Thursday, April 2, 2015

Friday Thinking, 3 April 2015

Hello all –Friday Thinking is curated in the spirit of sharing. Many thanks to those who enjoy this. J

Jim Balsillie was co-chief executive officer of RIM when Apple and Google targeted the company’s lucrative hold on the smartphone market.

He recalls how RIM went from being the disruptor in the cellphone arena, effectively blowing up such competitors as Nokia and Motorola and building a $20-billion business, to a disruptee.

“There was not an appetite for strategic chemotherapy at RIM, because organizations hate it,” Mr. Balsillie says. “In tech, you have a window in time [to adapt to the new marketplace reality]. If you wait too long, then it becomes palliative.”
Apple’s drive for world auto dominance spooks the industry

Self-learning options for designers in tech will outpace offerings from universities and colleges. Because the knowledge required to design in the medium of technology continues to expand and evolve, real-time learning will be more important than what a college course can teach in a perfected, hermetically sealed form within the span of a semester or quarter. Options to keep with the pace of learning will expand through Starter League, Codecademy, and General Assembly. —John Maeda, Design Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

More and more, individuals trained in design will hold leadership positions. But not all will be qualified. It will always take a broad understanding of a business and the vision and strength to take it somewhere. But strong business skills combined with design training and talent will become a potent combination. Not all will be successful, but a few will kick ass. — Robert Brunner, Founder, Ammunition Group

The object will be less important than ever. As products become increasingly more complex and in many ways act as portals to much broader functionality or capability, the object that delivers this will become even more important, especially as a means to attract and drive participation in an ecosystem. But the object being well designed will not alone be enough for success. The entire ecosystem and all its interaction points must be as well designed as the object itself in order for sustained adoption to occur. — Robert Brunner, Founder, Ammunition Group

Work has become like singing, you can do it anywhere now. That's why offices will need to become more like cathedrals and recording studios. Cathedrals because singing in that setting (atmosphere, reverb, etc.) alters the character of even a single human voice and inspires a greater performance. Recording studios because they are specifically designed to help create and capture the highest-quality experience of singing—capture that and reproduce it. When we can work anywhere, people should want to come to an office because it gives them a heightened experience of work that can be had nowhere else. — Ben Watson, Executive Creative Director, Herman Miller

As we build more connected smart things that observe and measure us and our world, the relationship that design, functionality, and experience have with real-time data analytics will grow. So designers will need to know how to play with data scientists, and work together to build new definitions of everyday objects as we make them smarter and more effective. — Robert Brunner, Founder, Ammunition Group
25 Ideas Shaping The Future Of Design

"A fundamental change is taking place in the world of production. The future is calling for ultimate flexibility and convertibility. In future, the trend will increasingly move in the direction of customized products. The small quantities and high level of variety associated with this require technologies that continually adapt to changing conditions. The components in industrial facilities of the future must therefore be able to coordinate themselves. Tasks that are now managed by a central master computer will be taken over by the components in future."
Festo has BionicANTs communicating by the rules for tasks

Scientists have known for many decades that prokaryotes such as bacteria and other microorganisms – which lack a protective nucleus enveloping their DNA – swap genetic material with each other all the time. Researchers have also documented countless cases of viruses shuttling their genes into the genomes of animals, including our own.

What has become increasingly clear in the past 10 years is that this liberal genetic exchange is definitely not limited to the DNA of the microscopic world. …  In fact, horizontal gene transfer has happened between all kinds of living things throughout the history of life on the planet – not just between species, but also between different kingdoms of life. Bacterial genes end up in plants; fungal genes wind up in animals; snake and frog genes find their way into cows and bats. It seems that the genome of just about every modern species is something of a mosaic constructed with genes borrowed from many different forms of life.

horizontal gene transfer, he wrote recently ‘is far more pervasive and more radical in its consequences than we could have guessed just a decade ago’. Researchers have now discovered so many examples of gene transfer between species and kingdoms of life – with many more surely to come – that they have to adjust their understanding of how evolution works. Standard evolutionary theory does not account for the possibility of complex organisms suddenly acquiring genes from other species, let alone how those foreign genes might change a creature for better or worse. Think of it this way: if the genomes of living species are flowers on different branches of the great evolutionary tree of life, horizontal gene transfer is a subversive wind whipping pollen from one part of the tree to another.
The gene that jumped

What if researchers moved away entirely from using paper to record methods and results? Using electronic notebooks allows data to be stored and shared between lab members and others outside of the lab. It’s not too much of a stretch to think that data could be automatically uploaded to a repository or a cloud for analysis to be run. When a significant result is found a paper can be ‘created’ by the flick of switch pulling in methodology and references from lab books and submitting to an appropriate journal.
Visions of the future for academic publishing

Now this is very close to the onset of a phase transition - watch this closely as this may be way more earth changing than the fall of the Berlin Wall. Is the developed world going to keep up? Will it have to?
China Introduces 70% Solar Subsidy For The Poor
Disadvantaged energy users in China could receive a subsidy of as high as 70% for the installation of solar power facilities.

Here’s a great 50 min video keynote by Clay Shirky at a very recent  SAP TechEd Online.
Guest Keynote Las Vegas: Clay Shirky
Clay Shirky is one of today's leading voices on the social and economic impact of Internet technology. Considered as one of the finest thinkers on the Internet revolution, Clay provides an insightful and optimistic view of networks, social software, and technology's effects on society. Writing extensively about the Internet since 1996, he is the author of the best-selling Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. In Here Comes Everybody – selected by The Guardian as one of the 100 greatest non-fiction books of all time – Clay explored how organizations and industries are being upended by open networks, collaboration, and user appropriation of content production and dissemination. Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age reveals how new technology is changing us from consumers to collaborators and unleashing a torrent of creative production that will transform our world.
Speaking of Clay Shirky here’s an article from the March Columbia Journalism Review. This is a MUST READ for anyone interested in the future of a National press.
The value of digital data
This is a chapter from Journalism After Snowden: The Future of Free Press in the Surveillance State, a forthcoming book from Columbia University Press. The book is part of the Journalism After Snowden initiative, a yearlong series of events and projects from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism in collaboration with CJR. The initiative is funded by The Tow Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Here’s a great article by Dave Snowden - KM master on complexity.
7 principles of intervention in complex systems
Now one of the basic Cynefin mantras is that of safe-fail interventions, and lots of them, if the problem is complex. One can only really understand a complex system by interacting with it (the probe of probe-sense-respond) and while people get that, getting them to take on board the full implications is another matter. Some time ago I decided that we needed to have a more rigid process that would force people to take the various aspects of a safe-to-fail experiment into account in design, so we created a form. its still in use, but I have also been working on some basic principles to expand on that. So here they are:

  1. You need multiple parallel experiments and they should be based on different and competing theories/hypotheses.
  2. They must be safe-to-fail, which (to state the obvious) means that if they fail you must be able to survive and consequences and recover
  3. A percentage must fail, if not you are not stretching the boundaries enough and your scanning range is reduced in consequence
  4. Each experiment must be coherent, not just a stab in the dark (hence my liking of the T-Shirt). Ideally coherence should be based on evidence, at a minimum ritual dissent should be used to test the ideas.
  5. Actions speak louder than words, if you are trying to counter a negative story then taking small visible actions that make the story impossible to tell is the best policy. Countering stories with stories rarely works as does countering them with facts. Doing things makes all the difference.
  6. You don't start any experiment, safe-to-fail or otherwise unless you can monitor its impact in real time, or at least within correction time of your damping or amplification strategy. Working both out in advance is key, so you are ready to respond quickly to either success or failure.
  7. Its worth noting that an experiment that fails may provide a better route forwards than one which succeeds

What’s the future of scientific publication - this questions doesn’t seem to be going away, but the future doesn’t seem to have arrived yet.
“What if research publishing were to focus on the process rather than coarse snapshots thereof?” So how do you think the format of online research articles should change to suit your needs as researchers?
Visions of the future for academic publishing
This month sees the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions – the world's first science journal – which is still published today. Much of our contemporary approach to publishing research began with the launch of that journal, but what does the future hold?  

Philosophical Transactions’ first editor, Henry Oldenburg, famously conceived the principle functions of publication in a research journal in 1665 as registration, validation, dissemination and archiving. He also carried out an early form of peer review where he asked colleagues for opinions on manuscripts outside his area of expertise – through peer review as we know it wasn’t widely accepted until the 20th century.

Journal publishing has evolved – a little – since 1665. We all recognise the typical format of the scientific article and support the concept of the final published article as an immutable version of record, fixed at a point in time. The published article has become an important element in the assessment of an individual’s or an institution’s research; in fact, one of the most widely used measures of success in research is citations to the publications resulting from that research.

Once upon a time someone decided that Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion was the optimal format for dissemination of scientific research articles. This may have held true in the era of the printed journal, but in this digital age why does this format persist? We’re no longer constrained by space, so why create an online article to simply mirror a PDF?

This traditional article format is not the best way to disseminate and communicate the volume of new results being published everyday. The rate of research output poses a challenge for researchers to keep up-to-date with relevant content in their fields. For example, in the field of breast cancer, 22,712 articles were published last year alone, according to Scopus. We must develop ways to improve the experience for busy researchers.

This is an interesting paper on the link between the scientific quest for knowledge and the quest to advance one’s career.
Tropes, History, and Ethics in Professional Discourse and Information Science
This paper argues that professional discourses tend to align themselves with dominant ideological and social forces by means of language. In twentieth century modernity, the use of the trope of "science" and related terms in professional theory is a common linguistic device through which professions attempt social selfadvancement. This paper examines how professional discourses, in particular those which are foundational for library and information science theory and practice, establish themselves in culture and project history‐‐past and future‐‐by means of appropriating certain dominant tropes in a culture's language. This paper suggests that ethical and political choices arise out of the rhetoric and practice of professional discourse, and that these choices cannot be confined to the realm of professional polemics.
Professions obey the imperative for selflegitimation almost by instinct. They tend to be "positive" both in terms of their selfcriticism and in terms of their methodological orientation, with a positive method supporting a positive critical tone by limiting critique to questions found within the accepted foundational parameters for a profession. Indeed, foundational selfcriticism is not a dominant trait in the theory, method, or practice of professions. In professions, selfcriticism tends toward the furtherance of the profession's foundational beliefs, and it tends toward corrective rather than fundamentally critical discourses. Following the lead of professional methods, professional ethics, too, tend to be either prescriptive or proscriptive, aimed toward aligning practitioner behavior with codes for professional action, rather than in engaging in "deconstructions" of foundational theory and discourse by critical historical, philosophical, or rhetorical means.

Have a look at a related blog posting.
Career Structures as Systemic Incentives for Low-hanging fruit or Systemic Organizational Munchausen’s Syndrome (by Proxy)
How often have we heard that phrase – “What low hanging fruit we can pick first?” In strategy meetings, in change management efforts, organizational transformations initiatives – this is often the key question that ‘real doers’ ask. There is so often a sense that theory, principles, strategy is secondary to managerial doers and easy action is primary.

I certainly understand the desire to begin with a sense of assurance that something can actually get done. However, I assumed this orientation to the primacy of short-termism was the consequence of classic bureaucratic inertia and the whimsical change wrought by changes of political priorities. And this I’m sure is a very good assumption – one shared by most people – including the managerial doers.

The most fundamental incentive structure of an organization is of course the career path itself. It provides deep structural incentives that shape individual behaviour (sometimes despite of the personal intentions and aspirations of people). The structure of the career path in a hierarchical organization seems innocuous and inevitable. The career path as an incentive structure for generating excellence seems incontestable in any organization founded on the principles of merit.

Here’s a great 10 min video from one of the developers of the Atlas of Economic Complexity. This is a MUST VIEW video and there is an attached transcript as well.
Meritocracy and Topocracy of Networks - Cesar Hidalgo
Professor of Media Arts and Sciences Cesar Hidalgo on meritocratic system, rock star behavior, market mechanisms, and new media.

For inequality to exist there must be some story justifying why those at the top deserve more than those at the bottom. In ancient times basically it was religion — kings had an association with God and because of that association with God they were allowed to have more, and people that were at the bottom understood that the ones on the top had an association with God and therefore they deserved more. But shortly, in recent years, recent centuries that has not been the most preferred option and we need to develop new explanations.

One of the explanations that have emerged is this idea that the market is meritocratic, meaning that the market allocates things in such a way that the ones who contribute more get more, and the ones who contribute less get less. That has been a prevalent idea but the question is, is that idea contingent to maybe some overly simplified view of the world or some assumptions that are a little bit too blunt?

Speaking of Scientific Revolutions - here’s a great article about Math and a Canadian.
Russian-born mathematician Edward Frenkel, a math superstar and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, calls Canadian Robert Langlands "a modern-day Einstein."
Langlands, a Canadian, is one of the world’s great mathematicians. His universe is the outer limits of pure mathematics, a rarefied realm where abstract objects exist, infinity is corralled and symmetry reigns.

In 1967, as a young professor at Princeton University, he revolutionized the ancient discipline. He discovered patterns in highly esoteric objects called automorphic forms and motives, and he restructured mathematics with two dazzling theories.

They indicated what mathematician Edward Frenkel calls “the source code of all mathematics,” and are credited with linking math’s main branches — number theory (once called arithmetic), harmonic analysis, which includes calculus, and geometry.

To mathematicians, this is mind-blowing stuff. The branches deal with completely different things: number theory is about, yes, numbers, harmonic analysis studies motion and geometry deals with shapes. They may as well be different planets.

Speaking of Meritocracy - here’s a great article from Gabe Newell the founder of Valve of the famous “Valve Handbook for New Employees”.
Gabe Newell shares how a flat structure helps Valve succeed
There's a lot interest in how Valve structures its development teams. That interest arose naturally from the company's success, but also from its employee handbook, which went public in 2012.

The company has a flat structure and shuns hierarchy, which led one person to write to Gabe Newell to ask about the effects it has on the company. That email conversation with Gabe Newell sheds some more light on the subject. It's been verified as real by a Valve spokesperson, so we're sharing it with our readers.

In it, Newell says that the flat structure helps drive success by removing "perverse incentives" that arise in hierarchical structures.

"At Valve, the goal is to have as efficient a connection between creators and consumers. Each person is trying to think about how to create as much value for customers as possible. How do we keep people honest? By creating an efficient market for people's time."

Speaking about networks and whether they favor meritocracies or topographies this is an interesting article.
How people use "common knowledge" to coordinate their actions
Harvard researchers have discovered a new psychological capacity for cooperation.

For decades, researchers have examined the psychology behind altruistic cooperation, when one person pays some cost to benefit another. However, another form of cooperation in which both people benefit has been little studied, but that is changing.
A study co-authored by graduate student Kyle Thomas and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology Steven Pinker examines how people use "common knowledge"—the shared understanding in which two or more people know something, know that the other one knows, know the other one knows that they know, and so on—to coordinate their actions, and how people's efforts to cooperate may fail without this infinite level of shared beliefs.

The study is described in a recently published paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The study also included Peter DeScioli, now Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University, and Omar Haque, with Harvard Medical School.

So maybe this is the future of the resume. A 15min video - really worth the view.
Reorganizing For The Era Of Social Capitalism
As a society, we only need to reorganize ourselves if we want to escape the 3 problems that cause most of the other problems that we face. This video describes a simple, fast, and inexpensive way to turn the lights out on Big Data and take ownership and possession of our social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital so we may articulate ourselves in an economy of abundance rather than one of scarcity and division.

Speaking of common knowledge - here’s a 13 min video with the co-founder of Coursera.
MOOCs Making Progress after the Hype Has Died
Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller talks with Knowledge@Wharton about how MOOCs can maintain momentum even though the flurry of attention surrounding them has died down

Here’s another take on the idea of common knowledge. Remember a ‘hacker’ is primarily someone who wants to be able to tinker with things in a way that enables ‘anyone to make a better mousetrap’.  There’s a 28 min video explaining the hacking kit.
Former Tesla Intern Releases $60 Full Open Source Car Hacking Kit For The Masses
In recent months, breaches of car security have been repeatedly carried out by the security research community. In January, Corey Thuen revealed a startling lack of security in an OBD2 dongle from Progressive Insurance. Later in the year, DARPA-backed hackers took control of a car remotely using a laptop.

Previously, car hacking was the domain of those who had access to more expensive, bespoke hardware and knew the protocols used by cars. But it has been increasingly opened up to the masses in recent years. Researchers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller open sourced their own car cracking tools back in 2013, which also contained Python scripts for vulnerability testing, followed by a guide to hacking vehicles without actually having access to an automobile. But they didn’t include the hardware component as Evenchick has done and he believes his full toolset is more accessible that what has come before.

Evenchick, Miller, Valasek and many others are driving the message home that everyone should start probing their automobiles for vulnerabilities so that makers wake up to the problems. Better that than waiting for a disaster to change the way manufacturers think about security, says Evenchick.

“Making diagnostics available for cheap means that we can not only audit the security of these systems, but also use them for their intended purpose: fixing cars,” he adds. “One of the big problems is access to vehicles. Ford, let’s say, won’t let anyone with security skills in to hack it.

Talking about engagement of people with their organization here’s an interesting HBR article. It may be focused on how companies should focus on their customers - it is also relevant to how organizations should focus on their ‘most valuable asset’.
Your Digital Strategy Shouldn’t Be About Attention
The real question — the one that counts for leaders and institutions today — isn’t “How loyal can we compel, seduce, or trick our customers into being?” It’s: “How loyal are we to our customers? Do we truly care about them?” Not just as targets consumers, or fans. But as people. Human beings. What every institution needs  —  and what every leader needs to develop  —  before a “digital strategy” is a human strategy. If you want to matter to people, you must do more than merely win their fickle, fleeting, frenzied attention. You must help them develop into the people they were meant to be. When you do, maybe, just maybe, they’ll reward you. With something greater than their grudging, wearied attention. Their lasting respect, enduring trust, and undying gratitude.

Speaking about Digital Strategy - here is a more conservative estimate of the IoT by 2020. Cisco has predicted that there will be 50 billion things connected by 2020.
Internet of Things connections to quadruple by 2020
A new report by Verizon predicts that the Internet of Things is poised to transform virtually every major market sector, growing to more than 5.4 billion connections by 2020.
Here in 2015, the Internet of Things (IoT) is already having a massive effect on business, according to a recent report by Verizon, and by 2025 it predicts best-in-class organizations that use IoT extensively will be up to 10 percent more profitable than they are today.

"We see the Internet of Things as an extension of our machine-to-machine business, as does everyone else in the marketplace today," says Mark Bartolomeo, vice president of IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon. "When you think about machine-to-machine, what you're really looking at is connecting devices and collecting data from those devices. The next big leap for IoT is really about the use case. IoT is about interconnecting these devices for specific use cases and deriving value from the data."
Verizon says that for a solution to be considered part of the Internet of Things, it must demonstrate what Verizon calls the "Three As":

It must be Aware. A connected asset must be able to sense something about its surroundings. It might sense location, proximity, altitude, temperature, vibration, humidity, light levels, motion or something else. Without the capability to sense, it's not IoT.

It must be Autonomous. The data processed from a connected asset must be transferred to a central location or processing application automatically — either at a set time, or when a condition is met or threshold crossed. Without connectivity, it's not IoT.

It must be Actionable. Verizon notes that IoT isn't just about gathering data; it's about using data to make better decisions. Whether the output is manual or highly automated, analysis of the data must be integrated into business processes. If the data is not actionable by your or a third party, it's not IoT.

Speaking about the IoT and the digital divide - here’s something that is influencing even North Korea.
The $50 device that symbolizes a shift in North Korea
A $50 portable media player is providing many North Koreans a window to the outside world despite the government's efforts to keep its people isolated - a symbol of change in one of the world's most repressed societies.

By some estimates, up to half of all urban North Korean households have an easily concealed "notel", a small portable media player used to watch DVDs or content stored on USB sticks that can be easily smuggled into the country and passed hand to hand.

People are exchanging South Korean soaps, pop music, Hollywood films and news programs, all of which are expressly prohibited by the Pyongyang regime, according to North Korean defectors, activists and recent visitors to the isolated country.

The device was legalized last year, according to defector-run news outlets in Seoul - one of many recent measures taken by the state to accommodate grassroots change.

Lee Seok-young, a defector from the North, said he smuggled 18,000 Chinese-made notel into the country last year. He said he ordered them directly from a factory in Guangzhou that was likely still in production solely to satisfy the demands of the North Korean market.

"To avoid getting caught, people load a North Korean DVD while watching South Korean dramas on a USB stick, which can be pulled out," he said. "They then tell the authorities, who feel the heat from the notel to check whether or not it has been recently used, that they were watching North Korean films".

Speaking about attention - here’s a 2min video - that indicates how self-driving cars are closer than we think - at the very least we will have more widespread driver-assistance sooner rather than later. The basic capability is ‘camera-only-driverlessness’ without additional sensors (radar, Lidar). The camera technology is cheap and getting cheaper to make over time. Other sensors are much newer and untried so are likely to be more costly (onerous integration requirements, impractical for retrofit) for some time.
Mobileye Automated Driving
Mobileye Automated Driving allows safe, hands-free driving. This technology brings us ever closer to the ultimate goal of eliminating road collisions worldwide.

From self-driving to intelligence in our pockets. Here’s something that can give all of us the personal assistant we want. And more importantly ‘we’ will essentially be ‘everyone on the planet’ within the next decade.
pocket AI at the base of the pyramid
Early this morning I had my first real encounter with pocket AI. Promptly at 8:30 am, a notice popped up on my phone saying I should leave for the airport immediately in order to not miss my flight!

White text popping out from a red background. Google Now had checked my calendar and noticed that I was flying to Dallas from LaGuardia and would probably drive down I 95 to get there. But after consulting Waze, the crowdsourced traffic monitoring tool, it determined that the highway was very congested. Not only that, but it noticed that there had been an accident on the access ramp near where I usually get on I 95 from Route 7. This app suggested a couple of other possible routes that would be faster based on the data it had assembled and analyzed. And together - they determined I would have to leave ASAP to make the plane.

While I was strolling through dreamland, these apps were talking to each other in the dulcet tones of machine language. Inside the glass-covered rectangle next to my bed, major processing and rationalizing had been taking place - identifying the fact that I was traveling, where I was going, how I might get there and what the implications were for my schedule.

Then it hit me. Imagine the powerful implications this kind of portable interrelational computation will have on improving the lives of the 4 billion people living at the base of the pyramid.

Speaking about the IoT and automation - this is fascinating. Two very short video completely illustrates these micro bionic Ants. Worth the view.
Festo has BionicANTs communicating by the rules for tasks
Germany-based automation company Festo, focused on technologies for tasks, turns to nature for inspiration, trying to take the cues from how nature performs tasks so efficiently. "Whether it's energy efficiency, lightweight construction or function integration – over time, nature has developed a wealth of optimization strategies for adapting to its environment, and these strategies can be applied to the world of engineering," a Festo sentiment shared by many engineers outside of Festo.

Their latest focus of nature study is the ant. Festo has transferred what they see in ants over to the world of technology, creating their BionicANTs. These are artificial ant units that move together under clear rules. They are showing off their cooperative behavior for doing tasks and working as an overall networked system. The company named their creations BionicANTs, to also stand for Autonomous Networking Technologies. The company sees them suitable as development platforms for new technologies and production methods.

Why ants? "Ants are seen as industrious workers that can carry a hundred times their own body weight," said the company. "They live in big colonies with a clear ranking order and set rules. In an ant colony, every creature knows which tasks need to be fulfilled. In this way, they can complete work together that a single ant could not manage on its own."

And if the bionicANTs aren’t enough to impress you - here’s another interesting advance.
A robot prepared for self-awareness: Expanded software architecture for walking robot Hector
A year ago, researchers showed that their software endowed the walking robot Hector with a simple form of consciousness. Their new research goes one step further: they have now developed a software architecture that could enable Hector to see himself as others see him. "With this, he would have reflexive consciousness," explains an expert. The architecture is based on artificial neural networks.

This is a short article - but the must watch is the 10 min video give a great summary of some current research into the brain and potential for implants. The capacity to transform ourselves is just beginning. Some interesting implications for training and development including high performance sports.
Hacking your brain is just the beginning
The human brain is the seat of all knowledge and experience, so it’s something of an irony that we still don’t know exactly how it all works. With around 86 billion neurons and trillions more synapses in the average human brain, the organ is staggeringly complex—far more so than any supercomputer.

But thanks to new technologies, scientists are quickly learning more about the intricacies of our gray matter, and many are already using this knowledge to expand and extend what our brains are capable of. This episode of GE’s Invention Factory explores some of the most promising and—forgive the pun, mindblowing—advances in neuroscience and related fields.

Many of them come down to brain-computer interfaces—basically, hooking the brain up to a computer, either through external sensors or internal implants.

This is a MUST VIEW TED Talk - show some of the future of energy in the pipeline.
The Future of Free Energy is here now! The end of oil, coal and nuclear pollution!
The future of free energy is at hand. the end of the energy barons, war mongers and central bankers will follow. So, let's all demand this technology be implemented immediately.

Imagine the technology shown here interfaces with Corning's new Display Glass Technology. This is the future for all of us. Free Energy and Free Thinking, the free interchange of all vital information via a free energy system. This is what I have been working for this past decade and now it s here in our very faces:

Here is an excellent 5 min video on gene editing. Must Watch to understand the acceleration toward domestication of DNA.
Genome Editing with CRISPR-Cas9
This animation depicts the CRISPR-Cas9 method for genome editing – a powerful new technology with many applications in biomedical research, including the potential to treat human genetic disease. Feng Zhang, a leader in the development of this technology, is a faculty member at MIT, an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and a core member of the Broad Institute.

I believe that within a decade some countries will be seriously undertaking a genetic census. Here’s one dot on the horizon toward such a possibility.
Genome Study Predicts DNA of the Whole of Iceland
Large genome databases are starting to reveal critical health information—even about people who have not contributed their DNA.
The CEO of an Icelandic gene-hunting company says he is able to identify everyone from that country who has a deadly cancer risk, but has been unable to warn people of the danger because of ethics rules governing DNA research.

The company, DeCode Genetics, based in Reykjavík, says it has collected full DNA sequences on 10,000 individuals. And because people on the island are closely related, DeCode says it can now also extrapolate to accurately guess the DNA makeup of nearly all other 320,000 citizens of that country, including those who never participated in its studies.

That’s raising complex medical and ethical issues about whether DeCode, which is owned by the U.S. biotechnology company Amgen, will be able to inform members of the public if they are at risk for fatal diseases.

Speaking of genes and networks - here’s a great breakthrough.
Researchers connect diseases based on their molecular similarities
Northeastern University network scientists have found a way to connect diseases based on their shared molecular interactions. Published in the journal Science, the Northeastern team created a mathematical tool to analyze the human interactome—a map of the molecular interactions within cells—and found that overlapping disease modules—neighborhoods of disease-associated proteins—result in sometimes unexpected relationships between diseases.

The findings constitute a remarkable step in understanding human diseases. "It is increasingly obvious that human diseases can be interpreted only in the context of the intricate molecular network between the cell's components," said Albert-László Barabási, Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and University Distinguished Professor and director of Northeastern's Center for Complex Network Research. "What was not obvious until now is whether the available network maps offer enough coverage and accuracy to help us get started in this path. In this paper we showed that they do offer that accuracy and provide valuable information about the molecular origins of disease-disease relationships."

The team analyzed 299 diseases that had at least 20 associated genes and found that 226 of the diseases had their own specific "neighborhood" within the interactome. They also discovered that diseases that were far away from each other within the interactome had very little in common in terms of molecular functions or symptoms, while ones in the same "neighborhood" were more similar.

Shared genes offer only limited information about the relationship between two diseases. By applying their network science tools to analyze the interactome, Barabasi and his team found that two seemingly unrelated diseases can actually be connected based on the network distance between the disease modules. For example, they found that asthma, a respiratory disease, and celiac disease, an autoimmune disease of the small intestine, are localized in overlapping neighborhoods suggesting shared molecular roots despite their rather different pathobiologies.
The full paper in Science is here:

This is fantastic - an article with a 1min video (MUST WATCH) but everything together and we begin to have unimaginable maps of our world - this is just a hint of what’s coming in the next decade - because we also have to imagine this with Virtual/Augmented reality perceptions.
Engineer Develops ‘Google Maps’ for the Body
Google Maps offers users access to the world by allowing them to zoom in on pin-pointed locations. A biomedical engineering professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) hopes to do the same, but for the body.

With the help of German medical technology company Zeiss, Professor Melissa Knothe Tate is working on technology that boasts impressive zoom capabilities (users can even visualize single cells).     

The project was developed using semiconductor technology and Google algorithms to zoom in and out from a joint and bring it down to the cellular level. Tate, an engineer with an expertise in cell biology and regenerative medicine, says it’s ““just as you would with Google Maps.” According to the professor, an analyses process that once took 25 days can now be completed in a matter of weeks thanks to the technology.

“For the first time we have the ability to go from the whole body down to how the cells are getting their nutrition and how this is all connected,” Tate said in a statement. “This could open the door to as yet unknown new therapies and preventions.”

For Fun
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Awesome featurette showing Hans Zimmer creating the soundtrack for Christopher Nolan's epic "Interstellar".

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