Call This Concept Scenario Fulfillment

1 year ago

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You know you’ve always wanted to ride in a tugboat as it pushes around a huge cargo ship, right? Well, that’s what we do in Episode 3 of Containers, my audio documentary about the system of global trade and the people who make supply chains work. We go inside working life on the San Francisco Bay to see how brutal competition among shipping companies threatens the viability of the small businesses that ply the waters. Meet a tugboat dispatcher, a skipper, and the first female captain of an American freighter. It’s a case study in how globalization works and our first look at the challenges the port faces. (Available on iTunesStitcher, SoundcloudSpotify, Google Play, and iHeartRadio.)

1. I hate the name "HD map" but I'll always be fascinated by the way we're processing the world for our machine intelligences.

"You may only know it for its GPUs, but Nvidia is becoming quite the player in this field, too, thanks to the company's expertise with machine learning and deep neural networks. Those have plenty of applications in the self-driving world, and Nvidia is working with Here, as well as with TomTom, Baidu, and Zenrin, on mapping and cloud-to-car platforms. 'HD maps are essential for self-driving cars,' said Jen-Hsun Huang, founder and chief executive officer of Nvidia. 'Here's adoption of our deep learning technology for their cloud-to-car mapping system will accelerate automakers' ability to deploy self-driving vehicles.'"

+ The reason I hate it is that it gives you a fall sense that you understand the thing because you can name it. Regular TV to HDTV is not a good analogy for the change from even Google Maps to what self-driving cars will use. It's like "dark energy." We have no idea what dark energy is, but it's much easier to pretend that we do because we have a label.

2. People are building the conceptual tools to gene edit whole populations, like the "Daisy Restoration Drive."

"Given our growing ability to engineer organisms and even wild populations, it would be prudent to invent better safeguards. Ideally, we would be able to restore any given population to its original genetic state. There's just one problem: how can we eliminate the CRISPR editing machinery needed to spread changes through populations?"

3. Local media would probably be the best vehicle for restoring trust in journalism, and yet, there are so many business problems.

"I see more and more small businesses taking money they would once have spent with local news outlets, and spending it on digital ads — not on local websites, but on promoted Facebook posts and Google keyword advertising. As a business person, I can’t argue with that. It works. The titans of the web have huge and increasing reach, even in our rural communities. They have sophisticated tools for targeting likely customers by geography and demographics. They have products that a business owner can buy for $5 with a few clicks of a mouse, products that require no human time investment on the other end for design or sales or customer support. What they don’t have is reporters."

4. The US shot down a commercial airliner near Iran, and at least part of the blame can be placed on the design of the ship's UI.

"The majority of the crew members on board the USS Vincennes that day had created an erroneous expectancy of what was happening. This was partially caused by fresh memories of the USS Stark, which was severely damaged a year earlier by an Iraqi fighter jet. Many psychologists call this concept scenario fulfillment. Iran Flight 655 took off from the joint civilian/military airport at Bandar Abbas at about 10:17. As it was climbing to its cruising altitude, five crew members in the CIC on the Vincennes independently believed that the incoming aircraft was descending and picking up speed. Anonymous shouts and warnings created a very tense atmosphere in the CIC. Capt Rogers and other officers paid more attention to the shouts, warnings, and emergency signals than to the actual displays and print outs of the Aegis system, which, if carefully analyzed, would have easily shown that the incoming aircraft was a commercial airplane and was in fact simply climbing to its cruising altitude."

5. A comedian's personal joke Memex.

"Many of the jokes were carefully typed out from an encyclopedia of gags, before being placed in the file under topics ranging from bull fighting to wives and landladies to 'remarks overheard on planes.' Drafts of Cooper's table plans from the 1970s - showing exactly where he would place his props including his dice box and goldfish bowl when on stage - were also discovered. The documents show he used to first draw where the props should be placed on a piece of card before taking a picture of the props laid out in real-life so he could use it for reference. "

1. 2. | @kesvelt 3. | @emilybell 4. | @aelkus 5. | @libraryprocess

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Call This Concept Scenario Fulfillment

5it by Alexis Madrigal
Fairview Park Oakland, CA 94618 USA
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