My friend John Schwartz, an author and a reporter with the New York Times, has a fun essay out that explores how best to make lots of money: through inspiring fear, anger, or love/happiness/kittens?
The essay begins with John recounting a morning run driven by terror, in the form of an iPhone app called "Zombies, Run!" The best-selling app inserts a kind of zombie radio play into your music playlist. "This War-of-the-Worlds-meets-Richard-Simmons broadcast is enhanced with the sounds of ever-closer shambling, grunting zombies," says John, "It certainly added a spring to my step."
Naomi Alderman, who created the zombies app, said she was aiming at the “lizard brain,” the supposed part of our brain held over from our early evolution that motivates us with fear and a sense of impending danger. “Your brain wants you constantly to be afraid,” she said, “which is why we seek out horrible news stories about terrible things happening.”
That might be especially true today, she said, in our more comfortable lives. “If you live in the West,” she said, “you’re likely to live in peace and comfort and die of opulence-related diseases rather than anything your lizard brain is afraid of, like being hit over the head.” Lizard brain is hungry!
That’s why her program works, she suggested. “It’s fun to be scared of zombies,” she explained. “The back of the brain is yelling ‘Run, run, run!’ and the front of the brain is laughing.”
Read: Here Come The Zombies, But Not the Cash
(illustration: Glynis Sweeny for the New York Times)
The Chinese government’s wish-list for AI researchers is pretty ambitious: “Breakthroughs should be made in basic theories of AI, such as big data intelligence, multimedia aware computing, human-machine hybrid intelligence, swarm intelligence and automated decision-making.”
Robbo writes, “A number of so-called scientific journals have accepted a Star Wars-themed spoof paper. The manuscript is an absurd mess of factual errors, plagiarism and movie quotes. We know this because Neuroskeptic wrote it and posted about it on the Discover Magazine site. The paper was about Midi-chlorians and attributed to Dr Lucas McGeorge […]
As I wrote about last month, the hotelier who operates the Toronto property bearing Trump’s name was desperate enough to get shut of it that they had bid millions for the right to change the name of the hotel.
Web content creators who don’t have a solid SEO strategy should take note of Webtexttool. It’s a service that pulls in anonymous data from their entire user base to offer crowdsourced guidance that increases your search page ranks. By analyzing prior user successes, it helps you better gauge how your posts will perform at a […]
Just because English has become the common global tongue doesn’t mean it’s the easiest language to write—even for native speakers. If you’re looking to improve your written communication skills, especially on your smartphone, take a look at Ginger Page.Ginger is a cross-platform app that offers corrections for phrasing as well as grammar. It’s powered by […]
The current web development landscape is rife with buzzwords and technology that gets abandoned almost as soon as it’s made. If you’ve never written a line of code before, it can be hard to figure out what’s coming, what’s here to stay, or how to get ahead.This Beginner Web Development Bundle is a great place […]