Why The SpaceX Explosion Won't Hold Elon Musk Back

Published in Online Spin, September 2nd, 2016

What Skills Do Your Kids Need For The Future? Try This

Published in Online Spin, August 19th, 2016

We stood staring at the painting on the wall of the fancy gallery. We were both a bit flummoxed. Finally, my friend said, “I’m trying to avoid the whole, ‘My eight-year old could have done that’ thing.”

The conversation moved on. “Did you see that headline about the artificially intelligent teaching assistant helping students online for a whole semester? Nobody noticed,” he said.

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Well, *Obviously* People Are Changing Their Minds About Self-Driving Cars

Published in Online Spin, August 5th, 2016


“Self-driving cars are coming but most people don’t want one,” wrote MediaPost writer Chuck Martin back in March, citing a study of people 15 to 90 years old. Two weeks later, he followed it up with the final demographic: 63% of kids aged 8 to 18 “would prefer to do the driving rather than letting the vehicle handle the task.”

Really? People are resistant to new technology? What a surprise. Surely if a poll says people don’t want a new thing, it won’t happen, right?

Political Awareness In The Facebook Age

Published in Online Spin, July 22nd, 2016


We’re just finished one presidential convention, heading toward another -- and it’s not my job to discuss the candidates or their positions. Instead, I want to discuss the way we come to conclusions about the candidates and their positions: the quality of our data, the depth of our knowledge, the level of our ability to make informed decisions.

The problem is filter bubbles, and I’ve talked about them before.

137 Million Reasons We Should Be Terrified Of Technological Unemployment

Published in Online Spin, July 8th, 2016

It’s been called the “elephant graph”: starting low at the tail on the left, gradually rising up to the top of the elephant’s head, sliding down his face and then back up as if he were raising his nose proudly.

What it’s charting is global cumulative real income growth during the 20-year period from 1988 to 2008: how much people’s income has gone up or down, at every percentile, around the world. I spotted it in an article by Branko Milanovic, visiting presidential professor, Graduate Center, University of New York and senior scholar, Luxembourg Income Center. Yunno, one of those “experts.”

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Waze, Google, Facebook: The Observer Effect And Our Interconnected, Co-Created Reality

Published in Online Spin, June 24, 2016

Editor's Note: This post was previously published in an earlier edition of Online Spin.

“[L]ooking into a flower, you can see that the flower is made of many elements that we can call non-flower elements… [C]loud is part of flower, and if you send the element cloud back to the sky, there will be no flower… And earth, and gardener… if you continue, you will see a multitude of non-flower elements in the flower. In fact, a flower is made only with non-flower elements. It does not have a separate self....

What Apple Really Bought With Its Billion-Dollar Bet On Didi

Published in Online Spin, June 10, 2016

A month ago, Apple invested a billion dollars in Chinese ride-sharing business Didi Chuxing. Not an AI play. Not a chatbot play. Not a wearable, VR, music or a telecommunications play. Chinese ride-sharing. Which begged the question: “Um, why?”
I read all the analysis. It wasn’t particularly satisfying. Business Insider offered vague non-answers, reporting that, according to Didi president Jean Liu, “the two will be working closely together,” and going on to say it was very unclear exactly what that meant.

Kaila's Internet Reading List

Published in Online Spin, May 27, 2016


They used to read! 

They’d read and read, 

And read and read, and then proceed 

To read some more! 

Great Scott! Gadzooks! 

One half their lives was reading books! -Roald Dahl, Television

Isn’t reading glorious?

When Watson Comes For Your Job, Give It To Him

Published in Online Spin, May 13, 2016

It has begun.

A week ago, the venerable law firm BakerHostetler announced a new hire, Ross. Ross is joining the bankruptcy department of the 100-year-old firm. Despite being new to practicing law -- BakerHostetler is Ross’ first job -- Ross brings a myriad of skills to the role. In addition to reading and understanding language, Ross can also “postulate hypotheses when asked questions, research, and then generate responses (along with references and citations) to back up its conclusions.”

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