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Summary: if you consider yourself an ethical person, yet you don't do everything you can to alleviate poverty and suffering, then you are a hypocrite. You should accept this, set an uncomfortable yet achievable rule for how you will help, achieve it, and forgive yourself. You are a hypocrite and so am I Just like most people, I believe that suffering of conscious beings is bad, that humans all…

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A couple of years ago, I tried learning some React. I decided to use my extremely basic skills to implement an idea I'd had for a while: take a quiz and get given a best guess of the date of your death, and add some reminders to your calendar for your "Death anniversary" (e.g. 10 years, 20 years before your death). The idea is that maybe these reminders will take you by surprise and force you…

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Short answer: No Long answer: I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and videos that are fundamentally misrepresenting what 5G is and often scaremongering to consumers. I’m going to try to explain what 5G actually is here. 5G is a protocol, not a frequency 5G is a set of standards that define how telecommunications companies can send and receive data between masts and phones or other radio equipment…

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Dark Patterns are tricks used in websites and apps that make you buy or sign up for things that you didn’t mean to. Dark patterns in business are the analogy for this in the way the businesses operate and price their products. These are two examples I have noticed that often come up and become moral dilemmas for companies which are seldom solved in an ideal way. 1. The “Lazy tax” This is when a…

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I’ve been seeing a lot of op-ed type articles recently about how automation will not have a net negative impact on jobs, but may actually create more of them. See here, here and here. In the long term, this is ridiculous. It all boils down to the fundamental economic equation: supply equals demand. Another way of saying this is: we must consume as much as we produce. In the equation below…

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Tech Replace lightbulbs by using fibre-optic cables to transfer sunlight from earth’s daytime side to the night-time side. (After an hour of research I figured out that this is not currently possible due to light decaying quickly in fibre optic cables) Put accreditation and certificates on a blockchain (prove you graduated from school [X] by showing you have a token cryptographically signed by…

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So I’ve been thinking a lot in the last year about how we are increasing our lifespans and how we can do so more effectively. I thought it would be interesting to visualise what the largest contributors are to shortening our lifespans, so I made a tool to do so here. The graph shows the yearly probability of death over your life. The numbers to the right indicate the statistical average and median…

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A colleague gave me a book recently called “When breath becomes air” by Paul Kalanithi which is a true story, written in the first person as he comes to terms with his own death from cancer. He explores his relationship with death and meaning, first as an English literature student, then as a medical student and intern neurosurgeon and finally as a terminally ill cancer patient. He describes his…

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So I’ve been thinking a lot about the way that we as a society currently structure ownership of companies. Specifically about how we decide what to do and what to optimise for at the company level. So, to start off with: What is a share of a company and what is its purpose? When you buy a share on the public market, you buy a proportion of a listed company. This means that you own a small piece of…

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My dad died in August this year from skin cancer. First I missed being able to go for runs with him and throw Frisbee on the field in front of our house with him. I missed taking the catamaran out and sailing with him. Then I missed taking him to museums and nice restaurants and sharing eachothers company as we explored the world. I missed seeing his joy in discovering new beautiful places, how he…

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So following on from my previous post about producing sound from weather, I decided to try to swap a different part of our experiences spectrum. This time I wanted to see sound. It’s well documented that some people naturally experience Synaesthesia — a neurological phenomenon where one sense (hearing, sight, touch) receives stimulation (through sound, light or touch) but the stimulation is…

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So a few years ago while I was still at University I took a second year environmental engineering course looking at data collection and analysis of meteorological and oceanographic data. We learned a lot of signal processing techniques (Fourier transforms, spectrum analysis etc) to use when looking for/removing cyclical changes over time in the data. Sometimes we wanted to separate the the short…

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