Archive | April 2013

The Key to Growth? Race With the Machines

This is an interesting video from Ted about the way increasing productivity further in the future.

As machines take on more jobs, many find themselves out of work or with raises indefinitely postponed. Is this the end of growth? No, says Erik Brynjolfsson — it’s simply the growing pains of a radically reorganized economy. A riveting case for why big innovations are ahead of us … if we think of computers as our teammates. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Robert Gordon.

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How Much Money is There on Earth?

An interesting video about money from Vsauce.

Rose George: Let’s talk crap. Seriously

This is a video from TED about the people who don’t have access to a basic sanitary toilet.

It’s 2013, yet 2.5 billion people in the world have no access to a basic sanitary toilet. And when there’s no loo, where do you poo? In the street, probably near your water and food sources — causing untold death and disease from contamination. Get ready for a blunt, funny, powerful talk from journalist Rose George about a once-unmentionable problem.

The Transhumanist Reader

English: Transhumanism H+ symbol Русский: Симв...

Transhumanism H+ symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a follow-up to my last post here about transhumanism, is an interesting podcast from Singularity blog about the new book The Transhumanist Reader from Natasha Vita-More.

What is transhumanism ?

According to wikipedia :

Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

Who is Natasha Vita-More ?

According to wikipedia:

Natasha Vita-More (born Nancie Clark in Westchester County, New York) is a university lecturer on transhumanism and the Creative Director of H+ Lab.

In 1982, Vita-More authored a Transhuman Statement; produced and hosted cable TV show TransCentury Update on human futures reaching over 100,000 viewers in Los Angeles and Telluride 1985–1992; founded Transhumanist Arts and Culture 1993. She was the Chair of “Vital Progress Summit” 2004, establishing a precedent for proaction of human enhancement. She was the president of the Extropy Institute 2002-2006. She currently advises non-profit organizations including Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, Adaptive A.I., and LifeBoat Foundation, and Alcor Life Extension Foundation, and has been a consultant to IBM on the future of human performance.

The Transhumanist Reader

This is a book about transhumanism and the human nature.

The book description (according to amazon) is:

The first authoritative and comprehensive survey of the origins and current state of transhumanist thinking.
The rapid pace of emerging technologies is playing an increasingly important role in overcoming fundamental human limitations. Featuring core writings by seminal thinkers in the speculative possibilities of the posthuman condition, essays address key philosophical arguments for and against human enhancement, explore the inevitability of life extension, and consider possible solutions to the growing issues of social and ethical implications and concerns. Edited by the internationally acclaimed founders of the philosophy and social movement of transhumanism, The Transhumanist Reader is an indispensable guide to our current state of knowledge of the quest to expand the frontiers of human nature.
Bellow is a the podcast I was talking about.

More information about this book and Natasha Vita-More are found here.

Liberty and Security

Do we need a new vision of universal freedom ?

Distinguished human rights lawyer, barrister and academic, Professor Conor Gearty argues that a new vision of universal freedom is urgently required.

In Search for the Man Who Broke my Neck

How do you find a man who you never met ?

When Joshua Prager was 19, a devastating bus accident left him a quadriplegic for several years. He returned to Israel twenty years later to find the driver who turned his world upside down.

In this mesmerizing tale of their meeting, Prager probes deep questions of nature, nurture, self-deception and destiny.

Design and Society

This is an interesting video from RSA about the impact of design into the society.

In the inaugural RSA Tindale Lecture, Alice Rawsthorn, leading design critic and author of the forthcoming book “Hello World: Where Design Meets Life”, explores the powerful and pervasive influence of design in our lives — and addresses design’s social responsibilities.

From Mach-20 Glider to Humming Bird Drone

This video from TedEd begins with this question : What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” asks Regina Dugan, then director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In this breathtaking talk she describes some of the extraordinary projects — a robotic hummingbird, a prosthetic arm controlled by thought, and, well, the internet — that her agency has created by not worrying that they might fail.

Touchscreen Interface

The next video is about an interesting touchscreen interface for seamless data transfer between the real and virtual worlds.

Real world touchscreen interface for interactive documents and books from Fujitsu Laboratories.

The Magic of Vedic Math

This video show an interesting and simple way to do math using Vedic math.

There is more than one way to reach a correct answer in mathematics. Vedic math, an ancient Indian method, sidesteps traditional computations in a manner that provides a shortcut, while being fun to use and to learn. At TEDYouth 2012, to ooh’s and aah’s from the amazed crowd, Gaurav Tekriwal demonstrates the magic of Vedic math.