Digital Digest w.5.2018

I woke up yesterday morning to no electricity. No lights. No heat. No internet. And a declining battery on my cell phone.

My first thought was, “Well, what am I gonna do without internet?!’

It’s interesting how much I depend on it. My life is built around having an internet connection.

It’s almost like it should be one of my unalienable rights…Life, Liberty, the pursuit of Happiness, and reliable internet access.

It’s incredible to think that we live in a day where that is a common belief. The internet has become so pervasive that it’s usually assumed. Like it’s a utility that should be just as available as electricity. Or water.

Should it be?

That’s part of what the whole Net Neutrality debate is about – the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers from self-regulating (speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use). Here’s a quick video explaining what net neutrality is and how it may affect you and me:

What Is net neutrality? (1m video)

On December 14, 2017, the FCC voted to end net neutrality in its current state.

Seth Godin explains how that’s not a good thing and understanding it is not that complicated. He also gives you an action you can take.

The simple truth about net neutrality (1m read)


The internet is a powerful thing. The technology that is possible is even more powerful. I’ve been doing some learning (very little compared to what is out there) about AI – artificial intelligence – and it’s fascinating.

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix about AI company DeepMind’s (owned by Google) efforts to “Solve intelligence.”

Here’s what it’s about: Seemingly simple but deceptively complex, the game of “Go” serves as the backdrop for this battle between artificial intelligence and man.

Alpha Go ( 1h 30m documentary)

We believe this new breakthrough has the potential to facilitate major scientific breakthrough and in doing so drastically change the world for the better.

This is how they describe the importance of their work:

DeepMind is the world leader in artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact.

We’re on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be taught how.

If we’re successful, we believe this will be one of the most important and widely beneficial scientific advances ever made, increasing our capacity to understand the mysteries of the universe and to tackle some of our most pressing real-world challenges. From climate change to the need for radically improved healthcare, too many problems suffer from painfully slow progress, their complexity overwhelming our ability to find solutions. With AI as a multiplier for human ingenuity, those solutions will come into reach.


For another fascinating perspective on AI, I recommend you take a listen to this interview with Tim Ferris and Tim Urban. (By the way, I recommend following the work these guys do. They do use harsh language at times, I wish they didn’t, but if you can move past that, the content is super helpful and interesting)

Managing Procrastination, Predicting the Future, and Finding Happiness (15m listen – minute 41 to minute 56)

To read more about Tim Urban’s research and take on AI – where we are at, what is possible, and what are the ramifications – check out this article: (It’s long, but take it in chunks, and if you’re a nerd like me, you’ll be captivated.)

The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence (36m read)


And speaking of technological advances, this is cool to think about:

Instead of Filling Cavities, Dentists May Soon Regenerate Teeth (5m read)

“A lot of dental treatments are still in the dark ages. It’s time to move on.”


All this talk about AI and our super smart technology reminds me of this story in Scripture. No matter how smart humans and the technology we create gets, our Creator is still all-powerful and in control.

At one time, the whole Earth spoke the same language. It so happened that as they moved out of the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled down.

They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and fire them well.” They used brick for stone and tar for mortar.

Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous so we won’t be scattered here and there across the Earth.”

God came down to look over the city and the tower those people had built.

God took one look and said, “One people, one language; why, this is only a first step. No telling what they’ll come up with next—they’ll stop at nothing! Come, we’ll go down and garble their speech so they won’t understand each other.” Then God scattered them from there all over the world. And they had to quit building the city. That’s how it came to be called Babel, because there God turned their language into “babble.” From there God scattered them all over the world.

Genesis 11

 


Share your finds!
Come across something interesting or helpful? Reply to this email or hit me up at @jj9delacruz.

 

The Digital Digest is a weekly email sharing a few hand-selected articles, videos, or podcasts you may find interesting and helpful, from what I’m learning in my pursuit to follow Jesus fully and lead well in our digital world.
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