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Apr 15, 2015 Host: James Phillips
This week’s episode of TZM global is hosted by James Phillips from TZM education and the UK chapter of TZM. Along with some brief news from the movement James will be reading the next two articles from the minds in the making section of www.tzmeducation.org entitled 'Building a learning environment' and 'Building a new paradigm from the inside out'.
These articles outline educational and transitional models/methods that could help to shape the mindset required for a sustainable socio-economic system to emerge.
Apr 11, 2015 Host: James Phillips
TZM Global Ep. 171 with Jim Phillips: Education as a tool for Social Change [ The Zeitgeist Movement ]
This weeks episode of TZM global is hosted by TZM Education co-ordinator and UK chapter member James Phillips.
Along with a ZDAY Berlin round up and some other news, James will be reading the next two articles from the TZME website: www.tzmeducation.org regarding the link between educational and societal structure and how we will need a radical change in both if we are to start to see a shift in our overall cultural values towards the adoption of a sustainable socio-economic system.
Apr 08, 2015 Host: Peter Joseph
TZM Global Ep. 170 with Peter Joseph, Ep 170 April 8th 2015, Zeitgeist Day 2015Lectures, Cont.
Featured talks: Brandon Kristy / Eva Omori, ZDay 2015, Berlin Germany
Apr 01, 2015 Host: Peter Joseph
TZM Global Ep. 169 with Peter Joseph, April 1st 2015
Featured ZDay Berlin 2015 talks:
1) Lee Camp
2) Jim Phillips
James Phillips, United Kingdom James Phillips is the co-coordinator of TZM Education: A global initiative to enable TZM members to go into educational institutions and deliver the movement’s train of thought to the next generation. He is a regular host of the movement’s global radio show and a regular speaker at several events in the UK pertaining to sustainability and societal structure for both TZM and 3rd party organizations. He also helps to co-ordinate the London chapter of the movement in the UK and goes into Schools on a regular basis to talk to the younger generations about various topics ranging from human behaviour to sustainable technology. Presentation: TZM Education: Launchpad Sustainability Regarding a strategic and effective approach to activism. What works, what doesn’t and what even counts as a metric when trying to measure such a thing. I will be elucidating why much of what we currently do as a movement could potentially be nowhere near as effective as what could be achieved by going into Schools and talking to kids in a joint and strategic effort. Lee Camp, United States*
Lee Camp is the head writer and host of the weekly comedy news show ‘Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp’ on RT America. He’s a former contributor to The Onion, former staff humor writer for the Huffington Post, and his web series “Moment of Clarity” has been viewed by millions. He’s toured the country and the world with his fierce brand of political stand-up comedy, and George Carlin’s daughter Kelly said he’s one of the few comics keeping her father’s torch lit. His TV show and podcast can be found at LeeCamp.net, as can his comedy albums and books.
Mar 25, 2015 Host: Peter Joseph
LIKE The Zeitgeist Movement @ https://www.facebook.com/tzmglobal FOLLOW The Zeitgeist Movement @ https://twitter.com/tzmglobal JOIN THE MAILING LIST: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/
Peter Joseph plays audio from Zeitgeist Day 2015, Berlin Germany. Ben McLeish: "The Zeitgeist WorldView" Peter Joseph: "Origins and Adaptations P3"
Conventional wisdom would have you believe that most people enter adolescence with a head full of high-minded ideals and a willingness to shake up the system. As they get older, however, they gradually begin to accept the status quo. For me, that process is reversed.
The older I get, the more skeptical I become of our current social model. Why?
Let’s start with this:
It should be of increasing concern to all Americans that there is an extreme disconnect between what Americans believe about man-made climate change, and what science tells us about it. That is to say, despite there being a clear scientific consensus, man-made climate change is more often than not framed as an ambiguous concept in the U.S. mainstream media. Consequently, climate change is generally thought to be far more esoteric than it actually is.
INTRODUCTION AND DISCLAIMER 
The purpose of this project is to enable supporters of a natural law resource based economic model (NLRBE) to understand and appreciate the need to approach the education system in an effort to initiate the value shift required for a more peaceful and sustainable future to emerge.
Today I was reading The Zeitgeist Movement Defined: Realizing a New Train of Thought, again. I did so because I feel the need to express certain frustration on this/my social movement but haven’t found the right words. Also I didn’t want to make any false assumptions on its architecture, so I went straight to the source with a pen in my hand.
I went through the 9 pages that constitute the overview and extracted some notes I would like to post in here:
We need more films about the social, ecological and economic change!
We want to make one and you could help us.
In our Documentary "The Taste of Life" we want to show, that there are people in the whole world, already practicing this change in a great way.
From social symptom to root causes came about as a bi-product of ZDAY 2013 in London, in which all but the introductory talk featured exterior organisations and speakers. Each of whom seek to address a particular social or environmental issue closely aligned with the movement’s materials.
From social symptom to root causes came about as a bi-product of ZDAY 2013 in London, in which all but the introductory talk featured exterior organisations and speakers. Each of whom seek to address a particular social or environmental issue closely aligned with the movement’s materials.
Transcript below. Can also be viewed via PDF HERE.
Welcome to: “3 Questions - What do you propose?” This thought exercise is intended for both the average person, concerned about global problems – along with those who are still confused about - or perhaps even in opposition to The Zeitgeist Movement.
This might be a controversial post.
My Thanksgiving was one filled with texting, Snapchat, Skyping, Facetime, Beam robots and ringing phones.
Some people HATE the way technology impacts their family at gatherings — people on digital devices rather than having conversations — "making us more alone, even when we're together." But is that really true?
This post is about perspective on the impact of digital devices, and the bigger picture on what's going on: an accelerating trend where our connection with people is independent of our physical location.
We've ALWAYS Said That New Technology Isolates Us
"Back in my day, we didn't have all these distractions"
– Millions of disgruntled grandparents around the world
"Yeah, in your day, life was pretty boring and disconnected."
– Millions of millennials today
We've always preferred to get what we want, when we want. Every new communication technology has moved us closer to "immediate," "faster," "cheaper," "higher quality" and "instant" communications with whoever we want, whenever we want.
And that trend is accelerating. The fact is we tend to romanticize the past. And we like to complain about the present. And we are resistant to change.
The Upside of Technology
This Thanksgiving I was in constant contact with relatives scattered around the world: one niece in London by Facetime, another niece in Hungary by BEAM robot, and friends around the world by Skype, Facetime and Beam.
100 Years Ago… holiday contact with distant relatives either didn't happen, happened through infrequent snail mail, or rarely through a long trek by horse and buggy. Ultimately you were stuck with the locals — which was fine — unless the people you loved were a world apart…
50 Years Ago… a long-distance phone call served as the high-tech mode of "connectedness." The telephone offered reasonably immediate communications, except on holidays (for those of you who remember) when you couldn't actually get a line out ("All lines to that country are currently busy, please hang up and try later"). And, oh, by the way, it was really expensive.
Today… we've got instant, global, free, wireless communication capabilities in full-color, high-definition video and even telepresence robots.
The bottom line is that technology allows us to more intimately connect with friends and family who are geographically distant and this, in my opinion, is a really good thing.
So, what's the problem? Why concerns over "distraction and the isolation"?
It's Not Only the Technology, It's Also Your Boring Uncle and Brainless Conversation
We (humans) tend to prioritize spending time with those people who bring us the most enjoyment or satisfaction.
We can blame the technology all we want — BUT this means messaging our best friends rather than having conversations at a dinner table with distant relatives with whom we have little in common seems like a better way to spend our time.
We can force it and try really hard — be polite, do the right thing. But when the barrier to connection drops so low that we can ditch the uncle and chat with our buddy, it's a tough thing to avoid.
The point here is that the quality of the connection is skyrocketing, and the barrier to connection is plummeting.
Thanksgiving — November 2025
What does Thanksgiving look like in November 2025, just 10 years from now?
I imagine much of it will look a lot like it does today.
Except that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will account for half of the people around the dinner table.
On the augmented reality front, technologies like Magic Leap and HoloLens will allow distant family members and friends to join in the conversation in a multitude of different fashions. Some may beam in from the other side of the planet, showing up as full-size participants virtually sitting in chair across the table, while others may be one-tenth-size figures standing on the table top.
Or…in the case of virtual reality, we could imagine an hour-long pre-dinner reunion taking place in a completely virtual world with 100 distant family members joining from a dozen corners of the globe to exchange stories and catch up.
We are entering a period of rapid societal transformation. Where traditions will morph and limitations of decades past will lift, allowing us to recreate our social networks and celebrations.
Banner Image Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com ">Shutterstock.com
The post http://singularityhub.com/2015/11/30/thanksgiving-2025-technology-will-redefine-what-togetherness-is-all-about/ ">Thanksgiving 2025: Technology Will Redefine What ‘Togetherness’ Is All About appeared first on http://singularityhub.com ">Singularity HUB.
In 2014, a few days after Christmas, Dr. Valentino Gantz walked into his lab at the University of California, San Diego to check on some newly hatched fruit flies.
With a single look, he knew he had shattered the laws of evolution.
It was supposed to be an unremarkable quick in-and-out. Gantz and his advisor Dr. Ethan Bier were trying to develop a way to spread certain genes through a large population — a mutagenic chain reaction popularly known as a “gene drive.”
Gantz bred the larvae — thousands of them — from an albino mother. According to classical rules of inheritance, only one out of four young flies should carry the mutation.
Instead, one after another, Gantz saw nothing but pale, albino flies.
“We were stunned,” http://www.sciencemag.org/content/347/6228/1300.full ">said Bier, “it was like the sun rose in the west rather than the east.”
Locked behind five security doors, sealed in a biosafety containers, was a tool that could forever end insect-borne diseases — and in the process, wipe out entire species, reengineer life and perhaps topple ecosystems.
The genius of gene drives
What the team painstakingly discovered was a new incarnation of an old idea: using http://singularityhub.com/?s=CRISPR ">CRISPR, the gene editing technique, to construct “selfish gene” mutations that insert themselves into the genome and transmit down generations with nearly 100% efficiency.
Genes normally go from parent to child like shuffling a deck of cards. Take a physical trait like red eyes in mosquitos. Mosquitos (and humans) carry two copies of almost every gene. Red eyes is a dominant trait in mosquitos, which means it only takes one copy of the red-eye gene for it to appear.
Now, say a mother mosquito has one red-eye and one black-eye gene variant at analogous positions on two separate DNA bundles. The bundle that carries the red-eye gene has a near 50/50 chance of getting passed on to her offspring. Fair and square.
Nature, however, evolved a way to cheat the system. A group of selfish genes encode an enzyme that homes in on one of the DNA bundles — the one that doesn’t carry the desired gene variant. There, it makes a cut. This triggers the cell’s DNA repair system, which uses the other DNA bundle — the one with the red-eye gene — as a template to repair the other bundle, effectively copying the red-eye gene. Now, unless it mutates, the red-eye gene has a near 100% chance of getting passed on to baby mosquitos.
The result? When released in sufficient quantity, a single inserted gene could spread through an entire population in roughly a dozen generations, or a single season.
In 2003, http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/270/1518/921 ">in a seminal paper Dr. Austin Burt laid out the possibility of building artificial gene drives to control the spread of blood-borne diseases like malaria. It’s an intriguing idea: spread a “suicide gene” to wipe out the entire species, or add in disease-resistant genes to entire populations.
A big hurdle? Gene drives were tough to make with traditional molecular genetics methods. That is, until CRISPR came along.
Easy, cheap and highly effective, CRISPR lets scientists make precise cuts almost anywhere along the genome and works in a large number of species. Linked to a gene drive, the cut also defines where artificial selfish genes get copied in. Once they’re in, they spread through natural procreation.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/gene-drive-6.jpg " alt="gene-drive-6" width="300" height="200" />Working with Dr. Anthony James, Gantz http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/11/18/1521077112 ">added a gene that makes malaria antibodies in mama mosquitos whenever they drink. These antibodies tightly grab onto the parasite and stop it from developing any further, preventing its deadly effects.
Since the gene adds no benefit to the mosquitos, normally it would get diluted by the gene pool and eventually peter out. With gene drive, however, it gets passed through generations with 99% efficacy.
Although the researchers stopped short of confirming that the mosquitos were resistant to malaria, they did show that they expressed the antibody genes.
“It’s completely outstanding,” http://www.technologyreview.com/news/543721/with-this-genetic-engineering-technology-theres-no-turning-back/ ">said Dr. Kevin Esvelt, a gene drive researcher at Harvard.
Burt agrees, but says long-term studies are needed to see how long the effects can last. Modeling studies show that it takes roughly http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/10/gene-drive-workshop-shows-technology-s-promise-or-peril-remains-far ">20 generations for the new gene to spread wide enough to make a difference.
So far we haven’t done cage experiments to assess long-term efficiency and mutation rates, but it’s one of our next steps, Gantz told Singularity Hub.
I think far more pressing are larger questions that need to be addressed before we can even contemplate field studies, Gantz said. Now that technology is no longer a limitation, should we — for the greater good — dictate the fate of entire species?
Earlier this year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine hosted a http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/10/gene-drive-workshop-shows-technology-s-promise-or-peril-remains-far ">workshop to begin http://nas-sites.org/gene-drives/ ">tackling the thorny issue of playing god.
For one, the technology isn’t quite there yet. How specific is the gene manipulation? How long can it last? Can we make it somewhat reversible? What are the ecological effects of gene drives?
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/gene-drive-5.jpg " alt="gene-drive-5" width="300" height="200" />“We know so little,” http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/10/gene-drive-workshop-shows-technology-s-promise-or-peril-remains-far ">said Dr. Zach Adelman, a molecular geneticist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
And it’s not just transmissible diseases. In theory, gene drives could give nearly extinct animals an edge up and save them from extinction.
Even when the science part gets figured out, should we tamper with Mother Nature? Essentially, we need to balance immediate humanitarian concerns with potential global ecological effects, said Burt. Since animals roam far and wide, unheeding of national boundaries, multiple countries will have to work together to develop regulatory guidelines and establish governing agencies.
“We have time to figure it out though,” http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/10/gene-drive-workshop-shows-technology-s-promise-or-peril-remains-far ">said Burt.
In the meantime, gene drive researchers are taking extra precautions to avoid accidentally contaminating the environment with lab-grown mutants.
Our experiments were conducted in high-security labs, explained Gantz. We also worked with tropical mosquitos that can’t survive in the California climate. Even if they somehow got out, they wouldn’t be able to sustain their life cycle or find mates, he said.
Yet some experts are still concerned.
Dr. George Church, a pioneer in gene drives at Harvard, calls for http://elifesciences.org/content/early/2014/07/15/eLife.03401 ">failsafe mechanisms to stop the gene drive from propagating if anything went wrong. His proposal, though elegant, is not a simple fix. Long story short, it involves adding in another gene drive, a “reversal” one so to speak, to balance out the effects of the first drive.
So far, the mechanism was http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nbt.3412.html ">only shown to work in yeast.
We need some serious soul searching before we can move on to field applications, said Gantz. With this study, we did go for a slightly less risky route: compared to other gene drive approaches that wipe out entire species, ours — population modification — should in theory have a smaller impact on an ecosystem, explained Gantz.
The team — Gantz, James and Bier — believes it’ll take about a year to prepare mosquitoes for field tests. Although eager to test drive population modification, they are going slow and careful.
“It’s not going to go anywhere until the social science advances to the point where we can handle it,” http://www.nature.com/news/gene-drive-mosquitoes-engineered-to-fight-malaria-1.18858 ">said James. “We’re not about to do anything foolish.”
Image Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com ">Shutterstock.com
The post http://singularityhub.com/2015/11/29/gene-drives-can-eliminate-transmissible-diseases-for-good-but-whats-the-price/ ">Gene Drives Could Wipe Out Insect-Borne Disease — But What’s the Price? appeared first on http://singularityhub.com ">Singularity HUB.
Can you believe it? The Earth has whirled around the sun yet again. Winter is coming, and sure as the seasons change and the geese go south, those glowing percentage signs on the screen are priming our species to begin the world's greatest hunt—for deals.
Never has that process been easier.
Sure, some of us will line up early, jostling and fighting at the door of some favorite store. But many won't bother leaving the warmth of hearth and home. Instead, the cyber world will make the most of technology. We'll use laptops, smartphones, tablets, Google, PayPal, and Amazon to browse and buy lots and lots of stuff.
But that's the world we all see and know. It's what's behind the scenes that's fascinating.
Last year, Amazon said it was employing some http://www.wired.com/2014/12/amazon-reveals-robots-heart-epic-cyber-monday-operation/ ">15,000 robot elves to help fulfill the expected tidal wave of holiday orders. Amazon's robots resemble a Roomba, only they're orange, weigh as much as an NFL offensive lineman, and can hoist and carry tall, 750-pound storage shelves shelves bristling with holiday gadgets and goodies.
Humans used to patrol the aisles, and they were pretty fast. But now the humans stay put and the robots play fetch, bringing shelves to pickers, who grab, spot check and package them up. Now that the shelves need no aisles, Amazon can pack in more goods per square foot—in the ballpark of 5 million different products and 26 million items total.
Amazon said it sold an insane http://fortune.com/2015/07/15/amazon-prime-day-orders-eclipse-black-friday/ ">426 items every second last Cyber Monday. Maybe it's not so surprising, then, that this year they've doubled down on robots.
As shoppers fill their digital carts this year, 30,000 robotic workers in 13 warehouses (they aren't everywhere just yet) will jump to do their bidding. In case you've not seen it (or need a refresher), here's a video of Amazon's mechanical warehouse in action.
Happy holiday weekend!
Imaged Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com ">Shutterstock.com
The post http://singularityhub.com/2015/11/27/lets-be-thankful-amazons-robot-hordes-have-doubled-since-last-cyber-monday/ ">Let’s Be Thankful: Amazon’s Robot Hordes Have Doubled This Year appeared first on http://singularityhub.com ">Singularity HUB.
Only 12 people—all Americans—have put their boots on the Moon. Today, however, NASA has no plans to send humans back to our pockmarked satellite. Instead, its space pioneers http://singularityhub.com/2015/10/01/who-will-become-the-first-martian-a-rundown-of-the-race-to-the-red-planet/ ">will shoot straight to Mars (and wave to the Moon as they pass it by).
Other countries, though, would like a chance to leave some dusty footprints on the Moon. And although some think another Moon mission represents a step back, solid reasons exist (beyond footprints) to do a lunar sojourn or two before heading for the Red Planet.
In October, Russia announced it wants to build a base on the Moon.
They are sending a rover there in 2020 to check out the South Pole Aitken Basin, where water-ice caps the ground. This mission, called http://www.sciencealert.com/international-luna-27-mission-sets-the-stage-for-a-human-return-to-the-moon ">Luna 27, will hunt for resources and suss out the site as a potential home for the colony.
To build that colony, Russia has asked, “Hey, do any other nations want to team up?” After all, space is expensive, and space is also not a country—it’s a place where borders don’t exist (at least not yet)—so global collaboration breeds goodwill and makes a mission more likely to actually happen.
The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to take Russia up on their request, a decision that they’ll ratify in early 2016. They’ll contribute Pilot, an instrument to guide the lander to the ground using lasers; a drill that will whir into two meters of rock and ice; and the pocket-sized lab that Luna 27 will carry to analyze material the sampler scoops up.
And it seems likely ESA would team up with Russia after the recon mission to spool up that Moon colony.
At the National Space Symposium in April, the agency’s chief, Johann-Dietrich Wörner http://www.space.com/29285-moon-base-european-space-agency.html ">said, "It seems to be appropriate to propose a permanent Moon station as the successor of ISS.” He proposed that, like the space station, the Moon station also be international, with countries contributing people, talent, and resources according to their abilities.
China has its own designs. In 2013, it launched http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2014/07211715-change-3-update-still-alive.html ">Chang’e 3, complete with lander and orbiter, and plans to launch a lander called http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/09031006-change-5-t1-maps-future-sample-return.html ">Chang’e 5 in 2017. It will bring back two kilograms of samples (a puppy’s mass of material).
The US hasn’t expressed desire to join Team Moon, and it likely won’t: With a limited space-exploration budget, and a stated goal of going to Mars, NASA doesn’t have resources left for other projects (in fact, it may not even have enough for Mars). And it is actually forbidden, by http://qz.com/523094/nasa-has-no-choice-but-to-refuse-chinas-request-for-help-on-a-new-space-station/ ">an old law, from dealing with China in space-based endeavors.
But aside from money matters, going to the Moon doesn’t mean not going to Mars.
Europe, Russia, and China all plan to visit the Red Planet’s canyons and dunes sometime in the future. But going to the Moon is faster—in terms of trip planning and the number of times the crew asks “Are we there yet?” before arrival—and, because of that, cheaper.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/moon-or-mars-5.jpg " alt="moon-or-mars-5" width="300" height="200" />Further, because the timescales and the budget numbers are both smaller, the missions are more likely to happen (maybe even on time). Also, going to the Moon is a stepping stone to Mars. Launches to Mars could actually take place from the Moon—a lower-energy feat relative to Earth launches due to the Moon’s lesser gravity—after the colony turns industrial (which is, admittedly, a ways off). And astronauts and engineers can learn how to build a long-term space settlement, which (turns out) no one has ever done before.
However, the more resources agencies invest in getting to the Moon (and staying there for long periods of time), the fewer they have left to allocate for a future trip to Mars, an expensive endeavor. And the general American attitude of “been there, done that” has something to it. We have been there. We may not have done all of that, but we could go try to do it somewhere else, farther away: on a new frontier.
That kind of novel, dreamy goal inspires people, and not without reason. We have the technological capability to figure out how to make a human Mars mission work.
So, perhaps all together, in a global collaboration of building blocks, brains, brawn, and bitcoins, humans could accomplish both of their lofty space-travel goals and, in the coming decades, live on three spheres in the solar system.
Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Moon_colony_with_rover.jpeg ">NASA/Dennis M. Davidson (banner); NASA; http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2013/01/Multi-dome_base_being_constructed ">ESA/Foster + Partners (Moon base concept sketch)
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For a generation of CEOs, Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma was a guiding light on how to survive industry disruptions. His book educated business executives on where competition would emerge from and how to respond to the threats. Of late, however, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/06/23/the-disruption-machine ">journalists and http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/how-useful-is-the-theory-of-disruptive-innovation/ ">academics have questioned the accuracy of Christensen’s industry analyses and challenged his broad generalizations. His response, in a https://hbr.org/2015/12/what-is-disruptive-innovation ">new Harvard Business Review article, is that his theories have been misunderstood and their basic tenets misapplied. He posits that his prescriptions have been a victim of their own successes.
Regardless of whether the criticisms are valid, Christensen’s ideas have had a positive impact on industry. Companies such as Procter & Gamble, GE, and Salesforce credit them with having helped them stay ahead. They provided an excellent way of thinking about innovation.
But Christensen’s theories are now outdated, and there is little to be gained by arguing about the accuracy of the case studies on which they were based. The harm is in continuing to be guided by them — because they teach companies to look in the wrong places for competitive threats and encourage them to separate the innovative disruptors from the core businesses; to put them in new company divisions. We are now in an era in which technologies such as computing, networks, sensors, artificial intelligence, and robotics are advancing exponentially and converging, thereby allowing industries to encroach on and disrupt one another.
Christensen says that Uber and Tesla Motors aren’t genuinely disruptive, not fitting the tenets of his theory of disruptive innovation. In that, the competition comes from the lower end or an unserved part of a market and then migrates upward to the mainstream market. He says that Uber has gone in exactly the opposite direction by building a position in the mainstream market and then addressing historically overlooked segments. And Tesla Motors can’t be disruptive because it is tackling the high end of the car market. “If disruption theory is correct, Tesla’s future holds either acquisition by a much larger incumbent or a years-long and hard-fought battle for market significance,” say Christensen and his co-authors in the https://hbr.org/2015/12/what-is-disruptive-innovation ">paper.
Christensen’s disruption theory is not correct. The competition no longer comes from the lower end of a market; it comes from other, completely different, industries. For the taxi industry, Uber came out of nowhere. At first Uber tried competing with high-end limousines. Then it launched UberX to offer cheap taxi service. Now it wants it all. Through UberFresh, it is piloting same-day grocery delivery; through UberEats, it promises lunch in 10 minutes. Uber is challenging supermarkets, Amazon.com, and the catering industry — all at the same time. With UberHealth, it is planning to bring flu shots to people in need. When Uber finishes writing the software for its self-driving cars, it will create a genuine tsunami of disruption in every industry that depends upon transportation.
Tesla has already proven the http://wadhwa.com/2013/02/21/washington-post-confessions-of-a-tesla-fanboy/ ">superiority of its electric cars. Now it is changing their economics. With its Gigafactory, which is expected to come online in 2017, it will halve the cost of batteries and increase their range. These will keep getting better — and cheaper. Tesla is talking about releasing a $35,000 car in 2017. I won’t be surprised if it delivers a version in the early 2020s that travels more than 500 miles on a single charge and costs $25,000. And it plans to use the same battery technology, in https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2015/05/01/teslas-powerwall-is-the-latest-step-toward-our-clean-energy-future/ ">Powerwall to provide affordable storage to solar homes so that they can be disconnected from the grid and be energy independent. This cross-industry focus will lead to economies of scale that will disrupt both the transportation and energy industries. Tesla is more likely to acquire General Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen than to have to battle them.
Apple, which has already disrupted the computing and music industries, now has its eye on health care and finance. The Apple watch functions as a medical device; its artificial intelligence will monitor us 24×7 and begin to take the role of our personal physicians. Apple’s ResearchKit has already startedhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2015/03/23/apple-isnt-just-satisfied-reinventing-health-care-its-targeting-clinical-trials-as-well%e2%80%8b/ ">gathering clinical-trial data and will upend the pharmaceutical industry by keeping track of the effectiveness and side effects of the medications we take. ApplePay, Apple’s first entrant into the finance industry, will start doing the job of credit-card processors and will disrupt the finance industry over the next decade as it becomes a platform on which we transact commerce.
Google, Facebook, SpaceX, and Oneweb are in a race to provide Wi-Fi Internet access everywhere through drones, microsatellites, and balloons. At first, they will provide their services through the telecom companies; then they will eat their lunch. The motivation of the technology industry is, after all, to have everyone online all the time. Their business models are to monetize data rather than to charge cell, data, or access fees. They will also end up disrupting the cable industry, entertainment, and every industry that deals with information.
Disruption is no longer a narrow field that can be handled by a new division or department of a company. It is happening wherever technology can be applied. Companies need all hands on board — with all divisions working together to find ways to reinvent themselves and defend themselves from the onslaught of new competition. This is a company-wide effort which requires bold new thinking.
Image Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com ">Shutterstock.com
The post http://singularityhub.com/2015/11/24/how-recent-tech-success-stories-are-disrupting-disruption-theory/ ">How Recent Tech Success Stories Are Disrupting Disruption Theory appeared first on http://singularityhub.com ">Singularity HUB.
Higher education, in general, fails students in three ways.
- It does not prepare students to succeed in life after college.
- The cost is significant and students often go into debt or work to put themselves through school (often, they do both).
- Many students drop out or don’t attend classes.
This isn’t news.
Today, we almost take these challenges as immutable facts, but they don’t have to be. We can shift the tide by changing how and what we teach, and by making the most of technologies that are already here. My organization, https://www.minerva.kgi.edu/ ">Minerva, is one of the few working to address these problems — here are a few solutions we hope will make higher education more effective in the 21st century.
Preparing Students for Life After College
The standard curriculum has three parts: General education, a major, and electives. The problem is, as they are typically taught, none of these is very useful for students after graduation.
General education is supposed to prepare students for life after college, but often it consists of a set of breadth requirements that are neither designed with any particular goal in mind nor are part of a coherent program. The major is typically of no use to students after graduation. (How many economics majors become economists? How many sociology majors become sociologists?) And electives are typically just whatever happens to interest the faculty, with little thought about what is useful for students.
To tackle these problems, we’ve designed our entire curriculum around the goal of imparting “practical knowledge”— knowledge students can use to achieve their goals.
Practical knowledge is broad and generative. Kurt Lewin famously said, “There is nothing as practical as a good theory.” Practical knowledge is not vocational training nor is it focused on pre-professional instruction. Practical knowledge should give students the intellectual foundations to succeed at jobs that don’t even exist yet.
We have intentionally created a general education program during the first year that provides students with a set of cognitive tools they can use in varied situations. After the first year, we’ve designed a set of majors and concentrations that allow students to expand on this knowledge and apply it in more specific, “real-world” contexts. As students progress through the curriculum, they increasingly personalize it to help them achieve their goals.
We want our students to be able to become leaders and innovators, and to adapt to a changing, increasingly global world. Given these goals, we could identify skills and attributes that are key to their success in the future.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Residence-Hall_FC-1440x960.jpg " alt="Residence Hall_FC" width="1220" height="813" />
To ensure that what we teach translates to the real world, we devised the capstone experience.
Kicking off in the first semester of junior year, the capstone challenges students to plan a novel solution to an important problem. Then, over the following three semesters, students practice all they have learned from their Minerva experience by carrying out an original capstone project in their chosen field (or fields) in preparation for the students’ transition to the real world.
In addition, in their senior year, each student works with two other students and a professor to design a seminar on a topic of their choosing—and then they take the seminar. For most majors, students take two such seminars. No other university program allows students to personalize their instruction in this way.
Lastly, Minerva students change locations every semester after their first year in San Francisco.
They live and study in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Bangalore, Istanbul, and London. We use each city as a campus, taking advantage of local resources and integrating them into the curriculum. This approach broadens the students’ perspectives and extends their learning environment into a wide range of diverse urban contexts.
Say No to In-Class Lectures: Making Learning Active
Traditionally, students read assigned materials and then attend class to hear their professor give a lecture. They take notes, go home, do an assignment, and repeat. This model is backward — that is, students should not be wasting time in the classroom being lectured at by the professor.
In a standard “flipped classroom,” homework is done in class — where the teacher and other students are available as resources — and lectures are provided before class.
This is a good start. But we’ve gone further.
At Minerva, minimal information transmission takes place in class. In our “radical flipped classroom,” we move both the homework, readings, and lectures to before class and reserve class time for active learning. Students use information acquired through lectures and homework in critical thinking, creative thinking, effective communication, and effective interaction. They take part in group problem solving, debate, role-playing exercises and other activities that engage them.
This is challenging—but in a good way.
Students often prefer a traditional lecture format to active learning because lectures are easy: The student simply writes down what the professor says, memorizes it, and then does well on a test. Moreover, there’s the illusion of learning: The more notes, the more learned. Right? No. The vast majority of what was “learned” is soon forgotten. Active learning solidifies newly acquired knowledge by requiring students actually to use it after they’ve learned it.
Active learning does have an apparent drawback: Less material can be covered than in a traditional lecture format. But this drawback is more apparent than real. If retention is tested three months later, students who took part in active learning typically retain many times as much as students who received the material in just a lecture. Moreover, because active learning focuses on using information, it is an ideal fit to Minerva’s emphasis on practical knowledge.
Minerva’s active learning approach is complemented by programs that test and deepen students’ learning through practical application with community partners.
Whether working with the mayor’s office to reimagine the public use of San Francisco’s Market Street or partnering with an entrepreneurial incubator to evaluate submissions for funding, students are applying the what they’ve learned as part of their curriculum.
Technology to Facilitate Learning, Measure Progress and Broaden Experience
All classes at Minerva are taught using a cloud-based system that was developed solely to conduct educational seminars, the Active Learning Forum (ALF).
We use ALF for two main reasons. First, it allows us to teach more effectively and helps students to learn more effectively. In particular, our use of active learning allows us to apply the science of learning systematically. For example, we know that rapid feedback is invaluable; we take advantage of this by recording all classes, which allows faculty to score students and give them feedback soon after class.
Second, ALF allows students to take classes and faculty to teach classes from anywhere in the world. This means that we can have students in the same seminar who are living in different cities and can bring their experiences into class for comparison/contrast exercises. It also means that we can recruit first-rate faculty who can teach from all over the world.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/L1007335_0337.DNG_.jpg " alt="L1007335_0337.DNG" width="933" height="624" />
Lowering the Cost and Increasing Student Engagement
Finally, it’s worth taking a step back and considering Minerva in a broader context. As noted at the outset, higher education in general fails students in three ways: First, it does not prepare students to succeed in life after college. Everything we do at Minerva is focused on this goal.
Second, our peer institutions typically charge about four times what we do for tuition.
Because we don’t own buildings, have sports teams (or even a climbing wall!), and so on, we have far fewer expenses and can actually provide a much more intimate, substantially higher quality educational experience at a fraction of the cost.
And, finally, many students drop out, either never completing college or not attending classes (and instead just showing up for the test). We hope to motivate students to continue their journey toward mastery by restricting our classes to small, intimate seminars, by requiring engagement and participation from our students, by raising expectations as opposed to lowering them, and by having students live and travel together all over the world.
Combining rigorous academics, small seminars, and four years of immersive global study, we have built Minerva for the 21st century. We have not only changed what students learn, but how they learn. However, the only measure of our success will be the success of our students, not simply doing well in school but also doing well in life after graduation — professionally and personally.
To get updates on Future of Learning posts, http://eepurl.com/bEiH51 ">sign up here.
Image Credit: http://shutterstock.com " target="_blank">Shutterstock.com; Minerva
The post http://singularityhub.com/2015/11/24/higher-ed-has-failed-students-heres-how-we-plan-to-fix-it/ ">Higher Ed Has Failed Students—Here’s How We Plan to Fix It appeared first on http://singularityhub.com ">Singularity HUB.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about http://singularityhub.com/2015/10/12/ray-kurzweils-wildest-prediction-nanobots-will-plug-our-brains-into-the-web-by-the-2030s/ ">Ray Kurzweil's wild prediction that in the 2030s, nanobots will connect our brains to the cloud, merging biology with the digital world.
Let's talk about what's happening today.
Over the past few decades, billions of dollars have been poured into three areas of research: neuroprosthetics, brain-computer interfaces and optogenetics.
All three areas of research are already transforming humanity and solving many of the problems that seem to have stumped our natural evolutionary processes.
This post is about the latest developments in these fields — from the most exciting applications today to the most game-changing applications of the future.
Neuroprosthetics, Brain-Computer Interfaces, and Optogenetics
Your brain is composed of 100 billion cells called neurons.
These cells make you who you are and control everything you do, think and feel.
In combination with your sensory organs (i.e., eyes, ears), these systems shape how you perceive the world.
And sometimes, they can fail.
That's where neuroprosthetics come into the picture.
The term "neuroprosthetics" describes the use of electronic devices to replace the function of impaired nervous systems or sensory organs.
They've been around for a while — the first cochlear implant was implanted in 1957 to help deaf individuals hear — and since then, over 350,000 have been implanted around the world, restoring hearing and dramatically improving quality of life for those individuals.
But such a cochlear implant only hints at a very exciting field that researchers call the brain-computer interface, or BCI: the direct communication pathway between the brain (central nervous system, or CNS) and an external computing device.
The vision for BCI involves interfacing the digital world with the CNS for the purpose of augmenting or repairing human cognition.
And how we interface with the CNS is where it becomes interesting.
There are two approaches. The first is physically connecting wires and neurons with microscopic arrays of metallic pins that stick into the brain and electrically stimulate neurons and/or measure the neuron's electric potential when they fire.
The second, and far more interesting, approach is the arena of "optogenetics" — controlling neurons with light. Using this mechanism, a light-sensitive molecule is inserted into the cell surface of a neuron (usually through a virus vector). The light-sensitive molecule can then allow an outside user to trigger or inhibit the neuron's firing by pulsing a specific frequency of light.
The entire BCI and neuroprosthetics field is just at its infancy today.
To get you thinking about the possibilities, here are a few of my favorite applications illustrating what we can do today.
- Seeing: About 70 blind people have undergone the 3-hour surgery for what’s called a “retinal implant.” As described, “a spectacle-mounted camera captures image data; that data is then processed by a mini-computer carried on a strap and sent to a neuron-stimulating array of 60 electrodes implanted on the retina.” While still a long way from completely restoring vision, the notion that we can use cameras to augment or replace lost photoreceptors is promising.
- Hearing: As I mentioned earlier, around 350,000 cochlear implants have been implanted in hard-of-hearing individuals over the last 60 years. A microphone picks up sound from the environment, sends it to a speech processor, and then a transmitter converts it into electric impulses. An electrode array sends these impulses to different regions of the auditory nerve, allowing us to bypass the malfunctioning parts of the ear all together.
- Feeling Pain: Various companies and research groups (including Stanford University) are exploring how to use optogenetics to “turn off” the perception of chronic pain simply by pressing a bright flashlight to a patient’s skin. Pain is the primary reason people see doctors, accounting for $635 billion per year.
- Movement/Intention: Fifteen to 20 paralyzed patients have received implants into the motor cortex (the area of the brain that controls movement) that allow them to control external robotic arms or, even more amazingly, reanimate paralyzed limbs by stimulating electrodes implanted in the limb.
- Hunger: Like pain, hunger is a sensation. Stanford researchers are exploring how to use optogenetics to curb the sensation of hunger by regulating stimuli from the vagus nerve.
- Memory: A researcher out of the University of Southern California is developing a way to restore memory encoding and accessing in people with epilepsy using an implanted computer chip in the hippocampus.
- Anxiety: Karl Deisseroth and collaborators at Stanford University “identified a specific circuit in the amygdala, a part of the brain that is central to fear, aggression, and other basic emotions, that appears to regulate anxiety in rodents.” With optogenetics, we could soon be able to turn this circuit off…
Where we go in the future is really just mind-blowing.
The Future — Where Brain Research Is Going
As neuroscientist David Eagleman recently pointed out at TED, our experience of reality is constrained by our biology.
This doesn't have to be the case anymore as we develop new ways to send novel inputs or computational capabilities into the brain.
We could add new senses. (Imagine being able to "plug in" to the stock market, to sense how the market was doing.) We could develop wireless, brain-to-brain communication, something called synthetic telepathy, and send messages to each other by thinking them.
Our brains are a platform and the opportunities for new applications are almost endless.
These applications will challenge what it means to be human. And once we, as Ray Kurzweil predicts, connect our neocortices to the cloud, perhaps we'll become something far more than "human" altogether.
Image Credit:http://www.shutterstock.com "> Shutterstock.com
The post http://singularityhub.com/2015/11/23/hacking-the-brain-restoring-lost-abilities-with-the-latest-neurotechnologies/ ">Hacking the Brain — Restoring Lost Abilities With the Latest Neurotechnologies appeared first on http://singularityhub.com ">Singularity HUB.
Our body is, in essence, more ecosystem than organism.
The human body http://www.fastcompany.com/3039891/gut-check ">teems with trillions of microbes — bacteria, viruses and fungi — and at any moment, we may be carrying between one and three pounds of these micro-hitchhikers in colonies on our skin, groin, mouths, and sinuses. By far, however, the gut microbiome ecosystem — the largest and most complex — is the one that has both academic researchers and pharmaceutical companies hooked.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/bugs-as-drugs-4.jpg " alt="bugs-as-drugs-4" width="300" height="200" />The reason? Our gut bugs may be the new frontier of a billion-dollar bioceutical industry.
Manipulating the microbiome for health is nothing new. The growing probiotics industry earns some http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/73/2/476s.full ">$30 billion globally each year selling supplements and foods and drinks like yogurt or kombucha. The health claims are: improved intestinal health, buzzing energy, weight loss and “all natural” mood enhancement.
“It’s unregulated, unsupported,” http://www.fastcompany.com/3039891/gut-check ">says Dr. Martin Blaser, a pioneer of human microbiome studies at NYU and advisor to http://www.secondgenome.com/ ">Second Genome, a startup based in the Bay Area.
But that’s set to change. For years, the boom in over-the-counter probiotics was more hype than science; now, mounting evidence is beginning to link conditions ranging from the physical — irritable bowel syndrome, Type 2 diabetes — to the mental — autism, Parkinson’s, depression — to the gut’s resident microbugs.
"The microbiome field has produced some of the most exciting science discoveries of the last five years, and its potential impact on human health is just too big to ignore," http://www.economistinsights.com/healthcare/analysis/microbial-medicine/tab/1 ">says Bernat Olle, chief operating officer at http://www.vedantabio.com/ ">Vedanta Biosciences, a Boston startup that looks to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases by modulating the microbiome.
Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford University, agrees. “Undoubtedly, the microbiome is a little drug factory in our intestine,” he says.
One with many unresolved mysteries, and a hell of a lot to offer.
Beyond the vanguard
The tantalizing links between gut microbes and health have only recently begun to be accepted by mainstream science.
The main roadblock is proving causality. “It's very difficult to tell if microbial differences you see associated with diseases are causes or consequences,” Rob Knight, a microbiologist at the University of California, San Diego.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/bugs-as-drugs-5.jpg " alt="bugs-as-drugs-5" width="300" height="200" />So far, the question’s been hard to answer. Most sophisticated, tightly controlled experiments were done in mice raised in completely sterile environments — hardly the best model, given that most humans are colonized at birth by resident microbes in our mothers’ vaginal canal.
Data in humans are far more limited and often correlational in nature. In varying degrees, our microbiome connects to a slew of metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. It also, crucially, acts as a communication channel between our immune and digestive systems.
The link to brain disorders is perhaps the most tantalizing. Children with autism, for example, often also suffer from gastrointestinal problems. As do patients with anxiety, depression, schizophrenic and neurodegenerative disorders, suggesting malfunctioning gut microbes. But is it just a connected fact, or is it a cause for their illness?
Without figuring out causal relationships, there’s little use in pursuing a drug. But bioceutical companies like Second Genome have a workaround. The goal is not to target every disease, says CEO Peter DiLaura, it’s to take aim at just a few.
In particular, ones with large unmet therapeutics need and evidence showing a large microbiome-driven causation, explains DiLaura. Obesity, Type 2 diabetes and Crohn’s disease all fit the bill, and Second Genome is tackling each with laser focus.
If successful, Second Genome could relieve millions of people of their chronic disease. The key to unlocking the gut-health secret, said DiLaura, is tapping into the ancient language that connects host with microbe.
“We’re code breakers,” says DiLaura. For eons, we have only focused on the host side of things; with advances in genomic profiling and big data, we can finally tap into the conversation within and surrounding the microbiome.
Preliminary results hint at complex answers. The composition of the gut microbiome — the balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria — can influence health by regulating inflammation in the body.
We can easily change the microbiome composition with diet and antibiotics, sometimes in less than a week, http://www.nature.com/news/microbiome-therapy-gains-market-traction-1.15210 ">says Sonnenburg. This works well in our favor. His team is currently working on a molecule called sialic acid, which prevents harmful bacterial from taking over the gut after heavy antibiotic use.
Other companies are taking “bugs as drugs” quite literally.
http://www.openbiome.org/ ">OpenBiome, a company based in Cambridge, Mass, is providing frozen stool samples from healthy, pre-screened individuals to hospitals. There, the samples are put into the colons of people suffering from the deadly — and otherwise untreatable — gut infection Clostridium difficile, which kills 14,000 Americans each year.
Early results have been nothing short of remarkable so far: in http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/53/10/994.long ">a 2011 review of 317 patients, fecal transplants cleared up the infection in 92% of cases. To facilitate long-term maintenance treatment, the team is working on capsules that patients can take orally.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/bugs-as-drugs-6.jpg " alt="bugs-as-drugs-6" width="300" height="200" />You might be thinking eww: after all, it’s hard not to give a crap about swallowing poop pills. Researchers agree. The next step is to try to isolate and culture healthful strains of bacteria that bear the brunt of the therapeutic work in fecal matter, and make them into probiotics to stop recurrent infections or prevent one from happening altogether. So far, the effects http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23728658?dopt=Abstract&holding=npg ">are there but moderate, and scientists are tweaking the probiotic composition to further optimize treatment.
Arguably, however, the most pragmatic approach is looking at gutbug bioactives — that is, proteins and metabolites secreted by the microbiome that impact health.
Second Genome is striding down this path. In close collaboration with academic advisors, the company is striving to find bioactives that are secreted by a healthy microbiome. So far, research is homing in on a class of chemicals called short-chain fatty acids. These molecules are constantly produced as gut microbes break down starchy foods, which — in ways yet uncovered — regulate our immune system, the integrity of our brain cells and an array of metabolic pathways.
http://symbiotix-bio.com/ ">Other molecules may combat the deadly effects of multiple sclerosis, a devastating degenerative brain disease currently without cure. Yet http://www.nature.com/news/vaginal-microbe-yields-novel-antibiotic-1.15900 ">others may prove to be a new source of antibiotics, to amp up our rapidly dwindling antibiotic arsenal.
We’ve uncovered only the tip of the bioactive iceberg, and it’s a field ripe for discovery.
“People are eager to learn what exactly helpful bacteria are doing,” http://www.nature.com/news/vaginal-microbe-yields-novel-antibiotic-1.15900 ">says Dr. Michael Fischbach, a microbiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who uses machine learning to hunt down drug-making genes in the human microbiome.
“Nobody had anticipated that they have the capability to make so many different kinds of drugs,” says Fischbach. “We used to think that drugs were discovered by drug companies and prescribed by a physician and then they get to you.”
Forget that. The future of drug making may be right on — and inside — your body.
Image Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com ">Shutterstock.com
The post http://singularityhub.com/2015/11/22/bugs-as-drugs-seeking-microbial-cures-inside-body/ ">Bugs as Drugs: Seeking the Microbial Secret to Health appeared first on http://singularityhub.com ">Singularity HUB.
ROBOTICS: http://www.businessinsider.com/whats-going-on-with-google-robotics-2015-11 ">Google’s robot group struggles to fill leadership vacuum as it shoots for ambitious launch before 2020http://www.technologyreview.com/news/542821/robots-can-now-teach-each-other-new-tricks/ ">
Jillian D'Onfro | Business Insider
"Nearly two years ago, Google announced a new robotics division that had secretly snapped up almost ten companies. The state of those efforts is now in flux, and the group is in a difficult position as it tries to meet a goal of creating consumer robot technology by 2020. "
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/11/how_zombies_could_be_the_future_of_artificial_intelligence.single.html ">The Emotional Uncanny Valley — How zombies could be the future of artificial intelligencehttp://www.technologyreview.com/news/542821/robots-can-now-teach-each-other-new-tricks/ ">
Adam Elkus | Slate
"Imagine a situation in which we encounter a human-like entity (let us call it Robo-Shylock) that is the most realistic replication of a human science has ever encountered....while Robo-Shylock shows what we might regard as outward signs of pain and appropriate behavioral reactions to being pricked, internally it has no concept of pain or being pricked. It does not experience a sensation of pain the way we would, despite bleeding and reacting as if it has been pricked. If such a scenario like the plot of a bad 1950s science fiction movie to you, then you are not alone. Robo-Shylock is what philosophers of mind dub a 'philosophical zombie' or 'p-zombie' for short."
ETHICS: https://aeon.co/opinions/we-have-greater-moral-obligations-to-robots-than-to-humans ">We have greater moral obligations to robots than to humans
Eric Schwitzgebel | Aeon
"If we someday create robots with human-like cognitive and emotional capacities, we owe them more moral consideration than we would normally owe to otherwise similar human beings. Here’s why: we will have been their creators and designers."
INTERNET: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/so-this-is-how-net-neutrality-dies ">So This Is How Net Neutrality Dies
Jason Koebler | Motherboard
"Over the last, say, 18 months or so, telecom companies have been ravenously snatching up and partnering with content creators. At first, it was easy to look at these acquisitions...merely as cable and telecom companies attempting to diversify in response to the potential economic crisis presented by cord cutters and people who never subscribed to cable networks in the first place. But that’s too simple an interpretation. Instead, telecom is attempting to control the content, the means of getting it to you, and the advertising networks that support them."
FUTURE OF WORK: http://www.citylab.com/work/2015/11/should-computers-decide-who-gets-hired/417015/ ">Should Computers Decide Who Gets Hired?
Gillian B. White | CityLab
"Humans can certainly exert bias and illogical preferences, which can color hiring practices when managers use personal discretion to sift through applicants....But on the other hand, relegating people—and the firms they work for—to data points focuses only on the success of firms in terms of productivity and tenure, and that might be a shallow way of interpreting what makes a company successful."
ROBOCARS: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/magazine/the-dream-life-of-driverless-cars.html ">The Dream Life of Driverless Carshttp://www.technologyreview.com/news/542821/robots-can-now-teach-each-other-new-tricks/ ">
Geoff Manaugh | The New York Times
"One of the most significant uses of 3-D scanning in the years to come will not be by humans at all but by autonomous vehicles. Cars are already learning to drive themselves, by way of scanner-assisted braking, pedestrian-detection sensors, parallel-parking support, lane-departure warnings and other complex driver-assistance systems, and full autonomy is on the horizon."
VIRTUAL REALITY: http://www.fastcompany.com/3052125/innovation-agents/welcome-to-brain-sciences-next-frontier-virtual-reality ">Welcome To Brain Science's Next Frontier: Virtual Realityhttp://www.technologyreview.com/news/542821/robots-can-now-teach-each-other-new-tricks/ ">
Tina Amirtha | Fast Company
"Neuroscience is a field for limitless exploration and new discovery. The biggest technical revolutions of the last century—nuclear energy, computing power, and space exploration—all started with basic science research that had no immediate industrial use, but evolved into important industries with rewarding applications. Now, science advocates say neuroscience is the next revolution. By exploring the mysteries of the brain, budding technologies could benefit. These technologies will, likewise, enhance basic research."
LEARNING is the http://startup.singularityu.org/ggc/ ">Global Grand Challenge
for the Month of November
"Access to skills and information for all people at all stages of their lives for personal fulfillment and benefit to society."
from http://singularityu.org/impact/ ">Singularity University's 2015 Impact Report
Check out our http://singularityhub.com/tag/future-of-learning/ ">Future of Learning series running all month on Singularity Hub!
CURRICULUM: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/11/texas-school-board-rejects-push-to-enlist-academics-to-check-textbooks-for-factual-errors.html/ ">Texas school board rejects push to enlist academics to check textbooks for factual errorshttp://www.wired.com/2015/09/cyberwar-global-guide-nation-state-digital-attacks/ ">
Robert T. Garrett | Dallas News
"The push for more experts to be involved came after more than a year of controversy over board-sanctioned books’ coverage of global warming, descriptions of Islamic history and terrorism and handling of the Civil War and the importance of Moses and the Ten Commandments to the founding fathers."
COST OF EDUCATION: http://www.fastcompany.com/3053305/the-future-of-work/could-nanodegrees-be-the-solution-to-the-student-debt-crisis ">Could "Nanodegrees" Be The Solution To The Student Debt Crisis?
George Lorenzo | Fast Company
"'By the end of next year, we are going to have more than 50 [nanodegree programs],' Thrun says. 'We have a meticulous plan that we are working through, and it covers areas such as big data, cybersecurity, and tech entrepreneurship with things such as project management and design.'"
EMPLOYMENT: http://www.wsj.com/articles/online-skills-are-hot-but-will-they-land-you-a-job-1447806460 ">Online Skills Are Hot, But Will They Land You a Job?http://www.fastcompany.com/3053305/the-future-of-work/could-nanodegrees-be-the-solution-to-the-student-debt-crisis ">
Lauren Weber | Wall Street Journal
"The recognition of specialized skills could go in two directions, employers and labor market experts say. Independent groups could step in to develop standards for credentials, or employers could test more applicants’ skills during hiring, which could make some laurels—be it a bachelor’s degree or boot-camp diploma—superfluous."
[image courtesy of Shutterstock]
The post http://singularityhub.com/2015/11/21/this-weeks-awesome-stories-from-around-the-web-through-nov-21-2/ ">This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Nov 21) appeared first on http://singularityhub.com ">Singularity HUB.
Ali M. Ismail, Entrepreneur
http://singularityu.org/graduate-studies-program/?__hstc=256984660.c7304a9f8a41c6b68762b0f3fc51ff5a.1438895066128.1447871758734.1447884514877.248&__hssc=256984660.7.1447884514877&__hsfp=1708081357 " target="_blank">Graduate Studies Program 2015 Graduate
Ali Ismail had been patiently waiting in Baghdad for the arrival of a visa the US embassy was mailing him. However, as the first week of Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program began, Ali was still in Baghdad. And he was done waiting.
He found the number of the DHL manager in Iraq, went to their warehouse, and got to the source of the delay. A few days, three flights, and over 36 hours of travel later, Ali arrived in San Francisco and made his way to Singularity University only one week late.
“The post-war era in Iraq creates a lot of challenges, and a lot of opportunity.” –Ali
A self-taught developer, Ali studied materials engineering in college. Though he began his career in media, he quickly realized he was on the wrong path. His ultimate passion was entrepreneurship—something he had already begun to explore in college.
In 2012, Ali cofounded the first maker space in Iraq (http://fikra.space./ " target="_blank">Fikraspace). Now, the largest maker community in the country, Fikraspace has hosted three events for entrepreneurs (called Startup Weekends) in Baghdad and two in Basra in the south.
Ali’s central motivation—to give young, aspiring Iraqi entrepreneurs opportunities for training, mentorship, and investment—has also been largely fueled by his own efforts pursuing those very things for himself.
Alison: What is the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem like in Baghdad?
Ali: I think Iraqis are very entrepreneurial. In the ‘90s, Iraq was under many UN sanctions. If you worked for the government, you couldn’t make much money, so most Iraqis started their own businesses. The culture is there, but it's not the entrepreneurial ecosystem that’s here in Silicon Valley. It’s not as industrialized like it is here, and most of the businesses are different. Most are not in tech.
The tech ecosystem in Iraq really started about three years ago, as we were starting the maker space. Through the maker space, we organized large events such as Startup Weekends. We've organized three in Baghdad and two in Basra in the south. We got a lot of traction with young people because they like the idea of being their own bosses. We are one of the youngest nations in the world. Most of the population is 16 to 25 years old.
There are a lot of things that entrepreneurs can build, and there are a lot of untapped opportunities, even in the infrastructure. Almost nothing in Iraq is automated.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_0732-1440x957.jpg " alt="DSC_0732" width="1220" height="811" />
Alison: What have been some of the challenges of bringing Startup Weekend to Baghdad?
Ali: There’s a gap before Startup Weekend and a gap after—before Startup Weekend it’s the skills, and after Startup Weekend it’s the investments.
So, we are giving free workshops before Startup Weekend in mobile programming, web programming, and design for young people. And after Startup Weekend, we are trying to set up mentorships and investment. We are planning to expand the maker space into a coworking space and eventually an accelerator in Iraq.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_0737-1440x957.jpg " alt="DSC_0737" width="1220" height="811" />
Alison: Beyond cofounding the first maker space in Iraq and continuing to nurture the maker community, what is your source of inspiration?
Ali: When I was a kid, I wanted a place where I could learn from other people and also share what I’ve learned. This was the most difficult thing in Baghdad, in part because I didn’t have much access to the internet. Having a maker space would have been so great for me—so I started it at first to meet other people who shared my interests.
There are a lot of boot camps here in the US that provide skilled training for developers and designers, or that just provide human capital for startups. I really want to do that with our maker space. And we are doing it, but not at that large of a scale.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_0760-1440x957.jpg " alt="DSC_0760" width="1220" height="811" />
Alison: How would you like entrepreneurship in Baghdad to evolve and improve?
Ali: I hope to have more people from outside the country come to Iraq—like investors, thought leaders, mentors—and also to send more people from Iraq to Silicon Valley.
I also hope the mindsets of some investors in Iraq will change. Many of them are mostly investing in established business models like restaurants, malls, or entertainment. They are not taking the risk to invest in innovation. I want this to change, to have more money invested in young people.
http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DSC_0719-1440x957.jpg " alt="DSC_0719" width="1220" height="811" />
This interview has been edited and condensed
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Photography shot by: Alison Berman
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