Five By Five - 6 Feb 2012
Aggregation is deep in journalism’s DNA - David Skok via Nieman Journalism Lab — Skok spelunks in old old media — the 1920’s — and confirms that editors have been aggregating materials forever: it’s not some pernicious web innovation. Especially interesting are the observations of Bruce Bliven, the one-time managing editor of The New York Globe and editor of The New Republic, whose thoughts were aggregated by Time magazine from an essay he wrote in The Atlantic Monthly:
“The public,” says Mr. Bliven in effect, “is always asking about Newspaper morals. But equally important with newspaper morals is newspaper intelligence. And both of them are changing drastically, dangerously, because of mechanical progress.”
No Joke: These Guys Created A Machine For Printing Houses On The Moon - Tim Maly via Co.Design — USC professors Behrokh Khoshnevis (Engineering), Anders Carlson (Architecture), Neil Leach (Architecture), and Madhu Thangavelu (Astronautics) mocked up a plan to build a Moon base with robot-controlled 3-D printers, so people wouldn’t have to show up on the lunar surface until all is built, and the coffee is hot.
As We May Think - Vannevar Bush via The Atlantic, 1945 — Perhaps the most prescient piece of all time, As We May Think’s author, Vannevar Bush, envisioned the Memex (memory + index = memex): a hypothetical hypertext system that presaged and influenced the development of the web. Vannevar Bush was the Director of the US Office of Scientific Research and Development, and is no relation to the two America presidents with the same last name.
Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus - Sally Adee via New Scientist — New research by Michael Weisend on transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) — sending 9 volts though the brain — leads to much faster learning of motor skills (~ 2.3 times faster), like sharpshooting, as well as the creation of a flow state. This builds on research about the different excitation patterns between the brains of expert and amateur athletes. We can expect much faster training in the future, breaking the 10,000 hour rule. Now a number of DIY tDCS enthusiasts are investigating this on their own, part of a cosmetic neuroscience trend.
Let the Robot Drive: The Autonomous Car of the Future Is Here - Tom Vanderbilt via Wired — Vanderbilt takes rides in Google’s autonomous car and looks at what Mercedes, BMW, VW, and other car makers have in the works, and concludes it’s time to step aside for our robotic overlords, at least as far as driving is concerned. He wonders ‘Imagine the complexity we’ll have when cars drive themselves. Who will be responsible for their operation—the car companies or the drivers? What happens, for example, when a highway patrol officer pulls over a self-driving car? Who gets the ticket?’ Anthony Levandowski, of Google, says ‘The fact you are still driving is a bug, not a feature.’