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Superhumans, supercities and supercomputers: US intelligence's vision of 2030 —

Superhumans, supercities and supercomputers: US intelligence's vision of 2030 — | African Disruptor | Scoop.it
According to the National Intelligence Council, at least, a US-based coalition of spy agencies that has just released its predictions for what’s in store for the Earth in 2030.
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I'm fascinated by on "Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” by the NIC  within the next few years I expect a world ripe for experiment, the future is “malleable,” with all the advances hyper-accelerating to create remarkable new and exciting outcomes.  

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On A Global Scale, Children Begin To Lead The Fight For Equality & Opportunity

On A Global Scale, Children Begin To Lead The Fight For Equality & Opportunity | African Disruptor | Scoop.it
In her courageous recovery from a Taliban gunshot, Pakistani youth activist Malala Yousafzai embodies a global movement of children standing up against child labor and marriage and for opportunity.

 

Children's protests can be tracked back to our new age of technology and communications in which young people can increasingly connect with each other across the globe. It's a conversation which is revealing the gap between the promise of opportunity and the grim reality of unequal chances.

The promise of globalization, like that of the American Dream, is that all children should be able to rise as far as their talents can take them. For too many children the hope of advancement has to be set against the real world -- where it is not what you do or how you hard you work that dictates your life chances, but simply where you come from.

I sense from my visits this year to Asia, the Middle East and Africa that young people are waking up to the contradiction between the glib rhetoric of opportunity and the grim realities of social exclusion.

According to recent studies, 80% of the inequality in children's outcomes worldwide can be put down to birth and background. Only a fraction of their success can be explained by hard work, merit, effort or even intelligence.

And yet we do too little to remedy this unfairness and inequality. From birth to the age of 17 we spend just $400 on the education of an African child in contrast to the $100,000 spent on a western child.

If we asked a Western audience how much aid they think we give to deprived children living in poorer countries, the answer would likely be that we are generous -- perhaps over-generous. Yet the combined international aid of all countries amounts to only 25 cents a week in support of educating a child in Africa -- not enough to pay for a simple exercise book.

When you examine the sheer scale of the global gap between the opportunities of a poor rural girl in a developing country and a rich boy from a Western country, you begin to understand that we are not yet living through a glorious era rich in opportunity or one defined by an upward march to progress. Instead, basic rights and equal opportunity are still to be fought for. Adults will have to catch up with the world's children, led by Malala, who are starting to show the way.

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In The 21st Century : Life Creates the Universe And Death Does Not Exist

In The 21st Century : Life Creates the Universe And Death Does Not Exist | African Disruptor | Scoop.it

“The 21st century is predicted to be the century of biology, a radical shift from the previous century dominated by physics turning the universe outside-in and unifying the foundations of science, not with imaginary strings that occupy equally imaginary unseen dimensions but with a much simpler idea with a shocking new perspective that we are unlikely ever to see reality the same way again.

In the past, major puzzles of mainstream science have forced a reevaluation of the nature of the universe that goes far beyond anything we could have imagined. Forming a more accurate understanding of the world requires that we consider it biologically centered. It’s a simple but amazing concept. A new scientific theory – called Biocentrism attempts to clarify and refine these ideas with a new premise: Life creates the universe, instead of the other way around. Understanding this more fully yields answers to several long-held puzzles.

This new model — combining physics and biology instead of keeping them separate, and putting observers firmly into the equation — is driven in part by the ongoing attempts to create an overarching view, a "Theory of Everything". There are an infinite number of universes (the multiverse) and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death does not exist in any real sense in these scenarios. All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them. Although individual bodies are destined to self-destruct, the alive feeling – the ‘Who am I?’- is just a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. But this energy doesn’t go away at death. One of the surest axioms of science is that energy never dies; it can neither be created nor destroyed. But does this energy transcend from one world to the other?

Does the long-sought "Theory of Everything" merely miss a component that was too close for us to have noticed? Some of the thrill that came with the announcement that the human genome had been mapped or the idea that we are close to understanding the “Big Bang” rests in our innate human desire for completeness and totality. But most of these comprehensive theories fail to take into account one crucial factor: We are creating them. It is the biological creature that fashions the stories, that makes the observations, and that gives names to things. And therein lies the great expanse of our oversight, that science has not confronted the one thing that is at once most familiar and most mysterious — consciousness.
As Emerson wrote in “Experience,” an essay that confronted the facile positivism of his age: “We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are, or of computing the amount of their errors. Perhaps these subject-lenses have a creative power; perhaps there are no objects.”
For several centuries, starting roughly with the Renaissance, a single mindset about the construct of the cosmos has dominated scientific thought. This model has brought us untold insights into the nature of the universe, and countless applications that have transformed every aspect of our lives. But this model — failing us now in a myriad of ways — may be reaching the end of its useful life.The old model proposes that the universe was until rather recently a lifeless collection of particles bouncing against each other, and obeying predetermined rules that were mysterious in their origin. The universe is presented as a watch that somehow wound itself and that, allowing for a degree of quantum randomness, will unwind in a semi-predictable way.
There are many problems with the current paradigm — some obvious, others rarely mentioned but just as fundamental. But the overarching problem involves life, since its initial arising is still a scientifically unknown process, even if the way it then changed forms can be apprehended using Darwinian mechanisms. The bigger problem is that life contains consciousness, which, to say the least, is poorly understood.
Consciousness is not just an issue for biologists; it is a problem for physics.

There is nothing in modern physics that explains how a group of molecules in a brain creates consciousness. The beauty of a sunset, the taste of a delicious meal, these are all mysteries to science — which can sometimes pin down where in the brain the sensations arise, but not how and why there is any subjective personal experience to begin with. And, what’s worse, nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter. Our understanding of this most basic phenomenon is virtually nil. Interestingly, most models of physics do not even recognize this as a problem.
But even putting aside the life-and-consciousness issues, the current model leaves much to be desired when it comes to explaining the fundamentals of our universe. The cosmos sprang out of nothingness 13.7 billion years ago, in a titanic event facetiously labeled the Big Bang. We don’t begin to understand where the big bang came from even if we continually tinker with the details. Indeed, every theorist realizes in his bones that you can never get something from nothing, and that the Big Bang is no explanation at all for the origins of everything, but merely, at best, the partial description of a single event in a continuum that is probably timeless.
It’s one thing to acknowledge that theoretical physicists are brilliant people even if they do tend to drip food on themselves at buffets. But at some point, virtually everyone has thought, or at least felt: This really doesn’t work. This doesn’t explain anything fundamental, not really”.

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Revolution : Global Civil Unrest: Contagion, Self-Organization, & Prediction

Revolution : Global Civil Unrest: Contagion, Self-Organization, & Prediction | African Disruptor | Scoop.it

"Civil unrest is a powerful form of collective human dynamics, which has led to major transitions of societies in modern history. The study of collective human dynamics, including collective aggression, has been the focus of much discussion in the context of modeling and identification of universal patterns of behavior. In contrast, the possibility that civil unrest activities, across countries and over long time periods, are governed by universal mechanisms has not been explored. Here, records of civil unrest of 170 countries during the period 1919–2008 are analyzed. It is demonstrated that the distributions of the number of unrest events per year are robustly reproduced by a nonlinear, spatially extended dynamical model, which reflects the spread of civil disorder between geographic regions connected through social and communication networks. The results also expose the similarity between global social instability and the dynamics of natural hazards and epidemics."

 

"The key problem with whispering revolution to the masses is it directly leads to political instablity.& civil disorder instead of a powerful dynamic peaceful human collective." 

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TweetChat - #3rdBillion

"I'm naturally a feminist and I greatly support the economic power of  women. In Kenya we call all issues pertaining to women Maendeleo ya Wanawake and I'm grateful for our strong and powerful spirit. "

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Regular Orgasms Are for Mortals; All the Cool Kids Are Having ‘Longevity Orgasms’

Regular Orgasms Are for Mortals; All the Cool Kids Are Having ‘Longevity Orgasms’ | African Disruptor | Scoop.it

" What is the point of sexbots when you are a sex machine ? "

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Time to heal: The materials that repair themselves

Time to heal: The materials that repair themselves | African Disruptor | Scoop.it
Biology is inspiring an effort to create new materials that can repair themselves when damaged.

 

At some point in the near future you'll wear out those running shoes, break that squash racket, drop your smartphone and crack the screen.

 

They will need to be replaced - at a cost.

 

But what if we made things from materials that can heal themselves - like a plant or animal heals a wound?

 

According to experts, the first products with truly self-healing properties may be just around the corner.

 

Serious proposals for this technology go back at least as far as the 1960s, when Soviet researchers published theory papers on the topic.

 

But it was a 2001 study led by Scott White from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, that really helped to kick-start the field.

 

The group infused a plastic-like polymer with microscopic capsules containing a liquid healing agent. Cracking open the material caused the capsules to rupture, releasing the healing agent. When the agent made contact with a catalyst embedded in the material, a chemical reaction bonded the two faces of the crack together. The polymer recovered some 75% of its original toughness.

 

In the last decade, the team has developed and refined its capsule-based systems, recently demonstrating an electrical circuit that healed itself when damaged. Microcapsules in the gold circuit released liquid metal in response to damage, swiftly restoring electrical conductivity, and bringing self-repairing electronic chips a step closer.

 

Co-author Dr Benjamin Blaiszik, now at Argonne National Laboratory, explained that the self-healing circuitry could find uses in a military setting where it would be exposed to extreme stresses or in long-term space applications.

 

He adds: "Imagine if there is a mechanical failure of a microchip on the Curiosity rover, due to thermomechanical stresses, or if there had been an interconnect failure during the landing phase. There is obviously no way to manually repair nor replace the probe."

 

The Illinois group is already commercialising their work via a spin-out company, Autonomic Materials, which has raised about $4m (£2.4m) of investment. Its chief executive, Joe Giuliani, told me the first applications of microcapsule systems are likely to be in coatings, paints and adhesives for environments where corrosion poses a challenge. "Worldwide, corrosion costs over $500bn (£312bn) a year, so it's a huge problem," he told BBC News.

 

Oil and gas is a key area. Re-healable products are likely to find uses on platforms - where the ability to heal drilling parts would be highly desirable - in pipelines and in refineries. They would potentially last several years longer than their conventional counterparts, lengthening the periods between maintenance.

"Over the life of that asset, there would be huge savings," says Giuliani. "It is out of commission for a lot less time too, which in the oil and gas business is huge. It can cost them $500,000 (£312,000) or $1m (£624,000) a day if an asset is out of service."

 

Military vehicles, cars and ships are other targets for self-healing coatings. The firm has about 30 products in testing and development and expects to fulfil its first commercial orders in the next six months.

 

Some manufacturers might not welcome the idea of products that last years longer than usual. But paint and coatings producers "know they can get more per gallon of paint they're selling," says Mr Giuliani, "the customers have shown us they're willing to pay the up-charge."

 

Scott White, from Illinois University's Beckman Institute, says that healing structural damage in sports equipment or aircraft components, for example, represents a "mid-term target" for scientists.

 

He told BBC News that the whole area of self-healing has seen an explosion of interest in the last decade, with some 200 academic papers published on the topic last year alone. And scientists are working on everything from re-healable polymers and composites (materials made from two or more different ones) to self-repairing metals and ceramics.

 

Since 2001, two new approaches have joined microcapsules as approaches to self-repair.

Taking the circulatory system as their inspiration, vascular methods rely on a network of channels (like capillaries, veins and arteries) within the material to deliver healing agent to the site of damage. Intrinsic systems, meanwhile, exploit the reversible nature of certain chemical bonds to incorporate healing abilities directly into the material.

 

Each of the three approaches has advantages and limitations that come into play when considering applications. Microcapsules are finite: as they get used up, the material loses its healing properties. And intrinsic systems need a stimulus - such as heat or light - to trigger healing, which can be good or bad depending on the application.

 

If the amount of damage is microscopic, capsule-based or intrinsic systems may be the best option. But, says Prof White, "if it's a large damaged volume, then neither of those approaches are going to work and you have to go with a vascular-based system".

This is because they allow large amounts of healing agent to be transported to the breached area. But the sheer complexity of vascular networks presents a daunting challenge...


Via IDG Connect
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Ten rules for managing global innovation

Ten rules for managing global innovation | African Disruptor | Scoop.it
Companies are well aware that hidden in their dispersed, global operations is a treasure trove of ideas and capabilities for innovation.

Via Peter Verschuere
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Physicists in Biology; And Other Quirks of the Genomic Age | The Curious Wavefunction

Physicists in Biology; And Other Quirks of the Genomic Age | The Curious Wavefunction | African Disruptor | Scoop.it
Leo Szilard – brilliant, peripatetic Hungarian physicist, habitué of hotel lobbies, soothsayer without peer – first grasped the implications of a nuclear chain reaction in 1933 ...

 

"What is it that draws physicists to biology and why have they been unusually successful in making contributions to it? The allure of understanding life which attracts other kinds of scientists is certainly one motivating factor."

 

 

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Visualizing Thielosophy

Visualizing Thielosophy | African Disruptor | Scoop.it

I absolutely love these visual gems from Peter Thiel's CS: 183 : Startups class. I find compelling imagery equal higher retention .    (-: 

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Global States of Mind

Global States of Mind | African Disruptor | Scoop.it

"No institution of leadership foresaw the most significant events in recent memory because they tend to use backward-looking metrics — the trailing indicators that are classical economics. To help solve this rather serious problem facing world leaders, Gallup presents the first-ever "Global States of Mind: New Metrics for World Leaders." This world audit of global behavioral economics is intended to help leaders build strategies for human and economic development that put their nations on the course of success and prosperity — and to head off unrest and revolution".

 

I'm not entirely convinced some of the measurements which appear to be cursory have a significant impact on world events. What is surprising is how all elements of  hyper-connectivity and the buildup of real time effects in widespread crisis points in recent history remain largely ignored especially in the context of general indicators otherwise a fresh new approach and outlook is quite welcome. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Obama and Tech: Four More Chronological Years, 500 tech years | Shelly Palmer Digital Leadershp

Obama and Tech: Four More Chronological Years, 500 tech years | Shelly Palmer Digital Leadershp | African Disruptor | Scoop.it
On March 4, 1797, Adams and Jefferson were inaugurated at Congress Hall in Philadelphia. Two opposing parties, two opposing points of view united to democratically govern -- it was the first of many peaceful transitions of power in America.

 

"Moving forward to the general discussion about what President Obama's plans for tech will remain superficial unless a concerted effort to constitute an abiding agenda for the 21st century becomes evident."  

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Harvard students send hamburger into space - video

Harvard students send hamburger into space - video | African Disruptor | Scoop.it

"College students launch Operation Skyfall by filming burger floating into space."

 

Wow, impressed and now I believe this was the year for the exploring the final frontier - space. What is your favorite snack and would you like to send it space ? 

 

 

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Scientists and Philosophers Answer Kids’ Most Pressing Questions About How the World Works

Scientists and Philosophers Answer Kids’ Most Pressing Questions About How the World Works | African Disruptor | Scoop.it
Why we fall in love, what we're all made of, how dreams work, and more deceptively simple mysteries of living.

 

Big questions for big people too. (-:

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Open Innovation Also Means Engaging the Inside

Open Innovation Also Means Engaging the Inside | African Disruptor | Scoop.it
An article on the Financial Post website triggered me to write this article. A lot is being written about open innovation and much of them focus on, as the article says “spurring innovation by bringing the outside in”.

Via Peter Verschuere
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Startup founders literally have no idea why things take off and they have no idea why they win

Startup founders literally have no idea why things take off and they have no idea why they win | African Disruptor | Scoop.it

Someone at Hackernews was clearly fed up with all the startup events where founders give advice and posted this magnificent rant:

“…honestly – startup founders literally have no idea why things take off and they have no idea why they win. That’s why they have to keep pivoting – it increases their luck surface area and their ability to gain traction – after which they simply must hold on tight while surfing the wave.


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