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Shannon Lecture by Friend

There was a Shannon Luminary Lecture by Stephen Friend at the Nokia Bell Lab at Murray Hill. I thought it was going to be mostly on genetics and data science, but it was (pleasantly) much more. There were many thought-provoking points:

  • “endangered experiences”: pausing to have a deep dialogue with yourself.
  • “we may have knowledge of the past but cannot control it; we may control the future but have no knowledge of it (Shannon)”: what about the present?
  • Books: “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus” and “Inevitable”
  • “nature vs. nurture”: This is a useful framework, but too oversimplified.
  • agency and free will: Presenting assessment is not sufficient. I agree that most students would not step up to studying more/better, even when presented with very low quiz/exam scores. We also need to appeal to the subconscious mind (not just rational consciousness), in order to motivate.
  • Thinking upside-down: Study the resilience, in addition to the disease.
  • Binary vs. spectrum.
  • many more…

It is a privilege to live/work so close to this place with rich history of innovation.

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