News — At The Edge — 2/29

Staying ahead of natural selection — pandemic, longevity, technologies, meteors and asteroids — is a constant challenge for us as individuals, a species and the planet.


What a Pandemic in America Might Look Like —

Right now we’re in a zone of containment, but as things get bigger…[must] make sure we triage our resources so the healthcare system can…[care] for the individuals…[at] highest risk for adverse outcomes’….

[The] travel bans don’t work and may make the problem worse…’[creating] a breeding ground for the diseased and worsens the pandemic….

[But] coronavirus is similar to other…respiratory diseases, which means that most American healthcare workers know how to handle it….

Smaller cities and rural communities don’t have robust systems…so they should pay special attention to both their training and supplies…..

‘It’s always going to be your local public health officials responding.’”


Level of education found to be a good predictor of how long people live

[So] increasing one’s education might bring…positive changes.


The top 5 technologies that will change health care over the next decade —

  • [AI] in medicine….[Expect] new drugs designed by such algorithms; high-level analysis of tens of millions of studies for a diagnosis; or drug combinations nobody has thought of beforecould discover treatments and cures for conditions when human medical professionals could not…improve the speed of clinical trials or spot tumors on CT scans….
  • A myriad of health sensors…[because] no single square centimeter of the human body without quantifiable data…[like] respiration, sleep and, of course, movement….[Expect] digital tattoos to become…available within five years…[to] measure the majority of…vital signs [continuously]…[and] notify us when something is about to go wrong….

[I]n 3-D printing as well as circuit-printing technologies, flexible electronics and materials, applying so-called digital tattoos or electronic tattoos on the skin for some days or even weeks became possible…[using] waterproof materials impervious to stretching….

  • Quantum computing…medical decision-making…[skimming] through all the studies at once…[to] find correlations and causations that the human eye would never find…[or] stumble upon diagnoses or treatment options that doctors could have never figured out by themselves….

[Also] quantum computers could create an elevated version of PubMed…[for] much faster drug design to quicker and cheaper DNA sequencing and analysis to reinforced security over personal medical data….

  • Chatbots as the first line of care. Symptom checkers…are already available…[but] rely on the user inputting symptoms and complaints manually…[and] yearn for one that can make predictions and suggestions based on a user’s data…without having to drag themselves to their doctor….

[Imagine] personalized chatbot…via your smart device….It can even recommend what you should consume for each meal based on your nutrigenomic profile….


MIT system predicts the best way to deflect an Earth-bound asteroid —

[There’s] three different choices…to deflect an…asteroid:

  1. Launching a projectile at it to alter its course;
  2. sending a scout…[for] measurements to inform the best…projectile…
  3. sending two scouts…[for] measurements and…nudge the object…for an easier projectile…knockout later….

Time is the key…

  • [so] with five or more years…[best] send two scouts and…projectile.
  • Between two and five years out…[use] single scout followed by a projectile….

At one year or less [however] nothing seems…likely to succeed….

[Current] official plan for avoiding impacts from near-Earth objects involves potentially firing nuclear weapons at them, which is not a super-popular.


Whose internet is it anyway?

How did the web become “a hell that is fun, ruled by idiots and thieves”? The key is the smartphone….

[Before] iPhone in 2007, ‘the internet’ and ‘real life’ were still separate domains….Suddenly anyone could be online…everywhere and all the time.

The people behind the internet…[believe] users were versions of themselves, “white, male, age 25 to 34, college-educated’…[but] just 6% of the world’s…users are American…[as] cultural influence of those early American users is steadily waning….

[When] home market is small or poor…or hived off into a separate silo (like China’s), it is hard to build global firms…[so] even if the business of the internet remains…in California, its culture…is expanding [and]…confounding the Silicon Valley types who thought they owned it….

[There’s] many internets…distinct but overlapping…[and] respawning”


Your next tire change could be performed by a robot

RoboTire has…ability to change car tires in a fraction of the time of most mechanics…[doing] four tires…in 10 minutes…[versus] 60 minutes for a human….

[RoboTire] $250,000… earning back the cost of a unit in around two years.”

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May you live long and prosper!
Doc Huston

Consultant & Speaker on future nexus of technology-economics-politics, PhD Nested System Evolution, MA Alternative Futures, Patent Holder —