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pages: 325 words: 110,330

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, Johannes Kepler, Menlo Park, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, 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.

pages: 207 words: 57,959

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge From Small Discoveries by Peter Sims

Amazon Web Services, Black Swan, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, discovery of penicillin, endowment effect, fear of failure, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, PageRank, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, urban planning, Wall-E

Hill found that everyone has some combination of both forms of perfectionism, so escaping from the grip of unhealthy perfectionism, while allowing healthy perfectionist impulses to drive us is a delicate balance. One of the methods that can be most helpful in achieving this balance, in order to embrace the learning potential of failure, is prototyping. What the creation of low cost, rough prototypes makes possible is failing quickly in order to learn fast. As Pixar director Andrew Stanton, director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E, describes this way of operating, “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 Joe Ranft, who was one of Pixar’s master storyboard artists, described it, “A story artist gets the plan for a scene whether in script form or loose outline, and starts to draw, exploring possibilities, imagining the scene in pictures, making discoveries, and uncovering unforeseen problems, dramatic or logistical.” Interestingly, with each success they’ve had, they have challenged themselves even more, and in keeping with that, they have used more storyboards: 27,565 on A Bug’s Life, 43,536 for Finding Nemo, 69,562 for Ratatouille, and 98,173 for WALL-E. That’s a striking expression of healthy perfectionism. The primary venue for monitoring progress with these story boards are story meetings with the film’s director. During the story development phase, the meetings happen daily, attended by the director, members of Pixar’s in-house story development team, and storyboard artists. At the story meeting the artists give a basic pitch for their ideas.

Chapter 3 Forms of Perfectionism: “Positive conceptions of perfectionism: Approaches, Evidence, Challenges,” by Joachim Stoeber and Kathleen Otto, Personality and Social Psychology Review 10, 295–319. “Perfectionistic concerns suppress associations between perfectionistic strivings and positive life outcomes,” by Robert Hill, Timothy J. Huelsmana and Gustavo Araujoa, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 48, 5, April 2010, 584–589. “The Two Faces of Perfectionism,” by Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune, January 28, 2010. Andrew Stanton reference: Stanton, Pixar Director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E, is well-known around Pixar for talking about the importance of “failing quickly to learn fast.” Other directors there, like Pete Docter, quote him. Quote taken from an interview Stanton did with Slashfilm, about nine minutes into the discussion, which can be found at: http://www.slashfilm.com/37-minute-interview-with-andrew-stanton/. Stanton also spoke about the topic during an extended, oral history discussion of Pixar at the Computer History Museum in San Jose in March 2005.

pages: 262 words: 80,257

The Eureka Factor by John Kounios

active measures, Albert Einstein, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Flynn Effect, functional fixedness, 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, US Airways Flight 1549, 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.

pages: 89 words: 24,277

Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter

big-box store, en.wikipedia.org, game design, John Gruber, Kickstarter, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Wall-E, web application

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.

pages: 386 words: 113,709

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

1960s counterculture, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, Burning Man, call centre, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, gig economy, Google Earth, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, Lyft, Network effects, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, security theater, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social graph, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, Wall-E, Works Progress Administration

The windshield begins to seem like one more screen, and it cannot compete with the dopamine candy offered on the other screens. So now Silicon Valley is going to solve the problem of distracted driving that it helped to create, by removing us from the driver’s seat. Perhaps that is a good thing, on balance, given the realities. But it also represents a quiet coup of some consequence, and we do well to pause and consider the direction we are headed. We catch a glimpse of one possible future in the animated film WALL-E, in which we see grotesquely fat people ferried about a hovering grid in their car-like pods. Finally relieved of the burden of paying attention to their surroundings, they slurp from enormous cup holders and gaze raptly at their screens, untroubled by the overdetermination of their world. Their faces beam, in a slackened sort of way, with the opiate pleasure of novelties piped into their cockpits from afar.

Rather than try to duplicate the efficiency of their driving practices with computers, we might instead look to such practices to remind ourselves what human beings are capable of, when left to their own devices. This becomes a meditation on the meaning of self-government. I believe it is in this vicinity that we should look if we want to understand why self-driving cars play prominent roles in several dystopian films, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and WALL-E. In these films, drivers have become passengers and appear as a new class of administrative subjects to be managed. I use the word “subject” to mean both an object of political rule and the type of person—the form of subjectivity—that is assumed or required by such rule, and thereby brought into existence. A passenger is detached, isolated from others, whereas the give-and-take of urban driving is a realm of interaction that demands the skills of cooperation and improvisation.

The demands are at once circumscribed in this way, intensified, and somewhat cross-grained to our original, animal genius for learning about the world by acting directly on it. In response, we may become dispirited in the way an animal does when it is removed from its accustomed habitat, the one that calls forth its full repertoire of excellences. In this dispirited state, we do in fact become incompetent. The end point of this trajectory is clear enough: the world becomes a techno-zoo for defeated people, like the glassy-eyed creatures in WALL-E, or like the lab rats who are raised in Plexiglas enclosures. In the following chapter, we will consider a different way of living with machines. Folk Engineering The next few chapters deal with the ironmongery, and in these I have gone into rather more detail, for it is upon detail that the success or failure of the hardware depends. —SIR HARRY RICARDO Before we lose patience we would do well to recall the words of Marshal de Saxe: “Although those who concern themselves with details are regarded as folk of limited intelligence, it seems to me that this part is essential, because it is the foundation . . . .

pages: 121 words: 36,908

Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

Airbnb, basic income, bitcoin, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, fixed income, full employment, future of work, high net worth, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, litecoin, mass incarceration, means of production, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart meter, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

The problem of automation turns out to be a crisis of male feelings. Perhaps this is why so many of Vonnegut’s apprehensions about automation remain intractable anxieties, afflicting both our economic conversations and our popular culture. Even when we hate our jobs, sometimes we still lean on them as sources of identity and social worth. Many cannot imagine a world beyond work as anything but one of dissipation and sloth. The 2008 animated movie WALL-E, for example, portrays a world where all humans have departed a ruined Earth and live lives of leisure in fully automated starships. But the sympathetic protagonist of the movie is a sentient robot, left behind on Earth to pick up trash—a worker, in other words. The humans, by contrast, are grotesque—obese and torpid parodies of consumerism. In order to imagine a totally postscarcity world as a utopia, then, it is necessary to imagine the sources of meaning and purpose in a world where we are not defined by our paid work.

Hence one possible postscarcity future combines labor-saving technology with an alternative to the current energy regime, which is ultimately limited by both the physical scarcity and ecological destructiveness of fossil fuels. This is far from guaranteed, but there are hopeful indicators for our ability to stabilize the climate, find sources of clean energy, and use resources wisely. These will be discussed further in Chapter 3. But with the scarcity problem solved, would we all just sit around in dissipation and torpor as in WALL-E? Not if, as Marx put it, “labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want.” Whatever activities and projects we undertook, we would participate in them because we found them inherently fulfilling, not because we needed a wage or owed our monthly hours to the cooperative. This is hardly so implausible in many areas, considering the degree to which decisions about work are already driven by nonmaterial considerations, among those who are privileged enough to have the option: millions of people choose to become teachers or social workers, or start small organic farms, even when far more lucrative careers are open to them.

pages: 314 words: 86,795

The Comedy Film Nerds Guide to Movies by Graham Elwood, Chris Mancini

blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, nuclear winter, Wall-E

Even so, at the end of the lunar cycle, science fiction stands tallest when standing alone. But what is it about science fiction that makes it so attractive and like no other genre? I think it’s that science fiction films (and other media) offer two basic but very different views of the future: Utopian and Dystopian. Guess which of our favorite movies fall under? Of course, dystopian when the robots (The Terminator) or trash (Wall-E) take over. There’s much more fucked up shit going on in Blade Runner than there is in Star Trek. One has rogue robots killing people, the other has a holodeck where you can play tennis. The ultimate dystopian future film would have to be The Terminator. Even before Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor. Actually when you look at Predator now, with two muscle-bound state governors, you really think Carl Weathers should run for something.

Is it really the best use of technology to make sure all your friends know what you’re having for lunch? Side note: I don’t fucking care what you’re having for lunch. UNFOLLOW. But, broadening out from the questions asked, science fiction films often give us a cautionary tale of the consequences of giving over too much power to ANYTHING, be it government (V for Vendetta), robots (The Terminator, I Robot), corporations (Wall-E, Soylent Green, Robocop, etc), or angry monkeys (Planet of the Apes). Ultimately, science fiction films stimulate the imagination like no other genre. They wash over us in a darkened theater and show us what could be, and often what we could be, in the future. Will we be even more detached as a people, or more connected? Or will it be both? Will privacy be a thing of the past, so even our dreams can be spied upon, like in Inception?

(1954) – 42 There’s Something About Mary (1998) – 60 They Live (1988) – 199 They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1968) – 198 Thief (1981) – 152, 153, 154, 155, 157 The Thin Man (1934) – 211 The Thing (1982) – 44, 47 This Is Spinal Tap (1984) – 59, 61, 74, 201 Thor (2011) – 30 The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962) – 37 Through A Glass Darkly (1961) – 135, 136 Tideland (2005) – 202 The Tillman Story (2010) – 125 Time Bandits (1981) – 138 The Tingler (1959) – 43, 44 Titan A.E. (2000) – 186 Titanic (1997) – 144 Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992) – 86 Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972) – 49 Tommy (1975) – 73, 119 The Tooth Fairy (2010) – 226, 227 Tootsie (1982) – 61 Top Dog (1995) – 225 Top Hat (1935) – 118 Total Recall (1990) – 3 Touch of Evil (1958) – 112 Toy Story (1995) – 81, 184 Toy Story 2 (1999) – 184 Toy Story 3 (2010) – 184 Training Day (2001) – 152 Transformers (2007) – 138 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) – 9 Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) – 9 Treasure Island (1950) – 180 A Trip to the Moon (1902) – 2, 135, 140 Triumph of the Will (1935) – 134 Troll 2 (1990) – 47, 215 TrollHunter (2010) – 49 A Troll in Central Park (1994) – 86 TRON (1982) – 208 TRON: Legacy (2010) – 208 Tropic Thunder (2008) – 55 The Truck Farmer (1954) – 131 True Grit (1969) – 13, 17 True Grit (2010) – 13, 16 Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (2010) – 49 Turner & Hooch (1989) – 159 Twelve Monkeys (1995) – 202 Twilight (2008) – 138 Twins (1988) – 91 Two Weeks Notice (2002) – 146, 216 The Ugly Truth (2009) – 144, 145, 149 U UHF (1989) – 205 Un Chien Andalou (1929) – 140 Unbreakable (2000) – 223 The Undefeated (2011) – 132 Under the Cherry Moon (1986) – 75 Unfaithful (2002) – 176 Unforgiven (1992) – 11, 17 Universal Soldier (1992) – 92 The Unknown (1927) – 49 Up (2009) – 59, 81, 85, 181, 182, 185 V V For Vendetta (2006) – 7 Vampire Hunter D (1985) – 82 The Vampire Lovers (1970) – 43 The Vanishing (1993) – 227 Victor Victoria (1982) – 118, 121 The Village (2004) – 50, 223, 224 The Villain (1979) – 14, 17 W Wagons East (1994) – 14, 17 Waiting for Superman (2010) – 131 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) – 75 A Walk in the Clouds (1995) – 178 Walk The Line (2005) – 73 Wall-E (2008) – 4, 7 Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) – 84 The Warriors (1979) – 204 Watchmen (2009) – 23, 27, 29 Watership Down (1978) – 83 Waterworld (1995) – 1, 18 The Way of the Dragon (1972) – 194 The Wedding Singer (1998) – 146 Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993) – 63 We’re Back: A Dinosaur Story (1993) – 86 West Side Story (1961) – 46, 118, 123 When Harry Met Sally (1989) – 145, 146, 148 When We Were Kings (1996) – 128, 130 While You Were Sleeping (1995) – 146 White Men Can’t Jump (1992) – 166, 167 Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

pages: 372 words: 101,174

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, 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, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), 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

pages: 391 words: 71,600

Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone by Satya Nadella, Greg Shaw, Jill Tracie Nichols

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Amazon Web Services, anti-globalists, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bretton Woods, business process, cashless society, charter city, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fault tolerance, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Mars Rover, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, NP-complete, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, place-making, Richard Feynman, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telepresence, telerobotics, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade liberalization, two-sided market, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional, zero-sum game

It’s also a time of enormous social and economic disruption accelerated by technological breakthroughs. The combination of cloud computing, sensors, Big Data, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), mixed reality, and robotics foreshadows socioeconomic change ripped from the pages of science fiction. There is a wide and growing spectrum of debate about the implications of this coming wave of intelligent technologies. On the one hand, Pixar’s film WALL-E paints a portrait of eternal relaxation for humans who rely on robots for the hard work. But on the other, scientists like Stephen Hawking warn of doom. The most compelling argument was to write for my colleagues—Microsoft’s employees—and for our millions of customers and partners. After all, on that cold February day in 2014 when Microsoft’s board of directors announced that I would become CEO, I put the company’s culture at the top of our agenda.

Supreme Court, 177, 185 universal basic income, 239–40 University of California at Santa Barbara, 162 University of Chicago, 29 University of Pennsylvania, 184 University of Wisconsin, 22–26 UNIX, 26, 29, 128 Upside of Inequality, The (Conard), 220 asphyxia in utero, 8 Vairavan, Dr., 23 values, 76, 182, 205 Vancouver, 92–93 Vanity Fair, 73–74 venture capital, 199 vice presidents, 118–19 videogames, 103, 106–8, 127 video-on-demand (VOD), 30 video surveillance cameras, 153 Vietnam, 170 virtual reality, 144–45, 228 visual crowding, 104 visual recognition, 76, 89, 150–51, 200 Visual Studio, 58, 59 vocational training, 227 Volvo, 153 Von Neumann, John, 26 WALL-E (film), 13 Wall Street Journal, 179, 230 Wal-Mart, 3 Washington Post, 80 Watsa, Prem, 20 Web, 49, 99. See also Internet websites, 28 Weiner, Jeff, 137–38, 182, 232 Westworld (film), 149–50 WHiPS (Windows High-Powered Summits), 108–9 Widmer, Ted, 24 Willans, Geoffrey, 154–55 Williams, Emma, 158 Windows, 2, 26–27, 46, 47, 53, 68, 71–72, 89, 103, 109, 125, 137, 222 devices run on, in ICU, 41–42 free upgrades, 105–6 future PC platform and, 110 mobile devices, 59 point-of-sales market, 129 Windows 3.1, 28 Windows 8, 66 Windows 10, 28, 85, 89, 97–100, 134, 144 upgrades, 42 Windows 10 MR devices, 144 Windows 95, 28, 98 Windows Mixed Reality, 89 Windows NT, 28–30, 128 Windows Phone, 67, 72–73 Windows Server, 53, 55 Windows Vista, 147 Windows XP, 147 Wired, 234 women, 111–17, 218 Women @ Microsoft, 116–17.

pages: 728 words: 233,687

My Boring-Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith by Kevin Smith

back-to-the-land, British Empire, Burning Man, G4S, Kickstarter, mutually assured destruction, post-work, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Wall-E

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!

pages: 238 words: 77,730

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, commoditize, 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.

To Pixar and Beyond by Lawrence Levy

computerized trading, index card, Loma Prieta earthquake, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, spice trade, Steve Jobs, Wall-E

Former stockholders of Pixar enjoyed all the benefits of this run-up in valuation, all the while enjoying diversification into Disney’s range of businesses. Steve was now Disney’s largest stockholder, and the value of his stock in Disney would eventually soar to over $13 billion, making his investment in Pixar by far the largest source of his personal wealth. Almost overnight, Pixar restored Disney’s dominance in animation, producing a string of hits including Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Brave, and Inside Out. Ed and John successfully turned around Disney Animation which, in 2013, released Frozen, which became the highest-grossing animated feature film of all time. Further, Steve, whose health tragically continued to decline, was freed of the burdens of running Pixar. He found in Ed, John, and Iger trusted friends and partners with whom he could share his ideas and advice and enjoy the triumphs that ensued.

That is exactly how I felt when I got in my car a couple of hours earlier to make the drive to Pixar. I didn’t have to drive as far as Point Richmond anymore. Years earlier Steve had orchestrated the building of Pixar’s campus in Emeryville, just across the Bay Bridge, tucked to the south of the Berkeley Hills. It had been a couple of years since I had visited Pixar, but I never tired of seeing the film posters that lined the walls. The Incredibles, Cars, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Up, Ratatouille, Brave—who could have imagined such a legacy from Pixar’s humble beginnings? Pixar’s campus was not the only thing that had changed. Jenna, our Toy Story baby, was now nineteen, a sophomore at the University of Washington in Seattle, majoring in psychology and communications. Sarah, our gleeful seven-year-old playing with Lite-Brite at Toy Story’s premiere, was twenty-six.

pages: 464 words: 155,696

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, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Charles Lindbergh, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, 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.

pages: 376 words: 110,321

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson

Albert Einstein, British Empire, Fellow of the Royal Society, haute cuisine, Kitchen Debate, lateral thinking, Louis Pasteur, refrigerator car, sexual politics, the scientific method, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E

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.

pages: 379 words: 108,129

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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, 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.

pages: 416 words: 112,268

Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Alfred Russel Wallace, Andrew Wiles, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, blockchain, brain emulation, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer vision, connected car, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, Gerolamo Cardano, ImageNet competition, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the wheel, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, positional goods, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, Thales of Miletus, The Future of Employment, Thomas Bayes, Thorstein Veblen, transport as a service, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, zero-sum game

That is now changing: increasingly, it is possible to place our knowledge into machines that, by themselves, can run our civilization for us. Once the practical incentive to pass our civilization on to the next generation disappears, it will be very hard to reverse the process. One trillion years of cumulative learning would, in a real sense, be lost. We would become passengers in a cruise ship run by machines, on a cruise that goes on forever—exactly as envisaged in the film WALL-E. A good consequentialist would say, “Obviously this is an undesirable consequence of the overuse of automation! Suitably designed machines would never do this!” True, but think what this means. Machines may well understand that human autonomy and competence are important aspects of how we prefer to conduct our lives. They may well insist that humans retain control and responsibility for their own well-being—in other words, machines will say no.

See work, elimination of Tegmark, Max, 4, 114, 138 Tellex, Stephanie, 73 Tencent, 250 tensor processing units (TPUs), 35 Terminator (film), 112, 113 Tesauro, Gerry, 55 Thaler, Richard, 244 Theory of the Leisure Class, The (Veblen), 230 Thinking, Fast and Slow (Kahneman), 238 thinking, learning from, 293–95 Thornton, Richard, 133 Times, 7, 8 tool (narrow) artificial intelligence, 46, 47, 136 TPUs (tensor processing units), 35 tragedy of the commons, 31 Transcendence (film), 3–4, 141–42 transitivity of preferences, 23–24 Treatise of Human Nature, A (Hume), 167 tribalism, 150, 159–60 truck drivers, 119 TrueSkill system, 279 Tucker, Albert, 30 Turing, Alan, 32, 33, 37–38, 40–41, 124–25, 134–35, 140–41, 144, 149, 153, 160–61 Turing test, 40–41 tutoring, 100–101 tutoring systems, 70 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 141 Uber, 57, 182 UBI (universal basic income), 121 uncertainty AI uncertainty as to human preferences, principle of, 53, 175–76 human uncertainty as to own preferences, 235–37 probability theory and, 273–84 United Nations (UN), 250 universal basic income (UBI), 121 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), 107 universality, 32–33 universal Turing machine, 33, 40–41 unpredictability, 29 utilitarian AI, 217–27 Utilitarianism ((Mill), 217–18 utilitarianism/utilitarian AI, 214 challenges to, 221–27 consequentialist AI, 217–19 ideal utilitarianism, 219 interpersonal comparison of utilities, debate over, 222–24 multiple people, maximizing sum of utilities of, 219–26 preference utilitarianism, 220 social aggregation theorem and, 220 Somalia problem and, 226–27 utility comparison across populations of different sizes, debate over, 224–25 utility function, 53–54 utility monster, 223–24 utility theory, 22–26 axiomatic basis for, 23–24 objections to, 24–26 value alignment, 137–38 Vardi, Moshe, 202–3 Veblen, Thorstein, 230 video games, 45 virtual reality authoring, 101 virtue ethics, 217 visual object recognition, 6 von Neumann, John, 23 W3C Credible Web group, 109 WALL-E (film), 255 Watson, 80 wave function, 35–36 “we’re the experts” argument, 152–54 white-collar jobs, 119 Whitehead, Alfred North, 88 whole-brain emulation, 171 Wiener, Norbert, 10, 136–38, 153, 203 Wilczek, Frank, 4 Wiles, Andrew, 185 wireheading, 205–8 work, elimination of, 113–24 caring professions and, 122 compensation effects and, 114–17 historical warnings about, 113–14 income distribution and, 123 occupations at risk with adoption of AI technology, 118–20 reworking education and research institutions to focus on human world, 123–24 striving and enjoying, relation between, 121–22 universal basic income (UBI) proposals and, 121 wage stagnation and productivity increases, since 1973, 117 “work in human–machine teams” argument, 163 World Economic Forum, 250 World Wide Web, 64 Worshipful Company of Scriveners, 109 Zuckerberg, Mark, 157 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ About the Author Stuart Russell is a professor of Computer Science and holder of the Smith-Zadeh Chair in Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

pages: 124 words: 36,360

Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent by Douglas Coupland

British Empire, cable laying ship, Claude Shannon: information theory, cosmic microwave background, Downton Abbey, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Marshall McLuhan, oil shale / tar sands, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Turing machine, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Wall-E

I’m told that it’s time to take my photo for this book, so I try to be with it, saying, “Let’s do it here by these 7710 SR-c12 routers,” to which a tech worker rolls his eyes and says, “That’s not a 7710 SR-c12 router; it’s a 7710 SR-c4.” Whoops. I’m soon off to see Amélie Lamothe, a young systems quality assurance engineer from Ottawa who’s been with the company for five years and has a vinyl WALL-E figurine in her cubicle. She is also a taekwon-do black belt, but she tells me she considers herself to be an introvert. “At work I have my work personality, but then I go home and don’t have to talk to anyone.” Lamothe tests software that oversees routers: is everything flowing through the pipes quickly and without blockage? She says end users only want their lives to get easier and they don’t really care how or why they get their speed.

pages: 464 words: 116,945

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, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, drone strike, end world poverty, 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, Gunnar Myrdal, 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

pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, 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, hedonic treadmill, 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, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, 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, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

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.

Financing Basic Income: Addressing the Cost Objection by Richard Pereira

banks create money, basic income, income inequality, job automation, Lyft, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Buchheit, quantitative easing, sovereign wealth fund, Tobin tax, transfer pricing, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Wall-E

Swanton, S. (2009) Social Housing Wait Lists and the One-Person Household in Ontario. CPRN – Canadian Policy Research Networks. January. Taylor, P. (2007) “Everyone’s Guide to Tax Shelters.” Money Sense. December/ January. Ternette, N. (2012) “Guaranteed-Income Idea Kept Alive by Many.” Winnipeg Free Press. 15 May. TFSA – Tax-Free Savings Account. (2014) Government of Canada. http://www. tfsa.gc.ca/. Trenholm, R. (2012) “Apple Factory’s Wall-E robots and Suicide Nets Revealed.” Cnet.com. 21 February. Trudeau Foundation. (2013) Responsible Citizenship: A National Survey of Canadians. Montreal: The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, 31 October. Van Parijs, P. (1995) Real Freedom for All: What (If Anything) Can Justify Capitalism?. Oxford: Clarendon. Wadsworth, J. (2013) “Interns Death Puts Banking Culture Under Microscope.” SFGate. 21 August.

pages: 158 words: 46,353

Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield by Robert H. Latiff

Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, cyber-physical system, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, Internet of things, low earth orbit, Nicholas Carr, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, self-driving car, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Wall-E

We must answer open questions about the creation of dependencies and addictions, or whether certain enhancements are permanent or reversible. While the enhancement of soldiers cannot a priori be ruled out as illegal or unethical, there must be debate about questions of military necessity, legitimate purpose, and warfighter dignity, safety, and accountability. — Robots have long captured the popular imagination. They can be “good” robots like the lovable WALL-E or the engaging and comical robot in Short Circuit, or they can be “bad” robots like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey or the fearsome, murderous robots in War of the Worlds. These are fictional, but real robots become more capable every day with improvements in electronics, computers, artificial intelligence, materials, and other supporting technologies. Robots can be human in form or they can take on the most efficient form for the purpose and the situation in which they will operate.

pages: 165 words: 45,397

Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming by Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby

3D printing, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, computer age, corporate governance, David Attenborough, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, global village, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, mouse model, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social software, technoutopianism, Wall-E

Although not a strong novel by any means, Ben Elton's Blind Faith (2007) picks up current trends for dumbing culture down, extrapolating into a near future when inclusiveness, political correctness, public shaming, vulgarity, and conformism are the norm, a world where tabloid values and commercial TV formats shape everyday behavior and interactions. It can be found in film, too: Idiocracy (2006) and WALL-E (2008) are both set in worlds suffering from social decay and cultural dumbing down. The most recent example is Black Mirror (2012), a satirical miniseries for Chanel Four television in the United Kingdom. It fastforwards technologies being developed today by technology companies to the point at which the dreams behind each technology turn into nightmares with extremely unpleasant human consequences.

Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage by Roger L. Martin

asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, high net worth, Innovator's Dilemma, Isaac Newton, mobile money, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, six sigma, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Wall-E, winner-take-all economy

The design-friendly culture that the De Prees championed never did take hold across the American corporate landscape. In that 1965 speech, De Pree offered this scathing assessment: “American industrial programs of planned obsolescence have set up an industrial complex geared to producing waste, and a society trained to accept it.” His vision of an industrial landscape littered with drab, uninspiring products foreshadowed the consumer-apocalypse wasteland depicted in Pixar’s Wall-E. The De Pree design model worked for Herman Miller, thanks to the commitment of the De Pree family. But I am not sure it is the optimal model for other companies. The top managers of the design-thinking organizations of today and tomorrow do not merely place themselves between designers and line managers. They help line managers become design thinkers. They are pioneering the management discipline of business design.

pages: 185 words: 52,089

Mastering Digital Photography: Jason Youn's Essential Guide to Understanding the Art & Science of Aperture, Shutter, Exposure, Light, & Composition by Jason Youn

en.wikipedia.org, framing effect, Wall-E

Because the images are so close together they can actually effect one another; if there is more than one image on your screen, you may want to cover one up so that you can only see one image at time. This way you can get a good sense of how the image stands on its own. Leading looks don't have to come from a face. We people like to anthropomorphize the objects around us; it's why movies like The Brave Little Toaster or Wall-e are popular. Our tendency to do this causes us to give names to cars and ships, and it causes us to attribute leading looks to objects that don't have ability to look at anything. These types of leading looks can come from any animal or anything that moves, or points, or is able to be anthropomorphic. In these next four images of the truck and then the skier, the left images have leading looks that point out of the frame, and so the image is out of balance.

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.

pages: 223 words: 52,808

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, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marc Andreessen, 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.

pages: 523 words: 148,929

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, social intelligence, 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.

pages: 537 words: 149,628

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer, August Cole

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, augmented reality, British Empire, digital map, energy security, Firefox, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Google Glasses, IFF: identification friend or foe, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, MITM: man-in-the-middle, new economy, old-boy network, 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, WikiLeaks, zero day, zero-sum game

“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.

pages: 285 words: 58,517

The Network Imperative: How to Survive and Grow in the Age of Digital Business Models by Barry Libert, Megan Beck

active measures, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, business intelligence, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversification, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Infrastructure as a Service, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of writing, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Oculus Rift, pirate software, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, software as a service, software patent, Steve Jobs, subscription business, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, Wall-E, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Over the past decade, Lego has engaged its customers so thoroughly that they are almost a part of the company itself. On the Lego Ideas web page, customers share their ideas for new Lego sets. Ideas that gather ten thousand supporters go before a review board, which selects the best options, and those aligned with Lego’s values, for production. The latest release from Lego Ideas is the lovable robot from Pixar’s movie WALL-E. Lego also facilitates interaction among customers, helping Lego enthusiasts of all ages share their passion and great ideas. Lego has a thriving community of enthusiasts who share words, photos, and videos. The Lego Digital Designer software, which customers can use to create and share their own custom designs (along with instructions for building them), is available free. Knudstorp even hired AFOLs (adult fans of Legos) as designers.

pages: 233 words: 58,561

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Wall-E

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.

pages: 181 words: 62,775

Half Empty by David Rakoff

airport security, Buckminster Fuller, dark matter, double helix, global pandemic, Google Earth, phenotype, RFID, twin studies, urban planning, urban renewal, wage slave, Wall-E, Y2K

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.

pages: 243 words: 61,237

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

always be closing, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, business cycle, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, complexity theory, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, future of work, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, out of africa, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Pixar Animation Studios, in Emeryville, California, opened in 1979 as the geeky computer graphics division of Lucasfilm. Thirty-five years later, it’s one of the most successful studios in movie history. Starting with Toy Story in 1995, Pixar has produced thirteen feature films that together have grossed $7.6 billion worldwide, an astonishing $585 million per movie.23 Six Pixar films—Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3—have won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, just a few of the twenty-six total Oscars the studio has taken home. How does Pixar do it? Success has many parents—the foresight of Steve Jobs, who invested in the company early; the distribution and marketing muscle of the Walt Disney Company, which struck a development deal with the studio early on and acquired it in 2006; the meticulous attention to detail for which Pixar’s army of technical and artistic talent is renowned.

pages: 542 words: 161,731

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, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, social intelligence, 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, Year of Magical Thinking

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.

pages: 234 words: 68,798

The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better by Will Storr

David Brooks, Gordon Gekko, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Wall-E

King Lear’s scene on the stormy heath, when he raged and despaired over his sudden realisation of what his evil daughters had wrought, is a classic midpoint. Yorke additionally believes there’s a hidden symmetry in story, in which protagonists and antagonists function as opposites with their rising and falling fortunes mirroring one another. The Hollywood animation studio Pixar is home to some of the most successful mass-market storytellers of our age. ‘Story artist’ Austin Madison, who’s worked on blockbusters including Ratatouille, Wall-E and Up, has shared a structure he says all Pixar films must adhere to. The action starts with a protagonist who has a goal, living in a settled world. Then a challenge comes that forces them into a cause-and-effect sequence of events that eventually builds to a climax that demonstrates the triumph of good over evil and the revelation of the story’s moral. The arrival of ‘big data’ has led to a new era of story analysis.

pages: 586 words: 186,548

Architects of Intelligence by Martin Ford

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flash crash, future of work, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, job automation, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Productivity paradox, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game, Zipcar

In those risk scenarios, we head towards an enfeebled human society where we’ve moved too much of our knowledge and too much of our decision-making into machines, and we can never recover it. We could eventually lose our entire agency as humans along this societal path. This societal picture is how the future is depicted in the WALL-E movie, where humanity is off on spaceships and being looked after by machines. Humanity gradually becomes fatter and lazier and stupider. That’s an old theme in science fiction and it’s very clearly illustrated in the WALL-E movie. That is a future that we need to be concerned about, assuming we successfully navigate all the other risks that we’ve been discussing. As an optimist, I can also see a future where AI systems are well enough designed that they’re saying to humans, “Don’t use us. Get on and learn stuff yourself.

pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl

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, commoditize, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, disruptive innovation, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, lifelogging, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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.

pages: 538 words: 138,544

The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better by Annie Leonard

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, Kickstarter, liberation theology, McMansion, Nelson Mandela, 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.

pages: 403 words: 87,035

The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti

assortative mating, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business climate, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate raider, creative destruction, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, financial innovation, global village, hiring and firing, income inequality, industrial cluster, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, medical residency, Menlo Park, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Richard Florida, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, thinkpad, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Wall-E, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Smart Labor: Microchips, Movies, and Multipliers DOMINIC GLYNN IS a mathematician, and if you think doing math all day is dull, think again. Glynn is a color scientist and lead engineer at Pixar Animation Studios, where he spends his days bringing animated creatures to life. His office, located in Pixar’s bright red brick facility in Emeryville, California, overflows with toys, which is not unusual on Pixar’s campus. He has worked on many films, including Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3. If you liked the colors in those movies, Glynn and his team are the ones to thank. Glynn is in his thirties, plays baroque violin, and has a beautiful three-year-old daughter. When I met him, he was busy finishing Cars 2. He told me that the math he uses is simple, but for some reason I was skeptical. Technically, what he does is called image-mastering engineering, which essentially consists of creating mathematical models of human color vision.

pages: 294 words: 82,438

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, drone strike, 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.

pages: 284 words: 84,169

Talk on the Wild Side by Lane Greene

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, experimental subject, facts on the ground, framing effect, Google Chrome, illegal immigration, invisible hand, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, natural language processing, obamacare, Ronald Reagan, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Turing test, Wall-E

Other technologies have included the telegraph and the telephone switchboard. Today, the natural metaphor is a computer.1 As humans have conceptualised the mind as a kind of machine, a second thought – perhaps just as unsettling – has occurred to them. How would we know if an intelligent-seeming machine has a mind? And if it does, how would we know it’s benign? Adorable thinking machines like the robot from the eponymous WALL-E are the exception, in popular culture. For some reason, when we imagine thinking machines, we imagine them as heartless: it’s easier to imagine computers thinking than caring, so fiction has given us more memorable murderers, Terminators and HAL 9000s than it has automated pals. But how could we tell that a machine is thinking, rather than just responding to input according to instructions? What would a computer need to do to prove that it is doing something like what the mind does?

pages: 590 words: 152,595

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

active measures, Air France Flight 447, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, brain emulation, Brian Krebs, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, DevOps, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, Flash crash, Freestyle chess, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, ImageNet competition, Internet of things, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, pattern recognition, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sensor fusion, South China Sea, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Turing test, universal basic income, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, William Langewiesche, Y2K, zero day

—World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016 | World Economic Forum,” video, accessed June 7, 2017, https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2016/sessions/what-if-robots-go-to-war. 109 “decisions to release a lethal mechanism”: John Ingham, “WATCH: Unmanned Test Plane Can Seek and Destroy Heavily Defended Targets,” Express.co.uk, June 9, 2016, http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/678514/WATCH-Video-Unmanned-test-plane-Taranis. 109 “The UK does not possess”: UK Ministry of Defence, “Defence in the Media: 10 June 2016,” June 10, 2016, https://modmedia.blog.gov.uk/2016/06/10/defence-in-the-media-10-june-2016/. 110 “must be capable of achieving”: UK Ministry of Defence, “Joint Doctrine Note 2/11: The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” March 30, 2011, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/33711/20110505JDN_211_UAS_v2U.pdf, 2-3. 110 “As computing and sensor capability increases”: Ibid, 2–4. 111 one short-lived effort during the Iraq war: “The Inside Story of the SWORDS Armed Robot ‘Pullout’ in Iraq: Update,” Popular Mechanics, October 1, 2009, http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/4258963. 112 “the military robots were assigned”: Alexander Korolkov and special to RBTH, “New Combat Robot Is Russian Army’s Very Own Deadly WALL-E,” Russia Beyond The Headlines, July 2, 2014, https://www.rbth.com/defence/2014/07/02/new_combat_robot_is_russian_armys_very_own_deadly_wall-e_37871.html. 112 “Platform-M . . . is used”: Ibid. 112 videos of Russian robots show soldiers: This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBi977p0plA) is no longer available online. 114 According to David Hambling of Popular Mechanics: David Hambling, “Check Out Russia’s Fighting Robots,” Popular Mechanics, May 12, 2014, http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/robots/russia-wants-autonomous-fighting-robots-and-lots-of-them-16787165. 114 amphibious Argo: “Battle Robotic complex ‘Argo’—Military Observer,” accessed June 7, 2017, http://warsonline.info/bronetechnika/boevoy-robotizirovanniy-kompleks-argo.html. 114 Pictures online show Russian soldiers: Tamir Eshel, “Russian Military to Test Combat Robots in 2016,” Defense Update, December 31, 2015, http://defense-update.com/20151231_russian-combat-robots.html. 115 slo-mo shots of the Uran-9 firing: Rosoboronexport, Combat Robotic System Uran-9, n.d., https://www.youtube.com/watch?

pages: 340 words: 92,904

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, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, longitudinal study, 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, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, white picket fence, 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.

pages: 255 words: 92,719

All Day Long: A Portrait of Britain at Work by Joanna Biggs

Anton Chekhov, bank run, banking crisis, call centre, Chelsea Manning, credit crunch, David Graeber, Desert Island Discs, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, future of work, G4S, glass ceiling, industrial robot, job automation, land reform, low skilled workers, mittelstand, Northern Rock, payday loans, Right to Buy, Second Machine Age, six sigma, Steve Jobs, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, wages for housework, Wall-E

They laughed. ‘Thinking of it as a maintenance engineer would,’ said Craig Scott, who had an orange robot arm embroidered on his black polo shirt, ‘within any cell, there’s generally one or two robots that tend to be a bit more of a pain in the backside.’ ‘But they’re normally called things that we probably couldn’t repeat on that,’ Hart said, pointing to my dictaphone. Robots in movies have cute names like Wall-E or not so cute ones like Terminator; I liked the idea that in real life there might be a robot called Fuckwit. The robot engineers treated the robots as the machines they are: the car parts the robots made, however, did have nicknames. A ‘bird bath’, named for an indent shallow enough for birds to splash in, was the rear floor of the Mini. There were also ‘bull horns’ and ‘ski slopes’. Stuart Hilliard, a maintenance engineer, admitted that working with robots can get lonely.

pages: 294 words: 96,661

The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cognitive bias, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, estate planning, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, full employment, Hans Rosling, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mary Lou Jepsen, Moravec's paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

Surely, we fear, at some point robot labor will be both cheaper and better than human labor. Will the less skilled be locked out of the job market forever? If a fast-food robot costs $10,000, would a business rather pay a human a $15 minimum wage—or a $10 minimum wage, or any minimum wage? A massive displacement of this sort would represent a dramatic shift of economic power away from labor and toward those who own the robots. Another widespread concern is the potential for a WALL-E future. In that world, we become permanently sedentary when we no longer have to work. On top of that, our brains atrophy as well, since the machines maintain themselves, as well as everything else. Some fear that we will form emotional attachments to robots so strong that they will supplant bonds between humans. You don’t necessarily need to go visit Grandma when she has an attentive robot helper.

pages: 282 words: 88,320

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry by David Robertson, Bill Breen

barriers to entry, business process, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, disruptive innovation, financial independence, game design, global supply chain, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Wall-E

Combining the earsplitting thunder of a World Wrestling smackdown with the thrill and mechanistic glory of a NASCAR race, the FIRST World Championship was an amped-up celebration of brains over brawn, as thousands of kids demonstrated what’s possible when their imagination and technical prowess were yoked with LEGO and digital technology. When the kids weren’t competing, many swarmed the LEGO Mindstorms booth, where LEGO staffers delivered coaching tips on the finer points of building a better bot and expert adult hobbyists showed off their over-the-top creations, such as Mindstorms Moon Rovers and an astoundingly faithful, LEGO-ized re-creation of Wall-E, the famous robot from the Disney/Pixar movie of the same name. For a couple of hours, a group of LEGO software developers and other staff members slipped away from the booth and into a vacant hallway, where they met with a thirteen-year-old college student and FIRST LEGO League competitor from Beaverton, Oregon, named Tesca Fitzgerald. Instead of delivering a demo, the LEGO crew witnessed one, as Tesca unveiled the massive artificial-intelligence program she had written for her team’s Mindstorms robot.

pages: 1,263 words: 371,402

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, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Paul Graham, 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!

pages: 797 words: 227,399

Wired for War: The 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, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, digital map, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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, social intelligence, 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.

pages: 292 words: 99,273

Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living by Nick Offerman

Berlin Wall, Downton Abbey, lateral thinking, Mason jar, telemarketer, wage slave, Wall-E

Driving well in concert with all of the other people driving well, or at least trying to, feels good. It feels like we’re participating in society. We’re present in the moment as we share the road with one another, passing on the left, waving for one another to go ahead and pull out of that driveway, giving one another a spirited middle-finger salute. . . . When will it end? I found the infantile grown-ups in the great film WALL-E to be poignantly frightening. Fat, mewling adult larvae, floating about in cradle-chairs, being fed their daily pap in the form of only blended shakes. Orwell predicted that shit, and it scares me to death. Here’s my trip: Our cool, new technologies provide us with a surplus of convenience, and it seems to me that an overabundance of convenience leaves us with a surplus of leisure time. Our technologies then provide us with a panoply of choices of ways in which to fill that time, like video games, social networking, vapid television and film content, etc.

pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross

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 cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, 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 - Herbert Stein's Law, illegal immigration, index fund, intangible asset, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, money market fund, 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, zero-sum game, 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.

pages: 345 words: 104,404

Pandora's Brain by Calum Chace

AI winter, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, Extropian, friendly AI, hive mind, lateral thinking, mega-rich, 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.

pages: 393 words: 115,217

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Astronomia nova, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Gary Taubes, hypertext link, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Jony Ive, knowledge economy, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, PageRank, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, Wall-E, wikimedia commons, yield management

MOVIES AND DRUGS: A BRIEF INTERLUDE Pixar’s story has a great plot: a small, struggling company, dismissed by nearly all the major players in the industry, is saved by a partnership. The partnership produces an industry-transforming hit. The hit launches a wildly successful public offering. The offering finances a staggering run of new hits: Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Inside Out, and others. The Pixar story is a marvelous remake. Fifteen years earlier, in 1978, a tiny, profitless company called Genentech, developing an unproven new technology called genetic engineering, which was dismissed by nearly all the incumbent players in the industry, signed a partnership with a large pharma company. Pixar’s technology automated a manual process and allowed animators to create a new kind of film.

pages: 410 words: 114,005

Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes--But Some Do by Matthew Syed

Airbus A320, 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, creative destruction, credit crunch, crew resource management, 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, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, publication bias, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, Shai Danziger, 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, US Airways Flight 1549, 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.

pages: 416 words: 121,024

How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir by Cat Marnell

Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, East Village, Frank Gehry, impulse control, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, period drama, pez dispenser, Rosa Parks, urban decay, walkable city, Wall-E, Zipcar

And I was a robot; and I could make all these robot sounds, like “Eee-vaaa.” I was lurching around on wheels! All of the streetlights were Day-Glo with neon laser beams shooting out of them, and then there was a glow-in-the-dark baby deer—Bambi, like Tinsley’s Chihuahua—racing alongside me, flickering like a lightbulb. Then I didn’t have wheels anymore, just sneakers that weren’t on all the way; I was shuffling along in my WALL-E world, and I was lost and I just wanted a mother. I knew I’d never find my friends again; I couldn’t remember where I lived. And just when I was about to give up, I sat down in front of a building and then I realized it was my building, and the people in front of it were . . . my friends. “Where you been?” REMO asked, extending his arm. I hung like a Fendi baguette from his He-Man muscle. He took me to the deli to buy a quart of whole milk.

pages: 915 words: 232,883

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

air freight, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fixed income, game design, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Jony Ive, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, profit maximization, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

“I went out and met all the directors one on one, and they each pitched me their movie,” he said. Lasseter was proud of how much his team impressed Iger, which of course made him warm up to Iger. “I never had more pride in Pixar than that day,” he said. “All the teams and pitches were amazing, and Bob was blown away.” Indeed after seeing what was coming up over the next few years—Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E—Iger told his chief financial officer at Disney, “Oh my God, they’ve got great stuff. We’ve got to get this deal done. It’s the future of the company.” He admitted that he had no faith in the movies that Disney animation had in the works. The deal they proposed was that Disney would purchase Pixar for $7.4 billion in stock. Jobs would thus become Disney’s largest shareholder, with approximately 7% of the company’s stock compared to 1.7% owned by Eisner and 1% by Roy Disney.

., 330, 473, 478, 504, 506–7 Time-Life Pictures, 330 “Times They Are A-Changing, The” (Dylan), 168, 207 Time Warner, 506 Tin Toy (film), 248 Toshiba, 385, 386 touchscreens, 93 Toy Story (film), 285–91, 305, 311, 372, 373–74, 427, 428, 430, 434, 437, 472, 565 basic idea for, 285–86 blockbuster success of, 290–91 budgeting of, 288 premieres of, 289–90 reviews of, 290 revision of, 287–88 SJ’s investment in, 287 television premiere of, 331 Toy Story 2 (film), 430 Toy Story 3 (film), 527, 540 Toy Story Musical, 437 Treasure Planet (film), 437 Tribble, Bud, 117–18, 120, 123, 140, 212, 225 Trips Festival, 58 Trotsky, Leon, 209 “Trouble with Steve Jobs, The” (Fortune), 477–78 Trungpa, Chögyam, 35 Turing, Alan, xviii TV Guide, 165 Twain, Mark, 479 Twiggy, 145 Twitter, 495 “Uncle John’s Band” (song), 414 United Network for Organ Sharing, 483 Universal Music Group, 395, 399, 479 UNIX operating system, 212, 297, 298 Up (film), 494 UPS, 219 U2, 399, 413, 537 iPod deal and, 420–22 U-2 spy plane, 8 United Way, 104 USA Today, 507 Valentine, Don, 75–76, 139, 189 Valleywag (website), 516–17, 518 Vanity Fair, 497 Varian Associates, 8, 9 Vatican, 28–29 “Vertigo” (song), 420 Vidich, Paul, 394–95, 398 Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 127 Vietnam War, 34 “View from the Top” lectures, 268 Vincent, James, xv, 332, 364, 391, 392, 398, 413, 417, 421–23, 498–500, 521–22, 524 Visa, 410 VisiCalc (finance program), 84 VLSI Technology, 359 “Wade in the Water” (song), 417 Wall-E (film), 441 Wall Street Journal, 135, 187–88, 192, 193, 215, 226, 236, 307, 379, 450, 463, 482, 493, 504, 507, 531 Wall Street Journal Digital Network, 508 Walt Disney Company, see Disney Co. Warhol, Andy, 180 Warner Music, 394, 398, 403 Warnock, John, 515 Warren, Jim, 80 Washington Post, 228, 230, 231 Waters, Alice, 458, 477 Watson, James, 330 Wavy Gravy, 106 Wayne, Ron, xvi, 44, 52, 54, 63–64, 68–69, 73, 79–80 Weeks, Wendell, 471–72 Weitzen, Jeff, 379 Welch, Jack, 401 Wells, Frank, 436–37 Well-Tempered Clavier, The (Bach), 413 Wenner, Jann, 166 West Coast Computer Faire, 80, 123, 189 Westerman, Wayne, 469 Westgate Shopping Center, 32 Westinghouse, 9, 219 West Wing, The (TV show), 456 What the Dormouse Said (Markoff), 57 “When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky” (song), 207–8 Whitman, Meg, 321 Whole Earth Catalog, 57–59, 494 Whole Earth Truck Store, 58 Whose Line Is It Anyway?

pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

He posted it online and emailed the executive who’d originally complained about his problem. It turned out to be Greg Brandeau, an executive vice president at Pixar. Brandeau was so happy with Krieger’s plug-in that he invited Krieger to a film premiere, “if you ever come to the States,” as Krieger recalls. For a teenage kid in Brazil to be solving corporate problems for a major US executive was intoxicating. (And four years later, he joined Brandeau for the launch of Wall-E.) In 2004, Krieger arrived at Stanford to study a quirky curriculum called Symbolic Systems, a mash-up of computer science, psychology, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, philosophy, and linguistics. (He discovered it via a zagging path: Google ran a social network called Orkut that was a complete failure in the US but wildly popular in Brazil, and for some reason the Symbolic Systems program had an Orkut page, so Krieger saw it.

pages: 548 words: 147,919

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales From the Pentagon by Rosa Brooks

airport security, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, cognitive dissonance, continuation of politics by other means, different worldview, disruptive innovation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Turing test, unemployed young men, Valery Gerasimov, 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.

pages: 486 words: 150,849

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, always be closing, American ideology, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Burning Man, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, centre right, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, hive mind, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, Joan Didion, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Picturephone, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seaside, Florida, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, Wall-E, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, éminence grise

Another possible awful American future is the lower-left quadrant, where quantum computing and robots and miraculous nanotech molecular assembly are doing and making nearly everything, but inequality of income and wealth and power become even more extreme than they are now—a small ruling elite presiding over what the historian and futurist Yuval Noah Harari calls the “useless class,” what the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Martin Ford calls “digital feudalism,” Elysium without that movie’s happy ending. And finally, there’s the best of all plausible worlds—amazing machines, more than enough stuff that our new, optimal social democracy divides fairly, more or less Earth as on Star Trek or in the redemptive finale of WALL-E. In 1930—just after the word robot was invented, just as Aldous Huxley was imagining the dystopia of Brave New World and just before H. G. Wells depicted the utopia of The Shape of Things to Come—their friend John Maynard Keynes saw the economic future.*1 “We are being afflicted with a new disease,” he wrote in a speculative essay called “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” a disease of which “readers will hear a great deal in the years to come—namely, technological unemployment.

The Rough Guide to Jerusalem by Daniel Jacobs

centre right, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Frank Gehry, haute cuisine, Khartoum Gordon, low cost airline, Skype, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban planning, Wall-E

That was how Caliph Omar found it when he 02 Jerusalem Guide 45-160.indd 99 99 18/06/09 11:36 AM Lions Gate Herod’s Gate Bab al-‘Atm A BAB HITT ROAD KING FAISAL STREET Umariya School Madrasa alDawadariya Bab alAsbat Bab Hitta Madrasa al-Sallamiya Bab alGhawanima Al-Wad Road Te m pl e Mo unt Kursi Suleiman Bab alNaazir Golden Gate Al-Wad Road | Dome of the Spirits Little Wailing Wall DID BAL AL-HA STREET Dome of the Ascension Bab alHadid Dome of the Prophet Dome of the Chain Bab alQattanin NIN -QATTA Al-Wad Road SOUQ AL Turba alSa’adiya SILA L-SIL sabil T STREE Bab al- Sabil of Silsila Qaitbey Tankaziya Madrasa Al-Kas Wailing Wall E SP LAN AD E Turba of Turkan Khatun W E ST E RN WA LL Central Souqs & Jaffa Gate BAB A Dome of the Rock Madrasa alBaladiya Ribat alNisa’ Bab al Magharba 0 Islamic Museum Solomon’s Stables Al-Aqsa Mosque Single Gate 100 m TEMPLE MOUNT Triple Gate Double Gate Solomonic steps JERUSALEM ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK Dung Gate 100 accepted the surrender of Jerusalem in 638 AD. Omar ordered it to be cleaned up, and had a small mosque built at the southern end of the sanctuary, where Al-Aqsa now stands.

Breakfast included 2 Catherine’s Church T 02/274 2798, Wwww .casanovapalace.com. Run by the Franciscans with a central location and well-kept rooms, but often full with pilgrim groups, so worth booking ahead. The main part was formerly the Orient Palace Hotel, and is still pretty smart for a pilgrims’ guest house, with a/c, 04 Jerusalem Excursion 229-264.indd 233 233 18/06/09 2:11 PM The Separation Wall E xc urs i o n s | Bethlehem and around The idea of building a wall around the West Bank to cut it off from Israel goes back to 1994, when Yitzhak Rabin had a similar barrier built around the Gaza Strip. From 2000, the Second Intifada gave the idea new impetus, and as suicide bombings and other attacks by West Bank Palestinians in Israel increased, pressure for some kind of barrier grew. Construction of the wall – known variously as the Separation Barrier, the  The Separation Wall near Bethlehem West Bank Wall, by Israelis as the Security or Anti-Terrorist Fence, and by Palestinians as the Segregation or Apartheid Wall – began in earnest in 2002.

pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, 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, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, global pandemic, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, 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, Ross Ulbricht, 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 Future of Employment, 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, Westphalian system, 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.

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Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, 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, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, 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, zero-sum game

(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.

Coastal California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, flex fuel, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, intermodal, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, Lyft, Mason jar, New Journalism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Even if much of the hands-on work takes place overseas (in places such as South Korea), concept and supervision still takes place in LA and the San Francisco Bay Area. In San Francisco, George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic is made up of a team of high-tech wizards who produce computer-generated special effects for blockbuster series such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter. Just across the San Francisco Bay, Pixar Animation Studios has produced an unbroken string of animated hits, including Toy Story, Finding Dory, Inside Out, WALL-E, Cars and Brave. Director Alfred Hitchcock set some of his best thrillers in coastal California, including Vertigo (1958), with unforgettable shots of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and Muir Woods, and The Birds (1963), set in Bodega Bay. The Small Screen After a year of tinkering, San Francisco inventor Philo Farnsworth transmitted the first television broadcast in 1927 of…a straight line.

Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre by Kim Wagner

British Empire, colonial rule, European colonialism, Mahatma Gandhi, trade route, Wall-E

. —— ‘“Fanaticism” and State Violence in British India’, American Historical Review, 120, 4 (Oct. 2015), pp. 1218–46. Kumar, R., ‘The Rowlatt Satyagraha in Lahore’, in R. Kumar, Essays on Gandhian Politics: The Rowlatt Satyagraha of 1919 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp. 236–97. Kuortti, J., ‘“One Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty Rounds”: Colonial Violence in the Representations of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre’, Indialogs, 1 (2014), pp. 38–50. Lago, M., Hughes, L.K. and Walls, E.M. (eds), The BBC Talks of E.M. Forster, 1929–1960: A Selected Edition (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2008). Lal, V., ‘The Incident of the “Crawling Lane”: Women in the Punjab Disturbances of 1919’, Genders, 16 (spring 1993), pp. 35–60. Lawrence, J., ‘Forging a Peaceable Kingdom: War, Violence, and Fear of Brutalization in Post–First World War Britain’, Journal of Modern History, 75, 3 (Sept. 2003), pp. 557–89.

California by Sara Benson

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Columbine, dark matter, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Joan Didion, Khyber Pass, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, planetary scale, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, the new new thing, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

San Francisco remains a hub for documentary and independent filmmakers, while local ethnic media programs are produced statewide in dozens of languages from Persian to Portuguese. With Silicon Valley providing more of the effects for movies, Pixar Animation Studios fit right in among the dot-coms and interactive toy companies of San Francisco’s East Bay, and have produced a string of hits from Toy Story to Wall-E. * * * California Babylon: A Guide to Sites of Scandal, Mayhem, and Celluloid in the Golden State by Kristan Lawson and Anneli Rufus is a bizarre guide to infamous locations throughout the state. * * * Literature Californians read more than movie scripts: they make up the largest market for books in the US, and read more than the national average. Skewing the curve is bookish San Francisco, with more writers, playwrights and book purchases per capita than any other US city.

Self Build Simplified by Barry Sutcliffe

carbon footprint, off grid, the payments system, Wall-E

If not, then the drawings and specifications should have the relevant details on them. Generally, for a standard internal stud wall the spec would be: A base plate and a head plate. Studs at generally 600mm centres (so they take standard 1200mm plasterboards). A strengthening timber nogging half way up the wall (see right hand wall in the next image). OSB backing boards, fixed to noggings wherever there is to be any structural load on the wall (e.g. TVs / radiators, shelving etc. to be hung later). More OSB on noggings wherever there is an electrical socket or switch (to fix the back boxes to). If the timber stud wall is to be load bearing, then the construction of it may need to be more sturdy (how to construct the load bearing timber walls should be detailed on drawings and specifications). I always like to insulate timber internal walls with 100mm of fibreglass insulation to reduce sound transference between rooms.