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The consequences of globalization foreseen 16 years ago

Back in 1994, Sir James Goldsmith had a clear vision of the implications of globalization on advanced economies. Now, 16 years later, his predictions have been confirmed: the middle class in the advanced economies has seen a constant lowering of its living standards, and without change in direction, it will continue to get worse.

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The Internet as an operating system. What is there already and what needs to be built.

Good post about the Internet as an operating system and interesting comparison with the PC era world. 

Understanding the world, what you don't know and what you should know.

When you are trying to understand how something works, it helps to have a clear idea of what that something is, what others in related fields know about it and what it is not known yet.

It helps you being efficient in how you use your time. This post is worth reading.

It's a culture. Call it the algorithmic culture. To get it, you need to be part of it ...

I promise this will be today's last post, otherwise I will not be able to read an interesting paper I received from one of the participants at the AGI conference in Lugano. But I felt compelled to write one more post, because it follows perfectly from the previous two.

This article published on Edge is good food for thought; it is from David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale.

Stupid in America. Is this the reason why kids are dropping out of school? Watch this ABC documentary.

Dropping out of school was the topic of the previous post. One of the reasons dropout is high could be the low quality of education one gets at school. To get an idea of how low the quality can be, just watch this documentary from ABC:

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The Dropout Economy: I see the signs on the wall. It is happening, and technology drives the change.

Interesting article about the evolution of society. It might seem very far fetched and very improbable; personally I see how this is developing and why. And of course, technology has a big role in this:

Excuse me, when you wanted to tell me about the four dimensions.

If you want to relax and learn something about Physics, I suggest you watch these lectures by Richard Feynman. They were filmed in 1964, the year before Feynman was awarded the Nobel Prize. If you ever thought about the relationship between Physics and Mathematics, that is the place to start.

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I am in Lugano at the third conference on artificial general intelligence

First time it took only 1 hour by train to get to a conference in a different country ;-)

Some presentations are interesting. The conference venue is very good, free WI-FI and fast, power plugs on each chair ...

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E tu, Apple? Patents as nuclear weapons; how to use them as a deterrent to slow down competition.

E tu, Apple?

Apple has finally decided to use patents to slow down the competition, represented by Android in the current form. The interesting spin to the news is that Apple is not suing Google, which develops Android, but is suing HTC, a handset manufacturer and one of the main adopters of Android.

From geeks to the masses, from culture to economics and politics. Internet is changing everything.

Internet and technology in general are changing just about everything we can think of. What gets hit first by this transformation?

This article about politics is one of the first of its kind that I have read so far. It describes a pretty simple idea to change US politics by abolishing the Senate and replacing it with a Reddit style platform that would allow all citizens to vote on propositions.

Patent for what? It seems that this Facebook patent covers what we were already doing in 2001/02

I did not have time to go through the details, except reading the Slashdot story, but this patent, the way it is described in the abstract, covers what Splinder (the largest Italian blogging and community platform) was already doing in 2001/02; and BTW, Splinder was part of a US company based in NY (Tipic Inc. of which I was the co-founder and CEO).

A sad tale, by Charles Munger (Warren Buffett partner)

This story can be applied to other economies in the world. Unless we dispose of the zombie institutions that are blocking the restructuring of our economies and societies, it will be very hard to come out of the mess we are in.

Also this article, about the widening income disparity, confirms what everybody knows.

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Data at the center: this is the way to go. Invert the paradigm and let data organize itself (as much as you can).

I have been exploring this concept for a while now. Again, this is the right direction, and, as you can see from the video, the most interesting application of the concept is the innovative text input. Cool innovation from Germany.

Interesting concept: telepresence robot that allows social interaction

This is a bit counterintuitive. Why would you want to put a videoconferencing system on a robot? Well it actually works, and it can be just the beginning of an interesting concept. 

The other way around. The US is following Europe's footsteps on this.

This is an interesting article about the impact of unemployment on the American society. Being Italian, I know all too well what is going on:
- less opportunity for new generations coming into the job market
- increased risk aversion (once you get a job, you hold-on tight to it)
- less innovation in the economy because less young people are willing to take risks starting-up companies
- kids competing with their parents and sometimes with they grandparents in the job market

Evolution of evolution

Evolution is a complicated beast. It seems so easy, yet there is no formula, no theorem, just a description of a phenomenon. This does not mean that the description is wrong, it means we are just scratching the surface of something much deeper than we currently know.

This article presents an interesting spin to the subject. 

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A broader look at our economic future

If you think the financial crisis was created by the housing bubble in the US, then you should probably think better, says Jeff Rubin.

Links about apps, programs and programming

- How the software industry is changing.
- How to look for applications.
- How to improve your programming skills, from a theoretical point of view.

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Maximizers vs. "satisficers"

This article about the search for better quality of life out of the Bay Area reminded me of the reason why I tend to move around looking for new places.

According to the article, the need for better quality should be balanced against what one really loses leaving a big urban environment to settle in a more provincial one.

Multimedia at home

I spent a few days configuring my new Acer Revo 3610. I installed Ubuntu 9.10, Boxee, UbuntuwinTV and Minitube (among other more mundane stuff).

I had to figure out how to fix the sound and the screen resolution, because I am using an HDMI cable to connect the Revo to the Samsung LCD TV.

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by Dr. Radut