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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 14/14.
Brain mapping, microfluidics, molecular isotope storage, DNA origami boxes, artificial muscles, neuromorphic computing, CRISPR disease cure, metamaterials, manufacturing graphene. 

1. Latest Brain Advances by the Allen Institute.
The Allen Institute for Brain Science announced two big developments this week. First, there was the publication of the first comprehensive large-scale dataset on the wiring of a mammalian brain, created using engineered viruses to trace and illuminate individual neurons in 1,700 mouse brains, the sections of which were scanned at sub-micro resolution to produce a collective average brain connectome map comprising some 1.8 petabytes of data http://www.alleninstitute.org/news-events/press/press-release/publication-nature-showcases-most-comprehensive-wiring-diagram-mammalian-brain-date. Secondly, the publication of the first major report from the BrainSpan Atlas of the developing human brain, a map of the transcriptome (expression of specific genes in different regions of the brain) across the course of human brain development http://www.alleninstitute.org/news-events/press/press-release/critical-window-developing-human-brain-profiled-nature

2. Simple & Effective Microfluidics with Valves.
I’m really impressed with these deceptively simple microfluidic chip devices made out of double-sided tape cut with channels, a PDMS membrane, and plastic film that include air-controlled valves for the first time
http://phys.org/news/2014-04-nist-simple-microfluidic-devices-valves.html. This technology allows cheap, functional microfluidic devices to be built in hours rather than days, and can even be used to create chips that fold together into complex three dimensional shapes. Great DIY Bio applications here.

3. Safe Molecular Storage of Radioactive Isotopes.
Small peptides have been made to self-assemble into tiny double-layer spheres containing a hollow cavity that can hold and contain desired radioactive isotopes http://phys.org/news/2014-04-nontoxic-molecule.html. The radioisotopes of particular interest are those that emit alpha-particles for use in medical research and treatments, and which can breakdown into radioactive daughter ions that end up in undesirable places in the body. These capsules are much more stable compared to those currently used; they don’t break down and were shown to hold onto / contain daughter ions while allowing the release of alpha particles. 

4. Smallest DNA Origami Container with Lockable Door.
The smallest ever DNA origami container has been constructed and contains a door linked to a molecular actuator that controllably, and programmably, pulls the door open and closed http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=35045.php. The container measures 14nm x 14nm x 48nm and can fit inside the capsid of viruses that could be used for delivery; the door 9nm x 5nm and linked to a programmable segment (lock) of single stranded DNA that coils and contracts when a complementary strand (key) binds. The group seeks other methods of control for the device, the opening of which can release or expose drugs, enzymes, or other molecules at particular sites and times. 

5. Strong, Functional, Implantable Engineered Muscles.
Living artificial muscles have been engineered that closely resemble real muscles, and which contracts powerfully and rapidly, quickly integrates into mice when implanted and even heals itself when in a lab or a mouse http://www.pratt.duke.edu/news/self-healing-engineered-muscle-grown-laboratory. The success of this technique depends on well-developed contractile muscle fibers, muscle satellite stem cells and, crucially, creating supportive microenvironment niches for the satellite cells. The result was natural muscle fibers ten times stronger than any previously created, which were imaged and observed via windows implanted into the backs of mice. Great work for repairing & enhancing muscles, and also for lab-grown meat-as-food applications. Related muscle tissue engineering news involved the creation of “mini-hearts” around blood vessels to help pump blood http://smhs.gwu.edu/news/gw-researcher-invents-%E2%80%98mini-heart%E2%80%99-help-return-venous-blood

6. Chip Processing Architectures that Mimic the Human Brain.
This article http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=35084.php is a nice overview of the many projects underway that are developing computational systems, chips, and programming languages that mimic or simulate the processing of the human brain - promising future computer systems capable of out-performing human cognition across a range of areas. Such systems are different to the conventional transistor arrays processing 1s and 0s that power our current systems and is worth a read for anyone interested in the space. A new approach not mentioned was this recent prototype neuromorphic photonics chip that carries out basic brain-like computing with light http://www.ugent.be/en/news/bulletin/optical-information-processing-on-chips-inspired-by-human-brain and realises extremely fast information processing and extremely low energy requirements. 

7. A Directional Filter for Light.
A stack of alternative layers of glass and titanium oxide of precise thickness produces a selective light filter that reflects all light except that incident at a particular angle, which is allowed to pass through http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/a-new-angle-on-controlling-light. 80 layers were used in the demonstration device, but by adding more layers the angular selectivity can be made even more precise and narrow. Possible applications include selective filters for telescopes to help view faint objects that are close to bright objects, solar power especially in solar thermophotovoltaics, and possibly even in optical communications. What other applications can you think of for such a directional light filter? 

8. CRISPR Cures Genetic Disease in Living Animals.
For the first time a genetic disease has been cured in living animals via the CRISPR gene-targeting system http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/erasing-genetic-mutation. The liver disease, affecting about 1 / 10,000 people results from a mutation in a single gene that prevents the breakdown of tyrosine. In mouse models a high-pressure injection introduced the CRISPR construct and a correct version of the gene sequence into cells; although only 1 in 250 cells was successfully repaired this way these cells proliferated over the next month at the expense of diseased cells and eventually comprised one third of the liver, enough to functionally cure the disease. The group are investigating improved delivery methods but this is incredibly promising for human genetic disease treatments in the near future. 

9. Cracking Large Scale Visible Spectrum Metamaterial Cloaks.
New nano-transfer printing techniques allow the creation of large area multilayer 3D metamaterials that operate in the visible spectrum http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/04/could-us-military-soon-have-invisibility-cloaks/81772/. Previous techniques were limited to micro-scale areas for such visible metamaterials, but this new printing technique allows for the relatively cheap production of arbitrarily large area metamaterials with negative refractive indices able to bend and cloak visible light. Even the prototype created to demonstrate the technique, at 4” by 4”, shows incredible promise at that scale for producing advanced lenses for cameras, microscopes, and telescopes, better fibers for optics communications, etc. Real invisibility cloaks just took another big step towards realisation. 

10. Samsung’s Graphene Manufacturing Breakthrough.
A new technique developed by Samsung to grow high-quality single-crystal graphene on silicon wafers appears to be a major breakthrough in enabling the mass-production of commercial scale graphene http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/179874-samsungs-graphene-breakthrough-could-finally-put-the-wonder-material-into-real-world-devices. According to Samsung This is one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history. The process basically uses a standard chemical vapour deposition process to grow a uniform layer of graphene on a germanium-coated silicon substrate; further masking and photolithography processes allowed the creation of graphene field effect transistors (GFETs) and the re-use of the underlying substrate. The realisation of consumer graphene-powered devices just got much closer. 

The weekly SciTech Digests are also available as a Google Newsstand Magazine Edition here: 
https://www.google.com/producer/editions/CAow4-hB/scitech_digest 

+ScienceSunday, with your hosts +Buddhini Samarasinghe, +Rajini Rao, +Chad Haney, +Allison Sekuler, +Robby Bowles, +Carissa Braun, and +Aubrey Francisco 

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Artificial ‘Leaf’ Could Be Answer To Clean Energy: Device Converts Water Into Hydrogen And Oxygen

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with researchers from Arizona State University have found a way to imitate Photosystem II, the first protein complex in the long chain of reactions that use energy from the sun to create usable fuel. The result was reported in the journal Nature Chemistry.

Photosystem II uses energized electrons to split water into oxygen, protons and the electrons that are necessary to complete the photosynthetic process
Once light strikes an electron in a chlorophyll molecule at the heart of photosystem II, the excited electron moves to a higher energy state, leaving behind a positively charged region called a "hole," which is in then filled by other electrons that are stripped from water by a special enzyme. The excited electron then travels through a number of "electron carrier" proteins like a baton being passed among relay racers.

However, the motion of an electron brings with it a negative charge. The protein compensates for this by transferring a positively-charged proton as well. When both steps happen, the "baton exchange" is complete and charge separation happens successfully.
Read full article at source: http://www.anl.gov/articles/photosynthesis-reimagined

Their study details the progress they’ve made on an electron relay that mimics photosynthesis. The researchers team drew inspiration from nature, looking to the way leaves harness the power of sunlight to produce hydrogen and oxygen through photosynthesis

Hydrogen fuel has long been an area of interest, but producing pure hydrogen, which does not occur naturally in the environment and takes a great amount of energy to manufacture, has hindered plans to put it to good use. Scientists say hydrogen can be used to fuel spacecraft, combustion engines and even commercial aircraft. 
Now, researchers may be one step closer to achieving cheaper and cleaner hydrogen production. 

Watch scientific paper A bioinspired redox relay that mimics radical interactions of the Tyr–His pairs of photosystem II at Nature Chemistry: http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchem.1862.html

Image: Photosynthesis lightbulbs
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/argonne/13448952635/in/photostream/
Further reading:http://www.ibtimes.com/artificial-leaf-could-be-answer-clean-energy-device-converts-water-hydrogen-oxygen-1556745
For deepening what is photosystem II:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosystem_II


#clean_energy #Photosynthesis #chemistry #scientific_research #science #ScienceSunday #scienceeveryday #scienceongoogleplus
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Just saw a Tesla Model S in Des Moines for the first time! What a beast!
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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 13/14.
Bioretrosynthesis for drugs, shrinking spectrometers, saliva fuel cell, DNA nanomachines, synthetic yeast chromosome, lensless cameras, nanodiamonds, gene maps.

1. Bioretrosynthesis - Evolving Synthetic Pathways for Drugs.
The expensive HIV drug didanosine can now be made cheaply with genetically altered bacteria that were forced to evolve the synthetic pathway required to synthesise the molecule from simpler precursor compounds http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-03/vu-sei032114.php. Basically, (i) desiring didanosine to be produced they started with a slightly simpler molecule and an enzyme known to make the chemical change required to turn the simpler molecule into didanosine, (ii) the gene for this enzyme was added to a population of bacteria that was mutated, incubated, and screened for the most efficient production of didanosine, (iii) the successful bacteria was selected for the process to be repeated, each time targeting a simpler molecule and an enzyme capable of making the required modification. After just three cycles a bacteria was produced that converted a cheap and abundant sugar into the desired drug. This could be done for any organic molecule, any drug, e.g. this new drug that makes brain cancer cells explode http://ki.se/en/news/new-approach-makes-cancer-cells-explode. Engineered bacteria freeze dried, shipped anywhere in the world, and reconstituted in growth medium locally to produce nearly any drug of interest = transformative. 

2. Shrinking Spectrometers with Carbon Nanotube Coatings.
Simply adding a coating of carbon nanotubes to a piece of paper loaded with a solution to be analysed reduces by 1,000 times the voltage required for a spectrometer to capture a signal from the sample http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q1/nanotube-coating-helps-shrink-mass-spectrometers.html. The nanotubes act as tiny antenna, helping to produce a clear signal without background noise, and provide a huge boost to efforts to create energy-efficient miniature handheld mass spectrometers that can be used anywhere as needed. There are numerous environmental sensor applications. 

3. First Atlas of Human Gene Activity.
The first comprehensive gene network map across the cells and tissues of the human body has been produced, allowing researchers to pinpoint the regions of the genome that can be active in a disease or normal activity regardless of cell or tissue type http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/human-gene-activity-atlas-released/. The map includes DNA regulatory elements such as 180,000 promoters and 44,000 gene enhancers and the discovery that most are linked to specific cell types. This is a significant advance for understanding and analysing the human genome and will be an important tool moving forward in addressing human diseases.

4. Saliva-Powered Microbial Fuel Cell.
A saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cell has been developed that is capable of generating one microwatt of power http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=34901.php. The device is the size of a fingertip; organic liquids are broken down by bacteria into protons, electrons, and carbon dioxide at the anode (made of multi-layer graphene) with oxygen from the air being utilised at the cathode. The team are now working towards using the device to power sensors, lab-on-chip devices, and miniaturised electronic dialysis devices. Given any organic liquid would power the device it could adopted in future as a power supply for any implanted or prosthetic device without the need for batteries. 

5. Better Tools for DNA Origami Nanomachine Design.
Cadnano is a software package that simplifies and enhances the design process for creating large three-dimensional DNA origami nanostructures and the embedded rules provide relative certainty of the stability of the structures that would be produced http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/03/cadnano-simplifies-and-enhances-process.html. As an example of the power of designing suitable DNA scaffolds to combat disease, Shawn Douglass recently presented this great little talk Solve for X: Shawn Douglas on targeted therapeutics. Better design tools will allow better nanodevices and nanomachines like these to be designed and fabricated for our benefit. If I can find the time I definitely want to have a play with this myself. In related news DNA strands self-assemble nanocubes into custom super-lattices, crystalline and liquid-crystalline structures http://phys.org/news/2014-03-polymerized-nanocubes-complex.html

6. Synthetic Cells: From Prokaryotes to Eukaryotes.
The first synthetic cell, a prokaryote whose DNA was designed and synthesised by machines, booted up quite some years ago now, and for the first time synthetic cell technology has made the jump to the far more complex eukaryotic cells in the form of a synthetic yeast cell http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/27/5553044/first-functional-eukaryotic-chromosome. To be fair this demonstration was concerned with first fully synthetic chromosome for a yeast cell, but the group has plans to replace all 16 of a yeast cell’s chromosomes and this first demonstration is a good proof-of-concept. About 500 deliberate genetic changes were made to the chromosome, which gave the yeast cell interesting abilities including the ability to shuffle the synthetic chromosomes genes. Fully synthetic yeast cells will open the door to flexible synthetic biology applications in the production of our foods and medicines. 

7. Lens-Free Cameras: Putting Eyes in Everything.
A new lens-free camera measuring 200 micrometers across uses a spiral-etched grating to capture light and and relies computational process of the captured data to produce recognisable images http://www.technologyreview.com/news/525731/lens-free-camera-sees-things-differently/. Such miniature imaging devices could be added to any and everything; a powerful capability for the coming internet of things and transforming the range of products and devices that we wear and interact with on a daily basis. Cameras in smart-dust to be sprinkled around as needed for surveillance and sousveillance applications, and might also be a boon for devices such as Google Glass and future smart contact lenses; think of the possibilities. 

8. Interesting Diamond Applications.
Seems to be more and more surprising things you can do with diamonds. This week we had (i) diamond nanoparticles loaded in mineral oil to produce a fluid that easily outperforms other types of fluids for heat-transfer applications http://phys.org/news/2014-03-diamonds-oil-friend.html, (ii) a simple method carves patterns into nanodiamonds using an electron beam and water vapour, with applications in photonics and quantum computing http://www.technologyreview.com/view/525901/diamond-patterning-technique-could-transform-photonics/, and (iii) a simple method to use hydrogen gas to efficiently turn graphite into diamond films http://phys.org/news/2014-03-graphite-diamond.html

9. Printing Tissues & Simulating Organs.
A newly developed 3D print head incorporates a microfluidic chip capable of dynamic alterations in the cellular and fluidic composition extruded from the device, and allows the rapid construction of macro-scale tissue constructs with intricate physiological geometries http://news.ubc.ca/2014/03/17/print-this-human-tissue/. These 3D printed tissues are initially targeted towards pre-clinical drug development and testing applications, although could eventually form grafts and whole organs for implantation. In related news the impressive ATHENA project passed a new milestone with the successful demonstration of an artificial human liver on a simple microfluidic chip (part of an eventual “benchtop” human with multiple microfluidic organs) that is connected to a device able to monitor the fluctuations of thousands of molecules to determine how the microfluidic human liver is responding and processing drugs and other molecules http://www.kurzweilai.net/simulated-human-liver-achieved-in-benchtop-human-project

10. Synthetic Mother of Pearl Beats Ceramics.
Aiming to mimic the structure of mother of pearl, researchers have created miniature bricks out of alumina powder formed into microscopic platelets that, when suspended in water and treated to a freezing and heating cycle results in dense, ordered stacks of material ten times stronger than conventional ceramics http://gizmodo.com/this-synthetic-mother-of-pearl-is-ten-times-tougher-tha-1551036015. Manufacture should be cheaper and other base powders could be used to extend the range of desired properties and colours that would have applications in prosthetic joints, armour plating, and other ceramic tools and objects. 

An archive of the SciTech Digests can also be found here: http://www.scitechdigest.net 

+ScienceSunday, with your hosts +Buddhini Samarasinghe, +Rajini Rao, +Chad Haney, +Robby Bowles, +Allison Sekuler, +Carissa Braun, and +Aubrey Francisco!

+STEM on Google+ Community 
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Potential difficulties and distractions in our lives expand or contract in terms of relevance to our success as a function of the attention we give them.
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Nanostructures half a DNA strand-wide show promise for efficient LEDs http://ow.ly/2FlN23
Nanostructures half the breadth of a DNA strand could improve the efficiency of light emitting diodes (LEDs), especially in the 'green gap,' a portion of the spectrum where LED efficiency plunges, simulations at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) ...
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Energy breakthrough uses sun to create solar energy materials

Researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible. This breakthrough could make the sun almost a 'one-stop shop' that produces both the materials for solar devices and the eternal energy to power them.

#solarpower  
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Accounting for overall (non-zero sum) growth

Attn +Gregory Esau +CJ Dulberger
 
Strangecoin: a nonlinear currency

In this post I sketch a proposal for a digital currency that works unlike other *coins that have recently become available. I'm calling it Strangecoin, both to highlight its uniqueness as a currency and as a reference to the strange attractor, a special kind of nonlinear system.

What's unique about Strangecoin?

 - Strangecoin transactions can be nonzero sum. A Strangecoin transaction might result in both parties having more Strangecoin. 
 - Strangecoin transactions can be one-sided and can be conducted entirely by only one party to the transaction. 
 - The rate of change of one's Strangecoin balance is a more important indicator of economic influence than the balance itself.
 - Optimal investment strategy in Strangecoin aims to stabilize one's balance of Strangecoin. 
 - A universal account provides all users a basic Strangecoin income, effectively unlimited wealth, and direct feedback on the overall prosperity of the network.

I've only started thinking through the idea, and implementing it would take more technical expertise than I have alone. For instance, I'm not sure if Strangecoin can be implemented as an extension of the bitcoin protocol, or if some fundamentally new technology is required. If you know something about the technical details, I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you might know how to implement something like this, I'd love to help you try. 

But since I don't know of anything else that works like this, this proposal is mostly intended simply to put the idea out there, in the hopes of encouraging others to think in these directions.

Background and Motivation

If I give you a dollar for a burger, then I've lost a dollar and gained a burger, and you've gained a dollar and lost a burger. Assuming this was a fair trade (that dollars and burgers are of approximately equal value), then as a result of the transaction we've we've simply rearranged who has which good, and no additional value was created in the process. What I've lost you've gained and vice versa, so that the total value between us has not changed after the exchange is over.

In game theory, an exchange that results in all credits and debits balancing out across all players is called a zero sum game. Recording debits and credits works this way with every existing currency, including Dollars and Euros and all the traditional currencies, but also Bitcoin and other kinds of digital cyptocurrencies. If you want a currency to behave nonlinearly you need additional financial tools like debt and interest, or stocks and dividends, to describe how that money grows or shrinks over time as the result of our economic transactions.

Of course, when I give you a dollar for a burger that's not really be a zero sum game, because otherwise we wouldn't be motivated to enter into the transaction in the first place. I give you a dollar because I want the burger more than I want the dollar, and if you accept the trade it's because you want the dollar more than you want the burger, so in a fair exchange we both feel like we've come out ahead. In other words, there is some additional value in our fair exchange that is not accounted for in the burgers and the dollars alone. But if our bookkeeping method only counts burgers and dollars, then it's not accounting for the value that accrues in our transactions.

In the proposal below, I'll describe Strangecoin as an method for keeping track of a nonzero sum game, where parties can enter into financial transactions that accrue value just by engaging in that transaction. In this way, Strangecoin is a model of the value that our complex economic relationships generate. The trick is to amplify the exchanged value of Strangecoin transactions relative to the interest of other parties who are not themselves involved in the transaction. If this seems counter-intuitive, a nonfinancial example might help: it's not unusual for two minor celebrities to achieve greater celebrity status upon entering into a romantic relationship. Although strictly speaking the romantic relationship is between the two celebrities, the general public interest in the celebrities results in more overall popularity in their union than either had on their own prior to the relationship.

As the example suggests, the dynamics of Strangecoin might be usefully thought of in terms of a "reputation system" rather than a strictly financial tool, even though the basic mechanics involve the regular method of exchanging currency for goods perceived by both parties to be of equal value. Because of the nonlinear relationships among Strangecoin users, each user effectively draws on a network of support in each economic transaction, coupling its activity to the successes (and failures) of the that network of activity. The result is a model of the complex interdependencies within a community of economic agents, and the dynamics by which those networks develop and decay. For this reason, Strangecoin might have implications for quantifying the role of individual choices and responsibility in the context of corporate action, and for resolving other difficult issues in the management and ethics of collective economic action.

I will say more about implications and consequences of Strangecoin at the end of the document. I turn now to a more detailed discussion of the Strangecoin protocol.

The Strangecoin network

The Strangecoin network is a directed graph with users as nodes and some time-dependent transactions as edges between them. Transactions describes how Strangecoin trade between users at each time step. Let S be our unit of Strangecoin, and let t be our basic unit of time.

A Strangecoin user is:

An account balance B in S
Income I in S/t, the sum of all incoming transactions. 
Expenses E in S/t, the sum of all outgoing transactions. 
So dB/dt = I - E
An account balance cap C in S that represents the upper limit of Strangecoins in a user's balance.

Balance Penalties:

If B = C, then the user receives a penalty where income is forfeit until expenses reduce the balance below C. Income might gradually decay as B approaches C to postpone hitting the limit. Similarly, if B = 0, then the user receives a penalty where expenses are forfeit until income brings the balance above 0. Expenses might gradually decay as B approaches 0 to postpone hitting the limit. To avoid penalties, users must keep their balance 0 < B < C. In other words, users have an incentive to keep dB/dt near zero, so that total income balances with total expenses. 

Transactions:

A transaction indicates some trade in Strangecoin over some duration of time between two Strangecoin users with distinct accounts. Transactions come in five types described below. User X can initiate a transaction with user Y by specifying a transaction type and a duration of time, and then fixing the specific parameters of that transaction. If X can initiate the transaction without the approval of Y, the transaction is one-sided. If the transaction type requires Y's approval for initiation, it is a two-sided transaction. 

Payment is a two-sided transaction in unit time, or an immediate transfer of S from one balance to another in a single time step. Payment works exactly as you'd expect it to work from other currencies, and in this sense is the simplest of the five transaction types. If X pays Y a quantity p of S, then X subtracts p from their balance and deposits p in Y's balance. Payments are two-sided and requires approval from both sides, so initiate the transaction X specifies Y and p, and Y must approve. 

Support is a one-sided transaction over some duration t. If X supports Y over t, then X contributes additional S to Y's income from X's balance, expressed as a proportion s of Y's income over t. X's support effectively amplifies Y's income. To initiate this transaction, X specifies Y, t, and the proportion s of Y's income that X will contribute as support. Since support is a one-sided transaction, Y does not need to approve of the support to receive the additional income. 

Endorsement is a one-sided transaction over some duration t. If X endorses Y over t, then X contributes additional S to Y's outgoing expenses, expressed as a proportion e of Y's expenses over t. X's endorsement effectively amplifies the payouts of Y's expenses. To initiate the transaction, X specifies Y, t, and the proportion e of Y's expenses that X will contribute as endorsements. Since support is a one-sided transaction, Y does not need to approve of the endorsement or the additional expense, which is drawn entirely from X's account. 

Coupling is a two-sided transaction over some duration t. If X and Y couple over t, then changes in the income and expenses of X over t (apart from this coupling) result in proportional changes to the income and expenses of Y, and vice versa. Coupling "binds the fate" of X and Y over t, so that any change in one results in change for both. To initiate the transaction, both X and Y must agree on a duration t, and may specify distinct proportions cx and cy for coupling which must be approved by the other. With approval, coupling can involve both positive and negative correlations between income and expenses of two users. If X and Y are positively coupled, then increases in X's income and expenses results in some proportional increase in Y's income and expenses. This additional income or expense are drawn from or deposited to The Universal Account, as described below.

Inhibition is a two-sided transaction over some duration t. If X inhibits Y over t, then X reduces the income or expenses of Y over t by some proportion i. By inhibiting Y, X effectively reduces the impact that Y has on the Strangecoin network by i over t by forfeiting that proportion of income and expense. To initiate the transaction, X specifies Y, t, and i, which must be approved by Y.

The Universal Account (TUA):

Although individual transactions may be nonzero sum as described above, the overall Strangecoin network is zerosum, and uses The Universal Account to balance the network. TUA is a universal account account balance that is positively coupled with all other users. TUA approves of transactions only in the scenarios described below. All newly mined Strangecoins are deposited directly into TUA, with a coupling bonus to the miner. All users are positively coupled with TUA with cy = 0 so that all users effectively receive a basic income from TUA in proportion to TUA's balance. Users cannot support, endorse, or inhibit TUA.

X can make a payment to TUA at t only in the following situations:

The have hit their account cap. All forfeit income is automatically deposited into TUA. 
X is coupled to Y at t, whose expenses have changed. Additional expenses from X (in proportion c_x to Y's expense change) are automatically deposited into TUA.
X is inhibited at t. All forfeit income at t due to inhibition is automatically deposited into TUA.

TUA can make a payment only in the following situations: 

X receives income from coupling with TUA. 
X's account balance = 0 at t. Any additional transactions outgoing from X at t are drawn from TUA. 
X is coupled at t to Y whose income has changed. Additional income to X at t (in proportion cx to Y's income change) is drawn from TUA. 
X has income from an inhibited source Y whose balance is empty. The remaining balance of the transaction is drawn from TUA. 

All transactions with TUA are bare in the sense that they are stripped of any of the modifiers that might normally amplify transactions with X. Basic income paid from TUA to all other users is in proportion to the total users on the network, and TUA's balance. In this way, the basic user income is also a measure of the general health of the overall network. 

Discussion

The set of transactions described in the Strangecoin protocol motivate an incentive structure that is quite different from that of traditional currencies. I'll discuss some of these incentives and their impact below.

Most immediately, Strangecoin transactions are amplified by the network of economic relations employed by each party to the transaction. For this reason, the impact of a transaction isn't simply a matter of what is being traded and for how much. It also matters who you are trading with and their ongoing economic relations, which may have an important impact on the value of the transaction. This is the case even though Strangecoin are entirely fungible and Strangecoin transactions can be conducted pseudonymously.

Strangecoin is "backwards compatible" with traditional currencies, in that it supports the normal method of exchanging goods and services for some discrete quantity of coin in the form of a one-time payment. However, the other transaction types allow for much deeper forms of economic dependencies over time, and explicit representations of one's contribution to one's economic community. These provide incentives to engage in transactions other than payment, for instance by some duration of support or coupling. Securing large payments in a single time step may have very little impact on one's overall income over time, and therefore may be less desirable to users than securing time-extended transactions of other types. Large payments also threaten to bring users close to their balance penalties, providing more incentive to manage economic relationship through other types of transaction.

The most important incentive in the network is the incentive to balance one's account, so that dB/dt is close to 0, and overall income matches overall expenses. If dB/dt is far from zero, then balance penalties start to become an issue. If X is at the account maximum, any additional income over that balance is forfeit to TUA. In this case, user Y has no incentive to give additional support to X, since that additional support is simply forfeit to TUA. Similarly, if X is at the account minimum, any additional expenses are drawn from TUA free of any modifiers. In this situation, user Y has no incentive to endorse X, since that endorsement is again forfeit. In these cases, the transfer of Strangecoin is below its potential, so users are less likely to engage in these transactions; in other words, balance penalties shrink the amplification of one's support network. Users nearing a penalty cannot acquire or dump their balance through TUA, so must arrange transactions with other users to manage their account. There may be income penalties on large balance transfers to prevent users authorizing large payments in order to avoid balance penalties. 

Because of these balance constraints, the optimal strategy for all users (including TUA) is to keep income and expenses near a 1:1 ratio. This might be handled in the traditional ways, through careful budgeting and account management. But this can also be handled by managing one's economic support network through transactions other than payment that will keep one's account balanced. If X has sufficiently large income, they must take on equally sizable expenses to avoid balance penalties. These expenses can come in the form of support and endorsements for other members of the network X wishes to support and endorse, effectively growing the network on the basis of their prosperity. The converse holds for users with large expenses. For this reason, prosperity in Strangecoin is measured by a user's throughput of Strangecoins over time, and not their raw quantity at any given time. Users with large throughput also occupy central hubs in the network, and their role and influence in the economic activity of the network is given quantifiable significance with Strangecoin, which can be used for making high-level policy decisions concerning the management and ethics of collective economic action. 

Finally, balancing one's account requires, among other things, a consistent regular income from TUA. This gives all users an interest in the general health of TUA and of each user to maintain a relatively balanced account. In general, Strangecoin users seek out semi-persistent networks of support and coupling-- similar in some ways to investment, but investment in people-- and the overall stability of these networks account for the economic well-being of both users and the network as a whole. The incentive towards cooperative, stable, interdependent economic relationships takes place through an interface that bears an intuitive relation to traditional currencies, especially as it pertains to marketplaces of competition. 

There's more work required to put flesh on the bones of this idea. There are many conversations to have about the dynamics of the network and the particular constraints it should operate within, both as a matter of practical operation and as a matter of sensible public policy. 

I'd like to have those conversations with you. 

#attentioneconomy   #digitalpolitics  
In this post I sketch a proposal for a digital currency that works unlike other *coins that have recently become available. I'm calling it Strangecoin, both to highlight its uniqueness as a currency and as a reference to the ...
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+derek visser will read later. Everyone should be constantly growing their wealth through investments of various types, no doubt...
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The future of Google: an interview with +Larry Page 

This is an excellent interview between Charlie Rose and Larry Page.
Larry Page: Where's Google going next?

One of the more striking elements of it is this quote from +zack matere, a farmer in Kenya who is applying information technologies to help his community:

“Information is powerful. But it is how we use it that will define us.”
 
Yes.
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Nutritional Research, Blogging
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"Science is the Engine of Prosperity." ~Dr. Michio Kaku
Introduction
-->CURRENT AS OF 10/22/2013<--

Science is a Way of Life | Knowledge is Power
Skepticism and Curiosity are the Fuels of Knowledge.

Follow me for:
  • Science & Tech
  • Trending and Systemic Changes in Culture & Markets
  • My Opinions about Optimizing and Changing our Collective Paradigms
  • Sustainability & Health





“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race ” -Calvin Coolidge
_______________________________________________________________

I'm:
  • Discoverying myself
  • Lateral (divergent) thinker
  • a MAVERICK
  • an infovore/philomath
  • trying to change the world one mind at a time
  • Egalitarian
_______________________________________________________________

INTERESTS:

Science:
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition - Natural Medicine (I'm biased towards natural vitamins, minerals, and other natural compounds rather than pharmaceuticals. I prefer prevention rather than intervention.)
  • Nootropics (mind enhancing drugs and nutrients)
  • Robotics and Automation
  • Quantum Mechanics

Technology:
  • Open Source - Development and Data
  • Web 3.0, Semantics, Ontologies
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Liquid Fluoride-Thorium Nuclear Reactors
  • Graphene!
  • Quantum Electronics
  • Optical Electronics
  • Biological Batteries
  • CLEAN ENERGY

Social: (politics):
  • Social Reform
  • INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES
  • COOPERATIVES (United Nations 2012: Year of the Cooperative!)
  • SHARED SOURCES (Infrastructures and Services that cut down on redundant waste)
  • OPEN SOURCE ECOLOGY
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • EDUCATION REFORM
  • Commercial (feral) Hemp Legalization (paper, cloth, ethanol, food, CO2 reduction, fertilizer and pesticide reduction)
  • PROGRESSIVE LIBERTARIAN (Scientific Conservative) [Grassroots-Organized-Anarchist] [Progressive and Participatory-Tiered-Democracy] [Socialist-Free Market] [Peaceful-Post-Scarcity] [Scientific-Accepting] [Fractal-Unionist] (Why? Because the more "networked" a nation is, the better. The U.S. started out pretty good. It can be done better. Authoritarian Regimes are very dangerous. Power should be as diversified and distributed as possible. It promotes humility.)
  • * http://www.votesmart.org/voteeasy/ (The E-Harmony of Politics!) *
_______________________________________________________________
Focus is great and all, but knife edges and pencil points both need a lot of supporting matrix behind that. Without that you have nothing. It is this concept that makes me want to have a broad understanding of the larger picture of things when I research trending movements and technologies and current events. Even in daily life, I can't help but notice patterns that others don't notice. I connect dots that others don't even see as dots.

I absolutely Love Science and the process of Discovery. My curiosity is what motivates me to explore a wider field of view (context) than what I see right now. I am more of an Abstract thinker than a purely causal and logical thinker. I like to look for patterns. I love Visual Data. I like to think about Consciousness. The only useful education I have had is that which I was motivated to find myself. I have a passion for learning and it is very important to me that I find my information from a very wide variety of sources. I attribute my success as an independent researcher almost entirely to the power of the internet, and raw persistence. It's a great feeling to be able to stand upon the shoulders of giants and to peer out of my own experience onto the plains of the collective mind. Proper assimilation of our culture's knowledge into our individual minds is what gives us an edge.
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I'm interested in networking and sharing knowledge with others. I'm interested in Content which includes ideas, resources, plans, dreams, movements, etc.

~QUOTES:

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." -Alvin Toffler

"Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking." -Albert Einstein

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” -Albert Einstein

“Indulge your passion for science…but let your science be human, and such as may have a direct reference to action and society. Be a philosopher; but amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.” -David Hume

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error." - Linus Pauling

“In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.” -Ernst Fischer

"When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty." -Thomas Jefferson

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." -Alice Walker

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." -Helen Keller

"Your competitive advantage comes from the accuracy of your interpretation of reality and the way you articulate your life experience." -Jennifer Sertl

"What looks like luck to most people is when preparation meets opportunity." -Oprah Winfrey

"When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package." -John Ruskin

“For since most of our living is unconscious, play is like match-strokes in the void, bringing into light the structures we behave by, illuminating for us, however briefly, our deep meanings.” -M. C. Richards

" Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." -Albert Einstein

"When science is truly new...the technology that results from it “cannot be imagined” in advance." -Anton Zeilinger

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” -Sri Chinmoy Ghose

"An organism at war with itself is doomed." -Carl Sagan

“Knowledge is a public good and increases in value as the number of people possessing it increases.” —John Wilbanks is vice president of science at Creative Commons.

"Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me, and I'll understand." -Confucius

"Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing in life is to know when to forego an advantage." -Benjamin Disraeli

"Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor." -Robert Frost
_______________________________________________________________

I'm not interested in the world as it is. I'm interested in the world as I see it.
This means: DISRUPTION
............................................................................................................
The following excerpt is taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrative_thinking
Integrative Thinking is the process of integrating intuition, reason and imagination in a human mind with a view to developing a holistic continuum of strategy, tactics, action, review and evaluation for addressing a problem in any field. A problem may be defined as the difference between what one has and what one wants.

The Rotman School of Management defines integrative thinking as:

"...the ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models, and instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generating a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new model that contains elements of the individual models, but is superior to each."[1]

The website continues:

"Integrative thinkers build models rather than choose between them. Their models include consideration of numerous variables — customers, employees, competitors, capabilities, cost structures, industry evolution, and regulatory environment — not just a subset of the above. Their models capture the complicated, multi-faceted and multidirectional causal relationships between the key variables in any problem. Integrative thinkers consider the problem as a whole, rather than breaking it down and farming out the parts. Finally, they creatively resolve tensions without making costly trade-offs, turning challenges into opportunities."

Gandhi's Seven Deadly Sins:
  • Wealth without Work
  • Pleasure without Conscience
  • Science without Humanity
  • Knowledge without Character
  • Politics without Principle
  • Commerce without Morality
  • Worship without Sacrifice
=========================

Maslow's list of Metaneeds:

  1. Wholeness (unity)
  2. Perfection (balance and harmony)
  3. Completion (ending)
  4. Justice (fairness)
  5. Richness (complexity)
  6. Simplicity ( essence)
  7. Liveliness (spontaneity)
  8. Beauty (rightness of form)
  9. Goodness (benevolence)
  10. Uniqueness (individuality)
  11. Playfulness (ease)
  12. Truth (reality)
  13. Autonomy (self-sufficiency)
  14. Meaningfulness (values)
___________________________________
|BOOKS|

Fiction:
  • Impact - Douglas Preston (Aliens)
  • The Offsite - Robert H. Thompson (Leadership Fable)
Non-Fiction:
  • Abundance: The Future is Better than you Think - Peter H. Diamandis - Steven Kotler (Future Abundance and Prosperity through Technology and Post-Scarcity)
  • The Power of Pull - John Hagel (Pull-Based Strategies, Distributed Leadership, and Need-Based Supply Webs and Ecosystems)
  • Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government - Glenn Beck (Economics, Government, Progressivism, Conservatism, Freedom, Individual Liberty)
|MUSIC|
  • PERFECT STRANGER
  • KRAFTWERK
  • TRACE BUNDY
  • ENIGMA
  • IMMERSION
  • Silversun Pickups - The Royal We
  • Linkin Park - The Catalyst
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Manheim Steamroller
  • Five Finger Death Punch
  • Shinedown
432 Hz A TUNING (Lower the frequency of Concert Pitch back to the original 432-A)
______________________________
Popping and Locking style dance
Bragging rights
-I was on Google+ within the first week of it launching its field trial! -I think for myself...with others in mind.
Education
  • Learning
    Generalist (life), present
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
July 9
Relationship
Single
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