So yesterday was my birthday. As soon as my friend Bruno announced it on Twitter, fearing for my phone’s battery (considering I was going to be away from a charger for the day), I kindly requested not to receive that many notifications. As usual with these things, it had exactly the opposite effect, with him and other friends making sure that I’d receive as many notifications as possible.
Most people won’t remember about Captain power and the soldiers of the future, but since I grew up in the 80’s, I have some great memories of this show. If you don’t know the show or simply want to refresh your memory, here’s the intro:
Sure, it looks rubbish now but you have to look at it with the eyes of a small kid from the 80’s who didn’t have that much to watch on TV.
My favourite character was Major Matthew ‘Hawk’ Masterson because he was the one that could fly. I remember sticking a set-square with some rubber bands in the back of one of my G.I. Joe action figures to emulate this great character.
I wonder what TV shows my sons will watch know that will look completely dumb 30 years from now. My money is on Uncle Grandpa (hint: it’s already a dumb show).
When people tell me they are worried about the incoming robot revolution, I know they’ve probably seen a clickbaity article based on some well-known quote by a famous person (like Elon Musk) in which they predict an artificial intelligence-based doom for humanity. Either that or they’ve seen Ex Machina or the latest episode of Westworld or some other catastrophic movie, tv-show or book on the aforementioned theme.
This is a normal reaction. It’s the same with sharks. Even though they are responsible for a very small fraction of human deaths in the entire world per year (less that vending machines), people still have that image of the relentless killing machine from Jaws. So, the same concept applies to artificial intelligence and the image of the impending robopocalypse.
Every time I see a video where Apollo Robbins, a well-known master pickpocket artist, shows his skills I’m fascinated by the way he manages to fool the mind of his unsuspected victims.
In this TED talk he gives us a glimpse on how this is as much a work of physical misdirection as it is of cognitive misdirection. And please watch it ’till the very end. Your jaw will drop as you yourself become a “victim” of his misdirection techniques.
If you want to know more about Apollo and how he came to be this magnificent artist, read this great article in The New Yorker.
In 1959, Isaac Asimov wrote this essay on creativity, postulating on the elements that fostered creativity in humans. As usual, he was right and I have a story from my PhD that somehow proves his statements.
The story proves the baseline argument from the essay: isolation is definitely necessary but it’s the informal discussions within small groups that allows the teams to nurture novel concepts and apply abstract ideas to other environments.
Even if you’re not a follower of the World Cup you’ve probably heard by now of the strange appetite of a certain Uruguayan player: Luis Suárez.
If you haven’t (under which rock have you been?), here’s the juicy part: