Spelling Bee 2017

On Thursday June 1, while many Californians – including me – were watching the Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the NBA Finals, Ananya Vinay, a 12-year old from Fresno California, correctly spelled ‘marocain’ to win the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee. I might have guessed the correct spelling for…

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Bridging the Renaissance Period and Digital Era with Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci might have been one of the earliest adopters of exponential thinking. da Vinci was born more than 500 years ago in semi-rural Tuscany to parents of modest means. Despite little access to formal education, he was able to extrapolate forward-thinking ideas about subjects as diverse as architecture, engineering, mathematics, urban planning, science…

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How to Avoid the Conjunction Fallacy

I’ve been doing some spring cleaning and stumbled upon one of my favorite University textbooks: Tversky and Kahneman’s “Judgement Under Uncertainty”. This book taught me the basics of probability, a ridiculously useful skill which I’ve relied on far more frequently than I ever would have imagined. A better understanding of probability can help us overcome…

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A One-Question Test for Narcissism

Do you know someone you think is a narcissist? A narcissistic personality is characterized by inflated views of the self, extreme vanity, and obsessive self-importance. The term comes from the mythical Greek character, Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Entranced by his own beauty, Narcissus stared…

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Unleash Your Inner William Gibson

Welcome to the future. It is a common complaint that we were promised jetpacks and flying cars but all we got was… something less cool. But the complaints are mostly unwarranted. Things that seemed like science fiction not long ago are now commonplace (or soon will be): under-the-skin GPS, 3D printing, hoverboards, lab-grown leather, self-heating…

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