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Personal Redemption: The Art of the Come Back

Question: What is the art of the come back?

 

Jeffrey Archer: You must achieve something, you must actually work and work and work to come back. You can’t just expect to be offered to come back. So, the work I did first on False Impression, which went to number two in the best sellers list and now on A Prisoner of Birth, you are quite right.

Very exciting for me that after only two days sales, it is number one on the Sunday Times best sellers list in England, and it is number one in Australia as well, and it comes straight on to the American list and that has been through damned hard work.

The art of the come back is remained quite and work hard.

 

Question: How do you convince others to give you a second chance?

 

Jeffrey Archer: I suspect that in my case, I didn’t lose any friends; my friends stood by me, the British public were immensely generous and warm and indeed. When I have been here in America, I found exactly that warmth and generosity.

But I repeat what I have said before; you have to have something to go with it, and I believe the success of A Prisoner of Birth as only said to people, he is working very hard again, he has come back as a writer.

 

Question: What is the role of redemption in your life?

 

Jeffrey Archer: I don’t think of it that way. I think what you have got to do is; I do; as I am sure; an immense amount of charity work last year.

I raised through my auctions, I love auctioneering, it is great fun. I rose just over $4 million and I have raised just over a $ 100 million in the last twenty years. So, I do things that I think are worth doing and I work very hard at my job.

 

Question: What did you learn about yourself during your time in prison?

 

Jeffrey Archer: I have a very privileged and lucky--I had been, I with a middle class background, and a wonderful job, and a wonderful life, how lucky I had been and how unfortunate many other people had been.

I had a young boy come to see me just before he was being released, he said “I will go place with you.”

And I said, “What do you mean?”

He said, “I will be 61, when I come out, I have wife and the loving family, I have a wonderful job, I will travel all over the world, and then I have 20 years of happiness.”

And I said, “What do I get.”

He said “Well, you say when you will be 23 years old and you will be going out with $80--this is what they give you when you leave prison. And you will have no job, you have no family, and you have no one. What shall I do with I do without at all and you will heroin addict.”

In fact that young man died two years later, he was found under a hedge in Lincolnshire with a needle in his arm.

So I think the answer to your question is, I became very aware that how privileged and lucky I had been.

 

Question: Would you say your time in prison was beneficial to you?

 

Jeffrey Archer: Beneficial in the sense that it reminded me how lucky I had been. Certainly beneficial in the sense of the cost of characters I met and the stories I got. I certainly would never have been able to write A Prisoner of Birth without that experience.

 

Recorded on: March 15, 2008.

 

Archer says you can come back as far as you’d like, as long as you’re willing to work for.

Does conscious AI deserve rights?

If machines develop consciousness, or if we manage to give it to them, the human-robot dynamic will forever be different.

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  • Does AI—and, more specifically, conscious AI—deserve moral rights? In this thought exploration, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, ethics and tech professor Joanna Bryson, philosopher and cognitive scientist Susan Schneider, physicist Max Tegmark, philosopher Peter Singer, and bioethicist Glenn Cohen all weigh in on the question of AI rights.
  • Given the grave tragedy of slavery throughout human history, philosophers and technologists must answer this question ahead of technological development to avoid humanity creating a slave class of conscious beings.
  • One potential safeguard against that? Regulation. Once we define the context in which AI requires rights, the simplest solution may be to not build that thing.

A new hydrogel might be strong enough for knee replacements

Duke University researchers might have solved a half-century old problem.

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • Duke University researchers created a hydrogel that appears to be as strong and flexible as human cartilage.
  • The blend of three polymers provides enough flexibility and durability to mimic the knee.
  • The next step is to test this hydrogel in sheep; human use can take at least three years.
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Hints of the 4th dimension have been detected by physicists

What would it be like to experience the 4th dimension?

Two different experiments show hints of a 4th spatial dimension. Credit: Zilberberg Group / ETH Zürich
Technology & Innovation

Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows.

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Predicting PTSD symptoms becomes possible with a new test

An algorithm may allow doctors to assess PTSD candidates for early intervention after traumatic ER visits.

Image source: camillo jimenez/Unsplash
Technology & Innovation
  • 10-15% of people visiting emergency rooms eventually develop symptoms of long-lasting PTSD.
  • Early treatment is available but there's been no way to tell who needs it.
  • Using clinical data already being collected, machine learning can identify who's at risk.

The psychological scars a traumatic experience can leave behind may have a more profound effect on a person than the original traumatic experience. Long after an acute emergency is resolved, victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continue to suffer its consequences.

In the U.S. some 30 million patients are annually treated in emergency departments (EDs) for a range of traumatic injuries. Add to that urgent admissions to the ED with the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Health experts predict that some 10 percent to 15 percent of these people will develop long-lasting PTSD within a year of the initial incident. While there are interventions that can help individuals avoid PTSD, there's been no reliable way to identify those most likely to need it.

That may now have changed. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers has developed a method for predicting who is most likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic emergency-room experience. Their study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.

70 data points and machine learning

nurse wrapping patient's arm

Image source: Creators Collective/Unsplash

Study lead author Katharina Schultebraucks of Columbia University's Department Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons says:

"For many trauma patients, the ED visit is often their sole contact with the health care system. The time immediately after a traumatic injury is a critical window for identifying people at risk for PTSD and arranging appropriate follow-up treatment. The earlier we can treat those at risk, the better the likely outcomes."

The new PTSD test uses machine learning and 70 clinical data points plus a clinical stress-level assessment to develop a PTSD score for an individual that identifies their risk of acquiring the condition.

Among the 70 data points are stress hormone levels, inflammatory signals, high blood pressure, and an anxiety-level assessment. Says Schultebraucks, "We selected measures that are routinely collected in the ED and logged in the electronic medical record, plus answers to a few short questions about the psychological stress response. The idea was to create a tool that would be universally available and would add little burden to ED personnel."

Researchers used data from adult trauma survivors in Atlanta, Georgia (377 individuals) and New York City (221 individuals) to test their system.

Of this cohort, 90 percent of those predicted to be at high risk developed long-lasting PTSD symptoms within a year of the initial traumatic event — just 5 percent of people who never developed PTSD symptoms had been erroneously identified as being at risk.

On the other side of the coin, 29 percent of individuals were 'false negatives," tagged by the algorithm as not being at risk of PTSD, but then developing symptoms.

Going forward

person leaning their head on another's shoulder

Image source: Külli Kittus/Unsplash

Schultebraucks looks forward to more testing as the researchers continue to refine their algorithm and to instill confidence in the approach among ED clinicians: "Because previous models for predicting PTSD risk have not been validated in independent samples like our model, they haven't been adopted in clinical practice." She expects that, "Testing and validation of our model in larger samples will be necessary for the algorithm to be ready-to-use in the general population."

"Currently only 7% of level-1 trauma centers routinely screen for PTSD," notes Schultebraucks. "We hope that the algorithm will provide ED clinicians with a rapid, automatic readout that they could use for discharge planning and the prevention of PTSD." She envisions the algorithm being implemented in the future as a feature of electronic medical records.

The researchers also plan to test their algorithm at predicting PTSD in people whose traumatic experiences come in the form of health events such as heart attacks and strokes, as opposed to visits to the emergency department.

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