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Nassim Taleb suggests ways to make economic life closer to our biological environment: smaller companies, richer ecology, no leverage. The risk takers of the economy should be entrepreneurs, not bankers; Companies shouls be born and die every day, without making the news.
In other words, a place more resistant to black swans.
Swedish real estate companyAJernhusen announced they found a way to harness the energy created by the 250,000 daily passersby in Stockholm Central Station. By using the heat that the moving bodies generate, the company accomplished a futuristic project: they managed to heat an office building across the street, decreasing the building's energy bill by 25 %, a large sum of money for a large building. Jernhusen first came up with the idea that could be a step forward in reusable energy three years ago.A The concept behind this breakthrough is that Central Station's ventilation system converts body heat into hot water that heats up the building across the street. Sweden has a deadly combination of cold weather and high gas prices which eventually led to a creative and sustainable solution. "This is old technology being used in a new way. The only difference here is that we've shifted energy between two different buildings", says one of the creators of the system, Klas Johnasson. This project was made possible because a large development real estate firm like Jernhusen owns the land on which Stockholm Central Station and the office building are located, as well as the space in between: "But this doesn't mean that it cannot be done otherwise. It just means that real estate owners have to collaborate with each other", says Klas Johnasson. This great project will surely be passed on from mind to mind until it reaches new heights in helping create a sustainable planet.
"Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "The Sorrows of Young Werther," 1774
Taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, this photograph shows the Whirlpool Galaxy, M51, in near-infrared light. A spiral galaxy approximately 31 million light-years away from the Milky Way Galaxy, M51 is so large and bright that it can sometimes be seen from Earth with just a simple pair of binoculars. The galaxy gets its name from the narrow lanes of dust swirling into the core. The way in which this photograph was taken strips the galaxy of its starlight, revealing the dense skeletal dust structure.
One gem that they've come across in their excavation is a 1770 map of the city of New York by Bernard Ratzer. Only three copies of this particular map exist in the world, the other two being at the British Library and the New-York Historical Society. "It was in absolutely appalling condition," says BHS map cataloguer Carolyn Hansen. "It had been shellacked, a poor preservation technique we now know. It was cracked. It was ripped. It was on its last legs. Truly." But, Hansen notes, it's also "the most detailed map of Brooklyn from a topographical standpoint from that time."
Now the map has been restored. "It's really detailed and a really important map," Weber said. "It's exciting that we have it."
Many of the approximately 2,000 maps in the collection had been stored off-site until this project began about a year ago a some of the last material to be brought back after BHS's entire archive had to be moved off-site to a facility upstate from 1997 to 2003, when their building in Brooklyn Heights was being renovated.
This graph of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, from 1913 to the present, highlights the impact of wars on the market (a long-term flattening, with cyclical changes within) and interludes of peace, during which the Dow sprints upwards. The chart also shows the Consumer Price Index, during the same period of time.
Don't Let Search Dominate Your Traffic Sources. If Google sends 90% of your traffic, your business has real danger associated with it. Why aren't people coming directly to your site, being passed links in email, getting Tweets and Facebook mentions that send traffic? Why is no one blogging about you, writing about you in the press, commenting in forums with links to your content? These "natural" signs tell a story of a real business providing real value. The 90-95% Google trafficked site says something strange is going on, and Google themselves are likely to figure that out sooner or later.
Artistic or creative activities don't usually come prepackaged in convenient jobs that get handed to college graduates. They get created by people who are artistic and creative, who find a way to turn what they want to do, or their inchoate ideas, into something greater than the idea itself. The "inchoate idea" is important.
One of the basic ideas behind this movement, that computers can help make themselves smarter, and that growth that for a time looks exponential, or even super-exponential in some dimensions and may end up much faster than today may result, is by no means off the wall. Indeed computers have been helping improve future versions of themselves at least since the first compiler and circuit design software was invented. But "the Singularity" itself is an incoherent and, as the capitalization suggests, basically a religious idea. As well as a nifty concept for marketing AI research to investors who like very high risk and reward bets.