Four short links: 14 November 2016

Unmediated Feedback Loops, Glimpses of the Future, Fake Tastes, and The Illusion of Truth

By Nat Torkington
November 14, 2016
  1. Bruce Sterling on the U.S. Election[P]eople really enjoy social media. They much prefer to get their news from grapevines of relatives, friends, and neighbors who think like they do. They even enjoy organizing to go troll the enemy’s commentary. But it destabilizes the stately process of democratic power struggle, in much the way that, say, digital finance disrupts heavy industry. Bursts of popular viral fever appear, but very little statecraft gets accomplished. Old institutions are corroded or abandoned, yet no new ones are built.
  2. 61 Glimpses of the Future (Jan Chipchase) — full of fact-nuggets like: An iPhone box full of fungus caterpillar in Kham Tibet sold wholesale is worth more than a fully specced iPhone. It’s worth 10x at retail in 1st/2nd Tier China. It is a better aphrodisiac, too.
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  4. Face Electrodes Let You Taste and Chew in VR (New Scientist) — uses changes in temperature to mimic the sensation of sweetness on the tongue. The user places the tip of their tongue on a square of thermoelectric elements that are rapidly heated or cooled, hijacking thermally sensitive neurons that normally contribute to the sensory code for taste. In an initial trial, it worked for about half of participants. Some also reported a sensation of spiciness when the device was warmer (around 35°C) and a minty taste when it was cooler (18°C).
  5. How Liars Create the Illusion of Truth (Tom Stafford) — I don’t know why, but I feel like that might be relevant soon.
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