There is a wonderful characteristic of brilliant people. They’re simple. That is to say, when you get to the root of what they say you discover that they think in very simple terms. Einstein is everyone’s model for brilliance and his “big idea” is simply that matter and energy are really the same thing. The subject of this TED talk is a brilliant thinker, which you can see by glancing at his credits below the video. His big idea is that our description of cancer is part of what prevent us from finding a way to cure it. The popular notion is that cancer is a disease, like mumps or chickenpox. Find the offending organism (or “bad” gene) and you’ve found the cure for cancer. Hillis has a completely different way of thinking about the subject. See what you think…
Understanding Cancer Through Proteomics
Danny Hillis | TED.com | 24 Feb 11
_______________________________________________________________________________ Danny Hillis is an inventor, scientist, author and engineer. While completing his doctorate at MIT, he pioneered the concept of parallel computers that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID disk array technology used to store large databases. He holds over 100 U.S. patents, covering parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices. He is also the designer of a 10,000-year mechanical clock.
In addition to his leadership role at Applied Minds, he is co-chairman of The Long Now Foundation, research professor of engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and professor of research medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and serves on the board of the Hertz Foundation. He has also served on the Science Board of the Santa Fe Institute, the Advisory Board of Yale’s Institute for Biospheric Studies, and SETI Institute’s Technical Advisory Committee. Danny is the recipient of numerous awards, including the inaugural Dan David Prize for shaping and enriching society and public life, the Spirit of American Creativity Award for his inventions, the Hopper Award for his contributions to computer science and the Ramanujan Award for his work in applied mathematics. He is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow in the International Leadership Forum and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Previously, Hillis was Vice President, Research and Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, and a Disney Fellow. Before that, he co-founded Thinking Machines Corp., which was the leading innovator in massive parallel supercomputers and RAID disk arrays. In addition to conceiving and designing the company’s major products, he worked closely with his customers in applying parallel computers to problems in astrophysics, aircraft design, financial analysis, genetics, computer graphics, medical imaging, image understanding, neurobiology, materials science, cryptography and subatomic physics. At Thinking Machines, he built a technical team comprised of scientists and engineers that were widely acknowledged to have been among the best in the industry.
Reality. It’s what goes on in front of your eyes, right? Well, maybe not. It turns out there’s a lot of reality, right nearby, that we probably don’t see and don’t experience. Among other things, this would partially explain why two people can observe the exact same event from the exact same place and have totally different experiences of what happened. Crazy? Watch this…
The effort by right-wing ideologues to trash the Great Society has reached new levels of sophistication. Ten years ago this nation was suckered into launching a deadly war because republicans politicians swore (before Congress and the UN and us) that “the enemy” had weapons of mass destruction aimed at Cleveland. They lied. Today the people of Wisconsin are being told they must sacrifice their unions because the deficit is too large. Another lie. When will the rest of this nation’s people put a muzzle on these ideological attack dogs?
Shock Doctrine, U.S.A.
Paul Krugman | NYTimes | 24 Feb 11
Here’s a thought: maybe Madison, Wis., isn’t Cairo after all. Maybe it’s Baghdad — specifically, Baghdad in 2003, when the Bush administration put Iraq under the rule of officials chosen for loyalty and political reliability rather than experience and competence.
I don’t watch Rachel Maddow regularly but every once in a while I catch a minute or two of her program and often that’s enough to hook me completely. Take this broadcast from Monday when she reveals some interesting information about the battle going on now in Wisconsin over Union rights versus budget woes…