Thursday, December 8, 2016

Friday Thinking 9 Dec. 2016

Hello all – Friday Thinking is a humble curation of my foraging in the digital environment. My purpose is to pick interesting pieces, based on my own curiosity (and the curiosity of the many interesting people I follow), about developments in some key domains (work, organization, social-economy, intelligence, domestication of DNA, energy, etc.)  that suggest we are in the midst of a change in the conditions of change - a phase-transition. That tomorrow will be radically unlike yesterday.

Many thanks to those who enjoy this.
In the 21st Century curiosity will SKILL the cat.
Jobs are dying - work is just beginning.

“Be careful what you ‘insta-google-tweet-face’”
Woody Harrelson - Triple 9


Cthuvian Ipsum Generator

The first decade of the twenty-first century is not characterized by the search for newness, but by the proliferation of nostalgias that are often at odds with one another. Nostalgic cyberpunks and nostalgic hippies, nostalgic nationalists and nostalgic cosmopolitans, nostalgic enviromentalists and nostalgic metrophiliacs (city lovers) exchange pixel fire in the blogosphere. Nostalgia, like globalization, exists in the plural. Studying the sociology, politics, and ethnography of nostalgia, its micropractices and meganarratives, remains as urgent as ever. It is always important to ask the question: Who is speaking in the name of nostalgia? Who is its ventriloquist? Twenty-first century nostalgia, like its seventeenth-century counterpart, produces epidemics of feigned nostalgia. For example, the problem with nostalgia in Eastern Europe is that it seems more ubiquitous than it actually is. This might appear counterintuitive. Western Europeans often project nostalgia onto Eastern Europe as a way of legitimizing “backwardness” and not confronting the differences in their cultural history.
This 12 page article is a must read

Svetlana Boym - Nostalgia and Its Discontent

some numbers that show the cost of bureaucracy. Looking across the whole world, the ratio of managers to support staff is about 1 to 4.7. Basically, that’s one bureaucrat for every 4.7 employees. That seems to us on the high side. And when you look at people in their jobs, people are spending about one day a week on a bureaucratic tasks. This is internal compliance, not external compliance. And yet you can see some organizations where that ratio is double, or triple or quadruple, or even a hundred times.

What are the principles that you build into the organization? If you want to reach a whole new level of human capacity, if you really want people to wake up every day, jazzed to go to work, excited to give their very best, people who are challenging conventional wisdom, what sort of management would that have to be? Then we can work backward from there.
The Importance of Transparency
Investing In Competence So instead moving decisions up to where people have competence, you move competence down to where people have real-time information and they can make good decisions
Customer Intimacy
Peer Accountability

Agile organizations are not necessarily flat organizations. These are not organizations without hierarchy. But the hierarchy is a hierarchy of competence, not a hierarchy of authority. It’s a hierarchy of enablement. It’s a hierarchy focused on helping people do their job and add value to customer.

Gary Hamel: Can Big Firms Be Agile?

Times change. Industries change. Apple heralded the golden era of smartphones, and while it still is a dominant player, Android smartphones now have an 86% market share. Apple vs. Android battle has primarily been the battle of a closed integrated system vs. an open modular system.

A similar battle will likely play out in product e-commerce as it matures. In this battle, Amazon will play the role of Apple and other e-commerce players will play the role of Android. Apple will dominate but not to the extent we imagine right now.

The Apple-Android story will play out in product e-commerce soon

One of the key conflict of our age involves ideologies disguised as economic science and they continue to shape politics in deep ways. The digital environment, renewable energy and other accelerating advance in science represent change in the conditions of change and require a re-imagining of political economy more profound that those pronounce in 1776 with the publication of the Declaration of Independence and Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. This article deserves very serious consideration for transforming our world in ways that will enable people and nature to continue to flourish.
There’s also something else very important to understand about failure and success. One success can outweigh 100,000 failures. Venture capitalist Paul Graham of Y Combinator has described this as Black Swan Farming. When it comes to truly transformative ideas, they aren’t obviously great ideas, or else they’d already be more than just an idea, and when it comes to taking a risk on investing in a startup, the question is not so much if it will succeed, but if it will succeed BIG. What’s so interesting is that the biggest ideas tend to be seen as the least likely to succeed.

We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest.” That is a fact, and it then begs the question, “How do we make sure we invest in every single one of those people such that all of society maximizes its collective ROI?”

The best colloquial definition of risk may be the following:
“Risk means more things can happen than will happen.”
Transforming this to apply to opportunity is that “fewer things will happen than could happen.”

Universal Basic Income Will Accelerate Innovation by Reducing Our Fear of Failure

Markets as Environments and as Commons
Our economy is a complex adaptive system. Much like how nature works, markets work. No one central planner is deciding what natural resources to mine, what to make with them, how much to make, where to ship everything to, who to give it to, etc. These decisions are the result of a massively decentralized widely distributed system called “the market,” and it’s all made possible with a tool we call “money” being exchanged between those who want something (demand) and those who provide that something (supply).

Money is more than a decentralized tool of calculation however. It’s also like energy. It powers the entire process like the eating of food powers our own bodies and the sun powers plants. Without food, we starve, and without money, markets starve. A sufficient amount of money for all market participants is absolutely key to the market system for it to work properly.

But the effects of basic income don’t stop with a reduction of risk. Basic income is also basic capital. It enables more people to actually afford to create a new product or service instead of just think about it, and even better, it enables people to be the consumers who purchase those new products and services, and in so doing decide what succeeds and what fails through an even more widely distributed and further decentralized free market system.

This is a 49min Google Talk that is worth the view for anyone interested in the rapid shift to urban environments - a sense of paleo futures and futurecraft.

Matthew Claudel: "The City of Tomorrow" | Talks at Google

Since cities emerged ten thousand years ago, they have become one of the most impressive artifacts of humanity. But their evolution has been anything but linear—cities have gone through moments of radical change, turning points that redefine their very essence. In this book, a renowned architect and urban planner who studies the intersection of cities and technology argues that we are in such a moment.

Matthew Claudel explains some of the forces behind urban change and offer new visions of the many possibilities for tomorrow’s city. Pervasive digital systems that layer our cities are transforming urban life. He and co-author Carlo Ratti provide a front-row seat to this change. Their work at the MIT Senseable City Laboratory allows experimentation and implementation of a variety of urban initiatives and concepts, from assistive condition-monitoring bicycles to trash with embedded tracking sensors, from mobility to energy, from participation to production. They call for a new approach to envisioning cities: futurecraft, a symbiotic development of urban ideas by designers and the public. With such participation, we can collectively imagine, examine, choose, and shape the most desirable future of our cities.

This is a fascination graphic and article about the increasing importance of what could be called the commuter-shed (the urban-geographical equivalent of the watershed). The issue may well be vital for future political geographies. Well worth the view.

Four Million Commutes Reveal New U.S. 'Megaregions'

As economic centers grow in size and importance, determining their boundaries has become more crucial.
An ever increasing share of the world’s population is living in what are known as megaregions—clusters of interconnected cities. The concept of the megaregion is decades old and fairly easy to grasp, but geographically defining them has turned out to be rather tricky.

Now, researchers have attempted to map the megaregions of the contiguous United States by studying the commutes of American workers.

As megaregions grow in size and importance, economists, lawmakers, and urban planners need to work on coordinating policy at this new scale. But when it comes to defining the extent of a megaregion, they find themselves running into the same problems geographers and cartographers have always had when trying to delineate conceptual areas. Because megaregions are defined by connections—things like interlocking economies, transportation links, shared topography, or a common culture—it’s tough to know where their boundaries lie.

This is interesting - probably good news for many of us baby boomers.

Dramatic decline in dementia seen among older adults in the US

The percent of older US adults with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, declined from 11.6 percent in 2000 to 8.8 percent in 2012, a decrease of nearly a quarter, scientists reported on Monday.

Why it matters:
It had been thought that the baby boomers’ march toward old age would triple the number of Alzheimer’s patients by 2050. These new numbers not only portend a lesser burden on the health care system (and families) but also suggest that something has changed over the generations — and identifying that change could drive down dementia rates even further.

You’ll want to know:
That’s a significant decline: If the rate of dementia in 2012 had been what it was in 2000, “there would be well more than 1 million additional people with dementia,” said John Haaga, director of the National Institute on Aging’s behavioral and social research, who was not involved in the study. As it is, an estimated 5 million Americans 65 and older are afflicted with Alzheimer’s or other dementia.

This is an important weak signal in two ways - one the nearing of the tipping point in energy geopolitics and two the emerging power of cities as agents of global governance.

Four major cities move to ban diesel vehicles by 2025

The leaders of four major global cities say they will stop the use of all diesel-powered cars and trucks by the middle of the next decade.
The mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens say they are implementing the ban to improve air quality.

They say they will give incentives for alternative vehicle use and promote walking and cycling.

The commitments were made in Mexico at a biennial meeting of city leaders.
The use of diesel in transport has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, as concerns about its impact on air quality have grown. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that around three million deaths every year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution.

The city of tomorrow is shaping the natural built environment of human existence - language and culture have both embodied and enabled humans to shape their own habitus. Yet we must remember how young our built environment is - and how in the next century it will evolve beyond our imagination today.
"The technosphere is a major new phenomenon of this planet – and one that is evolving extraordinarily rapidly"

Earth's 'technosphere' now weighs 30 trillion tons, research finds

An international team led by University of Leicester geologists has made the first estimate of the sheer size of the physical structure of the planet's technosphere – suggesting that its mass approximates to an enormous 30 trillion tons.

The technosphere is comprised of all of the structures that humans have constructed to keep them alive on the planet – from houses, factories and farms to computer systems, smartphones and CDs, to the waste in landfills and spoil heaps.
In a new paper published in the journal the Anthropocene Review, Professors Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams and Colin Waters from the University of Leicester Department of Geology led an international team suggesting that the bulk of the planet's technosphere is staggering in scale, with some 30 trillion tons representing a mass of more than 50 kilos for every square metre of the Earth's surface.

We may well have entered a post-truth world - not just the repercussions of the political language that seems to be dominating the infosphere but also as a repercussion of 20th century science that has destroyed the clockwork universe. Yet despite the deep uncertainty reveal in science the emerging paradigm shaping security continues to be command-control and predict-prevent. As if the immune system of living systems could predict and prevent pathogens from evolving their approaches.
Threat intelligence is evidence-based knowledge, including context, mechanisms, indicators, implications and actionable advice, about an existing or emerging menace or hazard to assets that can be used to inform decisions regarding the subject’s response to that menace or hazard.”

The post-truth of “Threat intelligence”

Is that the new name for selling surveillance capabilities?
In the context of identifying the root cause of security breaches or attacks, we often see the threats emerging from cyber weapons such as botnets, viruses, malware, etc. However, the biggest cybersecurity threats can also reside within a company, such as the employers themselves. For the same reason, modern techniques of cyber forensics — the process of identifying the root cause of cyber crimes — relies on threat intelligence, as it allows many preventive measures.

With the increase of attacks on the internet and the supporting infrastructure, the efforts to make these systems more secure has seen a rapid rise. The cyber security industry is shifting from the traditional “detect and improve” approaches towards “predict and prevent” methodologies, as they aim to build fail-safe security solutions. The advancements in the fields of machine learning, artificial intelligence, data mining, and pattern matching had contributed substantially to predict the future attacks based on the previous failures of the system when they were attacked and compromised. Undoubtedly, these technologies have provided new dimensions of protecting any internet companies’ assets, which the classical cryptography failed to address. Indeed, the “predict and prevent” methodologies of securing internet businesses is a must have weapon to survive in the constant arms race of the internet.

Technological advancement is making many of our lives easier by helping us in our day to day life. Things which were complicated to understand, which were even more complicated to execute have become just “push of a button” task. This ease might have surprised many of us, but it disturbs those who are privacy fanatics.

Threat intelligence could be a sheer necessity for many of the modern internet businesses. But, due to the competition of gaining dominant market share, the companies building threat intelligence products have been very closed in nature. One might argue for those companies claiming that some of them are working for social good. However, without transparency and openness, from the public privacy point of view, these companies are nothing but just the task forces with surveillance capabilities.

Homo Deus is becoming a bestseller - this is a must view 42 min Edge.Org video of a conversation with the author and Daniel Kahneman a nobel  laureate. For anyone interested in the future of humans - this is well worth it.

Death Is Optional

Once you really solve a problem like direct brain-computer interface ... when brains and computers can interact directly, that's it, that's the end of history, that's the end of biology as we know it. Nobody has a clue what will happen once you solve this. If life can break out of the organic realm into the vastness of the inorganic realm, you cannot even begin to imagine what the consequences will be, because your imagination at present is organic. So if there is a point of Singularity, by definition, we have no way of even starting to imagine what's happening beyond that.

The domestication of DNA seemingly evolves at Internet speed. Here’s a short article about a new CRISPR breakthrough.
The sOPTiKO and sOPTIKD methods allow scientists to silence the activity of more than one gene at a time, so researchers have the possibility to now investigate the role of whole families of related genes by knocking down the activity of all of them at once.

Enhanced CRISPR Allows Scientists to Explore All Steps of Health and Disease in Every Cell Type

This could aid researchers in developmental biology, tissue regeneration and cancer.
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge researchers have created sOPTiKO, a more efficient and controllable CRISPR genome editing platform. Today (29 November), in the journal Development, they describe how the freely available single-step system works in every cell in the body and at every stage of development. This new approach will aid researchers in developmental biology, tissue regeneration and cancer.

Two complementary methods were developed. sOPiTKO is a knock-out system that turns off genes by disrupting the DNA. sOPTiKD is a knock-down system that silences the action of genes by disrupting the RNA. Using these two methods, scientists can inducibly turn off or silence genes, in any cell type, at any stage of a cell’s development from stem cell to fully differentiated adult cell. These systems will allow researchers world wide to rapidly and accurately explore the changing role of genes as the cells develop into tissues such as liver, skin or heart, and discover how this contributes to health and disease.

The body contains approximately 37 trillion cells, yet the human genome only contains roughly 20,000 genes. So, to produce every tissue and cell type in the body, different combinations of genes must operate at different moments in the development of an organ or tissue. Being able to turn off genes at specific moments in a cell’s development allows their changing roles to be investigated.

Another modest breakthrough on the health frontier - increasing our chances of living longer and weller.

Scientists Create Heart Cells Better, Faster, Stronger

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes identified two chemicals that improve their ability to transform scar tissue in a heart into healthy, beating heart muscle. The new discovery advances efforts to find new and effective treatments for heart failure.

Heart failure afflicts 5.7 million Americans, costs the country $30.7 billion every year, and has no cures. When heart muscle is damaged, the body is unable to repair the dead or injured cells. Gladstone scientists are exploring cellular reprogramming—turning one type of adult cell into another—in the heart as a way to regenerate muscle cells in the hopes of treating, and ultimately curing, heart failure.

It takes only three transcription factors—proteins that turn genes on or off in a cell—to reprogram connective tissue cells into heart muscle cells in a mouse. After a heart attack, connective tissue forms scar tissue at the site of the injury, contributing to heart failure. The three factors, Gata4, Mef2c, and Tbx5 (GMT), work together to turn heart genes on in these cells and turn other genes off, effectively regenerating a damaged heart with its own cells. But the method is not foolproof—typically, only ten percent of cells fully convert from scar tissue to muscle.

Japan is on the forefront of the unprecedented transformation of the demographic age pyramid. This is an interesting article suggesting the market for self-driving cars is looming in all developed countries.

Swap driving licence for cheap noodles, Japan urges older motorists

Country tries to fight worrying rise in accidents caused by over-75s by offering discounts on ramen if they give up driving
Police in Japan are trying to coax elderly drivers from behind the wheel with offers of cheap meals, as the country confronts a worrying rise in accidents involving older motorists.

Under a scheme launched last week in Aichi prefecture in central Japan, elderly drivers will be given discounts on ramen noodles at 176 outlets of the Sugakiya restaurant chain, but only after they surrender their driver’s licence.

Although the overall number of traffic accidents has declined in recent years, those involving drivers aged 75 and over has risen from 7.4% to 12.8% over the last decade, according to the national police agency.

In a reflection of Japan’s rapidly ageing population, an estimated 17 million Japanese aged 65 or over hold driver’s licences. Of those, 4.8 million are over 75 – compared with 2.4 million in 2005.

The issue of quantum effects and the workings of the brain, the mind and even consciousness has some serious scientists considering the possibilities. This is very well worth the read - for anyone interested in just how small a difference can be and still make a difference - perhaps as small as an extra neutron in an isotope of the same molecule.
Fisher believes the secret might lie in the nuclear spin, which is a quantum property that affects how long each atom can remain coherent — that is, isolated from its environment. The lower the spin, the less the nucleus interacts with electric and magnetic fields, and the less quickly it decoheres.
Because lithium-7 and lithium-6 have different numbers of neutrons, they also have different spins. As a result, lithium-7 decoheres too quickly for the purposes of quantum cognition, while lithium-6 can remain entangled longer.
Fisher had found two substances, alike in all important respects save for quantum spin, and found that they could have very different effects on behavior. For Fisher, this was a tantalizing hint that quantum processes might indeed play a functional role in cognitive processing.

A New Spin on the Quantum Brain

A new theory explains how fragile quantum states may be able to exist for hours or even days in our warm, wet brain. Experiments should soon test the idea.
The mere mention of “quantum consciousness” makes most physicists cringe, as the phrase seems to evoke the vague, insipid musings of a New Age guru. But if a new hypothesis proves to be correct, quantum effects might indeed play some role in human cognition. Matthew Fisher, a physicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, raised eyebrows late last year when he published a paper in Annals of Physics proposing that the nuclear spins of phosphorus atoms could serve as rudimentary “qubits” in the brain — which would essentially enable the brain to function like a quantum computer.

As recently as 10 years ago, Fisher’s hypothesis would have been dismissed by many as nonsense. Physicists have been burned by this sort of thing before, most notably in 1989, when Roger Penrose proposed that mysterious protein structures called “microtubules” played a role in human consciousness by exploiting quantum effects. Few researchers believe such a hypothesis plausible. Patricia Churchland, a neurophilosopher at the University of California, San Diego, memorably opined that one might as well invoke “pixie dust in the synapses” to explain human cognition.

Fisher’s hypothesis faces the same daunting obstacle that has plagued microtubules: a phenomenon called quantum decoherence. To build an operating quantum computer, you need to connect qubits — quantum bits of information — in a process called entanglement. But entangled qubits exist in a fragile state. They must be carefully shielded from any noise in the surrounding environment. Just one photon bumping into your qubit would be enough to make the entire system “decohere,” destroying the entanglement and wiping out the quantum properties of the system. It’s challenging enough to do quantum processing in a carefully controlled laboratory environment, never mind the warm, wet, complicated mess that is human biology, where maintaining coherence for sufficiently long periods of time is well nigh impossible.

Well here’s another ‘Moore’s Law is Dead - Long Live Moore’s Law’ development.
50 Xavier chips would produce a petaOP (a quadrillion deep learning operations for 1 kilowatt.) A conventional petaflop supercomputer costs $2-4 million and uses 100-500 kilowatts of power. In 2008, the first petaflop supercomputer cost about $100 million.

Nvidia Xavier chip 20 trillion operations per second of deep learning performance and uses 20 watts

While Moore’s Law for traditional CPU-based computing is on the decline, Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia CEO says that we are just on the precipice of a new Moore’s Law-like curve of innovation—one that is driven by traditional CPUs with accelerator kickers, mixed precision capabilities, new distributed frameworks for managing both AI and supercomputing applications, and an unprecedented level of data for training.

Huang sees a new golden age of computing ahead and it is one so fast-moving that even our current goals for exascale capabilities might arrive sooner than expected and while this might have a hyperbolic ring to it, after listening to HPC end users and vendors from both hardware and software sides, there is indeed a fortunate merging between AI and supercomputing codes and systems. With their lower precision focus and offloading of traditional simulation results to deep neural networks for large-scale inferencing, there is the possibility of lower power consuming, higher-yielding supercomputers around the corner. Judging from the nodes on the forthcoming Summit supercomputer, which is setting the stage for machines capable of handling mixed precision, mixed HPC/AI workloads

Whereas the old computing model is “instruction processing” intensive, this new computing model requires massive “data processing.” To advance every aspect of AI, we’re building an end-to-end AI computing platform — one architecture that spans training, inference and the billions of intelligent devices that are coming our way.

Water is more available than we think - just like wind-solar energy - the key is how to harness it.

Student Creates 3D Printed Gadget That Turns Air Into 1.8 Liters Of Drinkable Water In Just One Hour

22-year-old Jawwad Patel, an engineering student from Hyderabad, India, has developed a 3D printed self-filling water device that can turn humid air into around 1.8 liters of water in just one hour. Patel has been working on various inventions and electronics since the age of 10.
3D printers are impressive things. In just a few hours, they can make incredible, intricately designed objects out of nothing more than a coil of plastic, a tray of liquid resin, or a bed of powdered metal. However, it’s beyond even a 3D printer to make something out of thin air. That task has seemingly been left to the “Dewdrop,” a 3D printed device developed and built by engineering student Jawwad Patel that is capable of producing drinkable water using only air from the atmosphere. It’s quick, too: in humid conditions, the device can produce nearly two liters of water in an hour, and can still squeeze out about 1.2 liters in dryer climes.

The 3D printed Dewdrop sounds like magic, but in fact simply harnesses the power of condensation. A system of electric fans within the 3D printed Dewdrop device serves to cool air below its dew point, turning it into water vapor which then collects in a vessel below the contraption. The gadget is even able to filter out foreign materials such as dust with a UV filter, separating the unwanted stuff from the mineralized mater. The 3D printed water-making device requires a 12-volt connection and electric current of 6000 mAh. While it is currently powered by batteries, it could also make use of solar energy through solar panels.

Talk about being able to re-use and recycle - here’s a new type of paint that can help recover heat into electricity.

UNIST Engineers Thermoelectric Material in Paintable Liquid Form

New technology converts exhaust heat into electricity for vehicles and other applications. Prof. Son's team has developed liquid-like TE materials that can be painted on almost any surface.
A new study, led by Professor Jae Sung Son of Materials Science and Engineering at UNIST has succeeded in developing a new technique that can be used to turn industrial waste heat into electricity for vehicles and other applications.

In their study, the team presented a new type of high-performance thermoelectric (TE) materials that possess liquid-like properties. These newly developed materials are both shape-engineerable and geometrically compatible in that they can be directly brush-painted on almost any surface.

Scientists hope that their findings, described in the prestigious journal Nature Communications this week, will pave the way to designing materials and devices that can be easily transferred to other applications.

And this is a fascinating new type of battery that is interesting for all sorts of reasons. There is also a 5 min video explaining.
"Obvious applications would be in low-power electrical devices where long life of the energy source is needed, such as pacemakers, satellites, high-altitude drones, or even spacecraft. There are so many possible uses that we're asking the public to come up with suggestions of how they would utilize this technology by using #diamondbattery."

Diamonds turn nuclear waste into nuclear batteries

One problem with dealing with nuclear waste is that it's often hard to tell what's waste and what's a valuable resource. Case in point is the work of physicists and chemists at the University of Bristol, who have found a way to convert thousands of tonnes of seemingly worthless nuclear waste into man-made diamond batteries that can generate a small electric current for longer than the entire history of human civilization.

The nuclear diamond battery is based on the fact that when a man-made diamond is exposed to radiation, it produces a small electric current. According to the researchers, this makes it possible to build a battery that has no moving parts, gives off no emissions, and is maintenance-free.

To produce the batteries, the blocks are heated to drive out the carbon-14 from the radioactive end, leaving the blocks much less radioactive than before. c-14 gas is then collected and using low pressures and high temperatures is turned into man-made diamonds.

Once formed, the beta particles emitted by the c-14 interact with the diamond's crystal lattice, throwing off electrons and generating electricity. The diamonds themselves are radioactive, so they are given a second non-radioactive diamond coating to act as a radiation shield. This means a person sitting next to a diamond battery would receive about as much radiation as they would sitting next to a banana. In addition, the hardness of the diamonds helps keep the radioactive material safe.

The team has already built a prototype diamond battery that uses the isotope nickel-63 as radioactive fuel and is now moving on to using carbon-14, which will be more efficient. Because c-14 has such a long half life, the researchers estimate a diamond battery would still generate 50 percent of its capacity after 5,730 years
"We envision these batteries to be used in situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries," says Tom Scott, Professor in Materials.

One thing about the digital environment is the speed of its ephemerallity - it is an effervescent bubbling of information flowing ever faster and acquiring more mass - that is storage and history that has to be stored. This is a concern for all of us - it’s not that impermanence is new even stone loses the history chiseled on its surfaces. Here is one effort to preserve the history of the speed of the Internet and the transience of information.

The Internet Archive is building a Canadian copy to protect itself from Trump

‘The history of libraries is one of loss’
The Internet Archive, a digital library nonprofit that preserves billions of webpages for the historical record, is building a backup archive in Canada after the election of Donald Trump. Today, it began collecting donations for the Internet Archive of Canada, intended to create a copy of the archive outside the United States.

“On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change,” writes founder Brewster Kahle. “It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a web that may face greater restrictions. It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase.”

The San Francisco-based Internet Archive is comprised of several different preservation efforts, spanning nearly every medium. As of 2012, the entire archive held 10 petabytes of data; for reference, Facebook’s entire photo and video collection totaled 100 petabytes around the same time. Alongside films and books, the archive holds thousands of early software programs and video games that can be emulated on modern systems. It’s particularly known for the Wayback Machine, which continuously crawls the web to archive pages over the course of decades.

The debate of clean workspace or ‘uniquely unordered’ (unorder = neither order nor disorder - like the undead = neither dead nor alive), is perennial. The attractor is often the need to impose a sense of control on one’s environment and the personal quirkiness of how people work. This is an interesting series on NPR from Tim Hartford in relation to his new book ‘Messy’.

In Praise Of Mess: Why Disorder May Be Good For Us

"Clean up this mess!"
This is a command you've probably given or received in your life. Perhaps in the last day, or even the last hour.

To many of us, the desire to bring order to chaos – to tidy up our kids' toys, organize an overstuffed closet, or rake the leaves covering the lawn – can be nearly irresistible. And it's a desire that extends to other aspects of our lives: Managers tell employees to get organized. Politicians are elected on promises to clean up Washington. And so on.

But economist and writer Tim Harford thinks we're underestimating the value of disorder. In this episode of Hidden Brain, we talk with Harford about his new book, Messy, and how an embrace of chaos is beneficial to musicians, speechmakers, politicians – and the rest of us.

But apparent disorder may not just be our workspace clutter - it may also reflect the inner flow of our cognitive experiences.
"We propose that mind-wandering isn't an odd quirk of the mind," said Christoff. "Rather, it's something that the mind does when it enters into a spontaneous mode. Without this spontaneous mode, we couldn't do things like dream or think creatively."

Understanding mind-wandering could shed light on mental illness

If you think the mind grinds to a halt when you're doing nothing, think again. Spontaneous thought processes -- including mind-wandering, but also creative thinking and dreaming -- arise when thoughts are relatively free from deliberate and automatic constraints. Mind-wandering is not far from creative thinking.

The authors argue that their new framework could help better understand the stream of consciousness of patients diagnosed with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"Mind-wandering is typically characterized as thoughts that stray from what you're doing," said Kalina Christoff, the review's lead author and a professor in UBC's department of psychology. "But we believe this definition is limited in that it doesn't capture the dynamics of thought. Sometimes the mind moves freely from one idea to another, but at other times it keeps coming back to the same idea, drawn by some worry or emotion. Understanding what makes thought free and what makes it constrained is crucial because it can help us understand how thoughts move in the minds of those diagnosed with mental illness."

For Fun
H. P. Lovecraft is considered the founder of ‘cosmic horror’ - extra-dimensional horror. Lovecraft has been a seminal inspiration for pretty much any horror and sci-fi writer worth their salt. One of his most well known ‘ancient ones’ is Cthulhu. If there was ever a time you need to be able to generate a Cthulhu text - this is where you go.

Cthuvian Ipsum Generator

A lorem ipsun generator based on H.P.Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos
Code based on Mathew Tinsley's PHP Lorem Ipsum
Wordlist from Cthuvian / English dictionary at www.yog-sothoth.comforums
Why lorem ipsum when you can Cthulhu fhtagn?

What is Lorem Ipsum?
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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