The Happy Equation

My next read is definitely a “Geek Read” – Solve for Happy by Mo Gawdat. Solve for Happy is a book about creating and maintaining happiness, written by a top Google executive with an engineer’s training and fondness for thoroughly analyzing a problem, “problems” like self driving cars and Google Glass. Mo applies his engineering skills to the “problem” of happiness and proposes an algorithm based on an understanding of how the brain takes in and processes joy and sadness. 🙌🏽❤️

One of Solve for Happy‘s key premises is that happiness is a default state. If we shape expectations to acknowledge the full range of possible events, unhappiness is on its way to being defeated. To steer clear of unhappiness traps, we must dispel the six illusions that cloud our thinking (e.g., the illusion of time, of control, and of fear); overcome the brain’s seven deadly defects (e.g., the tendency to exaggerate, label, and filter), and embrace five ultimate truths (e.g., change is real, now is real, unconditional love is real). By means of several highly original thought experiments, Mo helps readers find enduring contentment by questioning some of the most fundamental aspects of their existence. panmacmillan

Watch Mo in action below and purchase your copy of Solve for Happy on Amazon (videos, Goodreads).

The Kingsman in NYC

kingsman

Science-fiction movies have a strange way of predicting the future. In case you don’t believe me, let me just name a few recent science fiction movies that will hopefully jog your memory:

  1. Movie: Minority Report (2002)
    Technology: Gesture-based user interface
  2. Movie: Total Recall (1990)
    Technology: Driverless car
  3. Movie: Back to the Future Part II (1989)
    Technology: Wearable tech
  4. Movie: Short Circuit (1986)
    Technology: Military robot
  5. Movie: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
    Technology: Mobile phone

Just a few days ago I linked a popular movie, Enemy of the State,  to the national security debate, pitting the tech community vs. governments everywhere. Click HERE if you missed that. Today I’m linking “Kingsman: The Secret Service” to the free WiFi service being installed as we speak in New York City.

If you haven’t seen The Kingsman,  it’s about a spy organization recruiting an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. With a little help from IMDB and AceOfGeeks:

The global threat is the release a of new sim card that gives free wifi and calls to everyone around the globe. The sim cards are weapons, a neural augmentation device that triggers hyper aggression in people when broadcasting on a specific frequency controlled by Valentine. The controller of the sim cards can basically use it it out wipe out (i.e. kill) people who are not “on their side”.

statue-of-libertySo what’s the link to New York City? Just this week, workers began installing the first LinkNYC access points in New York. The hubs are designed as an update to the standard phone booth, using upgraded infrastructure to provide gigabit Wi-Fi access points. The full network will install more than 7,500 public hubs throughout the city, each replacing a pre-existing phone booth. (New York is finally installing its promised public gigabit Wi-Fi, The Verge)

Whether the service is free or paid, you better believe there will be some sort of “agreement” you must sign/acknowledge if you use this service, sort of like the ones required by Apple for your iTunes account – the ones that no one reads….  While this may not be a way to WIPE out a certain class or generation of people, like in The Kingsman, you can bet your last dollar the NSA (or some other like-minded government agency) will be spying paying very close attention and tracking everything you do whenever you are on this network. #youdecide

You can watch the official trailer for The Kingsman on YouTube. It’s actually a pretty good movie!

Sci & Tech

How much do you know about Science & Technology? The Pew Research Center, whose slogan is: “Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World”, along with the Smithsonian Institute released some interesting statistics regarding the American public’s general knowledge of Science & Technology. Before we review the findings, click the image below to take the 13-question quiz (your results will be compared to your peers.)

take-the-quiz

After you’re done, click here for the results