During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think.” - Bernard M. Baruch, 1957

We’re back into this new year with the usual stories, new angles, insightful perspectives and interesting questions. We wish you all a happy new year 2018, full of challenges, successes and happiness -and health! We also wish that you will have the resolve to reduce the amount of unneeded technology in your life and stay away from intrusive devices and the ‘Internet of Things’, whose products basically spy on you for big corporations while offering numerous vulnerabilities to hackers. When someone is making you unhappy, less social, unfocused and unable to concentrate, you usually want to see less of him/her, not more.

Perhaps a resolution for this new year is to limit your smartphone and social media usage by turning off notifications (and notifying your friends that you did), relying instead on phone calls to communicate. It’s the most effective information filter you’ll ever find on the market, saving you precious time to focus on the things that matter. And it comes cheap too!

As a matter of fact, we recommend reducing the amount of technologies in your life. Technologies have greatly improved our standards of living, but are starting to change us in ways that we don’t understand. Instead, we hope you will to set up realistic goals to achieve professionally or personally. In any case, we recommend you to read books, exercise at least once a week, meet friends regularly and spend time with your family. Simple goals are usually hard to reach, but just do it: it’s worth it. Liberating yourself from the machine will liberate the inner power that you want to unleash but are unable to do because you’re wasting your time on idiotic websites, cat videos and messaging software.

Can Uber Ever Deliver? Part Eleven: Annual Uber Losses Now Approaching $5 Billion – An update on Uber’s situation: the company is stuck, unable to show a profit yet under pressure to come out with an IPO.

Wired: Self Driving Car Hype Crashes Into Harsh Realities – Self driving cars will not be ready anytime soon due to the technological constraints of integrating various inputs (LiDar, radar, cameras…), analyzing them and producing course of action that are not dangerous for other road users.

CES Shows That the Future Will Not Work – The world’s largest show for consumer electronics seems to be promoting vaporware, badly designed concepts, poorly manufactured products, useless technology and unrealistic dreams.

Your smartphone📱is making you👈 stupid, antisocial 🙅 and unhealthy 😷. So why can’t you put it down❔⁉️ – Smartphones reduced our attention span by 1/3, are redefining our social relationships, re-wiring our brains, and basically making us stupid. More on that: Social Media, the “Dopamine Loop,” and the Role of the Software Engineer

Improving Ourselves to Death – We have become so obsessed with self improvement that we are needlessly stressing ourselves out, missing out on important things and basically running ever faster to nowhere.

Bitcoin Mania – Crypto-currencies are created by young anti-government geniuses with the goal to remove the ‘core’ of organizations: managers, intermediaries, specialists (lawyers, accountants…) instead of the periphery (workers). While the currencies currently do not hold to their promises, the underlying technology (blockchain) will change the world, although it remains to see for better or for worse.

Brexit: UK Still Refusing to Do Any Thinking Re Trade – The UK government continues to act as if leaving the EU won’t affect much even if the country will become a ‘third country’ meaning: hard borders with EU, huge amounts of administration to do trade, no agreement on services (financial sector) and the likes…

Never Mind Churchill, Clement Attlee Is a Model for These Times – (Hat tip Lao Ho) – Unlike the blazing yet rather unsuccessful Churchill,  the post-war British leader party Clement Attlee established key reforms that underpinned British people’s welfare for decades before being rolled back by Mrs Thatcher. Modest, determined and caring politicians are what we need today, not these high flying, ambiguous, and narcissistic career politicians.

The Psychology of Inequality – Inequality and the perception of inequality have powerful emotional and physical impacts, including a better predictive power of their medical health than actual income or education. In addition, equity/inequity seem to be hard wired concepts in humans (toddlers) and monkeys.

The Mystery of the Exiled Billionaire Whistle-Blower – Real life Hollywood stuff: a self-exiled mysterious narcissistic billionaire on a crusade to expose China’s government corruption.

Russians asking for help after swarming drone attacks – Russia claims that the sophistication of the GPS data of captured drones from the attack in Syria proves that a larger military organization helped the Jihadists.

Picture of the week: Cosmic Winter Wonderland

About Carlito Riego

"Great perfection may appear imperfect, but its usefulness is inexhaustible. Great abundance may appear empty, but its usefulness cannot be exhausted. Great correctness may appear twisted, great skills appear crude, great eloquence appear awkward. Activity conquers cold; inactivity conquers heat. Clear serenity governs the world." - Lao Zi