The Future Of Work Looks Like Staying Out Of The Office

from ars technica It’s 2020: we finally live in the future! Or at least a future—one where broadband Internet connections and portable, reasonably high-powered computing tools are pervasive and widely accessible, even if they aren’t yet universal. Millions of workers, including all of us here at Ars, use those tools to do traditional “office jobs” from nontraditional home offices. Tens of millions of jobs at all points of the income and skill spectrum are of course not suited to remote work. Doctors, dentists, and countless other healthcare workers of the world will always need to be hands-on with patients, just […]

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Democratizing Innovation for The Fourth Industrial Revolution

from The Stillman Disruption Journal One of the highlights in Professor John Shannon’s Disruption course at Seton Hall University was when Frank Diana came in to speak. Frank is the lead futurist for Tata Consultancy Services, and he makes his living speaking to leaders and executives around the world about the ways that technology will likely disrupt the foundations of the way we live. These changes have been labeled appropriately as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which invites comparison to the three previous technology driven transformations of the same name. Frank’s presentation begins with a walk-through history, how transformation has impacted […]

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Democratizing Innovation for The Fourth Industrial Revolution

from The Stillman Disruption Journal One of the highlights in Professor John Shannon’s Disruption course at Seton Hall University was when Frank Diana came in to speak. Frank is the lead futurist for Tata Consultancy Services, and he makes his living speaking to leaders and executives around the world about the ways that technology will likely disrupt the foundations of the way we live. These changes have been labeled appropriately as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which invites comparison to the three previous technology driven transformations of the same name. Frank’s presentation begins with a walk-through history, how transformation has impacted […]

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The End Of Handshakes?

from Seth’s Blog In the future, of course, there are no handshakes. Star Trek, Star Wars, even Spaceballs… no one shakes hands. And handshakes haven’t been the standard default for as long as we think–they were codified by the Quakers five hundred years ago, because they were thought to be more egalitarian than tipping a hat or bowing. Today, of course, a handshake is often seen as a threat more than a disarming form of intimacy and equality. More here.

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The Stillman Disruption Journal: Students Building a Better Tomorrow

from Medium Our homes are filled with AI systems telling us what we need to buy at the grocery store. China uses a facial recognition system to keep tabs on over a billion people. I still remember seeing Uber’s self-driving cars on the streets of Pittsburgh on my commute to high school multiple times a week, dating back as early as 2015. All around us, we can see the early effects of a coming digital revolution slowly working their way into our homes and lives. It’s happening, whether we wish to acknowledge it or not. These few examples just skim […]

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The Expert Generalist: Why the Future Belongs to Polymaths

from Medium Some of history’s greatest contributions have come from polymaths. Aristotle practically invented half a dozen fields of study across philosophy. Galileo was as much a physicist as he was an engineer when he helped kick-start the scientific revolution. Da Vinci might have been even more famous as an inventor than an artist if his notebooks were ever published. Even in the last 100 years, we have had people like John Von Neumann and Herbert Simon who have made breakthrough advances across fields as diverse as computer science, economics, and psychology. That is, of course, not to detract from […]

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How to Be an Expatriate in 2020

from NYTs Three years ago, Chuck Burgess and Kerstin Michaelsen were comfortably set up in New York City with good careers, a home in Manhattan and another in the Hamptons. But they yearned for something more. Not more in the sense of material things, but in the satisfaction derived from new adventures and new lands. They fantasized about moving abroad — an idea that seemed more attractive as the couple, both 50, settled into midlife. Ultimately it was a “heightened sense of our mortality,” Mr. Burgess said, that gave them the prod they needed, after three of their parents died […]

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Katherine Johnson Dies at 101; Mathematician Broke Barriers at NASA

from NYTs They asked Katherine Johnson for the moon, and she gave it to them. Wielding little more than a pencil, a slide rule and one of the finest mathematical minds in the country, Mrs. Johnson, who died at 101 on Monday at a retirement home in Newport News, Va., calculated the precise trajectories that would let Apollo 11 land on the moon in 1969 and, after Neil Armstrong’s history-making moonwalk, let it return to Earth. A single error, she well knew, could have dire consequences for craft and crew. Her impeccable calculations had already helped plot the successful flight […]

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On the Trail of America’s First Women to Vote

from NYTs It has long been seen as one of the flukes of American political history: For three decades after the American Revolution, the women of New Jersey had equal voting rights with men. The state was the first — and for a long time, the only — to explicitly enfranchise women, in laws passed more than a century before the 19th Amendment enshrined the principle of gender equality at the polls in the United States Constitution. But this being New Jersey, things quickly came to mischief. There were charges of rampant fraud and corruption, as newspapers filled with tales […]

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Toward Perfect

from Seth’s Blog Draw a perfect circle. Use a compass or a plotter. Now, zoom in. If you zoom in close enough, you’ll discover that it’s not a perfect circle at all. In fact, anything we create, at close enough magnification, isn’t perfect. It’s foolish to wait until you’ve made something that’s perfect, because you never will. The alternative is to continue to move toward your imaginary ideal, shipping as you iterate. Getting better is the path to better. More here.

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Stop. Stop the Presses.

from Medium At the end of an exceptional first week for our new program in News Innovation and Leadership at the Newmark J-school, the students — five managing editors, a VP, a CEO, and many directors among them — said they learned much from teachers and speakers, yes, but the greatest value likely came from each other, from the candid lessons they all shared. When I first proposed this program about four years ago, I suggested it should offer a smorgasbord of courses to be taken at will. Then I was fortunate enough to recruit Anita Zielina, the ideal news […]

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“There Are Several Reasons”

from Seth’s Blog That’s another way of saying, “It’s complicated.” If you’ve got one reason that’s good enough, share that reason. The other reasons are extra, and if you spend a lot of time on them, you’ve just told us that it’s complicated. Difficult decisions, on the other hand, ARE nuanced, and they involve adding up several benefits to overcome several negative outcomes as well. In those cases, it’s worth beginning by highlighting the things we’re going to avoid as a result of making this choice. More here.

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Living in Dark Mode

from NYTs THE LIGHTS IN MY ROOM ARE OFF, and the autumn air is trickling in through the window. It is my favorite season in Hong Kong, finally cool enough to get by without air-conditioning. I’m listening to meditation music a friend sent me to ease my persistent insomnia. My partner is staying up late, hunched over his desk with a tall can of beer, tweeting updates for a local media outlet. Outside, a revolution is raging. I check my phone to see whether my ex-flatmate, who has gone out to pick up protesters in his car, has responded to […]

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Meet the Leftish Economist With a New Story About Capitalism

from NYTs Mariana Mazzucato was freezing. Outside, it was a humid late-September day in Manhattan, but inside — in a Columbia University conference space full of scientists, academics and businesspeople advising the United Nations on sustainability — the air conditioning was on full blast. For a room full of experts discussing the world’s most urgent social and environmental problems, this was not just uncomfortable but off-message. Whatever their dress — suit, sari, head scarf — people looked huddled and hunkered down. At a break, Dr. Mazzucato dispatched an assistant to get the A.C. turned off. How will we change anything, […]

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Researchers Want Guardrails to Help Prevent Bias in AI

from Wired Artificial intelligence has given us algorithms capable of recognizing faces, diagnosing disease, and of course, crushing computer games. But even the smartest algorithms can sometimes behave in unexpected and unwanted ways—for example, picking up gender bias from the text or images they are fed. A new framework for building AI programs suggests a way to prevent aberrant behavior in machine learning by specifying guardrails in the code from the outset. It aims to be particularly useful for nonexperts deploying AI, an increasingly common issue as the technology moves out of research labs and into the real world. The […]

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The Google Tax

from Seth’s Blog Actually, there are two. The first is the tax we each pay so that companies can bid against each other to buy traffic from Google. Because their revenue model is (cleverly) built on both direct marketing and an auction, they are able to keep a significant portion of the margin from many industries. They’ve become the internet’s landlord. The difference between a successful business in New York and an unsuccessful one is just a few percentage points–the successful ones pay 95% of their profit to landlords, while the unsuccessful ones pay 105%. More here.

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How Baseball Cards Got Weird

from The Atlantic One night not long ago, with my 3-year-old son finally asleep and my wife wisely heading to bed, I settled onto the couch, beer in hand, to catch some baseball. Well, not really baseball. I opened my laptop, navigated to breakers.tv, and prepared to watch a pair of rubber-gloved hands in East Wenatchee, Washington, open an entire case of baseball cards—more than 4,000 cards in all. If that sounds like the only activity more tedious than sitting through four hours of pitching changes and batters calling time, I shared some of your skepticism. Though I was once […]

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Out With the Old, In With the Young

from NYTs IT’S NOT JUST THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP is a well-seasoned 73 and his three top Democratic Party challengers are also septuagenarians. The average senator is now almost 63 and the average member of the House nearly 58, making them roughly 20 years older than their average constituent, and nearly a decade older than they were in 1981. Older people today hold disproportionate power because they have the numbers and the means to do so. People 65 and older, for example, are more than three times as likely to make political donations as those under 30. As a result, their […]

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Free College Won’t Be Enough To Prepare Americans For The Future Of Work

from Brookings As the Democratic presidential candidates gather in Westerville, Ohio for the fourth primary debate on Tuesday, they would do well to acknowledge the growing public concern about the “future of work.” As a Midwestern swing state that has an intimate history with displacement and its consequences, Ohio is a fitting place for candidates to offer more robust solutions to issues such as automation and artificial intelligence, which will likely have disproportionate impacts on certain American communities and populations, including places like Westerville. The candidates have not been completely silent on these issues. Andrew Yang and Pete Buttigieg have […]

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