Opinions + Links
- The Illusion of Control in a Intelligence Amplification Singularity, Michael Anissimov @ Accelerating Future:
From what I understand, we’re currently at a point in history where the importance of getting the Singularity right pretty much outweighs all other concerns, particularly because a negative Singularity is one of the existential threats which could wipe out all of humanity rather than “just” billions. The Singularity is (Read more…)
- 2011-04-22 04:40:33, Guest Admin @ Institute For The Future:
- Singularity Summit 2011, Michael Anissimov @ Accelerating Future:
The press release for SS11 is posted. Featuring Ken Jennings, Christof Koch, Tyler Cowen, Ray Kurzweil, and many others. The venue will be the same as 2009 — the 92nd St. Y in New York City. The theme we are pegging this year’s conference to is the Watson victory. (Read more…)
- Replying to Alex Knapp, July 2nd, Michael Anissimov @ Accelerating Future:
Does Knapp know anything about the way existing AI works? It’s not based around trying to copy humans, but often around improving this abstract mathematical quality called inference. I think you missed my point. My point is not that AI has to emulate how the brain works, but rather that (Read more…)
- The Final Weapon, Michael Anissimov @ Accelerating Future:
It’s not really “fair”, but history generally consists of people getting better and better weapons, and whoever has the best weapons and the best armies makes the rules. The number of historical examples of this phenomenon are practically unlimited. The reason America is respected and feared today is because of (Read more…)
- San Francisco, City of Bans, Edition No. 3, Stephen J. Dubner @ Freakonomics:
First came a de facto ban of Happy Meals; then a proposal for a ban on circumcisions; now comes a proposal to ban the sale of just about every living animal, including goldfish. From the L.A. Times:
Yes, goldfish. And guppies, gobies, gouramies, glowlight tetras, …
- New on TED Books: Alisa Miller’s “Media Makeover”, Jim Daly @ TED Blog:
Charlie Sheen. Weinergate. Obama’s birth certificate. If you think the stories major media outlets obsess about hit tawdry new lows each week, you’re not alone. But you don’t have to follow the industry into the abyss of banality….
- Urban vs. Rural Minds: The Differences in Brain Behavior, Team @ Freakonomics:
The Economist reports that city dwellers are at a significantly increased risk of developing anxiety and mood disorders. Evidence from a new study by Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, a German psychology professor, might point to why. Urbanites, it turns out, deal with stress differently than rural residents. Meyer-Lindenberg identified a difference …
- Now: Join Alice Dreger in a live Q&A on TED Conversations, Emily McManus @ TED Blog:
On anatomy, destiny, marriage … 1-3pm Eastern. She asks: The recent passage of gay marriage rights in New York demonstrate what I talked about in my TED lecture — the steady historical movement away from dividing people based on anatomical differences. What do you think our democracy is going to …
- Trouble in Pakistan’s Heartland – By Umer Farooq, Team @ Foreign Policy:
Faisalabad, the industrial hub of Punjab, is ailing — badly. And militant groups are reaping the benefits.
- Forecasters around the world tuned their compasses to the Magnetic South, Lisa Mumbach @ Institute For The Future:
teaser: On June 24-25, people all over the world signed up to help the people of Christchurch, NZ, think about their future in the foresight game Magnetic South. Using IFTF’s Foresight Engine, the…
- Robotic Arm Helps Surgeons, Patients, Team @ TFOT – The Future Of Things:
Biomedical engineers created a robotic arm to help orthopedic surgeons, namely those who specialize in knee replacements, perform more accurate resurfacings, speeding up patient recovery time, reducing pain, and improving the overall results of the pr…
- Mathematical Model for Carb Loading, Janice Karin @ TFOT – The Future Of Things:
A researcher at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts has developed an algorithm for determining how carbohydrates are burned during marathon racing, enabling runners to calculate when to eat and h…
- Crowd Sourcing Identifies 2 Parkinsons Disease Genes, Randall Parker @ FuturePundit:
The folks at personal genetic testing company 23andme.com recruited Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients from mailing lists and other means and compared their genetic variants with a group of 23andme customers who also got their genetic variants tested by…
- New Nukes Coming Online To More Than Double, Randall Parker @ FuturePundit:
Globally the rate at which new nuclear power plants get turned on to start operating will more than double from 5 to 12 per year in the next 4 years. Assuming about five years for construction it can be expected that reactors will be coming online arou…
- The Happiness Dividend, Shawn Achor @ HBR.org:
Nearly every company in the world gives lip service to the idea that “our people are our greatest asset.” Yet…
- The Flipside of Cisco’s Flip Decision, Team @ HBR.org:
In 2009, I purchased a Flip HD camcorder. Around the same time, Cisco purchased Flip, the company, for about $600…
- Square, ATMs, and the Pace of Transformation, Scott Anthony @ HBR.org:
Remember how after Chemical Bank launched the first Automated Teller Machine in the 1960s, waves of bank branches shut down?…
- Post 9-11, Deborah Herr @ Cool Hunting:
As its name suggests, OHWOW’s “Post 9-11″ show presents work by nine New York-based artists whose pieces are evocative of the mixed American mood following the attacks on that day in September 2001. While none of the work addresses the pivotal event explicitly, the curators explain that the exhibition…
- Imagining the future of information graphics, Nathan Yau @ FlowingData:
While information graphics have been around for decades, their current form is brand new (or kind of old, if you’re counting in Internet years). Just like the Web, information and data graphics will continue to evolve in line with improving technology and growing amounts of data. Sarah Slobin, of The …
- Upside of Irrationality: Chapter 2, Dan @ Dan Ariely:
Here I discuss Chapter 2 from Upside of Irrationality, The Meaning of Labor: What Legos Can Teach Us about the Joy of Work.
- Why Climate Change Requires A Consciousness Change- by Futurist Duane Elgin, Robin Wood @ R2 Global Meshwork:
Einstein famously said that we cannot solve problems with…
- Faulty Intelligence – By Joshua Rovner, Team @ Foreign Policy:
David Petraeus will be the next CIA chief. But is he the right man for the job?
- Jet-Skiing in the Triangle of Death – By Emma Sky, Team @ Foreign Policy:
A former advisor to the U.S. commanding general in Iraq returns to Baghdad as a tourist and eats, chats, and listens to locals cover the Bee Gees, while pondering the country’s future.
- The Things They Carried: The Tahrir Square Irregular, MAX STRASSER @ Foreign Policy:
Hazem Marghany, a 25-year-old architect, spent 18 days in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the revolution and has come back every Friday since. Here’s what he packs in his black Adidas laptop bag.
- Future News – May 14 – June 14, 2011, Rick Schettino @ FutureTimes.net – The Future News Archive:
And, we’re back… I’ve wrapped up some pressing matters and will try to post future related news links at least once per week going forward. Today I’m posting links to some of the more interesting new stories posted by a few of my favorite…
- We Each Have About 60 Unique Genetic Mutations, Randall Parker @ FuturePundit:
You are a mutant. Don’t deny it. Accept your role in the mutant horde. Each one of us receives approximately 60 new mutations in our genome from our parents. This striking value is reported in the first-ever direct measure of new mutations coming from ……
- A New Way To Evaluate Dyslexia, Janice Karin @ TFOT – The Future Of Things:
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Stanford University in Palo Alto, California have developed a new way to predict whether children with dyslexia will likely improve their reading skills over time o…
- Electric Current Controls Impulsivity, Randall Parker @ FuturePundit:
If you want to turn down your impulses an electrical current will do the trick. London, 15 June 2011 – Inhibitory control can be boosted with a mild form of brain stimulation, according to a study published in the June 2011 issue of Neuroimage, Elsevie…
- Olive Oil Cuts Stroke Risk?, Randall Parker @ FuturePundit:
A French study of 7,625 people ages 65 and older found that higher olive oil consumption is associated with 41% lower risk of stroke over 6 years. ST. PAUL, Minn. – A new study suggests that consuming olive oil may help prevent a stroke in older people. The research is …
// June 18th, 2011 // Comments Off // Opinion
- Google’s New Correlation Mining Tool: It Works!, Team @ Freakonomics:
You may have heard of Google Trends. It’s a cool tool which will show you the ups-and-downs of the public’s interest in a particular topic—at least as revealed in how often we search for it. And you may have even heard of the first really important use of this tool: Google Flu Trends, which uses search data to try to predict flu activity. Now Google has released an amazing way to reverse engineer the process: Google Correlate. Just feed in your favorite weekly time series (or cross-state comparisons), and it will tell you which search terms are most closely correlated with your data. (Read more…)
- Parents Are Less Happy. So What?, Team @ Freakonomics:
Bryan Caplan’s new book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, (which he blogged about for us here and here) has people talking about happiness and kids, again. Over at Cato Unbound, my better half Betsey Stevenson takes Bryan to task on some of his claims. It’s worth reading the full essay. Jeff Ely at Cheap Talk says you should take note of her views on the distinction between happiness and utility. Instead, I want to highlight an insight that comes from thinking through a formal framework:
- Sudan Falls Apart – By Maggie Fick, MAGGIE FICK @ Foreign Policy:
A confrontation over a disputed border province ensures that the divorce between north and south Sudan won’t be amicable.
- The Middle East Crisis That Just Won’t Go Away – By Salman Shaikh, SALMAN SHAIKH @ Foreign Policy:
Barack Obama may think that Israel and Palestine alone can end their decades of conflict, but the Arab Spring has changed the contours of any potential negotiations.
- Shakira vs. the Democrats – By Laila Lalami, Team @ Foreign Policy:
For Morocco’s would-be revolutionaries, a popular music festival is a corrupt symbol of the country’s misplaced priorities.
- Controllability of Real Networks, Team @ Complexity Digest 2011.12:
Liu et al. have forged new links between control theory and network dynamics by focusing on the structural controllability of networks [Lui et al., Nature:473(7346), 167-173, 2011]. Two main results in the paper are that (1) the number of driver nod…
- Heart + Mind? Or Just Heart? Experiments in Aid Effectiveness (And a Contest!), Team @ Freakonomics:
When signing our book, More Than Good Intentions, Jacob Appel and I often sign “Heart + Mind = Good Giving.” Nobody argues with the premise that we should act with compassion, but be smart about it. Of course nobody would ever say they do not care about the effectiveness of the charity they support. But in practice, does evidence about charitable effectiveness impact donations? Or does the presentation of dorky evidence turn off the emotions that cause us to donate in the first place? (Read more…)
- More People, Please, CHARLES KENNY @ Foreign Policy:
Don’t worry about the booming global population — celebrate it.
- Freakonomics Radio Live in St. Paul, Minn. This Week, Stephen J. Dubner @ Freakonomics:
On Thurs., June 9, we’ll bring Freakonomics Radio alive (or die trying) on the stage of the historic Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn. Details here and here. St. (Read more…)
- The Least Wanted Most Wanted Man – By David Scheffer, Team @ Foreign Policy:
The inside story of how the United States and NATO let war criminal Ratko Mladic evade justice for 16 years — and why it matters.