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lundi 6 décembre 2021

## 5 philosophical short stories for xmas

Time for a humble present, here are five philosophical short stories.

Isaac Asimov's The Last Question describes the world as a computer, or does it.

Daniel Dennett's Where am I takes Putnam's brain in a vat thought experiment to the next level.

Ursulas Le Guin's The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is a tale of a city and its inhabitants.

Jorge Luis Borges' Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius is a literary labyrinth with broken paths.

Howard P. Lovecraft's Ex Oblivione is a mellow experience.

vendredi 19 novembre 2021

## The possibility of a hyperstition

According to Nick Land, hyperstition is a positive feedback circuit including culture as a component. It can be defined as the experimental (techno-)science of self-fulfilling prophecies. Superstitions are merely false beliefs, but hyperstitions – by their very existence as ideas – function causally to bring about their own reality.

lundi 2 août 2021

## Hedged Yield Farming as a Service

With Decentralized Finance (DeFi) attracting more and more users as globalization of liquidity empowers protocols to offer higher returns than legacy (TradFi) finance, this draft describes a potential financial business "Hedged Yield Farming as a Service" whose aim is to offer profits to customers by investing funds into high-APY crypto pools or farms in a market-neutral way.

lundi 26 juillet 2021

## The White Door

The White Door is the latest game by Rusty Lake. A rabbit hole actually.

vendredi 7 mai 2021

## The possibility of an extitution

The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you are supposed to go up. And down when you’re supposed to go down. When you’re supposed to go up find the highest tower and climb to the top. When your are supposed to go down find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997)

In Feÿ Castle (Burgundy, France) there is a well, a deep well. One of the kind which makes you realize: it would be a great idea to bury a time capsule at the very bottom.

Gravity law is hard, but it is the law.

Living for a few days with the Feÿtopian tribe in the Feÿ Castle is akin to an immersion inside a a strange mix between a digital Kibbutz, Abbaye de Thélème, and Rusty Lake.

Just to illustrate this, the utopian Thelemite motto in Rabelais’ Gargantua Faÿ ce que vouldras (do what you’ll wish) leads to a fringe and tempting theory: the name Feÿ is simply a disguised version of Faÿ, and this very naming is a purposeful indication that it was always in the mind of the founders that this noble castle should at a later stage become a phalanstery.

Mr Crow and Mr Deer from Rusty Lake.

Living in the Feÿ community brings a number of interrogations, as people do their best to be kind one to eachother.

Great public benefits arise from private virtues but isn’t it true that greater public benefits arise from private vices, as Mandeville described in the Fable of the Bees? Probably this is a question of dimension, of critical size.

On the Feÿ domain stands a beautiful forest. Sometimes the color tone can transition from spring green to viridian. Sometimes it is also easy to get stranded or floored there, however with lysergic power comes lysergic responsibility and collective nurturing helps prevent such fate to happen. Sometimes in the forest the infamous Codex Serafinianus helps to remind why Nature imitates Art. Sometimes in the forest you can see the music of the spheres.

Now it becomes a bit clearer. Individual oscillate in life, and one of the purpose of communities is to enter a collective mode of vibration. In other words, resonance. This is also what religion has been trying to achieve. Religion, seen as a collective hallucination or as a collective realization or as a collective construction (whatever the difference between the three might be).

Did I say “opium”? Sorry I meant “acid”. --Karl Marx

And here comes the Elephant in the forest.

A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: "We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable". So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. The first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said, "This being is like a thick snake". For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said the elephant, "is a wall". Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear.

Now it becomes clearer: the concept of extitution is here to enhance the perceptual set of social groups and communities, and therefore to act on them.

If tokens can be considered as bottom-up, extitutional currencies, is a related point to consider.

A challenge of adulthood is: how to move oneself gracefully in the fluid of life? In “The possibility of an Island”, the author quotes Arthur Schopenhauer: "human existence resembles a theatre performance which, begun by living actors, is ended by automatons dressed in the same costumes."

So it might be the case that extitutions offer to transform into life magicians.

Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. And here’s Tom with the weather. --Bill Hicks

In conclusion, after spending a few days in the Feÿ Castle for an extitutional workshop, and acknowledging its spiritual gravity, one can ask: is it an autotelic journey, or is it for higher purposes?

But of course, one can ask the same question for their life: is life autotelic or for higher purposes?

vendredi 19 février 2021

## Lucid

This short entry is not about CCIV but is meant to inform of a real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep.

jeudi 4 février 2021

## Galois theory

Today, the best thing to do is probably to (re-)study Galois theory.

Here is a great online Galois theory course by Richard E. Borcherds (Fields medal).

jeudi 17 décembre 2020

## A bishop walks into a bar

and walks straight up to the bartender who shouts, “Hey pal! You can’t do that! Bishops can only move diagonally!"

For The Queen's Gambit fans, here is a recent game: Daniil Dubov vs Sergei Karjakin, Russian Championship Superfinal 2020, commented by agadmator.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. b4 Bb6 7. e5 Ne4 8. Bd5 Nxc3 9. Nxc3 dxc3 10. Bg5 Ne7 11. O-O h6 12. Bh4 O-O 13. Re1 Qe8 14. Bb3 a5 15. Bf6 a4 16. Bc4 Ng6 17. Qd3 d5 18. exd6 Be6 19. Qxg6 fxg6 20. Rxe6 Qf7 21. Bxc3 Kh8 22. Re4 Qf5 23. Re7 Rg8 24. Bxg8 Rxg8 25. dxc7 Qc2 26. Be5 Bxf2+ 27. Kh1 Bb6 28. h3 Kh7 29. Re1 a3 30. Kh2 g5 31. Nd4 Qc4 32. Nf5 Qxb4 33. Rc1 Kg6 34. Rxg7+ Kxf5 35. Rxg8 Bxc7 36. Bxc7 Qb2 37. Rc5+ Ke4 38. Rd8 1-0

vendredi 27 novembre 2020

## Why Bitcoin matters

Does Bitcoin really matter?

vendredi 22 mai 2020

## Kalsarikänni Times or A Path to A Societal Apax

During these challenging C19 times, people stay at home and, as in The Little Prince, drink to forget. Now, because they are at home, no need do dress formally, or better, no need to dress at all.

The Finnish language has a word for that: Kalsarikänni (it describes the specific Scandinavian behavior consisting in absorbing alcoholic beverages in order to of get drunk at home in underwear).

Now, this word is not immediatly translatable, as its meaning is unique to the Finnish language. Any direct linguistic transposition would be lost in translation.

A gamified way to discover such words and expressions is the Sticky Terms application by Philipp Stollenmayer.

Tenants of the weak Sapir-Whorf hypothesis could even argue that untranslatable words from a language embody its spirit.

Now, let's see another facet. What is the common feature shared among the Hebrew words Gevina (cheese), Zechuchith (glass), and Sfarad (Spanish)?

These words appear exactly once in the Tanach (the Bible, to simplify), hence they are difficult to translate.

In linguistics, words appearing with only one occurrence within a corpus (such as the Old Testament, or the literary writings from an author) are called apax legomenon (from ancient Greek άπαξ λεγόμενον, "told once").

Because of its unicity, an apax is somehow a separation, a cut within a text. There is a before, and an after. Like the inverted nuns (׆) in the Torah (Numbers 10:35–36).

The musicologist Wladimir Jankelevitch extends this notion of linguistic apax (single occurence of a peculiar term within a literary corpus) or semantic apax (unique meaning of a term within a peculiar context) to the one of existential apax.

The original essence of this concept is that every moment in a life is an apax. It is a frame, unique, and therefore needs to be enjoyed and cherished.

A variation of the existential apax is that when a once-in-a-lifetime event occurs, it might lead to internal realization and dramatic changes in life. For example, for an individual, the emergence of a disease such as cancer can lead to definitive priority shifting.

But one could also imagine a collective version.

Despite all negative consequences, Covid-19 might arise as a societal apax.

lundi 27 avril 2020

## Srinivasa Ramanujan 1887-1920

These results must be true, because, if they were not true, no one would have the imagination to invent them.

G.H. Hardy on Ramanujan

lundi 24 février 2020

## Attack of the Drone

Years after Tempest, an epic IT security tale is now three years old.

jeudi 14 mars 2019

## pi Day

A treat for pi day (3.14).

Happy π day!

jeudi 29 novembre 2018

## Bohemian Chanukah

Is this real life? Is this just fantasy? No, it's Six13's Chanukah tribute to one of the greatest and most epic songs of all time. Ready, Freddie? Kindle the lights, remember the Maccabees, and rock on.

lundi 22 octobre 2018

## Stacker, the illusion of control

Stacker is a popular arcade game designed and manufactured by LAI games and commercialized by entertainment distribution companies[1]. It is a successor of Claw cranes.

The goal of the game is to align rows of moving blocks on top of each other. A player who can stack eleven rows will win a minor prize, which is usually low in value, sometimes lower in value than the amount of money the player paid to play the game. A player who gets to the top row wins a major prize. The major prize varies from machine but will often include game consoles, cellular phones, and MP3 players.

The gameplay is the following. There is a row of three cubes which move side to side on the screen, at the first row. When the player pushes the start/stop button, the row of squares will stop. Then, another row of three moving squares appears above the previous row, moving faster than the one before it. If the squares do not align directly above the previous set, any overhanging squares will be removed. If the player misses completely, the game is over. The number of available squares is automatically reduced to two, then one, during the game. The goal is to consistently get the squares directly above the previous set, "stacking" them to the minor prize and ultimately major prize levels.

In a typical game, what is observed is the following. The player easily manages to get to the minor prize level, refuses it and carries on. At this point three consecutive successful moves lead to winning a major prize. But from now on, the unit to align with the stack is a single block. Usually if the player is focused enough, he achieves to stack the next block and the penultimate one, however stacking the last one fails by a very small fraction. As a result the player loses his coin. And because he was so close to win, he might want to try again, with the same outcome.

The most interesting part is the last step, the one leading in general to a game loss.

Why does the so far very skilled player lose at the last step? Is it the pressure of winning a phone? The answer is: because the last step is different. It looks the same as the previous ones, but it is not.

Pressing the stop button while the last single block is displayed at the correct position does not necessarily leads to a win. In fact most of the times it leads to a loss, and a posteriori the block is displayed mis-aligned with the stack. Only in certain specific cases a win will be obtained.

LAI Games Stacker operator's manual describe all the internal parameters the owner can set to configure the machine. One of these operators is "P10 = Skill Setting (Major price)", whose description is (Default 8) (Adjustable 1 – 10) This option sets the Skill level for players to reach the Major Prize level, as listed in the table below. As this is a skill game the win rate is only the approximate rate for each difficulty setting. Follows then the corresponding options, with P10 = 1 implying approx 1 win in 20 games, whereas P10 = 10 implying approx 1 win in 800 games. This parameter does not affect the displayed game at all, "P08 = Cube Speed" is a different parameter.

In practice, Stacker behaves as the following. For the sake of simplicity, let's imagine that all players are super skilled (they always press the stop button when the last block is correctly aligned), and that P10 = 8 (approx 1 win in 400 games). Instead of having all players win, only 1 over 400 will win. How to achieve this? Once could propose to throw a 400-side dice to decide if a game is a win, but the skill aspect of the game would be instantaneously lost. A more elegant way to do it is to define ''concretely winning states" as a subset of "appearantly winning states", like the following pseudo-code does:

if block is well aligned:
if internal_timer_in nanoseconds % 400 == 0:
proceed to winning
else if stop_button was pressed before block_duration / 2:
move displayed_block to previously_displayed_block
else:
move displayed_block to next_to_be_displayed_block
proceed to losing


This is compatible with purported LAI's statement that Stacker is "100% a game of skill and although it is very difficult, every game played can be a winning game".

However, this theoretically skill game is in practice a luck game, so Stacker is practically a gambling machine. This great video comes to the same conclusion for another arcade game, Cyclone.

Psychologically, having the player close to winning but finally losing is part of the design of this arcade game. Stacker operator's manual describes the machine as a bright and attractive display, simple but exciting game play and a real “Ahh! Just missed” feeling. Indeed the player can see that he was very close, and the belief that the loss is due only to a very tiny amount of bad luck triggers the envy to replay with the confidence to be more accurate next time and win. In reality it can be said that the progressive feelings of self-esteem building with the initial successes, frustration while losing by a near-miss, and hope while deciding to replay, have been entirely engineered by the game designers. You see a game that you control, you live a game who controls you.

Let's conclude with LAI Games' motto: Fun and Profits Go Hand-in hand.

#### Note

[1] Stacker is not commercialized anymore. It has been superceded by Mega stacker, with tips to buyers to improve its performance (i.e. revenue).

mercredi 11 avril 2018

## The dark side of technology II

After the dark side of chocolate and the dark side of intelligence, here is the second part of The dark side of technology, aka Charlie Brooker's third season of the mini-series Black Mirror.

• 3x01 - Nosedive - A funny trip to a high-class wedding, or a dive inside a world where your personal online score is a real-life access key. Themes: social media, peer pressure, virtual life, online scores.

• 3x02 ★ - Playtest - An American traveler short on cash signs up to test a new gaming system using a revolutionary implant. Themes: VR, entertainment, game, experiments, memory, fear.

• 3x03 ★ - Shut Up and Dance - Kenny's fun suddenly turns into a blackmail situation involving allying with a strange individual. Themes: privacy, blackmail.

• 3x04 - San Junipero - A transcendental connection between two girls. Themes: bonding, party, VR.

• 3x05 - Men Against Fire - Some soldiers, some mutants, a war. Themes: eugenics, perception, brain.

• 3x06 ★ - Hated in the Nations - In near-future London, police detective Karin Parke, and her tech-savvy sidekick Blue, investigate a string of mysterious deaths with a sinister link to social media. Themes: democracy, death, social media, drones.

Best episodes are starred.

vendredi 21 avril 2017

## My shoes

Is the grass greener on the other side?

My shoes

Who knows?

mercredi 8 mars 2017

## The CIA Test

The CIA Test

In one single word, what did the former US president John Fitzgerald Kennedy want to do to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)?

jeudi 18 février 2016

## Mental Poker

Playing mental poker is a difficult problem for a number of reasons. The foremost reason is that it is impossible, a result due to Shamir, Rivest and Adleman[1].

G.R. Blakley and D. Chaum

During Lift16, Ethereum / Consensys presented a number of very promising projects.

Almost all of these projects are based on a mysterious entity called the blockchain. More precisely, not the Bitcoin blockchain, but a private blockchain called the Ethereum blockchain.

Then was a gambling-related project: etherPoker.

etherPoker is advertised as a blockchain-connected provably fair online poker game. The underlying mechanism is based on mental poker, a term coined by RSA's creators, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman.

Provably fair dice, a popular extension of online coin-flipping (bit commitment) works as such:

1. a server seed is generated and its hash is provided to the client
2. the player inputs a client seed
3. a nonce (number of times that the server seed has been used) enters the game
4. the player chooses a winning range
5. a magic number deterministically created from the server seed, the client seed, and the nonce is computed
6. if the magic number falls in the winning range, the player wins
7. the nonce is incremented for the next round
8. the player can verify his numbers by asking the server to reveal the server seed

In poker, an algorithm for shuffling cards using commutative encryption would be as follows:

1. Alice and Bob agree on a certain "deck" of cards. In practice, this means they agree on a set of numbers or other data such that each element of the set represents a card.
2. Alice picks an encryption key A and uses this to encrypt each card of the deck.
3. Alice shuffles the cards.
4. Alice passes the encrypted and shuffled deck to Bob. With the encryption in place, Bob cannot know which card is which.
5. Bob picks an encryption key B and uses this to encrypt each card of the encrypted and shuffled deck.
6. Bob shuffles the deck.
7. Bob passes the double encrypted and shuffled deck back to Alice.
8. Alice decrypts each card using her key A. This still leaves Bob's encryption in place though so she cannot know which card is which.
9. Alice picks one encryption key for each card (A1, A2, etc.) and encrypts them individually.
10. Alice passes the deck to Bob.
11. Bob decrypts each card using his key B. This still leaves Alice's individual encryption in place though so he cannot know which card is which.
12. Bob picks one encryption key for each card (B1, B2, etc.) and encrypts them individually.
13. Bob passes the deck back to Alice.
14. Alice publishes the deck for everyone playing (in this case only Alice and Bob, see below on expansion though).

To play poker with bitcoins, the new Seals With Clubs poker site is: SWCpoker.

#### Note

[1] A. Shamir, R. Rivest, and L. Adleman, Mental Poker, Technical Report LCS/TR-125, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, April 1979

mardi 9 février 2016

## Lift 2016

This week will take place the Lift16 conference in Geneva (see also last years' entries: Lift15, Lift 14).

Selected sessions:

Blockchain Technology Beyond Bitcoin - From art to science, law, politics and innovation, what unexpected and disruptive opportunities does the blockchain technology open? Since its open-source release in 2009, the blockchain has expanded from a public ledger recording money transactions for Bitcoin into an accountability system with features for performance, anonymity, storage and smart contracts. What lies beyond the distributed and trusted protocol that runs the most used decentralized cryptocurrency in the world? This session will explore the realm of possibility for the blockchain, beyond Bitcoin.

Enter the Anti-Disciplinary Space - Our world is complex. How are we to tackle problems that only get harder? Complex questions require the know-how from different fields, cultures and perspectives. We need to collaborate and experiment in-between and beyond set boundaries until new ideas emerge. Putting designers, artists, technologists, and researchers together in a ‘free space’ is a great start. Though, we need people who do not fit in any box - strange animals if you will - who are able to change the way we look at things. Who are these adventurers who challenge our concepts of creation and what can we learn from them?

Selected breakouts:

Deep Dive into the Blockchain - During this two-hour hype-free workshop, experts will take you through the pros and cons of the blockchain, and demystify how this technology actually works, before digging into how smart contracts will eventually be enforced in the physical world. Keeping the techno-jargon to a minimum, Clement Epie and Stephan Tual will take you through the advantages of Blockchain over existing technologies, what could potentially be replaced by blockchains, its future prospects and market impact as well as which industries could be disrupted first. Following up will be Christoph and Simon Jentzsch going into how exactly the Blockchain functions, how to write smart contracts, as well as give you an overview of the various tools available today to build on top of Blockchain technology. We will keep a pragmatic approach, covering for example how you could use the Blockchain to directly rent your apartment or office space, without third parties. Finally we'll have an extensive Q&A exploring the pros and cons of this new technology, where it makes sense to use blockchain, where it doesn't, and touch on questions of standardisation, regulations and what could bring blockchain to the mainstream.

Sustainable By Design: implementing new performance metrics for innovative projects and enterprises? - How to reorient corporate activity and innovation towards sustainability? Can we natively measure financial performance together with environmental performance? What new, accessible and common indicators, accounting methods and tools, and reporting mechanisms can we design to help in that process? This workshop, co-designed by the Transitions2 network and the MIT Climate CoLab, invites participants who believe that environmental and economic performance should now be measured simultaneously and given a similar importance - and are interested in discussing how this could be achieved in real life. Its concrete outcome could be the launch of one of the Climate CoLab's "contests", harnessing the collective intelligence of thousands of people from all around the world to create, analyze, and select detailed proposals to make innovation "sustainable by design".

The Creative Power of IMPROV-Theatre! - IMPROV-Theatre is a fun way to boost your creativity by making full use of your body, voice, mind, soul and your emotions. IMPROV enables you to reach new levels of Out-of–the-Box ideas AND experiences by one simple rule: radical acceptance! There is no “NO”! EVERYTHING is allowed and expandable!. This workshop gives IMPROV-Newbies a chance to learn a whole set of practical techniques and exercises which provide for exciting and creative trips into a world of instantaneous new stories, amazing plots and pure playful joy. And also experienced IMPROV players might learn a few new tricks. Enjoy a fresh unobstructed view on multiple realities. Fun guaranteed!

Bringing Narrative into Science Education with Virtual Reality - Dive deep into the field of Science Storytelling with Neal Hartman and several participants of the Storytelling Science VR Hackathon, recently organized by CineGlobe in partnership with Festival Tous Ecrans and supported by the Lift. Behind all good communication, and therefore education, lies good storytelling; this workshop will show how this rule applies to science as well, and give examples of great science storytelling projects. Hear from participants of the VR Hackathon how they approached the challenge of bringing narrative into education of a scientific nature, and then brainstorm your own science-education narratives in groups guided by the creators. The workshop will also discuss some of the ins and outs of making VR projects for immersive headsets like the Oculus Rift.

See you there!

lundi 14 décembre 2015

## Living life backwards

In my next life I want to live my life backwards.

You start out dead and get that out of the way.

Then you wake up in an old people’s home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day.

You work for 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school.

You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born.

And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!

(Woody Allen)

vendredi 28 août 2015

## Towards a loophole-free Bell experiment

For those of you interested in Einstein's spooky action at distance / EPR paradox, or in device-independent quantum key distribution (QKD) / random number generation (QRNG), a paper published this week, Experimental loophole-free violation of a Bell inequality using entangled electron spins separated by 1.3 km might be of interest, as the authors state having performed a violation of a Bell inequality free from both detection and locality loopholes. See also the comment in Nature.

Addendum (December 2015): published paper (Nature) and Alain Aspect's viewpoint on the APS website.

lundi 6 juillet 2015

## Printing booklets

For the record, here is the page order to print a brochure (A5 booklet) from a A4/letter documents (2 pages per sheet, landscape orientation, with short-edge border if in duplex mode). It might be applied to staroffice/openoffice/libreoffice, ms-word, and PDF documents.

• 1-4 pages

single: 4,1 / 2,3
reverse: 4,1 / 2,3
duplex: 4,1,2,3

• 5-8 pages

single: 8,1,6,3 / 2,7,4,5
reverse: 8,1,6,3 / 4,5,2,7
duplex: 8,1,2,7,6,3,4,5

• 9-12 pages

single: 12,1,10,3,8,5 / 2,11,4,9,6,7
reverse: 12,1,10,3,8,5 / 6,7,4,9,2,11
duplex: 12,1,2,11,10,3,4,9,8,5,6,7

• 13-16 pages

single: 16,1,14,3,12,5,10,7 / 2,15,4,13,6,11,8,9
reverse: 16,1,14,3,12,5,10,7 / 8,9,6,11,4,13,2,15
duplex: 16,1,2,15,14,3,4,13,12,5,6,11,10,7,8,9

• 17-20 pages

single: 20,1,18,3,16,5,14,7,12,9 / 2,19,4,17,6,15,8,13,10,11
reverse: 20,1,18,3,16,5,14,7,12,9 / 10,11,8,13,6,15,4,17,2,19
duplex: 20,1,2,19,18,3,4,17,16,5,6,15,14,7,8,13,12,9,10,11

• 21-24 pages

single: 24,1,22,3,20,5,18,7,16,9,14,11 / 2,23,4,21,6,19,8,17,10,15,12,13
reverse: 24,1,22,3,20,5,18,7,16,9,14,11 / 12,13,10,15,8,17,6,19,4,21,2,23
duplex: 24,1,2,23,22,3,4,21,20,5,6,19,18,7,8,17,16,9,10,15,14,11,12,13

• 25-28 pages

single: 28,1,26,3,24,5,22,7,20,9,18,11,16,13 / 2,27,4,25,6,23,8,21,10,19,12,17,14,15
reverse: 28,1,26,3,24,5,22,7,20,9,18,11,16,13 / 14,15,12,17,10,19,8,21,6,23,4,25,2,27
duplex: 28,1,2,27,26,3,4,25,24,5,6,23,22,7,8,21,20,9,10,19,18,11,12,17,16,13,14,15

• 29-32 pages

single: 32,1,30,3,28,5,26,7,24,9,22,11,20,13,18,15 / 2,31,4,29,6,27,8,25,10,23,12,21,14,19,16,17
reverse: 32,1,30,3,28,5,26,7,24,9,22,11,20,13,18,15 / 16,17,14,19,12,21,10,23,8,25,6,27,4,29,2,31
duplex: 32,1,2,31,30,3,4,29,28,5,6,27,26,7,8,25,24,9,10,23,22,11,12,21,20,13,14,19,18,15,16,17

lundi 4 mai 2015

## The art of presentation

A few references to help you with storytelling and slide design should you have a presentation to make.

Not extremely new but still good books: Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story (2003), by Jerry Weissman, and its sequel Winning strategies for power presentations : Jerry Weissman delivers lessons from the world's best presenters (2013) introduce among other ideas the concept of WIIFY (What's In It For You).

TED talk: 10 tips for better slide decks, aka "10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea":

Big picture:

1. Think about your slides last. - Too often, I see slide decks that feel more like presenter notes, but I think it’s far more effective when the slides are for the audience to give them a visual experience that adds to the words.
2. Create a consistent look and feel.
4. With text, less is almost always more.
5. Use photos that enhance meaning.

And now some tactical tips…

1. Go easy on the effects and transitions. .
2. Use masking to direct attention in images.
3. Try panning large images.
4. For video, don’t use autoplay.'
5. Reproduce simple charts and graphs.

and the end: a couple book recommendations. The first is Resonate, by Nancy Duarte. It’s not so much about slides, but about public speaking in general – which is the foundation for any presentation, regardless of how great your slides are. In it, she breaks down the anatomy of what makes a great presentation, how to establish a central message and structure your talk, and more. (One of her case studies comes from Benjamin Zander’s charming TED Talk about classical music, a talk that captivated the audience from start to finish.) Think of this as prerequisite reading for [a] second recommendation, also by Duarte: Slide:ology. This is more focused on presentation visuals and slides.

Slideshare presentation: 8 tips for an awesome powerpoint presentation

1. F-ck normality, don't use templates, create your own design, let your creativity flow..
2. Colors are nice, play with colors, fond your like, contrast is your friend.
3. Use good fonts.
4. Text is evil, let your slides breathe.
5. Images say more than a thousand words.
6. BIg is beautiful, think Big, think Bold, think Bam. View every slide as an ad.
7. Infographics are amazing.
8. Get inspired.

mardi 7 avril 2015

## Choose Bitcoin

lundi 9 mars 2015

## 10 funny TED talks

Great TED Talks illuminate an idea. Sometimes, they do it while making you laugh. These talks will bring a smile to your face. Please note: Vigorous debate ensued among our staff about which talks to include. So we hope you’ll find something for every sense of humor.

Here are the funniest TED talks!

jeudi 12 février 2015

## Lunar Baboon

Time.

Variation. Comic Strip: Lunar Baboon

lundi 2 février 2015

## Lift 2015

This week will take place the Lift15 conference in Geneva (see also last year's entry: Lift14).

Selected talks:

Frederic Jacobs - The internet is insecure. Our phones are insecure. Pretty much anything we use to communicate is, after all, insecure, to some degree. And every time engineers try to make things more secure, they get amazingly complex and hard to use rather soon. But there are exceptions, and some of the most important such exceptions of the last years are TextSecure, Signal and RedPhone, mobile apps for free secure phone calls and text messages - all developed by Frederic and the team around him. After a huge wave of media attention and the recommendation of his apps by Edward Snowden himself, Frederic is currently working on his next big thing.

Stefan Thomas - Stefan Thomas wants to live in a world where currency moves as frictionlessly as information. As CTO of Ripple Labs, backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Google Venture, Stefan Thomas is helping to build an Internet protocol that does just that. Prior to Ripple Labs, he developed vast experience in digital currencies, being both the founder of, WeUseCoins.com, the largest website for novice Bitcoin users,and the creator of BitcoinJS, a software package used by a wide range of Bitcoin businesses all over the world. Now, at Ripple Labs, his overarching motivation is to weave a global value web by making it easy for developers - from individual entrepreneurs to financial institutions - to build extremely efficient money transfer systems using the Ripple protocol, and, in the end, a world in which exchanging value is as frictionless, free and fast as exchanging information.

Selected workshops:

Mapping the Most Powerful Companies in the World with Open Data - Company information is often not available and when it is, it is buried under hard-to-use websites and PDFs. Fortunately, the work of the open data and transparency community has brought a tide of change. OpenCorporates is the world’s largest open database of companies. We have information on over 70 million companies in 80 jurisdictions worldwide. With a million data points added every week, we have a great opportunity to use this open data to map corporate networks. We have launched a tool, aptly named Octopus, to allow crowdsourcing of corporate networks. Already, OpenOil has mapped the incredibly complex network of BP and Global Witness, TED Prize winner have used it to investigate Anonymous Companies. The results are surprising.

Crowdfunding Science - Everybody loves new science and technology. But why can only scientists and engineers be part of the fun of discovering or inventing new stuff? Because science is difficult, dangerous and expensive. Or is it really? Could crowdfunding be a new way of supporting exceptional people who have an idea and need some money to test it? Science and innovation do not always require big investments. They require solutions and people who communicate them to society. Crowdfunding Science will give you the opportunity to explore and design a platform to support future citizen driven discoveries.

Designing Alternative Currency Systems: How, for What Purpose and How to set the Rules? - A short round table discussion with examples of global, local and crypto-backed alternative currency systems followed by the opportunity to design your own for-purpose currency. It is strongly recommended that you look into the history of money before you attend the session by watching at least the 7 minute video “The essence of money".

New techniques in science storytelling - Ever wonder how storytelling can be applied to “non-narrative” concepts, especially those of technical or scientific nature? Join us for a special Masterclass that reveals novel narrative techniques in science communication, from dark matter to climate change, and even the scientific concept of emergence.

See you there!

mardi 13 janvier 2015

## The dark side of technology

After the dark side of chocolate and the dark side of intelligence, here is evoked the dark side of technology, explored by Charlie Brooker's mini-series Black Mirror.

• 1x01 ★ - The National Anthem - Upon the abduction of the Queen's daughter, a mysterious kidnapper has a bizarre request. Themes: social media, peer pressure, utilitarianism.

• 1x02 ★ - Fifteen Million Merits - In a world where low-rank people operate bikes to power their environment, there is one escape: a X-factor-like TV contest. Or is there? Themes: TV show, entertainment, systems, rebellion, purpose.

• 1x03 - The Entire History of You - In these days most of people are equipped with a device recording their life, and can at any moment replay or share any part from its databank. Trust issues arise within a hi-tech couple as the wife refuses to show some episodes of her own past. Themes: device implantation, privacy, openness, augmented reality, memory.

• 2x01 - Be Right Back - The sudden death of her husband leads a woman to use a new online service that lets people stay in touch with a virtual version of the deceased. Themes: death, memory, IA, social media.

• 2x02 - White Bear - A woman wakes up only to find herself and a bunch of allies chased by costumed characters, while ordinary people record the hunt on their smartphones. Flashes trigger blurry memory flashbacks. Themes: memory, justice.

• 2x03 - The Waldo Moment - The rise of a virtual candidate and the fall of its human interpreter. Themes: political campaigns, social medias.

• Special ★ - White Christmas - A 3-part dialog in a wooden outpost of two men sharing their troubled past. Themes: memory, augmented reality, coaching, slavery.

Best episodes are starred.

vendredi 3 octobre 2014

## The Yom Kippur Drunk

(as told by Yanki Tauber)

Those who arrived early at the village synagogue on Yom Kippur eve could not but notice the man sleeping in a corner. His soiled clothes, and the strong scent of alcohol that hovered about him, attested to the cause of his slumber at this early hour. A Jew drunk on the eve of the Holy Day? Several of the congregants even suggested that the man be expelled from the synagogue.

Soon the room filled to overflowing, mercifully concealing the sleeping drunk from all but those who stood in his immediate vicinity. As the sun made to dip below the horizon, a hush descended upon the crowd. The Rebbe entered the room and made his way to his place at the eastern wall. At a signal from the Rebbe, the ark was opened, and the gabbai began taking out the Torah scrolls in preparation for the Kol Nidrei service.

This was the moment that the drunk chose to rise from his slumber, climb the steps to the raised reading platform in the center of the room, pound on the reading table, and announce: "Ne'um attah horeita!" Apparently, the crowded room, Torah scrolls being carried out of the open ark, seen through a drunken haze, appeared to the man as the beginning of hakafot on Simchat Torah! The drunk was confusing the most solemn moment of the year with its most joyous and high-spirited occasion.

The scandalized crowd was about to eject the man from the room when the Rebbe turned from the wall and said: "Let him be. For him, it's already time for hakafot. He's there already."

On the following evening, as the Rebbe sat with his chassidim at the festive meal that follows the fast, he related to them the story of Reb Shmuel, the Kol Nidrei drunk.

On the morning of the eve of the Holy Day, Reb Shmuel had heard of a Jew who, together with his wife and six small children, had been imprisoned for failing to pay the rent on the establishment he held on lease from the local nobleman. Reb Shmuel went to the nobleman to plead for their release, but the nobleman was adamant in his refusal. "Until I see every penny that is owed to me," he swore, "the Jew and his family stay where they are. Now get out of here before I unleash my dogs on you."

"I cannot allow a Jewish family to languish in a dungeon on Yom Kippur," resolved Reb Shmuel and set out to raise the required sum, determined to achieve their release before sunset.

All day, he went from door to door. People gave generously to a fellow Jew in need, but by late afternoon Reb Shmuel was still 300 rubles short of the required sum. Where would he find such a large sum of money at this late hour? Then he passed a tavern and saw a group of well-dressed young men sitting and drinking. A card-game was underway, and a sizable pile of banknotes and gold and silver coins had already accumulated on the table.

At first he hesitated to approach them at all: what could one expect from Jews who spend the eve of the Holy Day drinking and gambling in a tavern? But realizing that they were his only hope, he approached their table and told them of the plight of the imprisoned family.

They were about to send him off empty-handed, when one of them had a jolly idea: wouldn't it be great fun to get a pious Jew drunk on Yom Kippur? Signaling to a waiter, the man ordered a large glass of vodka. "Drink this down in one gulp," he said to the Reb Shmuel, "and I'll give you 100 rubles."

Reb Shmuel looked from the glass that had been set before him to the sheaf of banknotes that the man held under his nose. Other than a sip of l'chayim on Shabbat and at weddings, Reb Shmuel drank only twice a year - on Purim and Simchat Torah, when every chassid fuels the holy joy of these days with generous helpings of inebriating drink so that the body should rejoice along with the soul. And the amount of vodka in this glass - actually, it more resembled a pitcher than a glass - was more than he would consume on both those occasions combined. Reb Shmuel lifted the glass and drank down its contents.

"Bravo!" cried the man, and handed him the 100 rubles. "But this is not enough," said Reb Shmuel, his head already reeling from the strong drink. "I need another 200 rubles to get the poor family out of prison!"

"A deal's a deal!" cried the merrymakers. "One hundred rubles per glass! Waiter! Please refill this glass for our drinking buddy!"

Two liters and two hundred rubles later, Reb Shmuel staggered out of the tavern. His alcohol-fogged mind was oblivious to all - the stares of his fellow villagers rushing about in their final preparations for the Holy Day, the ferocious barking of the nobleman's dogs, the joyous tears and profusions of gratitude of the ransomed family - except to the task of handing over the money to the nobleman and finding his way to the synagogue. For he knew that if he first went home for something to eat before the fast, he would never make it to shul for Kol Nidrei.

"On Rosh HaShanah," the Rebbe concluded his story, "we submitted to the sovereignty of Heaven and proclaimed G-d king of the universe. Today, we fasted, prayed and repented, laboring to translate our commitment to G-d into a refined past and an improved future. Now we are heading towards Sukkot, in which we actualize and rejoice over the attainments of the 'Days of Awe' through the special mitzvot of the festival -- a joy that reaches its climax in the hakafot of Simchat Torah. But Reb Shmuel is already there. When he announced the beginning of hakafot at Kol Nidrei last night, this was no 'mistake.' For us, Yom Kippur was just beginning; for him, it was already Simchat Torah...."