What the heck is happening to Bitcoin?

Several of my friends started asking me again about Bitcoin. This happens whenever the value spikes. Recently it reached USD 1,700+ per 1 BTC.

It was 4 years ago I last wrote about Bitcoin in my blog explaining the basics. Much has happened since. Here, I would like to summarize some of the key points I feel are important to know about when it comes to the developments in the crypto currency world.

Why people misunderstand and under-appreciate modern conceptual art

I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art by John Baldessari, 1971

There are many reasons people are uncomfortable with modern conceptual art:

Conceptual art is meant to be uncomfortable

The very objective of this form of art is to move you out of your comfort zone and give you new, yet unexplored avenues of thought. One must understand this idea, and appreciate the effect conceptual art makes on them. If a piece has a strong effect: it is good. If it has no effect or the effect is "eh": its fails.

Multiverse Theory

Multiverse spaces visualized

The theory of multiverse in short means that besides our own universe there are multiple universes that are similar but different from ours. But how and why do we think this is the case? Short answer is math predicts it like it predicted the theory or relativity and the idea of the expending universe, which were both later confirmed experimentally.

Why the 'Buy <country_name>!' campaigns are irrational

I find the 'Buy American!' (or replace American with any other country) campaigns irrational and counter productive for several reasons.

Buying stuff from local people made sense a hundred of more years ago when helping out the neighbour with some business made him richer and this resulted in higher chances of him making a purchase of your products later on. This may still make some sense in developing regions of the world that are cut off from our global civilization.

Saganian spiritual experience

The title of the video below suggests the interview with Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss is about the movie Unbelievers and atheism, but in fact the discussion is mostly about science and what it means to them.

Starting at 24:38 the interviewer asks whether they really meant to suggest that science can be spiritual? In their answers they confirm that they do in a non supernatural way and talk about their personal spiritual experiences in the sense Carl Sagan used the word.

The beauty of solar power plants

PS10 solar power plant, Seville, Spain

The 354 MW SEGS CSP installation is the largest solar power plant in the world, located in the Mojave Desert of California. Other large CSP plants include the Solnova Solar Power Station (150 MW) and the Andasol solar power station (150 MW), both in Spain. The over 250 MW Agua Caliente Solar Project in the United States, and the 221 MW Charanka Solar Park in India, are the world’s largest photovoltaic power stations.

The truth about companies that started in garages

The garage where Apple was founded in 1976.

Contemporary culture has an idealized picture of the American Dream where a company can be started from nothing by anyone in a garage. According to the the stories Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, Harley Davidson, HP, Mattel, Microsoft, Dell and Nike among many other giants all started by previously unknown genius founders from incredibly humble beginnings of simple garage operations and became multi-national, billion dollar corporations. I would like to argue that the idea of starting these businesses from zero is largely misrepresented.

Introduction to transhumanism

Google founder Larry Page wearing Google Glass

Do you want to be free of cancer and heart disease? Do you want to see your great-grandkids graduate, mankind establish colonies on other planets or dinosaurs brought back to life again? Do you want to be able to feel the Earth's magnetic field, dive down into the ocean without scuba gear or run at 50km/h for hours without being too tired? Do you essentially want to become superman? Transhumanists do.

Value the opinion of your adversary

The wisdom of crowds postulates that on the long term group decisions are better than those made by the smartest single member of the group. In general the more diverse the opinions and the more independent the members of the group are the better the decision will be. This applies to all areas of life except for one: creativity. Commitees almost never come up with good creative solutions.

Change your life with habits

If you didn't already know about the power of habits, this post will be one of the most important articles you will ever read in your entire life. I know it sounds like an overpromise, but it's really true and I can say that without being boastful because it's not my idea, I'm just retelling a concept in a nutshell that many smart people already said in great detail.

Many of us want to change ourselves to be better both privately and professionally. We also want to live better and provide a better life for our loved ones.

Paul Erdős, the greatest mathematician ever lived

Paul Erdős with his mother

Paul Erdős (26 March 1913 – 20 September 1996) was a Hungarian mathematician. Erdős published more papers than any other mathematician in history, working with hundreds of collaborators. He worked on problems in combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, classical analysis, approximation theory, set theory, and probability theory. He is also known for his "legendarily eccentric" personality. Via Wikipedia.

Never get a cold again

Juices from red cabbage, orange, pineapples, kale, bokchoy, carrots, beets, apples and other plants

We don't know exactly how eating plants improves our immune system but we know they do. If you eat various plant foods regularly in big quantity with an emphasis on green leafy veggies you will virtually never get any colds of flu. To be precise you do get the rhino or flu viruses as they are unavoidable, but your immune system will be so strong it will fight the invaders off within hours and thus the virus will not have the chance to replicate itself within your body and make you feel sick.

Quantum Computing

D-Wave™ processors on wafer

It is somewhat hard to understand the basic concept of a quantum computer, but I think it's worth spending a bit of time with this idea, because it will be a very important new technological development in our near future that will without doubt affect your life.

Best countries in the World

Singapore

25 years ago according to the Economist's metrics USA was the undisputed best country to be born in, closely followed by large European nations like France, Germany and Italy. While these countries are still a great place to be born in, apparently they are not on the top anymore. Social and economic development in Northern European countries like Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Holland along with Australia and New Zealand in the southern hemisphere raced ahead.