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Five Things – 22-04-17

Posted on 4 mins read

So this week, I’ve started reading Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman (Audible), and it’s core concept is that perhaps we have it too good right now, because as a society, we’re content. But the problem with being content is that we’re not looking for the next leap forward, the next thing to make our lives better. We’re not looking to the future, we’re too content with the present.

Because I feel like this is unacceptable, over the next few issues I’ll be shifting Five Things to focus more on the exciting evolutions that are coming, and the biggest issues facing us that don’t get enough coverage. I hope you’ll join me in the journey.


This Is the Dawn of Brain Tech, But How Far Can It Go?—SingularityHub

Elon Musk, is one of the best people to look at when looking for people not content with the status quo. From SpaceX making space flight cheaper, Tesla making the need for burning oil obsolete, to SolarCity making it cheaper and cheaper to generate electricity, Musk has created a series of companies that make the world better.

His latest move is to start a new company, Neuralink. Which is focused on upgrading the current brain-machine interfaces, to something that is both two-ways, allowing for in-depth interaction with computers. The article explores the current state of the industry, as well as how us becoming cyborgs will significantly change the evolution of the world.
 

Our Climate Future Is Actually Our Climate Present—The New York Times Magazine

This is one of the articles that got me really thinking this week, and I think I’ll be thinking about it for a while to come. There is an amazing statement to see when even though we have historic records of how places were, we only think about places in the way that we’ve experienced them. This is called “environmental generational amnesia”, each generation forgets how a place was for the proviso generation.

This is probably one of the biggest reasons that people aren’t up in arms about climate change, as it changes too slowly for people to get upset. People don’t compare how the world was 100 years ago to what they’re experiencing, they’re comparing it to yesterday, a month ago, or a year ago, and thus the changes that take more than a year go unnoticed.
 

A Brief History of Our Robotic Future | Robots & Us—WIRED

This looks like it’s going to be an interesting series from WIRED. This episode explores how robotics has evolved over the last century, and the concepts of Artificial Intelligence v. Intelligence Amplification. Over the last century, consumers have been exposed heavily to IA, with smart phones being the purest example of this so far. While AI has been the realm or research so far, we’re about to see an explosion of AI, especially in the form of computers teaching themselves (a good example of this is computer vision, i.e. a computer being able to recognise the Eiffel Tower in images).
 

Mailbag Monday: Vegetarianism—Philosophy Bro

Tommy Maranges has created a great site for explaining philosophical concepts, in a funny and easily understandable way! This discussion on the ethics of eating meat is a great example, and I strongly suggest checking out other explanations on the site, as they’re all excellently written.
 

Arresting Julian Assange is a priority, says US attorney general Jeff Sessions—The Guardian

It’s always interesting to watch the duality of political parties, with the party not in power often relishing leaks that damage their opposition, and often vocally supporting the leakers. But when the coin is flipped, the leakers are the worst thing for them, and they’ll go to any lengths to prosecute them.

The problem with prosecuting leakers, is that the role of a leaker is important. If every leaker feared the prosecution that all the modern “democracies” seem to want to implement. The bad things that the government and businesses do would never be exposed, and they would only continue to get worse.