SciBlogs

One hundred years hence Robert Hickson Apr 19

Over the next week New Zealanders (& Australians) are looking back a century to remember and honour a tragic battle in a foreign land. There are a lot of activities and discussions happening about Gallipoli and how it subsequently influenced New Zealander society. It is right and important to reflect on our history, both the good [...]

Leadership for the long term Robert Hickson Apr 13

Long term thinking has never appeared to be a strong point in New Zealand’s public or private sectors. We used to have a Commission for the Future, which produced a range of reports (a list of which is available courtesy of the McGuinness Institute), but it fell out of favour during the Muldoon years. More [...]

Kiwi codestars Robert Hickson Apr 08

On a per capita basis New Zealand, reputedly, is a hot spot for top computer coders. That’s according to an analysis by Venture Beat of rankings from Stack Overflow – a site where programmers rank each others answers to coding questions. That comes as a surprise. Sure we have innovative IT firms like Xero, TradeMe, Sidhe, [...]

Living longer Robert Hickson Mar 29

Imagine, in 20 or 30 years, going to your health preservation service provider to receive your annual injections to remove senescent cells and down regulate selected gene expression in the hypothalamus, alongside a transfusion of synthetic “young” blood to promote tissue repair and healthier ageing. Later on you may take a pill to check your [...]

All transplants great and small Robert Hickson Mar 01

In the last few weeks reports have appeared that span the spectrum of bodily transplants: organelle, cellular,  faecal, and full body (or head) transplants. I noted others in a post last year. Seems like we can swap just about everything now. The full body transplant is pure hype. It seems unlikely to happen for decades, let alone within [...]

Uncertain predictions Robert Hickson Feb 19

“Active open-minded thinking” and “massive ignoramus”. Those are views on what makes a good forecaster according to two  “super-forecasters” from Philip Tetlock’s and IARPA’s Good Judgment Project.  It also helps if you forecast as part of a team with other good forecasters. But some things are more predictable than others. Michael Burnam-Fink, in a paper [...]

Amazon buys Santa’s workshop Robert Hickson Dec 22

Following on from the Listener’s highlighting of employment condition concerns at Santa’s workshop Amazon has just announced that it has acquired the global manufacturing and logistics enterprise for an undisclosed sum (rumoured to be in excess of US$15 billion). Alibaba would not confirm whether it too had attempted to buy the family-owned company. A combination [...]

Christmas 2024 Robert Hickson Dec 17

I’m starting to get the hang of Holoblogging now, though usually the holographic images are more disquieting than informative and they leave me feeling queasy. People don’t seem to spend as much time reviewing the “year that was” now. They’re more interested these days in sifting the data streams to predict what’s coming up. But [...]

State and trends of carbon pricing Robert Hickson Dec 10

The World Bank’s just released its report State & trends of carbon pricing. Thirty nine countries and 23 sub-national jurisdictions (eg, regions or states) have or are planning to introduce carbon pricing schemes, such as carbon trading schemes or taxes. The European Union has the largest carbon market, followed by China.   The report notes [...]

Transport Futures Robert Hickson Dec 07

Thirty billion, 60 billion, one billion, 10 billion. Those are some of the numbers from the Ministry of Transport’s recent Future Demand project. 30 billion kilometres travelled a year on New Zealand roads (excluding trucks) – that’s 100 round trips to the sun.  $60 billion is the cost of the road network (that’s about four [...]

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