Thursday, May 25, 2017

Friday Thinking 26 May 2017

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


How quantum superposition could unravel the ‘grandfather paradox’

Cities are machines, the largest things we build. Their airports and seaports digest and expel people and goods, while their roads and rails siphon both through the urban landscape. Their tunnels carry data, power, water, and sewage. Their governing authorities work (one hopes) with deliberateness, imposing coherence on what otherwise could be chaos. It can all hum efficiently—or fail spectacularly. Typically, all of this is constructed over centuries. The Parisian sewer system dates to the 1850s; New York’s first subway line opened in 1904; London got its first central power station in 1891. Avenues follow cow paths; creeks become water tunnels; fiber-optic lines slowly take their place beside electric cables. The lesson of city building is that infrastructure takes forever—the tortoise to technology’s hare.
But Dubai has done it differently. Dubai has built in 50 years what has taken most cities 100.

For the next generation, Dubai’s advantages are more fraught, tied as they are to impending climate catastrophe. Many cities are about to face new extremes of temperature and drought. Dubai already does. Many cities will struggle to find fresh water and clean power. Dubai already does. Viewed in this light, Dubai is a place where the future has arrived early.

Rather than be intimidated by its ­potentially catastrophic challenges, withdrawing from the world and doubling down on outdated technologies, Dubai is accelerating toward it. The plan is simple: Turn the traditional mechanisms of urban life into a platform for confronting the hazards of contemporary society. Then export those innovations. If a city is a machine, Dubai wants to be the most advanced city-­machine the world has ever seen—and it wants to sell its blueprints to everyone. “Dubai is recognizing that climate change is an existential threat to its ability to be a prosperous part of the world,” says David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, a watchdog group.

In this imagined Dubai of the future, the electricity and water authority has blown past today’s supersize desalination plant and opened a bio-desalination plant, grown from the genes of a jellyfish (the “most absorptive natural material”) and a mangrove tree (“one of nature’s best desalinators”). And it sold them too: “We also export jellyfish bio-desalination plants to cities across the world,” the stentorian voice continues. Robots construct buildings from sand. An artificial intelligence selects and grows food in indoor farms. And flying cars pulse through traffic-free streets. It’s all presented with enough science-fiction flair to maintain a sense of humor. But the punchline is serious: “We solved our own problems, and now climate solutions are our greatest export.” At a historical moment when—in the United States, at least—global-warming predictions remain politically ­controversial, it is startling to see Dubai planning its ­economic future around these challenges.

“Because we don’t have, we need to think harder,” Al Gergawi says, tacitly acknowledging that the pieces of the puzzle don’t yet fit together. “We need to think faster, and we need to reinvent every single product.

Oil won't last forever, so Dubai is betting big on science and tech

We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles (AVs), 95% of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transportas-a-service” (TaaS). The TaaS disruption will have enormous implications across the transportation and oil industries, decimating entire portions of their value chains, causing oil demand and prices to plummet, and destroying trillions of dollars in investor value — but also creating trillions of dollars in new business opportunities, consumer surplus and GDP growth.

The disruption will be driven by economics. Using TaaS, the average American family will save more than $5,600 per year in transportation costs, equivalent to a wage raise of 10%. This will keep an additional $1 trillion per year in Americans’ pockets by 2030, potentially generating the largest infusion of consumer spending in history

Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030

Disruption of Transportation & Collapse of the Internal-Combustion Vehicle and Oil Industries

For the last five years, Apple held on to the title of the world’s most valuable brand. Then this year, the iPhone maker lost the top spot to Google, according to consultancy Brand Finance’s Global 500 rankings.

As Apple’s brand value tumbled 27% to $107.1 billion in 2016, Google’s increased to $109.5 billion. Amazon, with 53% brand value growth, was close behind at $106.4 billion.

The world’s most valuable brands in 2017

But the hard problem is getting databases working together, invisibly, for our benefit, or getting the databases to interact smoothly with processes running on our own laptops.

Those technical problems are usually masked by bureaucracy, but we experience their impact every single day of our lives. It’s the devil’s own job getting two large organizations working together on your behalf, and deep down, that’s a software issue. Perhaps you want your car insurance company to get access to a police report about your car getting broken into. In all probability you will have to get the data out of one database in the form of a handful of printouts, and then mail them to the company yourself: there’s no real connectivity in the systems. You can’t drive the process from your laptop, except by the dumb process of filling in forms. There’s no sense of using real computers to do things, only computers abused as expensive paper simulators. Although in theory information could just flow from one database to another with your permission, in practice the technical costs of connecting databases are huge, and your computer doesn’t store your data so it can do all this work for you. Instead it’s just something you fill in forms on. Why are we under-utilizing all this potential so badly?

The human factors — the mindsets which generate the software — don’t fit together. Each enterprise builds their computer system in their own image, and these images disagree about what is vital and what is incidental, and truth does not flow between them easily.

Over and over again, we go back to paper and metaphors from the age of paper because we cannot get the software right, and the core to that problem is that we managed to network the computers in the 1990s, but we never did figure out how to really network the databases and get them all working together.

Imagine how much WikiPedia would suck by now if it was a start up pushing hard to monetize its user base and make its investors their money back.

Vinay Gupta - Programmable blockchains in context: Ethereum’s future

This is a longish read - but an article by a physicist & psychiatrist about time and the future - just got my curiosity - this is part of a growing cloud of weak signals about fundamentally new understandings of reality arising from development of a wide range of sciences. However, in this interesting account there may be a flaw about the pre-determinability of the state space and the how entities interact with their on environments - such that actions can change the conditions of the next action. Also the assumptions of probability become more tenuous when systems can enact unpredictable, unknowable ‘adjacent possibles’. A key challenge is the interaction of knowledge gained from systems contained in the lab - versus realities with unknowable boundaries.

The mathematics of mind-time

The special trick of consciousness is being able to project action and time into a range of possible futures
I have a confession. As a physicist and psychiatrist, I find it difficult to engage with conversations about consciousness. My biggest gripe is that the philosophers and cognitive scientists who tend to pose the questions often assume that the mind is a thing, whose existence can be identified by the attributes it has or the purposes it fulfils.

But in physics, it’s dangerous to assume that things ‘exist’ in any conventional sense. Instead, the deeper question is: what sorts of processes give rise to the notion (or illusion) that something exists? For example, Isaac Newton explained the physical world in terms of massive bodies that respond to forces. However, with the advent of quantum physics, the real question turned out to be the very nature and meaning of the measurements upon which the notions of mass and force depend – a question that’s still debated today.

As a consequence, I’m compelled to treat consciousness as a process to be understood, not as a thing to be defined. Simply put, my argument is that consciousness is nothing more and nothing less than a natural process such as evolution or the weather. My favourite trick to illustrate the notion of consciousness as a process is to replace the word ‘consciousness’ with ‘evolution’ – and see if the question still makes sense. For example, the question What is consciousness for? becomes What is evolution for? Scientifically speaking, of course, we know that evolution is not for anything. It doesn’t perform a function or have reasons for doing what it does – it’s an unfolding process that can be understood only on its own terms. Since we are all the product of

This is one more signal of an accelerating phase transition in global energy geopolitics.

Gujarat Cancelling 4 Gigawatt Coal Power Plant As India Moves Away From Coal

The government of Indian state Gujarat has cancelled a proposed 4 gigawatt coal power ultra-mega power project due to existing surplus generation capacity and a desire to transition from fossil fuel–based energy sources to renewable power.

Reports from India’s Business Standard earlier this month reported that the government of Gujarat, under Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, has cancelled a proposal for creating a new 4,000 megawatt (MW) ultra mega coal power project that was to be developed by the Gujarat State Electricity Corporation. Specifically, the reasoning given for cancelling the project was the already substantial installed capacity — around 30,000 MW — of old and renewable energy in the state, with the government adding that building a new conventional coal power plant simply did not make sense.

The move falls well in line with moves across India to decrease its reliance upon coal, and further gives lie to claims from Australian politicians that India is in desperate need of more coal.

Only a few weeks ago it was reported that India had installed more renewable energy capacity over the last financial year than it did thermal power capacity, an impressive achievement for a country which is technically an emerging economy, and one with a massive population.

India is primarily focusing on installing massive amounts of solar power, and a report from November last year outlined how India is planning to build 1 terawatt of solar power — which sounds absurd, but given the amount of solar India has already installed, might not seem as insane as at first reading. Further, India-based consultancy Mercom Capital predicts that 10 GW of new solar capacity will be installed in India in 2017 alone.

Further, the sheer number of planned coal plants are also experiencing decline in India. In August of last year, a report published by the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis (IEEFA) showed that the country was intending to move forward on developing several coal-fired ultra mega power plants, despite the fact that it was unlikely that India actually needed any more capacity.

Fast forward to March of this year and a new report showed that the total number of coal plants globally under development plummeted in 2016, with at least 68 GW of coal construction frozen at over 100 project sites in China and India alone. It appears that a Greenpeace report that 94% of India’s planned coal capacity would be lying idle in 2022 might have got through to some of India’s leaders.

The phase transition in energy geopolitics seems to accelerate every day.

Mersey feat: world's biggest wind turbines go online near Liverpool

UK cements its position as global leader in wind technology as increasing scale drives down costs
The planet’s biggest and most powerful wind turbines have begun generating electricity off the Liverpool coast, cementing Britain’s reputation as a world leader in the technology.

Danish company Dong Energy has just finished installing 32 turbines in Liverpool Bay that are taller than the Gherkin skyscraper, with blades longer than nine London buses. Dong Energy, the windfarm’s developer, believes these machines herald the future for offshore wind power: bigger, better and, most importantly, cheaper.

Each of the 195m-tall turbines in the Burbo Bank extension has more than twice the power capacity of those in the neighbouring Burbo Bank windfarm completed a decade ago. “That shows you something about the scale-up of the industry, the scale-up of the technology,” said Benjamin Sykes, the country manager for Dong Energy UK.

Collectively they now have a capacity of 5.3GW, generating enough electricity to power 4.3m homes. Eight further projects already under construction will add more than half that capacity again.

It is very possible that we are in the beginning of a Cyber Global War I - this one is much more truly Global in that the variety of participants go far beyond Nation States and include a full range of interest groups, criminal organizations and individuals.
Here’s just one recent ‘engagement’ in the war. Of course the recent massive ‘ransomeware’ attacks are another signal of engagements to come.

#MacronLeaks changed political campaigning: Why Macron succeeded and Clinton failed

Last week’s massive hack of the Macron campaign and the sharing of alleged documents using #MacronLeaks on social media gave supporters the chills. Right-wing activists and autonomous bots swarmed Facebook and Twitter with leaked information that was mixed with falsified reports, to build a narrative that Macron was a fraud and hypocrite.

My colleagues at the Oxford Internet Institute and I have conducted an in-depth analysis of the impact of #MacronLeaks. Our research shows that 50 percent of the Twitter content was generated by just three percent of accounts with an average of 1,500 unique tweets per hour and 9,500 retweets of these tweets per hour. We estimate that over 22.8 million Twitter users were exposed to this information every hour on election day.

This is a fascinating study that signal the link between brain functioning and particular languages. What other aspects of cognitive capacity - and reality are affected by particular languages? If you haven’t seen the movie ‘Arrival’ - it worth the view.
"In this sense, we may regard dyslexia in Chinese and English as two different brain disorders," Dr. Tan said, "because completely different brain regions are disrupted. It's very likely that a person who is dyslexic in Chinese would not be dyslexic in English."
The new research suggests .... The schooling required to read English or Chinese may fine-tune neural circuits in distinctive ways.
In ways that ancient scribes never imagined, text has transformed us. Every brain shaped by reading, whether it is schooled in Chinese or English text, measurably differs -- in terms of patterns of energy use and brain structure -- from one that has never mastered the written word, comparative brain-imaging studies show. "There are real differences that emerge because of literacy," Dr. Wolf said.  

How the Brain Learns to Read Can Depend on the Language

For generations, scholars have debated whether language constrains the ways we think. Now, neuroscientists studying reading disorders have begun to wonder whether the actual character of the text itself may shape the brain.

Studies of schoolchildren who read in varying alphabets and characters suggest that those who are dyslexic in one language, say Chinese or English, may not be in another, such as Italian.

Dyslexia, in which the mind scrambles letters or stumbles over text, is twice as prevalent in the U.S., where it affects about 10 million children, as in Italy, where the written word more closely corresponds to its spoken sound. "Dyslexia exists only because we invented reading," said Tufts University cognitive neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain.

Among children raised to read and write Chinese, the demands of reading draw on parts of the brain untouched by the English alphabet, new neuroimaging studies reveal. It's the same with dyslexia, psychologist Li Hai Tan at Hong Kong Research University and his colleagues reported last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The problems occur in areas not involved in reading other alphabets.

Some social psychologists speculate that the brain changes caused by literacy could be involved in cultural differences in memory, attention and visual perception. In January's Psychological Science, MIT researchers reported that European-Americans and students from several East Asian cultures, for example, showed different patterns of brain activation when making snap judgments about visual patterns.

No one knows which came first: habits of thought or the writing system that gave them tangible form. A writing system could be drawn from the archaeology of the mind, perpetuating aspects of mental life conceived at the dawn of civilization.

And it seems the therapeutic use of language in clinical settings can also have significant impact on brain structures.

Study reveals for first time that talking therapy changes the brain's wiring

A new study from King's College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has shown for the first time that cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) strengthens specific connections in the brains of people with psychosis, and that these stronger connections are associated with long-term reduction in symptoms and recovery eight years later.

CBT - a specific type of talking therapy - involves people changing the way they think about and respond to their thoughts and experiences. For individuals experiencing psychotic symptoms, common in schizophrenia and a number of other psychiatric disorders, the therapy involves learning to think differently about unusual experiences, such as distressing beliefs that others are out to get them. CBT also involves developing strategies to reduce distress and improve wellbeing.

The findings, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, follow the same researchers' previous work which showed that people with psychosis who received CBT displayed strengthened connections between key regions of the brain involved in processing social threat accurately.

The new results show for the first time that these changes continue to have an impact years later on people's long-term recovery.

Here is a very significant signal about the profound power of framing not just for structuring reasoning - but for enabling a cognitive capacity.

Framing spatial tasks as social eliminates gender differences

Women underperform on spatial tests when they don't expect to do as well as men, but framing the tests as social tasks eliminates the gender gap in performance, according to new findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The results show that women performed just as well as their male peers when the spatial tests included human-like figures.

"Our research suggests that we may be underestimating the abilities of women in how we measure spatial thinking," says postdoctoral researcher Margaret Tarampi of the University of California, Santa Barbara. "Given findings that entry into and retention in STEM disciplines is affected by our measures of spatial ability, we may be disproportionately limiting the accessibility of these fields to women because of the ways that we are measuring spatial abilities."

Previous work on spatial thinking has provided some evidence that men are, on average, better than women at certain spatial tasks, such as imagining what an object would look like if it were rotated a specific way. But Tarampi and colleagues Nahal Heydari, a former UCSB undergraduate student, and Mary Hegarty, professor of psychological and brain sciences at UCSB, noticed that little research had investigated whether gender differences exist when it comes to spatial perspective-taking. The researchers were intrigued because being able to imagine objects and environments from another perspective is an ability that we use every day, in tasks such as reading maps, giving directions, and playing video games.

Although the existing gender stereotype about spatial ability suggested that men might be better at spatial perspective-taking than women, Tarampi and colleagues noted that the skill could also be thought of as a test of social ability or empathy, which women are typically thought to be better at.

The re-imagining of everything - has to seriously include our urban environment - we need to re-architect this environment in a way that doesn’t privilege-depend on our current concepts of the car as personal transportation environment.

As self-driving cars hit the road, real estate development may take new direction

Planners are anxious about automated vehicles and their potential to reshape development patterns and the urban landscape
The futuristic vision offered by automated vehicles—the freedom to be active during your commute instead of wasting away behind the wheel while stuck in traffic—isn’t quite as utopian a scenario when you run it past cautious and concerned city planners.

Ask Don Elliott, a zoning consultant and director at Clarion Associates in Denver, and he’ll tell you the idea of empty cars congesting city streets and mobile offices zipping around main roads can become downright dystopian.

“I’ve seen the blood run out of people’s faces,” he says when talking about the impact of automated vehicles on transportation, land use, and real estate. “For years, planners have been fighting for a 1 or 2 percent change in transportation mode [getting more people to use transit or bike instead of drive]. With this technology, everything goes out the window. It’s a nightmare.”

The much-hyped transition to autonomous cars, while still years, or even decades, away, according to experts, is an opportunity and challenge that has wide potential to reshape our transportation systems.

But many believe that as city planners, transportation officials, and, eventually, developers start grappling with the changes to come, autonomous vehicles’ potential to reshape real estate, development, and city planning will rival that of the introduction of the automobile. At the American Planning Association’s annual conference earlier this month in New York City, the issue of autonomous vehicles and driverless cars, one admittedly far in the future, was the subject of numerous present-day panels, discussions, and debates.

Here’s a great signal about possible ways to broaden the competition for the delivery of Internet services. Despite the headline being somewhat ‘grammar free’. :)

Google owner Alphabet balloons connect flood-hit Peru

“Tens of thousands” of Peruvians have been getting online using Project Loon, the ambitious connectivity project from Google's parent company, Alphabet.
Project Loon uses tennis court-sized balloons carrying a small box of equipment to beam internet access to a wide area below.

The team told the BBC they had been testing the system in Peru when serious floods hit in January, and so the technology was opened up to people living in three badly-hit cities.

Until now, only small-scale tests of the technology had taken place.
Project Loon is in competition with other attempts to provide internet from the skies, including Facebook’s Aquila project which is being worked on in the UK.

Here’s another signal about continued developments in the computational world - file under ‘Moore’s Law is Dead - Long Live Moore’s Law’. HP discovered the memrister almost a decade ago - it is very possible that they have integrated that technology in their ‘memory driven computer’.

HPE Unveils Computer Built for the Era of Big Data

Prototype from The Machine research project upends 60 years of innovation and demonstrates the potential for Memory-Driven Computing
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) today introduced the world’s largest single-memory computer, the latest milestone in The Machine research project (The Machine). The Machine, which is the largest R&D program in the history of the company, is aimed at delivering a new paradigm called Memory-Driven Computing—an architecture custom-built for the big data era.

The prototype unveiled today contains 160 terabytes (TB) of memory, capable of simultaneously working with the data held in every book in the Library of Congress five times over—or approximately 160 million books. It has never been possible to hold and manipulate whole data sets of this size in a single-memory system, and this is just a glimpse of the immense potential of Memory-Driven Computing

Based on the current prototype, HPE expects the architecture could easily scale to an exabyte-scale single-memory system and, beyond that, to a nearly-limitless pool of memory—4,096 yottabytes. For context, that is 250,000 times the entire digital universe today.

With that amount of memory, it will be possible to simultaneously work with every digital health record of every person on earth; every piece of data from Facebook; every trip of Google’s autonomous vehicles and every data set from space exploration all at the same time—getting to answers and uncovering new opportunities at unprecedented speeds.

This may be old news by now - but it is definitely another signal related to the domestication of DNA and a whole host of other implications.
“Our hope is that one day this ovarian bioprosthesis is really the ovary of the future,” said Teresa Woodruff at Northwestern University in Chicago. “The goal of the project is to be able to restore fertility and endocrine health to young cancer patients who have been sterilised by their cancer treatment.”

3D-printed ovaries allow infertile mice to give birth

The creation of artificial ovaries for humans is a step closer after birth of healthy pups from mice given ‘ovarian bioprosthesis’
Infertile mice have given birth to healthy pups after having their fertility restored with ovary implants made with a 3D printer.

Researchers created the synthetic ovaries by printing porous scaffolds from a gelatin ink and filling them with follicles, the tiny, fluid-holding sacs that contain immature egg cells.

In tests on mice that had one ovary surgically removed, scientists found that the implants hooked up to the blood supply within a week and went on to release eggs naturally through the pores built into the gelatin structures.

The work marks a step towards making artificial ovaries for young women whose reproductive systems have been damaged by cancer treatments, leaving them infertile or with hormone imbalances that require them to take regular hormone-boosting drugs.

We are barely even at the threshold of the era of domesticated DNA - this is an excellent signal of the trajectory of where we are going - whether you agree or not - the 21st century - is a whole new world.

Now That We Can Read Genomes, Can We Write Them?

A group of scientists is pushing ahead with plans to build whole genomes—including human ones—from scratch.
Since the Human Genome Project (HGP) was completed in 2003, scientists have sequenced the full genomes of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of species. Octopuses. Barley. Mosquitoes. Birch trees. Reading genomes is now commonplace, but that’s not enough for the group of scientists who gathered at the New York Genome Center on Tuesday. They want to write entire genomes with the same ease, synthesizing them from scratch and implanting them into hollow cells.

One team already did this for a tiny bacterium in 2010, creating a synthetic cell called Synthia. But the New York group has set its sights on building the considerably larger genomes of plants, animals, and yes—after a lot of future discussion—humans.

For now, that’s technically implausible. You’d have to make millions of short stretches of DNA, assemble them into larger structures, get them into an empty cell, and wrap and fold them correctly. In the process, you’d go bankrupt. Although we can sequence a human genome for less than $1,000, writing all 3 billion letters would still cost around $30 million. Still, even that exorbitant price has fallen from $12 billion in 2003, and should reach $100,000 within the next 20 years. And the group assembled in New York wants to double that pace.

They’re pushing for an international project called Genome Project-write—GP-write—that aims to reduce the costs of building large genomes by 1,000 times within 10 years. “It’s an aggressive goal, but based on what we saw with the HGP—the reading project, if you will—we think we can do this,” said Jef Boeke from New York University School of Medicine. And just as the HGP helped to drive down the cost of DNA-sequencing, the GP-write team hopes that the demand created by their initiative will push down the cost of DNA-writing tech. “I want to see a time in the not-too-distant future when, in elementary schools, it’ll be routine to think: I want to do some DNA synthesis as a project,” said Pamela Silver from Harvard Medical School.

There’s other consequences to ability to ‘read’ a genome - one of which is a new understanding of what a species is - and the more fluid nature of genes within the gene pool.

What Does it Mean to Be a Species? Genetics is Changing the Answer

As DNA techniques let us see animals in finer and finer gradients, the old definition is falling apart
For Charles Darwin, "species" was an undefinable term, "one arbitrarily given for the sake of convenience to a set of individuals closely resembling each other." That hasn't stopped scientists in the 150 years since then from trying, however. When scientists today sit down to study a new form of life, they apply any number of more than 70 definitions of what constitutes a species—and each helps get at a different aspect of what makes organisms distinct.

In a way, this plethora of definitions helps prove Darwin’s point: The idea of a species is ultimately a human construct. With advancing DNA technology, scientists are now able to draw finer and finer lines between what they consider species by looking at the genetic code that defines them. How scientists choose to draw that line depends on whether their subject is an animal or plant; the tools available; and the scientist’s own preference and expertise.

Now, as new species are discovered and old ones thrown out, researchers want to know: How do we define a species today? Let’s look back at the evolution of the concept and how far it’s come.
These advances have also renewed debates about what it means to be a species, as ecologists and conservationists discover that many species that once appeared singular are actually multitudes. Smithsonian entomologist John Burns has used DNA technology to distinguish a number of so-called "cryptic species"—organisms that appear physically identical to a members of a certain species, but have significantly different genomes. In a 2004 study, he was able to determine that a species of tropical butterfly identified in 1775 actually encompassed 10 separate species.

For Fun
For anyone who has thought about the paradox of time travel an inadvertently enacting you own demise - This is a perfect 3 minute Video.

How quantum superposition could unravel the ‘grandfather paradox’

The ‘grandfather paradox’ has long been one of the most popular thought experiments in physics: you travel back in time and murder your grandfather before he’s ever born. If you’ve killed your grandfather, you’ve prevented your own existence, but if you never existed, how could you have committed the murder in the first place? Some physicists have avoided the question by arguing that backwards time travel simply isn’t consistent with the laws of physics, or by asserting a ‘many worlds’ interpretation of the Universe. But could the concept of quantum superposition remove what seems so paradoxical from this tale of time travel and murder once and for all?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Friday Thinking 19 May 2017

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


The Daily Word Counts Of 39 Famous Authors

The truth is that the Luddites were the skilled, middle-class workers of their time. After centuries on more-or-less good terms with merchants who sold their goods, their lives were upended by machines replacing them with low-skilled, low-wage laborers in dismal factories. To ease the transition, the Luddites sought to negotiate conditions similar to those underlying capitalist democracies today: taxes to fund workers’ pensions, a minimum wage, and adherence to minimum labor standards.

Those bargaining attempts were rebuffed by most factory owners. The Luddites then began months of “machine breaking” in 1811-1812, smashing the weaving frames, in a last ditch effort to bring their new bosses to the table. At the behest of factory owners, the British Parliament declared machine breaking a capital offense and sent 14,000 troops to the English countryside to put down the uprising. Dozens of Luddites were executed or exiled to Australia. The crushed rebellion cleared the way for horrific working conditions of the Industrial Revolution yet to come.

“The lesson you get from the end of the Luddites is: Do the people that are profiting off automation today want to participate in distributing their profits more widely around the population, or are they going to fight just as hard as they did back then?”

Luddites have been getting a bad rap for 200 years. Turns out, they were right

People who are able to live digitally enhanced lives, in the sense that they can use all the available tools to the fullest extent, are very much more productive and capable and powerful than those who are still stuck in meatspace. It’s as if you had a forest where all the animals could see only in black and white and, suddenly, along comes a mutation in one of the predators allowing it to see in color. All of a sudden it gets to eat all the other animals, at least those who can’t see in color, and the other animals have no idea what’s going on. They have no idea why their camouflage doesn’t work anymore. They have no idea where the new threat is coming from. That’s the kind of change that happens once people get access to really powerful online services.
So long as it was the case that everybody who could be bothered to learn had access to AltaVista, or Google, or Facebook, or whatever, then that was okay. The problem we’re facing now is that more and more capable systems are no longer open to all. They’re open to the government, to big business, and to powerful advertising networks.

The Threat - A Conversation With Ross Anderson

This is a great piece outlining some of the historical roots of neo-liberal economic ideology - especially as it pertains to the concept of human capital. It also has implications for thinking about knowledge management.

What is human capital?

Human capital theory was invented as an ideological weapon in the Cold War. Now it is helping to Uberise the world of work
With the elections of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, human capital theory found hospitable political environments in the Anglo world. What followed in the UK, the US and other countries could best be described as a massive decollectivisation movement. Society no longer existed. Only individuals and their families did. Hayek in particular was a major revelation for the Iron Lady, who endlessly praised him.

The story of human capital theory in Western economies has been about divesting in people
In this new vision of the economy, workers can’t be seen as a specific class with shared interests. They didn’t even belong to a company … too communal. For sure, perhaps they weren’t even workers! Homo economicus qua human capital was instead somehow external to the firm, pursuing his interests alone and investing in his abilities to leverage the best deal. This ‘free-agent nation’ fantasy often bordered on the uncanny. Airport pop-management books from the 1980s and ’90s are hilarious for this reason. According to Charles Handy’s The Age of Paradox (1994), for example: ‘Karl Marx would be amused. He longed for the day when the workers would own the means of production. Now they do.’ Peter Drucker even felt comfortable announcing the arrival of the ‘post-capitalist society’, labelling the US the most socialist country around because all workers owned some capital after all.

What isn’t a joking matter, however, is the brave new world of work that has followed in the wake of neoclassical ideas such as human capital theory. Only when the employee is framed in such an ultra-individualist manner could the regressive trend of on-demand (or ‘zero-hours’) employment contracts ever gain a foothold in the economy. What some have called the Uberisation of the workforce functions by reclassifying workers as independent business owners, thereby shifting all employment costs to the employee: training, uniforms, vehicles and almost everything else.

That’s because it was born within an extreme period in 20th-century history, when many believed that the fate of humanity was hanging in the balance. It should therefore be approached as such, a rather eccentric and largely unrealistic relic of the Cold War. Only in that highly unusual milieu could mavericks such as Hayek and Friedman ever be taken seriously and listened to. In the face of communist collectivism, the Chicago school developed a diametrically opposed account of society, one populated by capsule-like individuals who automatically shun all forms of social cohesion that isn’t transactional. These loners are driven only by the ethos of self-serving competitiveness. Blindly attached to money. Insecure and paranoid. No wonder we’re so unwell today.

For anyone who wants a nice 9 min video refresher on a framework for sense-making and knowledge management - that addresses complexity.

The Cynefin Framework

The Cynefin Framework is central to Cognitive Edge methods and tools. It allows executives to see things from new viewpoints, assimilate complex concepts, and address real-world problems and opportunities. Using the Cynefin framework can help executives sense which context they are in so that they can not only make better decisions but also avoid the problems that arise when their preferred management style causes them to make mistakes.

Cynefin, pronounced kuh-nev-in, is a Welsh word that signifies the multiple factors in our environment and our experience that influence us in ways we can never understand.

Sense making can also be shaped by language and metaphor. This is a fascinating study - which tends to focus on language difference - is inevitably also about the influence of metaphor.

Bilinguals experience time differently. This is why

Language has such a powerful effect, it can influence the way in which we experience time, according to a new study.
Professor Panos Athanasopoulos, a linguist from Lancaster University and Professor Emanuel Bylund, a linguist from Stellenbosch University and Stockholm University, have discovered that people who speak two languages fluently think about time differently depending on the language context in which they are estimating the duration of events.

The finding, published in the ‘Journal of Experimental Psychology: General’, reports the first evidence of cognitive flexibility in people who speak two languages.
Bilinguals go back and forth between their languages rapidly and, often, unconsciously — a phenomenon called code-switching.

But different languages also embody different worldviews, different ways of organizing the world around us. And time is a case in point. For example, Swedish and English speakers prefer to mark the duration of events by referring to physical distances, e.g. a short break, a long wedding, etc. The passage of time is perceived as distance travelled.

But Greek and Spanish speakers tend to mark time by referring to physical quantities, e.g. a small break, a big wedding. The passage of time is perceived as growing volume.

The ideas of family and how we live feel like an innate part of our human nature - we think the same that stage of life we call adolescence. Now that it’s official - more people over 65 years of age than under 15 years - we should be working to re-imagine how we live together in future cities. The future may look more like the past in terms of how we live together than the way we currently do.

The Hot New Millennial Housing Trend Is a Repeat of the Middle Ages

Communal living is hardly a departure from tradition—it's a return to how humans have been making their homes for thousands of years.
For most of human history, people were hunter-gatherers. They lived in large camps, depending on one another for food, childcare, and everything else—all without walls, doors, or picket fences. In comparison, the number of people living in most households in today’s developed countries is quite small. According to the Census Bureau, fewer than three people lived in the average American household in 2010. The members of most American households can be counted on one hand, or even, increasingly, one finger: Single-person households only made up about 13 percent of all American households in 1960. Now, that figure is about 28 percent.

Belonging to a relatively small household has become the norm even though it can make daily life more difficult in many ways. Privacy may be nice, but cooking and doing chores become much less time-consuming when shared with an additional person, or even several people. Water, electric, and internet bills also become more bearable when divided among multiple residents. There are social downsides to living alone, too. Many elderly people, young professionals, stay-at-home parents, and single people routinely spend long stretches of time at home alone, no matter how lonely they may feel; more distressingly, many single parents face the catch-22 of working and paying for childcare. Living in smaller numbers can be a drain on money, time, and feelings of community, and the rise of the two-parent dual-earning household only compounds the problems of being time-poor.

It wasn’t always like this. Living arrangements have been changing for thousands of years, and the concept of the nuclear family originated relatively recently. Even as the economy has moved away from the sort of agricultural labor that would encourage large households, people still have just as much of a need for the support of friends, family, and neighbors. Perhaps that is why so many people today—from young coders to lonely septuagenarians to families—are experimenting with communal living, a way of life that, whether they know it or not, echoes how things worked for most of human history. This sort of experimentation is all too appropriate at a time when, for the typical American child, having two married parents is on the decline, and there is no longer a single dominant family structure as there was a half-century ago.

This is just the first of what will inevitable involve nations undertaking ‘gene censuses’ to understand the gene pool as our common wealth - as well as understanding the flows of human genome throughout our societies. Of course this won’t be without some controversies. Despite the inevitable challenges - the insights will be vital. The map is definitely worth the view.

What Saliva Reveals About North America

What do you do with 770,000 tubes of saliva collected from over 3 million AncestryDNA customers?

Ancestry scientists have an unusual answer: Create a ground-breaking map of North America’s history-based diversity using the genetic data from the analysis of the samples.

This unique map shows some of our migrations, the echoes of our pioneer ancestors in our genes today.
People moved east to west, less so north to south. See how the differently colored clusters form distinct horizontal bands? The red, blue, purple, and green dots fan out from right to left. This pattern means DNA confirms the descendants of immigrants to the East Coast moved westward.

While people certainly moved back and forth from the north to south as well, if people had moved in the same volume from north to south, you’d see the bands fanning downward and not just from east to west.
And not only can you clearly see the migration patterns westward, you can also see distinct communities of immigrants and their descendants.

This is a longish presentation and discussion about behavioral economics, with Cass Sunstein - author of ‘Nudge’ which explores concepts like ‘choice architectures’ - worth the watch.

Starr Forum: Behavioral Science and Nudges: Environmental Protection and Sustainability

Introduction by Rebecca Saxe, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT

Talk by Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School

Cass Sunstein is an American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics, who was the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2012.

It continually amazes me that governments have not shifted to a IT policy demanding government systems be open-source rather than proprietary. Here a signal of the growing power of open-source movement.
"Linux and open source development is thriving, and these innovations will continue to transform industries, like the automotive and mobile industries," said Keith Bergelt, Open Invention Network's CEO, in a statement. "This Linux System expansion once again shows how OIN keeps pace with open source innovation, promoting patent non-aggression in the core. We believe organizations that genuinely support Linux and open source software will be enthusiastic about this expansion."

Open Invention Network expands open-source patent protection beyond Linux

The Open Invention Network has protected Linux with strong patent consortium for more than a decade. Now, it's expanding its protection to other major open-source projects.
Today, everyone and their uncle -- yes, even Microsoft-- use Linux and open-source. A decade ago, Linux was under attack by SCO for imaginary copyright violations, and then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was claiming that Linux violated more than 200 of Microsoft's patents. So Open Invention Network (OIN) patent consortium was formed to defend Linux against intellectual property (IP) attacks. The stakes may not be so high today, but Linux and open-source software is still under attack from patent trolls and other attackers. That's where the Open Invention Network (OIN) steps up by expanding its patent non-aggression coverage through an update to its definition of the Linux System.

Under this new definition, OIN's Linux System, other core open-source system and middleware level programs are now protected. This includes software packages that support the growing use of Linux in industries that include finance (e.g., blockchain), automotive, telecommunications, and the internet-of-things (IoT).

The Linux System includes 395 new packages. Among those programs covered now are Android, Apache, Ansible, GNOME, KDE, Kubernetes, Nagios, ChromeOS, and container.

The flying car - has been promised for a long time - perhaps it was waiting for the self-drying autonomy. This is a nice interview aiming to answer skeptical questions.

Sebastian Thrun Defends Flying Cars to Me

The CEO of Kitty Hawk, the Larry Page-funded personal airborne vehicle company, explains why this isn’t the stupidest idea ever.
Some years ago, venture capitalist Peter Thiel made a famous complaint about what, in his view, was insufficient swashbuckling in Silicon Valley. “We were promised flying cars,” he wrote, “and instead what we got was 140 characters.” Well, better late than never: We just learned that Kitty Hawk, a company backed by Google c0founder Larry Page, is working on the Flyer, a first draft of the flying car for which Thiel and other tech magnates have been so ardently pining. The prototype Kitty Hawk Flyer is a 220-pound ultralight aircraft (no pilot license required) meant to soar only over water. Still, Kitty Hawk explicitly frames the company’s overall goal as building the future of personal aerial transportation.

But could it be that in this case, never is better than late? You can boil down the problems of flying cars to seven factors: safety, cost, noise, sky congestion, parking, regulation, and the overall question of why we even need them. I could think of no one better to address these concerns than Sebastian Thrun, the CEO of Kitty Hawk. Thrun is an AI scientist, a pioneer of self-driving cars, and an entrepreneur who also cofounded the online education firm Udacity. He cheerfully agreed to my proposal for an interview where I would act as the voice of brutal skepticism about the whole Jetson-esque enterprise, pitching him a series of cranky questions. Despite my best efforts, he remained upbeat and unflappable throughout. Whether he makes his case is up to you.

This is a great 15 min TED Talk by Sheila Nirenberg about another approach to machine learning as applied to visual systems - this is an important innovation with many application - a must view for anyone working with algorythmic intelligence.

What if robots could process visual information the way humans do?

Sheila Nirenberg, Professor of Neuroscience at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and founder of two startup companies – Bionic Sight LLC and Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC – explains the science behind a new kind of smart robot that she’s creating, drawing on the basic science of visual processing.

The topic of algorithmic intelligence and the displacement of humans from ‘jobs’ and even from certain domains of decisioning carries huge benefits and deep concerns. Here’s one interesting concern.

Sent to Prison by a Software Program’s Secret Algorithms

When Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. visited Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute last month, he was asked a startling question, one with overtones of science fiction.

“Can you foresee a day,” asked Shirley Ann Jackson, president of the college in upstate New York, “when smart machines, driven with artificial intelligences, will assist with courtroom fact-finding or, more controversially even, judicial decision-making?”

The chief justice’s answer was more surprising than the question. “It’s a day that’s here,” he said, “and it’s putting a significant strain on how the judiciary goes about doing things.”

He may have been thinking about the case of a Wisconsin man, Eric L. Loomis, who was sentenced to six years in prison based in part on a private company’s proprietary software. Mr. Loomis says his right to due process was violated by a judge’s consideration of a report generated by the software’s secret algorithm, one Mr. Loomis was unable to inspect or challenge.

This is fascinating - an article on the fundamental nature of time and our capacity to measure it.

Clocks Hate Other Clocks – Thanks To Quantum Uncertainty, The More Accurate A Clock Is, The Less Accurate Nearby Clocks Are

As it turns out, science is complicated.
The closer you look at reality, the weirder it tends to look, especially if you're using the twin lenses of general relativity and quantum mechanics. It's thanks to the latter that we can build ultra-accurate atomic clocks (like this one). One of the most interesting features of high precision atomic clocks, is that they can actually measure something called relativistic time dilation effects – but when you add quantum theory to the mix, it turns out that the more accurate a clock is, the less accurate clocks around it can be.

How does that work? Well, relativity assigns an idealized clock – a non-physical one – to every "worldline," which refers to a timeline associated with a single observer, evolving in spacetime. However, as Einstein himself pointed out, not thinking of the clock as an actual physical object leaves some of the picture incomplete. Einstein wrote, " One is struck [by the fact] that the theory [of special relativity]… introduces two kinds of physical things, i.e., (1) measuring rods and clocks, (2) all other things, e.g., the electromagnetic field, the material point, etc. This, in a certain sense, is inconsistent…"

Indeed. As it turns out, if you look at what goes on with actual physical clocks things get weird, and if you add quantum theory to the picture, things get even weirder.

This isn’t quite the advent of Star Trek’s tricorder - but something pretty cool.

One Day, a Machine Will Smell Whether You’re Sick

Blindfolded, would you know the smell of your mom, a lover or a co-worker? Not the smells of their colognes or perfumes, not of the laundry detergents they use — the smells of them?

Each of us has a unique “odorprint” made up of thousands of organic compounds. These molecules offer a whiff of who we are, revealing age, genetics, lifestyle, hometown — even metabolic processes that underlie our health.

Ancient Greek and Chinese medical practitioners used a patient’s scent to make diagnoses. Modern medical research, too, confirms that the smell of someone’s skin, breath and bodily fluids can be suggestive of illness. The breath of diabetics sometimes smells of rotten apples, experts report; the skin of typhoid patients, like baking bread.

But not every physician’s nose is a precision instrument, and dogs, while adept at sniffing out cancer, get distracted. So researchers have been trying for decades to figure out how to build an inexpensive odor sensor for quick, reliable and noninvasive diagnoses.
The field finally seems on the cusp of succeeding.

Here’s some good news about developing new forms of antibiotic medicines.

New rules for cellular entry may aid antibiotic development

Tests show clues to fighting drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria
Like entry to an exclusive nightclub, getting inside a gram-negative bacterial cell is no easy feat for chemical compounds. But now a secret handshake has been revealed: A new study lays out several rules to successfully cross the cells’ fortified exteriors, which could lead to the development of sorely needed antibiotics.

“It’s a breakthrough,” says microbiologist Kim Lewis of Northeastern University in Boston, who was not involved with the work. The traditional way to learn how compounds get across the bacterial barrier is to study the barrier, he says. “They decided to attack the problem from the other end: What are the properties of the molecules that may allow them to penetrate across the barrier?” The work describing these properties is published online in Nature on May 10.

Escherichia coli and other gram-negative bacteria — so described because of how they look when exposed to a violet dye called a gram stain — have two cellular membranes. The outer membrane is impermeable to most antibiotics, says Paul Hergenrother, a chemical biologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Even if a drug might be really good at killing that gram-negative pathogen, it may not be able to get in the bacteria,” he says.

Many antibiotics that have been effective against gram-negative bacteria are becoming unreliable, as the bugs have developed resistance. To encourage drug development, in February the World Health Organization released a list of pathogens that are resistant to multiple drugs and threaten human health. All of the bacteria in the critical priority group are gram-negative.

The team synthesized a derivative of deoxynybomycin with an amine group and tested the compound against a number of gram-negative pathogens that are resistant to many antibiotics. The altered deoxynybomycin successfully killed all but one of the types of pathogens tested.

It’s possible other antibiotics that specifically target gram-positive bacteria could be converted into drugs that kill gram-negative bugs too by following the new rules, says Hergenrother. And keeping these guidelines in mind when assembling compound collections could make screening for drug candidates more successful.

This is actually very interesting for anyone concerned with safety, visibility and clothing for outdoor wear. The 2 min video explains everything.

Why We Should All Wear The World’s Most Visible Color

Pedestrian or cyclist, it’s the world’s most visible hue.

Thousands of pedestrians and bike riders are hit by cars every year in a terrible trend that’s only growing. It’s a problem of our infrastructure, but the best defense can simply be making yourself as visible to drivers as possible. Which is why the young athletic wear brand Vollebak is designed specifically to stand out.

Vollebak, the same company that brought us a pink hoodie designed for maximum relaxation, is launching something new: The Nano Meter 555 Midlayer, which features two details that hack human perception to make you, theoretically, as noticeable as possible.

The jacket is green, but not just any green. It’s a green that reflects with a 555-nanometer wavelength, which, according to the U.K. National Physics Laboratory, is the point at which the greatest number of cones of your eye are stimulated the most. Over a year of development and prototyping dyes and materials, the team tried to get this jacket as close to 555 as possible.

This is not only cool but is a great signal for an emerging ubiquitous interface for the digital environment - soon this technology will be available to everyone in designing their own environments.

A Cheap, Simple Way to Make Anything a Touch Pad

Spray paint and electrodes can add touch responsiveness to everything from a wall to Play-Doh.
How would you like a toy, steering wheel, wall, or electric guitar with a touch pad?

You probably encounter small touch screens every day—on phones and at store checkout counters, for instance—but chances are you don’t come across many touch-sensitive surfaces that are huge or aren’t completely flat. That’s because it’s expensive and tricky to add this kind of interaction to large and irregular surfaces.

That could change soon, as researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they’ve come up with a way to make many kinds of devices responsive to touch just by spraying them with conductive paint, adding electrodes, and computing where you press on them.

Called Electrick, it can be used with materials like plastic, Jell-O, and silicone, and it could make touch tracking a lot cheaper, too, since it relies on already available paint and parts, Zhang says. The project is being presented at the CHI computer-human interaction conference in Denver this week.

This 7 min video illustrates the power and ease of this technology - really worth the view.

Electrick: Low-Cost Touch Sensing Using Electric Field Tomography

We introduce Electrick, a low-cost and versatile sensing technique that enables touch input on a wide variety of objects and surfaces, whether small or large, flat or irregular. This is achieved by using electric field tomography in concert with an electrically conductive material, which can be easily and cheaply added to objects and surfaces through a variety of fabrication methods such as painting, 3D printing, injection molding etc.

Here is another nudge in the transformation of global energy geopolitics.
By 2022, India aims to have the capacity to generate 175 gigawatts of power from solar, biomass and wind energy. A draft report by the country’s electricity agency in December predicted that capacity would increase to 275 gigawatts by 2027.

Indian solar power prices hit record low, undercutting fossil fuels

Plummeting wholesale prices put the country on track to meet renewable energy targets set out in the Paris agreement
Wholesale solar power prices have reached another record low in India, faster than analysts predicted and further undercutting the price of fossil fuel-generated power in the country.

The tumbling price of solar energy also increases the likelihood that India will meet – and by its own predictions, exceed – the renewable energy targets it set at the Paris climate accords in December 2015.
India is the world’s third-largest carbon polluter, with emissions forecast to at least double as it seeks to develop its economy and lift hundreds of millions of citizens out of poverty.

At a reverse auction in Rajasthan on Tuesday, power companies Phelan  Avaada Power each offered to charge 2.62 rupees per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated from solar panels they hope to build at an energy park in the desert state. Last year’s previous record lowest bid was 4.34 rupees per kWh .

This is what so many people are waiting for - or should I say weighting for? This is not ready for primetime - but it seems to have interesting effects on mice - I for one am biding my time. :)

‘Exercise pill’ turns couch potato mice into marathoners

Drug tricks the body into burning fat like a trained athlete
An experimental drug touted as “exercise in a pill” has dramatically increased endurance in couch potato mice, even after a lifetime of inactivity. It appears to work by adjusting the body’s metabolism, allowing muscles to favor burning fat over sugar, researchers report in the May 2 Cell Metabolism.

Sedentary mice prodded into exercising ran for an average of about 160 minutes on an exercise wheel before reaching exhaustion. But mice given the drug for eight weeks could run for 270 minutes on average. These mice were burning fat like conditioned athletes, even though they had spent their whole lives taking it easy, molecular biologist Michael Downes and colleagues found.

Normally, running, cycling or other prolonged exercise eventually depletes available glucose in the blood, leaving the brain short of energy. The brain then sends an emergency stop signal. Athletes call this “hitting the wall.” Training and conditioning shift the body to burning fat for energy, leaving an ample supply of glucose for the brain and other organs.

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., developed the drug to activate a protein that regulates genes triggered during exercise. “We believe it’s tricked the body into thinking it’s done some training,” says Downes.          

Writing is hard - at least that’s my experience. Given the Internet there are probably more writers today (both in absolute numbers and proportionately) than ever before in human history. Plus with YouTube alone the number of people posting their efforts to communicate are unprecedented.
This next short article may be of comfort - a way to compare personal productivity with famous authors. The article presents the daily output of words in a concise table. Most writers produce between 2 and 10 pages a day.
Remember - Writing is mostly Re-Writing.

The Daily Word Counts Of 39 Famous Authors

If you want to be a published writer, you should cultivate a writing routine. Almost every writer I’ve interviewed has one.
Creating a habit of writing – even if what you are writing is not good – is vital. Many of them believe that you should write every day, saying that it helps them write with more confidence.
But how many words should you write every day?
Here are the daily word counts of 39 famous authors. (Please bear in mind that a double-spaced manuscript page contains approximately 300 words.)