SNS Subscriber Edition • Volume 23, Issue 31 • Week of September 24, 2018


Pattern Discovery:

Science and Technology Beyond Hypotheses



SNS: Pattern Discovery:
Science and Technology Beyond Hypotheses


In This Issue
Week of 09/24/2018 Vol. 23 Issue 31


Register now for FiRe 2018


Credit: David Morris (T) and Kris Krug (B)

We still have a few seats left for SNS members and colleagues. The agenda is now complete, and the speakers and participants list nearly so. You can see them all here:

FiRe has become the most advanced form of technology meeting in the world, by predicting, discovering, and then realizing new methods for computing, programming, (Beyond) AI, planetary recovery, new materials science, and much more.

Join the top business and science leaders in the world at this year's FiRe, bring great new ideas and connections back to your company, and become part of the new wave of businesses using 21st-century trends to grow and make a difference.

This Year's Opening Night Speaker:

            Dennis Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA

Impact Panel of the Week:

Gene Editing and Medicine

Targeted therapeutics are changing the face of medicine and cancer treatment. How cheap DNA sequencing and a growing cache of genetic data are driving advances in targeted therapeutics that are revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of disease. With:

      Clayton Lewis, CEO, Arivale 

      John Mattison, Assistant Medical Director, Chief of Health Information, Kaiser Permanente

      Ben Brown, Department Head of Molecular Eco-Systems Biology, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab 

      Moderated by David Ewing Duncan, Author, Columnist and Correspondent; and CEO of Arc Fusion

Register Now, for the remaining seats, at:

Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley
Park City, Utah
- October 9-12


I hope to see our members there. - Mark Anderson

Also - for those with friends in startup mode, there is:

Seeking Qualified FiReStarters!

Now in its 12th year, the FiReStarters program annually showcases select top startups and/or businesses with new startup technology - chosen by Strategic News Service (SNS) for world promotion at FiRe, based on nominations by trusted strategic investment SNS members. We believe that these FiReStarter businesses, which are integrated into the FiRe program, are on the cusp of making great strides in improving our world. They are businesses we hope to follow for a very long time.

In addition to promoting FiReStarters before, during, and after FiRe, we maintain these valued relationships, following up on how FiReStarter businesses have changed as a result of their participation at FiRe. To learn more, or if you'd like your company to be considered as a FiReStarter nominee in 2019, please contact Sharon Anderson Morris, Sr. Director of SNS Programs:

See "Takeout Window" for descriptions of 2018 FiReStarter companies.


Pattern Discovery: Science and Technology Beyond Hypotheses

Today, it seems as though not a news cycle goes by without the announcement of a new invention, a new machine or device or tool, a new technological improvement. In science, the march of publications is incessant. As my favorite scientific librarian once put it, "The challenge is no longer how to remain abreast of the literature, but how to fall most strategically behind."

And yet, where are the dramatically great inventions, the stunning new science, the shift in worldview that completely change how you see everything around you? SNS member Elon Musk's rockets and cars are wonders of technological innovation, but I don't lose any sleep marveling at them; I just think they're terrific. Physicists, led by Einstein, successfully dumped the concept of the ether over a hundred years ago, but I'm an advisor to a team that's working to understand dark energy and dark matter - without even knowing what they are, other than everywhere ether would've been.

In computing, we face similar challenges, as we encounter the many hyperbolic limits of Moore's Law, computer storage vs. processor latency issues, materials science, and limits inherent to today's AI tools.

You may consider it a wonder that Marriott Hotels in China began pilot testing facial-recognition-based check-in this week, but that US innovation in technology has been incrementally improving for decades. Even so, AI-driven image recognition in general remains so fragile, in fact, that a team at MIT recently showed the ability to hack - or fool - a sophisticated AI system by changing just one pixel in an image. It turned out that this particular AI system had depended on the consistency of that single pixel to make its determination of content.

Compare this incrementalism and internal opacity of process to the four (four!) groundbreaking, revolutionary papers published by young Albert Einstein, at the time an amateur scientist working in a patent office, during what is now called his annus mirabilis, or wonderful year.

In that single year of 1905, he published stunning new discoveries that changed how we saw the world, in widely diverse subfields of physics. These new works addressed:

1.     The photoelectric effect, contributing to the idea of the quantum and the creation of the field of quantum mechanics;

2.     Brownian motion, bringing the use of statistical mechanics to the fore as a new field of physics, and laying a deeper foundation for the existence of atoms - including how to deduce their momentum by using a normal microscope;

3.     Special Relativity, uniting electromagnetic radiation's constant speed with an observer's perception of mass, distance, and time at near-luminal velocities; and

4.     The equivalence of mass and energy, a thunderbolt out of the blue that, while hinted at in others' papers, redefined everything in physics - and war, and peace.

When is the last time the world experienced such a year? I'd suggest the obvious: 1905. However, unlike what some might suggest, I don't lay it all at Einstein's feet: many others in his day also had stunning discoveries. In fact, in physics at least, it would be fair to say that the period of 1900 to 1935 has been unmatched, before or since, in making important discoveries.

Compared with those days, today we are just polishing the furniture.


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