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Archive for the ‘economics’ category: Page 97

Nov 21, 2013

Do unemployed people age faster?

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, economics, homo sapiens, life extension, science

By Avi Roy, University of Buckingham and Anders Sandberg, University of Oxford

Men who are unemployed for more than two years show signs of faster ageing in their DNA, according to a study published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

Researchers at the University of Oulu, Finland and Imperial College, London arrived at this conclusion by studying blood samples collected from 5,620 men and women born in Northern Finland in 1966. The researchers measured the lengths of telomeres in their white blood cells, and compared them with the participants’ employment history for the prior three years, and found that extended unemployment (more than 500 days in three years) was associated with shorter telomere length.

Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes, which protect the chromosomes from degrading. With every cell division, it appears that these telomeres get shorter. And the result of each shortening is that these cells degrade and age.

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Nov 14, 2013

The Disruptional Singularity

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, complex systems, cosmology, counterterrorism, cybercrime/malcode, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, existential risks, finance, futurism, nanotechnology, physics, policy, robotics/AI, science, singularity, supercomputing, sustainability, transparency

(Excerpt)

Beyond the managerial challenges (downside risks) presented by the exponential technologies as it is understood in the Technological Singularity and its inherent futuristic forces impacting the present and the future now, there are also some grave global risks that many forms of management have to tackle with immediately.

These grave global risks have nothing to do with advanced science or technology. Many of these hazards stem from nature and some are, as well, man made.

For instance, these grave global risks ─ embodying the Disruptional Singularity ─ are geological, climatological, political, geopolitical, demographic, social, economic, financial, legal and environmental, among others. The Disruptional Singularity’s major risks are gravely threatening us right now, not later.

Read the full document at http://lnkd.in/bYP2nDC

Nov 12, 2013

The Future of Scientific Management, Today!

Posted by in categories: business, counterterrorism, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, existential risks, finance, futurism, science, singularity, sustainability, transparency

The Future of Scientific Management, Today! (Excerpt)

Transformative and Integrative Risk Management
Andres Agostini was asked this question:

Mr. David Shaw’s question, “…Andres, from your work on the future which management skills need to be developed? Classically the management role is about planning, organizing, leading and controlling. With the changes coming in the future what’s your view on how this management mix needs to change and adapt?…” Question was posited on an Internet Forum, formulated by Mr. David Shaw (Peterborough, United Kingdom) on October 09, 2013.

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Nov 5, 2013

Futurewise Success Tenets

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, economics, education, engineering, existential risks, futurism

Futurewise Success Tenets

“Futurewise Success Tenets” here is an excerpt from, “The Future of Scientific Management, Today”. To read the entire piece, just click the link at the end of article. As follows:

(1) Picture mentally, radiantly. (2) Draw outside the canvas. (3) Color outside the vectors. (4) Sketch sinuously. (5) Far-sight beyond the mind’s intangible exoskeleton. (6) Abduct indiscernible falsifiable convictions. (7) Reverse-engineering a gene and a bacterium or, better yet, the lucrative genome. (8) Guillotine the over-weighted status quo. (9) Learn how to add up ─ in your own brainy mind ─ colors, dimensions, aromas, encryptions, enigmas, phenomena, geometrical and amorphous in-motion shapes, methods, techniques, codes, written lines, symbols, contexts, locus, venues, semantic terms, magnitudes, longitudes, processes, tweets, “…knowledge-laden…” hunches and omniscient bliss, so forth. (10) Project your wisdom’s wealth onto communities of timeless-connected wikis. (11) Cryogenize the infamous illiterate by own choice and reincarnate ASAP (multiverse teleporting out of a warped / wormed passage) Da Vinci, Bacon, Newton, Goethe, Bonaparte, Edison, Franklyn, Churchill, Einstein, and Feynman. (12) Organize relationships into voluntary associations that are mutually beneficial and accountable for contributing productively to the surrounding community. (13) Practice the central rule of good strategy, which is to know and remain true to your core business and invest for leadership and R&D+Innovation. (14) Kaisen, SixSigma, Lean, LeanSigma, “…Reliability Engineer…” (the latter as solely conceived and developed by Procter & Gamble and Los Alamos National Laboratories) it all unthinkably and thoroughly by recombinant, a là Einstein Gedanke-motorized judgment (that is to say: Einsteinian Gedanke [“…thought experiments…”]. (15) Provide a road-map / blueprint for drastically compressing (‘crashing’) the time’s ‘reticules’ it will take you to get on the top of your tenure, nonetheless of your organizational level. (16) With the required knowledge and relationships embedded in organizations, create support for, and carry out transformational initiatives. (17) Offer a tested pathway for addressing the linked challenges of personal transition and organizational transformation that confront leaders in the first few months in a new tenure. (18) Foster momentum by creating virtuous cycles that build credibility and by avoiding getting caught in vicious cycles that harm credibility. (19) Institute coalitions that translate into swifter organizational adjustments to the inevitable streams of change in personnel and environment. (20) Mobilize and align the overriding energy of many others in your organization, knowing that the “…wisdom of crowds…” is upfront and outright rubbish. (21) Step outside the boundaries of the framework’s system when seeking a problem’s solution. (22) Within zillion tiny bets, raise the ante and capture the documented learning through frenzy execution. (23) “…Moonshine…” and “…Skunks-work…” and “…Re-Imagineering…” all, holding in your mind the motion-picture image that, regardless of the relevance of “…inputs…” and “…outputs,…”, entails that the highest relevance is within the sophistication within the THROUGHPUT.….. (69) Figure out exactly which neurons to make synapses with. (70) Wire up synapses the soonest…”

Read the full material at http://lnkd.in/bYP2nDC

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Sep 29, 2013

In a Jobless Economy we need Indemnification for Influence

Posted by in categories: business, economics, futurism

originally posted @Ntegrationalism

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Sep 17, 2013

Space-Mining For Our Fastest Depleting Resource: Helium

Posted by in categories: economics, engineering, futurism, physics, robotics/AI, space, sustainability

Most of us know helium as that cheap inert lighter-than-air gas we use to fill party balloons and inhale to increase voice-pitch as a party trick for kids. However, helium has much more important uses to humanity — from medical (e.g. MRIs), military and defense (submarine detectors use liquid helium to clean up noisy signals), next-generation nuclear reactors, space shuttles, solar telescopes, infra-red equipment, diving, arc welding, particle physics research (the super-magnets in particle colliders rely on liquid helium), the manufacture of many digital devices, growing silicon crystals, the production of LCDs and optical fibers [1].

The principal reason helium is so important is due to its ultra-low boiling-point and inert nature making it the ultimate coolant of the human race. As the isotope helium-3, helium is also used in nuclear fusion research [2]. However, our Earth supplies of helium are being used at an unprecedented rate and could be depleted within a generation [4] and at the current rate of consumption we will run out within 25 to 30 years. As the gas is often thought of as a cheap gas it is often wasted. However, those who understand the situation, such as Prof Richardson, co-chair of a recent US National Research Council inquiry into the coming helium shortage, warn that the gas is not cheap due to the supply being inexhaustible, but because of the Helium Privatisation Act passed in 1996 by the US Congress.

Helium only accounts for 0.00052% of the Earth’s atmosphere and the majority of the helium harvested comes from beneath the ground being extracted from minerals or tapped gas deposits. This makes it one of the rarest elements of any form on the planet. However, the Act required the helium stores [4] held underground near Amarillo in Texas to be sold off at a fixed rate by 2015 regardless of the market value, to pay off the original cost of the reserve. The Amarillo storage facility holds around half the Earth’s stocks of helium: around a billion cubic meters of the gas. The US currently supplies around 80 percent of the world’s helium supplies, and once this supply is exhausted one can expect the cost of the remaining helium on Earth to increase rapidly — as this is in all practicality quite a non-renewable resource.

There is no chemical way of manufacturing helium, and the supplies we have originated in the very slow radioactive alpha decay that occurs in rocks. It has taken 4.7 billion years for the Earth to accumulate our helium reserves, which we will have exhausted within about a hundred years of the US’s National Helium Reserve having been established in 1925. When this helium is released to the atmosphere, in helium balloons for example, it is lost forever — eventually escaping into space [5][6]. So what shall we do when this crucial resource runs out? Well, in some cases liquid nitrogen (−195°C) may be adopted as a replacement — but in many cases liquid nitrogen cannot be used as a stand alone coolant as tends to be trickier to work with (triple point and melting point at around −210°C) — so the liquid helium is used because it is capable of staying liquid at the extreme cool temperatures required. No more helium means no more helium liquid (−269°C) that is used to cool the NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance apparels), and in other machines such as MRI scanners. One wonders therefore must we look towards space exploration to replenish our most rare of resources on Earth?

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Aug 27, 2013

The Unconventional Way Bitcoin Can Make You Wealthy

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics, education, finance, philosophy, policy

Originally posted as Part IV of a four-part introductory series on Bitcoin on June 19, 2013 in the American Daily Herald. See the Bitcoin blog for all four articles.

Prologue

I am reminded of Sisyphus, King of Ephyra (later, Corinth), who was referred to by Homer as the craftiest of men. He committed terrible crimes against mere mortals and ‘worse’ still, and with great cunning, he offended Zeus and cheated Death. For his crimes he was eternally condemned to thrusting a heavy boulder up a hill, only having it come rolling back down as he got near the top. Had his earthly actions against his fellow men not violated the non-aggression principle, I could have probably warmed up to him as some sort of tragic hero, doing all he can to live life as he wanted it, while beating the gods at their own game. But given his crimes as a ruler over men, it does seem appropriate that his punishment is an ever-repeating cycle of arduous labor, engendering within him hope of a brighter future, yet concluding with dashed dreams and a return to square one. After all, to this day, rulers are notorious for repeating past mistakes while expecting different outcomes (a condition humorously defined by Einstein as insanity).

National currencies

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Aug 27, 2013

On the ‘Evil’ of Hoarding

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics, ethics, finance, policy

Originally posted as Part III of a four-part introductory series on Bitcoin on May 21, 2013 in the American Daily Herald. See the Bitcoin blog for all four articles.

With gold prices back in the $1,300-$1,400/oz range it is sometimes difficult explaining to non-gold bugs why owning physical gold is still a good long term strategy. Some define buying gold as ‘an investment’, and others as ‘a hedge against inflation’. I tend to look at it as an insurance policy against hyper-inflation or just simply as sound honest money. However, when describing a strategy of accumulating money (in gold form) in some far-away vault, only to be used in some end-of-the-world scenario, it goes without saying that an image of a miserly old man replaces my likeness in the eyes of my conversation partner. Few people stuff dollar bills in their mattress any more, but hoarding of gold and silver when these were de-facto money was not unusual. Commodity money, which tends to increase in purchasing power over time, is predisposed to this ‘problem’. When you ‘love money’ so much that you hold on to too much of it or for too long a time, then you are hoarding.

Can ‘hoarding’ be defined?

Robert LeFevre once joked that while he was courting his soon-to-be-wife, he was impressed when she told him how much she loved money. Yet after they were married, it turned out that she really didn’t love money. In fact, she would try to find any excuse to get rid of it… in her shopping sprees, of course! Apparently money is no different than other goods and services; you trade one for the other. You trade the lesser valued good for the more valued good. When you make a purchase, you make a choice. You value your money less than the good you are buying. Similarly, when you refrain from purchasing an item, the indication is that your money is of more value than the foregone good. This is the basic premise in anticipation of a transaction, that both sides benefit – otherwise the transaction would not take place.

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Aug 27, 2013

The Benefit of Specialization – Bitcoin as an Invented Currency

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics, engineering, finance

Originally posted as Part II of a four-part introductory series on Bitcoin on May 7, 2013 in the American Daily Herald. See the Bitcoin blog for all four articles.

The emergence of money and its importance in enabling trade between people has been well researched and documented in the literature of the Austrian School of economics – Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises and Man, Economy and State by Murray N. Rothbard being prime examples. The contribution of the Austrian greats to the understanding of money and its origin made clear exactly what money is (e.g. the most marketable commodity), the different types of media that are employed in exchange between people (e.g. commodity money, credit money, fiat money and money substitutes) and a theoretical explanation for their origin (the Regression Theorem). The Austrian School has also given arguably the most convincing analysis of the relationship between the money type in use, the manner by which it is controlled and the business cycle – emphasizing the importance of sound money. But except for a few sparse outliers, what the Austrian School has yet to do is fully recognize Bitcoin as a valid scholarly and academic topic. With this article, I hope to contribute to its recognition.

Money’s characteristics

Money enabled people in early stages of civilization to go from direct exchange, with difficulties such as the double-coincidence of wants, to indirect exchange. This improved mechanism paved the way for facilitating man’s specialization in his tasks, thereby enabling division of labor within society since each specialized laborer was able to trade his goods for others indirectly with the use of a medium of exchange. Money has taken many forms but there are certain characteristics all forms should have. Aristotle, for instance provided the following four:

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Aug 27, 2013

Bitcoin and its Value

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, economics, finance

Originally posted as Part I of a four-part introductory series on Bitcoin on May 1, 2013 in the American Daily Herald. See the Bitcoin blog for all four articles.

The last couple of months proved a very exciting time for Bitcoin and its new owners, with values increasing from $30 to $260 within a month only to come crashing down in days. It went from virtual anonymity to virtual ubiquity and back again — the only constant being that it’s virtual. The dust has now settled and the talking heads have changed topic, and Bitcoin is slowly regaining strength. But does this mean we can finally, in a quiet and rational way, contemplate what this Bitcoin really is and where it has room to fit into our lives? The answer to that is no, because the concept of Bitcoin is so strange, unintuitive and foreign, no matter when you discuss it and with whom, it will lead to very divisive arguments. So I say now is as good a time as any to dive in and discuss it.

So what is Bitcoin, anyway?

Bitcoin is a virtual currency. It is a string of 1s and 0s, much like a lot of what we interact with in this day and age. It’s something new. It’s unique. It’s controversial. The detractors say it’s only useful for terrorists or drug lords who want to move money around undetected, which no doubt they do. But much like the Internet is so much more than pornography, so is Bitcoin so much more than drug money. E-mail liberated the letter from the postage stamp, Skype liberated telephone calls from crippling AT&T long-distance rates, Facebook liberated photos from the dusty photo album sitting on your shelf unopened. You can think of Bitcoin as what will liberate financial transactions from the grip of the financial institutions and the state.

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