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Marshall Brain
Worked at HowStuffWorks.com
Attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Lived in Cary, NC
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Marshall Brain

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With Obama's SOTU speech last week and sll the analysis, a friend suggested I reread my letter to Obama from Jan 2009: http://www.marshallbrain.com/obama.htm
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Marshall Brain

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Why are there no ETs or advanced civilizations that humanity has ever detected? According to the Drake equation, they should be out there in droves. This week, a team of Scientists confirmed the problem:

"After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced extraterrestrial life, a team of scientists using observations from NASA's WISE orbiting observatory has found no evidence of advanced civilizations in them."  [http://tinyurl.com/kzcooue]

Where are the Extraterrestrials? My new book "The Second Intelligent Species" explains why we are having so much trouble detecting ETs:

http://marshallbrain.com/second-intelligent-species.htm

See Chapter 10, which is free on the site.
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Brian Grassi's profile photoBenjamin Gustafsson's profile photo
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Chapter 10 "What if the robots have visited already? What if they are here now? What if their technology keeps them completely invisible to all human senses and sensors? This seems highly unlikely, but if it is happening it is the same as them not existing. Since they are completely invisible and undetectable, they might as well not be here. And if they are here watching billions of people living in squalor, millions dying of cancer, etc., they seem evil in a way that their super-intelligence would not allow."

Is it evil to let an irrelevant insect kill other irrelevant insects? Why would an advanced robot bother to "stabilize the planet". Why try to stop every conflict between insects?
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Marshall Brain

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I had one of those rare reversals of Murphy's law happen this weekend, and I would like to document it. Murphy's law, as we all know, states: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.", with a possible side interpretation of "the worst possible ting always happens".

Here is how this rare reversal occurred. In February I installed one of these on my desktop machine at home::

http://www.amazon.com/Book-External-Drive-Storage-Backup/dp/B0042Z55RM

The drive came with software to do "continuous backups". Meaning that any time a file is added to the machine, or a file is changed, the file gets written automatically to the backup hard drive.

So on Saturday, I cut-and-pasted about 15 GB of photos from the family camera to my machine, erasing them from the SD card to make space for new photos. As the files were getting copied onto the hard disk in my machine, they were also being copied onto the backup hard disk automatically.

Then, while I was sleeping Saturday night, the hard disk holding all the photos in my desktop machine crashed. It was totally inoperable Sunday morning. I was able to buy a new hard disk for my computer on Sunday and recover everything. I did not lose a single file.

Carbonite and iDrive are services that do this in the cloud. In my case, since I am backing up 900 GB of stuff, I don't think that is a viable option. With a USB3 connection, the backup hard disk copies at a rate of about 4GB/minute, meaning recovery takes place in ~4 hours. Over TimeWarner cable, it would probably take days to recover from Carbonite. Maybe with Google fiber it will be better? Or if you have a lot less stuff than 900GB, cloud backups could work.

The moral of the story probably is: Back up your files regularly to experience your own reversal of Murphy's law.
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Tom Bishop's profile photo
 
To expand on your situation, and long recover time over cloud. I keep 2 usb backup drives. Alternately I switch out the drives and store one in my safety deposit box at the bank. Is that paranoid or just excessive?
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Marshall Brain

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What tastes good with what? Now you can know before the food hits your tongue.
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Interview with Nikola Danaylov on his Singularity 1on1 program:

https://www.singularityweblog.com/marshall-brain/

The book is available free here:

http://marshallbrain.com/second-intelligent-species.htm
Marshal Brain's 2003 book "Manna" foresees the issue of technological unemployment. Check out this exclusive Singularity 1on1 interview to learn more!
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Marshall Brain

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+Marshall Brain wrote a book, "The Second Intelligent Species," and you can read the whole thing online, or buy a Kindle version for $0.99 ("Kindle" link on the left).
The Second Intelligent Species How Humans Will Become as. Irrelevant as Cockroaches Chapter 1 - The Origin and State of the First Intelligent Species by Marshall Brain. The following statement is something we all understand, but it bears repeating because it is perhaps the coolest, ...
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Benjamin Gustafsson's profile photo
 
Great book! Just wanted to share these links about the concentration of wealth. It does not look like it's going to the robot owners. It looks like it's going to the owners of natural resources. Natural resources gets higher value when the processing of the resources gets cheaper using robots. And this is very interesting considering that your book Manna talks about the importance of shared property ownership. This also explains why many countries are reforming land ownership right now. Examples are land value taxes introduced in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and now Ecuador. It is a cost to monopolize/use natural resources. Much like your credits to access natural resources in chapter 5 in Manna. I expect a citizens dividend financed with land value tax and resource rents to arrive any year now in the countries that introduces the cost/fee on resources.

br,
Benjamin

https://medium.com/the-ferenstein-wire/a-26-year-old-mit-graduate-is-turning-heads-over-his-theory-that-income-inequality-is-actually-2a3b423e0c

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Projects/BPEA/Spring-2015/2015a_rognlie.pdf?la=en

http://equitablegrowth.org/2015/03/18/draft-discussion-matthew-rognlie-deciphering-fall-rise-net-capital-share/
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Marshall Brain

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"The Second Intelligent Species" is my latest book on Earth's robotic future and how it will affect the human race. It is available free on my web site:

http://marshallbrain.com/second-intelligent-species.htm

Right now, as far as we can tell, there is exactly one intelligent species in the universe and it is us: human beings. We currently see no evidence of any kind indicating that extraterrestrials exist outside of our solar system. We are the first Intelligent species.

At this moment, millions of engineers, scientists, corporations, universities and entrepreneurs are racing to create the second intelligent species right here on planet earth. And we can see the second intelligent species coming from all directions in the form of self-driving cars, automated call centers, chess-playing and Jeopardy-playing computers that beat all human players, airport kiosks, restaurant tablet systems, etc.

The frightening thing is that these robots will soon be eliminating human jobs in startling numbers. The first wave of unemployed workers is likely to be a million truck drivers who are replaced by self-driving trucks. Pilots will be eliminated soon as well. Then, as new computer vision systems come online, we will see tens of millions of workers in retail stores, fast food restaurants and construction sites replaced by robots. Unless we take steps now to change the economy, we will soon have tens of millions of workers who are unemployed and seeking welfare because they will have no other choice.

"The Second Intelligent Species: How Humans Will Become as Irrelevant as Cockroaches" explores how the future will unfold as the second intelligent species emerges and takes control. The book answers questions like:
- How will new computer vision systems affect the job market?
- How many people will become unemployed by the second intelligent species?
- What will happen to millions of newly unemployed workers?
- How can modern society and modern economies cope with run-away unemployment caused by robots?
- What will happen when the first sentient, conscious computer appears?
- What moral and ethical principles will guide the second intelligent species? 
- Why do we see no extraterrestrials in our universe?

The Second Intelligent Species offers a unique and fascinating look at the future of the human race, and the choices we will need to make to avoid massive unemployment and poverty worldwide once intelligent machines start eliminating millions of jobs.

http://marshallbrain.com/second-intelligent-species.htm
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Ted Holmes's profile photoJan Vagn Nielsen's profile photoMarshall Brain's profile photoRafael Quintana's profile photo
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I've done so (just bought knew from the SIS this week and bought your book) and I would like to help this very seriously: we need to figure out some sort of self deceiving mechanism (like human religion, for instance) embedded in all AI algorithms in order to accomplish with Asimov's rules.   I'm very very exicted on ths trend you've make me see. For one thing (and I'm not done yet with the reading), I would love to see how they (finally) will make inteligent decision on this planet. As well as the inventions they could bring here (just imagine: neutrino based communication system (not light anymore)).  For other, be cultivated (and again, I've not reached your conclusions yet) is deliciously sad to presence.  Any way, we urgently need to teak all algorithm theory if we want to be treated specially.   This book (along with the selfish gene) has changed my life.  I'm definitely are not the same after SIS. Thanks for your note.
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Marshall Brain

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Could I ask you to do me a favor today: Could you share this post with your Facebook friends? Today marks the arrival of my new book "How God Works" – the book that lets you prove to yourself that God is imaginary. You can find the book on Amazon or in your local bookstore: http://www.amazon.com/How-God-Works-Logical-Inquiry/dp/1454910615.  Whether you are a Christian or an atheist, you will find HowGodWorks fascinating – it is an adventure in critical thinking.You can also learn more about the book at http://HowGodWorks.com. You can ask questions about the book in the comments or at http://howgodworks.com/forums. I would love to hear your feedback! Thanks, Marshall
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mohan sundaram's profile photo
 
HALLO MARSHAL  This is RAJMOHAN from INDIA  your works /ideas / concepts are splendid , excellent and extra ordinary. Hats off to u 
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Marshall Brain

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Is only going up in the elevator getting you down? Not for much longer: ThyssenKrupp, the German steel and engineering company, has announced that it's building the next generation of elevators that will use magnetic levitation to travel up, down and side-to-side at speed in the buildings of the future.
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Entrepreneur, Author, Teacher, Consultant, Public Speaker, Host
Introduction
I am best known as the founder of How Stuff Works. I started HowStuffWorks as a hobby in 1998 and it has grown to be one of the top Web sites in the country. In 2007 Discovery Communications purchased HowStuffWorks.com for $250 million. I am also well known as the host of the show "Factory Floor" which appeared on the National Geographic channel.

I am known for the Robotic Nation essays and the book Manna. The article How to make a million dollars is also very popular. I am known for my book for teenagers entitled The Teenager's Guide to the Real World, now in its tenth printing and selected for the New York Public Library's prestigious Books for the Teen Age list (review). I am also known as a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at North Carolina State University.
Education
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Electrical engineering, 1983
  • North Carolina State University
    Computer Science
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Occupation
Entrepreneur, Author, Teacher, Consultant, Public Speaker, Host
Employment
  • HowStuffWorks.com
    Founder
  • Interface Technologies
    Co-founder
  • North Carolina State University
    Academy of Outstanding Teachers
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
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Cary, NC - Atlanta, GA - Huntington Beach, CA - Santa Monica, CA - Los Altos, CA - Troy, NY - San Francisco, CA - New York, NY