Neuralink – Elon’s new thing

Tom General 0 Comments

(Note The Wait but Why article is a super-long read, so store it up for a travel day.)

Summary: Elon Musk works to a simple if audacious formula. Nudge the whole world to be better placed to survive the future by finding a sector with a business model to drive innovation now that will help us migrate to the best bet in that sector.

Energy: use sustainable energy. Business model: make cars that are so good that in a decade all major manufacturers have electric cars in production or development.

Space: we need an exit from our plant. Business model: work out a way of sending stuff into space that makes it cost-effective to colonise Mars.

AI: we need to merge with it rather than let it run amok. Business model: improve the brain machine interface quality and bandwidth so that we can merge with AI.

Read the Wait but Why article for all your geek needs. It is (as always) wonderful.

The only piece that didn’t quite gel for me was the discussion of transmitting our thinking brain-to-brain. I can see that allowing someone else to ride my inputs would be amazing (e.g. experiencing sky-diving without doing it). I am not sure that I think with the same clarity / quality / bandwidth / structure as I receive from my inputs. I don’t think of a bunch of roses and see a full-optical-input bunch of roses. It’s something else. Doesn’t stop it being interesting to transmit, but it will be different than anything we’ve experienced (mainly because thinking is so opaque to each of us individuals to begin with).

You can also read some thoughts about what Neuralink would mean for the current crop of tech titans.

Unexpected modern sports

Tom View 5 Comments

Two lovely new sports that I’ve come across by accident.

  1. Competitive freestyle indoor skydiving (kind of unconstrained overhead gymnastics).
  2. Classical vs Pop full orchestral mash ups (Brahms vs Radiohead and Bartók vs Björk in this post).

Indoor skydiving

Here’s a recent skydiving winner. I guess it is cheating vs having gravity, but still cool.

Team Firefly's Kyra Poh Solo Freestyle with Music

Congrats Team Firefly Singapore's Kyra Poh for winning the Gold in Solo Freestyle at the The WIND GAMES 2017 held at Windoor! Catch Kyra's artistic round, perfectly synchronised to music. Difficulty of routine rated as 8.80, the highest rating amongst the competitors. Watch how she smashed all her rounds and coming out tops out of a total of 10 fellow solo flyers! Amazing Kyra has not only won the #freestyle category, she has also taken over the title of "World's Fastest Flyer", winning the #SoloSpeed category and topping almost every round! Together with 3 other legends in the indoor skydiving world, a scratch team Frends4eva was put together at the last minute in #4speed category. Despite not having flown as a 4-way team together before, they managed to take the Silver! Congrats for taking two Golds and one Silver back for Singapore, and yet again, taking over the indoor skydiving world by storm! Fly safe back to Singapore (on a plane this time)! #windgames2017 #OneTeamSG #indoorskydiving

Posted by iFly Singapore on Saturday, February 4, 2017


Here’s the third place. I love the way they finish by landing at the door and walking out.


And on to a sample of the music (NB these are full-length concerts). There are many more for your delectation and delight.

Brahms vs Radiohead

Bartók vs Björk


Blame yourself, not the media

Tom Reading 6 Comments

Another from the “I didn’t expect that” list. The written news media is reporting reasonably effectively, we just don’t use old media any more.

The two most newsworthy things that Donald Trump did in the last two days were these:

  1. He gave a major economic policy speech in Detroit which he laid out his tax policy, for example.
  2. He suggested in North Carolina that “Second Amendment people” could somehow take care of the gun-control favoring judges Hillary Clinton would appoint — words that are easy to interpret as an incitement to violence.

If you judge by the echo chamber of your own Facebook feed, the ambiguous but shocking assassination suggestion is ubiquitous, and the economic policy speech is barely present. Is this the media’s fault?

Source: Blame yourself, not the media, for salacious Trump coverage – without bullshit