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Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace
Albert Einstein, business climate, buy low sell high, complexity theory, fear of failure, Golden Gate Park, iterative process, Menlo Park, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Wall-E
Braintrust meetings require giving candid notes, but they do a great deal more than that. The most productive creative sessions allow for the exploration of myriad trains of thought. Take WALL-E, for example, which was known, early on, as Trash Planet. For a long time, that movie ended with our googly-eyed trash compactor robot saving his beloved droid, EVE, from destruction in a dumpster. But there was something about that ending that nagged, that never quite felt right. We had countless discussions about it, but Andrew Stanton, the director, was having difficulty putting his finger on what was wrong, let alone finding a solution. The confusing thing was that the romantic plotline seemed right. Of course WALL-E would save EVE—he’d fallen in love with her the moment he saw her. In a sense, that was precisely the flaw. And it was Brad Bird who pointed that out to Andrew in a Braintrust meeting.
And it was Brad Bird who pointed that out to Andrew in a Braintrust meeting. “You’ve denied your audience the moment they’ve been waiting for,” he said, “the moment where EVE throws away all her programming and goes all out to save WALL-E. Give it to them. The audience wants it.” As soon as Brad said that, it was like: Bing! After the meeting, Andrew went off and wrote an entirely new ending in which EVE saves WALL-E, and at the next screening, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Michael Arndt remembers it was Andrew, meanwhile, who gave a Braintrust note on Toy Story 3 that fundamentally altered the end of that movie’s second act. At that point in the film, Lotso—the pink teddy bear and mean-spirited leader of the day-care center toys—is overthrown after the toys mutiny. But the problem was, the mutiny wasn’t believable, because the impetus behind it didn’t ring true.
Pixar films are not good at first, and our job is to make them so—to go, as I say, “from suck to not-suck.” This idea—that all the movies we now think of as brilliant were, at one time, terrible—is a hard concept for many to grasp. But think about how easy it would be for a movie about talking toys to feel derivative, sappy, or overtly merchandise-driven. Think about how off-putting a movie about rats preparing food could be, or how risky it must’ve seemed to start WALL-E with 39 dialogue-free minutes. We dare to attempt these stories, but we don’t get them right on the first pass. And this is as it should be. Creativity has to start somewhere, and we are true believers in the power of bracing, candid feedback and the iterative process—reworking, reworking, and reworking again, until a flawed story finds its throughline or a hollow character finds its soul. As I’ve discussed, first we draw storyboards of the script and then edit them together with temporary voices and music to make a crude mock-up of the film, known as reels.
The Eureka Factor by John Kounios
Albert Einstein, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Flynn Effect, Google Hangouts, impulse control, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, theory of mind, Wall-E, William of Occam
.; Finding Nemo; and Cars and was writing a new film that would prove just as successful: WALL-E, about the last robot left on a hopelessly polluted earth abandoned by humans many years before. One of the problems with which he had been struggling was the design of WALL-E’s face. It had to be machinelike, yet expressive. One day, Stanton went to a baseball game. He couldn’t see the game very well, because his seat was “crappy” (for which he blamed his editor). So he borrowed a pair of binoculars from the person sitting next to him. He mistakenly turned the binoculars around. With the lenses on the wrong side staring at him, the answer to the problem “dropped in my lap.” The binoculars looked like a face. He flexed the inner hinge a few times to create different facial expressions and saw “an entire character with a soul in it.” It was settled. The robot WALL-E would look like a “binocular on a stem.”
However, seeing tiny tumors devoid of blood vessels ignited an incubation process that sparked his idea that controlling the growth of blood vessels would allow one to control the growth of tumors. Later, he spent many years thinking about cancer and angiogenesis, which put all the elements of his next insight into place. These pieces eventually snapped together when he ducked out of his lab to attend a religious service. Similarly, Andrew Stanton had been struggling for some time with the problem of a face for WALL-E. The answer appeared when he took a break from work to enjoy a baseball game. Such examples show that an insight can incubate unconsciously in your brain while you’re thinking about other things, only to pop into consciousness at an unexpected moment, sometimes triggered by a seemingly irrelevant stimulus such as bloodless tumors or a pair of binoculars. Later we’ll see how an insight’s path to awareness can also be greased by a change of setting or context and an improved mood.
To make this easier, you might look away from your questioner’s distracting face or even close your eyes to focus more on your thoughts. However, the brain has another way to avoid such distractions: by temporarily taking in less visual information. Humans are inherently visual creatures. A huge portion of the brain is specialized for visual cognition; vision often dominates and overshadows other types of thought. That’s not to say that vision must be turned completely off. Andrew Stanton’s WALL-E insight shows otherwise. But sometimes it’s necessary to dial down the dimmer so that you won’t become blinded to subtler thoughts. FIGURE 7.2: Removing the glare of the external world can allow insights to emerge. This happened to John. He was poring over a printout of the data from the experiment and saw the burst of alpha waves. At first, it made no sense. He thought about it for a while longer but still had no idea what it meant.
Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter
One robot in particular inspired Tapbots app designer Mark Jardine to design personality into the user interface: The whole UI concept was really inspired by the movie, WALL•E.Our concept for the first two apps was to design them as if they were physical robots. We want our apps to be used seriously, but also give the sense that they are more than just a piece of software. We want our users to have an emotional connection to our apps. Most people don’t have a love/joy for software like geeks do. Users react with effusive emotion to these cartoony, yet seemingly tangible interfaces enhanced by robotic whirs, bleeps, and blips. You can certainly see the parallels with WALL•E, in physical and personality traits. Both are friendly, endearing, and reliable. Technology blogger John Gruber sums up audience sentiment about Tapbots apps with this simple review (http://bkaprt.com/de/6): I adore the way their apps look and sound.
q=%22Guess+I+could+have+waited+for+today+if+all%22&in=81&type=contents&view=posts&search=true&button_search.x=54&button_search.y=-106&button_search=true 13 http://www.alistapart.com/articles/understandingprogressiveenhancement/ 14 http://google.com/websiteoptimizer Resources 15 http://amzn.com/1592535879 16 http://getmentalnotes.com/ 17 http://amzn.com/0465051367 18 http://amzn.com/0393334775 19 http://amzn.com/014303622X 20 http://amzn.com/030746086X 21 http://amzn.com/0979777747 22 http://amzn.com/0321607376 23 http://uxmag.com/design/beyond-frustration-three-levels-of-happy-design 24 http://uxmag.com/design/the-psychologists-view-of-ux-design 25 http://uxmag.com/design/organized-approach-to-emotional-response-testing 26 http://boxesandarrows.com/view/emotional-design Index 37Signals 8-10 A Able Design 88 aesthetic-usability effect 27-28 A List Apart 90 Apple 7, 27 anticipation 54-58, 87 apathy 75 Arts and Crafts movement 2, 94 B baby-face bias 18-20, 28, 32 Basecamp 8-10, 70 Betabrand 13-16, 75 Blue Sky Resumes 88-90, 93 bible 31-33 Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse, A 19 Bowman, Doug 21, 55-56 Brain Rules 12 Breathing Status LED Indicator 27 Bringhurst, Robert 20 Brizzly 19-20 C calligraphy 31 Carbonmade 40, 42-45 Clippy 60 CoffeeCup Software 85-87, 90 Cornelius, J. 86 contrast 22-25, 28, 44 Convertbot 40-41 D Damasio, Antonio 67 Darwin, Charles 17-18 design persona 35-40, 48, 91, 92 Don’t Make Me Think 77 dot-com bubble 3 Dribbble 55-56, 59 Dropbox 72-74 E Etsy 2 Elements of Content Strategy, The 75 Elements of Typographic Style, The 20 Emotional Design 27 Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal, The 17 F Facebook 3, 7, 54, 59, 74, 86-87 face-ism ratio design principle 46 fail whale 7 Fletcher, Louise 90 Flickr 3, 51, 54, 79-82, 93 Freddie Von Chippenheimer IV 37, 60-65 G Getting Real 8 GigaOm 56 Gmail 70 golden ratio 20-21, 27 Google Site Optimizer 93 GoToMeeting 76 Gould, Stephen Jay 19 Gorum, Dave 44 Groupon 62 Gruber, John 42 Gupta, Amit 51-52 Gutenberg, Johannes 31-33 gut instinct 67-68 H Hale, Kevin 11 Happy Cog 46 Hick’s Law 24, 28 hierarchy of needs 5-6, 35 Hipmunk 7 Hodgman, John 33, 36 Housing Works 40, 45-46, 75, 93 HTML 3 Human-Computer Interaction 29 I iPhone 40 iPod 20 industrial revolution 1 iTunes 7 Ping 7 Pink Panther 15-16 Putorti, Jason 69, 71 priming 59-65, 76 progressive enhancement 90-91 Pythagoras 20, 27 J Jobs, Steve 27 Jardine, Mark 41-42 K Kickstarter 2 Kissane, Erin 75 Krug, Steve 77 L Lindland, Chris 13-16 Long, Justin 33, 36 M Mac 33, 36 Mall, Dan 46 MailChimp 20, 36-40, 60-65, 91 Mashable 56 Maslow, Abraham 5-6 Medina, John 12 memory 11-13, 49, 82 messagefirst 33-35 Mestre, Ricardo 25-26 Microsoft Office 60 Mint 69-72, 93 N Norman, Donald 27, 82-83 O open system 54 Oprah Magazine 90 P Parthenon 20 party pooper 91 persona 33-40 Photojojo 49-52, 59, 65 Q Quicken 72 R rosy effect 82 S Scoutmob 62 Shakespeare 10 Silverback 77 Sims 54 Skype 76 Smith, Matthew 88-89 StickyBits 20 Squared Eye 88 Super Mario Brothers 54 surprise 49-54 T Tapbots 40-42 Tumblr 23-24 Trammell, Mark 55 Twitter 3, 7, 20-21, 54, 55-59, 74, 86-87 V variable rewards 62, 87 velvet rope 57, 87 Volkswagen Beetle 32 W WALL•E 41-42 Warfel, Todd Zaki 33 Weightbot 40-41 Wilson, Rainn 4 Wufoo 9-11, 13, 52-54, 93 Y YouTube 37, 60 About A Book Apart Web design is about multi-disciplinary mastery and laser focus, and that’s the thinking behind our brief books for people who make websites. We cover the emerging and essential topics in web design and development with style, clarity, and, above all, brevity—because working designer-developers can’t afford to waste time.
How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil
Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, brain emulation, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer age, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, George Gilder, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, linear programming, Loebner Prize, mandelbrot fractal, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, self-driving car, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize
My own consistent prediction is that this will first take place in 2029 and become routine in the 2030s. But putting the time frame aside, I believe that we will eventually come to regard such entities as conscious. Consider how we already treat them when we are exposed to them as characters in stories and movies: R2D2 from the Star Wars movies, David and Teddy from the movie A.I., Data from the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Johnny 5 from the movie Short Circuit, WALL-E from Disney’s movie Wall-E, T-800—the (good) Terminator—in the second and later Terminator movies, Rachael the Replicant from the movie Blade Runner (who, by the way, is not aware that she is not human), Bumblebee from the movie, TV, and comic series Transformers, and Sonny from the movie I, Robot. We do empathize with these characters even though we know that they are nonbiological. We regard them as conscious persons, just as we do biological human characters.
., 75 technology, as compensating for human limitation, 3, 27, 276, 279 Technology Review, 266 Tegmark, Max, 208 Terminator films, 210 testosterone, 118 thalamus, 36, 77, 95, 97, 97, 98–101 as gateway to neocortex, 100–101 thermodynamics, 177 laws of, 37, 267 Thiel, Peter, 156 thinking: computing compared with, 26–27 disorderliness of, 55, 69 language as translation of, 56, 68 limitations to, 23–24, 27 redundancy and, 57 as statistical analysis, 170 statistical probability and, 270–71 thought experiments on, 24, 25–33 undirected vs. directed, 54–55, 68–69 see also hierarchical thinking thought experiments, 114 “Chinese room,” 170, 274–75 on computer consciousness, 202, 210 of Darwin, 14–16, 23 of Einstein, 18–23, 114, 117 on identity, 242–47 on the mind, 199–247 on thinking, 24, 25–33 of Turing, 185–87, 188 Thrun, Sebastian, 158 time, Einstein’s thought experiments on, 19–20 tool making, by humans, 3, 27, 276, 279 Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Wittgenstein), 219–21 Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever (Kurzweil and Grossman), 287n–88n Transformers films, 210 transistors: per chip, growth in, 258, 301n–3n price decrease in, 260, 304n–6n three-dimensional, 268 Turing, Alan, 121, 159–60, 185, 191 thought experiments of, 185–87, 188 unsolvable problem theorem of, 187, 207–8 Turing machine, 185–87, 186, 188, 192, 207–8 Turing test, 159–60, 169, 170, 178, 191, 213, 214, 233, 276, 298n UIMA (Unstructured Information Management Architecture), 167–68 Ulam, Stan, 194 Unitarianism, 222 universality of computation, 26, 181–82, 185, 188, 192, 207 universe, as capable of encoding information, 2 University College (London), 118 unsolvable problems, Turing’s theorem of, 187, 207–8 vasopressin, 119 vector quantization, 135, 138–39, 145 invariance and, 141 ventral pallidum, 105 Vicarious Systems, 156 visual association, 77 visual cortex, 7, 77, 83, 95, 193 of congenitally blind people, 87 digital simulation of, 128 hierarchical structure of, 85–86 V1 region, 83, 85, 87, 95, 100 V2 region of, 83, 85, 87, 95 V5 (MT) region of, 83, 95 visual information processing, 94–96, 95, 96 visual pathway, 95 visual recognition systems, 53 von Neumann, John, 179, 186–89, 190, 195 brain/computer comparison of, 191–95 stored program concept of, 186–87, 188 von Neumann machine, 187–89, 190, 193 Voyage of the Beagle (Darwin), 14 Wall-E (film), 210 Watson (IBM computer), 6–7, 108, 157–58, 159, 160, 165, 166, 167–68, 171, 172, 178, 200, 232–33, 239, 247, 265, 270–71, 274 Watson, James D., 8–9, 16–17 Watts, Lloyd, 96 wave function, collapse of, 218–19, 235–36 Wedeen, Van J., 82–83, 90, 129, 262 Werblin, Frank S., 94–95 Whitehead, Alfred North, 181 Whole Brain Emulation: A Roadmap (Sandberg and Bostrom), 129–30, 130, 131 Wiener, Norbert, 115, 143 Wikipedia, 6, 156, 166, 170, 176, 232, 270, 279 Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 219–21 Wolfram, Stephen, 170–71, 177, 236–39 Wolfram Alpha, 161, 170–72, 177 Wolfram Research, 170–71 working memory, 101 World War I, 278 World War II, 187, 278 writing, as backup system, 123–24 Young, Thomas, 18 Z-3 computer, 189 Zuo, Yi, 89 Zuse, Konrad, 189
Fucking flick’s nearly three hours long and only leaves you wanting more (in a great way). I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed by it. Nolan and crew have created something close to a masterpiece. Also in the Masterpiece Department... If you haven’t already peeped Wall-E, get thee to a theater. It’s the ballsiest animated film ever made (right up there with Persepolis, in terms of untraditional cartoons), yet it’ll melt your heart. Seriously — Wall-E’s so adorable, he makes E.T. look like Josef Mengele. Alright, maybe not Mengele, but at least Rudolf Hess. Y’know what? Let’s drop the Nazi comparisons altogether and just leave it at this: Wall-E (the character) is adorable and Wall-E (the film) is a must-see. In the Far-Less-Than-a-Masterpiece department, Zack and Miri Make a Porno continues to move ever closer to its October 31st release date. We tested again in Albuquerque, New Mexico last week (where I did, in fact, make a left turn I knew I shouldn’t have made), and scored almost exactly the same as we did in the Kansas City test screening the month before — which is to say really, really well.
Kevin Smith 4 August 2009 Selected Index A | B | C | D | F G | J | K | L | M O | P | Q | R | S T | V | W | Z A Affleck, Ben, not being mad at 416 B Banks, Elizabeth, could read Bible and make it sound charming 486 Bateman, Jason, is not Zack 475, drops performance clinics in movies 476 Battlestar Galactica, ever-genius new version of 317-21 Black Cat comic book series, realises has not been paid for 311 Bootchies, Snootchie, etymological history of 336 Braff, Zach, refuses to believe Kevin Smith is on phone 8 C Canuck Fuck 480 Carnegie Hall, sells out 496 Chase, Chevy, loses all interest in 295 Clerks II, 8 minute standing ovation for 410 Condoms, custom made 483 Couch, the riding of 17, 31, 43, 58, 63, 68, 75, 91, 233, 245, 275 D D, Tenacious, admits would suck cocks of 200 Damon, Matty, genius of 485 Dawson, Rosario, discusses favorite moments in Johnny, the Homicidal Maniac 273 Duke, Annie, accosts like crackhead looking for vial 51 F Felching 336 Fetal position, Seth Rogen-induced 483 Fisher, Carrie, recites “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi” speech from memory 408 Fissure, anal, pain of 297-303 Fucking dogs, being woken up early by 5, 12 G Garner, Jennifer, buys true junk food for while pregnant 169 Greedo, 12 inch dolls of 293 Griddle, The, five-hour breakfast at 52 J Jersey Girl, remembered as “that other Bennifer movie” by most 309 Jism, arching ropes of 248, explosion of 405, K Krispy Kreme Donuts, the stealing of 182 L Lee, Stan, vs. Johnny Rotten at Poetry Event 404 Lewis, Juliette, receives massage from 206 Longoria, Eva, regrets mentioning she likes vibrators 409 M Mallrats, original opening of 263-72 Man boobs, refuses to show on screen 204 ‘Me and My Shadow’ 328-95 Mengele, Josef, E.T. looks like in comparison to adorableness of Wall-E 491 Mullet, bickers about with wife 69 NEH!, Mewes’s use of as verbal punctuation 331 Nose-picking 416 O Ontari-asses 494 Orient, lick-master from the 419 P Penetration, double, Mewes prefers Murder She Wrote to 353 Penile growth spurt, lack of 429 Playlist, unedited version of 444-50 Proctologist’s office, unexpected sighting of Sidney Poitier in 301 Pussy, opts for Peter Parker over 214 Q Quinnster, Harley, plays tickle monster with 168, 171, 177 R Revenge of the Sith, genetic predisposition to love 66 Rickman, Alan, Mewes memorizes entire script to avoid pissing off 343-4 Rogen, Seth, practically blown by Kevin 478 S Schwalbach, Jennifer, tugs one out to nude photos of 21 Scully, face licked by 80 Sex, anal, tips on 416-9 Siegel, Joel, Fozzie Bear laughs at, not with 420 Skywalker Ranch, reluctance to fart in 396 SNIKT!
Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker
23andMe, AI winter, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, computer age, Frank Gehry, information retrieval, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, job automation, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, theory of mind, thinkpad, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
At one point, he said, they considered establishing Watson as a child, one that learns and grows through an educational process. That didn’t make sense, though, because Watson would already be an adult by the time it showed up on TV. (And Jeopardy apparently wasn’t going to give IBM airtime to describe the education of young Watson.) The Ogilvy team also considered other types of figures. A new Pixar movie that year featured Wall-E, a lovable robot. Perhaps that was the right path for Watson. Whether it was a cartoon figure or a bot like Wall-E, much of the discussion boiled down to how human Watson should be. The marketers feared that millions of viewers might find it unsettling if the computer looked or acted too much like a real person. Science fiction was full of evil “human” computers. HAL, the mutinous machine running the spaceship in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, was the archetype.
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli
Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, Jony Ive, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog
The team on Toy Story would turn out to be remarkably productive, and exceedingly close-knit. Stanton would direct Pixar’s second movie, A Bug’s Life, as well as Finding Nemo and Wall-E. Docter would direct Monsters, Inc. and Up, while Ranft would serve as cowriter and story chief on several pictures, until his death in a car crash in 2005. The four men became the core of what Catmull calls the Brain Trust—a collection of Pixar writers, directors, and animators who provide constructive criticism to the director of every Pixar movie. It’s a unique idea—the Brain Trust has no authority whatsoever, and the directors are only asked to listen and deeply consider the advice of its members. It became a powerful tool, helping to reshape movies like The Incredibles and Wall-E. But Steve was never a part of it. Catmull kept him out of those discussions, because he felt that Steve’s big personality would skew the proceedings.
“We had only had one movie, Cars, left to distribute,” he recalls, “and people within Disney had spent months pooh-poohing the idea for the next movie, about a rat in a restaurant in Paris. So I go up to Emeryville, and for six or seven hours the directors pitch me every single upcoming movie. I see a couple of movies that they didn’t wind up making [one called Newt, and the other an unnamed Lee Unkrich project about dogs in a New York City apartment building]. I also see work in progress from Ratatouille, Up, Wall-E. Disney hadn’t seen any of this, and I went back to my guys—including Alan Braverman, the general counsel—and told them that it wasn’t even close. The richness of the creativity, the quality of the people, was so obvious. We had to do this deal.” With Lasseter and Catmull feeling more comfortable, Steve homed in on the final details of a deal. He didn’t overreach by demanding an exorbitant premium over Pixar’s market value.
Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson
This is a leaning tower of spork”), haikus in their honor (“The spork, true beauty / the tines, the bowl, the long stem / life now is complete”), and general musings. Spork.org has this to say:A spork is a perfect metaphor for human existence. It tries to function as both spoon and fork, and because of this dual nature, it fails miserably at both. You cannot have soup with a spork; it is far too shallow. You cannot eat meat with a spork; the prongs are too small. A spork is not one thing or another, but in-between. In the Pixar-animated film Wall-E, a robot in a postapocalyptic wasteland attempts to clear up the detritus left behind on planet earth by the human race. He heroically sorts old plastic cutlery into different compartments, until encountering a spork. His little brain cannot cope with this new object. Does it go with the spoons? Or the forks? The spork is uncategorizable. Two years into his presidency, in 1995, Bill Clinton, pioneer of “Third Way” politics, made the spork the centerpiece of a humorous speech to the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, DC.
Russell, John Russia Sabatier Salamanders Samoa Samsung Sargent, John Singer Sauce pots Sauteing Scales Scappi, Bartolomeo Schutte-Lihotsky, Margarete Science culture and kitchens and measurement and wooden spoon and Science Museum, London Scots Scullery Scythians Seasoning Seneca Shakespeare, William Shellfish Sherbets Sierra Leone Silver Simmons, Amelia Sinclair, Upton Slater, Nigel Slavery Slicing Slow Food Movement Smith, Delia Smoke Sokolov, Ray Somerville, Thomas Sontheimer, Carl Sous-vide South Africa South America South Korea Soyer, Alexis Space food Spain Spatulas Spencer, Percy Spieler, Marlena Spit roasting Spit-roasting Splayd Spoons English cuisine and functions of history of metal proper use of silver teaspoons as technology trefoil trifid wooden wooden silicone Sporks Stainless steel heat conduction and knives and pots and pans and Starbucks Starr, Frederick Steel kitchen utensils and knives and pots and pans and Stewing Stone cutting tools and grinding tools and Stone Age Stone cooking Stowe, Harriet Beecher Strite, Charles Stuart era Sugar Sugg, William Sur la Table Sweden Syria Szilard, Leo Table knives Table manners forks and knives and Tannur Taste knives and pots and pans and Technological change resistance to types of Technology boiling and chopsticks as of cooking cooking and culture and of food food processing and forks as of kitchen kitchen utensils and knives and knives as pots and pans and Technology (continued) pottery as of roasting spoons as wooden spoon as Teeth Tefal company Teflon Tehuaca Valley, Central America Temperature uniformity Terhune, Mary Virginia Tetra Brik Tetra Pak Thailand Thermometers Thermomix Thermostats Third World This, Herve Thompson, Benjamin Tierra del Fuego Tilda Tin Toast Toasters Tongs Toshiba Tou Tou (Chinese knife) Toxicity Trevithick, Richard Troisgros, Pierre Tupperware Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Stowe) Van Ostade, Adriaen Vegetable peelers Vegetables boiling frozen foods and stone cooking and Verdun, Pierre Verrall, William Victoria, Queen Victorian era Visser, Margaret Von Platen, Baltzar Wall-E (film) Waring Blender Washington, George The Washington Post Waters, Alice Webster, Fletcher Webster, Thomas Weir, Robin Whakarewarewa “Where There Are Asians, There Are Rice Cookers” (Nakano) Whirlpool Whisks WHO. See World Health Organization Wilder, Laura Ingalls Wilkinson, John “Iron-Mad” Williams, Turner Williams, William Carlos Williams-Sonoma Woks Wolke, Robert L. Wolley, Hannah Women Wood Wood, Ken Wooden spoon Worde, Wynkyn de World Health Organization (WHO) World War I World War II Wrangham, Richard Wyeth, Nathaniel J.
An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson
23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize
As Breazeal’s former mentor, the restive, maverick genius Rodney Brooks, opens his book Robot: The Future of Flesh and Machines: ‘As these robots get smarter, some people worry about what will happen when they get really smart. Will they decide that we humans are useless and stupid and take over the world from us?’ We’re weaned on a diet of Hollywood movies that generally cast future robots as perilous weapons of war and aggression (The Terminator) or scheming murderers (like the iconic HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey), with only the occasional Wall-E as light relief. It’s hardly surprising we fear being dominated by our mechanical progeny when our dreams are so dark. Noel Sharkey, professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield, told New Scientist, ‘Isaac Asimov said that when he started writing about robots, the idea that robots were going to take over the world was the only story in town. Nobody wants to hear otherwise.
Daniel 160, 164 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The 100 Hoek, Eric 118 Hofmeister, Anke 261–2 Hofstadter, Douglas 276 Holbrook 221–2, 239–40 Huggable 78 Human Security Brief 148 Huntington’s disease 44, 58 Huxley, Julian 13 I IBM 113, 125 identical twins 43 Imperial College London 31, 213 indium 195–6 Industrial Revolution 110, 115, 167, 171, 284–5 inequality 302 influenza virus 64–5, 69–70 Insomnia Cookies 93–4 Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation 149 Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology 69 Intelligent, Safe and Smart Built (ISSB) 119 interconnectedness Internet 151–8 nonzero-sum game 149–51 telegraph 145–7 and violent deaths 149 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 171, 172, 179, 180 International Association Synthetic Biology 68 International Gene Synthesis Consortium 68 Internet 147, 151–64, 268, 302 invariants 99 Iran 157 Isasi, Rosario 27 IVF 106 J Jackson, Ron 64 Jones, Richard 120–1, 124, 130 Joule Biotechnologies 57, 186–8, 189 JSB see Brown, John Seely Jungerbluth, Philip 20 Jurassic Park 39, 75 K Kahn, Bob 153, 159 Kármán line 133 Kasparov, Garry 82, 83, 86 Katter, Bob 171 Keeley, Lawrence 147 Keeling, Charles David 167 Keith, David 184 Kelly, Kevin 161 Kench, Paul 242 Kessler, Andy 43 Klein, Naomi 303 Kleinrock, Leonard 152 Kline, Charley 152 Knome 50 Konarka 190–1, 196–204, 206, 224, 295, 299 Kossel, Albrecht 37 Krummel, Glen 228 Kukla, George 178–9, 186 Kunfunadhoo Island 261–2, 266 Kurzweil, Ray 90, 267–78, 282, 293, 299, 303–4 and Brown, John Seely 285 posthumans 103–4, 268 The Singularity 88 transhumanism 21–2, 267–8 Kyrgyzstan 157 L Lackner, Klaus 173, 174–86, 188, 189, 259–60, 299, 301 Lana 224–5 Langley, Tim 212–19 Law of Accelerating Returns 51, 270–8, 293 Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA) 59–60 Legion of Extraordinary Dancers 155, 158, 294 Lehmann, Johannes 209–10 Leo 73–4, 75–6, 79, 80–2, 84–6, 102 Lewis, Dan 203 Licht, Stuart 184 life expectancy 12–13, 301 and income 27–8 longevity escape velocity 29–30 limited liability corporations 290–1 Lincoln, Abraham 265–6 Lipson, Hod 92, 94–6, 98–101, 102, 210, 272–3, 293, 299 longevity escape velocity 29–30 López, José 117 Lovell, Tony 222–40, 300 Lovelock, James 164, 172, 220 biochar 208–9, 210, 215 LS9 56–7, 61 Lynx spaceplane 142 M Maahlos 261 McConnell, James 17 MacDiarmid, Alan 196 ‘Machine Stops, The’ (Forster) 161 McNamara, Kaitlyne 20–1 Maes, Pattie 162–3 Maldives 241–62 Malé 249–50 Malthus, Thomas Robert 250 ‘Manchester Report, The’ 223, 224 Markram, Henry 90, 91 Martine, George 252–3 Masten Space Systems 136 Matrix, The 103 men life expectancy 12, 23 pregnancy 24 methane 230 Methuselah Foundation 21 Mexico 278–9 Miescher, Johannes Friedrich 37 Miller, Webb 41 Minsky, Marvin 102, 104 Miromatrix Medical 20 MIT 40, 262 Fluid Interfaces Group 162–3 Media Lab 77–8 nanotechnology 201 Smart Cities Group 200 Technology Review 16, 187 Mitchell, Bill 200 Mojave 131–3, 135–44 Monbiot, George 215, 303 Moombril 221–2, 239–40 Moore, Michael 303 Moorhead, Paul 18 Moravec, Hans 74, 84, 89–90 Morgan Stanley 193 Mosely, Andrew 231–5 Mosely, Megan 231–5 Mouchot, Augustin 192–3, 266 mousepox 63–4 Musk, Elon 136, 141 Myhrvold, Nathan 16 N Najning University 120 nanofactories 114–17, 125–6, 286 Nanoforum 120 nanoparticles 287 nanopunk 117 Nanosolar 202–3 Nanosystems (Drexler) 112, 124 nanotechnology 107, 108–30, 268, 301, 302 apocalypse 125–7 and energy 201 Grey Goo 121–3 products 117–21 Narrandera 237–8 NASA 134, 135, 136, 141, 170 Nasheed, Mohamed 243–9, 254–60, 262 National Academy of Engineering 125 National Academy of Sciences 125 National Center for Atmospheric Research 176 National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) 64–5 National Human Genome Research Institute 36 National Research Council 125 National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity 67–8 natural language 86–7 Nature 170 Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) 134 New Scientist 68 New York 172 New York University 120 New Zealand 206–20 New Zealand Wind Farms 208 Nexi 102 Niven, Larry 135 nonzero-sum games 149–51, 153–4, 270 Northwest Passage 177–8 Nouri, Ali 65 nuclein 37 O oil 193 Olovnikov, Alexey 52–3 Olshansky, Stuart Jay 12 oncogenes 46–7 optical telegraph 145–6 Optimist (cocktail) 220 organic conductive polymers 196–7, 198, 201 ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency 58–9 Ott, Harold 20 over-population 17–18 P Pakistan 157 Pan Am 133 parabolic surfaces 192 Parkinson’s disease 273–4 Partners in Health (PIH) 202 Personal Genome Project (PGP) 37, 42–3, 47–50, 51, 273 Personal Robots Group 73–4, 75–6, 77–82, 84–6, 102 Pew Charitable Trusts 119 Pew Research Center 168 phenylketonuria 44, 58 Picton 214–15, 217–18, 220 Pifre, Abel 192 Pinatubo, Mount 169 Pinker, Steven 83, 147, 149, 293 Pirbright Laboratory 68 Pistorius, Oscar 29, 300 Pleasance, Erin 40–1 Polonator G.007 50 Pontin, James 16 Popular Science Monthly 192 population 17–18, 249–54 pornography 158 Portugal 234–5 Power Plastic 196–7, 198, 204, 224 Prey (Crichton) 122 procreative beneficence 23 Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies 119 proteins 45–6 ProtoLife 66 Pygmalion (Shaw) 86 pyrolysis 209–10, 212–14 R Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico 234 Rankin, Sarah 31 Rasmussen, Lars 256 Rebek, Julius 124 reflection 86 Regis, Ed 112 Reicher, Dan 194–5 Rema 199 Reporters Without Borders 157 Revue des Deux Mondes 192 Rice University 118–19, 201 Ridley, Matt 270, 302–3 Roberts, Lawrence 152 Roberts, Paul 244, 248, 254 Robinson, Ken 265–6, 284, 288, 293 robots 73–92, 302 Leo 73–4, 75–6, 79, 80–2, 84–6 Nexi 102 Starfish 95–6, 98–9 Rofecoxib 49 Rosenthal, Elisabeth 254 Rosling, Hans 251, 254, 293 Rothemund, Paul 119, 120 Ruddiman, William 230 Rumsfeld, Donald 172 Rutan, Dick 140–1, 142, 143 S Sanger Institute 40–1, 51 Saudi Arabia 157 Savory, Allan 221, 226–7, 232 Savulescu, Julian 23 scalable efficiency 286 Scaled Composites 136, 139, 142 Schmidt, Michael 98, 99, 273 Schöni, Peter 220 Schuster, Stephen 41 Schweizer, Erhard 113 scientific method 96–8 self-replication 121–3 senescence 18, 53–4 Shadow Robot Company 74–5 Sharkey, Noel 76–7 Sharpe, Tom 256 Shaw, George Bernard 86 Shawcross, Lord 215 Shew, Ashley 109–10 Shirakawa, Hideki 196 Shivdasani, Eva 261 Shivdasani, Sonu 261 Siemens 193 silicon cells 195–7 Singularity 88, 268 Singularity is Near, The 268, 269, 271 Six Million Dollar Man, The 14 SixthSense 162–3 Skordalakes, Emmanuel 52, 53 Smalley, Richard 111, 122, 123, 201 SmartHand 103 Smolker, Rachel 216 Snider, Wayne 200 Socrates 96–7, 99 soil carbon 228–31, 233–5, 236–7, 238 soil charcoal 213–14 solar energy 190–1, 192–3, 194–205, 206, 274, 295, 302 Solar Thermal Electrochemical Photo Carbon Capture 184 Solarbuzz 205 Soneva Fushi 261–2 space 133–44, 302 Space Frontier Foundation 134 SpaceShipOne 135–6 SpaceShipTwo 136, 139, 142 SpaceX 136, 141 Sparrow, Rob 23–4 Speedy, Barb 218 Spielberg, Steven 75 Stan Winston Studio 75 Standage, Tom 146–7 Stanford University 20 Star Wars 76, 83, 102 Starfish 95–6, 98–9 Stark, Philip 158 Stellenbosch University 118 stem cells 19–21, 31, 301 Stiehl, Dan 78–9 Stoppard, Tom 281 Strong, Graham 237–8 StubbyGlove 228 Suel, Gurol 273 Suh, Yousin 53 Sun Tzu 40–1, 51–2 surveillance 127, 129 synthetic biology 55–8, 70 bacteria 56–8 bioterrorism 63–6, 68 control 66–70 genome engineering 60–3 viral gene therapy 58–60 Synthetic Genomics 56 Syria 157 Szostak, Jack 18 T Taylor, Doris 20 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) 14, 153, 265–6, 291–5 Tefera, Elfenesh 199 telegraph 145–7, 297, 301 tellurium 195–6 telomerase 18–19, 45, 52–4 Terminator, The 76, 78, 103, 302 Tetrahymena 18 Thornton, Edward 146 thymine 37–9, 46 Toffler, Alvin 289 Tofu 79 transhumanism 13–18, 21–34, 45, 52–4, 267–8 transplants 19–21 Treder, Mike 126–7 tribes 155–6 Tripathy, Sukant 199 truth 96–8 Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin 114, 116, 125, 128 Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development 49 Tumlinson, Rick 133–4 Turing, Alan 88 Turkmenistan 157 Turney, Chris 213 twins 43 U underwater cabinet meeting 241–2, 245, 246–9, 258 Ungar, Georges 17 United Nations (UN) biosafety 68 Livestock’s Long Shadow 230 population 252 State of the World’s Forests 253 World Urbanisation Prospects 250 United States biofuels 187 carbon dioxide 184 electricity 285 global warming 168 oil 187, 188 science 279–80 space programme 134, 136 University of Bradford 149 University of Bristol 20 University of British Columbia 148 University of California 118–19 University of Maryland 201 University of Minnesota 20 University of Regensburg 125 University of Washington, Center for Conservation Biology 40 Uppsala University 148 Uzbekistan 157 V Venter, Craig 36, 47, 50, 56, 57, 58, 279 Vietnam 157 Vinsen, Mark 211–12 violence 147–51, 302 and interconnectedness 157–8 and Internet 244–5 and nanotechnology 126–7 Vioxx 49 viral gene therapy 58–60 Virgin Galactic 135–6, 141 vitrification 15 Voltaire 218 Voyager 140 W Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine 20 Wall-E 76 Ward, Bruce 222–40, 259, 300 wars 147–9 Watson, James 56 Web 154–5 Weitz, David 51 Weizenbaum, Joe 86 Weldon, Larry 190–1, 196–7 Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute 40–1, 51 Wemett, Tracy 190, 197, 204, 267, 276, 297 Wired 61, 112, 159 Witt, Stuart 137–40, 143, 144 women 23–4 Wonder, Stevie 269 wood gas 209 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 119 World Health Organisation 68, 69–70, 148, 149 World Transhumanist Association 25 worldchanging.com 158 Wright, Allen 179, 180 Wright, Burt 179, 180 Wright, Karen 224–5 Wright, Orville 132–3 Wright, Robert 149–51, 156, 158, 270, 293 Wright, Tim 224–5 Wright, Wilbur 132–3 X Xcel Energy 199, 200 XCOR Aerospace 136, 141–2 Y YouTube 155, 157, 294 Z Zhang, Jin 118 Zimbabwe 221, 226 Zittrain, Jonathan 153 Ziyad, Mohamed 254, 255–6 Zykov, Victor 95 * An interesting coda to Claudia’s story is that she nearly didn’t get her operation.
Alone Together by Sherry Turkle
Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, stem cell, technoutopianism, The Great Good Place, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, women in the workforce
But in fact, the idea of robot caretaking is now widespread in the culture. Traditional science fiction, from Frankenstein to the Chucky movies, portrays the inanimate coming to life as terrifying. Recently, however, it has also been portrayed as gratifying, nearly redemptive. In Star Wars, R2D2 is every child’s dream of a helpmate. In Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, a robot’s love brings hope to a grieving mother. In Disney’s WALL-E, a robot saves the planet, but more than this, it saves the people: it reminds them how to love. In 9, the humans are gone, but the robots that endure are committed to salvaging human values. An emerging mythology depicts benevolent robots. I study My Real Baby among children five through fourteen. Some play with the robot in my office. Some meet it in classrooms and after-school settings. Others take it home for two or three weeks.
and intimacy, ideas about networked life and performances by philosophical traditions in dialogue with, and relationships with reflecting on as symptom and dream of Social networks hacking and profiles and identity on Solitude intimacy and Sontag, Susan Sony Space public and private online, special qualities of sacred Speak & Spell (electronic game) Spielberg, Steven Spontaneity, loss of in online life Spoon (band) Stalking, online Star Wars (film) Starner, Thad Starr, Ringo State Radio (band) Storr, Anthony Strangers confessions, online, and as “friended,” Super Mario (game) Symptoms, dreams and Tamagotchis caring for death of feelings attributed to primer, notion of Technology blaming communities and complex ecology of complex effects of confusion about relationships and efficiency and embracing, with cost and expectations of ourselves holding power of keeping it busy, notion of mythology and narcissistic style and Oedipal story to discuss limitations of as prosthesis thinking about Teddy bears Tethered life Texts apology, use of for complexity of feelings about control, and conversations through feelings, path toward giving up hastily composed as interruptions loneliness and protective qualities of reflecting on (adolescents) seductiveness of speed up of communication and spontaneity and teaching parents about Thompson, Clive Thoreau, Henry David Toddlers, mechanical (Kismet and Cog) Transference, the Trust robotic Turing, Alan Turing test, the Turner, Victor Turtles, live/robot Twain, Mark Tweets Twitter Ultima 2 (game) Upside-down test (Freedom Baird) Vacations, offline Vadrigar Venting Virginia Tech Virtual self and virtual places Voice Voicemail Walden (Thoreau) Walden 2.0: WALL-E (film) Wandukan, development of Weak ties Wearable Computing Group (MIT) Weiner, Norbert: cybernetics and Weizenbaum, Joseph Wi-Fi Willard, Rebecca Ellen Turkle Wired World of Warcraft (game) YouTube Zhu Zhu pet hamsters Zone, The a In this book I use the terms the Net, the network, and connectivity to refer to our new world of online connections—from the experience of surfing the Web, to e-mail, texting, gaming, and social networking.
agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, megacity, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize
We need a new scale, one that takes efficiency, waste heat, and pollution into account. A new scale that does is based on another concept, called entropy. RANKING CIVILIZATIONS BY ENTROPY Ideally, what we want is a civilization that grows in energy and information, but does so wisely, so that its planet does not become unbearably hot or deluged with waste. This was graphically illustrated in the Disney movie Wall-E, where in the distant future we have so polluted and degraded the earth that we simply left the mess behind and lead self-indulgent lives in luxury cruise ships drifting in outer space. Here’s where the laws of thermodynamics become important. The first law of thermodynamics simply says that you can’t get something for nothing, i.e., there is no free lunch. In other words, the total amount of matter and energy in the universe is constant.
See Civilizations Ulam, Stanislaw Ultracentrifuges United States, economic future of Universal translators Utopias Vacations in 2100 Venter, J. Craig Verne, Jules, itr.1, 6.1 Victoria, Queen of England Vinge, Vernor, 2.1, 2.2 Virgin Galactic spacecraft Virtual reality Virtual retinal display (VRD) Viruses, 1.1, 3.1, 3.2, 8.1 Volcano vents Von Neumann probes, 8.1, 8.2 Wall-E (movie) Wall screens Wanamaker, John War, changing nature of Warner, Harry M. Water as utility, 7.1, 7.2 Water in space, search for, 6.1, 6.2 Watson, James, 3.1, 3.2 Watson, Thomas Wealth. See Economics Weightlessness problem in space Weiser, Mark, 1.1, 1.2 Wells, H. G., 3.1, 3.2 Westphal, Christoph What Is Life? (Schrödinger) Wilde, Oscar Wilmut, Ian Wilson, E. O. Wind power Wisdom WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) Work life in 2100 X-Men movies X Prize, 6.1, 6.2 X-ray lithography X-ray vision Yoshida, Hiroshi Young, Larry Youth preservation Yucca Mountain waste-disposal center Yudkowsky, Eliezer Zhang, Jin Zhang, Pei Zubrin, Robert 1.1 Jeffrey L.
Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey
accounting loophole / creative accounting, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, California gold rush, call centre, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, falling living standards, fiat currency, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Food sovereignty, Frank Gehry, future of work, global reserve currency, Guggenheim Bilbao, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peak oil, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wages for housework, Wall-E, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population
But Gorz’s point is that it is this that also deeply penetrates to the very core of daily life by way of the instruments we daily use to live that life, including all those we handle in our work. There is, evidently, a deep longing in popular culture to somehow humanise the impacts of this barren culture of technology. We see that in the way that the replicants in Blade Runner acquire feelings, how Sonmi-451 learns an expressive language in Cloud Atlas, how the robots in Wall-E learn to care and shed a tear while human beings, bloated with compensatory consumer goods, passively float alone, each on their separate magic carpet, above the ruinous world the robots are seeking to order below; and even, more negatively, how HAL the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey goes rogue. The sheer impossibility of this dream of humanising technology does nothing to deter its repeated articulation.
283 Maddison, Angus 227 Maghreb 174 Malcolm X 291 Maldives 260 Malthus, Thomas 229–30, 232–3, 244, 246, 251 Manchester 149, 159 Manhattan Institute 143 Mansion House, London 201 manufacturing 104, 239 Mao Zedong 291 maquilas 129, 174 Marcuse, Herbert 204, 289 market cornering 53 market economy 198, 205, 276 marketisation 243 Marshall Plan 153 Martin, Randy 194 Marx, Karl 106, 118, 122, 142, 207, 211 and alienation 125, 126, 213 in the British Museum library 4 on capital 220 conception of wealth 214 on the credit system 239 and deskilling 119 on equal rights 64 and falling profits 107 and fetishism 4 on freedom 207, 208, 213 and greed 33 ‘industrial reserve army’ 79–80 and isolation of workers 125 labour theory of value 109 and monetary system reforms 36 monopoly power and competition 135 reality and appearance 4, 5 as a revolutionary humanist 221 and social reproduction 182 and socialist utopian literature 184 and technological innovation 103 and theorists of the political left 54 and the ‘totally developed individual’ 126–7 and world crises xiii; Capital 57, 79–80, 81, 82, 119, 129, 132, 269, 286, 291–2 The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 269, 286 Grundrisse 97, 212–13 Theories of Surplus Value 1 Marxism contradiction between productive forces and social relations 269 ‘death of Marxism’ xii; ecologically sensitive 263 and humanism 284, 286, 287 ‘profit squeeze’ theory of crisis formation 65 traditional Marxist conception of socialism/ communism 91 Marxists 65, 109 MasterCard Priceless 275 Mau Mau movement 291 Melbourne 141 merchants 67 and industrial capital 179 price-gouging customers 54 and producers 74–5 Mercosur 159 Mexican migrants 115, 175, 195–6 Mexico 123, 129, 174 Mexico City riots (1968) x microcredit 194, 198 microfinance 186, 194, 198, 211 Microsoft 131 Middle East 124, 230 Milanovic, Branko 170 military, the capacities and powers 4 dominance 110 and technology 93, 95 ‘military-industrial complex’ 157 mind-brain duality 70 mining 94, 113, 123, 148, 239, 257 MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 292 Mitchell, David: Cloud Atlas 264 Mitchell, Timothy 122 Modern Times (film) 103 Mondragon 180 monetarism xi monetary wealth and incomes, inequalities in (1920s) x 1071 monetisation 44, 55, 60, 61, 62, 115, 192–3, 198, 235, 243, 250, 253, 261, 262 money abandonment of metallic basis of global moneys 30, 37, 109 circulation of 15, 25, 30–31, 35 coinage 15, 27, 29, 30 commodification of 57 commodity moneys 27–31 creation of 30, 51, 173, 233, 238–9, 240 credit moneys 28, 30, 31, 152 cyber moneys 36, 109–10 electronic moneys 27, 29, 35, 36, 100 and exchange value 28, 35, 38 fiat 8, 27, 30, 40, 109, 233 gap between money and the value it represents 27 global monetary system 46–7 love of money as a possession 34 measures value 25, 28 a moneyless economy 36 oxidisation of 35 paper 15, 27, 29, 30, 31, 37, 40, 45 power of 25, 36, 59, 60, 62, 65–66, 131–6, 245, 266 quasi-money 35 relation between money and value 27, 35 represented as numbers 29–30 and social labour 25, 27, 31, 42, 55, 88, 243 and the state 45–6, 51, 173 storage of value 25, 26, 35 the US dollar 46–7 use value 28 money capital 28, 32, 59, 74, 142, 147, 158, 177, 178 money laundering 54, 109 ‘money of account’ 27–8, 30 monopolisation 53, 145 monopoly, monopolies 77 and competition 131–45, 218, 295 corporate 123 monetary system 45, 46, 48, 51 monopoly power 45, 46, 51, 93, 117, 120, 132, 133–4, 136, 137, 139, 141, 142–3 monopoly pricing 72, 132 natural 118, 132 of state over legitimate use of force and violence 42, 44, 45, 51, 88, 155, 173 see also prices, monopoly monopsony 131 Monsanto 123 Montreal Protocol 254, 259 ‘moral restraints’ 229, 233 mortgages 19, 21, 28, 32, 54, 67, 82, 239 multiculturalism 166 Mumbai 155, 159 Murdoch, Rupert xi Myrdal, Gunnar 150 N NAFTA 159 name branding 31, 139 nano-trading 243 Nation of Islam 291 national debt 45, 226, 227 National Health Service 115 National Labor Relations Board 120 National Security Administration 136 nationalisation 50 nationalism 7, 8, 44, 289 natural resources 58, 59, 123, 240, 241, 244, 246, 251 nature 56 alienation from 263 capital’s conception of 252 capital’s relation to 246–63 commodification of 59 domination of 247, 272 Heidegger on 59, 250 Polanyi on 58 power over 198 process-thing duality 73 and technology 92, 97, 99, 102 Nazis 151 neoclassical economists 109 neocolonialism 143, 201 neoliberal era 128 neoliberal ethic 277 neoliberalisation x, 48 neoliberalism xiii, 68, 72, 128, 134, 136, 176, 191, 234, 281 capitalism 266 consensus 23 counter-revolution 82, 129, 159, 165 political programme 199 politics 57 privatisation 235 remedies xi Nevada, housing in 77 ‘new economy’ (1990s) 144 New York City 141, 150 creativity 245 domestic labour in 196 income inequality 164 rental markets 22 social reproduction 195 Newton, Isaac 70 NGOs (non-governmental organisations) 189, 210, 284, 286, 287 Nike 31 Nkrumah, Kwame 291 ‘non-coincidence of interests’ 25 Nordic countries 165 North America deindustrialisation in 234 food grain exports 148 indigenous population and property rights 39 women in labour force 230 ‘not in my back yard’ politics 20 nuclear weapons 101 Nyere, Julius 291 O Obama, Barack 167 occupational safety and health 72 Occupy movement 280, 292 Ohlin Foundation 143 oil cartel 252 companies 77, 131 ‘Seven Sisters’ 131 embargo (1973) 124 ‘peak oil’ 251–2, 260 resources 123, 240, 257 oligarchy, oligarchs 34, 143, 165, 221, 223, 242, 245, 264, 286, 292 oligopoly 131, 136, 138 Olympic Games 237–8 oppositional movements 14, 162, 266–7 oppression 193, 266, 288, 297 Orwell, George 213 Nineteen Eighty-Four 202 overaccumulation 154 overheating 228 Owen, Robert 18, 184 Oxfam xi, 169–70 P Paine, Tom: Rights of Man 285 Paris 160 riots (1968) x patents 139, 245, 251 paternalism 165, 209 patriarchy 7 Paulson, Hank 47 pauperisation 104 Peabody, George 18 peasantry ix, 7, 107, 117, 174, 190, 193 revolts 202 pensions 134, 165, 230 rights 58, 67–8, 84, 134 people of colour: disposable populations 111 Pereire, Emile 239 pesticides 255, 258 pharmaceuticals 95, 121, 123, 136, 139 Philanthropic Colonialism 211 philanthropy 18, 128, 189, 190, 210–11, 245, 285 Philippines 115, 196 Picasso, Pablo 140–41, 187, 240 Pinochet, Augusto x Pittsburgh 150, 159, 258 planned obsolescence 74 plutocracy xi, xii, 91, 170, 173, 177, 180 Poland 152 Polanyi, Karl 56, 58, 60, 205–7, 210, 261 The Great Transformation 56–7 police 134 brutality 266 capacities and powers 43 powers xiii, 43, 52 repression 264, 280 surveillance and violence 264 violence 266, 280 police-state 203, 220 political economy xiv, 54, 58, 89, 97, 179–80, 182, 201, 206–9 liberal 204, 206, 209 political parties, incapable of mounting opposition to the power of capital xii political representation 183 pollutants 8, 246, 255 pollution 43, 57, 59, 60, 150, 250, 254, 255, 258 Pontecorvo, Gillo 288 Ponzi schemes 21, 53, 54, 243 population ageing 223, 230 disposable 108, 111, 231, 264 growth 107–8, 229, 230–31, 242, 246 Malthus’s principle 229–30 Portugal 161 post-structuralism xiii potlatch system 33 pounds sterling 46 poverty 229 anti-poverty organisations 286–7 and bourgeois reformism 167 and capital 176 chronic 286 eradication of 211 escape from 170 feminisation of 114 grants 107 and industrialisation 123 and population expansion 229 and unemployment 170, 176 US political movement denies assistance to the poor 292–3 and wealth 146, 168, 177, 218, 219, 243 world xi, 170 power accumulation of 33, 35 of capital xii, 36 class 55, 61, 88, 89, 97, 99, 110, 134, 135, 221, 279 computer 105 and currencies 46 economic 142, 143, 144 global 34, 170 the house as a sign of 15–16 of labour see under labour; of merchants 75 military 143 and money 25, 33, 36, 49, 59, 60, 62, 63, 65–6, 245, 266 monopoly see monopoly power; oligarchic 292 political 62, 143, 144, 162, 171, 219, 292 purchasing 105, 107 social 33, 35, 55, 62, 64, 294 state 42–5, 47–52, 72, 142, 155–9, 164, 209, 295 predation, predators 53, 54, 61, 67, 77, 84, 101, 109, 111, 133, 162, 198, 212, 254–5 price fixing 53, 118, 132 price gouging 132 Price, Richard 226, 227, 229 prices discount 133 equilibrium in 118 extortionate 84 food 244, 251 housing 21, 32, 77 land 77, 78, 150 low 132 market 31, 32 and marketplace anarchy 118 monopoly 31, 72, 139, 141 oil 251, 252 property 77, 78, 141, 150 supermarket 6 and value 31, 55–6 private equity firms 101, 162 private equity funds 22, 162 private property and the commons 41, 50, 57 and eradication of usufructuary rights 41 and individual appropriation 38 and monopoly power 134–5, 137 social bond between human rights and private property 39–40 and the state 47, 50, 58, 59, 146, 210 private property rights 38–42, 44, 58, 204, 252 and collective management 50 conferring the right to trade away that which is owned 39 decentralised 44 exclusionary permanent ownership rights 39 and externality effects 44 held in perpetuity 40 intellectual property rights 41 microenterprises endowed with 211 modification or abolition of the regime 14 and nature 250 over commodities and money 38 and state power 40–41, 42–3 underpinning home ownership 49 usufructuary rights 39 privatisation 23, 24, 48, 59, 60, 61, 84, 185, 235, 250, 253, 261, 262, 266 product lines 92, 107, 219, 236 production bourgeois 1 falling value of 107 immaterial 242 increase in volume and variety of 121 organised 2 and realisation 67, 79–85, 106, 107, 108, 173, 177, 179, 180, 221, 243 regional crises 151 workers’ dispossession of own means of 172 productivity 71, 91, 92, 93, 117, 118, 121, 125, 126, 132, 172, 173, 184, 185, 188, 220, 239 products, compared with commodities 25–6 profitability 92, 94, 98, 102, 103, 104, 106, 112, 116, 118, 125, 147, 184, 191–2, 240, 252, 253, 256, 257 profit(s) banking 54 as capital’s aim 92, 96, 232 and capital’s struggle against labour 64, 65 and competition 93 entrepreneurs 24, 104 falling 81, 107, 244 from commodity sales 71 and money capital 28 monopoly 93 rate of 79, 92 reinvestment in expansion 72 root of 63 spending of 15 and wage rates 172 proletarianisation 191 partial 175, 190, 191 ‘property bubble’ 21 property market boom (1920s) 239 growth of 50 property market crashes 1928 x, 21 1973 21 2008 21–2, 54, 241 property rights 39, 41, 93, 135 see also intellectual property rights; private property property values 78, 85, 234 ‘prosumers’ 237 Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph 183 Prozac 248 public goods 38 public utilities 23, 60, 118, 132 Q quantitative easing 30, 233 R R&D ix race 68, 116, 165, 166, 291 racial minorities 168 racialisation 7, 8, 62, 68 racism 8 Rand, Ayn 200 raw materials 16, 17, 148, 149, 154 Reagan, Ronald x, 72 Speech at Westminster 201 Reagan revolution 165–166 realisation, and production 67, 79–85, 106, 107, 108, 173, 177, 179, 180, 221, 243 reality contradiction between reality and appearance 4–6 social 27 Reclus, Elisée 140 regional development 151 regional volatility 154 Reich, Robert 123, 188 religion 7 religious affiliation 68 religious hatreds and discriminations 8 religious minorities 168 remittances 175 rent seeking 132–3, 142 rentiers 76, 77, 78, 89, 150, 179, 180, 241, 244, 251, 260, 261, 276 rents xii, 16–19, 22, 32, 54, 67, 77, 78, 84, 123, 179, 241 monopoly 93, 135, 141, 187, 251 repression 271, 280 autocratic 130 militarised 264 police-state 203 violent 269, 280, 297 wage 158, 274 Republican Party (US) 145, 280 Republicans (US) 167, 206 res nullius doctrine 40 research and development 94, 96, 187 ‘resource curse’ 123 resource scarcity 77 revolution, Fanon’s view of 288 revolutionary movements 202, 276 Ricardo, David 122, 244, 251 right, the ideological and political assault on the left xii; response to universal alienation 281 ‘rights of man’ 40, 59, 213 Rio de Janeiro 84 risk 17, 141, 162, 219, 240 robbery 53, 57, 60, 63, 72 robotisation 103, 119, 188, 295 Rodney, Walter 291 romantic movement 261 Roosevelt, Theodore 131, 135 Four Freedoms 201 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 213, 214 Ruhr, Germany 150 rural landscapes 160–61 Russia 154 a BRIC country 170, 228 collapse of (1989) 165 financial crisis (1998) 154, 232 indebtedness 152 local famine 124 oligarchs take natural resource wealth 165 S ‘S’ curve 225, 230–31 Saint-Simon, Claude de Rouvroy, comte de 183 sales 28, 31, 187, 236 San Francisco 150 Santiago, Chile: street battles (2006–) 185 Sao Paulo, Brazil 129, 195 savings the house as a form of saving 19, 22, 58 loss of 20, 58 private 36 protecting the value of 20 Savings and Loan Crisis (USA from 1986) 18 savings accounts 5, 6 Scandinavia 18, 85, 165 scarcity 37, 77, 200, 208, 240, 246, 260, 273 Schumpeter, Joseph 98, 276 science, and technology 95 Seattle 196 Second Empire Paris 197 Second World War x, 161, 234 Securities and Exchange Commission 120, 195 security xiii, 16, 121, 122, 165, 205, 206 economic 36, 153 food 253, 294, 296 job 273 national 157 Sen, Amartya 208–11, 281 Development as Freedom 208–9 senior citizens 168 Seoul 84 serfdom 62, 209 sexual hatreds and discriminations 8 Shanghai 153, 160 share-cropping 62 Sheffield 148, 149, 159, 258 Shenzhen, China 77 Silicon Valley 16, 143, 144, 150 silver 27–31, 33, 37, 57, 233, 238 Simon, Julian 246 Singapore 48, 123, 150, 184, 187, 203 slavery 62, 202, 206, 209, 213, 268 slums ix, 16, 175 Smith, Adam 98, 125–6, 157, 185, 201, 204 ‘invisible hand’ 141–2 The Wealth of Nations 118, 132 Smith, Neil 248 social distinction 68, 166 social inequality 34, 110, 111, 130, 171, 177, 180, 220, 223, 266 social justice 200, 266, 268, 276 social labour 53, 73, 295 alienated 64, 66, 88 and common wealth 53 creation of use values through 36 expansion of total output 232 household and communal work 296 immateriality of 37, 233 and money 25, 27, 31, 42, 55, 88, 243 productivity 239 and profit 104 and value 26, 27, 29, 104, 106, 107, 109 weakening regulatory role of 109, 110 social media 99, 136, 236–7, 278–9 social movements 162–3 social reproduction 80, 127, 182–98, 218, 219, 220, 276 social security 36, 165 social services 68 social struggles 156, 159, 165, 168 social value 26, 27, 32, 33, 55, 172, 179, 241, 244, 268, 270 socialism 215 democratic xii; ‘gas and water’ 183 socialism/communism 91, 269 socialist revolution 67 socialist totalitarianism 205 society capitalist 15, 34, 81, 243, 259 civil 92, 122, 156, 185, 189, 252 civilised 161, 167 complex 26 demolition of 56 and freedom 205–6, 210, 212 hope for a better society 218 industrial 205 information 238 market 204 post-colonial 203 pre-capitalist 55 primitive 57 radical transformation of 290 status position in 186 theocratic 62 women in 113 work-based 273 world 204 soil erosion 257 South Africa 84–5, 152, 169 apartheid 169, 202, 203 South Asia labour 108 population growth 230 software programmers and developers 115, 116 South Korea 123, 148, 150, 153 South-East Asia 107–8 crisis (1997–8) 154, 232, 241 sovereign debt crises 37 Soviet Bloc, ex-, labour in 107 Soviet Union 196, 202 see also Russia Spain xi, 51, 161 housing market crash (2007–9) 82–3 spatio-temporal fixes 151–2, 153, 154, 162 spectacle 237–8, 242, 278 speculative bubbles and busts 178 stagnation xii, 136, 161–2, 169 Stalin, Joseph 70 standard of life 23, 175 starvation 56, 124, 246, 249, 260, 265 state, the aim of 156–7 brutality 266, 280 and capital accumulation 48 and civil society 156 curbing the powers of capital as private property 47 evolution of the capitalist state 42 and externality effects 44 guardian of private property and of individual rights 42 and home ownership 49–50 interstate system 156, 157 interventionism 193, 205 legitimate use of violence 42, 44, 45, 51, 88, 155, 173 loss of state sovereignty xii; and money 1, 45–6, 51, 173 ‘nightwatchman’ role 42, 50 powers of 42–5, 47–52, 57–8, 65, 72, 142, 155–9, 209, 295 and private property 47, 50, 58, 59, 146, 210 provision of collective and public goods 42–3 a security and surveillance state xiii; social democratic states 85 war aims 44 state benefits 165 state regulatory agencies 101 state-finance nexus 44–5, 46–7, 142–3, 156, 233 state-private property nexus 88–9 steam engine, invention of the 3 steel industry 120, 121, 148, 188 steel production 73–4 Stiglitz, Joseph 132–4 stock market crash (1929) x Stockholm, protests in (2013) 171, 243 strikes 65, 103, 124 sub-prime mortgage crisis 50 suburbanisation 253 supply and demand 31, 33, 56, 106 supply chain 124 supply-side remedies xi supply-side theories 82, 176 surplus value 28, 40, 63, 73, 79–83, 172, 239 surveillance xiii, 94, 121, 122, 201, 220, 264, 280, 292 Sweden 166, 167 protests in (2013) 129, 293 Sweezy, Paul 136 swindlers, swindling 45, 53, 57, 239 ‘symbolic analysts’ 188 Syntagma Square, Athens 266, 280 T Tahrir Square, Cairo 266 Taipei, Taiwan 153 Taiwan 123, 150, 153 Taksim Square, Istanbul 266, 280 Tanzania 291 tariffs 137 taxation 40, 43, 47, 67, 84, 93–4, 106, 133, 150, 155, 157, 167, 168, 172, 190 Taylor, Frederick 119, 126 Taylorism 103 Tea Party faction 205, 280, 281, 292 technological evolution 95–6, 97, 101–2, 109 technological imperatives 98–101 technological innovation 94–5 technology changes involving different branches of state apparatus 93–4 communicative technologies 278–9 and competition 92–3 constraints inhibiting deployment 101 culture of 227, 271 definition 92, 248 and devaluation of commodities 234 environmental 248 generic technologies 94 hardware 92, 101 humanising 271 information 100, 147, 158, 177 military 93, 95 monetary 109 and nature 92, 97, 99, 102 organisational forms 92, 99, 101 and productivity 71 relation to nature 92 research and development 94 and science 95 software 92, 99, 101 a specialist field of business 94 and unemployment 80, 103 work and labour control 102–11 telephone companies 54, 67, 84, 278 Tennessee 148 Teresa, Mother 284 Thatcher, Margaret (later Baroness) x, 72, 214, 259 Thatcherism 165 theft 53, 60, 61, 63 Thelluson, Peter 226, 227 think tanks 143 ‘Third Italy’ 143 Third World debt crisis 240 Toffler, Alvin 237 tolls 137 Tönnies, Ferdinand 122, 125 tourism ix, 16, 140, 141, 187, 236 medical 139 toxic waste disposal 249–50, 257 trade networks 24 trade unions xii, 116, 148, 168, 176, 184, 274, 280 trade wars 154 transportation 23, 99, 132, 147–8, 150, 296 Treasury Departments 46, 156 TRIPS agreement 242 tropical rainforest 253 ‘trust-busting’ 131 trusts 135 Turin, Italy 150 Turkey 107, 123, 174, 232, 280, 293 Tuscany, Italy 150 Tutu, Archbishop Desmond 284 Twitter 236 U unemployment 37, 104, 258, 273 benefits 176 deliberately created 65, 174 high xii, 10, 176 insurance 175 and labour reserves 175, 231 and labour-saving technologies 173 long-term 108, 129 permanent 111 echnologically induced 80, 103, 173, 274 uneven geographical developments 178, 296 advanced and underserved regional economies 149–50 and anti-capitalist movements 162 asset bubbles 243 and capital’s reinvention of itself 147, 161 macroeconomic processes of 159 masking the true nature of capital 159–60 and technological forms 219 volatility in 244 United Fruit 136 United Kingdom income inequality in 169; see also Britain United Nations (UN) 285 United States aim of Tea Party faction 280 banking 158 Bill of Rights 284 Britain lends to (nineteenth century) 153 capital in (1990s) 154 Constitution 284 consumption level 194 global reserve currency 45–6 growth 232 hostility towards state interventions 167 House of Representatives 206 human rights abuses 202 imperial power 46 indebtedness of students in 194 Indian reservations 249 interstate highway system 239 jobless recoveries after recession 172–3 liberty and freedom rhetoric 200–201, 202 Midwest ‘rust belt’ 151 military expenditures 46 property market crashes x, 21–2, 50, 54, 58, 82–3 racial issues 166 Savings and Loan Crisis (from 1986) 18 social mobility 196 social reproduction 196–7 solidly capitalist 166 steel industry 120 ‘symbolic analysts’ 188 ‘trust-busting’ 131 unemployment 108 wealth distribution 167 welfare system 176 universal suffrage 183 urbanisation 151, 189, 228, 232, 239, 247, 254, 255, 261 Ure, Andrew 119 US Congress 47 US dollar 15, 30, 45–6 US Executive Branch 47 US Federal Reserve xi, 6, 30, 37, 46, 47, 49, 132, 143, 233 monetary policy 170–71 US Housing Act (1949) 18 US Treasury 47, 142, 240 use values collectively managed pool of 36 commodification of 243 commodities 15, 26, 35 common wealth 53 creation through social labour 36 and entrepreneurs 23–4 and exchange values 15, 35, 42, 44, 50, 60, 65, 88 and housing 14–19, 21–2, 23, 67 and human labour 26 infinitely varied 15 of infrastructural provision 78 loss of 58 marketisation of 243 monetisation of 243 of money 28 privatised and commodified 23 provision of 111 and revolt of the mass of the people 60 social demand for 81 usufructuary rights 39, 41, 59 usury 49, 53, 186, 194 utopianism 18, 35, 42, 51, 66, 119, 132, 183, 184, 204, 206–10, 269, 281, 282 V value(s) commodity 24, 25 failure to produce 40 housing 19, 20, 22 net 19 production and realisation of 82 production of 239 property 21 relation between money and value 27, 35 savings 20 storing 25, 26, 35 see also asset values; exchange values; social value; use values value added 79, 83 Veblen, Thorstein: Theory of the Leisure Class 274 Venezuela 123, 201 Vietnam, labour in 108 Vietnam War 290 violence 53, 57, 72, 204–5, 286 against children 193 against social movements 266 against women 193 colonial 289–90, 291 and contemporary capitalism 8 culture of 271 of dispossession 58, 59 in a dystopian world 264 and humanism 286, 289, 291 of the liberation struggle 290 militarised 292 as the only option 290–91 political 280 in pursuit of liberty and freedom 201 racialised 291 state’s legitimate use of 42, 44, 45, 51, 88, 155, 173 of technology 271 and wage labour 207 virtual ecological transfer 256 Volcker, Paul 37 W wages 103 basic social wage 103 falling 80, 82 for housework 115, 192–3 low xii, 114, 116, 186, 188 lower bound to wage levels 175 non-payment of 72 and profits 172 reduction in 81, 103, 104, 135, 168, 172, 176, 178 rising 178 and unskilled labour 114 wage demands 150, 274 wage levels pushed up by labour 65 wage rates 103, 116, 172, 173 wage repression 158–9 weekly 71 see also income Wall Street criticised by a congressional committee 239–40 illegalities practised by 72, 77 and Lebed 195 new information-processing technologies 100 Wall Street Crash (1929) x, 47 Wall-E (film) 271 Walmart xii, 75, 84, 103, 131 war on terror 280 wars 8, 60, 229 currency 154 defined 44 monetisation of state war-making activities 44–5 privatisation of war making 235 resource 154, 260 and state aims 44 state financing of 32, 44, 48 and technology 93 trade 154 world 154 water privatisation 235 wave theory 70 wave-particle duality 70 wealth accumulation of 33, 34, 35, 157, 205 creation of 132–3, 142, 214 disparities of 164–81 distribution of 34, 167 extraction from non-productive activities 32 global 34 the house as a sign of 15–16 levelling up of per capita wealth 171 and poverty 146, 168, 177, 218, 219, 243 redistribution of 9, 234, 235 social 35, 53, 66, 157, 164, 210, 251, 265, 266, 268 taking it from others 132–3 see also common wealth weather futures 60 Weber, Max 122, 125 Weimar Republic 30 welfare state 165, 190, 191, 208 Wells Fargo 61 West Germany 153, 154, 161 Whitehead, Alfred North 97 Wilson, Woodrow 201 Wolf, Martin 304n2 Wollstonecraft, Mary: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman 285 women career versus family obligations 1–2 disposable populations 111 exploitation of 193 housework versus wage labour 114–15 oppression against 193 social struggle 168 trading of 62 violence against 193 in the workforce 108, 114, 115, 127, 174, 230 women’s rights 202, 218 workers’ rights 202 working classes and capital 80 consumer power 81 crushing organisation 81 education 183, 184 gentrified working-class neighbourhoods ix; housing 160 living conditions 292 wage repression and consumption 158–9 working hours 72, 104–5, 182, 272–5, 279 World Bank 16, 24, 100, 186, 245 World Trade Organization 138, 242 WPA programmes (1930s) 151 Wright, Frank Lloyd: Falling Water 16 Wriston, Walter 240 Y YouTube 236 Yugoslavia, former 174 Z Zola, Émile 7
Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer, August Cole
3D printing, Admiral Zheng, augmented reality, British Empire, energy security, Firefox, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Google Glasses, IFF: identification friend or foe, Just-in-time delivery, Maui Hawaii, new economy, RAND corporation, reserve currency, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, trade route, Wall-E, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, zero day
“Sky is clear over Oahu, but the squids look like they are in for some major rain, over.” “I’m thinking we need to give them an umbrella. I’ll take Eagle and Wall-E elements of the escort to mix it up. You take Viper element on with the big boys to keep ’em safe and give the ground pounders some support, over.” “Understood, Roscoe. Just like an Eagle driver to steal all the glory,” Oscar responded. “We’ll get them through. Good hunting, over.” “Eagle Flight, I know you heard that conversation. Form up on me.” Then he paused, and when he spoke again, he made sure to enunciate his words. They said the voice-recognition software would work anyway, but he wanted to be certain. “Wall-E Flight. Authorization Roscoe. Voice authenticate eagle, two, eight, alpha, delta. New mission order. Autonomous hunt. Air-to-air weapons authority release.
Half Empty by David Rakoff
The Dream Home, therefore, exists in an unspecified time and space when the challenges of oil and sprawl have been vanquished, although how exactly is never mentioned. Disney may have said it first but they seem to have forgotten that it really is a small world, after all. In an odd coincidence, the very week that the Dream Home opened, at the other end of the Disney corporation’s spectrum, Pixar releases Wall-E, its thoroughly dystopian masterpiece, a film premised on a world choked by garbage and waste, a planet no longer habitable and made so, at least in part, by—let’s not mince words—the fat fucks who build gargantuan homes that make little or no concession to the limited resources out there. The Monsanto House of the Future actually began as a research project between the chemical company and MIT as a means of exploring the ways in which plastics and man-made materials could be harnessed in ways they never had been previously.
Science...For Her! by Megan Amram
Albert Einstein, blood diamonds, butterfly effect, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dmitri Mendeleev, double helix, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, pez dispenser, Schrödinger's Cat, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Wall-E, wikimedia commons
Xander and I waited eight dates before we had sex, and now he and my ex–best friend are probably gonna get married in their favorite lava tube with a molten chocolate lava cake and bridesmaids that are dressed like virgin sacrifices to a volcano god of yore. It’s actually a really cute theme, but still, fuck them. Now, listen. I can only speak from a woman’s perspective. I’ve always been terrible at impressions, and I couldn’t do one of a man if my life depended on it. Actually, that’s a lie. I do a great impression of WALL-E, and technically I think he’s a man. Here, I’ll write a little bit of the impression for you: WAAAALLLLLLL-E. Impressions don’t work as well written out! For most people, the ten-minute rule might seem extreme. How do you know that they’re tested for STDs? That they’re not crazy? That their pubes aren’t shaved into a swastika or a strawberry (Hitler’s favorite berry)? FIG. 1.8 You’re going to just have to trust your gut.
Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson (History of Computing) by Douglas R. Dechow
3D printing, Apple II, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, pre–internet, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, software studies, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog
Attempts to move computational media forward through pure engineering approaches, in areas such as computer graphics, give us awful “photorealistic” films such as 2007’s Beowulf—while those few who understand that computing and art must work together (that high-level technical goals cannot be set or evaluated apart from artistic goals) create much stronger, more stylized animations such as 2008’s WALL-E.3 Happily, some of the work that follows Logo and Smalltalk does come from those who understand these issues, and are themselves media makers. Ben Fry and Casey Reas, the initiators of Processing, are an accomplished artist and information designer. Matt MacLaurin and Stephen Coy, key creators of Kodu, are both game industry veterans. Projects like these succeed at creating media-centric environments that broaden the ability to understand computers and make computational media—and they do so by embedding media-making knowledge from their creators into computational structures.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz
So where should we spend our effort? With only five days in the sprint, you have to focus on a specific target. Steve chose the moment of delivery. Get it right, and the guest is delighted. Get it wrong, and the front desk might spend all day answering questions from confused travelers. One big concern came up again and again: The team worried about making the robot appear too smart. “We’re all spoiled by C-3PO and WALL-E,” explained Steve. “We expect robots to have feelings and plans, hopes and dreams. Our robot is just not that sophisticated. If guests talk to it, it’s not going to talk back. And if we disappoint people, we’re sunk.” On Tuesday, the team switched from problem to solutions. Instead of a raucous brainstorm, people sketched solutions on their own. And it wasn’t just the designers. Tessa Lau, the chief robot engineer, sketched.
3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E
Within a fairly short period of time the superintelligence may have converted almost every atom of the Earth into one of three things: paperclips, extensions of its own processing capability, and the means to spread its mission to the rest of the universe. I don’t want my descendants to become paperclips, and I’m sure you don’t either. Bostrom calls this a cartoon example, but it illustrates that poorly specified goals can have severe consequences. Pointlessness In Pixar’s charming 2008 film Wall-E, humanity has abandoned the ecological mess that they made of the Earth, and they live a life of ease and abundance on a clean and shiny spacecraft that is run by a superintelligence. This has not been a complete success: they have become indolent, corpulent, dependent and passive. Fortunately their curiosity and resourcefulness remain latent, and they make a surprisingly quick recovery when shocked out of their easy complacency.
3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator
At around the same time that Avatar was gaining momentum, a second project was doing the rounds in Hollywood. This was another science-fiction film, also in 3-D, based upon a classic children’s story, with a script cowritten by a Pulitzer Prize–winning author, and was to be made by Andrew Stanton, a director with an unimpeachable record who had previously helped create the highly successful Pixar films WALL-E and Finding Nemo, along with every entry in the acclaimed Toy Story series. Stanton’s film (let’s call it “Project X”) came with a proposed $250 million asking price to bring to the screen—a shade more than Project 880. Project X received the go-ahead too, only this didn’t turn out to be the next Avatar, but rather the first John Carter, a film that lost almost $200 million for its studio and resulted in the resignation of the head of Walt Disney Studios (the company who bankrolled it), despite the fact that he had only taken the job after the project was already in development.
Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, complexity theory, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, haute cuisine, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, Network effects, obamacare, Paul Graham, performance metric, price anchoring, RAND corporation, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Startup school, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Wall-E, web application, Y Combinator, Zipcar
Every year, a movie would ideally move to a new development stage with a fresh set of people, until it was released four years later. It took a while and there were blips, but Pixar created something close to a hit moviemaking factory. By getting the right people on a given movie at the right stage every year and then annually rotating them to the next movie, Pixar was able to consistently turn out creative successes, from Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille to Wall-E and Up. The one-movie-per-year rule worked because, like all time-pacing rules, it gave people a rhythm with a goal and a sense of urgency to achieve it. The rule also proved efficient because it kept everyone continuously busy and not sitting around waiting for their next job—a very costly proposition. Pixar’s leaders could choreograph movie projects, keeping employees engaged from film to film while still providing time for creativity.
air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, dematerialisation, employer provided health coverage, energy security, European colonialism, Firefox, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, global supply chain, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, McMansion, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, supply-chain management, the built environment, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, Wall-E, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar
Had those cans been recycled, 16 billion kilowatt hours could have been saved—enough electricity for more than two million European homes for a year.”96 I saw a great depiction of the irrationality of aluminum beverage cans when I was working on waste issues in Budapest in 2007. HuMuSz, an organization there that raises awareness about waste, had made a series of short, entertaining films that play before feature films in Hungarian movie theaters. My favorite film took place in a WALL-E-like, totally trashed planet Earth of the future, where aliens arrive to conduct research. They find one remaining human being and grill him for answers about the incredibly valuable and widely dispersed pieces of aluminum strewn about the planet, convinced these were used for communications, military, or medical purposes. When the human replies that they were for singleuse servings of sugary, carbonated drinks, the aliens berate him for lying: “No one would be so stupid, so irrational to use such a highly valuable, energy-intensive metal to hold a simple beverage!”
It’s now the number-one seller of groceries, clothing, home furnishings, toys, and music in the United States.69 Americans are buying many of their DVDs, cameras, home appliances, and common household items like toothpaste, shampoo, and diapers there too. It sells gas. It’s even opened health clinics. And it has been trying to overturn laws that keep it from offering banking services.70 Remember the corporation in the film WALL-E that basically owned the planet, providing every good and service on, and then beyond, earth? It’s really not that far-fetched; Wal-Mart seems to be headed in that very direction. In contrast to Amazon, however, Wal-Mart offers at most only a couple of varieties of any given product. About 40 percent of products sold are its own private label brands, meaning they’re produced exclusively for Wal-Mart.71 Yet, even without the variety available at Amazon, the “always low prices, always” promised in these huge one-stop-shopping emporia are enough to keep people coming back again and again.
Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra
“We will have to figure out how to maximize the psychological impact of it [a robot]. We will have to think not merely in terms of costs and benefits and how to get steel on target, but much more. How it gets that angry insurgent from being eager to fight to thinking that there is no point in it, there is no chance to win against a relentless foe.” If not all robots are going to look like Disney-Pixar’s cute and cuddly WALL-E (though one of the British army’s robots is a dead ringer), the first and easiest step to fearing up a robot is to equip it with effectors that can play a role in psyching out the enemy. If history is any guide, we can anticipate that this won’t just be about giving them a scary look, as with the Redcoats, but also a scary sound. The ancient Chinese set off fireworks to spook enemies’ horses, while the Nazis mounted sirens on the wings of their Stuka dive bombers during World War II; often the high-pitched noise of the diving plane created even more chaos among the troops on the ground than the bomb itself.
unit cohesion and war crimes and war porn and warrior redefined by see also military robotics; robotics; robots; war, warfare Unrestricted Warfare (Qiao and Wang) Urbanscape program USV (unmanned surface vessel) U-2 spy plane UUV (unmanned underwater vehicle) V-1 rocket V-2 missile V-3 (supercannon) van Creveld, Martin Vanguard (robot) Varian, Paul Vaucanson, Jacques de Vaucanson’s duck VB-1 Azons (radio-controlled bomb) Vego, Milan Velvet Underground Verdun, Battle of Verhoff, Donald VeriChip company Verne, Jules Verruggio, Gianmarco Very-high-altitude, Ultra-endurance, Loitering Theater Unmanned Reconnaissance Element (VULTURE) Vick, Michael Vietnam Vietnam War My Lai atrocity in smart bombs in Tonkin Gulf Incident and UAVs in Vincennes, U.S.S. Vinge, Vernor Virgin Galactic VisiBuilding technology Vulcans (advisory group) VULTURE (Very-high-altitude, Ultra-endurance, Loitering Theater Unmanned Reconnaissance Element) Wachowski, Larry and Andy Walker, David Wallace, William WALL-E (robot) Wal-Mart data mining by Walzer, Michael Wang company Wang Xiangsui war, warfare China’s strategic view of cities as center of dehumanization and discrimination rule of experience of going off to Fussell on future of human psychology and human rights and hybrid ideals and international law and irregular just war theory and medical advances and new warrior class and and obsolete warrior open source physical implants and enhancements for private contractors and proportionality rule of public’s disconnect from redefining and resistance to change study of technology and future of unmanned, see unmanned warfare War and Human Nature (Rosen) Ward, Edward warfighters’ associate concept Warfighters’ Perspectives panel War Games (film) War Made New (Boot) Warner, John Warrior (robot) Wars of Blood and Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the Twenty-first Century (Peters) War of the Worlds, The (Wells) Warwick, Kevin Washington Post Wasp (unmanned aerial vehicle) Waterloo, Battle of Watson, Thomas Wegerbauer, Cyndi Wegner, Thomas Weinberg, Gil Welles, Orson Wells, H.G.
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, illegal immigration, index fund, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, Zipcar
BMW’s factory in Greenville, South Carolina, for example, sends 70 percent of its production overseas. And therein lies the key to debunking another enduring myth about America’s economic present—and future. CHAPTER 7 The Myth of Not Making Stuff the World Wants To hear declinists tell it, the United States doesn’t make anything anymore. It can’t compete on wages. It has outsourced, offshored, and dismantled its way to economic oblivion. Americans are like the humans in the film Wall-E, consuming everything, producing nothing: useless, obese spectators. While the rest of the world’s nations are getting rich, trading with each other and selling stuff to Americans, a mere 1 percent of American firms manage to export. But that’s a myth too. In fact, as Donald Trump might say, the United States is a world-class exporter. We may be a nation of isolationist homebodies—only about 30 percent of Americans have passports—but even as the talk of decline has grown, exports have risen, in real terms and as a percentage of GDP.
Pandora's Brain by Calum Chace
3D printing, AI winter, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, Extropian, friendly AI, hive mind, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing test, Wall-E
And that may not even be the most fundamental way in which the arrival of super-intelligence will be bad news for us. We are going to absolutely hate being surpassed. Just think how demoralising it would be for people to realise that however clever we are, however hard we work, nothing we do can be remotely as good as what the AI could do.’ ‘So you think we’ll collapse into a bovine state like the people on the spaceship in Wall-E?’ joked Ross. Montaubon arched his eyebrows and with a grim smile, nodded slowly to indicate that while Ross’s comment had been intended as a joke, he himself took it very seriously. ‘Yes I do. Or worse: many people will collapse into despair, but others will resist, and try to destroy the AI and those people who support it. I foresee major wars over this later this century. The AI will win, of course, but the casualties will be enormous.
Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar
There are other reasons to be suspicious of the brave new world represented by Google’s self-driving cars and others of similar ambition. On a purely personal level, I’m a little taken aback by the promise that autonomous vehicles will be able to collect you at your front door and deposit you at the front door of a supermarket or shopping mall—or even at your desk or workstation—without your feet ever touching the ground. In the Disney movie Wall-E, spaceship-bound refugees from an Earth destroyed by environmental catastrophe are so well cared for by their robot transportation devices that hardly anyone even stands up anymore, with the result that the universe’s entire remaining population of Homo sapiens is morbidly obese. This, it seems to me, is not a particularly utopian future—one in which fewer people die from crashes, but more get hypertension and diabetes at ever-younger ages.
The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection by Gardner Dozois
augmented reality, clean water, computer age, cosmological constant, David Attenborough, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, financial independence, game design, gravity well, jitney, John Harrison: Longitude, Kuiper Belt, Mahatma Gandhi, Paul Graham, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Skype, stem cell, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, urban renewal, Wall-E
Like last year, there were almost no actual science fiction films on the list at all, even in the top hundred, let alone the top ten. The closest approach to a real SF film out this year was the animated film Wall-E, which did make the top ten list, in fifth place, in fact, and although its science was a bit shaky (you can’t make an ecosystem out of one plant and one cockroach), for the most part it treated its science fiction tropes with respect and intelligence, and what satiric needling there was at the genre was affectionate. In fact, with its humans who have become so pampered and constantly waited on by machines that they’ve lost the ability to walk, it may be the purest expression of 1950s’ Galaxy-era social satire of the Pohl/Kornbluth variety ever put before the general public. Wall-E itself got treated with an amazing amount of respect for an animated film ostensibly for children, as Ratatouille and The Incredibles had been before it, and is probably the one out of the top-grossing genre films that came the closest to being treated as a “serious movie.”
Of the year’s top ten highest-grossing films, of the nine that can be considered to be genre movies of one sort or another, three are superhero movies (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and Hancock, with The Incredible Hulk finishing in fourteenth place and Hellboy II: The Golden Army finishing in thirty-eighth place); one is fantasy/adventure (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, with the comparable The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian finishing in thirteenth place); four are animated films (Wall-E, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, and Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who!, with superhero—sort of—animated feature Bolt finishing in nineteenth place, and The Tale of Despereaux, released at the end of the year, perhaps destined to climb the charts); and one is a glossy vampire/romance movie (Twilight). (For those interested, other than Quantum of Solace, the two highest-earning non-genre films were Sex and the City and Mamma Mia!
Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, British Empire, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, deliberate practice, double helix, epigenetics, fear of failure, fundamental attribution error, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, iterative process, James Dyson, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Lean Startup, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, Wall-E, Yom Kippur War
The crucial point—and the one that is most dramatically overlooked in our culture—is that in all these things, failure is a blessing, not a curse. It is the jolt that inspires creativity and the selection test that drives evolution. Failure has many dimensions, many subtle meanings, but unless we see it in a new light, as a friend rather than a foe, it will remain woefully underexploited. Andrew Stanton, director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E, has said: My strategy has always been: be wrong as fast as we can . . . which basically means, we’re gonna screw up, let’s just admit that. Let’s not be afraid of that. But let’s do it as fast as we can so we can get to the answer. You can’t get to adulthood before you go through puberty. I won’t get it right the first time, but I will get it wrong really soon, really quickly. As our conversation draws to a close, I wonder why Dyson still comes into his office every day, rather than enjoying his wealth.
airport security, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Mark Zuckerberg, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Turing test, unemployed young men, Wall-E, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks
Advances in artificial intelligence make this a real possibility—and the fact that other states, including some U.S. adversaries, are pursuing research into such weapons systems means that the United States may have to do the same, for purely defensive purposes: human reaction time won’t be able to keep pace with machine reaction time. A growing number of ethicists and rights advocates are troubled by this. Indeed, some are calling for a global ban on the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons systems, which are, according to Human Rights Watch, “also”—and rather conveniently—“known as killer robots.”7 The term does tend to have a chilling effect even upon those harboring a soft spot for R2-D2 and WALL•E. I’m less concerned, however: not because I’m fond of killer robots, but because I’m inclined to think ethicists and rights advocates are far too generous in their assumptions about human beings. Their core concern relates to military research into weapons systems that are “fully autonomous,” meaning that they can “select and engage targets without human intervention.” According to the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, this is troubling because, first, such killer robots might not have the ability to abide by the legal obligation to distinguish between combatants and civilians, and second, “Allowing life or death decisions to be made by machines crosses a fundamental moral line” and jeopardizes fundamental principles of “human dignity.”8 Neither of these arguments persuades me.
23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day
While 9/11 1.0 was about human beings’ seizing aircraft and flying them into occupied buildings for terrorist effect, 9/11 2.0 makes it possible to disintermediate the humans and use robots in their stead. We, Robot In the future, I’m sure there will be a lot more robots in every aspect of life. If you told people in 1985 that in 25 years they would have computers in their kitchen, it would have made no sense to them. RODNEY BROOKS Throughout the history of film and television, we’ve seen robots presented in a variety of lights. Some were lovable and helpful such as WALL-E, Johnny Number 5 of Short Circuit, and C-3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars. Other robots were dangerous and out to destroy mankind, such as Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still and the T-800s from The Terminator. Thanks to advances in Moore’s law, robots are leaving the silver screen and joining reality. Exponential progress in silicon chips, digital sensors, cloud computing, and high-bandwidth communications means that robots, just like computers and mobile phones before them, will soon become omnipresent in our lives.
Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator
(doc), Roger and Me (doc), Bowling for Columbine (doc), Crumb (doc) Richman, Jessica: The Edge Robbins, Tony: Inside Job (doc) Rogen, Seth: Pulp Fiction, Clerks, Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, Adaptation, The Princess Bride, Fawlty Towers (TV), Kids in the Hall (TV), Monty Python’s Flying Circus (TV), Second City Television (TV) Rose, Kevin: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Inglourious Basterds, Food Inc. (doc) Rubin, Rick: 20,000 Days on Earth (doc) Sacca, Chris: The Big Lebowski Schwarzenegger, Arnold: Brooklyn Castle (doc) Sethi, Ramit: Jiro Dreams of Sushi (doc) Shinoda, Mike: House of Cards (TV), The Godfather, The Usual Suspects, Fight Club, Seven, Ninja Scroll, WALL-E, Princess Mononoke Silva, Jason: Inception, The Matrix, The Truman Show, Vanilla Sky, eXistenZ, The Beach, Maidentrip (doc) Sivers, Derek: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Skenes, Joshua: Chef’s Table (TV) Sommer, Christopher: The Legend of Tarzan Spurlock, Morgan: Scanners, An American Werewolf in London, Making a Murderer (TV), Mr. Robot (TV), Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (doc), The Jinx (doc), Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (doc), Brother’s Keeper (doc), The Thin Blue Line (doc), The Fog of War (doc), Hoop Dreams (doc), Stevie (doc), Life Itself (doc) Starrett, Kelly: On the Way to School (doc), Trophy Kids (doc), Amy (doc), Super Size Me (doc), Restrepo (doc) Strauss, Neil: The Act of Killing (doc), Gimme Shelter (doc), The Fog of War (doc) Teller, Astro: Fast, Cheap and Out of Control (doc) Thiel, Peter: No Country for Old Men Tsatsouline, Pavel: The Magnificent Seven (1960) von Ahn, Luis: The Matrix, Jiro Dreams of Sushi (doc) Waitzkin, Joshua: Searching for Sugar Man (doc), Riding Giants (doc), The Last Patrol (doc) Weinstein, Eric: Kung Fu Panda, Rate It X (doc) Willink, Jocko: Against the Odds—“A Chance in Hell: The Battle for Ramadi” (doc), Restrepo (doc), The Pacific (TV), Band of Brothers (TV) Wilson, Rainn: Apocalypse Now, The Act of Killing (doc) White, Shaun: 7 Days in Hell Young, Chris: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pulp Fiction, The Right Stuff Zimmern, Andrew: Great Chefs (TV) Acknowledgments First, I must thank the Titans whose advice, stories, and lessons are the essence of this book.
banking crisis, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, delayed gratification, game design, impulse control, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, Richard Thaler, Wall-E, Walter Mischel
See also Muraven, M. “Building Self-Control Strength: Practicing Self-Control Leads to Improved Self-Control Performance.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 46 (2010): 465–68. See also Oaten, M., and K. Cheng. “Improvements in Self-Control from Financial Monitoring.” Journal of Economic Psychology 28 (2007): 487–501. Page 67—Training self-control to reduce violence: Finkel, E. J., C. N. DeWall, E. B. Slotter, M. Oaten, and V. A. Foshee. “Self-Regulatory Failure and Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 97 (2009): 483–99. Page 69—Resisting candy to strengthen self-control: Geyskens, K., S. Dewitte, M. Pandelaere, and L. Warlop. “Tempt Me Just a Little Bit More: The Effect of Prior Food Temptation Actionability on Goal Activation and Consumption.”