When Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg paid around $100 million for
700 acres of rural beachfront land on Kauai two years ago to create what
Forbes magazine described as a secluded family sanctuary, he actually
acquired a not-so-secluded property.
Close to a dozen small parcels within Zuckerberg’s Kauai estate are
owned by kamaaina families who have rights to traverse the billionaire’s
otherwise private domain.
On September 22, 2016, this site was forced offline for nearly four days after it was hit with “Mirai,”
a malware strain that enslaves poorly secured Internet of Things (IoT)
devices like wireless routers and security cameras into a botnet for use
in large cyberattacks. Roughly a week after that assault, the
individual(s) who launched that attack — using the name “Anna Senpai” — released the source code for Mirai, spawning dozens of copycat attack armies online.
"Fairness is the unspoken promise of most video games. Controlled by an
omniscient and omnipotent designer, a video game has the capacity to be
ultimately just, and players expect that it will be so.” In the
following piece, Simon Parkin examines the way in which video game
developers craft the perfect balance between luck and fairness.
When Raymond Stansel was
busted in 1974, he was one of Florida’s biggest pot smugglers. Facing
trial and years in prison, he jumped bail, changed his name, and holed
up in a remote Australian outpost. Even more remarkable than that? His
second life as an environmental hero.
The Technological Singularity Whether in 15, 50, or 500 years, the advent of trueartificial
intelligence and the resulting rapid acceleration of technological
advancement will present a range of practical and philosophical
conundrums. When fiction becomes fact, how will humanity decide to write
the next chapter in the story of our species?
Open Access Creators
of all kinds (authors, musicians, academics, artists) make their work
freely available, prioritizing the potential for greater impact over the
presumed loss of profit. Open access, however, is differential; it
takes different forms for different creators and can bring different
concerns about the future of copyright, intellectual property, and
payments for creative works.
and more technologies aim to monitor the data we produce in our daily
lives: what and how much we eat, how fast and how long we run, what
times of day we work best. But how we (and others) utilize the data
gathered through our self-tracking is a question that blurs the lines
between surveillance/empowerment and control/play.
Octopuses and their kin (cuttlefish and squid) stand apart from
other invertebrates, having evolved with much larger nervous systems and
greater cognitive complexity.
The majority of neurons in an octopus are found in the arms, which
can independently taste and touch and also control basic motions without
input from the brain.
Octopus brains and vertebrate brains have no common anatomy but
support a variety of similar features, including forms of short- and
long-term memory, versions of sleep, and the capacities to recognize
individual people and explore objects through play.
Raheel Siddiqui signed up for the Marine Corps in July 2015. Less than
two weeks into his basic training, however, the 20-year-old Muslim
experienced a mysterious and fatal fall. While the Marines claim he
committed suicide, others suspect his death may have been the result of
more sinister forces.
"Lobsters" introduces us
to the permanently wired Manfred Macx, a youthful, self-assured (and
self-doubting) cultural purveyor, the world's first "Venture Altruist,"
out to prove the validity of Win-Win synergistic scenarios while
engaging in exotic drugs and sexual experimentation against a near
future socio-political backdrop. Fleeing his dominatrix ex-wife,
shifting world economies, trading his image on the "reputations market,"
and inventing extropianistic technologies are all in a day's work.
Nebula Award Nominee, Hugo Award Nominee
Many people, even many scientists, have traditionally had a narrow view
of science as controlled, replicated experiments performed in the
laboratory—and as consisting quintessentially of physics, chemistry, and
molecular biology. The essence of science is conveyed by its Latin
etymology: scientia, meaning knowledge.
"A magazine is defined less by the nature of its contents than by its
function as a container. The fact that this repository happened to take
the form of a set of bound pages for several hundred years is not
necessarily, therefore, a natural or innate feature of the magazine."
"By unbinding our magazine, letting it run free in its box,
there’s no end to our three-dimensional ideas. In short, you don’t
simply read Aspen ... you hear it, hang it, feel it, fly it, even sniff it!"
— Advertisement for Aspen magazine, 1968
"Pop-Up Magazine is a live magazine, created for a stage, a
screen, and a live audience. Nothing will arrive in your mailbox.
Nothing will go online. Nothing will be filmed or recorded. An issue
exists for one night, in one place."
In 2014, Los Angeles World Airports hired Anthony McGinty and Michelle
Sosa to take charge of a new classified intelligence unit located on the
West Coast. With two years in the books, the unit’s global scope and
analytic capabilities are on their way to rivaling the agencies of a
small nation state.
At GQ, Geoff Manaugh writes about the airport’s experimental team in a report that also includes several fictional scenarios.
Each of these arrows represents a design culture: a group of designers who thought of people and considered human systems in a particular way. It’s this sharedvision which gave birth to institutions.
what blocks the creation of new institutions? It’s not the greed of the
powerful; it’s not some physics of balancing incentives.
six views above were responsible for most of our modern institutions
If you think of people in terms of their beliefs, then you imagine sexual harassment comes from wrong ideas.
If you come from a preference culture, you’ll be less optimistic. You might imagine that some people just have a taste for sexual harassment.
If you’re a goal-culture designer, you’d imagine these people just have a normal goal — to connect, to make friends, or to have sex.
What about a status-culture
designer? They’re going to see this as a much harder problem. They’ll
have an idea that sexual harassment is a product of a toxic, macho rape culture.
what if you are a designer from a culture that emphasizes social standing?
This is going to be a bit of a conundrum for you: one the one hand,
people who sexually harass may come from a lower social class.
will be similarly tolerant if you’re from an experience-culture, but for different reasons: people who sexually harass have probably had rough experiences.
According to local reports, the government has banned the burqa,
or full body veil. Although the government hasn’t confirmed the ban,
vendors and merchants were notified this week that they would no longer
be allowed to sell the religious garment.
Since the Supreme Court will not make a decision on Gambia’s disputed elections until May,
there is no reason for President Yahya Jammeh to start packing. Sure,
President-elect Adama Barrow says he will be inaugurated next week, but
Jammeh won’t budge. Nigeria and other regional mediators continue to
urge Jammeh to accept defeat but he continues to double down on his
promise to not leave. In a nationwide TV broadcast, he dismissed any
attempts to support a transition of power as “foreign interference” and
part of a smear campaign that highlights his human rights abuses since
he first took power in 1994.
College libraries throughout the country are undergoing similar
transformations -- upgrading their facilities and creating more
comfortable, flexible spaces where students can work alone or in groups.
When students are accessing information through a Google search, Bourg
says librarians are now more needed than ever to help them distinguish
between what’s fake and what’s real. According to a recent Stanford University study, students – even at the college level -- do not possess that skill.
Still, Bourg says, despite all these changes, some things will remain the same: Libraries
-- especially ones with valuable collections and manuscripts (think
Harvard’s Widener library) -- will still have books, far into the
‘How many of you want to be happy in life?’ I ask. Everyone
raises a hand. Always. ‘How many of you are planning to have children?’
Almost everyone raises their hand again.
Then I lay out the evidence
that having kids makes most people more miserable, and that their sense
of wellbeing returns to its former levels only after the last child has
left the house. ‘How many of you still want children?’ I say. Maybe
it’s just obstinacy, but the same people who wanted to be happy still
put their hands up.
Hajari answers this question with a dramatization of the violent year
that preceded partition. The dramatis personae are introduced, as per
conventions established by Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi.” There is the
“famously handsome” Jawaharlal Nehru with his “high, aristocratic
cheekbones and eyes that were deep pools — irresistible to his many
female admirers”; there is the “mystical, septuagenarian” Mahatma
Gandhi; there is the monocled, slightly sinister Mohammad Ali Jinnah,
“cheekbones jutted out of his cadaverous face like the edges of a
diamond”; and, lastly, there is Lord Louis Mountbatten, “tall and
tanned,” the “Hollywood version of a British prince.”
August 31, 2015, when Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, said “Wir schaffen das,”
I wanted to go immediately to Germany. At the time, what the chancellor
meant seemed limited: “We will do it”—meaning Germany would accommodate
the 100,000 migrants from the Middle East who had just been stopped at
the Hungarian border by a wire fence. But the intention in those words
quickly spread throughout the world’s entire liberal humanitarian
community. At one point, the European Union was considering whether
there should be a “penalty” for any member state that failed to
accommodate its assigned share of migrants.
During the colder months of 2014, over 750 Berlin residents suffered
bone fractures. Worried that these injuries had something to do with icy
conditions, the German Society of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery published some shaky advice:
walk like a penguin. The technique requires non-birds to lean
their torsos forward so that their center of gravity is always on the
front leg. The result is sure to make Germans look just as awkward and
wobbly as their penguin friends, and if the technique proves successful,
pretty soon they might be sliding to work on their bellies. It’s a
“I’ve been driving Henry for 24 years, since I retired from my regular
job as a manager for Sears,” he says. “I managed the toy department
there. When the Transformers came out, we used to talk about it.” That’s
because Orenstein was the man who saw the potential for Transformers in
America. They made him a very rich man. Again.