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Category: risk analysis

Partisan Innumeracy

Partisan Innumeracy

In his memoir, China in Ten Words, writer Yu Hua recalled an event following the end of the cultural revolution. Literature had been banned for many years but the memory of its joys had lingered in much of the population. Hua’s formative years had been during the intellectually desiccated period. Emerging from a time when being seen with any book other than officially sanctioned volumes of or about Chairman Mao could have grave consequences, he and many others craved stories…

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COVID-19 (Average) vs Other Causes of Death (Actual) in the U.S. – Animated Data Graph

COVID-19 (Average) vs Other Causes of Death (Actual) in the U.S. – Animated Data Graph

Source: Covid vs. US Daily Average Cause of Death, Robert Martin on 8 Apr 2020 For those still saying influenza is a much bigger killer than COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2), the numbers don’t support that argument, especially considering there are many deaths that strongly appear to be due to COVID-19 that are not reported as such because the deceased are not tested. The animation conveys the speed with which an exponentially increasing infection rate overtakes other, relatively linear rates of expansion.

How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History

How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History

link.medium.com/YRFzoB3Xr5 This article is relevant to our recent discussions and Zak Stein’s (see Edward’s recent post) suggestion that great destabilizing events open gaps in which new structures can supplant older, disintegrating systems–with the inherent risks and opportunities.

Rapid Personality Change and the Psychological Rebirth

Rapid Personality Change and the Psychological Rebirth

Informative video on this process. Ofttimes we need to descend into hell before we can ascend into a new life. And this seems the overall process of human development, that for each stage we must go through this spiraling process of dissolution and reorganization. Hence we are far more than twice-born; we are multiply born anew at each stage. It seems though that the further we go in this process the greater the risks and rewards. Speaking of which, the…

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Book: Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

Book: Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff investigates the impacts of current and emerging technologies and digital culture on individuals and groups and seeks ways to evade or extract ourselves from their corrosive effects. After you read the book, please post your thoughts as comments to this post or, if you prefer, as new posts. There are interviews and other resources about the book online. Feel free to recommend in the comments those you find meaningful. Also, the audiobook is available through…

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Running on escalators

Running on escalators

Ideally, automation would yield a Star Trek reality of increasing leisure and quality of choice and experience. Why isn’t this our experience? An article on Medium offers insight into why this is not occurring on any significant scale. Evolved behavioral strategies explained by the prisoner’s dilemma damn the majority of humans to a constant doubling down. We exchange the ‘leisure dividend’ (free time) granted by automation for opportunities to outcompete others. Apparently, the sort of reciprocal social learning that could…

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Applying artificial intelligence for social good

Applying artificial intelligence for social good

This McKinsey article is an excellent overview of this more extensive article (3 MB PDF) enumerating the ways in which varieties of deep learning can improve existence. Worth a look. The articles cover the following: Mapping AI use cases to domains of social good AI capabilities that can be used for social good Overcoming bottlenecks, especially around data and talent Risks to be managed Scaling up the use of AI for social good

Musk: merging of humans and technology essential to survival

Musk: merging of humans and technology essential to survival

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.17.6″] From Axios interview with Elon Musk: Musk said his neuroscience company, Neuralink, has about 85 of “the highest per capita intelligence” group of engineers he has ever assembled — with the mission of building a hard drive for your brain. “The long-term aspiration with Neuralink would be to achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence.” Wait. What? “To achieve a sort of democratization of intelligence, such that it is not monopolistically held in a purely digital form by governments…

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The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

Kurzweil builds and supports a persuasive vision of the emergence of a human-level engineered intelligence in the early-to-mid twenty-first century. In his own words, With the reverse engineering of the human brain we will be able to apply the parallel, self-organizing, chaotic algorithms of  human intelligence to enormously powerful computational substrates. This intelligence will then be in a position to improve its own design, both hardware and software,  in a rapidly accelerating iterative process. In Kurzweil’s view, we must and…

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