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Year Two Day 321 Obama Administration December 7, 2010 - History

Year Two Day 321 Obama Administration December 7, 2010 - History


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10:05AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office


1:30PM THE PRESIDENT participates in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony

Oval Office
The following Ambassadors will attend:
Ambassador Mohamed Salah Tekaya, Tunisian Republic
Ambassador Gabriel Silva Lujan, Republic of Colombia
Ambassador Manuel Sager, Swiss Confederation
Ambassador Alfredo Vicente Chiaradia, Argentine Republic
Ambassador Srdan Darmanovic, Montenegro
Ambassador Muktar Djumaliev, Kyrgyz Republic
Ambassador Kittiphong Na Ranong, Kingdom of Thailand

2:00PM THE PRESIDENT receives the Economic Daily Briefing

Oval Office


2:20PM THE PRESIDENT holds a news conference

Brady Press Briefing Room


5:20PM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors

Oval Office


E-commentary

J “It is a real head-scratcher. Democrats such as J. Kennedy, G. McGovern, A. Gore, J. Kerry, M. Cleland, J. Webb and J. Kerry are decorated war veterans who question America’s pursuit of unending war all over the globe all the time. Republicans such as G. Bush, R. Cheney, R. Giuliani, J. Ashcroft, J. Bolton, M. Romney and D. Trumpi are craven draft dodgers who fledged into chickenhawks and favor and savor sending other people’s kids off to die in useless wars that advance their economic interests.”

K “Life in America. And death in America. Have you noticed that the warring class who use other people’s money to take money from other people also take other people’s kids to take other people’s lives in their wars?”

J “That makes lots of money for them from other people’s money and from other people’s lives and liberty.”

J “G. Bush the Senior did serve with courage and distinction in World War II, although he surely oversaw and directed some dastardly things when he headed the C.I.A.”

K “B. Clinton did not serve with courage and distinction.”

K “R.O.T.C. programs were banned from some hip and profitable colleges. The programs should be welcomed because they provide opportunity and possibility. Let the individual decide.”

J “In the early 1970’s, the Draft became an inconvenient nuisance for the well-connected such as George B., Richard “Dick” C., Rudolph G., John A., John B., Mittens R., Donaldo T and . . . B. Clinton. Dodging the Draft required pulling strings with the local draft board to get a deferment or hiding in the state national guard or fleeing to Europe or faking a hang nail. In response, many corporate think tanks, some owned by their parents, started thinking of a scheme to keep their kids out of tanks and in the corporations. The answer was to end the formal Draft now, release their kids from the duties of citizenship and . . . impose economic indentured servitude on the underclass. That changed the incentive structure for war.”

K “Without the pressure from those who are in an economic position to put pressure on the system, the ‘demand’ for war is greater than optimal or efficient in a society.”

J “The powerful and well-connected will find a way to shelter their offspring in comfortable billets and avoid uncomfortable bullets. However, the social benefit from increasing the cost of dodging the drafting is desirable.”

[See “The Deep Unfairness of America’s All-Volunteer Force” in “The American Conservative” by Dennis Laich and Lawrence Wilkerson dated October 16, 2017, “The Moral Case for Draft Resistance” in “The New York Times” by Michael Stewart Foley dated October 17, 2017 and “How the Draft Reshaped America” in “The New York Times” by Amy J. Rutenberg dated October 6, 2017.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

November 8 – One year ago

November 11 – Veterans Day

Draft beer not boys and members of the ruling class


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Secession petitions surge after Obama win?

Seceding from the United States? One pundit wise-cracked, "Hasn't that been tried before?"
Yes, but a story Monday pointed out that North Carolina had collected more than 10,000 signatures on a petition introduced by Randy Dye of Pittsboro to secede from federal government as a separate and sovereign entity. On that day, it was said to be one of 24 states with petitions on the White House website website
http://petitions.whitehouse. gov/petitions . The website is a vehicle
established by the Obama administration to allow citizens to take their
concerns directly to the White House. If the petitions get 25,000 signatures the Obama administration will issue a formal response to them.
As this week nears an end, reportedly all 50 states have now secession petitions on the website. Some like South Carolina have two or more, worded slightly differently but with the same intent.

A perfect union, this is not. But it's still pretty good.

What do you think about secession talk?

Monica Lewinsky-ing of Paula Broadwell?

We are a nation of voyeurs. So this Petraeus-Broadwell-Kelley-Allen-unidentified, shirtless photo-sending FBI agent-friend-of Kelley's-and-who-knows-what else-affair is a train wreck we can't stop watching or talking about.

The media is exhausting every angle and absurdity. The Week has "The 7 strangest details of the David Petraeus Affair" including that "Kelley's twin sister dated a governor" and that the New York Times Magazine Ethicist Chuck Klosterman "did not counsel Scott Broadwell - maybe." Apparently the Times ethicist wrote about a reader seeking advice of how to deal with a spouse cheating on him with a high-ranking "government executive" who sounds a lot like Petraeus. The Times says the writer wasn't Scott Broadwell — Klosterman himself isn't sure — "which begs the question: What other top-level government official is having a Petraeus-style affair?" The Week inquires.

The New Republic has an interesting twist in Noam Scheiber's "Paula Broadwell, a Hanger-On in King Petraeus's Court". It's all about how meritocracy gone awry is the culprit. Maybe this is a bit over-thought. I doubt being among the best and brightest would have helped entice the nation's top spy to stray if she'd been unattractive or plain. It's no coincidence that the women involved are beauties in great shape.

There's also the Daily Beast's Ken Sepkowitz writing "Doctors as Doormats in the David Petraeus Scandal" about the physician husbands of Broadwell and Kelley.

And in a lonely category of media commentary comes The Daily Beast's Allison Yarrow's, "A Scarlet Letter - the Monica Lewinsky-ing of Paula Broadwell." For those with short memories, Monica Lewinsky was the woman President Bill Clinton had an affair with while he was chief executive after lying to the American public - and to wife Hillary - about it. Notes Yarrow: "The more things change: one of the world’s most powerful men stepped out on his marriage, yet much of the public attention and opprobrium has focused on the far-less-powerful woman who was drawn to him. "

That many in the media and other onlookers see the women involved as mata-haris from which strong, decent men are being lured into illicit sex (or inappropriate flirtations) is hardly surprising. That's how we as a society view the "other woman" - she's trash while the man involved is somehow suckered in.

But it takes two to tango. And there's a simple way to avoid the "traps" of these beautiful, often obsessive women. It's sad to have to tell spies and generals this - they should know better after all. But when these black-widow spiders try to lure you in bed (and I'm oh-so sure they must be doing the luring - right?), be flattered but just say "no".

Try it sometime, men. It works.


Outside the Beltway

The 2012 Election promises to be close in the Popular Voter, but President Obama still retains an Electoral College advantage.

As I write this, it’s about twenty-six hours until the first polls start closing across the nation, including the potentially pivotal state of Virginia. Given the state of the race, of course, it’s unlikely we’ll get a call in any of the truly important states until some time well into the night, and even possible that Midnight could come and go before we’re able to call a winner in the election itself. At this point, all of the arguments have been made, all of the polls have been analyzed, and all the blog posts have been written. At midnight tonight, the process will begin with two small towns in New Hampshire casting their votes and the rest of the nation will begin to follow a few hours later. By the end of the day, and including early voters, somewhere around 120-130 million people will have cast their ballots and the counting will begin. Everyone has made their predictions, including several of the authors here at Outside The Beltway, but in the end it’s the voters who will decide. Based on the available data, though, it certainly does appear that the President is headed for re-election.

The first set of data we have that tells us this are the national polls, where the President maintains a razor-thin 0.7 point lead in the RealClearPolitics Average. As I noted early today, though, that lead masks a momentum that he has had for at least the last two weeks while at the same time the boost that Mitt Romney got out of the October 3rd debate appears to have ended. What the RCP average suggests, of course, is that we’re looking at a Popular Vote margin likely to be as close as what we saw in 2004 and possibly even 2000. Several analysts have suggested that, as in 2000, we could see a split between the winner of the Popular Vote and the winner of the Electoral College, something that has only happened four other times in American history. If that occurs, the most likely outcome would be one where Mitt Romney wins the Popular Vote and President Obama wins the Electoral College, thanks largely to the fact that it in the Electoral College that the President has his true advantage.

I’ve made note of the narrow path to victory that Mitt Romney has in the Electoral College several times since the General Election campaign began and, notwithstanding the fact that he has risen in the polls over the past month, that analysis remains accurate today. To see why, one need only take a look at the current RCP Electoral Map:

First, a caveat is in order. There are several states listed as Toss-Ups that I don’t believe are true toss-ups. Specifically, I think it’s fairly clear that Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin are likely to end up in Obama’s column. In all honesty, the Romney campaign has only made a decent run in the polls in one of those states, Wisconsin, and even there the President maintains a fairly good lead in the RCP Average. In Pennsylvania, Obama  is ahead in the RCP average, and there hasn’t been a single poll showing Romney in the lead there since February. The President’s position in Michigan seems similarly secure. The final results in these states may end up being closer than some might have expected when the race started — although its worth noting that George W. Bush came within two points in Pennsylvania in 2004 and within 4 points in 2000 — but the President will win these states. Take the 46 Electoral Votes these three states represent and the President’s total increases to 247, while the number of Toss-Up Electoral Votes drops to 100. Of that 100, the President needs only to win another 23 Electoral Votes to win the Election, while Mitt Romney would need to win 79 of them, leaving very little room for error. Even assuming that Romney wins Florida where he is leading, that means he needs to find another 50 votes somewhere, and he’s not currently leading in any of the remaining Toss-Up states. If I was Obama, I’d be pretty comfortable with my path to 270. If I was Romney, I’d be a little concerned to say the least.

If you assign the Toss-Ups to the candidate currently leading in the polls, this is what the Electoral Map would look like:

Coincidentally, this is the map that I forecast in our OTB Predictions thread, although this isn’t what the No-Toss Ups map looked like over the weekend. The point is that this is the direction that the polls are pointing us. Not just one poll, not just Democratic polls, not just “skewed polls,” but all the polls. Even Rasmussen’s polling isn’t painting a very optimistic picture for the Romney campaign on this final night before Election Day. Despite that, Iv’e noticed that pretty much every pundit and blogger on the right who has weighed in on what might happen tomorrow has predicted a Romney victory, some of them to absurd lengths that include giving Romney states like Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oregon. Most of those people seem to be basing their projections not on the available evidence or some informed supposition about how the vote might go tomorrow, but on hope and blind faith. At the same time, there are also some observers that have taken a more sober view of the race who also project a Romney victory, such as Tom Dougherty, who has a background in analyzing and interpreting political data analysis such that I’m loath to question his conclusions. Perhaps it will turn out that the Pollyannas on the were correct to project a Romney landslide, or that Tom got this right and that the polls, and my own prediction were horribly wrong. If that happens, though, then I’ve got to say that we will need to seriously re-evaluate the entire science of political polling because the last time pollsters would have blown an election this badly would’ve been 1948 when Dewey didn’t defeat Truman.

I’m prepared for any eventuality tomorrow, but I remain convinced that the most likely outcome by far is that Barack Obama will be re-elected to a second term. Now, let’s let the voters decide this.


Year Two Day 321 Obama Administration December 7, 2010 - History

They are of some use in predicting election results
but need to be reviewed carefully to be understood.
The article is based on my limited understanding
as a layman, so please take it for whatever it may be worth.

Sample composition

Public opinion polling is based on a sample of the relevant population as a whole within a given survey area, with margin of error calculations of the degree to which the sample size approaches perfect randomness. Polls attempting to predict how many will vote for one presidential candidate versus another use party affiliation as one means of simulating a random sample. To the extent that polling samples fail to reflect accurately the party affiliations of those who actually vote, the results are flawed.

Whether a poll respondent is likely to vote for the candidate he prefers (usually his party’s candidate) is, in part, a function of the respondent’s enthusiasm for him. Enthusiasm against the opposing candidate can also produce votes against him and perhaps for a marginally preferred candidate. Charlie Martin at PJ Media Tatler, who knows a lot more about polling and statistical methodology than I ever will, suggested on November 2nd,

One of the things that turned the election for Obama in 2008 is that while a lot of people were excited about Obama — from the people who thought he really was the Messiah to middle of the roaders who just thought it’d be cool if we elected a black man — a lot fewer were excited about McCain. Lots of hard-core conservatives thought he was a RINO a fair number of people believed the hatchet job on Sarah Palin a bunch of otherwise sensible people got gamed on the financial crisis. The result was that from about the first of October on, the crowds were surging for Obama early voting was way in Democrats’ favor.

This year, the actual data is much the other way. (There were some polls, of course, that early on claimed Obama was getting amazing proportions of the early vote in, say, Ohio, but they turned out to be what mathematicians call “nonsensical,” with sample sizes of, like, 50.)

I’m going to propose an idea: in the absence of other evidence, I think we should assume that people who vote on Election Day will be much like the people who vote before Election Day. This election is different from previous ones in one significant way — we’ve made it ridiculously easy to vote early or absentee (unless, of course, you’re in the military overseas, but that actually is a fairly small population). You don’t need to be extra enthusiastic to vote early.

If I’m right, then Republican turnout will turn out (heh) to be quite a bit more enthusiastic, and therefore more likely to vote, than Democratic.

If the population is exactly evenly divided, and 53 Republicans show up to vote for every 45 Democrats, what is the actual result?

Land line or Cell phone

Increasingly, people rely on cell phones to the exclusion of land line phones. According to this article at The Democratic Strategist,

In the last half of 2011, 32 percent of adults were cell-phone only according the Center for Disease Control that is the official source on these issues 16 percent were cell phone mostly. But the proportion cell-phone only has jumped about 2.5 points every six months since 2008 – and is probably near 37 percent now. And pay attention to these numbers for the 2011 adult population:

More than 40 percent of Hispanic adults are cell phone only (43 percent).
A disproportionate 37 percent of African Americans are cell only.
Not surprisingly, almost half of those 18 to 24 years are cell only (49 percent), but an astonishing 60 percent of those 25 to 29 years old only use cell phones.
But it does not stop there: of those 30 to 34 years, 51 percent are cell only.

You have to ask, what America are the current polls sampling if they are overwhelmingly dependent on conventional samples or automated calling with no cell phones? Democracy Corps reached 30 percent by cell 35 percent were cell only or cell mostly, but only 15 percent are cell only, well short of where we should be.

As we began this election tracking program on Oct.1, our methodologists also recommended modifying and updating several procedures. We increased the proportion of cell phones in our tracking to 50%, meaning that we now complete interviews with 50% cell phones and 50% landlines each night. This marks a shift from our Gallup Daily tracking, which has previously been 40% cell phones. This means that our weights to various phone targets in the sample can be smaller, given that the actual percentage of cell phones and cell-phone-only respondents in the sample is higher. We have instituted some slight changes in our weighting procedures, including a weight for the density of the population area in which the respondent lives. Although all Gallup surveys are weighted consistently to census targets on demographic parameters, we believe that these improvements provide a more consistent match with weight targets. The complete statement of survey methods is included at the end of each article we publish at Gallup.com. (Emphasis added)

If Gallup completes “interviews with 50% cell phones and 50% landlines each night” as claimed, cell phone users may well be overrepresented in its results. The Democrat Strategist says that Hispanic and Black cell phone usage is higher than for others but is still lower than 50%, with some upward variation based on age. If so, Gallup seems likely to complete interviews with disproportionate numbers of Hispanics and Blacks, generally considered to be likely Obama voters. There may be valid ways to avoid or to compensate for this problem, but if there are I haven’t heard of them.

There are various other problems involved in polling respondents who rely on cell phones. Although the recipient of a land line call does not have to pay for answering it, the recipient of a cell phone call does. It seems likely that cell phone users are less likely than land line users to answer calls from unfamiliar numbers, and that those who do answer them are less willing to spend their money to complete interviews. To meet Gallup’s 50% – 50% balance in completed interviews, it therefore seems likely that more cell phone than land line numbers have to be called. To what extent does this affect the results? Overall,

the response rate for telephone surveys response rate (percent of households sampled that yielded an interview) this year to be just 9%, down from 36% in 1997 and 25% in 2000. (Emphasis added.)

However, the polling companies contend that their results are just fine anyway. There may be different views on that after the election results are known and compared with survey results.

Margin of error

Margins of error are calculated using sample size relative to total population surveyed and hence the sample’s degree of randomness in representing the entire population. To the extent that the sample approaches perfect randomness, it becomes more like a census (of everybody in the survey area) and the margin of error decreases. Although doubtless more accurate, a true census of the entire relevant population would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming even a true census taken in advance of voting could not factor in such unknowns as voting fraud, the weather and the like. The compositional data mentioned above are not considered in sample polling (nor would they be needed in a true census) and there seems to be no reliable method of doing it effectively.

Polls frequently have margins of error of between three and four points. Assuming a four point margin of error, a polling result of 50% for candidate A and 50% for Candidate B means that the real split could be 46% for candidate A and 54% for candidate B, but more likely some less substantial departure from 50% – 50%, perhaps 48% for candidate A and 52% for candidate B. These possibilities are often ignored, leading to incorrect perceptions of poll results.

Poll averaging

Often, the results from multiple polls are averaged in attempts to produce more credible results than the individual polls alone seem to provide. The current Real Clear Politics averages are provided here, showing a significant recent swing toward Governor Romney but a 0.4 point edge for President Obama. That average does not appear to take into account the quite different margins of error of the individual polls (from 2.0 to 4.4) nor do I know how it could without substantial difficulty (I got the same result (0.3636, which rounds to 0.4) from the raw averages with no compensation for margins of error).

To the extent that individual poll results do not reflect the realities that will eventually surface in the election, averaging can increase rather than decrease the errors in the averaged values. If ten people are asked to look at Governor Christie and guess his weight, the chances are slimmer than he is that any guess will be exactly right. The result from averaging the ten guesses may be more nearly accurate than any one guess, or it may be less. To the greater extent that garbage goes into the calculation, the greater is the likelihood that the result will also be garbage. Here (I think) is another way of expressing this:

[I]t’s fairly straight forward actually. Each of the poll results is really an approximately normally distributed random deviate with mean at the percentage of the vote given. Assume wlg that the margins of error are all the same it’ll turn out that in terms of order statistics it’ll all end up in the constant anyway. The mean of the sum of normal random deviates is the sum of the means, the variance is sum of the variances. By the assumption, that means the variance for the sum is n*σ^2 (stupid WordPress won’t let me have a superscript.) Thus the standard deviation is √n * σ and thus we see that the standard deviation of the sum of these independent normal random deviates varies with the square root of the number of random deviates summed. Margin of error is basically just the 2σ band above and below the mean. In other words, the margin of error grows approximately as O(√n).

So, when RCP averages their ten polls with a margin of error of roughly 3 percent, the margin of error of the average is more like 9.4 percent. (Emphasis added.)

Hence, Governor Romney could win by 9.4% or President Obama could win by 9.8% or somewhere in between for each. That’s a possible spread of about nineteen points. It’s an exercise at least as simple as finding a square root using roman numerals and seems to be roughly as worthwhile an effort.

Bottom line

Most of us looking at polls probably evaluate them based more on how closely they reflect the results we want than on the “technicalities” noted above. Due to the partially subjective components of polls and often overlooked but important considerations of margin of error and averaging difficulties, there is ample room for subjective analysis and wishful thinking.

Charlie Martin, writing at PJ Media Tatler, today predicted that Governor Romney would win sufficient popular votes for a 341 to 197 electoral vote victory over President Obama. Note the limited extent to which his projection refers to polling results.

  • All these samples seem to me to still imply a greater D turnout than R. Nearly all actual reported early voting has been heavily Republican, plus we have the Washington Post polling on defectors. So it seems very probable that the actual turnout will be favoring Republicans, possibly heavily.
  • The “Sandy” debacle isn’t making Obama’s administration look good. This may not mean more votes for Romney (although it could), but it may well depress Democrat voters on Tuesday.
  • Romney/Ryan are drawing tens of thousands, Obama/Biden thousands or hundreds. Again, this indicates greater enthusiasm and suggests greater Republican turnout

Romney 315, Obama 223. That sounds high for Romney. But he could drop Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still win the election.

Electoral College
Romney: 321
Obama: 217

Popular Vote
Romney 49.7
Obama: 48.4

Cookie Roberts, Ronald Bronstein, Matthew Dowd, and Donna Brazile predicted electoral college wins of varying magnitude for President Obama.

Going on little more than my own gut feeling, relative apparent enthusiasm and the apparent closing of the polling gap, I think Governor Romney has an excellent chance of winning, perhaps not by a landslide but by a more than sufficient a margin.


American Exceptionalism and President Obama's Call for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

President Obama came to office promising to make abolition of nuclear weapons a central policy goal. Conventional explanations for the arguably poor progress made here (explanations which focus on political and bureaucratic processes) fail to capture an important part of the story. This is that the president comes from a political tradition marked by exceptionalist assumptions. This tradition encompasses a distinctly American attempt to converge idealism and realism it seeks change, but also constrains aspirations within conservative limits. His conception of exceptionalism is based on a presumption of American moral leadership integrated with a requirement for continued American strategic primacy. As a result, his view of abolition requires global acceptance of American conventional military superiority, reinforcing doubts about the vision's prospects.

Notes

‘Obama says time to rid world of nuclear weapons’, CNN, 16 July 2008.

Barack Obama, Remarks by President Barack Obama, Hradcany Square, Prague, Czech Republic (Prague: White House, 5 April 2009) ‘President Obama Addresses the UN General Assembly’, The Washington Post, 23 September 2009, p. 5 Barak Obama, Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize (Oslo: The White House, 10 December 2009).

For an overview of proposals for nuclear disarmament, see Vasileios Savvidis and Jessica Seiler, Nuclear Disarmament Proposals from 1995 to 2009: A Comparative Chart (Monterey, CA: Center for Nonproliferation Studies, 2009). See also: Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Agenda for Global Policy Makers, (International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, 2009) George Perkovich and James Acton, Abolishing Nuclear Weapons, Adelphi Paper 396, 2008 George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn, ‘A World Free of Nuclear Weapons’, Wall Street Journal, 4 January 2007 Report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (Canberra: Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, 1996) Weapons of Terror: Freeing the World of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Arms (Stockholm: International Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, 2006).

See William Broad and David Sanger, ‘Obama's Youth Shaped his Nuclear-Free Vision’, The New York Times, 4 July 2009,

See Article 6 of the treaty, Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, (more commonly known as the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), (Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency, 1970).

James Goodby, At the Borderline of Armageddon: How American Presidents Managed the Atom Bomb (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006).

This section draws on a number of sources. For a sample of the literature dealing with exceptionalism, see: Anthony Burke, ‘Freedom's Freedom: American Enlightenment and Permanent War’, Social Identities, Vol. 11, No. 4 (July 2005), pp. 315–43 Jason Edwards and David Weiss (eds), The Rhetoric of American Exceptionalism: Critical Essays (London: McFarland, 2011) Robert Kagan, Dangerous Nation: America's Foreign Policy from its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (New York: Vintage, 2007) Robert Kagan, Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003) Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), especially pp. 17–56 Walter Russell Mead, Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How it Changed the World (New York: Routledge, 2002) Paul McCartney, ‘American Nationalism and US Foreign Policy from September 11 to the Iraq War’, Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 119, No. 3 (November 2004), pp. 399–423 John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, The Right Nation: Why America is Different (London: Penguin, 2004) Jonathan Monten, ‘The Roots of the Bush Doctrine: Power, Nationalism and Democracy Promotion in US Strategy’, International Security, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Spring 2005), pp. 112–56 Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1952, republished 2008) Donald Pease, The New American Exceptionalism (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2009) Anne-Marie Slaughter, The Idea that is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World (New York: Basic Books, 2007).

For a deeper analysis along these lines, see Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America: An Interpretation of American Political Thought since the Revolution (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1955).

President Woodrow Wilson, Annapolis Commencement Address, 5 June 1914, the American Presidency Project, University of California, Santa Barbara.

George Bush, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union, 29 January 1991.

George Bush, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union, 28 January 1992.

George Bush, Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union, 31 January 1990.

Christopher Thorne, ‘American Political Culture and the End of the Cold War’, Journal of American Studies, Vol. 26, No. 3 (1992), p. 318.

Ronald Reagan, ‘We Will be a City Upon a Hill’, Speech at Conservative Political Action Conference, 25 January 1974, available at http://reagan2020.us/speeches/City_Upon_A_Hill.asp (accessed 22 August 2012).

According to the Public Religion Research Institute: ‘A majority (58%) of Americans believe God has granted America a special role in human history,’ See “Findings from the 2010 Post-Election American Values Survey (Washington, DC: Public Religion Institute, 17 November 2010). For a recent discussion of the nexus between religion and politics in America, see David Campbell and Robert Putnam, ‘God and Caesar in America: Why Mixing Religion and Politics is Bad for Both’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 91, No. 2 (March/April 2012), pp. 34–43.

Reagan, ‘'We Will be a City Upon a Hill’ (note 14).

Newt Gingrich, Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in Our Nation's History (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 136–7.

Jimmy Carter, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1977, The American Presidency Project, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=6575 (accessed 22 August 2012). For Mormons the link between God and the United States is especially concrete as they believe Jesus was active in America following his resurrection. See Brett Lunceford, ‘One Nation under God: Mormon Theology and the American Continent’, in Jason Edwards and David Weiss (eds), The Rhetoric of American Exceptionalism: Critical Essays (London: McFarland & Company, 2011), pp. 48–62. The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, The Book of Mormon, http://mormon.org/book-of-mormon.

The term is from Thorne, ‘American Political Culture and the End of the Cold War’ (note 13), p.311.

Barack Obama, Remarks by the President on National Security, (Washington, DC: The White House, 21 May 2009).

Madeleine Albright, interview on ‘The Today Show’, NBC, 19 February 1998.

Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (New York: Crown, 2006), p. 306. See also Richard Haas, The Reluctant Sheriff: The United States After the Cold War (New York: Council of Foreign Relations Press, 1997).

Paul Johnson, ‘American Idealism and Realpolitik’, Forbes Magazine, 12 March 2007.

George W. Bush, Address before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union (Washington, DC: The White House, 29 January 1991), emphasis added.

For the controversy over whether or not Obama believes in exceptionalism, see: Douglas Feith and Seth Cropsey, ‘The Obama Doctrine Defined’, Commentary, July 2011 John Gans, ‘America 2012: Duelling Exceptionalisms’, Survival, Vol. 53, No. 3 (June–July 2011), pp. 159–68 Newt Gingrich, To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2011) Newt Gingrich, A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2011) Karen Tumulty, ‘American Exceptionalism: An Old Idea and a New Political Battle’, The Washington Post, 29 November 2010 Richard Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru, ‘An Exceptional Debate: The Obama Administration's Assault on American Identity’, National Review, 8 March 2010 Robert Schlesinger, ‘Obama has Mentioned “American Exceptionalism” More than Bush’, US News and World Report, 31 January 2011 Robert Singh, Barack Obama's Post-American Foreign Policy: The Limits of Engagement (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2012).

‘Barack Obama's Speech on Race’, The New York Times, 18 March 2008.

David Remnick, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama (London: Picador, 2010) Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (New York: Random House, Broadway, 2004).

Devin Dwyer, ‘Obama Rebuffs Romney on American Exceptionalism’, ABC News, 2 April 2012. Also, Presdient Obama's earlier comment on the topic in Remarks by the President on National Security (Washington, DC: The White House, 21 May 2009).

Martin Indyk, Kenneth Lieberthal, and Michael O'Hanlon, Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 2012), p. 11.

Although exactly what Wilsonianism adds up to is subject to debate. See John Ikenberry et al., The Crisis of American Foreign Policy: Wilsonianism in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009).

Wilson, Annapolis Commencement Address (note 9).

Barack Obama, ‘Renewing American Leadership’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 86, No. 4 (July/August 2007), p. 4.

Barack Obama, Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan, United States Military Academy at West Point (Washington, DC: The White House, 1 December 2009), emphasis added.

See, for example: Joe Becker and Scott Shane, ‘Secret Kill List Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will’, The New York Times, 29 May 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all (accessed 22 August 2012) David Bromwich, ‘Obama: His Words and His Deeds’ The New York Review of Books, 14 July 2011 Ryan Lizza, ‘The Consequentialist’, The New Yorker, 2 May 2011 Mark Manyin et al., Pivot to the Pacific? The Obama Administration's Rebalancing Toward Asia, (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, March 2012).

For this interpretation of Kant, see W.B. Gallie, Philosophers of Peace and War: Kant, Clausewitz, Marx, Engels and Tolstoy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1978), especially p. 36.

Pauline Kleingeld, ‘Editor's Introduction’, in Pauline Kleingeld (ed.), Toward Perpetual Peace and Other Writings on Politics, Peace, and History (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006), pp. xv–xxiii see also Allen Wood's chapter in the same volume, ‘Kant's Philosophy of History’, pp. 243–62.

A word Reagan did not shy away from, see ‘We Will be a City Upon a Hill’ (note 14).

Niebuhr, The Irony of History (note 7).

Remarks by President Obama to the Australian Parliament (Washington, DC: The White House, 17 November 2011).

‘Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, Denver’, New York Times, 28 August 2008.

Barack Obama, Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize (Oslo: The White House, 10 December 2009).

Barack Obama, State of Union Address (Washington, DC: The White House, 25 January 2011), emphasis added.

Barack Obama, Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on Libya, National Defense University Washington, D.C., (Washington, DC: The White House, 28 March 2011)

Obama, Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize (note 41).

Barack Obama, ‘Renewing American Leadership’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 86, No. 4 (July/August 2007), p. 2.

Obama, Remarks by President Barack Obama, Hradcany Square (note 2).

Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review Report, April 2010, p. 48,

US Department of Defense, Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request, February 2012 (Washington, DC: US Department of Defense, February 2012).

See ‘Defence Spending: Always More, or Else’, The Economist, 1 December 2011.

Micah Zenko and Michael Cohen, ‘Clear and Present Safety: The United States is More Secure than Washington Thinks’, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 91, No. 2 (March/April 2012), pp. 79– 93.

See Daniel Horner and Tom Collina, ‘Obama Budget Highlights Stockpile Work’, Arms Control Today, March 2010.

Hans Kristensen, ‘B61-12: NNSA's Gold-Plated Nuclear Bomb Project, Federation of American Scientists, FAS Strategic Security Blog, 26 July 2012.

Obama, Remarks by President Barack Obama, Hradcany Square (note 2).

Chris Schneidmiller, ‘National Academies Report is Grist for CTBT Debate: Gottemoeller’, Global Security Newswire, 15 June 2012.

Department of Defense, The Nuclear Posture Review Report (note 49), p. 12.

US Strategic Forces under New Start, Fact Sheet (Washington, DC Arms Control Association, June 2010).

Obama, Remarks by President Barack Obama, Hradcany Square (note 2).

US Department of Defense, Fact Sheet: Increasing Transparency in the US Nuclear Weapons Stockpile, (Washington, DC: US Department of State, 3 May 2010).

Amy Woolf, US Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, November 2011).

Morton Halperin, ‘A New Nuclear Posture’, Arms Control Today, May 2010.

For an analysis of the relationships between US nuclear doctrine, negative security assurances, and arms control, see Andy Butfoy, ‘Washington's Apparent Readiness to Start Nuclear War’, Survival, Vol. 50, No. 5 (October-November 2008), pp. 115–40.

Nuclear Posture Review Report, (note 49), p. 15 Robert Bell, special assistant to the president for national security, ‘Strategic Agreements and the CTB Treaty: Striking the Right Balance’, Arms Control Today, January–February 1998.

John Kruzel, ‘Gates Discusses New Nuclear Posture, US Relations with Karzai’, American Forces Press Service, 11 April 2010. There is no suggestion here that such an option is likely to be implemented but that is another point.

See Joanna Spear, ‘More Business as Usual? The Obama Administration and the Nuclear Posture Review’, Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 32, No.1 (April 2011), pp. 241–63: Mary Sheridan and Walter Pincus, ‘Obama Must Decide Degree to which US Swears Off Nuclear Weapons’, The Washington Post, 6 March 2010 David Sanger and Thom Shanker, ‘White House is Rethinking Nuclear Policy’, The New York Times, 28 February 2010 Julian Borger, ‘Barack Obama Ready to Slash US Nuclear Arsenal’, The Guardian, 20 September 2009.

Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review Report (note 49), p. 16.

Butfoy, ‘Washington's Apparent Readiness to Start Nuclear War’ (note 65).

Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review Report (note 49), pp. vi, viii, ix, xiii, 7, 17, 33, 46.

See Hugh White, Nuclear Weapons and American Strategy in the Age of Obama (Sydney: Lowy Institute for International Policy, 2010).

Department of Defense, Nuclear Posture Review Report (note 49), p. 21. See also US Department of Energy, FY 2012 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan, Report to Congress, 15 April 2011, http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/nukes/nuclearweapons/SSMP-FY2012.pdf (accessed 22 August 2012).

For a closer look at aspects of the balance between change and continuity here, see Aiden Warren, ‘The Promises of Prague versus Nuclear Realities: From Bush to Obama’, Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 32, No. 2 (August 2011), pp. 432–57. In addition, for an overview of the reforms necessary to get to abolition, see Andy Butfoy, ‘President Obama and Nuclear Disarmament’, Dissent, August 2011.

See, for example: The Associated Press, ‘US Considers Sharp Cuts to Nuclear Force’, CBS News, 15 February 2012 and ‘Implementation of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), and Plans for Future Reductions in Nuclear Warheads and Delivery Systems Post-New START Treaty’, Hearing before the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces of the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, 4 May 2011.

See, for instance, Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, ‘Reviewing Nuclear Guidance: Putting Obama's Words Into Action’, Arms Control Today, Vol. 41, No. 11 (November 2011), available at http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2011_11/Reviewing_Nuclear_Guidance_Putting_Obama_Words_Into_Action (accessed October 2012).

See, for instance, Spear, ‘More Business as Usual? The Obama Administration and the Nuclear Posture Review’ (note 68). For a look at how this factor played out in an earlier NPR exercise, see Janne Nolan, An Elusive Consensus: Nuclear Weapons and American Security after the Cold War (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1999).

Obama, Remarks by President Barack Obama, Hradcany Square (note 2).

See Richard Perle, ‘Yes, Nukes: The Global Zero Utopia’, World Affairs, March/April 2011.

See the table reproduced in Daryl Kimball and Tom Collina, ‘Nuclear Weapons: Less is More’, Arms Control Today, Vol. 3, No. 10 (July 2012), available at http://www.armscontrol.org/node/5423 (accessed October 2012) The Nuclear Posture Review Report (note 49), p. iv.

David Mutimer, ‘From Arms Control to Denulearization: Governmentality and the Abolitionist Desire’, Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 32, No. 1 (April 2011), pp. 57–75.

For an overview of the present US nuclear arsenal, see Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris, ‘US nuclear Forces, 2012’, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, (May–June 2012), pp. 84–91.

See Philip Taubman, The Partnership: Five Cold Warriors and their Quest to Ban the Bomb (New York: Harper Collins, 2012) and, for example, Tom Collina, ‘Former STRATCOM Head Calls for Cuts’, Arms Control Today, June 2012.

Paul Miller, ‘American Grand Strategy and the Democratic Peace’, Survival, Vol. 54, No. 2, (April–May 2012), pp. 49–76.

For instance, see E.H. Carr, The Twenty Year's Crisis, 1991–1939 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001).

See note 25, and Perle, ‘Yes, Nukes: The Global Zero Utopia (note 80).

White House aide, quoted in Indyk et al., Bending History (note 29), p. 267.

See, for instance, William Arkin, ‘Secret Plan Outlines the Unthinkable,’ Los Angeles Times, 10 March 2002.

Scott Sagan and Jane Vaynman, ‘Reviewing the Nuclear Posture Review’, Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 18, No.1 (March 2011), pp. 18–37. Other articles in this edition of the journal address how the NPR was received in individual countries.

Indyk et al., Bending History (note 29), p. 274.

Spear, ‘More Business as Usual?’ (note 68), p. 246.

Bradley Roberts, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile defense, and Admiral John Roberti, Deputy Director for Strategy and Policy, J-5, the Joint Staff, Department of Defense Bloggers Roundtable, 6 April 2010, http://www.defense.gov/ (accessed 22 August 2012 emphasis added).

Indyk, Bending History (note 29), p. 21.

Obama, The Audacity of Hope (note 22), p. 321.

Obama, Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize (note 41)…

‘Implementation of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and Plans for Future Reductions in Nuclear Warheads and Delivery Systems Post-New START Treaty’ (note 76), the quotes are from Senator Jeff Sessions, pp. 2–3.

Kristensen and Norris, ‘US nuclear forces, 2012’ (note 84) Ray Acheson (ed.), Assuring Destruction Forever: Nuclear Weapon Modernization Around the World (New York: Reaching Critical Will, 2012).

The Nuclear Posture Review Report (note 49), pp. 48–9.

This issue reflects a long running argument in the arms control literature. See, for instance, Colin Gray, ‘Arms Control Does Not Control Arms’, Orbis, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Summer 1993), pp. 333–48 and Thomas Risse-Kappen, ‘Did Peace Through Strength End the Cold War? Lessons from INF’, International Security, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Summer 1991), pp. 162–88.

However, there is an element of subjectivity to estimating nuclear force requirements. For one attempt, see James Cartwright et al., Modernizing US Nuclear Strategy, Force Structure and Posture (Washington, DC: Global Zero, May 2012).

‘Implementation of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and Plans for Future Reductions in Nuclear Warheads and Delivery Systems Post-New START Treaty’ (note 76), p. 6.

Although two qualifications are needed here: (a) Washington has settled on rough parity in strategic nuclear weapons with Russia (b) largely due to the exclusion of numerous so-called non-strategic nuclear weapons from arms control, the United States has tolerated a Russian advantage in total numbers of nuclear warheads (although Congress has signaled this will not be tolerated for much longer). See Amy Woolf, Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, May 2012). Few contest the point that America retains superiority in usable military power.

See, for example, Alexandra Homolar, ‘How to Last Alone at the Top: US Strategic Planning for the Unipolar Era’, Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 34, No.2 (April 2011), pp. 189–217.


23andMe

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

“Multiple Testing an Issue for 23andMe,” Bits of DNA, November 30, 2013, http://liorpachter.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/23andme-genotypes-are-all-wrong/. 55. “23andMe: State of Debate,” Bio-IT World, November 27, 2013, http://www.bio-itworld.com/2013/11/27/ 23andme -state-of-debate.html. 56. M. Hiltzik, “ 23andMe ’s Genetic Tests Are More Misleading Than Helpful,” Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2013, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20131215,0,1359952.column. 57. K. Hill, “The FDA Just Ruined Your Plans to Buy 23andMe ’s DNA Test as a Christmas Present,” Forbes, November 25, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/11/25/fda- 23andme /. 58. L. Kish, “The Social Conquest of Medicine: The 23andMe and Conflict,” HL7 Standards, January 7, 2014, http://www.hl7standards.com/blog/2014/01/07/ 23andme /. 59. J. Kiss, “ 23andMe Admits FDA Order ‘Significantly Slowed Up’ New Customers,” The Guardian, March 9, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/09/google- 23andme -anne-wojcicki-genetics-healthcare-dna/print. 60.

F. Polli, “Why 23andMe Deserves a Second Chance,” Forbes, January 14, 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/fridapolli/2014/01/14/why- 23andme -deserves-a-second-chance/. 38. T. Ray, “Facing FDA Warning Letter and Lawsuit, Can 23andMe Stay True to Its DTC Credo in 15 Days?,” GenomeWeb, December 4, 2013, http://www.genomeweb.com/print/1319176?utm_source=SilverpopMai%C9PGxUncertainty. 39. R. Rekhi, “A Government Ban on 23andMe ’s Genetic Testing Services Ignores Reality,” The Guardian, December 4, 2013, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/04/ 23andme -consumer-genomics-fda-ban-regulation/print. 40. R. Khan, “The FDA’s Battle With 23andMe Won’t Mean Anything in the Long Run,” Slate, November 25, 2013, http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/11/25/fda_letter_to_ 23andme _won_t_mean_anything_in_the_long_run.html. 41.

Mittelman, “Rumors of the Death of Consumer Genomics Are Greatly Exaggerated,” Genome Biology 14 (2013): 139, http://genomebiology.com/2013/14/11/139. 42. C. J. Janssens, “It Is Game Over for 23andMe , and Rightly So,” The Conversation, November 26, 2013, http://theconversation.com/it-is-game-over-for- 23andme -and-rightly-so-20744. 43. L. Jamal, “What Do We Gain or Lose by Regulating 23andMe ?,” Berman Institute of Bioethics Bulletin, November 27, 2013, http://bioethicsbulletin.org/archive/what-do-we-gain-or-lose-by-regulating- 23andme /print/. 44. T. Hay, “ 23andMe Flap With FDA Just a Bump in the Road, One Genetics-Testing Investor Says,” Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2013, http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2013/12/16/ 23andme -flap-with-fda-just-a-bump-in-the-road-one-genetics-testing-investor-says/tab/print/. 45. H. Greely, “The FDA Drops an Anvil on 23andMe —Now What?,” Law and Biosciences Blog, November 25, 2013, https://blogs.law.stanford.edu/lawandbiosciences/2013/11/25/the-fda-drops-an-anvil-on-23andme-now-what/. 46.

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

Founded by Anne Wojcicki: Katie Hafner, “Silicon Valley Wide-Eyed over a Bride,” New York Times, May 29, 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/technology/29google.html. the company provides ancestry-related: “How It Works,” 23andMe , https://www. 23andme .com/howitworks/. It’s not a full sequencing: “About the 23andMe Personal Genome Service,” 23andMe , https://customercare. 23andme .com/entries/22591668. Since then, he drinks green tea: Elizabeth Murphy, “Do You Want to Know What Will Kill You?” Salon, October 25, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/10/25/inside_ 23andme _founder_anne_wojcickis_99_dna_revolution_newscred/. all of them have faced: Kira Peikoff, “I Had My DNA Picture Taken, with Varying Results,” New York Times, December 30, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/science/i-had-my-dna-picture-taken-with-varying-results.html?src=recg. In late 2013, it demanded: Chris O’Brien, “ 23andMe Suspends Health-Related Genetic Tests after FDA Warning,” Los Angeles Times, December 6, 2013, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/06/business/la-fi-tn-23andme-suspends-tests-fda-20131205.

In late 2013, it demanded: Chris O’Brien, “23andMe Suspends Health-Related Genetic Tests after FDA Warning,” Los Angeles Times, December 6, 2013, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/06/business/la-fi-tn- 23andme -suspends-tests-fda-20131205. The FDA’s public letter: “ 23andMe , Inc. 11/22/13,” FDA: Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigation Warning Letters, November 22, 2013, http://www.fda.gov/iceci/enforcementactions/warningletters/2013/ucm376296.htm Scott Hensley, “ 23andMe Bows to FDA’s Demands, Drops Health Claims,” National Public Radio, December 6, 2013, http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/12/06/249231236/ 23andme -bows-to-fdas-demands-drops-health-claims. Now their tests promise only: Ibid. At this time we do not: “How It Works.” Through a partnership: “Michael J. Fox, Our Big-Time Hero,” 23andMe , April 27, 2012, http://blog. 23andme .com/news/inside- 23andme /michael-j-fox-our-big-time-hero/ Matthew Herper, “Surprise!

It was through a 23andMe test that Brin learned he had a genetic mutation that increased his risk of getting Parkinson’s to somewhere between 30 and 75 percent, compared to the broader population’s risk of 1 percent. Since then, he drinks green tea and exercises a lot, two activities linked with reducing the risk of Parkinson’s. But while it worked for Brin, 23andMe ’s version of sequencing is a much simpler version of what Lukas Wartman underwent. Wartman had both his cancer and his full genome sequenced. The difference here is important. Whereas the full sequencing of a tumor is intensive and extensive, and even more so to have an entire genome sequenced, 23andMe is neither. It’s a much smaller analysis of some genes that have been linked to common diseases. Wojcicki’s 23andMe is just one company offering do-it-yourself genomic tests, but all of them have faced criticism, specifically around their wildly variable genetic feedback.

Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms by Hannah Fry

Francis Galton, ‘On the Anthropometric Laboratory at the late international health exhibition’, Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 14, 1885, pp. 205–21. 53. ‘Taste’, https://permalinks. 23andme .com/pdf/samplereport_traits.pdf. 54. ‘Sneezing on summer solstice?’, 23andMeBlog, 20 June 2012, https://blog. 23andme .com/health-traits/sneezing-on-summer-solstice/. 55. ‘Find out what your DNA says about your health, traits and ancestry’, 23andMe , https://www. 23andme .com/en-gb/dna-health-ancestry/. 56. Kristen v. Brown, ‘ 23andMe is selling your data but not how you think’, Gizmodo, 14 April 2017, https://gizmodo.com/ 23andme -is-selling-your-data-but-not-how-you-think-1794340474. 57. Michael Grothaus, ‘How23andMe is monetizing your DNA’, Fast Company, 15 Jan. 2015, https://www.fastcompany.com/3040356/what- 23andme -is-doing-with-all-that-dna. 58. Rob Stein, ‘Found on the Web, with DNA: a boy’s father’, Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2005, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/12/AR2005111200958.html. 59.

It constitutes a staggeringly valuable asset in terms of its potential to advance our understanding of the human genome. Academics, pharmaceutical companies and non-profits around the world are queuing up to partner with 23andMe to hunt for patterns in their data – both with and without the help of algorithms – in the hope of answering big questions that affect all of us: What are the hereditary causes of different diseases? Are there new drugs that could be invented to treat people with particular conditions? Is there a better way to treat Parkinson’s? The dataset is also valuable in a much more literal sense. Although the research being done offers an immense benefit to society, 23andMe isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its heart. If you give it your consent (and 80 per cent of customers do), it will sell on an anonymized version of your genetic data to those aforementioned research partners for a tidy profit.56 The money earned isn’t a happy bonus for the company it’s actually their business plan.

McGuire, D. Golan, E. Halperin and Y. Erlich, ‘Identifying personal genomes by surname inference’, Science, vol. 339, no. 6117, Jan. 2013, pp. 321–4, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23329047. 61. Currently, genetic tests for Huntington’s disease are not available from any commercial DNA testing kits. 62. Matthew Herper, ‘ 23andMe rides again: FDA clears genetic tests to predict disease risk’, Forbes, 6 April 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2017/04/06/ 23andme -rides-again-fda-clears-genetic-tests-to-predict-disease-risk/#302aea624fdc. Cars 1. DARPA, Grand Challenge 2004: Final Report (Arlington, VA: Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, 30 July 2004), http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/FOID/Reading%20Room/DARPA/15-F-0059_GC_2004_FINAL_RPT_7-30-2004.pdf. 2. The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations, 7 Sept. 2014, http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/k/Kill_Bill_Vol_2.html#.WkYiqrTQoQ8. 3.

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison

Kim, “Effects of Aging on Mouse Transcriptional Networks,” NLM Informatics Training Conference 2007, Stanford University, Stanford, California, June 26–27, 2007, www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/trainingconf2007agenda.html#22. 69 Matt C, “ 23andMe Struts Its Stuff in NYC During Fashion Week,” The Spittoon, September 11, 2008, http://spittoon. 23andme .com/2008/09/11/ 23andme -struts-its-stuff-in-nyc-during-fashion-week/. 70 Andrew Pollack, “Google Co-founder Backs Vast Parkinson’s Study,” New York Times, March 11, 2009, www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/business/12gene.html?_r=1. 71 Leena Rao, “While 23andMe Raises $11 Million, Mohr Davidow Sells Stake to Invest in Rival,” TechCrunch, May 4, 2009, http://techcrunch.com/2009/05/04/while-23 andme-raises-11-million-mohr-davidow-sells-stake-to -invest-in-rival/. 72 Thomas Goetz, “Sergey Brin’s Search for a Parkinson’s Cure,” Wired, June 22, 2010, www.wired.com/magazine/2010/06/ff_sergeys_search/. 73 Ibid. 74 Interview with Mike Kope, November 11, 2010. 75 Allen Institute, “Paul G.

Through Google, Larry Page has given over $250,000 to Singularity University and has said that if he were a student, SU is where he’d want to be.67 Interestingly, his wife, Lucy Southworth, is a biologist who has written papers on aging issues, including one titled “Effects of Aging on Mouse Transcriptional Networks,” coauthored with Stanford’s Dr. Stuart K. Kim, who is a well-known aging expert and one of Larry Ellison’s award recipients.68 Sergey Brin is spreading the meme in a more personal way. 23andMe is a genomics company that was cofounded by Brin’s biologist wife, Anne Wojcicki, and has gone a long way toward popularizing the idea of personalized medicine. “Spit parties” are one of the cute marketing techniques the company uses to get the public interested in thinking about their DNA and how it might be fixed to cure disease. One high-profile party took place during New York City’s Fashion Week. Company staffers recounted the event on their blog, saying, “ 23andMe managed to lure a few hundred people away from the catwalks Tuesday night to consider the beauty that lies within—DNA. Our Fashion Week spit party was sort of like a Tupperware party, except instead of buying plastic containers the guests were invited to deposit a saliva sample into one.

“Biotech has gone exponential, like Moore’s law,” notes Andrew Hessel, a well-known synthetic biologist and cofounder of the Pink Army Cooperative, the world’s first cooperative biotechnology company. 45 At the time of the writing of this book, advances in biotech were moving faster than Moore’s law, according to which the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. While the first Human Genome Project cost roughly $2.7 billion and Craig Venter spent about $70 million to sequence his own genome, by 2009 it was possible to get a genome sequenced for $5,000 and the $1,000 genome (or less) is in sight. Indeed, a partial DNA scan can already be had for only $199 at consumer genomics companies like 23andMe , and that company is using its data sets to attempt to link certain diseases to specific genes, important work on the way toward individually tailored pharmaceuticals and cures.46 Given the speed at which prices for new technology are shooting downward, particularly in biotechnology, the time horizon between longevity technology adoption by the rich and then by the poor within developed countries will probably shrink enough that few will consider taking up arms or unduly involving the state in repairing their bodies.

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter

In 2007, seizing on the cascade of genetic information that had suddenly become acessible, deCODE and two California companies, 23andme and Navigenics, began to sell gene-testing services directly to consumers. The tests analyze up to one million of the most common SNPs—a small fraction of our genome—focusing on the most powerfully documented relationships between those SNPs and common diseases. For each disease or condition, the companies estimate the risk of a healthy person developing that illness. Both deCODE and 23andme sold their first tests for just under $1,000, but prices keep falling. By the end of 2008, a 23andme test cost $400. Navigenics charges $2,500 for its full regimen, which includes the services of genetics counselors deCODE offers packages at various prices. Much of deCODE’s research relies on its own formidable database, while 23andme , whose slogan is “Genetics just got personal,” has emphasized genealogy and intellectual adventure, not just medicine, and encourages customers to share data, participate in research studies, and form social networks on its Web site.

Much of deCODE’s research relies on its own formidable database, while 23andme, whose slogan is “Genetics just got personal,” has emphasized genealogy and intellectual adventure, not just medicine, and encourages customers to share data, participate in research studies, and form social networks on its Web site. In 2008, Time magazine named the 23andme test as its invention of the year, but critics have described the company’s approach as frivolous because it not only provides disease information but also helps customers learn about less useful—but perhaps more amusing—traits like whether they have dry ear wax or can taste bitter foods. Nobody disputes the quality of the company’s science, however, or its standards. (I should state clearly, and for the record, that the founders of 23andme are close friends of mine, and have been for years.) The testing process is similar at each company. After spitting into a tube or swabbing their cheeks for saliva, customers submit samples of their DNA.

(It could be worse two Cs and your odds climb to seventeen times the average.) Now, what does that mean exactly? Well, if the study is correct I still have far less than a 1 percent chance of experiencing myopathy. I’ll take those odds. As 23andme points out in its description of the statin response, “Please note that myopathy is a very rare side effect of statins even among those with genotypes that increase their odds of experiencing it.” The risks of heart disease, however, and, in my family, Alzheimer’s disease, are not rare. CRUISING THROUGH ONE’S genomic data is not for the faint of heart. Thanks to 23andme , I now know that I am left-eyed and can taste bitter food. Cool. But I am also a slow caffeine metabolizer. That’s a shame, because for people like me coffee increases the risk of heart attack, and I already have plenty of those risks.

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

New England Journal of Medicine 361 (July 16, 2009):245–54. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0809578 and discussed in further detail at http://www.genomes2people.org/director/. 141 Regalado, A. “The FDA Ordered 23andMe to Stop Selling Its Health Tests. But for the Intrepid, Genome Knowledge Is Still Available.” MIT Technology Review, October 19, 2014. http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/531461/how-a-wiki-is-keeping-direct-to-consumer-genetics-alive/. 142 DeCODEme. “Sales of Genetic Scans Direct to Consumer Through deCODEme Have Been Discontinued! Existing Customers Can Access Their Results Here Until January 1st 2015.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeCODE_genetics. 143 Castillo, M. “ 23andMe to Only Provide Ancestry, Raw Genetics Data During FDA Review.” CBS News, December 6, 2013. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ 23andme -to-still-provide-ancestry-raw-genetics-data-during-fda-review/. 144 Swan, M. “Health 2050: The Realization of Personalized Medicine Through Crowdsourcing, the Quantified Self, and the Participatory Biocitizen.”

Sim cards GPS network identity Gun unlock codes Weapons unlock codes Nuclear launch codes Spam control (micropayments for posting) Endnotes and References 1 Kayne, R. “What Is BitTorrent?” wiseGEEK, December 25, 2014. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-bittorrent.htm#didyouknowout. 2 Beal, V. “Public-key encryption.” Webopedia. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/P/public_key_cryptography.html. 3 Hof, R. “Seven Months After FDA Slapdown, 23andMe Returns with New Health Report Submission.” Forbes, June 20, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2014/06/20/seven-months-after-fda-slapdown- 23andme -returns-with-new-health-report-submission/. 4 Knight, H. and B. Evangelista. “S.F., L.A. Threaten Uber, Lyft, Sidecar with Legal Action.” SFGATE, September 25, 2041. http://m.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-L-A-threaten-Uber-Lyft-Sidecar-with-5781328.php. 5 Although it is not strictly impossible for two files to have the same hash, the number of 64-character hashes is vastly greater than the number of files that humanity can foreseeably create.

One example of this is DNA.bits, a startup that encodes patient DNA records to the blockchain, and makes them available to researchers by private key.151 However, it is not just that private health data research commons could be established with the blockchain, but also public health data commons. Blockchain technology could provide a model for establishing a cost-effective public-health data commons. Many individuals would like to contribute personal health data—like personal genomic data from 23andMe , quantified-self tracking device data (FitBit), and health and fitness app data (MapMyRun)—to data research commons, in varying levels of openness/privacy, but there has not been a venue for this. This data could be aggregated in a public-health commons (like Wikipedia for health) that is open to anyone, citizen scientists and institutional researchers alike, to perform data analysis. The hypothesis is that integrating big health data streams (genomics, lifestyle, medical history, etc.) and running machine learning and other algorithms over them might yield correlations and data relationships that could be helpful for wellness maintenance and preventive medicine.152 In general, health research could be conducted more effectively through the aggregation of personal health record data stored on the blockchain (meaning stored off-chain with pointers on-chain).

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich

Between 2011 and 2015, the genetic testing company 23andMe provided customers with an estimate of their proportion of Neanderthal ancestry, allowing them to make a personal connection to the research showing that non-Africans derive around 2 percent of their genomes from Neanderthals.59 The measurement made by the test was highly inaccurate, however, since the true variation in Neanderthal proportion within most populations is only a few tenths of a percent, and the test reports variation of a few percentage points.60 Several people have told me excitedly that their 23andMe Neanderthal testing result put them in the top few percent of people in the world in Neanderthal ancestry, but because of the test’s inaccuracies, the probability that people who got such a high 23andMe Neanderthal reading really do have more than the average proportion of Neanderthal ancestry is only slightly greater than 50/50.

., “Genome-Wide Ancestry of 17th-Century Enslaved Africans from the Caribbean,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A. 112 (2015): 3669–73. 59. R. E. Green et al., “A Draft Sequence of the Neanderthal Genome,” Science 328 (2010): 710–22. 60. E. Durand, 23andMe : “White Paper 23-05: Neanderthal Ancestry Estimator” (2011), https://web.stanford.edu/​class/​gene210/​files/​readings/​ 23andme _Neanderthal_Ancestry.pdf S. Sankararaman et al., “The Genomic Landscape of Neanderthal Ancestry in Present-Day Humans,” Nature 507 (2014): 354–57. 61. Sankararaman et al., “Genomic Landscape.” 62. https://customercare. 23andme .com/​hc/​en-us/​articles/​212873707-Neanderthal-Report-Basics, #13514. 12 The Future of Ancient DNA 1. J. R. Arnold and W. F. Libby, “Age Determinations by Radiocarbon Content—Checks with Samples of Known Age,” Science 110 (1949): 678–80. 2.

Between 2011 and 2015, the genetic testing company 23andMe provided customers with an estimate of their proportion of Neanderthal ancestry, allowing them to make a personal connection to the research showing that non-Africans derive around 2 percent of their genomes from Neanderthals.59 The measurement made by the test was highly inaccurate, however, since the true variation in Neanderthal proportion within most populations is only a few tenths of a percent, and the test reports variation of a few percentage points.60 Several people have told me excitedly that their 23andMe Neanderthal testing result put them in the top few percent of people in the world in Neanderthal ancestry, but because of the test’s inaccuracies, the probability that people who got such a high 23andMe Neanderthal reading really do have more than the average proportion of Neanderthal ancestry is only slightly greater than 50/50. I raised this problem to members of the 23andMe team and even highlighted the problems in a 2014 scientific paper.61 Later, 23andMe changed its report to no longer provide these statements. However, the company continues to provide its customers with a ranking of the number of Neanderthal-derived mutations they carry.62 This ranking, too, does not provide strong evidence that customers have inherited more Neanderthal DNA than their population average. Not all the findings reported by the personal ancestry companies are inaccurate, and many people have obtained what for them is satisfying information from such testing, especially when it comes to tracing genealogies where the paper trail runs cold.

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World by Christopher Steiner

But had the hospital known Bates’s condition ahead of time, the incident, which could have easily killed her or resulted in serious brain damage, could have been avoided.21 Thanks to services like 23andMe , many of us will be able to head off such occurrences very soon. For $200, the company takes a saliva sample from you by mail and returns a detailed analysis of your DNA, its algorithm teasing out a variety of fascinating factors, from your ancestry to your health risks and potential reactions to medications. To be sure, some doctors and health experts say that 23andMe ’s tests offer no useful information and that consumers should save their money. And some states, including New York, have ordered 23andMe and similar services to get approval from the state’s health department, declaring their tests to be medical and therefore open to regulation. Such regulation is “appallingly paternalistic,” says 23andMe , adding that people have a right to information contained within their own genes.

Fred Herbert, Looking Back (and Forth): Reflections of an Old-fashioned Doctor (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2003), p. 37. 17. David Leonhardt, “Making Health Care Better,” New York Times Magazine, November 3, 2009. 18. Ibid. 19. Ibid. 20. “What Is Heart Failure?” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hf/. 21. “The Power of Knowing,” 23andMe , https://www. 23andme .com/stories/6/. 22. Andrew Pollack, “DNA Sequencing Caught in Deluge of Data,” New York Times, November 30, 2011. 23. Ewen Callaway, “Ancient DNA Reveals Secrets of Human History,” Nature, no. 476 (August 9, 2011): 136–37. 24. Anna Wilde Mathews, “WellPoint’s New Hire. What Is Watson?” Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2011. CHAPTER 7: CATEGORIZING HUMANKIND 1.

., trial of, 177 sines, 106 Smart Research team, 100 Social Network, The, 199 sound, musical, 82, 86 frequencies of, 106 Southern California, University of (USC), 91, 135, 144 Soviet Union, 18 fall of, 136 space race and, 167, 168, 172 Spain, 77, 78–82 Spears, Britney, 89 speech patterns, 62, 187 speech recognition programs, 54, 178–80, 193 in medical algorithms, 161 speech translation software, 178–79 Spivey, Daniel, 113–20, 124 sports betting, algorithms for, 133–35 Spread Networks, 117–20, 122, 123–24 Square, 199 Stanford University, 92, 97, 161, 189, 207 Cancer Institute at, 154 Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, 97 Hoover Institution at, 136 Stangler, Dane, 208–9 startups, 53, 209 tech, 210–11 statisticians, 62 statistics, in option prices, 27 Steppenwolf, 78 stock exchanges, 27 stock indices, 54, 113 stock market, 130 algorithm dominance of, 48–52 algorithms and, 2–6 base mission of, 51 bots in, 184 decimalization of, 185 see also trading Wall Street stock options: on big companies, 33 mispriced, 28 Peterffy’s interest in, 27 volatility of, 22 see also options stock prices, nonquantifiable elements in, 27 stocks, 113, 214 golden mean and, 57 splits of, 30 tracking groups of, 40–46 volatility of, 22 Stravinsky, Igor, 91, 96 stress: communication and, 145 soldiers’ reactions under, 168–69 strike prices, 22, 33 style, musical, 86 subconscious, 72 music and, 76–77 subprime mortgages, 65, 202, 216 Sumer, 55 Sun Microsystems, 156 Sweden, 81–82, 89, 204 Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassssss Song, 34 Swigert, John, 165–67 Swiss Bank, O’Connor & Associates bought by, 46 Swisslog, 154 Switzerland, 69, 157 symphonies, written by algorithm, 7 Tacoda, 200 tails, of the bell curve, 63 Tambe, Milind, 135 Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich, 91 “Tears to Gold,” 87 tech crash of 1988, 188 technology, democratization of, 122 technology companies: on PSE index, 40 resurgence in, 198–211 telecommunications business, 186, 194 Telecom Technologies, 176–77 telegraph lines, 122, 123 telesales, personalities and, 193–94 Tellme Networks, 199 tempos, 82, 87 terrorism, 70, 135–40 Tetlock, Philip, 139 Texas, University of, Health Science Center at, 157 Texas hold ‘em poker, 131 Teza Technologies, 190 Thayer, Ignacio, 207, 209 Theory of Political Coalitions, The (Riker), 136 thought, language of, 72–73 thoughts-based people, 173, 174, 175, 176, 180, 194, 196–97 ticker-tape machines, 123 tic-tac-toe, algorithm for, 54 Timber Hill, 31–46, 122 female traders hired by, 32, 33–35 handheld computers for, 36–39, 41, 44–45 name changed to Interactive Brokers, 47 offices of, 42 trading seats for, 30–31 Van Peebles at, 34–35 World Trade Center offices of, 11, 39, 42, 43, 44 Time magazine, 116 Time Warner, 87 tonsillectomies, 159–60 Top 40, algorithms in, 88 Top Gear, 110 Tower Records, 83 Toyota Prius, 215 Tradebot, 49, 116 traders, 113 high-frequency, 54 Peterffy’s elimination of, 11–18, 24 Peterffy’s female, 32, 33–35 as proxies for an algorithm, 34–35, 36, 39 on Wall Street, 11, 20, 27 trading: algorithmic, 2–6, 11–18, 20, 48–52, 112, 119, 189 algorithmic proprietary, 184 automated, 11–18, 115, 216 probability theory in, 67–68 see also Wall Street traffic deaths, algorithm-driven cars in minimizing, 215–16 Transcendent Machine, The (Cope), 99 Transportation Security Administration (TSA), security algorithm for, 135–36 T. Rowe Price, 50 Trump, Donald, 174 Tufts University, 97 “Turn Your Car Around,” 78–79 23andMe , 160 Twitter, 199 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 7 typing machine, automated, 15–16 UCLA, 145 Ukraine, 191 unconscious, Boole’s notion of, 72 Union Square Ventures, 210 United Kingdom, 78 pop charts in, 79 United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), 150–51 United States, 61 average life expectancy in, 153 economy of, 191 health care costs in, 152–54 preterm deliveries in, 158 University College Cork, 72 uranium, weapons-grade, 138 Usher, 89 U.S.


She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer

Getting my genome was turning out to be a lot more complicated than I had expected. I could not simply spit into a tube and mail it off to a company like 23andMe . In 2007, 23andMe began providing reports on DNA directly to consumers. For $999, they would identify the variants at half a million sites in a person’s genome, analyze them for clues to their ancestry, and even supply a report about how the variants influenced risks for disorders ranging from diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease. Their service was a profound leap from conventional genetic tests. They had to be approved by the FDA and ordered by doctors. Now 23andMe was delivering information straight to customers. In 2013, the FDA told 23andMe to stop selling unvalidated tests or face the consequences. In response, the company cut back their reports to ancestry and nothing more.

* * * — By 2010, when Pääbo and his colleagues published the first evidence for Neanderthal interbreeding, genetic genealogy was a thriving industry. It was ready to seize such a sensational finding and make the most of it. 23andMe quickly put together a test that they claimed could tell customers just how much of their genome was Neanderthal. When I told people about my reporting about Neanderthals, some of them would eagerly let me know about their percentage. The more Neanderthal DNA they carried, the happier they sounded. Judging from comments that customers have left on 23andMe ’s website, Neanderthal pride is a common thing. “I am very proud of my 2.8% Neanderthal DNA,” someone named Gayle wrote in 2011. “Neanderthals had larger brains than modern humans, cared for the sick and elderly, buried their dead, wore jewelry in the form of painted sea shells, crafted musical instruments, and gave us hybrid vigor.”

Norton. Felsenfeld, Gary. 2014. “The Evolution of Epigenetics.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 57:132–48. Feyrer, James, Dimitra Politi, and David N. Weil. 2013. “The Cognitive Effects of Micronutrient Deficiency.” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series, working paper 19233. http://www.nber.org/papers/w19233. “Find Your Inner Neanderthal.” 2011. 23andMe blog, December 15. https://blog. 23andme .com/ancestry/find-your-inner-neanderthal/ (accessed July 25, 2017). Finger, Stanley, and Shawn E. Christ. 2004. “Pearl S. Buck and Phenylketonuria (PKU).” Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 13:44–57. Fischbach, Ruth L., and John D. Loike. 2014. “Maternal-Fetal Cell Transfer in Surrogacy: Ties That Bind.” American Journal of Bioethics 14:35-36. Fisher, Elizabeth M.

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

Nevertheless, personalized genome sequencing will help to usher in a new era in which medicine is increasingly tailored to an individual. Retail genomics Named after the fact that everyone has 23 pairs of chromosomes, 23andMe is a private Californian company that allows ordinary individuals to find out about and understand their personal genomics. The fact that the company is backed financially by Google might seem rather odd to some people, but if Google’s aim is to organize the world’s information, they will clearly need everyone’s DNA. Products available from 23andMe include ancestry testing and healthcare screening, especially with regard to how an individual’s genes might impact on their future health and healthcare costs. The Google-backed biotech company 23andMe was offering individuals gene sequencing for $999 in 2011. At the time of writing (June 2012) the cost had fallen to $299.

At the time of writing (June 2012) the cost had fallen to $299. A decade earlier this would have cost close to $10,000, while James Watson, the codiscoverer of DNA and one of the people behind the Human Genome Project, paid around $2 billion to work out how to make sequencing work. Interestingly, 23andMe plugs into the idea of crowd-sourcing data, too, by sending regular questionnaires to thousands of users asking about them about, for example, specific food allergies. When the responses to such surveys are matched against known genetic information they can potentially find the causes of certain traits in a matter of months rather than years and for minimal cost. Power to the patient What are the main outcomes of being able to access this type of information? For one thing, more accurate diagnosis of common conditions. It also opens the way for individuals to be prescribed certain drugs or to be warned against certain known risk factors or environments associated with particular conditions.

It’s challenging to identify more than links between biology and behavior because of the difficulty of separating them from environmental variables, such as drugs and alcohol or poor diet. Expect the controversy to develop rapidly alongside our knowledge of the workings of the human brain. the condensed idea Genetic prophesy timeline 1997 Release of the movie Gattaca about genetic enhancement 2008 Knome offers genome sequencing to individuals for $350,000 2009 Knome drops its price to $99,500 2012 23andMe offers gene sequencing for $299 2018 Cost falls to $49 via Walmart 2020 Hospitals and insurers offer free genome profiling 2030 Google dating based upon ideal DNA profiles 2050 DNA database creates human underclass 22 Regenerative medicine Is it possible to prevent or reverse the aging process, perhaps by fiddling with tired tissues and cells, or even growing new organs inside a laboratory?

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

Watson (10 Oct 2013), “The latest smartphones could turn us all into activity trackers,” Wired, http://www.wired.com/2013/10/the-trojan-horse-of-the-latest-iphone-with-the-m7-coprocessor-we-all-become-qs-activity-trackers. Companies like 23andMe : Thomas Goetz (17 Nov 2007), “ 23AndMe will decode your DNA for $1,000. Welcome to the age of genomics,” Wired, http://www.wired.com/medtech/genetics/magazine/15-12/ff_genomics. Elizabeth Murphy (14 Oct 2013), “Inside 23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki’s $99 DNA revolution,” Fast Company, http://www.fastcompany.com/3018598/for-99-this-ceo-can-tell-you-what-might-kill-you-inside- 23andme -founder-anne-wojcickis-dna-r. personalized marketing: Charles Seife (27 Nov 2013), “ 23andMe is terrifying, but not for the reasons the FDA thinks,” Scientific American, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ 23andme -is-terrifying-but-not-for-reasons-fda. insurance companies may someday buy: Rebecca Greenfield (25 Nov 2013), “Why 23andMe terrifies health insurance companies,” Fast Company, http://www.fastcompany.com/3022224/innovation-agents/why-23andme-terrifies-health-insurance-companies.

Many medical devices are starting to be Internet-enabled, collecting and reporting a variety of biometric data. There are already—or will be soon—devices that continually measure our vital signs, our moods, and our brain activity. It’s not just specialized devices current smartphones have some pretty sensitive motion sensors. As the price of DNA sequencing continues to drop, more of us are signing up to generate and analyze our own genetic data. Companies like 23andMe hope to use genomic data from their customers to find genes associated with disease, leading to new and highly profitable cures. They’re also talking about personalized marketing, and insurance companies may someday buy their data to make business decisions. Perhaps the extreme in the data-generating-self trend is lifelogging: continuously capturing personal data. Already you can install lifelogging apps that record your activities on your smartphone, such as when you talk to friends, play games, watch movies, and so on.

insurance companies may someday buy: Rebecca Greenfield (25 Nov 2013), “Why 23andMe terrifies health insurance companies,” Fast Company, http://www.fastcompany.com/3022224/innovation-agents/why- 23andme -terrifies-health-insurance-companies. lifelogging apps: Leo Kelion (6 Jan 2014), “CES 2014: Sony shows off life logging app and kit,” BBC News, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-25633647. it will include a video record: Alec Wilkinson (28 May 2007), “Remember this? A project to record everything we do in life,” New Yorker, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/05/28/070528fa_fact_wilkinson. Google Glass is the first wearable device: Jenna Wortham (8 Mar 2013), “Meet Memoto, the lifelogging camera,” New York Times Blogs, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/meet-memoto-the-lifelogging-camera. Internet of Things: Ken Hess (10 Jan 2014), “The Internet of Things outlook for 2014: Everything connected and communicating,” ZDNet, http://www.zdnet.com/the-internet-of-things-outlook-for-2014-everything-connected-and-communicating-7000024930.

Dirty Genes: A Breakthrough Program to Treat the Root Cause of Illness and Optimize Your Health by Ben Lynch Nd.

They offer either genetic testing or help evaluating the results. Testing Let’s start with the testing options: ■Genos Research (https://genos.co). As of April 2017, this company tests fifty times more of your DNA than 23andMe . They also give you access to your raw data. Overall, the value is fantastic. However, they don’t test the regulatory regions of your DNA: the genes that control how other genes are turned on or off. Instead, they test your entire exome, which lies within your regulatory regions. This is important to realize going in, because some genes—PEMT, for example—have SNPs you’d want to know about in the regulatory regions. ■ 23andMe (https://www. 23andme .com). This company provides two testing options: with a health report and without. The health report is useful if you want their advice on what the data means. However, you can pay less to get just your data and then use a genetic evaluation tool (see below).

Only then does it make sense to target any remaining problems as you maintain the diet and lifestyle that you learned during the Soak and Scrub. This Clean Genes Protocol has helped thousands of people worldwide. I want it to work for you, too. You’ll get the best results if you follow the protocol, no matter what genetic testing you may have had.* * * * Genetic Testing: The Pros and Cons Many of my clients have sent away for a genetic test from such companies as 23andMe and Genos Research. Sometimes the information is helpful, but often the results can be confusing: “Take large quantities of vitamin X to support gene A avoid vitamin X completely to support gene B and consume moderate quantities of vitamin X to support gene C.” How do you follow a recommendation like that? Unfortunately, most doctors aren’t much help, either. That’s a big part of why I created this book—so you could clean up your genes without necessarily getting them tested.

Your liver felt heavy then, and it still does—just under your right-side ribcage. Fatty foods just don’t sit right with you either. Now your doctor has said that you have gallstones and need to have your gallbladder taken out. No! There must be a way to save it. What’s Your Genetic Profile? If you want to know your own genetic profile, there are a few ways to go about it. The most expensive route is to get yourself tested by a company like 23andMe or Genos Research. At that point, you’ll know exactly where all your SNPs are—but you won’t necessarily know what those results mean. Another route is to invest four weeks in this book’s Clean Genes Protocol. Most people I know, including health professionals, get genetic testing results back and focus only on the genes. The problem is, that genetic report is a piece of paper showing your genetic susceptibility—not your genetic destiny!

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

Because DNA’s component parts love to snap together in predetermined ways, copies of my own genetic code would have latched on to these probes with varying degrees of connectedness, letting the company know which markers I possess and allowing them to suggest what these might mean for my health. Because our understanding of the interplay of our genes and environment is still evolving, 23andMe attaches confidence ratings to each finding (the higher the rating, the more secure they feel in their analysis). Because I have one genetic marker that a 2007 German study suggests is linked to Tourette’s syndrome, 23andMe let me know I might have an elevated chance of the condition, although they give this a confidence rating of one (out of four). In the two-star category there are potential elevated risks of ‘essential tremor,’ ‘Hashimoto’s thyroiditis’ and ‘Sjögren’s syndrome. The company gives a confidence rating of three to its analysis that I have higher-than-average risks of asthma, atopic dermatitis and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Another is emerging from Google founder Sergey Brin, who is funding a pattern-finding project to assist in the cure for Parkinson’s disease (which analysis of his DNA tells him he has a 30–75 per cent chance of developing). ‘Generally the pace of medical research is glacial compared to what I’m used to in the Internet,’ Brin says. ‘We could be looking lots of places and collecting lots of information. And if we see a pattern, that could lead somewhere.’ So he recruited a group of 10,000 Parkinson’s sufferers, had the company 23andMe (which is largely funded by Google) run their DNA, and set out to find links. It’s one of the many examples Kurzweil cites of information technology ‘invading one field after another.’ Sitting in front of Ray Kurzweil, I’m getting just what I came for. I’m becoming disenthralled from my inclination to think linear. We must understand the power of the exponential, he urges. If we don’t, progress will outrun us, and our personal decisions will be hopelessly out of step with an unfolding reality.

Just behind me is the spot where in 1795 the British Admiralty erected its optical telegraph station to pass signals down the line between coast and capital. Communications have come a long way since 1795. On my lap is a computer, battered and grubby from long hours on the road. Using my mobile phone as a wireless modem I am surfing the Internet. In particular I am looking at my ‘genetic profile’ having just logged on to the website of 23andMe , the Google-funded personal genomics company that Sergey Brin has been using for his Parkinson’s research. Several weeks ago, the company sent me a plastic tube, which I filled with saliva and returned to its laboratories. From this the company extracted cheek cells, out of which they stripped my DNA to be duplicated many times over. These synthetic copies of my DNA were then chopped up and applied to a ‘DNA chip,’ a glass slide with millions of DNA ‘probes’ on its surface.

Money: Vintage Minis by Yuval Noah Harari

The idea is for Google Fit products to collect the never-ending stream of biometrical data to feed the Baseline Study. Yet companies such as Google want to go much deeper than wearables. The market for DNA testing is currently growing in leaps and bounds. One of its leaders is 23andMe , a private company founded by Anne Wojcicki, former wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The name ‘ 23andMe ’ refers to the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes that encode the human genome, the message being that my chromosomes have a very special relationship with me. Whoever can understand what the chromosomes are saying can tell you things about yourself that you never even suspected. If you want to know what, pay 23andMe a mere $99, and they will send you a small package with a tube. You spit into the tube, seal it and mail it to Mountain View, California. There the DNA in your saliva is read, and you receive the results online.

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

As a result, a new industry of individual gene sequencing is cropping up. Since 2007 the Silicon Valley startup 23andMe has been analyzing people’s DNA for only a couple of hundred dollars. Its technique can reveal traits in people’s genetic codes that may make them more susceptible to certain diseases like breast cancer or heart problems. And by aggregating its customers’ DNA and health information, 23andMe hopes to learn new things that couldn’t be spotted otherwise. But there’s a hitch. The company sequences just a small portion of a person’s genetic code: places that are known to be markers indicating particular genetic weaknesses. Meanwhile, billions of base pairs of DNA remain unsequenced. Thus 23andMe can only answer questions about the markers it considers. Whenever a new marker is discovered, a person’s DNA (or more precisely, the relevant part of it) has to be sequenced again.

Working with a subset, rather than the whole, entails a tradeoff: the company can find what it is looking for faster and more cheaply, but it can’t answer questions that it didn’t consider in advance. Apple’s legendary chief executive Steve Jobs took a totally different approach in his fight against cancer. He became one of the first people in the world to have his entire DNA sequenced as well as that of his tumor. To do this, he paid a six-figure sum—many hundreds of times more than the price 23andMe charges. In return, he received not a sample, a mere set of markers, but a data file containing the entire genetic codes. In choosing medication for an average cancer patient, doctors have to hope that the patient’s DNA is sufficiently similar to that of patients who participated in the drug’s trials to work. However, Steve Jobs’s team of doctors could select therapies by how well they would work given his specific genetic makeup.

See measurement “quantified self” movement, [>] quantum physics, [>] rabies vaccine: Pasteur and, [>]–[>] randomness: needed in statistical sampling, [>]–[>] real estate: regulation of illegal conversions, [>]–[>] reality mining, [>]–[>] record-keeping: in the ancient world, [>]–[>] Reuters, [>] Rigobon, Roberto, [>] Roadnet Technologies, [>] Rolls-Royce, [>] Roman numerals, [>]–[>] Rudin, Cynthia, [>], [>] Rudin, Ken, [>] sabermetrics, [>] Saddam Hussein: trial of, [>] Salathé, Marcel, [>]–[>] sales data: analysis of, [>], [>], [>], [>] Salesforce.com, [>] sampling, statistical: big data replaces, [>]–[>], [>], [>]–[>], [>]–[>] exactitude necessary in, [>], [>]–[>] Graunt and, [>] limitations inherent in, [>]–[>], [>], [>] Neyman on, [>] in quality control, [>] randomness needed in, [>]–[>] scale in, [>] Silver on, [>] scale: in data, [>]–[>] imprecision and, [>], [>], [>], [>], [>] qualitative functions of, [>], [>]–[>], [>], [>]–[>], [>]–[>] in statistical sampling, [>] scientific method: vs. correlation analysis, [>]–[>] Scott, James: Seeing Like a State, [>] search engines: and mathematical models, [>]–[>] search terms: analysis and reuse of, [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>], [>] Seeing Like a State (Scott), [>] Sense Networks, [>], [>] sentiment analysis, [>], [>]–[>], [>] Silver, Nate: on statistical sampling, [>] Skyhook, [>] Sloan Digital Sky Survey, [>] Smith, Adam, [>] social media: datafication by, [>]–[>] social networking analysis: Huberman and, [>] social sciences: data-gathering in, [>], [>] Society for American Baseball Research, [>] speech-recognition: at Google, [>]–[>] spell-checking systems: and data-reuse, [>]–[>] sports: predictive analytics in, [>]–[>], [>] Stasi, [>], [>], [>] statisticians: demand for, [>], [>] statistics: military use of, [>] stock market investment: datafication in, [>]–[>] subprime mortgage scandal (2009): correlation analysis and, [>] sumo wrestling: corruption in, [>]–[>], [>] Sunlight Foundation, [>] Super Crunchers (Ayres), [>] surveillance: by government, [>]–[>], [>]–[>] SWIFT: data-reuse by, [>] tagging: vs. categorization, [>]–[>] Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, [>] Target: predictive analytics by, [>]–[>] Telefonica Digital Insights, [>] Teradata, [>], [>], [>] terrorism: predictive analytics and, [>], [>]–[>], [>] text: correlation analysis of, [>]–[>] datafication of, [>], [>] The-Numbers.com: predicts Hollywood film profitability, [>]–[>] Thomson Reuters, [>] traffic-pattern analysis: by Inrix, [>]–[>], [>] translation, language, [>] Google and, [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>] IBM and, [>]–[>], [>] Microsoft and, [>] transparency: of algorithms, [>] truth: data as, [>], [>] imprecision and, [>] 23andMe , [>] Twitter, [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>] as big-data company, [>], [>]–[>] data processing by, [>] datafication by, [>]–[>] message analysis by, [>] Udacity, [>] Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) system, [>] universe: information as basis of, [>]–[>] “Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data, The” (Norvig), [>] UPS: predictive analytics by, [>] uses geospatial location data, [>]–[>] UPS Logistics Technologies, [>] U.S.

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

The troubling legacy of the crackpot eugenicist racism that defined Gold Rush California lives on in the biotech startups sprouting up in and around Silicon Valley. These companies promise a better world through applied genetics. The most famous—familiar to anyone who has encountered its multimillion-dollar advertising campaign—is Google’s 23andMe , which sells mail-order genetic sequencing services to the general public. The marketing ingeniously presents it as not only a potential health benefit, but as the fun indulgence of an innocent curiosity, like some super-sciencey high-tech yuppie version of heredity research websites like Ancestry.com. Medical ethicists have knocked 23andMe for pushing unnecessary screening to people without heritable risk, and for hoarding customer data that could later be sold to insurers or advertisers. But the company’s ambitions appear to be much bigger. In 2013, Google obtained a patent for “gamete donor selection based on genetic calculations”—a tool for selecting “allowable permutations” in “hypothetical offspring.”

Another hot startup in the eugenics space, Counsyl, received backing from top VCs by promising to make genetic screening so cheap as to be universally available. The company claims its mission is to provide “reproductive autonomy” and argues that its products will help the poor. Counsyl boasts that its low-cost genetic tests can sometimes be covered by health insurance, but it never mentions the likelihood that such tests could become a prerequisite for coverage. Like 23andMe , some ethicists have slammed Counsyl for exploiting the weakly regulated market in genetic data in ways that drove humanity “down the slippery slope toward attempts to control IQ, weight, height and other factors,” as the science journalist and biotech consultant Steve Dickman put it. The way Silicon Valley biotech companies marketed themselves did not inspire confidence. Their websites invariably showed smiling white people posing in spotless white apartments stocked with white furniture.

I applied for a press ticket See my report, “Cyborg Soothsayers of the High-Tech Hogwash Emporia,” 2015, Baffler (no. 28). Sjöblad’s cyborg evangelism Bryan Menegus, “Company Offers Free, Totally Not Creepy Microchip Implants to Employees,” July 24, 2017, gizmodo.com James Brooks, “Cyborgs at Work: Employees Getting Implanted with Microchips,” April 23, 2017, apnews.com. “gamete donor selection based on genetic calculations” Anne Wojcicki et al., U.S. Patent 8543339 B2, December 5, 2008 Karen Kaplan, “ 23andMe ’s Designer Baby Patent Is ‘a Serious Mistake,’ Critics Charge,” October 3, 2013, latimes.com. endorsed the Singularity sect Lev Grossman, “2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal,” February 10, 2011, time.com. an online forum of futurists who called themselves extropians. Max More For more on cryonics and the extropians, see my report, “Everybody Freeze!,” 2016, Baffler (no. 30). a procedure called parabiosis Jeff Bercovici broke the news of Thiel’s quasivampirisim in an August 1, 2016, Inc. magazine story titled “Peter Thiel Is Very, Very Interested in Young People’s Blood.”

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve And/or Ruin Everything by Kelly Weinersmith, Zach Weinersmith

The app accessed genomic data on 23andMe (a private company through which you get your genome sequenced) and used those data to restrict users’ access to Web sites. The app’s developer suggests relatively innocuous uses for the app, including creating “safe spaces,” like Web sites that can only be accessed by females. But it’s easy to imagine how an app like this could be used for more sinister purposes. Imagine a site that only people with a certain skin color can visit, or a site that only individuals lacking genetic defects could visit. Furthermore, even the more benign uses will create problems, because identity is both genetic and cultural. Some people with a traditionally female body type carry XY chromosomes, and a group that genetically barred nonfemales would have to decide how to handle that. 23andMe quickly blocked this app’s access to their data, but we can probably expect problems like this to pop up again in the future.

MIT Technology Review. (November 2012): 115, 108. technologyreview.com/magazine/2012/11/. Moan, Charles E., and Heath, Robert G. “Septal stimulation for the Initiation of Heterosexual Behavior in a Homosexual Male.” Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 3, no. 1 (1972):23–30. Mohan, Pavithra. “App Used 23andMe ’s DNA Database to Block People From Sites Based on Race and Gender.” Fast Company, July 23, 2015. fastcompany.com/3048980/fast-feed/app-used- 23andmes -dna-database-to-block-people-from-sites-based-on-race-and-gender. Mohiuddin, M. M., Singh, A. K., Corcoran, P. C., Hoyt, R. F., Thomas III, M. L., Ayares, D., and Horvath, K. A. “Genetically Engineered Pigs and Target-Specific Immunomodulation Provide Significant Graft Survival and Hope for Clinical Cardiac Xenotransplantation.”

Ecological Sustainability: Understanding Complex Issues. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2013. Obed, A., Stern, S., Jarrad, A., and Lorf, T. “Six Month Abstinence Rule for Liver Transplantation in Severe Alcoholic Liver Disease Patients.” World Journal of Gastroenterology 21, no. 14 (2015):4423–26. offensive-computing (username). “Genetic Access Control.” 2015. https://github.com/offapi/rbac- 23andme -oauth2. Orlando, L., Ginolhac, A., Zhang, G., Froese, D., Albrechtsen, A., Stiller, M., Schubert, M., Cappellini, E., Petersen, B., Moltke, I., et al. “Recalibrating Equus Evolution Using the Genome Sequence of an Early Middle Pleistocene Horse.” Nature 499, no. 7457 (2013):74–78. Open Humans. openhumans.org. Organovo. “Bioprinting Functional Human Tissue.” 2016. organovo.com. Owen, David.

The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky

That’s exactly what happened to Anne Wojcicki, CEO and cofounder of genetic testing company 23andMe . Founded in 2006, 23andMe allowed customers to spit in a small tube and, within a few weeks, get access to a wealth of genetic information about their ancestors, predisposition to health issues, and other insights based on their genes. The company thrived in its early years, attracting excited customers and some of Silicon Valley’s greatest investors. But then, in 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) abruptly ordered 23andMe to discontinue marketing its personal genome service, based on concerns about the potential consequences of customers receiving inaccurate medical results. For two years, the company conducted the necessary research and addressed the FDA’s concerns, until October of 2015, when 23andMe announced that it would be offering a revised health component with FDA approval.

And so we lost him. But after the initial shock of someone leaving us rather than being dismissed, I realized that our team’s immune system was working as it should. As you lose people who aren’t a good match your team becomes stronger. Be great at retaining your A players, and less so with your B players. “You have to constantly be reevaluating the people you have,” says Anne Wojcicki from 23andMe . “Figuring out talent is hard. You never want to set someone up to fail. Doing so only hurts them and the company. One of the hardest parts of leadership is not getting attached to people. Even the people you enjoy the most may face a point where they become too specialized for their role or not specialized enough. You need to always be evaluating each person in their role—and be willing to make the change.”

., 199–202 perseverance, persistence, 62, 79, 85 perspective, 40–42, 66, 74, 326 quitting and, 62–64 Photoshop, 10, 144, 159, 162, 185, 206–7, 238–39, 270, 347 Pine Street, 125 Pinterest, 10, 64, 86–87, 94, 112, 158–59, 165, 174, 204, 233, 248, 319 Pixar, 141 placebo, 59–61 planning, 93, 280–81 polarizing people, 114–15 PolitiFact, 303 positive feedback, and hard truths, 28–31 Post-it notes, 325 pragmatists, 295, 296 Prefer, 28, 298, 299 preparedness, 16 presenting ideas, vs. promoting, 164–65 press, 265–66, 336 Pretty Young Professionals (PYP), 72–73 Principles (Dalio), 306, 307 problem solving, 209 big vs. small problems, 180–82, 322 explicitness and, 173–74 process, 153–57 Proctor & Gamble, 143 product(s), 8, 29 brand fit and, 256, 257 complexity in, 209–10, 217 explicitness in, 174–75, 271 founder fit and, 256 life cycle of, 209–10, 217 market fit and, 256 minimum viable (MVP), 86, 186, 195, 252 paradox of success of, 216 power users of, 217 products used to create, 143–45 simplicity in, 209, 210–11, 216–18, 271 product, optimizing, 17, 209–75 anchoring to your customers, 247–75 being first, 264–66 disproportionate impact and, 267–68 empathy and humility before passion, 248–50 engaging the right customers at the right time, 251–54 and measuring each feature by its own measure, 269–70 mystery and engagement in, 271–73 narrative in, 255–57 and playing to the middle, 274–75 and role of leaders in communities, 258–61 sales and, 262–63 simplifying and iterating, 213–46 and believing in the product, 223–25 creativity and familiarity in, 226–27 and design as invisible, 230–31 doing, showing, and explaining, 238–39 “first mile” and, 232–34 identifying what you’re willing to be bad at, 214–15 inbred innovations and, 245–46 incrementalism and assumptions in, 242–44 killing your darlings, 219–22 for laziness, vanity, and selfishness, 235–37 making one subtraction for every addition, 216–18 novelty and utility in, 240–41 scrutiny and flaws in, 228–29 productivity, 179, 180–82, 187, 322, 324, 325 measures of, 78–79 performance and, 214 promoting ideas, vs. presenting, 164–65 promotions, 130 progress, 24–25, 31, 40, 47, 64, 75, 83, 85, 160, 179, 181, 349 conflict avoidance and, 185–86 process and, 154 progress bars, 181 prototypes and mock-ups, 161–63 Psychological Bulletin, 272 psychological safety, 122 Psychological Science, 272–73 psychology, 316, 317 Quartz, 37–38, 108, 301 questions, 69–71, 183–84, 321 Quiller-Couch, Arthur, 220 Quinn, Megan, 303–4 quitting, perspective and, 62–64 Quora, 138, 167 Rad, Sean, 259 Radcliffe, Jack, 197 Rams, Dieter, 230 reactionary workflow, 327, 328 Ready, The, 179 reality-distortion field, 41 Reboot, 327 Reddit, 261, 300, 302 rejection, 58 relatability, 57 relationships: commitments and, 283–84 and how others perceive you, 316–17 negotiation and, 286–87 REMIX, 165 resets, 63–64, 72–75 resistance, fighting, 35–36 resourcefulness, and resources, 100–102 reward system, short-circuiting, 24–27 Rhode Island School of Design, 186, 354 rhythm of making, 16 Ries, Eric, 194 risk, 122, 316, 337 ritual, 328 rock gardens, 67–68 routines, 323 ruckus, making, 337–38 Saatchi Online, 89 Sabbath Manifesto, 327–28 safety, psychological, 122 Sakurada, Isuzu, 361–62 salaries, 141–42 sales, salespeople, 262–63 Salesforce, 159, 204 Sandberg, Sheryl, 39 Santa Fe, USS, 167 satisficers, 229, 284–85 scalability, 242 Schouwenburg, Kegan, 50–51 Schwartz, Barry, 284–85 science vs. art of business, 310–13 Seinfeld, Jerry, 250 self, optimizing, 8, 17, 277–338 crafting business instincts, 293–313 auditing measures instead of blindly optimizing, 297–99 data vs. intuition in, 300–304 mining contradictory advice and developing intuition, 294–96 naivety and openness in, 308–9 science vs. art of business, 310–13 stress-testing opinions with truthfulness, 305–7 planning and making decisions, 279–92 focus and choice, 282–85 making a plan vs. sticking to it, 280–81 negotiation in, 286–87 sunk costs and, 291–92 timing and, 288–90 sharpening your edge, 315–28 building a network and increasing signal, 320–21 commitments and, 318–19 disconnecting, 326–28 and how you appear to others, 316–17 leaving margins for the unexpected, 324–25 values and time use, 322–23 staying permeable and relatable, 329–38 attention and, 335–36 credit-seeking and, 330–32 and making a ruckus, 337–38 removing yourself to allow for others’ ideas, 333–34 self-awareness, 54–56, 305–7 selfishness, laziness, and vanity, 235–37 setbacks, 41 70/20/10 model for leadership development, 125 Shapeways, 50 Shiva, 374 shortcuts, 85 signal and noise, 320–21 Silberman, Ben, 86–87, 94, 112, 165, 319 Silicon Valley, 86 Simon, Herbert, 229, 284 SimpleGeo, 267 Sinclair, Jake, 334 skills, and choosing commitments, 283–84 Skybox, 101 sky decks, 117 Slack, 139, 210, 241 Slashdot, 295 Smarter Faster Better (Duhigg), 180 Smith, Brad, 373 Snapchat, 70, 189, 210, 227, 249 Snowden, Eric, 48, 162 Social Capital, 107 social media, 70, 139, 195, 210, 235–36, 243 solar eclipse, 300–302 SOLS, 50–51 Song Exploder, 333 Sonnad, Nikhil, 301–2 Sonos, 275 Southwest Airlines, 214–15 Soyer, Emre, 32–33 SpaceX, 168 Spark, 303 speed, 194–98 Spiegel, Evan, 249 Spot, 256, 257 Square, 303–4 Squarespace, 312 Stafford, Tom, 291 stand-ins, 297–98 start, 1, 6–8, 13, 209, 331 Statue of Liberty, 200 Stein, Dave, 280 Steinberg, Jon, 44–45, 313 Stitch Fix, 79 story, see narrative and storytelling Stratechery, 135 strategy, patience and, 80–85 strengths, 29, 54, 95, 214 stretch assignments, 130 structure, rules for, 150–52 StumbleUpon, 112, 256 Stumbling on Happiness (Gilbert), 196 suffering, 35–36, 131 Summers, Larry, 108 sunk costs, 64, 71, 185, 291–92 Super Bowl, 273 superiority, sense of, 331–32 suspension of disbelief, 60–61 Suster, Mark, 204–5 Swarthmore College, 229 sweetgreen, 10, 151, 217, 221, 233, 245–46, 310 Systemized Intelligence Lab, 306 Systems Thinking, 283 Systrom, Kevin, 36 Taflinger, Richard, 38 talent, 119–25, 127, 187 Talk of the Nation, 196 TaskRabbit, 259 team, 39, 331, 332 energy and, 43–45 perspective and, 40–42 team, optimizing, 8, 17, 97–207, 211 building, hiring, and firing, 99–131 discussions and, 112–13 diversity in, 106–9 firing people to keep good people, 126–28 grafting and recruiting talent, 119–25 hiring people who have endured adversity, 110–11 immune system in, 116–18 initiative and experience in, 103–5 keeping people moving, 129–31 polarizing people and, 114–15 resourcefulness and resources in, 100–102 clearing the path to solutions, 177–207 big and small problems, 180–82 bureaucracy, 183–84 competitive energy, 187–91 conflict avoidance, 185–86 conviction vs. consensus, 203–5 creative block, 192–93 forgiveness vs. permission, 199–202 organization debt, 178–79 and resistance to change, 206–7 speed in, 194–98 culture, tools, and space, 133–48 attribution of credit, 146–48 free radicals and, 137–39 frugality and, 140–42 stories and, 134–36 tools, 143–45 structure and communication, 149–76 communication, 170–76 delegation, 166–69 merchandising, internal, 158–60 mock-ups for sharing vision, 161–63 presenting vs. promoting ideas, 164–65 process in, 153–57 rules in, 150–52 technology, 328, 371 TED, 62, 116, 305 teleportation, 70, 264 Temps, 201 10 Principles of Good Design (Rams), 230 Teran, Dan, 221 Tesla, 273 think blend, 33 Thomas, Frank, 222 Thompson, Ben, 135 Threadless, 267 time, use of, 210, 283, 299 leaving margins, 324–25 money and, 370–72 values and, 322–23 time-outs, 74 timing, 288–90, 332 decision making and, 289–90 investment and, 290 leader and, 288–89 Tinder, 259–60 Tiny, 294 Todd, Charlie, 113 Todoist, 229 tools, 143–45 Topick, 249 transparency, 259–60, 287 triggers, 55 Trump, Donald, 273, 302–3 truth(s), 71, 174, 193, 331, 338 creative block and, 192–93 hard, 28–31 stress-testing opinions with, 305–7 about time use, 323 Turn the Ship Around! (Marquet), 167 23andMe , 41–42, 127 Twitter, 28, 36, 64, 66, 70, 83, 210, 233–34, 235, 242–43, 299, 328, 335, 360 Periscope acquired by, 69, 264–65 Uber, 10, 57, 79, 88, 112, 159, 191, 204, 210, 233, 256–57, 259, 267 uncertainty and certainty, 32–34, 69, 224 understood, being, 79 unexpected, 324–25 unicorn companies, 190 Union Square Ventures, 347–48 Universal Exposition, 200–201 unplugging, 327–28 Unsubscribe (Glei), 181 UPS, 210 utility, and novelty, 240–41 validation, 28, 138 value, measuring, 291–92 values, 55, 135, 214–15, 322–23 Van Edwards, Vanessa, 172 Van Horn, Matt, 226–27 vanity, laziness, and selfishness, 235–37 Variety, 84 Vasconcellos, Julio, 298 Vaynerchuk, Gary, 310 velocity, 14, 95 venture capital firms, 275 Victore, James, 57–58 Visa, 303–4 Vishnu, 374 vision, 161–63, 281, 296 volatility, 1, 4, 6, 8, 12, 14–16, 21, 209 von Tobel, Alexa, 65–66 Wadhwani, David, 43–44, 347 Walk, Hunter, 294, 359 Walker, Tristan, 110 Walker & Company Brands, 110 Wall Street Journal, 306 Warby Parker, 10, 204, 310 Washington Post, 336 Washington Post Company, 359 Waymo, 83 weaknesses, 29, 54, 214 wealth, 363 Web Summit, 25 WeChat, 349 Weezer, 333–34 weirdness, 58 Welch, Jack, 125 Wenger, Albert, 347–48 WeWork, 244 WhatsApp, 350 Wikipedia, 138, 261 Wilkinson, Andrew, 294 Wilson, E.

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller

Indeed, Brin premises his information-gathering strategy on the understanding that rich and poor alike can have defective Parkinson’s genes. Brin uses the testing company 23andMe , named after the 23 pairs of chromosomes in the human genome and cofounded by Brin’s wife, to find the genetic roots of Parkinson’s. 23andMe gives its customers, who include this author, an informative but incomplete genetic profile listing their relative risks of getting different types of disease. I have learned, for example, that, compared to the average adult male of my ethnic group, my genes decrease the odds I will get Alzheimer’s but raise the likelihood of my someday contracting coronary heart disease. Brin subsidizes the purchase of 23andMe services for Parkinson’s patients in the hope of convincing many of them to sign up.313 He also requests that the company’s customers fill out a survey asking if they or any members of their family have Parkinson’s or Parkinson’s symptoms, such as balance problems.

Emphasis changed. 302. Shulman (2008). 303. Idea suggested to me by Robin Hanson. 304. Hanson (November 24, 2008). 305. Hanson (May 27, 2011). 306. Lat (2007). 307. Greely (2008b). 308. British Medical Association (2007). 309. Kurzweil (2005). 310. Clark (2007). 311. Boudreaux (2008). 312. Goetz (2010). 313. http://www.parkinson.org/Parkinson-s-Disease/Treatment/Experimental-Therapy---Clinical-Trials/ 23andMe 314. This estimate doesn’t take into account cryonics. 315. http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2007/08/robert-bradbury-on-longevity-research.php 316. Median expenditures. http://nces.ed.gov/edfin/graph_topic.asp?INDEX=1. Data for 2007-2008. The exact median was $9,786. 317. Coulson (2008). 318. Dillon (2010). 319. Michael Anissimov suggested this example. 320. http://longbets.org/1/ 321.

See also amphetamines (“speed”) Smith, Adam, 135 Smith College Adderall, 102–7, 112, 163 amphetamines use, 102 Dean and Adderall-type drugs for performance-enhancement, 102 student illegal drug use, 101 “study buddy” drugs, 102 survey of illegal cognitive-enhancing drug use among undergraduates, 103–9 socialists, 41 Social Security taxes, 157 sociopath, 22, 93 sociopathic children, 84 Socrates, 91 Socratic questioning method, 215 soft toilet paper, 166 Soviet Union, xiii, 19, 49, 124, 127, 206 spacecraft, 199 species extinction, 29 Stalin, Joseph, 22, 220 standard of living, 76, 123 Stanovich, Keith, 65–66 StarCraft II (video game), 106 stars “turned of” to conserve energy, 199 Star Trek, 171 starvation pressures, 150 Stewart, Potter (US Supreme Court Justice), 38–39 stop signal reaction time, 105 Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth, 65 subjective judgment, 39 sub-Saharan Africa, 173 suicide, 92–93 super genius, 90–91, 95 superhuman intelligence, xiv superintelligence, 21 superintelligence, “alien-like,” 122 super-skyscraper, 181 superweapon, 204 surrogate woman, 194 “survival of the richest,” 81 surviving children, 82 Swift, Jonathan, 88 T Tallinn, Jaan, 35, 215 tampons, 166 Tao, Terence, 91–92 tax on emulations, 150 teleportation device, xi teleportation machine, 138–39 terminal disease, 219 thermonuclear war, 52–53. See also nuclear war Thiel, Peter, x, 35, 170, 186, 214 torsion dystonia, 97–98 toxic garbage dumps, 124 trade with extraterrestrials, 122 Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever (Kurzweil), 179 transistors, 4 trial-and-error methods, 30 Trident submarine, 23 True Names. . . and Other Dangers (Vinge), 36 trust, 70 Turing test, 177 23andMe (testing company), 168–69 2001: A Space Odyssey (movie), 210 U Ulam, Stanislaw, xv ultra-AI. See also artificial intelligence (AI) atoms in our solar system, could completely rearrange the distribution of, 187 code, made up of extremely complex, 30 code, might change its code from friendly to non-friendly, 31 in computer simulation run by a more powerful AI, 45–46 “could never guarantee with “probability one” that the cup would stay on the table,” 28 free energy supply, will obtain, 27 friendly, 14, 33, 46, 208 human destruction because of hyper-optimization, 28 with human-like objectives, 29 humans don’t get a second chance once it is created, 30 indifference towards humanity and would kill us, 27 indifferent to mankind and creation of conditions directly in conflict with our continued existence, 28 intelligence explosion and, 31, 35, 121, 187 is not designed for friendliness and could extinguish humanity, 30, 36 lack patience to postpone what might turn out to be utopia, 46 manipulation through humans to win its freedom, 32 martial prowess, 24 military technologies, will discover, 24 morality, sharing our, 29 as more militarily useful than atomic weapons, 47 power used to stop all AI rivals from coming into existence, 24 pre-Singularity investments, might obliterate the value of, 187 progress toward its goals increased by having additional free energy, 27 rampaging, 23 risks of destroying the world, 49 unfriendly (Devil), 30, 35, 46, 202, 208 unlikely events, will plan against, 28 will command people with hypnosis, love, or subliminal messages, 33 ultra-intelligence, 40, 44, 47 unfriendly.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

Given the money at stake, “it seems only a matter of time before humans were added to the growing list of creatures whose genomes” were up for grabs.25 I’d hazard a guess that “Christina” will not be the last entrepreneur down this road. In fact, there are already players milling around the starting gate, many of them true heavy hitters from Silicon Valley. The best-known “consumer-facing” genetics company is probably 23andMe , founded by Anne Wojcicki. Anne’s father, Stanley, was the chair of Stanford’s physics department in the late 1990s he had a couple of students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who would go on to start a thing called Google. In fact, they started it in Anne’s sister Susan’s garage. (Anne would later marry and divorce Brin Susan is now the CEO of YouTube, owned of course by Google.) The company 23andMe is best known for its saliva test that unveils your genetics, though one of its patents envisions using this knowledge to help people, in the words of UC Davis’s Paul Knoepfler, “select a potential mate from a group of possible mates.”

The party was a kickoff event for the National Academy of Medicine’s Healthy Longevity Grand Challenge, which will award millions of dollars for breakthroughs in the field. There were Hollywood stars in attendance—Goldie Hawn demanded that a Nobel Prize geneticist offer an opinion on glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that features in many health regimens—but the real celebrity was Google cofounder Sergey Brin you’ll recall that his ex runs 23andMe , the pioneering genetics firm. At this gathering, his current girlfriend, Nicole Shanahan, said Brin had phoned her recently with the sad news that he was going to die—someday. Or maybe not, given that Google was investing huge sums in life-extension technologies. In 2009 it hired Bill Maris to run its venture capital fund, and he quickly began devoting most of its vast resources to life sciences start-ups.

Indeed, some of the AI enthusiasts imagine that’s precisely what will happen, arguing that we should be exploring “genetic and/or surgical modifications”7 to allow for space travel or, more likely, simply sending robots. The Russian tech pioneer Yuri Milner (whose parents named him for Yuri Gagarin, first man in space) is a Silicon Valley mainstay—among other things, he’s an investor in the gene-testing company 23andMe (not to mention a partner in Jared Kushner’s real estate ventures). In 2017 he announced plans to spend $100 million to send a robot weighing less than a sheet of paper to Alpha Centauri with a giant space sail and a hundred-billion-watt laser. If it works, it will take only twenty years to get the featherweight probe there. In fact, the very mission I was watching lift off at Cape Canaveral carried the first artificial intelligence into space, an orb called CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile CompaniON) that had been equipped with the same Watson AI gear that IBM used to win on Jeopardy!


A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford

Even so, with the advent of cheap genetic sequencing, a deep internal history of everyone can be revealed. We carry the traces of our ancestors in our cells, and nowadays, for the price of a second-hand copy of Burke’s Peerage, you can pay to have your past supposedly unscrambled. Plenty of companies have emerged who provide this service, and I have had my genome analysed by two of them, BritainsDNA (sic) and 23andMe . The kits are pretty similar: they come in a paperback-sized, high-quality parcel, and inside is a plastic test tube with a lid containing a sealed fluid. You are asked to fast for an hour beforehand, which allows your mouth to be mostly free of the DNA of the food you put in it, and then you are asked to conjure up quite a volume of saliva. This dribbles into the test tube, and you snap the lid shut, an action that punctures the seal and releases the preserving liquid into your spit.

The genetic predictions are based on the frequency of these diseases in a whole population, and the very particular genetic sequence that occurs in those patients with those diseases. So, for example, the fact that my sequence came back without a SNP associated with Parkinson’s disease does not mean I will not get Parkinson’s disease. It means that my chance of getting Parkinson’s disease with this particular gene variation is average. Conversely, according to 23andMe , I have a genotype that is of higher risk than most people for developing Alzheimer’s disease. That does not mean that I will get Alzheimer’s disease, it means that the chance I will is slightly higher than most people. Similarly, if you don’t have that genotype, you are not immune to Alzheimer’s. Knowing my own personal risk neither bothers me, nor has prompted a change in my behaviour at all.

The map of the distribution today of this particular type of DNA in my BritainsDNA results shows it most densely crammed into the people of the Netherlands, they claim before 1500 CE (though I am unaware of how they could know this: it is possible, but being a commercial company, their data is not publically available, nor are their methods). That type of Y chromosome is also present today from Svalbard to Gibraltar to Vladivostok. The Y is a tiny proportion of the total DNA I possess, and in fact less than the amount of DNA that I and most Europeans have inherited from Neanderthals, at least according to the rival DNA testing company 23andMe . To label my ‘ancestral type’ as this Germanic warrior with all his gliding across the frozen Rhine in unfashionable trousers is absurd. By simple percentages in my genome, I am more Neanderthal than this bearded character. Another tiny bit is from my mother’s lineage, the mitochondrial genome, which was not on the database of BritainsDNA at the time of my test, as these types of company generally add data as they add customers. 23 and Me report that it is most common in India – again, not a tremendous surprise given that my mother is Indian.

On the Future: Prospects for Humanity by Martin J. Rees

And the desire for a longer lifespan is so powerful that it creates a ready market for exotic therapies with untested efficacy. Ambrosia, a 2016 start-up, offers Silicon Valley executives a transfusion of ‘young blood’. Another recent craze was metformin, a drug intended to treat diabetes, but which is claimed to stave off dementia and cancer others extol the benefits of placental cells. Craig Venter has a company called Human Longevity, which received $300 million in start-up funds. This goes beyond 23andMe (the firm that analyses our genome well enough to reveal interesting results about our vulnerability to some diseases, and about our ancestry). Venter aims to analyse the genomes of the thousands of species of ‘bugs’ in our gut. It is believed (very plausibly) that this internal ‘ecosystem’ is crucial to our health. The ‘push’ from Silicon Valley towards achieving ‘eternal youth’ stems not only from the immense surplus wealth that’s been accumulated there, but also because it’s a place with a youth-based culture.

See also agriculture fossil fuels: catastrophic warming and, 41–42, 57–58 as cause of rising CO2 levels, 38, 40 cheaper than solar energy, 49 climate sensitivity factor and, 41 direct extraction of CO2 from atmosphere and, 59 origin of, 123 plan B for dealing with, 58 fractals, 168, 174, 193 Fukushima Daiichi disaster, 53, 55–56, 57 future generations, 42–43, 44–45, 226, 227 possibility of human extinction and, 117–18 Gagarin, Yuri, 138 Gaia hypothesis, 216 Galapagos Islands, invasive species on, 74 galaxies: computer simulations of, 190 finite observable volume of, 181 human realisation that there are billions of, 184 Milky Way, 124, 125, 135, 178–79 separating by mysterious force, 179 Game of Life, 167–68, 170, 174 Gandhi, Indira, 22 Gandhi, Mahatma, 26 gas power, 51 Gates, Bill, 48, 224 gene drive, 74 gene editing, 66–68, 73–74, 108 genetically modified (GM) animals, 66 genetically modified (GM) crops, 23, 24–25, 66 genetically modified pathogens, 73, 78, 116 genetic modification of humans: designer babies and, 68–69 unprecedented future kind of, 7 of voyagers from Earth, 151. See also gene editing germ line alterations genomes: computer analysis of, 192 of gut microbes, 80 plummeting cost of sequencing, 64 sequenced by 23andMe , 80 synthesised, 64–65 geoengineering, 58–59, 60, 225 geothermal power, 50 germ line alterations, 74, 116 Gillon, Michaël, 132 Glenn, John, 138 global warming, 37–42 catastrophic, 40, 42, 57–58 goal of less than 1.5 degrees, 41. See also carbon dioxide in atmosphere climate change Go, 86–87 Conway’s Game of Life and, 167 God, 194–200 golden rice, 24 Goldilocks planet, 128 Google, 86, 88, 106, 219 googol, 183 googolplex, 183 GPS satellites, 166 gravitational wave detector, 171 Gray, Asa, 195 greenhouse effect, 38, 58 of Venus, 135.

See also solar system Sundback, Gideon, 202 superconductors, 190–91 sustainability, Vatican conference on, 34 sustainable development, 26–27, 28 sustainable intensification of agriculture, 23, 24 technology: improvement in most people’s lives due to, 6, 60, 215 need for appropriate deployment of, 4, 26, 60 optimism about, 5, 225–26 as practical application of science, 202 preserving basic methods for the apocalypse, 216–17 for scientific experiments, 206–7 timescales for advance of, 152 unintended destructive consequences of, 215 telescopes: on far side of Moon, 144 optical Earth-based, 134–35, 137 radio telescopes, 134, 144, 157, 207 space telescopes, 137, 142, 143 Teller, Edward, 110 telomeres, 79 terrorism: biological techniques and, 73, 75, 77–78 in interconnected world, 215 new technology and, 100 nuclear weapons and, 20 Thomas, Chris, 74 thorium-based reactor, 54 3D printing: making consumer items cheaper, 31 of replacement organs, 72 tidal energy, 50–51 timescales: of planning for global challenges, 3–4, 59–60, 217. See also short-termism tipping points, 4, 32, 41, 42 Titan, 128, 136 Tito, Dennis, 147 translation by computer, 85, 89, 104 Trump regime, and climate change, 37–38 Tunguska event of 1908, 15 23andMe , 80 universal income, 96 universe: Dyson on numerical bounds for, 179–80 fine-tuned for life, 186, 197–98. See also big bang multiverse unknown unknowns, 189 urbanisation, 1, 22. See also megacities of developing world vaccines, 65, 72–73 vacuum, 112, 180, 187 Venter, Craig, 64, 80 Venus, 127–28 video surveillance (CCTV), 78 viruses, 64, 72–73, 74, 78, 83 Vital Signs project, 40 vitamin A deficiency, 24 volcanoes, 16, 216 Voyager 1, 120, 121 Wallace, Alfred Russel, 34–35, 126 warfare, and new technology, 100–102 water resources: global warming and, 41 international planning for, 219 used in food production, 24 wave power, 50 weather: extreme events in, 41 predictions of, 171, 190 regional disruptions in, 41 Weinberg, Steven, 175–76, 188 Welby, Justin, 199 Wells, H.

Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists by Julia Ebner

‘Instead, they find ways to support their community members and keep them as part of the group.’8 In some cases, however, repression mechanisms yield a reinforcement of the beliefs, or worse, an escalation to even more absurd conspiracy theories that allow them to deny all validity of their test results.9 According to Mr White, genetic tests are purposefully distorted by the so-called ‘ZOG’, ‘the Zionist Occupied Government’, as part of their plot to wipe out the white race. ‘To be honest, with the recent article about 23andMe being manipulated to show more Ashkenazi and Sub-Saharan African in customer reports, it’s difficult to trust anything,’ he writes. There is no reliable evidence to suggest that genetic-test data providers interfere with the test results they provide. But the white supremacist belief that every single aspect of their lives is ruled by Jews, the ‘global elites’ or ‘cultural Marxists’ sits so deep that it is hard to find in their minds anything that is not rigged. The genetic test providers 23andMe and Ancestry are not exempt from their universal distrust. Distrust is one of the key constants that brings individuals to extreme-right channels, but fun, friendship and fulfilment are what keeps them there.

A few days later Bryan is gone. Instead, Jason appears in the recruitment hub of the white nationalist channel. ‘I’m already on a shit ton of watch lists,’ he writes, ‘and I’m only fourteen.’ ‘Ru white tho?)’ asks Aldritch, who himself is Anglo-Bulgarian with some German, Scottish and Croatian ancestry on the maternal side. Nobody in the group seems to care that Jason is a minor. ‘2% nigger, 23andMe test into the trashbin,’ is Jason’s prompt reply. The boy posts a copy of his genetic test results into the group to prove his whiteness. ‘Just kidding, I’m three-quarters German and a quarter Estonian.’ He gets a grinning emoji in response, as the second administrator, Deus Vult, enters the chat room. ‘Did you know that Alfred Rosenberg, the leader of the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers) during Hitler’s imprisonment, was one-quarter Estonian?’

Mr White is not the only white supremacist who wants to know every single percentage of his ancestry. Many right-wing extremists have developed an obsession with genetics. Across the dozens of closed chat groups I monitored over the course of 2017–18, at least half of them asked their members to share detailed accounts of their genetic ancestry. Some even wanted to see the test results as part of the application procedure. 23andMe , Ancestry, MyHeritage and other DNA-testing firms recorded an unprecedented surge in their sales of genetic genealogy tests since the summer of 2016. More people had their DNA analysed in 2017 than in all previous years combined.6 But white supremacists’ genetic ancestry test results don’t always match their own purity requirements, which can push them into profound identity crises. When your main scapegoats are Jews and Muslims, and you consider Blacks and Arabs biologically inferior, it can be a little discomfiting to find out you are a quarter Jewish and an eighth Moroccan.

The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever

Food and Drug Administration’s cumbersome approval process. As long as an application and sensor are sold as a patient’s reference tool rather than for a doctor’s use, they don’t need approval. But these applications and attachments increasingly are replacing real medical opinions and tests. Innovators’ path to market isn’t entirely obstacle free. The FDA was able to quickly and easily ban the upstart company 23andMe from selling its home genetics test kits to the public, though it later partly revised its decision.2 Uber has been fighting regulatory battles in Germany and elsewhere, largely at the behest of the taxi industry.3 But the services these two companies provide are nearly inevitable now due to the huge public support they have received as a result of the tremendous benefits they offer in their specific realms.

When a genome test tells you that you are predisposed to a disease, you could take it very seriously and become demoralized, when in fact the factors that lead to disease are much more complex and often include aspects under our control. The readouts that consumer devices produce could lead people who don’t have experience in medicine to make poor decisions. And the A.I. doctors won’t have real compassion for at least another decade, maybe two. A larger concern is security and privacy. Genome tests will soon become as common as blood tests, and protecting our genomic data won’t be easy. The company 23andMe ran afoul of regulators because it was telling people what diseases they might be predisposed to. As I mentioned earlier, the issue here was the accuracy of the analysis and what people might do with the information. The bigger question, however, is what businesses may do with genomic data. Genetic-testing companies typically have contractual clauses that let them use and sell their clients’ genetic information to third parties.

The effort to sequence a human genome was a long and costly one. Started by the government-funded Human Genome Project and later augmented by Celera Genomics and its noted scientist CEO, Craig Venter, the sequencing spanned more than a decade and cost nearly $3 billion. Today, numerous companies are able to completely sequence your DNA for around $1,000, in less than three days. There are even venture-backed companies, such as 23andMe , that sequence parts of human DNA for consumers, without any doctor participation or prescription, for as little as $199. We can expect the price of DNA sequencing to fall to the cost of a regular blood test in the early 2020s and, shortly thereafter, to cost practically nothing. Again, what makes this possible is that the computers that sequence DNA are becoming faster and more powerful in parallel with development of the microprocessors that power them, which double in speed and halve in price every eighteen to twenty-four months.

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

We’ve used sprints for prioritization, for marketing strategy, even for naming companies. Time and time again, the process brings teams together and brings ideas to life. Over the past few years, our team has had an unparalleled opportunity to experiment and validate our ideas about work process. We’ve run more than one hundred sprints with the startups in the GV portfolio. We’ve worked alongside, and learned from, brilliant entrepreneurs like Anne Wojcicki (founder of 23andMe ), Ev Williams (founder of Twitter, Blogger, and Medium), and Chad Hurley and Steve Chen (founders of YouTube). In the beginning, I wanted to make my workdays efficient and meaningful. I wanted to focus on what was truly important and make my time count—for me, for my team, and for our customers. Now, more than a decade later, the sprint process has consistently helped me reach that goal. And I’m superexcited to share it with you in this book.

Adrian Canoso designed the Relay robot on page 14. Heidi Qiao volunteered to sit for the customer test photos on pages 203 to 204. All other photos are by either Jake Knapp, Braden Kowitz, or John Zeratsky. Image postproduction by Braden Kowitz. Illustrations by Jake Knapp. JAKE KNAPP created the Google Ventures sprint process and has run more than a hundred sprints with startups such as 23andMe , Slack, Nest, and Foundation Medicine. Previously, Jake worked at Google, leading sprints for everything from Gmail to Google X. He is among the world’s tallest designers. JOHN ZERATSKY has designed mobile apps, medical reports, and a daily newspaper (among other things). Before joining Google Ventures, he was a design lead at YouTube and an early employee of FeedBurner, which Google acquired in 2007.

., 229 Sharpies, 75n simplicity, in maps, 66 sketching, 16, 60, 102, 103–18 abstract ideas and, 106–7 in Blue Bottle sprint, 24, 103–4, 108, 113 Crazy 8s exercise in, 109, 111–13 in Move Loot sprint, 113 prototypes and, 104–6 of rough ideas, 109, 111 solution sketches in, see solution sketches taking notes in, 109, 110 as working alone together, 107–9 Slack sprint, 129–31, 143–44, 149–58, 175, 216, 217, 220–21, 222, 223 expansion into new markets as challenge for, 129–30 Smithsonian Institute, 228 snacks, for sprints, 45 solution sketches, 109, 114–18 anonymity of, 114–15 in Blue Bottle sprint, 116–17 deciding on, see deciding as explanatory, 114 importance of words in, 115 maybe-laters in, 142, 155 single-scene, 114, 117 in Slack sprint, 130 sticky notes and, 114 storyboard format in, 114, 116 titles for, 115 winners in, 141–42 speed critique: in deciding process, 131, 135–37 Scribe in, 135–36 sprints: checklists for, 232–49 clearing calendars for, 10, 39, 40–41 concept of, 3 daily schedule in, 39, 40–41, 90–91 deciding process in, see deciding façades in, see façades as five-day process, 5–6, 9, 16, 40–41 frequently asked questions about, 251–57 learning from, see interviews, learning from no-devices rule in, 41, 110 origin of, 2–5 prototypes in, see prototypes, prototyping questions to be answered in, see questions, finding answers to tests, real-world risk-taking in, 166 Rumbles in, 143–47 setting priorities in, 54–55 storyboards in, see storyboarding time allocation in, 38–41 timers for, 46–48 uncovering dangerous assumptions through, 56–57 universal application of, 229–30 versatility of, 5–6, 229–30 wide application of, 5–6 working alone together in, 107–9 work rooms for, 41–45 Squarespace, 186 SquidCo sprint, 30–31, 32, 139 Starting at the End, 5, 53–58 in Apollo 13 rescue, 53–54 in Blue Bottle sprint, 55–56, 57 in Flatiron Health sprint, 62–63 long-term goals and, 55–57, 61, 62–63, 67 questions to be answered in, 55–58, 62–63, 67 in Savioke sprint, 56 setting priorities in, 54–55 startups, 231 sprints and, 4–5, 15–16, 27 Starwood, 9 sticky notes: poster-size, 43, 44 solution sketches and, 114 see also How Might We notes Stitcher, 187, 189 storyboarding, 125, 148–58 “artist” for, 151, 154–55, 156 assigning prototyping tasks from, 188, 189–90 in Blue Bottle sprint, 153, 157, 188 competitors’ products in, 154 copywriting in, 155–56 Decider in, 156 detail in, 156 in Flatiron Health sprint, 153 maybe-laters in, 155 opening scene in, 152–53 resisting new ideas in, 155 risk-taking in, 156 in Savioke sprint, 153, 157 in Slack sprint, 149–53, 156 solution sketches as, 114, 116 test-time limits and, 157 story-centered design, 5 strategy, 70 straw polls, 87–88 in deciding process, 131, 138–40 successes, flawed, 223–24 supervotes, 143, 144 in deciding process, 131, 140–42, 143 surface, as contact point between product and customer, 28 target, 82, 83–88 in Blue Bottle sprint, 84–85, 101 Decider and, 31, 32, 85–88 in Flatiron Health sprint, 85–87, 88 How Might We notes and, 87 key customers in, 85–86 key event in, 85–86 maps and, 84, 85–86 in Savioke sprint, 84 straw polls and, 87–88 Tcho, 97 team processes, 1 teams, 29–37, 218 in Blue Bottle sprint, 22–24, 33 challenges and, 68 choosing members of, 33, 34–36 Deciders in, see Deciders division of labor in, 101–2 experts and, see Ask the Experts Facilitators in, see Facilitators ideal size of, 33 interviews observed by, see interviews, learning from in Ocean’s Eleven, 29–30 in Savioke sprint, 9–11, 33 in SquidCo sprint, 30–31 troublemakers in, 35 tech/logistic experts, 34 “Tenacious Tour, The” (Slack solution sketch), 144, 175, 217, 220–21, 222 tests, real-world, 5, 16, 231 in Blue Bottle sprint, 25 competitors’ products in, 154 Deciders and, 31, 32 in FitStar sprint, 173–74 in Graco sprint, 27–28 interview in, see interviews recruiting customers for, 119–23, 197 in Savioke sprint, 10, 11–13, 15 time units in, 157 Tharp, Marie, 83–84 3D printing, 27, 185, 186 tight deadlines, 109 time, allocation of, for sprints, 38–41 timers, in deciding process, 136, 138 Time Timers, 46–48 Tolkien, J. R. R., 59 Toy Story (film), 149 trade-offs, in sprint process, 31 troublemakers, in teams, 35 Tse, Alison, 12, 178, 179 Turner, Nat, 60–62 23andMe , 6 Twitter, 6 Vision, 175 WalrusCo sprint, 69 Warren, Charles, 89 Washington Post, 15 Waugh, Chris, 180–81 website usability, 197 Weinberg, Zach, 60–61 whiteboards, 72, 89 in sprint room, 42–44 Wieden+Kennedy, 230 Williams, Ev, 6, 224 Willow Garage, 8 Wojcicki, Anne, 6 words, in solution sketches, 115 working alone together, 107–9 Wright, Orville and Wilbur, 227–28, 231 Writer, 187–88 writing, importance of, 115 Yale University, 107 Yaskawa, Izumi, 11 YouTube, 6 Zeratsky, John, 5, 7, 9, 22, 24, 30, 60, 76, 140, 189 Simon & Schuster 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 2016 by John Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

In the comments, Chris Cranley took off on Godin’s idea and suggested that just as smarter products may need less insurance, the same may be said of smarter people: “If I knew how to avoid problem X, I would not insure against it.” Education and information become insurance against insurance. Godin took this line of thinking to its extreme when he speculated about opportunities not just for smarter people but—genetically speaking—healthier people as determined by 23andMe , a service that analyzes users’ DNA. (Founded by Brin’s wife, Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe discovered his Parkinson’s gene. Google invested in the company.) Godin said: And while some may not like it, what happens when 23andMe gets a lot smarter and the healthiest gene pool starts their own life insurance coop? U.K. business journalist James Ball agreed with me that insurance is “a glorified betting market” where insurance providers “offer odds against certain outcomes—adverse outcomes—and we pay up the stake.

See search-engine optimization Sequoia Capital, 189 Shardanand, Upendra, 35 Shirky, Clay, 50, 60, 151, 191–92, 197, 235–36, 237 Silverman, Dwight, 13 simplicity, 114–16, 236 SimplyHired.com, 39 Sirius Satellite Radio, 131 Skype, 31, 50 Smart Mobs (Rheingold), 106 Smith, Quincy, 38 Smolan, Rick, 140 social business, 158 social graph, 49 socialization, 211–12 social-media, 172–73 social responsibility, 47 social web, 51 Sorrell, Martin, 42 Sourcetool.com, 100 specialization, 26–27, 154 speed, 103–4, 105–6 Spitzer, Eliot, 96 splogs, 43 Starbucks, 60–62 Stern, Howard, 95, 131–32 Stewart, Jon, 95–96 StudieVZ, 50 Supreme Court, 225 Surowiecki, James, 88 talent, 146, 240 Tapscott, Don, 113, 151, 225 targeting, 151, 179–80 teaching, 193, 214–15 teamwork, 217 TechCrunch, 107, 192 Technorati, 15, 20 TechTV, 132 telecommunications, 165–71 Telegraph Media Group, 123 television, 84 cable, 167 decline of, 65–66 listings, 109–10 networks, 135 Television Without Pity, 135 Tesco, 179 Tesla Motors, 175 testing, 214 Threadbanger, 180 Threadless, 57 TimesSelect, 78 Time Warner, 80–81 Tobaccowala, Rishad, 114, 121–22, 145–48, 151, 177 on Apple, 228 toilet paper, 180–81 TomEvslin.com, 31 Toto, 181 Toyota, 174–75 transparency, 83, 97–98 journalism and, 92 PR and, 223 Tribune Company, 129 Trippi, Joe, 238 trust, 74, 170 control v., 82–83 in customers, 83–84 Tumblr, 192 Turner, Ted, 134 TV Guide, 109–10 20 percent rule, 111, 114 23andMe , 205 Twitter, 20, 126 Dell and, 46 mobs and, 107 real time and, 105–6 Tyndall, Andrew, 220 Union Square Ventures, 30 University of Phoenix, 217 Updike, John, 138 The Vanishing Newspaper (Meyer), 125 Vardi, Yossi, 31–32 Vaynerchuk, Gary, 107, 157–61 VC. See venture capital vendor relationship management (VRM), 201–2 venture capital (VC), 189–95 Vershbow, Ben, 138 Virginia Tech University, 105 Virgin Money, 197 Virtual Law Partners, 223 Vise, David A., 114–15 VRM.

Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World by Bruce Schneier

Scherer (Spring 2016), “Regulating artificial intelligence systems: Risks, challenges, competencies, and strategies,” Harvard Journal of Law & Technology 29, no. 2, http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/articles/pdf/v29/29HarvJLTech353.pdf. 149Israel created its National Cyber Bureau: National Cyber Bureau (2 Jun 2013), “Mission of the bureau,” Prime Minister’s Office, http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/PrimeMinistersOffice/DivisionsAndAuthorities/cyber/Pages/default.aspx. 149The UK created the National Cyber Security Centre: National Cyber Security Centre (9 Jun 2017 accessed 24 Apr 2018), “About the NCSC,” https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/about-ncsc. 150One: governments tend to regulate industries: Andrew Odlyzko (1 Mar 2009), “Network neutrality, search neutrality, and the never-ending conflict between efficiency and fairness in markets,” Review of Network Economics 8, no. 1, https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/rne.2009.8.issue-1/rne.2009.8.1.1169/rne.2009.8.1.1169.xml. 151The agency doesn’t conduct the testing itself: Food and Drug Administration (accessed 24 Apr 2018), “The FDA’s role in medical device cybersecurity,” https://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/DigitalHealth/UCM544684.pdf. 151Rules for privacy of patients’ medical data: Charles Ornstein (17 Nov 2015), “Federal privacy law lags far behind personal-health technologies,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/11/17/federal-privacy-law-lags-far-behind-personal-health-technologies. 151And sometimes the FDA fights back: Russell Brandom (25 Nov 2013), “Body blow: How 23andMe brought down the FDA’s wrath,” Verge, https://www.theverge.com/2013/11/25/5144928/how- 23andme -brought-down-fda-wrath-personal-genetics-wojcicki. Gina Kolata (6 Apr 2017), “F.D.A. will allow 23andMe to sell genetic tests for disease risk to consumers,” New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/health/fda-genetic-tests- 23andme .html. 151In 2015, the FTC sued Wyndham Hotels: Electronic Privacy Information Center (24 Aug 2015), “FTC v. Wyndham,” https://epic.org/amicus/ftc/wyndham. 152The Federal Court of Appeals sided with: Federal Trade Commission (9 Dec 2015), “Wyndham settles FTC charges it unfairly placed consumers’ payment card information at risk,” https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/12/wyndham-settles-ftc-charges-it-unfairly-placed-consumers-payment. 152It took 13 years for Facebook: Josh Constine (27 Jun 2017), “Facebook now has 2 billion monthly users . . . and responsibility,” TechCrunch, https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/facebook-2-billion-users. 153The law makes an important distinction: Eric R.

Rules for privacy of patients’ medical data are substantially different from those governing privacy of consumer data. As you’d expect, medical-data rules are much more stringent. Many developers of new health-related products and services are trying to position their wares as consumer devices, so they don’t require FDA approval. This sometimes works, as with health trackers like Fitbit. And sometimes the FDA fights back, as it did with genetic data collected by 23andMe . For cars, the Department of Transportation has only issued voluntary security standards. Voluntary standards are never as effective as mandatory standards, but they can help. For example, in a lawsuit the court will often assess voluntary compliance with DOT guidance to help determine whether a manufacturer was negligent. The FAA has taken a different approach with drone regulation. It does not require design certification for each new drone that enters the market instead, it indirectly regulates consumer drones through policies that restrict how and where they can be used.

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

But even though he was raised as a Jew and attended Hebrew school for a few years, he was nonpracticing, did not have a bar mitzvah, and was put off by traditional Jewish celebrations, which he once told an Israeli reporter he “associated with getting lots of gifts and money, and I was never comfortable with that.” When he was married on an island in the Bahamas in May of 2007 to Anne Wojcicki, cofounder of 23andMe , a genetics research company, the couple stood in bathing suits under a chuppah, the traditional Jewish wedding canopy, but no rabbi officiated. Then, as now, he was uncomfortable with introspection. Asked by the same Israeli reporter if it was a coincidence that his wife was Jewish, he said, “I believe there are lots of nice non-Jewish girls out there. My wife is, I guess, half Jewish.” So was it a coincidence, the reporter pressed, that his wife was half Jewish?

He ruthlessly guards his time, and can treat those who ask him to make a speech or meet reporters as if they were thieves trying to steal his time. A longtime Google employee describes Page this way: “Larry is like a wall. He analyzes everything. He asks, ‘Is this the most efficient way to do this?’ You’re always on trial with Larry. He always pushes you.” While Brin is more approachable than Page, he, too, can be awkward around strangers. His wife Anne Wojcicki’s company, 23andMe , was feted at a fashionable cocktail party in September 2008 that was cohosted by Diane von Furstenberg and her husband, Barry Diller, Wendi and Rupert Murdoch, and Georgina Chapman and her husband, Harvey Weinstein. The event was held at Diller’s Frank Gehry-designed IAC headquarters in Manhattan. Brin appeared wearing a dark crewneck sweater and gray Crocs. He and Google are investors in her company and he is openly proud of her work.

Al Gore was to conclude the conference by interviewing Page and Brin. The three men chatted on stage for a few minutes when Page interrupted to say that Brin wanted ten minutes to share something. Brin stepped to a microphone and riveted the audience for about ten minutes with a precise, impersonal account of his mother’s recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. He explained that his wife, Anne Wojcicki, had cofounded 23andMe to study genetics, including the genetics of Parkinson’s. He said the evidence of a genetic link to Parkinson’s was at first slight, but studies had recently unearthed one gene, LRRK2, in particular a mutation known as G2019S, that in some ethnic groups creates a familial link through which the disease travels. Brin said he had dug deeper, reading genetics journals, searching for pieces of DNA shared with relatives.

Data for the Public Good by Alex Howard

“As some put it, personal data will be the new ‘oil’ — a valuable resource of the 21st century. It will emerge as a new asset class touching all aspects of society.” The idea of data as a currency is still in its infancy, as Strata Conference chair Edd Dumbill has emphasized. The Locker Project, which provides people with the ability to move their own data around, is one of many approaches. The growth of the Quantified Self movement and online communities like PatientsLikeMe and 23andMe validates the strength of the movement. In the U.S. federal government, the Blue Button initiative, which enables veterans to download personal health data, has now spread to all federal employees and earned adoption at Aetna and Kaiser Permanente. In early 2012, a Green Button was launched to unleash energy data in the same way. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson called the Green Button an “OAuth for energy data.”

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

The idea is for Google Fit to feed the Baseline Study with the data it needs.30 Yet companies such as Google want to go much deeper than wearables. The market for DNA testing is currently growing in leaps and bounds. One of its leaders is 23andMe , a private company founded by Anne Wojcicki, former wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The name ‘ 23andMe ’ refers to the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes that contain our genome, the message being that my chromosomes have a very special relationship with me. Anyone who can understand what the chromosomes are saying can tell you things about yourself that you never even suspected. If you want to know what, pay 23andMe a mere $99, and they will send you a small package with a tube. You spit into the tube, seal it and mail it to Mountain View, California. There the DNA in your saliva is read, and you receive the results online.

(game show) 315–16, 315 Jesus Christ 91, 155, 183, 187, 271, 274, 297 Jews/Judaism: ancient/biblical 60, 90–1, 94, 172–3, 174, 181, 193, 194–5, 268, 390 animal welfare and 94 expulsions from early modern Europe 197, 198 Great Jewish Revolt (AD 70) 194 homosexuality and 225–6 Second World War and 164–5, 165, 182 Jolie, Angelina 332–3, 335, 347 Jones, Lieutenant Henry 254 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 354–5 Joyce, James: Ulysses 240 JSTOR digital library 383 Jung, Carl 223–4 Kahneman, Daniel 294, 295–6, 338–9 Kasparov, Garry 320–1, 320 Khmer Rouge 264 Khrushchev, Nikita 263, 273–4 Kurzweil, Ray 24, 25, 27 The Singularity is Near 381 Kyoto protocol, 1997 215–16 Lake Fayum engineering project, Egypt 161–2, 175, 178 Larson, Professor Steve 324–5 Law of the Jungle 14–21 lawns 58–64, 62, 63 lawyers, replacement by artificial intelligence of 314 Lea, Tom: That 2,000 Yard Stare (1944) 244, 245, 246 Lenin Academy for Agricultural Sciences 371–2 Lenin, Vladimir 181, 207, 251, 271, 272, 273, 375 Levy, Professor Frank 322 liberal humanism/liberalism 98, 181, 247 contemporary alternatives to 267–77 free will and 281–90, 304 humanism and see humanism humanist wars of religion, 1914– 1991 and 261–7 individualism, belief in 290–304, 305 meaning of life and 304, 305 schism within humanism and 246–57 science undermines foundations of 281–306 technological challenge to 305–6, 307–50 value of experience and 257–9, 260, 387–8 victory of 265–7 life expectancy 5, 25–7, 32–4, 50 ‘logic bombs’ (malicious software codes) 17 Louis XIV, King 4, 64, 227 lucid dreaming 361–2 Luther, Martin 185–7, 275, 276 Luther King, Martin 263–4, 275 Lysenko, Trofim 371–2 MAD (mutual assured destruction) 265 malaria 12, 19, 315 malnutrition 3, 5, 6, 10, 27, 55 Mao Zedong 27, 165, 167, 251, 259, 263, 375 Maris, Bill 24 marriage: artificial intelligence and 337–8, 343 gay 275, 276 humanism and 223–5, 275, 276, 291, 303–4, 338, 364 life expectancy and 26 Marx, Karl/Marxism 56–7, 60, 183, 207, 247–8, 271–4 Communist Manifesto 217 Das Kapital 57, 274 Mattersight Corporation 317–18 Mazzini, Giuseppe 249–50 meaning of life 184, 222, 223, 299–306, 338, 386 Memphis, Egypt 158–9 Mendes, Aristides de Sousa 164–5, 164 Merkel, Angela 248–9 Mesopotamia 93 Mexico 8–9, 11, 263 Michelangelo 27, 253 David 260 Microsoft 15, 157, 330–1 Band 330–1 Cortana 342–3 Mill, John Stuart 35 ‘mind-reading’ helmet 44–5 Mindojo 314 MIT 322, 383 modern covenant 199–219, 220 Modi, Narendra 206, 207 money: credit and 201–5 Dataism and 352, 365, 379 intersubjective nature of 144, 145, 171, 177 invention of 157, 158, 352, 379 investment in growth 209–11 mother–infant bond 88–90 Mubarak, Hosni 137 Muhammad 188, 226, 270, 391 Murnane, Professor Richard 322 Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar 64 Muslims: Charlie Hebdo attack and 226 Crusades and 146, 147, 148, 149 economic growth, belief in 206 evaluating success of 174 evolution and 103 expulsions of from early modern Europe 197, 198 free will and 285 lawns and 64 LGBT community and 225 see also Islam Mussolini, Benito 302 Myanmar 144, 206 Nagel, Thomas 357 nanotechnology 23, 25, 51, 98, 212, 269, 344, 353 National Health Service, UK 334–5 National Salvation Front, Romania 136 NATO 264–5 Naveh, Danny 76, 96 Nayaka people 75–6, 96 Nazism 98, 164–5, 181, 182, 247, 255–7, 262–3, 375, 376, 396 Ne Win, General 144 Neanderthals 49, 156, 261, 273, 356, 378 Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylonia 172–3, 310 Nelson, Shawn 255 New York Times 309, 332–4, 347, 370 New Zealand: Animal Welfare Amendment Act, 2015 122 Newton, Isaac 27, 97–8, 143, 197 Nietzsche, Friedrich 234, 254, 268 non-organic beings 43, 45 Norenzayan, Ara 354–5 Novartis 330 nuclear weapons 15, 16, 17, 17, 131, 149, 163, 216, 265, 372 Nyerere, Julius 166 Oakland Athletics 321 Obama, President Barack 313, 375 obesity 5–6, 18, 54 OncoFinder 323 Ottoman Empire 197, 207 ‘Our Boys Didn’t Die in Vain’ syndrome 300–3, 301 Page, Larry 28 paradox of knowledge 55–8 Paris Agreement, 2015 216 Pathway Pharmaceuticals 323 Petsuchos 161–2 Pfungst, Oskar 129 pharmacists 317 pigs, domesticated 79–83, 82, 87–8, 90, 98, 99, 100, 101, 231 Pinker, Steven 305 Pius IX, Pope 270–1 Pixie Scientific 330 plague/infectious disease 1–2, 6–14 politics: automation of 338–41 biochemical pursuit of happiness and 41 liberalism and 226–7, 229, 232, 232, 234, 247–50, 247n, 252 life expectancy and 26–7, 29 revolution and 132–7 speed of change in 58 pollution 20, 176, 213–14, 215–16, 341–2 poverty 3–6, 19, 33, 55, 205–6, 250, 251, 262, 349 Presley, Elvis 159–60, 159 Problem of Other Minds 119–20, 126–7 Protestant Reformation 185–7, 198, 242–4, 242, 243 psychology: evolutionary 82–3 focus of research 353–6, 360–2 Freudian 117 humanism and 223–4, 251–2 positive 360–2 Putin, Vladimir 26, 375 pygmy chimpanzees (bonobos) 138–9 Quantified Self movement 331 quantum physics 103, 170, 182, 234 Qur’an 170, 174, 269, 270 rats, laboratory 38, 39, 101, 122–4, 123, 127–8, 286–7 Redelmeier, Donald 296 relativity, theory of 102, 103, 170 religion: animals and 75–8, 90–8, 173 animist 75–8, 91, 92, 96–7, 173 challenge to liberalism 268 Dataism 367–97 see also Dataism defining 180–7 ethical judgments 195–7 evolution and see evolution formula for knowledge 235–7 God, death of 67, 234, 261, 268 humanist ethic and 234–5 monotheist 101–2, 173 science, relationship with 187–95, 197–8 scriptures, belief in 172–4 spirituality and 184–7 theist religions 90–6, 98, 274 revolutions 57, 60, 132–7, 155, 263–4, 308, 310–11 Ritalin 39, 364 robo-rat 286–7 Roman Empire 98, 191, 192, 194, 240, 373 Romanian Revolution, 1989 133–7, 138 Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare) 365–6 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 223, 282, 305 Russian Revolution, 1917 132–3, 136 Rwanda 15 Saarinen, Sharon 53 Saladin 146, 147, 148, 150–1 Santino (chimpanzee) 125–7 Saraswati, Dayananda 270, 271, 273 Scientific Revolution 96–9, 197–8, 212, 236–7, 379 Scotland 4, 303–4, 303 Second World War, 1939–45 21, 34, 55, 115, 164, 253, 262–3, 292 self: animal self-consciousness 124–7 Dataism and 386–7, 392–3 evolutionary theory and 103–4 experiencing and narrating self 294–305, 337, 338–9, 343 free will and 222–3, 230, 247, 281–90, 304, 305, 306, 338 life sciences undermine liberal idea of 281–306, 328–9 monotheism and 173, 174 single authentic self, humanist idea of 226–7, 235–6, 251, 281–306, 328–41, 363–6, 390–1 socialism and self-reflection 251–2 soul and 285 techno-humanism and 363–6 technological challenge to liberal idea of 327–46, 363–6 transcranial stimulator and 289 Seligman, Martin 360 Senusret III 161, 162 September 11 attacks, New York, 2011 18, 374 Shavan, Shlomi 331 Shedet, Egypt 161–2 Silico Medicine 323 Silicon Valley 15, 24, 25, 268, 274, 351, 381 Sima Qian 173, 174 Singapore 32, 207 smallpox 8–9, 10, 11 Snayers, Pieter: Battle of White Mountain 242–4, 243, 246 Sobek 161–2, 163, 171, 178–9 socialist humanism/socialism 247–8, 250–2, 256, 259–60, 261–2, 263, 264, 265, 266–7, 271–4, 325, 351, 376 soul 29, 92, 101–6, 115–16, 128, 130, 132, 138, 146, 147, 148, 150, 160, 184–5, 186, 189, 195, 229, 272, 282, 283, 285, 291, 324, 325, 381 South Korea 33, 151, 264, 266, 294, 349 Soviet Union: communism and 206, 208, 370, 371–2 data processing and 370, 370, 371–2 disappearance/collapse of 132–3, 135, 136, 145, 145, 266 economy and 206, 208, 370, 370, 371–2 Second World War and 263 Spanish Flu 9–10, 11 Sperry, Professor Roger Wolcott 292 St Augustine 275, 276 Stalin, Joseph 26–7, 256, 391 stock exchange 105–10, 203, 210, 294, 313, 369–70, 371 Stone Age 33–4, 60, 74, 80, 131, 155, 156, 157, 163, 176, 261 subjective experience 34, 80, 82–3, 105–17, 143–4, 155, 179, 229, 237, 312, 388, 393 Sudan 270, 271, 273 suicide rates 2, 15, 33 Sumerians 156–8, 159, 162–3, 323 Survivor (TV reality show) 240 Swartz, Aaron 382–3 Guerilla Open Access Manifesto 383 Sylvester I, Pope 190–1 Syria 3, 19, 149, 171, 220, 275, 313 Taiping Rebellion, 1850–64 271 Talwar, Professor Sanjiv 286–7 techno-humanism: definition of 352–3 focus of psychological research and 353–9 human will and 363–6 upgrading of mind 359–66 technology: Dataism and see Dataism inequality and future 346–50 liberal idea of individual challenged by 327–46 renders humans economically and militarily useless 307–27 techno-humanism and see techno-humanism Tekmira 203 terrorism 14, 18–19, 226, 288, 290, 311 Tesla 114, 322 Thatcher, Margaret 57, 372 Thiel, Peter 24–5 Third Man, The (movie) 253–4 Thirty Years War, 1618–48 242–3 Three Gorges Dam, 163, 188, 196 Thucydides 173, 174 Toyota 230, 294, 323 transcranial stimulators 44–5, 287–90, 362–3, 364 Tree of Knowledge, biblical 76–7, 77, 97, 98 tuberculosis 9, 19, 23, 24 Turing, Alan 120, 367 Turing Machine 367 Turing Test 120 23andMe 336 Twitter 47, 137, 313, 387 US Army 287–90, 362–3, 364 Uganda 192–3, 195 United States: Dataism and 374 energy usage and happiness levels in 34 evolution, suspicion of within 102 Kyoto protocol, 1997 and 215–16 liberalism, view of within 247n nuclear weapons and 163 pursuit of happiness and 31 value of life in compared to Afghan life 100 Vietnam War and 264, 265 well-being levels 34 Universal Declaration of Human Rights 21, 24, 31 Urban II, Pope 227–8 Uruk 156–7 Valla, Lorenzo 192 Valle Giulia, Battle of, 1968 263 vampire bats 204–5 Vedas 170, 181, 270 Vietnam War, 1954–75 57, 244, 264, 265 virtual-reality worlds 326–7 VITAL 322–3 Voyager golden record 258–9 Waal, Frans de 140–1 Walter, Jean-Jacques: Gustav Adolph of Sweden at the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631) 242, 243, 244–5 war 1–3, 14–19 humanism and narratives of 241–6, 242, 245, 253–6 Warsaw Pact 264–5 Watson (artificial intelligence system) 315–17, 315, 330 Watson, John 88–9, 90 Waze 341–2 web of meaning 143–9 WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic) countries, psychology research focus on 354–5, 359, 360 West Africa: Ebola and 11, 13, 203 ‘What Is It Like to Be a Bat?’

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang

In the long, hot summer: Caroline Graham, “The £5.4 Billion Google Love Rat: How Boss, 58, of Internet Giant Resisting Online Porn Crackdown Has a String of Exotic Lovers in His ‘Open Marriage’ . . . but DOESN’T Want You to Know About It,” Daily Mail, July 20, 2013, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2371719/Googles-Eric-Schmidts-open-marriage-string-exotic-lovers.html. Schmidt’s New York apartment: Sam Biddle, “Google Boss Enjoys $15 Mil Manhattan Sex Penthouse,” Valleywag, July 25, 2013, http://valleywag.gawker.com/google-boss-enjoys-15-mil-manhattan-sex-penthouse-909299764. “the most daring CEO”: Ryan Chittum, “Fast Company’s Daring 23andMe Cover,” Columbia Journalism Review, Nov. 23, 2013, http://archives.cjr.org/the_audit/fast_companys_daring_ 23andme _c.php. Longtime chief legal counsel: Albergotti, “Google Reckoning with History of Interoffice Romance by Top Execs.” Executives, she tweeted: Shawn Paul Wood, “Google Engineer Accused of Sexual Harassment Allegedly Does Nothing,” Adweek, March 9, 2015, http://www.adweek.com/digital/google-engineer-accused-of-sexual-harassment-allegedly-does-nothing.

To make matters more complicated, Rosenberg’s then-boyfriend, Hugo Barra, was a lead executive heading up Google’s Android division, who left at about the same time as the scandal broke in the press to run global operations at the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. And to make it even more complicated, Brin was married to Susan Wojcicki’s sister Anne, a Silicon Valley force in her own right, heading up the genetic-testing company 23andMe . Fast Company once called her “the most daring CEO in America.” Other sexcapades involving lesser-known but still powerful men at Google became part of company lore but took years to end up in the media. Longtime chief legal counsel David Drummond had an extramarital affair with a paralegal in his departent, Jennifer Blakely, and the pair had a child together. The Information reported that in order to address the conflict of interest, Google moved Blakely from the legal department to the sales department and she later left the company, while Drummond remained.

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

One acquaintance removed almost every food from his diet—“I’m allergic to them all!”—without realizing that food allergy testing is notoriously error-prone. If you get an alarming result, repeat the test. If you have the budget, consider using a different lab or, better still, sending two identical samples to the same lab under different names. I did the latter with several tests, including 23andMe , to ensure the results were consistent. 23andMe passed, but many others did not. Get a second opinion before doing anything drastic. I owe special thanks to Dr. Justin Mager for helping me navigate the world of testing. THE MENU Insurance will often cover the first one or two comprehensive tests you have performed, and I encourage you to speak with your doctor about this option. I prefer to keep my testing activities (and results) out of insurance files and usually pay with a credit card.

Good pre-dinner motivation for overfeeding. Arthur Jones Collection (www.fourhourbody.com/jones) This site, compiled by Brian Johnston, is a collection of the writing and photographs of the legendary Arthur Jones, including the original Nautilus Bulletins, “The Future of Exercise,” and unpublished works. End of Chapter Notes 8. I’ve since confirmed this finding with three separate genetic profiles through 23andMe (two tests with different names to ensure consistent results) and Navigenics. 9. I’ve since learned to worry less about cholesterol if HDL is high enough and triglycerides are low enough. 10. Compiled with a combination of the lowest and highest measurements from both locations. 11. To give my adrenal glands and adrenergic receptors a rest, I didn’t consume NO-Xplode on Sundays. 12. I recommend the squat for those who have access to a Safety Bar, which provides a yolk-like shoulder harness. 13.

***DEXA (search “DEXA body fat” in Google): $50–100 per session Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is my favorite option for measuring bodyfat percentage, as the results include valuable information besides body composition, including mass imbalances and bone density. ***ZRT at-home Vitamin D test kits (www.zrtlab.com/vitamindcouncil): $65–220 Determine your vitamin D levels before supplementing. The ZRT tests are saliva-based and reasonably accurate. Note that vitamin D is often included in the comprehensive bloodwork (in our example, “Chem 6”), and it is always included in the SpectraCell testing I recommend. Genetic insights (www. 23andme .com and www.navigenics.com): $99–1,000 per test If you’d like to determine your genetic indicators for fast-twitch muscle fiber, caffeine metabolism, or ethnic make-up, these tests will offer answers. Berkeley Heart Labs or Advanced Cardio Lipid Panel: $120–260 If you adhere to the Lipid Hypothesis of cardiovascular disease (in essence, that cholesterol and fats cause it) these laboratories offer comprehensive lipid analyses, including tests that measure LDL and HDL particle size as a distribution of seven and five subclasses, respectively.

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler

Privacy is obviously an issue, but the ability to create databases of symptoms and diseases and drugs and side effects can be enormously valuable, with so much of the Intelligence at the Edge, with doctors and especially with patients. The biggest nearterm gain will probably be seen by networking researchers. Sage Bionetworks allows researchers around the world to contribute to and draw from an open database of clinical and molecular data so they can “build innovative new dynamic disease models.” But it’s not just for scientists 23andMe analyzes your DNA and then compares it with others’ to identify your potential predisposition to various diseases. Lots of issues need to be worked out, not the least of which is, what does “your DNA suggests a 27 percent probability of contracting liver cancer” even mean? The Personal Genome Project, meanwhile, lets individuals upload their DNA sequencing for researchers to probe, privacy be damned.

Stroud number StubHub Sustainability, and efficiency Sun Microsystems Sunstein, Cass Super Sloppers Supply and demand Taranto, James Taxation Teachers, public school, as Thieves Technology adapting to humans next big move, recognizing personalized recommendations to customers Telecosm (Gilder) Television content, over virtual pipe Telmex Thaler, Richard Thieves TiVo Town, Phil Toyota Prius Trade secrets, versus patents Trophy Generation Turner, Ted 23andMe Twitter Union workers, as Sponges United Auto Workers United States as horizontal enterprise Jetsons to Flintstones analogy Universities, and exceptionalism U.S. Steel Vanderbilt, Cornelius market entrepreneurship of Vardi, Yossi Veach, Eric VentureBeat Vertical integration Apple as example examples of media companies negative aspects of signs of situations for Soviet Union example Video games companies virtual pipe of next wave, recognizing through online gaming, virtual pipe of Virtual pipe of Apple control, profitability of creating, examples of economic model for relationship to media of social networking Vital Few Voice mail Voice recognition Wagner, Todd Walker brothers Wall Street commissions, lowering Slimers on Wal-Mart Walton, Sam Waste benefits of versus efficiency Watt, James Wealth and abundance versus scarcity comes from productivity.


The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design by Michael Kearns, Aaron Roth

But times have changed, and law enforcement DNA databases are no longer the only game in town. Starting in the mid-2000s, people began to voluntarily upload their own DNA to public databases on the Internet, to learn more about their family histories. For example, in 2011, two volunteers started a website called GEDmatch, which hobbyists could use to upload DNA profiles that they had generated using commercial sites such as 23andMe . Users could search for partial matches, ostensibly to find their own distant relatives and link their family trees, which GEDmatch made available. But anyone else could also conduct such a search—and police still investigating the Golden State Killer uploaded a sample of his DNA, taken from a crime scene, in hopes of finding a match. And they did—not to the Golden State Killer himself, who hadn’t uploaded his own DNA, but to a number of his relatives, who had.

See also gender data and bias sexual orientation data, 25–26, 51–52, 86–89 Shapley, Lloyd, 129–30 The Shining (King), 118, 120 Shmatikov, Vitaly, 25 Simmons, Joe, 157–58 simple algorithms, 174 simulated game play, 134–35 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 30–31 singularity, 180 Smith, Adam, 36 smoking, 27–28, 34–36, 39, 51–54 Snowden, Edward, 47–48 social awareness, 16–17, 131 social welfare, 97, 113, 115 societal norms and values, 12, 15–18, 20–21, 86, 134, 169–70 socioeconomic groups, 57 software engineers, 48–49 sorting algorithms, 4–5 spurious correlations, 150, 159 stable equilibriums, 99–100, 128 stable matchings, 128–30 standoffs, 98 statistics and adaptive data analysis, 159 and aggregate data, 22–23, 30–31 and algorithmic violations of fairness and privacy, 96 Bayesian, 38–39, 173 and the Bonferroni correction, 149 criminal sentencing, 14–15 and differential privacy, 40, 44–45, 47–52, 167 and fairness issues, 193–94 flawed statistical reasoning, 140–41 and interpretability of model outputs, 171–72 and investing scams, 138–41 and medical research, 34 and online shopping algorithms, 117 and p-hacking, 144–45, 153–55, 157–59, 161, 164, 169–70 statistical modeling, 90 statistical parity, 69–74, 84 and US Census data, 195 and “word embedding” models, 57–58, 63–64 stock investing, 81, 137–41 strategy, 97–102 Strava, 50–51 subgroup protections, 88–89 subjectivity, 86, 172 subpoenas, 41, 45–46, 48 “superfood” research, 143–44 superintelligent AI, 179–81, 185, 187 supervised machine learning, 63–64, 69–70, 183 supply and demand, 94–97 Supreme Court nomination hearings, 24 survey responses, 40–45 Sweeney, Latanya, 23 synthetic images, 132–35 target populations, 172–73 TD-Gammon program, 132 technological advances, 100–101, 103 TED Talks, 141–42 telemarketing calls, 38 temporal difference, 132 Tesauro, Gerry, 132 test preparation courses, 74–75 theoretical computer science, 11–13, 36 threshold rule, 75 Title VII, 15 tobacco research, 34–36 torturing data, 156–59 traffic and navigation problems, 19–20, 101–11, 113–15, 179 training data, 61–62 transparency, 125–26, 170–71 trust, 45–47, 170–71, 194–95 “truthfulness” in game theory, 114 “tunable” parameters, 37–39, 125–26, 171 Turing, Alan, 11–12, 180 Turing Award, 133 Turing machine, 11 23andMe , 54–55 2020 Census, 49, 195 Twitter Predictor Game, 52–53 two-route navigation problem, 107 two-sided markets, 127 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 184 typing, 118 underspecified problems, 183 unintended consequences, 6–8, 16–17, 184–85, 188 unique data points, 26–27 unsupervised learning, 63–64 upstream effects, 194 US Census Bureau, 49 US Constitution, 49 US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 86–87 user identifiers, 24 user modeling, 121 user ratings, 118–21 US military deployments, 50–51 US State Department, 15 validation sets, 162–63 value alignment problems, 184 values.

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

They also know far more about us than their predecessors ever did, while making us complicit in the process by encouraging checkins, structuring data, location services, and other data production/sharing that is, we are told, designed to improve a service. A growing crop of biometric tools—sleep measurement apps, fitness monitors, the thumbprint reader introduced on Apple’s iPhone 5S, the gene-sequencing service 23andme .com—means that corporations are set to know us at the physical, even genomic level. (“Your DNA will be your data,” says one particularly creepy HSBC ad spotted at JFK airport.) They may even anticipate health problems before we realize we have them. Read your fitness tracker’s terms of service agreement. Are they required to notify you if they detect a health problem? Do they reserve the right to sell your personal information to health insurers?

Perhaps we’d join Miinome, “the first member-controlled, portable human genomics marketplace,” where you can sell your genomic information and receive deals from retailers based on that same information. (Again, I think back to HSBC’s “Your DNA will be your data” ad, this time recognizing it not as an attempt at imparting a vaguely inspirational, futuristic message, but as news of a world already here.) That beats working with 23andMe , right? That company already sells your genetic profile to third parties—and that’s just in the course of the (controversial, non-FDA-compliant) testing they provide, for which they also charge you. Tellingly, a version of this proposal for a data marketplace appears in the World Economic Forum (WEF) paper that announced data as the new oil. Who could be more taken with this idea than the technocrats of Davos?

See also targeting individuals traffic models, 140 transparency, 310 Transportation Security Administration, 215 trending overview, 82–84 and analytics team for Bleacher Report, 127 business incentives behind, 84–85 buying Twitter followers, 85–87, 88–89 fallacy of, 111 fractional workers sorting through queries on Twitter, 229–30 identifying trends, 88–91 and journalists, 97, 101 newsworthiness vs., 124–25 value of supposed trend, 84 tribalism, 63 trolls, 252 trust economy, 282 trust, management of, 234 Tseng, Erick, 324, 324n Tumblr social media site, 27–30, 59, 170–72, 257 Turkle, Sherry, 156 Turow, Joseph, 293, 308, 309, 326–27 23andMe , 328 twentysomethings and photographs, 58 Twitch app for Androids, 260 Twitter AP account hack, 39 bot posts, 38 Connect tab, 351 fractional workers contracted by, 228, 244 investments and sentiment analysis, 37 metrics, 87, 96–97, 147 newscasters reading from tweets, 110 reasons for success, 16 response statistics, 52 secondary orality, 63 sponsored tweets, 174, 200n as triumph of humanity, 6 “Tweets of Privilege,” 170–72 Weird Twitter, 352–53 YesYoureRacist account, 172–73 See also followers trending Twitter users any user messaging any other user, 360 Bieber, 147–48 celebrity death hoaxes, 348–49 deleting tweets with insufficient responses, 53 devaluing your data, 351–53 Glitchr, 353 and influence rating, 196 lurkers, 49 New York Comic Con tweets posted by convention promoters, 34 reciprocity for retweets, 54–55 recognizing when you’re done, 258 surfacing examples of abuse and injustice, 170 thinking in tweets, 341 user rights, 311 Twopcharts, 87 typeface, OCR-proof, 358 Uber customer rating system, 187–88 driver rating system, 187, 191 drivers for, 241–42, 243, 331 long-term plan, 242 money trail, 236 and New York City, 237 and smartphones, 235 surge pricing, 241 unemployment, 220–26, 331–32.

Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake

It will take time, experimentation, and (intangible) investment to devise really effective and economically transformational ways of using these new technologies to communicate. As is often the case with new technologies, the future may already be here among us. Software developers have been using online tools like Slack and GitHub to collaborate for years now. There are any number of firms experimenting with new ways of Internet-enabled collaboration, in fields from healthcare research (such as Patientslikeme or 23andMe ) to brokering intellectual property among companies (such as Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures) to data analytics (such as Kaggle, recently acquired by Google). It is easy to laugh when technology advocates make predictions that don’t come to pass. Where is the paperless office? Where is the Internet of Things? But the fact that widespread effective teleworking has not seriously reduced the importance of face-to-face communication may be a sign not that it will never happen, but rather that it is a complicated type of change and takes time.

., 131 rules and norms, 211–14 Sadun, Rafaella, 53, 82 Salter, Ammon, 197 Sampson, Rachelle, 168 Samsung, 73, 112 Sanders, Bernie, 223 Santa Fe Institute, 80 scalability, 9–10, 58, 60, 87, 101–2 definition of, 246n2 importance of, 67–68 income inequality and, 133–34 and increased investment, 110 and intangibles, 65–67 secular stagnation and, 103–5 Schreyer, Paul, 40 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 16 Science: The Endless Frontier (Bush), 232 Second Machine Age, 30 secular stagnation, 91, 116 explanation for, 101–16 and intangibles investment, 102–3 profits and productivity differences and, 103–7 relationship of scalability and spillovers to, 109–16 symptoms of, 92–96 Shankar, Ravi, 61 Shi, Yuan, 168 Shih, Willy, 85 Shinoda, Yukio, 42 short-termism, 161, 168–69 Sichel, Dan, 4, 5, 39, 42, 43, 45 Siemens, 60–61, 204 single-factor productivity, 98–101 Six Sigma, 51 Skype, 217 Slack, 152, 217 smartphones, 72–73, 81 Smil, Vaclav, 146 Smith, Adam, 36, 188 social capital, 156, 236 soft infrastructure, 156 solar energy, 85 Solow, Robert, 39, 125 Song, Jae, 129, 131, 135 South Wales Institution of Engineers, 83 speculation, 249n1 spending, 46–47, 54 on assets, 20 rent-seeking, 113 Spenser, Percy, 80 spillovers, 9, 58, 61, 87, 102 contestedness and, 87 importance of, 77–79 and intangibles, 72–77, 109–16 Jacobs, 138 Marshall-Arrow-Romer, 62, 138 physical infrastructure and, 147–51 secular stagnation and, 103–4 slowing TFP growth and, 107–9 venture capital and, 178 Spotify, 18 Stack Overflow, 29 Stansted Airport, 1–2, 3–4 Starbucks, 34, 52, 65, 140, 183, 195, 197 scalability of, 67 start-up ecosystems, 222 Statute of Anne (1709), 76 stock markets, 167–68, 205–6 IPOs and, 171–72 stock of intangible assets, 56–57 Summers, Larry, 93 sunkenness, 8–9, 58, 60, 87, 246n5 as characteristic of intangibles, 68–70 importance of, 70–72 venture capital and, 175–76 sustained advantage, 250n2 Sutton, John, 67 symbolic analysis, 132–34 synergies, 10, 58, 61, 87–88, 213 and intangible assets, 80–83, 83–86 among investments, 110 maximizing the benefits of, 214–18 physical infrastructure and, 147–51 venture capital and, 176 System of National Accounts, 20, 43, 51 systems innovation, 198 tacit knowledge, 65 tangible investments, differences between intangible and, 7–10, 58 taxes, 139–40, 235 and financing, 166, 219 technology: and cost of intangible investment, 28 inequality as result of improvements in, 123–24, 126–27 and productivity of intangibles, 28–30 and spillovers, 151–52 Tesla Motors, 24, 111, 209 Thatcher, Margaret, 127 Theory of Moral Sentiments, The (Smith), 188 Thiel, Peter, 78, 175, 184–85, 187, 223 3M, 194 Toffler, Alvin, 4 Tonogi, Konomi, 42 total factor productivity (TFP), 96, 98, 102 poor performance of, 109–9, 114 Toyota, 29, 51 trade and inequality, 124 trademarks, 76 training and education, 51–52, 170, 228–30 Trajtenberg, Manuel, 106 Trump, Donald, 122, 141–42, 143 trust, 156 23andMe , 152 Twitter, 185, 187 Uber, 24, 28, 51 building of driver network by, 112–13 contestedness and, 115 legal travails of, 187 scalability of, 67, 101–2, 105 and synergies, 82 venture capital and, 174, 175 uncertainty, 87 Ure, Andrew, 126 Ur-Nammu, 75 US Federal Reserve, 4, 40, 41, 42, 165 US Food and Drug Administration, 154 Van Reenen, John, 82, 136, 173, 195 venture capital (VC) funding, 154–55, 161, 166, 174–75 problems with, 177–79 and intangibles, 175–77 Vlachos, Jonas, 131 Volcker, Paul, 165 von Mises, Ludwig, 38 von Wachter, Till, 129 Wallis, Gavin, 42, 223–24 Walmart, 81, 187 Warsh, David, 62 Wasmer, Etienne, 128 Watt, James, 78 wealth, 119–20, 121 housing and, 122, 128–29, 136–39 inequality of, 139–40 intangibles’ effects on, 129–40 Wealth of Nations, The (Smith), 36 Weightless World, The (Coyle), 4 Weitzman, Martin L., 195 Welch, Jack, 184 Whalley, Alexander, 224 “What Is the U.S.

The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World's Leading Neuroscientists by Gary Marcus, Jeremy Freeman

Such issues need to be resolved sooner rather than later. Consider a company formed with the promise of offering customers interesting information about their thoughts and/or predictive information about brain diseases they might be at risk of acquiring. Many such companies, some more legitimate than others, are operating now in the sphere of genomics. Some are huge and have proven profitable, like deCODE and 23andMe . Others are small and often make claims that are on the fringes of genomic science. Building on preliminary and incomplete information coming out of the brain mapping projects and related research, we can predict with certainty that new “brain diagnostic,” “truth assessment,” and “brain detective companies” will begin to proliferate on the web and elsewhere. The emergence of companies that purport to be able to conduct neuromarketing without much in the way of evidence to ground their claims shows what is likely to be in store in short order regarding “truth” analyses.

See also Human Brain Project (HBP) SyNAPSE project (IBM) whole-brain simulation simulome, 183 Skinner’s behaviorism, 206 Sligte, Ilja, 166 Smith, Stephen, 14 Society for Neuroscience, 258 Solstad, Trygve, 75 songbirds: FOXP2 gene, 155–56 Spaun (Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network): architecture of model, 130f behavior and brain model, 126–27, 129, 131–32 flexible coordination, 132–33 neural firing patterns, 129 neurons, 127 reverse engineering, 133–34 serial working memory task in, 128f, 131 speech, 140 computational neuroanatomy of, 146 FOXP2 gene mutation, 151–52, 155 information, 145 perception, 144–46 production, 146, 187, 190 spinal cord injury, 229 Sporns, Olaf, 11, 65, 90–99 standard operating procedures (SOP), 33 star-nosed mole, 187 Stensola, Hanne, 72 Stensola, Tor, 72 stimulation: electrical, 11, 79, 195, 225–26 stroke, 229, 243 style computing, 213 subjective feelings, 269 Südhof, Thomas, 207 supercomputer: human brain as, 94 supervised learning, 206 SyNAPSE project (IBM): brain simulation, 125–26 synaptic connections: brain, 50 synaptic plasticity, 119, 221, 241 synaptic proteins: in situ immune microscopy of, 60–61 synchronization: neuronal interactions, 93 syntactic theory: language computations, 143–44 minimalism, 144 syntax, 140, 141, 147–48 Talairach, Jean, 5 Talairach Atlas, 10 Tank David, 19 Taube, Jeff, 75 Technical University of Munich, 121 technological innovation, 79 Thunder, 104 Tonegawa, Susumu, 259 top-down modeling, 85f, 112, 162, 171f, 267 touch receptors, 67 Tournoux, P., 5 transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), 228 transcriptome, 48 transducer, 246, 250 transistor, 82, 84, 85f, 86–88, 135, 177, 181, 183, 210, 221, 245, 250 traumatic brain injury, 194, 266 trilevel hypothesis: brain, 84–85 Tsuchiya, Nao, 168, 169 tuberculosis, 171 tuberous sclerosis, 241 tumors, 266 Turing machine, 26 23andMe , 198 Twitter, 103 two-photon imaging: mouse cortex, 107 two-photon microscopy, 32 two-photon tomography, 34 ulcerative colitis, 234 ultrasonic frequencies, 246 ultrasonic waves, 249 ultrasound, 250 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 116 University College London, 122, 177 University of California–San Diego, 177 University of Edinburgh, 115 University of Oslo, 115, 116 US BRAIN Initiative, 113, 124 US Human Connectome Project, 113 Vallortigara, Giorgio, 207 Vandenbroucke, Annelinde, 166 Van Essen, David, 12 variable binding: brain, 213–14 language, 212 Venter, Craig, 256 Vesalius, Andreas, 3, 4f vestibular system, 22 virtual brains: building, 97–99 virtual reality: whole brain neuroimaging and, 17–24 vision: restoration, 227, 230 Vision (Marr), 181 visual processing: stimuli, 163 visual responses: brute-force data collection, 105 visual-spatial extinction, 163–64 visual system: primates, 104–5 visual thalamus, 264 Vogt, Karl, 91 Vogt, Marthe, 4 von Economo, Constantin, 4 von Neumann, John, 208, 212–13 V2 neurons: hypothesis, 105–6 Waddington, Conrad, 189 Watson, James, 7, 46 Waxholm Space, 115 Werbos, Paul, 41 White, John, 12 whole-brain neuroimaging, 20–21, 17–24 whole-brain neuroscience: behavior as brain output, 121–22 building the brain, 118–19 ethics, 123 global collaboration, 123–24 global effort to understand brain, 124 modeling brain disorders and diseases, 122 unifying brain models, 120–21 validity of model, 119–20 whole-brain simulation: creating to understand, 111–13 neuroinformatics for computing, 113–15 next generation brain atlases, 115–17 ongoing debate, 267–68 predictive neuroscience, 117–18.

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman

As a daily jogger, she’d be inhaling a lot more pollution than most people, and she figures her genes have already been restyled just by growing up among the master trailblazers of the Human Age. But she is tempted to read the book of her genes, and discover more about her lineage and genetic biases. For a truly personal profile, all our redhead would need is a vial of her blood and between $100 and $1,000. Such companies as Navigenics or 23andMe will gladly provide a glimpse of her future, a tale still being written but legible enough for genetic fortune-telling. She may have a slightly higher than normal risk of macular degeneration, a tendency to go bald, a gene variant that’s a well-known cause of blood cancer, maybe a different variant associated with Alzheimer’s, the family bane. If she read the report herself, she might not handle that information well.

., 87 Stanley Park, 78 starlings, 153, 165–66 Star Trek, 232, 253, 260 Statue of Liberty, 59 steam engine, 34 Steel Pier, 47 stem cells, 13, 150 Stockholm, 96–97 Stoermer, Eugene, 313 stomata, 91 Stony Creek harbor, 56–57, 66–67 storks, 124 Strauss, Richard, 269 suburban sprawl, 116 succulents, 83 sugar, 239 Suharto, 313 sulfur, 99 Summit, Scott, 236–37 sustainability, popularity of, 108 Sustainability Revolution, The (Edwards), 88 Svalbard Global Seed Vault, 154–55 Svensson, Tore, 101 Sweden, 96–97, 98–101, 106, 132 Swiss chard, 89, 90 Switzerland, 78, 132 swordfish, 65 sycamores, 111, 113 SyNAPSE, 256, 318 Taft, William Howard, 58 Tahiti, 159 Taiwan, 83 Taliban, 146 Tasmanian devils, 151, 164 taste, 211–12 Taylor, Robert, 89 technical nutrients, 87 technology, 10, 13–14 nature and, 188–200 Technology University, 104 Teitiota, Ioane, 49 Tel Aviv University, 293 telekenesis, 203 telephones, 171 telescopes, 171 televisions, 87, 191 temperate zones, 80 Tennessee, 46 termites, 92–93 Texas, 41 texting, 190 by plants, 205–7 Thailand, 79, 180 Thames Barrier, 50–51 theory of mind, 216–17, 218–19 Thimble Islands, 58 Thimble Island Salts, 62 “Thousand Dreams of Stellavista, The” (Ballard), 231 3D printing, 232–39, 244 Three Gorges Dam, 101 Thumb, Tom, 58 Thus Spake Zarathustra, 269–70 thyme, 90 Tiananmen Square, 271 tiger mosquitos, 132 time-rock, 32–33 titanium dioxide, 181 toads, 125 Tohoku, 46 Tokyo, 78 tomatoes, 89 Tom Jones (film), 294 Tonga, 158 tools, 171 human use of, 7, 9 orangutan use of, 5 tornadoes, 41 Toronto, Canada, 78 touch, 178 “Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, The” (Aesop), 115 Toxoplasma gondii, 296–99 trains, 102 transparent aluminum, 34 tree lizards, 80 trees, 83 trilobites, 29–30 trumpeter swans, 135 tube worms, 37–38 TU Delft, 104, 105 tuna, 65 Tushi, 272 Tuvalu, 48–49 23andMe , 271 twins, 282 Twitter, 317 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 269–70 Tybee Island Ocean Rescue, 65 typewriter, 191 typhoons, 46 Uganda, 72 United Kingdom, 83, 298 cities in, 72 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 99 United Nations Panel on Climate Change, 41–42 United States, 83 urban beekeeping, 88 urban eyes, 192 urbanization, 154 U.S. Hardiness Zone Map, 38 Vancouver, Canada, 78 Vawter, Zac, 254–55 vegetable gardens, urban, 74 Venice, Italy, 50 veronicas, 125 vertical farming, 74 in sea, see mariculture vervet monkeys, 131 Viking, 220 Vikings, 42 violence, 286 Viridity Energy, 102 Virtual Dissection, 197 Virtual Interactive Presence in Augmented Reality, 261 viruses, 172, 289–90 vitamin D, 192 volcanic archipelagos, 157–58 voles, 115 Voronoff, Serge, 264 Voyager, 220 Wade, Chris, 157–67 Wageningen UR, 104 Wake Forest, 185 Wakodahatchee Wetlands, 75–76 walking, 259–60 walls, 92 walruses, 134 war, 141–48, 285 War Horse, 141–42 Warner, Sabrina, 47–48 Washington State University, 238 water lettuce, 132 water moccasins, 117–18 water purification, 74–75 water-purifying tea bags, 181 Watson, James, 274 waxbills, 79 Wells, H.

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

Researchers are creeping towards printing entire organs.46 This matters—on average, twenty-one people a day die in the United States, and just under three in the United Kingdom, waiting for spare organs.47 Increasing computational power has meant that certain fields, previously conceivable in theory but impossible in practice, are now thriving. Genomics, the science of scanning a patient’s DNA to personalize medical treatment and anticipate future disease, is one example. In 2007 it would have cost around $10 million to read a human genome. Now it costs a few thousand dollars.48 Companies like 23andMe , Navigenics, and deCODE offer commercial testing services from $99.49 In the field of ‘genome editing’, scientists search for problematic genes and actively intervene to change or remove them. Nanomedicine, the use of nanotechnology in a medical setting, is another field. Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman’s seventy-year-old prediction that we might one day ‘swallow the surgeon’50 has come true—there are already small nanobots that are able to swim through our bodies, relaying images, delivering targeted drugs, and attacking particular cells with a precision that makes even the finest of surgeons’ blades look blunt.

., ‘Hydrogel bioprinted microchannel networks for vascularization of tissue engineering constructs’, Lab on a Chip, 14: 13 (2014), 2202–11. 47 <http://www.organdonor.gov> and ‘Fact Sheets: Transplants save lives’, NHS website, Aug. 2014 <http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/newsroom/fact_sheets/transplants_save_lives.asp> (accessed 9 March 2015). 48 Erika Check Hayden, ‘Technology: The $1,000 Genome’, Nature, 19 Mar. 2014. 49 Francis S. Collins, The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine (2010), p. xviii discusses the services, but their costs are now far lower. See e.g. the $99 service at <https://www. 23andme .com> (accessed 27 March 2015). 50 Richard P. Feynman, ‘Plenty of Room at the Bottom’, talk to the American Physical Society at Caltech, Dec. 1959, p. 5 <http://www.pa.msu.edu/

yang/RFeynman_plentySpace.pdf> (accessed 27 March 2015). 51 Miguel Helft, ‘Google’s Larry Page: The Most Ambitious CEO in the Universe’, Fortune Magazine, 13 Nov. 2014 <http://fortune.com> (accessed 27 March 2015). 52 David L.

Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

In Los Angeles, Smith: Jordan Valinsky, “Vice’s Shane Smith: ‘Expect a Bloodbath’ in Media within the Next Year,” Digiday, May 20, 2016, https://digiday.com/media/shane-smith-vice-media-interview/. On Election Night he hosted: Shane Smith, interviewed by Jill Abramson, Manhattan, August 4, 2017. She did one story: Elspeth Reeve, “Alt-Right Trolls Are Getting 23andMe Genetic Tests to ‘Prove’ Their Whiteness,” Vice News, October 9, 2016, https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/vbygqm/alt-right-trolls-are-getting- 23andme -genetic-tests-to-prove-their-whiteness. After the election, the sideshow: Vice News, “Control Alt Elite: Inside America’s Racist ‘Alt-Right,’ ” Vice, December 7, 2016, https://www.vice.com/en_id/article/mgv9nn/control-alt-elite-inside-americas-racist-alt-right. She was periodically trolled: Elspeth Reeve, interviewed by Jill Abramson and John Stillman at Vice New York, September 28, 2017.

Though their reporters mostly hadn’t used conventional political reporting methods, they had developed contacts in areas sometimes overlooked by their conventional, old-media competitors. Reeve had smartly used her tech-culture beat to cultivate sources on the alt-right, monitoring them on 4chan and other dark corners of the web. She did one story on how some members of the alt-right used the genetic research firm 23andMe to prove the ethnic purity of their whiteness, and interviewed the white nationalist Richard Spencer, whose supporters were known to shout “Sieg Heil” with a Nazi salute. After the election, the sideshow of radical right-wingers moved to center stage, and Vice was well-positioned to cover their story. Reeve was fascinated by how the alt-right built networks on the internet, much as Silverman and Warzel at BuzzFeed had been.

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

The machine can handle various tasks, but an important one is gene sequencing. At Mount Sinai, they are sequencing entire genomes—looking at all three billion nucleotides, the basic structural unit of DNA. Within that deluge of nucleotides, scientists have identified about ten million DNA segments called SNPs (pronounced snips), for single nucleotide polymorphisms, that have been linked to diseases in research studies. Consumer gene-testing services, like 23andMe , look at fewer than a million SNPs. At Mount Sinai, the ambitions are larger. They want to see the whole picture, the entire genome sequenced. To really advance research and treatments at Mount Sinai, it will have to do a lot of it, very quickly. The goal, Kovatch says, is to compress the time it takes from days down to an hour. She has named her supercomputer Minerva, for the Roman goddess of wisdom.

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

You could even spot an occasional Dilbert cartoon on a cubicle. Many cheeky activities that had once seemed so refreshing began to assume an aura of calculation when they became routine. How many scavenger hunts can you attend before it becomes a chore? Page and Brin themselves had grown in the decade since they founded Google. Both were now married and within a year of each other fathered sons. Brin’s wife, Anne Wojcicki, was a cofounder of 23andMe , a company involved in personal DNA analysis. Brin defied corporate propriety when he shifted his personal investment in the firm to a company one. Google’s lawyers made sure the transaction passed formal muster. The normally gregarious Brin could turn icy when an unfamiliar person referred to his private life—for example, when a reporter offered congratulations at a Q and A at the Googleplex soon after his wedding, he changed the subject without acknowledging the remark.

But Brin was genuinely open and emotional during a session of the 2008 Google Zeitgeist. Brin put aside talk of commerce to explain that he had examined his own genome with the help of his wife’s DNA-testing enterprise. Since his mother, Eugenia, had previously been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he had looked specifically for an anomaly on the genetic location known as LRRK2—and discovered a mutation known as G2019S, associated with Parkinson’s. His mother, also a 23andMe customer, had the same mutation. (“She’s okay,” he assured everyone. “She skis.”) Brin immediately began researching the implications of this signal “I found it fairly empowering,” he said. He also became involved with charities trying to find a cure for Parkinson’s, such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation. He showed rare public emotion as he thanked his wife for her help, support, and genomic expertise.

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

It’s so easy to commit to things that are weeks or months out, when your schedule still looks uncluttered.” Esther Dyson TW: @edyson wellville.net ESTHER DYSON is the founder of HICCup and chairman of EDventure Holdings. Esther is an active angel investor, best-selling author, board member, and advisor concentrating on emerging markets and technologies, new space, and health. She sits on the boards of 23andMe and Voxiva (txt4baby), and is an investor in Crohnology, Eligible API, Keas, Omada Health, Sleepio, StartUp Health, and Valkee, among others. From October 2008 to March 2009, Esther lived in Star City outside Moscow, Russia, training as a backup cosmonaut. * * * What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

., 289 Taleb, Nassim, 60 Talk therapy, 550 Task and distractions list, 542–43 TaskRabbit, 200 Tata Harper Fierce lip balm, 233 Taubes, Gary, 480 Technology, 213 disruptive, 222–23, 346 Moore’s Law for, 294–95 TED Conference, 407–8 Tesla, 42, 293 Therapy, 26–27, 81, 550 Theroux, Paul, 210 Thich Nhat Hanh, 235, 450 Thiel, Peter, 153 Thoreau, Henry David, 39, 140, 205, 463 Þórisdóttir, Anníe Mist, 305–7, 421 Thrive Global, 211 Thrive Global phone bed, 213–15 Thucydides, 6–7 Thumbtack, 31 Tile Mate key finder, 97 Tippett, Krista, 308 Tivoli Systems, 64 Tolstoy, Leo, 335 Tony Hawk Foundation, 298 Tony Hawk Signature Series, 298 Topic.com, 141 Top Ramen, 391 Torres, Dara, 390–91 Total Immersion, 440, 442, 443 Tradedoubler, 286 Transcendental Meditation, 80, 241, 242, 322, 380, 381, 489 Trickstutorials.com, 385 Truman, Harry, 206 Tumblr, 215 23andMe , 243 Twitch.tv, 64 Twitter, 31, 64, 215, 250, 401 Tyler, Aisha, 431–35 U Uber, 31, 37, 211, 215, 250, 347–48, 459, 461 Ulmer, Kristen, 546–53 Under Armour, 447 Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), 371 Union Square Ventures, 492 Urban, Tim, 40–49, 495 USCF Memory and Aging Center, 296–97 V Valkee, 243 Van de Snepscheut, Jan L. A., 204 Van Doren, Mamie, 78 Van Gogh, Theo, 53–54 Vantapool, Willie, 51 Vast.com, 31 Vaynerchuk, Gary, 215–18, 257–60, 262 VaynerMedia, 215 Végh Quartet, 341 Venmo, 215 Vermont Dory rowboat, 227 Vietor, Tommy, 353–55 The Village Voice, 98 Vine, 259 Vinyasa yoga, 143 Vipassana meditation, 271, 558–60 Voigt, Jens, 93 Von Teese, Dita, 75–78 Voxiva, 243 Vuitton, Louis, 75 W Wait But Why?

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker

There, a medical Watson could diagnose diseases, suggest treatments that have proven successful, and steer doctors away from those that have led to problems. Such analyses could save lives, Jasinski said. ”We kill a hundred thousand people a year from preventable medical errors.” In fact, the potential for next-generation computers in medicine stretches much further. Within a decade, it should cost less than $100 to have an individual’s entire genome sequenced. Some people will volunteer to have this done. (Already, companies like 23andMe , a Silicon Valley startup, charge people $429 for a basic decoding.) Others, perhaps, will find themselves pressed, or even compelled, by governments or insurers, to submit their saliva samples. In either case, computers will be studying, correlating, and answering questions about growing collections of this biological information. At the same time, we’re surrounding ourselves with sensors that provide streams of data about our activities.


Raw Data Is an Oxymoron by Lisa Gitelman

The qualified self seems to be slipping out of the picture—the interpretative work is done inside the computer and read out and acted on by humans. A dark vision is that our interaction with the world and each other is being rendered epiphenomenal to these data-program-data cycles. If it’s not in principle measurable, or is not being measured, it doesn’t exist. Thus in the natural world, we have largely as a species elected to take the quantifiable genome (https://www. 23andme .com) as the measure of all life: when we save species (in seedbanks for example), we are saving irreducible genetic information—not communities (despite the fact that every individual comes with its own internal flora and fauna central to its survival and that each individual can be understood equally as the product of a network of relationships). Collectivities that are not being measured and modeled are preserved, if at all, only accidentally.

Technical Blogging: Turn Your Expertise Into a Remarkable Online Presence by Antonio Cangiano

If you can’t afford to or don’t want to commit funds to the project quite yet, you will certainly find a free theme that you’ll like and be able to customize yourself, though. If you are creating this blog for a company, you don’t have to mimic the look of your main site and integrate your blog with the company site 100 percent. If you wish, you can make the blog a visually separate entity with a slightly different look and a greater degree of editorial freedom. An example of this approach can be seen at http://spittoon. 23andme .com. Tip 10 Prominently link to your company site from your blog. Given that company budgets (even startup ones) are usually larger than what your typical solo bloggers have at their disposal, you may even consider having a designer create a custom theme and logo for your company blog. Another appealing option for those on a tighter budget is to heavily personalize one of the premium themes.

Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero by Tyler Cowen

Furthermore, better tech in the form of cybersecurity is also our most likely protection against such outcomes. Still, every new technology does enable new kinds of crimes, and that is a growing worry, even if the innovating companies are not themselves morally at fault. Another potential problem could spring from genetic testing and the information embodied in those results. Right now, you can swab your cheek to get a DNA sample and send it in to a number of companies, most prominently 23andMe . They will send you back some information about yourself, including an assessment of your susceptibility to particular diseases (some legal restrictions have been placed on this), information about your ethnic background, and information about other people you are probably related to. That may involve some privacy issues, but so far it seems manageable furthermore, the information held by the company has not (yet?)

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

Indeed, its emergence as one of the top financiers of startups may be a first for a corporate venture fund. While tech companies have long backed startups, their venture arms have a history of terribly subpar returns, mainly because there was no real independence from the parent company. Google Ventures has invested in more than 225 portfolio companies encompassing all stages and industry sectors, including such rising stars as Uber, Nest, 23andMe , Cloudera, Optimizely, TuneIn, Homejoy and High Fidelity. As a result of its many successes, Google Ventures opened a London office in 2014, with $100 million to invest in European startups. Although Google provides the funds for Google Ventures, invested companies don’t have to benefit Google. That means portfolio companies stay independent and can be acquired by competitors. A downside of this structure, of course, is that Google Ventures might well remain in the dark about potential deals being undertaken by its parent company.

Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health by H. Gilbert Welch, Lisa M. Schwartz, Steven Woloshin

Genetic testing is already useful in helping us tailor therapy to individual cancers and is likely to become more useful in predicting how well patients will respond to various drugs. And gene therapy—treatment for a specific disease that involves altering DNA itself—could, in certain settings, prove to be a genuine medical cure. But genetic testing could just as easily be a road map to widespread ill health. Already, numerous commercial enterprises exist that will take your DNA (and your money) and tell you about your future. One such company, 23andMe , promises to “unlock the secrets of your own DNA,” while Navigenics wants you to be tested and “do everything you can to stay healthy.” And deCODEme hopes that genetic testing will “prompt people to do the right thing.” This commercialization of genetic testing appears to be selling health, but from my standpoint at least, it’s selling overdiagnosis. Genetic testing of healthy people is the most extreme manifestation of early diagnosis.

Everything's Trash, but It's Okay by Phoebe Robinson

For the uninitiated, the Lumineers are an Americana folk music band featuring the occasional banjo minus the “lemme make a sharp left because ‘my kind’ is not welcome in this neighborhood” vibe. In short, they are white, but not “h-white.” Before I continue, I should probably explain what exactly the difference is between the two. White and “h-white” both concern white people, but the former category is run-of-the-mill stuff that is silly and sometimes annoying but usually harmless, while the latter category is screwed-up trash that makes you wanna do a drive-by at 23andMe .com to make sure you’re not related to the white nonsense you’re witnessing. Some examples include: White is Gwyneth Paltrow, in one of her Goop newsletters, intentionally referring to Billy Joel as William Joel for no gahtdamn reason “h-white” is an AP reporter calling black child actress Quvenzhané Wallis by the name Annie because it’s “easier.” White is when, in 2015, the New York Times decided that the traditional Mexican dish guacamole needed some zhooshing and published their recipe, which included green peas “h-white” is racist white nationalists using tiki torches, which have Polynesian origins, to protest people of color being in America.

The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep by Dr. Guy Leschziner

., Montplaisir, J., Gan-Or, Z., Perola, M., Vodicka, P., Dina, C., Franke, A., Tittmann, L., Stewart, A. F. R., Shah, S. H., Gieger, C., Peters, A., Rouleau, G. A., Berger, K., Oexle, K., Di Angelantonio, E., Hinds, D. A., Müller-Myhsok, B., Winkelmann, J., ‘Identification of novel risk loci for restless legs syndrome in genome-wide association studies in individuals of European ancestry: a meta-analysis’, 23andMe Research Team, DESIR study group, Lancet Neurol, November 2017, 16(11): 898—907. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(17)30327-7. Review. Winkelmann, J., Allen, R. P., Högl, B., Inoue, Y., Oertel, W., Salminen, A. V., Winkelman, J. W., Trenkwalder, C., Sampaio, C., ‘Treatment of restless legs syndrome: Evidence-based review and implications for clinical practice (Revised 2017)’, Mov Disord, 14 May 2018. doi: 10.1002/ mds.27260.

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

With its mobile sensors and apps and visualizations, this movement is tracking and measuring exercise, sleep, alertness, productivity, pharmaceutical responses, DNA, heartbeat, diet, financial expenditure—and then sharing and displaying its findings for greater collective understanding. It is using its tools for clustering, classifying, and discovering rules in raw data, but mostly it is simply quantifying that data to extract signals—information—from the noise. The cumulative rewards of such thinking will be altruistic rather than narcissistic, whether in pooling personal data for greater scientific understanding ( 23andMe ) or in propagating user-submitted data to motivate behavior change in others (traineo). Indeed, as the work of Daniel Kahneman, Daniel Gilbert, and Christakis and Fowler demonstrate so powerfully, accurate individual-level data tracking is key to understanding how human happiness can be quantified, how our social networks affect our behavior, how diseases spread through groups. The data is already out there.

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

In 1984, the first Human Genome Project (HGP) was proposed and funded by the US government, but the project really only got underway with international cooperation in 1990. It then took 13 years and collectively almost US$3 billion of public and private investment to complete the first human genome sequence of the approximately 20,500 genes and 150,000 base pairs present in the donor DNA samples.2 Today, companies like 23andMe can do a genotyping sequencing (comparing your DNA with other human baselines) for just US$100 in a few weeks. If you want a full, original genome sequence, it still costs around US$10,000, but that is expected to fall to under US$1,000 over the next few years thanks to Moore’s Law. Falling from US$3 billion to US$1,000 in just 25 years means that by 2025 it will likely cost less than US$10 to do an original sequencing of your DNA, and computer processing power will enable it within seconds.

Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again by Eric Topol

For example, extensive randomized trial data for the use of statins shows that for every one hundred people treated, two to three will have a reduction in heart attack. The rest will take the drug without any clinical benefit besides a better cholesterol lab test result. For decades, we’ve known the clinical factors that pose a risk for heart disease, like smoking and diabetes, and now we can factor in genetic data with a risk score from an inexpensive gene array (data that can be obtained for $50 to $100 via 23andMe , AncestryDNA, and other companies). That score, independent of as well as in addition to traditional clinical risk factors, predicts the likelihood of heart disease and whether use of a statin will benefit that individual. Similar genetic risk scores are now validated for a variety of conditions including breast cancer, prostate cancer, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Drilling down on data with smart AI tools would also include processing an individual’s labs.


Fix Your Gut: The Definitive Guide to Digestive Disorders by John Brisson

When a person consumes alcohol on the drug, they develop symptoms similar to mold sensitivity, including, headaches, brain fog, visual disturbances, elevated heart rate, face flushing, allergic reactions, digestive issues, and shortness of breath. If enough alcohol is consumed the symptoms intensify from a severe hangover to coma and eventually death from untreated aldehyde poisoning. Some people have gene mutations sadly that cause the body to produce less of these enzymes or none at all. ALDH2 is one of these genes and is tested if you get a 23andMe test. Mold and yeast also produce many aldehydes that require these enzymes to help us detoxify them. Does Flagyl Increase Mold Sensitivity? Flagyl like the medication disulfiram may reduce the body’s ability to produce aldehyde detoxification enzymes. The inhibition of these enzymes is the reason why alcohol is strongly discouraged in people who are taking Flagyl for infections. The same can be said for individuals who have mold sensitivity issues, yeast overgrowth, or live in moldy environments.

Surveillance Valley: The Rise of the Military-Digital Complex by Yasha Levine

It blasted beyond pure Internet services and delved into fiber-optic telecommunication systems, tablets, laptops, home security cameras, self-driving cars, shopping delivery, robots, electric power plants, life extension technology, cyber security, and biotech. The company even launched a powerful in-house investment bank that now rivals Wall Street companies, investing money in everything from Uber to obscure agricultural crop monitoring start-ups, ambitious human DNA sequencing companies like 23andME , and a secretive life extension research center called Calico.88 No matter what service it deployed or what market it entered, surveillance and prediction were cooked into the business. The data flowing through Google’s system are staggering. By the end of 2016, Google’s Android was installed on 82 percent of all new smartphones sold around the world, with over 1.5 billion Android users globally.89 At the same time, Google handled billions of searches and YouTube plays daily and had a billion active Gmail users, which meant it had access to most of the world’s emails.90 Some analysts estimate that 25 percent of all Internet traffic in North America goes through Google servers.91 The company isn’t just connected to the Internet, it is the Internet.


Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions by Toby Segaran, Jeff Hammerbacher

The data management, curation, and analysis tools using this data will continue to evolve, and so it’s worth taking a slightly longer view on the future of DNA. How to Become a Genetic Hacker More than other data-intensive areas, genomics has a great history of providing open, online data repositories, from a variety of genome browsing and annotation tools (such as Enesembl and UCSC), to details of diseases linked to genes (HapMap, SNPedia) and personalized genomics services such as 23andMe and Navigenics. So much so that anyone can become a genetic hacker these days. Next Next-Gen At present, such companies provide only a high-level overview of certain points of interest along the genome. But innovation continues unabated with the development of the next generation of sequencing instrumentation and genome analyzers. Companies such as Pacific Biometrics and Oxford Nanopore are hard at work on driving the current megabase read counts into the gigabase region and beyond.

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

Instead of money, ‘peer producers who create the stuff gain credit, status, reputation, enjoyment, satisfaction and experience’. People are willing to share their photographs on Flickr, their thoughts on Twitter, their friends on Facebook, their knowledge on Wikipedia, their software patches on Linux, their donations on GlobalGiving, their community news on Craigslist, their pedigrees on Ancestry.com, their genomes on 23andMe , even their medical records on PatientsLikeMe. Thanks to the internet, each is giving according to his ability to each according to his needs, to a degree that never happened in Marxism. This catallaxy will not go smoothly, or without resistance. Natural and unnatural disasters will still happen. Governments will bail out big corporations and big bureaucracies, hand them special favours such as subsidies or carbon rations and regulate them in such a way as to create barriers to entry, slowing down creative destruction.

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

Quickly, the cost of sequencing a full human genome fell from about $3 billion in 2000 to $1 million in 2006 and to $100,000 by 2008. Then, in 2008, something astounding happened: the creation of so-called next-generation sequencers caused the price of decoding human genomes to plummet. As a result, improvements in genetic sequencing outpaced advances in computing by five times. By 2014, we had reached the age of the $1,000 whole-genome mapping. Companies such as 23andMe were offering home DNA test kits to the general public for $99 or less, allowing them to merely spit into a plastic tube, ship it off via a prepaid envelope, and a week or two later receive health, ancestry, and genealogy results online. Looking forward, the trend in DNA sequencing suggests that in a few years the price of DNA sequencing will drop to the point that some company will pay to sequence new customers, reducing the out-of-pocket costs to free—a widely used business model in computer technology.

Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class by Charles Murray

We already have many large longitudinal databases with detailed data on family structure, parenting practices, SES, education, labor market experience, and just about every other interesting variable you can name. The samples for many of these databases could easily be genotyped. Take, for example, the 1979 and 1997 cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, two of the most widely used American databases. Almost all of the members of those samples are still alive and most of their whereabouts are known. Ask them for cheek swabs in return for the kind of genomic information for which 23andMe charges a few hundred dollars. We may be genotyping people at age 60, but in doing so we get virtually the same baseline information that we would have gotten had we genotyped them at birth.39 If we want to explore intergenerational effects, we can genotype the parents and the offspring of the members of these samples. Are we interested in G×E interactions for ancestral populations? Every major ancestral population lives in every conceivable kind of environment.

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

Advances in human whole genome testing will likely become available by 2014 so that every person’s entire complement of genes can be scanned and known at his or her physician’s office for as little as $1,000 (National Cancer Institute 2009). Once whole genome testing is perfected we will all learn what even our randomly conferred genes may predispose us to do and from what future ills we are likely suffer. Already, my relatively inexpensive genotype scan from 23andMe tells me that I have alleles that give me a somewhat greater risk of developing celiac disease, a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis, and a gene variant that some studies suggest can increase my risk of substance abuse (of both alcohol and “street” drugs) fourfold. With ­accumulation of genetic understanding, human freedom will then properly be seen as acting to overcome these predispositions, much like a former alcoholic can overcome his thirst for booze.


The Epistolizer

That famous catchphrase is itself non-scientific at best and pseudoscientific at worst.

Even if one grants that the universe is billions and billions of years old (to employ rhetoric of nearly that many parodies of Sagan), on what grounds can one state such an absolute conclusion from the basis of observational science?

For example, in the worldview espoused by Cosmos, it is held that the cosmos began at the moment of the Big Bang.

Thus, if one cannot peek back beyond that point, on what grounds apart from a faith as deeply held by the most adamant of theist does one conjecture that something else did not exist to bring the something into existence?

One can make the case of the cosmos being all there is all one wants.

But if the triumvirate of space, time and matter is all you are going to appeal to, on what grounds do you lodge a complaint should those not wanting such a gospel of nihilistic hopelessness to infect the minds of their children want to blow your brains out?

The last segment of Sagan's trademark mantra dogmatically asserted that the cosmos is all that will ever be.

If we are to exist in an epistemological framework where nothing is certain and there is no purposeful supreme intelligence superintending so that everything continues on a routine path, how do we know some manner of quantum cascade won't take place tonight where one subatomic particle is so knocked off course that all of reality disintegrates back into nothingness?

For did not even the great skeptics such as David Hume concede that, just because the sun rose from time immemorial, that was no guarantee that it would do so tomorrow?

Interestingly, the proponents of the Cosmos invocation might insist that they are providing viewers insight into whatever was or ever will be.

However, what these propagandists are conveniently leaving out are those aspects of the totality they happen to disagree with or cannot flippantly gloss over.

For example, in the premiere episode, an inordinate amount of time was spent badmouthing the adherents of a supposedly non-existent God in the case of Giodarno Bruno who was persecuted for believing that an infinite God could have created additional inhabited planets.

If nothing is to be concealed in the name of approaching a comprehension of the universe as it is rather than how we would like it to be, at any point in this documentary's presentation did Neil deGrasse Tyson --- himself an avowed atheistic humanist --- give an as lengthy presentation about the liberties infringed and abridged by assorted forms of atheism such as Communism in the attempt to maintain a stranglehold on power by preventing the dissemination of not only competing perspectives but as well as facts deemed inconvenient to adherents of that particular ideology?

Thus, if the hallmark of what distinguishes the modern era as supposedly superior to that of the medieval is that by the definition of these terms that we know better and are more enlightened, doesn't that make the atrocities of Communism far greater having been committed by the self-professed adherents of science?

In another episode, Tyson became emotionally discombobulated that if we as a species did not repent of our carbon combusting, global warming ways, we could very well cease to exist.

However, once again, if the only thing that exists is the material totality of the universe and there is no noncontingent intelligence or personality sustaining these complex systems, who is to say existence is superior to nonexistence?

Science writer George Johnson suggested that the tendency to view the universe as designed is an evolutionary holdover that humanity ought to progress beyond.

Then why not this desire for continued existence beyond that of our immediate selves?

For is this for the most part a trait and bias of the human plague infesting the planet?

Swarms of grass hoppers defoliating an area don't reflect if there will be enough to go around decades down the road.

One truism is that any resident of this realm will be subject to some kind of ultimate authority.

One can either settle for that of other flawed human beings that will in the end lead to disappointment and eventually destruction.

Or, one can look to God as the foundation and utilize a number of the tools that He provides such as His word foremostly followed by reason contemplating upon principles derived from that revelation and their operation through the handiwork of His creation.


Boycott Red America (January 3, 2005)

The U.S.A. is engaged in an uncivil civil war, a war between the states of mind. At core, the dispute is between urban and suburban/rural Americas, although the voting boundaries are crudely demarcated by state and region. America revealed its true colors once again in the tragic events surrounding 11/2. Cooperation and compromise, albeit usually virtues in these situations, are now futile, counterproductive and self-destructive. A condominium divided against itself can stand. Appomattox condemns unilateral secession but condones voluntary realignment. We as a nation must summon the honesty and courage to hoist a national white flag and agree to realign the red states and the blue states. The blue states should form three Azure Provinces known as the United Provinces of America (U.P.A.). The red states should form the United States of Aggression or perhaps the United States of Fear, Ignorance and Greed (U.S.G.). The red states will demure when they realize that the reds cannot subsist without the massive subsidies funneled to them via the tax dollars confiscated from the blue states. Without a worldwide boycott of red America and diplomatic recognition of blue America, realignment is not possible.

After the realignment, reds can continue to live, work, travel and own property in blue country, and vice versa. Anyone uncomfortable living and working in Paris (Illinois) can travel to Rome (Georgia) and buy property vice versa for those forced to relocate from Paris (Kentucky) to Rome (New York). For those of us who are out of place, relocating will be wrenching and discomforting. Everyone will be afforded dual citizenship and provided two passports. A red flag with 31 white stars in the field a score of white stars on a field of blue. “In God we trust” versus “In reason we trust.” Clergy versus clerisy.

Creative individuals can move to U.P.A. and design energy-efficient transportation modules. Pedestrian ones can move to U.S.G. and drive gas-guzzlers in circles. Reds can continue to sell bazookas and grenade launchers at their local pharmacies and hardware stores so that the terrorist at the end of their cul-de-sac can arm himself without delay or an inconvenient background check. Blues remain free to take granddad’s 30.06 from the safe each Fall and wander in the woods in pursuit of the elusive white tail. God knows gays have already suffered enough, but if they really want to get married, they can move to U.P.A. and spark the most massive urban renewal ever accomplished in the history of humankind without visiting the exchequer. U.S.G. can ban with abandon even secular civil unions because everyone knows that queers woke up one Tuesday morning and elected to be that way of their own volition and not because of God’s design.

The blues can reaffirm basic libertarian principles and allow each citizen to control the person’s person. The reds insist on more government dictating personal decisions for others. As soon as a baby crawls out of the hospital and makes a misstep, the reds dispatch the human being with extreme prejudice. Government in the bedroom is far more corrosive of individual rights than in the boardroom. The blues get the original Bill of Rights, because the reds would not even recycle the paper. Custody of the Constitution is joint, although in a few legislative sessions there will be scant resemblance between the two amended versions. Without realignment, the entire U.S.A. will continue to decay and fester to second world status within a generation. With realignment, the Michigan-Ohio State football game immediately becomes an international event of epic proportions. Go Blue.

On March 19, 2003, George Bush triggered World War III. Sans casus belli. America cannot win it, America alone cannot stop it. A group of radical Christian extremists declared war on a group of radical Islamic extremists who were eager to reciprocate. Those who would rather be red and dead should not be afforded the opportunity to absolve the rest of us of our mortality. Bush is skillfully recruiting terrorists for the cause, although he soon will not be able to recruit his own palace guard. U.S.G. will be free to impose a front door Draft on its populace allowing the reds to prosecute the doomed Second Crusades for the next one hundred years. Operation Iraqi Liberation alone will bestow thousands of American deaths, seven-fold that number of disfiguring and dismembering casualties, and a direct economic cost of half a trillion in two years. More than 150,000 innocent Iraqi civilians and brave red-blooded Iraqi freedom fighters will die doing what any red- or blue-blooded American would do if our country were invaded without provocation. Each Iraqi death produces a hydra effect because two more Iraqi patriots commit their lives to the cause.

The reds delude themselves into believing they hate us for who we are they hate us for what we are doing. The current version of the Constitution does not say: “We must destroy the village to save it.” However, America is deploying tax dollars to destroy the villages and then committing tax dollars to rebuild them. The “Economics of Destruction and Reconstruction 101” is an emerging field. The cost of reconstruction will be twenty-fold the still escalating and untold cost of destruction that we are not being told. Both Fallujah and Flint (Michigan) are being destroyed for no purpose, although Fallujah is slated for urban renewal with a modern subway system and above ground swimming pools. The Secretary of Offense is not astute enough to take one of the few insightful pages from the Vietnam playbook by declaring victory and getting out. With the fires ignited by the U.S.A., the current Dien Bien Phu III will be a mere sideshow and a forgotten incident in a conflagration that the U.S.A. will not be able to lose gracefully.

Use by the U.S.A. of tactical nuclear weapons in the form of spent uranium threatens to beget more nuclear activity. Individuals in the physics departments and in the biology departments of this planet pose a far more devastating threat than kids throwing stones at invaders using nuclear weapons to destroy their homes. At home, the systematic and willful conspiracy to bankrupt the public fisc is a high crime and misdemeanor that does little “to promote the general welfare.” A ten trillion dollar debt should be unconstitutional and alone grounds for immediate impeachment. Taxing to match spending is at least balanced and responsible. Only the reds seem charmed by these prospects.

By contrast, U.P.A. can reaffirm international law and the Geneva Conventions, issue a statement of non-participation in the Second Crusades, and execute a formal memorandum of re-engagement with the world. U.P.A. can assume one of the permanent seats on the Security Council without objection because the reds want nothing to do with U.N. pantywaists. U.P.A. must be liberated and divested to participate with and compete against the two rising colossuses that will define and dominate this century China and the European Union. U.P.A. will “provide for the common defense” by undertaking actions that contribute to the security and well being of the Provinces and the stability of the world. The Blue Provinces could unite with the E.U. to create the Transatlantic Alliance. With a mix of carefully calculated battles cum exeunt and a few shrewd modus vivendi, U.P.A. and the other two political empires may be able to limit or eliminate the causes of dissatisfaction that lead a desperate and rational person to employ terrorist techniques.

The U.S.A. has rarely been more vulnerable or the world less secure. The ruling ayatollah and his cabal of radical religious fundamentalist fanatics in Washington will not tolerate free elections, peaceful regime change or geographic realignment in America. Their devoutly anti-intellectual and anti-intellectually devout fans are in lockstep. However, they say that freedom is on the march. Little Napoleon motivated his own [al] Queda, his base, to continue on the path to world domination or destruction, whichever comes first. The world can and must just say no to the war criminal and his clutch of chicken hawks. Uniting one’s foes and dividing one’s friends (and countrymen) is not sagacious. With a few exceptions, the McMedia of every hue in America are effete, craven, servile and unavailing, but they are pretty. The last hope is for private citizens to unite the world and enlist its assistance to conduct a world economic plebiscite.

The world must boycott red America for one year. No visits to red states or contributions directly or indirectly to their economies. No vacations or holidays or conferences or conventions. Cranberries from the Eastern Province (Massachusetts and New Jersey), the Central Province (Wisconsin) and the Western Province (Washington and Oregon) should be imported and served once a day to support the peace movement. Washington apples but not Virginia apples. California oranges but not Florida oranges. Don’t mix apples and oranges. Oregon pinot but not Tennessee mash. Minnesota corn but not Iowa corn. Wisconsin beer but not Colorado or Missouri beer. Skip Alaska and explore New England and then Hawaii next year. Tour Washington D.C. and find lodging in the city or in Maryland. Spend too much time and money in New York. Circumnavigate the Adirondacks and the Sierras and circumvent the lower Appalachians and the eastern Rockies.

Tender Euros, the peace chits, to blue businesses to symbolize Europe’s permission slips for peace. After some initial resistance, blue Americans may adopt the Euro as their currency. English is the emerging medium of communication for the E.U. the Euro rightly should emerge as the medium of exchange for the U.P.A. By 2006, the Euro will be the new two dollar bill. Vote for peace in the three Azure Provinces. We can all use Euros to buy the “English/Mandarin” and the “English/Cantonese” dictionaries and launch them to the top of The Beijing Times Best Seller List. Demand that all imported produce and products from the U.S.A. include a state of origin stamp. Provide your kinder with outline maps of the U.S. and crayons of rojo y azul, rouge et bleu, rosso e azzurro, or rot und blau to teach them the boundaries of the two Americas. Send letters and e-mails to the respective secretaries of state and convention bureaus and inform them that you are boycotting the red states.

On a grander scale, if the central banks in Europe (ECB), Japan and China create a true Coalition of the Willing and demand that the U.S.A. withdraw from its international excursions or face complete withdrawal of all financial support for and funding of the U.S.A., there will be change. Those who carefully save in Frankfurt (Germany) can save those who spend wildly in Frankfurt (Kentucky). The Coalition must implement this new and improved version of the Marshall Plan and impose a revised Containment policy to restrain and quarantine the red menace in this rogue nation. International economic sanctions will succeed against the American war machine impatient to unleash more of its weapons of mass destruction against the world. A trillion dollar (Euro?) economic impact in one year likely will garner some attention.

During its glory days, America was a generous and magnanimous Republic that came to the world’s aid in times of need and trouble in so many ways. We sane Americans now must ask the rest of the world to come to our aid. Diplomatic recognition of blue American is critical. You can save blue America and the rest of the world, and red America. Boycott red America now. Billions of lives and livelihoods are at stake. In due course, the boycott can be finessed to focus on the specific enterprises that advance the apocalypse. Thank you kindly in advance for your assistance and sacrifice in saving the world.


Archive for January, 2013

In the recent election cycle, politicians of every stripe and persuasion talked about protecting the “Middle Class” even as the country is buried in a huge mountain of public debt accumulated over the last 20 to 30 years. And this happening with the leadership alternating between Democrats and Republicans both in the Congress and the White House. Now we have reached a stage of the whole nation falling off what every talking head calls a fiscal cliff, something that responsible people of all persuasions have been warning us for decades.

There is only one way to solve this national problem that we created for ourselves with our eyes wide open: Everybody needs to take some hit — higher taxes for people earning more, higher corporate and capital gains tax, keeping the estate tax as it is, higher eligibility requirements and means testing for Medicare, maybe even for Social Security. And the inevitable reduced service and/or more out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare for everyone. Another item for serious consideration will be a higher gasoline tax.

The defense expenditure for the nation is definitely bloated and un­sustainable. The annual US defense expenditure is more than the combined military expenditure of the next ten large countries. Out of the ten, except for China and Russia, countries such as France, Japan, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Saudi Arabia are our allies with military treaties to come to our defence, if attacked. So, it is obvious that military expenditure too should be trimmed if we are serious about addressing our debt problem. But defense expenditures and outlays are the most sacred cows in the US Congress.

It is strange that not many in the Congress seem to care that powerful nations are weakened first by profligacy from within, and only then from external threats. The situation has reached such a ridiculous stage that in one of the Congressional rtestimonies, I remember hearing a UG general in military uniform attesting that our economic situation poses a bigger threat that external militaries.

In this context, one phrase we heard over and over again in the political discourse and campaign rhetoric in the past election cycle is tax cuts for the “Middle Class,” defined as families with annual incomes of $250,000 as the upper limit.

It is likely that the household income of the overwhelming majority of readers of this article such as yourself is well below this threshold maybe under $120,000 per year. You are likely to be living in a desirable ZIP code in a good school district leading a comfortable lifestyle.

But it is another matter that you have been living under the perpetual anxiety of losing job in the corporation where you work — the same company you have been with for the last 20 years, getting regular raises, promotions, and bonuses.

So, it is no surprise that you never cared to know the income distribution in families in this great country.

After repeatedly hearing that families with $250,000 household income are defined as “Middle Class,” in all possibility, by now you might have developed a massive inferiority complex with your $120,000 annual house­hold income. In social discourse, you may even refer to yourself as “Lower Middle Class.” Today’s marketing gurus and political media consultants know that by repeating a statement over and over again, they can make any idea gain currency and credibility. This is pitiful.

However, the US Census Bureau has done a wonderful job in gathering household income data. The latest year for which the information is available is for the year 2009.

The graph below shows the distribution of household income for Ameri­can households.

We can see in this graph that of the 118 million households in the nation, only 4% have incomes over $200,000. Only slightly more than 8% of the households has income more than $150,000.

To put things in perspective, the median household income for the nation is $50,000. That is, 50% of the homes have income less than $50,000, and 50% have incomes more than $50,000.

So, if $250,000 annual household income is “Middle Class,” then what do you call households with, say, $125,000 household income? Lower Middle Class? After all, they make only 50% of the so-called “Middle Class” in­comes. And what do we call homes with $60,000 in family incomes? The Working Poor? Remember, the median household income is $50,000.

I know people with graduate degrees stuck in white-collar office jobs paying only $35,000. What do we call them? White Collar Poor?

I am amazed at our skewed perception of ourselves.

Is the World Flat or Is the World Getting Flattened?

Posted by admin in January 2013 on January 1, 2013

By Kollengode S Venkataraman e-mail: [email protected]

When traveling outside Europe and North America, we see the Euro­pean and American influence everywhere — in technologies, fashion, pop culture, and food. And if it is junk food, it is invariably American — Pepsi, Coke, potato chips, burgers, French fries, pizza… … People lament this and worry about losing their heritage, culture — even identity. American­ized English phrases and idioms have permeated the globe, much to the chagrin of both the British and the French.

However, historians recognize that when cultures interact (or clash), host cultures also influence the invading/incoming cultures. This happens during slow osmosis (as in East and Southeast Asia) or in the course of violent invasions (as in India in the wake of the Turkic, Mongolian, and Afghani invasions), or where the predatory cultures overwhelm the native culture (as happened in the Americas).

In the US, the much-celebrated federalism among the states, and among the counties and cities within states, is the result of European colonizers first internalizing, and then formalizing the loose federal structure pre-existing among the different Native American groups.

Also, Islam, on entering India violently, adapted itself to India’s social, cul­tural and spiritual ethos to such an extent that Islam in the Indian subcon­tinent it is nothing like the Salafi and Wahabi versions of the Arabs.

Thanks to the Internet, the mutual influence among societies today is not due to the invasion of armies, but due to the invasion of ideas from other societies. So, even as Asians lament the American domination in food, fashion, pop culture, and technology (with Americans reveling in it), aspects of Asian lifestyles are innocuously and subliminally —Tea Partiers may say, insidiously — seeping into America.

• During my early days of employment here, colleagues used to disparage the Asian lifestyle — evolved out of economic necessities and cultural traditions — of adult children living with their parents well into their late twenties and even early thirties. “After high school, you’re outta here,” was the mantra youngsters heard from parents. Those days the cost of living was manageable, jobs were plenty, and even with low wages, one could afford independent living. Those days are long gone. Now, young college graduates working in poorly paid jobs often live with their parents out of necessity. Recognizing this, the much-vilified ObamaCare provides health insurance to youngsters under their parents’ insurance until they are 26. Another incipient trend in the US is “Multigenerational Living” with older parents in their 80s living with their sons and daughters in their 50s and 60s, something that was perfected in Asia and Central America. Read here on the struggles of what Pew Research Center calls the Sandwich Generation caught between aged parents and dependent adult children. This is the ultimate Asianization of America.

• Young people with college degrees working in low-paying, but high-visibility, glamorous jobs (in media, fashion, or as staffers to politicians) live off subsidies from affluent parents or from trust funds established by grandparents, much like youngsters from rich and powerful families in Asia. In the US, affluent Indian, Chinese, and Korean immigrant parents often subsidize their adult children well into their late 20s.

• Yet another trend in the U.S., identical to the trend in Asia, is ad­ditional “Coaching Classes” outside the classroom for regular subjects like mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Unlike 3-month cramming classes teenagers take before their SAT and PSAT tests, these long-term classes are designed around regular high school subjects taught year-long.

• In urban centers around the US, professional families are walking away from public school, sending their children to private elementary and high schools costing up to $40,000 a year. This trend too is identical to what has been the norm in Asia for over the last sixty years.

• Many high schools have eliminated courses on music, literature, less-known European languages, even sociology.

• And this: Recently, Tina Rosenberg wrote (The Family Doctor, Minus the M.D, in The New York Times, October 2012) on a trend in rural America where nurse practitioners fill in the void left by qualified doctors unwilling to work there. These nurse practitioners even prescribe medicines. In many small towns in Asia the situation is identical with no doctors wanting/willing to serve the rural community. There the poor rural folks have been going to nurses for decades for treatment.

So, the economic compulsions in the globalized market place today are changing the social structure of industrialized nations as well. In the US the ever-widening gap in access to resources between the rich and the working poor — a topic that is dissected in countless ways — has far reaching deleterious social consequences, if only we are willing to see what such gaps have done in other parts of the world.

In the wake of globalization, years ago, Thomas Friedman wrote the best seller The World is Flat. He should have titled it The World is Getting Flattened.