Posts Tagged ‘Change’

No matter how old people are, they seem to believe that who they are today is essentially who they’ll be tomorrow. That’s according to fresh research that suggests that people generally fail to appreciate how much their personality and values will change in the years ahead — even though they recognize that they have changed in the past. Daniel Gilbert, a psychology researcher at Harvard University who did this study with two colleagues, says that he’s no exception to this rule. “I have this deep sense that although I will physically age — I’ll have even less hair than I do and probably a few more pounds — that by and large the core of me, my identity, my values, my personality, my deepest preferences, are not going to change from here on out,” says Gilbert, who is 55. He realized that this feeling was kind of odd, given that he knows he’s changed in the past. He wondered if this feeling was an illusion, and if it was one that other people shared: “Is it really the case that we all think that development is a process that’s brought us to this particular moment in time, but now we’re pretty much done?” Gilbert says that he and his colleagues wanted to investigate this idea, but first they had to figure out how. The most straightforward way would be to ask people to predict how much they’d change in the next decade, then wait around to see if they were right. “The problem with that is, it takes 10 years,” says Gilbert. So the researchers took a much quicker approach. They got more than 19,000 people to take some surveys. There were questions about their personality traits, their core values and preferences. Some people were asked to look back on how they changed over the past 10 years. Others were asked to predict how they thought they would change in the next decade. Then the scientists crunched the data. “We’re able to determine whether, for example, 40-year-olds looking backwards remember changing more than 30-year-olds looking forwards predict that they will change,” Gilbert explains. They found that people underestimated how much they will change in the future. People just didn’t recognize how much their seemingly essential selves would shift and grow. And this was true whether they were in their teen years or middle-aged.

You Can’t See It, But You’ll Be A Different Person In 10 Years : Shots – Health News : NPR

Posted: October 18, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Cardboard bike is a ‘game changer’ in Africa

A bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits from the world’s most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa, its Israeli inventor says.

Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard. He told Reuters during a recent demonstration that after much trial and error, his latest prototype has now proven itself and mass production will begin in a few months. “I was always fascinated by applying unconventional technologies to materials and I did this on several occasions. But this was the culmination of a few things that came together. I worked for four years to cancel out the corrugated cardboard’s weak structural points,” Gafni said. “Making a cardboard box is easy and it can be very strong and durable, but to make a bicycle was extremely difficult and I had to find the right way to fold the cardboard in several different directions. It took a year and a half, with lots of testing and failure until I got it right,” he said. Cardboard, made of wood pulp, was invented in the 19th century as sturdy packaging for carrying other more valuable objects, it has rarely been considered as raw material for things usually made of much stronger materials, such as metal. (via Cardboard bike is a ‘game changer’ in Africa – Telegraph)

Posted: October 1, 2011 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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The idea of edges, of separateness, is antithetical to the web, which as a hypermedium dissolves all boundaries, renders implicit connections explicit. Indeed, much of the power and usefulness of the web as a technology derives from the way it destroys all forms of containment and turns everything it subsumes into a part of a greater, ever shifting, amorphous whole. The web is an assembly not of things but of shards, of snippets, of bits and pieces. An electronic book is therefore a contradiction in terms. To move the words of a book onto the screen of a networked computer is to engineer a collision between two contradictory technological, and aesthetic, forces. Something’s got to give. Either the web gains edges, or the book loses them.

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: The remains of the book (via infoneer-pulse)

“Contrary to popular belief, humans continue to evolve. Our bodies and brains are not the same as our ancestors’ were—or as our descendants’ will be
Not only has Homo sapiens been doing some major genetic reshuffling since our species formed, but the rate of human evolution may, if anything, have increased”
clipped from www.sciam.com

  • People commonly assume that our species has evolved very little since prehistoric times. Yet new studies using genetic information from populations around the globe suggest that the pace of human evolution increased with the advent of agriculture and cities.
  • If we are still evolving, what might our species look like in a millennium should we survive whatever environmental and social surprises are in store for us? Speculation ranges from the hopeful to the dystopian.
  • When you ask for opinions about what future humans might look like, you typically get one of two answers. Some people trot out the old science-fiction vision of a big-brained human with a high forehead and higher intellect. Others say humans are no longer evolving physically—that technology has put an end to the brutal logic of natural selection and that evolution is now purely cultural.
    The big-brain vision has no real scientific basis
    A fascinating take by Jamais Cascio, clear headed and to the point
    clipped from www.openthefuture.com

    brain-sil.png

    • There may be developed computers that are “awake” and superhumanly intelligent. (To date, there has been much controversy as to whether we can create human equivalence in a machine. But if the answer is “yes, we can”, then there is little doubt that beings more intelligent can be constructed shortly thereafter.)
    • Large computer networks (and their associated users) may “wake up” as a superhumanly intelligent entity.
    • Computer/human interfaces may become so intimate that users may reasonably be considered superhumanly intelligent.
    • Biological science may provide means to improve natural human intellect.

    You don’t have to believe in godlike super-AIs to see that this kind of intelligence enhancement can lead to some pretty significant results as the systems get more complex, datasets get bigger, connections get faster, and interfaces become ever more useable.