• “FACIAL RECOGNITION IS NOT JUST ANOTHER TECHNOLOGY.” The fast-expanding capacity to “record, store, and analyze images of faces on a vast scale, painting computerized data onto the real world – might change the texture of social interactions… If your partner can spot every suppressed yawn, or your boss every grimace of irritation, marriages and working relationships will be more truthful but less harmonious… If social interactions founded on Trust change to calculations of risk & reward derived from the information a computer attaches to someone’s face, relationships might become more rational but also more transactional.” Anyone with a phone, and certainly the social media platforms, can use such recognition for all sorts of purposes, and “law enforcement agencies now have a powerful weapon to track criminals but at enormous potential cost to citizens’ privacy… The smartphone is doing for face recognition what smart speakers (such as the Amazon Echo) have done for speech recognition: make it acceptable to consumers.” Technology will soon change society.  [THE ECONOMIST – Sep 9, 17]
  • THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE FOR A NATIONWIDE DEFICIT OF UP TO 100,000 PHYSICIANS WITHIN THE NEXT DOZEN YEARS, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The reason is that more medical school grads are simply choosing not to practice medicine for reasons including “lack of free time, educational debt, and the hassle of dealing with insurance companies or other 3rd-party payers.” Instead, they are opting for medical device or biotech startups, consulting, or even working at hedge funds. A 2016 survey of 17,000 doctor grads found nearly 19% who “plan to seek a non-clinical job within three years,” and a 2015 survey found one in four who responded “another field” when asked the question “if you were to begin your education again, would you study medicine?”   [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – Sep 11, 17]
  • ROUGHLY EVERY 11-YEARS, A ‘SOLAR CYCLE’ ERUPTS MASSIVE FLARES aka SUNSPOTS. Earlier this month, two X-Class flares occurred – the “largest explosions in our solar system, with loops of plasma tens of times the size of the earth… knocking out high-frequency and degrading low-frequency radio navigation.” The biggest recorded flare in 2003 was “luckily at an oblique angle to Earth, avoiding the full brunt, but managed to overload all NASA’s solar sensors… The longest-lived sunspot on record hung around for 6-months so it’s entirely possible we haven’t heard the last from this one.” [FUTURISM.COM – Sep 7, 17]
  • ADVERTISING & MARKETING IN THE DIGITAL AGE is “not about a company’s product or service, but about the benefit to the end-user… The focus needs to be relevant to the prospective customer, because they simply have too many messages coming at them from too many directions, and relevancy is how they separate the wheat from the chafe.” For some key insights into today’s challenges, see: Friday Forecast: VisionWorx CEO Nancy Duitch Reveals 5 Fast Takeaways From a Lifetime of Learning
  • NEW TIPS ON SLEEP HABITS: If it takes longer than 15 minutes to fall asleep, you may be getting too much sleep and should consider delaying bedtime, since lying in bed for longer than necessary “feeds frustration and teaches your brain that ‘awake time’ in bed Is okay.” Understand that total sleep time is comprised of four different stages which continuously cycle, every 70 to 90 minutes, through the following phases: (1) up to 60% being relatively light sleep; (2) up to 15% being the deepest stage – when your body “releases growth hormones to regenerate muscle tissues, repairs cell damage, renews energy, and bolsters immunity”; and (3) at least 25% being the “restorative phase – where dreams occur, plus memory consolidation, info processing & learning… Deep refreshing rest doesn’t just happen. Different factors inside & outside your body must come together… and while prescription meds can help chronic insomnia, they may disrupt memory retention and affect sleep quality.”  [MENS’ HEALTH – Oct 17]
  • P.C. UPDATE: ‘CULTURAL APPROPRIATION’ is the latest notion of leftist activists who believe we should “remain in ethnic and racial lanes assigned to us by accident of our birth.” Examples include boycotting of white-owned restaurants in Portland, Oregon, because “Caucasians shouldn’t make tacos or dosas,” and the hiring of a ‘Bias Response’ worker at University of Michigan to enact “Cultural Appropriation-Prevention Initiatives.” In its more extreme form, ‘ANTIFA’ anarchists (who consider themselves ‘anti-fascists’) have attacked both peaceful protesters and police in Berkeley, CA to halt speech by conservatives whose positions they disapprove. “Dangerous passions” increasingly now define our perspectives, politics and discourse. [THE WEEK – Sep 15, 17]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: ‘Climate change’ doesn’t cause hurricanes, but they draw their energy from warm ocean waters and warmer air carries more moisture – it’s simple physics. So higher temperature does make them more common & destructive!

        For a fascinating reading escape: Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and immortality is available worldwide. A smart and easy-read novel by Drew Magary – THE POSTMORTAL.