1. Will we end death? This may seem impossible, but remember at one point so did things such as heart transplants. From Ariana:
[Peter Thiel] and the tech titans who founded Google, Facebook, eBay, Napster and Netscape are using their billions to rewrite the nation’s science agenda and transform biomedical research. Their objective is to use the tools of technology — the chips, software programs, algorithms and big data they used in creating an information revolution — to understand and upgrade what they consider to be the most complicated piece of machinery in existence: the human body.The entrepreneurs are driven by a certitude that rebuilding, regenerating and reprogramming patients’ organs, limbs, cells and DNA will enable people to live longer and better.
2. Why you should spend on experience not material goods. Via Fast Company:
People’s satisfaction with the things they bought went down, whereas their satisfaction with experiences they spent money on went up.It’s counterintuitive that something like a physical object that you can keep for a long time doesn’t keep you as happy as long as a once-and-done experience does. Ironically, the fact that a material thing is ever present works against it, making it easier to adapt to. It fades into the background and becomes part of the new normal. But while the happiness from material purchases diminishes over time, experiences become an ingrained part of our identity.
3. Using smartphones to fight violence in India (this video has subtitles so no headphones required for the at-work crowd)
4. An attempt to use drones to plant a billion trees. From Fast Company:
[Lauren] Fletcher doesn’t say the method is better than hand planting, just cheaper. He estimates the drone can plant at a rate of 10 seeds per minute. With two operators manning multiple drones, he reckons it would be possible to plant up 36,000 trees in a day. In all, UAV-seeding could be about 15% of the cost of traditional methods, he says.
Investment in bitcoin and related digital currency-based businesses has surged in recent months, in part reflecting bets by venture capitalists and other investors on several noncurrency uses for the technology that underlies bitcoin. Various applications are under development that aim to strip out middlemen from the financial system and enhance record keeping and transparency in the broader economy.