Thinks 679

NYTimes reviews Frank Close’s book “Elusive”: “At a basic level, [Peter] Higgs’s theory belongs to a fundamental and puzzling question: Where does the mass of the universe come from? Using the known rules of physics, from electromagnetism to quantum mechanics, Higgs raised the possibility of an unstable subatomic particle that, through a series of fizzing interactions, could lend mass to other particles. He predicted this particle would be a boson — a notably massive subatomic particle that helps hold matter together — and that it would exist in an energy field that enabled the interactions. Higgs suggested a path to confirming the existence of the boson and the eventual measurement of its decay products. In doing so, Close writes, the theory issued a subtle challenge: “Is this just a clever piece of mathematics or does nature really work this way?””

Wired: “[Neal] Stephenson is now entering the marketplace with his own take on how his fictional concept might become a real-life make-believe world. He’s partnering with a crypto guy—Peter Vessenes, who heads the Bitcoin Foundation—to start Lamina1, a company hoping to create a scaffolding upon which creators can build an open metaverse. “It’s like Neal is coming down out of the mountains like Gandalf, to restore the metaverse to an open, decentralized, and creative order,” says Rony Abovitz, the former CEO of Magic Leap, who is a strategic adviser to Lamina1…Both Stephenson and Vessenes agree that ultimately there should be a single metaverse, just like there’s a single internet. But that metaverse should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate any number of different experiences and virtual realities. ”If there’s going to be an open source blockchain alternative for people who want to build metaverse stuff, what would that look like?” says Stephenson. “What characteristics would it have as a technology and a social organization?” These are the issues that Lamina1 professes to tackle.”

WSJ: “When leaders are undisciplined about piling on staff, gizmos, software, meetings, rules, training and management fads, organizations become too complicated, their people get overwhelmed and exhausted, and their resources are spread so thin that all their work suffers. For so many companies, the opposite—less, less, less—is the key to success. Subtraction clears our minds and gives us time to focus on what really counts. It sets the stage for creative work, giving us the space to fail, fret, discuss, argue about and experiment with seemingly crazy ideas—the ideas that can transform a company, and make employees happier and more productive.”

Atanu Dey: “The shock is just around the corner — beginning about 20 years or so — to a great degree the immediate consequences are foreseeable. They will be extraordinary and awesomely positive. Every aspect of life on earth will be affected. Everything that humans fear today, things that strike terror in people, will be over and done with. No aspect of our social world will be the same as before. The transformation of human society will be total. It will be the end of scarcity, a curse that has dominated the human condition. And here’s the one word that will be the equivalent of the asteroid: energy. It will turn the whole world upside down. This is the story of the near-term future of humans.”


Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.