Non-financial: July - September 2016 articles archive home
Clueless machines
When we look to the future is there anything more menacing than the Singularity — that fateful moment when AI surpasses its creators in intelligence and takes over the world?
Friday, September 30, 2016 ... more
It's now clear that we will not need to physically wire the planet. Satellites, possibly aided by drones and balloons, are about to get the job done a lot faster. The major Internet and space technology corporations, among others, have confirmed multi-billion-dollar investments to bring low-cost broadband Internet to every square meter of Earth's surface within ten years.
Friday, September 23, 2016 ... more
No person, I think, ever saw a herd of buffalo, of which a few were fat and the great majority lean. No person ever saw a flock of birds, of which two or three were swimming in grease and the others all skin and bone. – Henry George

One of the biggest challenges facing us is the increasing disparity in wealth and income, with all its pernicious effects on societal health. Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century, gave us two alarming pieces of news about this trend: 1) Inequality is worse than we thought, and 2) it will continue to worsen because of structural reasons.
Friday, September 16, 2016 ... more
Who are you kidding?
From Robert Trivers at

I believe that self-deception evolves in the service of deceit. That is, that the major function of self-deception is to better deceive others. Both make it harder for others to detect your deception, and also allow you to deceive with less immediate cognitive cost. So if I'm lying to you now about something you actually care about, you might pay attention to my shifty eyes if I'm consciously lying, or the quality of my voice, or some other behavioural cue that's associated with conscious knowledge of deception and nervousness about being detected. But...
Friday, September 9, 2016 ... more
The only news
Science is the only news. When you scan through a newspaper or magazine, all the human interest stuff is the same old he-said-she-said, the politics and economics the same sorry cyclic dramas, the fashions a pathetic illusion of newness, and even the technology is predictable if you know the science. Human nature doesn't change much; science does, and the change accrues, altering the world irreversibly. We now live in a world in which the rate of change is the biggest change. Science has thus become a big story, if not the big story: news that will stay news. - Stewart Brand
Friday, September 2, 2016 ... more
Just a hologram
From The Guardian, amongst the things Michael Brooks says is taking science by surprise:

At the forefront of knowledge – the place geneticist Jacob Bronowski once referred to as "the edge of uncertainty" – the biggest thinkers are starting to come to terms with an extraordinary idea. The universe, they say, behaves exactly like a computer, processing and generating information. In this scenario, we, by our conscious and unconscious actions, are playing the role of that computer's programmers.
Friday, August 26, 2016 ... more
First million
When she was writing her book Damn Right! Charlie Munger told Janet Lowe that accumulating the first $100,000 from a standing start, with no seed money, is the most difficult part of building wealth. Making the first million was the next big hurdle. “To do that a person must consistently under spend his income,” said Munger. “Getting wealthy is like rolling a snowball. It helps to start on top of a long hill—start early and try to roll that snowball for a very long time. It helps to live a long life.”
Friday, August 19, 2016 ... more
A lion was trying to chase a deer, lion was trying his best and a monkey while sitting on a tree was watching all this, during running suddenly deer faced a canal in front of her, she closed her eyes and try the biggest jump of her life and she succeeded, when lion reached he think for a while and stopped and he turned back, at this moment monkey came near to lion and said you just lose by a deer, and right this moment lion replied to monkey, this victory didn't belong to deer, it was the victory of Life. My need was to fulfil my hunger but her purpose was Life, that's why she succeeded, he who have great purpose will always succeed… - Zia
Friday, August 12, 2016 ... more
Most of us are born with attributes that both help us and hurt us, depending on their applications, and the more extreme the attribute, the more extreme the potential good and bad outcomes these attributes are likely to produce. For example, highly creative, goal-oriented people who are good at imagining the big picture can easily get tripped up on the details of daily life, while highly pragmatic, task-oriented people who are great with the details might not be creative ... It is extremely important to one’s happiness and success to know oneself—most importantly to understand one’s own values and abilities—and then to find the right fits.
Friday, August 5, 2016 ... more
No more surprises
George Orwell remarked that the average person today is about as naive as was the average person in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages people believed in the authority of their religion, no matter what. Today, we believe in the authority of our science, no matter what.

The world in which we live is very nearly incomprehensible to most of us. There is almost no fact - whether actual or imagined - that will surprise us for long, since we have no comprehensive and consistent picture of the world which would make it unacceptable.
Friday, July 29, 2016 ... more
“There are often many things we feel we should do that we don't really have to do. Getting to the point where we can tell the difference is a major milestone in the simplification process.” - Elaine St James

“Information overload is exactly why you need an "ignore list" ... to say "No” - Mani Sivasubramanian

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything. - Warren Buffett
Friday, July 22, 2016 ... more
Hello babies
Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” – Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.
Friday, July 15, 2016 ... more
Ever been stuck talking to someone who keeps disagreeing with you and correcting whatever you say? “You’re probably talking to a person with oppositional conversational style”, says Gretchen Rubin, author of several New York Times bestsellers.
Friday, July 8, 2016 ... more
Out of time
Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.
Friday, July 1, 2016 ... more
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