Saturday, December 12, 2009

Most Interesting Sections of Year in Ideas

I've read this for three years now and it's perennially my favorite "best of" list, surpassing any list of books, video games, or movies. Here is the 2009 edition. These were the best ones:
  • cognitive illiberalism,
  • (the) cul de sac ban (no safer and causes more traffic congestion),
  • drunken ultimatums,
  • forensic polling analysis (by this point it should be common knowledge that if you want to create false numbers, use a random number generator),
  • guilty robots,
  • killer earth (agree that we do not want to go "back to nature"!),
  • lithium in the water supply,
  • man made greenery (let's celebrate the diversity of approaches to geoengineering!),
  • (the) myth of the deficient older employee,
  • printable batteries (small but efficient batteries--which this is a step towards--will be the biggest invention of the next 20 years),
  • random promotions,
  • resomation,
  • (the) sound cannon, and
  • weapons of mosquito destruction
The best one overall is "massively collaborative mathematics." Basically, some mathematician posted a tough math theorem on his blog and, 1000+ comments later, it was proven. Crowdsourcing needs to become the name of the game in every scientific endeavor. There's too many smart, educated people out there wasting their time with nothing better to do. More on this to come.