Nudge

On the Plumage of birds

Before discovery of Australia, people in the Old World were convinced that all swans were white, an unassailable belief as it seems completely confirmed by empirical evidence.

The sighting of the first black swan might have been an interesting surprise for a few orninthologists, but that is not where the significance of the story lies. It ilustrates a severe limitation to our edge. One single observation can invalidate a general statement derived from millennia of confirmatory sightings of millions of swans.

All you need is one single black bird.

…What we call a black swan is an event with the following three attributes.

First, is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outliers status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact , making it explainable and predictable.

— The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

It’s been quite some time since my last blog, and here I am again. This time I found in a book of economics to one more time show a property of technology. The unpredictability of the future is in part caused by the fast pace of changes, and by the fact that it gets faster every year.

Our mind (the physical part), as well as our mentality (the intellectual side), needs time to adapt to change, and from a certain point, we tend to believe that the old is better., –in other words, we get old — ignoring the evolutionary nature of change.
We’re are always adapting, and it’s been like that for the last centuries. In fact, our capacity to adapt is vital to our survival as species in such a hostile environment.

And from our evolutionary capacity, technology grows and evolves.

But I’d rather say that the point here is predictability. The capacity to foreseen with accuracy near term events. The capacity to use it to promote even further evolution, breaking paradigms at the same time creating conditions for improvement.

Flying cars, cyborg humans, artificial intelligence, ubiquitous connection, instant response are still part of our dream of a future, though much more reachable then ever. What surprises our predictive capacity are limitation of data processing, or the uncertainty factor. At some point, we have to abstract. We have to assume premises to make valid conclusions. And reality is a dynamic environment, moving to every side at every time. An uncontrollable number of variables is in place.

Soon artificial intelligence processing capacity of a single device will overcome the human brain in taking effective, good decisions, considering complex problems. In fact, machines will be better decision makers, risk takers than a regular person, like you and I.

In another time span, the same device will have processing power equivalent to all human brains combined, taking the decision making process to another level, as well as our belief and understanding of our own nature.
Are you ready for that?

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Learn from yesterday

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

— Albert Einstein

Subjective Experience

“The objective reality is the reality of the outside observer observing the process.

If we observe the development of an individual, salient events happen very quickly at first,

but later on milestones are more spread out, so we say time is slowing down.

The subjective experience, however, is the experience of the process itself,

assuming, of course, that the process is conscious.”

— Ray Kurzweil

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Content is the King

Semantics, the study of meaning. Is part of the linguistics focussed on sense and meaning of language or symbols of language.  It is the study of interpretation of signs or symbols as used by agents or groups within particular circumstances and contexts. Semantics asks, how sense and meaning of complex concepts can be derived from simple concepts based on the rules of syntax. The semantics of a message depends on its context and pragmatics.

Syntax, as in grammatics denotes the study of the principles and processes by which sentences are constructed in particular languages.
In formal Languages, syntax is just a set of rules, by which well formed expressions can be created from a fundamental set of symbols, or alphabet. In computer science, syntax defines the normative structure of data.

Context denotes the surrounding in an expression. Its relationship with surrounding expressions and further related elements.
Contexts denotes all elements of any sort of communication that define the interpretation of the communicated content, general, personal or social content.

Pragmatics reflects the intention by which the language is used to communicate a message. In linguistics pragmatics denotes the study of applying language in different situations. It also denotes the intended purpose of the speaker. Pragmatics studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning.

Experience considers all information that you have learned and put in context with the world you are living in.

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Beware

“Most men die of their remedies, and not of their illness”

Moliére

Moliére

Moliére

Fail early and often

because failure is the stepping stone to success.

“You can fix it now with an eraser, or you can fix it later

with a sledgehammer.”

–Frank Lloyd Wright

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Changing perspective

Well, well, well, it’s always time to think about change, eventhough change is not an easy thing, it is inevitable, and is happening all the time, despite efforts from established forces, economic and social forces, to make their predictions valid, evolution is an unquestionable path. Will always be.

If you believe that changes are harder that ever, believe me, you’re wrong. In fact, things are changing faster and faster at every year, and even if society cannot make the hard changes to improve life quality, this changes are also in course, propelled by every little change that happens every time.

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about technology. Yes, technology, the ultimate expression of change and the spring that pushes us ahead. When a child, I always felt that I had to surpass the success of my parents, because I started from where they dropped me, where they “ended”. And even if they did not end at all (my mother is still a very productive person), I was somehow right. It’s not easy to overcome a smart person as my beloved mother, but it is a natural path, once I started learning things from a point she presented me.
To say, I started from a point they put me. And my kids, our kids, are doing the same to surpass our logic in the very near future.

They are different because they live in a different world than the one I lived when their age.

No one can stop evolution, or even control it. Even if the economical and legal models try to interrupt disruption through questionable laws, people will organize themselves craving for change. To me it sounds like the new technologies that are somehow supporting the Digital Era at the beginning of the 21st century.

Once again, huge changes won’t be easy, disruption is also a pain, but a new paradigm solve old problems as well as bring to light new ones.

So, don’t be afraid, don’t be negative, keep believing in things you love, be honest with yourself, seek the best balance between collective and personal welfare, because inevitably technology will change it somehow. It has nothing to do with actual standards, priests, politicians or regulators. They will pass away. It has more to do with science, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, robotics, genetics and life reengineering.

Evolution is a recursive algorithm. Old people fear the new. Keep dreaming, this is a virtual world.

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Ambition

“As soon as there is life there is danger”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The Future is Unknown

And that’s for sure. The best we can do is try some level of prediction, besides acting in deciding our own path.

“We simply do not know what the future holds.”

— Peter L. Bernstein

In life we have to play hard and give our best all the time. It sounds a little cliche, but let me to continue, besides trying hard we must be ready to adapt ourselves to the new. And what is the “new”?

The “new” is what life is becoming every time, every moment, everywhere. The uncontrolable path trough which life evolve, totally out of one’s control, can be named the “new”.
In fact, it can have many names. Who cares?

“We cannot predict the future, but we can create it…

None of us can predict with certainty the twists and turns our lives will take. Life is uncertain, the future unknown. This is neither good nor bad. It just is, like gravity. Yet the task remain: how to master our own fate, even so.”

Great by choice, Jim Collins and Morten Hansen

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A Nudge is the capacity to influence a decision.

{Infinite Loop} Begin;

When you get a new cell phone, for example, you have a series of choices to make. The fancier the phone, the more of this choices you face, from the background, to the ring sound, to the number of times it rings before the caller is sent to the voice mail.

The manufacturer has picked one option as the default option for each of this choices.

Research shows that whatever the default choices are, people stick with them, even when the stakes are much higher than choosing the noise your phone makes when it rings.

Two important lessons can be drawn from this research. First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed. If private companies or public officials think that one policy produces better outcome, they can greatly influence the outcome by choosing it as a default.

As we will…

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