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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 14

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2015-05-25 11:56:19 (14 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

More than 20 years ago, AT&T ran a series of ads depicting the miraculous things information technology would allow us to do in the future.

Most reshares: 2

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2015-07-30 20:36:00 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

H/T +Philippe van Nedervelde 

Most plusones: 13

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2015-06-28 00:07:06 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

After yesterday's high on the national stage, something very dispiriting happened in my local neighborhood.

I live in a 54-unit condominium in the suburbs of Boston, in an undistinguished town adjacent to historic Lexington and Concord.

Today, as I went out for a brief walk (and to pick up my mail), I unexpectedly saw signs for an Open House. When I saw the unit that was going up for sale, my jaw dropped. It was the unit of my newest neighbors, whom I had just met a few weeks earlier when the owner was out walking their dog -- a rare white retriever named Fenway.

This unit is owned by a couple with two adolescent boys. They make their living in the livery business, driving people to the airport or to appointments. They own three handsome vehicles which comprise their fleet.

The Trustees notified this family that there is an obscure regulation in the... more »

Latest 50 posts

2015-08-28 11:43:25 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Thought for the ages ...

Nothing is as simple as it seems at first, or as hopeless as it seems in the middle, or as finished as it seems in the end.

Thought for the ages ...

Nothing is as simple as it seems at first, or as hopeless as it seems in the middle, or as finished as it seems in the end.___

2015-08-22 10:22:14 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

 It is ironic to realize that some people lack the insight to appreciate that irony is an indicative measure of their lack of insight.

 It is ironic to realize that some people lack the insight to appreciate that irony is an indicative measure of their lack of insight.___

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2015-08-18 14:49:50 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Integrated Systems and the Phenomenon of System Disintegration

In Psychology, there is a diagnosis known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, which is the new name for Multiple Personality Disorder.

The lay public often conflates Dissociative Identity Disorder with aspects of Schizophrenia and/or Schizoid Personality Disorder.

In Schizophrenia, one may be affected by disorganized thinking associated with unexamined and/or erroneous beliefs (e.g. imaginative anxiety-driven beliefs about a potential rival or adversary).

In the Schizoid Personality, one voluntarily withdraws and detaches from otherwise collegial and congenial social interactions because of unregulated Anger Management issues. 

When one has a well-integrated personal identity and an erratic (perhaps toxic) culture abruptly and inexplicably outlaws or ostracizes some essential... more »

Integrated Systems and the Phenomenon of System Disintegration

In Psychology, there is a diagnosis known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, which is the new name for Multiple Personality Disorder.

The lay public often conflates Dissociative Identity Disorder with aspects of Schizophrenia and/or Schizoid Personality Disorder.

In Schizophrenia, one may be affected by disorganized thinking associated with unexamined and/or erroneous beliefs (e.g. imaginative anxiety-driven beliefs about a potential rival or adversary).

In the Schizoid Personality, one voluntarily withdraws and detaches from otherwise collegial and congenial social interactions because of unregulated Anger Management issues. 

When one has a well-integrated personal identity and an erratic (perhaps toxic) culture abruptly and inexplicably outlaws or ostracizes some essential component part of one's being, one is compelled to split off that part of their personal identity and sequester it away, as that part of one's self is now deemed and adjudged "sub-persona non gratis" within that restrictive cultural milieu.

So what does one do? In the Arts, we have the therapeutic option of resurrecting the sublimated part of one's self that has been rejected by the Sternly Disapproving GateKeepers, and sneak it back in, via the Gleefully Subversive Creative Arts.

But what of those who are not comfortable availing themselves of the Creative Arts?

If one has no talent in the Arts, one is stuck with a Dis-Integrated Personal Identity: Dissociative Identity Disorder, possibly with aspects of Schizophrenia and/or Schizoid Personality.

That's one of the reasons I have made a personal practice of modeling the re-integration of one's full-fledged identity via the Whimsical Arts.

Alas, many people demonstrate no comparable talent, thus becoming tragically boxed in by their own lack of avenues for creative expression. And so the boxed-in sub-components of one's native personality inevitably leak out via a characteristic and recurring pattern of unplanned behaviors. One might call it Inadvertent Jerkitude.

But just as Jerk is the name of the 3rd Time-Derivative in Newton's Calculus, the 4th Time-Derivative is known as Jounce (also called Snap, Rebounding, Resilience, Gamboling, Pronking).

'Jounce' means to Jump and Bounce back. Hence Jouncing into the Arts: Jouncing instead of Jousting. Doug Hofstadter called it Jootsing: Jumping Out Of The System.

I like to Snap Back with Whimsical Sarcastic Biting Humor. That's why I especially love Andy Borowitiz, for example. I consider him a National Treasure.

So that would amount to instantiating the 4th Time-Derivative: Gleefully Bouncing Back (instead of tragically slamming into a brick wall and falling to pieces like a forlorn Patsy Cline).

Hence via Poetry Slams, Stand-Up Comedy, and the Bardic Arts, we artfully transform Trauma into Creative and Amusing Theatrical Drama.

(Or, in my life, Shreklisch Drama, as the case may be.)___

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2015-08-16 16:28:01 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Loreena McKennitt, "Huron Beltane Fire Dance" Recorded Live at the Alhambra Palace of Charles V, Granada, Spain, 2006

Loreena McKennitt, Vocals, Harp
Rick Lazar: Percussion
Caroline Lavelle: Cello
Hugh Marsh: Violin

This performance utterly knocks my socks off.

H/T +Linda Emerson for first discovering this masterpiece many years ago.

Loreena McKennitt, "Huron Beltane Fire Dance" Recorded Live at the Alhambra Palace of Charles V, Granada, Spain, 2006

Loreena McKennitt, Vocals, Harp
Rick Lazar: Percussion
Caroline Lavelle: Cello
Hugh Marsh: Violin

This performance utterly knocks my socks off.

H/T +Linda Emerson for first discovering this masterpiece many years ago.___

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2015-07-30 20:36:00 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

H/T +Philippe van Nedervelde 

H/T +Philippe van Nedervelde ___

2015-07-25 09:38:37 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Tempest in a Tee Spot

Tempest in a Tee Spot___

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2015-07-19 12:30:42 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Declaration of Indignation

When in the curse of human events, it becomes necessary for one blogger to address the political bugaboos which have disconnected one neighbor from another, and to assume among the powers of authorship, the unalienable station to which the Bardic Arts entitle them, a decent send-up requires that one should declare the causes which impel them to the revolting demonstration.

Herewith a shreklisch reprisal of a long-lost legend ...

Declaration of Indignation

When in the curse of human events, it becomes necessary for one blogger to address the political bugaboos which have disconnected one neighbor from another, and to assume among the powers of authorship, the unalienable station to which the Bardic Arts entitle them, a decent send-up requires that one should declare the causes which impel them to the revolting demonstration.

Herewith a shreklisch reprisal of a long-lost legend ...___

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2015-07-16 18:52:27 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

The 11-minute audio clip (plus DISQUS comments from enthusiastic listeners) are now up for this interview with author Jacky Collis Harvey, who has a new book out on what it's like to be a redhead.

The 11-minute audio clip (plus DISQUS comments from enthusiastic listeners) are now up for this interview with author Jacky Collis Harvey, who has a new book out on what it's like to be a redhead.___

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2015-07-04 12:23:40 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

How Consciousness Changes

At 12:08 …

Patricia Albere: "How do you notice that your consciousness is different? What is your consciousness like being immersed in the particular reality that Gregory Bateson was proposing, that he was bringing forth?"

Nora Bateson: "I have no way of answering that.  [laughter]  I can't, because I don't know anything else, so I have no contrast. I can say this: I'm really enjoying the work that I'm doing right now ― engaging in the conversations spinning from his ideas and the things he left behind and how I'm beginning to play with them, and what they mean — the relevance that they have now."

My observation is that when you make a connection, when you see the hidden pattern that connects the dots (e.g. at a higher level of abstraction), you experience an emotional thrill, a warmfuzzy, ... more »

How Consciousness Changes

At 12:08 …

Patricia Albere: "How do you notice that your consciousness is different? What is your consciousness like being immersed in the particular reality that Gregory Bateson was proposing, that he was bringing forth?"

Nora Bateson: "I have no way of answering that.  [laughter]  I can't, because I don't know anything else, so I have no contrast. I can say this: I'm really enjoying the work that I'm doing right now ― engaging in the conversations spinning from his ideas and the things he left behind and how I'm beginning to play with them, and what they mean — the relevance that they have now."

My observation is that when you make a connection, when you see the hidden pattern that connects the dots (e.g. at a higher level of abstraction), you experience an emotional thrill, a warm fuzzy, an endorphin high. Theologians called this a "Hallelujah" moment.  Buddhists call it a Moment of Enlightenment (sometimes referred to as Satori or Nirvana).  Scientists call this a "Eureka Moment" or a Moment of Insight.  You know it by gasping, "Aha!" (that being an Inhalation of Inspiration). Note that the "Aha!" moment is the opposite of "Arrgghhh!!!" which is an Exhalation of Exasperation.___

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2015-07-01 23:27:23 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

"Low intelligence may lead to a craving for order, authority, and hierarchy."

Aha! That explains it.

"Low intelligence may lead to a craving for order, authority, and hierarchy."

Aha! That explains it.___

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2015-07-01 00:43:19 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

I never got to meet Michele Kort. It's been a decades-long genealogical detective story to surface the clues linking her branch of the American Korts to my own.

But her lineage reflects the same ideals of academic scholarship, public service, and social justice that I've held dear for seven decades.

"Michele Kort dedicated herself for decades to the feminist goals of justice, dignity, respect, diversity and women's empowerment—and fought with dogged determination." ~Ms. Magazine

I never got to meet Michele Kort. It's been a decades-long genealogical detective story to surface the clues linking her branch of the American Korts to my own.

But her lineage reflects the same ideals of academic scholarship, public service, and social justice that I've held dear for seven decades.

"Michele Kort dedicated herself for decades to the feminist goals of justice, dignity, respect, diversity and women's empowerment—and fought with dogged determination." ~Ms. Magazine___

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2015-06-28 00:07:06 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

After yesterday's high on the national stage, something very dispiriting happened in my local neighborhood.

I live in a 54-unit condominium in the suburbs of Boston, in an undistinguished town adjacent to historic Lexington and Concord.

Today, as I went out for a brief walk (and to pick up my mail), I unexpectedly saw signs for an Open House. When I saw the unit that was going up for sale, my jaw dropped. It was the unit of my newest neighbors, whom I had just met a few weeks earlier when the owner was out walking their dog -- a rare white retriever named Fenway.

This unit is owned by a couple with two adolescent boys. They make their living in the livery business, driving people to the airport or to appointments. They own three handsome vehicles which comprise their fleet.

The Trustees notified this family that there is an obscure regulation in the... more »

After yesterday's high on the national stage, something very dispiriting happened in my local neighborhood.

I live in a 54-unit condominium in the suburbs of Boston, in an undistinguished town adjacent to historic Lexington and Concord.

Today, as I went out for a brief walk (and to pick up my mail), I unexpectedly saw signs for an Open House. When I saw the unit that was going up for sale, my jaw dropped. It was the unit of my newest neighbors, whom I had just met a few weeks earlier when the owner was out walking their dog -- a rare white retriever named Fenway.

This unit is owned by a couple with two adolescent boys. They make their living in the livery business, driving people to the airport or to appointments. They own three handsome vehicles which comprise their fleet.

The Trustees notified this family that there is an obscure regulation in the condominium bylaws prohibiting vehicles with commercial or livery plates from parking overnight on the property. The realtor who sold them their unit is also a neighbor who lives in the condos, and who was evidently unaware of this little obscure bylaw.

The Trustees evidently issued this couple a Cease and Desist Order, whereupon my new neighbors were obliged to put their unit up for sale and seek a more congenial place to live.

Upon learning of this lamentable state of affairs, I sent off a note to my new neighbors with this message:

"I just learned today that the Trustees have committed an outrageous atrocity against you. I am sickened and ashamed of my neighbors for treating you so callously and uncongenially. Please let me know if there is any action you wish me to take to air this grievance."

I am frankly at a loss for ideas on how to proceed in the face of this unconscionable state of affairs.___

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2015-06-15 22:34:35 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

+Rana El Kaliouby  is one of my colleagues from the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab.

Here is Rana's debut TED Talk.

"Our emotions influence every aspect of our lives — how we learn, how we communicate, how we make decisions. Yet they’re absent from our digital lives; the devices and apps we interact with have no way of knowing how we feel. Scientist Rana el Kaliouby aims to change that. She demos a powerful new technology that reads your facial expressions and matches them to corresponding emotions. This “emotion engine” has big implications, she says, and could change not just how we interact with machines — but with each other." ~Introduction to Rana El-Kaliouby's TED Talk

+Rana El Kaliouby  is one of my colleagues from the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab.

Here is Rana's debut TED Talk.

"Our emotions influence every aspect of our lives — how we learn, how we communicate, how we make decisions. Yet they’re absent from our digital lives; the devices and apps we interact with have no way of knowing how we feel. Scientist Rana el Kaliouby aims to change that. She demos a powerful new technology that reads your facial expressions and matches them to corresponding emotions. This “emotion engine” has big implications, she says, and could change not just how we interact with machines — but with each other." ~Introduction to Rana El-Kaliouby's TED Talk___

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2015-05-28 05:06:52 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

One of the hazards of TV production can be seen at 0:48 ~ the shadow of one of the camera operators sinking out of view on the back wall, underneath the piano.

One of the hazards of TV production can be seen at 0:48 ~ the shadow of one of the camera operators sinking out of view on the back wall, underneath the piano.___

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2015-05-25 11:56:19 (14 comments, 1 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

More than 20 years ago, AT&T ran a series of ads depicting the miraculous things information technology would allow us to do in the future.

More than 20 years ago, AT&T ran a series of ads depicting the miraculous things information technology would allow us to do in the future.___

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2015-05-14 23:29:43 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

"The Bridge Builder" by Will Allen Dromgoole ...

"The Bridge Builder" by Will Allen Dromgoole ...___

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2015-05-11 12:18:12 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Stop the presses!  Neuroscientists have just discovered the Nyquist Sampling Theorem!

cc: +Lauren Weinstein 

Stop the presses!  Neuroscientists have just discovered the Nyquist Sampling Theorem!

cc: +Lauren Weinstein ___

2015-04-21 23:58:23 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Louis Lefebvre is a gifted Canadian animator who has crafted a remarkable animated allegory, "I, Pet Goat II," from his animation studio, Heliofant. Five years in the making, Lefebvre's video is full of complex and arcane symbolism culled from many sources, both modern and ancient.

Louis Lefebvre is a gifted Canadian animator who has crafted a remarkable animated allegory, "I, Pet Goat II," from his animation studio, Heliofant. Five years in the making, Lefebvre's video is full of complex and arcane symbolism culled from many sources, both modern and ancient.___

2015-04-18 12:57:44 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Thought for the day ...

If you're going to be an autodidactic learner, you'd better begin by learning how to properly grade your self-assigned homework.

Thought for the day ...

If you're going to be an autodidactic learner, you'd better begin by learning how to properly grade your self-assigned homework.___

2015-03-28 22:07:03 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Thought For the Day

Heredity is hereditary.

What does that mean?

It means that if your parents didn't have children, there's a good chance you won't, either.

Thought For the Day

Heredity is hereditary.

What does that mean?

It means that if your parents didn't have children, there's a good chance you won't, either.___

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2015-03-22 13:08:21 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

+Hiawatha Bray  or Shirley Leung might be interested in working this up into a story for Boston Globe readers.

Verde Energy is a Connecticut-based energy trading company that seeks to enroll residential electric utility customers into designating them as the wholesale supplier for their residential electric service. Verde Energy is one of several such competing companies that call up prospective customers, seeking to switch them from their existing electric utility plan to an alternate plan through energy trading companies like Verde Energy. 

Last Friday, I received one such call (a live call, not a robocall), during which time I spoke to three customer service agents in Atlanta. The first one, Jeremy, could not answer my basic questions, so he handed me off to his supervisor, Kim, who similarly could not answer my questions. 

Finally, I spoke to the EnrollmentMa... more »

+Hiawatha Bray  or Shirley Leung might be interested in working this up into a story for Boston Globe readers.

Verde Energy is a Connecticut-based energy trading company that seeks to enroll residential electric utility customers into designating them as the wholesale supplier for their residential electric service. Verde Energy is one of several such competing companies that call up prospective customers, seeking to switch them from their existing electric utility plan to an alternate plan through energy trading companies like Verde Energy. 

Last Friday, I received one such call (a live call, not a robocall), during which time I spoke to three customer service agents in Atlanta. The first one, Jeremy, could not answer my basic questions, so he handed me off to his supervisor, Kim, who similarly could not answer my questions. 

Finally, I spoke to the Enrollment Manager, Andrew Houck, who told me no one had ever asked the kind of questions I had posed to him. And then he sent me an E-Mail brochure.

In the link below you will find my response to Andrew Houck, along with his original solicitation message to me.

Understanding and Responding to Verde Energy___

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2015-03-18 15:24:15 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Why it will take an Act of God to solve a seemingly simple problem of registering an Apple iPad Mini to work on Verizon's cellular service.

Why it will take an Act of God to solve a seemingly simple problem of registering an Apple iPad Mini to work on Verizon's cellular service.___

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2015-03-17 10:04:28 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Building and Managing Personal Trust Networks

One of the features of the Information Age and Social Networks is the rising importance of Trust Networks.

What is a Trust Network?

It's a network of individuals, organizations, and agents that one confidently feels they can unconditionally trust to be honest, reliable, ethical, constructive, pro-social, and responsive.

Adding or removing individuals, organizations, or agents in a Trust Network is not an easy process. I tend to be cautious in adding new members to my personal Trust Network, and reluctant to summarily dismiss or remove an existing member.

I value mutual trust and mutual respect. And I lament episodes where mutual trust and mutual respect are eroded in an unexpected, surprising, disappointing, inscrutable, heartbreaking, or inexplicable manner.

A few years ago, I wrote... more »

Building and Managing Personal Trust Networks

One of the features of the Information Age and Social Networks is the rising importance of Trust Networks.

What is a Trust Network?

It's a network of individuals, organizations, and agents that one confidently feels they can unconditionally trust to be honest, reliable, ethical, constructive, pro-social, and responsive.

Adding or removing individuals, organizations, or agents in a Trust Network is not an easy process. I tend to be cautious in adding new members to my personal Trust Network, and reluctant to summarily dismiss or remove an existing member.

I value mutual trust and mutual respect. And I lament episodes where mutual trust and mutual respect are eroded in an unexpected, surprising, disappointing, inscrutable, heartbreaking, or inexplicable manner.

A few years ago, I wrote this blog post about the principal considerations in building and managing a Trust Network.

The academic name of this subject is FaceWork Theory.___

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2015-03-15 15:45:46 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Adventures in Escalation

Why it will take an Act of God to solve a seemingly simple problem of registering an Apple iPad Mini to work on Verizon's cellular service.

Adventures in Escalation

Why it will take an Act of God to solve a seemingly simple problem of registering an Apple iPad Mini to work on Verizon's cellular service.___

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2015-03-13 14:54:32 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Adventures in Escalation

Over the course of the past week, I've spent about five hours with no fewer than seven Verizon representatives in three states trying to diagnose a glitch in registering my Apple iPad Mini, which seems to have pretty much everyone vexed, perplexed, aggravated, frustrated and mystified.

It looks like it's going to take an Act of God to solve this one.

Adventures in Escalation

Over the course of the past week, I've spent about five hours with no fewer than seven Verizon representatives in three states trying to diagnose a glitch in registering my Apple iPad Mini, which seems to have pretty much everyone vexed, perplexed, aggravated, frustrated and mystified.

It looks like it's going to take an Act of God to solve this one.___

2015-03-11 01:20:20 (13 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Adventures in Escalation

A while back, I was given a hand-me-down iPad Mini as a thank-you gift for doing some pro-bono technical work for a cash-strapped professional colleague.

This iPad Mini has WiFi, GPS, and Cellular capability. However, I don't own a cell phone, so I don't have any cell phone service in my name. That meant I could only use the wireless features when I was in range of a convenient WiFi base station. In particular, one needs cell service to use GPS so that street maps can be downloaded on demand.

While I don't have a cell phone, my brother does, and it occurred to me it might be reasonable for him to add my iPad Mini to his existing Verizon cell phone account (just $10/mo) so that my device could be used in emergencies on the infrequent occasions when I'm away from home.

So my brother instructed his Verizon service rep... more »

Adventures in Escalation

A while back, I was given a hand-me-down iPad Mini as a thank-you gift for doing some pro-bono technical work for a cash-strapped professional colleague.

This iPad Mini has WiFi, GPS, and Cellular capability. However, I don't own a cell phone, so I don't have any cell phone service in my name. That meant I could only use the wireless features when I was in range of a convenient WiFi base station. In particular, one needs cell service to use GPS so that street maps can be downloaded on demand.

While I don't have a cell phone, my brother does, and it occurred to me it might be reasonable for him to add my iPad Mini to his existing Verizon cell phone account (just $10/mo) so that my device could be used in emergencies on the infrequent occasions when I'm away from home.

So my brother instructed his Verizon service rep to put my device on his account. I sent along the requisite mobile device ID numbers and Verizon SIM card number.

But lo! The Verizon service rep said my iPad Mini couldn't be entered into their system. Verizon was rejecting my device ID. But it wasn't just my own device. The Verizon service rep said this had happened a number of times with other customers with similar Apple devices.

So I said I would research the issue to learn what was going on.

Thus begins my adventure.

Over the course of a week, so far, I've spent about four hours with no fewer than seven people in three states trying to diagnose the glitch, which seems to have pretty much everyone vexed, perplexed, frustrated, and mystified.

We now have at least three plausible hypotheses in the air, with none of them conclusively ruled out.

Today, I spoke on the phone with no fewer than three high-level executives at Verizon Wireless Regional Headquarters for New England. They are committed to solving this problem, but I fear it may turn out to be a major undertaking involving the negotiation of inter-carrier inter-operation agreements between AT&T and Verizon.

It seems there are subtle and obscure technical reasons why mobile devices may not be compatible with the cell tower equipment of all domestic carriers. Some Apple iPad models evidently have transceiver chips that only work with some carriers and not others. So an iPad Mini that was built with a transceiver chip for AT&T won't work compatibly with Verizon, and vice versa.

If that's the problem, then the only realistic solution would be for AT&T and Verizon to negotiate an inter-carrier inter-operation agreement allowing devices to traverse a competitor's network so that a customer can use a device that was originally built for a different carrier's network. This is like praying for an Act of God.

We pray for Acts of God to reverse the hellish situations caused by the Other Guy. In this case the Other Guy is none other than the US Department of Justice.

Forty years ago, there was one high-functioning telephone network known as the Bell System, in which everything was carefully and conscientiously designed to work compatibly with everything else in the network. The Bell System was the highest functioning high-technology system ever conceived, designed, and engineered on the face of the planet.

As a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in the Network Planning Division of AT&T Bell Labs, I took pride in my role of Systems Engineering to ensure that, as the network gracefully and systematically evolved with the measured introduction of new technology, everything continued to interoperate flawlessly from end to end across the entire telecommunications network. That was the driving philosophy of Systems Engineering.

And then came the US Department of Justice who declared that a high-functioning, highly integrated communication system where everything worked compatibly with everything else was against the law! A high-functioning, highly integrated system, declared the DoJ, was an Illegal Monopoly. And they mandated the breakup of the Bell System, to be replaced by fierce competition between non-cooperating organizations who were instructed not to collaborate or collude to preserve the legendary unity of the integrated Bell System.

So here we are today, with multiple incompatible technologies, such that Apple evidently had to build two versions of the iPad Mini, one that only talks to AT&T Cell Towers, and another that only talks to Verizon Cell Towers, each talking a different "language" from the other.

Way to go, US DoJ, you fulfilled our dire prediction of 30 years ago that breaking up the Bell System was the dumbest idea the US Government ever came up with since Prohibition and before being trumped by the idiotic decision to invade Iraq in search of non-existent WMDs.

And the irony, of course, is that the US Government is itself a monopoly. But it's not exactly a high-functioning monopoly like the Bell System. Nope. Our US Government is an idiotic dysfunctional monopoly that can't seem to think its way clear to do much of anything right.___

2015-03-05 14:51:42 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Politics is an anti-social drama in which frightened, insecure, and ill-informed characters exchange threatening, confusing, and misleading messages with each other.

And so, politics has increasingly become a puerile (and perilous) playground for ornery, ruthless, foolish, ill-informed, and immature adults.

And yes, that amounts to a socio-cultural pathology.

Politics is an anti-social drama in which frightened, insecure, and ill-informed characters exchange threatening, confusing, and misleading messages with each other.

And so, politics has increasingly become a puerile (and perilous) playground for ornery, ruthless, foolish, ill-informed, and immature adults.

And yes, that amounts to a socio-cultural pathology.___

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2015-02-25 02:05:20 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Worrier, Warrior, or Thinker?

I define "worrying" as an emotional form of information processing which fails to reduce the entropy or uncertainty of a knowledge base, fails to generate solutions to outstanding problems, or fails to conceive goal-oriented courses of action.

Conversely, I define "thinking" as a rational form of information processing which reduces the entropy or uncertainty of a knowledge base, generates solutions to outstanding problems, and conceives goal-oriented courses of action.

See The Calculus of Ideas.

Worrier, Warrior, or Thinker?

I define "worrying" as an emotional form of information processing which fails to reduce the entropy or uncertainty of a knowledge base, fails to generate solutions to outstanding problems, or fails to conceive goal-oriented courses of action.

Conversely, I define "thinking" as a rational form of information processing which reduces the entropy or uncertainty of a knowledge base, generates solutions to outstanding problems, and conceives goal-oriented courses of action.

See The Calculus of Ideas.___

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2015-02-17 11:04:48 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Our Place In the Cosmos and the Role of STEM in the Advance of Civilization

The Democratic Age is Stage 3 of the (extended) Viconian Model. 

The Viconian cycle consists of multiple recurring phases:

(1) The Theocratic or Divine Age, represented in primitive society by the family life of the cave, to which the thunderous voice of God has driven mankind;

(2) The Aristocratic or Heroic Age, characterized by incessant conflict between the ruling patricians and their subject plebeians;

(3) The Democratic Age, in which rank and privilege have finally been eradicated by the revolutions of the preceding age.

Currently, we are ensnared in the Fourth Age, as anticipated by Vico, and as explicated by any number of modern sources:

(4) The Chaotic Age, characterized by the bewildering collapse of democratic... more »

Our Place In the Cosmos and the Role of STEM in the Advance of Civilization

The Democratic Age is Stage 3 of the (extended) Viconian Model. 

The Viconian cycle consists of multiple recurring phases:

(1) The Theocratic or Divine Age, represented in primitive society by the family life of the cave, to which the thunderous voice of God has driven mankind;

(2) The Aristocratic or Heroic Age, characterized by incessant conflict between the ruling patricians and their subject plebeians;

(3) The Democratic Age, in which rank and privilege have finally been eradicated by the revolutions of the preceding age.

Currently, we are ensnared in the Fourth Age, as anticipated by Vico, and as explicated by any number of modern sources:

(4) The Chaotic Age, characterized by the bewildering collapse of democratic society, which is inherently dysfunctional and therefore riddled with a panoply of hellish and baffleplexing problems: conflict, violence, oppression, injustice corruption, poverty, ignorance, alienation, abuse, despair, suffering, and terrorism.

The resolution of this nightmare age of unrelenting chaos is to evolve to the Fifth Age where we master the art of taming the ill-mannered recursion laws that define and characterize the Chaotic Age:

(5) The Cybernetic Age, in which the otherwise mind-boggling math of recursive loops is tamed and tuned to gracefully converge to the long-dreamed of Omega Point.

More details here:  http://TinyURL.Com/Advance-of-Civilization___

2015-01-27 21:07:32 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

I expect Deflategate will turn into a Comic Opera in the style of Mozart.

The villain, of course, will turn out to be Deflater Mouse.

I expect Deflategate will turn into a Comic Opera in the style of Mozart.

The villain, of course, will turn out to be Deflater Mouse.___

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2015-01-15 14:24:48 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

The Spirit of Becoming

The proper name of the God of Moses is יהוה which means "Becoming."

That is to say, the Name of the God of Moses is nominally equivalent to an abstraction that, in English, would be "The Process of Becoming" (or just Becoming, for short).

What is 'Divine' in living systems is Becoming (e.g. the phenomenon of growth, transformation, and maturation).

I reckon it's unbecoming not to believe in Becoming. 

The Process of Becoming is Awesome.

Let me elaborate ...

As a scientist, researcher, educator, and sentient being, I am fascinated by the following processes, which I seek to understand and participate in:

1. The Process of Creation in the Cosmos

2. The Process of Evolution in the Biosphere

3. The Process of Enlightenment in theNoös... more »

The Spirit of Becoming

The proper name of the God of Moses is יהוה which means "Becoming."

That is to say, the Name of the God of Moses is nominally equivalent to an abstraction that, in English, would be "The Process of Becoming" (or just Becoming, for short).

What is 'Divine' in living systems is Becoming (e.g. the phenomenon of growth, transformation, and maturation).

I reckon it's unbecoming not to believe in Becoming. 

The Process of Becoming is Awesome.

Let me elaborate ...

As a scientist, researcher, educator, and sentient being, I am fascinated by the following processes, which I seek to understand and participate in:

1. The Process of Creation in the Cosmos

2. The Process of Evolution in the Biosphere

3. The Process of Enlightenment in the Noösphere

4. The Discovery Learning Process in the Brain and Mind

5. The Creative Process in the Arts

6. The Problem-Solving Process in Engineering

7. The Peace Process in Human Culture

8. The Nurturing Process in Relationships.

9. The Healing Process in the Human Spirit

10. The Process of Falling in Love with Life and People

I subsume all of the above under one umbrella term, "The Process of Becoming" (or just "Becoming" for short).

To my mind, it is unbecoming not to believe in Becoming.

Discovering, experiencing, understanding, and participating in these (and similar) processes not only makes me feel alive and engaged with life, it makes me feel connected to God, Orenda, or whatever you like to call your Higher Spirit.

I like to call it the 'Spirit of Becoming'.

http://foofy.musenet.info/~bkort/God.Is.A.Concept.html___

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2015-01-15 07:28:56 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

The current issue of New Yorker Magazine has a feature length article on the story of +Affectiva, the commercial start-up founded by my MIT Media Lab colleagues, +Rosalind Picard and +Rana El Kaliouby.

Affectiva is concentrating on commercial applications of Affective Computing based on Rana's post-doc research in the Affective Computing Research Group in recognizing facial expressions and mapping them into identifiable emotions.

The current issue of New Yorker Magazine has a feature length article on the story of +Affectiva, the commercial start-up founded by my MIT Media Lab colleagues, +Rosalind Picard and +Rana El Kaliouby.

Affectiva is concentrating on commercial applications of Affective Computing based on Rana's post-doc research in the Affective Computing Research Group in recognizing facial expressions and mapping them into identifiable emotions.___

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2015-01-13 16:28:50 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 


Gregory Bateson, Pioneer of Systems Thinking

Nora Bateson has uploaded an authorized version of her homage to her father, Gregory Bateson, at Vimeo. The 60-minute documentary is entitled, "An Ecology Of Mind - A Daughter's portrait of Gregory Bateson" and is directed by Nora.

Note that this is not a free video on Vimeo. To view it, you must log into Vimeo (registration is free) and select one of two viewing options: 24-hr rental or purchase, at $5 and $10, respectively.


Gregory Bateson, Pioneer of Systems Thinking

Nora Bateson has uploaded an authorized version of her homage to her father, Gregory Bateson, at Vimeo. The 60-minute documentary is entitled, "An Ecology Of Mind - A Daughter's portrait of Gregory Bateson" and is directed by Nora.

Note that this is not a free video on Vimeo. To view it, you must log into Vimeo (registration is free) and select one of two viewing options: 24-hr rental or purchase, at $5 and $10, respectively.___

2015-01-02 16:52:35 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Thought for the day:

If you're gonna go through life being hopelessly self-deluded, you oughta at least be honest enough to candidly admit it.

Thought for the day:

If you're gonna go through life being hopelessly self-deluded, you oughta at least be honest enough to candidly admit it.___

2014-12-24 11:20:50 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Gregory Bateson, Pioneer of Systems Thinking

Nora Bateson has uploaded an authorized version of her homage to her father, Gregory Bateson, at Vimeo. The 60-minute documentary is entitled, "An Ecology Of Mind - A Daughter's portrait of Gregory Bateson" and is directed by Nora.

Note that this is not a free video on Vimeo. To view it, you must log into Vimeo (registration is free) and select one of two viewing options: 24-hr rental or purchase, at $5 and $10, respectively.

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/bateson/116614772

Gregory Bateson, Pioneer of Systems Thinking

Nora Bateson has uploaded an authorized version of her homage to her father, Gregory Bateson, at Vimeo. The 60-minute documentary is entitled, "An Ecology Of Mind - A Daughter's portrait of Gregory Bateson" and is directed by Nora.

Note that this is not a free video on Vimeo. To view it, you must log into Vimeo (registration is free) and select one of two viewing options: 24-hr rental or purchase, at $5 and $10, respectively.

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/bateson/116614772___

2014-12-24 11:18:40 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Here, from the Way Back Machine, is a PBS Education Resource on the nine kinds of intelligence in Howard Gardner's catalog of Multiple Intelligences.

Here, from the Way Back Machine, is a PBS Education Resource on the nine kinds of intelligence in Howard Gardner's catalog of Multiple Intelligences.___

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2014-12-22 12:21:34 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Good and Evil

The police are increasingly falling out of favor and alienating themselves from the general public because career professionals in law enforcement increasingly manifest and reveal the evil side of the rule of law: corrupt, dysfunctional, abusive, oppressive, unjust, unkind, chaotic, bullying, and violent.

Consider these classic recipes for Good and Evil:

Good = Love + Compassion + Mindfulness + Mercy + Healing

Evil = Fear + Antipathy + Ignorance + Power + Harmfulness

If you want to diagnose and attenuate Evil, diagnose and eschew the elements of Evil.

If you want to craft Good, discover and manifest the elements of Good.

Good and Evil

The police are increasingly falling out of favor and alienating themselves from the general public because career professionals in law enforcement increasingly manifest and reveal the evil side of the rule of law: corrupt, dysfunctional, abusive, oppressive, unjust, unkind, chaotic, bullying, and violent.

Consider these classic recipes for Good and Evil:

Good = Love + Compassion + Mindfulness + Mercy + Healing

Evil = Fear + Antipathy + Ignorance + Power + Harmfulness

If you want to diagnose and attenuate Evil, diagnose and eschew the elements of Evil.

If you want to craft Good, discover and manifest the elements of Good.___

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2014-12-21 12:10:44 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

21st Century Operating Systems

To my mind, our society's cultural models have not evolved in a particularly intelligent manner. We still employ idiotic cultural practices that humankind mindlessly adopted some 4000 years ago. Much to my chagrin, we seem utterly incapable of diagnosing and upgrading those anachronistic and dysfunctional cultural practices to arrive at 21st Century operating systems for human society.

Our profoundly dysfunctional cultural models and practices have generated so much stress that DSM-5 is a catalog (shipping weight 3.4 lbs) of the myriad non-criminal maladaptive ways that humans maladjust, while the criminal code catalogs all the remaining intolerable maladaptive responses. And then, where governments cannot agree, we have stress-inducing political conflicts and bloody war.

We have 250 generations of Homo Schleppians who have been... more »

21st Century Operating Systems

To my mind, our society's cultural models have not evolved in a particularly intelligent manner. We still employ idiotic cultural practices that humankind mindlessly adopted some 4000 years ago. Much to my chagrin, we seem utterly incapable of diagnosing and upgrading those anachronistic and dysfunctional cultural practices to arrive at 21st Century operating systems for human society.

Our profoundly dysfunctional cultural models and practices have generated so much stress that DSM-5 is a catalog (shipping weight 3.4 lbs) of the myriad non-criminal maladaptive ways that humans maladjust, while the criminal code catalogs all the remaining intolerable maladaptive responses. And then, where governments cannot agree, we have stress-inducing political conflicts and bloody war.

We have 250 generations of Homo Schleppians who have been maladapting over the past 5000 years to an increasingly dysfunctional, erratic, and chaotic cultural model.

Isn't it about time we woke up and upgraded Western Civilization to a 21st Century high-functioning model?___

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2014-12-19 07:57:41 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Give Us This Day Our Daily Rage

Slate has tracked what everyone was outraged about every day in 2014.

Can it be that Systemic Injustice and Systemic Abuse are more salient now than at any other time in our occasionally placid lives?

My takeaway from the Salon article is that our fickle social networking culture is experiencing an epidemic of mimetic outrage.

We are like scouts sitting around the campfire, toasting marshmallows, and telling stories of personal outrage, each scout in turn trying to one-up the last storyteller in terms of recounting some horrifying, disgusting, and outrageous episode of injustice or abuse for which we have become hopelessly and irredeemably scarred for life.

The scouts don't even need a campfire to toast their marshmallows. We have collectively concocted a sufficient conflagration of outrage to toast our... more »

Give Us This Day Our Daily Rage

Slate has tracked what everyone was outraged about every day in 2014.

Can it be that Systemic Injustice and Systemic Abuse are more salient now than at any other time in our occasionally placid lives?

My takeaway from the Salon article is that our fickle social networking culture is experiencing an epidemic of mimetic outrage.

We are like scouts sitting around the campfire, toasting marshmallows, and telling stories of personal outrage, each scout in turn trying to one-up the last storyteller in terms of recounting some horrifying, disgusting, and outrageous episode of injustice or abuse for which we have become hopelessly and irredeemably scarred for life.

The scouts don't even need a campfire to toast their marshmallows. We have collectively concocted a sufficient conflagration of outrage to toast our personal marshmallows to a deliciously crusty burnt umbrage.___

2014-12-15 15:52:50 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Now here's a thought.

If Schrödinger's Cat had been wearing an +Empatica Embrace wristband around its neck, what would that have done to Schrödinger's Gedanken Experiment?

I reckon it would have saved two generations of students from being confused by the ill-considered interpretations of the mathematics of Quantum Mechanics.

Now here's a thought.

If Schrödinger's Cat had been wearing an +Empatica Embrace wristband around its neck, what would that have done to Schrödinger's Gedanken Experiment?

I reckon it would have saved two generations of students from being confused by the ill-considered interpretations of the mathematics of Quantum Mechanics.___

2014-12-15 02:19:34 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Politics is an anti-social drama in which frightened, insecure, and ill-informed characters exchange threatening, confusing, and misleading messages with each other.

Politics is an anti-social drama in which frightened, insecure, and ill-informed characters exchange threatening, confusing, and misleading messages with each other.___

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2014-12-10 14:23:35 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

This week's edition of the BBC World Service Radio Program, "Click," includes a segment (beginning at 16:15 into the 35-minute podcast) on the new Embrace Seizure Alert Wristband from +Empatica.  The segment includes an interview with my colleague from the MIT Media Lab, +Rosalind Picard.

Find this week's Click episode (entitled, "Typhoon Hagupit / OSM; Logan Symposium; Seizure Wristband; Robot World") here:

This week's edition of the BBC World Service Radio Program, "Click," includes a segment (beginning at 16:15 into the 35-minute podcast) on the new Embrace Seizure Alert Wristband from +Empatica.  The segment includes an interview with my colleague from the MIT Media Lab, +Rosalind Picard.

Find this week's Click episode (entitled, "Typhoon Hagupit / OSM; Logan Symposium; Seizure Wristband; Robot World") here:___

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2014-12-08 16:00:08 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Vi Hart, who calls herself a Mathemusician, is a National Treasure.

Here, she offers a remarkable playable model of "Shapism" based on the Nobel Prize winning work of Thomas Schelling.

Vi Hart, who calls herself a Mathemusician, is a National Treasure.

Here, she offers a remarkable playable model of "Shapism" based on the Nobel Prize winning work of Thomas Schelling.___

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2014-11-30 22:32:02 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Empatica continues to garner positive press for their product launch of the innovative Embrace medical sensor.

Empatica continues to garner positive press for their product launch of the innovative Embrace medical sensor.___

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2014-11-30 11:53:59 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?

Have you ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?___

2014-11-28 11:09:11 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

Shreklisch Drama (Abridged Version from RimShot Publications)

Protagonist: You're toxic.

Antagonist: No, you're toxic!

Protagonist: You say I'm a poison? I say you're a poison!

Antagonist: Harrumph.

Protagonist: I'm a poison, you're a poison ...

Antagonist: This must be a poison-to-poison call.

Shreklisch Drama (Abridged Version from RimShot Publications)

Protagonist: You're toxic.

Antagonist: No, you're toxic!

Protagonist: You say I'm a poison? I say you're a poison!

Antagonist: Harrumph.

Protagonist: I'm a poison, you're a poison ...

Antagonist: This must be a poison-to-poison call.___

2014-11-24 11:00:54 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Our nation's politicians range from misguided and pathetic buffoons at best to despicable malefactors at worst.

Our nation's politicians range from misguided and pathetic buffoons at best to despicable malefactors at worst.___

2014-11-21 18:03:30 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

"Sometimes you have a gut feeling that all is not well in our society. But what can one person do? Not much. Not much individually, that is. But together we can purge the system of the rot of social detritus." ~Irving Mazloh-Freen, Founder, American Visceral Society

"Sometimes you have a gut feeling that all is not well in our society. But what can one person do? Not much. Not much individually, that is. But together we can purge the system of the rot of social detritus." ~Irving Mazloh-Freen, Founder, American Visceral Society___

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2014-11-21 00:58:01 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Congratulations to my friend and colleague, +Rosalind Picard, and to her new startup, Empatica, for bringing this innovative medical sensor to market.

Embrace, developed in part by MIT Media Lab’s Rosalind Picard, is a revolutionary technology designed to bring a better lifestyle to people that live with Epilepsy and anyone trying to live a more balanced life. The smartwatch can measure stress, epileptic seizures, activity, and sleep.___Congratulations to my friend and colleague, +Rosalind Picard, and to her new startup, Empatica, for bringing this innovative medical sensor to market.

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2014-11-20 20:11:57 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

My colleagues at the MIT Media Lab report an astounding success at crowdfunding the Embrace medical sensor from their startup, Empatica.

We couldn't be more grateful and proud to reach our #indiegogo   #crowdfunding  target after just 1 day! Without our fans and supporters, this achievement wouldn’t have been possible. So, from all of us here at Empatica, we TRULY THANK YOU for your help, kindness and encouragement! NOW, LET'S GO FOR SETTING A RECORD, TOGETHER! http://bit.ly/EmbraceIG Please continue to help us spread the word of the #EmbraceWatch  and pay-it-forward for those living with chronic diseases, like epilepsy. #payitforward   #poweringroups   #makingadifference   #Empatica   #epilepsy   #epilepsyfoundation  ___My colleagues at the MIT Media Lab report an astounding success at crowdfunding the Embrace medical sensor from their startup, Empatica.

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