CRISPR, Brain Hacking, and Google Talks: Lux Recommends #8

By Sam Arbesman

Welcome to Lux Recommends #8, the newest edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about.


This Guy Wins When Contestants Miss a Half-Court Shot Jackpot: Insurance meets bizarre math problems, all revolving around the probability of something unexpected happening. — Sam

If I Have Seen Further Than Other Men, It is By Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: The rest of Isaac Newton’s famous quotation… — Sam

Computer, respond to this email: “Another bizarre feature of our early prototype was its propensity to respond with ‘I love you’ to seemingly anything. As adorable as this sounds, it wasn’t really what we were hoping for.” — Sam

Facebook M — The Anti-Turing Test: Some clever ways to determine that there are humans behind Facebook’s M. — Sam

The baseball-card bubble: “How a children’s hobby turned into a classic financial mania” — Peter

Ripples in the Dirac Sea: Your necessary dose of time travel, via Jesse (related is “The Secret Miracle” [pdf] by Borges)

How social media has created a new breed of paparazzi: “Diggs and Peña are a new breed of paparazzi, cursed and blessed by social media. Celebrity selfies and fan-snapped shots on the Internet have cut the prices they can charge for their pictures. But those tweets and Instagrams and Facebook posts allow them to track down and trail boldfaced names like never before.” — Adam K

The Weird World of Brain Hacking: “Homemade electrical-stimulation devices spark concerns among scientists over their medical and ethical use” — Josh

Meet one of the world’s most groundbreaking scientists. He’s 34: On Feng Zhang and CRISPR.— Josh (Bonus, here’s a video on how CRISPR works)

And, Gentlemen, Start Your Drones


Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon by Kim Zetter: “Top cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter tells the story behind the virus that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear efforts and shows how its existence has ushered in a new age of warfare — one in which a digital attack can have the same destructive capability as a megaton bomb.” — Zack


Three talks of Andrew Ross Sorkin interviewing Stan Druckenmiller, Carl Icahn, and Peter Thiel & Chris SaccaJosh

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