Good read on the addictive power of apps and the Net in general

Michael Schulson via the great Aeon site 

"In the 2000s, users nicknamed the first mainstream smartphone the crackberry. In conversation, we describe basic tools and apps – Facebook, email, Netflix, Twitter – using terms otherwise reserved for methamphetamine and slot machines"

"So should individuals be blamed for having poor self-control? To a point, yes. Personal responsibility matters. But it’s important to realise that many websites and other digital tools have been engineered specifically to elicit compulsive behaviour"

"Major tech companies, Harris told me, ‘have 100 of the smartest statisticians and computer scientists, who went to top schools, whose job it is to break your willpower"

"As with the pigeons, uncertain reward can lead to obsessive behaviour. The gambling industry has been using these techniques for years, too: as Skinner himself recognised, the classic high-rep, variable-reward device is the slot machine"



The Future of Finance Is Simplicity (some helpful comments)

“In a modern economy, how big does the financial sector need to be? Not nearly this big, he argues. How did it come to be so big, if it's failing to justify its expense of resources? Essentially, by collecting various explicit and implicit subsidies -- notably, the subsidy implied by the government's promise to stand behind a failing institution.”

The Future of Finance Is Simplicity
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-11-22/the-future-of-finance
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#fintech #banking 

Is Hello Barbie every parent’s worst nightmare? Great debate.

“Hello Barbie isn’t a therapy doll—especially because it talks rather than providing a blank slate for the kind of role-play Smirnova describes—but it is uniquely poised to provide evidence in cases of child abuse. Jacob told the Kernel that ToyTalk, as a company, is not liable for the actions of parents. The company might stumble across some conversational data, though, during the course of tweaking program features.

“It is possible that in the act of debugging the service or responding to a support issue, we may on occasion hear or review transcripts of conversations that we can associate with a particular account,” Jacob said. “In the very unlikely situation that we did become aware of suspected abuse, we would of course comply with applicable laws and cooperate with law enforcement agencies as we deem appropriate on a case-by-case basis.””

Is Hello Barbie every parent’s worst nightmare?
http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/features-issue-sections/15018/hello-barbie-security-concerns/
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#manmachine #futurisgerd

Has technology set us free, or shackled us to our screens? by Tom Chatfield — Aeon

“It’s a point that has been emphasised by much recent research into thought and behaviour. To quote from Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011) by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, ‘cognition is embodied; you think with your body, not only with your brain’. Yet when it comes to culture’s cutting edge, there remains an overwhelming tendency to treat embodiment not as a central condition of being human that our tools ought to serve, but rather as an inconvenience to be eliminated.”

Has technology set us free, or shackled us to our screens? by Tom Chatfield — Aeon
https://aeon.co/essays/has-technology-set-us-free-or-shackled-us-to-our-screens
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Gerd Leonhard 
Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author 
Wired top 100 influencer http://gerd.fm/wired88
Basel / Switzerland

The 150 Things the World's Smartest People Are Afraid Of (great quotes here)




Gerd Leonhard 
Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author 
Wired top 100 influencer http://gerd.fm/wired88
Basel / Switzerland

My new film on tech vs humanity: http://gerd.fm/techvshumanvideo
Download it here: http://gerd.fm/downloadthefilm

New: Future of Business book (I contributed)  http://gerd.fm/fobbook


Public calendar: http://gerd.fm/gerdcalendar
All else via www.gerd.io
Mobile: +41797935384

The Doomsday Invention - must read on AI

“Before the prospect of an intelligence explosion, we humans are like small children playing with a bomb,” he concludes. “We have little idea when the detonation will occur, though if we hold the device to our ear we can hear a faint ticking sound”

The Doomsday Invention
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/23/doomsday-invention-artificial-intelligence-nick-bostrom
via Instapaper



Gerd Leonhard 
Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author 
Wired top 100 influencer http://gerd.fm/wired88
Basel / Switzerland

My new film on tech vs humanity: http://gerd.fm/techvshumanvideo
Download it here: http://gerd.fm/downloadthefilm

New: Future of Business book (I contributed)  http://gerd.fm/fobbook

Robot revolution: rise of 'thinking' machines could exacerbate inequality

A lot of great nuggets in this piece - will comment in more detail later 

“Andrew Simms, of thinktank the New Weather Institute, said the rise of new technologies could be an opportunity to realise the aspirations of the economist John Maynard Keynes, who predicted in 1930 that within a century, technology would have enabled the working week to be reduced to 15 hours with the rest of the time devoted to leisure.”

Robot revolution: rise of 'thinking' machines could exacerbate inequality
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/05/robot-revolution-rise-machines-could-displace-third-of-uk-jobs
via Instapaper

My new film on tech vs humanity: http://gerd.fm/techvshumanvideo
Download it here: http://gerd.fm/downloadthefilm

New: Future of Business book (I contributed)  http://gerd.fm/fobbook






Gerd Leonhard 
Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author 
Wired top 100 influencer http://gerd.fm/wired88
Basel / Switzerland

My new film on tech vs humanity: http://gerd.fm/techvshumanvideo
Download it here: http://gerd.fm/downloadthefilm

New: Future of Business book (I contributed)  http://gerd.fm/fobbook


Public calendar: http://gerd.fm/gerdcalendar
All else via www.gerd.io
Mobile: +41797935384

Artificial intelligence: ‘Homo sapiens will be split into a handful of gods and the rest of us’ (link to must-read report"

“If you wanted relief from stories about tyre factories and steel plants closing, you could try relaxing with a new 300-page report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch which looks at the likely effects of a robot revolution.

But you might not end up reassured. Though it promises robot carers for an ageing population, it also forecasts huge numbers of jobs being wiped out: up to 35% of all workers in the UK and 47% of those in the US, including white-collar jobs, seeing their livelihoods taken away by machines.”

Artificial intelligence: ‘Homo sapiens will be split into a handful of gods and the rest of us’
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/07/artificial-intelligence-homo-sapiens-split-handful-gods
via Instapaper

Download this report : 
http://www.bofaml.com/content/dam/boamlimages/documents/articles/D3_006/11511357.pdf

Gerd Leonhard 
Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author 

My new film on tech vs humanity: http://gerd.fm/techvshumanvideo
Download it here: http://gerd.fm/downloadthefilm



Thomas Piketty proposes flight tax to raise climate funds

This makes sense to me - even thought I'd be hit hard by it, myself

“Air travel should be taxed to protect the world’s vulnerable from drought, flooding and sea level rise. A €180 ($196/£130) levy on business class tickets and €20 on economy class would raise the estimated €150bn a year needed for climate adaptation.  That is one proposal by French economists Lucas Chancel and Thomas Piketty to address global inequalities between high-polluting individuals and the victims of climate change.

“Taxing flights is one way to target high emitting lifestyles, especially if we tax business class more than economy class,” Chancel told Climate Home. “A tax on air tickets to finance development programs already exists in some countries. What we need is to increase its level and generalise it.”

Piketty – author of Capital, a bestseller on wealth inequality – and Chancel outline huge disparities in people’s carbon footprints across the world. One-tenth of people are responsible for 45% of global emissions. “Economic inequalities are reaching record high levels and reducing them constitutes a key challenge to policymakers in the coming decades,” said Chancel.

“It’s the same thing with carbon: another huge challenge that puts our societies at risk. If we fail to address both, our societies can collapse.””

Thomas Piketty proposes flight tax to raise climate funds
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/05/thomas-piketty-proposes-flight-tax-to-raise-climate-funds
via Instapaper


Gerd Leonhard 
Futurist, Author, Keynote Speaker, CEO The Futures Agency