In post-Fukushima policy test, Japan town rallies for nuclear re-start

Children look through windows at their playground as the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) volunteers removed ice and snow and levelled dirt in the ground, at a Miyakoji child care center at Miyakoji area in Tamura, Fukushima prefecture, April 1, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Children look through windows at their playground as the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) volunteers removed ice and snow and levelled dirt in the ground, at a Miyakoji child care center at Miyakoji area in Tamura, Fukushima prefecture, April 1, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Mari Saito, from Reuters, published a great article on the town of Satsumasendai where Kyushu Electric Power Company’s Sendai Nuclear Power Station has been “fast tracked” for restart. Saito-san points out the conflict between the personal economic needs of a small town and concerns about accident possibilities.

Read the full article on Reuters UK: In post-Fukushima policy test, Japan town rallies for nuclear re-start

On the risk of becoming stupid

The pervasiveness of social media and technology in our lives creates a greater risk to our knowledge. As we rely more and more on our computer based algorithms to determine what interests us, we lose our creative ability and becomes slaves to logic and nothing more.

In the 1980s, I used the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or Darpanet, to collaborate with colleagues worldwide. Web browsers did not yet exist, but a text-based program called Lynx allowed us to use the Web programming  language HTML to share and format our work in progress.

Couple texting at the table[...]

One of my old musings was on software agents — the forerunners of the algorithmic approaches Amazon.com, Netflix and others use to offer advice on what you may want to buy, rent or know next. Then, as now, I had a low opinion of computer suggestions.

While the connection with this column’s theme of “technology and society” is obvious, what is the connection with “risk”? Simple. Allowing software to direct our interests increases, by orders of magnitude, the risk of becoming stupid.

Read the full article in the Nikkei Asian Review: On the risk of becoming stupid or download the pdf here.

“What Went Right” by Airi Ryu

What went right

A great article by Airi Ryu, a student from the University of Southern California, appeared today, March 15, in the Japan Times. A longer article was also published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on March 10. And both articles come from a … [Continue reading]

Rebuilding The World

The road forward - Cover of the Nikkei Asian Review

The nice and neat probabilities of a bell curve may work when we discuss height and weight, because the averages of human norms are well measured and accounted for. On the other hand, we do not yet know enough of the variables that go into creating a … [Continue reading]