• December 4, 2015

Humane Artificial Intelligence?

An oxymoron or the holy grail of AI design? The tendency to anthropomorphise things we create is deeply embedded in human nature. However, to create robots which resemble and emphatise with us, we need to first define ‘human’. And that in itself is quite a tricky subject, it seems. For starters, if we want humane AI, […]

  • December 2, 2015

The Myth of Distinct Male and Female Brains

Like the article says, one of the biggest hurdles to gender equality is crumbling. Based on rigorous analysis of core features seen in the brain scans of more than 1,400 female and male subjects, a new study found that there is essentially no difference between the brains of the two sexes. most [brains] are unique mixes […]

  • December 1, 2015

Twitter and Megan Phelps-Roper

This is such an incredible story of how Megan Phelps-Roper, a former prized daughter of the loathsome Westboro Baptist Church, came to see the absurdity of her beliefs, lost her faith, left the church and her family, and completely changed the course of her life. The trigger behind this conversion? Twitter. As Phelps-Roper continued to tweet, she […]

  • November 30, 2015

The Ethics of Killing Baby Hitler

The New York Times’ question to its reader: would you kill baby Hitler if you could? I am on the ‘no’ camp because I reckon Hitler is merely a product of his time, what with Germany going through its worst ever economic slump. If not Hitler, it will be someone else. Nonetheless, still an interesting ethical […]

  • November 29, 2015

Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems

A question that I have been mulling over: why are the biggest innovations in the past decade so pathetically meaningless? Is Facebook or Snapchat the best we can do? Peter Thiel says it best:  “We wanted flying cars—instead we got 140 characters.” We are living in the best of times for innovation, at least theoretically: no […]

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A man stands in front of a bonfire at the 1999 Woodstock Festival, Sunday, July 25, 1999, in Rome, N.Y. After almost 72 hours of peace and love, Woodstock '99 ended in blazing chaos Sunday night as hundreds of concertgoers turned into vandals, starting fires and looting. (AP Photo/Observer-Dispatch, Michael P. Doherty)
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  • November 27, 2015

Thresholds of Violence

An interesting way to look at how school shootings catch on. Malcolm Gladwell, in his signature lead-with-facts-and-then-surprise-with-counter-intuitive-theory style tells the story of how people have different thresholds for carrying out certain actions. Social processes are driven by our thresholds, i.e. the number of people who need to be doing some activity before others agree to join them. […]

Ethical cars
  • November 26, 2015

Why Self-driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill

Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? In actual fact, it makes perfect sense. It is a classic case of choosing between two evils: should a self driving car drive into a group of school kids or ram into a wall (potentially killing the driver)? Would you buy a car that could potentially kill you? This reminds me […]

  • November 24, 2015

Reading the World

Hello there my loyal reader (aka me), I have decided to resuscitate this personal project to write one blog post a day about something I learned/read/thought about. I ought to be very ashamed of myself for not keeping up with this, especially since I really enjoyed doing it and still go back to read the […]

  • November 10, 2015

Toastmasters speech #7: It’s all in the stars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a giant star is going through the final stages of its life. It has been shining for 10 billion years, but now, it is running out of gas, and is slowly dying. The core of the star collapses under its own gravity. The force of […]

  • August 17, 2015

Specialisation is for Insects

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook […]

  • August 10, 2015

Toastmasters speech #6: Lost in Translation

Language. The oldest and most lasting form of human communication. The thing that sets us apart from other creatures roaming the face of Earth. Dear mister toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen, I love languages and today I would like to share with you why I love them. Thanks to my incredible fortune of being born in […]

The word TRUST carved into a stone wall. 3D render with HDRI lighting and raytraced textures.
  • August 2, 2015

Toastmasters speech #5: Falling in Trust

Dear mister toastmaster, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to start my speech by asking you a question. If I call you one day and asked for your credit card number to make a flight ticket purchase because I’ve just lost mine. And I promised that, of course, I would reimburse you the 2000 dollars. […]