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- A former clandestine operative reveals a CIA method for reading an adversary's mind.
- Game theory exposes the two best tactics for winning a negotiation.
- If you're not a subscriber yet, join Big Think Edge today. Boost your analytical intelligence with our 7-day free trial.
This week, Big Think Edge is releasing three videos about getting inside the heads of people you need to understand better. Jamie Notter clears up what many people don't understand about millennials, Amaryllis Fox shares a great CIA technique for predicting an adversary's behavior, and Kevin Zollman puts you on top in negotiations.
Preparing for the millennial takeover: Understand the four trends that shaped a generation, with Jamie Notter
Maybe you're a millennial. Maybe you've been baffled by them. In either case, there's no denying the friction that often arises in the workplace between millennials and those who came before them. The insights of Jamie Notter, author of When Millennials Take Over, should resolve confusion and friction on all sides. Why are millennials the way they are? Notter's astute, eye-opening analysis of the world millennials know explains everything.
Available September 3 in Become a Better Manager
Win with red teaming: A case study in strategic empathy from inside the CIA, with Amaryllis Fox
To win in a conflict, it's imperative to see your adversary clearly. It's not always easy to do, especially when dealing with entrenched opposing mindsets, and in the 1980s the CIA developed "red teaming" to address this. Former clandestine CIA operative Amaryllis Fox explains how a "red cell" of CIA operatives were charged with getting inside the minds of Soviet leadership as deeply as possible, non-judgmentally assuming both their tactical and emotional perspectives. It proved to be an invaluable means of predicting their behavior. Stepping outside yourself to spend some time in an opponent's skin, explains Fox, is not only a great way to accomplish your goals — it's also a powerful personal-growth experience. Learn how to do it this week, at Big Think Edge.
"THE TRUTH IS, YOU ACTUALLY ARE FAR BETTER EQUIPPED TO GO AFTER THE PRAGMATIC, STRATEGIC WIN WHEN YOU KNOW HOW TO EXERCISE EMPATHY, AND CLIMB INTO THE PERSPECTIVE OF ANOTHER PERSON, PARTICULARLY YOUR ADVERSARY."
– AMARYLLIS FOX
Available September 4 in Boost Your Emotional Intelligence
The science of strategic thinking: Improve negotiation outcomes with 2 central principles from game theory, with Kevin Zollman
Game theorist and author of The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting Kevin Zollman talks about how game theory tries to explain negotiations. It identifies simple principles that underlie what seems on the surface to be complex interaction. Two of these principles just happen to be the ones that typically determine whether you or the other person is going to win. Hint: They both involve positioning yourself to seem like the person who has the least to lose. Time to level-up your negotiating skills. Start your 7-day free trial of Big Think Edge to watch this lesson.
Available September 4 in Boost Your Analytical Intelligence
Big Think Edge releases Deep Dives!
This week marks a brand-new offering on the Big Think Edge platform: Deep Dives! Big Think Edge Deep Dives are four-step educational experiences that are made up of articles, videos, and activities. We'll be releasing three Deep Dives every week so there's more than ever to learn on Big Think Edge.
Our first three Deep Dives explain why Donald Trump, the "Disruptor in Chief", might be onto something when it comes to so-called dark emotional intelligence in negotiations; we look at how to welcome Gen Z into your strong intergenerational team; and you'll also learn how to use practical framework for making life's toughest decisions.
A clever new design introduces a way to image the vast ocean floor.
- Neither light- nor sound-based imaging devices can penetrate the deep ocean from above.
- Stanford scientists have invented a new system that incorporates both light and sound to overcome the challenge of mapping the ocean floor.
- Deployed from a drone or helicopter, we my finally get to see what lies beneath our planet's seas.
The challenge<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg1NDQwNy9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MDY3MzUzOX0.tBLGc6HcHK_EMJ3gmeXSgNcwrbeO6XxIDKLIIOdvWpw/img.gif?width=980" id="81e2f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="207c947387cfa5572b1639298b6db9ff" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
3D image of a submerged object reconstructed using reflected ultrasound waves in tests of the new system
Credit: Aidan Fitzpatrick/Stanford University<p>"Airborne and spaceborne radar and laser-based, or LIDAR, systems have been able to map Earth's landscapes for decades. Radar signals are even able to penetrate cloud coverage and canopy coverage. However, seawater is much too absorptive for imaging into the water," says lead study author electrical engineer <a href="https://web.stanford.edu/~arbabian/Home/Welcome.html" target="_blank">Amin Arbabian</a> of Stanford's School of Engineering in <a href="https://news.stanford.edu/2020/11/30/combining-light-sound-see-underwater/" target="_blank"><em>Stanford News</em></a>.</p><p>One of the most reliable ways to map a terrain is by using sonar, which deduces the features of a surface by analyzing sound waves that bounce off it. However, If one were to project sound waves from above into the sea, more than 99.9% of those sound waves would be lost as they passed into water. If they managed to reach the seabed and bounce upward out of the water, another 99.9% would be lost.</p><p>Electromagnetic devices — using light, microwaves, or radar signals — are also fairly useless for ocean-floor mapping from above. Says first author <a href="https://profiles.stanford.edu/aidan-fitzpatrick" target="_blank">Aidan Fitzpatrick</a>, "Light also loses some energy from reflection, but the bulk of the energy loss is due to absorption by the water." (Ever try to get phone service underwater? Not gonna happen.)</p>
PASS<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDg1NDQxNS9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODIyMjIzM30.xM93jQtseqV4wurny9hrTIuSxMjCazMObhEjZqzeclM/img.gif?width=980" id="ce5e6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a66a82c226e030e64c5457ec88e5b7e5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The PASS system
Credit: Aidan Fitzpatrick/Stanford University<p>The solution presented in the study is the Photoacoustic Airborne Sonar System (PASS). Its core idea is the combining of sound and light to get the ob done. "If we can use light in the air, where light travels well, and sound in the water, where sound travels well, we can get the best of both worlds," says Fitzpatrick.</p><p>An imaging session beings with a laser fired down to the water from a craft above the area to be mapped. When it hits the ocean surface, it's absorbed and converted into fresh sound waves that travel down to the target. When these bounce back up to the surface and out into the air and back to PASS technicians, they do still suffer a loss. However, using light on the way in and sound only on the way out cuts that loss in half.</p><p>This means that the PASS transducers that ultimately retrieve the sound waves have plenty to work with. "We have developed a system," says Arbabian, "that is sensitive enough to compensate for a loss of this magnitude and still allow for signal detection and imaging." Form there, software assembles a 3D image of the submerged target from the acoustic signals.</p><p>PASS was initially designed to help scientists image underground plant roots.</p>
Next steps<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e35b46b6902d17d10ce48241adc0565a"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2YyAnxQkeuk?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Although its developers are confident that PASS will be able to see down thousands of meters into the ocean, so far it's only been tested in an "ocean" about the size of a fish tank. Tiny and obviously free of real-world ocean turbulence. </p><p>Fitzpatrick reports, "Current experiments use static water but we are currently working toward dealing with water waves. This is a challenging, but we think feasible, problem."</p><p>Scaling up, says Fitzpatrick, "Our vision for this technology is on-board a helicopter or drone. We expect the system to be able to fly at tens of meters above the water." </p>
Philosophers have been asking the question for hundreds of years. Now neuroscientists are joining the quest to find out.
- The debate over whether or not humans have free will is centuries old and ongoing. While studies have confirmed that our brains perform many tasks without conscious effort, there remains the question of how much we control and when it matters.
- According to Dr. Uri Maoz, it comes down to what your definition of free will is and to learning more about how we make decisions versus when it is ok for our brain to subconsciously control our actions and movements.
- "If we understand the interplay between conscious and unconscious," says Maoz, "it might help us realize what we can control and what we can't."
Puerto Rico's iconic telescope facilitated important scientific discoveries while inspiring young scientists and the public imagination.
- The Arecibo Observatory's main telescope collapsed on Tuesday morning.
- Although officials had been planning to demolish the telescope, the accident marked an unceremonious end to a beloved astronomical tool.
- The Arecibo radio telescope has facilitated many discoveries in astronomy, including the mapping of near-Earth asteroids and the detection of exoplanets.
Bradley Rivera via twitter.com<p>In 1963, the concave dish was built into a natural sinkhole on the northern coast of Puerto Rico. The location was <a href="https://www.space.com/20984-arecibo-observatory.html" target="_blank">picked because it was near the equator,</a> providing scientists a clear view of planets passing overhead, and also of the ionosphere, which is the uniquely reactive layer of Earth's upper atmosphere where the northern lights form.</p><p>Since its construction, scientists have used the Arecibo telescope to map near-Earth asteroids, detect gravitational waves, study pulsars, detect exoplanets and <a href="https://www.seti.org/goodbye-arecibo" target="_blank">search for alien civilizations</a>, among other projects. Here's a brief look at some of the discoveries and accomplishments made using the Arecibo telescope:</p><ul><li>1964: Astronomer <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Pettengill" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Gordon Pettengill</a> discover that Mercury's rotation period is 59 days, significantly shorter than the previous prediction of 88 days.</li><li>1974: Physicists Russell Alan Hulse and Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. discover the first first binary pulsar, for which they won a Nobel Prize in Physics.</li><li>1974: Scientists use the telescope to transmit the "Arecibo message" to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Globular_Cluster_in_Hercules" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">globular star cluster M13</a>. The message, when translated into image form, contains basic information about humanity and human knowledge: the numbers one to 10, a map of our solar system, an illustration of a human being and the atomic numbers of certain elements.</li><li>1989: Scientists use the telescope to image an asteroid for the first time.</li><li>1992: Astronomers Alex Wolszczan and Dale Frail become the first to discover exoplanets.</li></ul>
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