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  • Neal Stephenson at The Interval: May 21, Book Signing and Livestream

    Blog of the Long Now
    Mikl Em
    1 May 2015 | 11:47 am
    Neal Stephenson speaks at The Interval on May 21, 02015. Photo by Kelly O’Connor Best-selling author Neal Stephenson will visit The Interval at Long Now in San Francisco to read from and sign his new book in a special daytime event: 12:30 to 2pm on Thursday May 21, 02015. The talk itself is sold out but Long Now members can hear Neal live on May 21 via the Long Now member website. Neal is making two other appearances in the Bay Area, and we are thrilled that he is including The Interval in his tour. You can join more than 6500 long-term thinkers around the world as a Long Now member…
  • Combination immunotherapy significantly more effective for patients with advanced melanoma

    KurzweilAI » News
    4 May 2015 | 8:42 pm
    A melanoma (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) are reporting exciting results in the field of cancer immunology. Positive results from a clinical trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine show that the combination of the immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) produced significantly better outcomes than ipilimumab alone in patients with advanced melanoma. A second piece in the same issue from MSK details a dramatic response occurring after a single dose of the combination therapy. The response rate…
  • Home Improvement gets Personal with 3D Printing and Scanning

    Singularity University
    admin
    29 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    Lowe’s Innovation Labs developed this project in partnership with Authentise, which provides secure distribution tools for 3D printing and helps… The post Home Improvement gets Personal with 3D Printing and Scanning appeared first on Singularity University.
  • EMDrive, possible Warp or hyperspace indications and more Goatguy fame

    Next Big Future
    4 May 2015 | 3:31 pm
    Adam Crowl provides a summary of the EMdrive research and the recent hype.EMdrive could enable a huge leap in travel around the solar system and interstellar travel and possibly even open up exotic warp or hyperspace physics.Adam Crowl is writing on a broad variety of interstellar and SETI topics while changing day-jobs. Adam is on the board of Directors for Icarus Interstellar. He is a member on the Starship Congress Committee.Adam Crowl is also a designer on the Icarus interstellar spaceship project. Adam Crowl is a designer on the Project Forward Beamed Propulsion projectAdam Crowl is a…
  • Nanowires and bacteria harnessed for artificial photosynthesis

    the Foresight Institute
    Jim Lewis
    4 May 2015 | 3:04 pm
    This break-through artificial photosynthesis system has four general components: (1) harvesting solar energy, (2) generating reducing equivalents, (3) reducing CO2 to biosynthetic intermediates, and (4) producing value-added chemicals. Credit Berkeley Lab One of the major areas in which improved precision in our control of matter is likely to deliver major benefits is the area of energy technology, as evidenced by Foresight Institute’s 2014 Workshop on Directed/Programmable Matter for Energy. Gayle Pergamit forwards this news of a major advance in artificial photosynthesis made possible…
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    Blog of the Long Now

  • Neal Stephenson at The Interval: May 21, Book Signing and Livestream

    Mikl Em
    1 May 2015 | 11:47 am
    Neal Stephenson speaks at The Interval on May 21, 02015. Photo by Kelly O’Connor Best-selling author Neal Stephenson will visit The Interval at Long Now in San Francisco to read from and sign his new book in a special daytime event: 12:30 to 2pm on Thursday May 21, 02015. The talk itself is sold out but Long Now members can hear Neal live on May 21 via the Long Now member website. Neal is making two other appearances in the Bay Area, and we are thrilled that he is including The Interval in his tour. You can join more than 6500 long-term thinkers around the world as a Long Now member…
  • New Horizons Probe to Send Message to Interstellar Space

    Charlotte Hajer
    28 Apr 2015 | 2:27 pm
    If you could tell the universe about planet Earth, what would you say? The One Earth Message Initiative is sending a missive to the stars, and they want your input. The initiative’s goal is to create a message that will be digitally uploaded to a spacecraft currently making its way to the outer reaches of our solar system. Launched in 02006, the New Horizons probe will fly by Pluto, its primary target, later this summer. Once it completes this mission and sends its data back to Earth, the One Earth Message team hopes to use the space thus freed up on the probe’s on-board computer for a…
  • Beth Shapiro Seminar Tickets

    Andrew Warner
    20 Apr 2015 | 11:26 am
      The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking Beth Shapiro presents “How to Clone a Mammoth” TICKETS Monday May 11, 02015 at 7:30pm Marines Memorial Theatre Long Now Members can reserve 2 seats, join today! General Tickets $15   About this Seminar: Beth Shapiro is far from a giddy enthusiast about de-extinction. She knows more than nearly anyone about the subject because she is a highly regarded biologist in the middle of the two leading efforts in the new field—to resurrect extinct woolly mammoths and passenger pigeons. She knows exactly how…
  • The Front Line of Language Extinction

    Andrew Warner
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:27 pm
    We live in an era of mass extinction of linguistic heritage. Thousands of years of ancestral knowledge and stories are vanishing with the last speakers of hundreds of languages. Come and find out how mobile devices and social media are being used to preserve the “wisdom of the tribe” for generations far into the future. Linguists worldwide are engaged in an urgent task of recording the world’s languages while there is still time. Oral cultures are in particular jeopardy because they lack a written record. However, the languages are disappearing more quickly than they can be preserved,…
  • Michael Shermer Seminar Media

    Andrew Warner
    16 Apr 2015 | 11:15 am
    This lecture was presented as part of The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking. The Long Arc of Moral Progress Tuesday April 14, 02015 – San Francisco Audio is up on the Shermer Seminar page, or you can subscribe to our podcast. Moral Progress – a summary by Stewart Brand Shermer began with Martin Luther King’s statement in Selma, March 1965: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” What if we look at that arc in terms of trendlines instead of headlines? In the mid-19th century there were almost no democracies.
 
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    KurzweilAI » News

  • Combination immunotherapy significantly more effective for patients with advanced melanoma

    4 May 2015 | 8:42 pm
    A melanoma (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) are reporting exciting results in the field of cancer immunology. Positive results from a clinical trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine show that the combination of the immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) produced significantly better outcomes than ipilimumab alone in patients with advanced melanoma. A second piece in the same issue from MSK details a dramatic response occurring after a single dose of the combination therapy. The response rate…
  • Real-time noninvasive PET imaging to detect tumors

    4 May 2015 | 8:29 pm
    Non-invasive PET imaging with single-domain antibodies detects lymphoid organs and inflammation. Here, symmetrical lymph nodes and tumor-associated cells are visible in a living mouse that was inoculated subcutaneously with human melanoma cells on the back of the left shoulder. (credit: Mohammad Rashidian et al/PNAS) Whitehead Institute scientists have developed a method to detect tumors by real-time imaging of the immune system using positron emission tomography (PET). The new method replaces blood draws and invasive biopsies. It’s a potential breakthrough in diagnostics and monitoring…
  • A DNA repair map of the entire human genome

    4 May 2015 | 7:28 pm
    Researchers in the lab of Aziz Sancar, MD, PhD, created this map of DNA repair for every human chromosome (credit: UNC) A new experimental assay can help scientists find the precise locations of repair of DNA damage caused by radiation and common chemotherapies. The invention could lead to better cancer drugs or improvements in the potency of existing ones, and also to repair methods for radiation damage to DNA. When the common chemotherapy drugs cisplatin or oxaliplatin hit cancer cells, they damage DNA so that the cells can’t replicate. But cancer cells have ways to repair the DNA,…
  • What happens to your brain on the way to Mars?

    4 May 2015 | 4:39 pm
    This is your brain on cosmic rays: Digitally reconstructed images of dendrites (green) and spines (red) of neurons before (left) and after (right) irradiation. The gray (Gy) is a unit of ionizing radiation dose. (credit: Vipan K. Parihar et al./Science Advances) Exposure to highly energetic charged particles — much like those found in the galactic cosmic rays that bombard astronauts during extended spaceflights — causes significant damage to the central nervous system, resulting in cognitive impairments, according to a UC Irvine radiation oncology open-access study appearing in…
  • Printing silicon on paper with lasers

    1 May 2015 | 8:47 pm
    Silicon printed on paper (credit: M. Trifunovic et al./Applied Physics Letters) Researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have pioneered a method that allows silicon, in the polycrystalline form used in circuitry, to be produced directly on a substrate from liquid silicon ink with a single laser pulse. The capacity for printing silicon ink onto substrates has existed for some time, but necessitated a 350° C thermal annealing step — far too hot for paper and other common surfaces. The researcher’s new method bypasses this step, transforming the liquid…
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    Singularity University

  • Home Improvement gets Personal with 3D Printing and Scanning

    admin
    29 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    Lowe’s Innovation Labs developed this project in partnership with Authentise, which provides secure distribution tools for 3D printing and helps… The post Home Improvement gets Personal with 3D Printing and Scanning appeared first on Singularity University.
  • Executive Program, Dec 6-11

    Megan North
    20 Apr 2015 | 3:22 pm
    Singularity University’s Executive Program (EP) informs, educates, and prepares executives to recognize the growth opportunities and disruptive influences of exponentially growing technologies and how these key fields can affect their careers, companies, and industries in the years to come. The Executive Program is offered in a 6-day program, and also private, custom designed programs for decision-makers, strategists, CEOs, CTOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors, and government leaders – anyone thinking about or planning for how future technologies will affect their companies…
  • Executive Program, Sep 27- Oct 2

    Megan North
    20 Apr 2015 | 3:21 pm
    Singularity University’s Executive Program (EP) informs, educates, and prepares executives to recognize the growth opportunities and disruptive influences of exponentially growing technologies and how these key fields can affect their careers, companies, and industries in the years to come. The Executive Program is offered in a 6-day program, and also private, custom designed programs for decision-makers, strategists, CEOs, CTOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors, and government leaders – anyone thinking about or planning for how future technologies will affect their companies…
  • Executive Program, July 26-31

    Megan North
    20 Apr 2015 | 3:16 pm
    Singularity University’s Executive Program (EP) informs, educates, and prepares executives to recognize the growth opportunities and disruptive influences of exponentially growing technologies and how these key fields can affect their careers, companies, and industries in the years to come. The Executive Program is offered in a 6-day program, and also private, custom designed programs for decision-makers, strategists, CEOs, CTOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors, and government leaders – anyone thinking about or planning for how future technologies will affect their companies…
  • Executive Program, May 3-5

    Megan North
    20 Apr 2015 | 3:11 pm
    Singularity University’s Executive Program (EP) informs, educates, and prepares executives to recognize the growth opportunities and disruptive influences of exponentially growing technologies and how these key fields can affect their careers, companies, and industries in the years to come. The Executive Program is offered in a 6-day program, and also private, custom designed programs for decision-makers, strategists, CEOs, CTOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors, and government leaders – anyone thinking about or planning for how future technologies will affect their companies…
 
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    Next Big Future

  • EMDrive, possible Warp or hyperspace indications and more Goatguy fame

    4 May 2015 | 3:31 pm
    Adam Crowl provides a summary of the EMdrive research and the recent hype.EMdrive could enable a huge leap in travel around the solar system and interstellar travel and possibly even open up exotic warp or hyperspace physics.Adam Crowl is writing on a broad variety of interstellar and SETI topics while changing day-jobs. Adam is on the board of Directors for Icarus Interstellar. He is a member on the Starship Congress Committee.Adam Crowl is also a designer on the Icarus interstellar spaceship project. Adam Crowl is a designer on the Project Forward Beamed Propulsion projectAdam Crowl is a…
  • Russia pledged $18 billion for the BRIC Bank

    4 May 2015 | 2:52 pm
    Despite problems hitting its economy, Russia has pledged to contribute US$18 billion to the reserve fund that will create the US$100 billion BRICS fund that will rival the United States’ dominated global banking institution IMF. The BRICS group is composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, described as five leading emerging economies in the world today.Moscow’s contribution, ratified via an accord on Saturday by President Vladimir Putin, could be the second biggest to be pooled into the fund. China had promised US$41 billion after an agreement calling for the creation of…
  • Canada's economic growth forecast by province through

    4 May 2015 | 2:01 pm
    The BMO Blue Book ( BMO Investment Banking Group, Bank of Montreal, 26 page blue book), uses the expertise of BMO economists and information given to commercial bankers from local businesspeople. It projected B.C.’s real gross domestic product (GDP) would expand 2.6% this year before falling to 2.5% in 2016.Alberta’s GDP, which grew at a rate of 4.4% last year, is projected to fall to 0.4% this year as oil prices have declined worldwide. Canada's national growth rate is estimated to fall from 2.5% last year to 1.8% in 2015.Read more »
  • 150 kilowatt Solid State combat laser is ready this year

    4 May 2015 | 12:01 am
    The General Atomics 150-kw Hellads (high energy laser) will be tested this summer at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico The third generation solid state laser is to be demonstrated in 2018 on the USS Paul Foster, a decommissioned Spruance-class destroyer that now serves as the U.S. Navy’s ship-defense test vessel at Port Hueneme in California.The Gen 3 (third generation laser) has increased electrical-to-optical efficiency, improved beam quality and further reduced size and weight.The module includes high-power-density lithium-ion batteries, liquid cooling for the laser and batteries,…
  • US Navy Ground Based Combat Laser

    3 May 2015 | 11:23 pm
    The Ground-Based Air Defense On-the-Move is a vehicle-based, mobile, high-energy laser that is a cost-effective defense against asymmetric threats like UAVs. GBAD's evolution has mirrored that of other directed-energy programs sponsored by ONR, including the Laser Weapon System (LaWS).A three vehicle laser system should be demoed with on the move downing of drones using a 30 kilowatt laser in 2017.* one vehicle has the 30 kw laser* one has 360 radar and tracking* one has command and control and communicationThe volumetric search RADAR locates unmanned aerial system (UAS) targets of…
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    the Foresight Institute

  • Nanowires and bacteria harnessed for artificial photosynthesis

    Jim Lewis
    4 May 2015 | 3:04 pm
    This break-through artificial photosynthesis system has four general components: (1) harvesting solar energy, (2) generating reducing equivalents, (3) reducing CO2 to biosynthetic intermediates, and (4) producing value-added chemicals. Credit Berkeley Lab One of the major areas in which improved precision in our control of matter is likely to deliver major benefits is the area of energy technology, as evidenced by Foresight Institute’s 2014 Workshop on Directed/Programmable Matter for Energy. Gayle Pergamit forwards this news of a major advance in artificial photosynthesis made possible…
  • Science and technology roadmaps for nanotechnology

    Jim Lewis
    3 May 2015 | 5:16 pm
    From the cover of the European Science and Technology Roadmap for Graphene, Related Two-Dimensional Crystals, and Hybrid Systems. A decade ago Foresight participated in a two-year effort to produce the first technology roadmap from current, incremental nanotechnology to productive nanosystems capable of general purpose, high-throughput atomically precise manufacturing (APM). The purpose of roadmaps, such as the well-known and extremely successful International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, is to define the future technology requirements for complex systems so that present-day…
  • Nanothreads formed from smallest possible diamonds

    Jim Lewis
    2 May 2015 | 4:42 pm
    Diamond nanothreads promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers. The core of the nanothreads is a long, thin strand of carbon atoms arranged just like the fundamental unit of a diamond structure -- zig-zag cyclohexane rings of six carbon atoms bound together, in which each carbon is surrounded by others in the strong triangular-pyramid shape of a tetrahedron. The threads, made for the first time by a team led by John V. Badding of Penn State University, have a structure that has never been seen before.
  • UK SuperSTEM facility advances imaging and analysis of materials

    Jim Lewis
    30 Apr 2015 | 8:07 pm
    SuperSTEM2, a Nion UltraSTEM 100 microscope. Credit: EPSRC In his classic 1959 talk “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom: An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics” Richard P. Feynman challenged his fellow physicists to make the electron microscope 100 times better: … It is very easy to answer many of these fundamental biological questions; you just look at the thing! You will see the order of bases in the chain; you will see the structure of the microsome. Unfortunately, the present microscope sees at a scale which is just a bit too crude. Make the microscope…
  • Gold nanotubes engineered for diagnosis and therapy

    Jim Lewis
    30 Apr 2015 | 3:01 pm
    Pulsed near infrared light (shown in red) is shone onto a tumour (shown in white) that is encased in blood vessels. The tumour is imaged by multispectral optoacoustic tomography via the ultrasound emission (shown in blue) from the gold nanotubes. Image credit: Jing Claussen (iThera Medical, Germany) Across a range of applications, the move from limited control of nanostructure toward the goal of eventual atomic precision is providing increased functional capabilities. Foresight President Paul Melnyk sends this example from Medgadget (written by by Joshua Chen) of added benefits from…
 
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    Soft Machines

  • Does transhumanism matter?

    Richard Jones
    7 Apr 2015 | 9:13 am
    The political scientist Francis Fukuyama once identified transhumanism as the “the world’s most dangerous idea”. Perhaps a handful of bioconservatives share this view, but I suspect few others do. After all, transhumanism is hardly part of the mainstream. It has a few high profile spokesmen, and it has its vociferous adherents on the internet, but that’s not unusual. The wealth, prominence, and technical credibility of some of its sympathisers – drawn from the elite of Silicon Valley – does, though, differentiate transhumanism from the general run of fringe movements. My…
  • Does radical innovation best get done by big firms or little ones?

    Richard Jones
    5 Mar 2015 | 12:56 am
    A recent blogpost by the economist Diane Coyle quoted JK Galbraith as saying in 1952: “The modern industry of a few large firms is an excellent instrument for inducing technical change. It is admirably equipped for financing technical development and for putting it into use. The competition of the competitive world, by contrast, almost completely precludes technical development.” Coyle describes this as “complete nonsense” -“ big firms tend to do incremental innovation, while radical innovation tends to come from small entrants.” This is certainly conventional wisdom…
  • 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.
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    Sentient Developments

  • 9 Bizarre Jobs That Will Redefine Our Lives In The 2050s

    George
    3 May 2015 | 5:37 pm
    The fields of biotechnology and medicine are rapidly evolving, and with them their associated employment opportunities. Here are nine biomedical professions to look for in the coming decades.Read the entire article at io9.
  • New Test Suggests NASA's "Impossible" EM Drive Will Work In Space

    George
    30 Apr 2015 | 1:57 pm
    Last year, NASA's advanced propulsion research wing made headlines by announcing the successful test of a physics-defying electromagnetic drive, or EM drive. Now, this futuristic engine, which could in theory propel objects to near-relativistic speeds, has been shown to work inside a space-like vacuum.Read the entire article at io9.
  • Journal Defends Its Publication Of Controversial Human Embryo Study

    George
    30 Apr 2015 | 1:45 pm
    The science world was rocked last week by news that geneticists in China had modified the DNA of human embryos. In the face of mounting criticism, science journal Protein & Cell has issued a formal response explaining why it chose to publish the controversial study.Read the entire article at io9.
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    Broader Perspective

  • Blockchain Government

    14 Apr 2015 | 8:48 am
    Blockchain technology is starting to arrive to the extent that applications are being defined for different sectors, most prominently markets/finance/banking, government/legal, IOT, and health. In all of these venues, the thinking is that centralized models may be something of the past, and could be supplemented or improved by secure decentralized frameworks that could be more efficient, quicker, and less expensive. For example, in finance and banking interbank transfers currently take three days to clear, but this could be immediate. The reason that secure decentralized ‘smartnetwork’…
  • Philosophy of Big Data

    5 Apr 2015 | 10:57 pm
    Big data is growing as an area of information technology, service, and science, and so too is the need for its intellectual understanding and interpretation from a theoretical, philosophical, and societal perspective. The ways that we conceptualize and act in the world are shifting now due to increasingly integrated big data flows from the continuously-connected multi-device computing layer that is covering the world. This connected computing layer includes wearables, Internet-of-Things (IOT) sensors, smartphones, tablets, laptops, Quantified Self-Tracking devices like the Fitbit, connected…
  • Blockchain Thinking: The Brain as a DAC (Decentralized Autonomous Corporation)

    30 Mar 2015 | 7:51 pm
    Blockchains are a new form of information technology that could have several important future applications. They could be an explosive operational venue for new kinds of autonomous agents like DACs, distributed autonomous corporations. A DAC is a corporation run without any human involvement through a set of business rules based in software code. It is called a ‘corporation’ because it typically engages in corporate operations like fundraising, providing services, and making profits for shareholders. Blockchains are a software protocol upon which digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin run.
  • Immanence Reputations of Intelligent Instances running on Smartnetworks

    22 Mar 2015 | 9:37 pm
    One vision of the future is digital societies, comprised of different forms of intelligence like blockchain AIs, smart-contract DACs, and human mindfile uploads all running on smartnetworks. Verification of such digital identities may well be required for smartnetwork access. We are already living in a prototype of this world now, in the sense that access to digital properties requires digital identity verification. Many websites invite logging in with Facebook or Twitter as an already-established digital identity heuristic. Also in the contemporary world, we are currently constrained to an…
  • Cogntive Enhancement can Integrate Man and Machine

    15 Mar 2015 | 11:37 pm
    Cognitive enhancement should be conceived as the philosophical issue of the greater subjectivation possibilities for man, as opposed to primarily a bioethical concern. The current world is one in which man and technology are increasingly interlinked. One high-stakes endeavor is cognitive enhancement, of which there are different working definitions. A precise account is that cognitive enhancement is the augmentation of human skills, attributes, and competencies through the use of technology, medicine, and therapy designed to increase human performance capability (Hildt). Another is that it is…
 
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    Overcoming Bias

  • Ranking The Sacred

    Robin Hanson
    3 May 2015 | 9:52 am
    Consider four possible acts: Eating Twinkies Watching Gilligan’s Island Fighting cancer Working for racial justice Now consider pairwise comparisons of value between these acts. You might say which you prefer, or which matters more, or is more important or admirable. It seems to me that we don’t mind ranking #1 vs #2. We might think the exercise silly, but we’d still be comfortable expressing an opinion. It also seems to me that we don’t mind puffing up our chest and intoning very seriously that either of #3,4 are more noble and admirable than either of #1,2, and looking sadly down…
  • Who Wants Thick Democracy?

    Robin Hanson
    28 Apr 2015 | 10:40 am
    Last night I heard the author talk on this book: The Business of America is Lobbying: How Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate. The audience was mostly DC policy wonks and related academics. The talk and responses to it made me realize that most policy folks, and most ordinary people as well, don’t actually like democracy that much. Let me explain. In a democracy, candidates run for office, and the ones with the most votes win. Winners set new policies and oversee government agencies that set more policies. Prior to the vote, a limited number of issues come to…
  • Financial Status

    Robin Hanson
    25 Apr 2015 | 12:45 pm
    At a finance conference last year, I learned this: Instead of saving money directly for their own retirement, many workers have their employers save for them. Those employers hire in-house specialists to pick which specialty consulting firms to hire. These consulting firms advise employers on which investment firms to use. And those investment firms pick actual productive enterprises in which to invest. All three of these intermediaries, i.e., employer, consultant, and investor, take a cut for their active management. Even employees who invest for themselves tend to pick at least one high…
  • SciCast Contest

    Robin Hanson
    23 Apr 2015 | 7:15 am
    SciCast is holding a new contest: We’ll be offering $16,000 in prizes for conditional forecasts only made from April 23 to May 22.
  • Stock Vs. Flow War

    Robin Hanson
    19 Apr 2015 | 10:50 am
    When our farmer ancestors warred, they often went about as far as they could to apply all available resources to their war efforts. This included converting plowshares into swords, ships into navies, farmers into soldiers, granaries into soldiers on the move, good will into allies, and cash into foreign purchases. When wars went long and badly, such resources were often quite depleted by the end. Yet warring farmers only rarely went extinct. Why? The distinction between stock and flow is a basic one in engineering and finance. Stocks allow flows. A granary is a stock, and it can produce a…
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    The Fourth Revolution Blog

  • Why True Leaders Know How to Handle Their Fear

    Jeremie Averous
    2 May 2015 | 4:30 am
    Over time I found that the main difference between good and bad leaders is how they manage their fear and anxiety. Leaders that try to change things or create something new are always submitted to huge quantities of stress and of fear – personal fear as well as organizational fear. Bad leaders transmit fear and stress to their team. It cascades down, creating negative feelings throughout the organization, hampering true work, destroying creativity and innovation. People just wait for the next outburst of stress and try to avoid being in the way. That occupies most of their time. Good…
  • How Quick Bureaucracy Can Creep In… and How to Prevent It

    Jeremie Averous
    30 Apr 2015 | 4:30 am
    I have had some experiences lately where I have seen bureaucracy creep in projects in a very significant and quick manner, creating a serious impediment to progress and success. Although I know that it is the fate of many organizations, I was astonished by the mere speed at which bureaucracy can be created and imposed, even in project organizations that had been newly set-up only weeks or months ago. Bureaucracy is not the same as developing and implementing effective processes. Bureaucracy is about creating processes of little effectiveness (even if very efficient!). In the instances I…
  • Why We Need to Set Boundaries to Practice Compassion

    Jeremie Averous
    28 Apr 2015 | 4:30 am
    “This research has taught me that if we really want to practice compassion, we have to start by setting boundaries and holding people accountable for their behavior” writes Brene Brown in her book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’. She continues, “Setting boundaries and holding people accountable is a lot more work than shaming and blaming. But it’s also much more effective. Shaming and blaming without accountability is toxic“. What appears initially as very counter-intuitive gets explained in that last sentence. It also illustrates that real compassion is…
  • Why Team Commitment is Better than Any Plan

    Jeremie Averous
    25 Apr 2015 | 4:30 am
    “The team’s commitment to the plan is key to the successful execution of the plan” writes Clinton Padgett in ‘The Project Success Method‘. I’d like to go beyond this – a commitment team is better than any plan, because the plan will change during execution, of course. How do we achieve this level of commitment in particular in projects? I have always defended the need to have a series of workshops at the beginning of a project, with the project core team. Not for just having a chat – working together to design an execution plan is the best…
  • Why Playing at Work is Not an Option

    Jeremie Averous
    23 Apr 2015 | 4:30 am
    Brene Brown in her book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ quotes a certain Stuart Brown: “The opposite of play is not work—the opposite of play is depression. Respecting our biologically programmed need for play can transform work. It can bring back excitement and newness to our job“. Playing would then be necessary in all corners or our life. How often are we playing in a professional context? Ask yourself – when that happens, how do you feel about the ongoing effort and work, and about the team of people you work with? There are many ways to include some playing…
 
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    Futurist.com: Futurist Speaker Glen Hiemstra

  • Tesla Powerwall Will Change Electricity Business

    Glen Hiemstra
    1 May 2015 | 3:08 pm
    This is what vision looks like. Watch Elon Musk announce Tesla Powerwall, the next phase in his plan to change the electricity business, from one were we mostly harvest old sunlight in the form of dead plants and animals by lighting them on fire, to one where we harvest sunlight as it comes. As he explains, this is a possible future, a preferred future, and in fact a probable future. The post Tesla Powerwall Will Change Electricity Business appeared first on Futurist.com: Futurist Speaker Glen Hiemstra.
  • Fueled by Skepticism – an exploration of the future

    Glen Hiemstra
    24 Apr 2015 | 6:49 am
    I came across this very nice exploration of numerous instances in the past and also very recently, when big ideas were proposed that people thought could not and would not happen, only to be proved wrong when later it became inevitable and was done. Landing on the moon, landing on a comet are but two examples. Produced by Toyota. It reminded me of an old saying of Dr. Ed Lindaman, program planner for Apollo: Everything possible today was at one time impossible. Everything impossible today may at some time in the future be possible. The post Fueled by Skepticism – an exploration of the…
  • Reading Edge of Dark – on living with robots

    Glen Hiemstra
    24 Mar 2015 | 3:19 pm
    I’m half way into an excellent new science fiction book, Edge of Dark, by Brenda Cooper, who is also a Futurist.com Think Tank expert. This is Brenda’s 8th novel and the first in a two-part series. From the Amazon book description… What if a society banished its worst nightmare to the far edge of the solar system, destined to sip only dregs of light and struggle for the barest living. And yet, that life thrived? It grew and learned and became far more than you ever expected, and it wanted to return to the sun. What if it didn’t share your moral compass in any way? The…
  • Georgetown Texas going renewable

    Glen Hiemstra
    20 Mar 2015 | 11:20 am
    This is pretty impressive news out of Georgetown, Texas, a community of 54000 people north of Austin, Texas. They have announced a plan for the city to become the first in Texas to be powered entirely by renewable energy – not in some distant decade, but by the end of 2016. Working with Solar power company SunEdison, and wind developer EDF, Georgetown will obtain 150 megawatts of solar energy and enough from a 194 megawatt wind farm to break the tie to fossil fuels for electricity. The driving force – it is going to be cheaper. Check out the story of how Georgetown Texas is going…
  • Why driverless cars instead of driver-assist

    Glen Hiemstra
    19 Mar 2015 | 5:34 pm
    The head of Google’s self driving car program explains what is up. I was able to hear him this week at TED, and will update more of his remarks later. But he was pretty convincing that ultimately creating a true driverless or fully autonomous vehicle makes more sense than a driver assisted vehicle. What is interesting about the video below is the story of how they are trying to invent the autonomous vehicle from the ground up, rather than as a retro-fit (which we’ve seen on the streets for some time). Bottom line is that I think this whole tech could be closer than we normally…
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    Singularitarian

  • NASA's 10-Rotor UAV Hovers Like a Helicopter, Flies Like an Airplane

    4 May 2015 | 9:48 pm
    NASA's 10-Rotor UAV Hovers Like a Helicopter, Flies Like an Airplane: NASA has rolled out what looks like the B-52 of unmanned aerial vehicles. Last week, NASA engineers successfully tested the Greased Lightning GL-10, which is a battery-powered, 10-rotor remotely piloted aircraft that can perform a useful trick: It takes off and lands like a helicopter, but can also transition to conventional flight in mid-air. Shifting from hover to wing-borne flight has long flummoxed aerospace engineers, but the GL-10 looks like a big step in the right direction.
  • Audi have successfully made diesel fuel from carbon dioxide and water

    27 Apr 2015 | 1:34 pm
    Audi have successfully made diesel fuel from carbon dioxide and water: German car manufacturer Audi has reportedly invented a carbon-neutral diesel fuel , made solely from water, carbon dioxide and renewable energy sources. 
  • Humanoid Robot Starts Work at Japanese Department Store

    21 Apr 2015 | 3:52 pm
    Humanoid Robot Starts Work at Japanese Department Store: Dressed in a kimono and smiling, Aiko Chihira greets shoppers at the entrance of Tokyo’s Mitsukoshi department store. But Chihira is no regular employee – she’s a robot.
  • Scientists develop mesh that captures oil—but lets water through

    16 Apr 2015 | 3:16 pm
    Scientists develop mesh that captures oil—but lets water through: The unassuming piece of stainless steel mesh in a lab at The Ohio State University doesn’t look like a very big deal, but it could make a big difference for future environmental cleanups.
  • Revolutionary: Russian man to undergo first head-to-body transplant

    10 Apr 2015 | 2:24 pm
    Revolutionary: Russian man to undergo first head-to-body transplant: Doctors seem to be a step closer to performing a breakthrough surgery: transplanting a human head onto another body. A Russian man with a rare genetic muscle-wasting disorder has volunteered to be the first to try the procedure.
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    Extravolution

  • Conditioned Existence

    nuncio
    12 Apr 2015 | 2:30 am
    Buddhism says that all existence is ‘conditioned’ – it is all conditional on other conditions. Like the theory of relativity, the theory of conditioning allows no absolutes. I am not a Buddhist. It would make no sense to be one, because belief is a form of conditioning. Buddhism is a self-solving metaphilosophical riddle designed to break minds free of all forms of indoctrination. It also says that conditioned existence is suffering (dukkha As all existence is conditioned, then, all existence is suffering. How can that be? We seem to know when we are suffering as opposed to happy or…
  • The Cosmic Tug of Love

    nuncio
    14 Feb 2015 | 9:46 am
    Massive objects bend spacetime. The ISS falls around the edge of earth’s gravity well, held close to the terrestrial bosom. With enough delta-v, it could quit that tender aureole for the infinite, star-studded void.A loving gravitational embrace? In another sense, it’s a hateful thing – to be dragged back with such violence whenever we try to escape this grasping, spinning ball of rock. Thus far, chemical rockets are our only means of achieving the escape velocity of 40,000 km/h needed to leave home. The determination and resources required for such a small step into the darkness are…
  • Under My Skin

    nuncio
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:16 am
    What is it with the night? Fears and confusions are so amped when I wake in the darkness, usually around 3am. Having fought my way out of the interdimensional void – my version more akin to Clive Barker’s ‘In Ovo’ – the sweat from my exertions was cooling but still slick.I shouldn’t watch them. With a brain so susceptible to visual imprinting, I should leave the horror movies to more resilient consumers. Strange. In my waking hours, all is processed narrative; wordling I. Asleep, however, visual phantasmagoria manifests. In the opus born in my CSF-bathed complex of neurons, other…
  • 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…
 
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    Getting Through High School

  • The Mass Confusion (The Hospital Series Part 3)

    3 May 2015 | 4:12 pm
    Apologies for the late post, people. Making posts become a bit difficult when your computer is... "incapacitated." Anyway, I put in another shift at the hospital yesterday, and let me say yesterday must have been the most confusing day ever. So many things had me spinning this way and that. I guess I should just start with the beginning, huh?These Bad Boys Make a DifferenceSo I arrived at the hospital a bit late: 8:03. I know, I know, big deal three minutes late. In my defense, I got slowed down because I took too long to decide what to make myself for breakfast (I went with the fried eggs).
  • The End is Near!!!!

    30 Apr 2015 | 12:56 pm
    So the year is finally starting to close and with only three weeks left in school, most of the pressures of the year are gone. Yes, there are still final exams coming up be we're not worried about those because we studied, right? Who am I kidding? Anyway,  I think that finals are overrated. I know, right? Such a statement!Don't do this unless you have invented a suit of armorLet me explain! I believe that finals are nothing to worry about. Now, that doesn't mean you can just forget about studying for them and lose your steam this close to the end of the year. What I mean is that your…
  • The Medical Emergency, I Think (The Hospital Series Part 2)

    26 Apr 2015 | 11:42 am
    My most recent shift at the hospital started out like any regular one. I would walk in through the emergency room entrance, sign in, go upstairs and begin my duties as a Patient Attendant. Normally, I would head toward the supply room first to pick up a pen and pad in case I need to write anything down. For some reason, I didn't this time. I regretted that later.I Was Lost, But For A Different ReasonSo there I was, no longer a "newbie" at this hospital gig but still not a veteran. I felt comfortable strolling down the hallways and popping into a patient's room to make sure everything was just…
  • The First Day (Hospital Series Part 1)

    19 Apr 2015 | 2:26 pm
    Some time ago I mentioned starting a weekly series outlining my adventures at the local hospital. Well, here it is! I know, I know, you just can't wait to hear the stories, can you? I figured that before I started with the up-to-date stories I would tell you about my first day on the job! Here we go!The First DayI started volunteering at the hospital before I could drive, so on my first day, I had my mom drop me off early. Please hold your snickers and chuckles till the end. Yes, I had my mom drop me off and yes, I asked to be early. Anyway, I left the car and entered the hospital bewildered,…
  • "Wait, So It's Due TODAY?" Insight into Anti-procrastination

    16 Apr 2015 | 3:09 pm
    Yes, we have all experienced it. The sneaky deadline that you thought was oh so far away has now got the jump on you. You might be in one of two groups: 1)the people who manage to get something done right before they turn it in or 2) the people who don't know until the teacher says "please pass it in, class." No matter which group you belong to, that deadline gets the best of you and you probably don't feel very well afterwards. Between you and me, I've gotten caught by a deadline once or twice. However, I didn't let that happen again. I came up with a little trick that usually works for me…
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    Future Thinkers Podcast

  • FTP016: Vitalik Buterin on Ethereum and The Decentralized Future

    Euvie Ivanova
    21 Apr 2015 | 3:41 am
    Mike and I have been talking a lot about decentralized platforms on our podcast lately. In this episode, we invited Vitalik Buterin from Ethereum to talk about the applications and implications of this highly promising new decentralized platform. Ethereum is meant to eliminate the middlemen in many industries... [READ MORE] The post FTP016: Vitalik Buterin on Ethereum and The Decentralized Future appeared first on Future Thinkers Podcast.
  • FTP015: Zoltan Istvan on The Future of Politics and Transhumanism

    Euvie Ivanova
    13 Apr 2015 | 8:29 am
    Zoltan Istvan has a colorful life story. He worked as a war zone journalist with National Geographic, he sailed the world by himself, he wrote a best-selling novel called The Transhumanist Wager. Now, Zoltan is running for US president in the 2016 election with his Transhumanist Party... [READ MORE] The post FTP015: Zoltan Istvan on The Future of Politics and Transhumanism appeared first on Future Thinkers Podcast.
  • FTP014: The Exponential Revolution: Are You Prepared?

    Euvie Ivanova
    30 Mar 2015 | 8:50 am
    People everywhere are waking up. Thanks to open information sharing via The Internet, more and more people are realizing that the entities that currently govern our world do not serve the majority... [READ MORE] The post FTP014: The Exponential Revolution: Are You Prepared? appeared first on Future Thinkers Podcast.
  • FTP013: The Future of Conscious Evolution: Eliminating Discrimination

    Euvie Ivanova
    9 Jan 2015 | 12:05 pm
    "We are running on outdated software", "operating cavemen brains in a technologically advanced society". For thousands of years, our environment changed very slowly. Parents and children had more or less the same lives. Now we live in a world of exponential technological chance. Borders are becoming blurry and social groups increasingly distributed. What was once an adaptive mental process that helped us make snap judgements and quick decisions is now considered a major detriment... [READ MORE] The post FTP013: The Future of Conscious Evolution: Eliminating Discrimination appeared first on…
  • FTP012: Storytelling: How Brands Will Communicate to Us in The Future

    Euvie Ivanova
    3 Jan 2015 | 3:57 am
    In the 20th century, with the rise of mass media came a time when companies could broadcast their marketing messages far and wide to millions of people. It didn't matter if the message was relevant to each person, because as long as a small percentage of people bought the product, it was worth it. Companies also figured out that they could convince more people to buy their product by playing on people’s fears and insecurities. Inadequacy marketing was born... [READ MORE] The post FTP012: Storytelling: How Brands Will Communicate to Us in The Future appeared first on Future Thinkers Podcast.
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