Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

You can’t spend a whole week talking about space and not mention Sci-fi.  The two go hand in hand as generations of NASA scientists grow up watching Star Wars, Star Trek and a host of other fare that gets them excited about going where no man has gone before and exploring galaxies that are far, far away.  Discovering non-mainstream Sci-Fi that appeals to you, that appeals to a particular niche interest that you may have, isn’t always easy though.  Thankfully, there’s a new book recommendation engine that can help with that: the Science Fiction Concept Corpus.

As Wired explains, “AI Researcher Bethanie Maples has been reading science fiction since she was given a copy of Dune at 10 years old. Still, two decades and nearly 1,000 books later, the self-described sci-fi fanatic struggles to find books that delve into her most niche interests, like the link between AI and transhumanism. So last year, while working at Stanford’s Human Computer Interaction lab, she teamed up with data scientists Eric Berlow and Srini Kadamati to create a book recommendation tool based on more than 100 salient sci-fi themes, from hyperspace to magical feminism.”

Compiled from plot descriptions, book reviews, and user generated meta data tags the Corpus is capable of scanning a collection of over 2,600 hundred books written since 1900 to make relevant recommendations. But I can do you one better with a recommendation of my own: check out James Corey’s Hugo award winning Expanse series of novels and then check out the show, one of the greatest of all-time, on Amazon Prime!

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Is the Science Fiction Concept Corpus the Greatest Idea Ever?

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I just put the finishing touches on a book about the history of innovation that clocks in at a whopping 432 pages!  That’s a lot but it pales in comparison to the 30 million page book that an Israeli startup is sending to the moon!  Known as the Lunar Library the book will serve as humanity’s knowledge backup just in case anything happens to the inhabitants of Earth.

As Futurism puts it, “Right now, a backup copy of humanity’s collective knowledge is on its way to the surface of the Moon.

The lander was built by the Israeli startup SpaceIL. It’s carrying a high-tech disc containing 25,000 books, a full copy of Wikipedia, and information on understanding Earthly languages — the equivalent, all told, of a 30 million-page tome.”

Amazingly, this isn’t the only such archive in the works.

According to CNET, “The AMF [Arch Mission Foundation] also placed a small test archive on Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster that was launched in the direction of Mars aboard the first Falcon Heavy demonstration mission last year. That archive consisted of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy encoded in a disc made of quartz silica glass made to last millions of years as the Roadster orbits the sun. The AMF has also placed a solid-state copy of Wikipedia on board a cube sat from SpaceChain in low-Earth orbit.”

Eventually, the goal is to spread out this information in even more places throughout the solar system and across the cosmos ensuring that humanity will always be covered no matter where we go or what winds up happening to us.

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Is a Lunar Library the Greatest Idea Ever?


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#1,476 – Ideaism

“In many ways we have reached the fulcrum of the future. A critical point in time where our collective actions will determine whether we continue to progress forward or suddenly move backwards.

To reach our full potential we need new ways of thinking that make sense of the complexity of modern day life and improve our technological literacy. A fresh new approach that can guide us towards a better tomorrow.

In short, what we need, now more than ever, is Ideaism. A social movement built around the idea that ingenuity, innovation, and inventiveness are the keys to making the world a better place. The keys to driving the engine of change forward. The keys to ensuring that progress continues and that we soar to new heights as a species.”

That’s the synopsis from Ideaism, the book that I wrote about the history of innovation.  Part autobiography/part analysis of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed Ideaism takes a look at how we can use innovation to make the world a better place.

Obviously, I’m biased but I think that this book is amazing and deserving of a wide audience.  The Innovation Index highlighting nearly 200 of today’s top trending ideas is worth the price all on its own.

I would be honored if you would check it out and provide feedback or share the following link out with anyone in your networks that you think would be interested.


After all, I can’t do it all on my own.  But together we can save the world.  One idea at a time.

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Is Ideaism the Greatest Book Ever Written?





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#1,445 – Bionic Journalism

The newspaper industry has already been gutted by technological advancements as the Internet has siphoned away advertising revenue but now comes along an even greater existential threat: Bionic Journalism.

As Digiday reports:

“Over the summer, the business publisher [Forbes], which just had its most profitable year in more than a decade, rolled out a new CMS, called Bertie, which recommends article topics for contributors based on their previous output, headlines based on the sentiment of their pieces and images too. It’s also testing a tool that writes rough versions of articles that contributors can simply polish up, rather than having to write a full story from scratch.”

Essentially, what this means is that human reporters may be reduced to nothing more than glorified editors, tweaking and enhancing stories without having to bother with tedious tasks like articulating their thoughts or telling a story.

There have already been a few instances of robo-journalism in action.  CBS Sports sends out automated matchup recaps for fantasy players.  But Bertie takes things a step further, replacing actual journalists instead of just providing a superfluous service that no one else was providing.

So, should I be worried about having Bertie replace me?  Never! You might be able to replace every other journalist but you could never replace the Idea Man!

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Is Bionic Journalism the Greatest Idea Ever?

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Heading off to college soon?  Well then, I’ve got some good news for you as it was recently suggested that becoming an Instagram Influencer might actually be something that you could one day major in.  I kid you not.  The photo sharing app has become so entrenched is modern day pop culture that “Do It For The Gram” may soon go from rallying cry to professional calling card.  Which is why it should come as no surprise that enterprising entrepreneurs are looking to take advantage of this fact, creating colorful, vibrant, effervescent Instagram playgrounds specifically designed to be as photogenic as possible.

As Fast Company puts it, “Instagram is no longer just an app, but a visual lens through which we navigate physical spaces. With 1 billion users worldwide, the social media platform has given rise to a cottage industry of photogenic pop-up ‘experiences’ and installations that cater to preening users looking to capture a memorable, and envy-inducing, experience.”

The article adds that, “In general, visitors are charged anywhere from $15 to $38 for a single-admission entry to an interactive experience that will likely involve an average of nine to ten elaborately designed rooms (usually including at least one involving mirrors, one giant set you can climb into, and one pool of something to jump into) and a few stops for sugar-laden treats over the course of an hour-long visit. It’s like Disneyland for the Instagram set, timed and condensed for digital attention spans.”

Or it’s like a better version of a museum.  An interactive one that lets you actually become a part of the installations.  Considering how Escape Rooms have exploded in popularity over the last few years I can see these Instagram Playgrounds taking off as well.  After all, the creative possibilities for creating themed rooms or company branded experiences would truly be endless.

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Are Instagram Playgrounds the Greatest Idea Ever?

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#1,441 – Freedive

Need something to watch while you wait for Game of Thrones to return in April?  Then IMDb (the Amazon owned Internet Movie Database) has got you covered! Wait. What?

According to Mashable:

“IMDb Freedive offers a variety of content, spanning film and television, at no cost. There is no IMDb or Amazon Prime subscription required, as the service is supported by advertisements. Viewers simply need to create a free IMDb account to begin watching.

Older movies like The Illusionist, Memento, and The Last Samurai are currently available to watch on the service. Fringe, Heroes, Without a Trace, and The Bachelor make up some of Freedive’s current television offerings. (There are multiple categories on the service, including drama, comedies, horror, action, family, and so on.) The streaming service also boasts of a few IMDb original series’ that take a look at the movie and TV industry.”

Just when you thought that Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Go, and every other streaming service would provide you with an infinite number of viewing choices here comes another offering from an online database of all places.  Cord cutters may be rejoicing but personally I’m not sure what to make of it.  The last thing we need is more content.  What we really need is a better way to search through and discover what we already have.

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Is Freedive the Greatest Idea Ever?

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#1,427 – Bandersnatch Review

So is Bandersnatch, Netflix’ interactive Choose Your Own Adventure style movie the future of entertainment?

I sure hope not.

I had high hopes for the latest installment of Black Mirror but it failed to live up to the hype, both as a innovative concept and as a stand alone episode of the hit series.

Here are my criticisms:

  • The choices you have to make were way too frequent.  Only major points where the plot could have diverged should have been up for choosing.  Picking a breakfast cereal is not one of those moments.
  • Some of the choices weren’t really choices at all, but rather just two ways of saying the same thing.
  • Sometimes, no matter what you wanted to choose, you were forced to eventually choose a certain path to continue the story the way it was intended.  The choices weren’t really choices then so much as annoying, non-essential tangents.  It would have been better if your choices actually caused the plot to diverge in more radical ways, making it so that no two people saw the same movie.
  • Making a choice quickly didn’t actually save any time.  You still had to wait for a set amount of time, during which the characters would annoyingly tell each other (and therefore you) to hurry up.
  • If you’re going to do this concept and force people to re-watch several scenes then the content should be more interesting and action-packed, a fact that the movie actually touches on in one of its multiple endings.
  • The plot was way too meta.  Even for Black Mirror.  A fan of a Choose Your Own Adventure story goes to work for a company to turn it into a video game about the illusion of free will, during which time he realizes that he doesn’t have free will because his actions and impulses are being directed by people playing/watching an interactive Choose Your Own Adventure game/movie on something called Netflix.  This gave me the feeling that this entire movie was just an advertisement for Netflix and not the work of art that it could have been.

All in all, watching Bandersnatch felt a little bit tedious, as I found myself wondering when it was going to end, and if I was ever going to know for sure that I watched all of the possible paths.  Not to mention the fact that it was kind of annoying to have to hold the remote control the entire time I watched.

Hopefully, this was just the first step and the future of interactive entertainment improves.  Maybe even to the point where movies could scan our brains and make the choices for us so that we can just sit back and enjoy the ride.  The way we’re supposed to do with a good movie.

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Are interactive shows the future of entertainment?

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