"In a country still haunted by the Cultural Revolution, where politics are tightly circumscribed by an authoritarian state, the Chinese are now among the most optimistic people in the world -- much more so than Americans and Europeans, according to public opinion surveys. What has changed? Most of all, an economic expansion without precedent in modern history. Eight hundred million people have risen out of poverty. That’s two and a half times the population of the United States. [...] China used to make up much of the world’s poor. Now it makes up much of the world’s middle class."
19 November 2018
As part of the China Rules series, Javier Hernandez and Quoctrung Bui write in the NYTimes that The American Dream Is Alive. In China...
16 November 2018
11 November 2018
The Lancet published Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality for 282 causes of death in 195 countries and territories, 1980–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 summarizing causes of human death...
"Deaths due to communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional causes continue to decline, while deaths from non-communicable diseases increase and injury deaths are stable. Declines in death rates of some non-communicable diseases have slowed or ceased. […] Non-communicable diseases remain the leading causes of death globally, and their burden is rising."
01 November 2018
28 October 2018
This Tuesday 10/30/2018 from 1-2:30pm is the introductory kickoff class session of our half-semester 6-unit Future Commerce seminar in the MIT Media Lab room E14-244. Please spread the word! Listeners & cross-registrants welcome. We explore emerging technologies that will transform financial services. Our top thematic areas include:
- Money ~ Blockchain-based digital currencies; novel barter platforms; peer-to-peer technologies;
- Markets ~ Wisdom of crowds & prediction markets; fraud meets flash crashes; network-enabled markets; Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs);
- Transactions & Marketplaces ~ Marketplace stack of identity, reputation, marketplace, money; the foundation of assets over IP; how blockchain, mobile platforms and digital currencies give inclusive access;
- Infrastructure ~ Identity, Security & Privacy challenges; cybersecurity; anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Client (KYC) rules;
- AI & Emerging Technologies ~ Understanding the impacts of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies on financial services.
27 October 2018
The recent opening of world's longest (55km) sea-crossing bridge between Hong Kong + Macao + Zhuhai completes the southern connection linking a half-dozen Chinese megacities into a ~70M+ inhabitant supercity as Visual Capitalist shows...
25 October 2018
Nature published The Moral Machine experiment results...
"Before we allow our cars to make ethical decisions, we need to have a global conversation to express our preferences to the companies that will design moral algorithms, and to the policymakers that will regulate them. The Moral Machine was deployed to initiate such a conversation, and millions of people weighed in from around the world. [...] an online experimental platform designed to explore the moral dilemmas faced by autonomous vehicles. This platform gathered 40 million decisions in ten languages from millions of people in 233 countries and terri tories. [...] Geolocation allowed us to identify the country of residence of Moral Machine respondents, and to seek clusters of countries with homogeneous vectors of moral preferences."Here's the summary visualization of results...
15 October 2018
Jon Miltimore in FEE writes about social psychologist Jonathan Haidt's attempts to understand and explain human morality and, in particular...
"...the five primary categories that serve as our moral foundation:
- Care/harm ~ an ability to feel (and dislike) the pain of others; underlies virtues of kindness, gentleness, and nurturance.
- Fairness/reciprocity ~ the evolutionary process of reciprocal altruism; generates ideas of justice, rights, and autonomy.
- Loyalty/betrayal ~ ability to form shifting coalitions; underlies virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice for the group.
- Authority/subversion ~ hierarchical social interactions; underlies virtues of leadership and followership, legitimate authority and traditions.
- Sanctity/degradation ~ psychology of disgust and contamination; underlies religious notions of striving to live in an elevated, less carnal, more noble way."
"What Haidt found is that both conservatives and liberals recognize the Harm/Care and Fairness/Reciprocity values. Liberal-minded people, however, tend to reject the three remaining foundational values -- Loyalty/betrayal, Authority/subversion, and Sanctity/degradation -- while conservatives accept them. It’s an extraordinary difference, and it helps explain why many liberals and conservatives in America think “the other side” is bonkers."
12 October 2018
BBC Africa's Farouk Chothia reports on the World Bank's Human Capital Index...
"...a new way of measuring economic success and gauges how much effort is being put into developing the youth. The higher the investment in education and health the more productive and higher earning the workforce tends to be, the World Bank says. African countries dominate the bottom of the index."
11 October 2018
The Economist Daily Chart reminds us of Corruption...
"At least 6bn people around the world live in corrupt countries, according to Transparency International’s (TI) latest ranking of perceptions of corruption in the public sector."
04 September 2018
WEF spotlights Visual Capitalist infographic on what $63 trillion of world debt looks like...
"Around the globe countries have taken to the idea of running constant deficits as the normal course of business, and too much accumulation of debt is not healthy for countries or the global economy as a whole."
26 August 2018
Photographer Jon Carmichael captured an epic image of solar eclipse totality from the air! It's a photo-montage...
"Within a matter of seconds, it goes from broad daylight to completely nighttime," Carmichael recalled. "Everybody just kind of gasped and went silent. And I'm just focusing on getting these shots. [...] I took over 1,200 photos." The final image shows the eclipse just as the plane passes over the Snake River, separating Oregon from Idaho. It took close to a year after the flight for Carmichael to assemble the final print."
21 August 2018
02 August 2018
22 July 2018
21 July 2018
On 20 July 1969, Astronaut Neil Armstrong made One Giant Leap For Mankind!
"When the lunar module lands at 4:18 p.m EDT, only 30 seconds of fuel remain. Armstrong radios "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." Mission control erupts in celebration as the tension breaks, and a controller tells the crew "You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue, we're breathing again." [...] At 10:56 p.m. EDT Armstrong is ready to plant the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbs down the ladder and proclaims: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." Aldrin joins him shortly, and offers a simple but powerful description of the lunar surface: "magnificent desolation."
04 July 2018
Everyone should read the Declaration of Independence...
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. [And there's more!]"
03 July 2018
Vox spotlights research from the Journal of Surgical Research which reveals The people going to the hospital for fireworks injuries are exactly who you think...
"You’ll never guess when these hospitalizations spike. Here are all the hospitalizations from 2006 to 2010 sorted by month..."
"Teenage boys and young men hurt themselves with fireworks way more than everyone else. Men and boys, overall, accounted for 76 percent of all fireworks-related hospital admissions in the study..."