Human Extinction Is Extremely Likely: Scientists

And people don’t seem all that bothered by the possibility.

Kristin Houser of Futurism –

Forget for a moment nuclear weapons, biological warfare, and the slew of other ways humanity could cause its own destruction.

If you take into account only naturally occurring phenomena — supervolcanic eruptions, asteroid impacts, and the like — researchers from the University of Oxford recently determined that the probability of our entire species going extinct in any given year is as high as one in 14,000.

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Posted in Controversial, Death

European Public Opinion Three Decades After the Fall of Communism

Most embrace democracy and the EU, but many worry about the political and economic future

Richard Wike, Jacob Poushter, Laura Silver, Kat Devlin, Janell Fetterolf, Alexandra Castillo and Christine Huang of Pew Research –

Thirty years ago, a wave of optimism swept across Europe as walls and regimes fell, and long-oppressed publics embraced open societies, open markets and a more united Europe. Three decades later, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that few people in the former Eastern Bloc regret the monumental changes of 1989-1991.

Yet, neither are they entirely content with their current political or economic circumstances. Indeed, like their Western European counterparts, substantial shares of Central and Eastern European citizens worry about the future on issues like inequality and the functioning of their political systems.

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Posted in Europe, Pew Research, polls

Would you share your views of Donald Trump over dinner?

Amina Dunn, Jocelyn Kiley, Alissa Scheller, Danielle Alberti and Carroll Doherty of Pew Research –

The nation’s partisan divisions have deepened and grown more personal in recent years. And no recent president, from his earliest days in office, has evoked such strong feelings – both positive and negative – as Donald Trump.

The intensity of sentiment has made it difficult for many Americans to discuss their opinions of Trump, especially in a social setting where others hold differing views.

How would you feel discussing Trump with a group of people who have opposing views from your own? See how your views compare with the opinions of Americans in a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year.

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Posted in Donald Trump, Pew Research, Politics

Fed’s counterfeiting experts fight flow of fake money

Allison Chase of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston –

Boston Fed uses everything from specialized machines to “an extra sense” to root out phony bills.

Think you could tell the difference between a real U.S. note and a counterfeit one? Arian Panariti definitely can. In fact, using what he calls “an extra sense,” the operations supervisor in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Cash Services group says he can even do it blindfolded.

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Posted in Federal Reserve, Money

Artificial Intelligence Can Outperform Doctors. So Why Don’t Patients Trust It?

Chiara Longoni and Carey K. Morewedge in Harvard Business Review –

Our recent research indicates that patients are reluctant to use health care provided by medical artificial intelligence even when it outperforms human doctors.

Why? Because patients believe that their medical needs are unique and cannot be adequately addressed by algorithms.

To realize the many advantages and cost savings that medical AI promises, care providers must find ways to overcome these misgivings.

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Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare