Does our society incentivize disinformation?

Is anything clear in the age of disinformation?

  • Disinformation is rampant in human behavior, from ancient tribes hiding sources of water and gold from one another, to poker players bluffing and soccer players faking. Information is strategic.
  • The current information ecology is controlled by large tech companies whose goals may be radically different from the goals of the individuals using the platforms.
  • When it comes to critical issues like climate change, nuclear weapons stocks, and even foreign interference in U.S. elections, there is very little clear information, which impedes our decision making—that information scarcity is devastating when our survival as a species hangs in the balance.

You can learn more from Daniel Schmactenberger at civilizationemerging.com.

Tyranny comes home: How the 'boomerang effect' impacts civilian life in the U.S.

When it comes to foreign intervention, we often overlook the practices that creep into life back home.

Videos
  • Methods used in foreign intervention often resurface domestically, whether that's in the form of skills or technology.
  • University of Tampa professor Abigail Blanco calls this the boomerang effect. It's a consequence not often thought about when we discuss foreign intervention.
  • The three channels to consider when examining the boomerang effect include human capital in the form of skills, administrative dynamics, and physical capital in the form of tools and technology.
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The value of owning more books than you can read

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love my tsundoku.

(Photo from Wikimedia)
Personal Growth
  • Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf.
  • Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don't know.
  • The Japanese call this practice tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.
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Listen: Scientists recreate voice of 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy

Scientists used CT scanning and 3D-printing technology to recreate the voice of Nesyamun, an ancient Egyptian priest.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists printed a 3D replica of the vocal tract of Nesyamun, an Egyptian priest whose mummified corpse has been on display in the UK for two centuries.
  • With the help of an electronic device, the reproduced voice is able to "speak" a vowel noise.
  • The team behind the "Voices of the Past" project suggest reproducing ancient voices could make museum experiences more dynamic.
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