Should we die?

A thought-provoking article about whether death may not be inevitable anymore.

“Should we die?” (from the Atlantic)

This video is funny in parts and eye-rolling in parts. (Unable to embed; click on the screenshot below and the video should open in a new window. If not, you can find it in the article.)

should-we-die

A couple of reactions:

Do you really need a computer to tell you you’ve reached 66% serenity while meditating?

“Will aging dictators be able to stay in power forever?” (a cold chill down my spine)

Writing prompts:

Does having a “death deadline” encourage you to live your life to the fullest?

What aspects of IoT (the Internet of Things) do you think are beneficial to society?

Humans vs. AI

A Japanese insurance company replacing workers with AI was in the news a week or so ago:

“Japanese insurance firm replaces 34 staff with AI” (from BBC)

And then there’s the hotel in Kyushu (within the Huis Ten Bosch theme park) where 90% of the workers are robots:

These stories reminded me of one man’s quest to fight automated advertisement e-mails. I don’t recommend dealing with your frustrations the same way, but he sure is funny:

Universal design

I was in Center-Minami the other day to visit an acquaintance who uses a wheelchair. The area around the station is pretty accessible for people in wheelchairs, but it was hard to find a place to have some coffee in the late afternooon that had enough space for four people and a wheelchair.

This morning on the news, I heard a segment about a “barrier-free app” for smart phones. I wasn’t paying attention, so I’m not sure if this is what they were talking about, but it looks promising:

Bmaps: barrier-free information sharing

Here’s more information from the Nippon Foundation (from July)

And if you plan to do a little research on this topic in English, you’ll find more information if you also use the search terms “universal design” and “inclusive design” and “wheelchair accessible” than if you limit your search to “barrier-free” which is not used as much in English-speaking countries.

Human Google

The New York Public Library has a group of librarians who answer your questions. They receive 30,000 calls per year. Is it my imagination, or do most of them look really tired? Watch this short video to find out why they do it. And read more about it at CityLab.