25 June 2014

"Everything is Obvious" by Duncan Watts

Watts makes a direct attack against the foundation of what we call 'common sense.' He backs his assault with a bevy of studies, done by himself and others. It was interesting to note that we are really bad at making predictions... of any kind. Yet we think we are fantastic at it because so many things seem obvious to us, especially in hindsight. This is a common theme of the book.

Interesting tidbit: experts are generally not statistically significantly better than a non-expert crowd at making predictions.

Why I miss the old Star Trek

Do not get me wrong, I love the new Star Trek movie. It is witty, engaging and has amazing special effects. In the end though, it seems to be missing all of the grand culture of the original movies and TV series (mostly The Next Generation). I fondly remember how Dr. McCoy and Spock would throw out obscure Shakespeare quotes for the other to guess. There would be entire episodes and movies centered on exemplifying a philosophical concept (such as "The Drumhead" about the need to protect human rights on all levels, "Darmok" about understanding your roots or "Tapestry" or "Star Trek IV: The Journey Home" about preserving our environment). Then there is the music: so diverse (Jazz), so moving (Classical), so inspiring (and Classical again).

Star Trek would blend, often beautifully, philosophy, music and morals all together to show how we could become better not at some far distant future point but right now. This is a blending we have seemed to move away from our modern era.

I will continue to enjoy to new Star Trek movies while occasionally sneaking away to watch the old ones.

17 June 2014

Stephen Wolfram: Computing a theory of everything

Wolfram talks about his book, A New Kind of Science, and the development Wolfram Alpha including some of the difficulties and capabilities of the computational service.

Stephen Wolfram: Computing a theory of everything

12 June 2014

The art of asking: Amanda Palmer

Palmer, a musician, talks about overcoming her fears of having a non-traditional job and challenges the traditional of making money by simply asking her fans for what she needs.

Perhaps there are times in no life when you want or need something. Next time, try simply asking for it. You might be surprised by what you get.

The art of asking: Amanda Palmer

03 June 2014

Half a million secrets: Frank Warren

"Secrets can take many forms..." Warren collects anonymous secrets and shares a select few.

Half a million secrets: Frank Warren

P.S. You can find a live feed at postsecret.com.