Blog

Archive for the ‘education’ category

Oct 11, 2019

Flint schools receive water stations, filtration systems from billionaire Elon Musk

Posted by in categories: education, Elon Musk

The school district tweeted about the donation and Musk replied that he hopes “to do more help in the future.”

UPDATE: Water filters from Elon Musk being installed, tested in Flint Community Schools

The district says it will use Musk’s donation to replace drinking fountains with water stations using ultraviolet filtration equipment. The drinking fountains have been out of service since the Flint water crisis in 2015.

Oct 10, 2019

Is Anticipation a Good Strategy?

Posted by in categories: education, futurism, policy, strategy, theory

Anticipation and to remain hopeful and patient in expecting a preferred future have a special place and a critical role in some moral and religious systems of faith. As a personal virtue, there are many natural, cultural, social, and educational factors that play a role in its development. However, for an economic agent and in general forward looking decision makers who follow a more secular worldview, the argument in favor of anticipation and how much it could be reasonable might be less clear. Therefore, it is worthwhile to explore when and under which circumstances we should choose anticipation. A convincing argument might be helpful. In this blog post I will build a framework based on game theory to provide a better and deeper insight.

Economists, mathematicians, and to some degree, engineers have contributed to the development of game theory. In neoclassic economics, it is assumed that each economic agent has a rational behavior. According to the prediction model based on such an assumption, decision makers, if they sell goods and services, tend to maximize profit and if they buy tend to maximize utility. In other words, people naturally seek the best and the most. Moreover, decision making is based on the principle of “predict then act”. The individual first predicts the likely consequences of choices and attribute to them utilities. In the next step, an alternative is chosen that has the best consequence or the most utility. This camp or school is often called the normative decision analysis.

Nonetheless, empirical studies on the behavior of real decision makers demonstrate that despite the prediction of rational models of choice, the individuals or economic agents, do not always follow the principle of the best and the most. In 1950s, for instance, Herbert Simon showed that when faced with uncertainty and due to lack of information about the future, there are cognitive limits to rationality such that contrary to the neoclassic economic theory, people do not make decisions rationally and logically in search of the optimal alternative. Instead they seek a combination of satisfaction and sufficing levels of utility which is also called “satisficing”. This camp or school is often called the behavioral or descriptive decision analysis. To further explain, no one can claim that in a certain decision the best alternative has been chosen, regardless of the choice criteria or the ideal level of utility. Because there is always a better alternative than the best alternative known to us now. That better alternative either exists now beyond our awareness or will appear in the future. But we never can choose it if we do not know about it. In brief, we can possibly choose from a subset of the best, the best element.

In light of the flaws of the actual decision making by humans, we tend to recognize both the pros and cons of normative and descriptive decision analysis. Pioneers of decision analysis therefore have attempted to work on a new integral school that is wise enough and take into account the natural cognitive limits. This camp or school is often called the “prescriptive” decision analysis. The aim is to educate and train better decision makers, both individually and collectively. Our approach here to the question of anticipation is also integral and prescriptive.

Continue reading “Is Anticipation a Good Strategy?” »

Oct 2, 2019

The Bio-Belt: Growing The Future In Rural America

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, education, employment, sustainability

Despite this economic pressure, rural America remains one of our nation’s most fertile regions, and recent advances in biotechnology are making it easier than ever to sustainably grow new kinds of valuable goods, from biopharmaceuticals to biomaterials. With the right strategic investments, rural America could see a biotech “bloom.”

I propose a Bio-Belt stretching through middle America to bring new skills and high-paying jobs to communities that desperately need them. This initiative would bolster investment in biotechnology training, education, infrastructure and entrepreneurship in rural areas in order to develop new, sustainable sources of income.

The Bio-Belt is about much more than biofuel. Fermentation is an increasingly powerful force for converting sugar and other forms of biomass into value-added goods—all through the rational design of cells that can be sustainably grown wherever land is abundant.

Oct 1, 2019

Are You Developing Skills That Won’t Be Automated?

Posted by in categories: education, employment, robotics/AI, transportation

The jobs that are likely to be automated are repetitive and routine. They range from reading X-rays (human radiologists may soon have much more limited roles), to truck driving, to stocking a warehouse. While much has been written about the sorts of jobs that are likely to be eliminated, another perspective that has not been examined in as much detail is to ask not which jobs will be eliminated but rather which aspects of surviving jobs will be replaced by machines.


The future of work looks grim for many people. A recent study estimated that 10% of U.S. jobs would be automated this year, and another estimates that close to half of all U.S. jobs may be automated in the next decade. The jobs that are likely to be automated are repetitive and routine. They range from reading X-rays, to truck driving, to stocking a warehouse. In this context, employers say that they’re seeking candidates who have other sorts of “soft skills,” such as being able to learn adaptively, to make good decisions, and to work well with others. These sought-after abilities, of course, fit perfectly with the sorts of things that people can do well, but are and will continue to be difficult to automate. All of this suggests that our educational systems should concentrate not simply on how people interact with technology (e.g., by teaching students to code), but also how they can do the things that technology will not be doing soon. These are the skills that are hardest to understand and systematize, and the skills that give — and will continue to give —humans an edge over robots.

Sep 29, 2019

Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates | Official Trailer | Netflix

Posted by in categories: education, internet, neuroscience

This three-part documentary tells Bill Gates’ life story, in-depth and unfiltered, as he pursues unique solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems. From Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, He Named Me Malala).

Watch Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, Only On Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80184771

Continue reading “Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates | Official Trailer | Netflix” »

Sep 27, 2019

Nobel laureates join call for European Commission to reinstate top science post

Posted by in categories: economics, education, physics, science

More than 9000 scientists, including Andre Geim, Carlo Rubbia and eight other Nobel-prize-winning physicists, have signed a letter calling on the European Commission (EC) to reinstate a dedicated commissioner for education and research. The letter claims that that an out-and-out role for education and research is necessary to create a sound basis for innovation in Europe.

News of the apparent sidelining of science emerged when Ursula von der Leyen, the EC’s president-elect, presented her team and the new structure of the next European Commission on 10 September. It included her candidates for the new set of 18 commissioners, but the plan no longer included a commissioner that explicitly represents education and research.

These areas are instead expected to be covered by the commissioner for innovation and youth – the nominee for which is Mariya Gabriel, who is the current commissioner for digital economy and society. In the new set-up, the innovation and youth role appears to be a merger between the current directorate for research, science and innovation with that for education, culture, youth and sport.

Sep 27, 2019

Can artificial intelligence help transform education?

Posted by in categories: education, robotics/AI

For all the talk about how artificial intelligence could transform what happens in the classroom, AI hasn’t yet lived up to the hype.

AI involves creating computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. It’s already being experimented with to help automate grading, tailor lessons to students’ individual needs and assist English language learners. We heard about a few promising ideas at a conference I attended last week on artificial intelligence hosted by Teachers College, Columbia University. (Disclosure: The Hechinger Report is an independent unit of Teachers College.)

Shipeng Li, corporate vice president of iFLYTEK, talked about how the Chinese company is working to increase teachers’ efficiency by individualizing homework assignments. Class time can be spent on the problems that are tripping up the largest numbers of students, and young people can use their homework to focus on their particular weaknesses. Margaret Price, a principal design strategist with Microsoft, mentioned a PowerPoint plug-in that provides subtitles in students’ native languages – useful for a teacher leading a class filled with young people from many different places. Sandra Okita, an associate professor at Teachers College, talked about how AI could be used to detect over time why certain groups of learners are succeeding or failing.

Sep 25, 2019

Black hole breakthrough: Einstein theory tabled after scientist claims light CAN escape

Posted by in categories: cosmology, education

A SCIENTIST tabled an alternative theory on black holes during a documentary, building on Albert Einstein’s general relativity theory to claim it is possible to escape, “like a science fiction story”.

Sep 24, 2019

Florida Power & Light Company Will Install 1,000 New EV Charging Points

Posted by in categories: education, energy

A new initiative by Florida Power & Light aims to to install 1,000+ charging ports at 100+ locations across Florida, including major roadways, large employers and popular tourism destinations.


Florida Power & Light is committing to EVs in a big way. In an announcement today, the Juno Beach-based company revealed that its would be rolling out 1,000 new EV charging points at 600 stations.

They’ll be distributed across 100 different locations. Some will serve employees of large corporations in the area like Office Depot. Shopping malls, public schools and municipal buildings are also in the mix, as are popular tourist spots like Lion Country Safari.

Continue reading “Florida Power & Light Company Will Install 1,000 New EV Charging Points” »

Sep 21, 2019

Greta Thunberg: Most Important Message Ever

Posted by in categories: climatology, education, energy, environmental, existential risks, geopolitics, government, homo sapiens, lifeboat, policy, treaties

If you are a Lifeboat subscriber or have been reading these pages for awhile, you may know why it’s called “Lifeboat”. A fundamental goal of our founder, board, writers and supporters is to sustain the environment, life in all its diversity, and—if necessary—(i.e. if we destroy our environment beyond repair, or face a massive incoming asteroid), to prepare for relocating. That is, to build a lifeboat, figuratively and literally.

But most of us never believed that we would face an existential crisis, except perhaps a potential for a 3rd World War. Yet, here we are: Burning the forests, killing off unspeakable numbers of species (200 each day), cooking the planet, melting the ice caps, shooting a hole in the ozone, and losing more land to the sea each year.

Regading the urgent message of Greta Thunberg, below, I am at a loss for words. Seriously, there is not much I can add to the 1st video below.

Information about climate change is all around us. Everyone knows about it; Most people understand that it is real and it that poses an existential threat, quite possibly in our lifetimes. In our children’s lives, it will certainly lead to war, famine, cancer, and massive loss of land, structures and money. It is already raising sea level and killing off entire species at thousands of times the natural rate.

Continue reading “Greta Thunberg: Most Important Message Ever” »

Page 1 of 7812345678Last