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An Open Letter To Those Who Supposedly Run The World

Open Letter

More at xkcd

Time Is Not Money

100 Dollars

“The love of money”, St Paul memorably wrote to his protégé Timothy, “is the root of all evil.” “All” may be putting it a bit strongly, but dozens of psychological studies have indeed shown that people primed to think about money before an experiment are more likely to lie, cheat and steal during the course of that experiment.

Another well-known aphorism, ascribed to Benjamin Franklin, is “time is money”. If true, that suggests a syllogism: that the love of time is a root of evil, too. But a paper just published in Psychological Science by Francesca Gino of Harvard and Cassie Mogilner of the University of Pennsylvania suggests precisely the opposite.

More at The Economist

A Dating Site With No Faces

Dating App

Are your thumbs getting tired of swiping? An up-and-coming app is turning the superficial premise of digital dating on its head with anonymous matches that — gasp! — make character paramount to appearance.

In an attempt to transform mobile dating into a more effective tool for long-term connection, Twine is pairing users up on a “personality first and looks later” basis, in the words of its founder, 35-year-old Rohit Singal. First, matches are made on the location-based app through interests listed on users’ Facebook profiles. Then—and here’s the catch—while chatting you see only a blurred-out photo of your match, which doesn’t become clear until you both agree to reveal yourselves.

More at The Daily Beast

Sci-Fi, Religion, And Silicon Valley’s Quest For Higher Learning

Higher Learning

It was the final night of classes at Singularity University’s March 2013 Executive Program, and we, the students, had been given a valedictory assignment: Predict the future.

For the past six days, the 63 of us had been immersed in lectures on the nearly limitless potential of artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, and bioinformatics, and now the moment had arrived for us to figure out what we really believed and ponder the big questions. Was a transhuman future — the Singularity — really only three decades away, as SU’s chancellor and co-founder Ray Kurzweil had prophesied? Were we really on the brink of a cure for all viruses and an era of radical energy abundance? Would we soon be able to choose to live forever? How many glasses of wine would it take until our group of entrepreneurs, executives, and hippie mystics got impatient and just resolved to build a time machine?

More at Buzzfeed

The Zulu Tribesman Who Wrote The Song In The Jungle

Solomon Linda

Solomon Linda was a Zulu who wrote a melody that earned untold millions for white men but died so poor that his widow couldn’t afford a stone for his grave.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a small miracle took place in the brain of a man named Solomon Linda. It was 1939, and he was standing in front of a microphone in the only recording studio in black Africa when it happened. He hadn’t composed the melody or written it down or anything. He just opened his mouth and out it came, a haunting skein of fifteen notes that flowed down the wires and into a trembling stylus that cut tiny grooves into a spinning block of beeswax, which was taken to England and turned into a record that became a very big hit in that part of Africa.

More at Longform

Spectacular Lightning Show Over The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon inspires many people to photograph its grandiose scale and scenic landscape, but Sedona-based photographer Rolf Maeder has managed to capture a sight less seen — the Grand Canyon being hit by a spectacular thunderstorm. Being drawn to nature, Maeder originally moved to Sedona 13 years ago and left behind his past as a musician in Switzerland. Now, he set out on an adventure to catch a beautiful sunset but was met with something far more eye-catching.

More at My Modern Met

How To Buy A Private Island Online

Private Island

When it comes to establishing your own little island paradise, Nova Scotia may not be the region that first springs to mind. But as a few buddies recently discovered, Canadian wilderness is a lot more affordable—and accessible—than sandbars in the Caribbean or South Pacific. So they bought some of it—through a website.

In a jubilant announcement, a young man named Tynan (former pick-up artist, guru of RV living, devoted minimalist, and founder of SETT, a “high-engagement” blogging platform) described how he and nine other investors had gone in together on a relatively inexpensive island. “Having a random patch of land somewhere holds almost no appeal,” he wrote, “but an island is totally different. An island is like your own little country, with complete control of everything within its borders.

More at The Daily Dot

The Insane Doomsday Weapon America Almost Built


The Cold War had plenty of disadvantages for the world as a whole, true, but there was never a better time to be a mad scientist with crazy doomsday devices. No longer limited to freelance work delivering threats to the UN, the Cold War meant governments would actually hire you to make things. Things like Project Pluto.

Now, I’m not saying the scientists who came up with Project Pluto were mad scientists, but there was a pretty high degree of mad science going on in this thing. In some ways, it was the perfect embodiment of Cold War era thinking taken to its utmost extreme. Project Pluto, also known as “the Flying Crowbar,” would have been an incredibly potent weapon. Potent, and also cruel, terrifying, and ultimately uncontrollable.

More at Jalopnik

Why Music Sounds Bad

iPhone Headphones

CNN recently reported on the “death” of the home stereo system, and while that’s an exaggeration, few people – young or old – have “stereos” anymore. CNN was asleep at the wheel on this one; precious few folks have had stereos for decades. Music is now almost always consumed in cars, and over phones and plastic computer or Bluetooth speakers. If there’s an imminent “death” on the horizon, it will surely strike MP3 players and iPods. Phones have already taken over as the portable music players of choice. Do you know anyone who still uses a MP3 player, one that’s not also a phone?

More at CNet

Submarine Surfaces In Milan Street

Submarine Milan

Like the sight of a Ferris wheel in the ocean after Hurricane Sandy, a surfaced submarine in the streets of Milan is just as much a bizarre spectacle. Although, one was caused by a natural disaster, while the other was contrived by an insurance company as part of a marketing campaign labeled “Protect You Life.’ We have to give it up to the Europ Assistance IT insurance group, clever, very clever.

More at Juxtapoz