Category Archives: Education

Lessons from Europe’s Fight Against Russian Disinformation

By Dana Priest – For Normunds Mežviets, Latvia’s news media is just as important as the country’s energy supply.

If Russia were to impede the flow of natural gas to the Baltic nations, their economies would tumble, which is the reason that Lithuania built a floating liquefied-natural-gas terminal off its coast, in 2014, and recently signed its first deal to buy natural gas from the United States.

Viewing the professional media as a strategic asset, the pipeline through which credible information travels, had never occurred to me in my thirty-five years as a reporter. But it is certainly the view of authoritarian governments and those transitioning to authoritarianism.

In every nation on Earth where the government is moving from a participatory to an authoritarian form of rule, seizing the information pipeline is a prerequisite for staying in power. As a strategic asset, the media in these countries serve the national interests as defined by their rulers.

Should professional journalism in the United States be considered a strategic asset, too?

Perhaps that is why the Founders gave the unkempt, sometimes inaccurate news industry special protections against government interference, under the First Amendment. more> https://goo.gl/29wkD2

Unlocking Engineering Data for Downstream Consumption is Now a Must

By Dave Opsahl – Thanks to their tools, manufacturers have been able to create fully annotated 3D models that include all of the product manufacturing information (PMI) necessary to define, manufacture and control a product.

However, it’s no longer enough to enable engineers to create a single master model. People need an efficient way to share that information downstream of engineering and have it be easily consumed by a wide range of audiences for a host of different uses — such as the machinists who are making the product, the suppliers who want to bid on supporting it, the technicians who will be servicing it, and so on.

Simply put: if you’re an engineering software vendor, making product information available for consumption outside of your application is now a critical part of your application’s value proposition —and it’s where customers will be won and lost. more> https://goo.gl/b56KzQ

The new astrology

BOOK REVIEW

The Gluten Lie: And Other Myths About What You Eat, Author: lan Jay Levinovitz.
Mathiness in the Theory of Economic Growth, Author: Paul Romer.
The Rhetoric of Economics, Author: Deirdre N McCloskey.
Economics as Religion, Author: Robert H Nelson.
Astral Science in Early Imperial China, Author: Daniel P Morgan.
Book of Documents, Author: king Yao.

By lan Jay Levinovitz – Unlike engineers and chemists, economists cannot point to concrete objects – cell phones, plastic – to justify the high valuation of their discipline. Nor, in the case of financial economics and macroeconomics, can they point to the predictive power of their theories.

In the hypothetical worlds of rational markets, where much of economic theory is set, perhaps. But real-world history tells a different story, of mathematical models masquerading as science and a public eager to buy them, mistaking elegant equations for empirical accuracy.

The notion that an entire culture – not just a few eccentric financiers – could be bewitched by empty, extravagant theories might seem absurd. How could all those people, all that math, be mistaken?

This was my own feeling as I began investigating mathiness and the shaky foundations of modern economic science. Yet, as a scholar of Chinese religion, it struck me that I’d seen this kind of mistake before, in ancient Chinese attitudes towards the astral sciences.

Back then, governments invested incredible amounts of money in mathematical models of the stars. more> https://goo.gl/tYDpbv

The Fall of the Deal-Maker

By Kenneth T. Walsh – America’s polarization and political dysfunction have become structural, built into the system as never before. President Donald Trump didn’t create the situation in which the country finds itself, increasingly divided into irreconcilable camps, but Trump is intensifying the hard feelings all around. And things are getting worse.

Trump has suffered a huge blow to his reputation as a deal-maker.

The billionaire real-estate developer pledged during the campaign to use his deal-making skills to outsmart and overpower the power structure in Washington and force the elites bend to his will. It isn’t happening. And he has little of consequence to show legislatively for his first six months in office, aside from winning Senate confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

One of Trump’s problems is that he can’t keep from tripping over himself. When things seem to be going his way, he unleashes angry and off-message comments on Twitter, and he appears to be a bully, an undisciplined braggart and a nasty politician who strikes many as unlikable.

Washington insiders generally say he would be better off staying on message – talking about his steps to improve the economy, cut regulations, stimulate the business sector, reduce the size and cost of government, and attack the status quo in Washington. more> https://goo.gl/njA1P1

To create economic opportunities, cities must confront their past — and look to the future

By Amy Liu – Cities are under pressure to deliver on a whole host of national priorities, including addressing the nation’s weak productivity growth, stagnant wages, and stark racial disparities.

That’s because Washington, D.C., has made clear that building an inclusive economy is not a top priority.

Health care and other supports for low-income, working families are on the chopping block. A robust federal economic growth agenda is missing.

And the Trump administration’s budget blueprint and policies indicate that state and local governments, along with the private sector, are expected to step up their investments in key domestic policy areas including infrastructure, basic and applied research, job training, and housing assistance. more> https://goo.gl/6T4UQM

Updates from GE

Smart Trains And Beyond: GE’s Jamie Miller To Talk Digital Disruption At Tech Confab

By Bruce Watson – Deutsche Bahn Cargo trains crisscross Europe daily carrying everything from coal and steel to cars and cabinets. If a train gets stuck or needs to be taken offline, it can cause problems for the entire system. Now GE digital technology is making the trains smarter and reducing downtime. By tapping sensors embedded on 250 of DB Cargo’s trains, GE will be able to collect several terabytes of data to help keep the trains running efficiently.

Digital transformations like this are the focus of Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech summer retreat this week in Aspen, Colorado. The idea behind Brainstorm is deceptively simple: Gather 600 of the world’s top business leaders, tech entrepreneurs and investors to discuss the tech trends that are poised to transform the world. It’s an opportunity to feed innovation, discuss future trends and — in general — find a way to make disruption a little less disrupting.

Digital disruption isn’t only hitting the tech world. We’re seeing it in industry as well. In manufacturing, for example, digital innovations can lead to a difference of billions of dollars in productivity. more> https://goo.gl/DoqxoN

Why Every Leader Needs to Be Obsessed With Technology

By Lisa Kay Solomon – Digitization has moved beyond music and entertainment, and now many big retailers operating physical stores are struggling to stay relevant. Meanwhile, the pace of change is accelerating, and new potentially disruptive technologies are on the horizon.

More than ever, leaders need to develop a strong understanding of and perspective on technology. They need to survey new innovations, forecast their pace, gauge the implications, and adopt new tools and strategy to change course as an industry shifts, not after it’s shifted.

Nurturing curiosity is the first step to understanding technological change.

Becoming more technologically minded takes discipline and focus as well as unstructured time to explore the non-obvious connections between what is right in front of us and what might be. It requires a commitment to ongoing learning and discovery.

Whatever your strategy, the goal should be to develop a healthy obsession with technology. more> https://goo.gl/2ETU3m

Updates from GE

Looking For The Unknown: Artificial Intelligence Is Seeking Cancer Patterns That Have Eluded Humans
By Maggie Sieger – The use of AI in healthcare, which was one of the topics discussed at GE’s recent Minds + Machines conference in Berlin, is a fast-growing field. Scientists are using so-called “deep learning networks,” which weave together hundreds, if not thousands, of data points and process this data with multiple algorithms simultaneously, mimicking the human brain.

When crossing the street, pedestrians take into account dozens of factors, including the number and speed of approaching cars, the condition of the pavement, fellow travelers and even the shoes they are wearing or what they are carrying. Deep learning has the potential to do the same thing – but with even more data points and at speeds unmatched by humans.

They are feeding millions of data points into the cloud, including decades of colorectal data collected by national registries, thousands of MRIs and CT scans, gene panels and biomarkers. The software then looks for patterns, connections and correlations with a speed and detail unmatched by humans.

As AI becomes a more common tool in healthcare, medical schools will have to change how they train physicians to make sure they have the new capabilities, skill sets and methodologies to use AI effectively, more> https://goo.gl/2kME5a

Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem?

BOOK REVIEW

The Divide: A Brief History of Global Inequality and Its Solutions, Author: Jason Hickel.

By Jason Hickel and Martin Kirk – A full three-quarters of people in major capitalist economies believe that big businesses are basically corrupt.

Why do people feel this way?

It’s because they realize—either consciously or at some gut level—that there’s something fundamentally flawed about a system that has a prime directive to churn nature and humans into capital, and do it more and more each year, regardless of the costs to human well-being and to the environment we depend on.

That’s what capitalism is, at its root.

What might a better world look like? There are a million ideas out there. We can start by changing how we understand and measure progress.

We can change that.

People want health care and education to be social goods, not market commodities, so we can choose to put public goods back in public hands. People want the fruits of production and the yields of our generous planet to benefit everyone, rather than being siphoned up by the super-rich, so we can change tax laws and introduce potentially transformative measures like a universal basic income. more> https://goo.gl/ntiMQr