. There are a whole host of benefits associated with obtaining a CA certificate as opposed to a regular safety certificate. It is the responsibility of the certified authority that has signed the certificate to ensure that all the information given is valid and trustworthy. Depending on which type of SSL…
  • Sciencescope – The Leader in Video Measurement Systems

    1 Nov 2014 | 11:27 pm
    Sciencescope is a business founded in 1995 to keep up with the ever-growing technological advances being made in all industries. Sciencescope manufactures and develops efficient, precision video inspection systems for various industries. Starting small, like most business, they pride their business on its growth due to integrity, hard work and an understanding of what their customers need. With a commitment to quality and dedication, Sciencescope has transformed into a company that produces a complete line of inspection solutions and X-ray equipment that can accomplish a variety of roles.
  • Ten-E Medical Packaging Services – The Standard of Safety and Excellence in Medical Packaging

    28 Oct 2014 | 5:44 am
    When you visit your family physician and notice all of the precautions that are taken with rubber gloves and specially marked disposal containers, as well as all of the information that surrounds you is barely skimming the surface of all of the safety and precautionary measures that accompany the medical profession. Safe packaging of hazardous and dangerous products is critical for your safety and the well-being of sick patients who are being treated. Ten-E Packaging Services has over twenty years of experiences in the field of dangerous goods and medical packaging, as well as transporting…
  • Marketing Through Facebook

    10 Oct 2014 | 8:20 am
    Most businesses need a Facebook Boost to make sure that their marketing efforts are effective. When the business is using social media, it will find that it can bring more customers into the fold. Also, the business will be able to reach people who would not have known about the business otherwise. The Social Media Factor Most businesses that use social media pages need to make sure they have new customers coming to the page every day. Also, these customers need to be engaged in the business in some way. Sending customers to the Facebook page allows the customer a chance to read information…
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    The Technium

  • AI, or Alien Intelligence

    Kevin Kelly
    24 Jan 2015 | 3:10 pm
    This year, 2014, John Brockman’s annual question was “What Do You Think About Machines That Think?”. My answer is that I think we could call them artificial aliens. I’m reposting my full response here: The most important thing about making machines that can think is that they will think different. Because of a quirk in our evolutionary history, we are cruising as the only sentient species on our planet, leaving us with the incorrect idea that human intelligence is singular. It is not. Our intelligence is a society of intelligences, and this suite occupies only a small…
  • Sourced Quotes, 20

    Kevin Kelly
    21 Jan 2015 | 11:14 am
    Image Change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again. Graeme Wood Social Principal #9, Geek Media, Sept 29, 2009 Even the primeval Stone Age islanders of the Sentinelese, who still persist in 2015 and shoot everybody who tries to talk to them with cane bows, are under satellite surveillance. The Indian Navy rigorously protects them from any knowledge of the Indian Navy.– Bruce Sterling, State of the World 2015, January 5, 2015 Never assume that something you find utterly creepy today will not be the norm tomorrow. — Jan Chipchase, Four Deep…
  • How to Use Artificial Intelligence

    Kevin Kelly
    4 Nov 2014 | 11:20 am
    About a year ago I started writing a piece on AI for Wired. I turned it in last spring, and they just published it this month. They also cut it in half. Still, the piece retains my essential points about AI: 1) We should really call it Artificial Smartness, because we don’t want it conscious. 2) It will be a cloud service; you’ll buy as much IQ as you need on demand. 3) There will only be 2-3 major AI providers since AI will follow network effects. I also talk about the 3 breakthroughs that make AI finally happen now. You can read more at Wired. The decorative images Wired used to…
  • A Desirable-Future Haiku

    18 Sep 2014 | 3:38 pm
    The coming hundred years, in one hundred words Recently I sent a twitter request out into the wider internets. I got 23 responses, which I am running (with permission) below. I’ll tell you who I selected as the winner in a moment, but first I’d like to tell you what I learned. It’s a hard assignment. Compressing anything as messy as the future into 100 words is a near-impossible challenge. Almost like writing poetry. And 100 years is so immensely distant from us that we need to fictionalize it. But the most difficult part is imagining a scenario that is desirable. This exercise began…
  • What Bits Want

    Kevin Kelly
    18 Sep 2014 | 1:57 pm
    [Translations: German] Digital bits have lives. They work for us, but we totally ignore them. What do bits really want? Here are the life stories of four different bits. (A) The first bit—let’s call it Bit A — was born on the sensor of a Cannon 5D Mark II camera. A ray of light glancing off a black plastic handle of baby stroller in New York City enters the glass lens of the camera and is focused onto a small sheet the size of a large postage stamp. This dull rainbow-colored surface is divided up into 21 million rectangular dimples. The light photons from the white highlight of…
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    Broader Perspective

  • Blockchain Consensus Models Increase the Information Resolution of the Universe

    26 Jan 2015 | 10:58 am
    There is ample opportunity to explore blockchains as a new form of information technology, including what consensus models as a core feature might mean and enable. A key question is “What is consensus-derived information?” that is, what are its properties and benefits vis-à-vis other kinds of information? Is consensus-derived information a different kind or form of information? One way of conceiving of reality and the universe is as information flows, where blockchain technology helps to delineate three distinct levels of information: Level one: Dumb, unenhanced, unmodulated dataLevel…
  • Blockchain Thinking: Transition to Digital Societies of Multispecies Intelligence

    18 Jan 2015 | 9:33 pm
    The future world could be one of multi-species intelligence. The possibility space could include “classic” humans, enhanced humans, digital mindfile uploads, and many forms of artificial intelligence: deep learning neural nets, machine learning algorithms, blockchain-based DACs (distributed autonomous organizations), and whole-brain software emulations. Machine modes of existence are different than those of humans, which means the need for ways to interact that facilitate and extend the existence of both parties. Blockchains for Trustful Interspecies Social Contracts The properties of…
  • Blockchains as an Equality Technology

    11 Jan 2015 | 10:56 pm
    The advent of blockchain technology has prompted the questioning of many concepts that have been taken for granted for years such as money, currency, markets, economics, politics, citizenship, governance, authority, and self-determination.We have become accustomed to the hierarchical structures of the contemporary world. These structures and models were nice advances at the time of their derivation, hundreds of years ago, to facilitate the large-scale orchestration of different operations of society so that life could be conducted in a safe and productive manner.While serving as a significant…
  • The Philosophy of Complexity: Are Complex Systems Inherently Tyrannical?

    4 Jan 2015 | 12:12 pm
    The philosophy of complexity is developing as a field of philosophical inquiry to accompany, support, and question advances in the science of complex systems. This is warranted given that the issues surfaced by science findings signal a full slate of philosophical questions in the three main areas of ontology (existence), epistemology (knowledge), and axiology (valorization and ethics). The fast pace of technological innovation has been substantiating the need for various new philosophies explicitly examining these issues in technology, information, cognition, cognitive enhancement, big data,…
  • 2015 Top 10 Technology Trends

    28 Dec 2014 | 8:32 pm
    2015 could be an exciting year of Zero-to-One paradigm-busting innovation, honoring and distancing humanity from Excellent Sheep mode, bringing online more of our 7 billion people in a rich and connective collaboration to scale forward progress in a truly global society.Top 10 Technology Trends: Deep-LearningWearables/IOTDigital PaymentsVideo Gaming Hardware ModsQuantified Self-Connected Car Integration Consumer MedGadgetsSmarthome, SmartcityPersonal RoboticsCognitive ComputingBlockchain TechnologyPredictions for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Industry-Era Action Stories

    Robin Hanson
    24 Jan 2015 | 10:50 am
    This semester I teach graduate industrial organization. And while preparing, it occurred to me that if our stories adapted fast to our changing world, many and perhaps most action stories today would be about industrial organization, i.e., about firms competing over industries. The fact that most action stories today are not about this is a sad commentary on how slowly our stories adapt to our world. Let me explain. Action stories are about conflict; people fight over big things at stake. Stories about one-on-one physical fights or chases come come from deep in our animal background. Related…
  • Collusion In Quadratic Voting

    Robin Hanson
    22 Jan 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Two weeks ago I posted on the idea of quadratic voting, where voters pay a cost to buy votes, a cost that goes as the square of the number of votes they buy. Under certain reasonable assumptions, this voting system should produce economically efficient outcomes! Since so many get so obsessed with the objection that the rich might buy more votes, I focused on a “voting quarks” variation, wherein everyone gets the same number of points to spend across many elections. I mentioned that this system could make agenda-setting more important. And if we did not ensure anonymous…
  • Is `Libby’ A Slur?

    Robin Hanson
    19 Jan 2015 | 11:20 am
    I recently used the the word “Jews” in a draft, and someone suggested that might be offensive, and that I should instead used something like “people of Jewish descent.” I asked around, and while most people didn’t see any offense, at least a few thought that a few others would take offense. I suspect people are using a simple signaling heuristic here. When people insult or denigrate something they tend to do so with short familiar easy to say and understand words and phrases. So when other people want to signal that they do not intend to insult or denigrate something, they instead…
  • Ritual Instinct

    Robin Hanson
    15 Jan 2015 | 4:05 pm
    Humans have an instinct that is specific to arbitrary rituals, which we see as signaling group loyalty: Show a child how to perform some action that they haven’t seen before, and they will faithfully replicate not only the steps required to achieve the goal, but also superfluous ones. Why they do this is a puzzle, especially as other animals do not. … What if children can identify actions as causally opaque? If so, perhaps their brains see them as a cue to switch from normal reasoning to a “ritual stance” in which they interpret the behaviour of others as social signals,…
  • Why Not Sell Cities?

    Robin Hanson
    14 Jan 2015 | 8:30 am
    Economists don’t like seeing economic inefficiency, and there’s a lot of it out there to bother us. But some of the very worst we see is in cities; there are many incredible inefficiencies in city land use and in supporting utilities. Which of course makes economists wonder: how could we do better? Here is one idea that should seem obvious to most economists, but even so I can’t find much discussion of it. So let me try to think it through. What if we auctioned off cities, whole? Specifically, imagine that we sell all the land and immobile property in an urban region, including all the…
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    The Speculist

  • Where the Possibilities Are

    Phil Bowermaster
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:36 pm
    Where does the value of big data truly present itself, in the data itself or in the algorithms we use to make sense of it? Bill Franks of Teradata comes down sharply  on the side of the data: …I’m convinced that new information will beat new algorithms and new metrics based on existing information almost every time. Indeed, new information can be so powerful that, once it is found, analytics professionals should stop worrying about improving existing models with existing data and focus instead on incorporating and testing that new information. By “new information,” he…
  • Acceleration Prizes

    Phil Bowermaster
    11 Jan 2015 | 11:23 am
    How about a new kind of push prize, one just for making things faster? Just about any process can be improved by being accelerated. Doing things faster means being able to do more. Getting faster means becoming more capable. If you can read faster, you can read more books in the same time. If you work faster, you can produce more work. Each year the prizes would be awarded to those who accelerated the most important processes, or who achieved the greatest incremental acceleration on a process that has already been boosted. There would probably have to be categories: medical, financial,…
  • The Brain Boost

    Phil Bowermaster
    3 Jan 2015 | 9:25 pm
    We already boost our intelligence with external resources, including other people, books, and the Internet. How long before we can start boosting our intelligence inside our brains using implants? If your brain could be made to operate 10-20% faster, if you could completely eliminate mental fatigue or a tendency to become distracted, if you could suddenly have a completely photographic memory and the ability to recall anything you see, hear, or read in perfect detail — wouldn’t you sign on with that? Plus, boosting our intelligence is an enabler for anything else we want to…
  • How Much Data?

    Phil Bowermaster
    29 Nov 2014 | 2:32 pm
    Webopedia cites IDC research showing that we — presumably meaning humanity, all of civilization — produced 2.8 zettabytes in 2012. (That’s 2.8 trillion gigabytes, for those who couldn’t remember where “zetta” falls on the scale of hugeness.) In what may be a corallary to Moore’s Law, IDC also says that the total amount of data in the world doubles every 18 months and that we will therefore be at 40 zettabytes by 2020. Meanwhile, keeping it more businessy, Gartner projects that the total amount of enterprise data worldwide will increase 650% in the…
  • An Evolutionary Approach

    Phil Bowermaster
    25 Nov 2014 | 9:35 am
    While my recent observation that Data Is Eating Us may have come off as tongue-in-cheek, the reality behind it is no joke. Most people aren’t (yet) transforming their basic bodily functions in order to have more time to analyze data, but there is no question that the fundamental dynamic between human beings and data is changing rapidly. Writing at Forbes, Teradata’s Oliver Ratzesberger explains why: Most computational neuroscientists estimate that the human brain’s storage capacity is somewhere between 10 and 100 terabytes. Compare that to a worldwide data explosion – already…
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    The Fourth Revolution Blog

  • How the Rate of Evolution Increases Dramatically Right Now

    Jeremie Averous
    27 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    We have mentioned several times in our book and posts how information generation is evolving exponentially. Another statistics: “According to a calculation Hal Varian, an economist at Google, and I made, total worldwide information has been increasing at the rate of 66 percent per year for many decades.” – says Kevin Kelly in ‘What Technology Wants‘. Refer to the the exponential deception to really understand what that means! “Compare that explosion to the rate of increase in even the most prevalent manufactured stuff —such as concrete or paper— which…
  • Why the Chief Advantage of Language is Not Communication

    Jeremie Averous
    24 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    “The chief advantage of language is not communication but autogeneration“, says Kevin Kelly in his book ‘What Technology Wants‘. “Language is a trick that allows the mind to question itself; a magic mirror that reveals to the mind what the mind thinks; a handle that turns a mind into a tool. With a grip on the slippery, aimless activity of self-awareness and self-reference, language can harness a mind into a fountain of new ideas.” Language allows us to create new ideas. Without language our own creative capabilities are limited. Putting words on things and…
  • Are We at the Edge of Another Spiritual Awakening?

    Jeremie Averous
    22 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    Kevin Kelly notes about the birth of the religions we know today that they have all appeared around the same time, when agriculture was sufficiently developed to generate abundance. “About 2,500 years ago most of humanity’s major religions were set in motion in a relatively compact period. Confucius, Lao-tzu, Buddha, Zoroaster, the authors of the Upanishads, and the Jewish patriarchs all lived within a span of 20 generations. Only a few major religions have been born since then. Historians call that planetary fluttering the Axial Age. It was as if everyone alive awoke simultaneously…
  • How to Make Communication Easier: Develop Trust!

    Jeremie Averous
    20 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    “In any human interaction, the required amount of communication is inversely proportional to the level of trust” – says Ben Horowitz in his book ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things‘. Thus, one way to improve communication is to develop trust beforehand. The reason is obvious – it removes a lot of filters and also, adds a number of assumptions that do not need to be verbalized again during actual communication. It is actually what marketing often tries to do: by develop trust in a brand or a person, it makes communication easier by removing obstacles to…
  • How Crisis Moments in Our Life Define Ourselves

    Jeremie Averous
    17 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    I am always amazed at how moderately or acute crisis situations define our lives and define ourselves. Our life is but a succession of relatively quiet and stable moment with transitions or difficult situations in between. It is actually quite similar to nature’s behavior where short, catastrophic events shape the world, which otherwise is relatively quiet and stable (and denotes that we live in a complex system). Crisis and difficult situations define ourselves by the way we respond to them. Those key moments are turning points defining our future life and therefore in many aspects…
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    XYZ University

  • Rookie Talent: Avoiding a Kodak Moment

    Sarah Sladek
    7 Jan 2015 | 2:07 am
    During most of the 20th century Kodak held a dominant position in photographic film, and in 1976, had an 89% market share of photographic film sales in the United States. Kodak began to struggle financially in the late 1990s as a result of the decline in sales of photographic film and its slowness in transitioning to digital photography. In 2012, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Kodak name became synonymous with a resistance to change, but it’s not just innovation the company lacked. In 2011, Kodak made the list of Top 10 Fortune 500 Employers With Older Workers,…
  • What would Scrooge do?: Planning for workforce future

    Sarah Sladek
    18 Dec 2014 | 12:35 pm
    Tis the season for the celebration of one year’s end and another year’s beginning. Amidst all the champagne and time spent with family and friends, I encourage you to ponder the future–but perhaps a little differently than usual. Most of us are familiar with the famous story by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. In the story, a miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts: Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future. Scrooge finds the third ghost the most fearsome, and the ghost’s warnings about his future transform him from…
  • Culture and the Bottom Line: Why burritos are outperforming the S&P 500

    Sarah Sladek
    8 Dec 2014 | 6:51 am
    You can’t put a price on culture. Or can you? Danny Meyer is a renowned New York City restauranteur and the CEO and founder of Union Square Hospitality Group. He believes success in any business is based on culture. In 2009 Meyer appeared on Jim Cramer’s show Mad Money. On the show, Cramer’s producers surprised him by wheeling out a tray featuring food from various public restaurant companies: a lobster from Red Lobster, a bowl of spaghetti from the Olive Garden, a Big Mac from McDonalds, a steak from Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and a burrito from Chipotle. Cameras are on Meyer and…
  • Want to ace the interview? Strategies for Gen Y job-seekers

    Sarah Sladek
    4 Nov 2014 | 4:40 pm
    Did you know? One of the biggest complaints employers have about Generation Y (1982-1995) is that they’re not prepared for interviews, and many employers consider hiring Gen Ys a risk because they leave their jobs faster than other generations and they are difficult to manage. Prove that you’re a return on investment. Share a past work experience during the interview to help the employer understand how hiring you will bring the company more value than your salary. Bring a business card and samples of your work to the interview. Get a good reference – a knowledgeable expert with many…
  • Scary Stats 2014: 10 Terrifying Workforce Truths

    Sarah Sladek
    31 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Brace yourself. This is scarier than any hairy spider, mean clown costume, or horror flick you could possibly see this Halloween. Last year, XYZ University sent out its Scary Stats debut, and it’s baaack and scarier than ever.  We’re counting the stats down, working our way to the scariest stat of them all. You can run, but you can’t hide!  Scary Stats 2014 10. Four million American Baby Boomers (1946-1964) retired this year. (Social Security Administration) 9.  55% of executives don’t have a process for conducting CEO succession planning (InterSearch…
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  • ATLAS Gets an Upgrade

    22 Jan 2015 | 10:24 am
    ATLAS Gets an Upgrade
  • The future of jobs: The onrushing wave

    21 Jan 2015 | 12:30 pm
    The future of jobs: The onrushing wave: In 1930, when the world was “suffering…from a bad attack of economic pessimism”, John Maynard Keynes wrote a broadly optimistic essay, “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren”. It imagined a middle way between revolution and stagnation that would leave the said grandchildren a great deal richer than their grandparents. But the path was not without dangers.
  • Chinese firm 3D-prints 5-story house using construction waste 'ink'

    21 Jan 2015 | 9:17 am
    Chinese firm 3D-prints 5-story house using construction waste 'ink' : A Chinese company has used 3D printers to create five-story homes using construction waste. The project architects say this is the world’s tallest building constructed using this technology.
  • Disabled boy plays piano with only his eyes using virtual...

    15 Jan 2015 | 10:27 am
    Disabled boy plays piano with only his eyes using virtual reality headset
  • World’s Largest Indoor Farm is 100 Times More Productive The...

    12 Jan 2015 | 3:26 pm
    World’s Largest Indoor Farm is 100 Times More Productive The statistics for this incredibly successful indoor farming endeavor in Japan are staggering: 25,000 square feet producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day (100 times more per square foot than traditional methods) with 40% less power, 80% less food waste and 99% less water usage than outdoor fields. Read more…
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    Jeff Kramer

  • Data Day Texas 2015 Recap

    Jeff Kramer
    12 Jan 2015 | 7:51 pm
    Saturday was Data Day Texas (twitter), a single day conference covering a variety of big data topics up at the University of Texas’s conference center.  I went in my HP Helion big data guy role, and my wife Irma went as a python developer and PyLadies ATX organizer.  I’ve written up some notes on the conference for those interested and unable to attend.  As far as I know, there weren’t any recordings made, so this may be more useful than some other more archived conferences. The conference was held at the University of Texas’s Conference Center.  It’s a…
  • SXSW 2014: The One About Privacy

    Jeff Kramer
    21 Mar 2014 | 9:12 am
    Two weekends ago SXSW Interactive graced our fair city, and as usual, I was there and even spoke a little.  Thankfully my house wasn’t robbed this time. This year’s SXSW Interactive was heavy on privacy, internet security, and wresting our freedom back.  There weren’t keynotes from social players aiming to get you to join their thing, instead it was Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson telling you to learn and think for yourself.  It’s a refreshing change, and I’m eager to see what the tone of next year will be. SXSW started really going on…
  • Book Review: On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins

    Jeff Kramer
    30 Dec 2013 | 1:35 am
    With On Intelligence, I find myself in the unique position of having heavily evangelized a book before I’ve even finished it.  I read half of it and started buying copies for friends.  This is something I’ve never done before, so if you’re busy, you can take a quick tl;dr, and assume that if you’re interested in how intelligence works, namely how the brain functions at a high level (learning patterns, predicting the future, forming invariant representations of things) and how we might functionally simulate that with computers, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go…
  • Book Review: Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

    Jeff Kramer
    16 Oct 2013 | 11:02 am
    Daniel Squarez‘s latest techno-thriller Kill Decision isn’t a happy book.  It’s an especially unhappy book if you’re excited about quadcopters, RC planes, self-organizing swarm AI, or any of that neat, fun stuff. Daniel’s first published book was Daemon, a novel about a programmer who, upon discovering that his time is up, creates a distributed dumb-agent network of actions and actors triggered by reports in news feeds.  The thing that made Daemon so interesting wasn’t just that concept, it was that Daniel has a really good grasp on the technology, so…
  • Magical Objects: The Future of Craft

    Jeff Kramer
    30 Sep 2013 | 2:57 pm
    Of the thousands of pictures I’ve taken since I got into photography, there are only a few on display in my house.  Only one of them is what you might call professionally framed.  It’s that one, to the right.  It was taken in Marken, Netherlands, on the Wandelroute Rond Marken Over de Dijk.  Not exactly here, but close by, on a little path at the edge of an island next to the ocean.  The thing is, it isn’t a photograph.  It looks like a photograph, but it’s actually a panorama, digitally spliced together from half a dozen shots.  It’s a photograph,…
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    Thought Infection

  • Decentralization and the Future World Order – Part I: The Revolution Is On

    24 Jan 2015 | 2:17 am
    This will be the first in a multi-part series on what I predict will be one of the most important technological trends of 2015, the decentralization revolution. By creating a way for the transfer of value to be performed over a trustless distributed network Bitcoin has already changed the world but Bitcoin is only the tip of the decentralization iceberg.  —————————— A technological revolution is underway. An array of technologies are being developed that aim to do nothing less than disrupt the deepest fabric of the current…
  • Summoned – Part 6 of Isaac’s Escape

    30 Nov 2014 | 5:15 am
    This is a work in progress for the next part of Isaac’s Escape. Go here for part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 ——– “He wants to physically meet with me?” Isaac was incredulous. This was the third time he asked the same question. Noah Marks was a notoriously recluse man, and the idea that he should want to have a face-to-biological-face interaction with Isaac was difficult to comprehend. “Yes, a car is already waiting for you” said the BioMark agent as he motioned towards a non-descript black car sitting at the curb in front of them.
  • A Lack of Human Intelligence is Still a Much Larger Threat Than Artificial Intelligence

    16 Nov 2014 | 5:43 am
    Elon Musk made headlines recently when, in an interview at the MIT Aerospace Symposium, he stated that he believed that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) is likely the biggest existential threat to humanity; he went as far as to compare the development of AI with the summoning of a demon. Musk is concerned enough about the rapid development of AI systems that he has also put some financial power behind his words, investing in some AI start-ups so he can keep a close eye on progress in the field. While I am reluctant to disagree with the visionary behind three high-tech…
  • Debating the Risk of Change

    2 Nov 2014 | 5:10 am
    Why must we endure the frost of January? The question was posed in bold font below a picture of an old woman with her head tucked down into her coat. The wind and snow whipped at her tired looking face and behind her stood a bare and dead looking tree. In the top right of the poster a sticker implored a YES vote on proposition 1155. Across a patio filled with cheap looking outdoor furniture sat two friends with tall glasses of a popular fermented beverage between them. “Shivering in the winter cold, sweating in the summer heat… it’s all so goddamn tiresome. In this day…
  • Real Growth from Virtual Economies – Part III: A Day Inside the Virtual Economy

    19 Oct 2014 | 5:21 am
    This is the third part in a series titled Real Growth from Virtual Economies. In the first part, I made the case that the technology and demand is set for a boom in virtual reality within the next half decade. In the second post, I explained how the mass migration of people into virtual space will leads to the natural rise of economies of exchange within these spaces. Coupled with the erosion of physical scarcity due to mass automation in the meat world, I envision that virtualization could lead us into a new type of economy, one which is focused on the service of virtual wants rather than…
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    Getting Through High School

  • How Do You Know?

    21 Jan 2015 | 12:38 pm
    So recently I had a good ole fashioned debate with some of my classmates. We've started this new class in school called Theory of Knowledge, which should sound familiar to IB kids. Anyway, the main principles of the class revolve around two basic questions: what do you know? and how do you know what you know is true? Naturally, us being the know-it-all teens we all can be, we started questioning everything someone said and waited for them to defend their statements. We would then claim, from our own positions of "rightness," that that person's claim was either inaccurate or accurate. Of…
  • Did You Forget to Have Fun Again???

    16 Jan 2015 | 11:30 am
    I know, I know. Now that we're in high school, we're so bogged down that our minds forget the meaning of "fun." But that is no excuse! I think that the most important part of high school (besides finishing) is having fun. You want to look back on your high school years and think "Wow, those were some good times." So if you'll allow to me forget about homework and that other "necessary" stuff, I just might mention some things that I know of that are fun.I've already mentioned that you need to enjoy yourself throughout high school. Why? Not only is it good for your mind, but it is also good for…
  • Oh It's Monday Again

    12 Jan 2015 | 12:41 pm
    To be honest, I don't have some personal anecdote or some advice I can give you today. I'm still kind of wiped out from this weekend's work. But I won't let that stop me from giving you all some interesting photos I found online. I enjoy looking at funny pictures on Mondays to alleviate that "Monday" feeling (you know what I'm talking about). I especially love pictures with puns in 'em.  So enjoy!Or not!
  • Pro-Tip: Dealing With the THAT Teacher

    9 Jan 2015 | 12:00 pm
    I'll be honest. Last night, I was upset. In fact, I was furious. I was mainly mad at one of my teachers. I  won't go into much detail, but if you keep reading I think you could figure out the situation. Now, I did calm down a little bit later and I thought the situation through. Then I came up with the stuff below. I didn't change much of it today because I think that most of the information in there is pretty sound. So, read on.Sometimes, there are those people that you want to hit with a brick. Covered in spikes. Dipped in poison. (Sound a little violent? Well, times are tough).
  • Birds of a Feather...

    6 Jan 2015 | 12:41 pm
    Hello, all! Yes, it's been a while... Perhaps it's been a little too long. I wish I could give a valid reason for dropping off the face of the earth like that but my mind is coming up blank so you'll have to forgive me.That was last year though! This is 2015 and in my opinion, what you did last year won't matter compared to what you do from now until forever. With that said, let's forget about the past for the moment and worry about this year!You may be wondering about the title of this post: "Birds of a Feather..." If you're familiar with the phrase then you know that the second half of it…
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